LATEST NEWS & RUMOURS
19 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*19 January 2021
*AJ STYLES TALKS 5-YEAR WWE ANNIVERSARY*
-This coming Sunday, January 24, marks the five-year anniversary of AJ Styles' WWE debut. The Phenomenal One shocked the world when he entered #3 during the 2016 men's Royal Rumble match, lasting nearly 29 minutes before being eliminated by Kevin Owens.
-At this year's Rumble match on January 31, Styles hopes to enter at #30 and celebrate his 5-year anniversary with a victory.
"I would love to enter at #30," said Styles during his appearance on RAW Talk after latest episode of RAW.
-Styles and his accomplice, the 7'3" Omos, revealed that they have a plan up their sleeve going into the 30-man battle royal.
"Regardless of whether Omos will be in the match or not, we have a plan. And we're going to be unstoppable," added Styles.
-Charly Caruso asked Omos if fans can expect to see him in the Rumble match.
"Yea, I could be there. We'll see," said Omos.
-Styles and Caruso also spoke about the new WWE Untold documentary on Styles that dropped this past Sunday on the WWE Network. The episode takes fans on a behind-the-scenes look at Styles' WWE debut in 2016.
-As of this writing, Styles and eight other Superstars are confirmed for the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match.
*KOFI KINGSTON CONFIRMS HOW JAW INJURY TOOK PLACE*
-Kofi Kingston has been dealing with a jaw injury that has kept him out of the ring recently. Fans noticed that he was not at Xavier Woods’ side last week on RAW, and while WWE reported he was dealing with a jaw injury sustained in a match at WWE TLC, they did not go into further detail at the time.
-On this week’s episode of New Day: Feel The Power, Kofi explained when the injury happened and confirmed it was a result of a knee from the face by Cedric Alexander. At the time, he tweeted that he was ‘spitting out pieces of teeth’ after the pay-per-view, and now says he thought he was OK to keep wrestling but found out in subsequent weeks that it was worse than expected.
“I got kneed in the face by Cedric Alexander three weeks ago and a couple of my teeth chipped, it was all fine. It was cool. The point of impact was just real sore, I thought, ‘OK, it’s a bruise’ or whatever.”
-Kofi says he was able to compete the following week in a six-man tag team match and seemed fine, adding that there was “a little pain, but not terrible.” Following that match, he continued to experience a sensation like something was not right, and believes he probably wouldn’t have noticed it if the energy from the crowd was there to distract him.
“Throughout the whole entire match, anytime something would happen—I’d get hit or whatever—I grab my jaw and the entire match, [I’m] thinking about it the whole time. If we had fans there—and I’ve been, not ‘injured’, but hurt in a match—and you just feel the adrenaline of the crowd and it makes you will your way through it,” Kofi explained. “It’s just really strange. I don’t know if it’s for the better or for the worse.”
*MUSTAFA ALI HOPE'S KOFI KINGSTON MISSES WRESTLEMANIA AND PROMISES TO BREAK XAVIER*
-Retribution has its sights set on Xavier Woods and The New Day due to Mustafa Ali’s past.
“Is Retribution going after Xavier Woods? Yes. The reason we’re going after Xavier Woods is because the timing is perfect,” explained Ali. “The minute I found out that Kofi Kingston is sitting at home with a broken jaw, I knew that my time for retribution arrived. Kofi, you sitting at home with a broken jaw isn’t enough. I want to break your heart. I want to break your spirit. I’m gonna do that by breaking one of the people you love the most in the ring over and over again.”
-Ali also brings up how Kofi Kinston took his spot in the Elimination Chamber match that eventually led to his title shot at WrestleMania 35.
“I pray to God almighty that your broken jaw prevents you from competing in the Royal Rumble,” Ali continued. “I hope you broke your jaw so bad you won’t even make it to Elimination Chamber, and I hope you miss WrestleMania. Then you get to feel exactly what I felt sitting at home watching someone take what’s yours. Kofi, a broken jaw isn’t enough. I want to break you the way you broke me.”
*JOEY RYAN SAYS HE HASN’T COMMITTED ANY CRIMES*
-Joey Ryan has taken to Twitter to criticize the negativity that has surrounded him in recent months after he was the target of several allegations of sexual assault during the Speaking Out movement.
“I have not committed any crimes,” wrote Ryan. “I have never been investigated for a crime. There has never been any evidence connecting me to a crime.”
-In the Tweet, Ryan also took issue with people who expect him to live like a criminal.
-I have not committed any crimes. I have never been investigated for a crime. There has never been any evidence connecting me to a crime. I have never even been a person of interest in a crime. It is bizarre that some would expect me to live my life like a criminal.
— Joey Ryan (@JoeyRyanOnline) January 18, 2021
-Ryan has spoken out against the allegations in the past, and he is also engaged in multiple lawsuits that are linked to them. As a response to the allegations, IMPACT Wrestling fired Ryan last June, and Bar Wrestling shut down.
*ERIC BISCHOFF SAYS HE SAW A LOT OF POTENTIAL IN FORMER WWE STAR ERICK ROWAN*
-During his time in WWE, Erick Rowan proved himself to be a versatile big man.
-Rowan's WWE run will be mostly remembered for his time with the Wyatt Family, but beyond his work in the cult stable, Rowan won WWE Tag Team Titles across two different brands. Alongside longtime tag partner the late Luke Harper (Brodie Lee, Jon Huber), Rowan captured both the NXT and SmackDown Tag Team Championships, while also adding another blue brand tag title reign with Daniel Bryan.
-Speaking to SportsKeeda, former SmackDown executive producer Eric Bischoff praised Rowan's work in WWE, saying he felt the Bludgeon Brother only scratched the surface of his potential.
"Erick Rowan was somebody who I thought had a lot of potential when I was in WWE," Bischoff said. "And Erick could have developed a great promo.
"I worked with him, you know, a few times, maybe three or four times, helping him work on his promo, you know, right before he went out on a live show, and he listened very carefully, and he processed everything very carefully. He really focused and put a lot of thought into it."
-Bischoff continued has compliments for Rowan, mentioning how strong of a listener the big man is.
"To me, when I see somebody who really focuses and listens and tries to process and absorb the information, you know, that's a big part of it," Bischoff said. "You know, you would want to do it, just like anything else in life. If you don't have a strong desire to do it, you don't really want to it; you're really not going to focus on it. Erick did. Erick Rowan did, and I think he would have been one person that I think, with the right manager, possibly, could have had different results in WWE.
*ADAM PEARCE THANKS FANS FOR SUPPORT IN ROMAN REIGNS STORYLINE*
-WWE Producer Adam Pearce took to Twitter to thank fans for supporting the idea of his match with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
-WWE recently ran a storyline where Reigns forced Pearce into being his challenger at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 31. Pearce ended up swerving Reigns on Friday's SmackDown, and now Reigns will defend against Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match at the pay-per-view. Pearce took to Twitter last night and thanked fans for their support.
"A note of #gratitude to those that supported the idea of seeing me face Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble. Wrestling fans have amazed me for 25+ years and now is no different. That said, some things just aren't meant to be, and "not medically cleared" is a status I wish on no one. [folded hands emoji]," Pearce wrote.
-Pearce has not wrestled since 2004, last competing for ROH. He is a former five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Pearce started working behind-the-scenes with WWE in 2013, but signed on full-time in the spring of 2015.
*MADISON RAYNE ON WHY SHE'S RETIRING FROM PRO WRESTLING*
-Madison Rayne recently spoke with Ryan Boman of Sportskeeda to discuss her time with Impact Wrestling and her retirement. Saturday's Impact Hard To Kill pay-per-view saw Rayne announce her retirement from the pro wrestling business. She and husband Josh Mathews had worked the Impact announce table for the past year, but now Rayne is moving on and Mathews has been promoted to the role of Senior Producer for the weekly Impact TV show and pay-per-view events.
-Rayne recently earned a college degree and is moving on from pro wrestling to pursue other opportunities outside of sports entertainment. It was recently reported that she was taking on a full-time non-wrestling job. Rayne commented on how now is the time to move on.
"This business... I have given it so many years of my life, but it has given infinitely more back to me," Rayne said. "In the sense that, for the first seven years of my daughter's life, I haven't been sitting behind a desk, and committed to a structured schedule. And, I spent so much time with her that a lot of parents don't get in those early years."
"But, I think it's time now to pivot, and to... you know, I just graduated from college in December. So, it's time to put those student loan dollars and that degree to use."
-Rayne admitted that there will be growing pains as she adjusts to "real world" life away from Impact.
"It will be uncomfortable, and I think there will be growing pains. I will miss it. I will have to figure out something to do. I will have to pick up - I don't know - rock climbing, or something to get my adrenaline rush fix," she said.
-Rayne is leaving behind a legacy in the Knockouts division. She said she appreciates her accomplishment, but she owes everything to the wrestling fans.
"It's so simple and (the fans) deserve so much more, but literally all I can say is, thank you," an emotional Rayne said. "Because, I have out-lived the 'expiration date' that most people place on a female performer. And, I have gotten to see places in the world that I could never have imagined... and done things and met people that, in my wildest dreams, I could never imagine doing.
"It's all because the fans kept saying 'yes' to Madison Rayne. They kept booing me when they were supposed to boo me, and lifting me up and cheering for me when they were supposed to cheer for me. And without that? I wouldn't have had the career that I've had. I am just forever, forever grateful for all the fans."
*BRODIE LEE JR. BIRTHDAY PARTY SET FOR AEW DYNAMITE*
-A birthday celebration for "-1" Brodie Lee Jr. will be held at this week's AEW Dynamite taping in Jacksonville.
-AEW President & CEO Tony Khan announced today that there will be the "world's biggest outdoor socially-distanced birthday party" for Brodie Jr. this Wednesday. The celebration will air on Dynamite.
"Join us Wednesday in Jacksonville for #AEWDynamite to honor Brodie Lee Jr. at the world's biggest outdoor socially-distanced birthday party! Sing Happy Birthday + celebrate -1 together with cake & candles on @TNTdrama + international tv! Per Dark Order dress code, masks required!," Khan wrote.
-It was previously announced that a match would be held to celebrate Brodie's birthday - Hangman Page, John Silver, Alex Reynolds and Colt Cabana vs. Luther, Serpentico, Jack Evans and Angelico.
-Amanda Huber noted on Instagram that Brodie Jr. turned 9 years old on Sunday.
*ODB CONFIRMS SHE'S RETURNING TO IMPACT WRESTLING*
-Former two-time Knockouts Champion ODB confirmed to Chris Van Vliet that she's returning to Impact Wrestling, and might even be able to tie in her food truck — ODB's Meat & Greet Food Truck Co.
"I am actually getting back in the ring," ODB said. So IMPACT obviously called me and that's the cool thing about stuff, I've never burnt a bridge in wrestling. Yeah, we all have our bad moments and stuff and whatever you want to when you want to tell everyone to go F themselves. IMPACT was awesome, TNA was my home and they buzzed me and every time I'm like 'Oh gosh. Oh boy, here we go.'
"But they were like 'Hey, do you want to come back and see what happens? And possibly bring the food truck?' So that's my ultimate goal, to actually drive my ODB's Meat and Greet into a stadium and kick some ass."
-ODB wrestled for TNA from 2007 until 2014, then made some sporadic appearances for Impact in the following years.
-When asked about who she'd like to face in the ring, ODB had plenty of Knockouts already on her list.
"I see that Jazz is there," ODB responded. "No one's ever seen me and Jazz go at it on TV. And Jordynne Grace is another good one and Taya. I love how the Knockouts are still going as the Knockouts, you know what I mean? They're all so different and they're keeping it good. I just love all those girls. They're a lot younger than me but that will be fun."
*RANDY ORTON SUFFERED BURNS, WEARS A MASK ‘TO SHIELD EVERYONE FROM THE HORROR’*
-Randy Orton suffered some facial damage after getting hit by a fireball from Alexa Bliss last week. As such, he’s now wearing a mask to “shield everyone from the horror” he has suffered.
“There’s a saying that those who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes … ashes of the one responsible for their affliction.”@RandyOrton #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/Ot0pc7bY7E
— WWE (@WWE) January 19, 2021
-Orton says he has first-degree burns and that the fireball “could’ve disfigured his face forever.” However, he doesn’t blame Bliss but “The Fiend,” who Orton says he sent straight to hell.
"Despite my sickening affliction, I vow to remain in the #RoyalRumble Match. I can complete as long as I can tolerate the pain. The funny thing is, I enjoy the pain."@RandyOrton #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/BtHCdzIP5s
— WWE (@WWE) January 19, 2021
-Orton said that he knows everyone in that locker room enjoyed seeing his face “burnt to a crisp,” but he will still compete in the Royal Rumble match this year because he enjoys the pain he feels. “It fuels my every move,” said Orton. “Everyone can thank The Fiend when I burn their Royal Rumble dreams to ashes and I go onto main event WrestleMania.”
"Despite my sickening affliction, I vow to remain in the #RoyalRumble Match. I can only compete as long as I tolerate the pain, but … I enjoy the pain."#WWERaw @RandyOrton pic.twitter.com/CYIAn8MoeP
— WWE (@WWE) January 19, 2021
*NEW WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PARTICIPANTS REVEALED*
-Alexa Bliss and Shayna Baszler are now official for the WWE Royal Rumble.
-Bliss and Baszler both declared their Women's Royal Rumble Match spots during separate segments on RAW.
-There are now 21 spots left in the 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match. Bliss and Baszler join Nia Jax, WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Bianca Belair, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, and Peyton Royce as confirmed participants in the match.
*GILLBERG RETURNS TO WWE, THE MIZ DECLARES HE’S NEXT*
-On the latest episode of The Dirt Sheet, The Miz and John Morrison were scheduled to host Goldberg ahead of his WWE Championship Match against Drew McIntyre. Instead, Gillberg came to the ring.
-Miz, Morrison and Gillberg made fun of the WCW icon. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre’s music hit, but David Krumholtz, pretending to be “The Sexy Scotsman,” came to the ring. Morrison tried to help him do a better Scottish accent, but The Miz got frustrated with Morrison for finding this lackluster actor.
-The two partners argued, but The Miz closed the segment with a strong message. At WWE Royal Rumble, he’s coming for Drew McIntyre and/or Goldberg, and he’s leaving the show as the WWE Champion. “Because I’m The Miz, and I’m next,” said “The A-Lister.”
*DREW MCINTYRE & GOLDBERG RETURN TO RAW NEXT WEEK PRIOR TO ROYAL RUMBLE SHOWDOWN*
-WWE Champion Drew McIntyre has tested positive for COVID-19, but he announced that he’ll return to WWE RAW next week. In a message on this week’s show, he announced that he’ll be back on the Royal Rumble go-home show, and he invited Goldberg to join him.
“Check my title defense record. I never miss,” proclaimed McIntyre. “I’m walking into my match at the Royal Rumble, prepared, focused and with intensity. The same intensity I saw in Goldberg’s eyes two weeks ago. Now the part where he walked out and the delusions he conjured up in his mind and even the words he put into my mouth. I’m not honestly sure he believed that part himself. I’m talking about the intensity when I insulted you, Bill, and you aggressively shoved me to the mat. That look in your eyes, I saw a glimpse of the real Goldberg. I highly suggest you find that guy and bring him to the Rumble … If you don’t, I’ll eat you alive in two minutes.
“If you’re anything like me and want to get a head start on our unfinished business, Billy, and I hope to God you do. Next week, I’m coming back to RAW.”
Next week, @DMcIntyreWWE will be BACK on #WWERaw with one final message for @Goldberg! #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/wSmfOMX3PJ
— WWE (@WWE) January 19, 2021
-After a commercial, the broadcast team announced that Goldberg will appear on next week’s show.
NEXT WEEK ON THE FINAL #WWERAW BEFORE THE #ROYALRUMBLE!@DMcIntyreWWE AND @Goldberg return!!! pic.twitter.com/0Myx1WDGYx
— WWE (@WWE) January 19, 2021
*ERIC YOUNG VS. VS RHINO ANNOUNCED FOR IMPACT*
-Eric Young vs. Rhino has been announced for Impact Wrestling episode.
-Young vs. Rhino was made after Young, Joe Doering and Cody Deaner defeated Rhino, Tommy Dreamer and Cousin Jake in an Old School Rules match at Saturday's Hard To Kill pay-per-view.
-This will be a rematch from the Final Resolution 2020 event on December 12, which saw Young defeat Rhino.
-Young, Deaner and Doering are now using "Violent By Design" as their stable name.
*JAZZ AND JORDYNNE GRACE VS. SUSAN AND KIMBER LEE ANNOUNCED FOR THIS WEEK'S IMPACT*
-Kimber Lee and Susan vs. Jordynne Grace and Jazz has been announced for this week's Impact Wrestling episode on AXS TV.
-This is the second match to be announced for the post-Hard To Kill edition of Impact after Eric Young vs. Rhino was announced earlier.
-Stay tuned for more on this week's Impact episode, which will feature fallout from the Hard To Kill pay-per-view. Impact issued the following preview for the show:
Hard To Kill was a night the wrestling world will never forget. In the main event, AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and IMPACT World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers defeated IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann, Chris Sabin and Moose in a historic six-man tag. Now that the dust has settled, what will happen next on an all-new IMPACT! this Tuesday at 8/7c on AXS TV and Twitch? The team of Rhino, Tommy Dreamer and Cousin Jake felt the wrath of Eric Young, Joe Doering and Deaner, now known as Violent By Design, in a brutal Old School Rules Match at Hard To Kill – but the war is far from over. This Tuesday, Eric Young will go one-on-one with an enraged Rhino. Will Young continue to enforce his dominance or will Rhino gain a measure of revenge? Brace yourselves for what is sure to be
18 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*18 January 2021
*WWE ANNOUNCES LOCATION HAS BEEN CHANGED FOR WRESTLEMANIA 37*
-WWE has announced that the location for WrestleMania 37 has changed. The location was Los Angeles, California but now WrestleMania 37 will be at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Raymond James Stadium was the original location for WrestleMania 36. As noted, the location was moved to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando due to COVID-19.
-The dates for WrestleMania 37 are April 10 and April 11. In the coming weeks, WWE will be announcing ticket availability and safety protocols for the event.
-WWE also announced dates and locations for WrestleMania 38 and WrestleMania 39.
WrestleMania 38 will be in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium on April 3, 2022.
WrestleMania 39 will be in Los Angeles, California at Sofi Stadium on April 2, 2023.
*TOP WWE SIGNEE SAREE SAYS SHE'S HEADED TO THE STATES SOON*
-Joshi wrestler Sareee announced she's heading to the States once finishing up a final wrestling commitment in Japan at a SEAdLINNG event on January 22.
-Sareee signed with WWE back in February, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to her traveling to the U.S. to begin her training at the Performance Center.
-Last March, she commented on having to wait on working in WWE.
