Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure.
This week's edition covers news from Saturday, November 5, 2011 to Friday, November 11, 2011 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
Table Of Contents
- WWE News
- TNA Impact Wrestling News
- Ask WNW
- The 90-day non-compete agreements expired on Thursday for the following former WWE talents:
* Chris Masters
* DH Smith
* Vladimir Kozlov
- Darren Young's suspension has officially ended. The suspension began on October 5 and lasted for 30 days, as it was his first violation of the company's wellness policy. Young remains on the current roster of NXT: Redemption talent. As for the currently suspended performers, Heath Slater's suspension will last until November 17, and Evan Bourne's suspension will last until December 1.
- Mike Mooneyham of The Post and Courier has a lengthy health update on Barry Windham. Windham continues to recover after suffering a heart attack and a possible stroke on October 26, 2011. The heart attack caused Barry to fall, causing him to suffer further injury. WWE is footing the medical bills for Windham as Triple H approved the funding. For quotes from Windham's father, Bob, click here.
- I can confirm Evan Bourne, Heath Slater and Darren Young all received 30-day suspensions and their first strike of the WWE Wellness Policy for the same reason - testing positive for synthetic marijuana.
It's somewhat hypocritical the use of synthetic marijuana carries a suspension when the use of marijuana simply carries a fine. Here are the details straight from the WWE Wellness Policy:
B. FOR POSITIVE MARIJUANA DRUG TESTS In the event of any positive test for marijuana, the WWE Talent shall be fined Two Thousand Five Hundred US Dollars ($2,500.00) per positive test, which shall be deducted from the WWE Talent's downside guarantee. C. FOR POSITIVE ALCOHOL SUBSTANCE TESTS
In the event of a positive test for alcohol, the WWE Talent shall be fined Two Thousand Five Hundred US Dollars ($2,500.00) per positive test, which shall be deducted from the WWE Talent's downside guarantee.
I can now also confirm that Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine did serve a 30-day suspension from WWE for his first violation of the Wellness Policy although his suspension was never announced by WWE. The suspensions of Leavine, senior referee Mike Chioda and Sin Cara were not because of synthetic marijuana.
- John Cena continues to publicly support Zack Ryder. He Tweeted today he feels Ryder should be given a United States Championship shot and tagged with him at recent European shows. While a lot of this is kayfabe, Cena has been a vocal supporter of Ryder's to WWE officials. Given his status in the company, Cena's opinion holds a lot of weight.
- Chyna recently appeared on The Howard Stern Show and briefly discussed wanting to return to WWE. She claims to have asked Vince McMahon if he was willing to put personal issues aside and go into business together. The video is embedded below:
- Jim Rosstweeted the following yesterday in regard to his status for next week's Raw taping: I'll be in Boston next week for the 3 hour Raw & I will take the Michael Cole Challenge whatever that is. Is it a setup? Does it matter?
- Brock Lesnar was recently interviewed by WWEGames and discussed his inclusion in the upcoming WWE '12 video game. He continued to mention that he never got an opportunity to face "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, discussed his feelings on the current UFC landscape, and more. The interview is embedded in the video below:
- CM Punk is the inspiration behind a pizza at a pizza place in Chicago called Ian's Pizza. The pie is called The G.T.S. and features smoked turkey leg, sliced potatoes, Swiss cheese and French fried onions and will be available at the restaurant from November 21-27. The pizza was available in July as CM Punk stopped by to make the pizza himself with Beth Phoenix and Colt Cabana. Click here for coverage by the Chicago Tribune.
- In yesterday's report about Evan Bourne, Heath Slater and Darren Young being suspended for the use of synthetic marijuana, I noted about the hypocrisy that a positive test for marijuana (which is illegal) only carries a fine when synthetic marijuana is legal yet carries a suspension. I did some research and noticed the company has stipulated a special section in their Wellness Policy regarding synthetic cannabinoids. The two substances WWE officials are focusing on are "Spice" and "K2." With these substances becoming popular amongst several in the locker room, WWE has banned them regardless of whether there is a prescription (which is something they also did with SOMAs). I'm told there are also efforts being made in congress to pass laws against these substances to take them off the market in the United States.
