WWE's Two Biggest Stars Not High Up On Randy Orton Returning; Trying To Force Him Out?, New WWE TV Series, Charlie Sheen To Raw, John Cena Confronts WWE Star Backstage At Raw, The Return Program Rey Mysterio Wants, HHH Blackballing A Legend From Getting A SummerSlam Match, WWE Diva Quits, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

WWE News

- Yahoo! Sports has an article on John Cena granting his 300th wish through the Make-A-Wish foundation earlier this week. The piece notes that WWE had to rearrange Cena's entire schedule to make sure it happened and that Cena is determined to grant 1000 wishes. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- One of the biggest stories we are currently following is the behind-the-scenes drama involving John Cena and CM Punk trying to nudge Randy Orton out of WWE. So far, their efforts have been unsuccessful with Vince McMahon planning to bring Orton back to the main event scene as soon as his suspension expires. According to a source with knowledge of McMahon's mindset, his reasoning is two fold. First, with the talent pool as thin as it is right now, McMahon feels it's worth taking the risk of getting behind Orton in a major way again even though he'll be terminated if there are any more Wellness issues. Second, even though Vince isn't normally concerned about TNA, his attitude is different now due to the litigation against WWE and the last thing he wants to do right now is hand TNA a top tier talent on a silver platter. The most interesting elements in all of this though are the political maneuvers that have been taking place with Cena and Punk. The two of them have become very close over the last year, with Punk feeling like Cena went out of his way to help make him and Cena feeling like Punk is a hard worker and a reliable guy who can help shoulder the burden of carrying the company. In addition to the mutual respect that has grown between Cena and Punk, both have a mutual dislike for Orton. The feeling is Orton is a prima donna who not only mistreats those beneath him, but is also erratic and unreliable. They both went to Vince to plead their case that Orton was not needed anymore and that Punk could carry the Smackdown brand and the two of them could carry the company. Ultimately Vince didn't go along with it but it did lead to Punk working Smackdown live events while Orton is out. We'll still be following the story as it's certainly interesting that while the plan is to bring Orton back, Cena and Punk have essentially formed an alliance and are actively seeking to push Orton out of the company. Given the added drama, McMahon has even more difficult ego juggling on his hands. While Vince views Orton as a bigger star than Punk, Cena is still the golden boy. Also, while Orton has a lot of enemies backstage and Cena is generally well-liked, a lot of guys view Punk as an opinionated jerk and don't like the idea of him gaining more stroke and influence due to his friendship with Cena.

- WWE issued the following press release today:

STAMFORD, Conn., Jun 25, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- WWE and ION Television today announced a new weekly one-hour original series airing on Wednesday nights at 8/7C. WWE Main Event will debut on October 3, 2012, and feature WWE Superstars and Divas from the rosters of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown. The new show will be available in 100 million U.S. television households on ION Television, a top-rated general entertainment network that features a broad mix of critically acclaimed series, movies and original programming.

"ION Television is delighted to begin a new partnership with such a successful and well-recognized franchise as WWE," said Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks. "As a general entertainment network with a solid foundation, WWE Main Event is a great addition to our lineup that features something for everyone. We look forward to introducing our ION audience to all of the excitement and drama WWE has to offer as well as welcoming a passionate new fan base to the network."

"WWE looks forward to this new partnership with ION Television," said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. "We are excited about producing this new television show, WWE Main Event, and bringing our fans to ION Television every Wednesday."

WWE Main Event will feature in-ring action and fit seamlessly in storylines from Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown, making Wednesday night appointment viewing for fans. The new series will offer a big arena experience with live audiences like current WWE weekly programs.

- The official WWE website has announced that Charlie Sheen will act as the Celebrity Social Media Ambassador for the 1000th episode of Raw SuperShow. The website explains his role in the following excerpt:

During the three-hour milestone event July 23 at 8/7 CT on USA Network, the “winning” actor will entertain his 7.5 million Twitter followers and the WWE Universe all night long with his unique 140-character analysis of the action.

Sheen will be promoting his upcoming show, Anger Management, which premieres this Thursday on FX. Click here to view the full announcement.

- Kane, Big Show, Chris Jericho and John Cena have been announced as participants for the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view next month. The criteria for participants is that only former WWE Champions are eligible for the bout.

