Some notable Post-Draft Free Agents still available

Image result for WWE Raw and Smackdown

The Draft is over. Now, Free Agency is on!

Before I continue, here’s a list of superstars who I know are out with an injury:

  • Ember Moon
  • Ruby Riott
  • Nia Jax
  • Lars Sullivan
  • Samoa Joe
  • Jeff Hardy
  • Jason Jordan (still under contract with WWE)

 

Drew McIntyre, who appeared on The Bump this week was out with an injury. Samoa Joe, who has a broken thumb appeared on both draft nights. Both men were drafted to RAW as well on that note. I’m pretty sure there are others who are legit out with an injury I don’t know about but these are the ones I know about.

Matt Hardy actually isn’t out with an injury but his brother Jeff is. WWE doesn’t seem to have plans for Matt as a singles competator so now he and his wife Reba are expecting their third son. She jokingly said via Twitter when she announced the pregnancy “See @WWE what happens when Matt is allowd to stay home for too long!”I do think not using Matt separately is a missed opportunity but given his age and how banged up he’s been over the last 25 years, WWE is probably just playing it safe with him.

The Jason Jordan situation…nothing new as far as I know. WWE will not clear him though reportedly the original plan was for Angle to face Jordan at Wrestlemania but it ended up not happening. It’s probably more than fair to say his wrestling career is over at this point.

 

Here are some Superstars from the Women’s Division who have yet to be drafted or signed to RAW or Smackdown:

  • Maria Kannelis (Pregnant)
  • Lana (Presumably going to RAW)
  • Ronda Rousey (Leave on Absence)
  • Naomi
  • Mickie James
  • Alicia Fox
  • Maryse (Semi-retired)

Maria Kannelis, who is currently pregnnt (I believe she’s 5 months pregnant now, can’t remember offhand) has been making a number of appearances with her husband for an on-screen storyline. It’s a clever way to use her even though she obviously can’t compete right now. Her husband’s Free Agent status could be an interesting storyline angle if done right as well.

Maryse Mizanin, who recently gave birth to her second daughter is a full-time mom. She came back for a storyline involving Daniel Bryan, her husband an Brie Bella last year and still keeps in shape. It’s probably safe to say she’s done as an in-ring performer full time but we could see her make appearances every now and then. More so with the reality TV Show about their family.

Ronda Rousey stated in the months leading up to Wrestlemania 35 she planned to work on getting pregnant with her first child after Wrestlemania. It’s now been 6 months since her last on-screen appearance which was Wrestlemania 35. If she is currently pregnant, she’s keeping it is a closely guarded secret for now.  She pushed back hard against reports WWE had plans for her regarding Summer Slam stating she will return on her terms.

Naomi is married to Jimmy Uso so wherever one goes, both go. It’s that simple. Alicia Fox is still an active member of the roster despite not being seen for a while. I heard Mickie James is recording a new album (she records country music) and that might be why she hasn’t been seen in quite a while either.

Here are some Tag Teams that have yet to be drafted or signed to RAW or Smackdown:

  • AOP (Akam and Rezar)
  • The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso)
  • The Ascension (Viktor and Konnor)

AOP has been doing some pre-recorded promos in recent months. They were both out with injuries for much of the year as well. They’ll likely make their in-ring returns sooner than later from how it sounds. The Ascension just haven’t been able to build any momentum since coming from NXT. I do think they’ll be shown the door personally.

James “Jimmy Uso” Fatu was arrested in July and presumably Naomi’s absence is related to that. As of this week it was announced there is no timelime or creative plans for Naomi or the Usos. Presumably, WWE is waiting for Jimmy Uso’s legal problems to be resolved and they’re likely monitoring that closely.

The tag team division is pretty deep right now but it needs the Usos back to help bring some stability. It was only last year that The Usos and The New Day dominated the division, ending with a thrilling tag team Hell in a Cell match. All we can do is wait and see for now.

 

Here are some Part-Time Superstars, Legends and Hall of Famers who will all likely remain Free Agents moving forward:

  • Finn Balor (Recently returned to NXT)
  • Cain Velasquez (signed a longterm contract with WWE last week)
  • Tyson Fury (longterm contract presumably in progress)
  • John Cena
  • The Rock
  • The Undertaker
  • Kane
  • Shawn Michaels
  • Triple H
  • Stephanie McMahon
  • Shane McMahon
  • Mark Henry
  • Goldberg
  • Lita
  • Trish Status
  • Beth Phoenix (NXT Commentator)
  • Sting (If cleared by WWE)
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin (If Vince allows him to compete)
  • CM Punk (assuming he signs a contract with WWE)

CM Punk potentially re-signing with WWE would kill AEW’s momentum to now and that is no exaggeration. Are you kidding me? CM Punk returning to a WWE ring even for ONE match would be a HUGE draw. Most people don’t even KNOW CM Punk is trying to negotiate his return as a commentator or analyst. WWE obviously wants him back in the ring so I do think we will see a deal done so both sides get what they want.