- The official WWE YouTube channel posted the following retrospective on famous heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier's appearances in professional wrestling. Frazier, who passed away last Monday, acted as the guest referee of the main event of NWA Starrcade 1984 between Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes, and appeared in Mr. T's corner at WrestleMania 2. The video is embedded below:
- There is a clear shift of focus within WWE from producing films under the WWE Studios banner to allocating resources for the WWE Network. Vince McMahon and other top company officials have kept a lot of the stuff regarding the WWE Network close to the company vest because the truth is, a lot of uncertainty remains. WWE is trying to curb spending and allocate funds where they need to be in order to get the best clearance deal possible (such as plans for an interactive website capable of hosting programming). No upgrades to the company media center are expected at this time but WWE is focused on producing cheap in-house programming. Another very useful resource in the launch of the WWE Network is the company's 30,000 hours of digitized programming.
- For those wondering how secure WWE Raw is on the USA Network, there deal doesn't expire for another three years. WWE does not plan to interfere with that contract with the forthcoming launch of the WWE Network.
- Rey Mysterio's projected return date from PCL and ACL injuries to his knee is Wrestlemania XXVIII. Mysterio continues to do therapy on his knee and has been doing promotional appearances for the show.
- WWE.com has a new editorial online questioning why John Cena chose to partner with The Rock at Survivor Series. You can read it at this link.
- Also available on WWE.com is a video of John Morrison discussing his victory over WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler on this week's Raw Supershow. You can watch it at this link.
- William Regal was ribbed at yesterday's WWE Superstars taping in Liverpool, England, prior to his match with Daniel Bryan. While Regal was making his entrance, the "Real Man's Man" Steven Regal theme he had during his stint in the late 90s played instead of his current theme. Both Regal and Bryan seemed to get a laugh from the rib, and video of the incident is embedded below:
- The Campus Socialite has a new interview online with Jerry Lawler. Lawler discusses the fact he's a wrestler who does commentary not a commentator that wrestles. You can listen to the interview at this link.
- Sheamus and Ted DiBiase toured Anfield in Liverpool, England this week. Sheamus is a fan of the soccer club. You can read coverage by Yahoo! Sports at this link.
- The UK Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from Sheamus where he calls The Undertaker his "ginger idol." You can read the piece in its entirety at this link.
- WWE has unveiled a new logo for the WWE Network. You can view it below:
- Christian suffered a knee injury at last night's Smackdown house show from Forest National in Brussels, Belgium. Christian was in a bout with Sheamus when he was hurt less than two minutes in the match. The referee called for a quick finish, Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick and threw up the X sign. Assistance was given and Christian was helped out of the ring. As of this writing, I do not know the severity of the injury.
- The official WWEGames YouTube channel has posted the following video announcing that Batista will be available for download in the upcoming WWE '12 video game:
- NewsTimes.com has a new article featuring quotes from Big Show. Below is an excerpt:
"He has really come into his own and stepped up his level of intensity," Big Show said of his fellow WWE Superstar. "When you're in the ring with him, you feel how powerful he is. I'm not embarrassed to say Mark is stronger than I am."
Click here to read the full article.
- WWE.com has a new article online questioning if The Undertaker will defend "the streak" next year at Wrestlemania XXVIII. You can read the article at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Jeremie Mickens for sending the link.)
- Wrestling News World reader Colm Gillespie sent this in... Tickets went on sale this morning for the Smackdown Wrestlemania Revenge Tour which takes place in Dublin and Belfast on the 12th and 13th of April 2012. You can purchase the tickets here - Dublin | Belfast
- Christian returned to the United States yesterday after suffering an injury Wednesday night in Belgium. The injury is believed to be a sprained or broken ankle.
- John Morrison has been removed from upcoming house show bookings towards the end of this month and the beginning of next month. Most notably, Morrison was advertised for WWE's tour of Japan on November 31st and December 1st but has since been removed. As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, Morrison's WWE contract is coming up and he is not expected to re-sign. This has been the reason behind the recent jobs, however, I thought something may have changed with his win on TV this week.
TNA Impact Wrestling News
- AJ Styles injured his ankle at Friday night's TNA house show from the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Michigan. As of this writing the severity of the injury is unknown and Styles hopes to be ready by Sunday's Turning Point pay-per-view.
