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 13, 2011 to Friday, August 19, 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!
- Wrestling News World reader Gesus Oliver sent this in... I am currently on vacation in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I go there every year and has noticed this year the WWE Shop has closed down. I talked to the new owners of the space and was told they just weren't making money. The place still sells a few T-shirts and random merchandise, while selling canadian souvenirs. Also they have the Piledriver ride much like a Giant Drop. The WWE was on top, looks like someone did a poor spray paint job over the symbol.
- Wrestling News WorldJuan Diaz sent this in... My brother went to try and buy a shirt and meet CM Punk at Hot Topic on Hollywood Boulevard yesterday but by the time he arrived it was sold out. He stayed for awhile but just signed, didn't interact very much at all.
- WWE is trying something next at tomorrow night's SummerSlam pay-per-view. The company will offer "Live Commentary Radios" at merchandise stands where fans will be able to buy them so they can listen to the commentary while they watch the live action.
- Wrestling News World reader Jonathan Crowe sent in the following:
I watched the Roster Reveal online for WWE '12 and these are the confirmed superstars in the game:
Raw: John Cena, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Husky Harris, Santino Marella, David Otunga, Evan Bourne, Goldust, Zack Ryder, Mason Ryan, Triple H, The Miz, Alex Riley, Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Michael McGillicutty, Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Mr. McMahon, CM Punk
Smackdown: Ted DiBiase, Mark Henry, William Regal, Daniel Bryan, Tyson Kidd, Sheamus, Cody Rhodes, Kane, Yoshi Tatsu, Jack Swagger, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, The Undertaker, Christian, Sin Cara, Ezekiel Jackson, Wade Barrett, Randy Orton
Divas: Eve, Natayla, Maryse, Layla, Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly
Legends: Stone Cold Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, Road Warrior Hawk, Road Warrior Animal, Vader, Kevin Nash, Booker T, Eddie Guerrero, Demolition Smash, Demolition Axe, Edge, The Rock
They had The Miz, Todd Grisham, and Jerry Lawler as the presenters. Randy Orton and Cory Ladesma also made apperences.
You can also view the roster on the official THQ website at this link.
- Gail Kim wrote the following on Twitter:
Its great that every1s hopeful but I'm nonofficially/officially done. I'm ready2 make things happen for myself instead of leaving it into some1 else's hands. Esp into the hands of a person who didn't believe in me. Why should I waste more of my time when I believe in myself? I'm ready 2 accomplish things 4 myself and not for a boss I have no respect 4! :)))
You can read Gail's original Tweet at this link.
- Adam Jones of the band "Tool" played the National Anthem to open tonight's WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
- 17,404 was the announced attendance for tonight's show.
- Jim Ross was scrapped from the SummerSlam announce team before the show went live on pay-per-view as he was planned to be on the broadcast as of this morning. They decided to go with Booker T late to represent Smackdown. JR wrote on Twitter he was happy for Booker.
- Legendary wrestling manager Jimmy Hart made a cameo in a segment with R-Truth on tonight's SummerSlam pay-per-view.
- Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest also had a cameo on the show.
- Despite telling me otherwise less than two weeks ago, Edge made a cameo on tonight's SummerSlam pay-per-view, chewing out Christian prior to his No Holds Barred Match against Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge got a tremendous response from the crowd which gave Christian a babyface reaction until Edge told Christian how disappointed he was for how he won the World Heavyweight Championship [by disqualification].
- Randy Orton beat Christian in a spectacular No Holds Barred Match at tonight's WWE SummerSlam to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
- Alberto Del Rio cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase after Kevin Nash came out from the crowd and gave CM Punk the Jackknife Powerbomb and pinned Punk to win the WWE Championship. This is how WWE Summerslam concluded.
- Wrestling News World reader Mike sent this in... On the THQ website there are still 14 playable characters that haven't been announced for WWE '12. Expect more Divas since only 6 of the 14 active Divas are included.
- Chris Masters was in attendance at last night's SummerSlam pay-per-view.
- Jenny McCarthy was in attendance at shown on camera.
- After WWE SummerSlam went off the air, Ricardo Rodriguez announced Alberto Del Rio as the new WWE Champion and told the fans to get up and cheer for him. A dejected Cm Punk made his way to the back as his music played.
- Dallas Stars defenceman Sheldon Souray was ringside at last night's WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. He was there in support of Kelly Kelly and got kiss from her. Kelly also noted her mother was there.