"WWE is handling my schedule to the move to the States. Their initial plan was for me to be training over there already, but [looking] at the circumstances around the world, maybe it's best when the vaccine is developed rather than re-debuting with worries," Sareee said. "I want to show my solid wrestling live without any anxieties. It's hard to everyone, but I think this is the time to be one as the WWE Universe and stay strong and firm. It's a 'safety wrestling,' and from Japan, I will put my full effort to do what I can."
*RICH SWANN SAYS THERE'S STILL "UNANSWERED QUESTIONS" WITH KENNY OMEGA, NEW CHALLENGER STEPS UP*
-At Impact's Hard to Kill PPV, Impact World Champion Rich Swann took the pinfall loss to AEW World Champion Kenny Omega in a six-man tag team match. After the match, Swann spoke about the loss, and how it may have been different had Alex Shelley been there, and not his replacement, Moose.
"We did come up short," Swann responded. "It was disappointing, but I can't say that I'm not proud about what we left out in that ring for Impact Wrestling. If Alex Shelley was here, maybe things would have gone a little bit differently for Sabin and I. If we stuck to the game plan that we came up with. I went into this match not trusting Moose, after everything he's done in Impact Wrestling — I don't like him, but he definitely earned my respect. He went out there and fought his ass off alongside us. With Kenny Omega, a lot of questions are still unanswered. Does he have my number? I don't know."
-Moose then interrupted Swann's promo, eventually throwing him into a door, and letting the champion know he's coming for that title.
"I kept my promise, and I said from bell-to-bell, I'll be the best damn teammate you ever had," Moose said to Swann. "Well, guess what? The match is over. And that title you're carrying around will be mine soon."
*ADAM COLE SAYS NXT IS THE MAIN ROSTER*
-NXT Superstar and leader of Undisputed Era, Adam Cole, recently took to Twitter to address multiple things including fans clamoring for him to move up to the main roster.
-For years now fans have insisted that NXT is not the main roster, RAW and SmackDown are. Adam Cole addressed cries for him to move to the main roster by saying, “WWE NXT is main roster. No debate. End of story.”
-He also posted his 2021 goals on Twitter, which include maintaining control and power within NXT. Adam said, “Undisputed ERA has run NXT since we’ve arrived…2021 will be no different. Enjoy the ride boys & girls.”
*WWE HALL OF FAME CEREMONY REPORTEDLY GOING VIRTUAL THIS YEAR*
-With the news released that WrestleMania 37 would be a two-night event in Tampa this year with fans, many people were left wondering how the other events would be treated around that weekend. This includes NXT TakeOver, SmackDown, RAW, and the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
-We have an update regarding the current plan for the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony courtesy of Dave Meltzer at The Wrestling Observer. The latest plans are for WWE to hold a virtual WWE Hall of Fame ceremony this year with no fans in attendance. Since WWE moved the 2020 class back to 2021, it appears that any possibility for a 2021 class has been delayed for the time being.
*ETHAN PAGE IS EMBARRASSED OVER ‘KARATE MAN ’ MATCH, SAYS IMPACT LIED TO HIS FACE*
-At IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill, The Karate Man murdered Ethan Page. The former IMPACT Wrestling World Tag Team Champion had his heart ripped out at the end of the match. Page has taken to social media to express his disappointment with the match. In a lengthy post on his personal Facebook account, Page accused IMPACT Wrestling of lying to him, and he also apologized to the fans. Here’s the full post, which was on The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast Patreon-Exclusive Facebook page.
“‘From the afterlife
I’m going to take a full blown break from social media.
I’ll be staying active on my personal Patreon as much as I can & probably in this group too cuz I love the fig life & u guys. Xoxox.
But man …. last night sucked.
I’m so embarrassed with how IMPACT! lazily edited that segment last night & forced it to be a joke. I felt the thought of the same guys fighting each other was comedy enough & the more serious we took it the better the reaction would be. But cuz I left the company, they lied to my face & just did what they wanted the whole time.
I’m sorry if any of my fans paid for that PPV & felt cheated. I honestly feel the free version I gave away was made with more love, care & attention to detail. Sadly I have no control over the creative or final product & the editor refused to send it to me before hand …. so I saw it live with you guys & was surrounded by family. All scratching their heads at that high school project level delivery on a PPV.
I pray ppl know I didn’t edit that hot garbage. I actually begged IMPACT! Not to even have Karate man on tv. I only wanted it for my YouTube channel. But … we don’t write the shows. We just get the scripts & do our best. Idk what else to say.
Breaks my heart this company refuses to respect its talent or it’s fan base on a regular basis.
Oh well! Life goes on. That door is closed. Now let’s focus on what’s next.”
-It’s worth noting that Page is now a free agent, as his contract with IMPACT Wrestling expired on January 1, 2021.
*ERIC BISCHOFF THINKS SOME FANS HAVE ALWAYS RESENTED GOLDBERG FOR HIS LACK OF TECHNICAL SKILLS*
-Eric Bischoff is one of the most famous figures in modern wrestling history. As the former President of World Championship Wrestling, he led the company to astonishing heights during the Monday Night Wars. During his run with WCW, Bischoff worked with some of the top stars in the business, including Goldberg and Sting. Both icons have been prominently featured in WWE and AEW, respectively, in 2021. The fans have reacted to these stars quite differently. Sting’s arrival in AEW was seen as an historic moment, but Goldberg’s upcoming WWE Championship Match has been the target of widespread criticism.
-In an interview with Riju Dasgupta of SK Wrestling, Bischoff shared his thoughts on the negativity that often surrounds Goldberg.
“I think it all goes back to the beginning of Goldberg’ career,” said Bischoff. “Bill Goldberg became a megastar almost overnight. and as a result of that, Bill Goldberg was thrust into the limelight in main event matches with top-level talent without really the experience that would enable him to have longer, more dramatic types of matches that you would see out of a Sting or a Chris Jericho or you name it, any of the other top stars.
“So I think because of Bill Goldberg’s limited experience in the very beginning, and the fact that Bill didn’t really develop a much broader skill-set, in terms of his technical abilities in the ring, fans sometimes look at Bill Goldberg as a limited star in terms of his in-ring ability, and I think there’s some resentment in the eyes of the fans for that.”
*SAMOA JOE DONATES HIS HAIR*
-WWE Superstar Samoa Joe shared on Instagram this evening that he donated his hair to the non-profit organization, CWHL (Children With Hair Loss).
-Samoa Joe posted a photo of his hair with the caption, "It was a good run, hopefully it will find a better purpose at @cwhl_org . #cutpasslove"
-CWHL provides human hair replacements at no cost to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss. The organization opened in 2000.
*ANNA JAY ON HOW THE DARK ORDER HAS CHANGED: “WE’RE PROBABLY NICE GUYS NOW”*
-AEW star Anna Jay recently appeared on Talk Is Jericho. She reflected on her run with the company and discussed her role in the Dark Order. In one highlight, she revealed that she hopes the stable stays together, and she hinted that the group is more of a babyface faction now.
“I hope we stay together, at least for a little while,” said Jay. “I think now we’re even more like a family on-screen and off-screen. So I feel like we kind of have to go in that direction…. [We’re] probably nice guys now….I don’t really know how people are going to boo, you know?”
-Jay also described the origin of her “Queenslayer” nickname, and she stated that Brodie Lee surprised her with this moniker.
“I didn’t even know that he was gonna call me the “Queenslayer” until we were live, and he did it in the ring,” said Jay. “And it just kind of caught on.”
-Likewise, Jay shared how Lee came up with her number (99) in the Dark Order.
“I didn’t even know about that until his [AEW] Unrestricted interview came out,” said Jay. “He never even told me, and it’s funny because in the interview, he literally said it only matters to me. So he never even told me that’s what it was for. But now to know that, it’s crazy and it’s cool, and I’ll keep that with me forever.
“99 [is] Wayne Gretzky, the hockey player. I don’t know much about hockey, but obviously, [Brodie] was a huge fan, and I guess ‘The Great One’ so like I said it’s an honor to have that number.”
*INFORMATION RELEASED ON PAT PATTERSON DOCUMENTARY COMING TO WWE NETWORK*
-Thanks to WWE Network News, we have new information pertaining to the upcoming Pat Patterson documentary being released on the WWE Network.
-The special will be titled, My Way: The Life and Legacy of Pat Patterson, and is set to debut on Sunday, January 24. Check out the synopsis for the show below:
-Pat Patterson and those who knew him best look back at his unlikely path to the top of sports-entertainment. From growing up a poor kid in Montreal, to finding fame in San Francisco and New York City and working side-by-side with Vince McMahon, Pat became the celebrated creative force behind some of the greatest moments and matches in WWE history.
*UPDATE ON UPCOMING WWE PPV DATES*
-This year's WWE Fastlane PPV is reportedly taking place on Sunday, March 21 from the WWE Thunderdome, according to PWInsider.
-The upcoming WWE PPVs are as follows: Royal Rumble (January 31), NXT TakeOver (February 14), Elimination Chamber (February 21), Fastlane (March 21), WrestleMania 37: Night One (April 10), and WrestleMania 37: Night Two (April 11).
-As noted, WWE confirmed that this year's WrestleMania will be a two-night event.
-WrestleMania 38 will be in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium on April 3, 2022. WrestleMania 39 is set to take place in Los Angeles, California at Sofi Stadium on April 2, 2023.
*MADISON RAYNE CONFIRMS EXIT FROM IMPACT WRESTLING*
-During IMPACT's Hard to Kill pre-show Madison Rayne confirmed she's retiring from Impact Wrestling.
-It was reported last month Rayne was leaving for a full-time job outside the pro wrestling industry.
-As noted, Matt Striker and D'lo Brown were going to take over commentary duties for Impact Wrestling, starting at tonight's PPV. Josh Mathews received a promotion to Senior Producer of weekly shows and PPVs.
17 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*17 January 2021
*ANNA JAY DISCUSSES ORIGINAL AEW IDEA FOR WHY SHE WOULD WEAR A MASK*
-Dark Order's Anna Jay was the latest episode of Talk Is Jericho where she discussed being recruited into Dark Order as well as the original ideas for her character in AEW. Jay talked about the mask that she wore when she started in AEW.
"So the original mask was actually one you see all the other guys wearing. The full-on mask, the tie in on the back and everything," Jay described. "I still have it in my house. They bedazzled it for me and everything, and then as soon as I went to wear it, they were like, 'No, don't do that. We're going to do a different one.'
"So then I think Charlie Ramone went to some store to get me one of those cardboard, masquerade masks. They bedazzled that for me. I wore that I think once to the ring or twice maybe. I think I wore that a couple times, and then Tony Khan ended up being like, 'No.'"
-Chris Jericho asked why AEW wanted her to wear a mask in the first place. Jay noted that other members of Dark Order like Alan Angels, Preston Vance and Evil Uno also wore masks, so the idea was to keep that aesthetic.
"I think it's just because a lot of the guys wore masks, and they just wanted me to kind of have the look of that," Jay said. "They didn't really ever say why really because I think they went back and forth a lot on whether or not they wanted me to, and they did the half mask."
-Jericho recalled the idea for Jay wearing a mask being that she was shamed into wearing the mask, and Jay confirmed that. She noted that there was a whole vignette filmed but was later nixed.
"I think one of the ideas originally that I remember hearing was rather than just bring you in as a typical diva, whatever the word is, they're going to shame you for being a pretty girl," Jericho recalled. "So they're gonna put you under a mask.
"I did hear that," Jay added. "Then they ended up doing a vignette that was kind of going along with that and me being the typical diva or whatever, and then they scrapped that. So it kind of ended up making sense for them to scrap the mask too because it kind of went in a different direction."
*WWE ANNOUNCES ALEXA BLISS' RETURN TO THE RING, RANDY ORTON SEGMENT SET FOR MONDAY'S RAW*
-WWE has announced that Randy Orton will return on Monday's RAW to address the recent fireball attack by Alexa Bliss. It will be interesting to see how Orton sells the fireball attack and if he's bandaged up. As noted, WWE issued a storyline injury update on Orton this week and noted that he suffered minor burns to his face.
-In more news for Monday's RAW, WWE has announced that Bliss will be in non-title action against Asuka, who is the current RAW Women's Champion and one half of the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. This will be Bliss' first match since defeating Nikki Cross on the November 23 RAW.
-Monday's RAW may be when WWE brings back "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, who has not been seen since losing the Firefly Inferno Match to Orton at WWE TLC in December. It's believed that Orton vs. The Fiend in a Firefly Fun House Match will be announced soon for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 31.
*TAG TEAMS ADVANCE IN THE WWE NXT DUSTY RHODES CLASSIC ON WWE 205 LIVE*
-This week's WWE 205 Live episode saw two tag teams advance from the first round of the 2021 WWE NXT Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
-Legado del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza, Joaquin Wilde) defeated The Bollywood Boyz (Samir Singh, Sunil Singh) to advance to the quarterfinals. Legado del Fantasma will now go on to face the winners of Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik) vs. Imperium (Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner). We also saw Drake Maverick and Killian Dain defeat Curt Stallion and August Grey. Dain and Maverick will now face MSK (Wes Lee, Nash Carter) in the quarterfinals.
-As noted, this week's NXT episode saw The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong) defeat Breezango (Tyler Breeze, Fandango) to advance, while MSK defeated Jake Atlas and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, and The Grizzled Young Veterans (Jake Atlas, Zack Gibson) defeated Ever-Rise (Chase Parker, Matt Martel).
-The Men's Dusty Classic will continue on Wednesday's NXT show with Leon Ruff and Kushida vs. The Way (Austin Theory, NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano), and Imperium vs. Lucha House Party.
*SHINSUKE NAKAMURA THRILLED AFTER WWE BRINGS BACK HIS OLD ENTRANCE THEME*
-On this week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Shinsuke Nakamura completed his babyface turn by bringing back his old entrance theme ahead of his match against Jey Uso.
-After defeating Uso, The King of Strong Style took to Twitter and confirmed that he will be using "The Rising Sun" by CFO$ going forward.
"YeaOh!! #therisingsun is back!! #kingofstrongstyle," wrote Nakamura along with a link to the song.
-Nakamura is back to being a babyface for the first time since his WWE Championship match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 34. Upon turning heel three years ago, he used a remixed version of The Rising Sun which included Japanese vocals.
*"HACKSAW" JIM DUGGAN TALKS THE ROYAL RUMBLE NOT BEING A BIG DEAL EARLY ON*
-In 1988, WWE Hall of Famer "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan never thought the Royal Rumble would continue on 33 years later. In his interview on WWE's The Bump, Duggan recalls what it felt like to be the first-ever Royal Rumble winner and how grateful he was to be part of such a historic event that would change the landscape of professional wrestling.
"I don't think anybody was more shocked in the whole building than me that I won the thing, you know," Jim Duggan chuckled. "I was a black horse, especially when I was one of the last three guys in there with Dino Bravo. The odds looked pretty bad there for a while, but thank goodness it worked out."
-Duggan reiterated that guys like him did not see the Royal Rumble event as a big deal compared to any other match they'd work over the years. But guys like "Macho Man" Randy Savage knew the Rumble would elevate how WWE built Superstars up towards WrestleMania.
"You know, back then, it was a different business, too," Duggan said. "We did that show, and then we all got in the car and headed to another show. We didn't have the concept of how big it was becoming. Some of the guys did. Guys like 'Macho Man' [Randy Savage], they had an understanding. We were in party mode a little bit. It was just another show another day.
"And that's why it's good as an old-timer to come back into the WWE as a talent on a talent contract because I realized how big the company is becoming. You know, you pull into the parking lot, and there are 18-wheelers, limousines, buses and satellite trucks. I mean, it's overwhelming. As a young guy, I don't think I comprehended that. But coming back to WWE, I had a chance to appreciate how big [it was] and what an accomplishment Vince [McMahon] had."
-When Duggan made his return back to the event in 2009, he mentioned the most glorifying moment was the fans' reactions that night.
"The biggest memory [I have] is when I came out, I got a great pop. The folks, you know, they were happy to see me," he recalled.
-Like many Hall of Famers in professional wrestling, Duggan would like for those who follow the business to focus more on the positive moments than one's witnessed through chronicles like "Dark Side of the Ring" on Vice TV or Mickey Rourke's adaptation of 80's wrestling in "The Wrestler."
"This has been a great business for me," he exclaimed. "So many folks hear the negative stuff about wrestling. They see the movie 'The Wrestler' with that jerk Mickey Rourke, and they think we're all like that. It's been a great business for me. I put two daughters through school. I never had to go to rehab. I've been with my wife for 36 years. There's a lot of positive stories out there. There are guys who are successful in this business, and you just don't seem to hear about them."
*ALEX SHELLEY DOESN'T HAVE COVID-19 AND ISN'T INJURED*
-Alex Shelley made the following remarks after IMPACT Wrestling announced he was unable to participate in the scheduled main event at Hard To Kill on Saturday.
“There are certain things in life that are just out of our control and unfortunately, my ability to compete at Hard To Kill has been dropped into that bucket. So—I owe an apology to Chris Sabin, I owe one to Rich Swann, and I owe one to the fans.
I owe a receipt to the Good Brothers and Kenny Omega. I don’t like getting beat up by you, but I’ve accepted that that’s happened multiple times, and I was looking forward to returning the favor. So, you will get that in the mail, you will keep the yellow copy.
I assure everyone out there—I do not have COVID. I am not orthopedically injured, but in the interest of safety, my situation is a very complex one. I put that first, as does IMPACT management, and they are doing the utmost in terms of precautions to make sure that nobody is at risk at Hard To Kill, or going forward. However, as a transient figure in pro wrestling, I promise you that I’ll be back in IMPACT. You can count on that.”
*DAIVARI TO DEBUT ON NEXT WEEK'S MLW FUSION*
On this past Wednesday's MLW FUSION, Daivari made a quick appearance as CONTRA's newest member during an attack on Injustice. MLW announced Daivari will make his in-ring debut (middleweight division) on next week's show.
-Daivari worked for WWE from 2004 until 2007, making sporadic appearances in the following years. More recently, he wrestled at this month's Impact Genesis in the Super X Cup where he lost to Cousin Jake in the first round.
*MICHELLE MCCOOL TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19*
-Michelle McCool has tested positive for COVID-19 but tells fans that she’s only experiencing mild symptoms.
-McCool posted the following on Instagram, confirming she tested positive for the virus before she thanked everyone for their support. The former Divas Champion also clarified that no one else in her home has the virus; McCool is married to The Undertaker.
-Word round here seems to spread as quickly as this virus ….soooo, thank you to all who have checked on me!!! —-Not trying to hide it (just been too tired to post). What I thought were my allergies, turned out to be a + COVID test earlier this week! No clue how or where I caught it!
-Blessed to have mild symptoms…super blessed I’m the only one in our home who has it…. & super, super blessed to have a daughter who made an 8’ long “COVID Communication telephone!” I’d give anything to hug & love on her right now! Y’all stay safe & healthy!
