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When bad is gold: How cruelty became a recipe for championship success - 9th September 2013 (WWE.com)

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Seth Rollins tweets about WWE WrestleMania - 17th March 2013

Seth Rollins tweeted the following about The Shield making their WrestleMania debut this year:

"The hounds of justice are #Wrestlemania bound. There's not a day gone by in the last 10 years I haven't dreamt of this. #BelieveInTheShield"

Jonathan Good (born December 7, 1985) is an American professional wrestler known by his former ring name Jon Moxley. He is signed to WWE, where he is working in their developmental territory NXT Wrestling under the name Dean Ambrose. Moxley is best known for his work in Heartland Wrestling Association, CHIKARA, International Wrestling Association, Combat Zone Wrestling, EVOLVE, Dragon Gate USA, and Insanity Pro Wrestling. Moxley is also a five time World Champion as he has held the CZW World Heavyweight Championship twice, the IPW World Heavyweight Championship twice, and has held the FIP World Heavyweight Championship once.

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HUSTLE EXCLUSIVE! Sapolsky on Ambrose - 23rd November 2012
(Heyman Hustle)

What was it like to work with Dean Ambrose before he exploded on the WWE at Survivor Series? The man who gave Ambrose his very first big break discusses the early years of WWE's newest superstar!

I'll never forget the very first moment I worked with the man now known as Dean Ambrose. There was only one other time I experienced anything like it in my 10 year booking career and that was with Paul Heyman's current top hustler, CM Punk.

We were fortunate to have Ambrose, then known as Jon Moxley, as a building block of my Dragon Gate USA and EVOLVE promotions for almost two years. I have to admit, I was in love with him as a talent and fascinated by him as a person. We had an instant creative chemistry. It paid off with Ambrose leading Kamikaze USA of Dragon Gate standouts YAMATO, Akira Tozawa and Shingo as well as being in a violent feud against Jimmy Jacobs. The bloodbath I Quit Match against Jacobs at DGUSA Bushido: Code Of The Warrior 2010 is an ageless classic.

It all began in a back room of a small building in the out-of-the-way town of Brooksville, Florida.

My business partner Sal Hamaoui and I were set to launch EVOLVE wrestling in January of 2010. Hamaoui runs the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup Tournament every year in Florida. We decided to use the 2008 edition as an unofficial "tryout" for EVOLVE. I watch a lot of footage, but I truly believe you can't get to know a talent until you work with them, see what drives them and are able to figure out what type of person they are. The Peterson Cup gave us the forum to get to know the new talents we were moving forward with in EVOLVE and DGUSA. We had high hopes for Ambrose, but I had yet to even have a real conversation with him.

I eagerly awaited for Ambrose to arrive at the armory for the Peterson Cup. I wanted to see what he was all about face-to-face. Shortly after he arrived, I immediately seized the opportunity to work with him for the first time. I wasn't sure what we had on our hands, but I was about to find out.

"Come on," I said to Ambrose before he had time to prepare for anything, "time to cut a promo."

We scurried into a back room, I think a janitor's closet actually. He asked if there were any bullet points. I purposely told him to just run with whatever he thought the people should know about him. He then cut an amazing, unique and distinctive promo that floored me.

When he was done my gut instincts were screaming, "PUT THIS GUY IN SOMETHING NOW!"

I didn't even care if he could wrestle. His charisma, poise and presence was one-in-a-million. The only other time I was sold on a talent before seeing how well he could wrestle was CM Punk, who dazzled me by showing a command of the audience during a simple ring entrance. Fortunately, both Punk and Ambrose are equally great talents in the ring.

As soon as the camera stopped rolling, I eagerly asked Ambrose if he could be in Philadelphia the next week for the Dragon Gate USA. Keep in mind we had the card completely booked up, all the storylines were written and we had exhausted out budget. However, Ambrose was special and we had to start him as soon as possible.

He jumped at the opportunity and said "yes," even though it was just seven days notice. He said he'd make the 12 hour drive by himself and be there for whatever we had planned. No hassles, no drama. He was going to be there. He had the self-confidence to know he just had to be given the smallest opportunity and he would "grab it by the balls" and make it work. He wasn't going to let a long car ride or low pay stop him. He was going to make his future.

We ended up having a tremendous run with Ambrose in both DGUSA and EVOLVE. He created some special promos and moments. I am very fortunate to have seen him put on several tremendous matches. I'll never forget the night he and Daniel Bryan (then known as Bryan Danielson) put on a vicious fight in an intimate theater in Milwaukee at DGUSA Way Of The Ronin 2010 or his farewell independent wrestling match at EVOLVE 7 against Austin Aries in New York City.

Now WWE is giving him a big opportunity. He started by attacking WWE's hottest new babyface, Ryback, in the main event of the Survivor Series pay per view. I'm sure he's about to take the whole WWE universe and "grab it by the balls."

 

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Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns strike at Grand Rapids TV Taping - 20th November 2012

WWE.com has obtained exclusive footage showing another attack perpetrated by NXT upstarts Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, this time at a Grand Rapids TV taping Tuesday night.

A match pitting Santino Marella against Tyson Kidd was suddenly interrupted by the mysterious trio, marking the third consecutive night Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns wreaked havoc on unsuspecting WWE Superstars following back-to-back assaults on Ryback.

Spilling into the ring donning their now-familiar black garb, the three-man crew attacked Marella and Kidd from behind, tossed Santino out of the ring and executed a vicious three-man powerbomb on Kidd. Making their exit, the NXT competitors added final insult to the fallen Marella, literally kicking The Milan Miracle when he was down.

This shocking assault comes in the wake of previous attacks on Ryback Sunday night at Survivor Series and again last night on Raw. Motives remain unknown, and speculation is running rampant throughout the WWE Universe and the locker room as to what these attacks might mean, and to what extent the trio may go next time.

For now, though, Superstars will just have to wonder when they may strike again. (WWE)

 

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SURVIVOR SERIES NEWS: NXT stars debut in PPV main event angle, plus other news from annual PPV - 18th November 2012

-- NXT champion Seth Rollins (formerly Tyler Black), Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns debuted on WWE TV by attacking Ryback and preventing him from capturing the WWE Title in the Survivor Series PPV main event.

Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns were identified by announcer Michael Cole as being from the NXT Developmental system. After they took out Ryback via powerbomb through the Spanish announce table, Punk pinned John Cena, who had received Shell Shock from Ryback before Ryback was taken out by the NXT trio.

-- No titles changed hands during the PPV. In the other top title match, Sheamus beat Big Show via DQ after Show pulled referee Scott Armstrong in the way of a Brogue Kick. Sheamus then delivered a massive beat down to Show using a chair, which likely sets up a World Title re-match at the TLC PPV next month.

-- In the other title matches, Antonio Cesaro retained the U.S. Title over Kofi Kingston and Eve retained the Divas Title over Kaitlyn.

-- In the top Survivor Series elimination match, Dolph Ziggler pinned Randy Orton to be the sole survivor for Team Ziggler over Team Foley. Earlier in the show, WWE teased tension between Orton and Mick Foley, playing up their historical feud from Orton's early days. Also earlier in the show, David Otunga was named as Cody Rhodes's replacement on Team Ziggler following Rhodes's injury at last week's Smackdown TV taping.

-- Tamina, who recently trained with The Rock, returned to WWE TV as Vickie Guerrero's hired bodyguard. The set-up was that A.J. Lee noted that if Vickie places her hands on her, then Vickie will be removed as interim Raw authority figure. Tamina then blindsided A.J. and Superfly Splashed her to establish her new role as Vickie's enforcer (Pro Wrestling Torch)



Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow (Rhodes Scholars), Kane and Daniel Bryan (Team Hell No) and Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara (Credit: WWE)

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WWE wrestler Ryback cut down Bill Goldberg personally and professionally in the newest edition of WWE Magazine cover-dated November 2012

"I just think people are misinformed," said Ryback in an interview addressing comparisons between their wrestling personas. "People see a big guy with a shaved head who's intense, and they draw those comparisons. I will say this: Goldberg did this for the money. He was never a fan of wrestling. I do this because I have a passion for it, and that's the biggest difference between Goldberg and me. I'm not here to make five million dollars and then walk away. I'm here for life. And, I firmly believe that I'm much better than he was in the ring. He was great, and I was a fan of his when I was younger. But, I feel I'm a better athlete and wrestler than Goldberg ever was, and people are going to see that over time."

-- Raw GM A.J. Lee says she misses wrestling on a regular basis, but she anticipates eventually returning to in-ring action over the course of what she hopes will be a long career.

"I actually do miss the ring," A.J. said in the newest edition of WWE Magazine. "I think the funny part is that I've always thought I would be wrestling the ring and didn't believe I'd be useful in any other capacity. I just never saw myself in any different way. It's hilarious to me what I'm most known for these days! There are so many layers to this business than just getting in the ring. I spent a year performing at live events, but I didn't get much time on television. I think I'll use it to my advantage. Hopefully, I'll have a very long career, and time for that - and I'll be able to surprise people."

 

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Who should WWE Champion CM Punk choose to face at Hell in a Cell: John Cena or Ryback? - 9th October 2012 (Credit: WWE)

John Cena, CM Punk and Ryback



Behind one cage door is John Cena — a 10-time WWE Champion, a veteran of this unforgiving
match who will do whatever it takes to reclaim the coveted title he hasn’t held in more than a year.

Behind the other cage door is Ryback — a snarling, ferocious beast who has devoured every Superstar in his path and just keeps demanding to be fed more and more.

Which Hell in a Cell would you choose to step inside?

That is the unenviable decision that CM Punk now faces after Mr. McMahon issued an ultimatum to the WWE Champion at the close of Monday night's Raw. For Punk, it comes down to picking between the devil he knows or the devil he doesn't have the slightest clue about. On the surface alone, it seems like the choice should be Cena, especially considering his recovery from elbow surgery. But if you look closer, you'll realize that it's not all that simple for The Straight Edge Superstar.

