Report: Mike and Maria Kanellis request their release from WWE

Image result for wwe mike and maria kanellis

…Whew.

The news comes shortly after reports The Revival (NXT) is requesting their release so they can sign wth AEW.

Mike Kanellis recently made his in-ring return after a long absence to be with his wife and new daughter Frederica. The problem is his re-debut was on 205 Live, which is a WWE Network exclusive show. Maria tweeted her frustration a few days ago just when reports her their release request first broke.

Maria herself hasn’t been an active superstar since late 2017. She went on the inactive list due to a hand injury, got pregnant while out and missed all of 2018. She made an appearance at Evolution in the 20-Woman Battle Royale but hasn’t made an official return, likely for the same reason as Maryse (written off TV at her request): She understandably wants to focus on motherhood. The difference between Mike and The Miz is the latter is a proven workhorse. The former…not so much. Respect is earned, not given.

Apparently, Mike has started publicly using his real last name Bennett and is selling T-Shirts online. That’s a sign he likely plans to sit out for the remainder of his WWE contract until it expires like Neville (Pac in AEW) had to. Plus like I mentioned in a previous post, WWE locked down the whole roster when AEW went public. WWE rarely agrees to release requests and the ones they did were known about or expected in advance (Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Emma, etc.).

I do think it would be a mistake for them to leave WWE under these circumstances personally and more so because they reportedly did it with ROH. It would be a bad look for them professionally and they would be viewed as quitters. WWE took a chance signing them and if they feel they should have more screen time, they need to prove it. I do think WWE would be willing to negotiate with them to try to work something out as well.

 

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Report: Mike and Maria Kanellis request their release from WWE

This week’s RAW seems to indicate WWE has decided to crown a new top guy

Image result for WWE Finn Balor and John Cena

That someone being Finn Balor.

That’s how I viewed John Cena’s endorsement of him at the end of RAW. Roman Reigns’ return is still unknown. Reports indicated last month Braun Strowman might not be cleared in time for his scheduled Royal Rumble title match vs. Brock Lesnar so he was replaced with Finn Balor this week on-screen. The timing sucks for Strowman obviously but if anyone is most deserving of a Mega Push right now, it’s Finn Balor.

Roman Reigns was initially labeled as the new top guy in the company a few years back. His ring work isn’t the problem but his biggest flaw has always been doing promos. Vince hand-picked Reigns as the new top guy to replace John Cena. Reigns has missed time due to suspensions and illness, forcing WWE to change storylines and match cards. Between that and his current absence, my guess is Vince decided to find a new top guy. Strowman would’ve been the obvious Option 2 if not for his elbow surgery.

…That tells me Lesnar is likely booked to drop the title at the Royal Rumble. As a reminder, Finn Balor was the first Universal Champion…for 24 hours. He was forced to relinquish the title due to injury the following night. Kevin Owens would win the title that night on RAW and held it until he dropped it to Goldberg the following year. Goldberg dropped the title to Lesnar at Wrestlemania 33 and held it until he dropped it to Roman Reigns at last year’s Summer Slam and then regained it at Crown Jewel. As a reminder, that was originally going to be a Triple Threat match but due to Reigns taking a leave of absence it became a singles match for the title involving Strowman and Lesnar.

Anywho, it feels like Lesnar is being booked to drop the title at the Royal Rumble. That much I’m sure of. WWE will find a way to put Lesnar on the card at Wrestlemania. Lesnar vs. Strowman in a non-title match could certainly work if it’s booked well.

 

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The other big news out of RAW: The unveiling of the Women’s Tag Team Championship Belts. The first-ever Women’s Tag Team Champions will be decided in an Elimination Chamber Match at said Pay Per View next month. Three tag teams from RAW and three tag-teams from Smackdown–twelve women total–will clash for the titles. This is in addition to the traditional Men’s and Women’s Elimination Chamber matches.

Potential tag teams that may be involved–and this is speculation on my part–include:

  • Nia Jax and Tamina
  • Sarah Logan and/or Liv Morgan and/or Ruby Riott (Two of them)
  • Sasha Banks* and Bayley
  • Ronda Rousey* and Natalya
  • Mickie James and Alicia Fox
  • Asuka* and Naomi
  • Becky Lynch* and Charlotte
  • Mandy Rose and Sonya DeVille
  • Billie Kay and Peyton Royce (The Iconics)
  • Lana and Carmella

* Is booked for a title match at the Royal Rumble

Some teams make more sense than others obviously. Rousey, Banks, Asuka and Lynch could all be double champions (singles and tag).

