The recently returned Randy Orton is not on the card for Summer Slam and here’s why

Image result for WWE Smackdown Randy Orton

The short answer: Orton is under investigation for a string of bizarre incidents involving himself and WWE staff backstage in 2012. In these encounters, Orton reportedly expoosed himself in front of then new Male staff, touched himself and then “firmly asked” that they shake his hand. No one was able to tell if he was being serious, in character or joking around because of how serious he appeared when he did it.

As a reminder, by that time Randy Orton had firmly established himself as one of the top superstars in the business. He is third behind John Cena and Triple H with title reigns at 13 (WWE Championship and past incarnations). He is a second generation Superstar (“Cowvboy” Bob Orton is his father) and obviously a first ballot hall of famer.

…Yet, Orton is not on the card for Summer Slam despite the rivalry being built involving him and Jeff Hardy. Clearly the investigation is why.

Contrary to what some may think, WWE is taking the allegations very seriously. During one of these encounters Stephanie McMahon entered the room but she did see anything and saw no obvious signs that something strange was going on. Steph is known to be very observant yet she had no idea at the time. As one of the two faces of WWE–the other being her husband Triple H–I wouldn’t be surprised if she is personally overseeing this investigation.

I don’t think Orton will get a slap on the wrist but at that same time I don’t think he will be fired either. Remember: WWE kicked Hulk Hogan out of the Hall of Fame for 3 years over comments he said almost 10 years earlier. My guess is Orton will be either suspended without pay, fined, denied title opportunities or a combination of all three. WWE might have dealt with the matter behind closed doors but since the details of the incident were leaked online, WWE is now under pressure to show no mercy.

One can only hope this doesn’t seriously hurt his Hall of Fame chances. Do I think Randy Orton should be punished despite the passage of time? Hell yes absolutely. He had to have known those bizarre incidents would come back to haunt him later so…yeah.

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The recently returned Randy Orton is not on the card for Summer Slam and here’s why

Another former UFC competator talks going to WWE

Image result for Travis Browne and Ronda Rousey

…This one’s more noteworthy given he is the husband of new UFC Hall of Fame Inductee Ronda Rousey: Travis Browne.

In a recent interview, Browne expressed a strong interest in teaming up with his wife in WWE. Browne hasn’t competed since last July and Dana White considers the 6’7″ MMA fighter retired from UFC. Sound familiar? Browne and White married in 2016.

If he does make the switch, he will likely be fast-tracked like Rousey and possibly bypass NXT completely. He obviously takes care of his body and given he is 36 (Rousey is 31), a year or two in NXT wouidn’t make sense unless he is immediately put in the NXT title picture.

You could have him debut on RAW and build him separately from Rousey first before pairing them in mixed tag matches every now and then. Seriously, he could be the male UFC export to carry RAW that the company wanted and hoped to get from Brock Lesnar when he returned in 2012. Unlike Lesnar himself you know Browne would be all in and far less demanding.

As of right now, Naomi and Jimmy Uso are the only active couple in WWE. Like I said before, there ARE other couples but one or both is not currently active:

 

  • The Miz and Maryse: Maryse gave birth earlier this year and will be on maternity leave indefinitely for the time being. The Miz is currently active and (finally) started a feud with D-Bry.
  • Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella: Same as above. D-Bry (finally) started a feud with The Miz.
  • Mike and Maria Kannelis: Marie gave birth earlier this year. Mike Kannelis is taking time off to be with his family.
  • Triple H and Stephanie McMahon: Focusing on their real WWE jobs at the moment outside WWE TV.

…Surprised there are so many high-profile couples? Well, in an upcoming post I’ll discuss active WWE Superstars who are related to The Rock. Wait and see!

 

 

 

Another former UFC competator talks going to WWE

Updates on Injured Superstars and the return of Hulk Hogan

Image result for WWE Summerslam 2018

 

Summer Slam is fast approaching. Before the weekend, updates on a few Superstars who have been in the injured list for months were revealed.

