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, August 6, 2011 to Friday, August 12, 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
- Impact Wrestling News
- Ask WNW
- Gail Kim'sWWE contract was set to expire later this month so it looks like she quit rather than risk being released. I haven't heard if the company planned on re-signing her but she signed a 3-year contract with a downside of approximately $100,000 per year in 2008.
- In an update to an earlier item, I'm told that WWE actually comped former WWE Tough Enough contestant Martin Casaus tickets to last night's WWE Raw house show in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- The official WWE website is running an article about Rey Mysterio invoking his WWE Championship "rematch clause" against the winner of CM Punk vs. John Cena the night after SummerSlam at WWE Raw from the Valley View Casino in San Diego, California.
- There were two injuries at last night's WWE Raw house show from Salt Lake City, Utah. WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler suffered an abdominal injury in his match against Alex Riley. Rey Mysterio tweaked his knee in his match against Alberto Del Rio. Neither are thought to be seriously injured.
- Melina posted a brief 4-minute podcast discussing her WWE release at this link.
- WWE did an injury angle with Rey Mysterio at last night's WWE Raw house show from the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. Mysterio came out to cut a promo and was attacked by Alberto Del Rio and R-Truth. As we reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Mysterio suffered a legitimate knee injury on Friday night while working with Del Rio.
- The Miz, John Cena and Maryse were at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards last night. Cena and Miz were both presenters while Maryse was there because of The Miz. You can view a photo of The Miz and Maryse on the red carpet at this link.
- Speaking of Melina, she was with her boyfriend John Morrison at last night's WWE Supershow house show in Stockton, California.
- WWE has released developmental worker Bobby Dutch. (Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Fernando for sending this in.)
- Former WWE NXT contestant Lucky Cannon has been officially let go from WWE's developmental system.
- WWE did the injury angle with The Miz "taking out" Rey Mysterio on tonight's WWE Raw because of the knee injury Mysterio suffered in a match against Alberto Del Rio on Friday night. The company did an injury angles with Mysterio at house shows on Saturday and Sunday. As of this writing I do not have an update on the specifics of his knee injury.
- Wrestling News World reader Roberto Yanes sent in the following: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was on G4's "Attack of the Show" to promote his new movie, Tactical Force. On the show Austin was asked about the rumors about him wrestling CM Punk at Wrestlemania XXVIII. Austin said he is a huge fan of Punk and if he did come back for another match, he would want it to be against CM Punk. Austin never said if the match would happen or not, but it was pretty cool to see Austin praising Punk and saying he would love to wrestle him if he did come back for one more match.
- Wrestling News World reader Fernando reporting: In addition to Bobby Dutch and Lucky Cannon, WWE has released the following developmental workers: Colin Cassady, DeSean Bishop, Jason Mullen, Leroy Parks, Cameron Lynn (Tough Enough contestant Ariane Andrew) and Sonia. Cassady and Parks were added to the roster recently.
- For those that didn't see it on WWE Raw, the company is still advertising Rey Mysterio for his WWE Championship match the night after SummerSlam against the winner of CM Punk vs. John Cena. This indicates to me that either Mysterio's knee injury is not that serious or they plan on doing a swerve. Next week's WWE Raw will take place from San Diego, California which is the hometown of Mysterio.
- Wrestling News World reader Rishi Sundaram sent in the following: The Miz appeared on a video featuring YouTube-made famous lip-syncer Keenan Cahill. The video shows him and Miz having a battle on lip-syncing The Miz's WWE theme song. You can view it embedded below:
- There was a plan coming out of the weekend for WWE developmental worker Hunico to work as Sin Cara at tonight's Smackdown taping. I originally thought Cara began his suspension earlier than it was announced which is why he was returning early but that does not appear to be the case. This will probably fuel speculation that Cara in still in jeopardy of getting cut.
- Melina was not allowed in the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California when she arrived with her real-life boyfriend John Morrison last night. The office wasn't happy about her being backstage at house shows this weekend but things aren't as strict when Vince McMahon is not there. The reasons why WWE didn't want Melina backstage at Raw are obvious and one can only speculate the overflow of heat this will place on John Morrison. It's worth noting he went under clean to R-Truth on last night's show.
- For those that missed it in the Smackdown taping results, Cody Rhodes beat Ezekiel Jackson to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship at last night's taping. The match will air this Friday on SyFy.
- Leroy Parks and Colin Cassady have been re-added to the Roster page on the official Florida Championship Wrestling website, indicating they are still under WWE developmental contracts.
