Randy Orton Suspended For Wellness Violation; What Caused The Positive Test & Details On His Nuclear Backstage Heat, Two Other WWE Stars Fail Tests But Do Not Get Suspended, The Rock Reveals When He's Coming Back To WWE, Brock Lesnar's Future In WWE & Full Details On His Meeting With UFC's Dana White; Did WWE Work The UFC?, WWE '13 Unveiled, Don West & Alex Shelley Leave TNA, Impact Goes Live; Changes In The Works, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

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WWE News

- The Miami Herald has posted the second part of an extensive interview with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. In this section, he discusses his controversial first run in WWE, his feelings on Jim Ross, working with Sensational Sherri, his return to the company, and more.

In the following excerpt, Shawn discusses why he acted the way he did during his first run in WWE:

“If I’m putting on my psychiatrist’s hat and you dig all the way down to the root of it has nothing to do with wrestling or anything else,” Michaels said. “It just has to do with a young man’s insecurities with himself.

“Having said that, that can manifest itself in any form and how that’s interpreted obviously depends on the time and depends on the spin. Let’s face it. The ability it takes to be difficult really is to disagree with somebody. Nine times out of 10 mine were usually more creative issues than anything else. The company felt one thing. I felt another. We both feel opposite things, so therefore it’s going to be difficult.

“Nowadays, the same thing can happen and depending on how our media spins it, that can be cool. There are guys who have done the exact same things that I did, and it’s sort of pretty nifty, because they’re fighting against Vince McMahon and the way the company wants to go. I think one guy’s unprofessionalism is like another’s guy’s Attitude Era throwback. One is perceived as cool, and the other is not.

Shawn went on to discuss his latest run, in the excerpt below:

“To me, the last run I had, 10 years from 2002, I had fun,” he said. “I enjoyed darn near everything that I did. My programs with Randy [Orton], with Jericho, the angle with DiBiase [Jr.] and [Cody] Rhodes, a number of young guys, Mr. Kennedy at the time. I just thoroughly enjoyed being out there. I mostly just wanted to do a good job, tried to make sure that I pulled my weight when I was supposed to. I enjoyed it.

“That’s one of the things when I came back, Vince said to me, ‘Look, in 1996 I told you to enjoy it, and you didn’t. So this time I’m again going to tell you to enjoy it, and I hope that you do,’ and I did, and that’s what made a huge difference in where I am now.

“That’s why I don’t have this insatiable itch. When I come back, I feel like I do a good job, and I contribute well. When I’m away from it, I’m OK with being away. I’d like to think that’s the reason why because when I came back, all the things I wanted to do and all the things maybe I left undone, I got to finish from 2002 on. So I’m thrilled with it, and I’m thrilled with where I am now.”

Click here to read the full article.

- The Rock was asked by one of his Twitter followers when he would be back in WWE. He told them he would be returning at the beginning of next year. Below is the Tweet:

- In a post that's more trivia than news, WWE's No Way Out will be called No Escape in Germany. The company still calls Elimination Chamber No Way Out because they cannot use the Chamber name due to the events of World War II. WWE No Way Out 2012 will take place Sunday, June 17, 2012 from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- WWE has signed Steve Evans to a developmental contract with the company. Evans is currently working for an independent promotion in Wales and is from Gowerton. He met with company officials when they were in England last month. Evans' signing is contingent on passing a physical that he will undergo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Once the physical has been passed, the contract will be agreed upon and Evans will report to Florida Championship Wrestling in Tampa. Click here for more information.

- Brock Lesnar was in attendance at last night's UFC 146 pay-per-view and was shown before the Frank Mir vs. Junior do Santos main event. UFC President Dana White was asked in the post-show press conference if there was anything more to Lesnar appearing on the telecast and he answered by saying, "yeah." White later admitted that Lesnar could be returning to the UFC. Brock is currently under a 1-year contract with WWE that he signed over Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend in Miami. In the contract, Lesnar will make upwards of $5 million for select appearances throughout the year leading into and including Wrestlemania XXIX. I have already heard from one of my sources regarding Lesnar's status and am working on a story that will be up shortly.

