Members of the WWE Universe can get closer to their favorite Superstars and Hall of Famers than ever before this summer when Club Nokia at LA LIVE in Los Angeles hosts the live SummerSlam Panel series Aug. 15-17. Tickets for the interactive events go on sale at AXS.com starting this Saturday, July 26, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
The panels give the WWE Universe the opportunity to ask questions directly to their favorite WWE Superstars and Hall of Famers including:
Hulk Hogan on Friday, August 15 at 7 PM PT. The WWE Hall of Famer and pop-culture icon will talk about his legendary career in and out of the ring, as well as his recent return to WWE.
"WWE 2K15" Roster Reveal hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin featuring John Cena, Hulk Hogan, Roman Reigns, Sheamus and Cesaro on Saturday, August 16 at 10 AM PT. In addition to speaking about their respective WWE careers, the panelists will reveal the official roster for 2K’s upcoming WWE 2K15 video game, which is available October 28. VIP Ticket holders will receive their photo opportunity with Roman Reigns for this SummerSlam Panel.
D-Generation X, featuring Triple H and Shawn Michaels on Saturday, August 16 at 7 PM PT. One of the most popular and controversial groups in WWE history will address their rebellious exploits and discuss their lasting legacy.
Stone Cold Steve Austin on Sunday, August 17 at 12 Noon PT. The WWE Hall of Famer will discuss his monumental rise to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history.
Each panel will feature a two hour discussion and Q&A with fans in attendance. VIP experiences will follow. Ticket prices per panel are $50 for lower balcony seating; $100 for floor seating, which includes an exclusive SummerSlam Panels collectible pre-signed poster; and $200 for a VIP experience, which includes priority floor seating, a professional photo with select panel Superstars and an exclusive SummerSlam Panels collectible pre-signed poster. For more information on the SummerSlam Panels, please visit www.SummerSlam.com.
July 22, 2014
July 19, 2014
It’s said there recently has been a notable power shift backstage in WWE and that Producer “Road Dogg” BG James has ascended as one of Triple H’s key men when it comes to “kicking around” booking ideas. Road Dogg’s official title is Producer but he’s been gaining more clout creatively.
While Vince McMahon is still the head of creative, a lot of Road Dogg’s ideas are being funneled through Triple H and it’s Triple H that presents them to Vince. Word is that Road Dogg is “very well liked” and quickly gaining influence in creative.
July 18, 2014
Thank goodness I have an impeccable reputation! It’s funny because at the time we’re filming this reality show and sometimes things get a little wacky on the show…
Nobody, including Steph, ever expected something like [that] to happen. It’s something now that we laugh about. The lesson learned is don’t ever go into “Brie Mode” (a.k.a. getting rip-roaring drunk)…
Stephanie, despite the role that she plays on TV, she is one of the women that the Divas really look up to… I’m so glad that Stephanie and I have moved past that and I will continue to try to make her proud.
It was awesome. If I'm being honest again, actually the first time that I got that kind of feedback from HHH was actually the two out of three falls match (with Cesaro), which had been about a year, nine months prior to the Arrival match. So we had this match, now has gotten a lot of talk, buzz or whatever it is. As I was in the ring and the crowd was like just going nuts, giving us this standing ovation, which was so cool. And as I was on my back, out of the corner of my eye, I kinda saw the replaying some of the highlights of the match and the crowd with each replay started getting louder and louder to the point by the time they were replaying the finish, it was another standing ovation. So it was actually one of the most incredible moments of my career. Just to lay flat on my back and just hear them continually getting louder way after the match. And they (crowd) start chanting match of the year, match of the year and I haven't told anybody this on camera or anything like this. I really didn't know how that reaction was going to go over. At this point, I was fairly new to the WWE system. I didn't know if I overextended myself, if we had done more than they wanted, I don't know. I really didn't know. And then we came back and I had no idea what to expect, I really didn't. I thought I'd get chewed out over like what the hell are you doing out there? I really didn't know. And I got back there and HHH was the first one to pull us aside. He said that was awesome. He gave us a very candid speech. That was the first time I got insight into his mind and the way his mind works. I was so happy because yes, its not gunna be this like, I have my vision. the office has their vision. It was this guy who likes good stuff and he appreciates good stuff. And it was an amazing experience and amazing thing validated by a guy who is not only your boss, but as one of the most accomplished and greatest professional wrestlers/WWE superstars of all time. It was really cool to have him on your good side for sure.