- ESPN Radio'sMichelle Beadle has a new podcast online where she talks SummerSlam. You can listen at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Jeremy O'Connell for sending this in.)
- Wrestling News World reader Wyatt F. sent in the following... THQ will reveal the roster for WWE '12 on August 13, live from SummerSlam Fan Axxess. The unveiling will reveal the roster including unlockables, but no DLC. There is also a Mystery Superstar that will be revealed in September. The Rock is available for people that pre-order the game and 90 days after with a fee (pre-order and there won't be a fee.) You can see videos from the reveal on WWE and THQ websites.
- WWE developmental worker Hunico was under the Sin Cara hood at last night's Smackdown taping. He faced Tyson Kidd in a match that will air on Friday night.
Wrestling News World reader Orlando was in attendance and sent in the following photo:
Oddly enough, Hunico has also worked under the name and persona of Mystico which was the real Sin Cara's character in Mexico. Are you confused yet?
- Long-time sports writer for The Baltimore Sun, Kevin Eck, announced today on his blog that he is leaving the paper to join the WWE creative team. Eck is the former editor of WCW Magazine and blogged about wrestling in addition to his duties as sports content editor for The Baltimore Sun.
- Executive Vice President of WWE Studios, Mike Pavone, has re-signed from his position with the company. According to a report filed by the Los Angeles Times, Pavone left last week to "pursue other interests." Click here for coverage by the LA Times.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Heath Slater is accused of choking an Atlanta security guard and trying to force her to his hotel room during Wrestlemania XXVII weekend in April.
The accuser, Corinne Oliver, was working for Allied Barton Security Services at the time of the incident and claims she had to wrestle her way out of Slater's grip in an April 4th encounter with him at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on Peachtree Street after a party. Oliver, who is still employed by Allied Barton, was working security to keep fans separate from wrestlers. She claims the attack happened between 4 AM and 5 AM on April 4th and that the attack left her with back pains.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Olive's attorney, Jackie Patterson:
"She basically said he [Slater] approached her and asked her to go to his room," Patterson said. "She said no. He started telling her she was pretty and those type things. The next thing you know she was in a chokehold, and he was dragging her and bending her backward, trying to get her on the elevator to his room. She violently had to struggle to get his arm from around her neck."
"She was waiting on her supervisors to report it to the police and see what they were going to do, but they [supervisors] kept telling her, 'We're handling this and we'll get it resolved,' " the attorney said. "When she never got it resolved that's when she took it upon herself to go to the police."
Slater is reportedly denying all involvement and says he was with his fiancee that night. WWE has stepped away, saying the case involves Slater personally.
Click here for coverage by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- WSBTV 2 out of Atlanta, Georgia has a story on security officer Corinne Oliver accusing Heath Slater of assaulting her during Wrestlemania XXVII weekend earlier this year. Their coverage includes a video report which features an interview with the alleged victim. Below are quotes from Oliver:
"When he grabbed me I immediately tried to grab his arms back," security officer Corinne Oliver said. Oliver said it was the worst moment of her life. "And I was saying 'Turn me a loose.' He wouldn't turn me loose," she said That's when she said the professional wrestler put her in a choke hold. "I just started fighting with him, trying to get his arm from around my throat," Oliver said.
She said as she struggled to get away, Slater kept "begging me to go to his room with him," Oliver said.
Click here for coverage by WSBTV 2.
- Wrestling News World reader Jack Gaffney sent this in... The local worker for today's WWE Superstars against Brodus Clay was former WWE Tough Enough Contestant A.J. Kirsch working under the name "Aaron James"
- Wrestling News World reader Fernandeo sent this in... WWE has added the character of Steve Keirn, Skinner to the Alumni section of their official website. Keirn is the President of WWE's official developmental territory - Florida Championship Wrestling.
- I went back and investigated Heath Slater's Twitter account to see if he left any indication that something happened during Wrestlemania XXVII weekend. Slater was absent from Twitter from March 27, 2011 until April 6, 2011. On April 6th, Slater Tweeted the following:Just got home from a long, yet exciting,fun, and life changing week.. You have to love the WWE.. You can check out Slater's Twitter account at this link. From what I've been able to gather, this has blind-sided WWE. I spoke with a source close to the company about 15 minutes ago and they hadn't heard until I told them.