 

  • Charlotte Flair, who had cosmetic surgery plans to return at the end of the month.
  • Kane’s injury is Kayfabe (He wasn’t really injured) and was WWE’s way of writing him off TV. As a reminder, Glenn Jacobs (Kane in WWE) is running for mayor of his hometown Knox County, Tennessee. Even though everyone in his hometown knows he’s a WWE superstar and many WWE fans know he’s running for mayor, WWE needed to write him out of TV for those who may not know more or less. His recent return to WWE leading up to Extreme Rules was expected to be brief and this way, the door is open for a return down the road.
  • Jason Jordan will return “When it is storyline appropriate”, meaning he is cleared to return. My guess is he will first feud with Baron Corbin, then reunite with Chad Gable to reform American Alpha on RAW. The two were split up to build them separately. Although neither won a title after being separated, the obvious mega push Jason Jordan got as RAW GM Kurt Angle’s Kayfabe son clearly failed to help get him Over. Chad Gable, who was paired with Shelton Benjamin on Smackdown Live after Jason Jordan was moved to RAW made the switch himself as part of the Superstar Shakeup after Wrestlemania.
  • Dean Ambrose is expected to return at the end of the summer. Ambrose tore his left tricep in January, leaving Roman Reigns as the only Shield member yet to miss Wrestlemania due to injury. Seth Rollins was forced to miss Wrestlemania 32 due to injury.
  • Jeff Hardy’s attacks from Randy Orton this week is clearly setting the stage for his exit so he can focus on the injury he was been working with for the last few months. He avoided using the Swanton Bomb in Live Shows because of it as well.

Related image

 

As folks have heard by now, Terry Bollea– more commonly known by his wrestling name, Hulk Hogan–was just reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. The Hulkster was suspended from WWE three years ago. Almost to the day. I broke the news here back then.

2018 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Mark Henry revealed in interviews since Hogan’s reinstatement the reported apology he previously said Hogan would have to do say to the current roster happened in the locker room before the start of Extreme Rules. After he apologized, which everyone saw was clearly sincere and remorseful, he issued a warning based on his situation that they be careful what they say publicly because they they might be recorded and don’t know it.

That’s what happened to him though I am not trying to excuse what he said. He didn’t know the racially inflammatory comments he’d made–comments he made 8 years before he was suspended–had been recorded at the time he made them. Those comments got him exiled from WWE in 2015. The suspension was a statement that no one, not even Hogan was untouchable.

Although the Hulkster clearly missed the money, more than that he spoke to Mark Henry about how his life changed when word of what he said spread and how people looked at him afterward. That bothered him more than anything and unsurprisingly, Mark Henry offered to personally help him rebuild he reputation.

While it’s not known yet who reached out first, i would not be surprised at all if it’s revealed Mark Henry had a role in Hogan’s reinstatement. He has been pushing for Owen Hart (died in a freak accident during a WWE PPV in 1998) and Chyna (died from a drug overdose in 2016) being inducted into the Hall of Fame for some time as well.

According to Mark Henry, the Black Superstars are 50/50 on Hogan’s reinstatement (!). It’s not like they don’t know about what he said, mind you. They can also separate that from him being the face of WWE during the 1980s. Overall, most WWE Superstars–and I mean in general–hold themselves to very high standards compared to Hogan’s heyday. They do so much outside the squared circle so…yeah. If one of them said it, that would’ve been career suicide.

 

In the 48 hours since Hogan’s reinstatement, The New Day answered requests for comment with this lengthy statement posted by Kofi Kingston via Twitter:

“To the WWE Universe and whoever else it may concern:

This will be the only statement we will make regarding Hogan’s reinstatement into WWE’s Hall Of Fame. We do not wish to spend the energy debating the point, because between our kids, our external values, and this job, our energy is spread thin enough already, lol.

We are only writing this simply to provide an answer to the many who have bombarded us with questions on where we stand on the issue.

We preface this statement by emphasizing that this is our own opinion and may not necessarily reflect the opinion of anyone else affected.

How do we feel? Indifferent. We are not happy, or sad, angry or resentful. Who WWE puts into the HOF is totally and completely up to the company and from a career standpoint, there is no argument on whether or not Hogan should have his place. We have no problem with his re-induction in the slightest degree. It is impossible to even begin to mention the history and evolution of the business without mentioning his name and accolades.

