LATEST NEWS & RUMOURS
31 Mar 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*31 March 2021
*MVP COMMENTS AT HOW PEOPLE USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO ATTACK HIM ABOUT HIS PAST*
-WWE Superstar MVP took to Twitter to comment about being amused at how people use social media to “attack him about his criminal past and prison.”
-He tweeted, “I’m amused by people who come at me on social media from the anonymity of a keyboard. My favorite is when they attack me about my criminal past and prison time. It really doesn’t hurt my feelings because I’ve overcome all of that. And now I’m an example and inspiration to others.”
-MVP also tweeted that he believes there are a number of people that resent deeply that a convicted felon who came from poverty has accomplished more than they have.
-He wrote, “I think there are a number of people out there that resent very deeply that a convicted felon who came from poverty is a globally known professional wrestler that has accomplished more than they have despite my baggage. Say more about them than me.”
-As a teenager, MVP was part of a cruise ship robbery. He served nine-and-a-half years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping.
-It was a corrections officer who was also an independent wrestler that gave him the idea of becoming a pro-wrestler.
-MVP has been open about his past. In 2019, he did a TEDx event called, “When do I stop being a criminal?”
*JAZZ PUTS HER CAREER ON THE LINE AT IMPACT HARDCORE JUSTICE*
-IMPACT Hardcore Justice just got a bit bigger, as during tonight’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling, Jazz put her entire career on the line in a match against Deonna Purrazzo.
-Speaking to Tommy Dreamer backstage, Jazz was granted a match against Purrazzo for the Knockouts Championship, but with a lot more than just the belt on the line. During their conversation, Jazz said that she would put her career on the line, and although Dreamer didn’t want her to, Jazz was committed to the idea. With the match confirmed by IMPACT, Jazz will indeed be risking her entire career, as if she loses against Purrazzo at Hardcore Justice, she’ll seemingly no longer be wrestling.
*WWE CREATIVE TEAM MEMBER GONE FROM THE COMPANY*
-Another WWE creative team member has reportedly left the company.
-Chris Dunn reportedly left the company this week, according to Ringside News. Dunn started working with the company in August 2016.
-Dunn was seen as a notable member of the WWE writing team. He worked closely with The Street Profits on their unique promos. Dunn’s LinkedIn page notes that he also held the role of WWE Producer.
*CHRIS JERICHO DONATES TO GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN FOR FAMILY OF UBER EATS DRIVER KILLED BY TEENS*
-AEW star Chris Jericho has donated $2,500 to the GoFundMe campaign set up by the family of Mohammad Anwar, the 66 year old Uber Eats driver who was murdered on Tuesday in Washington, DC.
-Anwar was the victim of a botched carjacking on Tuesday, by two teenage girls, ages 13 and 15. The girls used a Taser on Anwar in an attempt to steal his car, and then drove off as he held onto the driver’s side of the car. The car flipped a block later and Anwar was thrown to the sidewalk. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Cell phone of the incident went viral on social media, showing how Anwar held onto the car for several seconds before it crashed.
-The GoFundMe campaign had an original goal of $100,000 for funeral costs and to help Anwar’s family as he was the main income earner of the house. The campaign is up to $970,952 as of this writing, with more than 28,000 donors. Jericho has tied with one other person for the second-highest donation, next to a $3,000 donation.
-Jericho told TMZ that he was extremely saddened by the story and felt compelled to help.
“Just the feeling of terror he must’ve had being stuck halfway out of the car as the thieves … mere children … hit the gas. Something out of a horror movie,” Jericho told TMZ.
-Anwar immigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 2014. Jericho told TMZ that he knows his donation can’t fix everything, but he just wanted to help and show Anwar’s family that people do care. He said the whole situation hit him hard.
“I just thought the whole situation was terrible and it really hit me hard,” Jericho said. “It’s not much, but it’s the most I could do to try and bring some light into a dark situation.”
-The two teens have been charged with felony murder and armed carjacking. They are still in jail awaiting their next court appearance.
*CODY RHODES SAYS HIS TRUE FAVORITE MATCH “HAS YET TO HAPPEN”*
-AEW star Cody Rhodes answered some fan questions via Twitter on Tuesday.
-When asked to name his favorite match ever, Cody said although the answer “changes a lot,” he would probably pick his NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship bout against Nick Aldis at All In in 2018.
-Cody also picked his first match against Darby Allin in AEW, the match against Kenny Omega at ROH’s Supercard of Honor XII, The Legacy vs. DX at SummersSlam 2009, and the recent tag match featuring Shaq on AEW Dynamite.
-He admitted that his “true favorite” match has yet to happen.
-On this week’s Dynamite, Cody will face his friend QT Marshal in an Exhibition Match. Arn Anderson will be the referee.
*FORMER WWE STAR WINS NWA GOLD*
-Chris Adonis (fka Chris Masters) is your new NWA National Champion.
-This week’s NWA Power episode on FITE saw Adonis capture the title from Trevor Murdoch in the No DQ main event.
-This was a rematch from the recent NWA Back For The Attack pay-per-view. That match saw Adonis debut with a loss to Murdoch. After the match, Murdoch went for a handshake but Adonis attacked him and put him down with The Master Lock. This and a opening-segment attack on tonight’s Power episode is why Murdoch wore a neck brace for the loss to Adonis. Adonis celebrated after the match with Thomas Latimer and Kamille, who is the #1 contender to injured NWA World Women’s Champion Serena Deeb. He also greeted NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis at the announce table after the win.
-This is Adonis’ first run with the NWA National Title, won in just his second singles match with the company. Murdoch won the title back on September 29, 2020 by defeating current NWA World Tag Team Champion Aron Stevens at a UWN Primetime Live event.
*DALTON CASTLE RE-SIGNS WITH RING OF HONOR*
-Dalton Castle has officially re-signed with Ring of Honor.
The company announced that former ROH World Champion will be staying with the company. Castle’s contract status had been up in the air in recent months.
-Here is the full announcement, courtesy of Ring of Honor’s official website:
-Ring of Honor is pleased to announce that Dalton Castle has re-signed with the company.
-There had been speculation in recent months regarding Castle’s future, but after his victory over Josh Woods at the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view on Friday, the former ROH World Champion told backstage correspondent Quinn McKay: “I ain’t going nowhere. I’m staying in Ring of Honor.”
-Castle, one of the most charismatic and colorful athletes in pro wrestling, made his ROH debut in 2013. He competed in the 2015 Top Prospect Tournament and has been a fixture in ROH ever since.
-Castle reached the pinnacle of the sport when he won the ROH World Championship from Cody at Final Battle 2017. He also is a former co-holder of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Title.
-Castle recently defeated Josh Woods at the ROH 19th Anniversary pay-per-view.
30 Mar 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*30 March 2021
*WWE RAW SUPERSTAR REPORTEDLY BEING HONORED IN THE WWE Hall OF FAME THIS YEAR*
-WWE RAW Superstar Titus O’Neil is scheduled to receive the Warrior Award of the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Class.
-Titus has been scheduled to receive the Warrior Award for this year since it was decided on in February, according to Fightful Select. There is no word on when the announcement will be made, but it should come this week some time.
-Titus has already been announced as a WrestleMania 37 host, along with WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan.
-Titus often makes headlines in the Tampa area, where he lives, as he does a lot of good for the community through his Bullard Family Foundation. He previously played in the Arena Football League for the Tampa Bay Storm team. Titus has been with WWE since signing a developmental deal in 2009. He is a former FCW Florida Tag Team Champion, a former WWE Tag Team Champion, and the inaugural WWE 24/7 Champion.
-Titus has not wrestled much in 2018, 2019, and 2020. His last match came on the November 9, 2020 RAW show, where he lost to current WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, who was then the United States Champion. The week before that Titus defeated Erik on WWE Main Event.
-WWE introduced the Warrior Award in 2015, in honor of WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior. The award is to honor those who have shown unwavering strength and perseverance, and those who live life with the courage and compassion that embodies the spirit of Warrior. The recipients have received their awards at the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony each year, and are promoted as inductees, but they are not listed as official Hall of Fame members. Warrior’s widow, Dana Warrior, usually does the honors.
-The Warrior Award recipients are: Connor “The Crusher” Michalek in 2015; Joan Lunden in 2016; Eric LeGrand in 2017; Jarrius “JJ” Robertson in 2018; Sue Aitchison in 2019.
*SHELTON AND CEDRIC DOUBT BOBBY LASHLEY CAN RETAIN WWE CHAMPIONSHIP*
-On this week’s RAW, WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP dismissed Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin from The Hurt Business.
-After the show went off the air, Alexander and Benjamin hinted in a backstage interview that Lashley’s days as WWE Champion might be numbered.
“Bobby turned his back on his brothers, the guys who got him to where he is today,” said Alexander. “If not for me and Shelton backing him up, he’d have never become WWE Champion.”
-There has been some chatter on social media that Alexander and Benjamin might cost Lashley the title against Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 37. They are banned from ringside for the match.
-Alexander added, “Think about this. He got the title because of us. How long can he keep it by himself?”
-Meanwhile, Benjamin said Lashley and MVP threw away a potentially great stable.
“Tonight, the world lost what could have been the greatest gathering of talent the world has ever seen,” said Benjamin. “But, our champion, the Almighty, and MVP, the big brains of the operation, threw that all away. They spit in our face, and in the faces of fans of The Hurt Business. And quite frankly, I’m glad to be done with the sons of b—-es.”
*CHARLY CARUSO ANNOUNCES WWE DEPARTURE*
-Charly Caruso (Charly Arnolt) is now working full-time for ESPN, and is done with WWE.
-Caruso, who first started working part-time with ESPN in September 2018, took to Instagram this afternoon and announced that she has accepted a full-time position with the network. She thanked everyone in WWE for her time with the company.
-ESPN noted in a press release that Caruso is joining the network full-time as part of a multi-year contract extension. She will continue to contribute to First Take, SportsCenter, and SportsNation, and will also continue to co-host the weekly First Take, Her Take podcast.
“I am SO excited to announce I have accepted a full-time position with ESPN! It feels so rewarding to take this next step in my career with a company that has really fostered my growth, and given me a bounty of huge opportunities, since first bringing me on board in 2018,” Charly wrote on Instagram. “As I take this monumental next step in my career, I can’t do so without thanking so many of the people at WWE who I’ve spent the last nearly 5 years with. Thank you to those on and off camera who I had the chance to connect with not only professionally, but personally. Some true gems! [diamond emoji]
“And of course, thank you to the WWE Universe, a network of some of the most loyal fans in the world. I hope you all continue to stay in touch because your encouragement means everything! Lastly, thank you so very much to my family and friends who have believed in me and my dreams every step of the way. It’s been quite the journey! I love you all [heart emoji]”
-Caruso’s WWE departure comes after it was reported earlier this month that she had backstage heat in the company. The heat was due to how she was showing up late to interview WWE Superstars in backstage segments. It was noted that WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon heard of Caruso’s tardiness and took exception to the situation. The report noted that while she was done with WWE TV, her contract was expected to expire soon. You can click here for the latest backstage report on her WWE issues.
-ESPN’s press release notes that Caruso’s full-time gig with the company will begin in early April.
“It is so incredibly exciting to become a full-time member of the ESPN family,” Charly said in the ESPN presser. “I look forward to continuing to grow with such a talented group of professionals and I can’t wait for all the opportunities that lie ahead.”
-David Roberts, ESPN’s Senior Vice President of Production, added, “From radio and podcasts to TV and streaming, Charly continues to thrive across any platform she pursues. We are excited to have her join ESPN full time and interact with fans even more regularly across the network.”
-WWE hired Caruso back in early 2016. She worked the WWE NXT brand before being brought to the main roster. Before working with WWE she covered sports and TV news in various markets.
*IMPACT WRESTLING STAR OUT OF ACTION FOR SEVERAL MONTHS*
-Impact Wrestling star Eric Young is currently out of action with a torn ACL.
-Young recently appeared on The Wrestling Perspective podcast and said he suffered a torn ACL at the recent set of Impact TV tapings. He then revealed that he will be on the shelf for 6-9 months.
-Young noted that this is the first time he’s been injured in his lengthy career. He is scheduled to undergo surgery soon, and is hoping to be back in the ring in 6 months.
“At the last tapings I tore my ACL,” Young said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been injured. I missed my first wrestling show this Friday that I was booked on in 24 years of doing it. So, it’s frustrating, man. I’ve never been injured. I’ve been hurt lots, but I’ve never been injured. I have to have surgery in like a week and a half. And it’s going to be a long, long road. So, we’ll see, man. It’s going to get real interesting for me.”
-Young revealed that he suffered the injury during a match against James Storm. He continued to work the tapings, wrestling in a Hardcore War eight-man tag team match the next day, and then a singles match against Eddie Edwards. The match with Storm will air on this week’s Impact as the main event because it is Storm’s 1,000th career bout.
“My ACL is completely torn, which I didn’t know,” Young said. “That happened on Monday during the match with Storm. I finished it like nothing happened. I wrestled a hardcore war eight-man tag the following day, then I wrestled Eddie Edwards on Tuesday in a singles match. It was like 20 minutes — on one leg. And I would put that match against anything that airs anytime, for any wrestling company, anywhere in the world, and I did it on one leg. And I’m very proud of it.”
-Young couldn’t say for sure if he will remain on Impact TV while injured, but he said he imagines he will. He is the current Violent By Design leader, a stable that also features Joe Doering, Rhino and Cody Deaner.
*ANDRADE: WWE PULLED CHARLOTTE FLAIR FROM WRESTLEMANIA 37 THINKING SHE WAS PREGNANT*
-UPDATE: Charlotte Flair has released a statement giving additional information:
“What Manny said about the pregnancy test in today’s interview is true, but a significant amount of context is lost in translation and we’d like to clear that up as best we can.
“A few weeks ago, Charlotte received a call from WWE medical telling her that her HCG levels had come back high and she was being medically suspended for pregnancy. That day, she took several home tests that all came back negative. A few days later, blood work and ultrasound confirmed there was no pregnancy. This was before any issues with COVID (she is currently medically cleared).
This put in a lot of context for her, mainly how small a woman’s career window is. The men are able to work well into their 50s while the women are seen as ‘older’ in their early 30s even. For an athlete in her prime, these years mean everything. Her issue was with the process and how the information was relayed as opposed to the information itself.”
-It’s been an awkward build to WrestleMania 37 for Charlotte Flair as she was pulled from advertising before revealing she was out with COVID-19. However, according to her fiancee Andrade, Flair was originally pulled from WrestleMania 37 over a WWE doctor thinking she was pregnant despite that not being the case.
The whole situation started after a WWE doctor contacted Flair and said that she was pregnant. Thankfully, the couple went for their own tests that disproved the pregnancy. “We went to the pharmacy [to take a test] and it was negative,” Andrade told Hugo Savinovich of Lucha Libre Online. “They took her out of the story because they said she was pregnant. Four days later the tests were negative.”
*CONTROVERSIAL WWE NETWORK CONTENT BEING REMOVED ON ALL PLATFORMS*
-The controversial WWE Network content edits that are being made on Peacock are actually being done across all Network platforms.
-As we’ve noted, Peacock is reviewing all 17,000 hours of WWE Network content to ensure it aligns with their standards & practices. It was previously noted WWE was being made aware of any edits, but since then it’s been revealed that WWE is also helping Peacock with the review process.
-These content edits were first revealed after it was confirmed that two infamous moments were removed from the WWE library after the Peacock launch for viewers in the United States back on March 18. The Survivor Series 2005 segment with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, John Cena and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, where Vince dropped the N-word to Cena, was removed from the library. The WrestleMania 6 match between Bad News Brown and WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper was also removed. This match saw Piper wrestle with half of his body painted black, after he cut promos in blackface in the build to the match.
-In an update, it’s been confirmed that these edits have been made on all WWE Network platforms, not just Peacock. The match and segment were also removed on the stand-alone WWE Network app, which goes away for viewers in the United States this coming weekend. International users are also being affected by the edits.
-Despite the review process and content edits, WWE and Peacock still expect to have the WWE library available for viewing on-demand in time for SummerSlam in late August.
*ROB VAN DAM TALKS POSSIBLE WWE RETURN*
-Rob Van Dam recently spoke with Ryan Satin of FOX Sports to discuss his 2021 WWE Hall of Fame induction, which was officially announced by WWE this morning. RVD says he is honored to go into the WWE Hall, noting that fans have been calling him a future Hall of Famer for years.
“It’s a pretty awesome feeling. Just like you probably would imagine, it feels like I’m being acknowledged and appreciated for my body of work,” RVD said. “It feels very good. I’m honored. Fans have] been calling me future Hall of Famer for years and I always just shrug and say, ‘All right, man. As long as you think so.’
“But, glad to be among the chosen few this year. I’m glad for me and for all the fans. I feel like them being behind me and wanting to see this happen is a win for them as well.”
-RVD revealed that WWE’s Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, is the one who called him with the news of his induction. He and Laurinaitis were close with each other when a young RVD worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling years ago.
“I’ve known him since 93, because I used to wrestle with him in Japan,” RVD said of Laurinaitis. “From ’93 to ’97, I spent many, many long hours on long bus rides, sitting in cold arenas in the winter, hot in the summer and ferry boat rides. We did a lot of traveling around Japan that time. You get to know somebody a little better when you’re stuck with them all the time like that. So, I’m proud to call Johnny a friend, and it was really cool to get the call from him.”
-The 2020 and 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Classes will be inducted during WrestleMania 37 Week on Tuesday, April 6. RVD commented on going in with other names like JBL, The Bella Twins, The British Bulldog, Jushin Thunder Liger, the nWo (Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman), Eric Bischoff, Molly Holly, Kane and The Great Khali. He recalled watching Liger vs. Brian Pillman years ago.
“I think that the whole list is a bunch of characters,” RVD said. “We all represent images that people can translate into their minds, fill in all the blanks, and then figure out that they know each of us.
