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November 28, 2015

WWE Confirms Cesaro’s Injury, How Long Will He Be Out of Action?, Cesaro Comments on the Injury, The Cesaro Section & More

WWE.com has published an article confirming Cesaro’s shoulder injury, and is reporting the results of an MRI revealed Cesaro has a torn tendon and a partially torn tendon in his left rotator cuff. Cesaro has been working through the injury for months and was hoping rehab would fix the issue, but he got a call from the doctor notifying him he will need to have surgery. Cesaro will be having the surgery today, and the official timeframe for his return is 4-6 months.

Cesaro had the following to say to WWE.com about the injury:

“I just want to come back as soon as possible. I felt I was building a lot of momentum, and that was all thanks to the fans. I really appreciate all the support I’ve gotten and I’ve felt that the Cesaro Section is finally rising and it’s becoming undeniable … and then, of course, this happens. It’s funny, because I am having the surgery on the day we are in Nashville, Tenn. [for Raw], which is where the Cesaro Section originated. I was actually expecting a big Cesaro Section tonight, and I’m sure they’ll be there. Unfortunately, I’ll be getting out of surgery. [Laughs]

I will be there in spirit with them. I want to keep the momentum up when I return, and I’m sure the Section will still be there.”

Backstage News on Ric Flair’s Upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 Special and What it Will Cover

According to F4WOnline.com, Vince McMahon reportedly signed off on allowing ESPN to use archival footage for the upcoming ESPN “30 For 30” special that Ric Flair has been filming. Flair spent four hours being interviewed earlier this month and camera crews were filming backstage at WWE Survivor Series in Atlanta.

The ESPN special will reportedly cover Flair’s entire career, his personal life, financial issues, Reid Flair’s death, the 1975 plane crash and more. There will be a focus on the 1980s when he was at the peak of his career as NWA World Heavyweight Champion with the Four Horsemen.

November 26, 2015

NXT Superstar Wesley Blake — Arrested For DUI This Summer, Refused to Take Test; WWE Responds

Former NXT Tag Team Champion Wesley Blake was arrested for DUI the day before the 4th of July this summer … and Pro Wrestling Sheet has obtained video of his refusal to take a BAC test.

Blake was arrested on July 3rd around 3AM and his license was promptly suspended — according to court documents obtained by Pro Wrestling Sheet.

In the video, officers remind Blake — real name Cory Weston — that his license will be suspended for a year if he doesn’t agree to a blood, urine or breath test. The 28 year-old doesn’t budge however.

Court records show Blake initially entered a plea of not guilty, but eventually waived his right to a speedy trial and the case was put into a pre-trial diversion program — which means he avoided sentencing by entering into a program with some requirements.

Unclear what those exact requirements were, but the Florida State Attorney’s office says it usually means the defendant has to participate in community service and a series of classes. If completed successfully, the charge will be dropped.

No word on whether WWE had any knowledge of the arrest. However, Blake and Murphy dropped the tag team titles to The Vaudevillains a few weeks after he was locked up.

A rep for WWE tells us, “Cory Weston is responsible for his own actions.”

November 25, 2015

Rumor Mill - WWE Releases Brad Maddox Due To Promo At WWE TV Tapings

As noted, WWE announced Brad Maddox's departure today.

According to PWInsider, Maddox was released because of language he used during a pre-dark match promo at Tuesday's WWE TV tapings. As noted, Maddox lost to R-Truth and ripped the NFL's Indianapolis Colts before the match. The phrase "cocky pricks" is what got him in trouble.

WWE officials then made the decision to issue release Maddox, who had been with the company since 2010.

WWE Releases Brad Maddox

WWE.com has posted the following:

WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar Brad Maddox as of Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. WWE wishes Maddox the best in all of his future endeavors.

Maddox signed with WWE in 2010, and had recently been working in a tag team with Adam Rose. Maddox also appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” dressed as a turkey and took a Tombstone Piledriver from The Undertaker.

