Bad News For Ryback's WWE Title Chances, Austin Aries Fined For Sexual Harassment, Impact Changing Timeslots, Top WWE Star's Stock Plummeting; To Be Phased Out?, A Day In The Life Of Triple H, WWE Special On ESPN?, 7 WWE Releases, TNA Star Has Emergency Surgery

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WWE News

- WWE has a new article online featuring quotes from World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler discussing his concussion. The comments are troubling as Ziggler discusses significant memory loss from his concussion. Below are quotes from the champ:

“I didn’t even remember Monday until I watched Raw when I got home,”

“I don’t even remember traveling from Raw to SmackDown. I don’t remember Tuesday. I remember AJ and Big E taking me to the airport on Wednesday morning.”

"I was told I interfered in a match and tried to get my hands on a ladder," said Ziggler, piecing together the timeline. "When I bent over to grab it, Jack Swagger kicked me in the head.”

"I feel a lot better today," The Showoff told of his recovery process. "Yesterday I had a bad headache. Today, I have a slight headache.”

“I didn’t know what day it was; I didn’t know what month it was.” he said. “I’ve had a couple of concussions before and just had a headache. I’ve never not remembered entire days, like someone in a movie.”

"When I asked, over and over, what happened, AJ told me that Swagger kicked me in the head,"

"Apparently, all I said was ‘classic Swags.’ As for Del Rio, even a zombified me is more charismatic than Del Rio. I don’t get him. Maybe because he’s closer to my Dad’s age."

Click here for coverage by dot com.

Video of the spot on Smackdown is online at this link or embedded below.

- Sin Cara returned to the ring at Friday night's WWE Raw live event in Shreveport, Louisiana. He teamed with Adrian Neville & Bo Dallas to oppose (and defeat) Michael McGillicutty & The Prime Time Players. Cara noted earlier in the week he was medically cleared to compete. He's been out since suffering a concussion during a match with Jack Swagger on the March 11th episode of WWE Raw.

- This week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Smackdown is now online at this link.

- Michael Cole noted in a new blog on that he will attempt to climb his first mountain this summer as he will join John Layfield in attempt to scale Mt. Whitney. You can read Cole's latest at this link.

- Dean Ambrose got a shiner in a his match against Daniel Bryan at this week's Smackdown taping. The match aired on this week's show and dot com has photos of him getting medical treatment backstage. Click here to view them.

- Attorneys for WWE have petitioned that the lawsuit brought against the company and Big Show by former employee Andrew Green be removed from Arizona State Court to a federal court. WWE argued since the lawsuit involves footage filmed for the Internet, it would fall under federal law. We first ran the story last month when Green filed the lawsuit. Green claims Big Show freaked out on him -- using “profanely indecent language" -- when he tried to get a post-match interview with him backstage at Royal Rumble 2013 in Phoenix. Green ended up getting the interview but later quit the company because he felt uncomfortable working around Show and the other wrestlers. You can read more details at this link. For even more coverage, obtained the lawsuit and gave more details at this link.

- WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn's mother was in attendance at Saturday night's WWE Raw live event in Beaumont, Texas. The following is from Twitter:

Vince McMahon used Twitter to wish his mother a Happy Mother's Day:

Stephanie McMahon credited Triple H fot the best Mother's Day gift of all:

- Adam "Big Country" Scherr said in an interview with at the 2013 Arnold Strongman Classic in March that he was in contract negotiations with WWE. The word making rounds is a deal is likely, if not already signed. We'll update if we get confirmation as he was dealing with a biceps injury in March.

- John Laurinaitis attended the retirement ceremony for Kenta Kobashi in Tokyo, Japan over the weekend. In his final match, Kobashi teamed with Jun Akiyama, Keiji Muto & Kensuke Sasaki to defeat KENTA, Go Shoizaki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Maybach Taniguchi. Kobashi spoke afterwards and his family was acknowledged. Photos of the show as well as past Kenta Kobashi matches are available at this link.

- Mick Foley noted on Twitter that WWE will have a camera crew at his June 2nd comedy show in New York City. Foley Tweeted:

- Speaking of Foley, he will be appearing with The Bella Twins at the Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals game on Saturday. Chris Jericho will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the game on Sunday. The appearances are being done in conjunction with Extreme Rules emanating from St. Louis.