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WWE’s making it more and more obvious who’s going where.

We already know EC3 and Nikki Cross are going to Smackdown Live. I’m fairly confident in saying Lacey Evans and Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight) will be going to Smackdown. Lars Sullivan could go either way. It was announced all five announced call ups will appear on both shows leading up to their brand reveals so they can be showcased.

I do suspect there will be a surprise call up or two as well:

  • Aleister Black: WWE originally planned for him to come to the main roster last year with Drew McIntryre. Those plans were put on hold due to his injury. He could be on Smackdown as a Heel.
  • Kairi Sane: I do think her rivialry with 3/4 of the Four Horsewomen of UFC will be short-lived personally. I’d put her down as a surprise call up to RAW.
  • Johnny Gargano: The word is VInce has wanted him on the main roster for two years now but Triple H has held out to give him more time. There’s also the unfortunate fact he’s injury prone. This looks like the year he comes to the main roster so I’d put him down as a surprise call up to Smackdown.
  • Shayna Baszler + Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir: I think they’ll do with her what they did with Ember Moon and Asuka by having her drop the title in her last NXT match, then have her go to RAW to team with Rousey. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir would automatically come with her of course.

…It was rumored the Clash of the Four Horsewomen would happen last year but it didn’t. It is very possible we could see it happen at Wrestlemania 35 or Summer Slam. If it happens at either, it’s an automatic Main Event Match.

 

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This week’s RAW seems to indicate WWE has decided to crown a new top guy

AEW-related News Update: Chris Jericho’s bio on WWE.com moved to Alumni category

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As of January 7, 2019 Chris Jericho has officially signed with AEW. A sharp Twitter poster noted Chris Jericho was removed from the “Then, Now and Forever” video sequence that plays at the start of RAW and Smackdown on Tuesday. He was replaced with The Bar during the video sequence that preceeded this week’s episode of Smackdown Live.

That’s not all. Chris Jericho has joined the likes of CM Punk, Neville (Pac in AEW), Ryback and Cody Rhodes in the Alumni section of WWE.com. Both moves were made in reaction to Y2J announcing he is “All in with AEW” and cleary WWE views the new promotion as credible competition in the US.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, WWE locked down everyone on their (massive) roster immediately following AEW’s launch. They are not allowing anyone on their payroll to even think of talking to AEW which again shows they considerthe new promotion to be credible competition. It’s doubtful we’ll see the second coming of the Attitude Era or the Monday Night Wars since AEW is giving no indication or interest that they are looking to compete with WWE directly.

It goes without saying Chris Jericho is a first ballot WWE Hall of Famer when he is eventually inducted. Sting and Kurt Angle’s inductions give a pretty clear indication of when we can expect his induction: When he retires from wrestling or leaves AEW, whichever happens first.

Y2J was reportedly in talks with WWE about returning full time last year but a deal could not be reached. Y2J basically wanted the Brock Lesnar treatment but WWE wasn’t having it and likely because they knew he was working other promotions. At this stage, losing Jericho isn’t a big deal and it’s not like they blacklisted him. The respect between Y2J and WWE is mutual at the end of the day so…yeah. I do suspect the end of Y2J’s wrestling career may come sooner than later personally.

 

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AEW-related News Update: Chris Jericho’s bio on WWE.com moved to Alumni category

AEW: All Elite Wrestling Officially Announced

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While it is true this is a WWE blog, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the recent launch of a new wrestling promotion. AEW isn’t looking to compete with WWE like WCW and ECW did in the past but like TNA, ROH and NJPW, it looks to establish itself as a viable alternative to WWE. In the years between the end of the Monday Night Wars (1996-2001) and the launch of TNA (now defunct, WWE is in the process of buying the rights to matches that feature current WWE superstars like AJ Styles and Kurt Angle).

AEW is being launched by former WWE Superstar turned indie favorite Cody Rhodes as well as the popular Young Bucks. The latter tag team is known everywhere outside WWE. Two known former WWE Superstars who have already announced they will be with AEW includes Jim Ross (known from his time with WWE) Chris Jericho and Pac (Neville in WWE).. Just one could be enough to make AEW an attractive destination for other up and coming wrestlers who may have been looking to go to WWE.