Finn Balor recently returned to NXT but WWE hasn’t completely ruled out his making appearances on the main roster from time to time. Balor back on NXT is huge for the Black and Gold but he could cross-promote if he continues to appear on RAW or Smackdown at the same time. His inability to sustain momentum plus creative fumbles got in the way of the clearly Main Event level superstar on the main roster. He will bring a lot of experience with him back to NXT and make it an even better show.

Beth Phoenix–wife of WWE Hall of Famer Adam “Edge” Copeland–reunited with her former tag team partner Natalya earlier this year for a feud with Nia Jaxx and Tamina that ended at Wrestlemania 35. She clearly keeps in shape and hasn’t ruled out returning to the ring from time to time when it makes sense. She currently works as a commentator but then again so does Aiden English (with 205 Live). She could make a return to supplement a storyline or help put someone over like she did alongside Natalya earlier this year.

Most of the others are either part-timers in general (Triple H, The Undertaker and to a lesser extent Goldberg and John Cena) or come back every now and then for a match or appearance (Lita, Shawn Michaels, Trish Stratus, etc.). I think it would be more than fair to just presume they will have Free Agent status moving forward.

I mentioned this before but Stone Cold Steve Austin revealed in a recent interview he’s been keeping in shape over the years and feels he could do one more match. It’s just a question of weather or not Vince McMahon will let him do it from how it sounds. The Rattlesnake hosted Becky Lynch on his talk show Straight Up Steve Austin a few months back, likely due to the comparisons people kept making last year.

As for Sting, he is reportedly working on getting cleared by WWE in time for Wrestlemania 36. If it does happen, his opponent will presumably be The Undertaker. Sting suffered a career-ending shoulder injury  during his Wrestlemania 31 match with Triple H–his only Wrestlemania match in his career–and announced his retirement during his Hall of Fame induction speech the following year.

Presumably, Tyson Fury and Cain Velasquez will both sign with Smackdown to help carry the Blue Brand on FOX. Rey Mysterio was moved to RAW so unless Velasquez is booked to lose to Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel–I doubt WWE would do that to him personally–they will be split up. Fury could remain on Smackdown if he loses to Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel to continue the feud. Otherwise, he’ll sign with RAW. I think Smackdown would be a better fit for him personally though.

…Ok that covers most of those not yet signed. It looks like where everyone goes will be an ongoing side story. I doubt we’ll see anything like we saw with Health Slater after the 2016 draft but we’ll see. I do think the Superstar Shake Up or rather a version of it will remain in place for Superstars to move between brands once or twice a year.

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Advertisements
Some notable Post-Draft Free Agents still available

WWE Legend Bruce Prichard replacing Eric Bishoff as Executive Director of Smackdown

Image result for WWE Bruce Prichard

…Talk about not being able to get any traction with WWE.

Four months after being appointed Executive Director of Smackdown, Eric Bishoff will be replaced by WWE Legend Bruce Prichard. WWE made the announcement a short time ago in a press release.

I can’t say I’m surprised. The former WCW Executive reoortedly had a lot of trouble easing into the new role and apparently started almost a month after being given the job. I do wonder if WWE planned to replace him sooner than later from the start.

Paul Heyman, who is RAW’s Executive Director has been on-screen talent since he came to WWE almost 20 years ago in comparison. Heyman’s handiwork has been apparent ever since he took the job back in June. Even though Heyman works on-screen as Brock Lesnar’s Advocate/Manager, Lesnar’s appearances are infrequent enough for him to safely do both roles without too much difficulty.

WWE finished the announcement with confirmation Bishoff is no longer with the company and that’s sure to draw speculation AEW could talk to him. In a sideways reference to the possible speculation, Bishoff revealed in an interview earlier this year he has zero interest in the business in any form and he’s happy doing his own thing.

Anyone who knows their wrestling history knows Eric Bishoff was the face if WCW during the legendary Monday Night Wars. A documentary released on WWE Network last year revisited a failed last-minute effort by the former WCW Executive to buy WCW in 2001 when Turner Broadcasting put the promotion up for sale. Bishoff’s efforts to buy WCW came up short when he was unable to secure a new network for the promotion despite having already securing the money to make the purchase.

Vince McMahon stepped forward and bought the rights to WCW in 2002, officially ending the Monday Night Wars. WWE has stood alone as the only primetime wrestling promotion on TV in the 17 years since then.

…Then along came All Elite Wrestling two weeks ago.

I’ll end with this. I do not think any kind of money Kenny Omega or Cody Rhodes try to offer Eric Bishoff would get him to work for AEW. He’s been pretty candid about no longer being the same guy he was 20 years ago. Yeah he knows the business but he’s neither interested or willing to do it again as he said. Otherwise he would’ve a long time ago. Either that or WWE would’ve locked him down like they did Paul Heyman.

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

WWE Legend Bruce Prichard replacing Eric Bishoff as Executive Director of Smackdown

Here’s the WWE Draft 2019 Results

Image result for WWE Draft 2019

Unlike 2016, I provided 3 sets of lists. The first set is the draft in the overall order it happened and color coded by brand they’re drafted to. The other two lists will be the 40 Superstars, tag teams or stables drafted to RAW and the 30 Superstars, tag teams or stables drafted to Smackdown.