- This weekend's episode of WWE Saturday Morning Slam was the season one finale. We spoke to WWE about the show and they confirmed in a statement issued to that the company is in discussions with the CW about a second season. If a deal is reached, season two will begin airing again in August. This is why no new content has been taped.

- WWE developmental worker J Bronson (WWE NXT profile) has been out with a spinal injury. He wrote on his Twitter account that he's being treated by Dr. Joseph Maroon. The following is from Bronson's Twitter account:

- The latest WWE Studios release, "No One Lives," with Brodus Clay opened at #29 at the box office this weekend. The film grossed an estimated $45,900 in 53 theaters. has the chart at this link.

- WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus answers more questions from fans on her official website at this link.

- Chris Jericho will dance with Edyta Sliwinska in the dance-off segment against Fandango on this week's Monday Night Raw. Sliwinska has confirmed her appearance on Twitter. You can view a photo of her from Twitter below:

- Is Jim Ross mad at Josh Mathews for impersonating him on Smackdown last week? Here's what JR wrote on Twitter:

JR updated the blog section on his official website on Sunday at this link.

- Santino Marella is opening a pro wrestling/mixed martial arts facility called the "Battle Arts Academy" in Toronto on July 1, 2013. He Tweeted an early photo:

- Wrestlemania 29 will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday. In addition to the pay-per-view, the release includes the complete 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony, pre-show match and post-show. You can order now here at

- We're told there was a growing frustration among many of the WWE developmental wrestlers due to the uncertainty of when the new WWE Performance Center would be opening. Now a date is available as WWE has informed talent if they are not willing to make the daily commute from Tampa to Orlando, they need to relocate by July 1, 2013. WWE is confident construction will be finished and they will be able to officially open the doors to the new facility at the beginning of July. Many are looking forward to the new facility as not only will it provide better conditions for developmental workers but also main roster workers that are out rehabbing injuries. The date has caused overwhelming relief amongst talent as they are now locking in their living situations.

- In celebration of Mother's Day on Sunday Zack Ryder admitted that his mother still picks him up and takes him to the airport every week and washes his ring gear. Make fun of him all you want but I think that's awesome.  You can read Kofi Kingston, Darren Young, Kaitlyn and The Bella Twins honor their mothers at this link.

- If you popped like we did for Damien Sandow's rendition of Randy Orton's theme song, you're going to love this video.

- Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, says he's a "gigantic fan" of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and would love to work with him. Read the comments at this link.

- The Bella Twins noted on Twitter last week they received the script for their first feature film. No other details are available as of this writing but you can follow them on Twitter @nicoleandbri. Make sure you follow us @wnwnews.

- Jim Ross won't be at WWE Raw this week in Oklahoma because he's at Shawn Michaels' ranch where they are going hog hunting for his Outdoor Network TV show.  JR Tweeted:

- WWE Champion John Cena is scheduled to defend his title against Ryback in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules on Sunday. Did you know that Cena's only loss at Extreme Rules (formerly known as One Night Stand) came in his debut? Below is a look back:

Rob Van Dam b. John Cena at One Night Stand on 6/11/06
John Cena b. The Great Khali at One Night Stand on 6/3/07
John Cena b. JBL at One Night Stand on 6/1/08
John Cena b. Big Show at Extreme Rules on 6/7/09
John Cena b. Batista at Extreme Rules on 4/25/10
John Cena b. The Miz & John Morrison at Extreme Rules on 5/1/11
John Cena b. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules on 4/29/12

WWE Extreme Rules 2013 will take place Sunday from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.  Join us here at for exclusive live play-by-play coverage.

H/T to the latest issue of WWE Magazine for the statistics.