Speaking of. The press conference just wrapped up and already speculation is swirling on who will or should leave WWE for AEW. Some names I’ve seen online include:

 

  • Becky Lynch: LOL she has no reason to want to leave WWE anytime soon and more so being the most Over superstar in the company right now. She’s made it clear in recent interviews and podcast appearances she’s all in with WWE.
  • AJ Styles: The Phenominal One made a name for himself on the Indie Circuit before coming to WWE a few years back. In the very short time he’s been with WWE he’s become the biggest Free Agent signing since Chris Jericho. Most recently, he had a title reign that lasted over a year. He’s given no indication he is looking elsewhere and is giving every indication he plans to finish his wrestling career with WWE.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura: Like AJ Styles, he made a name for himself in Indie Wrestling (mostly NJPW and ROH). The reasoning given is many feel his current persona ran its course and his US Title reign last year was forgettable. The man himself has given no indications he is unhappy in WWE.
  • Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: Same as Shinsuke Nakamura in short but all signs point to them staying with WWE for the forseeable future.
  • Daniel Bryan: Folks were screaming for D-Bry to go indie during his 3-year absence from the ring and in fact, ROH famously “promised” he would sign with them when his contract with WWE expired in October. Almost as if in reaction to that, he was cleared to wrestle just before Wrestlemania. The rest is history.

I forgot to mention this up to now but Kenny Omega is one big name that wasn’t announced to be a part of AEW. This seems to confirm speculation he is looking to sign with WWE very soon.

WWE wasted no time locking down the entire roster the minute AEW was trademarked and with their cashflow, such a thing is not a problem for Vince McMahon to do. So, the possability of any of the above or other talent leaving for AEW just became impossible. Well, that and WWE doesn’t allow superstars on their payroll to talk to other promotions, let alone make guest appearances on other promotions. It’s also why WWE broke the bank to give Brock Lesnar a new contract a few years ago amid speculation he was looking to return to UFC.

The reason Rey Mysterio (and Chis Jericho) was able to appear in The Greatest Royal Rumble last year even though he didn’t have a WWE contract at the time is because he wasn’t working with any other promotions at the time. Jericho, who was with ROH at the time was special exception because of his years working in WWE and WCW.

There is talk AEW plans to make a serious offer to CM Punk. The rumors come on the heels of the former WWE superstar turned MMA fighter revealing in an interview two months back he is open to returning to pro wrestling for the first time since he walked out on WWE back in 2015. Obviously not WWE because of the lawsuit (which he won) but AEW would be a viable option. He would be the huge draw the new promotion needs to establish itself and let folks know how serious they are.

…It’s been a few years since WWE cut a lot of talent, almost all of which were from NXT and NXT UK. The Cruiserweight Division is tanking and WWE is trying to move talent from 205 Live to RAW or Smackdown.

The rise of AEW could force WWE to invest more into its floundering Cruiserweight Division (it’s currently WWE Network exclusive) just to hold on to talent. Not just on 205 Live but NXT and the main roster, too. WWE’s not stupid. They went through this during the 90s after all with WCW. They learned from that time and have gotten smarter about retaining talent they know other promotions would want to sign.

It goes without saying the circumstances behind Cody Rhodes’ departure from WWE could come back to haunt them sooner than later. More so now that he is getting into the business side of pro wrestling like Triple H did in WWE. I do think AEW has alot of promise but with both Good ‘Ol JR and The American Nightmare involved, it should have some staying power.

 

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AEW: All Elite Wrestling Officially Announced

I share Michael Cole’s opinion on real life personal stuff being used in storylines

Image result for WWE John Cena and Becky Lynch

…Whew.

It’s been almost a year since John Cena and Nikki Bella officially broke up and it isn’t getting old anytime soon. LOL.

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On a related note, WWE is teasing the possability of a match between John Cena and Becky Lynch via Twitter. Could it happen? Maybe. Should it happen? Good question.

During an interview two years ago, former WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes (Now with Impact Wrestling, he’s the younger brother of “Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes as well as the son of Hall of Famer the late Dusty Rhodes) said mixed singles–matches between male and female wrestlers–would be an embarassment to the profession and the industry because of the obvious size and strength differences between men and women. He argued there’s no way a good singles mixed match can be done because of the physical differences and the male wrestler will have to hold back too much to do it seriously for most credible male wrestlers to seriously agree to it. It just wouldn’t look good no matter how talented both competators are.