November 24, 2015

WWE RAW Viewership Drops Under 3 Million

Monday's episode of WWE RAW, with the fallout from Survivor Series and new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, drew 2.964 million viewers. This is down 10% from last week's 3.293 million viewers and a new non-holiday record low.

For this week's show, the first hour drew 3.190 million viewers, the second hour drew 2.990 million viewers and the final hour drew 2.712 million viewers.

RAW was #3 for the night in viewership behind the NFL on ESPN, which drew 14.256 million viewers, and SportsCenter. RAW was #4 for the night in the 18-49 demographic, behind the NFL, SportsCenter and Love & Hip-Hop.

Rumor Mill - Lana Reportedly Has “Nuclear” Backstage Heat in WWE

WWE Diva Lana currently has backstage heat in WWE for a number of reasons, one of them being her recent internet spat with Paige, which was not something that was a planned storyline.

According to this morning’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Lana has “nuclear heat” backstage in WWE right now, as there’s a feeling she’s the one who leaked the news of her real-life engagement to Rusev. Officials are also not pleased with some of the recent, cryptic comments Lana has made on social media.

Video Of Man Shot At The WWE Performance Center Released

As noted in August, a deranged fan, 29 year old Armando Alejandro Montalvo, was shot outside of the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL on August 31st. Orlando affiliate WFTV-9 released the video above of the shooting. In the video, Montalvo is shown yelling into the facility, asking to be trained so that he can "be the best NXT wrestler of all time." He started flexing and yelling, while stating that he didn't have a gun. He stayed at the facility until police arrived 11 minutes later. After authorities arrived, Montalvo continued flexing and then flipped police the bird. Montalvo then grabbed some rocks and charged at one of the officers before getting shot in the chest. Montalvo survived the shooting and is being charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and trespassing. He pleaded not guilty and is slated to go to trial in February. Below is surveillance footage of the incident:

WWE NXT Departure

PWInsider.com has confirmed the departure of Solomon Crowe. Crowe reportedly requested and received his release on Monday.

November 23, 2015

Sheamus on Winning the WWE World Title, Triple H Relationship, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, More

New WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus did a media conference call earlier this afternoon. Below are highlights:

* In regards to pressure and scrutiny on this reign due to top WWE stars being out, Sheamus said he's been in this position before and faced a lot of scrutiny in the past, as a heel and babyface. He said he's been ready to go for a long time, since before winning Money In the Bank. He feels like the last few months he's been waiting and ready to go. He said there's always pressure and he looks forward to that. He's 6 years into his WWE career, at a different point in his career and is a different person. He knows what he's doing now. He knows a lot of top WWE stars are out right now and knows Seth Rollins will be coming back better than ever. Sheamus says he's not going to let the opportunity pass him by and will give it everything he can. He calls it an opportunity of a lifetime and says he's never felt better or more comfortable in his own skin

* He was asked how he prepared for the weekend and asked if they ever thought there might not be a show due to the reports of a potential Islamic State terror attack. He says WWE took the threat very seriously and the talents were kept updated on what was going on. He talks about how the authorities handled everything. He goes into all pay-per-views the same and didn't treat Survivor Series any different. He says last night was so surreal for him and while he's been in this position before, this one feels more special. Sheamus was asked if the Irish are taking over WWE now that he has gold, Finn Balor is the NXT Champion and Becky Lynch is on the main roster. Sheamus praises Finn for their matches on the UK tour and calls him he flagship Superstar of NXT, a future WWE World Heavyweight Champion

WWE was No. 2 most searched term on Google this weekend

WWE ended up at the No. 2 most searched term on Google this weekend with 500,000 searches. This was mainly due to the story that came out Saturday where hacker group Anonymous revealed that Survivor Series in Atlanta was among many locations being considered for a terrorist attack by ISIS. The big Alvarez vs. Cotto boxing fight topped Google this weekend with 1.2 million searches.

