October 22, 2014

Stephanie McMahon comments on her SummerSlam match with Brie Bella and her relationship with her daughters

During an interview with Yahoo Sports blog The Turnstile, Stephanie McMahon offers a nice story about how she handled her recent SummerSlam match with Brie Bella and her relationship with her young daughters:

I brought my daughters actually to Staples Center to watch me live in the ring - to watch their mother compete in the ring. It was a very proud moment for me. I worked incredibly hard for it and I wanted them to be a part of that experience. They supported me in my training all along and it took a lot of extra time for me to really get into shape to be able to compete in the ring.

I did explain to my daughters, but I've been explaining all along because as you know, I'm married to Triple H, who in my opinion is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. And in order to watch their dad compete against the likes of Brock Lesnar or The Undertaker, I would always explain to them exactly what was happening in the ring, how we make things look like they hurt when they don't, and the story that we're telling. They're involved and aware of what's going to happen, but at the same time just like our fans who know the difference between storytelling and reality, they still allow themselves to get swept up in the story and have an awesome time. When I came back from the ring and I walked backstage, I ran into my children and my mother, who were all clapping and chanting, "You still got it." It was something I will never forget.

October 21, 2014

John Cena Preparing To Produce His Own Unscripted TV Series, Is WWE Involved?

Variety reports that John Cena will be teaming with Leftfield Pictures, producers of Pawn Stars, to develop unscripted TV series that focus mostly on unknown individuals from all walks of life, each with a compelling story to tell.

Cena told Variety:

"For someone like me that's surrounded by so many interesting characters, you know when you brush up against someone who can hold a room. There are so many people out there who can hold someone's attention."

Cena could end up on screen somehow but Cena being on TV is not a requirement to get a new series launched.

As part of the development deal, Cena and Leftfield already have several ideas in the works but will not be revealing the concepts yet.

Any series Cena creates with Leftfield will be produced independently outside of Cena's WWE contract but WWE has an option to participate in projects if it helps any of the concepts

Nickelodeon Teams Up With WWE to Air WWE Slam City on Nicktoons' NickSports TV Block

WWE Corporate Updates "Talent Wellness" Section, Includes Domestic Violence Policy

WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon stated in an interview with Yahoo! Sports changes to the pro wrestling company’s domestic violence policy:

“We have a zero tolerance policy for domestic abuse. Upon arrest for such misconduct, our superstars are immediately suspended and should there be a conviction, that superstar or diva would be terminated.”

The new policy comes on the heels of changes made within the NFL after Ray Rice was caught on video knocking out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an elevator. According to a WWE statement sent to The Washington Post, that is one of the major reasons for the policy change.

“We have watched and learned from what has unfolded in the NFL, and we felt it was important to establish a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse,” the statement reads. The company says the policy will apply to all WWE corporate employees, as well, and not just those in the ring.

“We are in the midst of updating our employee code of conduct to reflect the same zero tolerance policy,” the WWE said.

The update policy can be read here - WWE Talent Programs and Policies.

October 20, 2014

Justin Roberts’ Replacement Announced, New Smackdown Ring Announcer

Joey Styles tweeted out early today that a the new RAW and Smackdown ring announcers have been named. Veteran RAW ring announcer Lilian Garcia, who has been the most recent Smackdown ring announcer, will take over for Justin Roberts, and Eden Stiles will be the new Smackdown ring announcer. Both will start their new roles this week; Garcia moves back to RAW after long time RAW ring announcer Justin Roberts departed the company last week.

Two New Total Divas Cast Members Announced

WWE and E! have announced two new Total Divas cast members, WWE Divas Paige and Alicia Fox, are set to join the show for its new season in January.

The new episodes will begin airing on Sunday, January 4th at 10 pm EST, before it returns to its normal 9 pm EST time slot the following week, January 11th.

Daniel Bryan update, still not regaining strength in his arm

The latest on Daniel Bryan is that his right arm has still not regained strength and recent discussion backstage within WWE was that he may need to get Tommy John surgery to reconstruct his ulnar ligament, a surgery that many major league baseball players end up having to get. Bryan continues to have issues in both his neck and elbow. That surgery would keep him out of action for a full year. It would appear any plans WWE has had for Bryan regarding the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania are now off the table.

October 19, 2014

Total Divas Recap 10/19/14

October 16, 2014

Rumor Mill - WWE NXT Takeover To Be Featured During WrestleMania 31 Weekend?

WWE could be bringing the live NXT special "Takeover" to WrestleMania 31 weekend in the San Francisco area according to a report by PWInsider.com.