- Michael Cole was an in-studio guest on the After Show with Sam Roberts following The Opie & Anthony Show. Cole discussed Jerry Lawler having a heart attack and turning him babyface, their match at Wrestlemania 27, heat and more. Cole said he recently watched the match at Wrestlemania against Lawler and couldn't believe it was a 35-minute match.  He said people hated him for getting so much time.  He said he bored himself walking out there, discussed Undertaker and John Cena seeing him for the first time in his singlet and really had some fun with it. The interview shifted to a more serious turn when he discussed Lawler having a heart attack live on the air last year. Cole said he and Chris Jericho had to "iron things out" after he bured the Highlight Reel segment on the 3/11 episode of WWE Raw.  Side note: While Cole didn't say anything in the interview, we're told it was Vince McMahon that ordered him to bury the segment. You can watch the interview at this link

- IGN is reporting that Take-Two has confirmed that WWE 2K14 will be released on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. According to an earnings release, the game will be published “across all major platforms and distribution channels.” Take-Two is WWE's new video game partner as they acquired the rights to the license following THQ's bankruptcy. The Rock is set to be featured on the game's cover and is expected back on television to help promote it this fall.

- It doesn't look like World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler will not be on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. Ziggler Tweeted:

Ziggler is currently out indefinitely after suffering a concussion at last week's Smackdown taping. He was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia (See also - Dolph Ziggler Suffers Significant Memory Loss Due To Concussion).  Obviously, Ziggler's health status has his World Heavyweight Championship defense against Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules on Sunday in question.

- Rey Mysterio, who continues to deal with a knee injury following time off for a personal matter, wrote the following on Twitter:

- WWE sent out the following text prior to this week's Monday Night Raw:

Tonight at 7:30 PM ET, open the WWE App to experience THE NEW WAY TO WATCH TELEVISION!

The message then provides a link to download. I have the WWE App open and as of 7:40 PM ET, there's nothing new other the promise of the ultimate companion viewing experience for Raw at 7:30 PM ET.

MAY 13, 2013 7:54 PM ET UPDATE: WWE just sent out another text, the same text, but changed the time from 7:30 PM ET to 8:00 PM ET.  So stay tuned.  I guess.

- A steel cage is hung above the ring at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK.

- We heard there were some close to the locker room complaining about a mediocre turnout.

- World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler will not be able to work WWE Extreme Rules on Sunday. Instead, Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio will face off in an "I Quit" match to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.

- Chris Jericho vs. Fandango was officially added to Extreme Rules on this week's WWE Monday Night Raw.

- Kofi Kingston will defend the WWE United States Championship against Dean Ambrose at Extreme Rules on Sunday. Make sure to join us for live coverage here at

- The WWE App now features a "Tap Here" button, taking the user directly to WWE Active during the airing of shows. Live videos are streamed and other components that have been a staple of the App since its launch are included.

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown averaged 2,530,000 viewers on SyFy. The show ended up doing a 1.86 cable rating.

- The Miz returned to WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, going over Heath Slater in a singles match. He's been off television over the past month filming the new WWE Studios/ABC Family film "Christmas Bounty." While the match was airing on the USA Network, Matt Striker interviewed WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett about it on the WWE App.  The tagline of the App is "the new way to watch television."

- Two more matches have been added to the Extreme Rules lineup. Team Hell No will defend the WWE Tag Team Championship on the pay-per-view against Seth Rollins & Romain Reigns in a tag team tornado match. On the pre-show, The Miz will face Cody Rhodes.

Below is the updated lineup:

Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship
- John Cena © vs. Ryback

Steel Cage Match
- Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman

No. 1 Contenders "I Quit" Match
- Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter

Extreme Rules Match
- Randy Orton vs. Big Show

Strap Match
- Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

WWE United States Championship Match
- Kofi Kingston © vs. Dean Ambrose

Tag Team Tornado Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
- Team Hell No © vs. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins

Singles Match
- Fandango vs. Chris Jericho

Pre-Show Match
- Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz

WWE Extreme Rules 2013 will take place Sunday from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- Sin Cara, who worked this weekend's live events, returned to TV in a match taped for this week's WWE Superstars. We'll have complete taping results online shortly.

- For those that missed this week's WWE Monday Night Raw, the show opened with a dance-off segment between Chris Jericho and Fandango. Filling a large chunk of time, I Tweeted the following from the Wrestling News World Twitter account:

You can watch the segment at this link.

- After this week's WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, WWE Champion John Cena, Alberto Del Rio & Randy Orton b. Big Show, Jack Swagger & Ryback in a dark match main event. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Show to end the taping.

- Highlights of the final segment of this week's WWE Raw are now online at this link.