Triple H Comments on the Success of Survivor Series

November 22, 2015

Awesome Kong announces her retirement from pro wrestling

Kia Stevens, who WWE fans will remember as Kharma from a WWE run that was more build than action (but that did provide us with a cool Royal Rumble moment back in 2012), has informed Japanese fans that she will not be working an upcoming show in Korakuen Hall that she was scheduled to appear in on November 25.

According to the letter published in Japanese on-line that's because she will retire at age 38. Stevens, who is much better known by the name she worked under outside of WWE, Awesome Kong, states in the announcment that doctors suggested she hang up her boots. And because she doesn't feel she can perform at the level fans expect of her, she is following their suggestion.

Kong returned to TNA, where she's probably experienced the most success with two Knockouts titles and a run with the tag belts over her three years there from 2007 - 2010, earlier this year. Reports started circulating almost immediately that she was struggling with a bad back and other ailments accumulated throughout her career. Though she still made an impression with her natural charisma and knowing how to work a compelling match - especially with frequent rival Gail Kim - her ring work was noticeably effected by whatever injuries with which she was coping.

source: camelclutchblog.com

WWE Director Talks Vince McMahon On Commentary And Why He Stopped, Angle With Vince's Limo Exploding

Recently on The Steve Austin Show - Unleashed!, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin interviewed long-time WWE Director Kerwin Silfies. Silfies talked about why Vince McMahon stopped doing commentary for WWE programming, what he thought of McMahon becoming an in-ring performer, and what his favorite moment has been in his over 30-year career with WWE.

According to Silfies, McMahon was an excellent commentator because no one knew the booking plans better than McMahon.

"Nobody can tell the story that needs to be told better than the man who booked the story, and, so, everything [McMahon] did [on commentary] was pretty perfect. And I think that's why whatever color [commentary] guys were working with him, they did their best work working with him, with the exception of Bobby [Heenan], who, hands down, did his best work working with Gorilla [Monsoon] because he wasn't intimidated by him and he wasn't worried that he would say the wrong thing."

Silfies claimed that McMahon stopped doing commentary because he could not control everything behind-the-scenes when he was on commentary.

"He [has] got an amazing, amazing mind, if you ask me." Silfies continued, "I think he stopped [commentating] because he was frustrated having to sit there [at the commentary desk] and not be able to control other aspects of the show because he had to be doing the commentary and he could make do with someone else doing the commentary easier than he could sit there and watch everybody else, myself included, screw things up because he wasn't able to help."

Silfies thought that McMahon set a good example for staff when he started getting in the ring as a performer as he was willing to do anything he asked others to do. Silfies said he also worried about McMahon's safety.

"Well, first, I thought that it was a great example for everyone that 'I'm not expecting anybody to do things that I won't do myself to the limits of my capabilities' and his are pretty unlimited. And I also thought, 'please don't let him get hurt!'"

Silfies said his favorite WWE moment was blowing up McMahon in the limousine during the "Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night" episode of WWE Monday Night RAW in 2007.

"It was kind of a small moment, but I was very proud of it and it was when we blew up Vince in the limo because it took a lot of work to set that up and there was all kinds of speculation about how we did it and how it was 'Vince got out the other side of the car' and 'there was a fake leg that came out' and all kinds of stuff that was just baloney. But we're not Hollywood. We're the WWE and we do a lot of things really, really well, but we're not Hollywood and we didn't have a five million dollar budget for that stunt and it came out perfect." Silfies added, "people in the arena calling EMTs saying that Vince just got blown up in the parking lot. Now, that's crazy! That's just flat out crazy, but it was that good."

In addition to these topics, Silfies talked about WrestleMania being the easiest event to direct and shared his thoughts on how the product has changed over time. Click here to listen to the entire show.