“Having said that, I think about when I was getting into wrestling watching Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger wrestling against Brian Pillman, for one. They just opened up my mind to a whole new kind of wrestling, because I wasn’t seeing that with the limited amount of wrestling that I had been exposed to that early on. They really helped me think outside the box of what could really be done with some athleticism.”
-The 50 year old RVD recently had a run with Impact Wrestling, but made it clear that fans wanting one more full-time run with WWE should not hold their breath, if WWE resumes a normal touring schedule in a post-pandemic world. He did seem open to the idea of making some sort of comeback.
“There is definitely some pros and cons to the thought,” RVD said of a WWE return. “I enjoy showing off in the ring. I enjoy very much getting that love and energy from the crowd, looking around seeing the RVD signs. That’s a high for sure, and RVD is all about highs.”
29 Mar 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*29 March 2021
*CHRISTIAN CAGE REACTS TO FAN CRITICISM TO HIS AEW SIGNING*
-Recent AEW signing Christian Cage appeared on Sunday Night’s Main Event podcast on March 21 (transcribed by POST Wrestling). Cage’s arrival at AEW has drawn a polarizing response, which he addressed.
“The way I think of it is that when you make that kind of announcement, it doesn’t matter who it is,” said Christian. “You’ve given people an opinion and they’re gonna pick who they think it should be or want it to be. And when it’s not who they want it to be, they’re gonna be upset.”
-Christian may be understanding of the reaction. But he’s also not taking it to heart for obvious reasons.
“That’s fine. That’s their choice and I think it’s pretty obvious,” Christian said. “Especially the social media wrestling fans are very fickle and a lot of times, that’s just the way it goes.
“But the same people will probably be saying if I went somewhere else, ‘Oh, he’s not being used right.’ So it is what it is. You take it with a grain of salt and move on.”
*POSSIBLE END DATE FOR NEW WWE THUNDERDOME RESIDENCY*
-WWE officially announced earlier this week the WWE ThunderDome is moving to the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. The first show will be the post-WrestleMania 37 episode of RAW on April 12.
-WWE is expected to wrap up its current residency at Tropicana Field in the upcoming tapings going into WrestleMania 37. The company has been there since December 11 and previously ran out of the Amyway Center in Orlando, which began last August.
-In an update, according to the Yuengling Center’s website, it looks like WWE is initially scheduled to be there until Tuesday, August 3. This would make a Monday, August 2 edition of RAW the last show there.
-The Yuengling Center sits on the University of South Florida campus in Tampa, and was once known as the University of South Florida Sun Dome. The venue has a capacity of 10,411 when there are no COVID-19 protocols in place.
-A report came out a few days ago that said WWE is not planning on resuming touring in the first half of 2021 as they determine if the company will return to its weekly live event model or not.
-Since last August, over 650,000 fans have registered for the ThunderDome’s virtual crowds, according to WWE.
*STING ON DOING MORE CINEMATIC MATCHES*
-At AEW Revolution, Sting impressed the wrestling world when he competed in a cinematic Street Fight alongside Darby Allin. During this memorable bout, the legendary star pinned Brian Cage for his first victory since 2015.
-In the weeks that have followed, many fans have wondered what the future holds for Sting’s status as an active competitor.
-In an interview with Chris Mueller of Bleacher Report, “The Icon” explained that he’s interested in doing more cinematic matches, but they’re physically demanding.
“The cinematic [match] was fun,” said Sting. “I would like to do more of those for sure, but I came out of it in shambles. It took its toll on me. It was two nights of filming and that was pretty tough. It can be taxing on the body especially at my age. It was 12 hours instead of being in the ring for 30-40 minutes. I love filming. I have done movies and TV, and I always have fun with that stuff. The tough part was all of the hours and the recovery time.”
-For now, the wrestling world will simply have to wait and see where Sting goes from here.
*TYSON KIDD SAYS BRET HART IS UNDERRATED*
-Tyson Kidd spent some time talking with Spencer Love recently and explained why he thinks Bret Hart is underrated along with how Hart has positively influenced his career.
-While it may be very difficult for some to fathom that Bret Hart could be underrated, Kidd says he thinks that is the case. He said, “I’ve watched a lot of his matches in real time, and I’ve gone back and watch so many of Bret’s matches, especially the last – like I said, my travels much easier, so with this pandemic, I watched so many of his matches back. It just like, it’s unbelievable, man, his matches. I think he’s maybe even pretty underrated, which might be kind of a weird statement to make, but I think Brett might be fairly underrated … and like the little things. Even like – you know, his promos obviously got better, but even his promos like still in 92, like at least they feel real. They felt real. And, I mean, 97, I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden, Bret, like he is really untouchable. He looked phenomenal, his work was just as great as ever, and his promos were insane.”
-It’s not all about what happened inside the ring though, as Kidd explained that Bret Hart has had a positive influence on him outside of the ring also. Kidd said, “A huge, huge influence. Because, you know, growing up, and just you know, the way it worked out, like at that time frame, Bret’s the guy. So when he’s – like, my best friend’s uncle is the world champion. It’s a cool thing. So, I watched obviously a lot of – I’m gonna probably [be] super biased, but I watch a lot of Davey [Boy Smith] and Owen [Hart] and [Brian] Pillman and other guys like Dynamite [Kid] and guys that like had maybe had starts in Calgary or a little bit of time in Calgary.”
-Continuing on, Kidd said, “He took a real interest in us when he saw us wrestle at the Saddledome at that – I don’t know if he’s resigned yet at that time. It’s October 5th, 1996. I don’t know if he’s resigned yet at that time, or if he’s – he ends up coming back to RAW that month. And then that’s when he sets up the Steve Austin match. But, he comes to the show. I remember, like, he loved watching us wrestle. I think it just was maybe – now that I’m 40 and I have my nephews and I brought them to my ring a month ago, I get it. I saw them like wrestling around [and] you kind of get, like, that youth and that almost invigoration. I don’t know if that was a part of it or if Bret just – anyway, he’s always taken a liking, and he’s always been somebody that I’ve been able to talk about wrestling anytime. As great as the storyteller as he is in the ring, he might even be a better storyteller outside of the ring. So like to sit and listen to Bret’s stories are so fun.”
*LOGAN PAUL REPORTEDLY TO BE INVOLVED IN WRESTLEMANIA 37 MATCH*
-It was reported by Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer this morning that WWE has more plans for Logan Paul that extend beyond his upcoming WWE SmackDown appearance.
-Logan Paul will be involved in the Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn match at this year’s WWE WrestleMania 37 in some capacity. It’s unknown if he will be a special guest referee, enforcer, or simply in the corner of Sami Zayn. The idea within WWE is that Bad Bunny will be the Night 1 celebrity and Logan Paul will be the Night 2 celebrity.
-Zayn & Paul began trading tweets last week as a way to introduce him into the storyline. Paul was set to face Floyd Mayweather in a boxing exhibition in February, but the fight was postponed for undisclosed reasons. Logan Paul has nearly 23 million subscribers on YouTube and is known for being an American YouTuber, internet personality, actor, podcaster and boxer.
*KARRION KROSS TALKS FAN CRITICISM OVER RECEIVING WWE NXT TITLE SHOT*
-WWE NXT’s Karrion Kross was interviewed by Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN to hype up his upcoming NXT Championship match against Finn Balor at Takeover: Stand and Deliver. During the interview, Kross discussed the potential negative reaction towards him receiving a title shot.
“For starters, I don’t pay any attention to that,” said Kross. “I got really thick skin except when you start trashing Demolition Man. I approach it from two different things, two different ways. Number one, everybody wants to see you do well until they feel like you’re doing better than they’d like you to do. That’s life in general. People always say they want change. People like to see change and all things, right? But they want to see change on their terms. Too bad.
“Look at it like this. This is a success story if you really think about it. If you remove me from it and just look at a person not Karrion Kross. A person coming in and finding success like this. This can happen to other people.”
-Kross had previously held the NXT Championship before being forced to vacate it due to a separated shoulder. He sees his chance to take back the title as a shock to the system.
“I feel like my story right now is a success over the status quo,” Kross said. “People don’t like status quo. They don’t like it. If you think about it like that, I am the change that people are always asking for. I am the change that people are always looking for.
“People want to see things get shaken up immediately. If you look at it and observe like that, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
-Despite his stance, Kross understands he won’t be able to win over fans just like that. But he did make it clear that he expects some converts sooner than later.
“The other thing I would tell them, ‘Hey, if you’re not sold on me, keep watching because I’ve heard that before’”, said Kross. “I have a lot of fans right now that are diehard fans of mine that weren’t big on me to begin with. Know at the end of the day, everything that I do is in the interest of entertaining you. So eventually, I’ll get you. Believe me.”
*DEAN MALENKO OPENS UP ABOUT HIS BATTLE WITH PARKINSON'S*
-AEW Senior Producer and Coach Dean Malenko was on a recent episode of Talk Is Jericho. Malenko and Chris Jericho discussed Malenko’s legendary career, but Malenko’s main purpose of appearing on the podcast was to open up about his seven-year battle with Parkinson’s. He recalled mentioning it during his appearance at Starrcast.
“What happened was I’m 60 years old. They say usually around 60 is the age when you start to get it,” Malenko said. “I got it about six – seven years ago. About a year ago, I was at Starrcast in Chicago, and I was asked to do a Q&A session with Tony Schiavone. And I got a little nervous and a little scared because I was going to be out in front of people. I haven’t really been in front of crowds a lot. Of course, at work, which is a different environment, but you get nervous sometimes because you don’t want people to know what you got.
“You’re like trying to hide it. Parkinson’s is a very difficult thing to cover up. It looks like you’re freezing cold. I don’t want people to think that, and that’s one of reasons why I asked you to do this. And that day, when I started talking, I realized the microphone was really light, and what I mean by that is things that are very light, like silverware, if there’s no weight to it, I’ll shake more. It’s very interesting the way all that works.
“So I had Tony and the people there actually get me a stand and put the stand up and the microphone in there. I didn’t have to use my hands. I almost felt like Stevie Wonder playing on the piano. I just kind of blurted out, ‘Damn, Parkinson’s,’ and a couple of people caught it, and kind of got on social media and ran a little bit but nothing really big.”
-Malenko later described what it’s like having Parkinson’s. He also talked about how he and his family have learned to make light of the situation since there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s yet.
“I compare having Parkinson’s like having a roommate that never leaves because every morning, you wake up, you have this other person with you,” Malenko described. “It’s either not going to let you get out of bed really easy, going to make a shake and kind of takes over your body. So that could be a little crazy at times, but I’m kinda getting used to. I’ve really have tried to laugh things off.
“My 15-year-old, if I’m shaking, she’ll come over and put her hand on me and then she starts shaking and just have fun with it. There’s nothing you can do about it. I am not going to get rid of it. It’s always going to be there. Hopefully, with modern medicine and going forward, they can slow this down at one point, and if not, I’ll deal with it whenever.”
-WWE Superstar Rey Mysterio and Malenko have been good friends since their WCW days, and Mysterio has shared strong respect towards Mysterio. Malenko revealed how helpful Mysterio has been during his fight with Parkinson’s.
“There’s a couple guys in the business that know what I have, Rey Mysterio being one of them,” Malenko revealed. “Rey’s been just a great guy about it. In fact, he’s always trying to find stuff for me and real good friend. He’s been trying to get me literature on the stem cells because he’s used it several times. He’s gone several times and always calls me and says, ‘Whenever you’re ready, I’ve already talked to this doctor, and there’s been a lot of success.’ Problem is a lot of stuff has to be approved by the FDA. You got to be careful what you take too because you don’t know what the side effects are or if there is any.”
28 Mar 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*28 March 2021
*BRITT BAKER TALKS TOP WWE STAR REACHING OUT TO HER AFTER THUNDER ROSA MATCH*
-Just one week after Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa tore the house down in their Unsanctioned Lights Out main event match on AEW Dynamite, the doctor herself is still relishing in all the hype and history that was created. During her interview this week on Oral Sessions, Baker told Renee Paquette who it was that thought of this idea and how long they envisioned it. To Baker, she never thought she would be the one to change the landscape of the AEW’s women’s division.
“So, Tony Khan had the vision for this match for like 4-6 months,” Dr. Britt Baker revealed. “He loosely planned it for that long. We were lucky enough to have the fans stay invested.
“I don’t know how long the Lights Out Unsanctioned part of that was planned. But he told me – I want to say it was a month or so [ago] – that that’s what he wanted to do. I was like, ‘Ok. Let’s go, Hardcore Britt!’ I was so nervous. I’m telling you, Renee, I didn’t know how to set up a table. Like, I was asking the crew. I had never done anything like this in my life.”
-Although he was worried about the unbearable bumps Baker and Rosa were going to take, Tony Khan seemed in favor of what they had planned, according to Baker’s reassurance.
“Tony is very thoughtful and very caring. He worries about our safety,” she mentioned. “I would always give him an idea one at a time. I saved the tacks for last. I thought the tacks would make this match stick out because girls don’t take tacks. He was all for it; he loved it!
“Right before the match, he pulled me into his office, and he was worried. He said, ‘Britt, I don’t know about some of these spots – this table bump at the end, the ladder, I don’t know. I was like, ‘Please, just trust me. We have to do this to make this match what it’s supposed to be.” And he did. As soon as the match was over, he was one of the first ones out there to check on me [and] he hugged me.”
-Continuing on, Baker mentions who she watched the match back with and their reactions to it.
“[Tony] was so proud of this match,” she recalled. “I was just as nervous to watch it as I was to go out. He said, ‘Britt, it’s great! We should all watch it and drink on St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll come to Orlando.’ Sure enough, me and Reba [Rebel], Cash [Wheeler] and Eddie Kingston watched it at Rebel’s house.
“I literally felt sick to my stomach to watch this. I like it, and very rarely do I like my matches. There’s some stuff I wish I had done better, but the feedback from the fans, I will never forget that. Tony kept telling me I was trending. I was going to be crushed if fans thought it was just going to be fine.”
-With many fans in the pro wrestling community questioning the stability and growth within the AEW women’s division, Baker hopes that she and Rosa revolutionized the entire scene for their colleagues to have more main event opportunities like they did.
“Exactly what you just said it puts feet in mouths. It puts a lot of eyes on our division,” she said proudly. “We’re not just some goofy, you know, group of misfits that just go thrown on to Dynamite. We’re all very passionate about wrestling.
“I think it sets the bar; everybody needs to show up now. Competition makes everyone better. It’s cool to be the one talked about for once – for a good reason.”
-Baker also mentioned how many wrestlers outside of AEW reached out to her following her brutal matchup. Some of those wrestlers happen to be Superstars like the former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and hardcore legend/Hall of Famer Mick Foley.
“I had so many nice messages from people in all different companies, too,” she mentioned. “Drew McIntyre messaged me, and I was really excited about that! Oh, my gosh, there were so many people. Trent Seven, who I think is one of the funniest people on the planet, messaged me. I had a nice message exchange yesterday with the other ‘Role Model,’ Bayley. She’s one of my favorites. I’m literally a fangirl for her. Oh, Candice LeRae, who helped train me. Mick Foley loved it! He was very complimentary of the match. We’re also in talks about – when the pandemic is not so crazy – we’re going to get him hooked up with fixing his teeth.”
*KURT ANGLE ON TAZZ GETTING HEAT FROM WWE FOR SPOT IN THEIR ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH*
-On the latest episode of The Kurt Angle Show, the former Olympic gold medalist spoke about his rookie year in WWE stretching from 1999-2000. Angle went undefeated up until Royal Rumble 2000, where he faced the debuting Taz. Taz choked Angle out and looked strong doing so. Angle spoke about the idea of having Taz defeat him in his debut and why it was a positive for his career.
“I think the writers planned for me to have an undefeated streak,” Angle said. “They wanted to continue to have me go on an undefeated streak until Madison Square Garden, Royal Rumble 2000, where I wrestled Taz. We decided that Taz would go over, it was his debut, Taz was a big name in wrestling.
“He was one of those guys that hit the main event level, Taz was really popular and he had a great run in ECW, everybody knew who he was. It was me giving him a rub, an elevation win and at the same time it’s me getting a rub from someone who was a main eventer in a wrestling company that was very successful.”
-Over the years, there were claims that Taz was “stiff”, but Angle dispelled that rumor. In the match they had at the Rumble, Angle said he told Taz to flip him over to his belly in a german suplex to make Taz look even stronger. He said that moment was all his idea and doesn’t understand why Taz took the blame for it from WWE management.
“Taz was not dangerous, that was my idea,” Angle said. “I told Taz to give me a german suplex and throw me really high in the air and I would flip over to my stomach. I wanted to do a moonsault german suplex where I landed on my stomach, I thought it would look really vicious and brutal. That was all my call, I’m not sure why Taz didn’t tell the office that I chose the move.
“Taz was never dangerous with the suplexes, he was relatively safe, I never had a problem with it.”
-As a former Olympic Gold Medalist in amateur wrestling, Angle said there was never a moment in his career where he felt like anyone tried to take advantage of him or do something in a “shoot” style against him. He said if that ever happened, he would always dominate.
“I wasn’t concerned about Taz shooting on me,” Angle said. “I wasn’t concerned about anybody shooting on me. The thing is, being an Olympic gold medalist and being a shooter, I never was taken advantage of in the WWE. Nobody tried to take advantage of me because of my experience, because they knew if I ended up shooting, I was going to dominate. It wasn’t an issue at all.”
*ANOTHER CELEBRITY TO APPEAR ON WRESTLEMANIA?*
-Top YouTube star Logan Paul is set for WrestleMania 37, according to Ringside News.
-Ringside News was told exclusively that the creative purpose behind Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s match at WrestleMania 37, will be based around the celebrity participation of Logan Paul.
-For the last two weeks, Paul and Zayn have been tweeting back and forth. The exchange started when Paul responded to a segment earlier this month where Zayn said his documentary’s viewership will do “Logan Paul Numbers.”
-As noted, Paul will be on next week’s Friday Night SmackDown as Zayn’s special guest.