Impact Wrestling News
- The agreement announced at the San Diego Comic-Con between TNA and the Wounded Warrior Project to produce limited time action figures has been canceled. JAKKS Pacific released the following statement: "JAKKS has learned that the agreement announced at Comic Con between TNA and Wounded Warrior Project for the limited edition TNA Wounded Warrior figure has been cancelled. As a result, the figure that JAKKS was scheduled to produce cannot move forward. JAKKS Pacific is disappointed with this unfortunate turn of events." You can view what the Kurt Angle edition of the figure would have looked like at this link.
- Winter beat Mickie James at tonight's Hardcore Justice pay-per-view to win the Knockout Championship. Winter picked up the win after spitting a red mist in the eyes of Mickie James.
- Kurt Angle beat Sting to win the TNA Championship at tonight's Hardcore Justice pay-per-view. Angle got the win after he, the referee and Sting all got knocked out and Hulk Hogan came out with a chair. As Hogan went to hit Sting with the chair, Angle took it from him and hit Sting himself. Kurt followed with an Angle Slam and pinned Sting for the three count.
- There's an interesting story going around about the reason(s) for Amazing Red'srelease from TNA/Impact Wrestling. Red asked the company for his released and it was granted. As he explained on Twitter, he wasn't happy that "creative had nothing for him." The reason why the creative team didn't have anything for him is because as much as their investing in Crimson right now, they would prefer to not remind people that Crimson was introduced as Amazing Red's "little brother." The rationale was they didn't want to associate a guy they are billing as a main eventer with an undercard guy. The easiest way to get fans to forget about the angle was to keep Red off television. Red didn't do anything to justify his predicament but was seen as collateral damage.
- Crimson wrote on Twitter today that he got underwent an MRI on his knee. He worked a very physical angle with Kurt Angle at the end of last night's taping that will air on this week's Impact Wrestling.
- I heard a rumor going around at last night's Impact Wrestling taping was that Chavo Guerrero is scheduled to come to the company and possibly feud with Jeff Jarrett. Chavo won't be able to debut in Impact Wrestling until the standard 90-day non-compete clause from his WWE contract expires. Chavo was released from WWE on June 25, 2011.
- Wrestling News World reader Ray Mullan sent in the following: I spoke with TNA Xplosion producer Kevin Sullivan today regarding some of the changes being made to the show and he revealed details regarding a brand new segment set to debut in the coming weeks. I've written a full piece on it at my blog - click here to read it.
- Jimmy Wang Yang wrote the following on Twitter:It has been over 6 weeks since i wrestles for tna and i still havent been paid and the check that they sent me 2 weeks ago bounced WTF!!!!!Click here to read more Tweets by Jimmy Wang Yang.
Do you think Zack Ryder will ever get a push under his current gimmick? I know he's over with the fans but he has jobbed so much under his current guise that he'd need completely overhauled for the fans to take him seriously? What do you think?
Zack Ryder has gained a tremendous following through his videos on YouTube and fans on the Internet. He has received support from other top workers such as John Cena and CM Punk, both of whom have went public in support of him. Given the fact he's over with such a large portion of the audience, it would be a poor decision to alter his "Jersey Shore" gimmick. WWE fans traditionally have short memories and Ryder has never been established to the point where jobbing has hurt him. Jobbing hurts a character when the character has been established but then goes into "job mode." Remember the humbling that MVP went through a few years ago? That is how a character can be damaged by doing multiple jobs.
Is it true The Undertaker will retire after WrestleMania XXVIII next year?
The Undertaker is 46-years-old and has permanent damage to his shoulder combined with knee and back pain. It's no secret he's towards the end of his in-ring career but there is no way of knowing when will be his final Wrestlemania. I expect him to compete at Wrestlemania next year and look for him to return to WWE at some point before then. As for "the streak," it's 19-0 so next year will be a milestone for WWE to add to Wrestlemania promotion.
Is the WWE PG era over?
Prior to last Thursday I would have answered this question by saying WWE PG isn't going anywhere any time soon. However, Vince McMahon said something in last Thursday's investor conference call that is worth mentioning. McMahon admitted the WWE Studios project "That's What I Am" was not successful because it didn't "play to their audience" which I took as a slight admission that WWE PG may not be working. The product has taken a turn back to edgy in recent months so it certainly appears some type of evaluation is taking place. However, I have not heard of a specific plan to move away from PG and the company may just be "testing the waters" with some of their material. I feel it doesn't matter if the product is PG or TV-14 but it relies on effective angles that make logical sense. Sometimes I feel critics of WWE PG rely too much on the claim that PG is ruining wrestling. WCW became a competitor to WWE under a PG platform. It comes down to producing angles that are compelling and do not insult the intelligence of the viewer.