On a personal level, when someone makes racist and hateful comments about any race or group of people, especially to the degree that Hogan made about our people, we find it difficult to simply forget, regardless of how long ago it was, or the situation in which those comments were made. But we also do not respond with more feelings of hate. Instead, we just do not associate with the people who convey or have conveyed this negative and hurtful mindset. This instance will be no different. Perhaps if we see him make a genuine effort to change, then maybe our opinion will change with him. Time will tell.

Through the course of our lives, people have used racial comments towards us and it doesn’t feel good. But if we stopped moving forward everytime we were met with prejudicial hatred, then we would have never achieved our current accomplishments.

We know we are worth it, we know our kids are worth it, and most importantly, we know that people that look like us are worth it and always have been. There isn’t a person on this planet who will be ever be able to say anything to make us think otherwise because we believe in ourselves as a people and don’t need anyones approval on that, regardless of who they are.

Having said that, his reinstatement won’t change anything for us. It will have zero effect on our ability to perform or the level of effort we put into doing what we love to do, and that is: To deliver an entertaining product each week for our fan base.

Sincerely,

-The New Day

“Never trade authenticity for approval.”

The neutral reaction matches up with most of the opinions voiced by Black Superstars at the news of Hogan’s reinstatement. Most are more interested in seeing Hogan back up his words with action. Not that they’re personally interested. They would like to see him back up his words with action is all.

Updates on Injured Superstars and the return of Hulk Hogan

WWE appears to be moving to book Brock Lesnar to drop the Universal Title at Summer Slam

Image result for Brock Lesnar UFC

For those who missed the news last weekend, Brock Lesnar is officially booked to compete in UFC–and for a title–later this year. He will face Daniel “DC” Cormier for the UFC Heavyweight title on November 23 at UFC 230.

As everyone knows, Lesnar is the current Universal Champion (he didn’t have it with him at the UFC Event he attended). WWE has clearly been waiting for Lesnar to commit to be booked in a UFC match and for it to become official more or less. Lesnar was not booked for Summer Slam but that is clearly changed now that he is booked for a UFC. There is comfirmation Paul Heyman will be working backstage on the RAW after Extreme Rules. My guess is he will cut a promo regarding Lesnar to build for Summer Slam.

It is very likely the winner of Reigns vs. Lashley will face Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Summer Slam. Lashley getting the win, then getting cashed in on by Braun Strowman could work and more so given you could still book Reigns vs. Dre McIntyre at Summer Slam at the same time. The more likely scenario though is Reigns wins at Extreme Rules and then gets cashed in on by Strowman after (finally) beating Lesnar.

I am assuming the latter is how things will play out but we will still have to wait and see.

WWE appears to be moving to book Brock Lesnar to drop the Universal Title at Summer Slam

Moonwalk DDT!!!

..You read that right.

IIf you haven’t seen the video yet…here:

 

No, that’s not Michael Jackson himself. The real King of Pop himself has been dead for 9 years now. It’s YouTube User Santana Jackson, who is a popular Michael Jackson cosplayer and also an indie wrestler. I first learned of the video when it was shared by Bleacher Report last night.

The Moonwalk DDT combines elements of the actual Moonwalk and Dean Ambrose’s version of the DDT, Dirty Deeds. He even remembers to do the Toe Stand at the end before tagging out.

Here’s some video of Michael Jackson doing the Moonwalk. You don’t need to watch the entire video.

And in case you’re interested in learning how to do it, here:

To provide a short history lesson, The Moonwalk was originally called the Reverse Back Slide and actually predates Michael Jackson.

Here’s video proof:

Before I continue, for those who are wondering Michael Jackson did not “steal” the Moonwalk and as you can see, several people use it in these videos. The first known recording of someone performing the Moonwalk in front of a crowd took place in the Apollo Theater in 1955. Michael Jackson was born almost 10 years later. It predates him. He never takes credit for inventing it. He simply enhanced it and usually tries to incorporate all known variations of it in his live shows.

Anywho, the point of the Moonwalk itself is to give the illusion that you are moving forward when you are actually moving backwards. Michael Jackson perfected that and that is why it became such an iconic dance move. Even though it’s obvious that he is moving backward, he is using forward-moving motions while doing it. In other words, an optical illusion.

…But wait. “What does any of this have to do with WWE?” That’s what you’re thinking by now I’m sure. “It’s not like there’s someone who Moonwalks though.”, right?