*IAN ABEL NAMES AEW TALENT HE'D LIKE TO WRITE THEME SONGS FOR*
-Musician Ian Abel of the Ian Abel Band was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Abel’s music has been used for the promo packages in some big AEW matches, and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked Abel how he thinks music can correctly or incorrectly affect a live pro wrestling show.
“I’ll talk about correctly. Incorrectly, I’d have to think about it,” Abel admitted. “Correctly, it comes right to a story about how I had been to a couple WWE things when I was younger, but now I’m older. I’m in college. RAW’s coming through. My little brother is seven years younger than me. He’s really into wrestling. So we take him to go see Monday Night RAW. They’re filming. It’s going to be incredible, and it said, ‘Undertaker’s in action.’ And now, he’s my favorite wrestler. I’d never seen him before, and bringing it all the way back to music being a part of wrestling, this is just his theme song.
“We’re having a good time, but at the very end, the lights go out. You hear the dong, and I’m yelling. Dude, I lost my voice in a matter of 30 seconds. I jumped up, spilled my drink. I think I elbowed my dad. I’m going nuts because The Undertaker, I’ve never seen him. The kid came out of me, and needless to say, the lights came up and he actually wasn’t there. He was just in action. There’s someone in the ring that moved. After the third time, I finally realized he wasn’t showing up. But music in pro wrestling, when you you hear Undertaker’s, the lights go out.
“You hear the gong go off, or I was in Texas for WrestleMania when they were doing the three on three. It’s just a quick beat down, but you’re in Dallas. The glass smashes. Out comes Stone Cold. I’m getting chills thinking about it right now. Certain things are just iconic, and they blend together. Rock – Stone Cold My Way, you hear that song and you immediately go to that because pro wrestling, when done beautifully or done correct, is just beautiful story telling. It’s no different than the score of Star Wars.”
-Hausman then asked if Abel has been asked to write a theme song for any of the AEW wrestlers. Abel named two wrestlers he would love to write a song for.
“I’ve talked a little bit to them. It’d have to be the right person,” Abel noted. “This is not most likely to happen, but the wrestler that I think I would fit best with would probably be Hangman Adam Page. But he’s already got cool music. I would love to write, and I’ve said a bunch of times, I’ll say it again, I would love to write Anna Jay a really dope theme song cool. I know it’s out there, but I think Anna Jay is going to be a superstar. She’s on her way up.
“I think she’s gonna be great. I’d love to write her a song, but I’m also really happy with the trajectory I’m on of just adding bangers to incredible matches. You don’t want to taint it too much, but I would entertain being a wrestlers theme song. That’s crazy to say, but I do really enjoy being like, yeah, I had two songs, and they were both for pretty historic moments in this early beginnings of the company.”
*SETH ROLLINS TALKS ABOUT HIS LONGEVITY IN PRO WRESTLING*
-WWE star Seth Rollins appeared on Fox 5’s Good Day DC program to promote WrestleMania 37. The former WWE champion was asked about the meaning behind his “embrace the vision” catchphrase, answering it in character.
“It’s me helping SmackDown be the absolute best it can be. It’s as simple as that,” Rollins said. “I’ve been in this industry for a very long time. Everyone knows what I’m capable of. With me handling things, being at the helm, being an elite, SmackDown can revolutionize pro wrestling. It can revolutionize television, revolutionize entertainment.”
-Rollins was then asked how he had been able to sustain his career, from his days with The Shield till now. For Rollins the answer is simple.
“Well I’m very good,” Rollins said. “When you’re good at your job, you get to have your job. And you get to do it at a high profile level. That’s where I’ve been for the majority of my career, which is why I’ve been able to sustain.
“Now there’s a lot of good fortunate that comes with that when it comes to not being injured, being healthy. At the same time I’ve worked, day in and day out, to be excellent at my job. To be in a position where I can ask people to ’embrace the vision.'”
-Later, Rollins spoke about becoming a father and the adjustment he has to make from being a WWE Superstar to a dad. Rollins and his wife, former WWE Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, welcomed their first child in December of 2020.
“The husband part is easy,” Rollins responded. “I’m married to a beautiful, extremely talented, lovely, perfect partner for me. So that part’s easy. The dad part’s been the learning curve. That’s a whole new skill set; I never changed a diaper before having this baby. Just little things like that.
“I think the biggest thing is you go from living this life as a top tier WWE Superstar — where really it’s all about you. To now you’re in the backseat; you are not the most important part of your life.
“And so to change everything around is really humbling, but it’s also a cool experience to see it from this perspective and see what life can be when you matter to somebody else. It’s really an awesome experience.”
*MORE MATCHES ADDED TO AEW DARK: ELEVATION*
-Four women’s matches have been announced for this Monday’s AEW Dark: Elevation.
The matches are: Thunder Rosa vs. Alex Gracia, Penelope Ford (with Kip Sabian and Miro) vs. Leila Grey, Leyla Hirsch vs. Vipress, and KiLynn King vs. Ryo Mizunami.
As noted, other matches to take place on the show:
*Jon Moxley vs. Bill Collier
*Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor vs. Ryan Nemeth and JD Drake
*Scorpio Sky vs. Mike Sydal (with Matt Sydal)
*Frankie Kazarian vs. TBA
Elevation streams at 7 pm ET on AEW’s YouTube channel.
27 Mar 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*27 March 2021
*WWE ANNOUNCES INJURIES TO IO SHIRAI, DRAKE MAVERICK AND JESSI KAMEA*
-Below is the latest WWE NXT Injury Report video with Matt Camp, featuring updates on NXT Superstars from this week’s episode.
-The following injuries were announced coming out of this week’s NXT episode on the USA Network, which are usually part of the storylines, at least for the most part:
-The injury that Jessi Kamea suffered while training was to her ankle. She is listed as day to day on the status list. Kamea was set to team with Aliyah to challenge NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart but she suffered the injury while training. Mercedes Martinez replaced Kamea for a loss to Moon and Blackheart
-Drake Maverick suffered multiple internal injuries during the quick squash loss to NXT UK Champion WALTER. Maverick’s status is listed as day to day
-NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai suffered a lower back injury from the one-arm chokeslam she took on top of the announce table from Raquel Gonzalez. Shirai is still medically cleared to compete and ready for her title defense against Gonzalez during Night One of the “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” event
Stay tuned for updates on this week’s NXT Injury Report.
*FORMER IMPACT STAR POSSIBLY HEADED TO AEW*
-AAA Latin American Champion Daga may be headed to AEW soon.
-Daga is currently signed to AAA, where he is also a former AAA World Cruiserweight Champion. There’s no word yet on when he could debut for AEW, but the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported this week that there has been talk of the company bringing him in.
-Daga, who also worked for Lucha Underground in the past, made his Impact debut back in February 2019. He last wrestled for the company in early March 2020. Daga and wife Tessa Blanchard stayed at home in Mexico for most of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he was later released in late October 2020 after requesting his departure. They tied the knot in August of last year.
-Regarding Daga’s wife Tessa possibly coming to AEW, the Wrestling Observer noted that this is a decision that will ultimately be based on the perceived value she brings to the product vs. the negativity and backlash from some people that such a signing would bring.
-Blanchard has been away from pro wrestling for the most part since finishing up with Impact last summer, leaving the promotion as World Champion as her contract was terminated days before it was set to expire. It was reported in December that she was still celebrating her marriage to Daga, and had not decided on her future in the business.
*ROH WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ANNOUNCED*
-Quinn McKay spoke with Maria Kanellis on ROH's 19th Anniversary Show PPV. McKay noted that Kanellis is now on the ROH Board of Directors.
-This summer, ROH will host a tournament to crown a new ROH Women’s Champion. The title was most recently held by Kelly Klein, but she was stripped of the title after falling out with the company. A previous tournament was scheduled to happen in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed that.
-Kanellis invited women from all over to get involved. The Allure (Angelina Love and Mandy Leon) made their way out to the ring to wonder who Kanellis thinks she is to get the position she has in ROH.
*BETH PHOENIX REACTS TO EDGE TURNING HEEL ON WWE SMACKDOWN*
-WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix has taken to Twitter to react to her husband, Edge, officially turning heel on this week's episode of SmackDown.
-During the closing segment, Edge laid out both WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan with vicious chair shots, before attacking WWE officials who tried to get in his way.
-In her response, Beth simply wrote, “What did you do.”
-As noted, Adam Pearce added Bryan to the WrestleMania 37 main event between Edge and Reigns, making it a Triple Threat Match for the Universal Championship.
*SETH ROLLINS SAYS HE’S “THE GREATEST WRESTLEMANIA PERFORMER OF ALL TIME”*
-Seth Rollins, who owns WrestleMania victories over Brock Lesnar and Triple H, is also the first Superstar in history to successfully cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase at the grandest stage of them all.
-After his match against Cesaro at the upcoming WrestleMania 37 was made official on tonight’s SmackDown, Rollins took to Twitter and said he’s going to prove why he’s the best performer in Mania history.
-Rollins wrote, “I’m going to DEMOLISH that LOSER CESARO on the GRANDEST STAGE!! And prove ONCE AGAIN why I am the GREATEST WRESTLEMANIA PERFORMER of ALL TIME!! @ ME COWARDS!!”
-Cesaro is set for his first-ever prominent singles match at WWE’s biggest show of the year. He defeated Drew Gulak on last year’s kickoff show.
*NEW STABLE FORMS AT ROH 19th ANNIVERSARY SHOW*
-Rush retained the ROH World Championship against Jay Lethal at ROH's 19th Anniversary Show. Post-match, The Foundation and LFI brawled with each other around the ring.
-Brody King then came out with a mic and told Rush he’s always been outnumbered by Rush’s group, but that comes to an end. King then introduced his new stable that consists of Tony Deppen, Chris Dickinson, and Homicide. The group hit the ring to take down LFI and then destroyed Jay Lethal to show they have alliances to no one.
-Homicide had two previous runs with ROH where he’s a one-time ROH World Champion. Dickinson made one previous appearance in 2015 where he lost to Michael Elgin. Deppen has made a handful of appearances over the last year.
*LOGAN PAUL TO APPEAR ON SMACKDOWN NEXT WEEK*
-Top YouTube star, actor, boxer and podcaster Logan Paul is coming to WWE SmackDown.
-This week’s WWE SmackDown saw Sami Zayn appear on The KO Show with Kevin Owens, as a follow-up to Zayn attacking Owens with a Helluva Kick last week. Zayn announced that he will hold a red carpet premiere for his conspiracy documentary on next Friday’s SmackDown episode, and that Paul will be his special guest.
-The segment also saw Owens challenge Zayn to a match at WrestleMania 37. Zayn accepted the match and WWE later announced it for Night Two of The Grandest Stage of Them All.
-The Paul appearance comes after Zayn and Paul went back & forth on Twitter over the past two weeks. That exchange began when Paul responded to a March 12 SmackDown segment where Zayn said his conspiracy documentary will do “Logan Paul numbers” in terms of viewership.
*GEORGIA SMITH TALKS OWEN HART NOT BEING IN THE WWE HALL OF FAME*
-Despite being one of the most accomplished wrestlers in the business, Owen Hart has infamously never been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Martha Hart, Owen’s widow, ultimately made the decision for her late husband to not go into the Hall of Fame, which Georgia says she supports.
“I think Martha can do whatever she wants to do. You know, it’s her call at the end of the day,” Georgia said. “It’s hers and her kids’ call and I mean, there were some things that I didn’t agree with Martha with, and how she handled things but at the end of the day, they don’t want to be a part of the WWE, they don’t want the Hall of Fame, they don’t want any of that. They celebrate Owen’s career and Owen’s life in different ways. They want to be private and people have to respect that! Obviously, Owen did have a career and we can’t forget that and you know, we need to cherish those memories and you know, it would be amazing if he was in the Hall of Fame, but to them, the Hall of Fame, it does not have the same significance as it might mean to me or to anyone else. You know, they do things differently, they have a different life. So, that’s kind of my thoughts on it and I think people need to leave them alone.”
-As for how she wants her late uncle to be remembered, Georgia says she hopes people look beyond his work inside the squared circle.
“Owen was a really, really good father,” Georgia said. “He was an amazing person. It was just something that my family, we’ve never gotten over. It was the worst thing that’s ever happened to our family but Owen, he was just such an amazing, like a Saint walking the Earth. He was like my grandfather Stu and just so funny, so giving, always thought about people, always wanted to help people. Never, never had a bad attitude. Yeah, he would do anything for his kids and always make time for them. As I mentioned like my dad, when he was home, he’d want to like relax, you know, power to him. But Owen was always wanting to do things with his kids, wanting to take them out, wanting to like, have as much time with them as he could. Like, they were his life! Athena, Martha and Oge, like they were his whole world and everything he did was for them. Yeah, he was just class, class, class person.”
26 Mar 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*
*NEWS ON WHY IMPACT REBELLION PPV CHANGED NIGHTS*
-Impact Wrestling announced this week that the Rebellion pay-per-view will be moving to a day later on Sunday, April 25th. Impact Co-Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore noted that Sunday night is the traditional night for major pro wrestling events.
-On the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that the show was moved from April 24th because that is the same night as UFC 261. This PPV will feature three big title fights headlined by UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman defending his title against Jorge Masvidal. This show will also host a full crowd of possibly 15,000 people.
-Rebellion will be headlined by Impact World Champion Rich Swann facing AEW World Champion Kenny Omega in the title vs. title match. The winner will walk out with both titles.
*UPDATE ON LEE'S WWE RAW ABSENCE*
-Keith Lee has been away from WWE RAW for well over month now because he reportedly has not been medically cleared to compete.
-It was reported by Fightful Select that Lee was sidelined in February for health reasons, and WWE has not cleared him for a return as of this week. This is not a case where Lee simply is not being used for creative reasons.
-After being sidelined in February, Lee reportedly underwent some testing. There’s no word yet on what came of those tests, but word is that Lee is actively trying to get cleared for a return.
-WWE reportedly had plans for Lee to win the United States Title before he was pulled from the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in February. WWE noted then that Lee was injured. He was scheduled to work a Triple Threat with current WWE United States Champion Riddle and current WWE Champion Bobby Lashley at Elimination Chamber, but was replaced by John Morrison due to what WWE said were injuries. That match saw Riddle capture the United States Title from Lashley.
-Lee has not wrestled since defeating Riddle on the February 8 RAW show. Before that match he spent several weeks out of the ring, last wrestling on the January 11 RAW show in a win over Sheamus, which came after teaming with Sheamus to defeat The Miz and John Morrison earlier in the same show.
-As noted before back on March 18, Lee issued a Twitter statement to his fans and thanked them for their support. He also said he will explain his absence one day.
“I hear many of you. I see many of the messages. One day, I will explain it all for the ones true to me. For now, know that I more than appreciate the continued support. And WHEN I return, it will be filled with all the love I have for those that represent this #LEEGION,” Lee wrote in the tweet seen below.
-There is still no word on when Lee might be cleared, or the nature of the health issues that have him sidelined.
*STING SAYS OUTSIDE OF THE POTENTIAL UNDERTAKER MATCH HE WASN’T EYEING A RETURN*
-Sting is now a regular fixture on AEW television but he says he had never planned on returning to the ring.
-Recently, Sting teamed with Darby Allin in a cinematic Street Fight against Team Taz at AEW Revolution. Before this match, the last time Sting had wrestled was in 2015 when he faced Seth Rollins at WWE Night of Champions. During that match, he suffered an injury which all but ended his career. However, there was still one match he had always dreamed of having.
-Much has been made about what could have potentially been if The Undertaker and Sting were able to have a dream match but the match was not to be. Sting did receive a resurrection of hope last year when the Undertaker faced AJ Styles in the cinematic Boneyard Match at WrestleMania 36.
-Speaking with Chris Mueller of Bleacher Report, Sting explained that he had only ever wanted to come out of retirement for the one match with the Undertaker until he signed with Tony Khan and All Elite Wrestling
“I am playing it by ear. It’s amazing because I was the guy who didn’t know anything about pro wrestling when I got into it. I would see these older wrestlers and ask why they are doing this. Why they are putting their bodies through this. I thought I would never be one of those guys, but be careful what you say because that’s me, and I never would have imagined being my age and being back in the ring.”
-He continued, “It wasn’t a goal of mine to get back in the ring. The only thing I thought I might do is have a cinematic match against Undertaker when I was with WWE. We weren’t able to come to an agreement. Tony [Schiavone] reached out to me and asked if I wanted to come play and let him know. A year later and I thought WWE isn’t working out and I didn’t want to disappear with my tail between my legs. I hate that.
“I had no idea what I could offer AEW but I called Tony and he asked if I would be interested in doing cinematic matches. I said I would like to do that and now, Tony is talking about matches on Dynamite. We’ll see what happens there. To be back on TNT is a cuool element to it. It’s great to have guys like Jim Ross, Tony, Dustin [Rhodes], Tully [Blanchard] and Arn [Anderson] around.”
*WWE SIGNS STARDOM WRESTLER BOBBI TYLER*
-Stardom and Rev-Pro wrestler Bobbi Tyler apparently has signed with WWE, though as of this writing, WWE has not officially confirmed her status with the company.
-PWInsider was first to report that Tyler changed her social media handles tonight to @StevieTurnerWWE.
-Her Instagram bio also now says, “NXT UK.”
-Bobbi Tyler made her pro wrestling debut in 2016. While in Stardom, Tyler was a member of the Tokyo Cyber Squad.
-She also wrestled in other promotions such as International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom, Ultimate Pro Wrestling, House Of Glory, Pro Wrestling Pride, Revolution Pro Wrestling, and Ultimate British Wrestling.
*CAMERON MILLIONAIRE GRIMES*
-Cameron Grimes‘ wealthy persona on NXT isn’t an act.
-During a recent appearance on WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves, Grimes described how he actually earned a lot of money through the stock market when GameStop and other interests became hot properties.
