– Vince McMahon was reportedly scrambling at Monday’s RAW when Ryback failed to do hisfinisher on Tensai. Workers in the production truck were instructed to make him look as strong as possible with the replays.

– WWE officials are very high on United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. WWE feels they willmake a lot of money off Cesaro in the future so expect his push to continue.

Some feel that WWE wanted to do right by Cesaro and that’s why they hired his girlfriend Sara Del Rey as a developmental trainer.

– With John Cena and Randy Orton being gone from last weekend’s WWE live events, CM Punk’s importance to the company was a hot topic backstage. The feeling right now is that only two guys really draw big for the company – John Cena and CM Punk.

There’s also a feeling that they need to get Punk to where he doesn’t end up beat up and worn out like Cena and so many other top talents are. People this weekend were saying that Punk was looking sick or worn down.

Punk is being compared to Bret Hart’s early days with WWE in the sense that he’s the companyworkhorse but doesn’t get the nod of approval that a John Cena or Hulk Hogan would get.

– There is a lot of heat on Edge within WWE right now. WWE pretty much made another Legends deal offer to him when he worked the recent SmackDown tapings but he was not interested. Edge does not want to be locked into a WWE deal and wants to be able to do his own things. When WWE originally saw that Edge’s contract was ending, they offered him a Legends deal similar to what Shawn Michaels has but word is the money offered was a bit of an insult.

There is also some heat on Edge because of Beth Phoenix leaving. There’s a belief that she’s leaving in part to help him recover from neck surgery in November. Also, there are some people high up in the company that aren’t happy about his upcoming appearance for Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore promotion.

Edge and WWE will most likely work together in the future but there is definitely the feeling within WWE that he’s sort of gone against them.

– Randy Orton noted on Twitter that he will be away filming 12 Rounds: Reloaded for up to 2 months total.

– Jim Ross is now confirmed to commentate at next week’s RAW from Sacramento, California. As noted, JBL will also be returning next week.

– In an update from last night’s WWE tapings in Tulsa, the match between Antonio Cesaro and Derrick Bateman may have been a dark match and not a Saturday Morning Slam match. Brodus Clay vs. Epico is confirmed for SMS.

– The feeling among some talents backstage at last night’s WWE SmackDown tapings was that taping Superstars, Saturday Morning Slam, Main Event and SmackDown in one night is too much. The tapings felt long and drawn out.

* Big Show opens SmackDown and talks about Hell In a Cell. Sheamus comes out and they have words. Sheamus offers his hand for a shake but Show walks out of the ring. Sheamus plays footage of Show losing his World Title in 45 seconds. Show comes back to the ring but Sheamus walks out on him this time.

* Darren Young and Titus O’Neil defeated R-Truth and Kofi Kingston in a tag team tournament match.

* Ryback squashed Primo.

* Layla defeated Alicia Fox with Eve Torres on commentary.

* Wade Barrett squashed a local wrestler.

* CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler is announced for tonight’s main event.

* The Miz defeated Sheamus by DQ when Big Show came out and hit a WMD punch on Miz.

* David Otunga came out with Alberto Del Rio to brag about last week’s attack on Randy Orton. This led to Booker T putting them in a tag match.

* Kane and Daniel Bryan beat Alberto Del Rio and David Otunga. Del Rio walked out on the match and Kane chokeslammed Otunga for the win.

* Tensai beat Big Show by DQ when Sheamus came out and hit Tensai with a Brogue Kick.

* CM Punk beat Dolph Ziggler in the main event.

– We’ve been reporting how Jeff Hardy’s TNA contract expires in February or March of 2013 and the rumors are that he’s interested in returning to WWE or hitting the independent scene with his brother Matt Hardy. A TNA source reports that Hardy is leaving towards re-signing with TNA if they can come to terms.

PWInsider reports that Hardy and TNA are currently negotiating a new deal.

Several independent promoters have came to Matt and Jeff with the idea of reuniting them onthe independent wrestling scene. At least one promotion was planning to use the Hardys as a team in February but those plans were recently called off or put on hold. WWE could always make an offer but the feeling is that Hardy is interested in a lighter schedule than what WWE would want him to do.