July 17, 2014
Brian Fritz of The Orlando Sentinel has an in-depth article on the WWE Performance Center, which just turned 1 year old. The article features quotes from Bo Dallas, Terry Taylor and Bill DeMott, who revealed what he thought when Triple H first wanted to launch the center:
"I thought he was a little nuts in a good way. Think big, right? Think big, make big things happen and that's what he did."
Bo talked about how the Performance Center has helped him:
"Coming here, I sharpened and fine-tuned everything I had and needed. What I thought of as myself as a performer, I looked back and was like, 'Wow, I improved from where I was.' I thought I was ready and then saw the improvements I made which were unbelievable. It makes the transition from down here to up there (the WWE roster) so much easier because you're prepared for what they need you to do. It's not like you're jumping into a whole other world. You're prepared for what they need."
DeMott also talked about how the Performance Center has raised the bar for everyone:
"I think the expectations are higher, and I think that falls back on this coaching staff and everybody here. The nice connection from main roster to developmental is we're working like that -- which we always have been -- but there's less of a gap and they're TV ready."
You can read the full article at this link.
On July 12, 2014, WWE made the huge announcement that the company had signed Japanese wrestling sensation Kenta. WWE Hall of Famer and pop culture icon Hulk Hogan presided over the ceremony, which took place in the ring at a Live Event in Osaka during WWE’s recent Japan Tour. Hogan, who became a star in Japan before Hulkamania ran wild at Madison Square Garden, mentioned Kenta in the same breath as Japanese legends (and Hogan contemporaries) Antonio Inoki, Riki Choshu and Tatsumi Fujinami.
Kenta has the potential to be as transformative as any of those stars. Rising to fame in Pro Wrestling Noah — an organization he helped build alongside owner Mitsuharu Misawa — Kenta caught the attention of American audiences during stints with independent organization Ring of Honor, where he wrestled Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins in acclaimed bouts.
WWE.com spoke with WWE’s COO Triple H to learn more about Kenta’s unique style and the global ramifications of him joining WWE.
WWE.COM: When did Kenta first come on your radar?
TRIPLE H: I’ve known about Kenta for years. He’s one of the biggest stars in Japan. He’s a huge talent, obviously. I’m excited for him to try to bring his brand of sports-entertainment to WWE and see how he does.
WWE.COM: Had you seen his work or was it only word of mouth?
TRIPLE H: No, no, I was absolutely familiar with him. It’s funny, because WWE is a different world. You’ll hear players all the time talk about making the switch from college football to the NFL and the difference in the game. I think it’s the same when you come to WWE. I don’t care where you’ve been or how big you’ve been anyplace else. When you get here, it’s a whole different world. There’s no ceiling for anybody in WWE. You just have to come here and prove that you belong to be in the ring with the best in the world. If you can hang with them, that’s exactly where you’ll be. Kenta has all the tools to be able to do it — he’s proven that for years in Japan. Now let’s see what he can do in NXT. Adapt or perish.
WWE.COM: Who would you like to see Kenta wrestle in NXT when he goes down there for the first time?
TRIPLE H: There’s a massive amount of talent I’d love to see him work with down there. The obvious guys are Sami Zayn and NXT Champion Adrian Neville, but there are ton of guys down there like Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel and anybody in that class. NXT is the proving ground to get to WWE, and that’s where Kenta’s gonna have to prove himself. He’s gotta prove that he belongs in WWE.
WWE.COM: What is Kenta’s training status and when can we expect to see him on Raw?
TRIPLE H: He just signed with us. I was there when he had his tryout at the Performance Center and I met with him there. We’ve been working on this for a while. His training will start when he gets here. The thing is, you can be a big star anyplace else in the world. That gets you in the door. What you do once you get here is a whole different ballgame. He’s no different than anybody else once he walks through the door of the Performance Center.
WWE.COM: What makes Kenta different than other international stars WWE has signed in the past, and what does he do for WWE’s international appeal?
TRIPLE H: For the Japanese markets, it’s a huge opportunity to see one of their stars come try to make a name for himself in the US and on a global basis. We are a global company and we recruit globally. We are looking for the biggest and brightest athletes all over the world.