“I got into the stock market a little over a year ago,” said Grimes. “Stocks, to the moon is a big thing because everybody wants money, and everybody wants to put money in something and watch that money go to the moon. So then I just started using it….This isn’t a character thing at all. I was a low-income fanboy, I never had any money. So when I started to make money and I put it into my savings account, I noticed interest rate on your savings account is just awful.”
“It was crazy, they say you’re invested [in stocks] but really, once you put your money into it, you’re invested. And all the sudden, I’m looking at stock videos on YouTube like I was watching Ring of Honor in 2008, like I was into it. And then I got lucky, and GameStop and all these things kinda blew up, and next thing you know, I’m a millionaire.”
*"WRESTLING OR FAMILY?" BRYAN WONDERS WHICH IS IMPORTANT*
-Daniel Bryan‘s future is up in the air.
-The leader of the “Yes!” Movement recently spoke with Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT and discussed the looming end of his contract with WWE. He admitted that he wants to spend time with his kids, but he wants to financially provide for them, too.
“For me, my contract is up soon and that sort of thing so it’s really just an evaluation of what’s more important to me,” said Bryan. “Going out and doing this thing that I love every week, but being away from my family, being away from my wife and kids three days a week, and they’re at this stage that you don’t ever get back.”
-Bryan stated that he doesn’t want to keep losing this priceless time in which his children are quickly growing up. He also explained that he has been relying on coffee in order to be energetic for his kids.
“When I get home on a Saturday, a lot of times I’m exhausted,” said Bryan. “So what I do is I drink coffee. I never drank coffee before we had our daughter and all of a sudden it’s ‘Ok, down this cold brew! Down this cold brew!’ because I want to have energy and I want to show up for my kids.”
-The former WWE Champion explained that he wants to be there for his kids without depending on the power of caffeine, and dynamic is another part of his deliberation about his contract. He emphasized that he’s continually dealing with the struggle of his love for his family and his passion for the business.
“What do you love personally, but also what’s the most important thing,” said Bryan. “That’s the struggle that I’m dealing with right now – what’s more important?”
25 Mar 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*25 March 2021
*WWE LEGEND RESPONDS TO JAB FROM BRITT BAKER*
-WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley took to Twitter last night to respond to the AEW Dynamite promo from Britt Baker.
-Baker cut a heated promo on last week’s Lights Out main event loss to Thunder Rosa.
“That’s it, that is the warm welcome you give me for the hell that I went through last week?,” Baker asked the crowd as they booed her. “You all are as dumb, delusional, and disrespectful as Thunder Rosa.
“Thunder Rosa – you should be thanking me every day that you wake up. You should be thanking me because you will forever be remembered now. You got to be a part of the history that I wrote with my own blood. And then you… and then you have the audacity to stand here in my company, in my division, and say that you put the women on the map. Then why is everybody talking about me?”
-Baker then addressed praise she’s received in the last week from other wrestlers on social media, specifically the “thumbs up” Twitter video that Foley posted last week, tagging Rosa and Baker in.
“And I don’t need the praise and admiration from all you legends and experts telling me that I’m worthy now that I’m a star now,” Baker continued. “Mick Foley, thanks for the thumbs up, except it took you 20 years to become a hardcore legend and I did it in one night.
“And that night when I had 87 thumbtacks in my back, and the blood was flowing down into my eyes, I’ve never been able to see more clearly, because Tony Khan, you’re out here looking for every legend that ever has been, when you have the biggest one right here, standing under your nose, because not only did I make history that night, I put AEW on the map, and those three letters, A-E-W, come second to the most epic three in all of professional wrestling – D-M-D.”
-Foley responded to the jab from Baker on Twitter.
“Not going to lie…this comment from @RealBrittBaker stung a little [sleepy face emoji],” he wrote.
*WWE NXT SUPERSTARS PULLING DOUBLE DUTY NEXT WEEK*
-WWE NXT Superstars Cameron Grimes and Roderick Strong are set to pull double duty on next Wednesday’s “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” go-home edition of NXT on the USA Network.
-This week’s NXT show featured a backstage segment where Grimes approached Strong about possibly selling him the intellectual property of The Undisputed Era. Grimes was interested in purchasing the IP as he had many ideas to take The Undisputed Era’s brand to the moon now that the group is apparently no more. Strong responded to Grimes’ ranting by decking him with a right hand.
-The NXT announcers then confirmed Grimes vs. Strong for next Wednesday’s show.
-Grimes and Strong were also announced for next week’s 12-Man Gauntlet Eliminator Battle Royal. As noted, the final 6 Superstars in the Battle Royal will determine the order of a Gauntlet Eliminator Match to take place during Night One of the “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” event. The winner of that Gauntlet Match will then advance to Takeover Night Two to challenge Johnny Gargano for his NXT North American Title.
*CODY AND BRANDI RHODES REALITY SERIES ANNOUNCED*
-Cody and Brandi Rhodes are making their way to reality television.
-This week’s AEW Dynamite saw an advertisement for “Rhodes to the Top,” a new reality TV series starring the AEW power couple. The announcement trailer showcased the Rhodes’ home lives, as well as backstage shots of Tony Khan producing and MJF chatting. The “unscripted series” is set to take viewers behind the scenes of AEW.
-In an official press release, AEW noted that the series will contain 30-minute episodes that will take viewers “inside the lives of Cody and Brandi as they navigate their growing family while building AEW’s global wrestling empire.”
-The new series received the stamp of approval from numerous TNT television executives.
“I’ve witnessed firsthand the passion and dedication that Cody and Brandi put into every facet of their life and know how much that plays an instrumental role in the success and expansion of AEW,” said Sam Linsky, Co-Head of Scripted for TBS, TNT and truTV. “Now the world will get an inside look at how they balance their personal wrestling careers, their training center, and their executive roles at AEW as they venture into one of the most intimidating chapters of life, parenthood.”
“AEW fans know Brandi and Cody inside the ring, and ‘Rhodes to the Top’ will peel back the curtain of their lives off the mat,” Corie Henson, EVP, Head of Unscripted for TBS, TNT and truTV said. “Running a business together as the stars of ‘Dynamite,’ juggling friends and family, and introducing a new baby into the Rhodes dynasty is sure to be a wild ride.”
-AEW founder Tony Khan further emphasized his enthusiasm about the new show, while also teasing a future third hour of weekly wrestling programming coming to TNT later in 2021.
“I’m thrilled to expand AEW’s relationship with WarnerMedia and TNT, and Rhodes To The Top will represent a new outlet in which our fans can further connect with characters they already love, and new viewers can discover these personalities for the first time,” Khan said. “With our flagship show Dynamite and now Rhodes To The Top, in addition to our third hour of wrestling programming coming to TNT later this year, 2021 will be a historic year for AEW and our partnership with WarnerMedia.”
-Cody and Brandi added that the show will be the “first true look behind the curtain and beyond the ring” as viewers will get to see them “fail and succeed.”
*CHRISTIAN CAGE’s AEW IN-RING DEBUT ANNOUNCED*
-Christian Cage will make his AEW in-ring debut next week.
-During a backstage interview, Christian was interrupted by SCU’s Frankie Kazarian. The former AEW Tag Champion referenced Christian’s shirt, which reads “Out Work Everyone,” and asked when “the work” part of the catchphrase came in. Christian responded, saying next week, setting up his AEW singles debut against Frankie Kazarian to take place on next week’s AEW Dynamite.
-This will be Christian’s first traditional wrestling match in over seven years. The former World Champion last wrestled a fatal four-way on the March 24, 2014 Monday Night RAW, which coincidentally came exactly seven years before tonight’s announcement.
-The Instant Classic did wrestle an impromptu unsanctioned match against Randy Orton last summer, but lost in seconds after taking a low blow and a punt kick from the Apex Predator. Christian would make his physical in-ring return at January’s Royal Rumble, before ultimately signing and debuting with All Elite at AEW Revolution.
*FORMER WWE STAR ON WHAT ANDRADE TOLD HIM BEFORE WWE RELEASE*
-Former WWE star Orlando Colon, f.k.a. as Epico, appeared on Dr. Chris Featherstone’s UnSKripted podcast. As transcribed by Sportskeeda, Colon revealed he had spoken to Andrade, the former WWE star who was released this past Sunday.
“I’m happy for him,” said Colon. “He’s put in his time there, he’s put in his time outside of WWE, deserved a better spot and now doing his own thing. Nobody can cut his wings off and he can fly high and do what he knows to do best.
“Right now he’s one of the best in the world, second to none. On top of that he’s one of my good friends. I was just talking to him today, cracking some jokes and just talking about his future. And the future looks bright for him.”
-Colon revealed some more information that Andrade gave him regarding his last few weeks in WWE. He admitted that Andrade was frustrated about not being used by the company.
“I’ve been talking to him. I saw him in Orlando two weeks ago,” Colon revealed. “And he was like ‘they’re not doing anything with me. It’s not a matter of the money but me following my dreams. I hate sitting at catering every week.
“‘It’s pretty toxic when you look at it that way. You’ve got the best performers in the world over there. Just look at the locker room.”‘
*KARRION KROSS: ‘MY STORY RIGHT NOW IS A SUCCESS OVER THE STATUS QUO’*
-Karrion Kross is preparing for a huge NXT Championship match against Finn Balor, a match that’s coming after a long road to recovery for the superstar. In an interview with DAZN, Kross discussed the match, and how he feels about his chances of taking down Balor to reclaim his spot at the top of NXT.
-On his injury in 2020:
Right when that happened. Time kind of slowed down. I feel like that happens to a lot of people that wind up going through some sort of physically traumatizing injury like a car accident. My first immediate reaction was I was really aggravated. I got really aggravated because I can’t believe that just happened right now. I can’t believe that just happened. A lot of people see my rise in NXT as very quickly, but they don’t understand. They don’t take into consideration that I’ve been at this for many years. So just to get that one match for the NXT title took me years and years and years. All the miles I traveled going all around the world, inadvertently missing the birth of my friends’ kids, funerals, weddings. My whole life for years, every single day went into getting that one single match at Takeover 30 and getting in the ring, and that happens. As soon as I landed, it just didn’t feel right. I grabbed it, and I felt like something was out. I was like, ‘Oh, something’s out’. I was like, I hope that in my mind that they didn’t see that. I’m gonna try to push it back in. I tried to shove it back in. You can see me doing it. It’s not going back in.
-On what he says to his detractors:
I feel like my story right now is a success over the status quo. People don’t like status quo. They don’t like it. If you think about it like that, I am the change that people are always asking for. I am the change that people are always looking for. People want to see things get shaken up immediately. If you look at it and observe like that, that’s exactly what I’m doing. The other thing I would tell them, ‘Hey, if you’re not sold on me, keep watching because I’ve heard that before’. I have a lot of fans right now that are diehard fans of mine that weren’t big on me to begin with. Know at the end of the day, everything that I do is in the interest of entertaining you. So eventually, I’ll get you. Believe me.
-On what it would mean to beat Finn Balor at NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver:
It would be an event symbolic of coming completely full circle to getting knocked off the path and getting back on track to where we’re supposed to be. Every single thing that’s happened to me, every single thing that’s happened in my career, it comes full circle. It means something to get that belt back and defend it in a manner in which I was supposed to. It will mean everything.
*AEW STAR PROVIDES INJURY UPDATE AFTER AEW DYNAMITE MAIN EVENT*
-John Silver suffered a dislocated shoulder in his main event match against AEW TNT Champion Darby Allin on tonight’s AEW Dynamite.
-Silver has taken to Twitter to update fans on his injury. The Dark Order member said that although his “shoulder is messed up,” he has received some positive news from the doctor.
-Silver tweeted, “Came up short tonight. Shoulder is messed up. Doctor doesn’t think it’s too serious but I’ll keep everyone updated once I know.”
-The news of Silver’s injury was revealed by Allin after Dynamite went off the air.
“I don’t think anybody here knows, but I’m pretty sure you dislocated your shoulder about halfway through that match,” said Allin. “But g*ddamn, did you put everything into it! And I’m down to do it anytime again. Thank you, John. Thank you.”
9 Feb 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo**09 February 2021
*CARDI B WORKING WITH WWE SOON?*
-Could Cardi B follow in the footsteps of Bad Bunny in the world of sports entertainment? If WWE’s Nick Khan gets his way, she will.
-Khan, WWE’s chief revenue officer, recently spoke with Forbes’ Alfred Konuwa and said that there is interest in having the singer work with WWE. Konuwa asked about the potential for the company working with hip-hop artists in the future, and Khan said that like Bad Bunny, WWE wants to bring her in as well, in addition to opening the (forbidden) door for other hip-hop artists as well.
“Yes, and specifically the two that you just mentioned,” Khan replied, referring specifically to both Bad Bunny and Cardi B. “Obviously, there is no touring right now, so the ability to get Bad Bunny for however long this run is going to be—and you’re going to see a lot of him—I don’t believe that would have existed in a world where Bad Bunny was on tour. That’s going to be a continual effort, so we’re always going to watch Bad Bunny, Cardi B to get involved.”
“It made it a touch easier to get a deal done this time because they weren’t—over the course of however long the deal is—is not in 25 different cities during that time,” Khan added. “The bulk of concert money is made in the summertime. It doesn’t appear as if there are going to be big tours during the summer, even we’re all hopeful, so we’ll see what other folks we’re talking to and who you’ll see in the mix.”
-Cardi B is not working with WWE in any official capacity at this time, but it would certainly bring plenty of attention to the company leading into WrestleMania in April. Cardi B is familiar with WWE, as she was recently namedropped on RAW and said she was not only a fan of Sasha Banks, but Trish Stratus and Melina as well.
*CODY RHODES WELCOMES AARON SOLOW AND NICK COMOROTO TO THE NIGHTMARE FAMILY*
-The Nightmare Family is welcoming two new members.
-In two posts on Twitter, Cody Rhodes announced that Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto are joining the group.
-Both men have been consistently competing on AEW Dark in recent months. Johnson has been teaming up with Lee Johnson while Comoroto has joined forces with the Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall.)
Welcome @aaronsolow to the Nightmare Family! pic.twitter.com/LBxIBOcaXy
— Cody (@CodyRhodes) February 8, 2021
-The similarities don’t end there. Both Comoroto and Solow have worked for WWE in the past. Solow was an alternate in the Cruiserweight Classic, and he has competed on WWE 205 Live. Comoroto has wrestled at NXT live events, but he was released due to budget cuts last year.
-It’s also worth noting that Solow is WWE star Bayley’s fiancé.
Welcome @Mr_Freakbeast to the Nightmare Family! pic.twitter.com/a5CJB8cM7v
— Cody (@CodyRhodes) February 8, 2021
*WWE TO USE FAN CUTOUTS FOR WRESTLEMANIA 37?*
-WWE is reportedly open to using the fan cutouts that were used at Raymond James Stadium for the NFL’s Super Bowl LV on Sunday.
-It was reported on Sunday that WWE officials had been against the idea of filling empty WrestleMania 37 seats with fan cutouts that the NFL was using. Now WWE officials are reportedly open to using the cutouts for The Grandest Stage of Them All.
-It was reported by @Wrestlevotes that WWE officials “will 100% discuss” the use of the cutouts for WrestleMania 37. A source reportedly said that it’s “beyond dumb to not” discuss the use of the cutouts because Raymond James Stadium “looked wonderful for what it was” at the big game.
-The NFL reportedly sold the cutouts used at Super Bowl LV for $100 each.
-It’s been reported that WWE will have some real fans at Raymond James Stadium for WrestleMania 37, but there obviously will not be 100% capacity. WWE is expected to announce full details on WrestleMania tickets shortly.
*NEW AEW DYNAMITE MATCHES ANNOUNCED FOR WEDNESDAY*
-AEW has announced Leyla Hirsch vs. Thunder Rosa in a first round match in the Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament for Wednesday’s Dynamite episode on TNT.
-It was also announced that Ryan Nemeth will return to AEW action on this week’s Dynamite. He will go up against PAC. Nemeth made his AEW debut last month in a six-man match on Dark, then lost to Adam Page on January 21 in his Dynamite debut.
*KURT ANGLE THOUGHT BROCK LESNAR HAD DIED DURING THEIR WRESTLEMANIA 19 MATCH*
-At WrestleMania 19, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin finished their trilogy, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho squared off in a classic and Triple H and The Undertaker had their first match at the show of shows. However, the match that went on last was Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar for the Undisputed WWE Championship. Although it was the main event, Kurt Angle went into that match and wrestled with a serious neck injury that was going to require surgery, so he had to drop the title to Lesnar.
-On the first episode of The Kurt Angle Show, Angle talked about going into the match with Lesnar with a bad neck. He mentioned how surgery before the match wouldn’t be an option because of much a WrestleMania main event meant to him. Angle said telling him and Lesnar to take it easy wouldn’t be possible.
“I told Vince we were going to take it easy but when you go out there, the fire, the excitement, adrenaline pumping, you want to do your very best and put on the best performance you can,” Angle said. “That’s what we do. We take pride in that, it helps our egos.”
“To go in a match and take it easy, sure you can do that in an untelevised event, but this was WrestleMania and there was no way I was going to do it half-assed. I didn’t have a lot of character in that match because I was focused on my neck and the match, making sure I protected myself and didn’t injure my neck any worse than it already was.”
-The most memorable moment of the match came at the end when Brock Lesnar climbed the top rope and was going to hit a Shooting Star Press on a prone Angle. Lesnar botched the move and landed right on his head.
-Angle talked about that infamous moment and described what it was like to be laying down watching Lesnar land flat on his head. He said at that moment he thought Lesnar was dead because he wasn’t responding to him.
“When he went to jump, he hesitated and then just said ‘awe f*** it, I’m just going to go,’ “ Angle said. “I think that hesitation cost him to fall off balance forward so he couldn’t get a full rotation backward when he went to flip. When he landed, I thought he was dead. I thought he broke his neck, I thought he was dead.
“He wasn’t responding, I said ‘Brock, are you okay?’ He wasn’t saying anything, I went over and covered him and told him ‘You gotta kick [out], you gotta kick,’ because I did not want to hold that title for another day.”