…Then WWE introduced the Mixed Match Challenge, which wrapped up their second season last month. Granted they were tag matches and you never once see a male superstar use offense against a female superstar (the rules state men face men, women face women). At last year’s Wrestlemania Ronda Rousey deadlifted Triple H but again, he didn’t use any offense despite her well known MMA background.

WWE is clearly moving toward a full match between a male and female superstar and the Indie promotions are taking notice. Despite the opinions of longtime and respected wrestling personalities who have voiced their opposition to mixed gender singles matches, I predict we could see the first one happen before the end of this year. The last female WWE Superstar to seriously compete against male superstars was Beth Phoenix and in fact, she competed in the Royal Rumble. Chyna was a 2-time Intercontinental Champion as well so it’s not like there’s no precident in WWE already.

Before I continue, yes this week and last week’s episodes of RAW and Smackdown (as well as NXT and 205 Live) were pre taped in advance. It was done because Christmas, New Year’s and their respective Eves fell on a Monday and Tuesday this time around so the episodes were taped the week before each as if they were the day of. It was obviously done to give Superstars and other WWE Staff time off  and/or to spend with their families. Yet some idiots made noise about them being pretaped. RAW and Smackdown used to always be pre-taped once upon a time so…yeah. Things return to being live again this coming week though.

Getting back to my earlier train of thought. About 10 years back, Michael Cole made gave some comments in regards to Rey Mysterio’s personal life being used as part of his then ongoing feud with Randy Orton back in 2009. I’m paraphrasing but he said as long as all parties involved have signed off on it–and commentators assume it’s ok unless they’re told otherwise–he has no issue with it personally.

As many may have noticed, news and info from Superstars’ personal lives have been used in storylines quite a bit in 2018:

  • Most imfamously, Samoa Joe referenced Jeff Hardy’s past alcohol abuse during a recent feud.
  • Unsurprisingly, several superstars have taken swipes at Rondy Rousey and making reference to her last two UFC matches, which were both embarrassing losses for her.
  • While Dean Ambrose was out due to injury, he and Rene Young got married, In recent weeks after Ambrose turned Heel, Corey Graves has made reference to their status as a married couple.
  • Speaking of Dean Ambrose. The Lunatic Fringe made reference to Roman Reigns stepping away from WWE to focus on his Leukemia diagnosis two months ago. He made disparaging remarks, saying Reigns “got what he deserved” while explaining why he turned Heel.
  • Aj Styles involved his actual wife and daughter during her feud with Samoa Joe during the summer. Styles actually does have a daughter named Wendy and has two sons as well. He’s on the road so much his hometown of Gainsville, Georgia has no idea they have a TNA, NJPW and WWE Superstar is among them.

…And then there’s this:

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Just when you thought it the days of female superstars being used as eye candy were long over, Mandy Rose flipped the script on the Smackdown episode that aired on New Year’s Day. The photo was displayed during Naomi’s match with Sonya DeVille and provided enough of a distraction for the latter to pick up the win against the former 2-time Smackdown Women’s Champion.

As part of her feud with Naomi, Mandy Rose is playing the part of a seductress of Naomi’s husband Jimmy Uso get in Naomi’s head. This week she walked onto the stage appearing to wear nothing but a towel to distract Jimmy Uso, costing him and his brother a Tag Team Championship opportunity. Backstage, she revealed she had her ring gear on under the towel before she and Sonya were attacked by an (understandably) pissed off Naomi.

WWE has a long track record of blurring the line between fiction and reality as well as incorporating real world event into its storylines. Rusev’s Anti-America persona from his first year and a half on the main roster is one example as is the launch of WWE’s Women’s Revolution itself. I don’t see that changing anytime soon either.

As for using details from a superstar’s personal, non-work life in promos, that will always be a touchy subject. Unless otherwise noted, I will assume the parties involved signed off on it personally. I don’t just mean stuff like pregnancies (Brie Bella, Maria Kanellis and Maryse) or hobbies (Zack Ryder, Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze for example). I’m talking real deep stuff like Nia Jax’s size (She’s 300 lbs and self-concious about it when out of character) and Samoa Joe constantly being out due to injury (Well known from his days with TNA).

 

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I share Michael Cole’s opinion on real life personal stuff being used in storylines

The McMahon Family coming together to run RAW and Smackdown is clearly to lay the groundwork for later on

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It’s easy for folks to say RAW’s declining ratings are why Vince is “suddenly” returning to TV or a regular basis. I can’t say I agree with that arguement/theory though. Huge hints were dropped there were gonna be some major changes when Shane and Stephanie McMahon were uncharacteristically AWOL for most of the year combined. Having the GMs run the shows was clearly a failed experiment overall. Paige was fine obviously but RAW was a disaster and kudos to WWE for willingly taking the ratings hit to experiment. They know now what not to do later.