- I'm told Vince McMahon was aware that Brock Lesnar would be at UFC 146 in Las Vegas last night. Otherwise, the feeling is there would have already been a lawsuit against them in place for using his likeness on pay-per-view. While one source commented about how well this would have looked had this been done on purpose to sell Lesnar "quitting" WWE, it's believed it just worked out where it looked that way as I'm told "no one" thinks that far ahead in booking and it just worked out that well. As for Lesnar appearing and Dana White talking about him wanting to fight again, I'm told it's a possibility that McMahon could OK a fight between Brock and Frank Mir at the end of the summer. This way, if Brock were injured in the bout he would still be able to compete at Wrestlemania next year. There is also a possibility this is just a ploy to draw buzz. One observer in the know feels like Vince wouldn't OK Brock fighting again because if he lost, he would no longer look dominate. Remember, Vince wouldn't allow Kurt Angle to tryout for the Olympics because he felt the silver medal didn't matter and ultimately made him look worse. All and all Lesnar's appearance last night appears to be nothing more than him generating a buzz for himself, UFC and WWE. Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of it is WWE Champion CM Punk now feels like he should be allowed to appear with Chael Sonnen. It will be very interesting to see if what happened last night makes that a reality or if Punk goes out on his own and does it anyways.

- Both Triple H and Arn Anderson are advertised locally for the June 5th Smackdown taping from The Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina. Anderson, who works as a producer backstage, is listed as the special enforcer for World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane triple-threat steel cage match. It's likely this will be a dark match main event.

- WWE will hold WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs from the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York on Sunday, December 16, 2012. The Barclay Center is the new home of the Brooklyn Nets.

- Chris Jericho is in the news this morning after the following Tweet posted on his account:

Jericho has been in rare form, heeling Twitter followers that have inquired about his status and entertaining like only he can. The former WWE Undisputed Champion was suspended for 30 days after desecrating the Brazilian flag at last Thursday's WWE Raw live event in Sao Paolo, Brazil. For more from Jericho, go to his Twitter account at this link.

- While morale is down amongst WWE writers and producers, things are looking up amongst developmental talent in the company. Even with the fate of Florida Championship Wrestling up in the air, many workers under developmental deals are excited about the WWE NXT revamp that is being taped on the campus of Full Sail University. The workers that have not been called up to the main roster are not making very good money and automatically get bumped up to a low level WWE deal type downside if they appear on NXT. With NXT a part of the WWE empire (while FCW is only an affiliate), WWE has to pay the talent used on the shows as WWE wrestlers, which is a significant bump up from their developmental contracts.

- As I reported yesterday, WWE and Vince McMahon were 100% aware of Brock Lesnar attending UFC 146 in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Not only that, it's believed the entire thing was orchestrated as an angle to sell Lesnar "quitting" the company. Here's how it all went down. WWE Champion CM Punk brought an idea to company management that if they really wanted to sell the angle that Brock "quit" to send him to the UFC show and have him text Dana White and request a meeting. Remember, Vince McMahon was so determined to get it out there that Brock had quit, it's believed he orchestrated Lesnar's "backstage meltdown" after Extreme Rules to get reports out there he was leaving. A little less than two weeks ago Lesnar sent Dana a text and requested and meeting and told him to keep it "on the DL." Not only did White not keep his mouth shut, he made sure that Lesnar was shown on the pay-per-view broadcast. Lesnar told White he wanted to meet face-to-face after the show. Lesnar wasn't sure he was going to be shown on television but wanted people to know he was backstage to meet with White. He wanted the word spreading that he legitimately wanted to return to the octagon and had actually quit WWE. Given the fact Brock was shown on the pay-per-view broadcast and White talked about it in the post-show press conference, the entire thing got more exposure than anyone thought (or in WWE's case, had hoped for). Once White realized he had been worked, he put the word out that his meeting with Lesnar didn't go well. There was a plan in place for Brock to tell Dana he wanted another fight against Frank Mir but McMahon would have to OK it, which is where a quote surfaced where White said Lesnar can work for both companies. In conclusion, Dana White is trying to not look like he got egg on his face but everything worked better than planned from WWE's standpoint. It's believed Paul Heyman was the mastermind behind the angle where he used Punk, who he is close friends with and who has considerable backstage stroke, to get it all in motion.

- Triple H is officially advertised for the go-home to SummerSlam edition of Raw Supershow.

- WWE is selling new John Cena t-shirts at this link and this link.

- WWE has several job openings posted at this link.

- WWE developmental standout Richie Steamboat is on the booking sheets for this weekend's Smackdown live events. Steamboat is penciled in to face Drew McIntyre at the June 2nd show in Augusta, Georgia.

