PWInsider’s Johnson Appears to be Out to Lunch

Self-proclaimed wrestling news insider Mike Johnson’s miserable coverage of Daniel Bryan’s status at WWE earns him this week’s Sheet Sandwich Out to Lunch award

It would appear as though PWInsider is backpedaling on its recent coverage of Daniel Bryan, and his status with WWE at the moment.

Last week, the site took great pride in breaking the news that Bryan would be appearing on this past Monday night’s WWE Raw show, as he was “booked to appear” on Sunday’s Payback show and, furthermore, Bryan’s Raw appearance was to “set up his appearance at Payback.”

When the night finally came, however, Bryan’s appearance on Raw did nothing to set up his appearance at Payback, and everything to do with announcing to the audience that he was injured and out of action indefinitely.

PWInsider stuck to its guns, however, claiming even as of Wednesday that Bryan would still be on Payback.

“As of yesterday, Bryan was slated to be at the Payback PPV and next week’s TV tapings.”

Later on, Mike Johnson had a meltdown, defensively claiming that PWInider had been misquoted about the entire notion that Bryan would be wrestling or defending his title.

While it is true that PWInsider never reported that Bryan would “wrestle” on the show, they did claim that he was “booked for” the pay per view event, and that Monday would “appear to set up” his role on the show. While not explicitly saying Bryan would wrestle, the language would heavily imply that was the case to most reasonable readers., having read the report on Monday, certainly took Johnson’s positioning of the story the same way, claiming PWInsider had reported that Bryan would be possibly defending the Intercontinental title at Payback.

Johnson went on a tirade, replying to a conveniently submitted question submitted at mid-week:

“Let’s review what was written vs. what was not: I reported Bryan would return to Raw. He did. I reported that he was booked for the PPV and the subsequent TV tapings. He, as of this writing, still is. I then wrote, “so it would appear his appearance tonight will set up his role for that PPV. Bryan missed a scheduled bout at April’s Extreme Rules PPV against Bad News Barrett due to the injury.”

“It would appear” was obviously speculative and I don’t believe for a second that anyone who actually read the report could believe otherwise. I try to be clear and concise as much as possible in my writing. If I knew 100% what the end result was going to be, I’d have written something along the lines of “His appearance tonight will set up his role” and, if I knew what the role would be, I’d have written it. I’m not a fan of leaving things out there with cryptic statements. “

Though not a fan of “leaving things out there with cryptic statements,” it would appear Johnson relies heavily on the crutch of vague nuance and noncommittal innuendo…

Throughout the week he remained steadfast in Bryan “appearing to be appearing on Payback” or something along those lines, while most likely never being truly sure that was the case.

And then, the other shoe dropped… he finally admitted Bryan would not be appearing on the show this Sunday. Johnson completely changed his tune.

“WWE has opted to pull Daniel Bryan from the road so he can concentrate on his physical therapy. Bryan was slated to make a cameo on the Payback PPV as well as appear on Raw and Smackdown, but will not be going on the road. The belief among those I spoke with this afternoon is Bryan won’t return to television until he is cleared to wrestle or the time comes to promote his upcoming DVD and autobiography – whichever comes first. Bryan is slated to do a book signing tour in July.”

Interestingly, “pull Daniel Bryan from the road,” would seem to indicate Bryan had been on the road with WWE anytime in the last… well, ever, since being pulled from the road back when he bowed out of the European tour, and was sent home.

Bryan’s appearance on Raw this past Monday, would appear to all logical, critical thinkers, to have been a one-off to get the Intercontinental title off of him so WWE could move on with the championship.

Johnson also backslides on Bryan’s appearance on Payback—suddenly, out of nowhere, downgrading it to a “cameo” for the show.

Johnson also appears to be punting to a few months down the line, alluding to Bryan not making appearances on TV for WWE until possibly July when his book signing and DVD are slated to land.

This, of course, would seem to utterly botch the notion that Daniel Bryan has already been publicly announced as appearing on the USA Network’s revival of WWE Tough Enough in June.

In his attempt to appear to be an Insider with actual, legitimate insider wrestling news knowledge, Johnson has failed to deliver to his readership the actual, official next scheduled appearance of Daniel Bryan in an official capacity.

While Johnson may be frustrated with, and discouraged by, the number of third party “cut and paste” sites that make him look bad by misreporting his gossip, the rest of his readership continues to be frustrated with, and discouraged by, the made up conjecture and innuendo in which he dabbles to make himself seem more in the know.

And that’s why this week, Mike Johnson of PWInsider gets our official notification that he’s…



  1. Mike Johnson has been out to lunch for some time. PWI is one of the worst sites for unconfirmed rumors and what I adoringly call “Dirt Sheet Double Speak” where the phrase stories in such a way that nothing is confirmed nor denied but things are gently suggested. That is not reporting.

    Let me say this as Mike would say: It is rumored that Mike Johnson might have been on an extended lunch for sometime. Its quite possible that Mike Johnson will stay on this extended lunch, or maybe not. At press time Mike was still rumored to not be back at his laptop typing, or perhaps he was.

  2. Mike is an insider (pun), to say otherwise is not fair.
    But this backtracking is pure crap.
    If he did not mean that Daniel would be back & wrestling , then why did they take the ‘scoop’ off the PWI news feed minutes after Daniel announced he was on the shelf?
    Mike’s problem is he seems to want to get scoops so bad that he doesn’t make sure they are accurate.
    Lime the Eva Marie WWE HoF scoop he got wrong. Meltzer said he heard it & others did, but Mike was the one to rush to post it.
    Also he reported Balor winning the Mania battle royal spot.
    He used to be a pretty good guy, but he seems to be taking after Scherer more & more & outside of a small minority, most know that is not a good thing.

    • Im with ya on everything you said. You are right. He does have some inside scoops from time to time but he is still living in a wrestling news world that existed 20 years ago. Everyone was trying to one up each other and beat each other to the scoops and it was all about credit for this and that. Its just not that way anymore. The boys are STILL trying to kayfabe us on some things. Great comments btw!

  3. Brilliant article. Bravo!

    PWInsider have not been the same since Dave S moved to Las Vegas to avoid taxes and Mike impregnating his “wife”. Buck Woodward was the soul of PWInsider and when he was fired (since Dave needed money for his second house) PWI is a lost cause.
    Just one more year before I am free from PWInsider elite.

  4. Johnson works his ass off, but Scherer’s narcissism pervades the entire site.

    They will rarely admit to a mistake and never admit to a weakness or shortcoming. Half of their audio shows are spent mocking and belittling anyone who disagrees with them or personally attacking anyone they don’t like.


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