WWE.com is here to examine the pros and cons of both options Punk has to choose from as Hell in a Cell looms just weeks away. Which opponent he selects might make all the difference between extending his impressive WWE Title reign and losing the grip on his championship gold completely ...

Even if you believe that Cena will be fully recovered from elbow surgery in time for Hell in a Cell — and there's a good chance he won't be — history indicates that this match could work in the WWE Champion's favor. Punk and Cena have gone head-to-head more than 10 times dating back to 2009, but it's Punk who has come out on the winning end of two of their most important clashes for the WWE Title.

In 2011, The Straight Edge Superstar defeated Cena at Money in the Bank and took him down again one month later at SummerSlam. Punk even knows how Cena typically operates inside the confines of Hell in a Cell, having battled him and Alberto Del Rio in a Triple Threat Match at Hell in a Cell 2011. With a devious mastermind like Paul Heyman giving Punk advice from outside the Cell, conquering Cena might even be easier than those past showdowns.

It's also apparent what Cena wants: the WWE Championship. Ryback, on the other hand, might not care about the title more than he cares about the destruction of his opponents. Is Punk ready to be trapped inside a steel structure with an unpredictable wrecking machine? Yeah, facing Cena definitely feels like the much safer alternative.

For several weeks, Punk has been clamoring for respect ad nauseam. He's tried to demand it with his words and even beat it out of WWE Legends like Bret "Hit Man" Hart and Mick Foley. But if Punk really wants to prove himself worthy of everyone's respect, how about accomplishing something no other Superstar has been remotely able to do? Yes, we're talking about being the first to defeat Ryback.

Getting inside Hell in a Cell with the 6-foot-3, nearly 300-pound juggernaut is a ridiculously scary proposition, but if Punk could break Ryback's food chain, he'd have a victory that would silence the doubters and possibly make his WWE Championship reign be viewed as one of the very best of all time. There may not ever be a greater proving ground match for The Straight Edge Superstar than the one that stands in front of him right now.

Simply put, Ryback could be the Andre the Giant to Punk's Hulk Hogan. (Credit: WWE)

News

WWE Live RAW Tour: Event Results From Sydney, Australia - 31st August 2012, by Greg Tingle

C.M Punk VS Daniel Bryan - Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia

Pro wrestling WWE style - Sports Entertainment returns to Sydney, Australia...


WrestleMania (Australian style) returned to Sydney on Friday night and the show did not disappoint.

Pro wrestling fans young and old got their fix of WWE grapplers.

The WWE marketing and media machine can be attributed to what looked to be a 90 percent full Allphones Arena - making it a crowd of approximately 15,000. It's unclear how much of the crowd was papered (unpaid), but the smart money says it was fans who parted with their hard earned money.

A mixed crowd of both hardcore fans, casual fans and families, who were pretty vocal and hyped up for the show.

The show commenced with Brodus Clay VS Jack Swagger. Naomi was with Brodus, no Cameron. Swagger got some good heat, but Brodus got his hand raised quick. Entertaining and fun, but not a classic wrestling match - nor was it supposed to be. Kids just love Clay.

Next was the divas (ladies) match. WWE Divas Champion Layla defeated Rosa Mendes. We appreciated the effort of the ladies but its safe to say the WWE should raise the bar in the Diva's division. Maybe bring in a few Japanese lady pro wrestlers as well as snatch some of TNA Wrestling's best also. WWE have so much TV time to fill up, so ramp up the Diva's for the female and male fans in the WWE Universe.

WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth and Kingston beat Primo and Epico in a solid match. R-Truth was on fire, both with in-ring skills and the mic, and 'Little Jimmy' was over big time with young and old.

The Miz defeated Alex Riley to retain the Intercontinental Championship. The Miz got strong heat. Nice mic work telling everyone he wasn't "awful", but "awesome". AR was surprisingly over. Maybe because he's a pretty strong worker and Australian fans are not overexposed to the WWE product (with live shows), like rather spoilt American fans. Lot's of Wooooo's! (for the chops), respecting Ric Flair, who most fans want to see return to his rightful home - WWE.

Zack Ryder defeated Tensai. Zack Ryder got a huge pop and Tensai got pretty decent heat and reactions. At least Tensai looks like a pro wrestling "monster" - he has the look and size, and moves well for a big man. Younger fans seem to be scared of Tensai and went nuts when Ryder got the win.

Santino defeated David Otunga. Decent heat for Otunga. Santino is over in Australia, but not as much as he is in the U.S. Keep WWE belts off both these guys... they don't need them. They worked the crowd fairly well and Santino is funny, but this was not a classic wrestling match - and it was never expected to be. Passable - just.

CM Punk defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship in an awesome match which went for almost 30 minutes. Stalling by both at first, but the crowd was pretty into it. Established characters can stall for ages with little fan backlash - the way the late Randy "Macho Man" Randy Savage and living legends Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair used to do. CM Punk worked as a face and was over big time. "Yes" chant all throughout the match as well. Tons of fan signs for both and lots of fans bought their t-shirts.

John Cena defeated The Big Show and John Laurinaitis in the main event. Decent match for these guys. After the match Laurinaitis attacked Cena with a chair, but Cena turned around and hit him with an attitude adjustment to finish the show.

Overall strong show - especially for an Australian WWE show, which were mixed in the past. We're giving it 8 out of 10 and it was value for money.

Strongest pops:

John Cena
CM Punk
Zack Ryder

Most heat:

The Miz
The Big Show
Jack Swagger

Match Of The Show:

C.M Punk VS Daniel Brian

Room for improvement: More strong WWE Divas, bring back Ric Flair urgently (1000s of fans did the Woooooo!), bring Ziggler and Randy Orton to the next Australian show, have 2 top line NXT talents on the next down under show. It would be nice to see Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan back with the WWE. Strong rumours Flair will be back within a month or two, so hopefully he makes the next Australian tour. Wooooo!

 

News

Entertainment news, WWE current and future legends, NWO, Hollywood, Australia, Sin City, Las Vegas, Olympics, gaming and more... - 30th July 2012

Kevin Nash teases NWO - New World Order return...

Kevin Nash, who was likely joking, teased an nWo reunion on his Twitter account recently, writing, "A lot of you wanted an NWO reunion,there will be one.As you know we only come in take over mode.Stay tuned!!!" The message was then re-tweeted by TNA Executive Eric Bischoff.
Nash later wrote, "Rock will never walk out of the Rumble with the belt we got Phils back... Sorry @CMPunk we got your back!!!!"

Nash also stated that Punk would be the leader and that the nWo army would be there "to protect the gold."


Wrestling legend Rey wants Pacquiao-Floyd in WWE ring...

During Rey Mysterio's tour stop in Manila, Philippines, Mysterio teased a mixed tag match with top boxing stars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who "competed" at WrestleMania 24 four years ago. “I love Manny. In fact, Manny, if you’re watching right now, I’m inviting you to join forces with Rey Mysterio in the WWE to take on “Money” (Floyd) Mayweather," Rey said on Manila TV, playing off Mayweather and Pacquiao unable to come together on a dream boxing fight. "I know you don’t need me to take him on but this is just a teaser: me and you versus him and Alberto Del Rio."


'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and 'Iron' Mike Tyson at WWE Summerslam weekend function...

WWE Hall of Famers "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Mike Tyson are scheduled to attend a Summerslam Weekend function in Los Angeles, according to WWE announcer Jim Ross. Ross wrote in his latest blog on jrsbarbq.com: "If you see me wandering around L.A. Summerslam weekend, I'm there for a major, THQ function at the Grammy Museum the night before the PPV. Among those scheduled to attend the private affair are @steveaustinBSR and @miketyson, among many others."


WWE Announcer Legend Jim Ross Blog Update...

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross is back with his latest blog about Monday's 1,000th episode of RAW, here are just a few highlights:

RAW 1000: "Memorable week especially kicking it off with RAW1000 in St Louis. No guarantees that any of us will be around for RAW2000 so I particularly enjoyed my experiences Monday night.

"The reality of the matter is this...it is highly unlikely, thanks Gorilla, that exact collection of performers will EVER be under the same roof again. I look back upon my attendance at RAW1000 as a privilege and am grateful to have had the opportunity to see so many old friends that have meant a great deal to me over my long career."

Inducting Mick Foley in the WWE Hall of Fame: "@RealMickFoley when asked who would induct him if/when Mick goes into the WWE HOF mentioned Terry Funk and yours truly. While I would love to honor Mick on that special occasion, there is no way that I would ever put myself in the same category with Terry Funk. Terry mentored Mick and treated Mick like a son. While I'd love to induct Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy into the WWE HOF, I think that Terry Funk is the best choice. However, I stand ready if called upon."

If CM Punk would reform the nWo: "A follower on @JRsBBQ on Twitter asked if I thought @CMPunk would reform the nWo. I have no idea if this topic is any thing more than speculation based on my friend Kevin Nash having some fun with the subject on Twitter. Bottom line is that I don't know but I would be surprised if Punk headed up a faction at this time because he seems to be such a solitary man. The only way that I see that ever happening at this stage of Punk's career is if he had complete control on who comprised the group."


Pro Wrestling giant Great Khali has tumor removed...

WWE wrestler Great Khali (Dalip Singh) had a tumor removed on Wednesday, which will put him out of action for 2-3 months. The tumor was on Khali's pituitary gland, which caused him to increase in height to over seven-feet-tall. However, if left untreated, the tumor could have been fatal, according to WWE's chief medical director, Dr. Joseph Maroon. It's the same issue that affected Andre the Giant. Surgery was performed at UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, Pa.