- It was announced on tonight's WWE Raw Supershow that WWE '13 is set to be released on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. There was some confusion about the game being released on Thursday of that week but new DVD and video game releases are usually on done on Tuesdays. WWE Champion CM Punk is featured on the cover of WWE '13.

- It was announced on tonight's Raw Supershow that John Cena vs. Big Show at WWE No Way Out next month will be a Steel Cage Match.

- It was announced to the live crowd at tonight's Raw Supershow taping from the New Orleans Arena that WWE Elimination Chamber 2013 will be held from the venue in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday, February 17, 2013.

- WWE had Brodus Clay stretchered out of the arena after tonight's Raw Supershow to sell Big Show's knockout punch. John Cena came out to face Tensai, Big Show and John Laurinaitis in the dark match main event. Cena went over and gave Laurinaitis the Attitude Adjustment.

- In order to sell the beatings from Big Show on last night's Raw Supershow, WWE posted the following "injury updates" on Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth:

NEW ORLEANS - Following a remorseless beating at the massive fists of Big Show, Brodus Clay suffered a concussion and several bruised ribs according to WWE Physician Chris Amann. Defying Dr. Amann’s advice to be taken to a medical facility for further evaluation, Clay refused and was able to leave New Orleans Arena with Naomi & Cameron shortly after 11:45 p.m. Central time.

WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth were also victims of Big Show’s wrath, both suffering multiple contusions to various areas of their bodies as a result of being thrown into the ringside barrier and steel ring steps, respectively.

WWE.com will provide further information as it is made available to us.

- I'm told Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman actually presented Dana White with a list of guys Brock was willing to fight for a possible UFC return last Saturday night in Las Vegas but they were all nobodies. Once Dana looked a list, he got upset and felt like the meeting was bogus. Heyman assured Vince McMahon that Dana would never go for any of the fights they were proposing because, as I reported yesterday, Vince just wanted a meeting to take place so reports would surface that Brock was returning to UFC to sell the angle that he "quit" WWE. Vince was concerned about Brock taking a fight and losing, thus killing his value. Therefore Heyman came up with a list of guys UFC would never agree too or even if they did, Brock would easily handle. So the meeting was not completely bogus in the sense that Brock would have taken a fight with WWE's blessing if it was against a no-hoper but WWE and Heyman knew Dana would never go for it and just wanted word of the meeting to leak. Dana was under the impression WWE was willing to let Brock do one fight to sell the angle of him quitting WWE. However, it's believe Dana knows he got worked. Brock didn't want to totally burn bridges with UFC so WWE was OK with the very small chance of him taking a fight just in case Dana bit.

- WWE is now advertising John Cena vs. Big Show & John Laurinaitis for their shows in Australia in late-August/early-September, with Show replacing Tensai. (Thanks to WNW reader Kirsty for sending this in.)

- IGN.com has a huge section now online dedicated to unveiling WWE '13 that you can check out at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Alex for sending this in.)

- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent word that WWE Champion CM Punk was asked today on Twitter about retirement. The following is from his official Twitter account:

- WWE Raw Supershow will begin airing on tape delay in Canada once it goes three hours on July 23, 2012. Below are the air times for the show on The Score:

  • Mondays - 9 PM to Midnight (ET)
  • Tuesdays - 1 AM to 4 AM (ET)
  • Tuesdays - 4 PM to 7 PM (ET)

- It was announced on this week’s Smackdown tapings (click here for this week’s results) that CM Punk will defend the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan & Kane in a Triple Threat match at WWE No Way Out.

- Evan Bourne posted the following update on his injured foot on his Twitter account:


- WWE and THQ issued the following press release today on the release of WWE '13:

AGOURA HILLS, Calif., May 30, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Last summer, one man revolutionized the current WWE landscape. In a legendary moment at the end of Monday Night Raw, WWE Superstar CM Punk -- as the voice of the voiceless -- changed everything the world knew about WWE. Through his words and actions, a new leader emerged to set a higher standard, convey a new brand of attitude and ultimately ignite a revolution among the WWE Universe.

It's not the first time WWE has seen such rebellion. Nearly 15 years ago, the legendary Stone Cold Steve Austin(R) also revolutionized the WWE realm, sparking a new generation of supporters through his relentless, antihero behavior in one of WWE's most celebrated time periods ever: the "Attitude Era." Why did it happen? In his words, "'Cause Stone Cold said so."