Actually, yes there is:

Image result for WWE Carmella Smackdown Women's Champion

The current Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella.

Here’s her Smackdown Debut:

She Moonwalks as part of her Entrance and also does it as a taunt. She could definitely use the Moonwalk DDT as a finisher and get Over with the WWE Universe while still a Heel.

Moonwalk DDT!!!

RAW and Smackdown are building momentum going into Summer Slam

Image result for WWE Summer Slam 2018
That’s the best way to describe what’s happening on both brands. Lots of things have been happening and will happen between now and Summer Slam. Here’s the bulk of stuff I am aware of so far.

 

  • Most assumed this but the real reason Daniel Bryan was left ouf the the Money in the Bank Ladder Match was to protect his neck. Serious injury is far higher in a ladder match than the traditional match he was booked in at the PPV just to make sure he was on the card. WWE learned from what happened to Edge and Paige so…yeah.
  • The Bar hasn’t been seen on Smackdown Live at all in recent months but it’s because they have working live shows full time. This appears to be a trial period and superstars will be periodically swapped in and out of RAW or Smackdown to just do Live Shows.
  • Sami Zayn is taking some time off to recover from a nagging shoulder injury he’s been competing with. Zayn delayed taking time off to face Bobby Lashley at Money in the Bank.
  • Bray Wyatt was injured in a traffic accident lat Friday. It was severe enough to cause him to miss RAW but all signs point to him being cleared in time to join Matt Hardy in their tag team match vs. The B-Team.
  • The reason Jeff Hardy’s originally scheduled match with Shinsuke Nakamura was changed to an Open Challenge is because Nakamura suffered a minor lower leg injury in a freak accident involving a police dog backstage. The injury was severe enough to take him off the card and he is using crutches. It was obvious in the promo he did this week that he was sitting and likely had his crutches just out of view. He is expected to be cleared to compete at Extreme Rules though.
  • Speaking of Jeff Hardy. The current U.S. Champion himself has been wresting with a sprained ankle. He is clearly being set up to drop the belt soon so he can focus on rehabing his injury.
  • Glenn Jacobs–Kane in WWE–is the Republican candidate running for Mayor in Knoxx County, Tennessee. The 51 year old superstar turned politician has been doing exceptionally well thanks in no small part to the help of current and former superstars who have campaigned on his behalf. He recently returned to WWE again to team up with Daniel Bryan on Smackdown Live. His Democratic rival Linda Haney has been critical of The Big Red Monster continuing to wrestle during the campaign.
  • Daniel Bryan (real name Bryan Danielson) dropped some hints he may leave WWE after all. In a recent interview, he revealed he is looking to work a significantly reduced schedule so he can spend more time with his family. The former Smackdown Commissioner was medically cleared by WWE to return to in-ring competition in February, shocking and thrilling everyone. D-Bry has been strictly doing traditional matches since his return, clearly to protect his neck. In the months before he was cleared by WWE, there were rumors he would look to compete in Ring of Honor (ROH) when his contract expires later this year. It looks more likely that he will switch to a part-time schedule. Giving him “Free Agent” status–the ability to work both brands–would be good and he would have alot of flexability in terms of scheduling.
  • Speaking of Team Hell No. Dr. Shelby, who helped them overcome their differences the last time they teamed up is back. This time, he has been tasked with helping Sasha Banks and Bayley repair their broken friendship. WWE recently filed a trademark for the character, who is played by Michael Aspinwall likely as a precaution to protect the character moving forward.
  • Since I mentioned Free Agents. Chris Jericho, John Cena, Kane and The Undertaker are the four most prolific Superstars with Free Agent Status. ‘Taker, Jericho and Cena last competed at The Greatest Royal Rumble PPV in Saudi Arabia back in April. ‘Taker faced Rusev in a Casket Match while Cena and Triple H opened the show. Jericho competed in the Greatest Royal Rumble match. Kane just returned on Smackdown Live and will likely be around at least until Extreme Rules.

 

Image result for john cena and nikki bella wwe

Based on the recent news, speculation is rampant Cena originally proposed to Nikki at Wrestlemania 33 as a publicity stunt. After they suddenly broke up earlier this year, he realized he really did love her. The timing of the breakup was kinda bad as it happened just before the Greatest Royal Rumble PPV in April. He indirectly referenced the breakup in some comments after his match with Triple H, thanking fans for their continued support.