John Cena Speaks Out On His Current WWE Hiatus, Responds to Fan Criticism That He “Holds Everyone Down”, Talks His WWE Future, More

WWE star John Cena, who is currently on hiatus from WWE as he films the new FOX reality show “American Grit”, recently spoke to Zap2It.com about his decision to take time off WWE TV to film the show.

While Cena has been the face of WWE for at least the past decade, he is no stranger to fan criticism that his main event presence does not allow new stars to emerge in WWE, and that he overshadows everyone else in the company. On that particular subject Cena had the following to say:

“I’ve been a cornerstone of WWE programming since 2002. That’s a long time, it’s more than 10 years. So much so that a portion of our audience has direct complacency with me. ‘Man, Cena holds everybody down. He doesn’t give the new guys a chance.'”

“From a company perspective, as you know I hold it very near and dear to my heart, the dance floor is open, boys. I’m gone, let’s see who steps up. And I like that. As much as I want to try to distance myself or as much as someone who views me would try to distance myself from WWE, I’m never going to go.”

Triple H Issues Statement On WWE Survivor Series - ISIS Threat, No Credible Information, More

Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities have confirmed there is no specific or credible information involving a threat against tomorrow’s WWE Survivor Series at Philips Arena. However, WWE and Philips Arena have coordinated with the appropriate agencies and law enforcement, and significantly increased security measures to ensure the safety of all those in attendance, which is our highest priority. Doors will open at 6 p.m. to help fans avoid any delays in entering the arena due to the additional precautionary security procedures put in place. Fans are encouraged to take public transportation (MARTA) to the event and are advised that bags will not be permitted in the arena

November 21, 2015

FBI and WWE Release Statements Concerning the ISIS/Survivor Series Threats

The FBI has released the following statement to WSB-TV in Atlanta:

“The FBI is aware of reports of an alleged threat that includes an Atlanta, Georgia venue and event. While we take all threats seriously, we do not have specific or credible information of an attack at this time. We have, however, made the proper notifications as we continue to work closely with our law enforcement and private sector partners to keep our community safe.”

WWE issued the following statement: “WWE Survivor Series is currently scheduled as planned while we investigate the matter with federal, state and local authorities.”

Hacking Group Anonymous Says ISIS May Be Planning to Attack at WWE Survivor Series

The International Business Times has an article about hacking group Anonymous waging war on terrorist organization The Islamic State (IS, ISIS, Daesh) after the recent attacks in Paris, France.

Anonymous says ISIS may be planning an attack at the WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view on Sunday in Atlanta, as well as other targets on Sunday. They released this statement and list of additional targets, some unconfirmed including the Survivor Series:

"The goal is to make sure the whole world, or at least the people going to these events, know that there have been threats and that there is possibility of an attack to happen. Another goal is to make sure Daesh knows that the world knows and cancels the attacks, which will disorientate them for a while."

"We only appeared now because our goal was to remain undercover and report everything to the right authorities and let them take all the action. But when authorities do not take action, Anonymous does. This part of the op started last Monday and has [been] and will be active 24 hours a day as long as the op is going on."

* Cigales Electroniques with Vocodecks, RE-Play & Rawtor at Le Bizen (Paris)
* Concrete Invites Drumcode: Adam Beyer, Alan Fitzpatrick, Joel Mull at Concrete (Paris)
* Demonstration by Collectif du Droit des Femmes (Paris)
* Feast of Christ the King celebrations (Rome/Worldwide)
* Al-Jihad, One Day One Juz (Indonesia)
* Five Finger Death Punch (Milan)
* University Pastoral Day (Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon)

The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Moving From New York to Texas; Steve Austin To Be Inducted in 2016

The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (PWHF) announced today plans to relocate the organization’s headquarters, hall of fame and museum to Wichita Falls. President of the PWHF, Johnny Mantell made the announcement during a ceremony at the new headquarters, which will be located in the Annex of the First Wichita Building, known locally as Big Blue.

