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Backstage News On Control Of WWE Brands, Del Rio’s Lack Of Push, Moose Debuts, Neville Returns, Wyatt Takes On Hardy

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Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon & Shane McMahon

- It’s a big day for John Cena, which means it’s a big day for WWE, as he’ll host ESPN’s ESPYS (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards) live tonight from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. The show will air at 8 PM ET on ABC and will be preceded by a countdown show on ESPN, which starts at 5 PM ET. Cena is the first WWE Superstar to ever host The ESPY Awards.

- The idea to have Commissioners in charge of the brand General Managers in WWE came about recently. As most know by now, the big storyline announcement on Raw was that Stephanie McMahon will be Commissioner of Raw and Shane McMahon will be Commissioner of Smackdown. Shane tweeted yesterday he has decided on a General Manger that will be announced on next week’s episode of Raw. Going back to a June 13, 2016 WNW Premium report, we noted how Vince McMahon and Triple H had been butting heads a lot, especially with the pressures of the brand split. At the time, Hunter was pressuring Vince for Stephanie to be “in charge” of Raw and for Shane to be “in charge” of Smackdown. Vince was leaning the other way and while Hunter and Stephanie were trying to “no sell” it, they were not happy about Shane’s return extending longer than expected a neither wanted Stephanie on the B show.

- Another issue that Triple H seems to have Vince’s ear on is the state of Alberto Del Rio. It was just last month that Vince wanted the company to heat back up on Del Rio to make him a bigger deal heading into the brand split. The thinking was they are paying him like a main event talent, he needs to be working in the main event. However, Triple H insisted they cool on him until he agrees to a contract extension. Hunter isn’t a fan of Del Rio and with his contract coming up in October, was leery of giving him anything prominent. Vince wanted to take a “wait and see” approach but Hunter has clearly won out.

- Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt had a back and forth on Twitter after WWEripped The Final Deletion on this week’s Monday Night Raw. Below are the tweets:

">July 13, 2016

">July 13, 2016

">July 13, 2016

- Moose debuted with TNA Wrestling at last night’s tapings in Orlando, Florida. During the main event of last night’s show, Moose came out and attacked The Wolves. He ended up aligning with Mike Bennett to take out Bobby Lashley. Moose was headed to WWE but they backed off because of 2009 domestic violence issues, he announced last week he was gone from Ring of Honor. Video is available at this link. Moose got a large financial offer from TNA and is believed to be under contract through 2018.

- Is Teddy Long in charge of WWE Battleground? Another tag team match was announced at last night’s Smackdown taping as WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte will team with Dana Brook to face Sasha Banks and a partner that Banks must find at the pay-per-view. The card now looks like this:
* Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship
* Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
* Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
* John Cena, Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Club
* The Miz (c) vs. Darren Young for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
* Rusev (c) vs. Zack Ryder for the WWE United States Championship
* The Wyatt Family vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day in a six-man non-title match
* WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & TBD
* Randy Orton will be featured in The Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho

- Shane McMahon appeared live at last night’s Smackdown taping, we won’t spoil anything here but you can catch up on what happened in our Smackdown taping results.

- Darren Young will debut new entrance music on this week’s episode of Smackdown. As previously announced, Young is featured in a Miz TV segment with Bob Backlund. As noted yesterday, he's due a a midcard push heading into SummerSlam.

- Neville returned to WWE at last night’s Smackdown taping in Grand Rapids, Michigan in a dark match against Bo Dallas. Neville hasn’t worked since March when he fractured his ankle in a match against Chris Jericho.

- After this week’s Smackdown was finished filming, WWE Champion Dean Ambrose hosted a brief “happy birthday” segment for Sami Zayn. Zayn turned 32 yesterday.

- Tommy Dreamer was backstage at last night’s Smackdown taping. There is speculation he could have been meeting regarding a potential role as a producer but we can’t confirm that. PWInsider first reported Dreamer was there.

- There was a surprise angle at Paul Heyman’s “Inside the Ropes” one-man show in London on Tuesday. In it, Heyman offered Will Osprey an Evolve contract on behalf of Gabe Sapolsky. Osprey has worked for Evolve before, as he faced Ricochet at one of their shows in Dallas over Wrestlemania 32 weekend. Video of the angle is available at this link. The deal would not impact Osprey's work in Japan.

- Heath Slater, a West Virginia native, is doing his part in helping his home state recover from the devastating flooding that have left the state in dire need. Slater has launched a GoFundMe page and hopes to raise $25,000 in donations. He himself returned to Clay County, WV to assist in efforts last week. $3,660 has been raised as of press time.

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