- Nick "Eugene" Dinsmore was at the WWE NXT facilities last week in Tampa, Florida. Here's what he wrote on Twitter:

- Cameras were filming at this week's WWE Raw for the new E! reality series called "Total Divas." The show is set to premiere in July.

- Layla & Alicia Fox took part in the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the cure. WWE posted video highlights at this link.

- Jim Ross was successful in his hog hunt with Shawn Michaels. Keith Mark Tweeted a photo that you can view below:

- MVP put out a new single called "Time of My Life." You can listen at this link.

- This week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Raw is now online at this link.

- Jerry Lawler's return bout is set. The King will team with Dory Funk Jr. and Johnny Magnum to face Cory "Wild" Weston, Quinton "Drop-Back" Hitchcock and Romero Youngblood in an Australian Rules, 6 Man Tag Team Match. The match will take place at Funk's !BANG! TV Sound Stage in Ocala, Florida on Saturday, May 25, 2013. Doors open at 6:15pm and the show starts at 7pm.  For tickets, call 352-895-4658 or click here. Lawler hasn't wrestled since the September 10th episode of WWE Raw, where he suffered a heart attack on live television.

Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Tulsa…

- The "ladder match" was replaced by the "I Quit" stipulation between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger at Extreme Rules because the feeling was it wasn't worth the risk. We're told there was some back and forth about replacing Dolph Ziggler with a third person in the bout but they decided to do a Wrestlemania 29 re-match with a stipulation instead. The idea was the program [of Del Rio vs. Swagger] already has had significant build and they didn't have to worry about a random being "thrown in."

- Big E Langston was originally tapped to face Kofi Kingston for the United States Championship at Extreme Rules on Sunday, however, plans changed when Dolph Ziggler was ruled out. As we've noted on multiple occasions, there has been talk about Langston, AJ Lee and Ziggler all holding titles but WWE decided to hold off when Ziggler couldn't go.

- We're told "eyes are as wide open as they have been" on The Shield following this week's Elimination tag team match. Everyone continues to rave about their in-ring work and the way the group has gotten over.

- AJ Lee vs. Natalya was booked just to keep a little bit of the spotlight on the Divas ahead of the E! reality series premiering this summer. As we reported last week, this is something that is expected to continue.

- As of this week's WWE Raw, there was no booked ending for John Cena vs. Ryback at Extreme Rules on Sunday. The writing team was going back and forth on a couple different outcomes.

- We heard there were some rumblings close to the locker room about The Miz showing he has lost some weight and muscle definition in his return. Miz is back full-time after filming "Christmas Bounty" over the last month.

- Make of this what you will but we're told Mattel has plans to release a Dean Ambrose action figure with the United States Championship and a two pack of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The action figures are expected to hit stores this summer.

- This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,046,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the breakdown hour by hour:

Hour one - 3,790,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,100,000 viewers
Hour three - 4,250,000 viewers

This data, from TV By the Numbers, shows a positive sign for WWE. The show's audience actually grew throughout the night. This hasn't been the trend since the switch to three-hours last summer, with the third hour usually drawing the lowest viewership.

This week's audience was also up from last week's dreadful numbers.

- Big Japan Pro-Wrestling announced on their website that Sami Callihan has been pulled from their May 24th Strong Style tournament RISING due to signing a WWE contract. Callihan is still advertised for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's show on June 15, 2013. We don't have confirmation that Callihan has signed but he was believed to be going through the pre-screening process.

- Rob Van Dam is scheduled to return to the ring on June 21st against Tommy Dreamer with Family Wrestling Entertainment's show in Corona, New York. Click here for ticket information.

- WWE announced on Monday that Big Show and Randy Orton would be on The Highlight Reel on Smackdown. At this week's taping, they were on Miz TV with The Miz.

- Brandon Carter, who worked as TAC, spoke to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal about his WWE release earlier this year.

“I went down there and got a few concussions and ended up getting pneumonia,” Carter said of his time with WWE. “I ended up in the hospital in December. I woke up and nobody was there. Then I realized I didn’t have any friends or family there, so I came back here to Lubbock to be with family.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE Inbox goes extreme in honor of Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view. You can watch this week's episode at this link.