Mantell said, “The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame honors the men and women in this business around the World! Professional wrestling has strong roots in Wichita Falls and we are proud to bring the Hall of Fame and Museum to Big Blue in downtown Wichita Falls.”

Henry Florsheim, president and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce said, “Wrestling is a huge part of our culture; in fact, the largest crowds our coliseum ever draws are for professional wrestling. This is a huge feather in the cap for Downtown Wichita Falls and the city as a whole, and may well turn in to one of our largest tourism draws.”

November 20, 2015

WWE Network Breaks Into Top Five Of Streaming Services

There’s no need for Netflix to watch out, but WWE is building up some steam with its streaming service.

WWE issued a press release Thursday touting the WWE Network as a top-five Over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, based on a report by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting firm.

WWE Network ranked higher than both NFL Game Pass and HBO Now on a top 10 list based on subscriptions. The complete rankings are below:

Amazon Video
WWE Network
NFL Game Pass
The Blaze

The report noted that 40% of OTT video services in the United States were launched within the past two years—WWE Network launched in 2014—while 25% came out in 2015.

In its third-quarter financial report last month, WWE said that the addition of original content and additional live specials helped lift the subscriber count to a healthy 1.2 million.

That’s a long way from Netflix, which is closing in on 70 million subscribers, but WWE trails only MLB.TV in the sports genre. Parks said the WWE holds a distinct advantage over other sports programming, with its ability to resist “seasonality common to other sports OTT video service,” and as a result it continues to add subscribers. In other words, WWE’s lack of an offseason allows the promotion to add subscribers throughout the year without fear of a significant lull.

Many have called for WWE to explore a possible offseason for the safety of its wrestlers, who only get a break when they get hurt. Major injuries to top stars Seth Rollins and Randy Orton in 2015 add credence to that claim. But with WWE’s non-stop schedule adding a boost to subscribers, in addition to the company’s inherent next-man-up philosophy, an offseason is virtually out of the question.

source: forbes.com

Rumor Mill - Backstage News on the Controversial WWE RAW Angle with Paige and Charlotte, Was It Almost Nixed?

Regarding the controversial RAW ending with Paige and WWE Divas Champion Charlotte this week, where Paige took a shot at Charlotte's late brother Reid Flair, PWInsider reports that the idea to mention Reid was presented to Charlotte and she was able to give feedback on the angle, in terms of the verbiage she would use and the way the angle was being presented - as a way to give Charlotte some sympathy from the fans.

The original idea reportedly came from something Charlotte mentioned to WWE creative recently, about how her entire career is a tribute to Reid. Apparently some parts of the angle were dropped throughout the day and other parts evolved. Charlotte was not forced into the segment and was given time to prepare or give feedback during the day.

It was also noted that the angle was discussed a lot throughout the day and senior WWE creative members were against it. Some voiced their opinions to Vince McMahon, who ultimately made the call. There's talk that the angle was actually pulled before RAW went on the air but Vince made the decision to keep it on the show.

Triple H Speaks Out on Hulk Hogan Possibly Returning to WWE, Reveals Whether Or Not He Thinks Hogan Can Be Forgiven and More

WWE star Triple H called into “Greg and the Morning Buzz” today for “Lend A Helping Can” and to promote Survivor Series on Sunday, and during the call-in Triple H talked about Hulk Hogan’s firing and whether or not WWE would have him back. Below is a quote from Triple H:

On whether or not Hogan can one day return to WWE, or at least the Hall of Fame:

“For me I hope so. It’s about reinvigorating his brand and him as a human being and the confidence within the world as to who he is. But the one thing about people in general, when somebody is on top they love to see him fall and when they fall they love to see him make that comeback. They’re great stories and I think that’s where people are. Do I think he can be forgiven and make amends with the world and move forward? Ya absolutely. But at the same point in time for us in that time frame you’re putting up a message to the world of how you’ll tolerate things and how you’ll react to things. And we did what we needed to do and he’ll do what he needs to do to get himself back.