The Claire Lynch storyline: “As far as Frankie (Kazarian) and myself, our main goal was to try to come out of it looking like the crap-stirring scumbags that we wanted to play, that we’re trying to be. Every time we went out there with a promo, every time we went out there with a pre-tape or any sort of interaction like that, we were looking to see how quickly we could get people’s ire raised. Whatever the positivity of it in the beginning, and then what some people sort of perceive as missteps in the angle, it didn’t matter to us how that was going. All that mattered to us was that at the end of each segment or the end of each episode of this particular saga, Frankie and I came out looking like the dastardly duo that we are.

“I think that people misunderstand what happened behind the scenes as the reason that it ended. My understanding of it from the beginning was that it was going to end when it ended. All the pertinent players weren’t there when it ended, but that didn’t affect the way it went down. The major parts were myself, Frankie, and AJ, and that was the important stuff. The focus was started there, and it ended there; everything else was just incidental, in my eyes. I was very happy with the way it ended, because in the end AJ got his vindication. Frankie and I, our reputations are what they are, and what we built them up to be, and now we move forward with not just us versus AJ, but us versus the Impact Wrestling locker room.”

Kurt Angle recently spoke with MMA Uncensored about various topics. Here are somehighlights.

On the transitions of King Mo into wrestling and Davie Bautista into MMA: “Well, I think King Mo is a natural because he has a lot of charisma. He’s has to learn the techniques. He’s actually called me probably every other week asking me when will the soreness go away. Pro wrestling is very grueling, you take a lot of punishment.

“But I think Bautista is a special talent. I think he’s a very tough guy, I think he’s going to do very well in MMA. He wasn’t an amateur wrestler like most pro wrestlers that cross over usually were amateurs wrestlers like Brock Lesnar or Bobby Lashley. But, Bautista will do really well. He’s a tough kid, he’s got a great knockout punch. I know that for sure because I was up in WWE and I’ve seen him have a couple of fights. [Laughs.]“

On whether he would have chosen MMA over wrestling looking back on it now: “Yes, I would have done MMA if I would have known that it would have blown up the way it did. I’d say, in 1999, I joined the WWE and pro wrestling and then went to TNA. If MMA would have blown up, I would have done it. I would have gone full blown into it. But, I was so far into it, main eventing WrestleManias, that there was no way for me to turn back. I do love pro wrestling and being with TNA — I don’t regret it, but it just wasn’t the right time. The money was in pro wrestling at the time.

On comments Dana White said about Kurt agreeing to be on The Ultimate Fighter 10 and then having the deal fall through: “That is true. The hard part about it was that Dana and I never had a problem with money. I met with Dana at different times — two times to be exact — where I went out to Las Vegas and sat down with Dana White. I even took the UFC physical. The problem was the starting date. He wanted me ready in four and a half weeks. I did not think I would be ready at that particular time.

“I didn’t want to go in there half-hearted, I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I wanted 3-6 months but at the time, he couldn’t give me that time. I respect Dana White and his decision and my decision, I hope he can respect that as well.”

On whether or not he and Brock had a legitimate wrestling match in WWE and who won: “A, it is true. What happened was Brock Lesnar came in and he said I was too small and he was too big for me. I kept challenging him every week. Eventually, we got in the ring and we went at it. I’ll just say that I got the better of him but I can tell you that Brock Lesnar is an animal, he’s a beast. At his prime — and I want to say before he got sick — I wanna say he’s one of the baddest guys on the planet.

“He had the strength, the quickness, the finesse. you don’t have a guy that size that can do the things he did. He wasn’t just a great pro wrestler, he was a great MMA fighter. He would have gotten better if he didn’t get sick. I think that the sickness that he had definitely brought him down a couple notches to where he really wasn’t the real Brock Lesnar.

On whether he would and wouldn’t try MMA in the future: “I can’t say yes or no. I’m 43. I tried out for the Olympics last year and I kept getting injured. It was one of those things where I was wrestling great, I think I could have made the team but I just kept getting injured. I’m 43-years old, my body is breaking down. The pro wrestling hasn’t helped me.

“It’s probably no, but if the offers good enough, you never know. Kurt Angle might be in the MMA octagon.”


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