*WWE SMACKDOWN VIEWERSHIP STAYS ABOVE 2 MILLION, RISES FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK*
-The latest batch of ratings are in for SmackDown, and WWE was able to maintain a base of more than two million viewers for the second straight week.
-According to ShowBuzz Daily, this week’s WWE SmackDown viewership came back with a 2.512 million average. This number is not only the second consecutive week they stayed above two million, but it’s also an increase from the 2.002 million they drew last week.
-As far as demographics go, the 18-49 demographic once again showed up for SmackDown. This week’s 0.6 rating was an increase from the 0.5 rating last week.
*EDDIE KINGSTON’s MOTHER HELPED HIM SEE AEW HAD ‘MORE HEART’*
-Mother always knows best and that goes for Eddie Kingston‘s mother especially, as she happens to know a thing or two about the wrestling business.
-Eddie had a conversation with Renee Paquette on her Oral Sessions podcast and she asked Kingston about the process of him signing with AEW. It just so happens the first person he talked to when getting a contract offer wasn’t Tony Khan, but a fellow veteran at the wrestling game in Christopher Daniels.
“Actually I talked to Christopher Daniels. So they offered me the deal and I listened to the other side (I guess that’s what you call them),” Eddie told Renee, “And I was just weighing options but then my mother was the final nail. She goes, ‘You won’t be happy over there, trust me.’”
-Eddie has been very open about how much weight his mother’s opinion holds in his life, telling WrestleZone ahead of Full Gear that she’s an important person in his life and she helped guide him to AEW. Eddie was unabashed in sharing with Paquete the significance his mother’s words hold for him, and said he believes it all came down to heart.
“Who knows me better than my mother? The bottom line with the whole thing is, I know more people at AEW and I know there’s a lot more heart there. I think for her that’s what she thought. She was like I’m gonna be with people who love it, just as much as I do.”
16 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*16 January 2021
*SERENA DEEB HONORED TO BE NWA CHAMPION AND HOPES TO COACH AGAIN*
-NWA World Women’s Champion Serena Deeb recently appeared on AEW Unrestricted and reflected on her run with that company, AEW and her departure from WWE.
-First, Deeb described her status as the NWA World Women’s Champion as a privilege and said the last year had been a whirlwind, but winning this title was another huge honor in her career.
“The NWA is, historically speaking, one of, if not the most important promotion in wrestling, and it goes back so far and the people that have wrestled for the NWA over the years are the biggest names in wrestling,” said Deeb. “It’s an honor, the fact that this year has been just a whirlwind of, I went from coaching to not knowing what was happening in my life for several months to getting back in the ring, and now being NWA Champion is a big accolade in my life, both personally and professionally.”
-Deeb had a very successful second half of 2020, but the year turned her career on its head. She had settled into her role as a coach with WWE, but the company released her during the COVID-19 pandemic. Deeb revealed that, although she has thrived in her return to the ring, she wouldn’t have left WWE if she had the choice.
“I think I just was really, I was embracing that chapter, you know,” said Deeb. “It seemed like I was following the path of what seemed right in my life, you know. And when I was offered the coaching job, it felt really right, and I thought, ‘Well, I got to do a lot in this business, more than a lot of people and you know, I felt like it might be more of my time to give back in that way. So for me, it was just a matter of kind of following the path.”
-The NWA World Women’s Champion also emphasized that she still enjoys coaching, and she hopes to return to it at some point.
“I love helping people, and I see myself eventually coaching, you know, down the line or continuing to kind of put tidbits of it here and there,” said Deeb. “It’s something I really enjoy, and I’d like to potentially do more seminars and things like that because coaching really resonates with me.”
*RING OF HONOR ANNOUNCES VOTING IS OPEN FOR 2020 ROH AWARDS*
-Ring of Honor announced today that voting for the 2020 ROH Awards is opened now through January 31st.
-The "Male Wrestler of the Year" category includes PCO, Matt Taven, ROH World Champion RUSH, Jay Lethal, Brody King, Dragon Lee, Jonathan Gresham, Shane Taylor, and Tracy Williams.
-The "Female Wrestler of the Year" category includes Angelina Love, Mandy Leon, Maria Manic, Nicole Savoy, Session Moth Martina, and Sumie Sakai.
-Danhausen, EC3, Fred Yehi, Rey Horus, Slex, Session Moth Martina, Soldiers of Savagery (Moses & Kaun), and Tony Deppen have all been nominated for "Best New Star."
-Mike Bennett's ROH return and EC3's debut are among the moments nominated in the "Holy S--t Moments Of the Year" category.
-Voting for the awards will take place exclusively on the ROH The Experience Facebook group.
*AJ STYLES REVEALS HOW HE CREATED THE STYLES CLASH*
-AJ Styles has one of the most unique move-sets in recent wrestling memory. From his aerial attacks, such as the springboard 450 splash and phenomenal forearm, to his grounded offense, such as his Pele kick and calf crusher submission, Styles has solidified himself as a jack of all trades inside the squared circle. Out of his dozens of moves, perhaps his most recognizable is his finisher: the Styles Clash.
-Speaking to ITN Wrestling, the Phenomenal One revealed he came up with the famous move very early on in his life.
"Well, my little brother was trying to powerbomb his buddy on the trampoline," Styles said. "He's dangling upside down. They're talking to each other, And I go, oh and I walked over there and my little brother took the first-ever styles splash on a trampoline."
*JIM ROSS ON WHAT HE BELIEVES TRIPLE H's BEST WORK IN WWE HAS BEEN*
-Triple H has been with the WWE since 1995 and has assumed many different roles throughout his time with the company. Triple H has won 14 WWE championships, won the Royal Rumble twice and was a founding member of DX, but now spends his days as the executive producer of NXT.
-During a recent episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross discussed Triple H's legacy with WWE. Ross mentioned how storied The Game's career has been, but suggested that he might be remembered more for his work with NXT rather than his time in the ring.
"I think over the long haul, because matches come and go, his legacy may be a bit like mine, I'd rather my legacy be for the talent that I signed and the roster I helped build more than my announcing," Ross said. "I think Triple H's best work at the end of the day will be building NXT as a third brand in a very crowded space within WWE."
-Ross discussed Triple H's relationship with Chyna. Ross noted how some issues occurred when Chyna would come to him asking him about Stephanie McMahon and Hunter's relationship.
"He evolved into becoming one of the greatest heels in the history of the brand," Ross said. "I think he had to mature, he had to get his hand around his infamy, a growing period. Because he married into the McMahon family, he's been ostracized by a lot of people and criticized because of who he fell in love with. I told Chyna that more than once, I can't legislate what people fall in love, that's beyond the talent relations scope.
"Obviously it was true love because they have 3 children, they've been married for many many years with very high profile jobs, so apparently they've found their true love. How could I or anybody else legislate that or judge that? It's not fair."
*KEVIN NASH DEFENDS WWE's COVID-19 TESTING*
-WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash took to Twitter this week to defend WWE's COVID-19 safety protocols.
-Nash responded to a headline that asked if WWE is "trying to kill" WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, a reference to how he's been brought back to TV for the new storyline with Lacey Evans and WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair. Nash dismissed the idea that WWE doesn't do an adequate job with their coronavirus testing.
"Saw this in a Google feed. The story says the @WWE doesn't do a adequate job Covid testing. Complete bulls--t. Everytime I'm involved I've been quarantined in a hotel room after being tested then brought to the arena. I was positive and sent directly to my home to quarantine," he wrote.
-Nash revealed back in September that he and his family had also battled COVID-19. He last appeared on TV for WWE at the 2020 Survivor Series pay-per-view for the "Final Farewell" segment for The Undertaker.
*ALEX SHELLEY MISSING IMPACT HARD TO KILL DUE TO UNAVOIDABLE CIRCUMSTANCES AND GETS REPLACED BY MOOSE*
-Moose replaces Sabin’s Motor City Machine Guns tag team partner Alex Shelley, who informed IMPACT Wrestling late last night that, due to unavoidable circumstances, he would be unable to travel to Nashville for HARD TO KILL.
-IMPACT Wrestling Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore said: “When we got the news from Alex there was no question what we needed to do. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures – I personally contacted Moose and he accepted the match immediately. I know Rich Swann in particular has his issues with Moose. but this is time to put personal issues and egos aside.
“HARD TO KILL is a huge event for IMPACT Wrestling and a historic one for professional wrestling in general. IMPACT Wrestling needs to put our best foot forward. Moose fits that bill. He is a physical specimen, a five-tool athlete, and has proven himself to be a world-class professional wrestler. Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers will have their hands even more full now when they step into the ring with IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann, IMPACT Original Chris Sabin, and the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Moose.”
-D’Amore added Swann had yet to be informed of the change. “Rich is on a plane right now and his phone is off. I’m going to try to meet him at the airport for what I can’t imagine is going to be a pleasant conversation. But HARD TO KILL’s main event is set: Rich Swann, Chris Sabin and Moose will go at it with Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers.”
*WWE REPORTEDLY PLANNING A NEW WRESTLEMANIA 37 DATE*
-WWE is reportedly planning to move the WrestleMania 37 date up two weeks, from March 27 to April 11.
-It was noted by Fightful Select that everything is still subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but internally the current plan is for WrestleMania 37 to take place on April 11. A date change was rumored several months ago, to either April 11 or April 18, but now it looks like they have decided on April 11.
-The WrestleMania 37 location is also up in the air. It was revealed a few months back that WWE was possibly planning to move the event from the previously-announced location of SoFi Stadium in the Los Angeles, CA area, to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL which was the originally planned location for WrestleMania 36 until the coronavirus pandemic forced that event to be held at the closed-set WWE Performance Center.
-In an update on the WrestleMania 37 location, the show will not be held in California but it was noted that if the date of April 11 holds up, then WrestleMania won't be taking place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL or at the Amway Center in Orlando, as MLB's Tampa Bay Rays and the NBA's Orlando Magic will be using those venues. Raymond James Stadium is not a lock for WrestleMania 37 as of now, but the venue currently does not have any events planned for WrestleMania 37 Weekend.
-WWE should be making official announcements on WrestleMania 37 Weekend soon, but as of now the internal calendars list Sunday, April 11 as date for The Grandest Stage of Them All.
*WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER DATE REPORTEDLY CHANGING*
-WWE is reportedly changing the planned date for the 2021 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
-The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view was originally scheduled for February 28, but now PWInsider reports that the event will be held on February 21 instead.
-Elimination Chamber 2021 will likely be the final pay-per-view before WrestleMania 37, and is expected to be held from the ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
-This report on WWE changing the Elimination Chamber date comes after it was revealed that the WrestleMania 37 date is also changing, and the location for The Grandest Stage of Them All is still up in the air.
*SHINE WRESTLING RETURNIN AFTER 11-MONTH ABSENCE*
-SHINE Wrestling is returning to running live events for the first time in almost a year due to being forced to shut down during the pandemic.
-Shine 66 will take place on January 23 in Port Richey, Florida with a bell time of 8 P.M. EST; Allysin Kay versus Ivelisse has been announced as one of the confirmed matches on the show. This event marks Shine’s first event since Shine 65 on February 29, 2020, a how saw Ivelisse successfully defend her title against Lindsay Snow.
-Kay vs. Ivelisse is currently the only match announced for the event but Kimber Lee, Marti Belle, Natalia Markova and Jayme Jameson are also featured on the poster.
*RICOCHET REPORTEDLY SIGNED TO A WWE CONTRACT UNTIL 2024*
Ricochet had to do the unfortunate work of dispelling rumors of his contract status recently, but now we reportedly have clarification. According to Dave Meltzer via his latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Ricochet is signed to a WWE deal until the summer of 2024. This deal was reportedly signed in 2019 around the time when Ricochet was called up to the main roster.
-Ricochet took to Twitter yesterday to call out a specific article that said his contract was expiring way much sooner than what Meltzer is reporting. The WWE star was last in a feud with Retribution as Mustafa Ali, T-Bar, Slap Jack and Mace have targeted him since he’s made it clear that he has no interest in joining the faction. He was not on RAW this past week and hasn’t been on the program since we’ve entered the year of 2021. His last RAW appearance was on the December 28 episode in a losing effort to Ali.
15 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*15 January 2021
*ADAM PEARCE MAKES "LAST-DITCH" PLEA FOR ROMAN REIGNS TO RECONSIDER WWE ROYAL RUMBLE TITLE MATCH*
-WWE Producer Adam Pearce is asking WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns to reconsider their title match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 31.
-As noted, last week's SmackDown saw Reigns help Pearce win a Gauntlet Match to determine his new #1 contender for The Rumble. The storyline was that Reigns and Paul Heyman pulled some strings to get Pearce in the match, which also featured Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, Rey Mysterio, King Baron Corbin, and Sami Zayn.
-Pearce issued a new storyline message to Reigns today, as seen in the Twitter video below. Pearce called it his "last-ditch" to try and get Reigns to call the match off.
"So Roman, this isn't the way I was hoping to appeal to you," Pearce said. "But considering I can't get anyone to answer my calls this week and tomorrow's Friday, this is kind of a last-ditch. You know that I think all this is ridiculous. What happened last week, everything that was said, putting me in a match against you at The Rumble. I'm not entirely sure how this came to be but here we are, and here we are once again with me asking you, please end this game, end this charade.
"This is not about me not wanting to face you in a match, it's about the fact that, that match does nothing for you, does nothing for the Universal Title, and in reality, does nothing for me. I had my day in the sun and that's great, I am completely and 100% focused on the job that I have today, and I'm very proud of that job. Part of that job is making tough decisions, Roman, and I've never been afraid... never been afraid, Roman, to get my hands dirty."
-Pearce continued and said he's not backing down from Reigns, but he wants him to reconsider because of what the situation will do to his own legacy.
"I'm not backing down," Pearce said. "I'm asking, reconsider this. Don't think about me, think about you and more importantly, think about your legacy. I'm not worried about you hurting me, I'm worried about every minute that this charade goes on, you continue to put a stain on and hurt your legacy. You're the locker room leader, you're the self-proclaimed Head of the Table, and I believe that. You're the example that I've pointed every one of our Superstars to. Be that Roman Reigns, because the one I looked at last Friday, and I'm sure the one I'm gonna see tomorrow, is not the same man I've always admired. Please think about it, Roman. Think about it."
-It's been speculated that WWE has had another Rumble opponent planned for Reigns all along, and that Pearce would be removed from the match before Rumble Weekend. WWE has announced that Reigns has something in store for Pearce to be revealed during tomorrow's SmackDown on FOX episode.
*MSK ON WHY THEY GOT EMOTIONAL AFTER WINNING THEIR WWE NXT DEBUT MATCH*
-As noted, on latest WWE NXT episode saw MSK (fka The Rascalz) make their debuts for the company. Nash Carter (fka Zachary Wentz) and Wes Lee (fka Dezmond Xavier) defeated Jake Atlas and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2021 Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
-MSK was seen getting a bit emotional during their post-match celebration on last night's broadcast. Mitchell asked what made the moment so emotional.
"We have pretty much just gone through everything that you could possibly go through in life," Carter said. "We've lost everything, and to be able to have this moment of just joy and triumph, and have something that we've wanted since we were little kids... this is just everything. This is just everything."
-Lee agreed, adding, "There's no other way to put it. That's the best... those are the best words other than us coming to tears again. There's no other way for us to convey how we feel. I'm still tingling with the sensation of just being out there in front of that crowd, and then getting the victory."
*SEVERAL WWE NXT MATCHES REVEALED FOR NEXT WEEK*
-A loaded line-up has been announced for next Wednesday's WWE NXT episode on the USA Network.
-Fight Pit II bout will finally take place next week with Timothy Thatcher vs. Tommaso Ciampa. The Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will also continue, while the first-ever Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will kick off.
-The following matches have been confirmed for next week:
*Fight Pit: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher
*Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match: Leon Ruff and Kushida vs. The Way (Austin Theory, NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano)
*Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match: Imperium (Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel) vs. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado)
*Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match: Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm vs. Team Ninja (Kayden Carter, Kacy Catanzaro)
*NICK CAGE NEEDS SURGERY DUE TO PAST INJURY NOT HEALING CORRECTLY*
-Nick Gage is in need of emergency surgery and he’s asking fans for help due to the sudden timing of it.
-Gage posted the following message on Instagram, asking his followers to help get him over the threshold and pay for another surgery he needs on his calf. Gage said that the surgery is needed as soon as possible because a previous injury healed incorrectly.
-Gage was injured in his match at Beyond Wrestling’s Two Weeks Notice in July, and GCW noted at the time that he was unable to walk as a result. That would serve as Gage’s last match since then; the team of Chris Dickinson, Nick Gage & Tony Deppen defeated The Second Gear Crew (1 Called Manders, Mance Warner & Matthew Justice)
*UPDATE ON ERICK ROWAN'S FUTURE WITH AEW*
-As reported earlier, former WWE Superstar Erick Rowan [aka Erick Redbeard] has not signed a contract with AEW, and his appearance during the Brodie Lee Celebration of Life edition of AEW Dynamite was a one-off deal.
-During an AEW Dynamite Post-Show, Tony Schiavone confirmed that Rowan was not yet a member of the AEW roster.
-When asked if AEW fans can expect to see Redbeard in action again, he said, "I believe Erick's appearance only came on that tribute show to his former tag team partner."
-However, Schiavone did not rule out the possibility of Redbeard returning to AEW TV.
"Then again, I say that but who knows? He might show up tomorrow," said the AEW announcer.
*LATEST UPDATE ON JAY WHITE POSSIBLY JOINING AEW*
-There has been a lot of speculation regarding Jay White's future with NJPW after The Switchblade said he was done with pro wrestling following his loss to Kota Ibushi in the main event of Day 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 15.
-It was later reported that WWE were making "a strong play" at White and that he had many people supporting him within the company. According to Super J-Cast, White's contract with NJPW is up at the end of the month, and it is "50/50 whether he stays or goes" in Japan.
-During this week's episode of the AEW Dynamite Post-Show, Tony Schiavone was asked if White could potentially join AEW if he decided to leave NJPW.
-Schiavone essentially ruled out the possibility of White in AEW.
"I don't think so," Schiavone said while replying to a fan question. "I think he's pretty much locked into what he's doing there [in Japan]," he added.
-Dave Meltzer on The Wrestling Observer Radio recently noted that when AEW was starting up in late 2018, the EVPs had tried to recruit White. At that time, White reportedly told AEW he had signed a seven-year contract with NJPW.
*WWE NXT DRAWS NEAR RECORD LOW AUDIENCE, AEW DYNAMITE VIEWERSHIP UP*
-Week 65 (we are not including the week of the Brodie Lee tribute show) of the Wednesday Night War saw AEW Dynamite defeat WWE NXT in viewership and ratings.
-Wednesday's New Year's Smash Night 2 edition of Dynamite drew 762,000 viewers (+15% from last week) on TNT, topping the 551,000 viewers (-14%) garnered by WWE NXT on the USA Network by 38%, according to Nielsen via Showbuzz Daily.