TNA Video: Funny or Die Olympic training featuring Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam...

TNA stars Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam are featured in Funny or Die video. The theme is Angle returning to the Olympics with RVD as his trainer. You can check out the video at Funnyordie.com/videos/636c3d08e1/olympic-trials-with-kurt-angle?playlist=featured_videos


First Second unveils André the Giant comic...

First Second has confirmed its André the Giant biography.

Cartoonist Box Brown is working on the book charting the life of the professional wrestler and actor, reports ICv2.

André Roussimoff was a star and one-time champion of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE).

He is also known for his role in cult classic movie The Princess Bride.

Roussimoff has the condition acromegaly, which saw him grow to 7'4" in height. He died of heart failure in 1993 at the age of 46.

Box is the author of Xeric grant-funded graphic novel Love Is a Peculiar Type of Thing.

The untitled André the Giant biography is scheduled for release in 2014. (Digital Spy)

News

WWE Raw Supershow Results
July 23, 2012 - Episode #999
Live in St. Louis, Mo.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
(Credit: Pro Wrestling Torch)

The three-hour WWE Raw era started with a new signature WWE open capturing WWE through the years. "Then. Now. Forever." is the tagline. WWE then aired a video on the origins of Raw in January 1993 followed by rapid-fire clips of memorable moments throughout Raw's history. The video slowed down for Vince's "Bret screwed Bret" speech, Shawn Michaels losing his smile, Edge retiring, Ric Flair retiring, and Triple H tributing Eddie Guerrero. The video picked up again to focus on Stone Cold, the Boom Drop in the Garden, Shawn and Bret burying the hatchet, Batista quitting, and more historical Raw clips.

Live in the arena, Michael Cole introduced the show as WWE went with a slow overhead camera shot to capture the entire arena make this feel like a WrestleMania-like event. The cameras also focused on the new Raw set, which has the same entrance area, but a wider set to the left and right to look larger than the past set. In the ring, Justin Roberts introduced Vince McMahon to star the show. Cue up Cole and Jerry Lawler hyping McMahon. WWE cut to a shot of both men ringside dressed in their WrestleMania suits to sell the importance of the event.

In the ring, McMahon flashed a big smile before announcing 1,000 episodes. McMahon said he would like to thank the audience. McMahon offered his classic "Welcome to Monday Night Raw!" line before introducing DX. After the DX theme song played, Shawn Michaels and Triple H bounced out on-stage sporting their DX camo gear. Cole offered about 15 adjectives to describe DX through WWE history as HBK and Hunter entered the ring throwing green glowsticks into the crowd. Cole and Lawler shared memorable DX moments, with Lawler settling on DX invading WCW during the Monday Night Wars.

In the ring, Michaels asked for the music to stop and sold that he was blown up from the ring intro. He told Hunter he needs to catch his breath. Michaels paced around the ring and said he's feeling this, but he's missing something. He knows he's wearing pants and underwear, but he feels like something's missing. Hunter nodded along. He said something's missing. "What could it be?" he asked. Michaels asked Hunter if he's sporting underwear, which Hunter confirmed. Hunter then noted there used to be more of them. Big reaction for a tease of more DX members coming out. Hunter and Michaels paused, then asked the crowd if there used to be more of them. They pointed to the entrance ramp and the DX music played again.

Out on the DX Army tank came Sean Waltman, Road Dogg Jesse James, and Billy Gunn. The trio fired up the crowd, then hit the ring to hug it out with Hunter and Michaels. Gunn couldn't wipe the smile off his face, then all five did the DX crotch chop pose in the ring. Lawler said they could start another Attitude Era tomorrow. In the ring, Hunter and Gunn posed, which was a sight to see. Dogg took the mic and said they're going on a Missouri boat ride straight down memory lane. Dogg did his standard ring intro for the Road Dogg Jesse James, the Bad (beep) Billy Gunn - the New Age Outlaws.

Hunter took the mic next and reset things. He said he needs to know one more thing. "Are you ready?" he grumbled. Hunter made sure everyone was in their proper place to do the standard Triple H DX intro, then inserted a pause on being the only one left with a full head of hair and this being Raw 1,000, then let's get ready to suck it.

[Q2] Michaels and Gunn then took mics and teased a dispute over who should talk next since Hunter didn't give them much to work with. Hunter calmed down Gunn and told him that if Michaels doesn't get to talk now, he might lose his smile...or pose for Playgirl. Michaels said he was young and stupid...and needed the money. Michaels and Gunn figured out a simultaneous routine, but were suddenly interrupted by Damien Sandow.

Sandow emerged on-stage and ran down DX for their sophomoric and disgusting behavior, which has plagued humanity and brainwashed the masses into buying into this behavior. Michaels said that's true about him, so he's going straight home to church to ask for forgiveness. Sandow ignored HBK and said he understands the five of them could dispose of him like common trash, but if they do so, he will only be a martyr - a martyr for anyone who appreciates a sophisticated mind. Hunter told Sandow they need time to huddle and discuss their strategy. Sandow was shunned from the Planning Process, which he said was very rude.

After DX huddled up, Hunter re-addressed Sandow. Suddenly, HBK popped Sandow with Sweet Chin Music into a Pedigree from Hunter. Gunn, standing over Sandow, then stood over Sandow and told the crowd if they're down with DX, then they have two words for you. The crowd filled in, "Suck it," as Cole called it vintage. Cole welcomed back the NAO, X-Pac, Michaels, and Triple H. DX wasn't done, though, as Hunter removed Sandow's fancy jacket before tossing Sandow out of the ring to the outside.

Still to come tonight: The Rock returns to Raw to address the WWE Title. Plus, will Brock Lesnar accept Triple H's Summerslam Challenge? And, Daniel Bryan and A.J. get married. And, WWE champion C.M. Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Title tonight. Back live, DX posed one more time on-stage and did their crotch chops for the crowd. Cole said they continue with more after this.

Before Raw went to commercial after a 21-minute opening segment, WWE aired the C.M. Punk-led trailer for "WWE '13" due out this fall.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Jim Ross's music played to bring out Ross sporting his goatee. Cole hyped Ross as a big contributor to Raw and noted he will join them on commentary for the following match.

First out was Rey Mysterio making his Raw in-ring return. Lilian Garcia announced this as a six-man tag match. Sin Cara came out next to join Rey as Ross talked about returning to WWE TV tonight. Cole noted Ross and Lawler have been part of some of the greatest moments in Raw history, then World Hvt. champion Sheamus came out to join Rey and Cara. Ross said he thinks Sheamus can be World champion for years to come.

Suddenly, the lights went out. Cue up Chris Jericho's theme music to bring out Jericho as the first heel opponent. Interesting considering he was in a more babyface sympathetic role last week during a confrontation with Dolph Ziggler. Cole fed to a recap of the Ziggler-Jericho exchange, which ended with Ziggler taking a Codebreaker from Jericho. Ziggler then came out as Jericho's tag partner, which Lawler noted makes for strange bedfellows. Alberto Del Rio came out third for the heels. Del Rio mocked the babyfaces before entering the ring as Raw went to commercial.

[Q3] [Commercial Break]

1 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS & REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA vs. CHRIS JERICHO & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) & ALBERTO DEL RIO

The match was in-progress back from break with the heels dominating Sin Cara. Ziggler and Jericho traded tags and frowns as Cole plugged Tout to begin the social media hype. Cole inserted a stat that Jericho has wrestled the second-most matches in Raw history, second to Triple H, which Arda Ocal of TheScore.com recently documented. Sin Cara eventually made a comeback with a swinging DDT out of the corner. He finally reached his corner and tagged in Sheamus, who teed off on Jericho.

Sheamus landed the Irish Curse once awkwardly, then twice for emphasis. The action broke down with men flying everywhere before it came down to Jericho and Sheamus again. They teased finishers before Sheamus missed with the Brogue Kick. Jericho then tried to follow up as Sheamus was hung up on the top rope, but Ziggler smashed his own partner with an enziguiri kick. Sheamus cleared Ziggler from the ring apron, then measured Jericho and delivered a Brogue Kick for the pin and the win. As the faces celebrated in the ring, Cole thanked Ross for joining them, which suggested this is his only match tonight.

WINNER: Team Sheamus at 4:18. A lot of moving parts and, with only four minutes shown, it was tough for the stories to sink in. Jericho-Ziggler Week 2 was fine but not spectacular continuing to build their feud. Also, WWE continues to ease Mysterio back into action, as Rey only had a few moves during the match.

Still to come: The Rock returns on Raw 1,000.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler briefly talked about things that have changed since 1993 when Raw debuted. Cole then introduced some touts from WWE fans on the Bryan/A.J. wedding. The video package included four 18-34 male fans reacting to Bryan and A.J.'s craziness. Back live, Cole introduced Charlie Sheen appearing live via Skype (since he cancelled Twitter). Sheen said he thinks he would fit in rather smoothly with DX. He also shouted out to Sheamus. Cole said they will check in with Sheen later tonight. Next, Cole introduced a clip of Bryan proposing to A.J. last week on Raw.

[Q4] Backstage: A.J. was talking to someone (or perhaps no one) off-camera. A.J. said the whole thing is going to be amazing. She then noted she was talking to Layla. Layla paused to ask A.J. if she really wants to go through with this. A.J. said she's tired of people asking her that and claiming she's mentally unstable. After all, just look around here. A.J. opened the door and Hacksaw Jim Duggan was shown talking to someone down the hall. Then, Roddy Piper and R-Truth played jump-rope with Little Jimmy. Layla tried to defend Jimmy, but A.J. said he's an invisible child. Suddenly, a random man in a giant hand appeared with Mae Young and said he's Mae Young's child all grown up. Mae wished A.J. best wishes on her wedding, then walked off with The Hand. Layla couldn't defend that one and simply told A.J. good luck tonight. A.J. then went back to brushing her hair and staring at a portrait of Bryan next to her mirror.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler offered a stat on how long it would take to watch all of the Raw episodes back-to-back. Suddenly, a Sonic car hop appeared ringside to provide Cole and Lawler with slushes. Darn you, WWE. Lawler stood up and accepted his drink, but did not appear to provide a tip to the lady. Suddenly, they cut to a shot of Jack Swagger ringside ready for his weekly beating. The disco ball dropped, which meant funky time with Brodus Clay and his dancers. As they danced out to the ring, Cole said this feels like WrestleMania tonight. Cole then plugged entrance themes available on Shazam right now.