- I'm told there has been a "loose plan" for the past couple months to reveal Kevin Nash as the Anonymous Raw General Manager at WWE SummerSlam. The plans for the main event scene on WWE Raw have been "chaotic lately" so when the dust settled, some people on the WWE creative team felt the General Manager gimmick needed to be quietly dropped so it wouldn't distract from Triple H's new role as the on-screen Chief Operating Officer. Meanwhile, Kevin Nash has been patiently waiting to return to WWE television since Royal Rumble. He's in a great situation politically because he is close friends with Triple H. When it was discussed the Raw General Manager could be done away with, the creative team was told to still come up with an angle for Kevin Nash to have a meaningful return at SummerSlam. Nash has been ready and in shape, basically "just waiting" even with creative going back in forth on what to do about the General Manager gimmick. His return at SummerSlam may have surprised the audience but was actually as close to set in stone as you can have these days in WWE. The company did a good job of keeping it under wraps without it leaking online to detract from the surprise. At this point Nash's role on WWE Raw tonight is virtually unknown but it's easy to assume he's going to have a prominent role in a storyline involving Hunter, CM Punk and possibly Stephanie McMahon.
- WWE referee Mike Chioda has been suspended in accordance with the WWE's Wellness Policy. This is Chioda's first violation, so his suspension will last 30 days. Click here to see the announcement.
- Wrestling News World reader Cody Bates sent word that WWE has changed Diesel's profile picture to the Alumni section of their official website to read Kevin Nash.
- DH Smith is now taking independent bookings. Promoters looking to book him can contact Kirk White at Big Time Wrestling at [email protected] or by phone at 510-494-9648.
- BoxingScene.com has a new article online reporting that heavyweight boxer Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett would be open to fighting David Tua a third time at Wrestlemania XXVIII next year in Miami, Florida. Barrett told the publication he will speak with his good friend John Cena about facilitating the match which would would be under professional wrestling rules. He says while he hasn't spoken to Cena verbally, they have exchanged text-messages and Cena has been talking with WWE officials about it. Barrett, who is currently dealing with a broken jaw suffered in his fight against Tua this weekend, says he wouldn't mind having the match in a steel cage. Tua is a member of the Anoa'i family and is the nephew of WWE Hall of Famer Afa Anoa'i. Click here to read the full article.
- While Triple H is the "boss" on-screen in WWE, he continues to slowly gain more responsibilities in the company behind-the-scenes. I'm told one of the biggest changes he has brought on is a new emphasis on some sort of flow each week from Raw to Smackdown and Smackdown to Raw. wants at least the top talent from each brand to appear periodically on the other brand to try and set up an angle for that talent's upcoming show. One source with knowledge of Triple H's thinking tells me that he feels there isn't enough being done for fans that just watch one show or the other to get them to tune into the other brand (with the company looking to carry more of Raw's audience to Smackdown rather than vice versa). Triple H also feels if a worker is being elevated, their push has a better chance of sticking if they get double exposure which will condition the audience to understand that worker is of great importance. Coincidentally, most of theses "crossover" angles have almost entirely involved Triple H, which is something that has caused more than one person to roll their eyes backstage. However, it is worth noting that both WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio are advertised for tonight's Smackdown taping.
- Randy Orton is doing media in Bakersfield, California today. Here's a photo he Tweeted with Barney.
- GeekChicDaily has a new interview online with Santino Marella. You can read it at this link.
- Brian Fritz has a new interview online with Chris Masters, you can listen in the video embedded below:
- Wrestling News World reader Mark Doyle checked the official website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and sent word WWE has filed for the following trademarks:
* Future Endeavor
* Future Endeavored
* Mr. Future Endeavor
- Former WWE Tough Enough contestants Christina and Ariane are working under WWE developmental contracts. Their profiles have both been added here to the official Florida Championship Wrestling website.
- WCNC out of Charlotte, North Carolina is reporting that Richard Blood Jr. (a/k/a Richie Steamboat) was robbed Monday night in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Steamboat's parked car was broken into and a Louis Vuitton purse and wallet, checkbook, watch, Ipod touch, baby shower invitations, credit cards and driver license were all taken from his vehicle, according to the police report. The total value of property stolen was $1703.
- For those that have asked, Hunico worked as Sin Cara again at last night's WWE television tapings in Bakersfield, California. The real Sin Cara, Luis Ignascio, will be eligible to return to WWE this weekend. Cara was suspended on July 18, 2011 for his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. A lot of people are wondering if Hunico will get the role full-time as Ignascio has "nuclear" backstage heat over issues stemming from his suspension. You can read full details at this link.