When promos for the current season of Total Bellas started airing on TV, it was after the breakup had gone viral. I have noticed in recent weeks that the promos have changed a bit to reflect recent developments in their relationship.

The two are back together now. Cena expressed remorse over the breakup and is in the process of getting his Vasectomy reversed. Nikki’s dream was to have kids of her own and that was a point of tension between them: She wanted kids and he didn’t. Cena got the Vasectomy after his first marriage and made it clear from the beginning he had no interest in having kids. Clearly those feelings have changed and more so given Brie recently had a baby herself.

I do think both Brie and Nikki will return later this year though. Weather it’s together or as a Tag Team remains to be seen.

Image result for WWE Goldberg and Roman Reigns

In a recent interview, 2018 WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg stated The Undertaker and Roman Reigns are the two superstars he’d like to get in the ring with “and no one else”. All three were in the ring at the same time during the 2017 Royal Rumble. Goldberg eliminated Lesnar while Reigns eliminated ‘Taker to set up their matches at Wrestlemania 33.

A showdown between Reigns and Goldberg was teased on RAW as seen above before they were interrupted by Rusev. The potential is certainly there. It’s a matter of when and how the matches are set up to me. Goldberg vs. Taker would be Wrestlemania-level to say the least but it would make more sense to have Goldberg vs. Reigns later in the year.

 

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RAW and Smackdown are building momentum going into Summer Slam

Ronda Rousey inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame; The latest Brock Lesnar Rumors

Image result for Ronda Rousey UFC Hall of Fame

…Most folks realize this now but Rousey’s 30-day suspension from RAW is a work. What most didn’t know is Ronda Rousey would become the first woman inducted into UFC’s Hall of Fame.

Rousey, 31retired from UFC and MMA in 2016 after her two knockout losses to Holly Holm (ended her 12-0 win streak) and Amanda Nunes. She was prettymuch done with MMA at that point and spent most of 2017 negotiating with WWE for a contract.  Her return to UFC for her induction into the UFC Hall of Fame was viewed by fans of her MMA career as a final sendoff.

Although she made several appearances last year–mostly in support of her friend (and current NXT Women’s Champion) Shayna Baszler–Rousey officially debuted in WWE at the 2018 Royal Rumble. She has so far participated in two matches. She teamed up with Kurt Angle to face Stephanie McMahon and Triple H at Wrestlemania 43, which they won. Her first official singles match took place at the Money in the Bank PPV where she faced Nia Jaxx for the RAW Women’s Championship. Alexa Bliss, who won the Money in the Bank briefcase cashed it in ro win the title and indirectly protect Jaxx and Rousey’s characters.

Rousey is currently on a 30-day suspension for attacking Kurt Angle and several referees on the RAW after Money in the Bank. She appeared in a pre-recorded interview this week and plans to be front row at the Extreme Rules PPV as a spectator. She is booked to be there anyway so more likely than not she will do more than just watch Nia Jaxx face Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship.

Image result for Brock Lesnar Training 2018

Brock Lesnar has now held the Universal Championship longer than CM Punk.

Dana White all but confirmed in recent interviews that Brock Lesnar is returning to UFC later this year despite having signed a new contract with WWE two years ago. Lesnar has made it no secret he is very interested in returning to UFC and has been training for it.

Vince has been dancing around the fact RAW having an absentee champion has long run its course. Reigns’ on-screen frustrations earlier this year is a shared sentiment and more so given how much effort has been put into just not talking about the fact Brock Lesnar wrestles who and when he wants. Lesnar is not booked for Extreme Rules and has recently been ruled out for Summer Slam. This despite Roman Reigns clearing being set up to take the title from Lesnar…only to be cashed in on by the Monster in the Bank Braun Strowman immediately or shortly afterward.

My guess is Lesnar will be booked to drop the title later this year to Reigns but instead the Money in the Bank Briefcase will come into play to protect Lesnar’s character. This was why it was done at Wrestlemania 31, too (Rollins cashed in). It’s a matter of seeing how things play out at this point.

 

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Ronda Rousey inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame; The latest Brock Lesnar Rumors