Here’s the full draft list of the 50 Superstars who were drafted in order:

  1. Becky Lynch (Current RAW Women’s Champion)
  2. Roman Reigns
  3. The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
  4. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
  5. Drew McIntyre
  6. Randy Orton
  7. Sasha Banks
  8. Ricochet
  9. Braun Strowman
  10. Bobby Lashley
  11. Alexa Bliss (Traded to Smackdown)
  12. Lacey Evans
  13. Kevin Owens
  14. The Revival (Current Smackdown Tag Team Champions)
  15. Natalya
  16. The Viking Raiders
  17. Lucha House Party
  18. Nikki Cross (Traded to Smackdown)
  19. Heavy Machinery
  20. The Street Profits (From NXT)
  21. Seth Rollins (Current Universal Champion)
  22. Brock Lesnar (Current WWE Champion)
  23. Charlotte Flair
  24. The New Day
  25. Andrade and Zelina Vega
  26. The Kabuki Warriors (Current Women’s Tag Tean Champions)
  27. Daniel Bryan
  28. Rusev
  29. Bayley (Current Smackdown Women’s Champion)
  30. Aleister Black
  31. Cedric Alexander
  32. Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn (Current Intercontinental Champion)
  33. Humberto Carrillo (From 205 Live)
  34. Ali
  35. Erick Rowan
  36. Buddy Murphy
  37. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
  38. Jinder Mahal
  39. Carmella
  40. R-Truth (Current 24/7 Champion)
  41. Samoa Joe
  42. The Miz
  43. Akira Tozawa (From 205 Live)
  44. Baron Corbin (2019 King of the Ring Winner)
  45. Shelton Benjamin
  46. Rey Mysterio
  47. Chad “Shorty” Gable
  48. Titus O’Neil
  49. Elias
  50. Liv Morgan

These are some additional picks that were made offscreen after Night 1:

  • Apollo Crews
  • Drew Gulak
  • EC3
  • Eric Young
  • Heath Slater
  • Sin Cara
  • Tamina
  • The B-Team

 

Note: The Women’s Tag Team Championships and the 24/7 Championship will be crossbrand so the current holders will compete on both RAW and Smackdown (as well as NXT) regardless of the brand the title holders are assgined to.

RAW gets 3 picks for every 2 Smackdown gets. RAW got 3 picks per round while Smackdown got 2 picks for round. This is why you see two RAW Superstars in a row as the second RAW Superstar is from the next round. The first five were drafted in the first round and so on for reference.

Once 70 Superstars have been drafted, I will make a separate post of noteworthy superstars who went Undrafted. My guess is the rest of the year–or even to the 2020 Royal Rumble–will feature a storyline of revealing where everyone else will go be it RAW, Smackdown…or NXT.

Updated 10/14/2019:

The WWE Draft is now done. It was hinted there will be a trade and we will find out tomorrow on WWE Backstage, which will premeire tomorrow on Fox Sports 1 after the ALCS game. I will update this post when the details of the trade are known.

The rosters are brand exclusive but it looks like Fox and USA Network are open to allowing SOME cross-brand action. We’ve seen Fox-exclusive programming get plugged on RAW tonight quite a bit and vice versa so it’s not like they’re pretending the other show and network don’t exist. I assume next month’s Survivor Series is why. Both brands should start moving apart after Survivor Series is done though. Could we see a return of brand-exclusive PPVs? We’ll see!

Here’s the 30 Superstars drafted to RAW:

  1. Becky Lynch (Current RAW Women’s Champion)
  2. The O.C. (Current US Champion AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
  3. Drew McIntyre
  4. Randy Orton
  5. Ricochet
  6. Bobby Lashley
  7. Alexa Bliss (Traded to Smackdown)
  8. Kevin Owens
  9. Natalya
  10. The Viking Raiders
  11. Nikki Cross (Traded to Smackdown)
  12. The Street Profits (From NXT)
  13. Seth Rollins (Current Universal Champion)
  14. Charlotte Flair
  15. Andrade and Zelina Vega
  16. The Kabuki Warriors (Current Women’s Tag Tean Champions)
  17. Rusev
  18. Aleister Black
  19. Cedric Alexander
  20. Humberto Carrillo (From 205 Live)
  21. Erick Rowan
  22. Buddy Murphy
  23. Jinder Mahal
  24. R-Truth (Current 24/7 Champion)
  25. Samoa Joe
  26. Akira Tozawa (From 205 Live)
  27. Shelton Benjamin
  28. Rey Mysterio
  29. Titus O’Neil
  30. Liv Morgan

These are some additional picks that were made offscreen after Night 1:

  • EC3
  • Eric Young
  • Sin Cara

These are some confirmed Free Agent Signings that were made after Night 2:

  • No Way Jose
  • Mojo Rawley
  • Sarah Logan
  • The Iconics
  • Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins

 

No big surprises given who Smackdown got so far. Kevin Owens and Randy Orton making the switch makes sense given there’s not much for either of them to do on Smackdown at this point. More so if one or both is chasing a title. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross both staying on RAW presumably means they will remain a tag team. We’ll have to wait and see if the current Women’s Tag Team Champions–Asuka and Kairi Sane–are drafted to RAW or Smackdown to continue their feud with Bliss and Cross.