- TNA's official website, ImpactWrestling.com, was hacked last night and as of this writing, is currently "down for maintenance." When users hit the website last night they were greeted with an image of a green and white eagle with the symbol of Islam inscribed on it. The text underneath read: "Hacked by: AdelSMB & The DoN ("The COde TeaM")... Greets to: Bek4ever Algeria."
- TNA/Impact Wrestling is heading back to the New York City area on January 13 with a house show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.
- TNA Impact Wrestling announced today they have come to terms on a deal with Ohio Valley Wrestling for the promotion to be their official developmental promotion. OVW owner Danny Davis will work with Bruce Prichard in the developmental of talent through training, live events and weekly television production. Ohio Valley Wrestling, based out of Louisville, Kentucky, was the official developmental territory for WWE from 2000 to 2008.
- AJ Styles has a grade two high ankle sprain he suffered at a TNA Impact Wrestling house show this weekend. Styles posted a photo of the injury on his official Twitter account at this link. Styles hopes to be back Sunday but the injury usually requires 2-4 weeks to recover from.
- Kurt Angle's September 4, 2011 arrest in Virginia that originally carried charges of Driving Under the Influence was settled in a Warren County court room yesterday. Angle was fined $1500 but no jail time attached. The former TNA Champion's attorney, Todd Gilbert, entered a plea of no contest to charges of Reckless Driving. Judge W. Dale Houff imposed the maximum fine of $2500, suspending $1000 of that total. The judge agreed with Angle's defense the case did not bear any jail time. The charges were amended from Driving Under the Influence to Reckless Driving because Angle blew a .06 in a legally-admissible BAC test, which was under the Virginia legal limit of .08. Angle admitted to Virginia State Troopers that he drank three beers earlier that evening. Police found a 12-pack of beer in Angle's vehicle, with two beers missing at the time of the arrest. Gilbert told the court Angle admitted to driving poorly and inappropriately. However, rather than alcohol being an underlying cause, the defense said he was texting. Angle's defense argued he was texting the promoter [TNA Wrestling] about his payment. As for Angle's poor performance in the field sobriety tests, Gilbert argued it was because of Angle's multiple knee injuries throughout his career. Click here for coverage by the Warren County Report Newspaper.
- Matt Morgan, Christy Hemme and SoCal Val represented TNA Impact Wrestling at Johnny Damon's "Johnny Jam '11" at the Hard Rock Hotel Beach Club at Universal Studios Orlando last Sunday.
- The cousin of TNA Impact Wrestling star Matt Morgan, Detective Michael Morgan, was gunned down on Monday while off-duty in New Jersey. The suspects of the shooting were apprehended this morning and a press conference is scheduled for today. Click here for coverage by NorthJersey.com.
- Ric Flair has resulted to making appearances at Walmart stores in small towns around the United States to make extra money. Wrestling News World reader Paul Braddy sent in the following live report:
Ric Flair was set to sign at the Dickson, TN Walmart today from 6-8pm. The large banner said the first 300 people would get a number and would be guaranteed to receive an autograph. I went by at about 2 pm and they had an area roped off in the lawn and garden area. At the front of the line was a Coca-cola display that spelled out Wooo with a clever arrangement of boxes. I know my hometown, so I skipped the madness and arrived at 7:30 with my 10 year old son.
The sign said Flair would sign till 8 even after the first 300. I figured by now the 300 had been through. When we arrived about 20 people were left in line and it was really a sad image. Honestly I was hoping to not get an autograph because the line would still be too long. Instead, a tired looking flair sat at a table signing away. We went to stand in line and the manager stopped me and said it was shut down. I explained his own policy too him. He went and asked Flair's handlers.
Me and my son were permitted to be the last ones to get signed after I told them I just wanted a picture with Flair and my son.
Flair was great! He was talkative and seemed ready to bail but still appreciative. He posed (behind the table) with my son for a picture and miraculously he found pictures 301 and 302 to sign for us! It was great for my son and real sad for me to see the legend signing away in a lawn and garden at Walmart with people shouting Wooo! Flair is planning several of these signing with Coca-cola and Walmart in the next month. Check out his website and it is worth it to meet the legend regardless of the situation!
- Jeff Hardy is currently on probation for 30 months because of drug charges from his September 2009 arrest. Per his probation, Hardy is not allowed to leave his home in Cameron, North Carolina after 6 PM unless it is for work. He's also not allowed to have visitors after this time. If Hardy is not booked for a TNA Impact Wrestling show, he must remain home. This stipulation to his probation will last until February 2012.