And its not, to me, at the end of the day for him, how he’s perceived by the world, him as a human being, I’m sure is a lot more important to him than anything else. And re-establishing who he is as a human being I’m sure is of utmost important to him and I’m sure he’s gonna do it and when he does we’ll go from there.”

November 19, 2015

WWE Issues Statement On Controversial Charlotte And Paige RAW Angle

As noted, WWE was planning on releasing a statement in regards to the controversial RAW angle with Paige and WWE Divas Champion Charlotte, where Charlotte's late brother Reid Flair was insulted by Paige.

They issued this statement to F4Wonline.com this evening:

"Subject matter this personal is only approved as a result of the strong advocacy of the talent themselves. Notwithstanding that, WWE is ultimately responsible for what airs in its programming."

Rumor Mill - WWE To Issue Statement On Charlotte - Paige Angle

F4Wonline.com reports that WWE will be releasing a statement on the controversial RAW main event angle with Paige and WWE Divas Champion Charlotte soon. The statement will reportedly say that the idea came from Charlotte, and that it was taken out of the script but she insisted it be put in.

Ric Flair Talks About the WWE RAW Ending with Paige and Charlotte

This week's Monday Night Raw made waves, but perhaps not in the manner in which WWE wanted. The show closed with a controversial angle that saw Paige bring up Charlotte's deceased brother Reid. Many fans, wrestlers, and even Reid's mother thought it was in bad taste.

Ric Flair, Reid's father spoke out on his CBS Radio and Play.it Wooo! Nation podcast, about the controversy and said that he was never approached about his feelings regarding the angle.

Flair also said that his daughter Ashley, better known as Charlotte, was probably too afraid to shoot down the angle because she's not been on the roster very long.

"Obviously I have an opinion, but I'm afraid to voice it because I don't want anything to affect Ashley's career," said Ric. "I know that Hunter and Stephanie and Michael Hayes have her back. I don't think she feels she's comfortable enough to say 'no' to anything yet, she's only been up there three-months"

Flair mentioned that just because Charlotte is the current Divas Title holder, it's still tough for anyone to say no to storyline ideas on the WWE main roster.

"It's a pressure cooker, and a tough spot to be in," Flair explained. "If you're asked to do something, that's pretty much the way things operate up there. Everybody walks on pins and needles. Just because you're the champ, doesn't mean you say no. It's a very sensitive issue, it's very new. I know her mom is on fire. I'm not going out on a limb to say what I think."

Flair very clearly wasn't happy with the angle, and wasn't approached prior or after it happened on television, saying "I never heard a word about it. I started crying when I was watching." He reiterated that Triple H, Stephanie and Michael Hayes wouldn't do anything to intentionally hurt Charlotte.

Flair said that even though he wasn't approached, he doesn't think it would have mattered.

"I don't think that it would have made any difference. If they ask you to do something, what is she going to say? 'No, I quit?," Flair said, before asking his co-host what the fans on the internet thought

Flair also mentioned that he'd be in Atlanta for Survivor Series, and that he thinks this situation will be old news be then. You can hear the full, emotional podcast over at the Play.it podcast network this link.

WWE Awards More $10,000 Scholarships To Full Sail Students, Triple H Comments

WWE sent us the following this afternoon:


Winter Park, Fla. and Stamford, Conn., November 19, 2015 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) is pleased to announce it has awarded four $10,000 scholarships to the following Full Sail University students:

* Joanne Castillo, a Recording Arts student from San Jose, CA.

* Travis Daniels, a Film student from Buford, GA.

* Brandon Mojica, a Sports Marketing & Media student from Bronx, NY.

* Kas Soloman, a Recording Arts student from Gahanna, OH.

WWE has now awarded 18 scholarships to Full Sail University students, for a total of $180,000 since WWE's partnership with Full Sail began in May, 2012. These scholarships are applied toward the recipient's areas of study within the university.