- The first trailer for the movie "Riddick," starring Vin Diesel and featuring Dave Batista is online at this link.

- The Pitch out of Kansas City, Missouri has a new article online featuring quotes from Cody Rhodes. Below is an excerpt:

Idea for the mustache:

Well, my fiancée is sitting right next to me, and she hates the mustache. So I don't know if it's as fantastic as you say, but thank you very much. It was mine, but it wasn't really this huge overreaching grand design. The only time that I've ever been injured in my career - I had x amount of days that I didn't have to be on television, and in that time I grew, originally, a very poor mustache. It's grown into being rather full-bodied now. It was something that when I came back, everyone appreciated the fact my partner at the time, Damien Sandow, had the massive 19th-century beard, and I had the mustache with the intent of taking it away from the modern hipster and putting a little civility back into it.

Why he wrestles:

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I don't do this for the money. I'd like to headline multiple WrestleManias, and I'd like to be WWE champion, and I'd like to be world heavyweight champion. Anything that describes the top of my field at the time is where I'd like to be. It's kind of ambiguous because what we do is entertainment, but certainly those top-tier titles are not something that are given. They're earned. That's where I'd like to be.

Is he ready?:

I think so. The WWE Universe, they've seen me grow up on their television. I didn't show up a fully polished superstar. I showed up rather undersized and underwhelming and had to grow. People who thought that they might move ahead of me, I moved ahead of them. It's been quite a ladder to climb already, but I think in their eyes that I'm ready, and that's all that matters because they truly dictate what's happening on television, and that's a good thing.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry available on his official website where he discusses hog hunting with Shawn Michaels, Extreme Rules and other things. In it, JR makes it clear which match he feels should close Sunday's pay-per-view:

If the Brock Lesnar vs. HHH Steel Cage match doesn't close the PPV, it's going to make whatever follows this Slobber Knocker have to really hunker down to top what I expect to be the most anticipated bout at Sunday's PPV. The physicality in this contest will be prominent and I expect a no frills, in your face, main event.

Click here to read JR's latest in its entirety.

- We're told Jack Swagger's stock has been plummeting "big time" lately. As if things couldn't get any worse after his arrest in February, he's accumulated a lot of backstage heat for being unsafe in the ring. There's been some talk about phasing out his push over the next few months, however, the company remains high up on Zeb Colter. Colter has received very high marks for his work and is held in high regard as an important mouthpiece that can help up and coming workers get over. We're told rather than simply replace Swagger with someone else, there's been talk about having Colter manage multiple workers where he would operate as the mouthpiece. Nothing remains certain as Swagger has evaded burial so far, able to continue to get a main event spot after getting arrested just days after wining the WWE Elimination Chamber. Many believe if there were plans for him to go over Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 29, they were dropped when he was arrested.

- "Mean" Gene Okerlund resurfaced with quotes to about his very limited schedule with WWE. He also said Brock Lesnar is one of the top three stars in the company right now. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- The Rock posted the following injury update on Twitter:

- Michelle McCool is launching a new vlog this summer. You can watch a trailer at this link.

- USA Today reported on Thursday that WWE will donate $1.2 million over three years to Chris Nowinski's Sports Legacy Institute to further research aimed at developing a treatment for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

"Obviously, I think it's such a huge concern for everybody right now in sports and in the military. As we learn more and more about concussions and what can become of it, I think it's a problem for everybody," Paul Levesque, WWE executive vice president of Talent and Live Events, told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.

"We still hit people with metal chairs, just not in the head anymore," said Levesque, who as a ring star and occasional wrestler is known as Triple H. "We took out the things that ... caused the most concussions and the most head impacts."

Click here for coverage by USA Today.

- Layla was featured in the latest episode of WWE Hangout on Thursday. You can watch it at this link.

- Sami Callihan didn't pull out of Big Japan Pro-Wrestling's Strong Style tournament RISING on May 24, 2013 due to a WWE contract as the promotion claimed. Callihan had to pull out due to family issues and has not yet signed with WWE.