-AEW ranked #31 in the Cable Top 150 for the 18-49 demo, while NXT ranked #70. AEW ranked #68 in total viewership, while NXT ranked #81 in viewership.
-Last week's Dynamite New Year's Smash Night 1 show drew 662,000 viewers and ranked #48 in the Cable Top 150, and #75 in viewership. Last week's NXT New Year's Evil show drew 641,000 viewers and ranked #68 in the Cable Top 150, and #80 in viewership.
-AEW drew a 0.30 rating (+20% from last week) in the 18-49 demographic while NXT drew a 0.14 (-12.5%) in the same demo this week. Last week's AEW show drew a 0.25 rating while the NXT episode drew a 0.16 in that demographic.
-This week's AEW viewership was up from last week, but on the lower end of what the show has been doing. Besides last week, this was the lowest viewership and key demo rating since Thanksgiving week. This week's Dynamite viewership was down 19% from the same week in 2020.
-This week's NXT episode drew the second-worst audience for a first-run show, behind the March 18, 2020 episode, which was the first show with no fans. That show drew 542,000 viewers with a 0.16 rating in the key demo. Last night's key demo rating for NXT was tied with several other episodes to be the third-lowest behind the December 30, 2020 show, which went up against AEW's Brodie Lee tribute show, and behind the May 20, 2020 show. This week's NXT viewership was down 21% from the same week in 2020.
*NEW TITLE FEUDS WITH POSSIBLE WWE NXT TAKEOVER MATCHES FOR FINN BALOR AND IO SHIRAI*
-WWE teased Karrion Kross vs. WWE NXT Champion Finn Balor once again during last night's NXT show. While Kross did not appear live, WWE aired a new vignette where Scarlett gave a tarot reading that indicated Kross is moving on to Balor after his recent win over Damian Priest. While it looks like Balor's next title defense will be against Pete Dunne, possibly at the Takeover event on Valentine's Day, Kross will likely be waiting for Balor after that. The Kross vs. Balor match may be saved for WrestleMania 37 Weekend.
-NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai was held off NXT TV again this week, likely to sell the attack from Mercedes Martinez that took place three weeks ago. While Martinez vs. Shirai has been teased as the next NXT Women's Title match, last night's NXT show featured a vignette where Raquel Gonzalez made it clear that she is coming for Shirai and the title. It's possible that WWE does Martinez vs. Shirai next at Takeover, and then saves Gonzalez vs. Shirai for a later date. Martinez has also been announced for the first-ever Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, teaming with Toni Storm. The tournament kicks off next Wednesday with Martinez and Storm vs. Team Ninja (Kayden Carter, Kacy Catanzaro).
*SONNY KISS CLEARS UP INJURY STATUS*
-Sonny Kiss Clarifies Injury Status Fans of Sonny Kiss shouldn’t be alarmed as “The Concrete Rose” is indeed just that. After word began to spread that the AEW star was dealing with injuries, Kiss took to Twitter to make certain that he’s been doing a-okay.
“I’m not sure how this narrative started that I was injured, but babygirl is totally okay. Just an FYI,” he shared and CC’ed Tony Schiavone on it, who mentioned in passing that Kiss has been hurt and in the training room as of late.
-Schiavone responded with relief as to knowing Kiss was doing just fine. “Great news! I was ask[ed] where you’d been and I had no answer except that I had seen you in the training room recently,” Tony Tweeted.
*WWE CRITIC ANDREW YANG ANNOUNCES RUN FOR NEW YORK CITY MAYOR*
-Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has announced his run for mayor of New York City.
-Yang will join dozens of other contenders for the upcoming mayoral election, which will see current NYC mayor Bill De Blasio be replaced as he has reached him term-limit in office.
-In his announcement video, Yang said that his motivation to run for New York City mayor is familial, but extends beyond his bloodline.
"I'm running for mayor for my two boys, for you, and for every New Yorker," Yang said. "Let's fight for a future New York City that we can all be proud of."
-Yang's mayoral campaign comes months after his public criticisms of WWE's third party edict, which Wrestling Inc. exclusively reported on.
"This would be infuriating to me if I had spent time building up my social media channels only to have WWE take them over from their 'independent contractors.' People are angry and rightfully so," Yang said in a tweet responding to Wrestling Inc.'s exclusive report.
-While that edict was initially reported on in September, the fallout from it trickled down in the subsequent months. Following Zelina Vega's noteworthy firing in November, Yang noted that he "[hadn't] forgotten about Vince McMahon."
-Yang's latest political endeavor comes after he toyed with the idea of joining Joe Biden's cabinet as Secretary of Labor, a role that would've positioned him to take on WWE's "misclassification" of their talent head-on. Yang spoke to Wrestling Inc. last September to criticize WWE's business practices.
"Wrestlers are afraid to speak out, and I've had wrestlers past and present reach out to me and say that Vince [McMahon] has been getting away with exploitation of wrestlers calling them independent contractors while controlling their activities for years and years," Yang said. "A lot of it is just that they are a quasi-monopoly, and wrestlers fear that if they do try and unionize or organize in any way that Vince doesn't like, that it will never work again."
*SEVERAL WWE TALENTS RECEIVE NEW RING NAMES*
-Several new WWE NXT ring names have been revealed.
-NXT Superstar Emily Andzulis is now using the name Ivy Nile. Andzulis was signed in January 2020 after competing on The Rock's Titan Games on NBC. She also trained at the Jacobs-Prichard Wrestling Academy owned by Kane and Dr. Tom Prichard. Andzulis made her in-ring debut at a February NXT live event, and later worked a NXT TV Battle Royal last September. She was also featured on RAW Underground losing to Shayna Baszler.
-NXT UK Superstar Tony Gill is now being called Rohan Raja. Gill was formerly known as Gursinder Singh of The Desi Hit Squad in Impact Wrestling. He was trained by Lance Storm at his Storm Wrestling Academy, and was signed by WWE to work the NXT UK brand last fall.
-WWE has also re-named the three Indian wrestlers who were announced as new WWE Performance Center recruits in January 2020. Gurvinder Singh is now being called Dilsher Shanky, Laxmi Kant Rajpoot is now being called Guru Raaj, and Sukhwinder Grewal is now being called Giant Zanjeer.
-Shanky and Zanjeer are proteges of former WWE World Heavyweight Champion The Great Khali. All three Indian talent were announced for WWE's upcoming "Superstar Spectacle" event earlier this week, along with NXT, RAW and SmackDown Superstars.
*KARL ANDERSON AND DOC GALLOWS TALK LOSING THEIR CONFIDENCE IN WWE*
-The Good Brothers, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated where they opened up about how they're feelings post WWE.
-Anderson admitted after their releases that he regretted re-signing with WWE, and with Sports Illustrated, he talked about how they've regained their confidence that they lost in WWE.
"I hate to admit this, but I think there was a point in WWE where we had a loss of confidence," Anderson stated. "But I can promise you that the confidence is back. We needed to get out of that environment to remind ourselves who we really are and what we can be. Right now, we're on top of our game. It feels that way to us, and hopefully it shows."
-Gallows noted that they don't hold any grudges towards WWE. However, he joked that they didn't get their Slammy after The Boneyard Match with The Undertaker and AJ Styles won Match of the Year where they also played an integral part in the match.
"We don't have any sour grapes about WWE, except that they forgot to mail us our Slammy Award for Match of the Year," Gallows pointed out. "Maybe the mail is slow. I'm still waiting on that. But we're focused on right now."
*CHARLOTTE FLAIR LASHES OUT OVER COLUMN ON HEAT SHE RECEIVES*
-WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair took to Twitter and lashed out over a column written about how she's booked and the heat she receives from fans.
-Flair noted that she probably should've just blocked the article and kept scrolling, but she believes words matter so she went ahead with her response. The article was titled, "Does Charlotte Flair Deserve The Hate She Gets?," and the caption reads, "Charlotte Flair catches a lot of heat for how WWE books her."
"I should just scroll block this garbage, but words matter, so I will take a few moments to educate you since both a human and I would assume an editor allowed this bulls--t to sully Al Gore's internet," Flair wrote.
-Flair then defended the time off she's had and said she doesn't see a similar article where a male Superstar is knocked for taking time off and returning to a title chase.
"I have taken time off three times while on the main roster," she wrote. "First time was when my dad was sick. Second time was a 6 week injury that was followed up by 18 months of staring at lights to help create a star. 3rd time is now. What exactly is it that I'm avoiding?
"I keep looking for the article where you trash one of the male champions for taking time off and being inserted back into the title picture. Didn't find one. Shocking. Wonder why [rolling eyes emoji]"
-Flair ended her response by pointing to how she will always be in the title picture because of how good she is.
"I am in the title picture, and I will always be in the title picture. It's one of those unfortunate side effects of excelling at something; you wouldn't understand," she wrote.
14 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING NEWS**Daily News by Amo*14 January 2021
*T-BAR BRINGS UP SAMMY GUEVARA'S PAST CONTROVERSIAL REMARKS ABOUT SASHA BANKS*
-T-BAR took to Twitter and said that Sammy Guevara stole his finisher.
-The argument between the two has now turned towards past controversial remarks that Sammy Guevara made about WWE Superstar Sasha Banks.
-Guevara said on a podcast in 2016, "Bro, Sasha Banks... oh my God. When I was at the WWE the other week I wanted to just go f--king rape that woman."
-T-BAR tweeted that Sammy Guevara should try to be creative instead of making jokes about rape. He has since deleted the tweet and wrote that he's going to delete all his contributions to the argument because it's dumb.
-His full tweet was, "Someone tell panda kid I had a singles match on TV last night, and I didn't steal the move from some backyarder, I thought of it in a professional wrestling ring with @Kill4nova. Try being creative sometime, instead of, oh I don't know, making jokes about rape."
-He then tweeted, "You know what, everyone is right. This is a dumb argument and I'm deleting my contributions to it."
-As reported last year, AEW did suspend Sammy Guevara over his remarks
*TONY KHAN RUNS DOWN IMPACT WRESTLING’S ‘GREAT 2020’*
-Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone once again aired a paid advertisement during IMPACT Wrestling. This time around, the pair sarcastically congratulated IMPACT on a “great” last year.
“Welcome to 2021, IMPACT Wrestling. Congratulations on a great 2020,” Khan sarcastically said. “Let’s take a look at all the great things that happened. You had these paid ads from me, revenue coming in from me, you had the AEW Champion Kenny Omega grace your show because I allowed it, and he brought the greatest title in all of sports with it. And tomorrow night you get to watch a real wrestling show, AEW Dynamite New Year’s Smash Night 2.”
*MICK FOLEY GIVES UPDATE ON HIS COVID-19 BATTLE*
-WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley took to Twitter recently and gave an update on how he's feeling almost three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.
-Foley noted that he's feeling "not too bad" but he's fatigued very easily, and his head still feels a little cloudy. He encouraged fans to wear their masks.
"Many of you have been asking how I'm feeling after my positive COVID test. All in all, not too bad - but I get fatigued very easily, and my head still feels a little cloudy. PLEASE take this pandemic seriously - the daily death count is staggeringly high..and climbing. #MaskUp," he wrote.
-Foley revealed back on January 1 that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He tested positive after participating in a virtual signing on December 12. As soon as he found out he had been exposed, and before the positive test result, he began isolating in a hotel room and was planning to check out on January 4 as he was no longer contagious. Foley later said in a more detailed post that his symptoms were not too serious, just body aches and a headache for a few days, followed by loss of smell and hearing issues. You can click here for his first post on testing positive for COVID-19, or click here for his more detailed post on the virus.
*RAW WRESTLER BEING PUNISHED FOR NOT RE-SIGNING WITH WWE?*
-Last month, the Wrestling Observer reported that WWE was negotiating a new deal with Riddle, and “he pretty much agreed to terms for a three-year deal at $400,000 per year guaranteed plus $50,000 for every show in Saudi Arabia.”
-Fightful Select then reported that The Original Bro wasn’t interested in the initial deal WWE offered him, but he signed on better terms last month.
-However, Bryan Alvarez said on Wrestling Observer Live this week that Riddle hasn’t re-signed with WWE yet, although he pretty much agreed to the deal.
“Remember when they offered him a new deal? I don’t think he’s signed yet. Just want to throw that out there.”
-Alvarez stated this because he thinks it could be the reason Riddle lost to United States Champion Bobby Lashley and then got attacked by him during his match against MVP on this week’s RAW.
-It was also noted that WWE originally planned to have Riddle vs. Lashley at the Royal Rumble, but there isn’t any mention of him wrestling a singles match at the pay-per-view lately.
*NIKKI BELLA INTERESTED IN BEING A PART OF THE WWE CREATIVE TEAM*
-WWE Hall Of Fame Class of 2020 inductees, The Bella Twins, spoke to Ashley Graham on Pretty Big Deal in December.
-Nikki Bella said that she’s interested in being a part of the WWE Creative team at some point.
“Brie’s husband [Daniel Bryan] is part of the creative team and works a lot with Vince McMahon on the creative stuff. I’ve always thought, in the back of my head, ‘I would really like to do that for the women.’
I’ve lived it as a WWE Superstar, but I’m also a fan. I know what the people and I know how to get the best out of each woman because I know them. It’d be a lot of fun to be on creative.”
“What’s cool is, my husband works with well-trained writers who come from TV shows and done great. With their writing skills and my husband’s wrestling ability and experience, they come up with great stuff. They’ll come up with a good idea and my husband will be like, ‘as a babyface, it’s hard to make that happen.'"
*WWF LEGEND IS A REGULAR PART OF RAW NOW*
-2-Time WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair returned to RAW last week as part of the Legends Night. Flair helped Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce get a win over Women’s Tag Team Champions Charlotte Flair and Asuka.
-On this week’s RAW, Flair officially turned heel and helped The Sassy Southern Belle get a win over his daughter.
-On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reported that The Nature Boy will now be a regular part of WWE TV.
Below is what he said:
“Yes (he is a regular on TV now), by the way. Whenever they bring Ric Flair back, the first week always does well. That doesn’t mean you bring him back every freaking week. It’s not gonna happen that way. But damn they’re doing it, yeah, he’s doing something with Lacey Evans.”
*UPDATE ON WRESTLERS WWE DIDN’T USE ON RAW THIS WEEK*
-WWE seemed short on wrestlers on this week’s RAW, as they didn’t use several of their regular wrestlers on TV and had some wrestlers pull double duty on the show.
-As noted before, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre (appeared in pre-taped promos) wasn’t in attendance for RAW. RAW Women’s Champion Asuka, RAW Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander, Ricochet, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross were missing from last night’s RAW.
-PWInsider is reporting that Asuka, Ricochet, Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander, Nikki Cross and Humberto Carrillo were backstage, but weren’t used on RAW.
-Carrillo competed on WWE Main Event prior to RAW, which is probably why he wasn’t on the show. As for the others, it’s unknown why WWE didn’t use them on RAW.
-At first, it was believed that all these above mentioned wrestlers were quarantined as they might’ve been affected by COVID-19.
13 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*13 January 2021
*WWE ANNOUNCES INJURY TO KOFI KINGSTON*
-Kofi Kingston is reportedly suffering from a legitimate jaw injury.
-WWE announced during RAW that Kingston was not there due to a broken jaw. Xavier Woods came to the ring by himself and suffered a loss to T-BAR of RETRIBUTION.
-There had been some speculation on if Kingston's injury was legitimate or not as he just wrestled the week before, teaming with Woods to defeat The Miz and John Morrison. WWE indicated on commentary that Woods suffered the injury some time in the last few weeks.
-In an update, PWInsider reports that Kofi's jaw injury is a legitimate issue he's dealing with. It was noted that the nature of the injury could not be confirmed, but a jaw issue is why Kofi is currently out of action.
*MOOSE SAYS HE'S CLOSE TO BECOMING THE COMPLETE PACKAGE OF A PRO WRESTLER*
-Moose, the self-proclaimed TNA Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, has been steadily improving as a professional wrestler through his time with IMPACT Wrestling. Most recently involved in a feud with Willie Mack after defeating EC3 at IMPACT Bound for Glory, Moose is now seemingly next in line for an IMPACT World Championship opportunity against Rich Swann.
-In a new interview with Sportskeeda, Moose discusses his rivalry with Willie Mack and why he feels that he is close to becoming the complete package of a professional wrestler.
-Moose on Willie Mack: We work together good. Willie Mack is a phenomenal talent. We put out another classic at Genesis this Saturday on Impact Plus. I would definitely recommend (fans) check it out. You’ll see me, of course, hurt Willie Mack some more But yeah, Willie Mack is a good one every time I step in to the ring with him.
-Moose on His Progression as a Professional Wrestler: I’m proud. I mean, I still feel like I have a lot to learn, in growing every day as a performer. I’m going to keep doing it. Right now, I’m still working on my in-ring and my promos, my body. Hopefully, soon, you guys will see close to a finished product.
*KAYLA BRAXTON RIPS FANS FOR "DISGUSTING TWEETS" ON COVID*
-Kayla Braxton, a backstage interviewer for Friday Night SmackDown, has ripped fans on Twitter for tagging her in jokes about COVID-19 especially since she had contracted the virus in 2019. Braxton was on RAW tonight instead of Charly Caruso.
-After RAW went off the air, Braxton tweeted, "While I was at work tonight, I got a call that someone very close to me died of covid. And as I logged on to this platform tonight, I noticed multiple disgusting tweets tagging me to make jokes about me when I had the virus early this year. FU*K you."
-In June 2020, Braxton revealed she had tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time.
-At the time, Braxton tried to create awareness that it is possible to contract the virus for a second time.
"Was keeping it quiet but since everyone else is sharing, I feel like it is my responsibility to share this PSA: YOU CAN GET COVID-19 MORE THAN ONCE! I had it back in early March and then thought I was invincible after I recovered. Not true. Dont be dumb like me," Braxton wrote in June last year.
*WWE NXT CROWD CHANGE FOR THIS WEEK REVEALED*
-You can expect to see a minor change in the crowd for this week's WWE NXT episode on the USA Network.
-WWE has been sending invitations to fans who have previously signed up for the ThunderDome viewing experience, encouraging them to sign up for Wednesday's live NXT taping, according to PWInsider.
-This is a different approach for the NXT crowds as it will be the first time WWE has used a live virtual crowd for the black & gold brand. Since WWE began using the Capitol Wrestling Center for NXT and 205 Live shows last year, fans appearing on the LED screens have been archived footage from previous RAW, SmackDown and pay-per-view events held in the ThunderDome.
-There are just two matches confirmed for this week's NXT as of this writing, both first round matches in the 2021 NXT Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic - The Undisputed Era vs. Breezango, and Ever-Rise vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans.
*BIG E ON WANTING TO WIN THE WWE ROYAL RUMBLE AND GET HIS FIRST WORLD TITLE SHOT*
-WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E recently spoke with Stuart Osborne of Dayton 24/7 Now and indicated that he will be in the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match later this month.
