As I’m sure you’re aware, The One Man Band was never actually drafted by Raw or Smackdown on the July 19 edition of Smackdown. No question WWE is milking this for all it’s worth: This week, he made the mistake of pissing off both Brock Lesnar AND Randy Orton and barely survived both encounters. While he technically won in his match with Randy Orton (by disqualification), he never actually signed the contract. LOL.
The surprise return of Jinder Mahal last week saw said superstar get signed by RAW. Mahal and Slater, along with Drew McIntyre were part of a stable called 3MB. They were fed to other superstars as comic relief until McIntyre and Mahal were released by WWE earlier this year. Anyway, it looks like Slater will remain a free agent at least until after Summer Slam.
You are not seeing things:
Damien Sandow, who was released by WWE earlier this year recently signed with rival promotion TNA. WWE is CLEARLY making the same mistakes it made 20 years ago by misusing talent, releasing them and then letting them sign with the competition. Former WWE Superstars Stu Bennett (Wade Barret), Ryan Reeves (Ryback) and Cody Rhodes are all rumored to be in talks with TNA as well. All four of them had huge fan followings when they were with WWE.
This was a smart move on TNA’s part as they could bring in fans of Sandow when he was with WWE and with it, ratings. While it’s nothing for WWE to be concerned about–yet–it COULD become a problem if more known talent released by WWE signs with TNA. Fortunately it looks like WWE is going out of its way to avoid that situation.
It would also seem Vince McMahon is more comfortable in allowing Triple H, Steph and Shane handle more of what he used to do: Bleacher Report noted over the weekend Vince hasn’t been seen backstage in recent weeks as he usually is during live shows. The principal owner of WWE and majority shareholder is 71 years old.
I think it’s just Vince delegating some of his usual workload to the three I just named, allowing him to focus on other things. He’s am imfamous workaholic so by “other things” I mean work related stuff.
…Finally, it’s a done deal: The Big Show will face Shaq at Wrestlemania 33.
it will also be The Big Show’s final match: The World’s Largest Athlete announced he will be retiring after Wrestlemania 33. It will be quite the ending for the Superstar who spent most of his career in WWE, WCW and ECW putting other Superstars over. He did get several title runs and is the only Superstar to have held the WWE, WCW AND ECW Championships (the last one when WWE briefly brought back ECW 10 years ago). He also had several tag team runs and won the first Andre the Giant Battle Royale at Wrestlemania 31.
It’s also interesting given The Big Show said on The Stone Cold Podcast earlier this year he might have 2-3 more years left in the tank. I get the feeling he will retire from in-ring action but will still stay involved with the company in some other way. Like others have said since word broke, It would be huge if WWE gives him one more title run. He more than deserves it for putting over so many superstars.
…Finally, I recently got confirmation on news that matters to me: It turns out’Taker’s not done with WWE as had been rumored after Wrestlemania 32. At the very least, Vince should have known better than piss him off with such a poorly booked Wrestlemania match. Booking for his Wrestlemania 33 match–would could be his last–should begin in January.
Possible opponents include Dean Ambrose, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and John Cena. ‘Taker expressed an interest in working with Ambrose last year. Many also believe Cena will be tapped as ‘Taker’s final Wrestlemania opponent be it next year or the year after. The Deadman is 58 years old but Ric Flair competed well into his 60s. It’s certainly doable.