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Rumor Roundup (April 24, 2014): TNA Trouble, CM Punk tweet, John Cena misses taping, Hulk Hogan movie, more!

How much longer can TNA survive? What did CM Punk do on social media now? Who replaced John Cena at this week's Smackdown! taping? Possible answers to these questions in today's Rumor Round-Up.

For many fans, reading about rumors -- and trawling the sites that traffic in them -- has become as popular as watching the matches themselves. In this daily column, we take a look at the biggest rumors and weirdest stories being churned out by those pro wrestling "news" sites.

Important reminders: Rumors are "rumors" and not "news" for a reason, folks. That which has not been confirmed as legitimate news or fact will be made clear. Also, don't let these things ruin your day. It gets better.

TNA is in terrible, terrible trouble:

Things are getting worse by the day in TNA according to the dirt screens, with serious "heat" backstage on Dixie Carter for passing the buck on the problems in the company, from their lack of a presence at WrestleMania weekend to why morale is low. While it may seem like Carter would have a say in decisions like "whether or not they have shows near the site of WrestleMania on the weekend of the show, like every other promotion", it's entirely possible that Carter isn't as in charge of these decisions as someone like Vince McMahon is.

  • What exact influence former WWE employee and current Executive Vice President "Big" John Gaburick has over these decisions is unclear, but he was brought in initially to "oversee management and production of TNA Entertainment television including LIVE IMPACT Wrestling, marketing and advertising production, special projects and digital assets." He's now also doing a considerable amount of the work in creative, which is said to be a bit of a disaster with nearly everyone thinking he's in over his head.
  • This feeling hasn't been helped by what's perceived as a highly secretive creative process. From the decision to put the title on Eric Young on down, there seems to be feeling that the energy put into keeping secrets would be better spent coming up with original ideas.
  • Secrets that include surprise visits from members of TNA's parent company, Panda Energy. The phrase "parent company" is both necessary and intentional, as it was Dixie's own mother, Janice Carter, who appeared with a company lawyer at the corporate offices in Nashville.
  • All of these problems are further exacerbated by serious concerns surrounding whether or not they can get a new deal with Spike TV. Without a TV deal, the TNA brand would become even more worthless than WCW was when Vince bought it for just a little bit more than a million dollars in 2001. The last time there was a deal to be renewed, the contract had already been signed by this point in the year.

It's entirely possible that these are just the usual problems associated with being a perpetual number two, and that the TV deal will come to fruition once Viacom is completely sure it won't be getting the rights to WWE's programming. But until that happens, it's going to feel like a like the sky is falling on TNA, and it just might be.

Random Rumors and NEWZ

  • In one of the single dumbest stories in the history of internet NEWZ sites, CM Punk has apparently made his first appearance on Twitter in ages, favorited a picture of a random's fan picture of his nephews dressed as himself and Ultimate Warrior. The level to which this is a non-story is remarkable, and doesn't even appear in his timeline at the moment, but it shows precisely how desperate the internet is for any news regarding the Second City Saint. We at the Rumor Round-Up personally thank him for the page views but genuinely wonder if he'll be able to use "NEWZ sites loved me" as leverage if he ever decides to come back to the company.
  • With Daniel Bryan's taking the week off for personal reasons, John Cena was supposed to appear at the SmackDown tapings last night but failed to do so for reasons that remain unclear. Instead, the Shield chasing off the Wyatt family was used as the "crowd goes home happy" part of the dark match.
  • The longstanding rumors regarding War Games matches in WWE continue unabated, with Tampa now seen as a possible place to house the massive cage structure. The arena there, the Times Forum, could accommodate the two rings necessary for the match.
  • Joining bestie Sylvester Stallone and other cinematic luminaries like Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme and Eric Roberts, Hulk Hogan will likely be a part of the Expendables 4 cast. Whether he'll be reenacting the famous limo scene depicted below remains unclear, but we sure hope he does.
  • If you have heard of any interesting rumors that you'd like to add, feel free to post them in the comments section below. Please remember, these are merely rumors. Try not to take them too seriously, just have fun with them.

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