-The article noted that Big E has already entered the Men's Royal Rumble, but WWE does not have the SmackDown Superstar listed for the match as of this writing. Names listed for the 30-Man match as of now are Daniel Bryan, WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and Otis.
-Big E said he's hoping to win The Rumble and then go to WrestleMania 37 to challenge for the WWE Universal Champion.
"You know, I've never had a world title match, a world title opportunity. This would be my very first one, so I'm looking forward to that," he said of a potential Universal Title shot.
-He added that entering The Rumble as a champion, leaving as the winner, and then walking out of WrestleMania with as a double champion would make his career. Big E is currently in the middle of a singles push after The New Day's Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were sent to RAW several months ago. Big E said he wants to see how far he can go with this singles run, and he appreciates the high hopes that others have for him.
"I want to see how much I can do as a singles competitor. A lot of people have had these high hopes for me, which I really appreciate," he said.
-Big E retained his title over Apollo Crews during last Friday's SmackDown on FOX episode. He recently indicated that he may be issuing an open challenge each week, but there's no word yet on if he will be defending this Friday night.
*JEFF JARRETT AND ANTHEM WRESTLING EXHIBITIONS SETTLE LAWSUIT*
-WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett and his Global Force Entertainment have settled the lawsuit with Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, which is the parent company of Impact Wrestling.
-The following motion was filed before the United States Court Middle District of Tennessee on Friday, according to PWInsider. It was entered into court records this week:
"Plaintiffs Global Force Entertainment, Inc. and Jeffrey Jarrett and Defendant Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC (each a "Party" and collectively "Parties) have agreed to a settlement in this case. Based on the settlement, the Parties respectfully request the Court administratively close the case so as to retain jurisdiction over this case and the Parties until such time as all terms of the settlement have been met. If the terms of the settlement are met, and unless any Party objects, they will submit a joint request for dismissal of the claims and counterclaims in the case by no later than October 1, 2022."
-This settlement comes after a new trial was denied following the previous mistrial. The two sides came to a settlement, as the court suggested.
-Jarrett originally filed the lawsuit against Anthem in August 2018, shortly after his departure from the company. Jarrett filed the lawsuit for copyright infringement over the rights to his Global Force Wrestling, alleging that Impact had used footage of without his permission. The case faced several delays, including the death of a judge and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues that all led to the mistrial back in July 2020.
*WWE RAW VIEWERSHIP DRIPS 300,000 FOR SECOND SHOW OF 2021*
-WWE RAW viewership was predictably down after going up against major sporting events.
-As reported by Showbuzz Daily, WWE RAW viewership averaged 1.819 million viewers, which is down from last week’s 2.128 million viewers for “Legends Night.” As for 18-49 demographics, it came in at No. 7, 12, and 16 for its first, second and third hours, respectively. ESPN’s coverage of the college football championship game took the first six slots, while various news programming took up most of the top 15.
-The hourly breakdown is as follows:
8 p.m.: 2,024,000 9 p.m.: 1,802,000 10 p.m.: 1,632,000
*MORE DETAILS ON THE WWE SUPERSTAR SPECTACLE*
-Last week, WWE confirmed reports that it was taping a show for India later this month called the WWE Superstar Spectacle. Now we have a better feel on what the show will be thanks to a report from PW Insider.
-They note that the special will be filmed at the WWE Capitol Wrestling Center (where NXT is taped) on Jan. 21. Previously, the show was going to be filmed over several days, but it will now be done on one day. It’s said that WWE Superstar Spectacle will be broadcasted in both English and Hindi. The length will be around 90 minutes to two hours long when it airs Jan. 26.
-They also note that local advertising in India shows Jinder Mahal, NXT’s Kavita Devi and two tag teams (Indus Sher and The Bollywood Boys). Beyond those talent, a number of Indian NXT trainees will also be involved.
*RIDGE HOLLAND ON WHEN HE WILL RETURN, PRAISES WWE TAKING CARE OF HIM DURING RECOVERY AND WILLIAM REGAL'S HELP*
-WWE NXT Superstar Ridge Holland recently spoke with Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT, his first public comments since suffering the leg injuries during the October 7 NXT episode. Holland, who suffered the injuries while catching NXT Tag Team Champion Oney Lorcan, underwent surgery the next day. WWE announced that he suffered a left ankle dislocation and fracture, a right knee patellar dislocation, and a patellar tendon rupture. The knee dislocation was put back into place at ringside, and the ankle dislocation was put back into place at the emergency room, according to WWE's announcement at the time. Holland reportedly began inpatient rehab on both of his legs the following week.
-Holland told talkSPORT that rehab is going well for the "pretty freak incident," and he's still on the road to recovery. "Pretty freak incident," Holland said. "On my left leg I fractured and dislocated my ankle and then on my right leg, I dislocated the kneecap and ruptured my patella tendons. Kind of a buy one get one free on injuries! But, it's coming on well. The WWE medical staff are top notch and they've got me well on the road to recovery."
-Holland praised WWE for making sure he's had the best medical care. He was asked about how WWE has taken care of him since then.
"They were all very concerned and just wanted the best for me," he said. "They made sure I got the best medical care and reassured me that everything is going to be fine. From my personal standpoint, mentally, as soon that happened and I was on the stretcher I was already thinking about 'OK, let's get ready to come back. What can I do to get back and be better than ever?' Everyone was really helpful from the doctors to the trainers to Triple H. It's just a really good support system and it's nice to know people care."
-Holland still does not have a timetable for his return to action, but he said he was told 6 to 9 months when he underwent surgery. He was asked about when he will return.
"It's early days yet, but the doctor has said six to nine months, so I'm just taking it day-by-day and see how the knee and ankle feels. If I look too far in the future I'll probably take my focus on what needs to be done today. So yeah, we'll see how it goes," Holland said.
-The former rugby star also revealed that NXT General Manager William Regal has had a lot of influence on him since making the jump to pro wrestling.
"He's been instrumental, but kind of like a soft undertone to what I'm doing though," Holland said of Regal, who also works as WWE's Director of Talent Development & Head of Global Recruiting. "He's just there for advice, he's not overbearing. I think he's just confident in what I can do and he lets me get on with my business. But he's always there for advice and he's definitely a very influential figure in a lot of careers and that's for me also."
12 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*12 January 2021
*MIKE BENNETT RECALLS HOW VINCE MCMAHON REPORTEDLY FELT ABOUT HIM IN WWE*
-After spending three disappointing and underwhelming years in WWE, Mike Bennett – along with his wife Maria Kanellis – was released as part of the COVID cuts in April. After his non-compete expired, Bennett then made his return to Ring of Honor in November which is where he's experienced the most success in his pro wrestling career.
-With the lack of success, or happiness, during his WWE run, Bennett was asked when the last time he felt happy in wrestling was during an interview on The Walkway To Fight Club podcast.
"Probably in Impact," said Bennett who worked for Impact in between his first ROH run and his time in WWE. "We did a segment in Impact, it was a wedding segment with Allie, Braxton and Maria. That was probably the last time I actually enjoyed working, believe it or not. That was probably like almost four years ago, where I was genuinely happy enjoying myself. I loved my time over at Impact. So, I had a good time going there.
"But the last three years at WWE, I just wasn't happy. It's not a knock on WWE, they have a culture there. That's how they run their business. Some people work jobs that they hate all the time. And it's just they come to an agreement that I'm just not happy here and some people are and some people are not. It just happened that this place isn't for me. I don't like how it functions. It doesn't meet my values."
-Apart from being creatively frustrated and not enjoying the work environment, Bennett also struggled personally during his time in WWE and was admitted to alcohol rehab. He was asked if it ever got to the point where he thought about just not showing up to work.
"No, it honestly didn't. I'm not that type of person. But it was very mind-boggling to me because I was like, 'I don't understand you.' I had been told straight up by people in the office that said Vince just doesn't see anything in you," revealed Bennett. "I said, 'Okay, that's fine. That's fair. That's it his company. But if he doesn't see anything in me, and he doesn't think he can make money off of me, then why am I still here? Why not let me go?' It just never logically made sense to me. If you think someone's a talent, and you think they're gonna make you money, and they want to go, you go, 'I don't want you going anywhere else, because I don't want you to make money because I want to make money off you.'
"But Vince, that he straight up told people, he didn't see anything in me. So, if that's the case, then what are you keeping me for? Vengeance and or spite? It never logically made sense to me. I had asked for my release a couple times privately and I was told no. The third time I said, 'I don't care anymore. I'll still show up to work but make it abundantly clear I don't want to be here anymore.' Because of the power of social media, I'm going to use it and until I made it public on Twitter, they sent me home after that, which is fine. I'd never not show up. I always showed up and did my job.
"Then after sitting at home for like four or five months, then they brought me back down to NXT. I still showed up and did that. At that point, I think I just kind of accepted it. I was like, 'Alright, if they're gonna have sour grapes and if it's just gonna be vengeful and spiteful, I'll just come and make the most of it for the next five years and, and then we'll see where it goes from there.' But in my head, I was never like, 'I'm not not going to show up' because my parents didn't raise me that way. It's not in my blood. I just couldn't do that. So, I would always show up. It wasn't a happy place for me to be."
*TJ WILSON CALLS BAYLEY THE MOST IMPROVED WRESTLER HE HAS EVER SEEN*
-WWE Producer TJ Wilson, a.k.a. Tyson Kidd, took to social media tonight to praise Bayley. TJ called the former SmackDown Women's Champion the most improved wrestler he has ever seen.
-He tweeted, "Mannnnnn, I have nothing but love in my heart when it comes to @itsBayleyWWE I've told her personally and I'll publicly say it-she's the most improved wrestler I've ever seen in front of my eyes. It's incredibly inspiring to see and highly contagious to be around."
-As noted, Bayley was recently a guest on Steve Austin's Broken Skull Session. She was also recently announced as part of the upcoming 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match at the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
*MIL MUERTES DEBUTS ON MLW FUSION THIS WEDNESDAY*
-No more teasers or hints—Mil Muertes is coming to MLW this Wednesday. MLW has confirmed Mil Muertes will make his highly anticipated debut this Wednesday, January 13 at 7pm ET on MLW’s flagship weekly series, FUSION, available on YouTube, Fubo Sports, DAZN, and the Roku Channel.
-MLW confirmed his appearance in the following announcement:
Serving as the executive producer of this coming week’s FUSION, Salina de la Renta has summoned the “Man of 1,000 Deaths” to compete in an open contract match. Who will be brave enough to square off against the luchador? Find out this Wednesday.
*STEVE AUSTIN ON CONVERSATIONS WITH BRODIE LEE DURING HIS WWE RUN*
-WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin recently spoke with Tony Maglio of The Wrap to promote "Straight Up Steve Austin" season two premiere on the USA Network.
-Austin was asked about the recent passing of Jon Huber, known to pro wrestling fans as Brodie Lee. The former Luke Harper passed away at the age of 41 on December 26, due to a non-COVID-19 lung issue. Austin recalled phone conversations he had while Lee was in WWE.
"I just absolutely couldn't believe it because the guy was a tremendous hand in the business, but he was a sweetheart of a guy," Austin said. "When he was in WWE, we would talk every now and then on the phone just about his character and what he was doing. And then we stopped talking and he kept going and he finally ended up in AEW. And I didn't know his real name from his WWE name. And I was like, 'Holy cow, this guy is so young.' And then I didn't know what had happened.
"There's just an absolute tragedy of a guy who everybody in the business absolutely loved and adored. That's the kind of guy he was. So really, really shocking to me."
-Austin also recalled a conversation he had about Huber's passing with a "very close friend" that "has done very well" in the pro wrestling business.
"I won't drop his name, but he goes, 'I've never seen anything like it. He wasn't necessarily in the main event in WWE, but that even speaks to who he was as a person because everybody gravitated towards him and it wasn't like they had to because he was a top guy," Austin said. "They gravitated toward him because he was a great guy, a really good wrestler, but a fantastic human being.'"
*DREW MCINTYRE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19*
-WWE has confirmed Drew McIntyre has tested positive for COVID-19; issuing the following statement:
Drew McIntyre has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed in quarantine.
-McIntyre was scheduled to appear on tonight’s new episode of RAW to face Randy Orton in a non-title match and respond to Goldberg’s challenge from last week. It is unclear how long McIntyre will remain in quarantine, while the match was not publicly confirmed, it has been speculated that McIntyre vs. Goldberg would be added to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view lineup. According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the decision to put the Goldberg in the Royal Rumble main event against WWE Champion Drew McIntyre came to fruition last Saturday.
*WWE HAD RENEE PAQUETTE TAKE DIALECT CLASSES TO DROP HER CANADIAN ACCENT*
-Renee Paquette hosted a Q&A session on this week’s episode of her Oral Sessions podcast and one exchange saw her reveal WWE had her take dialect classes when she first signed with them.
-According to Paquette, WWE wanted her to tone down her Canadian accent, which she says was faint, but they felt it was strong enough where she had to take classes in Manhattan each week to phase it out. Renee was asked by a fan about her Canadian accent and what one she would use if she could pick a different one, and prior to answering she gave some background about the classes she was taking.
“So I would just like to go on the record and say that I do not have a Canadian accent. I worked very hard to develop this ‘non-regional dialect’. When I first signed to WWE, they made me take classes to get rid of my Canadian accent, which I—honestly, I’m sure it was more than it is now but it was like very faint, if any. And I had to go into Manhattan once a week and sit with this woman and she would give me words that I’d have to read during the week to make sure I that didn’t like mispronounce vowels or some shit.”
-Answering the question, Renee said she’d probably have a Parisian accent, noting that there’s something sexy about the French dialect.
-Renee also went on to talk about having some in-ring training, but WWE never putting her in the ring because they valued her as an interviewer and host. As for that in-ring training? Renee says she once took a bump when she worked at The Score, and also did a successful hurricanrana, joking that she was on her way to being a Lucha star.
*KENNY OMEGA AND DON CALLIS CONFIRMED TO APPEAR ON IMPACT WRESTLING*
-The Cleaner is back IMPACT Wrestling confirmed AEW World Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega and Don Callis will once again appear on this week’s show on AXS. This week’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling not only kicks off Wrestle Week on AXS, but it’s also the first time Omega has appeared on TV since he and the Good Brothers “got the band back together” after reuniting with the Young Bucks on Dynamite.
-The following matches will also take place on this week’s show, the final show before the Hard To Kill pay-per-view.
Rich Swann vs. Karl Anderson Tenille Dashwood vs. Rosemary Kimber Lee vs. Taya Valkyrie Deaner vs. Tommy Deaner
*PAUL HEYMAN ON HIS POSSIBLE WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION*
-Paul Heyman has responded to a fan on Twitter who wrote that the mastermind behind ECW deserves to be "in every hall of fame" and is the G.O.A.T. on the microphone.
-While thanking the fan for his "kind and very accurate words," Heyman noted that his ongoing run with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will eventually be a "#HOF run" and that the duo is getting started on its journey together.
"While I appreciate your kind (and very accurate) words, the #HallOfFame can wait," wrote Heyman. "This tenure with @WWERomanReigns, all by itself, will be a #HOF run, and we're just getting started."
-Heyman serves as the "Special Counsel" to "The Tribal Chief" Roman Reigns on Friday Night SmackDown. They formed an on-screen alliance during the final episode of SmckDown in August. A few days later, Reigns captured the Universal Championship at WWE Payback.
11 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*11 January 2021
*WWE SMACKDOWN VIEWERSHIP ABOVE 2 MILLION FOR SECOND 2021 EPISODE*
-The latest batch of ratings are in for Friday Night SmackDown, and after a disappointing episode last week, this week’s broadcast bounced back, with over 2 million people tuning in to the show. Thanks to new information from Showbuzz Daily, we’re able to see that overnight viewership is up for the show compared to last week, with a 4.5% increase occurring from the last episode. After falling under two million viewers last week, last night’s episode saw 2.002 million people tune in, marking a nice increase from the downtime that popped up during the holidays.
-As far as demographics go, the 18-49 demographic once again showed up for SmackDown. This week’s 0.5 rating was the same as last week, but still good enough to put SmackDown 5th amongst the other networks for the week. In the 18-34 demographic, SmackDown posted a 0.3 rating, good for second amongst all networks, as the episode fell just behind ABC’s Shark Tank.
*JTG REVEALS REJECTED IDEA HE PITCHED WWE TO BE PAIRED WITH BOOKER T*
-JTG was a recent guest on SK Wrestling's Off the SKript, where he discussed his time in WWE.
-JTG's most popular run came with the late Shad Gaspard in the popular tag team, Cryme Tyme. The two quickly rose the ranks in WWE, and despite never winning gold in World Wrestling Entertainment, they did win over the hearts of the fans. When the duo eventually split, JTG revealed he had big plans for his singles run, and even pitched being paired with a WWE Hall of Famer.
"I pitched the muppet idea," JTG said. "I pitched the Rocky 5 idea. Was it Rocky 5? With Booker T, where he takes me under his wing because we had the same similar roots. You know, they were in a tag team, and now they single."
-At that point in JTG's WWE tenure, his career was somewhat following that of Booker T's in WCW. The former World Heavyweight Champion started his career with the popular Harlem Heat tag team, and eventually transitioned to a successful singles run. JTG says his idea was to be Booker's protégé of sorts, where the WWE Hall of Famer would help him follow the right steps to singles success.
"And you know, he takes me under his wing, and then he gets me to a certain caliber," JTG said. "And then I want to do it on my own, and then he'd be like, 'You've got to listen to me,' and I'll turn on him. I pitched that idea. That would have been amazing. I loved that idea. That's my favorite one."
*LANCE ARCHER COMMENTS ON SHOWING UP IN IMPACT WRESTLING*
-Lance Archer took to Twitter earlier this week, saying he may need to "take a trip to the IMPACT Wrestling locker room soon," hinting he may be after The Good Brothers, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, next. This came after Anderson tweeted out "#BeatUpJonMoxley" showing a clip of them helping AEW World Champion Kenny Omega attack Moxley on last Wednesday night's AEW Dynamite.
-Lance Archer also sent out a tweet to Anderson, saying The Good Brothers "won't do that s--- to me," implying that the IMPACT tag-team champions didn't have the guts to come after Archer.
-Lance Archer's last appearance was on AEW's Brodie Lee Memorial show when he teamed up with The Dark Order (Stu Grayson and Evil Uno) against Eddie Kingston with The Butcher & The Blade. The Dark Order and Archer won that match with Evil Uno landing Fatality on Blade for the victory. Jake Roberts, Archer's manager, hit a clothesline on Kingston after the match. However, with no current meaningful storylines going on for Archer and Roberts on AEW at the moment, them taking a trip to IMPACT Wrestling to go after The Good Brothers might be something interesting for fans to watch.
*RAVEN DISCUSSES WHY HE HAD HEAT WITH VINCE MCMAHON*
-Long before Raven became "Raven" with the jean shorts, flannel and leather jacket, he was known as Johnny Polo in WWF. The character was a spoiled, preppy kid and Raven mostly managed during this time, appearing in only a handful of matches.