-Angle talked about the aftermath from the shooting star press and how it impacted Lesnar. He said they had an ambulance waiting for him in the back and Lesnar was refusing to go in it.
“Afterward, he was so disheveled,” Angle said. “He was confused, and didn’t know where he was. He was supposed to come over and pick me up and hug me, we were supposed to become friends and he wasn’t coming over [to do that]. I told the ref to tell him to come over and he wasn’t coming so I walked to him and hugged him.
“We got in the back and he had an ambulance waiting for him to take him to the hospital and he wouldn’t go. He was not going to go, he was being stubborn, he was pretty pissed off. I had to talk him into getting in the ambulance and eventually he did.”
-To make matters worse, Angle revealed he was actually the one who suggested to Lesnar to do the shooting star press in the match. He said he had seen Lesnar do them in OVW and wanted to add a major spot to their match since they were in the main event of WrestleMania.
“It was my idea,” Angle said. “Brock had no plans of doing the Shooting Star Press. I told him ‘Hey, I know you used to do it in OVW, this is a great WrestleMania moment,’ and boy was it. Especially that he messed it up because everybody remembers the botched spot. It’s a great WrestleMania moment and it will be remembered forever.”
“He should’ve been dead. Something like that, hitting that hard just straight on your head, what a scary moment. You just didn’t know if Brock was going to get up or be able to walk again. It was really scary, those are the chances you take when you do stuff like that. I feel badly because it was my idea and Brock had no plans of doing it and I talked him into it. I feel bad about it.”
*BOW WOW HAS HEATED TWITTER EXCHANGE WITH WWE STARS*
-After flirting with a pro wrestling career earlier today, Bow Wow got the attention of RETRIBUTION’s big man, T-Bar.
-The rapper voiced his desire to compete inside a WWE ring, tweeting that it was a “life long childhood dream” of his. T-Bar responded, saying the career change idea “is crazy” while also dissing Bow Wow’s movie, Like Mike.
-Bow Wow hit T-Bar back, asking, “Are you mad because ill become champ faster than you? Or are you mad that like mike is more legendary than you will ever be?”
-The former Dominik Dijakovic then officially laid down the challenge. “Those sound like fighting words Air Bud. Why don’t you fly your “private jet” down to the @WWE ThunderDome and back them up?”
-The Fast and the Furious star also caught the attention of former WWE United States Champion Ricochet. The One and Only simply stated that Bow Wow “don’t want the smoke!” Bow Wow responded by challenging Ricochet to “say it live on RAW” if he means it.
-Bow Wow’s enthusiasm to dive into the wrestling world comes after fellow recording artist Bad Bunny made a splash in the sport. Bad Bunny performed his single “Booker T” at the Royal Rumble before getting physical during the main event. Bunny has since aligned himself with Damian Priest, and is heavily rumored to have a match at this year’s WrestleMania.
*MICK FOLEY ON TERRY FUNK AND HIS “SERIOUS PAIN ISSUES”*
-WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley took to social media today to fellow honor Hall of Famer Terry Funk.
-Foley’s posts comes a day after Dustin Rhodes asked fans to pray for The Funker, noting on Twitter that he is currently “in a lot of pain and could use some prayers.”
-Foley sent well wishes to funk on Twitter and noted that he’s dealing with some serious pain issues due to hip problems. He also called Funk the greatest of all-time.
“I’m wishing my friend and mentor, Terry Funk the very best as he deals with some serious pain issues. The Funker’s hip is giving him a lot of trouble. No one sacrificed more for the fans than Terry Funk – the GOAT in my opinion, because he made it SO easy to believe,” Foley tweeted.
-Foley also honored his mentor with a Facebook post, asking fans to send prayers or positive energy his way. He wrote the following:
THINKING OF THE FUNKER
-I need to give Terry Funk a phone call. From what I understand, he’s in some serious pain after a lifetime of giving his all to the wrestling business. His hip, in particular is giving him a lot of trouble. Terry is not only a great friend, but my mentor, and one of the biggest influences on my career. In my opinion, he is the greatest of all time, based not only on his amazing array of incredible matches with all different types of opponents over the course of several decades – but for his ability to make it SO easy to believe! No one made the suspension of disbelief easier than Terry Funk. Even in his 70s, he could enter a gymnasium full of fans – many years home had no idea who he was, and still fill the gymnasium with genuine concern over the well-being of the referee, timekeeper, and any wrestler who crossed his path.
-When I’m on the road doing my one-man shows, my favorite stories revolve around Terry Funk. If you have some positive energy or a prayer to spare, but I think Terry would appreciate them.
*MIRO REACTS TO LANA FINALLY PUTTING NIA JAX THROUGH A TABLE*
-AEW star Miro is proud of his wife, WWE Superstar Lana, for finally putting Nia Jax through a table on tonight’s episode of Monday Night RAW.
-Lana defeated Jax in a Tables Match to exact revenge on her longtime rival. After Jax crashed on the mat from a failed leg drop attempt, Lana charged from behind and shoved Jax through a table placed against the barrier at ringside.
-Miro wrote, “Nia finally got the push she deserved! Way to go WIFE @LanaWWE.”
-Lana had been on the receiving of nearly a dozen Samoan Drop splashes – through tables – from Jax since last September. After Lana snapped “the table streak” in late November, she was injured [in storyline] by Jax and Shayna Baszler which kept her out of action until her return at the Royal Rumble.
-Since her return to WWE TV, Lana has formed a new tag team with Naomi. The duo became the No. 1 contenders to Jax and Baszler’s titles last week on RAW.
8 Feb 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*08 February 2021
*TAYA VALKYRIE ON WHO SHE WANTS TO FACE IN WWE AND AEW*
-A few weeks ago Taya Valkyrie was written off Impact programming which coincided with her departing the company after three-plus years. That follows the departure of her husband, John Morrison, who left in mid-2019 for WWE.
-Since leaving, Valkyrie hasn’t signed with a promotion but obviously WWE is appealing since her husband is there. But AEW also has allure with their women’s division and Valkyrie was asked which of those companies she would prefer in an interview with Highspots Wrestling Network.
“Well, I really enjoy both products. Obviously, I’m a wrestling fan, always have been. There’s a lot of people that get into wrestling [that] are wrestling fans, surprise, and honestly, I don’t know what’s gonna happen next for me because as a lot of people don’t realize is that I have been signed for about eight-and-a-half years from AAA into Lucha Underground into IMPACT. And this is actually my first-ever time in my career as a free agent,” revealed Valkyrie. “So, it’s a really important time for me to really think about what’s important for me, for my family and make the best decision moving forward for my career. So, we will see. It will all play out, don’t worry.”
-Because she’s been in the Impact and Lucha bubbles for so long, there are numerous women’s talents out there that Valkyrie has never been in the ring with. She was asked who else she would like to wrestle and she mentioned several AEW and WWE talents.
“Well, I have never wrestled Kris Statlander, which I think would be — call her up. I’ve never wrestled her. Is that weird? There’s somebody like that too that I’ve never wrestled before. I don’t know. Even someone like Britt Baker, I’ve only ever been in a tag match with her for like — I think we were against each other for like two seconds. There was never any sort of actual, you know, interaction there so I would love to face both of them,” said Valkyrie.
“I would love to face obviously some people like Charlotte and Sasha Banks and I have wrestled Io [Shirai] before one time in STARDOM and I would like to wrestle her again. So those are kind of my current top chicks if I had to pick.”
*EDGE RESPONDS TO CRITICISM OF WINNING THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH AT AGE 47*
-The winner of the 2021 Royal Rumble, Edge, was a guest on WWE After The Bell With Corey Graves where he talked about his goals in WWE after returning again. Edge said the criticism he’s received from some about the fact that he won the Royal Rumble at the age of 47 isn’t something he worries about. He said his main goal in coming back to WWE is to just tell great stories and mix it up with talent he’s never faced before.
“All I can control is trying to be in the best shape I can possibly be in,” Edge said. “Bust my ass in the gym so that at least I can look the part, move the part, feel the part and that’s all I can control.
“I can’t control people’s opinions, I can’t control if people have ageism issues. What I want to do is come back and tell how the story [is told] and tell it with multiple dance partners. If those dance partners can take something from it, that’s my goal.”
-Edge also discussed some of the talent that he’d like to step in the ring with now that he’s returned to action. He stated that he just wants to teach this new generation a different aspect of wrestling that he learnt through 4 decades.
“I want to get in there with guys like Cesaro,” Edge said. “You can talk about stuff in the back, but until you’re in there and in the pocket and in the zone together, that’s where you can try and impart some proper knowledge.
“There’s the Matt Riddle’s and all these guys, it’s really exciting to me and that’s part of the reason I wanted to come back was a whole new generation of talent. Somehow, I’ve been able to get through 4 decades with a break in there and have laid hands on all of these talents throughout the years and if I can do what those guys did for me for a new generation of talent, that’s why I wanted to come back.”
-Edge gave an update on what he plans on doing now that he’s back, and when he’d hang it up again and be done forever. Edge mentioned that he wants to help talent tell stories and leave the business better than when he arrived.
“I just want it to be that if a talent sees ‘Vs. Edge’ on the sheet, that they’re excited and not this is going to be difficult,” Edge said. “I don’t want to get to that stage, I’ll be gone before that happens hopefully in a perfect world. I want to come back and just try and tell some great stories. If I can impart some type of wisdom or experience from doing this for 29 years, then that’s part of the goal. I want to leave this better than when I came into it.
“If that can happen by just brushing up on a guy like Damian Priest and giving him a tip of the hat, Finn Balor. The level that dudes operating on, I’d love to get in there with him. There’s just so many different people and I could tell such a different story with every one of them.”
-As of today, the 2021 Royal Rumble winner will face a champion at WrestleMania. Edge said the plan for WrestleMania hasn’t been decided yet but likes what he sees in regards to his potential matchups.
“It’s an embarrassment of riches,” Edge said. “I look at the champions and think oh my god, oh what I could tell with Drew, oh what I could tell with Balor, oh what I could with Reigns. It’s really exciting. I look at all 3 of those talents and I love what they’re doing. I love the level they’re on and I love the cylinders they are firing on all in different ways.”
-Edge went in depth on the stories he could tell with all three of the current champions in WWE. He described what it would look like to be able to work with each of them and why a match against one of them intrigues him.
“I look at Drew McIntyre and the story, it’s about respect, it’s about taking a similar road,” Edge said, talking about the current WWE Champion. “The fact that when I was World Champion, Drew was trying to find his way and I tried to help him through some of those times. Leaving and coming back and respecting the man he’s become. So there’s that story.”
“Then, there’s a guy like [Finn] Balor who I’ve never laid hands on,” Edge said speaking about the current NXT Champion. “Never been in the same place at the same time and I see what he’s doing in the ring and the way he’s wrestling and making everything earned. You’ve got to fight to get it in terms of a match, that’s extremely appealing because that’s the type of wrestling I want to do.”
“Then I look at [Roman] Reigns and I truly look at this generational thing,” Edge continued, as he talked about the Universal Champion. “This guy that’s finally allowed to be what he is. The handcuffs are off, everyone realized we need to let him do what he can do. He is like Randy [Orton] in that when you get those 2nd and 3rd generation talents, they do things that they don’t even know, it’s just instinctual because it’s in their DNA. I see Reigns, I see the layers of Heyman, it’s such a great character that has so much real to it. That’s exciting to me.”
*APA WAS FORMED AFTER JBL & RON SIMMONS WERE EXPECTING TO BE FIRED*
-The latest edition of ‘WWE Untold’ features JBL talking about the formation of APA with his friend Ron Simmons.
-JBL began by discussing how he essentially got black-out drink on his birthday. JBL said, “I think we had an afternoon shot in Philadelphia. We’re coming down to Baltimore. They’re just feeding me every substance known to man. It’s my birthday. I’m messed up by the time I get down to Baltimore. We go to the hotel and in come Vince and Shane. I go back to the Red Roof, Ron left early. Go back to the Red Roof and Ron and I were splitting a room at the Red Roof, that’s how cheap we were, it was probably 29 bucks, 15 bucks each. Ron wakes up and he goes, ‘how’d you get here?’ I said, ‘limo.’ He said, ‘limo?’ I said, ‘yeah, Vince and Shane.’ He goes, ‘oh, we’re fired.’ I started laughing. I said, ‘yeah, we may be,’ and he said, ‘you still got a connection in Japan?’ I said ‘I hope so.’
-Continuing on, JBL said the very next day Vince talked about wanting him to start drinking on TV. JBL said, “So I come to TV the next day in Baltimore and they said Vince wanted to talk to me and I thought, man you know, I was drunk at the hotel, I’m probably in trouble. So I walk in there and Vince laughs about how hungover I am, and he’s in a jovial mood. He goes, ‘I’m going to put that on television.’ I said, ‘what are you going to put on television?’ He said ‘I’m gonna put on television about you and Ron sitting around drinking and BS’ing.’ He goes, ‘that’s good stuff.’ He said that’s entertaining. I was shocked. I was expecting to be reprimanded, to be in trouble. I come back out and Ron goes, ‘uh, yeah, when we going to Japan?’ I said ‘we’re not.’ He said, ‘what do you mean were not?’ I said ‘Vince wants us to drink beer on television,’ and Ron said, ‘that’s the greatest idea I’ve ever heard!’
*TRIPLE H GIFTS TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS CUSTOM WWE TITLE*
-Triple H has gifted a custom WWE title to Super Bowl LV winners, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
-He congratulated Tom Brady and the team on Twitter. He also told them to enjoy the WWE title and that Rob Gronkowski will know what to do with it.
-Gronkowski is a former WWE 24/7 Champion. He also hosted WrestleMania 36.
-Triple H tweeted, “Congratulations to @TomBrady and the @Buccaneers on an incredible performance in the #SuperBowl. From the #WWEThunderDome to @RJStadium, enjoy this @WWE custom title … @RobGronkowski will know what to do with it!!!”
-The Tampa Bay Lightning also received a custom WWE Championship after their Stanley Cup win last September.
*SHAUL GUERRERO SAYS SHE’S TAKING A BREAK FROM PROBABLY WRESTLING*
-Shaul Guerrero announced she’ll be taking a break from all wrestling related performances and appearances as she looks to focus on her mental health.
-The daughter of Eddie and Vickie Guerrero has appeared in NXT, Women of Wrestling, Lucha Underground, and AEW as a ring announcer for the AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament.
-The news comes via a post on her Twitter page. She said, “Official today I am withdrawing from all performances and appearances scheduled in conjunction with wrestling. After a very scary mental illness crisis I am no longer advised by loved ones and professionals to participate in high stress events at this time. I deeply apologize to the fans who have been respectful and supportive of me and who continue to do so. I will be using this time to seek the help I need, reestablish my eating disorder treatment and hopefully get answers and solutions to reach a healthy mental state. I apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment this may bring.”
*RICH SWANN ON BEING AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CHAMPION*
-As the IMPACT World Champion, Rich Swann hopes to be an example for countless people and prove that anything is possible.
-Swann recently appeared on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, and he discussed his prominence as an African American world champion.
“Being a champion of culture, you know what I mean, I just wanna show that anybody can do it,” said Swann. “And just being from my upbringing, people would look at somebody as myself and think that I would have never gotten to something like this, and I just want to be an example to somebody, you know, not only that would live in my situation and kids of African American descent or Spanish, Hispanic, white kids, it doesn’t matter, I wanna show the world that we can all do this together and that’s my message. You know what I mean, and stop diversifying everybody [and] come together….”
-Swann also discussed his role in the crossover between IMPACT Wrestling and All Elite Wrestling. He described this storyline as a major progression for IMPACT Wrestling, and he stated that he hopes to capitalize on the opportunity.
“[I’m] in the thick of things,” said Swann. “You know, I totally feel like the momentum changed, like as soon as Don Callis made that announcement, after Kenny Omega, who’s been revered in the professional wrestling industry for quite some time now, who’s looked at as one of the greatest. Once they made that announcement, that they were gonna come to IMPACT, everybody said wait, what? You know what I mean?
“You could feel the change, and as you can see the progression with myself and the Machine Guns, when we all came together and it was gonna form that crazy six-man, and it changed a little bit, but that was the buzz of the wrestling universe for a bit. I’m grateful to be a part of something like that, and I just want to show out as hard as I can.”
7 Feb 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*07 February 2021
*RENEE PAQUETTE WANTED TO REVIVE TIESDAY NIGHT TITANS IN WWE*
-Renee Paquette had dreams of being a Titan.
-The former WWE host recently spoke with Justin Dhillon on Casual Conversations and revealed her shelved plans to try and bring back “Tuesday Night Titans” while she was still working for the company. Asked if she ever pitched any content that got turned down by WWE, Paquette said she wanted to do a “Titans” revival with Mean Gene Okerlund, but it never got out of the planning stages.
“One thing that I’ve always wanted to do was bring back ‘Tuesday [Night] Titans’. I wanted to host it and I wanted Mean Gene to be my sidekick, that’s what I really really wanted. We never shot a pilot or anything, it never really got any legs at all. Something like that I would have loved.”
“I pitched a couple different food show ideas of things that I wanted to like some cooking alongside some wrestlers. Trying to get a podcast kind of up and running which I mean the pitches for those never really went too far anyways but, Just like “Unfiltered” trying to expand that show, make it into something else,” Paquette explained. “Interview shows are something that I love to do, just being able to just chat with people and just hang out. Tuesday Night Titans was something I really wanted to do though.”
-Tuesday Night Titans was a WWF talk show that aired on the USA Network from 1984 to 1986. Initially a two-hour broadcast, the show was later moved to a one-hour slot on Fridays, then it aired on Wednesdays until it was cancelled. Okerlund, who was a co-host on the original run, passed away in 2019 at age 76. Paquette has since left WWE and started her own podcast, Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette, and she has a cookbook coming out later this year.