On the July 24th episode of NXT, Tag Team Champions The Ascension will announce a tournament to crown new #1 contenders. That tournament kicks off on the August 7th episode and we will have more information later.
According to The Wrestling Observer, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to WWE signing KENTA, and him joining the company is more than a simple talent signing.
A major reason why WWE signed KENTA is because the WWE Network will be launching in Japan next year, and the company has wanted a top Japanese star to help with WWE’s expansion in Japan.
As we previously noted, KENTA will be reporting to Orlando this coming week, and is expected to be a regular on NXT TV by the fall. This coincides with WWE’s announcement that J Sports, a Japanese satellite channel, will begin airing NXT very soon.
Once KENTA arrives at the Performance Center in Orlando, another press conference is expected to take place.
July 15, 2014
Sting recently spoke with The UK's Mirror Online to promote the WWE 2K15 video game. Below are some highlights:
Being involved in the game:
"Why now? It's a now or never thing. I've done so many things in the wrestling business but the one thing I'd never done was wrestle or be a part of the WWE family. I didn't want too hang it all up and retire and disappear again without having done that in some capacity."
Having a match for WWE against The Undertaker:
"I've made it clear I'd love to have one last hurrah, one last big match hopefully. And of course I've been outspoken about Undertaker being the opponent. I know what happened at Wrestlemania where Brock Lesnar broke his streak. I think, or at least I'm hoping, that Taker's still going to come back and that he's not done. If he's not done, and he would consider doing it, I'd love to work with him one time. I'd love to wrestle him one time before I call it quits."
Sting also noted that he's "all for" appearing on WWE TV to promote the video game and the match with The Undertaker could take place at WrestleMania 31. Sting also said it would be an honor to go into the WWE Hall of Fame.
July 12, 2014
Natalya talked to Newsday about their match at NXT Takeover earlier this month. Natalya called that match the most important of her career:
"I'm actually getting goose bumps talking about it. It was about honoring and representing two legacies. And it was the first time my uncle Bret and Ric Flair kind of reunited in decades. They haven't always had a great relationship . . . It connected Bret and Ric in a way they never connected before . . . It was one of the moments I'll never forget."
Natalya also said she believes it wasn't until her recent appearances on NXT, under the mentorship of Triple H, that she began to really gain confidence. She said:
"Getting a chance to listen to him and hear his ideas and his philosophies, it's such a great asset . . . You can make all the suggestions in the world but you cannot teach experience. I've actually learned how to be a ring general by working with people who have less experience that me, because I'm feeding off their hunger."
The Miami Herald recently spoke with the former Leo Kruger, now known as WWE's Adam Rose, to promote the July 21st RAW in Miami. Some of the interview was in-character but he commented on how similar he is to the Rose character:
"I don’t think there’s much of a difference between Adam Rose and myself. I think people around me know that. I think a lot of people who know me and saw Adam Rose for the first time are like, ‘Oh wow, you finally became yourself.’ Just be yourself, basically."
Triple H also commented on Rose:
“There’s all these pieces to the puzzle. Your entrance. Your music. Your presentation. What you’re wearing. All those things are components to making a star. If you’re writing the movie, ‘Rocky,’ a big part of that movie is Apollo Creed coming to the ring dressed as Uncle Sam and throwing the money. It’s part of the pageantry. You’re writing a TV show and a movie, and that’s how you create characters. In the past, we’d give a guy some music, and he goes to the ring. ‘What are you going to do when you come out? I don’t know. I’ll wave to the crowd and go up in the corner and put my hands up.’ That was just what you did. You just figure it out over time."
"Now, with the beauty of the [WWE] Performance Center [the state-of-the-art all-purpose training ground for WWE hopefuls], we can step back prior to all that stuff and try to get these guys to a place where a lot of those kinks and things are worked out, so we’re not waiting six months to see that this guy now has a pretty cool entrance. It’s coming out the shoot when he first appears on Raw or SmackDown. He’s already got something really cool. Now, how can we make it even cooler. How can we make it more epic and more big main stage, and how can we make that more worthy of Raw or SmackDown. That’s all part of the process."
WWE today announced it has signed Kenta, one of Japan’s biggest stars, to its NXT division. The announcement took place during a signing ceremony at a WWE Live Event in Osaka, Japan with WWE icon and Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan presiding.
Kenta’s intense and straightforward in-ring style has led to his success in Japan, as well as during visits to the U.S. He is expected to reach new heights of global success with WWE.