-Going from Johnny Polo in WWF to Raven in ECW was a complete 180 and Raven talked about his early gimmick when he joined Scheduled for Two Falls.
"It's not what I wanted to do; it's not me. Shane McMahon should have been Johnny Polo," Raven said before being asked if his friendship with Shane at that time made Vince McMahon uncomfortable.
"Yeah that's true. Me and Shane used to be really tight but we drifted apart. He'd go out with me every night. Big heat with Linda and Vince. The boys thought I was kissing ass for my career but it actually killed my career, giving me heat."
-In the early 90s Raven worked for WCW under the name of Scotty Flamingo. There he won the Light Heavyweight Championship where he defeated Brian Pillman and the two had a friendship outside the ring as well. Raven talked about traveling with Pillman and how he'd prepare for his infamous promos.
"He was so funny. Him, me and [Steve] Austin used to ride together and we called ourselves the comedy trio," revealed Raven. "Pillman had the most amazing working vocabulary. He could pull words out of his ass. I knew what the word meant but couldn't use them in daily life.
"I'd be in front, Austin driving and Pillman lying in the back seat reading his vocabulary book. His level of diction was amazing and just added to his promos. He was so verbose, witty and clever."
-Raven has been very open about his drug addiction during his career in which he says he tried to emulate his character too much as life imitated art. Many years have passed since Raven's drug troubles but he revealed the after effects that he still lives with today.
"I still have constipation because of all the opiates I did," admitted Raven. "My system is still messed up. Constipation sucks. If I go four times a week it's a great week."
*JAY WHITE BEING ADVERTISED FOR NJPW EVENT IN MARCH*
-A twitter user has discovered that Jay White is still being advertised for future NJPW events despite saying that he was likely done with the company.
The post translates to: “Korakuen Hall entrance side announcement space is now the March launch anniversary version.” Jay White is being shown on one of the signs. Check out the tweet below.
後楽園ホールのエントランス横告知スペースが3月の旗揚げ記念日バージョンに。#旗揚げ記念日 #njpw #新日本プロレス pic.twitter.com/RB0FoMyYBa
— カクトウログ📶ﾌﾟﾛﾚｽ/格闘技 (@kakutolog) January 10, 2021
-It has been widely reported that WWE is heavily interested in White and is making a “strong play” to sign White. This news dropped after White “quit” NJPW after his defeat at the hands of Kota Ibushi at Day Two of Wrestle Kingdom 15 in their IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship match.
-Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer recently reported that Jay White told All Elite Wrestling in 2018 that he’d signed a seven-year deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling. That news has not been confirmed as of this writing but this advertisement NJPW posted shows that Jay White will still be making appearances come March.
*NEW DAY SET TO HONOR LUKE HARPER ON PODCAST TODAY*
-The tragic passing of Jon “Luke Harper” Huber on Dec. 26 shook the WWE Universe and the wrestling world to its core, leading to an outpouring of stories, memories and tributes celebrating the former Intercontinental Champion as a competitor, as a cherished friend and as family.
-On today’s special episode of The New Day’s podcast, The New Day: Feel the Power, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E invite special guests Cesaro, Tyler Breeze and Erick Rowan – Huber’s longtime tag team partner – for an in-depth conversation about their friend, whose legacy in the ring, in the locker room and beyond will live forever.
*TRACY WILLIAMS RE-SIGNS WITH RING OF HONOR*
-Ring of Honor continues to re-sign some of its top stars. Earlier this month, the company announced that it had reached new agreements with Mark Haskins, Bandido, and other stars. Now, “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams has joined that list, as Williams has officially re-signed with the company.
Ring of Honor is pleased to announce that “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams has re-signed with the company: https://t.co/59od9H9190@sauce_williams pic.twitter.com/Q7Fo95PK56
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 10, 2021
-Williams had a breakout performance in the Ring of Honor Pure Tournament. He reached the finals, but he lost to Jonathan Gresham. Then, Gresham, Williams, Jay Lethal and Rhett Titus united to form The Foundation. As a stable, this group is determined to bring the company back to its pure wrestling roots.
*GREG HAMILTON BLAMES POOR PERFORMANCE THIS WEEK ON FIANCE’S COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS*
-WWE SmackDown announcer Greg Hamilton was shaky on the show this week and many fans noticed something seemed off. Hamilton took to Twitter this weekend to clear up the confusion on his performance by revealing that his fiance tested positive for COVID-19, leaving him distracted throughout the show.
-Hamilton said, “Tonight was tough. My “fiancé” has COVID, I am “proposing” to her soon …but yes… I was not at my best tonight. I owe you all an apology. You expect the best from me; and I should deliver. Tonight; I didn’t. I’m sorry; she is my everything. She is sick. And I’m not there.”
-Hamilton followed up with an additional tweet later and said, “Thank you all for the love and support; totally unexpected. Finally home, and Ari is resting in quarantine. I shared your support and she was incredibly grateful.”
*ACE AUSTIN WINS THE 2021 SUPER X CUP TOURNAMENT*
-Ace Austin made a statement by winning the one-night Super X Cup Tournament at IMPACT Wrestling Genesis.
-Austin managed to outlast Blake Christian after a night of grueling action. Bother wrestlers had moments of brilliance during their third bout of the night, but it was the experience of Austin that proved the difference. Eventually, the former X Division champion hit The Fold to clinch the tournament win.
-Both wrestlers faced stern tests in the semifinals to make it to the final bout as Austin defeated Cousin Jake and Christian defeated Crazzy Steve. Earlier in the night during the quarterfinals, Austin defeated Suicide, Christian overcame KC Navarro, Cousin Jake outlasted Daivari, and Crazzy Steve beat Tre Lamar.
10 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*10 January 2021
*BRIAN JOHNSON SIGNS NEW CONTRACT WITH ROH*
-Brian Johnson has signed a new Ring of Honor contract. ROH announced today that "The Mecca" has officially re-signed with the company.
-Johnson was a member of the first class of the new ROH Dojo in 2018, and competed in the 2019 Top Prospect Tournament but lost in the first round to Austin Gunn. He made his Final Battle debut last month, losing to Danhausen by DQ.
-Johnson responded to ROH's Twitter announcement today and wrote, "Resigned me but yet to update the photo. Also whoever wrote this hot garbage should be fired. Well, I'm here to stay @ringofhonor. This Meccade is just getting started and so am I. You ain't seen nothing yet. #MeccavsEverybody"
-Johnson re-signing with ROH comes in the same week that the company re-signed Bateman, re-signed Amy Rose, signed World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Bandido to a new deal, re-signed Mark Haskins , and parted ways with Marty Scurll.
*VINCE MCMAHON COUNTERSUES FORMER XFL COMMISSIONER OLIVER LUCK*
-Vince McMahon is fighting back. USA Today reports McMahon has countersued former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck for $572,792 in Connecticut federal court. The suit, filed on Thursday, claims Luck ignored McMahon’s orders in relations to league personnel decisions and that Luck basically ignored his duties once the pandemic forced the league to freeze operations in March 2020.
-Luck had already been attempting to sue McMahon for breach of contract after he’d been fired; Luck is seeking the remaining $23.8 million he is owed as outlined in his contract, in addition to other damages and attorney fees.
-According to McMahon’s suit, one player that Luck ignored his direction on was former NFL wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who signed with the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers. McMahon maintained that the league hired “quality football players with good character” and Luck ignored the fact that Callway was kicked out of the NFL due to a substance abuse violation and had a prior suspension due to credit card fraud. Callaway was still put on the Tampa Bay roster, and although he got injured and never played a game, he was still owed his $120,000 signing bonus in addition to worker’s compensation.
-The amount McMahon is suing for would cover Callaway’s contract and worker’s compensation in addition to Luck’s compensation from March 14th through April 9th. The specific dates outlined are those that McMahon said Luck went home to Indiana instead of staying in Connecticut to manage league business. Other notable claims in the suit saw McMahon name three other players exhibiting poor character, including former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who had been suspended for the 2016 NFL season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, and an anonymous player who had been banned from the university where his XFL team was practicing due to a past sexual assault charge. The third player named was former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, whose off-field issues apparently caused a rift and led to McMahon texting Luck that “there is NO CHANCE IN HELL for Manziel to play for us.”
-Luck claimed Manziel’s signing was an attempt at headlines; his attorneys issued a statement to The Athletic claiming McMahon’s suit was just a way to deflect attention away from Luck seeking the money he was owed.
-McMahon eventually filed for bankruptcy and sold the league to an ownership group led by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia. The league plans to relaunch in 2022.
*WWE INDIA ANNOUNCES "SUPERSTAR SPECTACLE"*
-Back in October, WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan revealed during an earnings call WWE is teaming with their TV partner in India, Sony, for a 2021 event that will focus on developing new Superstars from India.
-"To realize greater economics from WWE's international markets, we remain focused on developing localized content, which utilizes local talent and is produced in local language," Khan said. "We're excited to now be working with our content partner in India, Sony, on a 2021 event that will primarily feature our developing Indian superstars. That event will air in India on the Sony platforms and will also be distributed domestically in the United States. We believe partnerships like this are the best way to build engagement and to maximize the value of content for our international distribution partners and our fans."
-It looks like that series potentially now has a name as WWE India announced earlier today WWE Superstar Spectacle is coming soon.
-It was reported late last month, filming was expected to begin on Friday, January 22. One source close to the situation indicated that it could begin with a one or two-night event to kick things off. This would be similar to the model for NXT UK, which began with a two-night tournament in January 2017, before the weekly series was rolled out.
-Still no word on talent that will be used, although it was reported Jinder Mahal, The Bollywod Boyz, Indus Sher, Kavita Devi, and Jeet Rama could be involved. Depending on the current pandemic, a WWE Performance Center in India was also reportedly in play, and could be active by 2022.
*MARIA KANELLIS CALLS PAUL HEYMAN A TEACHER AND MENTOR*
-Maria Kanellis was a recent guest on the ROHStrong podcast and shared her thoughts on Paul Heyman during a word association portion of the show. Maria credits Heyman for making her believe in herself as a writer and said that she thinks his legacy should be celebrated and recognized more than it has been lately.
“Teacher. He was my mentor for a very long time. He’s the person that made me believe that I could write because he believed in me at the time. In recent years, I feel like his legacy hasn’t been upheld as much as it should be because of whatever WWE is doing. Who knows. The idea he had for Mike and I was great. It could have been amazing but unfortunately along the way, things get watered down and muddy. And so I would say [he’s a] mentor, an educator and he’s my friend,” Kanellis said. “I text him randomly and ask him, hey ‘What about this person? What do you think? How can I make this better?’ He is one person that I know if I text him, I will hear back from him within a day.”
-Host Kevin Eck went on to note that Paul is a polarizing guy and he knew him a bit from working together, he knows Paul will always make time for him and can’t say enough good things about him.
“I think one of the tough things is it’s like, you don’t know all—yes, people can be polarizing but you don’t know what the whole story is. I only know what happened to me,” Kanellis said. “I know what Paul told me, I know what was actually thrown at me at the last minute as I’m walking out to the ring. So I don’t know [everything].”
-Eck, a former WWE writer himself, brought up the nerve-wracking experience of going up to talent with a script change just a few minutes before they were set to go out to the ring.
“So, one of the craziest experiences I ever had, it wasn’t a promo. I had promos where I was learning my lines as I’m going down to the ring and saying them in my head, like ‘ok, they just told me to say this, don’t say that word, Vince hates that word today.’ Like, whatever. But, this was a match. I get in the ring and Beth [Phoenix] was like, ‘we have 2 minutes.’ It was supposed to be a match where I was showing something,” Kanellis explained. “I was supposed to have a little bit more fire, and I’m like, ‘Alright—what are we doing?’ Beth is piecing this sucker together as we are locking up. So you just—again, who knows with all the stories floating around about Heyman. I know what I know about me and that’s what I’m going to go off of.”
*SONYA DEVILLE EXPLAINS WHY SHE'S PURSUING AN AUTHORITATIVE ROLE SINCE HER RETURN TO WWE*
-After stepping away from WWE for five months, Sonya Deville made her grand return back last week on Friday Night SmackDown to help elevate not only the blue brand but to reposition herself as the leader both in the ring and backstage. This week, Deville came on Talking Smack to discuss her return and what goals she'd like to achieve this year.
"It's never felt better. It felt like it was never going to happen," Deville replied when asked how it feels to be back on SmackDown. "You know what? 2021 is going to be the year of Sonya Deville, but also the year of SmackDown. I'm excited about so many things to come for the show. And I'm excited to show you guys."
-As seen by the WWE Universe, it looks like Deville is shifting focus towards pursuing an authoritative role backstage than going back to being just an in-ring competitor. She explains the sudden change to Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman.
"Yeah. I mean, anyone who knows me knows that is a natural fit for my personality," she stated. "I think it's a great kind of duo with [Adam] Pearce right now. I want to make SmackDown a good place to be and a good place to work. I want the women to get opportunities. I have a lot of things in store, and I think it's going to be positive and moving in an upward direction."
*SUMIE SAKAI RE-SIGNS WITH RING OF HONOR*
-Sumie Sakai has re-signed with Ring of Honor after first making appearances for the company back in 2002. Sakai was the inaugural ROH Women of Honor Champion (now renamed the ROH Women's World Championship) by defeating Kelly Klein in the finals in April of 2018. Sakai's most recent match with the promotion was last February in a loss to Session Moth Martina.
-Sakai joins a string of wrestlers who have stayed with Ring of Honor including: Bandido, Amy Rose, Bateman, and Brian Johnson.
-Below is ROH's full announcement:
Ring of Honor is pleased to announce that Sumie Sakai has re-signed with the company.Sakai has been synonymous with women's wrestling in ROH since the company's inception. She was victorious in the first women's match in ROH in 2002 and went on to become the inaugural women's world champion in 2018, holding the title for a record 251 days. In addition to her accomplishments in ROH, Sakai also has won championships in Japan and earned a third degree black belt in judo along with a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Daniel Gracie.
-Sakai, who was trained by the legendary Lioness Asuka and Jaguar Yokota, is also a head trainer at the Worldwide Wrestling Dojo in Bristol, Pa.
*NEWS ON WHAT JAY WHITE TOLD AEW REGARDING HIS NJPW CONTRACT STATUS*
-It was reported that WWE were making "a strong play" at NJPW star Jay White and that White had many people supporting him within WWE. These reports came after White had "quit" following his loss against Kota Ibushi at day two of Wrestle Kingdom 15 for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles.
-On the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer gave more context to White's status with NJPW. He first prefaced that he had not spoken with anyone in NJPW nor has he spoken with White yet.
-However, Meltzer said that as AEW was starting up in late 2018, they had contacted White to sign with them. The EVPs of AEW are former Bullet Club members, so they have had a close look at White's talents.
-At that time, White told AEW that he had signed a seven-year contract. It is unknown whether this was true or whether White is still under this original deal.
*APOLLO CREWS TALKS WANTING TO IMPROVE HIS WWE PROMOS*
-Apollo Crews spoke with Matthew Aguilar of ComicBook.com about wanting to focus on his promo work in 2021.
-In the ring, Crews is able to put on a fantastic match with just about anyone in the business, but when it comes talking on the mic — that's an area the WWE Superstar is looking to improve on in the new year.
"I feel like with the promos and stuff like that, that is something that I've been working on very hard. I want to be more entertaining," Crews said. "I don't want to just be this guy who comes in the ring with some nice pair of tights and does some cool moves. You know what I mean? I feel like that entertainment part is a huge part of this business and it's a huge part of having people, fans. Or, it helps with fans being able to relate to you.
"That's what people really gravitate towards, is when they see who you are as a character. So I feel like that's something that is very important for me to work on and for me to build a bigger fan base and for people to want to see me do better. That character work is so, so important, and that's something that I've been actually focusing on a lot. That's one thing that I'd love to be able to show more in 2021, is that side.
"That's one of the things that I realized later where at first it was like, 'Okay, I need to be disciplined in the ring. It's in the ring, in the ring, in the ring.' And then I realized, 'Okay, that is not something that I should worry about too much. I need to worry about this other part of it, the entertainment part and show people who I am as a character. So that to me is important this year, to be able to get out there."
*DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE REACT TO WINNING WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES*
-This week, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode gained a triumphant victory when they defeated The Street Profits for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Although most fans were certain that The Street Profits would retain, it came as a shock to even the host of Talking Smack, Kayla Braxton, who had the original tag champions scheduled to come on this week's show.
-In their interview, Ziggler recognized that WWE officials and fans can't wrap their heads around him and Roode's successful conquest; however, he isn't too worried about what others think.
"Clearly, this company isn't behind us," Ziggler noted on their big win this week. "So, clearly, we have to make our own opportunities. I feel like the two of us have done that quite well over the years."
-As Braxton and co-host Paul Heyman bickered amongst themselves, Ziggler took the opportunity to ask his partner how he felt after being handed their newly won titles.
"It's such a fulfilling feeling," Roode replied. "To set out a goal, and to accomplish that goal in the way that we did it, I love it! I love how a plan comes together. And let's not forget that The Street Profits were handed over these titles. They didn't even beat a team to win these titles."
9 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING NEWS**Daily News by Amo*09 January 2021
*BRIAN MYERS SIGNS NEW CONTRACT WITH IMPACT*
-Brian Myers is in the middle of a run in IMPACT now, and he’s not going to stop any time soon. The former WWE star has signed a new deal with his current employer that should see him stay in the company for quite some time.
-Myers tweeted out the contract earlier today, reaffirming that he’s in the prime of his career and that he’s The Most Professional Wrestler:
Thanks for the money Eddie. You just made the best decision of your life. You now have a workhorse in the prime of his career with a massive chip on his shoulder signed to your roster. The Most Professional Wrestler. @IMPACTWRESTLING is now mine. #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/FaME7oBpNY
— Brian Myers (@Myers_Wrestling) January 8, 2021
-While most known for his run as Curt Hawkins in WWE, Myers is technically a veteran of TNA as well. He held the organization’s tag team championships in 2015 amidst the company’s flirtation with Global Force Wrestling. He has been in IMPACT this go-round since August, most recently feuding with Tommy Dreamer and Swoggle in a series of sometimes humorous segments.
*WWE NXT DUSTY RHODES CLASSIC TAG TEAMS FINALIZED*
-Earlier this week we reported on the first 10 tag teams to be confirmed for the tournament. WWE finally announced the final 2 teams - The Bollywood Boyz, plus Leon Ruff and Kushida. The full line-up of participating teams now looks like this:
• Jake Atlas and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott
• The Way (Austin Theory, NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano)
• The Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake, Zack Gibson)
• Ever-Rise (Chase Parker, Matt Martel)
• The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong)
• Breezango (Fandango, Tyler Breeze)
• Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza)
• Imperium (Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner)
• Drake Maverick and Killian Dain
• Curt Stallion and August Grey
• Kushida and Leon Ruff
• The Bollywood Boyz (Samir Singh, Sunil Singh)
-The winners of the tournament will receive a future title shot from NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. The tournament will begin next Wednesday night with two first round matches - The Undisputed Era vs. Breezango, and The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Ever-Rise.