*WWE SMACKDOWN RATINGS DOWN*
-The post-Royal Rumble edition of WWE SmackDown stayed in contention for viewership on Friday night despite a drop in comparison to the go-home show the week before. For the fifth straight week in a row, the blue brand keeps its head above the two-million viewer mark as the program captured an average audience of 2.126 million viewers but however, does average to a loss of 101,000 viewers in comparison to the previous week’s number of 2.227 million.
-From a demographic perspective, SmackDown did happen to keep it’s 18-49 audience at steady 0.6, the third week in a row for that number, remaining only below Shark Tank 0.7 for Friday evening’s highest in the heavily cherished category.
-This week’s episode did pack a bit of a punch as we saw Edge show up on Fox and get confronted by The Tribal Chief himself, Roman Reigns. Matters didn’t go as expected for Roman as Kevin Owens crashed the party with a stunner to the champion and leaving Edge grinning in approval. The episode was also highlighted by a Bianca Belair segment, Big E defending his Intercontinental Title and Daniel Bryan submitting clean to Cesaro in a one-on-one matchup.
*EDGE REPORTEDLY PUSHES FOR MATCH AGAINST TOP WWE STAR*
-WWE Hall of Famer Edge has pushed for a match against Daniel Bryan this year, according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
-After winning the Royal Rumble, Edge has yet to officially announce his WrestleMania opponent, but is reportedly expected to face WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. It’s still unknown on whether Edge or Reigns will leave with the title.
-During an interview with CBS Sports, Edge noted he didn’t just want a match against Bryan — he wanted an Ironman Match.
“I’d love to do an Ironman with Daniel Bryan. There’s just so much talent I would love to get in with. … It’s just really fun for me because I see them get wide-eyed because we’re having this cool, special moment, and I want more of those.”
*WWE PRESIDENT NICK KHAN ON DECLINING TV RATINGS*
-WWE’ declining TV ratings have been a hot topic in the past few years, and it was a topic of discussion on the recent WWE Q4 and Full Year earnings call. WWE President Nick Khan addressed (h/t to Fool for the transcription) declining ratings and how WWE’s relationship with NBCU and help ratings growth.
“We’re always looking for ratings growth no matter how high the ratings are,” Khan stated. “It’s all about exceeding NBC’s expectations. So there is flexibility. If the two entities came together and decided to put certain content onto a linear platform, we have the ability to do that.
“Obviously, both parties, again, would have to agree to that. For now, we’re focused on helping Peacock grow their subscriber base, and we’re confident that we can do it.”
-Khan was asked what WWE is doing to reverse ratings trends. He responded by saying “we don’t believe that we’ve lost eyeballs.” He notes WWE’s social numbers and believes that “the eyeballs are there.”
“We don’t believe that we’ve lost eyeballs. We believe eyeballs tend to shift from linear to digital platforms,” Khan explained, “So if you look at even our Facebook numbers, which are significantly up the last six months or so, including the revenue against those numbers, we think the eyeballs are there. Like I said, we’re always looking to grow ratings.
“So now that we’re coming out of a competitive presidential race that a lot of people were focused on. We’re still all in the midst of a virus that a lot of people are focused on. We believe with the continued great in-ring product that the eyeballs are continuing to grow and will result in more linear eyeballs as some of the other stuff that I just mentioned passes. So we feel good about our position, and we think our network partners do as well.”
*NICK ALDIS ON WHY HE NEVER JOINED WWE OR AEW*
-Nick Aldis, also known as Magnus, had two successful stints with TNA/Impact Wrestling. The first, which lasted from 2008-15, established him in the United States wrestling scene and he was part of the second incarnation of the Main Event Mafia.
-Aldis then returned to the company in 2017 as the GFW Global Champion. Once GFW merged with Impact, Aldis remained the world champion but wasn’t happy with the new management of Impact. He explained how that played a role in him departing the company later that year in an interview on The Angle Podcast.
“The truth is, the decision to leave, it’s no secret and it’s not like I want to make a big thing of it, sometimes there’s just clashes of personalities behind the scenes and I had one with [former TNA EVP] John [Gaburick]. The relationship broke down and I was premature to figure out how to fix it and I think if he was honest, he could’ve tried a little hard to remedy it also,” admitted Aldis. “But it just became a sort of pride thing. It’s not like a guy who’s the world champion is telling all of his friends that when his contract is up he’s out of here.”
-Aldis is currently the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and has held the belt for nearly two-and-a-half years. This championship is arguably the most prestigious in all of pro wrestling and a who’s who of Hall of Famers have held the title.
-Aldis refers to himself as “The Real World Champion” and takes great pride in having the NWA Belt around his waist. He discussed what that phrase means to him and also what he thinks about other world championships in other promotions.
“Ric Flair or Bobby Heenan came up with the phrase and it was like all of these other world championships, you created them because you couldn’t have this one. In my mind I was just reiterating that and since then you guys have changed your belt 50 times, you have two different belts on two different things and this one’s got a belt and that one’s got a belt and this one’s red and this one’s blue and spinny or whatever. I get why they do it, it’s not a knock, but it’s like this one is the same one,” stated Aldis.
“Harley Race, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Terry Funk, and now you can see me holding it too. So, this one’s the real world title, this one means something.”
-Aldis is the top star in NWA but NWA isn’t anywhere near the biggest promotion in the United States. The two biggest promotions are WWE and AEW and Aldis has yet to work for either one of them, despite his wife being Mickie James.
-Aldis had interest in going to WWE a couple of years ago but said he wasn’t signed to due political reasons and he’s also had a chance to sign with AEW. He talked more about why he’s not in either company and why he’s chosen to remain in NWA.
“Even when I mentioned before that I had been offered to go to AEW and politely declined, it wasn’t like ‘I told them!’ At the time I made the decision that I don’t think it’s the right thing to do right now because you have all of these top guys and you have to sort of, and by you, I mean Tony [Khan], you have to present them first. You got Jericho, Cody, Kenny, and all the way down the line. You got all of these guys, you don’t need me and my ego is not that big,” said Aldis.
“The NWA needed me and I preferred it and that’s the truth. Not saying that I don’t like them. Saying you like one thing doesn’t mean you don’t like the other thing. You can’t have a company full of top guys because ultimately what happens is that some of them have to work in the middle of the card and some have to open. When you have a roster full of main eventers someone’s going to be unhappy then fans are going to be unhappy and then rumors start flowing and then they get accused of burying so and so.
“I don’t envy WWE for this position because they are the market leader with an incredible amount of money with revenue so they can go out and get Bobby Roode, Cesaro and those guys can work on top with the right booking, but you got Roman. So, people claim they’re wasting Cesaro – he’s so underutilized and underrated, but look he’s getting paid man and there’s only one spot available at the top.
-We’ve seen the NWA Women’s Title defended on several occasions on AEW Dynamite as part of the crossover between the two promotions. That brings about the possibility of other NWA championships – such as Aldis’ World Title – also being defended on AEW.
-Aldis was asked if he would be interested in that happening or possibly having a title vs. title match against AEW’s World Champion.
“Well, there’s clearly a lot of interest in that because it gets brought up a lot. Whether there’s any interest in that I can’t speak for them,” said Aldis. If they are listening to the audience and you’d imagine that it’s on the radar, but my own personal thought on it is that I’m more interested in continuing to build the NWA. I’m very confident in the value of my world title and I don’t need to put it up against various other belts to try to argue its validity. I have Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race, Jack Brisco, Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Dusty Rhodes to make that argument for me.”
*MATT SYDAL ON WHAT WAS SO APPEALING ABOUT SIGNING WITH AEW*
-Sydal’s current promotion is AEW who he first appeared for at All Out 2020. The promotion has many people in charge who Sydal worked with at various stops in his career, specifically at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla which helped launch the careers of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks.
-Sydal discussed what was so appealing to him about AEW that eventually led to him signing a contract with the company in November.
“The guys that came out of PWG eventually started the company AEW and I mean it just goes to show you it took a little long for somebody to capitalize on it. But I mean they’ve been putting their hearts into some really incredible work for some time and it’s just a matter of time before somebody wanted to utilize that and make it a giant international destination instead of just receive a little American Legion Hall,” stated Sydal.
“I always feel like what AEW is going for is the PWG spirit, that mentality is sort of the heart is in the right place. I believe in what they do and there’s a lot of good wrestling and I love being in AEW. And there’s definitely benefits to being with these companies that are taking care of the wrestlers during this time.”
*WWE REPORTEDLY NIXED ROYAL RUMBLE COMEDY ANGLE AT THE LAST MINUTE*
-WWE reportedly had Angel Garza scheduled for a comedy spot in the recent Men’s Royal Rumble Match.
-Garza did not appear in the 2021 Men’s Rumble after a late decision to replace the RAW Superstar with Otis from SmackDown, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. While Otis had been advertised at one point, he ended up being pulled internally, but then replaced Garza.
-Garza was at Tropicana Field for the Rumble pay-per-view and was originally booked to do a comedy spot where he would run in, tear his pants off as he often does, and then be eliminated right away.
-There’s no word yet on why Garza was pulled from the match, but it was noted that it was a last minute decision.
-Garza has not been booked in a regular RAW storyline since the feud with Andrade ended back in mid-October. His last RAW appearance came on January 4 when he dropped the WWE 24/7 Title to R-Truth on Legends Night. He’s worked the last 4 episodes of WWE Main Event, picking up 3 wins over Ricochet, Humberto Carrillo, and Akira Tozawa, and 1 loss to Tozawa.
-Otis ended up being the #20 entrant in the Men’s Rumble. He lasted 53 seconds before being tossed out by King Baron Corbin, as the 13th elimination. He had no eliminations of his own during the match.
6 Feb 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*06 February 2021
*CESARO REPORTEDLY AGREES TO TERMS ON NEW WWE DEAL, ORIGINAL PLANS FOR HIM ON SMACKDOWN*
-Cesaro is sticking with WWE.
-According to F4WOnline‘s Dave Meltzer, Cesaro agreed to a new WWE contract that will keep him with the company for the foreseeable future. It was noted that the Swiss Superman either “signed or verbally agreed to a new deal a few weeks ago.”
-It was also noted that had he signed a new deal at an earlier time, he would have been seen in a high-profile role on a recent episode of WWE SmackDown. The gauntlet match that Adam Pearce won on Smackdown last month saw a big babyface performance by Shinsuke Nakamura, but that spot was originally supposed to go Cesaro.
-Meltzer noted that Daniel Bryan came up with the idea of the match, where the good guy would run through the match and get screwed over at the end by Roman Reigns, and he wanted Cesaro in that spot. Since Cesaro hadn’t signed yet, the decision was made to plug in Nakamura instead.
*BOBBY LASHLEY AGREES WITH THE UNDERTAKER’S ‘SOFT’ COMMENTS*
-The Undertaker ruffled some feathers in the WWE locker room recently with his comments about the current product and Superstars. He called the product “a little soft” and said that generation cares more about style than substance than his generation did.
-Current Superstars like Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre disagreed with Taker’s comments but not everyone has opposed what he said. One of those people who agrees with The Undertaker is Bobby Lashley as he explained on ESPN’s Cheap Heat podcast (h/t Post Wrestling for the transcription).
“Yeah, I don’t wanna say I agree with him completely — actually I can because it’s Taker. I can say I agree with him. So, I agree with him. You know what? That’s what The Hurt Business is about. I mean that’s why we came about because we were like, ‘What are we?’ And I was like, ‘We’re different from this generation,’” said Lashley. “Our generation came up — when I was in OVW about to go up on the road, everybody was warning us. They were like, ‘Man, you know JBL, you got Chris Benoit, you have Bob Holly, you have Undertaker, you have Booker T.’ All these guys, not one of these guys are punks. Fit Finlay, [William] Regal, not one of these guys have an ounce of punk in them. So, we were all like that’s our generation so coming in now, we were like, ‘We can’t do this generation. We can’t do what this generation is doing. We don’t wanna do what this generation is doing. We need to put our style on this generation’ and our style is bring ‘em in the ring and beat ‘em up, and if that can’t make it, they can’t make it because we gotta protect this business.
“Before when I was coming up, all the guys used to say they were beating up the guys coming up because they said they had to protect the business. They had to make sure these guys had the heart to it. We [don’t] want guys in the locker room crying. We don’t want guys that are always b*tching and bellyaching and everything like that. We beat ‘em up and we kick ‘em out, and some of the guys when we do that in the ring, you can do your little flippies and jumpies and all that stuff. I’m just gonna grab you, throw you down and beat you up.”
-Lashley brought up The Hurt Business as a throwback to that old school mentality and the group has grown from a duo of Lashley and MVP to a trio with Shelton Benjamin to its current incarnation as a foursome with Cedric Alexander.
*CHELSEA GREEN TALKS PAUL HEYMAN RELATIONSHIP*
-WWE SmackDown Superstar Chelsea Green recently spoke with Spencer Love of Love Wrestling. You can find the full interview at this link. Love provided us with highlights from the interview.
Green, who is currently recovering from a wrist injury suffered during her official SmackDown debut back in November, discussed her relationship with Paul Heyman and rumors from 2019 that he had a hand in her initial call-up when he was working as RAW Executive Director.
“So, I learn things on the dirt sheets as well. It’s funny, because sometimes the dirt sheets get them right, (and) sometimes they totally get them wrong. But, that is something that I felt when I came up in December, January, and did a couple matches for RAW and Main Event, I did feel like I had a great bond and connection with Paul Heyman,” she said. “We had kind of started our relationship off in NXT, when he watched a couple of my promos and gave me really amazing feedback and really, really positive feedback. That kind of fueled my fire and lit a fire under my butt until the next time I saw him, which was the RAW and the Main Event. I think I jumped into that position the best I could, and he saw that. And so, I’m thinking that the dirt sheets are correct and that he has really had my back this whole time, which I love.
“I think that’s amazing. I’m just so proud that someone that is the best in this business thinks that I’m great! How crazy is that?! We’re just going to go with that’s 100% true.”
-After runs with Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling, and an appearance on WWE Tough Enough in 2015, Green signed with WWE in August 2018. She admitted that her time with WWE so far has not been as she originally thought it would be. She was asked how the WWE experience has differed or exceeded expectations she had before she signed.
“Oh, gosh, it’s not at all what I thought it would be,” she admitted. “I thought kind of the end was getting to WWE. But that’s just the beginning. My career is just getting started. There’s just so much more to do and so many more goals I’ve set for myself now that I’ve started with WWE and NXT. I just think that there’s so much to learn, and I’m constantly learning at WWE.
“It never ends, whether it’s business sense, whether it’s accounting, and money, whether it’s how to cut a promo with Paul Heyman, or just, you know, cameras and crowds and things like that. There’s so much to learn in wrestling, and WWE really provides that for you.”
*JON MOXLEY TALKS HIS NJPW STATUS AND FUTURE*
-Ahead of his IWGP U.S. Title defense against KENTA on NJPW Strong, Jon Moxley did an interview with New Japan Pro Wrestling. In part one of the interview series, Moxley gave his thoughts on finally having a match against KENTA after weeks of KENTA calling him out.
“Very very good,” Moxley stated. “Obviously, all the travel restrictions and everything made everything weird this year, and that was very very frustrating because I had a lot of big plans. And I was very looking forward to really cementing my mark in New Japan and just staking my name in the ground more so in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
“I lay low and don’t get involved in all speculation and trash talk. I stay off the Twitter and all that, but it’s not like I’m complete oblivious to everything these people are saying when they’re fighting for contracts to fight me and they’re talking about what they’re going to do to me and what they’re going to do with my belt that they don’t have that they’re talking about walking around with. You think I’m gonna let all that s**t slide? Some chickens are coming home to roost in New Japan Pro Wrestling regards to the United States Heavyweight Championship.”
-Moxley made a surprise appearance on the Wrestle Kingdom 15 broadcast where he appeared in a pre-recorded video issuing a warning to KENTA. He noted in the interview that he is still part of NJPW and will remain so “for as long as I damn well please.”
“I think I made my intentions clear at Wrestle Kingdom with the short message I had for the fans watching at Tokyo and watching around the world,” Moxley said. “All this craziness in the world that’s subsided in the past 10 months or whatever, I’m still very very much a part of New Japan Pro Wrestling and will continue to be for as long as I damn well please, as much as I damn well please.
“And there ain’t anything that’s gonna change that. There ain’t anybody that decides that but me. I decided to bust out my New Japan track jacket for the day (he shows off the NJPW Lion mark on camera). I’ve been looking for an excuse to wear it. So I’m wearing the f**king track jacket. I’m still a part of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
“You’re gonna have to beat me in the ring with your stupid briefcase. Walking around, you look like an idiot. The briefcase thing, it’s very 10 years ago. I don’t know why we’re still doing that. It’s an embarrassment really. Belts, shiny gold belts! That’s all that matters.”
*WWE PROGRAMMING ON USA NETWORK WILL NOT BE IMPACTED BY NBC SPORTS NETWORK SHUTTING DOWN*
-WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan says the NBC Sports Network shutting down will not have an impact on WWE NXT or WWE RAW airing on the USA Network.
-As noted last month, NBCUniversal announced that their NBC Sports Network cable station was shutting down. Sports Business Journal reported that larger properties like the NHL, the EPL and NASCAR will likely move to the USA Network, and that led to talk that NBCSN shutting down may have a significant impact on WWE programming that currently airs on the USA Network. It was noted that NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Hockey series moving to the USA Network could specifically mean a change for the weekly NXT show, which also airs on Wednesday nights.
-Khan was asked about RAW and NXT possibly being impacted by NBCSN closing down during Thursday’s WWE Q4 and Full Year 2020 earnings call. He said WWE does not see the closing having an affect on them.
“We believe it has no impact on us, The departure of NBC Sports Network,” Khan said. “I think we think what you’re seeing in the cable universe is going to be further consolidation.
“So we know that the bundle has now sort of been un-bundled or a little exposed. So the networks that were propped up, and not as strong cable networks that were propped up by the stronger cable networks, like USA, but not as strong ones probably cease to exist across the board. So look for more content migration onto the stronger cable platforms, that there’ll be no effect on RAW or NXT.”