Before the match started, Clay - sporting a red, white, and blue singlet - introduced his brother from another mother, Dude Love. Out came Mick Foley trying to dance on the way to the ring. Cole noted Foley is a comedian and is headlining a show in Montreal soon.

2 -- JACK SWAGGER vs. BRODUS CLAY (w/Mick Foley)

Bell, kick, big splash from Clay, and it was over for Swagger. Afterward, Cole said Swagger has really hit rock bottom now. Foley then danced with Brodus Clay as Swagger recovered in the background. Swagger tried to get at Foley, but he took Socko to end his night.

WINNER: Clay at 0:16.

Backstage: Triple H was shown talking to Trish Stratus, who the crowd did not instantly recognize with her brunette hair. Stratus tried to convince Hunter to do her yoga program, which led to some awkward poses in a flashback to the Attitude Era when Stratus and Hunter found themselves in the wrong position during a backstage segment. Suddenly, Dogg, Gunn, Michaels, and Waltman entered the shot to check on Hunter. Everyone except Waltman took Hunter away, then Waltman tried to talk to Stratus.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan was shown in a white tuxedo for his wedding. He was talking to four random men either dressed as wedding servers or to carry out A.J. to the looney bin.

[Commercial Break]

[Q5 - second hour / previous first hour] Back live right at the top of the hour, Cole plugged Cena vs. Punk for the WWE Title later tonight. And, in the ring, the wedding ceremony was set up for the top-of-the-hour segment. In the ring, Jerry Lawler introduced the reverend for tonight, Slick. Cole called him a trailblazer as the first African-American male manager in WWE history. Cole read poll results that the audience voted 74 percent for A.J. to say no to Bryan.

In the ring, Slick noted his method of payment for overseeing the wedding, then said they should get this show on the road. Out came D-Bryan dressed in a white tuxedo "Yes!ing" down the aisle. Lawler offered some unfortunate marriage jokes before a traditional wedding song played to bring out A.J. dressed in white. They cut to a shot of Bryan smiling as he watched A.J. walk down the aisle. Lawler offered another marriage joke before Cole ran through the history of weddings in WWE.

With everyone assembled in the ring, Slick began his speech as the crowd "What?'ed" him in-between lines. Slick was building to a crescendo before A.J. tugged his arm to note it's time to move on. Slick asked the crowd if anyone objects to the marriage, which led to catcalls from the crowd. Slick said he's never heard that before. The crowd followed with "No!" chants as Bryan accepted a wedding ring from Slick. Bryan said he loves her and he will always love her. And, he promises her that once he slips this ring on her finger and they are announced man and wife, a new chapter is going to begin for both of them. And, he will finally have everything he's ever wanted. Bryan placed the ring on A.J.'s finger before they said, "Yes!" to the wedding vows. Slick said that says it all.

Slick said that by the power vested in him ... suddenly, A.J. told Slick to wait. A.J. looked down at the mat, then said she wasn't saying yes to Daniel. She was saying yes to someone else. Bryan sold shock at this revelation. A.J. looked down, then smiled at Bryan. She said it's another man. He said this man made a proposal to her earlier tonight. Bryan sold pain in his heart. Suddenly, Vince McMahon's music played to bring out Vince on-stage. Lawler said he has no idea what's going on here. McMahon told Bryan to hang on. He said it's not that kind of proposal, but a business proposal. McMahon said that in the interest of making Raw 1,001 and every week thereafter the biggest deal every week, the new Raw GM is ... A.J.

McMahon smiled, then A.J. smiled. A.J. walked over to Bryan and threw her flowers in his chest before skipping around in the ring in her wedding dress. On the way out, she lifted up her dress slightly to reveal she was wearing tennis shoes underneath her dress. Very fitting for her character. On-stage, A.J. shouted, "Yes!" over and over as Bryan shouted, "No!" over and over in the ring. Bryan then tore up the wedding set in the ring, helping out the production team. Bryan snapped as they cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

[Q6] Back live, Bryan was still in the ring yelling at referees, "No!" over and over. Suddenly, Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk, who was dressed to wrestle. Cole noted Punk defends the title against John Cena later tonight. Lawler also noted Bryan refused to leave the ring during the commercial before Cole recapped the Bryan/A.J./Kane/Punk issues over the past few months.

In the ring, Punk smiled at a very angry Daniel Bryan. Punk got serious, then said he didn't come out here to rub it in his face. But, he did just stood up at the altar. Punk sarcastically said it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy after Bryan treated A.J. so, so well. Punk said he gets why Bryan is upset since his future is in jeopardy with A.J. as new GM. Punk told Bryan he can stay here and continue throwing a temper tantrum, but he'll continue being the Best in the World. Bryan muttered those words, then said Punk isn't even the best in the ring right now. Bryan said not only is he better than Punk, but he is the greatest WWE Superstar of all-time. "You hear me, Punk?!" Bryan shouted in Punk's ear.

Suddenly, The Rock's music played to bring out a returning Rock to a huge reaction. Rock bounced up and down on-stage as Punk and Bryan looked toward the stage. A clean-shaven Rock paced the stage, then turned to walk down the aisle to the ring. Cole and Lawler hyped Rock's contributions to Raw's history before Rock reached the ring and posed in the corner. Rock then locked eyes with Punk, walked past both men, and posed in the other corner.

Once Rock's music stopped, Punk stood off in the corner with arms folded while Bryan continued to act angry. Rock stared at Bryan, flashed a smile trying to find the right words to address him with, and then told Bryan he doesn't get to say who the greatest of all-time is. He said the fans get to say that. Pause for "Rocky, Rocky" chant. Rock then did his trademark intro noting The Rock has finally come back to St. Louis. Rock turned his head, stared at Bryan, and tried to talk again, but Bryan shouted, "Hey!" Bryan said he doesn't know who Rock thinks he is, but Rock cut him off. Rock told Bryan you don't cut off The Rock like that. Rock lowered his mic to stare at Bryan, who was now inches away from him. "Boots to asses" chant from the crowd, which Rock paused to acknowledge.

Bryan decided now was the time to start loosening his tuxedo as Punk stood in the background seeing how this was going to unfold. Rock noted he won his first WWE Title right here in St. Louis, but Rock isn't here right now to talk to Frodo. No, he is here to talk to Punk about the WWE Title. Rock then said at the Royal Rumble, whomever the WWE champion is will face him. And, on that night, the title will be on the line against The Rock. Punk said that's good news and he'll fill in that blank. He said that "whomever" is him. Punk then vowed to beat John Cena tonight, which drew a mixed reaction. Punk said he wishes the Rumble was tomorrow because he wants to jump in head-first. Punk said he's going to end Cena tonight and beat Rock at the Rumble.

Rock locked eyes with Punk and said he's going to make something perfectly clear. Rock noted he won his first WWE Title here in St. Louis, so it's only fitting that he tells him right here, right now that at the Rumble, The Rock will be the next WWE champion. Punk and Rock locked eyes, then Bryan re-entered the shot and said, "No! No! No!" He said this was supposed to be about him and the greatest night of his life. Bryan got within inches of Rock and told him that somehow, someway, Rock is going to fight him at the Rumble. Bryan turned toward Punk and said not only will be the champion, but he will be the face of WWE. Rock turned to face Bryan and said Bryan is not the face of WWE, but the product of a homeless lumberjack and a troll from Lord of the Rings.

Rock then re-addressed Punk and told him to kick ass tonight. He re-addressed Bryan that he's sorry he didn't get married tonight, but he went ahead and got Bryan a wedding gift anyways. Rock then scooped up Bryan and dropped him with the Rock Bottom center ring. Rock signed off, "If you smell what The Rock is cooking." Rock then locked eyes with Punk and slipped out of the ring before heading to the entrance. WWE went to back and forth shots of Punk and Rock one more time as Punk stood smugly and too-cool-for-school in the ring. That was a near-15-minute segment.

Segment Reax: Bryan had a stand-out, break-through performance interacting with Rock and Punk in a big spotlight segment. Also, Rock setting up a Rumble title challenge gives the January PPV a nice bump in addition to the Rumble match itself, as well as future PPVs with Punk in jeopardy of losing the title before the big showdown with Rock.

Still to come: Brock Lesnar answers Triple H's Summerslam challenge and Cena vs. Punk for the title.

[Q7] [Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole plugged a new Twitter poll on who Rock should face at the Rumble for the WWE Title - Punk, Cena, or ... Big Show. Odd third selection despite Show's recent push.

In-ring: Justin Roberts announced Bret Hart as special guest ring announcer for the next match. Cole and Lawler recapped Hart's history on Raw as he made his way to the ring to receive the mic from Roberts. In the ring, Hart said one of the best moments of his career was when he won his first Intercontinental Title against Mr. Perfect. (Foreshadowing Michael McGillicutty challenging for the title tonight? Highly unlikely.) Hart said it's an honor for him to be here and introduce the two participants in tonight's IC Title match. First, the current IC champion, Christian. After Christian came out to the ring and shook hands with Hart, Bret paused before muttering The Miz as Christian's opponent. Miz came out on-stage in a giant jacket and locked eyes with Christian on the way to the ring.