The Man, who was the first Woman drafted to Smackdown back in 2016 getting the #1 draft pick overall was a nice touch. We’ll have to wait and see if her fiance Seth Rollins will join her on RAW though that is assumed given The Fiend attacked him at the close of Rollins’ match with Roman Reigns, ending their match in a Disqualification. As per the stipulation, RAW got the #1 pick as a result.

Sasha Banks going to Smackdown and Bayley winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship from Charlotte does mean the Four Horsewomen of NXT are going to stay split up cross brand. The Street Profits going to RAW was presumed since they started doing backstage promos earlier this year.  I do think we’ll see some more picks from NXT go to RAW or Smackdown though.

Samoa Joe, who is currently assigned to RAW did appear on Smackdown as part of a panel discussing the draft. In the first shot, you could clearly make out a cast on his right hand that he was trying to keep out of view of the camera. He reportedly has a broken thumb and hasn’t competed since the King of the Ring tournament. I’ll make a post after the draft is done with a list of superstars who I know are currently out due to injury

Updated 10/14/2019:

Most of the second half of the draft comes as no surprise. Seth Rollins assigned to RAW confirms he will likely retain the U.S. Championship in his upcoming rematch with The Fiend at Crown Jewel. The only way that doesn’t happen is if The Fiend is Traded to RAW from Smackdown which clearly would be a blockbuster trade.

As for who RAW could trade for him from the draft, I think it will be Rey Mysterio. It makes the most sense and more so assuming Cain Velasquez signs with Smackdown. We’ll see.

Updated 10/15/2019:

Triple H announced on WWE Backstage that Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross have been traded to Smackdown in exchange for “Future Draft Considerations”. Eric Young, who is Nikki Cross’ real life husband will presumably be moved as well. I am assuming who will be moved from Smackdown to RAW will be revealed sooner than later as well.

Given Sarah Logan has been signed to RAW (her husband is Erik of the Viking Raiders as a reminder)  as a Free Agent and Liv Morgan was drafted by RAW, we may see The Riott Squad reform on RAW when Ruby Riott returns from injury. The Iconics coming to RAW could be interesting for them as a tag team and they are presumably to bring an additional Heel Women’s Tag Team to RAW.

No Way Jose and Mojo Rawley…hopefully there IS a plan for them since they’ve both been irrelevant for almost 2 years now. Ryder and Hawkins will hopefully get some development on RAW. They’re former Tag Champs so…yeah.

 

 

Here’s the 20 Superstars drafted to Smackdown:

  1. Roman Reigns
  2. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
  3. Sasha Banks
  4. Braun Strowman
  5. Lacey Evans
  6. The Revival (Current Smackdown Tag Team Champions)
  7. Lucha House Party
  8. Heavy Machinery
  9. Brock Lesnar (Current WWE Champion)
  10. The New Day
  11. Daniel Bryan
  12. Bayley (Current Smackdown Women’s Champion)
  13. Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn (Current Intercontinental Champion)
  14. Ali
  15. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
  16. Carmella
  17. The Miz
  18. Baron Corbin (2019 King of the Ring Winner)
  19. Chad “Shorty” Gable
  20. Elias

These are some additional picks that were made offscreen after Night 1:

  • Apollo Crews
  • Drew Gulak
  • Heath Slater
  • Tamina
  • The B-Team

These are some confirmed Free Agent Signings that were made after Night 2:

  • Luke Harper
  • Cesaro
  • Drake Maverick (Former 205 Live General Manager)
  • Fire & Desire (Sonya Deville​​​​​​ & Mandy Rose)
  • Dana Brooke

 

Hands down the biggest surprise is Bray Wyatt getting drafted to Smackdown. The fact that FOX wanted him is a VERY good sign in my book and more so given Braun Strowman was also (expectedly) drafted to Smackdown. What if Eric Rowan and Luke Harper are also picked up by Smackdown? Could we see The Wyatt Family reformed?

Bayley is presumably staying on Smackdown now that she’s won the Smackdown Women’s Championship (and gone full Heel). Charlotte could go to RAW to challenge Becky Lynch or she could stay on Smackdown and feud with Bayley some more. We’ll see.

Updated 10/14/2019:

Again, no big surprises with the second half of the draft. My money’s on Cain Velasquez and Tyson Fury signing with Smackdown as well. The New Day being kept together is quite the surprise as is Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode being kept together as a tag team.

Lacey Evans, who was drafted by Smackdown appeared on RAW as Natalya’s Tag Team Partner. Presumably she will be traded to RAW but for who? Liv Morgan is the only Female on the RAW Roster who was drafted who could be moved since the others are either married to, dating or engaged to a Male Supersta and they’re always kept on the same roster with each other.

Updated 10/15/2019:

Triple H announced on WWE Backstage that Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross have been traded to Smackdown in exchange for “Future Draft Considerations”. Eric Young, who is Nikki Cross’ real life husband will presumably be moved as well. I am assuming whoever will be moved from Smackdown to RAW will be revealed sooner than later as well.