“Kenta is an incredible performer who brings the crowd to its feet when he steps into the ring,” said Paul Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent, Creative and Live Events, WWE. “WWE’s signing of Kenta reflects our continued dedication to creating a diverse roster that appeals to our global fan base.”
“I am humbled to join WWE’s NXT division and look forward to honing my craft with the global leader in sports-entertainment,” said Kenta.
Kenta will relocate to Orlando, Florida, where he will train at WWE’s state-of-the-art Performance Center to enhance his talents both athletically and creatively.
July 11, 2014
WWE's website has a new article up on the WWE Performance Center turning one year old. Triple H commented:
"Our goal for the Performance Center was to create an environment that would both educate and facilitate growth with the developmental talent. Over the past year, we have seen tremendous success in these areas and are excited for the future of the center as well as what it means for WWE as a whole."
We noted earlier this week that UFC star Rashad Evans recently inquired about a pro wrestling career with WWE. It's not known if Evans directly spoke with someone at WWE but he was talking to people in the wrestling business this past weekend about the idea of getting involved. Rashad recently commented to MMA Mania about the rumors:
"If I ever did anything like that, it would be after I finished fighting, and I'm not gonna (sic) be done fighting for at least four years. I had a million people asking me if I was retiring for wrestling, but honestly speaking, if I didn't get seriously paid to do it I wouldn't do it. I think it would be disrespectful to my legacy in the UFC if I didn't do a deal that would make sense where I got paid! Besides, that s--t is harder on my body than fighting."
MMA stars Chael Sonnen, Roy Nelson, Frank Mir and Shayna Baszler have all tried to open talks with WWE in recent years and at one point there were very vague ideas suggested for Baszler. It's said that Vince McMahon is leery about using former MMA stars because they are used to huge payoffs and he doesn't think they would be able to deal with WWE's schedule. Years ago, Vince really wanted to sign Bob Sapp but their negotiations failed due to money and scheduling issues.
Regarding Sonnen possibly working with WWE, there may have been some interest in having him come in to work as an announcer but that likely won't be happening now due to his multiple failed drug tests and the controversy that goes with Sonnen's name.
July 10, 2014
It's being reported that WWE has recently laid down a new set of rules for their talents, or rather, they have brought back some old rules. They are reinforcing the dress code again with the idea that any time a Superstar or Diva is seen out in public, they have to look professional. Any talent who does not adhere to the dress code will be fined.
Talents will also be fined now if they are so much as one minute late to the arenas. Fines for being late is nothing new to WWE, as this is a policy that has been enforced off and on for many years now, but lately they've apparently been getting more strict about it again.
Another issue that has many talents upset is recent payoffs, more specifically, royalty checks. Certain talents who were used to getting around $70,000 for first quarter video game royalties only ended up getting less than $12,000. There was a hope that the second quarter royalty checks would make up for the difference, but the second quarter checks only ended up being about $1,500.
UFC fighter Rashad Evans is reportedly interested in pursuing a career in WWE after his MMA fighting career is over. Evans is currently recovering from a knee operation and he has reportedly been inquiring about a possible job with WWE in the future.
Seth Rollins recently spoke with NorfolkNavyFlagship.com to promote next week's RAW. Here are some highlights:
Favorite memories from the indies:
"The friends that I made there – now being able to see my friends here working with me. Guys like Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, and you’ve got Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville down in NXT – watching people grow and being a part of that. I enjoyed my time on the indies very much."
Working with Triple H:
"There is a wealth of knowledge in this company. Being side by side with the COO and (13-time) World Champion, the guy who has pretty much done it all in this business, having him as a mentor is something that you can’t buy. If you’re not learning something every single day, you’re messing up."
Adapting to his new theme song:
"It took me a little while, even just walking down the ramp instead of through the crowd is a little weird at first. With the music, you have to find out how it flows with your entrance. I think now, after about a month or so, it’s starting to catch on and I kind of like the way it feels."
The blonde streak in his hair:
"When I was down in NXT, there were a lot of guys with long dark hair – Roman Reigns, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas. I needed to do something to set myself apart a little bit. If you’re seeing the show for the first time and there are five guys with long dark hair, it’s going to be difficult to remember who is who."