The return of the Manager role for superstars…we can thank Paul Heyman for that. He kept it alive when it looked like WWE was eliminating it. I think I might have mentioned this a few years back but Vince McMahon has been looking to bring back the Manager character for some time. Bringing in 205 Live Superstars to do it though…that’s genius.

On that note.

As of two weeks ago, it seems 205 Live veteran Mustafa Ali is now a member of Smackdown Live. 205 Live Commissioner Drake Maverick is the Manager for AOP and has been for most of the year. Lio Rush has been paired with Bobby Lashley since the summer as well. 205 Live has a weight limit of 205 pounds. That never meant superstars under 205 pounds can’t compete on RAW or Smackdown though. Kalisto spent some time as a part of the 205 Live roster before returning to RAW earlier this year.

Now, 205 Live airs on WWE Network Wednesdays for an hour. WWE is clearly pushing the cross-promotion to give 205 Live’s talent more exposure

 

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WWE ran promos for Lars Sullivan but as expected, he isn’t the only NXT Callup. Nikki Cross and EC3 have been confirmed to be going to Smackdown Live as of this week. Nikki going to Smackdown Live to reunite with the SAnity full-time is obvous. The decision to keep her on NXT was to give her more time to develop as a solo competator. Zelina Vega has had several singles matches for similar reasons despite her primary role being Cien Almas’ manager.

EC3 is known from his time with TNA like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. Given AJ Styles might be turning Heel again, it makes sense to bring in EC3 to clash with him on the road to Wrestlemania.

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The biggest news dropped before the end of the year: The Women’s Tag titles are coming!

Ever since this year’s Superstar Shakeup, several Women’s Superstars have teamed up on a regular basis:

  • Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka: Most already know this but they are cousins and are also cousins to Roman Reigns, The Rock and The Usos. It’s hard to argue them not being the first RAW Women’s Tag Team Champions.
  • Sasha Banks and Bayley: They are half of the Four Horsewomen of NXT. No further comment necessary.
  • The Riott Squad: They came in as a 3-woman stable so…yeah. Sarah Logan got married over the weekend. Ruby Riott is clearly being set up for another shot at the Women’s Championship. It’s a question of weather or not she will go solo or remain part of the group.
  • Alexa Bliss and Mickie James: Another pretty obvious pairing. Alexa hasn’t been in the ring since the RAW before Evolution. I don’t know if she’s cleared to return yet but we should find out sooner than later.
  • Ronda Rousey and Natalya: No one was surprised their friendship survived the title match on this week’s RAW (we all knew the title wasn’t changing hands) so they would round out a fifth tag team from RAW. I assume Rousey will drop the RAW Women’s title before, after or at Wrestlemania 35. I don’t think WWE will allow Rousey to be a double champion so soon personally.
  • Trish Stratus and Lita: They could fit in on either RAW or Smackdown in my book. They announced they will be back “sooner than later”. It would be fair to assume they will be in the Women’s Royal Rumble Match.
  • Naomi and Asuka: Their friendship was put on hold during the Mixed Match Challenge. With Asuka the current Smackdown Women’s Champion, things could be real interesting. There is potential for Asuka to end up being a double champion.
  • Mandy Rose and Sonya DeVille: With the GM role now retired, it makes the most sense for Paige to reunite with Mandy and Sonya to reform Absolution in my book. If she does, they would be instant favorites to be the first Smackdown Women’s Tag Team Champions.
  • The Iconics: No comment necessary.
  • Becky Lynch and Charlotte: The potential is there. Even though they are both Heels and hate each other, that too shall pass. Charlotte has proven she can seamlessly switch between Babyface and Heel while The Man is the most Over Superstar in WWE right now.
  • The Bella Twins: We know they’re coming back sooner than later. It makes the most sense for them to return on Smackdown to help carry the brand.

 

…Those are all the teams that immediately come to mind for me. The tag teams would allow the singles competators more time to shine as a bonus.

 

Image result for WWE Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

The promos point to them likely making their official return at the Royal Rumble to me and after that, likely on separate brands. It would make the most sense to me and more so for Sami Zayn.