Fire and Desire staying on Smackdown comes as no surprise. Sheamus hasn’t been around for almost a year though Ceasaro has been competing in singles matches since the Superstar Shakeup. I do think we could see The Bar reunite on Smackdown if Sheamus isn’t signed to RAW.

As for Dana Brooke, I do think she could get a MEGA push into the title picture. She’s currently the most active and longest-tenured singles Female Superstar who hasn’t won a title yet. Giving her a push as a Babyface would make Bayley’s Heel turn more credible too so it’s win-win. Tamina’s had injuries in the middle of pushes so her not being able to build momentum long enough is understandable.

 

…Ok so the 2019 WWE Draft is in the books.

It’s worth noting almost no one changed sides from the Superstar Shake Up.  There are a number of notable omissions, some presumably because they are currently out due to injury. We’ll find out in the coming weeks and months where everyone who wasn’t drafted will go. In my next post, I’ll talk about some notable Free Agents and where they could end up.

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Here’s the WWE Draft 2019 Results

WWE reveals FOX and USA Network Executives will have influence in the upcoming the Roster Draft

Image result for WWE Draft 2019

I wanted to split this off from the post I just made because of how long that other post was getting. WWE announced executives at FOX and USA Network will both have a hand in who goes to RAW and Smackdown.

FOX and USA Network can choose to draft tag teams separately or as a combined entity like previous drafts. I certainly do expect a tag team or two to get split up. The Riott Squad and sAnity were both split up during the Superstar Shakeup earlier this year. Ruby Riott (assigned to RAW) has been out due to an injury all year while Sarah Logan (RAW) and Liv Morgan (Smackdown) have only had one match each since the split. Nikki Cross won the Women’s Tag Team title with Alexa Bliss while the rest of sAnity, which hadn’t been used at all since going to the main roster was split between RAW, Smackdown and NXT.

Will The New Day be getting split up this time? I do think it will happen this time. Big E could be drafted separately while Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are kept on the same show. I do think now would be a good time for Big E to be re-introduced as a singles competator thanks to his being more known now. Most have NO CLUE had had quite the run on NXT before coming to the main roster way back when.

The plan is for Smackdown to get 30 draft picks while RAW, which is a 3 hour show will get 41 draft picks. Those who go undrafted will be able to choose which show they go to afterwards. Presumably, the top 71 Superstars will be drafted to RAW and Smackdown while everyone else can decide where they want to go.

Some folks might remember a memorable storyline that came from Heath Slater, who went Undrafted in 2016. Up to then, he was fed to other superstars his whole WWE career. His status as a Free Agent got him Over with the WWE Universe and he was eventually drafted to Smackdown where he teamed with Rhyno and won the Smackdown Tag Team titles.

It was quite the journey given he was the only member of the 3MB stable with Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre who hadn’t been released by WWE. Mahal would become WWE Champion after being drafted to Smackdown upon his return while Drew McIntyre would dominate, eventually becoming NXT Champion and later would become a RAW Tag Team Champion alongside Dolph Ziggler earlier this year.

We could certainly see storylines like that in the aftermath of the WWE Draft.

Image result for WWE Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins

Breaking News confirmed a short time ago: Universal Champion and current RAW Superstar Seth Rollins and current Smackdown Superstar Roman Reigns will have a match on Smackdown tonight. The winner be the Number 1 pick of the WWE Draft.

Rollins was noticably absent from RAW as I mentioned in my previous post. According to some reports, the Main Event Hell in a Cell Match was meant to end by referee’s decision all along but the finish itself was originally planned to be different. Apparently, the original plan was for Rollins to push The Fiend off the top of the cage ala Mick Foley but WWE decided to scrap the idea, likely due to safey concerns.

The cell Foley fell from (TWICE!) was actually lower than the current stricture, which is almost twice as high as the original. So, I can understand not wanting to take the risk with the most Over Superstar in WWE right now. We know from Shane McMahon’s recent dives off the top of the cell that even when done right, serious injury is almost guaranteed and…yeah. Of course, the outcome we got was poorly received to say the least.

 

Image result for WWE Crown Jewel 2019

Strowman vs. Fury and Lesnar vs. Velasquez is now official as of this afternoon. There was some breaking news that wasn’t covered by the press conference though: Cain Velasquez has come to terms and signed a multi-year deal with WWE. What this means is his match with Lesnar at Crown Jewel could now officially be upgraded to a title match.

As of this week, a longterm deal with Fury isn’t official yet but this match is a good sign in that regard. More so if Fury is booked to lose the match. It would open the door to a sustained feud with Strowman that would draw a lot of interest and help secure a multi-year deal with Fury. We will see sooner than later!

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

WWE reveals FOX and USA Network Executives will have influence in the upcoming the Roster Draft

Some last minute Pre-WWE Draft News and Updates

Image result for WWE Sasha Banks and Bray Wyatt

Let’s start up with the big post-Hell in a Cell news. Both Sasha Banks and Bray Wyatt were injured in their respective matches though the details are not being disclosed.