Triple H recently noted during a conference call that a live NXT special would air every four months, with the next being on December 11th and the following expected to be in March.

WWE could run the event at WrestleMania Axxess although logistically this might not work and a local venue might be a better option.

Rumor Mill - Roberts's WWE Replacement Reportedly Named

PWInsider.com is reporting that Eden, the wife of current WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes/"Stardust," may be the replacement for recently released WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts on Raw, according to word coming out of WWE this week. The decision involving Eden was reportedly finalized sometime this week, but plans are always subject to change.

As of late, Eden has been taking part in "second-screen" backstage segments with Tom Phillips on the WWE App.

There had been speculation from fans that Lilian Garcia would be replacing Roberts; however, word is that she will remain on SmackDown and at WWE live events. Byron Saxton will fill in for Garcia at live events when she is not present.

JBL Blasts Reports Of Alleged "Fight" Between Justin Roberts And Michael Cole

WWE announcer John "Bradshaw" Layfield has taken to his official Facebook page to blast reports of a fight that was alleged to have taken place between fellow announcer Michael Cole and recently-released WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts during this week's edition of Raw:

I saw on the Internet that Michael Cole and Justin Roberts got into a fight at ringside-during a live Raw. Do you realize how preposterous this is? Michael has ZERO break during the three hours (King and I barely have enough to tweet!), we go straight to WWE App during commercials (which Maggle is so helpful in showing everyone how to download) and back to TV action. This 'fight' never happened and couldn't have happened due to lack of time. I have no idea how these things start-but happy that people care enough to write about what we do and what goes on, sometimes though the 'news' is wrong as in this case.

I wish Justin the best obviously and I know nothing of his departure other than what was announced-but wanted to clear this up as the Internet was buying this for fact for some reason.

I do want to wish Maggle a happy birthday (yesterday) I do think Maggle is the best play by play guy WWE has ever had, and before all of you hop on the JR or Gorilla bandwagon-I mean no insult to either of those guys, both all time greats. I have worked with Michael since my broadcast start and have never seen anyone better-that is obviously subject to my opinion. The stuff he has to do with all the social media, app, network, etc makes his job the hardest play by play in the world imo and as much as I love getting him on air, I think he is great at it.

Kane Comments On Triple H's Leadership In WWE

"He’s done a tremendous job with the Performance Center in Orlando, and with NXT. They have a great product, the guys that are coming out of there are really great. I was just thinking about that the other day, you could always tell there was something special about him. Certainly he knows the wrestling business like no one else, he’s got a fabulous mind. When you’re talking about people I’ve worked with who have influenced me as far as character development, he’s one of them. I don’t know which is more surprising, the fact that he’s in the role that he’s in, or that I’m still here in WWE 20 years later."

October 15, 2014

How Much WWE Stock Do Vince, Stephanie and Shane Own?

Back in February, it was reported that Stephanie McMahon owned 661,678 shares of WWE stock while Shane McMahon owned 1,541,224 shares.

However, those numbers aren't correct as Vince McMahon set up two trusts for Stephanie, one in 2004 and one in 2008. As of the weekend, Stephanie owned 2,511,071 shares of company stock, which is worth $34,050,122. As of the weekend, Shane owned 1,541,204 shares worth $20,898,726 and Vince owned 39,272,641 shares worth $532,537,010.

Alexa Bliss on Studying Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, Training Under Sara Del Rey, Eating Disorder, More

Justin Roberts Issues Statement On WWE Departure

Justin Roberts, who was released from WWE following this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, posted what he termed his “final announcement” on his Instagram account on Wednesday. You can read it below:

It might sound cliche, but I am truly overwhelmed & humbled by the messages I’ve received. As a kid who grew up loving & living for professional wrestling, I was able to chase, catch & live an impossible dream. I was a part of events I couldn’t fathom with the heroes I idolized from both WWF & various childhood favorite television shows (Hello Betty White). For a guy in a supporting ambience role–usually unnamed & unseen–I am blown away by the amount of people who apparently not only noticed, but also enjoyed my work. Announcing was my dream, until I realized the absolute best part was using my position to help others. It brought me so much joy to bring a smile to a fellow fan’s face. The Superstars I’ve announced & traveled with over the past 12 years are not only extremely talented to work year round and on the fly, but they are also the most unselfish people I’ve ever met. I couldn’t help others without their support. Not one Superstar or Diva ever once hesitated when I asked them to meet a fan..or autograph..or call..or do whatever was needed. After reading through all of your messages, I just want to say this: Please do not be angry & Please do not be sad. I lived my dream! I’m glad that maybe now someone else will have a spot to live theirs. Many thanks to everyone I have worked with in WWE. Sue, the company gem & my guardian angel. The producers who have taught me so much and constantly let me pick their brains. The referees (They make it look easy. NOT an easy job). Security. Props. Audio. Lighting. PR. Cameras. Travel. TR. Catering. Production. PA’s. My eyes and ears at the bell-Mark Yeaton. Everyone I have met along the way. Everyone who has come into my life because of this job & to those who I have never had the opportunity to meet, but have enjoyed my work. I appreciate & am grateful for everyone’s support. To Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn & The Authority who gave me this incredible opportunity, I’ve got two words for ya: Thank You. The journey has been incredible & almost unbelievable. This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for to pen the final chapter of my memoirs.