Kevin Owens was the second Universal Champion but unlike Finn Balor he had an actual run with the title the lasted 6 months (dropped it to Goldberg, who dropped it to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 33). Sami Zayn’s main roster run has been stagnant so far in comparison. KO proved he doesn’t need Sami Zayn to be successful. Now it’s time for Sami Zayn to prove he doesn’t need KO to be successful.

 

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The McMahon Family coming together to run RAW and Smackdown is clearly to lay the groundwork for later on

Predicting the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame Inductees

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…With the Road to Wrestlemania 35 set to begin next month, it’s not too early to think about the night before it. I’m talking about the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2019. There are alot of names being thrown around, most of which have been speculated for over a decade prettymuch.

 

The biggest one is the group NWO:

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Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash: NWO.

They were WCW’s version of DX during their legendary run on WCW. The superstars themselves cleared this up already many times but Kevin Nash (Diesel during his first WWE run) and Scott Hall (Razor Ramon during his WWE run) left WWE because their contracts were expiring and they decided to sign with WCW. When WCW folded, Nash and Hogan returned to WWE. Scott Hall left the business and had bouts with substance abuse. With help from Diamond Dallas Paige, he got clean and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as an individual. Nash and Hogan were inducted as individuals as well.

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…For those who don’t know, the real reason Owen Hart hasn’t been inducted already–and WWE has wanted to induct him forever–is because of his widow. May 23, 2019 will mark the 20th Anniversary of his untimely death. WWE ackowledges “the incident” with a caption that plays at the beginning of the event acknowledging his death.

WWE took tremendous heat for its decision to continue the rest of the card that night and the timing couldn’t have been worse given the fallout from the Montral Screwjob was still fresh in the minds of the Hart Family at the time of his untimely death. Yes it was a freak accident and WWE could have handled it better than they did. It’s one business decision Vince said he wished he did differently because of how deeply hurt the Hart family already was from Owen’s death, then to have the show go on as if it didn’t happen.

Vince has personally begged Owen’s widow Maria Hart to allow his induction but she has refused to give her permission, let alone talk about the matter. The documentary WWE recently put together on Owen Hart’s WWE career and Mark Henry’s indirect reference to Owen Hart during his induction last year appears to have softened her position. There are rumors she has met with Stephanie McMahon earlier this year after years of being pressured by prettymuch everyone. We will find out in the coming months if this will be the year it happens.

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…Yes, Glen “Kane” Jacobs is on the short list of Superstars who may be inducted into the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame. Him getting consideration before The Undertaker aside, he has obviously had a Hall of Fame career going almost 20 years.

In case folks haven’t heard by now for some reason, Glenn Jacobs was elected Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee earlier this year. He has been pushing for his hometown to host a PPV event and as mayor, it’s certainly become easier for him to do that. A Hall of Fame Induction would be a nice touch, also. As for who would induct him, it would have to be The Undertaker.

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The Master of the 619…some say like the Hardys, he may be looking to end his in-ring career with WWE. What better than a Hall of Fame Induction?

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…It’s all but confirmed Matt Hardy will be a part of the 2019 class. Could his brother Jeff join him? Both Hardys have had amazing singles careers but they will always be known for their legendary Tag Matches and specially Ladder Matches.

Matt Hardy announced his retirement after Summer Slam but walked that back a bit a few months later, leaving open the door for one-off appearances from time to time. Jeff Hardy is on the Smackdown roster and is committed to competing for as long as his body will allow but there are signs he might not make it to Wrestlemania 35. My guess is either Matt Hardy will be inducted alone or they will be inducted together. As for who, obviously it would be either Lita,  The Dudleys or Edge and Christian.

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…While her in-ring career was cut short between her nearly 2 year absence and then forced retirement, folks forget she has been a professional wrestler since the age of 13. I do think WWE would induct her if not this year then in a few years for the same reason they inducted Mark Henry: Out of respect for her dedication to the company.

For those who don’t know, Paige suffered the same neck injury that ended Edge’s career 13 months ago during a house show. That ended her in-ring career. She recently shot down rumors circulating the internet that WWE cleared her to wrestle. She responded to the rumors saying the rumors are not true and she can never wrestle again because of the risk of complete paralysis. Edge was forced into retirement because of the same kind of injury so…yeah.

Anywho, that’s my short list. All of ’em are certainly possible. We’ll have to wait and see in the coming months.

 

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Predicting the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame Inductees