- You may have missed it last night but TMZ got a statement from WWE regarding Brock Lesnar. Basically, he’s not a full-time performer so the Wellness Policy doesn’t apply to him and he will not be suspended. According to WWE, the Wellness Program is in place to protect those that wrestle upwards of 200 days a year. Lesnar is in a mess with UFC after his out-of-competition and in-competition drug tests came back positive for clomiphene. A lot of readers have asked for my thoughts and I’m not one bit surprised. I’ve spent a good amount of time on this website over the years expressing my frustrations with WWE Wellness Policy and noted just yesterday there are multiple loopholes, including the loophole WWE is utilizing with the part-time argument. WWE’s Wellness Policy is an attempt to show investors they are doing something. And it has helped. However, the WWE Wellness Policy is not an ironclad system that completely eradicates banned substances. Just look at the suspensions that have been announced over the last nine years. WWE is not consistent with it and Lesnar not getting into trouble will do nothing but add to the criticism they receive. Yes, it’s extremely hypocritical but at least in this situation, WWE is coming right out and saying it. I have seen talent, such as Rey Mysterio, get done wrong by the Wellness Policy over the years so nothing WWE does in regards to Wellness surprises me.
- With Brock Lesnar confirmed to face Randy Orton at SummerSlam, WWE officially added Dolph Ziggler challenging Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship on the show next month after Ambrose won a Six Pack Challenge over John Cena, Baron Corbin, AJ Styles, Apollo Crews and Bray Wyatt on Smackdown. This is in addition to the first ever WWE Universal Championship match between Finn Balor and Seth Rollins that was setup on Raw. Many are elated to see Ziggler get the opportunity and WWE will hope he can establish himself as a top star with the brand extension. The more pessimistic side of me believes the title bouts will be overshadowed by Lesnar vs. Orton and whatever they do with Cena (likely a singles match against AJ Styles) but we’ll wait and see before we criticize. After all, I can’t sit here and complain about Ziggler being underutilized and then complain when he gets a title match. Happy birthday Dolph, you deserve this!
- Reports being attributed to PWInsider.com claim that Jinder Mahal has signed a contract to return to WWE and will be a Raw Superstar. Curt Hawkins is coming back to Smackdown, Rhyno re-debuted last night and Shelton Benjamin is also on his way back. Vince McMahon is keen on brining in names the WWE fanbase is already familiar with to help and bolster the depth of the individual brands.
- If you need a recap of when the brands will begin running their own pay-per-views, we have it available here. Backlash is a Smackdown show, as Shane McMahon mentioned last night and WWE Clash of Champions is a Raw show. John Cena is currently not being advertised for Backlash, so it will be interesting to see if he’s not working the first Smackdown-only show.
- After Smackdown went off the air, WWE Champion Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns beat Seth Rollins & Bray Wyatt in a dark match main event. If you’re wondering why Raw stars are appearing after Smackdown and Smackdown stars are appearing after Raw, it’s because they were advertised previously and WWE is just living up to what was promoted. This is not something that is expected to continue unless the show promoted is a co-promoted show.
- WWE announced that Jason Jordan and Chad Gable, known collectively as American Alpha, will debut on the main roster next week on Smackdown Live
- The new Smackdown opening theme song is “Take A Chance” by CFO$.
- The Dudley Boyz have extended their contracts to remain with WWE, according to a report attributed to PWInsider. Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley had been working on one-year deals that were signed last August. They are now used primarily to help up and coming tag teams but it won’t stop me from lobbying for Bully Ray to get one more singles run before he calls it a career. Nothing against Devon, I’m also a huge Dudleyz fan, but Bully Ray is a top superstar.
- Former WWE creative team writer Kevin Eck caught up with WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz recently at a Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards. He penned an article with quotes that you read at this link.
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