*STEVE AUSTIN CONFIRMS THAT HIS IN-RING CAREER IS OVER*
-WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin recently spoke with Ryan Satin of FOX Sports and confirmed that his in-ring career is over as he has no desire to wrestle again.
-Stone Cold has not wrestled since retiring in 2003, and now Austin says he doesn't want to do anything else in the ring. He made the comments when asked if he enjoys having his "Broken Skull Sessions" show on the WWE Network as a way to keep him connected to the current roster.
-"Man, 100 percent," Austin said. "'Cause, you know, I'm still the biggest fan of the business that I was when I was seven years old changing the channels and stumbled across it; and then got the chance to learn it and have a pretty good run. So, I don't want to do nothing else in the ring. I'm done. I've retired. Everybody knows that.
"I don't need to go out there and drop anybody on a stack of dimes and give them stunners. Once in a year, once every two years, whatever. So, yes. This connection makes sense. I paved the way that I did and I had the career that I had, but I still watch all these people that have come on the show. So, the fact that I can still have kind of a hand in the wrestling business and my finger on the pulse, yes, that's the relationship that I want and that I cherish."
-During the interview, Austin was asked his thoughts on WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and his heel turn, and the work he's been doing with Paul Heyman.
"I like it because it seems like Paul helps anchor him. [Roman]'s always been really good. He can work his ass off," Austin said. "They needed to turn him heel way back in the day. But, they never would pull the trigger. Vince, you know. He's the guy. He's a good looking guy. Body. He can work. Vince never wanted to pull the trigger.
"But, people wanted that heel run out of him, you know? So, now I think with Paul E, I think it stabilizes him and gives him an anchor. I like everything that he's doing now. A lot. It all makes sense and it's working."
*SPORTS ILLUSTRATED NAMES TOP 10 WRESTLERS Of 2020*
-Sports Illustrated has named WWE SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks as their 2020 Wrestler of the Year.
-SI released their list of Top 10 Wrestlers of the Year for 2020 this week and The Boss came in at #1.
"Sasha Banks emerged as the defining star of 2020 in professional wrestling. In a year where shows felt disjointed without a crowd, the antidote was turning on WWE programming to watch Banks excel at her craft," they wrote on Banks.
-The full list includes wrestlers from WWE NXT, RAW, SmackDown, AEW, and NJPW.
The following wrestlers were honored:
1. Eddie Kingston 2. Roman Reigns (current WWE Universal Champion) 3. Kota Ibushi (current IWGP Heavyweight Champion and IWGP Intercontinental Champion) 4. Io Shirai (current NXT Women's Champion) 5. Bayley 6. Kenny Omega (current AEW World Champion) 7. Tetsuya Naito 8. Drew McIntyre (current WWE Champion) 9. Jon Moxley 10. Sasha Banks (current SmackDown Women's Champion)
*AEW DELAYS BRITT BAKER VS. THUNDER ROSA DUE TO COVID-19 CONCERNS*
-Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa was pulled from next week's New Year's Smash Night 2 edition of AEW Dynamite due to COVID-19 concerns.
-AEW had previously announced Baker vs. Rosa for next week, but the match was pulled due to Rosa being exposed to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
-Baker vs. Rosa will still take place at a later date when Rosa is allowed to return to action.
-Next week's Dynamite will feature Baker hosting her "Waiting Room" segment instead. Cody Rhodes will be the special guest. The decision was also made to add Tay Conti vs. NWA Women's World Champion Serena Deeb to Wednesday's line-up.
*WWE REPORTEDLY MAKING "A STRONG PLAY" AT JAY WHITE*
-Following his defeat to Kota Ibushi at the main event of day two of Wrestle Kingdom 15 for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles, Jay White said in the post-match press conference that he simply was done with pro wrestling and just wanted to go home after the sacrifices he made.
-Many believed this to be an angle. However, the Super J-Cast is reporting that their sources of told them that there is doubt whether White would extend his NJPW contract and that WWE are making "a strong play for him." They also reported that it is currently "50/50" as to whether he stays or leaves NJPW.
-"Several sources have indicated there is some doubt whether Jay White will extend his NJPW contract, rumoured to be up at the end of the month," Super J-Cast wrote. "WWE are believed to be making a strong play for him and it's 50/50 whether he stays or goes."
-White has some connections in WWE as Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura were part of a group that recruited him to NJPW. White has stated in the past that signing with WWE was not on his radar.
*MORE DETAILS ON BRODIE LEE'S CONDITION BEFORE HIS PASSING*
-The late Brodie Lee would have needed a lung transplant to overcome his lung condition, reported Dave Meltzer in the latest issue of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
-Lee never got healthy enough after getting sick to qualify for the operation. Jim Ross noted on the Grilling JR podcast that Lee had double lung failure, and that he heard that Lee couldn't qualify for a transplant. If Lee were able to get the transplant, The Observer noted that he would need to get on a list for the transplant, qualify, and then get a donor with the lungs needed for a man his size, which would have been a challenge with him being 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds. If he got the transplant, he would have then had to have lived his life "heavily immunocompromised and take a lot of anti-rejection drugs".
-The Observer noted that Huber was first hospitalized in Tampa when his lungs stopped working. The reason that they stopped working still isn't fully known.
-AEW Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh made phone calls to get Lee transferred from the hospital to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville on Saturday, October 31st.
"On Saturday October 31st Megha made phone calls and made the transfer happen," Lee's wife, Amanda Huber, wrote on Instagram. "I thought my whole world was collapsing around me and she held up the walls. I had never met her or even heard of her up to that point. She helped in any way⁷ possible.
-"She was the first person I broke down in front of when all of this happened. I'm not a big cryer, it's just never been who I am. Something about Megha makes me feel safe. It was a simple hug and I lost it. It's been a running joke that she's an emotional weighted blanket.
"I spent Thanksgiving with her, so I didn't have to have dinner alone in my hotel. We sat on the beach and talked about things that weren't my sick husband. We ate sushi for dinner and I cried some more."
-Amanda added that Lee's transfer from the hospital to the Mayo Clinic was the reason that they had "a fighting chance".
-Before he got sick, Lee was tested at every AEW show he was at. Lee was also tested more than a dozen times for COVID-19 at the Mayo Clinic, with every test coming up negative. Lee was also tested for antibodies to check if he might have had it in the past.
-Amanda informed the company on November 7th about Lee's condition and asked everyone to keep it quiet. Lee did not want the information out and Amanda said she didn't want rumors to spread. People in AEW knew for two straight months that the end result was likely inevitable.
-Ross said that the story he heard is that Lee was eventually taken off his machine at the Mayo Clinic to see if he "could kick out himself", as that was his only remaining chance. Lee passed away on December 26th, ten days after his 41st birthday.
*NEW JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING TO NOW BROADCAST IN INDIA VIA NEW TV DEAL*
-New Japan Pro-Wrestling will now be available to wrestling fans in India as the company as inked a deal with Eurosport. All in India can watch the in-ring action beginning at 6:00 PM IST tomorrow evening. Countries that will also have access to NJPW via this deal are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan and Bhutan. NJPW announced the following on their website:
Mumbai, January 07, 2021: Eurosport and Eurosport HD India, the premium sports channels from the house of Discovery, are all set to captivate the Indian pro-wrestling fans with high octane action from Japan’s No.1 and World’s second largest pro-wrestling property – New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) with the dawn of the New Year. The addition of NJPW expands Eurosport’s portfolio of Pro-Wrestling offerings with the exclusive India broadcast slated to begin from January 09, 2021 from 6 PM IST with weekly episodes to be telecast every Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 PM IST onward.
-Eurosport’s partnership with the 48-year-old pro-wrestling franchise for 2020-21 will include broadcast of all the marquee fixtures of the NJPW calendar for the year; namely Wrestle Kingdom, New Japan Cup, Best of Super Juniors and G1 Climax.
-President and Representative Director, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Takami Ohbari said, “New Japan Pro-Wrestling is very excited to partner with the best sporting network in the world to reach out to the Indian audience. India’s passion for professional wrestling is a known fact and with Eurosport we surely make the perfect tag-team to provide some of the best action from the world of pro-wrestling and fuel the desire of the Indian fans.”
-Eurosport India, and with it New Japan Pro-Wrestling broadcasts across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan and Bhutan.
8 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*08 January 2021
*NEW CHAMPION CROWNED AT MLW'S "KINGS OF COLOSSEUM" EVENT*
-Lio Rush is now the new MLW World Middleweight Champion on MLW's Kings of Colosseum. This will be his first reign with the championship.
-Rush won the match after he escaped Reed's No Cap Splash. Then, Rush connected a low basement cutter off the bottom rope before crashing onto Reed with his Final Hour finisher off the top rope.
-Before losing his title, Myron Reed won the title from Teddy Hart at Blood and Thunder in 2019. He was the company's longest-reigning champion in history, with a total of 424 days as champion.
*RHEA RIPLEY REPORTEDLY GETTING CALLED UP TO WWE'S MAIN ROSTER*
-WWE NXT Superstar Rhea Ripley is reportedly headed to the main roster soon. It's believed that Ripley's Last Woman Standing match loss to Raquel Gonzalez at last night's NXT New Year's Evil special was planned to be her final appearance for the brand, according to PWInsider.
-Ripley made some main roster appearances around WrestleMania 36 time last year, and lost the NXT Women's Title to current WWE Women's Tag Team Charlotte Flair at the pay-per-view, and has been rumored for a call-up at times since then. There is no word on when she will be headed to RAW or SmackDown for a permanent call-up, but last night's loss to Gonzalez was booked with the idea that it would be the end of the NXT chapter of her career.
*BACKSTAGE UPDATE ON TIMOTHY THATCHER'S STATUS AND PLANS FOR THE WWE'S NXT FIGHT PIT*
-WWE NXT Superstar Timothy Thatcher is reportedly not suffering from a legitimate injury.
-As noted, it was announced on Wednesday that Fight Pit II between Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa was pulled from the NXT New Year's Evil special due to a minor injury that Thatcher suffered during training. NXT General Manager William Regal added that Thatcher will undergo some rehab and return shortly, and then he and Ciampa will settle their differences. In an update, PWInsider reports that the announced injury to Thatcher is just for the storylines. He is not actually injured.
-The Fight Pit bout is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, but the make-up date has not been decided on.
*WWE NOT PLANNING TO HAVE FANS FOR ROYAL RUMBLE PPV*
-WWE is reportedly not planning on allowing fans at the 2021 Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
-WWE previously announced that Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg would be a closed-set for RAW, SmackDown and pay-per-view events, but there's still been a lot of speculation on WWE possibly having fans in the stadium for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view as this has been a main goal for the company.
-In an update, local Florida reporter Jon Alba adds that as of today, WWE does not have plans to include fans in attendance at The Rumble, according to multiple sources. It was also noted that plans are subject to change, but it looks like there will only be virtual fans in the ThunderDome crowd at The Rumble.
*BATEMAN AND AMY ROSE RE-SIGN WITH RING OF HONOR*
-Ring of Honor continues to re-sign some of its top talent. Earlier this month, the company announced that it had reached new agreements with Mark Haskins and Bandido. This week, Ring of Honor added Amy Rose and Bateman to that growing list.
-Bateman has been featured in Righteous, a tag team with Vincent, during his time with the company. The Righteous lost a highly-anticipated tag team match against The Original Kingdom at Ring of Honor Final Battle.
-On the other hand, Rose has been Kenny King’s manager for several months. She is also the manager for La Faccion Ingobernable, a stable that includes Ring of Honor World Champion RUSH.
*NEW TEAMS REVEALED FOR THE 2021 WWE NXT MEN'S DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC*
-Two new tag teams for the 2021 WWE NXT Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic have been revealed. There are now 10 teams confirmed for the tournament.
-Isaiah "Swerve" Scott approached Jake Atlas and asked him to be his partner for the tournament. Atlas agreed after Scott promised there would be no shortcuts. Atlas and Scott have been feuding for the past several weeks and each Superstar has a singles win over the other going into the tournament.
-It was also announced on last night's NXT New Year's Evil show that The Way will be in the tournament, represented by Austin Theory and NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano.
-On a related note, it's now been confirmed that the Dusty Classic winners will receive a title shot from NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch at a later date.
-Next Wednesday's NXT show will feature the first two matches in the opening round of the 2021 Dusty Classic - The Grizzled Young Vets vs. Ever-Rise, and The Undisputed Era vs. Breezango.
-There's no word on other teams being announced for the tournament, but the full brackets will be released soon. The first two Dusty Classic tournaments featured 16 tag teams, while the rest have had 8 teams. The following 10 teams are now official for this tournament:
• Jake Atlas and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott
• The Way (Austin Theory, NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano)
• The Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake, Zack Gibson)
• Ever-Rise (Chase Parker, Matt Martel)
• The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong)
• Breezango (Fandango, Tyler Breeze)
• Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza)
• Imperium (Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner)
• Drake Maverick and Killian Dain
• Curt Stallion and August Grey
*BACKSTAGE NEWS ON WHY NXT STAR'S WWE SMACKDOWN DEBUT WAS NIXED*
-As previously reported, WWE NXT Superstar Damian Priest was scheduled to be called up to the SmackDown roster last Friday. Priest was reportedly being called up for a main event segment with Kevin Owens, Jey Uso and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. In an update, Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that Priest was scheduled to be called up to work with Owens, Reigns and Uso on SmackDown, but the angle was nixed at the last minute.
-The story is that someone decided that they need new babyface Superstars on the blue brand, and when asked who from NXT could fill that role, Priest was brought up and decided on for the call-up. Creative reportedly came up with a storyline where Priest was supposed to come to SmackDown as Owens' best friend, to assist him in the feud with Reigns and Uso. They were actually booked to work a tag team main event match on last Friday's show.
-Priest was at SmackDown and ready to go, but Owens spoke up and essentially said it made no sense for Priest to be his best friend. Owens reportedly mentioned how they have nothing in common, and how they could still do the angle, but there wasn't much logic in Priest being introduced as his best friend. Reigns then reportedly spoke up and agreed, and since it was someone with pull like Reigns, the idea was nixed. There is no word yet on how Paul Heyman felt about the storyline, but Reigns ended up getting it nixed.
-Priest was ready to be called up last Friday but the angle was booked just the day before on Thursday, then they decided against it. The call-up actually would've went against the most recent policy, which says no one is to be called up from NXT unless it's been booked months in advance, that way they can finish other storylines and tie up loose ends.
-While the details surrounding Priest's move to the main roster are up in the air, it has been confirmed that he is scheduled for a spot on RAW or SmackDown in the near future.
*WWE ANNOUNCES POTENTIAL INJURIES TO FINN BALOR AND KYLE O'REILLY AFTER NEW YEAR'S EVIL MAIN EVENT*
-WWE NXT New Year's Evil main event saw Finn Balor defeat Kyle O'Reilly to retain the NXT Title. The brutal match went just over 17 minutes, with no commercial breaks, and saw Balor get busted open and bleed from his head towards the end. Balor worked on O'Reilly's jaw for most of the match, while O'Reilly worked on his arm. Medics also checked on O'Reilly during and after the match.
-WWE announced that both competitors were taken to a local hospital after New Year's Evil went off the air. It was noted that O'Reilly is getting x-rays of his jaw, while Balor is getting his arm checked out.
"BREAKING: After that grueling main event, both @FinnBalor & @KORcombat are on their way to the hospital. Kyle is getting his jaw x-rayed and Finn is getting his arm checked out. #NXTNYE," WWE announced. Balor seemed fine after the match while O'Reilly sold the jaw injury.
*WWE NXT WOMEN'S DUSTY RHODES CLASSIC ANNOUNCED*
- The first-ever WWE NXT Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament is set to take place soon.
-NXT General Manager William Regal appeared in a backstage segment during New Year's Evil show and announced that the women's tournament will happen soon. No other details were announced.
*FIT FINLAY REFLECTS ON HOW HE ‘SPARKED THE FLAME’ For The WOMEN'S EVOLUTION*
- WWE producer Fit Finlay recently appeared on Sitting Ringside with David Penzer. The former “Fighting Irishman” looked back on his career, both as a wrestler and as an agent. He’s known for his role as a leading producer in the WWE women’s division. In the interview, Finlay described his lengthy run in this role.
-“I was there when I had to work with them doing Bra and Manties matches and Lingerie matches and pillow fights and Thanksgiving Dinner Matches, I mean, musical chairs, the whole thing,” said Finlay. “So this really is not in my wheelhouse, you know, it’s not who I am. So I did it, and I tried my best at it, and you know, the girls were doing good but you know, I was getting embarrassed telling these girls how to strip each other off while doing a sunset flip or whatever it may be.
-“So eventually I got the girls [together] and sat most of them down and said, ‘Hey, I don’t know how you feel about this, but let me tell you how I feel about it.’ So I told them that I was embarrassed about, not the job, but about how [telling] a girl how to take her clothes off in a wrestling match. It was a little bit degrading to them, I thought. And we all agreed and hugged and high-fived and stuff and made a plan to go, and I’m gonna teach you how to wrestle. And that’s what we did.
-“And I got my wrist slapped, and I got told, ‘This is not what we want, we don’t want girls wrestling like guys. We want them pulling hair, and having cat fights, and screaming and yelling and wardrobe malfunctions.’ So I would back off a bit for a week or two, and then go right back to wrestling, and stubbornly, I just kept plugging on and teaching them how to wrestle. And I would have the girls come to the ring and they’d be there four or five hours a day, trying to get this going and, eventually it went more to wrestling than it did gimmick matches.”
-Eventually, the Women’s Evolution changed the game for women’s wrestling in WWE. Finlay reflected on this growth and said he may have played a role in it. “I sort of sparked the flame, I guess,” said Finlay.
*BULLET CLUB REUNION ON AEW DYNAMITE: NEW YEAR'S SMASH*
-AEW World Champion Kenny Omega retained his title against Rey Fenix in the main event of Dynamite: New Year's Smash(Night 1).
-Afterwards, Omega looked to continue his attack on Fenix, but was momentarily stopped by Jon Moxley. Impact World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers then made a surprise appearance by taking out Moxley.
-As noted, Omega has been working with Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows over on Impact Wrestling. The trio is set to face Impact World Champion Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns at Impact Hard to Kill on January 21.
-During the brawl, wrestlers at ringside attempted to fight off the invading duo, but were kept at bay. Eventually, The Young Bucks came to the ring to question what Omega was doing. The Varsity Blondes momentarily held Omega up against the ropes, but were superkicked away by Matt and Nick Jackson. The show closed with Omega putting up the "Too Sweet" hand signal, joined first by The Good Brothers, and then by The Young Bucks, cementing their heel turn.