Banks reportedly asked WWE not to disclose the nature of her injury though it is not “concussion-related”. There is speculation she may have suffered a back injury and sadly she does have a history of back problems. We’ll have to wait and see.

Bray Wyatt, who took a sledgehammer to the face reportedly suffered a “minor” injury in the aftermath. He got up after the match ended and attacked Seth Rollins, showing he was ok after the hammer shot. There is speculation he suffered a concussion but on the other hand The Fiend did appear on RAW after the show ended. We may find out sooner than later how he’s doing compared to Banks from how it sounds.

Speaking of Rollins. He did not appear on RAW this week and there is speculation the massive heat he took from the house crowd–and the crowd chanting “AEW!” is why. He’ll be sentenced to Midcard Hell if he’s unlucky and just lose the title otherwise. Rollins is booked to be a part of a 5 on 5 Tag Team Match at Crown Jewel later this month so either he drops the title or he is taken out of the match to drop the title in a separate match on the card. If the latter happens, his opponent should be The Fiend to end the storyline. I wouldn’t even rule out the possability he gets sent to NXT personally so we’ll see.

Image result for WWE Lacey Evans Family

Lacey Evans–real name Macey Estrella–announced via social media over the summer that she would be homeschooling her 6 year old daughter moving forward. Contrary to what some of the pics and post she puts out might have some people believe, she’s not a single mother (and not that it’s anyone’s business if she was). She is also happily married and has been with her husband since they were 15 (she’s now 29).

Given she’s always on the road, it makes sense for the former Marine to want to be able to spend more time with her daughter. It also allows her daughter to see the world of pro wrestling from a unique position and during a unique time for women’s wrestling in general and I think that’s pretty cool. I’m sure Maryse, Brie Bella and Maria Kanellis will look forward to doing the same with their daughters as well.

Lacey Evens also recently launched a new show with U.S. Vets–where does she find the time for all that?–to rennovate or build homes for other Vets. Makes you wonder when she finds time to sleep but it’s pretty cool all the same.

Image result for WWE Cruiserweight Champion

As of this week, it’s confirmed the Cruiserweight Division has beeb merged with NXT as I predicted. Lio Rush became the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion in the opening match of the night. Given most of 205 Live’s best known talent has been getting shuffled to RAW or Smackdown over the last year and a half, it makes sense to do this now.

While 205 Live was a failed experiment as a show, the fact that most of the talent has been absorbed into RAW and Smackdown shows WWE sees a lot of talent in the roster. AEW coming onto the scene aside, WWE clearly has a vested interest in keeping as much of the former Cruiserweight Division as possible. We’ll have to see where everyone ends up after the Draft.

 

Image result for wwe the bump

The Bump on WWE Network is a TMZ-style hour long talk show on all things in today’s WWE and the timing is quite interesting. I say that because Fox Sports 1 will have a talk show that recaps and talks about news around WWE starring Renee Young and Booker T, details on when it starts still TBA.

The Bump, which had its second episode this week is hosted by Charly Caruso. She usually does backstage interviews on RAW and Smackdown for those who don’t recognize the name and this is likely a way of using her a bit more. I do wonder if this show is being preemptively done ahead of FS1’s WWE show so WWE has its own version firmly under its control since FOX is being hands-on unlike USA Network.

Anyways, this new show does have at least two guests per episode so far. Current Universal Champion Seth Rollins was a guest on the first episode while current NXT Champion Adam Cole appeared via satellite later in the same episode. He and Rollins briefly discussed their mutual interest having a match with each other as some point.

WWE Hall of Famer D’Von Dudley was a guest on this week’s episode and had I not watched, I wouldn’t have known he was one of the almost two dozen Superstars who stormed the ring trying in vain to separate Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury if it wasn’t pointed out on the show. Tommaso Ciampa appeared via satellite to discuss his return after a long absence due to injury (see below). Dolph Ziggler also appeared via satellite to vent his exclusion from the mock draft held on the show.

I do think this show has a lot of promise and hopefully it will last longer than Talking Smack, which Vince pulled the plug on for no reason despite its popularity. This one is being shot inside WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticuit so we’ll see.

 

Image result for WWE October 11 Announcement

News broke Wednesday that Triple H will make an important announcement involving Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury, all of whom will be present for said announcement. It will air Friday at 3PM on WWE Network 5 hours ahead of the start of the WWE Draft.

Presumably, it will be to announce two matches as Crown Jewel. There’s speculation the main reason for the press conference is because FOX would like to use it for promotional purposes, which makes a lot of sense. There are also some who believe the build for Strowman vs. Fury on RAW was botched and this is the other reason for the press conference as well. Presumably, the “Major Announcement” will last at least 30 minutes so we’ll see how it goes.

 

Related image

Tommaso Ciampa, who returned this week on NXT with the NXT Championship he was forced to vacate in his sights was out for 6 and a half months due to neck surgery. The just released documantary on his journey back is highlighted by his and his wife’s struggles with infertility as well as his close bond with fellow NXT Superstars Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae, the latter two being a married couple themselves.