3 -- IC champion CHRISTIAN vs. THE MIZ -- Intercontinental Title match

WWE did not acknowledge who booked the first two matches before A.J.'s appointment as Raw GM, nor did the announcers note who selected Miz as Christian's opponent, but could there be something here with Miz receiving the title shot after Miz and A.J. locked eyes on last week's Raw? WWE went to break one minute in after Christian took out Miz on the outside. However, Christian sold a leg injury.

[Commercial Break. A local ad for Smackdown TV in Houston in two weeks included a John Cena local promo noting he's going after Big Show and John Laurinaitis. Plus, Sheamus, Sin Cara, and Alberto Del Rio advertised.]

Back live after a three-minute break, Cole claimed this is the match the audience wanted. Half-right, as the audience wanted an IC Title match, but did not have a say in his opponent. Miz continued to work on Christian's leg injury before Christian slapped Miz across the face and went up top for a cross-body splash. Cole plugged another word with Charlie Sheen after this match as Miz and Christian exchanged control.

[Q8] Christian, now in control, decided it was time to bust out The Spear to tribute Edge, but Miz blocked with a kick to the face. Miz then missed with a corner splash, allowing Christian to set up for, but not connect with the Killswitch. Christian tried again, but Miz countered and Christian sold a leg injury. Suddenly, Miz nailed the Reality Check center-ring. Miz with the cover for the win and he is the new IC champion. Miz sold the moment capturing the title as Cole noted Miz is a triple crown champion.

Post-match: Miz took the mic and noted he is the new IC champion...and awesome. Miz posed with the title belt to conclude his good night at the office.

WINNER: Miz at 7:38 to capture the IC Title. An abrupt end to Christian's IC Title run without much juice to squeeze out of the unhyped match-up.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler brought in Charlie Sheen via Skype to discuss The Rock's return and Daniel Bryan having "anger management" issues. He told Bryan to man up. Cole said they will check in with Sheen again later tonight.

Still to come tonight: Cena vs. Punk for the WWE Title. Cole tried to plug a "tout" item, but the show abruptly faded to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

Raw 1,000 tribute video: Regis Philbin talked in a soundbyte about having pro wrestlers on his show in San Diego when he got his start in the TV industry. He referenced The Destroyer, then Classie Freddie Blasse and The Rock.

In-ring: Triple H's music played to bring out Hunter still dressed in his DX gear. Cole went to a video replay from Raw three months ago when Brock Lesnar attacked Hunter and injured his arm. Back live, Hunter watched the footage and asked the crowd if they're having a good time tonight. Great. See, he's had his fun tonight, so it's time to pick up the intensity a bit. Hunter said he knows Brock Lesnar is here tonight, so he's calling him out. Hunter reminded everyone he wants to fight him at Summerslam, so he wants an answer tonight.

Here Comes The Pain played after a pause, which brought out Paul Heyman instead of Lesnar. Cole said Lesnar is here tonight, though. Hunter was not pleased to see Heyman, who smugly entered the ring. Hunter said he wants to talk to the horse's head, not the horse's ass. Heyman smiled along and said Hunter is right about one thing. His client, Brock, is here tonight. And, his client has authorized him through power of attorney to answer his question right now. Heyman said Brock's answer to Hunter is...no. Heyman smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Heyman said he's tired of this crap, so he'll go find Brock right now. Heyman told Hunter to re-consider since he's already facing two lawsuits and adding a third probably isn't good for business.

Hunter said he doesn't give a crap at this point. He asked Heyman if Brock is really that big of a coward that he won't come out here and tell him to his face. Hunter said Big, Bad, Brock Lesnar is really just a coward. Heyman asked Hunter if he's really going to resort to name-calling. "My God, man, what's happened to you? Are you a child?" Heyman said before asking Hutner if that's what he teaches his children. Hunter slapped the mic out of Heyman's hand and told him not to talk about his family and kids. Heyman backed down and apologized. He said he shouldn't talk about Hunter's children because he feels bad for them being the product of Triple H.

Suddenly, Stephanie McMahon's music played to bring out Stephanie with a mad-face and mad-walk. Stephanie marched to the ring as Heyman put his hands in his pockets and Hunter leaned against the ropes. Steph walked up to Heyman and got within inches of him. She said Heyman better not speak about her children ever again. She then told Heyman the lawsuits aren't about Brock, but about Heyman masking his business failures at WCW, ECW, and WWE. Steph told Heyman that he's just looking in the rear view mirror when compared to Vince McMahon. "We're going to talk about daddy now?!" Heyman shot back. Steph told him to shut up, then said Heyman's children are ashamed of Heyman. She said their children know their father is nothing more than a professional parasite.

[Q9 -- third hour] Steph reached back and slapped Heyman, who decided it was time to exit at this point. Heyman paused on the ring steps, though, as Hunter pulled Stephanie back. Heyman then noted this is what they really want - Brock to destroy Stephanie's husband. Heyman said if that's what they want, then it's on. Heyman said Brock vs. Hunter at Summerslam is on. Heyman paused and said he fell for it because daddy's little girl always gets what she wants. Heyman said it's clearly what she learned from daddy and what they're teaching their children. Stephanie then tackled Heyman and slapped him around as Hunter watched closely in the background.

Suddenly, Brock Lesnar's music played to bring out Brock on-stage. Brock then hit the ring as Hunter tried to get Stephanie out of the ring. Brock tackled Hunter and straight lifted him in the air into the turnbuckle. Brock landed some realistic-looking punches and kicks in the corner before Hunter came back with blows. The two men traded blows center-ring before Hunter rocked Lesnar to the ropes and clotheslined him over the top rope. Lesnar stood up and glared into the ring, selling intensity that he wanted to destroy Hunter. In the ring, Hunter ripped off his shirt and called out to Lesnar, who then ripped off his shirt, cursed Hunter, and huffed and puffed. Lesnar then backed up the ramp with Heyman behind him as Hunter stood tall in the ring. To recap, Cole noted Stephanie goaded Heyman into accepting Brock vs. Hunter at Summerslam. Cole said if tonight is any indication, it's going to be a flat-out fight.

Still to come: Punk vs. Cena for the WWE Title.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler recapped events tonight before introducing a video some touts. Kofi Kingston offered a tout, then WWE showed Tout videos of fans reacting to events on the show. ... Next, the announcers plugged a WWE '13 video game poll on which dream match viewers would like to see. The options were Punk vs. Savage, Sheamus vs. Mankind, Cena vs. Stone Cold, or Andre vs. Big Show. And, the winner is Cena vs. Austin. WWE then rolled footage of a fantasy Austin vs. Cena match-up in the video game setting.

Video replay: Stone Cold vs. Vince McMahon feud. After a clip of Austin stunning McMahon aired, they showed John Cena talking up the feud. As clips from their feud aired, WWE showed soundbytes from Cena, Maria Menounos, Stephanie McMahon, and The Miz discussing the Austin-McMahon moments and impact on the Monday Night Wars.

[Commercial Break]

[Q10] Announcers: Graphics flashed on the screen noting mainstream media coverage of Raw 1,000 as Cole and Lawler talked up Raw's place in pop culture.

In-ring: Santino's music played to bring out U.S. champion Santino and Hornswoggle holding Mattel's new buddy toys. Ringside, Cole and Lawler pretended to fight with John Cena and Rey Mysterio buddy toys. Meanwhile, Swoggle tossed out toys to the crowd as Santino did a victory lap. Longest ring introduction ever. Justin Roberts then announced special guest ring announcer Howard Finkel. In the ring, Fink said the next match is scheduled for one fall. Out came Heath Slater, who ripped the mic away from Fink and said everything that has happened to him on Raw doesn't matter anymore. Slater said the only thing that people will remember is his victory tonight. He said it's going to be *epic.* He challenged any of the so-called, wannabe Raw Legends to a No DQ, No Count-out match. Suddenly, Lita's music played. "What?" Lawler asked aloud before Lita emerged on-stage. Cole called her the greatest high-flying Diva of all-time. Cole recapped Lita's drama on Raw history before Slater laughed at Lita's presence in the ring. Slater asked Lita if she really thinks she can beat her. Slater laughed and called for the bell.

4 -- HEATH SLATER vs. LITA -- No DQ, No Count-out match

The bell sounded, but Lita took the mic and said she hired herself a little protection. Suddenly, the APA music played to bring out JBL and Faaroq. Slater bailed from the ring at this point and decided to head for the entrance ramp. He stood on-stage, but suddenly Road Warrior Animal's music played to bring out all of the returning Legends that have faced Slater in recent weeks. They dragged Slater down the ramp and tossed him into the ring, where Lita was waiting. Lita hit a kick to the gut, then Twist of Fate. JBL then wound up and smashed Slater with the Clothesline from Hell. Lita then finished off Slater with a top-rope moonsault for the pin and the win. Post-match: Faaroq took the mic and stood over Slater, then noted, "Damn!" Cue up a celebration with all of the Legends along with Lita.

WINNER: Lita at 1:55.

Earlier Tonight: Cole fed to a video package on Vince McMahon introducing the new GM of Raw... A.J. Then, Rock got involved with D-Bryan and gave him a Rock Bottom.

Backstage: Sean Mooney re-appeared on WWE TV to bring in Daniel Bryan for reaction to events tonight. Bryan noted the entire night has been tainted. Even Charlie Sheen has jumped in. Bryan said that guy needs more than anger management, but life management. Bryan said if Sheen were standing right here, he would slap on the Yes! Lock faster than you can say, "Winning," which he said with a high-pitched, mocking voice. Bryan stomped off.