-It has been announced that The Elite would be in action on next week's dynamite.
7 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*07 January 2021
*EXCLUSIVE NEWS ON CARLITO NOT APPEARING ON RAW LEGENDS NIGHT*
-Despite being advertised for WWE RAW Legends Night, former WWE Superstar Carlito was nowhere to be seen on the show last night. Many fans on social media vented their frustrations regarding the false advertising of the former Intercontinental Champion. Carlito himself tweeted out a gif today seemingly shrugging off the news, further stoking fans' interest.
-Carlito was never officially booked for the show at all. WWE sent feelers out to a variety of talents, including Carlito, and someone internally in WWE apparently simply jumped the gun announcing his appearance. This was not an issue of travel problems or him being held up due to COVID-19 precautions. We're told there is no bad blood over the errant announcement since it appears to have just been a communication error.
-Carlito's appearance on RAW would have been his first RAW appearance in over ten years. His last appearance for WWE was as part of Edge & Christian's Show That Totally Reeks Of Awesomeness on the WWE Network back in 2016.
*KOTA IBUSHI WANTS TO UNIFY THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT & INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP*
-Kota Ibushi won and defended both the IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 15. Now the current New Japan Pro-Wrestling titleholder has plans to unify the two belts.
-“This IWGP Intercontinental title is the greatest belt there is,” said Ibushi. “This IWGP Heavyweight title is the strongest belt there is. I want to unify these titles. I want it to be both the greatest and the strongest. Nobody has challenged for just one of these titles. Then, what does a double championship mean? I want to unify them. Then I will make my ultimate dreams come true. Pro-wrestling is only going up from here. In order to do more, I want to unify them. The longest defense record is 13, right? 12? Then I’ll have to reach 13. But that’s not the end.”
*BACKSTAGE UPDATE ON MICKIE JAMES' WWE STATUS*
-Mickie James is still considered to be an active WWE RAW Superstar, despite previous reports. There have been rumors this week that said James may have been quietly retired following her appearance at RAW Legends Night on Monday, and that she was removed from the active roster on the WWE website, despite still being included on the main roster. Those reports are not true, according to Gary Cassidy of Inside The Ropes.
-It was noted that James is still an active performer in WWE, and has been cleared to wrestle following the broken nose she suffered back in October. James was never drafted in the 2020 WWE Draft last October, but is still a member of the RAW roster. The same went for Andrade, who is also out of action recovering from a minor procedure. It's interesting to note that Mickie was recently listed as a SmackDown Superstar on the FOX Sports tier list.
-Mickie has not wrestled since losing a #1 contender's match to Zelina Vega on the September 21 RAW episode. She appeared on this week's Legends Night edition of RAW for a brief backstage segment with Angel Garza, Tatanka and WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter, but did not wrestle.
*FOUR MORE MATCHES ARE ADDED TO Impact's "HARD TO KILL" EVENT*
-The final match of the Knockouts Tag Team Title Tournament is set as Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz will take on Havok and Nevaeh for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship at Hard To Kill next Saturday.
-This week on Impact, Havok picked up the victory over Jazz and Jordynne Grace with a tombstone piledriver on Jazz. Three weeks ago, Hogan and Steelz secured their contendership with a superkick/swinging neckbreaker combination on Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary. The winner will be officially crowned next Saturday with the revived championships.
-After their match ended in a deadly fashion this week, Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards will continue their storied feud at Hard To Kill with a "Barbed Wire Massacre" match. This stipulation came to be after Eddie found his wife, Alisha, trapped on the dock, courtesy of Callihan's mind games on the former World Champion. When Eddie came to rescue her, Ken Shamrock and Callihan attacked Edwards from behind and tied him up with barbed wire. Callihan then hit Edwards in the face with his baseball bat, causing him to blackout. Now, these two can finally settle the score on their four-year rivalry.
-Also added to the card: Ethan Page will challenge his alter-ego "The Karate Man" after their heated therapy session. Tommy Dreamer, Cousin Jake and Rhino will face Eric Young, Joe Doering and a newly transformed Cody Deaner in an "Old School Rules Match."
*WWE RAW LEGENDS NIGHT EPISODE DRAWS BEST VIEWERSHIP AND RATING SINCE MARCH 2020*
-Monday's live Legends Night edition of RAW, the first show of 2021 with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defeating Keith Lee in the main event, drew an average of 2.128 million viewers on the USA Network, according to Showbuzz Daily. This is up 20.3% from last week's 1.769 million viewers.
-For this week's show, the first hour drew 2.197 million viewers (last week's hour 1 - 1.886 million), the second hour drew 2.150 million viewers (last week's hour 2 - 1.783 million) and the final hour drew 2.036 million viewers (last week's hour 3 - 1.638 million).
-This is the best RAW viewership and 18-49 rating since March 16, 2020, which drew 2.335 million viewers with a 0.74 rating in the key demo. This was the first-ever episode from the closed-set WWE Performance Center that featured the Royal Rumble Match airing in hours 1 and 2, plus "3:16 Day" happenings with WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin, and appearances by The Undertaker and WWE Hall of Famer Edge. This week's RAW viewership is down 11% from the same week in 2020.
*POSSIBLE SPOILER ON A WWE NXT CALL-UP TO THE MAIN ROSTER*
-WWE NXT Superstar Damian Priest may be headed to RAW or SmackDown soon. Priest was being planned for a main roster call-up as recent as earlier this week, according to Fightul Select. There's no word on if he's planned for RAW or SmackDown, or when that call-up will happen.
-According to @Wrestlevotes, WWE had plans for a NXT Superstar to be called up during the main event segment of last Friday's SmackDown segment with Kevin Owens, Jey Uso and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. The call-up was still planned as of showtime, but nixed at the last minute. It was noted that the un-named NXT wrestler is on the card for tonight's New Year's Evil show, but it's not clear if the call-up was delayed, or nixed altogether. The new report does not state that Priest was planned for the SmackDown call-up last week, but the timing is interesting.
*MICK FOLEY ASKS VINCE MCMAHON TO THROW DONALD TRUMP OUT OF WWE HALL OF FAME*
-WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley has apparently called on WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon to remove President Donald Trump from the Hall of Fame.
-Foley took to Twitter, shortly after Trump's speech at a rally in Washington, DC and pro-Trump protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol. While Foley did not name the President, he seemingly asked McMahon to remove Trump from the WWE Hall of Fame.
"Hey Vince - how about throwing this sorry son of a b---h out of our Hall of Fame? @VinceMcMahon," Foley wrote.
-Foley has posted other tweets and re-tweeted other messages critical of Trump.
-Trump was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Vince McMahon in 2013, the same year that Foley was inducted. Vince has been friends with Trump over the years, while Linda McMahon once worked in the Trump Administration, and remains a supporter.
*IMPACT’S SCOTT D’AMORE SAYS ‘THE DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN’ FOR AEW CROSSOVER MATCHES*
-IMPACT Wrestling’s Scott D’Amore recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about a wide variety of topics, when the idea of All Elite Wrestling crossing over into the brand popped up. According to D’Amore, the possibility for that is always available, especially with their recent partnership.
-When asked about the idea of more crossovers happening as a result of their partnership, D’Amore said that the door for that is always open, with even more superstars teasing returns to IMPACT Wrestling as well. “The Bucks have teased a return to Impact, and I’ll keep saying this—the door is always open,” he said. “I worked with them briefly when they were first here, and they were great then and they were also great in Japan. They’re great people, and they’ve revolutionized the wrestling business and the way it looks.”
-“There is a bond that connects the Young Bucks and the Motor City Machine Guns. It’s a match we saw years ago, and seeing them hook up one more time is a dream match. They would put on an unbelievable, emotionally rewarding match for wrestling fans.”
-Clearly, D’Amore is very happy about the recent partnership between IMPACT Wrestling and All Elite Wrestling. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be too shocking to see even more events happen between the two brands, especially as we get closer to even bigger events.
6 Jan 2021
*PRO WRESTLING CENTRAL**Daily News by Amo*06 January 2020
*BACKSTAGE NEWS ON ORIGINAL PLAN FOR GOLDBERG'S RETURN*
-Goldberg is back in WWE once more and as it turns out, the company had some slightly different plans for his appearance during Legends Night on RAW. According to PWInsider.com, Goldberg’s confrontation of WWE Champion Drew McIntyre was not supposed to go on last, and the original plan for the show was for Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton to close RAW. The decision was made late in the day to close with the McIntyre vs. Keith Lee match and run the Goldberg angle, who was “very much hidden backstage” until he entered the ThunderDome.
-It was noted that Goldberg’s name was not listed in the RAW script, and that McIntyre was initially going to cut a long promo to set up his appearance. The show was running long, so McIntyre’s promo was cut from the segment and they just jumped to Goldberg’s appearance. Also, PWInsider noted that McIntyre hit “Da Man” with a Glasgow Kiss after the show went off the air, which was the original planned ending.
-Goldberg showed up and challenged Drew McIntyre to a title match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but WWE has not officially confirmed the bout will take place as of press time.
*BANDIDO RE-SIGNS WITH RING OF HONOR*
-Ring of Honor is pleased to announce that international star Bandido has re-signed with the company. The announcement comes on the heels of UK star Mark Haskins signing a new contract to remain with ROH. The signings exemplify the company’s commitment to securing the best wrestlers on the planet.
-One of the most innovative and electrifying competitors in professional wrestling, Bandido has been with ROH since December 2018, when the sensational luchador was among the hottest free agents in the industry. Currently a co-holder of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Title with Flamita and Rey Horus, Bandido has not competed in ROH since February due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. Before coming to ROH, Bandido competed extensively in his native Mexico as well as Japan, the UK and Australia.
-Terms of the new contract were not disclosed. Despite his hiatus from ROH due to the pandemic, the luchador was still ranked 34th on the PWI 500 in 2020. His last match for Ring Of Honor was on February 29, a Proving Ground tag team match loss (with Rey Horus) to Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham. In his absence from ROH, Bandido has worked for WXW (Germany) and most recently competed at several events under the CMLL Super Viernes banner.
*LOUISVILLE INVESTMENT GROUP PURCHASES MAJORITY INTEREST IN OHIO VALLEY WRESTLING*
-OVW made an announcement Tuesday morning, confirming a Louisville-area group of investors fronted by Matt Jones and Craig Greenberg have purchased a majority interest in the wrestling promotion. Al Snow will continue to run the company, while the group plans to “build on the rich legacy of Ohio Valley Wrestling and its Louisville-based training institute, grow the organization, promote and train the next generation of wrestling superstars, and bring exhilarating entertainment to wrestling fans locally and across the globe.”
-The investor groups also includes Louisville’s Dr. Jeffrey Tuvlin and Lexington’s Andrew “Hubby” Jefferson. In addition to Al Snow, the other existing owners, Larry Benz, Chad Miller and Joe Reeves, will remain active and involved in the company.
-To celebrate the new ownership group’s investment, Ohio Valley Wrestling is offering a free online wrestling experience this Saturday, January 9th at 7:30pm — the 2021 Nightmare Rumble. This event includes a 30 Man Rumble and a Championship Match featuring Jesse Godderz, Mr. Pectacular! The live event, which will take place at Louisville’s Davis Arena, 4400 Shepherdsville Rd, will also be live-streamed free of charge at www.ovwrestling.com.
*MARTY SCURLL POSSIBLY HEADED TO WWE*
-Marty Scurll is no longer with Ring Of Honor and although it would appear that his involvement in the #SpeakingOut movement would make him a risk to promotions, some might still be interested in bringing him in.
-According to Dave Meltzer on the most recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Scurll could once again be a target for WWE since they previously had him on their radar in 2019, and also noted that Scurll will also be eager to find work in the United States.
-“It’s really interesting what’s going to happen to him because he’s got to have a job to stay here. I think that’s part of the provisions of his deal. He owns a home, so he’s going to be forced out the country if he doesn’t get another job. A year ago, he got the biggest contract in ROH history and he got big offers from WWE and AEW, and AEW at one point thought he was going and ROH really wanted to keep him, he was going to be the head of creative and the whole thing happened with the allegation.” Meltzer then stated that going to All Elite Wrestling would be difficult for Scurll considering the backlash they—or anyone—would get for signing him. He stated WWE made the most sense since they’ll move forward with whatever plans they have, and they have a history of dealing with the negative PR for talents over the years.
*MATT HARDY CALLS OUT VINCE MCMAHON FOR CREATING HARDY BROS*
-Through a new video on his YouTube channel, AEW star Matt Hardy has called out Vince McMahon and WWE for putting his brother, Jeff Hardy, and Riddle in a tag team and calling them the Hardy Bros. While emphasizing that The Hardy Boyz are the "greatest tag team in pro wrestling history," Matt said that McMahon created Hardy Bros to try and recreate the magic of the eight-time WWE Tag Team Champions.
-Matt declared that the Hardy Boys are destined to fail in the WWE. "He's [McMahon] trying to confuse the marketplace because he's so vicious, he still wishes he had the Hardy Boyz. The Hardy Bros? That's not gonna work. You would have had a better chance with fake Razor and fake Diesel."
-As noted, WWE recently filed to trademark "Hardy Bros" which is a sign that Jeff Hardy and Riddle are likely to be a team going forward. Although they have formed an alliance on RAW, they've teamed only twice so far. It is rumored that Hardy Bros will challenge The Hurt Business for the RAW Tag Team Championship at the upcoming Royal Rumble event.
*BOOKER T ISN'T RULING OUT AN IN-RING RETURN IN 2021, FOLLOWS UP ON RECENT ‘ADVICE ’ FOR STING*
-Can you dig a potential wrestling comeback for Booker T? As it turns out, the 2-time WWE Hall Of Famer doesn’t rule out that notion in the latest episode of his Hall Of Fame podcast.
-Booker T was asked by co-host Brad Gilmore about an Instagram photo he shared where he’s getting swole in the gym and used the caption “Getting ready for 2021” and what could that mean.
“I’m all about just being ready and in the moment and I know we’re going to talk about that in a second. People are gonna say, ‘Well, you just said, “Sting! It’s a young man’s game!”‘ But I’ve always also said, ‘It’s about checks and championships.’ It’s about getting a check and the only way that’s gonna happen in every field that I’m in is when I show up, people go, ‘That’s Booker T.’ I cannot show up and not look like Booker T. I gotta be ready all the time because people expect, when they see Booker T, ‘Oh my God! Dat’s dat boy there!’ One of those type of deals.”
-Brad then straight out asked him if the reason for sharing that photo meant he is angling for an in-ring return in 2021.
“No that’s not the reason, but if the chance came, and I was able to get back in the ring and make the walk one more time, there again man, I tell people all the time, it’s really so hard to turn that down and say, ‘Nah I don’t want to do that.’ I feel like if it’s the right situation, I feel like if I can go out there and do it, you know why not? And then, there again, if it’s a check attached, you know, man, why not? It’s not going to hurt anybody, hopefully, I don’t get hurt going out there and trying to pull it off, but am I prepared to go out and have a match right now? I think so.”
-The Royal Rumble obviously is this month and Booker did just appear on RAW last night so there will be plenty of speculation as that clock counts down.
*WWE BEGINS NEW STORYLINE WITH RIC FLAIR AND LACEY EVAN'S ON RAW?*
-It looks like WWE began a new storyline with The Flairs during tonight's Legends Night edition of RAW. The first RAW of 2021 saw the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions, Charlotte Flair and RAW Women's Champion Asuka, take a non-title loss to Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce. WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair was at ringside with Flair and Asuka.
-Evans was caught flirting with Ric several times during the match, which didn't sit well with Charlotte. Evans later on crawled to Ric on the apron, but Charlotte kicked her to the floor. Charlotte then brought Evans back into the ring and ducked a kick from Royce. Charlotte ran the ropes but Ric pulled her leg to trip her. Royce then took advantage and pinned Charlotte for the win.
-After the match, a stunned Charlotte sat up in the ring and was shocked at what her dad did. Evans ran over and kissed Flair, but he acted annoyed and upset, like he wasn't interested. Charlotte then slowly exited the ring and stared her dad down, getting in his face and telling him to stay out of her business, again. Charlotte asked her dad if he understood what she was telling him, and he just nodded while staring back at her. Charlotte then told Ric to back away and get out. Ric turned and walked up the ramp by himself. It wasn't clear if WWE is billing this as an intentional trip by Ric, but it looks like they are building tension between The Flairs. It's also possible that this was a one-off to write Ric back off TV.
*WWE ON THE MYSTERIOUS RETURNS OF XIA LI AND BOA*
-Regarding the returns of Xia and Boa, WWE is teasing that we will learn more about the mystery figures who have led their recent punishment and training, the ShiFu master and the mystery hooded woman. WWE released the following teaser for the returns:
Xia Li and Boa set to return this Wednesday nightAfter undergoing arduous punishment and training, Xia Li and Boa are set to return at NXT New Year's Evil.
-Li and Boa were taken away by a mysterious man, apparently failing to meet an ultimatum delivered in cryptic letters after Li came up short in several matches. For weeks, both have been shrouded in secrecy, with the NXT Universe seeing only glimpses of their brutal training regimen led by that same man — and another unknown figure looking on.
-Enigma aside, one thing that's clear is that neither Superstar is likely to be the same. What can we expect to see when Xia Li and Boa are back on the black-and-gold brand this Wednesday night? And might we learn more about the mysterious figures they've been intertwined with?
*JAY WHITE: ‘I’M DONE ’ WITH NEW JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING AFTER NEW YEAR DASH*
-Jay White‘s run in New Japan could be over soon, as he says his time should be spent somewhere else.
-White made the comments during his post-match press conference after losing to Kota Ibushi in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two. “I will never be appreciated like I should be. I see it. I see it now. Everything I’ve done… you want to talk to ‘Switchblade’ Jay White, but I’m sorry, you’re just getting Jamie…”
-White said he knows what he can do—or at least he thought he did. White continued, saying it was his Destino and his moment, but he ended up being wrong. Screaming at the camera and press, he said it wasn’t his year. “I am out here wasting my life in Japan in a global pandemic—for what? I could be at home but I told myself it would be worth it. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice and it will be worth it! I’m not going to do this anymore. I’m not going to do this anymore! Not for any of you [points at press], not for any of you [points at camera]. If I can’t do it well myself then it’s not worth doing, it’s not worth me being here!”
-“So maybe, maybe, my time would be spent better somewhere else. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m not going to do this anymore. If ‘this’ is all it’s for, I’m not going to do it. Tomorrow, contractually—if they want me—if they want to make me wrestle again after what I’ve just been through, and I don’t just mean tonight, I mean the last—in 8 days, it’ll be 8 years to the day since I first stepped in a wrestling ring and started training. I’m not going to do this anymore, so if they’re going to make me show up tomorrow, fine. Fine, and I’m sure they will because you all, the fans, New Japan, you love nothing more than to see me distressed, see me like this. Fine, I’ll show up tomorrow if you want me to, but after that, that’s it.