Why is the WWE releasing so many workers?
The announced cuts on Friday appear to be completely budget-related. WWE usually announces a round of cuts after Wrestlemania but they didn't do that this year. Instead, they cleaned out their developmental system and waited on sorting through their talent roster. After their second quarter earnings were released for 2011, the releases were made. The releases were nothing new but just delayed from when we usually see them.
Seeing as how Triple H is now in the role of COO, wouldn't now be a good time to resolve the issue of the Anonymous Raw General Manager (seeing as how the GM hasn't been a factor the past few weeks)? Though myself, and apparently a number of others, are rather sick of the gimmick, it would still be nice to have some kind of closure with it.
I agree it would be nice to have some closure with the Anonymous Raw General Manager gimmick and I've never been high up on it. Last night marked three weeks we haven't heard from the Raw GM with no explanation. WWE obviously wanted to wait until after SummerSlam to do something if anything at all. I discussed in yesterday's Premium Mailbag I think Mick Foley would be perfect for the role but that is pure speculation.
With only four announced matches and one WWE program before this Sunday's SummerSlam, what do you think of the lineup for the second biggest pay-per-view of the year? I don't think it's stellar enough and it lacks mid-card matches. What do you think?
WWE is relying on CM Punk vs. John Cena to sell SummerSlam. Did you notice last night on WWE Raw how many times Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler called it the "biggest match in WWE history"? The company feels there is enough interest in the angle to put up a solid buyrate. Based on what Vince McMahon said last week, Money in the Bank buys were up 20% from last year so they are expecting a run-off from that along with the name value of SummerSlam for Sunday. It's a risky position as I am not looking as forward to SummerSlam as much as I was Money in the Bank last month. I would imagine that a lot of people feel the same way.
Did you notice how John Cena mentioned during the "contract signing" segment on last night's WWE Raw that some people might think he is "too PG", and that some think he is "a modern day Hulk Hogan"? It makes me wonder if he reads the news on your site doesn't it?
When I heard John Cena make those comments on last night's WWE Raw I wondered how many times he has read Ask WNW or listened to the WNW Premium Mailbag. I have stated multiple times that people are sick and tired of the over-the-top PG gimmick and feel he's a modern day Hulk Hogan. I'm sure Cena (or anyone else in WWE) would claim it to be a coincidence but I know a lot of top names read this website.
Why doesn't CM Punk bring back the old "winged eagle" belt? I think this would get Punk over even more with the "old school" fans. Having two identical belts doesn't look that good in my opinion. Thoughts?
The WWE Championship situation will be sorted on Sunday - at least that's the way WWE is billing it. Regardless of the outcome, a change in the belt design is needed and would be welcomed amongst most fans. I've heard from multiple WWE sources the days of the "spinner belt" are numbered and Punk actually wanted to carry the "winged eagle" belt. However, the spinner belt is something the office has been reluctant to get rid of because of how well it sells. I have heard for a long time about the company ditching the "spinner belt" so it's become one of those things where I will believe it when I see it.
Do you know if WWE is considering bringing back the ice cream bars or is this just a tease?
WWE is actually considering bringing back the ice cream bars. The company sent out a survey late last month where they asked the following question: If the WWE were to bring back WWE Ice Cream Bars, how interested would you be in purchasing them?
Do you believe that for CM Punk's gimmick to take him to the next level and turn him into a Hall of Famer that WWE needs to drop the PG stuff and allow his character free rein to push the limits as hard as he can?
There is no question that CM Punk already has free reign. Look at the stuff he's saying on television, he's got as much free reign as any worker that I can remember. When you say "drop PG," I'm confused as to what you mean. WWE isn't going to let him drop the "F bomb" or anything like that but Punk is getting to say a lot of stuff that 99.9% of the roster would get buried if they said backstage, much less on TV. As for Punk making it to the next level, I think he's already there. He's held the World Heavyweight Championship and now the WWE Championship, his girlfriend is getting a push and his best friend got a tryout. Take all this with the fact he's headlining SummerSlam and he is clearly a top guy in WWE.
How far is John Morrison from getting the push to main event talent that he clearly is? He is being grossly overlooked in my opinion.
John Morrison has teetered on a main event push for months but it seems like as soon as backstage heat is forgotten, he doesn't something else that rubs management the wrong way. Morrison had heat after Wrestlemania for the way he treated Trish Stratus (remember the cold shoulder Edge gave him after retiring?) and now we can speculate how down on him company officials are after he brought Melina to shows last weekend.