Now that Ciampa’s back, NXT is poised to take over Wednesday nights. Ciampa was forced to vacate the NXT Championship but never lost it. His swag when he made his return says it all: He grabbed a chair, sat in the ring, pointed at the title–not current Champion Adam Cole but the title–and said “Goldie, Daddy’s home!” Business is sure to pick up soon!

 

Image result for AEW Dynamite

I’ll end with this.

I switched between NXT and AEW Dynamite tonight between commercials but I definitely watched most of NXT in comparison. NXT’s proven and after warching Lio Rush finally get his, I am all in with watching NXT live. AEW, TNT ran an encore from 10PM to Midnight so if that keeps up I’ll just watch it after NXT.

I did see Chris Jericho introduce his new Inner Circle stable, which is clearly modeled after (wait for it) nWo. Among them was a familiar face who debuted last week: Jake Hager (pronounced Hay-gar), formerly known as Jack Swagger in WWE. Jericho immediately shut down the house crowd’s “We the People!” chant as soon as it started, taking a shot at WWE Creative at the same time. He didn’t say “WWE” but he did say “Creative” and anyone listening had to know exactly what he was talking about.

While Jericho is obviously all-in with AEW and Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes are letting him say whatever he wants, he still needs to be careful. The open shots at WWE will only work for so long before people start to lose interest. WWE has staying power and is clearly making some big moves to keep its dominence on TV.

I said it before, AEW needs to prove itself and it’s far too soon to be provoking WWE into a ratings war it has no hope of winning anytime soon. If it’s still around a year or two from now then yeah they have a chance. AEW needs to prove to me that it does not want to exist in WWE’s shadow and that seems to be easier said than done. I am willing to give AEW another chance in a few months though. I just have no interest in watching a promotion that takes the time to take shots at its competition every week. It gets old fast and more so when they make that the main reason to watch which is what I’m seeing so far. More so when it’s coming from a a guy who spent 20 years in WWE himself.

That reminds me–and I can’t believe I missed this–but the house crowd chanting “AEW!” after the main event Hell in a Cell match’s bizarre conclusion (which WWE obviously won’t directly comment on) caused quite a stir. Cody Rhodes claims he doesn’t watch WWE but I seriously doubt that’s true at all. Actually he’d be a fool not to see what his competition is doing just because he, his brother Dustin, Jim Ross, Jericho, Jon Moxley and Jake Hager are ex-WWE guys.

Vince watched WCW during the Monday Night Wars and hired staff specifically to watch TNA Impact so the company could adjust as needed. This is also why I am legit surprised Rhodes isn’t keeping tabs on WWE. Not saying he should be stealing ideas (he doesn’t need to) but it would help for him to see what WWE is doing now and especially on NXT. He knows RAW and Smackdown but he doesn’t know NXT.

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Some last minute Pre-WWE Draft News and Updates

Seth Rollins draws massive crowd heat in Hell in a Cell Match

Image result for wwe hell in a cell 2019 the fiend

It wasn’t the fact that the match ended in a No Contest–I’m sure everyone was expecting that outcome–but it was the fact it ended in No Contest that pissed off the House Crowd at the finish. I assumed when the lights didn’t turn back on after The Fiend’s entrance that the match was going to end very quickly. It lasted for almost 50 minutes.

When The Fiend kicked out at 1-counts to a chain of Rollins’ Finisher Spamming the crowd began to turn, fearing Rollins had been booked to win the match. The thing is, everything Rollins tried failed to get him a 3-Count. Finally, Rollins grabbed some stuff from under the ring in an attempt to incapacitate The Fiend.

This was the first time in almost 15 years we would see a chair shot to the head of a superstar, let alone to one laying prone in the middle of the ring. Even the housse crowd realized at this point Rollins took things too far and started to boo him loudly. The thing is, Rollins didn’t stop there. He dropped a ladder and then a toolbox (filled with various tools of course) on the head of The Fiend next in a bid to stop him, finally pulling a sledgehammer from under the ring.

At this point the referee pleaded with Rollins and begged him not to do what even the house crowd clearly did not want to see him do next. Rollins knew what he was about to do would be considered attempted murder or manslaughter in any other situation. He swung for the Fiend’s head and made contact. The referee immediately called for the bell while more referees and EMTs swarmed the ring as the cell was raised to let them tend to The Fiend. Granted, the Fiend was still covered with stuff when he took the hammer shot but it was still a REAL bad look.

I think most will agree that was too far and unnecessary. If the point was to show The Fiend is clearly using The Undertaker’s playbook and no-selling pain, that was achieved 10 minutes earlier and it’s why the house crowd turned on Rollins. They feared he was booked to win the match. What happened instead damn-near caused a riot. The Fiend brutalizing Rollins immediately afterward was great to see as it showed he was ok though. Even though he finished his post-match exit normally, no doubt he was taken to a hospital to be checked out backstage.

Some serious questions will need to be answered. Will The Fiend get a rematch for the Universal Championship sooner than later? Will there be repurcussions against Rollins? We will hopefully as soon as RAW.