Today, a new crusade is on the horizon, and it doesn't start with an iconic WWE Superstar on television, online or at a live event. THQ Inc. today announced development of WWE '13, the revolutionary next installment in the WWE flagship videogame franchise. Positioned to offer the most authentic, extensive and fervent experience to date, including the debut of a brand new WWE Live audio and presentation system, as well as a single-player campaign based on the highly influential "Attitude Era," WWE '13 is currently in development for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and the Wii(TM) system from Nintendo, with a scheduled release date of October 30, 2012 in North America.

"WWE '13 is certain to ignite our enthusiastic, worldwide fan base and encourage them to live a revolution that simply cannot be ignored," said Sean Ratcliffe, Vice President, Global Brand Management, THQ. "WWE Live will bring the impassioned WWE live event experience into the living rooms of consumers, while critical core gameplay improvements and a serious dose of attitude will enable them to experience WWE action like never before."

About WWE '13

WWE '13 will transform gameplay through WWE Live, a brand-new audio and presentation system designed to produce the most authentic and vibrant commentary, sound effects and crowd participation levels ever heard in a WWE videogame. In addition, players will experience the atmosphere, spectacle and fervor of a WWE live event through attention-grabbing Spectacular Moments, including ring breaks and barricade crashes.

WWE '13 will also debut a franchise-first single player campaign based on an unparalleled and groundbreaking period in WWE history: the "Attitude Era." Set during a time of pure raucousness, grandiose personalities and colossal revolution, players will focus on eight purveyors of attitude during the famed television "Monday Night Wars," including WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Predator Technology 2.0, driven by new animations, transitions and modified controls, will return to deliver intelligent, fluid and engaging WWE action, resulting in a smoother gameplay experience than its predecessors. As well, the popular career-style mode, WWE Universe, will dynamically introduce matches, alliances, rivalries and unpredictable moments based on player decisions along the path toward becoming a WWE champion.

WWE '13 will feature the franchise's industry-defining Creation Suite, enabling players to develop and customize Superstars, entrances, arenas, finishing moves, storylines, highlight reels and more, as well as share and download creations with others from around the world. Furthermore, they will compete with a vast array of WWE Superstars and "Attitude Era" luminaries from the largest roster in franchise history, including cover Superstar C.M. Punk, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Sheamus, Undertaker, Mankind, Chris Jericho, Big Show, and Mark Henry. Along with to-be-announced features, a comprehensive roster reveal, downloadable content and big surprises, WWE '13 is poised to live a revolution all its own.

- TheVerge.com has an article online revealing Blue Tongue Entertainment's development of the WWE video game title called "Brawl." The game was in development for a year and a half and the company was attempting to create something unique with the WWE license. Plans for the game were nixed when THQ, the parent company of Blue Tongue, closed its operations in August 2011. Click here for more information.

- Randy Orton has been suspended for 60-days following his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. Below is the official statement posted by WWE:

STAMFORD, Conn., May 30, 2012 – In accordance with its Talent Wellness Program, WWE (NYSE:WWE) has suspended Randy Orton for 60 days effective today for his second violation of the company’s policy

- Dr. Tom Prichard has been released from his position as the top trainer in Florida Championship Wrestling. Ironically enough, Bill DeMott, who Prichard replaced in 2007 as lead trainer in Deep South Wrestling, is slated to take over the spot.

- WWE has added a Smackdown live event from the Linco Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan to their schedule for Sunday, August 12, 2012.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Joey Styles:

- The word coming out of this week's WWE television tapings is that there was a round of Wellness testing a few weeks back. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and a third name I have been unable to confirm had positive tests. As I reported earlier here on Richard's Backstage Blog, I'm told Orton's test revealed a form of Dianabol and traces of marijuana thus resulting in his suspension. This marks Orton's fifth suspension from WWE but only his second under the company Wellness Policy. In regards to Cody Rhodes, he thought that he was going to be suspended for a dietary supplement. Rhodes hinted at the forthcoming suspension with a post on Twitter last week that simply read "Time off." As it turns out, his positive test was cleared by doctors and he was not given a Wellness strike nor did he face a suspension. Due to the fact that I cannot offer 100% confirmation on the third name, I am withholding it. I'm told there's a good chance this worker will either be suspended or terminated, however, there are still issues preventing WWE from making a move. There is a very emotional story developing around the suspension of Randy Orton. I'm told he has a lot of backstage heat with many people lobbying for the company to fire him. One source directly connected to the situation told me the backstage segment on Monday's Raw Supershow where Dolph Ziggler was watching Orton on the monitor was WWE ribbing The Viper. The feeling from many WWE officials is that if Orton continues to get away with it and he continues to be pushed, he will do it again. There are obvious concerns from the writing team how they will be able to book him, especially in a role as the company's 1b, given the fact he now has "two Wellness strikes." Triple H, who has never seen eye-to-eye with Orton, is scheduled to meet with him along with Vince McMahon and other company officials later in the week. I'm told McMahon is livid and thought Orton had "grown up" and understood the ramifications this could have. It's believed Orton felt like he was "above" being tested and his cockiness isn't setting well with management or co-workers, I reported on Monday here on Richard's Backstage Blog that CM Punk had surpassed Orton as second in WWE, behind only John Cena. I'm told with Orton's latest suspension, that fate has been cemented. Some of the workers were hoping WWE would really take hard stand with Orton, with some wanting a longer suspension than the Wellness Policy would indicate given all his past problems. Keep in mind, in addition to the aforementioned suspension issues, Orton has defecated in Divas luggage, put food coloring in shampoo, trashed a hotel room and recently drew the company bad publicity when they had to pull him from The Marine 3. The heat is so hot right now I'm told Orton's future still remains very uncertain. However, there are a number of things keeping the company from releasing him, including the fact that he could literally end up "signed, sealed and delivered" to TNA during a time when I'm sure they would immediately act. The reason Orton was not written off television at Tuesday's Smackdown taping is the company flat out didn't want him there. Emotions are so high that when WWE Champion CM Punk, who doesn't get along with Orton, made a joke about the company writing him off, it wasn't met with laughter.

- WWE issued the following press release today:

WWE(R) Names Patrick Talty SVP of Live Events

STAMFORD, Conn., May 31, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE)-- WWE today announced the appointment of Patrick Talty as Senior Vice President, Live Events. Talty, previously a general manager at Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectator, will report to WWE Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events, Paul Levesque. Talty will be responsible for managing more than 300 live global events per year.

Prior to joining WWE, Talty oversaw Global Spectrum's multi-venue sporting complexes and booking of events at the University of Phoenix Stadium and for Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Before joining Global Spectrum, Talty held the role of interim president and CEO at Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority in Michigan. Talty started his career at the Indiana Convention Center & RCA Dome.

Talty graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and did post graduate work at Ball State University specializing in sports administration.

- Remember Darien Times writer Joshua Fisher that claimed in an editorial that WWE was barely above pornography? The story has taken another turn this week following another defensive response by WWE in which Chris Powell of the Darien Times responded with an editorial entitled, "Deposing McMahon: If not porn, what is it?" In WWE's response, they put over their TV-PG content and say they are a company that "refuses to be bullied and will not allow" their content to be inaccurately categorized. In his editorial, Powell mentions a storyline the company did where Vince McMahon "ordered" Trish Stratus to undress and get down on her hands and knees and bark like a dog. You can read the piece at this link. For those that doubt the angle ever happened, you can watch a clip available on YouTube at this link.

- WWE has announced a Smackdown live event from the Jose Maria Martin Carpena Sports Palace in Malaga, Spain on November 9, 2012.

- The profile of Paul Bearer has been added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website. Click here to view it.

- Jillian Hall commented on her very unflattering mug shot following her arrest on charges of domestic violence last month. The following is from her official Twitter account:

- Linda McMahon was asked about WWE's ongoing battle with writers who have voiced pointed criticism about the history of their product. She said she's not allowing for it to be a distraction to her campaign and is focused on the issues.

“It’s not a distraction for me because I’m really focussed on what I’m doing. That’s all the WWE. I’m focussed on, like today, this jobs tour. We’re going to tour 20 jobs before the end of the week,” she was quoted on CTNewsJunkie.com.

Click here for more.

- John Cena continues to delay time off from the road as WWE is trying to book him in situations that won't be physically taxing. This is the reason for his program with John Laurinaitis. With Cena's divorce and other issues, he doesn't want to come off the road to give his body some rest to heal up because work is how is choosing to deal with the problems in his personal life. WWE has a long history of top guys getting burned out or breaking down mentally and the company is doing everything they can to keep Cena in a good frame of mind and make sure he's given a bit of a break physically, even while he refuses to actually take a break. I'm told even by toning things down, as bad as Cena's hip is, he could still be making things worse. However, Cena is obviously well-liked by the office with considerable influence, so when he said he wanted to stick around as long as possible while he dealt with his divorce, no one wanted to tell him no.

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  • robert

    good i wouldn't watch tna for years cause i knew he was there.