July 9, 2014
When Triple H announced John Cena would be defending the WWE world heavyweight championship in a Fatal 4-Way match against Randy Orton, Kane, and Roman Reigns at the upcoming Battleground pay-per-view (PPV) on Sun., July 20, 2014, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, the immediate reaction was to search for logic.
After all, why would he insert Reigns into the picture when that would seem counterintuitive? If the idea is to put the title back on Orton, why add Reigns to the match to gum up the works?
Then Monday Night Raw played out last night in Montreal and during the course of it, a hierarchy was clearly established with Reigns challenging Cena's status within it. In short, it's become less and less about Cena battling Orton or Kane and more and more about Reigns looking to usurp Cena as the top dog in the yard.
Triple H, in the midst of all this:
Don't you just love a good evil overlord?
Considering Cena's track record of success against both Orton and Kane, and his decided lack thereof with Reigns, this is the perfect play here, right? And when Triple H smugly declares it "best for business", he also means that on a literal level. Reigns is best for the story, and he's best for the selling of the actual event.
Because who the hell wants to watch Cena vs. Orton vs. Kane in 2014?
Triple H wins ... always.
The Stamford Daily Voice reports that Linda McMahon recently gave a $1 million gift to The Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut through the Vince & Linda McMahon Family Foundation to purchase 3-D mammography machines to help with early breast cancer detection. The machines are located at the Greenwich Hospital Breast Center, within the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Greenwich, as well as the Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Center in Stamford.
July 7, 2014
WWE has reportedly now pushed back the filming of the latest edition of WWE Tough Enough until October due to the companies ongoing budget cuts.
The company is also unsure about the future of Legends House with some members of the production team being told that no second season will air at all. The original plan had been for Tough Enough to begin filming this week and to go right to filming Legends House.
Rumors of WWE looking to cut $20 million from their budget this year are now confirmed. Vince McMahon has reportedly decreed that they cut $20 million and while they may not get that far, that's what Vince wants.
July 6, 2014
Santino Marella announced his in-ring retirement at Sunday’s WWE live event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Marella stunned the live crowd by saying he has suffered a third neck injury and because of it, his in-ring career is over.
Stephanie McMahon is penciled in to face one of The Bella Twins at SummerSlam with the stipulation being that if Stephanie loses, Brie will get her job back with WWE. They just can't decide if they want to have Nikki fight for her sister's job or if Brie will actually get the chance to fight Stephanie for her own job.
I don't agree with #2. He's gone and hopefully will stay gone.
July 5, 2014
Wade Michaels of The Motley Fool has an article up looking at the launch of the WWE Network and why he feels the network needs more time before it can be fully successful.
"I think the only reason why the WWE Network isn't working is that it's only been around for a few months. I believe it needs time to push its platform. Time to work out the kinks, time to tap into just 10% of that passionate fan base. With time, I think the WWE Network will be a major success. There are too many fans, there is too much content, and the value is just too good for it to fail. Ultimately, Vince McMahon may be thought of as a pioneer. If successful, the WWE may be the first of many companies that create a network so that customers can buy what they want, when they want."...More?
Former WWE Tag Team Champion and current WWE producer Joey Mercury recently appeared on The Big O and Dukes Show. Below are some highlights:
Triple H’s perceived reputation with fans and how he really is:
"First and foremost, he’s a wonderful person. He’s just a great human being. He cares deeply for those around him and he takes care of them really, really well. I’ve wrestled Hunter in the past when I was a talent, but I didn’t really know him. I knew how good he was in the ring, obviously, one of the greatest of all time, certainly one of the best I’ve ever been in the ring with, but I didn’t travel with him, I didn’t hang out with him or anything like that. Once he took over the developmental system for WWE, I was a coach at the time, when he came into power over the developmental system, I talked to him and he told me that he wanted me on his team, and that’s where I really got to know him. I got to work closely with him, and once I got a promotion to be a producer for WWE and being on the road full time, working with him side by side on a daily basis is tremendous. Beyond the fact that he’s a great person, he is just on a whole ‘nother level with the way his brain works. Certainly that’s a lot of experience that’s from him having great mentors and learning both what to do and what not to do, how to do it, why he’s doing it, and where to do it. He’s just one of the smartest guys I’ve had the pleasure of working with."