Stephanie McMahon Selected as Eisenhower Fellow

WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon has been selected as a 2015 Eisenhower USA Fellow, one of nine U.S. leaders to participate in the prestigious international leadership exchange program for outstanding professionals, the Eisenhower Fellowships announced today.

“We welcome this talented and enthusiastic group of young leaders into the global network of Eisenhower Fellows to build bridges across borders and work together to make the world more peaceful, prosperous and just,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Retired).

Eisenhower Fellowships exist to inspire leaders around the world to challenge themselves to think beyond their current scope, to engage others, including outside of their current networks and to leverage their own talents to better the world around them. Fellows are selected based on their proven leadership and success in their professional field, their enthusiasm for continued learning, their active engagement in community activities and their potential for advanced leadership and societal impact.

The nine USA Fellows were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants from across the United States. As an Eisenhower Fellow, McMahon will travel to Asia and South America, to gain a deeper understanding of business implications in the region, local societal challenges, and potential partnerships.

“I am honored to have been selected as an Eisenhower Fellow as a part of such an esteemed class of global leaders,” said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE. “I look forward to this transformational experience to gain a deeper understanding of the culture in key growth areas, both from a business and community standpoint; develop relationships with my Fellows as well as key influencers abroad, partner with the Women’s Leadership Program, and use this knowledge to help shape WWE’s global business strategies and continue our mission of putting smiles on people’s faces."

Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Eisenhower Fellowships, commended McMahon and the entire class of 2015. “In our globalized world, the experience of an Eisenhower Fellowship will allow these men and women to draw from an incredibly rich international network to enhance their impact in their respective regions and professional fields.” Gov. Whitman said.

McMahon joins other notable Fellows in the 2015 class including David Bray, Visiting Associate on Cyber Security and Culture at the University of Oxford, Chief Information Officer for the Federal Communications Commission and Amy Wilkinson, Author with Simon & Shuster and Senior Fellow, Harvard University. Past Fellows have included Adam Grossman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Brand Development, Boston Red Sox, Anne Gordon, Senior Vice President of Media and Communications, Philadelphia, Eagles, Ines Alberdi, Executive Director, UN Development Fund for Women and Marc Vanheukelen, Chief of Staff, European Commission for International Trade.

October 14, 2014

Date for Next WWE NXT Takeover Special

The next live WWE NXT Takeover special from Full Sail University will be on Thursday, December 11th.

The Very Latest on Justin Roberts’ WWE Release: Reportedly Seen Arguing with Cole, Ring Announce Changes Expected, Y2J Podcast

According to PWInsider.com, below are the latest updates on the WWE release of Justin Roberts:

Roberts was informed of his WWE release right after Raw last night, and he was told by WWE Exec Kevin Dunn. With Roberts gone, it is expected that Lilian Garcia will handle ring announcing for Raw and Eden might be brought in to do ring announcing for Smackdown.

There was talk amongst fans on social media last night that Roberts could be seen arguing with Michael Cole during the Randy Orton vs Dolph Ziggler match, and at one point Roberts “flipped Cole off.” Whether or not the incident was a catalyst for Roberts’ release is unknown.

Roberts will be the special guest on Chris Jericho’s “Talk is Jericho” podcast on Friday.

WWE Ring Announcer Justin Roberts Released

The official WWE website is reporting that the company has decided to release longtime ring announcer Justin Roberts "effectively immediately"

Below is the WWE.com statement on Justin Robert's release:

WWE has chosen to not exercise its option to renew ring announcer Justin Roberts' contract. Effective immediately, Roberts is released from WWE.

WWE wishes him the best in all his future endeavors.

October 13, 2014

WWE NXT Wrestler Released

California independent talent Willie Mack, who was about to start with WWE NXT, has been released by WWE before he ever started with WWE developmental, PWInsider.com has confirmed.

Mack, a regular with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Championship Wrestling Hollywood, is a really talented performer with tremendous charisma. He received an extremely emotional farewell at the PWG Battle of Los Angeles event.