- It was announced on tonight's Raw Supershow that Brock Lesnar will "respond" to Triple H's "challenge" for a match at SummerSlam on next week's show. As of this writing, Lesnar isn't advertised to appear live.

- Sycho Sid returned to WWE on tonight's Raw Supershow to squash Heath Slater. Sid's appearance was part of a reoccurring theme of bringing back past talent to celebrate the 1000th episode of Raw on July 23, 2012.

- CM Punk will defend the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan at Money in the Bank next month.

- Next week's Super Smackdown Live is branded The Great American Bash. The show will take place next Tuesday from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Great American Bash was a pay-per-view name used by the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions, World Championship Wrestling and of course WWE.

- Dot com has a video online with Sycho Sid discussing how good it felt to return to Raw. Sid called it the greatest moment of his whole life. You can watch the full video at this link.

- After Raw Supershow went off the air, John Cena "recovered" and beat Big Show & Tensai in a 2-on-1 handicap match. After the match, John Laurinaitis came out and hit Cena with a chair. Cena ended up giving him the Attitude Adjustment to end the taping.

- Randy Orton broke his silence on Twitter, answering followers about numerous issues.

One follower asked him if he was caught smoking weed in which Orton said, "I can neither confirm, nor deny." Another asked him about a report by a NEWZ site about John Cena wanting to get him fired and instead of responding to the claim, Orton took a crap on what he called the 'news' sites.

If you want to know what's going on behind-the-scenes regarding Orton, read this story.

Richard Reacts: Given the fact that 99% of wrestling websites are NEWZ websites with copy and pasted content posted over and over again, I really don't blame Orton for crapping on them. I don't care if it's a dig at WNW because anyone that reads WNW knows we are an entire different level than just about every other website out there. I post stories directly from backstage that prove to be true time and time again. I'll put the number of stories I've broken over the past 5 years up against any publication out there so it really doesn't bother me about any of the heat we may get. We know what we are doing but are only able to do it with your support and for that I say thank you.

- Chris Jericho posted the following on Twitter after Raw Supershow:

- I'm told there was heat on Alberto Del Rio after his "number one contender's match" against Dolph Ziggler on Raw Supershow. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, John Cena approached Del Rio backstage about not protecting Dolph towards the end of the match where Dolph landed on the back of his neck and shoulder on the apron. His beef was that Del Rio didn't protect the move or the fall that Dolph took. Accompanying Cena was a producer who sternly reminded Del Rio to protect guys on a roll to the outside. Apparently Del Rio brushed off the criticism and upset John even more for not giving him the respect he felt he deserved. I'm told Cena has already been vocal with how guys are acting like they are "too good" and being tough to deal with. My source added the ongoing problems in John's personal life are most-certainly keeping him a little more uptight as well. Another reason for Cena's vocal displeasure with Del Rio could also have something to do with the fiasco that went down last week with Del Rio threatening to walk. However, it's believed Cena will be having a conversation with the other producers and it's likely this will "go right to Vince McMahon." As for Ziggler, he was just sore afterwards and wasn't seriously injured but was examined by medical staff backstage. - WWE issued an apology today for a technical malfunction at USA Network's Master Control that interrupted the opening of this week's Raw Supershow by a 60-second local advertisement. They are offering the first three minutes of Raw on dot com. Below is the official statement:

Due to a technical malfunction at USA Network’s Master Control, the opening of last night’s Raw SuperShow was inadvertently interrupted by a 60-second local spot. On behalf of USA Network and those of us here at WWE, we apologize for this error. To watch the first three minutes of Raw now, uninterrupted, click here.

I have DirecTV and had no issues watching the broadcast. - Vickie Guerrero announced during this week's Smackdown taping that AJ will be the special guest referee when CM Punk faces Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at WWE Money in the Bank. Click here to view this week's Smackdown spoilers. - It was announced during this week's Smackdown taping that Theodore Long will be the Interim General Manager for next week's editions of Raw Supershow and Smackdown. - Justin Roberts was on vacation Monday night so Lilian Garcia filled in for him. Lilian made comment about the situation on Twitter at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Logan Walker for sending this in.) - Brock Lesnar is officially advertised for the 1000th Raw on July 23, 2012. - Tammy "Sunny" Sytch claimed on Twitter that her boyfriend, Damien Darling, was recently contacted by WWE:

- In a hilarious twist, I'm told a Linda McMahon for Senate campaign ad actually interrupted the opening moments of Raw Supershow for some viewers in Connecticut. Due to the fact the interruption was a local spot, it was different depending on the market. WWE issued an apology on Tuesday and offered the opening moments of Raw on dot com. - Insane Clown Posse has filmed a music video for the new lead single on their upcoming "Mighty Death Pop" album due out August 14th. The song, called "Chris Benoit," apparently deals with the loss of sanity and snapping in a moment of panic. You can read coverage by the Detroit Free Press at this link. - WWE has updated their key performance indicators with new data regarding pay-per-view buys. The most interesting number is Wrestlemania XXVIIIbuys which continue to drop. Originally projected at 1,300,000 buys, actual buys have now been adjusted to 1,150,000 buys. Below are the updated numbers:

    • Elimination Chamber 2012 - 170,000 buys


  • Wrestlemania XXVIII - 1,150,000 buys



  • Extreme Rules 2012 - 250,000 buys



  • Over the Limit 2012 - 150,000 buys



All numbers are projections and approximations but it gives you an idea of how the pay-per-views performed. - Below is what you won't see on this week's Smackdown:

    • Triple H came out during one of the commercial breaks and gave David Otunga a pedigree.


  • Jerry Lawler appeared at one point, hitting a top rope fist-drop on Jack Swagger.



  • After the taping concluded, John Cena beat Big Show & Tensai in a dark match main event.



You can read full Smackdown taping results by Brooks Oglesby at this link. - Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, WWE United States Champion Santio Marella, WWE Intercontinental Champion Christian and Tensai all qualified for the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at this week's Smackdown taping. - WWE has video of Kofi Kingston's appearance on "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" Tuesday night on SyFy. You can watch the clip at this link. - Jim Ross has a new blog entry online that includes his thoughts on this week's Raw Supershow. Click here to read it. - The profile of John Laurinaitis has been removed from the Superstars listing on dot com but is still active at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Logan Walker for sending this in.) - We received an unconfirmed tip that Damien Darling is in talks for a WWE dark match which goes along with what Tammy Sytch Tweeted. - Rey Mysterio's suspension is now over and he has been pushing for a match against Sin Cara at SummerSlam. One WWE source told me the company is in no hurry to rush Rey back and aren't really interested in a Cara/Mysterio program right now. I'm told the company wants to see how Sin Cara fairs on this go around and Vince McMahon figures he can bring Mysterio back at any point. The feeling is Mysterio's value to WWE will be hard to assess until they decide whether or not Cara is going to have legs. The reason Sin Cara has received so many changes in the first place is because he is Triple H's pet project and with him just returning, it's believed the company wants to give a chance before bringing Rey back. - The following article was written by The Associated Press:

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The professional wrestling company that Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon once oversaw now wants a federal elections complaint filed by a Connecticut newspaper dismissed. The WWE, formerly known as World Wrestling Entertainment, said the complaint filed by the Journal Inquirer of Manchester "failed to provide a factual basis" for its accusation that the Stamford-based company illegally helped McMahon's campaign when it threatened a lawsuit against the newspaper. In a statement released Wednesday, WWE called the claim "absurd" and "an abuse of process." The Journal Inquirer filed its complaint with the Federal Elections Commission after a WWE official accused the newspaper of libel and threatened legal action if it didn't retract two opinion columns written by the managing editor, who asserted McMahon made her fortune from the pornography and violence business.

- Lilian Garcia, Natalya, Zack Ryder and injured Mark Henry all appeared as advertised on behalf of WWE on Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Baseball game at MCU field. They hosted a be-A-Star anti-bullying rally where they interacted with fans that attended the game.  Click here for a photo. - WWE had two clips featured on E!'s The Soup this week. - WWEhas announced the following news live events in Kansas:

    • Kansas Expo Centre in Topeka, Kansas on September 29, 2012


  • Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas on September 30, 2012



With WWE pay-per-view buys down do you think WWE will either lower prices of their events or possibly have restaurants charge a cover fee for patrons to watch the shows? Answering the second part of this question first, restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings have to pay a significant fee to show WWE pay-per-views. Due to the fact they are a public place where the show will be seen on multiple screens, they have to pay significantly more than you or I would by watching at home. As for WWE lowering their pay-per-view prices, there has been talk about tweaking the pay-per-view model with the launch WWE Network but I haven't heard anything about reducing the cost of the pay-per-views. WWE is aware things need tweaked but given the fact Wrestlemania XXVIII set a buy record (even though it's been lowered), they know people will buy if there is enough interest. Why does WWE continue to push workers such as Tensai and Ryback when they are just getting mocked with "Albert" and "Goldberg" chants? Tensai's push has been scaled back significantly as WWE producers along with Vince McMahon recognized he didn't get over how they planned. Much of what you have seen with Big Show was originally slated for Tensai. WWE has not completely given up on him and are tweaking things in attempt to make the gimmick work. As for Ryback, the general feeling is not one of optimism but Vince McMahon is still high up on him. We'll see how it plays out but it's also important not to judge a gimmick too quickly. So many fans want to criticize a gimmick before it even gets a chance. There are a lot of gimmicks that started awful and turned out to be entertaining. Patience is key but there is a point when the plug needs to be pulled. What do you expect for the 1000th Raw in terms of returns and surprise appearances? The 1000th episode of WWE Raw is going to be loaded and will feature all WWE has not only to try and boost a huge rating but also create momentum for their permanent move to three hours. Some names already announced for the 1000th Raw that are not reoccurring on WWE television are Brock Lesnar and D-Generation X. Do you feel it's the right time for CM Punk to drop the WWE Championship or do you feel he needs to continue his long title reign? CM Punk is clearly established as a main event star in WWE and given his extended reign as WWE Champion, dropping the title would not hurt him. Is it time? This is a whole other question and I'm not sure I have a clear-cut answer. On one hand, Daniel Bryan is capable of carrying the title but on the other hand, I'd like to see Punk get a chance to headline a pay-per-view as WWE Champion, which is something that hasn't happened this year. - Some of the horrible lines from John Cena's in-ring promo with Chris Jericho on this week's Raw Supershow were removed from repeat airings. Cena's line where he told Jericho he was going to win "the whole fudgin' thing" in regards to the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match along with his claim that the majority of WWE's audience is comprised of 9-year-olds were edited off. Below is an excerpt of the promo as recapped by Kendra Bunyon:

Cena says stop Big Show in the MITBLM and keep him from being Champ? They both know that everyone with the suitcase has always cashed it in to be the Champ. Cena knows it better than anyone, he’s had that suitcase cashed in on him more than once! He figures it’s time to be on the other side of the fence. He hasn’t been Champ in over a year. Come to think of it, at MITB, he’s out to win the whole fudgin’ thing. Jericho says,”Fudgin’?” “It’s a PG show, it’s the best I could do,” says Cena. “What are you, nine?” asks Jericho. Cena says,”Most of our viewers are about that age.”

- Mick Foley has been pushing for a match at SummerSlam but has been getting the cold shoulder. From what I've been told, Foley would like to wrestle Dean Ambrose as a culmination of their online/viral feud that started over Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend earlier this year. Foley's biggest hurdle is Triple H. Hunter "has it out" for Foley and often shoots down ideas involving him, especially if he knows the hardcore legend is behind them. Regardless of strong opposition from Triple H, Foley's pitched program with Ambrose may still happen but it's not currently in the plans for SummerSlam. I'm told Hunter isn't big on the idea of Foley wrestling again. Foley had been scheduled for a while to return to TV at the end of June, so he ended up just being used as the interim GM, although originally Foley thought he'd be returning to kick off his program with Ambrose. As for Foley's reaction to being blackballed by Hunter, he's trying to "no sell" the whole situation and roll with the punches but he's very aware of what is going on. - WWE Studios will team with Troika Pictures to co-produce and co-finance the upcoming thriller, "The Hive," starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Principal photography is scheduled to begin on July 6th in Los Angeles. Click here for coverage by dot com. - Maxine has left WWE, I can now confirm. While she worked Monday's Divas Battle Royal, she was unhappy with her position in the company including but not limited to the structure of her contract. Maxine, whose real name is Karlee Perez, has been with WWE since 2009 when she signed a developmental contract.

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