- WWE took a look at Nick and Matt Jackson, also known as The Young Bucks/Generation Me, at this week's television tapings. The matches were done in front of producers without the crowd present. Booker T wrote on Twitter he ran into "two small guys" backstage and they didn't introduce themselves. He accused them of having "no respect" and later Tweeted if you can't make it in the locker room, you won't make it in the ring. You can read more Tweets from Booker at this link. Nick and Matt Jackson are no strangers to controversy as Rob Van Dam said they looked like they were out of high school after they departed Impact Wrestling in July. Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Fernando for his help with this information.
- Wrestling News World reader Ian Davids sent word that Gail Kim's bio is still listed on the official WWE website. Gail confirmed she quit the company on August 1st. While I do not have 100% confirmation, I believe WWE is waiting until her contract officially expires which is this month before finalizing her release.
- Wrestling News World reader Michael P. sent word the outstanding WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view is now available for download on iTunes.
- John Cena was at WWE's Florida Championship Wrestling complex yesterday and noted on Twitter he felt Bo Rotundo and Husky Harris have the most potential. He also commented by saying that Richie Steamboat Jr. is doing "very well" and "shows much promise."
- The official website of the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the venue for next week's Smackdown TV taping, is advertising Bret Hart as the special guest referee for what will probably be a dark match main event in World Heavyweight Champion Christian vs. Randy Orton in a street fight for the title. Obviously this means Hart would be available to appear on TV if WWE desires.
- Goldust, who works as a WWE producer, has joined Booker T in criticizing Nick & Matt Jackson, The Young Bucks, because of the way they acted during their WWE tryout at this week's TVs. Goldust wrote the following on Twitter:
As booker says.....better show some respect when in the locker room, there are good teachers here that know more than you young bucks....
Richard Reacts: This is terrible news for The Young Bucks as not only did they upset Booker T, a highly respected veteran, but Goldust who is one of the guys that gives the office his opinion on who should be hired.
- Brian Kalinowski, Executive Vice President of Digital Media in WWE, has left the company. Kalinowksi joined WWE in May 2007 and is the former COO of Lycos, Inc. His bio remains on the official corporate website at this link.
Impact Wrestling News
- It looks like Goldberg is returning to the ring this year but not in WWE or Impact Wrestling. Check out the following unlisted promo that Goldberg cut on YouTube that was uploaded in June:
- HollywoodLife.com is reporting that ABC has repeatedly asked Hulk Hogan to take part in "Dancing with the Stars" but he continues to turn them down. According to the publication, negotiations have taken place with his daughter Brooke instead but they really want The Hulkster. The new season of "Dancing With the Stars" (season 13) premieres on September 19, 2011.
- There is a new independent promotion that has popped up in Orlando, Florida called QWEST (Quality Wrestling Every Single Time). The promotion features students from the Team 3D Academy as a group of them pooled their money together to launch a local promotion so they would have somewhere to work. The students had been asking Bully Ray to open a promotion and he finally told them to run to first show and if it did well, he would step up and fund future shows. The students held up their end of the deal so Bully Ray will begin as the backer of his own wrestling promotion beginning with QWEST's next show. I'm told Bubba has tried to keep the financial arrangements of QWEST quiet because he is afraid of colleagues in TNA/Impact Wrestling expecting favors to get booked. However, I am told enough of his students have opened their mouths to the point where word is beginning to make its way around the Impact Wrestling locker room.
- Impact Wrestling Knockout Brooke Adams (a/k/a Miss Tessmacher) is filming a pilot for a reality show in hopes of it getting picked up by a major TV network.
- Wrestling News World reader Brandon van Reenen reporting: Impact Wrestling has signed a TV deal in South Africa which will see the weekly wrestling show return DSTV's Supersport channel. Impact Wrestling disappeared from Supersport in 2007. This new deal means that Impact Wrestling will be featured on two separate channels in Africa. Setanta Sports currently also hold the rights to Impact Wrestling, though it shows the pay-per-views live.
What do you think about Alberto Del Rio beating CM Punk for the WWE Championship? I feel that CM Punk is too hot right now to strip him of the belt.
I see the argument by saying that CM Punk is "too hot" to take the WWE Championship off him but I enjoyed the swerve at last night's show. While I saw some people predict Alberto Del Rio would "cash in," given the time of the outcome of CM Punk vs. John Cena, it came as a surprise. I like the use of Kevin Nash and it's intriguing to see how the angle will progress on WWE Raw as I'd like to see Nash align with Triple H and both feud with Punk. I am glad to see WWE do something out of ordinary by still putting CM Punk over John Cena so he did not lose momentum (even though Cena's foot was on the ropes).
After losing the World Heavyweight Championship Randy Orton at SummerSlam, do you feel Christian has been established as a main event superstar?