"WWE and Full Sail University have established a partnership built on our mutual desire to nurture and build the next generation of entertainment and media professionals," said Paul "Triple H" Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Creative & Live Events. "We wish all of today's scholarship recipients continued success."

"We are once again proud to stand alongside our valued partners and friends at WWE as we share this incredible announcement of the latest four scholarships awarded to our students," said Garry Jones, President of Full Sail University. "On behalf of the Full Sail University community, I extend our tremendous thanks to WWE for continuing to recognize the dedication of our students, while congratulating the recent scholarship recipients."

WWE selected Castillo, Daniels, Mojica, and Soloman to receive these scholarships for exhibiting exceptional professionalism, creative talent and maintaining good academic standing, while shadowing professional WWE staff and crew during the production of NXT® events at Full Sail University.

WWE Contacting More Contracted ROH And LUG Wrestlers, Plans For NXT Expansion In 2016

WWE officials are becoming more aggressive when it comes to contacting wrestlers that are currently signed to Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground.

WWE is preparing to do extensive touring with NXT in 2016 and they are trying to add a lot of top indie wrestlers to the roster, talents that previously may not have been signed due to restrictions on size and look.

The plan was described to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter as a show with the WWE branding and WWE production but with ROH-level main event matches.

WWE Announces WWE Week On USA Network With The Slammy Awards, Tribute To The Troops And More

WWE announced the following today:

'WWE Week' kicks off Dec. 20 on USA Network

NEW YORK and STAMFORD, Conn. — USA Network and WWE will kick off the holiday season with an action-packed "WWE Week." The week begins Sunday, Dec. 20, with "Santa's Little Helper," followed by Monday Night Raw and the 2015 WWE Slammy Awards on Monday, Dec. 21, a live SmackDown on Tuesday, Dec. 22, and a two-hour WWE Tribute to the Troops special on Wednesday, Dec. 23. The week will also include a daytime interviews with WWE Superstars and Divas.

On Sunday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. ET, USA Network will air "Santa's Little Helper," an original comedy from WWE Studios and 20th Century Fox. The film follows a fast-talking businessman who is given the opportunity of a lifetime to become Santa Claus' second-in-command. "Santa's Little Helper" is directed by Gil Junger and produced by Richard Lowell and features WWE Superstar The Miz and WWE Diva Paige. AnnaLynne McCord ("90210," "American Heiress") and Eric Keenleyside ("Godzilla," "The Interpreter") star.

On Monday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. ET, USA Network will air Monday Night Raw, live from Minneapolis, featuring the annual fan-voted Slammy Awards — WWE's biggest awards event of the year — honoring the best of the year with its own golden statue. On Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. ET, USA Network will air SmackDown live from Des Moines, Iowa. Both Raw and SmackDown will showcase a star-studded cast of WWE Superstars and Divas, and deliver a shot of adrenaline to viewers with over-the-top action, feats of athleticism and high-octane drama.

On Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 8 p.m. ET, USA Network will air the 13th annual holiday special, WWE Tribute to the Troops. In the tradition of Bob Hope, WWE brings together the best of sports-entertainment and pop culture with celebrity appearances and performances from music's most popular acts — performed for our servicemen and women — to honor their commitment and dedication to our country. This year, Grammy Award-winning rock band Train will perform. WWE Tribute to the Troops has become a holiday tradition and is considered TV's most patriotic and heartwarming show of the year. It will chronicle WWE's visit to Florida's Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena for military personnel and their families stationed at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Naval Station Mayport and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. While in town, WWE Superstars and Divas will spend the day giving back to those who serve and their families with visits to each base, a Be a STAR anti-bullying rally and military outreach.

WWE also takes over USA Daytime from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, through Friday, Dec. 24, as host Cat Greenleaf conducts interviews from her iconic stoop with WWE Superstars and Divas.