-It was speculated last month that RAW might be impacted by NASCAR’s Sunday programming moving to Monday night on the USA Network, due to weather delays. However, it was also noted at the time how USA has been favorable to RAW in recent years when it comes to potential pre-emptions for various events such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and it seems unlikely that USA would push to move RAW now that they are paying a higher premium for WWE’s flagship show. Based on Khan’s comments from Thursday’s call, it looks like WWE is confident that their relationship with NBCU and USA will keep RAW and NXT on TV, despite changes with other programming.
*BROCK VS REIGNS HAPPENING SOON?*
-WWE is reportedly considering another Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns match at an upcoming WrestleMania event.
-It was reported this week by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Lesnar vs. Reigns is still on the table for an upcoming WrestleMania event. There are many different ways WWE can tell the story of the next match between the two, especially with the Paul Heyman connection.
-The next bout would be the fifth singles match between Reigns and Lesnar. Lesnar defeated Reigns at WrestleMania 34 in 2018 to retain the Universal Title, and again that same month at Greatest Royal Rumble, in a Steel Cage. Reigns then defeated Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam 2018. Reigns vs. Lesnar was also the main event of WrestleMania 31 in 2015, but Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In the Bank title shot to win the WWE World Heavyweight Title. They also have two multi-man title matches. Lesnar defeated Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman to retain the Universal Title at SummerSlam 2017, while Reigns defeated Lesnar and Dean Ambrose in a Triple Threat at Fastlane 2016.
-There’s no word on if Lesnar vs. Reigns would take place at WrestleMania 38 in 2022 or WrestleMania 39 in 2023. Reigns is expected to defend his WWE Universal Title against WWE Hall of Famer Edge this year, while there’s no opponent set for Lesnar yet.
*WRESTLING LEGEND BUTCH REED PASSES AWAY*
-Wrestling legend Butch Reed has passed away at the age of 66.
-Reed’s official Instagram account announced this morning that the former WCW World Tag Team Champion passed away today due to heart complications.
“To everyone who reached out god bless you. Today we lost a great man. Due to heart complications Bruce ‘Butch’ Reed passed away. Butch is in heaven now with the wrestling god’s. I am sure he is already booked for a Heavyweight Championship match. Once again thank you for all the prayers. We will keep this page going in his memory. For funeral arrangements send me a dm for information if you would like to attend. God bless everyone and god bless in heaven ‘Hacksaw Butch Reed’,” they wrote on Reed’s account.
-Reed had significant runs with Mid-South Wrestling, WCW/NWA, and WWE, among other promotions. He is most known for his role in the Doom tag team with WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons.
-Reed’s Instagram account revealed just earlier this week that he had suffered two massive heart attacks in 2021.
*TOP PROSPECT REPORTEDLY SIGNS WWE DEVELOPMENTAL DEAL*
-Top prospect Parker Boudreaux has reportedly signed a developmental deal to work WWE NXT.
-Boudreaux recently made pro wrestling headlines after receiving a nod from Paul Heyman. He also appeared in social media photos with Eva Marie at her Royal Rumble Viewing Party in California last week. Now the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Boudreaux has signed a developmental deal with WWE.
-Boudreaux has reportedly quit the University of Central Florida football team to pursue a career in pro wrestling. He missed last season due to a concussion, but was to come back in 2021 for his senior year. The school just released their roster for next season and Parker was not included, and then they confirmed that he left the team.
-The 6-foot-4 and 301 pound Boudreaux, who has been compared to a young Brock Lesnar, was backstage for the January 20 NXT TV show, but there’s no word yet on when he will make his debut.
5 Feb 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*05 February 2021
*AEW DYNAMITE BEACH BREAK VIEWERSHIP UP, BIG DROP FOR WWE NXT THIS WEEK*
-Week 69 of the Wednesday Night War saw AEW Dynamite defeat WWE NXT in viewership and ratings.
-Wednesday’s Beach Break edition of Dynamite drew 844,000 viewers on TNT, topping the 610,000 viewers garnered by the live NXT episode on the USA Network by 38%, according to Nielsen via Showbuzz Daily.
-AEW ranked #3 in the Cable Top 150, while NXT ranked #51. AEW ranked #63 in viewership, while NXT ranked #77 in viewership.
-Last week’s Dynamite show drew 734,000 viewers and ranked #6 in the Cable Top 150, and #64 in viewership. Last week’s NXT show drew 720,000 viewers and ranked #24 in the Cable Top 150, and #67 in viewership.
-AEW drew a 0.32 rating in the 18-49 demographic (+10% from last week) while NXT drew a 0.15 in the same demo (-29%) this week, so Dynamite topped NXT by 113% in the demo. Last week’s AEW show drew a 0.29 rating while the NXT episode drew a 0.21 in that demographic.
-This is the second-best AEW audience and 18-49 rating of the year, behind the January 20 episode, which drew 854,000 viewers with a 0.36 rating in the key demo. Dynamite viewership was down 9% from the same week in 2020 (-13% in 18-49). This was the second-worst NXT audience of the year, behind the 551,000 viewers the show drew on January 13. This week’s NXT viewership was down 21% from the same week in 2020 (-32% in 18-49).
*BACKSTAGE NEWS ON STEVE CUTLER’S WWE RELEASE*
-There was heat on Cutler after he was sidelined from WWE television after contracting COVID-19 in January. It was noted that the heat was specifically from Vince McMahon, and the belief by some people backstage is that it was the reason for the release.
-Cutler was actually in attendance at the WWE Performance Center as he offered to bump for the “big man” class that has been taking place there. It was noted that Cutler was a welcome familiar face at the facility and was well liked.
-According to the report, WWE has indicated that the “door was open” for Cutler to return down the line.
-Cutler, along with Wesley Blake and Jaxson Ryker, were called up to the SmackDown brand last April. The group was pulled from television last June after a controversial tweet from Ryker praising Donald Trump shortly after the killing of George Floyd. Cutler posted a tweet seemingly distancing himself from Ryker, writing, “Although I am part of a tag team while I wrestle, I am my own person with my own thoughts and beliefs. It pains me to see what’s going on in the world. I fought for the freedom of our country and ALL of the people who live here. It shouldn’t matter your race or however you identify, we are ALL human beings and ALL deserve to be equal. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd”
-Cutler and Blake briefly returned to television last December as part of a faction with Baron Corbin, but the group was quickly dropped.
*VINCE MCMAHON THINKS THEIR LATEST MOVE WILL EXPAND WWE’S REACH*
-During WWE’s Full Year 2020 financial results, Vince McMahon discussed WWE Network’s move to Peacock (the deal is reportedly worth $1 billion for 5 years).
-Vince thinks this move will increase the reach of WWE’s brands:
“During the fourth quarter, we continued to produce live content in new ways, which successfully increased audience interaction and engagement.
As we continued to adapt our business to the changing media environment, we completed an important agreement to license WWE Network content to Peacock, which we expect will expand the reach of our brands and enhance the value of our content.”
You can read WWE’s full earnings report for 2020 below:
“Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights
(All comparisons are versus the prior year period unless stated otherwise)
–Revenue was $238.2 million, a decrease of 26% or $84.6 million, reflecting the absence of the Company’s large-scale event in Saudi Arabia and ticketed live events
–Operating income was $36.2 million, a decrease of 64% or $63.6 million
–Adjusted OIBDA1 was $51.2 million, a decrease of 52% or $56.4 million
–WWE transitioned Raw and SmackDown to Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay (December 11), and continued to deliver a spectacular interactive experience, WWE ThunderDome, to fans
–WWE Network average paid subscribers were 1.5 million, an increase of 6%
Full Year 2020 Highlights
(All comparisons are versus the prior year period unless stated otherwise)
–WWE produced live, in-ring content without interruption throughout the year, demonstrating the Company’s ability to adapt to COVID-19 and unprecedented industry challenges
–Revenue was $974.2 million, an increase of 1% or $13.8 million as the growth in core content rights fees was largely offset by the loss of ticket revenue and the absence of a large-scale international event
–Operating income was $208.6 million, an increase of 79% or $92.1 million, driven by the substantial rise in content rights fees, which have a high incremental margin
–Adjusted OIBDA reached a record $286.2 million, an increase of 59% or $106.2 million
–Digital video views were 38.0 billion, an increase of 10%, and hours consumed were 1.4 billion, an increase of 10%, across digital and social media platforms.”
*NJPW ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ROKU CHANNEL*
-On Thursday, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced a deal to bring NJPW content to The Roku Channel in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. A one-hour series of programming will premiere on February 11.
Episodes are scheduled to air every Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. on The Roku Channel. Replays will be available on-demand thereafter. NJPW also announced that The Roku Channel will host a block of library content featuring the best matches from 2020. There is also potential for the introduction of more historical content in the future.
“Expanding the breadth and quality of our programming has fueled The Roku Channel to one of the largest and fastest growing channels on our platform,” Ashley Hovey, Director of AVOD Growth, Roku said. “Sports programming continues to be an important category for our users, and we are very excited to partner with NJPW to put the world of professional wrestling at the fingertips of millions of engaged users on The Roku Channel.”
“Our fans in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom are among our most loyal, and they have been very clear that they want NJPW’s content made available to them,” said Takami Ohbari, President of NJPW. “NJPW is unlike any other pro-wrestling in the world.
“It is the most athletic, sports-oriented pro-wrestling on the planet, and we are excited to bring our athletes and matches to these markets in such a major way. Thank you to The Roku Channel, and we look forward to a successful partnership that brings NJPW to millions of new fans around the world.”
*CARLITO WANTS WWE TO BRING BACK ANOTHER FORMER SUPERSTAR*
-Carlito apparently wants WWE to bring back Chris Masters next.
-Carlito returned to WWE at Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view and then teamed with Jeff Hardy on RAW to defeat Elias and Jaxson Ryker. He took to Twitter earlier this week and commented on WWE possibly bringing back Masters.
“Next up, let’s get this beast to stop by. #wwe #WWERaw #wwesmackdown,” he wrote with a photo of Masters.
-Masters responded to the tweet with a “thank you” GIF of Dwight from The Office.
“The Masters of Cool” previously teamed together in WWE, and feuded against each other. They also teamed together on the indies in recent years. They are still listed as the QPW Tag Team Champions for the Qatar Pro Wrestling promotion in the Middle East.
-Masters has not appeared for WWE since August 2011. He’s worked for Impact Wrestling and several indie promotions since then.
*DETAILS ON AEW – NJPW WORKING RELATIONSHIP*
-The wrestling world was stunned when KENTA attacked Jon Moxley on AEW Dynamite following the end of the main event. The two are set to face off for Moxley’s IWGP United States Championship at NJPW Strong and follows Moxley’s attack on KENTA at the last NJPW Strong show.
-On the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer confirmed that AEW and NJPW are in a working relationship. He said that a deal needed to be made for NJPW to have Moxley on their shows to defend the U.S. Title and in return, KENTA would show up on Dynamite.
-Post-Dynamite, AEW World Champion Kenny Omega met up with KENTA backstage. Things did not go smoothly between them with KENTA telling Omega to “shut the f**k up.” However, Omega challenged Moxley and Lance Archer to a Lights Out, Falls Count Anywhere Match where he would team up with KENTA.
-The future of AEW and NJPW’s relationship is unclear going forward due to the pandemic, travel restrictions and quarantine preventing talents from both companies traveling to and from the U.S. and Japan. Meltzer noted that KENTA could easily crossover because he lives in Orlando, and it is possible for other NJPW talent that live in the U.S. to possibly crossover as well.
-Meltzer also noted that there are people in AEW that cannot wait to go back to Japan. He followed up by saying that once travel restrictions and quarantine regulations are cleared up, anything is possible including IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Kota Ibushi and AEW World Champion Omega facing off, something that the two want to happen someday.
*BACKSTAGE NEWS ON THE KIP SABIAN AND PENELOPE FORD WEDDING SEGMENT*
-This week’s AEW Dynamite wedding between Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford was reportedly a ceremony for their actual wedding.
-It was noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that Sabian and Ford were actually legally married some time in the last few days, and that the segment on Dynamite was their ceremony.
-Ford and Sabian spoke with Scott Fishman of TV Insider earlier this week and confirmed that they are really married.
“We’re getting legitimately married,” Sabian said. “I obviously wanted my parents to be there, but they understand the situation. They’ll be able to watch from home.”
Ford added, “My parents are having a watch party with my siblings.”
-Sabian said maybe they will have a more personal event with family later on.
“We could get married in our house and be just as happy,” he said. “We’re people who just want to be married. Down the line, once COVID is hopefully eradicated and things are OK, we’ll have a celebration, party, housewarming combined where all our families can be there.”
-Sabian also commented on how much input into the wedding they had with AEW officials.
“They made it very clear they wanted to put in a lot of time, effort, and money into the presentation of the wedding,” he said. “We wanted to make it a big deal, not just a story arc. We had a lot of input. At the same time it’s down to the production team, the ring crew to build the wedding set for us, which we haven’t seen yet. I’ve already messaged my closest friends in the company making sure they bring their suits. I want the people in AEW we’re closest to to be there as well. Miro has a tux ready to go. I told Sammy [Guevara] to wear a suit. If he doesn’t wear a suit, I’m going to be very upset.”
*VINCE MCMAHON SAYS WWE CAN PRODUCE A LIVE EVENT IN SIX WEEKS WHEN THEY CAN RESUME*
-WWE reported their 2020 financial results today. In addition to generating their highest annual net income in 2020, the company also had their highest annual revenue in history.
“We generated some pretty strong financial results in a challenging environment,” WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon stated during Thursday’s earnings call. “We need to produce content and we never missed a week. It shows the flexibility and the commitment to our audience, which we’ve always have.”
-Outside of having a small amount of fans at the WWE Performance Center for various shows throughout the year, WWE has not run any events in front of fans since March of 2020. McMahon noted that while the challenges of the pandemic continue, they expect a gradual return to shows with fans.
“Looking ahead to 2021, the challenges of a COVID environment, it continues on,” McMahon said. “We expect a gradual return to ticketed audiences. And that is something that is… OK, we’re going to have live events, but will the live events make any money? Are we going to have 20% [capacity], 30%, 40% to where you break even? I don’t think anyone has a handle on exactly when that’s going to happen.”
-While the timeframe to return to ticketed events remains fluid, McMahon noted that they are ready when they are able to resume. He noted that they could turn around a live event in just six weeks when they’re able to.
“We are ready,” stated McMahon. “We are the most flexible, adaptable media company in the world. We can turn something around in terms of live events in six weeks. It just speaks to our ability to innovate as a media company and continue in this current environment to create long term value.”
-In their guidance that was issued on Thursday, WWE stated that they expect restrictions related to the spread of COVID-19, particularly related to the reduced capacity, postponement or cancellation of ticketed live events, to continue through “at least” the first half of 2021.
4 Feb 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*04 February 2021
*BULLY RAY: GOLDBERG’S RETURN HAS TO MAKE ABSOLUTE SENSE, IT CAN’T BE ‘PLUG AND PLAY’*
-Bully Ray isn’t sure if we ever see Goldberg step foot in a WWE ring again, but it really needs to make sense if it does happen.
-Bully addressed Goldberg’s WWE status on Busted Open Radio and said if the Royal Rumble marked Goldberg’s final appearance in the ring, he should “Go walk off into the sunset, go ahead and enjoy your time away.” However, if Bill did decide to return (he’s still under contract for one more match this year, and for two more years in total) it would have to make the “absolute right sense, not just the plug and play thing.”
-Bully further discussed his point and talked (via FighterFans) about how Goldberg needs to be used in specific situations, and not a match like the Drew McIntyre one, which felt “thrown together.”
“Not like, ‘well we need a name who can we get, Goldberg?’ No. The only way it should be Goldberg [is if it makes storyline sense]. That’s why I bring up the Matt Riddle thing, because that was a very real-life scenario. They obviously have a little bit of a animosity towards each other,” Bully said, “so if they were able to get them to do business in some way shape or form? Then I’m all for it.”
“Bill’s losing a little bit of size, I think you saw that at the Rumble. The Cannonball shoulders, they’re not as prominent as they were. I’m sure he can still go on the mat, but I think, especially from what I’ve seen from Riddle’s work recently, it’s about being able to hang with a certain level of physicality. I think Riddle would get the best of Goldberg on the mat,” Bully said, “so if there’s a story there? Maybe. But if they just had them tear into each other that game that might not bode well!”
*EDGE REACTS TO THE UNDERTAKER CALLING WWE PRODUCT “SOFT”*
-WWE Hall of Famer Edge is the latest to share his two cents on The Undertaker recently labeling WWE’s current product “soft” and stating how the current crop of wrestlers lack “an edge to them.”
-During a global WWE teleconference, Edge downplayed the controversial remarks and said they were taken out of context.
“I think any comment can be taken out of context and I think that’s part of what happened there,” said Edge. “In a three-hour interview, I think they took the most salacious 20-second clip. I think anybody, whoever steps foot into the wrestling ring, no matter what era – whether it be the 1940s, whether it be the 2020s – all tough.”
-Edge went onto defend the younger generation and said they are faced with “different challenges” especially due to social media.
“All got into this because they love it, for the most part,” he said. “And there’s different challenges that come with every era, decade, and incarnation of what this business becomes. We didn’t have the challenge that is social media. Now it’s a great outlet in order to get your product out there, in order to make your brand bigger.
“But, there’s also a whole lot of hiccups and possible bumps on the road that come along with that. That’s a challenge we didn’t have to navigate. We just had to worry about getting to the building and producing. Now, the cameras never stop rolling. Now, every aspect of your life that is under a microscope. That’s an entirely different challenge than we ever encountered. It’s just different is all. To me, anybody who ever steps foot in there – bada*s.”
*EXCLUSIVE NEWS ON NJPW TALKS FOR US STREAMING DEAL*
-New Japan Pro Wrestling recently had talks with Pluto TV about airing on their streaming platform, Wrestling Inc. has learned.