- We're told Triple H is looking to "cozy up" to ESPN in hopes that over time, WWE will be treated with more respect by some of the mainstream media. We're not talking highlights on SportsCenter but Hunter does feel like a good relationship with ESPN would mean more exposure. He gave ESPN the exclusive in breaking the news that Bruno Sammartino had accepted WWE's offer to be inducted into their Hall of Fame as the beginning of what he is hoping will be a friendly relationship with them. ESPN cameras have actually been filming Hunter recently in hopes of doing a "day in the life" type piece on him. The idea would be to provide a "behind-the-scenes" documentary-type feature to show viewers what it's like running a major franchise like WWE, especially for a guy that is new on the job. This is all part of WWE's plan to position Hunter as a more respectable leader in the eyes of the mainstream media, as Vince McMahon's aggressive demeanor over the course of decades has resulted in quite a few enemies.

- Derrick Bateman & Briley Pierce have been released from WWE. Bateman, who competed on NXT and more recently starred in a number of vignettes as The USA Guy, responded on his Twitter account:

Pierce, the younger brother of World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, spent time in WWE's developmental territories, more recently working as an interviewer on NXT. Pierce had the following to say on Twitter:

Ziggler weighed in on the release as well:

-In addition to Derrick Bateman & Briley Pierce, it appears as if Sakamoto has been released from WWE as well. Sakamoto posted the following on his Twitter account:

- According to TMZ, Jake "The Snake" Roberts has begun training to become an actor and has already been offered a role in an independent film. Click here for more.

- Spring roster cuts are underway in WWE. We can now confirm the releases of Brandon Traven and Percy Watson:

Brandon Traven (developmental profile)

To show you just how unexpected this was, Traven posted the following about Friday's NXT live event in Leesburg:

The following was after he got the call about his release:

Percy Watson

Watson, formerly paired with Titus O'Neil, was showcased on season five of WWE NXT.

- In addition to the names we've already reported, we can now confirm the releases of WWE developmental Divas Audrey Marie and Anya. Marie wrote the following on Twitter:

Anya, whose real name is Anna Bogomazova, is a former Russian kick boxer and martial artist. She wrote the following on Twitter:

She also posted a message in Russian that translates as:

For my Russian fans! I was told the reason for dismissal! But do not worry I do not lose heart! Let them know Russian)

If you can offer a better translation, go for it in the comments are below.

- Amit Swami, who manages The Great Khali's events in India, was arrested on Friday for allegedly attacking a shopkeeper. The story is available at this link.

- confirmed on Friday that this was John Gaburick's final week with WWE. Gaburick worked as Vice President of TV production and was involved with the original seasons of WWE Tough Enough on MTV.

- Trish Stratus talked to The Globe And Mail in Canada about junk food. Click here to read it.

- WWE notified seven workers in their NXT developmental system on Friday of their releases. The list is as follows:

Anya (story link)
Audrey Marie (story link)
Brandon Traven (story link)
Briley Pierce (story link)
Derrick Bateman (story link)
Percy Watson (story link)
Sakamoto (story link)

The only worker that I heard there was considerable shock over was Briley Pierce. Pierce, whose real name is Ryan Nemeth, is the brother of World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler even expressed his shock/disappointment on Twitter:

- Episode 25 of The JBL & Cole Show is online at this link.

- As mentioned in the latest conference call with investors, WWE is returning to the UAE later this year. The company will run three shows from the Zayed Sports City International Tennis Complex in Abu Dhabi. The shows are scheduled for 10/10, 10/11 and 10/12. Tickets go on sale on May 20, 2013.

- The following is from the verified Twitter account of Vince McMahon:

- The Hill is reporting that Kane is weighing a primary challenge against Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican out of Tennessee. Click here to read their report, citing the libertarian magazine Reason.

- A Texas judge ruled on Wednesday that music composer Papa Berg's lawsuit against WWE over copyrighted music can continue. Berg alleges that he wrote the "hit" song, "Badstreet USA," used by the Fabulous Freebirds, as well as "Man Called Sting," "Simply Ravishing," "The Natural" and "Steineeized." Berg says THQ contacted him to use "Badstreet USA" for the "Legends of Wrestlemania" video game before they noticed the song was owned by WWE. According to the lawsuit, Berg discovered the song "had been improperly and erroneously registered" by the WWE, "resulting in the royalties being redirected to" the professional wrestling company. The Hollywood Reporter has the full story online at this link.

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