TNA Reveals New TV Deal, Timeslot

TNA has announced that Impact Wrestling will debut on POP TV, the former TV Guide Channel, beginning Tuesday, January 5th at 9pm EST. This will be a live episode but they will air every Tuesday night on POP.

Ex-NFL Star Comments On Training With Booker T In Hopes Of Being Signed By WWE

Former NFL star Brennan Williams is currently training with WWE Hall of Famer Booker T at his wrestling school in Houston, Texas. Williams stated a few months ago that he hopes to sign with WWE in 2016.

William recently spoke with Sean Pendergast for the Houston Press about his career. Down below is an excerpt from that interview in which he discusses his wrestling career and training with Booker T.

“I was drafted by the Texans so I could meet Booker T, I signed with Jacksonville so I could have a home in Florida near WWE’s developmental facility and I was signed by the Patriots to get that one week paycheck to pay my rent to train in Houston. That’s honestly how I see it,” Williams said. Williams, who says he watching Raw instead of football when he was called by the Patriots, already has ring entrance music, a gimmick, and his look mapped out.”

WWE Signs Former NJPW And CMLL Star

WWE announced the following today, confirming recent reports that they were close to signing La Sombra:

Manuel Alfonso Andrade Oropeza, of Mexico City, has signed with NXT and WWE, joining the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla.

Formerly known as "La Sombra," Oropeza is a third-generation luchador whose grandfather, father, uncles and cousins all competed in Mexico. Oropeza signed with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in 2007 at age 17, where he trained under El Satanico. While there, he held many titles, including the CMLL Trio and Tag Team titles and the NWA Welterweight and Middleweight titles.

The WWE Performance Center's newest luchador also brings experience from Japan; Oropeza made multiple trips to Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), winning the organization's Intercontinental Championship in 2013.

November 18, 2015

Details On John Cena's New TV Project With FOX

WWE announced the following today:

John Cena and Fox team up for 'American Grit'

WWE Superstar John Cena is joining forces with Fox and Leftfield Pictures for a brand-new and unique 10-episode reality competition. "American Grit' will split 16 of the country's toughest men and women into four teams as they work together to face a variety of military-grade and survival-themed challenges.

Cena has recruited an elite group of mentors from the nation's most exclusive military units that will push these civilians beyond their limits. These mentors, known as "The Cadre," include Rorke Denver, Noah Galloway, Tawanda "Tee" Hanible and Nick "The Reaper" Irving. These real-life heroes represent diverse backgrounds and top branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and will impart their first-hand knowledge and experiences to enable their teams to leave no one behind.

At the end of each episode, teams will have to overcome "The Circus" – a punishing, endurance-based obstacle course designed to break the weakest competitors. It is the ultimate test of strength, stamina, the human spirit and teamwork, because one team has the chance to win a $1 million dollar prize.

"The U.S Military is the epitome of resolve and dedication, which is why I am so excited to be a part of 'American Grit'," said Cena. "This show will not only be a challenging and fierce competition, but it will give viewers a glimpse into the perseverance and training of the men and women of the Armed Forces."

WWE and Cena have been longtime supporters of the United States Armed Forces. WWE's mission for the military is to support the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces both at home and abroad through programs that boost morale for soldiers on the field, offer free entertainment for active military at home, and provide workforce assistance for veterans.

"'American Grit' is a bold, aspirational competition series that aligns with the spirit of the Fox unscripted brand," said David Madden, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "The team at Leftfield and the incredible John Cena have created a series built on the pillars of determination, dedication and strength that we know will resonate with our audience. John is not only a phenomenal athlete but a motivational force, who inspires fans around the world, and we are thrilled he is leading the charge."

"We are excited to be working with Fox and John Cena on a show that highlights the American spirit of competition, which is epitomized by Cena," said executive producer and CEO, Leftfield Entertainment, Brent Montgomery. "With John as their inspiration, our contestants will show viewers what happens when you swing for the fences with focus, commitment and teamwork."

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