Christian has established himself as the top heel on Smackdown. I often get questions from readers complaining that feuds don't last long in today's WWE but Randy Orton vs. Christian has been going on since early May. Christian climbed a ladder many thought wasn't there given the humbling that he withstood after returning from TNA. I hope WWE keeps Christian hot with another main event level feud but he's been working where he deserves.
Do you think Alberto Del Rio's reign as WWE Champion will last?
It's been one heck of a year for Alberto Del Rio. WWE put him over as both the Royal Rumble winner and Money in the Bank winner and now over at the second biggest show of the year. If that isn't a sign that WWE is confident in him, I don't know what is. With that being said, Del Rio will defend the WWE Championship tonight against Rey Mysterio. It would be a mistake to take the belt off Del Rio tonight or anytime too soon as he is a new main event talent.
Why is the WWE office taking Melina's heat out on John Morrison?
John Morrison has had backstage heat for aligning himself with Melina in certain situations. For example, he snubbed Trish Stratus at Wrestlemania and that caused a firestorm that nearly cost him his main event spot and heat from several of his co-workers. He had heat because of his actions, not because of his association with Melina. We can all speculate Morrison got heat for bringing Melina backstage at WWE house shows the weekend after her release but he did get on the SummerSlam card and was on the winning team.
What was the point of even giving Christian two World Heavyweight title reigns if they combined lasted just over a month? Didn't that just bury him more than before?
Christian may have not come out of his feud with Randy Orton as World Heavyweight Champion but he is now the number one heel on Smackdown. His loss at SummerSlam did not make him look weak as it was the match of the night and booked to look like it could go either way. It will be interesting to see where they go with Christian going forward but he wasn't by any means buried in the feud with Orton.
Why is Alberto Del Rio getting pushed to the moon?
WWE officials see Alberto Del Rio as a huge star and have been high up on him since they signed him. They are high up on his look, mic work and they feel he does enough in the ring to put on credible matches. Del Rio has had one heck of a year and WWE officials are very confident in his character. While some people are slamming WWE's decision to have him "cash in" and win the WWE Championship, I was a big fan of the swerve. Del Rio has had enough build to make him a credible champion and the swerve creates multiple storylines to keep programming fresh for the fall.
With Kevin Nash back in a storyline do you think we will see more members of the Kliq?
I heard a rumor a couple of months ago that Sean Waltman would be returning to WWE in some form but not as an on-screen talent. Shawn Michaels is always welcome back in WWE but I have not heard of any immediate plans to use him. The company is definitely doing an angle involving Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Kevin Nash to feud with CM Punk and I have a feeling it's going to be one of the most entertaining things they have done in awhile. I was high up on the mic work between Punk and Nash last night even though Punk blew him on away on the mic.
Is CM Punk now a tweener?
CM Punk is now working as a tweener on WWE television and is clearly leaning towards being a babyface. I am interested in the "Corporate Kliq" that looks to be revolting against Punk's harsh words against them from earlier in the summer. The people criticizing the decision to take the belt off of Punk are failing to see the big picture. What is more entertaining? Punk over Cena for the second month in a row or Punk over Cena only to be screwed by the Corporate Kliq?
Do you think Alberto Del Rio is taking a backseat as WWE Champion with the CM Punk feud with Kevin Nash and what is being unofficially dubbed as "The Corporate Kliq"?
There can be more than one main event angle at a time and Alberto Del Rio was actually given the final segment on this Monday's WWE Raw while the Kevin Nash/CM Punk segment took place at the 10 PM hour. The reason why I am so happy with WWE pulling the swerve with Del Rio "cashing in" is because it created multiple entertaining feuds. We get to watch a new main eventer develop in Del Rio while at the same time watch CM Punk "pay" for his comments against the McMahon family. The bad news for Del Rio is according to this week's Raw rating, the audience decreased from the first hour to the second.
Is it likely we will see Kevin Nash wrestle again under his legends contract and the current storyline with CM Punk, bearing in mind he is over 50 and has a history of knee problems?
Kevin Nash is not going to be able to do a lot in the ring if WWE decides to have him wrestle in this feud. Nash has a prominent role in the company because of his real-life close friendship with Triple H and Vince McMahon. For those that do not think politics matter, take a look at this situation and compare it to a star like Christian that had success in TNA and had to endure years of humbling. With that being said I am intrigued with the angle and look for it to dominate programming this fall.
With the John Cena vs. CM Punk feud simmering down, what do you think will be next for Cena, being Punk basically stole his spotlight?
The John Cena vs. CM Punk program is over. It is likely Cena is going to chase Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship while it is clear CM Punk is feuding with the McMahon family.