-Pluto TV is a free app available to stream on Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and other devices. This week, Pluto TV launched a pro wrestling channel featuring content from independent promotions like Beyond Wrestling, Women’s Wrestling Revolution and DEFY Wrestling.
-If a deal between Pluto TV and NJPW has been reached, it would be a big acquisition for the streaming service. The deals on Pluto TV’s pro wrestling channel has thus far been with independent promotions for a revenue split with no rights fees. The CPMs are reportedly similar to those provided by YouTube.
-While the deal would not be lucrative, it would provide a way for fans in the U.S. to watch NJPW programming. NJPW has not been able to secure a television deal in the U.S. since AXS TV stopped airing their programming in 2019. NJPW had been airing on AXS TV since January of 2015.
-A promo during WrestleKingdom in January confirming that NJPW would be returning to television in the U.S. soon.
*VALENTINE’S IS NOW NXT TAKEOVER: VENGEANCE DAY*
-NXT TakeOver 33 has a new name. Forget about Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, 2021, as it is now NXT TakeOver: Vegeance Day.
“Love is in the air — and vengeance isn’t far behind,” WWE announced. “NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day will come your way on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, Feb. 14, at 7 E/4 P on the award-winning WWE Network. A Triple Threat NXT Women’s Championship Match has already been announced as Io Shirai will battle Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm. What else will the latest TakeOver event have in store?”
*NAMES ANNOUNCED FOR AEW WOMEN’S TITLE ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT*
-On this week’s AEW Dynamite: Beach Break, 16 women were announced for the Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, which begins this month. Matches will take place in the U.S. and in Japan with the winner receiving a title shot at AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida.
-On the Japanese side of the bracket: Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, Veny, Emi Sakura, Ryo Mizunami, Mei Suruga, Rin Kadokura, and Maki Itoh.
-On the U.S side: NWA Women’s World Champion Serena Deeb, Riho, Britt Baker, Tay Conti, Thunder Rosa, Nyla Rose, Anna Jay, and Leyla Hirsch.
-As noted, NWA Women’s World Champion Serena Deeb vs. Riho has been announced in the first round.
*BAD BUNNY TRAINING FOR WWE IN-RING DEBUT*
-Rapper Bad Bunny was training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando on Tuesday.
-The Grammy-winning music star was training in the ring and preparing for a proposed WWE pay-per-view in-ring debut that would take place against The Miz and/or John Morrison later this year, according to PWInsider.
-The expectation is that Bunny will be making his in-ring debut for WWE, but it won’t come immediately. He noted on Monday’s MizTV segment that wrestling for WWE has been one of his life-long dreams.
-WWE has plans for Bad Bunny to make more appearances for the company. It was noted then that there is a plan for Bunny to be involved at WrestleMania 37 in April, and there was even a pitch for him to possibly wrestle a match on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
-Bunny is currently aligned with WWE Hall of Famer Booker T and Damian Priest in the storylines. He performed his “Booker T” single at the Royal Rumble on Sunday, and then did an angle with The Miz and John Morrison after they were eliminated by Priest in the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match. He returned on Monday’s RAW and appeared for MizTV, which led to Priest coming out and attacking Miz and Morrison. Priest then defeated The Miz in singles action, and that match featured a ringside angle where the rapper dropped Morrison with a microphone shot to the mouth.
-There is no word yet on if Bunny will be teaming with Booker or Priest for his in-ring debut.
*WWE SUPERSTAR TRAINING WITH DDP AHEAD OF RING RETURN*
-Ivar of The Viking Raiders is training with WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page as he works towards a ring return.
-Ivar has been out of action since undergoing neck surgery in September of last year. He had been dealing with neck issues for a while, but aggravated the injuries on a suicide dive during an eight-man tag team match on the September 7 RAW episode. Ivar went under the knife at Andrews Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama in mid-September, with Dr. Andrew Cordover.
-DDP revealed on Twitter that he was working out with Ivar, DDP Yoga co-creator Aaron Craig, and rehab specialist Payge McMahon.
“Working out with Yoga Doc, @PaygeMcMahon, and @Ivar_WWE who’s rehabbing from surgery after breaking his neck in the ring last year [collission emoji] [diamond emoji] #wwe #ddpy,” DDP tweeted with the photo below.
Ivar responded, “Bang [sign of the horns emoji x 3]”
-There’s no word yet on when Ivar will be back in action, but it was noted back after surgery that he had a long road to recovery ahead. His partner Erik has been out of action since November, but is likely with his wife, the former Sarah Logan (Sarah Rowe), as she is due to give birth to their son any time now.
*IMPACT VIEWERSHIP DOWN THIS WEEK*
-Tuesday’s new edition of Impact Wrestling, featuring Moose and Chris Bey defeating Impact World Champion Rich Swann and Tommy Dreamer in the main event, drew 173,000 viewers on AXS TV, according to Showbuzz Daily. The show drew a 0.05 rating in the key 18-49 demographic.
-This week’s Impact ranked #125 on the Cable Top 150 for the key demo, and #132 for the night on cable in viewership.
-These audience is down 7% from last week’s episode, which drew 186,000 viewers, while the 18-49 demo rating was even. Last week’s episode ranked #118 on the Cable Top 150 and #129 for the night in viewership.
*MLW ANNOUNCES DATE FOR “NEVER SAY NEVER”*
-This week on MLW Fusion, commentator Rich Bocchini reported that the company will bring back their annual event, Never Say Never, on Wednesday, March 24, on their weekly platforms for free. This will be the second pay-per-view event that the company has broadcasted for free since their return to weekly programming.
The last time this event aired was two years ago, where the main event saw LA Park defeat Jimmy Havoc in a Street Fight. MLW will release more information on the matches scheduled in the coming weeks.
*SEMI-FINAL MATCHES SET FOR MEN’S DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC*
-The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is officially on to the semi-finals. Following this week's episode of NXT, the final four teams have officially been established, with the last two matches of the quarterfinals taking place tonight in two exhilarating contests.
-In one match, Legado Del Fantasma continued their dominant run through NXT by taking down Lucha House Party, and booking themselves a ticket into the semis. Now, they’ll take on MSK, and try to join Santos Escobar as champions by advancing to the finals of the Dusty Cup. In the final quarterfinal match, and the main event of the night, Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher took down The Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole and Roderick Strong.
-In a victory that many may call an upset, Ciampa and Thatcher – who were rivals just weeks ago – advanced to the semi-finals, and will now face off against the Grizzled Young Veterans. After the match, Ciampa & Thatcher stared down the trophy for the Dusty Cup, and had a brief brawl with Grizzled Young Veterans as their future opponents came out to talk with them.
*SHAQ AND CODY RHODES AEW TAG MATCH OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED*
-Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet (with Arn Anderson) vs. Shaq and Jade Cargill is officially set for Dynamite on March 3. In the video below, Shaq referred to Rhodes as “cupcake” and confirmed he was going to wrestle in AEW.
-Cody has since responded to the match announcement on social media:
“Nothing but respect for such a legendary athlete in Shaq, and I have no doubt Jade will be a dominant dominant figure in our women’s division. But, they can’t touch me in the ring. And Velvet is true grit. See @SHAQ March 3rd on @AEWonTNT.”
-Although not officially announced, the match was originally expected to take place at Revolution on Sunday, March 7, but that’s the same day as the NBA All-Star Game. It’s likely AEW had to change the date since Shaq would be busy on PPV day.
3 Feb 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*03 February 2021
*LARS SULLIVAN RELEASED FROM WWE*
-Lars Sullivan returned to WWE programming from a knee injury on the Draft edition of SmackDown in October 2020, after being out of action for a year.
-The Freak is no longer with WWE, according to a report from PWInsider. PWInsider reports that Sullivan was quietly released from the company last month, and WWE officials confirmed the news to them. Sullivan changed his Instagram name and removed details of his affiliation with WWE in his bio a couple of hours prior to when this news broke out.
-WWE reportedly had big plans for Sullivan after his last return, but he was taken off TV just a few weeks after returning, and was never seen again. There were plans for Lars Sullivan to defeat John Cena at WrestleMania at one point as well, but they never materialized.
*REASON BEHIND PAUL HEYMAN FACING DIFFICULTY IN UNLOCKING ROMAN REIGNS’ HANDCUFFS AT ROYAL RUMBLE 2021*
-During their Last Man Standing match for the Universal Championship at Royal Rumble 2021 this past Sunday, Kevin Owens handcuffed eRoman Reigns at the bottom of a pole.
-The referee was about to count to 10 and Reigns was going to lose, but Reigns sent the referee face-first to break the count and then low-blowed the referee.
-Paul Heyman then came out with a key to unlock Reigns and another referee came out to begin the count again. This new referee had to stop the count in between because Heyman wasn’t able to unlock Reigns’ handcuffs and it would’ve resulted in Reigns losing the Title, which wasn’t the plan.
-Dave Meltzer revealed on Wrestling Observer Radio that the keyhole was on the other side and Heyman couldn’t find it.
-You can read the conversation between Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez about this below:
Meltzer: Okay, so, the handcuffs, the hole with the key was on the wrong side. The keyhole was on the wrong side. They didn’t get it in time or something. Time stood still.
Alvarez: It was on the wrong side? So, why didn’t he turn the handcuff over?
Meltzer: Eventually, he did (laughs). They did get him out!
Alvarez: So, he was just jamming the key into the side in which there was no hole and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t work?
Meltzer: I don’t know, yeah!
Alvarez: The bigger question is that nobody had a pair of bolt cutters in the building to just go and clamp it off?
Meltzer: Perhaps, they could, but they weren’t going to beat the ten count.
Alvarez: Well, they were never going to beat the ten-count anyway. They might as well just got those things out there.
Meltzer: Maybe nobody was thinking on their feet about bolt cutters! Maybe they were just thinking we need a key.
*EDGE APPEARING ON THIS WEEK’S NXT TO TEASE POTENTIAL WRESTLEMANIA 37 MATCH & DEAL WITH A HATER*
-Men’s Royal Rumble 2021 winner Edge teased an appearance on this week’s episode of NXT.
Here’s what Edge tweeted:
“In Orlando to visit my wife. Then I had a thought, @WWENXT needs to get #RatedR”
-WWE has now confirmed that Edge will indeed appear on this week’s NXT. It’s possible that Edge will be there to tease a potential WrestleMania 37 match with Finn Balor for the NXT Championship, since wrestlers can ask for NXT Title matches after winning the Royal Rumble match nowadays (Charlotte Flair challenged for the NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 36 after winning the Women’s Royal Rumble match last year).
*BACKSTAGE NEWS ON RHEA RIPLEY’S WWE STATUS*
-WWE officials reportedly have not decided on which brand Rhea Ripley will be going to.
-Sunday’s WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view was booked to be Ripley’s official call-up from WWE NXT. PWInsider now reports that a final decision on if Ripley will be going to RAW or SmackDown has not been made yet.
-Ripley was not at RAW and as of today, is not scheduled for Friday’s SmackDown on FOX episode. It’s still possible that officials figure her into plans for SmackDown.
-Ripley was the #14 entrant in the 30-Woman Rumble Match and was the last elimination, tossed out by winner Bianca Belair. She lasted 39:06 and eliminated Toni Storm, Santana Garrett, Dana Brooke, Dakota Kai, Mandy Rose, Alexa Bliss, and Charlotte Flair, with Belair’s help.
-Ripley’s last NXT TV match came on January 6 at the New Year’s Evil special, when she lost to Raquel Gonzalez in the Last Woman Standing match.
*DAX HARWOOD COMMENTS ON BEING “SUSPENDED” BY AEW*
- AEW “suspended” FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) for one week due to what happened last week on Dynamite after Harwood vs. Jungle Boy.
-After the match, FTR cut off Luchasaurus’ horns and tried to cut Jungle Boy’s hair.
-Hours after AEW made the announcement, Dax Harwood took to Twitter to comment about the suspension.
-He wrote, “It was stupid that we had to fight in this thing to win our shot at the AEW World Tag Team belts in the first place. But calling this decision “stupid” is an insult to all the dumbasses around the world.”
-Due to being suspended, the tag team will not be in tomorrow’s Beach Break Battle Royale match. Dark Order’s Alex Reynolds and John Silver will be taking their place instead.
*MATT HARDY WANTS PRIVATE PARTY TO ‘BE THE SECOND GREATEST TAG TEAM IN HISTORY’*
-Matt Hardy and Private Party once again made another appearance at IMPACT Wrestling, with Hardy yet again confirming his hopes for the duo to become one of the two best tag teams in wrestling.
“Who takes care of you?” Hardy asked his clients Private Party. “Don’t worry about those guys. You guys have a guaranteed title shot at No Surrender. Nothing is going to change that. Besides, I’ve got a plan. ‘Big Money Matt,’ the ‘Kingmaker,’ always has a plan. Tomorrow night is the tag team battle royal at AEW Dynamite. I need you to win that. You can go on to face the Young Bucks at Revolution. A dream match! You’ve already beat them and you will also beat the other team in the ‘Biz Cliz,’ the Good Brothers. You’re going to get two sets of titles.
“You know what, I’m going to put a bounty on those titles! … That’s not what I said. Tony Khan wouldn’t approve of the use of the word bounty, it’s a bonus. I’m gonna make sure to get you a bonus. Once you win the titles, you’ll make more money because you’re the champions … You guys are going to make millions upon millions … I’ve got everything under control. … I just need you to show up and be the second greatest tag team in history.”
*DREW MCINTYRE TO RELEASE HIS MEMOIR THIS YEAR*
-WWE Champion Drew McIntyre is set to release his memoir this year.
-Gallery Books will publish “A Chosen Destiny: My Story” on Tuesday, May 4.
-WWE has announced that the book will highlight McIntyre’s life journey from a small village in Scotland, to the top of WWE.
“Throughout my career, I have always had an honest and open relationship with my fans,” McIntyre said. “I am honored that Gallery Books has given me the opportunity to tell my story in hopes of inspiring others around the world to follow their dreams.”
-An audiobook version will also be released with McIntyre doing the reading. The hardcover, paperback and Kindle versions can be purchased at a sale price. Print versions will include 272 pages.
*BAD BUNNY TO WRESTLE AT WWE WRESTLEMANIA 37?*
-Rapper Bad Bunny is not finished with WWE. The Grammy-award winning rapper performed his “Booker T” single at the WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday, and then did an angle with The Miz and John Morrison after they were eliminated by Damian Priest in the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match. He returned on RAW and appeared on MizTV, which led to Priest coming out and attacking Miz and Morrison. Priest then defeated The Miz in singles action, in a match that saw the rapper drop Morrison with a microphone shot to the mouth at ringside.
-PWInsider reported that WWE is planning on having Bad Bunny back for more appearances. The current plan is for Bunny to be involved at WrestleMania 37. There has even been a pitch for Bunny to possibly wrestle a match on The Grandest Stage of Them All, but that has not been confirmed.
*EDGE ON HOW ACTIVE HE PLANS TO BE DURING THIS WWE RUN*
-When Edge returned at last year’s Royal Rumble for his first competition in nine years, many thought it would just be a one-time appearance for the Rated R Superstar. But he stuck around for a feud with Randy Orton which ended prematurely when he tore his triceps in June.
-At 46 years old, that would be a sign to most that it’s time to hang up the boots. But Edge pushed through rehab in order to return at this year’s Royal Rumble where he won from the No. 1 entrant spot. Now he is on to WrestleMania and he knows how much longer Edge will compete. He was asked what his future plans are for the ring in an interview with CBS Sports.
“I didn’t come back to just do a greatest hits tour,” he said. “That’s not why I came back. I didn’t just want to do regurgitated greatest hits. I wanted to come back because I wanted to tell compelling stories. I wanted to get in with a lot of talent so that … if I could impart wisdom from 29 years of doing this, in terms of trying to tell a story, that’s really exciting for me. I love so much of this talent, and it’s exciting to be able to get in with them. Did I necessarily know that I was going to try to work toward WrestleMania? No. A lot of those things are out of your hands. I did know I was going to put the work in to be able to do it if called upon. That’s part of my responsibility in coming back, as well.
“I don’t just want to be another body. I want to be able to help, and to help the totality of the industry if I can. If that means that this year Edge main events WrestleMania? Ok. I will do my part to make that happen and make it as compelling as I possibly can. But I also want to get in there with loads of talent. My goal is to come back and tell great stories in the main event of WrestleMania or on Raw, whatever it is. I came back committed to this. After my family, this is my top priority. If I’m asked to be in a title program heading into WrestleMania? I’m here every week. That’s the way I operate. I’m not going to be a guy who comes in for one week and floats off for eight weeks. If I’m involved and I’m in the mix, I’m going to be here every week because that’s how I operate.”
-Edge’s comment about not being a guy who comes in for a week and then disappears for eight weeks indicates we shouldn’t expect a Goldberg-like schedule from him. As for his program at WrestleMania, he hasn’t declared if he’ll challenge Drew McIntyre or Roman Reigns for their respective world championships, but Edge also indicated that he could even challenge for the NXT World Title.
“To me, I can’t go wrong,” he said. “They each bring something different to the table and just as appealing in terms of the kind of story they can tell. They’d all be different stories and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. It’s just what’s going to be best for business. I don’t know what that is, honestly. With Drew, you can follow his road to get back here and my road to get back here. You have two guys who didn’t know they’d ever get back and who are now here and possibly main eventing WrestleMania for the WWE championship. That’s compelling.
“Equally compelling is a guy like Roman Reigns, who I feel has been unleashed and been allowed to get the guy out that I always knew was in there. It’s really exciting to see a performer clicking on so many levels and telling amazing stories. I look at that and I think, ‘Whoa, man, that would be fun.’ It’s an entirely different dynamic than Drew, and I would be and an entirely different story. Maybe it’s not based on respect — it’s Rocky and Apollo Creed. Then I see a guy like Balor who has never been better, and that’s exciting too. It’s an embarrassment of riches, is what it is.”