Friday 2/12 Torch Today – Events & TV Center, Cena gets NASCAR gig & Road to Recovery, Stone Cold talks WWE concussions, WWE returning to Middle East, WWE releases new Styles & D-Bryan merch, Scott Hall DVD, Becky talks cutting promo on Flair, Tessa Blanchard available for bookings, Video – SHINE 32

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

AJ Styles Royal Rumble
A.J. Styles (photo credit Ben Tucker © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

TORCH TODAY – Friday, February 12, 2016

– FRIDAY’S EVENTS & TV CENTER: WWE continues a tour of Germany, while the NXT brand is in Florida. … FIP is on Internet PPV through WWNLive or the new Fite TV App. … A.J. Styles is on New Japan TV on AXS TV tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST. … AIW runs a big show in Cleveland on Friday night. … Paragon Pro tapes television in Las Vegas. (Full Events Preview) (TV Listings)

On MMATorch: Coverage of sad news that former UFC Hvt. champion Kevin Randleman has died at the age of 44. (News Report)

On PWPodcasts.com: Recaps of Colt Cabana’s new podcast series, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s show, and more.

On PWTorchLivecast.com: Listen on-demand to this week’s PWTorch Livecast episodes, including interviews with Hurricane Helms on Wednesday and Homicide talking Daniel Bryan on Thursday.

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– WWE top star John Cena is scheduled to drive the pace car at the Daytona 500 NASCAR race next Sunday, February 21. The race airs on Fox, which now has a relationship with Cena for the new “American Grit” TV series premiering in April. (Fox Sports Report)

Meanwhile, Cena is continuing to document his recovery from shoulder surgery trying to get back in the ring. Cena said he still has a “long way to go.”

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin talked to TMZ at the airport about Daniel Bryan’s retirement due to concussions. Asked if there is a “concussion epidemic in WWE,” Austin said he views it as an isolated situation for Bryan.

“I just think Daniel Bryan worked a very physical cruiserweight style,” Austin said. “And finally after everything that he did, it kinda took it out of him. I don’t think it’s gonna be an epidemic, I just think it is what it is.”

– WWE is returning to Dubai in the Middle East for a post-WrestleMania Tour in April. Scheduled dates are Thursday, April 14 and Friday, April 15 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.

The advertised roster includes Dean Ambrose, New Day, Big Show, Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, and NXT star Sami Zayn. Tickets go on-sale this Monday. “WWE is delighted to come to Dubai as the UAE and the wider Middle East region continue to be a significant priority for WWE,” said WWE International president Gerritt Meier.

– WWE has released new A.J. Styles and Daniel Bryan merchandise on their Shop website. WWE’s email blast promoted a new “I Am Phenomenal” sweatshirt featuring Styles’s new stylistic “AJ” logo. Plus, a new “Thank You” Daniel Bryan t-shirt commemorating his retirement.

– WWE is planning a Scott Hall DVD release this summer. The working title is “Living on a Razor’s Edge – The Scott Hall Story.” The planned release date is July 4/5. Included is a one-on-one interview with Hall discussing his rise & fall. (WrestlingDVDNetwork.com Report)

– WWE women’s wrestler Becky Lynch was interviewed by the local newspaper in Ontario, California promoting this Tuesday’s Smackdown TV taping. Becky covered her pre-wrestling life, early start in wrestling, NXT, and current main roster TV role, including cutting a promo on Ric Flair.

“It was surreal,” Lynch said. “I’m jaw jacking with Ric Flair! The entire time I’ve been here. Dusty Rhodes was my mentor and Triple H is your boss. It’s everything you’ve grown up watching and now you’re jaw jacking with Ric Flair. I can’t even explain it other than saying it’s surreal and amazing. I wish kid me was around, like I could bring little Becky around to show her all of this. I’d love to see how she’d react.” (Full Interview at PE.com)

– Top independent women’s wrestler Tessa Blanchard is now available for wrestling and appearance bookings through Bill Behrens at SBIBookings.com. Tessa is based out of Charlotte, N.C.

– WWNLive released a recap of the SHINE 32 show featuring Taylor Made vs. Santana Garrett for the SHINE Women’s Title. Featuring So Cal Val, the video recap sets up SHINE 33 on Friday, February 26.

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