After seeing all the M Punk "best in the world" shirts in the audiences of late, I was curious to know (even though WWE doesn't push workers based on actual wrestling skills) who you thought were the best in-ring workers in the company.
CM Punk got red hot after his stellar mic work and the new "best in the world" t-shirt has sold very well. As for the workers I think possess the best in-ring skills in WWE, I'll give you the top name - Daniel Bryan. Bryan can work with anyone and I put him as second in the world to Kurt Angle.
Am I the only person speculating that Chris Masters’ release is a work? He’s arguably the most improved performer the WWE’s had in the past 12 months, receiving praise from agents and the IWC; he gate-crashed Axxess; tweeted about having a ticket to SummerSlam, albeit nothing happened at the PPV and now the term "Mr. Future Endeavor" has been trademarked? Chris’ in-ring improvement warranted a push but something drastic was needed in order for said push to be successful. Might this be it? Your thoughts?
This is an interesting scenario you have come up and I always like to mention anything could happen. However, I believe the WWE release of Chris Masters was legitimate because he emailed me hours after his release was announced with an official statement. If it was all a work I do not think he would have gone to the lengths of emailing me (and probably other publications) to get his official statement where he is now accepting independent bookings. This statement is still online at this link.
I was wondering if there is any news on the condition of The Undertaker?
I haven't heard anything involving The Undertaker in awhile now but WWE somewhat implied a return in a recent issue of WWE Magazine at this link. I look for The Undertaker to defend "the streak" again next year at Wrestlemania but other than that I am not counting on seeing much of him on WWE television.
I've read a few reports stating that WWE will not be bringing back Ignascio for the Sin Cara character due to nuclear backstage heat. Is this a wise decision? The Sin Cara character gets a pretty good reaction from the fans, especially last week when he returned, so the fans must be impressed with the work Ignascio has done so far? Wouldn't the fans reaction please Vince McMahon?
WWE is high up on the Sin Cara gimmick which is why they gave it to WWE developmental worker Hunico. There is speculation he will keep the gimmick due to the backstage heat of Luis Ignascio. I posted a new update on the gimmick and both workers yesterday at this link. As for the work of Ignascio, WWE has actually been disappointed with him which may be the reason they are looking to go in a different direction.
Some friends and I were talking about what happened on Monday night between Jack Swagger and Alex Riley. It looked to me that Riley was injured but others are saying he sandbagged Swagger by not selling the powerbomb. Any thoughts on this?
Alex Riley's in-ring work leaves a lot to be desired. I didn't hear of an injury to him on Monday and feel it's probably just a problem with his in-ring. While he is over with the WWE audience, he still needs to work on improving.
Do you see Batista returning to the WWE with the new direction the company has been going in?
I am assuming you are talking about WWE testing the waters by "turning it up" a couple notches in regards to their PG initiative when you discuss the "new" direction. While the company certainly hasn't abandoned PG yet, they have put more "attitude" in their programming during the summer. Vince McMahon also admitted their family-friendly movie "That's What I Am" (which featured Randy Orton) did not "play" to the company's audience. How does all this relate to Batista? Batista said in June he is "boycotting" WWE PG and called it "watered down" art. He has also said he would like to return to WWE "some day." I have maintained since Batista left WWE he will come back for a retirement tour so I expect him to return even though he is 42-years-old.
What did you think of Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix for the WWE Divas Championship at SummerSlam?
The WWE Divas Championship match at SummerSlam between Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix was one of the best Divas matches on WWE pay-per-view in quite some time. The bout told a story while keeping Beth hot and Kelly Kelly from looking weak. My favorite part of the match was the go-home sequence where Kelly countered out of the Glam Slam attempt and rolled Beth up for the win. Watching her roll out of the ring to grab her title was awesome and a realistic way to keep the program going.
How did Generation Me's tryout with WWE go?
I don't know how they looked but they rubbed quite a few people the wrong way. Booker T blasted them indirectly while Goldust called them out by name. This all comes after Rob Van Dam blasted them when they left Impact Wrestling. If they get signed they better start eating some humble pie because the hazing from the established veterans is going to be intense. This sounds like a case that needs to be handled by someone like JBL. Remember The Miz got it so bad they wouldn't even let him change in the locker room with the rest of the boys.
Why was Kevin Nash allowed to both appear and wrestle for the JCW indy event on Friday when he was under contact with WWE?
Kevin Nash has a Legend's contract with WWE, not a performer's deal, which is why he is allowed to work independent dates. With Nash being inserted into a top WWE storyline, where it's inevitable he will end up back in the ring, I'm not sure how this will be affected. However, Jerry Lawler has appeared on WWE TV for years and still been allowed to work approved indy dates.