F4WOnline.com is reporting that the reason that the reason for the release was because of the results from his medical or physical test.

WWE Network To Begin Airing Advertisements During Videos

WWE sent out the following email today to WWE Network subscribers concerning advertising which will now be featured before and between Network shows:

"Dear WWE Network Subscriber,

Today WWE Network will begin to run limited video advertisements. Here's what you can expect:

No commercial breaks during scheduled programming
Limited advertising between shows
Occasional advertising before our video-on-demand content.
If you have any questions regarding your subscription, please visit wwe.com/help. Thank you for being a WWE Network subscriber.

WWE Network Support"

Advertising from marketers including Pepsi, Mattel and Kmart will start appearing on WWE Network from this week. Averts will range from 30-60 seconds on every fourth stream according to Michelle Wilson, WWE's chief revenue and marketing officer.

Eric Bischoff Talks Vince & Stephanie Similarities

AlternativeNation.net’s Sports section has up Part 2 of their in-depth interview with Eric Bischoff, during which Bischoff discusses how Stephanie McMahon is similar to Vince McMahon and Triple H’s leadership abilities:

“Vince was very, and probably still is, demanding of Stephanie. I think there’s one thing that I saw in Stephanie that made me think that she probably at some point could be Mini Me (laughs), so to speak, and I don’t mean that derisively, but she has a lot of Vince’s same personality traits and characteristics.

She’s super intense, she has an incredible work ethic, she is very strong willed, and she knows what she wants, and what she likes. I saw that when I watched her produce segments, I saw that when I watched her produce my segments. I watched that when I had her rehearse me over and over and over again, until she heard an inflection exactly the way she wanted to hear that inflection. That part of her personality is very similar to Vince’s, it was very very particular, so I saw indications of that early on, but I didn’t have an occasion to see that same thing out of Triple H, because he was probably 75% talent, and 25% in the circle so to speak.”

WWE John Cena Releases Two Songs with Rapper Wiz Khalifa for WWE 2K15 Soundtrack

John Cena announced the following this morning about the WWE 2K15 soundtrack. The soundtrack can be found on iTunes at this link.

"Hard work pays off! I'm honored to announce that I've curated the #WWE2K15Soundtrack!"

"The Dr. of Thuganomics and hip hop royalty @WizKhalifa on 2 new tracks exclusive to the album called "Breaks" & "All Day" #WWE2K15Soundtrack"

"The album also features tracks from @bobatl feat @1future, and @RudimentalUK feat @EmeliSande and @Nas. #WWE2K15Soundtrack"

"and still more from @Official_flo, @knifepartyinc, @TheRealBigSmo, @MysterySkulls, @RoyalBloodUK and @WizKhalifa #WWE2K15Soundtrack"

October 12, 2014

Total Divas Recap 10/12/14

Team 3D inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame in Japan

Al Snow interview: 'TNA can be a major competitor in wrestling'

October 11, 2014

Video: The Rock and Triple H take an aggressive stroll down memory lane

Video: It's Party Time with the Top 10 SmackDown Moments

Video: A special look back at some of the biggest moments in SmackDown's 15 year history

October 10, 2014

WWE Salutes America's Armed Forces with the 12th Annual Tribute to the Troops

October 9, 2014

The Forbes Fab 40: The World's Most Valuable Sports Brands 2014

Forbes has listed WWE's WrestleMania at #8 on their Top 10 Most Valuable Event Brands In Sports of 2014 list. UFC was listed at #10 on another list, the Top 10 Most Valuable Business Brands In Sports.

8. WrestleMania

Brand Value 2014: $105 million

Brand Value 2013: not listed

WrestleMania 30 reached a record 1 million households in the U.S. on the WWE Network and pay-per-view combined, the first time WWE's main event has eclipsed this mark domestically.

October 8, 2014

Rumor Mill - WWE Teasing a Huge Match for Triple H at WrestleMania 31

We noted before that there will be a backstage segment with The Rock, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on this Friday's SmackDown. A match between Triple H and The Rock was teased in that segment and at least one other time during the tapings.

The tease was for a potential WrestleMania 31 match between the two. Rock vs. Triple H was discussed at one point for WrestleMania XXX but obviously didn't happen.

The backstage segment that airs on Friday's SmackDown shows the two going back and forth over who would win if they wrestled again and the two taking shots at each other. Rock actually brought up the main event of WrestleMania 31 and WWE usually doesn't tease something in that direction if it's not in the plans.

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Oderint Dum Metuant: Let Them Hate As Long As They Fear