- SLAM! Wrestling has a new article online featuring quotes from Gail Kim to promote Sunday's TNA Turning Point pay-per-view. Below is an excerpt:
"I would never take back winning the WWE Women's title for a moment, but winning the TNA Knockouts title meant a whole lot more to me," Kim exclusively told SLAM! Wrestling in her first interview since re-signing with TNA. "Winning the WWE Women's title was history making and I'm very grateful, but when you're a part of building something like I was with the Knockouts division and you finally reach the pinnacle of winning the belt that represents that division, it meant more. "Myself and every Knockout in the company at the beginning worked so hard to build up a credible women's division in TNA so finally holding the title meant so much to me.
"Winning the Knockouts Championship I can say is a moment I will always remember for the rest of my life and I would like to relive that experience by winning the title again this Sunday, knowing I have gained more experience and have learnt so much more."
Click here to read the full article.
- Alex Marvez has a new article online featuring quotes from Gail Kim. In it, Gail discusses leaving TNA for WWE and returning to TNA. Below is an excerpt:
"I try to look back at some of the positives," Kim said. "I made some good friendships there and had some good matches. But all I can say is that expression, 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,' was pretty much the result. I know I'll never go back there."
Click here to read the full article.
When I look at Cody Rhodes I see a future World Champion. He has the look, in-ring skills, mic skills and charisma to be a valid World Champion. Do you think that WWE will soon push Cody for a World Title run, given that he has been feuding with Randy Orton (one of the top guys in the company)?
Cody Rhodes has everything for a bright future in WWE but remember this isn't the first time the company has tried to elevate him. When WWE broke up Legacy early last year, there was an opportunity for both Rhodes and DiBiase to get legitimate pushes. After going through a "Dashing" transformation, Rhodes seems to have found a successful gimmick that highlights his charisma and mic work. These are two things in which WWE officials raved about before he ever made it to the main roster. As for a title reign there are a lot of workers in front of Rhodes with the current names being Big Show (getting another title shot at Survivor Series) and Daniel Bryan (who WWE has already announced as the challenger at Wrestlemania XXVIII). We'll see if he's worked into the picture but the most important thing is for Rhodes to get clearly established as a top guy in his current extended program with Randy Orton.
What is the situation with Air Boom since Evan Bourne is suspended and they are still the WWE Tag Team Champions?
Yes, Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston are still the WWE Tag Team Champions. WWE has programmed Kofi Kingston is singles action on their current European tour and will probably pick back up on the team when Evan Bourne's suspension expires. I'll have more details on the suspension of Bourne shortly here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
What do you think of the storyline with the obvious end of Beer Money with Bobby Roode screwing James Storm? I can't believe they have gone down this road of splitting them up and turning Roode heel.
Beer Money has dominated the tag team wrestling scene for three full years. While there is no question they were established as not only the top tag team in TNA but the best tag team in the business. However, I feel Bobby Roode is too talented to be a career tag team performer. I've always felt like Roode has what it takes to be a top name and it's great to see him get a run as TNA Champion. I disagree with how it was done as I would have put Roode over Angle at Bound for Glory but that was blown up by Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. As for Roode playing the heel, this wasn't the original direction either. You can get caught up on the original plans and why they changed at this link.
What kind of relationship do Vince and Shane McMahon have (if one at all)? With all the red flags about the WWE Network, is there anyone in the company who will stand up to Vince and tell him "no"? Business-wise Shane always sounded like he had an eye for what was best for the company - is WWE (Vince) missing Shane's counsel these days?
Vince McMahon wasn't a fan of Shane's decision to leave WWE. Shane admitted this June "residual tension" remains between the two over him leaving WWE and it was "brutal" informing his father of his plans. People close to Shane tell me he had accepted the fact the company was going to be run by Triple H (who Vince views as the son he never had) and Stephanie McMahon. He wanted to get into Mixed Martial Arts and Vince had none of it. I don't know how much counsel Shane had in terms of telling Vince what to do. He was on Vince for years to get into MMA and Vince never gave it a chance. Vince is determined to launch the WWE Network to guarantee the company always has TV clearance and something he wants as one of the final pieces to his legacy. The WWE Network scares me. It's one of those projects that I understand the need and desire but can also see potential major problems ahead. McMahon is very confident and by his own admission "optimistic" but it really is "make it or break it."