Working backstage for WWE:
"When I made the transition to a backstage role, I was really concerned I wouldn’t be able to get the same fulfillment, to get that performer’s rush or performer’s high, from going out there and getting that you know, you have this aim and you have this idea of what you want to get the crowd to do, and what you want the audience to feel, and when you’re able to do that out there in the ring, it’s a real special feeling. It’s unlike anything else. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to replicate that or feel that again and the truth is what I’m doing now is so much more rewarding because I get to have that feeling several times a night, not just one. Not just because I’m Joey Mercury out there. I get to live vicariously through Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Cesaro, the Wyatts, just all these incredible, incredible future Hall of Famers. It’s really cool to be there with Bo Dallas and say, “Hey, that’s really, really good man, but you might want to try this tomorrow night,” or you might want to keep this out, or put this in. To have them take your suggestion or take your instruction and direction and go do it, and see how fulfilled they are and how rewarded they are from it working. It’s amazing."
Crowd chants and a lesson learned from Vince McMahon:
"One of the things I learned from [Vince McMahon] is the real indicator that you’re catching on or getting over is when the crowd chants your name and that’s where you can tell if a guy can draw money or not. The “HOLY S” chants or the “You Can’t Wrestle” or anything the crowd starts chanting, that’s more for the crowd to get themselves over. When they say “THIS IS AWESOME” that’s a little bit better, you know you’re doing good. But when Roman Reigns is down and he’s digging from underneath, he’s got a mountain to climb, when the people start chanting, “Roman! Roman! Roman!” that’s not to get themselves over, that’s because they want him, because that’s their guy. So it’s kind of a good barometer. I’m of the school of thought, that I share with John Cena and he’ll tell you himself he doesn’t care if they’re saying “Let’s Go Cena” or “Cena Sucks” as long as they’re loud. Indifference is the killer. If they’re watching the ring, looking at the ring and screaming their heads off, it’s awesome."
July 4, 2014
Vince Russo was the latest guest on Steve Austin's "The Steve Austin Show," and one of the topics they discussed in length was the Montreal Screwjob, which happened at WWE Survivor Series 1997 involving Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Listen to it here.
The former WWE writer spoke about his thoughts on the issue, and shed some light on what went down that fateful week.
Russo said they discussed numerous endings with Hart before the main event contest, and after they couldn't find an alternative, Vince McMahon pulled Russo aside, and told him he was going to call Hart since he needed Russo to be a third party on the telephone.
The controversial character proclaimed his love for Hart, but did confirm he was on the phone and said Hart refused everything, including trying to work in Jim Neidhart to help with the finish.
Russo then said he told McMahon to let Michaels put Hart in his own move, The Sharpshooter, and call for the bell. Russo stated it was late at night on the Thursday before, and they simply couldn't find any alternatives.
"Vince didn't say a word," confessed Russo.
The next day, Russo didn't hear anything from McMahon, and he didn't even talk to him at the pay-per-view. Russo had no idea what was going to happen, while he watched the match next to The Undertaker.
"All of a sudden I'm watching, and I see that finish go down," Russo said. "Taker was going to kill somebody. If he had known, I would not be here today."
Russo explained that Owen Hart was still on the roster, and that less than a week later, the younger Hart brother called him crying.
"Vince, you have to talk to Bret," Owen told him. "Bret says if I stay with the WWE, he's going to disown me as a brother…he (doesn't) want anything to do with me. Please, you've got to talk to him."
On the other side of the phone, Russo told Owen he should be calling McMahon about his issue, but Owen stated that he couldn't get a hold of him. Russo also said McMahon would have fired him for talking to Bret. Russo then stated less than a week after that, he called Bret on the phone.
Russo said he wanted to kill everybody, and told Bret at the end of the day, McMahon was looking to protect his entire company. He told Bret it had nothing to do with McMahon not trusting Bret, but more so Eric Bischoff.
He didn't want the WCW boss to parade his WWE title on his program, much like Bischoff did with Madusa when she joined WCW and put the WWE Women's Championship in the trash.
Russo then told Bret he stood behind Vince for what he did, despite Hart probably wanting to rip his head off when he heard that statement.
Russo said Vince simply had no choice.
Austin then said it was shocking for him to see at the time, and that Bret was still a close friend to this day, not to mention one of his favorite guys to work with. Austin also stated he agreed with the decision, as far as protecting the business and the company Vince McMahon Sr. had started. He was on board with the decision, but said he was in complete shock and that everyone was completely confused.