[Commercial Break]

[Q11] Ringside: Michael Cole brought in WWE's 100,000,000th social media follower, Alex Guerrero, Jr., to discuss tonight's Raw. Alex noted Daniel Bryan hasn't had a good night, but he has. Cole then said Alex has fulfilled his lifetime dream to be interviewed by Michael Cole, which drew groans. ... On-camera, Lawler introduced a video package on great WWE catchphrases.

Video package: Fozzie Bear from the Muppets introduced the video on WWE catchphrases through the years. Included was an "Excuse Me!" vs. Stone Cold "What?" battle, plus Woo Woo Woo from Zack Ryder vs. Woo! from Ric Flair. Randy Savage's "Dig It!" line was included. Plenty of Rock and Stone Cold moments. "And, that's the bottom line 'cause Stone Cold said so," was the final line.

Backstage: Zack Ryder talked to John Cena and Mean Gene Okerlund that he figured out who was behind GTV - Mean Gene. Okerlund noted he wasn't even working here. Suddenly, The Rock entered the shot, so Ryder and Gene bailed. Cena smiled and said it's been a long time. Rock said he wants to wish Cena good luck, just like he did to Punk earlier tonight. Cena said he's cashing in his MITB briefcase tonight to become WWE champion and get one more shot at the Great One at the Rumble. Rock said he can't tell him ... how much he's looking forward to that. Rock walked off and Cena smiled at the thought of a re-match.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Kane's pyro shot off to randomly bring out Kane. Justin Roberts announced a match-up as Cole recapped Kane's role in the A.J/D-Bryan love angle. Suddenly, Jinder Mahal's music played before Kane could blast his pyro in the ring. Mahal brought out Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Hunico, Camacho, and Drew McIntyre following at a distance to note they have been given zero opportunity through 999 episodes. They circled the ring.

Suddenly, the bell tolled. And, a second time. Cole said it can't be. Flames flashed on the stage as the bell continued to toll and Undertaker's theme played on the Titantron. The crowd erupted as Undertaker slowly emerged on-stage dressed in his Super Shredder uniform. Cole noted he's back for the first time since going 20-0 at WrestleMania three months ago. As Taker made his entrance, Cole recapped Taker vs. Triple H at WM28 and Lawler noted Taker was on the very first Raw and now he's on Raw 1,000. Taker slowly approached the ring steps, looked into the ring, and raised the lights before entering the ring as Kane stood by.

In the ring, Taker turned to look toward Kane, who was breathing heavily. Taker then slowly removed his gear as the jobbers stood by ringside. Taker removed his jacket to reveal his shaved head with a Mohawk sitting on top of his head. WWE cut to a shot of the jobbers, then they hit the ring. Taker and Kane landed right hand blows before they cleared the ring of everyone except for Hawkins and Hunico. This seemingly random segment was met by silence before Kane and Taker hit stereo chokeslams. They followed with stereo Tombstones.

Taker came nose-to-nose with Kane and they surveyed their brotherly damage. Taker and Kane then cleared the ring of Hawkins and Hunico before standing tall together to cheers. Taker proceeded to do his pose before Kane shot off pyro behind Taker. Cole said the Brothers of Destruction are back on Raw 1,000. Taker, who strained as he walked, paced around one more time before Kane left the ring.

Segment Reax: Taker interacting with Heath Slater would have seemed beneath him, so this certainly felt beneath Taker, especially compromising some of his mystique. It was appropriate for Taker to appear on this milestone Raw, though, and they didn't give away too much, so Taker can disappear for a few months before returning to TV and no one will remember this segment.

[Q12] Video package: WWE's B.A. STAR event in St. Louis earlier today. WWE showed clips of Stephanie McMahon, Eve, Sheamus, The Miz, and James Durbin at the event.

[Commercial Break]

Smackdown plug: Sheamus has dominated Smackdown as World champion. This Friday, the next #1 contender will be determined.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler brought in Charlie Sheen for a response to Daniel Bryan. Sheen said there's a reason why he's drinking a shake - he held up an In-N-Out cup - because he wants to shake the fake beard off Daniel Bryan and knock around "goat face." Sheen said the next time D-Bryan is in Los Angeles, he will beat him up. Cole took that as a challenge for a match against D-Bryan. And, of course, Summerslam is in Los Angeles. They stopped short of officially announcing Bryan vs. Sheen at Summerslam, but that was the implication.

In-ring: John Cena's music played to bring out Cena for the main event WWE Title match. Cena came out holding his MITB briefcase and he noted it's time for him to make some history tonight. Cena held up the case as he marched to the ring as Cole went back to June 2005 when Cena was drafted to Raw in this very building. Cole said that night changed the direction of this show and WWE forever. Cena then officially handed in the briefcase to referee Chad Patton to make the cash-in official. Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk. Cole then read results of WWE's poll on who should face The Rock for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble - 55 percent for Punk, 35 percent for Cena, and 10 percent for Big Show stealing votes. Punk posed in the ring as Cena watched intently before they cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Pre-main event PWTorch poll results: No Contest/No Finish/DQ result - 42 percent, Punk retains WWE Title - 33 percent, Cena wins WWE Title - 20 percent, and match will not occur - 5 percent.

5 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match

The bell sounded right as they returned from commercial. Cena and Punk danced around the ring before Punk extended his hand, which Cena slapped before they danced around the ring some more. Cena with a shoulder knock down as the crowd picked up a dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena / Cena sucks mixed with C-M Punk." Cole said if Punk is still champ tomorrow, he will pass Hulk Hogan's 1991 reign and Bret Hart's 1994 reign. Punk and Cena continued to feel each other out before hitting the top of the hour.

[Q13 -- over-run] Punk took the advantage and shoved Cena into the ropes, where Cena recovered and paused to feel things out. Cena then circled around the ring before locking up again. Cena gave a clean break in the corner before they locked up again. Lawler said this come down to just one wrong move. Punk ripped off a round of chops to Woos! before Cena unloaded with right hands to regain control. Punk came back with a back drop before applying a submission. Cena fought out, then the two men started trading right hand bombs. Bombs turned into forearms and kicks, then Cena landed a shoulder tackle and another. Cena tried a sit-out slam, but Punk escaped and hit a leg whip into a high knee in the corner. Punk mocked Cena by doing the handwave before Cena blocked the running bulldog with a sit-out slam. Cena then did his own handwave over Punk, who kicked him in the head to block. Punk followed with another kick, this time to the back of the head.

At 7:30, Punk called for the GTS, but Cena blocked, then shoved Punk into the corner, where the referee was. After the ref was bumped to the outside, Cena nailed Punk with the AA and pinned Punk for a visual three count. Cena then left the ring to revive the ref, and in the meantime, Big Show entered the ring. When Cena re-entered, he walked right into a spear from Show. Show then wanted the KO Punch on Cena as Punk recovered in the corner. Show cocked his hand, then blasted Cena in the head with the KO Punch. Cena fell over as Punk sold confliction crouched in the ring.

Punk recovered to his feet and surveyed the scene, trying to figure out what to do. Punk walked out of the ring and checked on the ref, telling him to wake up. Punk acted unsure of how to handle this as the ref came to on the floor. Punk then rolled the referee into the ring and sold confliction as Cena remained KO'ed in the ring. Punk then made a split-second decision to go ahead and cover Cena, who kicked out just before three. Punk sold frustration over this situation. He then hoisted up Cena for the GTS, but wasn't 100 percent committed to it. Cena countered in mid-air into the STF center-ring. Suddenly, Big Show entered the ring again and blasted Cena, causing a DQ.

WINNER: Cena via DQ at 11:14; Punk retains the WWE Title. A set-up for a major angle to follow...

Post-match: Show decimated Cena as Punk stood in the background. Punk sold confliction over what to do. Lawler pleaded with Punk to do something. Meanwhile, Show continued to assault Cena. Suddenly, The Rock's music played and Rock stormed the ring. Rock ran right past Punk, who appeared to exit stage left. Rock blasted Show with right hands, then dropped Show center-ring.

Rock proceeded to set up for the People's Elbow, but Punk stormed the ring to blast Rock with a clothesline out of nowhere. The crowd gasped as Punk stood still selling inner conflict with his eyes. Punk held his hands out, then measured a recovering Rock and delivered GTS center-ring. Some of the vocal males applauded while other fans booed Punk, who simply stood center-ring with sort of a faraway look in his eyes. Punk then accepted his title belt as Rock writhed in pain and Cena remained out cold in the corner. And, the seed planted in Punk's ear by Eve a few weeks ago has produced fruit.

Punk slowly left the ring to a mixture of boos and cheers. Lawler said he thinks Punk has turned on the fans. Back in the ring, Rock slowly recovered while Cena blinked his eyes. They cut to a shot of Punk slowly walking up the entrance ramp with a faraway look in his eyes and the audience unsure what to make of this. Cole signed off 14 minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: WWE certainly planted the seeds for the big matches the remainder of the year with an apparent C.M. Punk heel turn after becoming tired of Cena, Rock, and others over-shadowing him as WWE champion. It looks like an immediate Punk-Cena re-match at Summerslam, then perhaps Punk-Rock at the Rumble, and perhaps Rock-Cena II at WrestleMania, this time actually for the WWE Title. All of this remains to be seen, but that appears to be the direction.

News

Wrestling Legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper In Fancypants Movie

The Four Horsemen Including Ric Flair To Be Inducted Into WWE Hall Of Fame 2012; Jim Ross Tweets - 27th Feb 2012

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Continues His Journey Towards WrestleMania Match With John Cena

What the media has said about wrestling over the years

Wrestling News Websites

WWE official website Wrestling News Media Wrestling Observer Pro Wrestling Torch

WWE RAW World Tour 2012 - Sydney, Australia

Presented by: Dainty Group

WWE's unique brand of action packed entertainment is returning to Australia with WWE RAW. Fans will be able to see all their favourite WWE Superstars including John Cena®, Alberto Del Rio®, CM Punk®, The Miz® and many more*.