What is the purpose of having the Michael Cole/Jim Ross challenge pushed back another week? Does Vince just want to have an excuse to pick on Ross?
The segment was cut from last week's Raw Supershow because of time constraints and Jim Ross did not make the trip to Liverpool. I do not know beyond that why WWE has delayed it, however, as JR stated, does it matter? I look for it to be another opportunity to humiliate Ross in a segment meant to be comedy. I, along with most readers, would love to see the re-establishment of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler but I'm not holding my breath given McMahon's infatuation with Michael Cole.
Do you think Vince McMahon will bring back Chyna?
Chyna has been a "train wreck" since her WWE departure, battling addiction and getting less-than-attractive media attention. To say Vince McMahon would "never" bring her back would not be accurate because it's impossible to guess McMahon's mindset. However, I'm not reading too much into Chyna's recent comments.
When the WWE Network launches will we see the end of the PG Era since they will have unlimited TV clearance?
First of all WWE's PG imitative is not because of their TV deals. It's to improve their public image, attract higher-tier advertisers and make a program that can be distributed to the entire family. While Vince McMahon has kept a lot of things regarding the WWE Network close to his vest, he's maintained it will not alter the current television deals. Also just because the WWE Network is launching does not mean the company will have "unlimited TV clearance." We haven't heard the format WWE plans to launch their network under and it's not going to be easy to get wide clearance on cable and satellite systems.
When is Mick Foley going to be on television?
Mick Foley was advertised for next week's Raw Supershow in Boston but has since been removed. WWE might wait to bring Foley back to keep from detracting from The Rock's hype as the last I heard Foley was going to be unavailable for Survivor Series.
Do you feel the outcome of The Rock vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania XXVIII has already been decided? Surely WWE wouldn't bring Rock back only to lose?
The outcome hasn't been decided and valid arguments could be made either way. I would have an issue with The Rock going over John Cena then leaving WWE. Where's the rub? It's a tricky match to book but it's one of the biggest draws in WWE history.
What is the current status of Maryse?
Maryse has left WWE and is waiting out her 90-day non-compete agreement. From what I understand she isn't looking to wrestle but is pursuing other career opportunities. While some of her Tweets may have indicated the contrary, I'm told her release from WWE was amicable.
Next year will be The Undertaker's 20th match at Wrestlemania and it is inevitable that he will once again win so he will be 20-0 at the event. My question is, who do you think the WWE will build up to try to face The Undertaker? In my eyes, there is no one left in the company that is a credible challenger for The Dead Man to face at Wrestlemania.
There are plenty of opponents out there as I can immediately think of two names if The Undertaker is able to go at Wrestlemania XXVIII. Mark Henry has been on a tremendous run and while the bout would likely not be able to involve the World Heavyweight Championship (because of the Daniel Bryan situation); the company would have to figure out how to get the belt off him without having him job. Another opponent I think would be a good fit would be Sheamus. However, Sheamus going under to The Undertaker eliminates any kind of rub although being in a competitive match at Wrestlemania wouldn't hurt him. WWE could create a good program and selling point for The Undertaker at Wrestlemania but as of this writing I can't confirm he will be part of the show.
Do you think that with John Cena building up Zack Ryder the way he is, and Ryder being so overly goofy and PG and gearing his "act" towards kids, he's trying to usher in his replacement?
I take it from your question you are not a fan of John Cena or Zack Ryder. I personally think John Cena sees how over Ryder is with the Internet and feels he has what it takes to be a big star in WWE. Cena obviously likes him and is doing what he can to help Ryder's career. I don't think it has anything to do with the Cena character.
With WWE mentioning why John Cena would ask The Rock to team with him, are they flirting with the idea of Cena turning on The Rock? Wouldn't that make sense on why Cena would ask for The Rock's help, seeing that he really doesn't need his help?
