By Nicholas LeVack
Thanks for pulling yourselves away from the WWE Network, which seems to have launched without too much of a hitch. That said, I actually don’t have much news on the launch. I’ll have a few miscellaneous bits of hopefully helpful information at the end, so stick around for that. First and foremost, we’ve got some details on John Cena’s knee injury, Sting, Jake Roberts’ surgery and more.
Raw Backstage Pass Sheds Light on John Cena Knee Injury
It was originally reported that John Cena had sustained a knee injury during the Wyatts’ assault. The newer news doesn’t look much better. Rajah has since reported that Raw Backstage Pass has offered some new details for the developing story.
“On Raw Backstage Pass on WWE Network, ringside physician Dr. Chris Amann explained that John Cena felt something shift or give in his knee during the confrontation. While he refused treatment at first, Cena was transported to a local medical facility for more evaluation. Cena is still refusing to have an MRI done on his knee.”
Note from John Canton: PWTorch.com is reporting that Cena isn't actually hurt.
PWTorch has confirmed with multiple sources that John Cena's "injury" on Raw was a work and not a legitimate knee injury.
WWE played up the "injury" throughout Raw, then followed up on their new post-game show claiming that Cena "felt his knee shift or give out" during a scrap with the Wyatts.
WWE added in their "medical update" that Cena was transported to a local medical facility, where they wanted Cena to undergo and MRI, but Cena refused. WWE said the medical team would continue monitoring Cena's health.
WWE went through with a coordinated effort to sell the injury, as WWE had audio of Cena complaining about the "injury" on a single-leg take down by Erick Rowan and the announcers were prepped to focus on the takedown spot during a post-segment replay.
It's just a storyline. In Nick LeVack's defense, this news came out after he wrote the News Update.
Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad Fame to Guest Host Next Week’s Raw
In news that’s nothing monumental, WrestlingInc reported that actor Aaron Paul, best known as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad, will be the celebrity guest host for next week’s Monday Night Raw. He’ll be there promoting the new Need for Speed movie, which looks, I ‘unno, like a kinda fun bro film, I guess. But whatever, Aaron Paul’s awesome! If Raw wasn’t PG, I’d look forward to him calling everyone he runs into a b*tch.
Sting No Longer Contracted to TNA
A slightly dubious source claims TNA confirmed to him that Sting no longer works for the company. After WrestleZone.com reader Ritchie Cates asked TNA (by what means isn’t mentioned) if Sting would appear at TNA’s upcoming Lockdown pay-per-view, the company responded with the following message.
Sting is not scheduled to appear at Lockdown 2014 PPV or Fan InterAction, unfortunately Sting is no longer with the company so therefore we have no booked appearances for him at any events in the future, Sorry about that.
This certainly lends credence to the claim that Sting has been in negotiations with the WWE. However, not being signed to one company doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll show up at the other. I’m going to avoid over-analyzing this and opt for the wait-and-see approach. Maybe we’ll get his surprise debut at WrestleMania. Maybe negotiations will fall through and we’ll be disappointed. I don’t know. I’ll wait and see. (Rajah)
Jake Roberts Comments Ahead of Today’s Surgery
If you haven’t heard, Jake Roberts has cancer. Two days ago, Jake told TMZ that he noticed a tumor behind his knee. He had it tested and it turned out that yes, it’s cancerous. He said he’d soon undergo surgery, vowing to make the March 14th Jersey Championship Wrestling show for which he’s advertised, in addition to his WWE Hall of Fame induction.
At the time, he said to TMZ that if “the devil can't defeat me, cancer doesn't stand a chance in hell! Pray for sick children who face this horrible disease 'cause The Snake will be just fine."
Today, Jake is having that surgery. Via Rajah, here is Jake’s statement posted yesterday afternoon.
"Thank for for all of the support and well wishes about my procedure tomorrow. The doctors are optimistic that the growth is contained and tomorrow's removal should take care of the problem. However, we will not know for sure until it is taken out and further tests are done. I am fine and just as optimistic as the doctors. Did my DDP Yoga this morning and looking forward to all of my upcoming appearances with the fans. I will keep you posted but no need to worry about the Snake."
I don’t know anything about surgery. Not a lot about cancer either. A tumor in the knee doesn’t sound as bad as one in the lungs or the brain, so I’m hesitantly optimistic. Regardless, here’s hoping that this tough-as-nails, spitting-in-the-devil’s-face maniac comes out of the surgery a-okay, so that he can enjoy his long overdue induction this April in New Orleans.
Miscellaneous Bits of WWE Network News
First off, one of the most common issues seems to be with navigating to the subscription purchasing page itself. WrestlingInc offers a simple solution for those suffering this problem.
“When I signed up through WWE.com, I was receiving an error that read, ‘Media Error: Video not available’ I actually had to click on ‘My Account,’ and then select ‘Buy Gift Subscription,’ which is where I selected the ‘One Week Trial’ button and entered my credit card information. Upon doing that, the videos started working.”
Simple, yet for those I know who have tried it, effective.
Also, Rajah has a list of WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-views currently unavailable on the Network. It’s a short list, so odds are you’ll be able to find anything you’re looking for. First thing I looked up was Survivor Series 2002, the very first pay-per-view I watched live. It’s there and it’s as great as I remember it.
Personally, I’ve been enjoying the service so far, though it’s not without some problems. The resolution doesn’t seem to maintain a consistent 720p; videos won’t play if I leave them paused for too long, forcing me to refresh the page; and I’m currently unable to sign into the Xbox 360 version of the app. At first, I wasn’t able to get any video playback on my phone, but that’s since been remedied, allowing me to watch a few minutes of the 24/7 stream earlier today.
As a guy who’s accustomed to the disastrous network failures of gaming (Grand Theft Auto: Online, Battlefield 4, etc.), this launch has seemed comparatively smooth. I’m happy the WWE managed to get their Network up and running without much trouble. Now we just have to wait and see how it holds during WrestleMania, although this Thursday’s NXT pay-per-view will likely be a good test run.
Nicholas LeVack is a double major in English creative writing and journalism whose interests include writing, wrestling, video games and occasional outdoorsy things. You can follow him on Twitter, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and take part in his first venture into video game journalism at doublejump.co.