*Card subject to change

WHEN: In Brisbane from 19.30, Thursday, August 30th
In Sydney from 19.30, Friday, August 31st
In Melbourne from 19.30, Saturday September 1st

WHERE:

Live from the Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Live from the Sydney AllPhones Arena
Live from the Melbourne Rod Laver Arena

Tickets go on sale on Thursday, December 8th at 9am and can be purchased at:
Online: www.ticketek.com.au
Charge by Phone: 132 849

* Card subject to change

TOUR DATES
Thu 30 Aug - Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Fri 31 Aug - Allphones Arena, Sydney
Sat 1 Sep - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

 

News

Wrestling News Media: WWE, Kevin Nash, Vince McMahon, Mick Foley, Andre The Giant, Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena - 7th November 2011

Kevin Nash aka 'Diesel' returns to WWE Raw on Monday's episode from the United Kingdon. Nash is scheduled to resume his feud with an "injured" Triple H as part of the build-up to an expected singles match in the near future. Plus, more build-up for The Rock & John Cena teaming up at Survivor Series. Nash continues to run his official website, sporting gaming in the mix, but his site could do with a major update, not that ours is perfect either. Great to see Nash become relevant again and Triple H should bring out the best in him, but don't expect a Shawn Michaels 5 star classic.

WWE TV Network News Update...

During WWE's quarterly conference call with investors this past Thursday, WWE CEO Vince McMahon had some harsh words about talk show host Oprah's cable TV network and contrasted the Oprah model with WWE Network plans, which McMahon was very optimistic about during the conference call.

"I would say I suppose the one of the notorious ones (branded TV Network models) would be the Oprah Network, which is a miserable failure on all accounts because you have a brand like Oprah and it does take a genius to figure out that, 'Okay, why don’t we have Oprah do what she does best in our very own network,' and that's the one thing that doesn't happen," McMahon said. "So, in terms of the introduction of a network theory, you're saying, 'Okay, let's take Oprah, but let’s don’t use, let’s not whatever we do, we don’t use her and what she does best. Let’s just try and take an Oprah name and try and brand that in a big round about way,' which obviously from a common sense standpoint, it doesn't make sense... We know what our WWE attributes are. So, we have the opportunity to enhance all of that and bring further viewers, lapse viewers, and as well as current viewers and new viewers from a younger age set of two to 11 into the network, which will be extraordinary, because we are giving the audience what they want, not what they don't want."

Mick Foley WWE Return...

Mick Foley returned to WWE at Wednesday's Raw house show in Dublin, Ireland, which started WWE's bi-annual European Tour. Foley, who has hinted at a WWE return for several weeks, is in the U.K. for his own promotional tour.


Piper campaigning for Piper's Pit with Rock & Cena...

WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper has taken to Twitter to campaign for a Piper's Pit segment with The Rock and John Cena prior to their tag team match at Survivor Series.

"IF THE WWE DOESN'T PUT THE ROCK, CENA, PIPER IN PIPER'S PIT THEY ARE CHEATING EVERY FAN IN THE WWE UNIVERSE. THINK THERE AFRAID? i'M NOT," Piper tweeted Friday. "SPAM THE WWE FOR PIPERS PIT WITH CENA AND ROCK. I PROMISE, IT WILL BE EPIC."


WrestleMania 28 press release; Rock vs. Cena...

STAMFORD, Conn., November 2, 2011– WWE® announced today that tickets for its annual pop culture extravaganza, WrestleMania XXVIII, will go on sale this Saturday, November 5 at 10 AM ET. WrestleMania XXVIII will take place Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. The event will be headlined by the highly anticipated main event featuring “the most electrifying man in all of entertainment,” The Rock® against WWE Superstar John Cena®.

Ticket prices range from $25-$850. There will also be a limited number of “Gold Circle” VIP Packages available for $1,500. The Gold Circle packages include seating in the first four rows ringside, an exclusive Gold Circle VIP Stadium Entrance, a collectible WrestleMania XXVIII ticket holder and the commemorative WrestleMania XXVIII take-home folding chair. Tickets can be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees.

Last year, a capacity crowd of 71,617 fans from all 50 states and 30 countries attended WrestleMania XXVII at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. WrestleMania is more than just a one day event, it’s a week long celebration, as WWE will be taking over the greater Miami area during WrestleMania Week. In addition to WrestleMania XXVIII, other activities will include: WrestleMania Axxess – WWE’s four day interactive fan festival; WrestleMania Reading Challenge Finals; WrestleMania Pro-Am Golf Tournament and the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Additional information on these events will be announced in the future at www.wrestlemania.com.


Sylvester Stallone speaks to Entertainment Tonight about his Steve Austin injury during 'The Expendables'...

Entertainment Tonight's Nancy O'Dell (one-time WWE Raw guest host) caught up with Sylvester Stallone on-set at his new movie, "Bullet to the Head," to discuss the film's progression before an April 2012 scheduled release date. Stallone noted he's still feeling the effects of neck surgery that was required after he suffered an injury at the hands of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin shooting "The Expendables" last year. Austin was required to tackle Stallone, who accidentally landed on a pile of bricks. Stallone said, "It's never really the same. "You're just able to function a little bit better."

News

Wrestling News Media: Hogan, Flair, WWE, CM Punk, McMahon, Jim Ross, Cena, Rock, Kevin Nash... - 12th July 2011

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Pro wrestling legend Randy 'Macho Man' Savage dies in car accident, by Greg Tingle - 20th May 2011

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WrestleMania official website WWE Hall Of Fame website

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Wrestling News Media: Snooki, 'The Rock' and 'Mania: When Headlocks and Hollywood Collide - 1st April 2011

One is the queen of MTV's Jersey Shore; the other is WWE's resident Mexican aristocrat. One is famous for being perhaps the worst of the tanned, bouffant-wearing, gum-chomping Italian stereotype. The other invites fans' wrath with a wink and a smile as he drives the world's most expensive cars to the ring and insists on being introduced by his own personal ring announcer - in Spanish.

Only one entity - and one extravaganza - could bring these two very different stars together: World Wrestling Entertainment's 27th annual WrestleMania on Sunday. Snooki will participate in a six-person, inter-gender grudge match while Alberto Del Rio will vie for the World Heavyweight Championship in his WrestleMania debut. Both promise to thrill 70,000-plus screaming fans in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

"It's going to be the peak of my career," said Del Rio, a native of Mexico. "My family, my entire country, is going to be proud of me because I'm going to go out there and become the new World Heavyweight Champion. I'm going to die out there trying to become the World Heavyweight Champion."

So what's behind the infatuation with WrestleMania? Why do fans come from around the world and dole out hard-earned money to watch this spectacle on pay-per-view? What is it about WrestleMania that makes fathers and sons and daughters jump out of their seats and grown, muscle-bound men in tights speak in hushed reverence?

Simply put, it is pro wrestling's greatest annual event. All wrestlers who grew up as fans dream of performing in it and look forward to watching it. Even in the choreographed world of professional wrestling, there is nothing staged about the emotion and excitement from anyone who performs at WrestleMania.

"As a kid, all I wanted to do was be a wrestler," said Del Rio. "Now that I'm here in WWE - WrestleMania is our NBA, our Super Bowl, our World Series of professional wrestling. As a wrestler, as a performer, I always dreamed of being in something like that."

For the fan, WrestleMania's appeal is as nuanced as wrestling's longtime popularity. Wrestling's magnetism goes hand-in-hand with the dawn of the television age in the 1950s, but WrestleMania took it to another level. It is a marriage of headlocks and Hollywood that began in 1985, when WWE Chairman Vince McMahon teamed up the charisma of Hulk Hogan and the diabolical lunacy of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper with the star power of Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper. (Credit: News Corporation).

 

Wrestling News Media: Shawn Michaels' Speech At WWE Hall Of Fame Induction 2011: 'Thank You' - 2nd April 2011

Thank you. ["HBK!" chant. "Thank you Shawn!" chant. Whoa! Some other chant.] The damnedest thing on my way to my Hall of Fame speech, a damn roast broke out. Thanks. I knew there was no way you was gonna say anything nice about me. For the 15 years we've known each other he never has, and he never will. He's like the Fonz trying to say he's sorry. [Muttering.]

I know how tough it was for you to say . That was a huge deal for him to even recognize that I worked in this line of work for 36 years. You're not aware of this, but we shared a big moment there. There's some psychiatrists going, "They're starting to heal."

I'm nervous, so don't give me cat calls. [Cat calls.] I've been going over what I'm gonna say. ["One more match!" chant.] You're killing me with the one more match thing. Seriously, I know it's good TV, he'll have a nervous breakdown. We sold out the building! He had a heart attack!

["We love you Shawn!"] I'm serious. For the love of God, help me out here. I don't even know where to start. You know there are things that go between ... I can't say, I'm not supposed to say. That's one of the reasons I was OK to retire. Coincidentally, this is the first year where we're not doing it live. They'll chop it up in post to make sure it's ok to air.

When I was 19 years old, I didn't want to be a sports entertainer. I didn't know at the time. I told my mom and dad, I want to do what those guys do it on TV. Making it was going to be going out in San Antonio and wresting in front of 25 people. Fast forward, and I'm a 45-year-old man, and I get to stand here and say thank you.

Along the way, I wasn't really aware of it. I was raised by a loving family, sitting right down here, who loved me every step of the way and supported me. But for whatever reason when I started doing this line of work at 19 I spent the next 26 years searching for validation. I don't even know why. But what my peers thought of me and what you thought of me was the most important thing in my life. And I worked myself into the ground. It was so important to me that you thought I did a good job. I know that sounds patronizing, but I want to thank you so much for giving me that.