I am sure you are talking about the WWE.com editorial that questioned why John Cena chose to partner with The Rock. WWE is absolutely teasing the fact Cena could turn on The Rock. Jerry Lawler said on commentary a couple weeks ago he feels Awesome Truth is favored in the match because he doesn't see how Cena and Rock can function together. There needs to be dysfunction to build towards their match at Wrestlemania XXVIII. This tag match at Survivor Series is being done to give The Rock a chance to brush off ring rust, increase interest in Survivor Series and build towards the main event at Wrestlemania next year. The bigger question a lot of people want answered is - will John Cena turn heel? This is something I would have to see to believe.
In your opinion, what constitutes a good in-ring performer?
The number one determining factor in any match is the crowd. How do they react? Are they into it or could you hear a pin drop? A lot of people get caught up in the pace or complexity of a match, however, often times the ultimate point is missed. The main goal in any match is to entertain the crowd. If the fans are booing the heel, cheering the babyface and hanging on to every spot - the goal has been accomplished. When the crowd is lost, the goal has failed. Ring work varies based on a worker's size, their athleticism and natural God-given talent. Therefore a good in-ring worker is someone that can keep the crowd entertained regardless of their opponent. A lot of smarter fans prefer fast-paced bouts over bouts that include submission and rest holds. I will take either style as long as the crowd is hot.
Evan Bourne just came out talking about his upcoming WWE Magazine interview but he's currently suspended from WWE TV. Doesn't this send the wrong message? You're not "well" enough to be on TV but your "well" enough to be in our magazine?
One thing that needs to be considered is WWE Magazine articles are written in advance. Any publication that has to go to print has to be done in advance. This is how the Internet has changed things so much because technology now allows us to conduct an interview and get it in front of millions of eyes the same day. It'd be redundant for me to remind you this didn't used to be possible and used to be quite the process. As for the WWE Wellness Policy, I've mentioned before it has worked but there are still things that need tweaked. There are major loopholes and one can take a look at the list of suspended talent and clearly see a lack of top names.
Should WWE have waited until Royal Rumble to bring back Mick Foley? Wouldn't a better plan be for him to challenge The Undertaker for "the streak"?
Mick Foley didn't come back to WWE to wrestle. While he's the same age as The Undertaker (46), Foley has put his body through some brutal matches and is in no shape to carry a lengthy Wrestlemania bout against someone that has proved they can still work at the highest possible level. I would have rather seen WWE bring Foley back on television or pay-per-view rather than at a house show, but WWE probably did it to increase the interest to their European tour.
Why isn't WWE calling up people from FCW like Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose? They are much more talented than some of the people on the current roster and should really get a chance to appear on television.
They say patience is a virtue and that's exactly what you have to have with talented developmental workers. Sure Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are talented workers; we've all seen what they are capable of in Ring of Honor or Dragon Gate USA respectively. However, not only do they have to be ready from a work standpoint but they also have to have a storyline to work under. If a worker gets called up only to get jobbed out it can be career suicide. WWE is aware of what they have in their developmental system and when they want to call workers up to their main roster. There is no reason to rush the process.
Why are matches on WWE Superstars far more entertaining than matches on WWE Raw Supershow or Smackdown?
This isn't always the case but sometimes WWE Superstars has better matches than the main WWE programming. This is because WWE Superstars is a wrestling-heavy show while Raw Supershow and Smackdown have to progress storylines. If you are the type of fan that only enjoys ring work, WWE and Impact Wrestling are not for you. You need to follow promotions such as Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate USA and EVOLVE Wrestling. These promotions highlight ring work while making everything else secondary. WWE and TNA have broader audiences which is the reason for the major differences.
Shawn Michaels is one of the best workers of all-time, however, why did he only get one world title reign in eight years since his 2002 return?
It's common for readers to question the lack of title reigns Shawn Michaels had in the latter years of his career. World title reigns come down to the right opportunity and it just never came to pass. Remember, Michaels worked a more limited schedule and was one of the very few to get this privilege. I can't give you the exact mindset for not strapping Michaels but those are some things to consider.
Do you know who was Brock Lesnar's interviewer during his WWE 12 segment? It sounded like Paul Heyman, if so do you know his status with the company?
This interview, posted on the WWE Games YouTube channel, was conducted by Paul Heyman. I'm not sure what Heyman goes by but he's basically Lesnar's agent/handler. He's the one that operated as a liaison between WWE, UFC and Lesnar regarding his inclusion in the WWE '12 video game. Heyman works for Brock Lesnar not WWE or UFC.