 

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Seth Rollins draws massive crowd heat in Hell in a Cell Match

AEW beats NXT on first Wednesday night ratings but WWE wins the week overall

Image result for NXT and AEW

AEW won the first week of what wrestling fans are already calling The Wednesday Night Wars between WWE and AEW. AEW drew over twice the number of viewers NXT got in its first 2-hour night on USA Network. NXT’s second hour was carried by WWE Network for the last two weeks but this week, both hours were on USA Network for the first time.

WWE was classy and congratulated AEW on its successful premeire Thursday–without mentioning the promotion by name of course–saying “Wednesday was a great night for all wrestling fans.” Former WWE Superstar and current AEW Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho jumped at the opportunity to take a victory lap and took a shot at his former employer, saying “WWE chose this war”.

The thing is, Jericho was on both sides of the Monday Night Wars 20 years ago between WWE and WCW. He should know better than anyone that this new ratings “war” will be a marathon and not a sprint. AEW won the first week but WWE is clearly making adjustments for next week already. AEW has a smaller margin of error. WWE has been on TV for 30+ years and has too much experience to make any major mistakes. In terms of staying power, WWE holds the advantage.

AEW just arrived, after all. They are the ones who need to prove themselves at the end of the day, Otherwise…well, everyone knows by now WWE is trying to buy the rights to Impact Wrestling since most of their stars are now with WWE (AJ Styles, Samoa Joe) or back with WWE (Kurt Angle, the Hardy Boys).

…For those who are wondering, I watched NXT Wednesday and in fact, I actually completely forgot AEW Dynamite’s premiere was also this week on TNT. Funny to forget something I announced a few times on this blog, I know. AEW and NXT both will air on Wednesdays from 8PM to 10PM EST but on TNT and USA Network respectively.

 

Image result for wwe smackdown fox

As many online wrestling news sites hoped, former UFC Champion Cain Velasquez made his presence known and felt after the main event match on Smackdown. Moments after Brock Lesnar beat Kofi Kingston to win the WWE Championship, Rey Mysterio’s music hit. The WWE legend and his teenage son Dominic  were both attacked by Lesnar on RAW. When Rey Mysterio came onto the stage at the end of Smackdown, he came with backup in the form of one Cain Velasquez.

As had been predicted, Mysterio and his son were attacked to set up a match between Lesnar and Velasquez. The match will likely be at Crown Jewel later this month if I had to guess and it also confirms two things. One is Velasquez is being fast-tracked to the main roster, presumably Smackdown (as well as Lesnar himself of course). The other is more obviously, the match will be for the WWE Championship.

As noted by Corey Graves, Velasquez beat Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight Championship back in 2010 so they do have some history with each other. I would be very surprised if Lesnar is booked to retain the title at Crown Jewel. It would tell a much better story to me if Velasquez is booked to win the title. You want to build off their past like they did with Lesnar vs. Goldberg a few years ago but that’s just me. Velasquez did work in some Indie promotions after he left UFC himself, even wrestling as a masked Luchador at one point so the transition should be seamless.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact Kofi Kingston got the short end of the stick in all this. I accurately predicted either Kingston or Seth Rollins would not remain champion by the end of the year. Rollins dropped the title to Lesnar via Money in the Bank cash in at Extreme Rules but won it back at Summer Slam. Now Kingston drops the title to Lesnar on the season premeire of Smackdown.

I do think all three members of The New Day will be drafted to RAW personally and that’s probably the silver lining in this. WWE and FOX will likely put most of the established top superstars on Smackdown, giving underused superstars RAW and NXT to get some much needed development. We’ll see.

 

Image result for WWE Tyson Fury

This is the other big cameo of the night.

Former boxing champion Tyson Fury made an appearance on Smackdown, sitting ringside during the show. He and Braun Strowman, who was involved in a 4 on 4 tag team match exchanged staredowns toward the end. Things got hot when Strowman threw Dolph Ziggler into the barricade in front of the former boxing champ.

Fury was understandably upset and jumped the barricade. That’s as far as he got as security swarmed him to stop him from going any further. Strowman, who was back in the ring taunted him some more before finishing the match. Given the exchange before Fury jumped the barricade, this was obviously planned in advance. WWE.com is now reporting Tyson Fury will be RAW to address what happened and presumably challenge Strowman to a match at Crown Jewel.

Fury and WWE have apparently been in talks for a while so this comes as no surprise. If he commits to a longterm deal, he would be the star power needed to bring in more talent from the boxing world. Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather have both made WWE appearances in the past.  WWE is clearly doing something right to be attracting athletes from both Boxing and MMA but i’ll get to that in a separate post.

Related image

In closing, WWE won Premeire Week like I said at the top.

Smackdown got the most ratings followed by RAW, AEW Dynamite and then NXT. That’s in terms of pro wrestling on TV to clarify. Overall, it was a good week for WWE. NXT’s been around for almost 10 years and has had as long to build a dedicated fanbase. Now that it has shed its standing as the “Minor League Brand”, I do think NXT will prove it’s more than ready for primetime TV.

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

AEW beats NXT on first Wednesday night ratings but WWE wins the week overall