I'm very thankful to all the other inductees and especially Triple H for making this fun and amusing. Because as much as I've tried to not make it a deep and heavy cry fest, I can't do it. There are no words to express how much I lived and breathed to do this every night for so many years. And it begs the question, how am I gonna be OK away from this?

Last Monday the Undertaker had mentioned Shawn Michaels will walk into the Hall of Fame with a ton of regrets. If this had happened in 1998, that might've been true. At that time, I was good at my job, but there's no way I could've stood here with no regrets. And although my family would've been proud of me, I know there would've been a little disappointment for them and a certain guy backstage whose name I'm not allowed to mention. [Crowd WOOs. Guy next to me says "RIC FLAIR!" I believe him!]

I came back in 2002 after being told I'd never wrestle again, for one more match. That was nine years ago. I'm thankful I can stand before you with absolutely no regrets. [Missed a part about God and his family. Sorry.] Since they came into my life, I've had not a regret. Not a second goes by that I'm not thankful. The most precious gift of all is my little family. I love you all so much, and I want to thank you for being so selfless and letting daddy finish what he started.

It was very important to me to come back and go away on my own terms. I love my two children more than anything in the world. Thank you so much for letting daddy go wrestle. [I have a daughter. Totally about to tear up.]

There are countless WWE superstars that I've had to create with. I'd love to mention everybody, but I don't want to make this too long. I don't wanna be that guy. [Crowd WOOs.] You guys are implying that. I'm not saying that. Every year there's somebody, and we're like, dude there's WrestleMania tomorrow. I'm gonna assume you know who you are.

Because I did my best to make sure before I left to tell you how awesome it was for me, and how much I appreciate you guys [makes crazy hand gestures] putting up with me when I wanna do something you don't do all that much. I appreciate your time and patience. I appreciate you being a part of my life. A lot of times all we've got is each other. We're like guys in a fox hole together. But when we're with each other, we're all we got. We can stab each other in the back, but can't nobody else do it.

I wanna thank you for allowing me to be a part of that fraternity. We're always gonna look at everybody else and say you're not gonna understand it. And that's OK. It's something we're gonna take to our graves.

And lastly there's all of you. The WWE universe, the fans. I love every one of you, even when you bother me at 5 in the morning, even when I cuss you, you still come back and forgive me. You have been a part of my life and family for so many years, it begs the question, why would a 19-year-old kid from a wonderful upbringing seek validation from strangers?

One thing people used to always say that separated me is that I could make a connection with you. I don't know if I did a good job, but for the last 26 years whether you were connected to me I have no idea, but I was connected to you. I have never won Most Popular, I wasn't the prom king, I wasn't the homecoming king, so I guess in my adult life the most important thing to me was that you believed in me and thought I was good. On this night, 2011 Hall of Fame, I feel it, I thank you, I love my ring. And I love each and every one of you.

I know this has been sappy. I can't help it. And if you're not down with that, I got two words for you. ("Suck it!" from the crowd.)

News

WWE Australian Tour 2011

Tickets are on sale Friday 28th January, opening at 9am via Ticketek. WWE has thus far named for the "World Tour" - John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, The Miz and Wade Barrett.

Dates and venues:

Friday 1st July - Sydney (Acer Arena)
Saturday 2nd July - Melbourne (Rod Laver Arena)
Sunday 3rd July - Perth (Burswood Dome)
Monday 4th July - Adelaide (Entertainment Centre)
Tuesday 5th July - Brisbane (Entertainment Centre)

 

Awesome Kong signs with WWE

WWE is believed to have offered former TNA Women's Knockouts Champion Awesome Kong a contract.

She wrote the following earlier today on her Twitter account: "My dreams just came true today. I got my dream job. Yes, THAT one."

WWE sources indicate there's been discussion of Kong joining the organization in recent weeks. One source claims she paid a visit to WWE's headquarters Stamford, Connecticut a month ago.

While the signing has not been confirmed, sources believe it was finalized last week.

 

WWE News: Jim Ross new blog on WWE Hall of Fame & announcing future, Daniel Bryan interview on Miz, Cena, cattle mutilation
(Credit: Pro Wrestling Torch)

By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor

-- WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has published a new blog on jrsbarbq.com discussing this year's WWE Hall of Fame class, Paul Orndorff's cancer revelation, historical Royal Rumble events, his announcing future, and other topics in the news.

On the Hall of Fame: "I hope that the class does have a WCW/Atlanta feel but the class will likely be 6-8 inductions tops. Plus, WWE will want to not over do posthumous inductions if at all possible."

On his announcing future: "Have I called my last event in any thing? I hope not and that's not my plan but my broadcasting work may not include regular WWE work but something outside the genre." Ross said he feels he's a "long shot" for the Univ. of Oklahoma announcing job, but he's "not retreating" on pursuing his dream job.

-- WWE U.S. champion Daniel Bryan has an interview with Jon Waldman of Slam Wrestling covering a variety of different subjects from his first year in WWE.

Bryan said he would have liked to have learned more from The Miz on Season 1 of NXT, he hasn't seen his infamous 2003 Velocity match against yellow-pants-wearing John Cena "in years," and he won't use the Cattle Mutilation submission on TV.

On possibly wrestling Cena again: "I thought it was a good match and it gets me excited because I know we both progressed in our careers and if we ever got to wrestle again it would be really good."

On not using Cattle Mutilation on TV: "I didn't really believe the Cattle Mutilation would get over with the WWE Universe, and the reason why is because it's such a TV-oriented product. There are a lot of downfalls to it. You can't see the other guy's face, and on top of that, it's very difficult to do it to big guys; I don't have long arms."

 

Tough Enough Returns, by Greg Tingle - 7th January 2011

WWE officially announced on Monday that USA Network has ordered ten episodes of the "Tough Enough" series beginning Monday, April 4, the night after WrestleMania 27.

 

Press Release

WrestleMania Makes $45 Million For Host City

November 4, 2010

STAMFORD, Conn., November 4, 2010 - World Wrestling Entertainment® announced today that WrestleMania XXVI generated $45.1 million in economic impact for the greater Glendale/Phoenix area, according to a study conducted by the Enigma Research Corporation. WrestleMania also generated close to $5 million in local, state and county taxes.

Over the past three years, WrestleMania has generated nearly $150 million in cumulative economic impact for its host cities and states, this despite the country experiencing one of the worst economic periods in decades.

“WWE®'s premiere event was an important addition to Glendale's tourism industry and position as a leading sports and entertainment destination,” said Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs. “The $45 million boost to our region created by WWE's fantastic fans makes WrestleMania a valuable economic attraction for every community host. We look forward to WWE returning to Glendale soon."

A capacity crowd of 72,219 fans from all 50 states and 26 countries attended WWE’s pop culture extravaganza this past March. Key highlights from the study included:

- $45.1 million of direct, indirect and induced impact derived from spending by non-locals visiting specifically for WrestleMania XXVI.
- The economic impact derived from WrestleMania Week equated to the creation of 510 full-time jobs for the area.
- 63% of fans that attended WrestleMania were from outside the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, with 53% staying three nights or more.
- 60% of fans that came from out of state were from California and Nevada.
- 58% of fans that attended WrestleMania were between the ages of 20 and 40, and 23% were between the ages of 5 and 19.

“We are very pleased that WrestleMania has once again produced a significant economic windfall for its host city. This is an incredible result in the face of a challenging economy, and one that illustrates the size and scope of WrestleMania Week,” said John P. Saboor, Senior Vice President of Special Events for World Wrestling Entertainment. “Our public and private sector partners within the Glendale/Phoenix area were exceptional hosts for the WWE Universe.”

Next year, WrestleMania XXVII will take place Sunday, April 3 from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. Tickets go on sale Saturday, November 13 at 10 AM EST through the Georgia Dome box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling
1-800-745-3000. The event will be broadcast on pay-per-view, and viewed in more than 100 countries.
Enigma Research Corporation is an international consulting firm which specializes in measuring the economic impact of special events. Enigma’s economists developed a customized model which converted expenditures into economic impact, employment created and taxes generated as a result of the event.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly, PG content across all of its platforms including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto and Mexico City. Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.
Media Contacts:
Robert Zimmerman
203-359-5131
Robert.Zimmerman@wwecorp.com

Adam Hopkins
203-352-8675
Adam.Hopkins@wwecorp.com

Investor Contact:
Michael Weitz
203 352 8642
Michael.Weitz@wwecorp.com

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, copyrights and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; the need for continually developing creative and entertaining programming; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent McMahon; the conditions of the markets in which we compete; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to regulatory and litigation matters; risks resulting from the highly competitive nature of our markets; the importance of protecting our intellectual property and complying with the intellectual property rights of others; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to our film business and any new business initiative which we may undertake; risks relating to the large number of shares of common stock controlled by members of the McMahon family; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition, our dividend is significant and is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant, including a waiver by the McMahon family of a portion of the dividends.

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Background

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is engaged in the development, production and marketing of television programming and live events and the licensing and sale of branded consumer products featuring the World Wrestling Entertainment brand.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is an integrated media and entertainment company, principally engaged in the development, production and marketing of television programming, pay-per-view programming and live events, and the licensing and sale of branded consumer products featuring our highly successful World Wrestling Entertainment brand. WWE is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in London, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. We are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WWE. (Credit: WWE).

 

Television programs

WWE runs three major television programs each week. Each show has their own cast of wrestlers. WWE calls these casts brands. RAW is WWE's main show and has ran on Monday nights since 1993. SmackDown! has been running since 1999. It used to be on Thursday nights but moved to Friday in 2005. ECW is a program that started in 2006. ECW is based on the Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) company that ran from 1993 until its bankruptcy in 2001.

Once or twice every month, WWE produces a pay-per-view event. These events have more important matches. The biggest pay-per-view of the year for WWE is called WrestleMania. WrestleMania has run since 1985. (Credit: Wikipedia).

 

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