Do you think WWE could of gotten rid of Ricardo Rodriguez, who seems pretty pointless, and stopped renting a different car every single week for Alberto Del Rio and saved just as much money as they did getting rid of Chris Masters and Vladimir Kozlov who had been banished to Superstars even though they had good in ring work?
Vince McMahon and WWE are not hurting for money as they are still a multi-million dollar operation. The most recent round of cuts was done to free up expenses to make room for roster call-ups and eliminate workers with no creative plans. I thought Chris Masters had potential but I was never a fan of the work of Vladimir Kozlov.
Why has the first season of WWE NXT been the only season with successful WWE superstars?
This is a good question and something I haven't given a whole lot of thought. I agree the cast of Season 1 of WWE NXT has been the most successful but Michael McGillicutty and Alex Riley have also been successful and were from Season 2. After that, one could make a case the show hasn't produced any new stars and this is due to a couple of reasons. First, WWE pushed the entire Season 1 cast harder than any of the other cast members with The Nexus faction. They got a bigger opportunity and as a result, ended up with spots on the main roster. I also believe WWE started out committed to the show and have since "mailed it in." Vince McMahon admitted last week they had been "sitting" on the property but indicated there were new domestic TV clearances coming soon.
Will we ever see the return of blading in the WWE?
Blading is a thing of the past and it very well should be. With diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV, it is far too dangerous to allow people to intentionally cut themselves. While WWE routinely tests their roster for these diseases, there are periods of time where someone could be carrying the virus but test negative. A match that is well-worked does not need color added to be entertaining.
Do you think WWE will strap Rey Mysterio with the WWE Championship next Monday on WWE Raw?
Assuming Rey Mysterio is healthy enough to compete next week, it would be a tremendous mistake to change the title the day after SummerSlam. Following WWE Booking 101, a worker doesn't go over in their hometown, so I would be surprised if Mysterio goes over clean in any scenario. If I were booking I would book CM Punk over John Cena on Sunday, have him bring back the winged-eagle belt and establish him with a long reign while he is red hot.
Are WWE superstars able to say what they want or do they follow a script?
Everything you see on WWE television is pre-planned and typed out on the show's run sheet. The run sheet is written by the WWE creative team, distributed by the producers and finalized by Vince McMahon himself. If everyone were "going into business for themselves," it would be chaos.
Do you see a possibility of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin facing CM Punk at Wrestlemania XXVIII next year?
Steve Austin is aware the rumors are out there and didn't totally discount them in a recent media interview. Could you imagine a Wrestlemania card that already features The Rock vs. John Cena along with Austin and Punk in addition to The Undertaker defending "the streak" for the 20th time? It'd be a great show but I think to pencil in Austin vs. Punk is wishful thinking, especially at this point. CM Punk vs. Triple H would probably be a more realistic match to speculate but we still have two "top four" shows before Wrestlemania next year.
Where's Jeff Hardy been?
Jeff Hardy is due back in the Superior Court of Moore County, North Carolina on the afternoon of September 8, 2011. This will be just days before the two year anniversary of his arrest. TNA hasn't used him because they realized he needed help after the debacle at Victory Road earlier this year.
What do you think Triple H's role will be in the WWE Championship match at SummerSlam?
WWE considered doing Triple H vs. CM Punk at SummerSlam so I have to believe there's a chance Hunter costs him the belt. While I would rather see CM Punk walk out of Los Angeles on Sunday as the WWE Champion, I could see Triple H helping Cena and going on to feud with Punk. The company could also opt to have Punk go over Cena then book Hunter to get physical afterwards. Regardless of the direction I see a Triple H vs. CM Punk feud in the future. WWE didn't do the angle at the San Diego Comic-Con between Punk and Hunter for nothing.
Why did WWE use a different worker to perform as Sin Cara? Was it just to keep the character in people's minds? If so, I find this a little bit insulting. What are your thoughts?
WWE likes the Sin Cara character and wants it on Smackdown. The real Sin Cara has "nuclear" backstage heat over failing a WWE Wellness Test and going on to claim he had a prescription for what caused the positive test. Add this on to the fact that WWE officials have been disappointed with his in-ring work and you have a replacement of the character that you will see on tonight's Smackdown.
Are there going to be more matches for SummerSlam? When will they be announced? There only seems to be 4 matches.
There is at least one more match that will be added to SummerSlam and I expect two or three more to be added. I wrote about a match that will be added and why there has been so few bouts announced in my Backstage Blog yesterday at this link.