This Week In WNW!
Exclusive News Broken By WNW Premium this week.
The Latest On Where The Hardy Boyz May be Headed!
A lot of people over the weekend jumped to conclusion, because the Hardy Boyz appearance and title win in Ring of Honor, and either assumed or heard from the Internet that the Hardy’s deals in Ring of Honor are long term. Not only is this not true Matt and Jeff also have clauses that if they want out early, they have the ability to leave.
Here is the REAL latest on the Hardy Boys:
WWE is very close to coming to terms with both Jeff Hardy AND Matt Hardy to start up as soon as they're able. Money hasn't been 100% agreed to yet and that aspect is still being worked on, as well as how thorough their schedule will be. Neither would be working the traditional full time WWE schedule. All parties are close enough to a deal that while negotiations are finishing up, Jeff and Matt are starting drug testing, medical screenings, physicals, etc. this week as WWE's whole medical clearance process can take a while and neither side wants to waste any time as WWE wants both Matt and Jeff starting ASAP.
This doesn't mean the deal can't fall apart. Either over contractual negotiations not reaching the finish line or there being a snag or something caught in the medical screenings. However, right now both WWE and the Hardy’s are operating under the impression a deal will get done and they will be coming in as soon as they fulfil their other obligations.
Big M Reacts: It will be great to see Matt and Jeff back in WWE. But I also worry that if they are able to return with the “Broken” gimmick WWE creative and higher ups will probably ruin it somehow!
Backstage News From Fastlane and Raw!
-As we gave out Fastlane spoilers Sunday afternoon there were obviously some changes. We always like to warn that results are subject to change because there's just no way of keeping up with Vince McMahon sometimes. Looking at the timing of the show we received it makes sense that they added a few matches to the card last minute. The question is some are asking is why weren't more matches built up to round out the card?
-Roman going over Braun clean was changed at, drum roll please!, 8:40 EST. That's correct, after the PPV had already started. We will have more on the change later.
-The Sasha angle and both Women's matches were changed. The plan originally was to turn Sasha on Bayley, Sasha originally scheduled to lose and then cause dissension between herself and Bayley after accidentally costing Bayley the loss. This obvious was changed last minute, whether this is long term or not we cant say at this point but obviously it was delayed or scraped.
-When Mick Foley told Samoa Joe not to interfere with Owens match, fans were expected to put together that Owens is "Hunter's guy" and so is Joe. Expecting fans to put that together was felt to be weak.
-The Cruiserweight match was very well received live and backstage Vince hopes Neville and Austin Aries can really carry the division.
-Charlotte and Bayley had an off night lots of miss timed and blown spots.
-The boos Goldberg is receiving is not going unnoticed and officials knew it was only a matter of time before the nostalgia wore off and now its about keeping him liked before WrestleMania. For as much as WWE is paying Goldberg per date one source believes that Goldberg won't be returning after his dates are up, unless Goldberg is willing to take a pay cut per appearance.
-Gallows was praised for saving Enzo from nearly crippling himself on the overshot dive.
-We reported here first weeks ago the Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania is set to be a Fatal 4-way for the title. However those plans may have changed, it seems they haven't made up their minds whether to scrap Nia or add her to the match. We will keep your updated as we learn more.
-Finn did not come back during Raw due to the fact that the appearance of the Undertaker was pushed from Fastlane to Raw and they did not want both returns on the same night.
News On Adam Cole And Ring Of Honor!
-With Adam Cole dropping the ROH title last night speculation continues on his likely departure to WWE. Cole's contract is not officially up until March 31st and with the recent usage of the wait times after a Ring of Honor deal has expired it is possible when/if Cole is WWE bound we may not see him there until May. However, we also can't count him out showing up in NXT on April 1st. From all accounts, we have heard he is headed to NXT and is not resigning with Ring of Honor.
-The Hardys continued the Gold Rush as the stole the Young Bucks Superkick titles in an absolutely insane match that saw thumbtacks, tables, and ladders.
-Marty Scurll continues his TV title dominance in ROH and he will be pushed as a main eventer sooner than later.
Big M Reacts: Marty Scurll is arguably the most talented worker to come out of the UK in a decade! ROH is very lucky to have him on their roster.
The Biggest Stories This Week.
Bully Ray In ROH!
Adding onto the legitimate shocker involving the appearance of the Hardy Boys appearing at a Ring of Honor event in Manhattan and defeating the Young Bucks for the Tag Team Championship, there was also another surprise that night as WWE/ECW stalwart Bubba Ray Dudley made his Ring of Honor debut and attacked Adam Cole by putting him through a table! Bubba was originally there to make the save for Bobby Fish, who suffered a beatdown following a loss to ROH Champion Adam Cole.
Big M Reacts: The “Bully” Ray character was prove that TNA could do something right creatively and promotionally. Ray’s TNA World Title Reign and the Aces and Eights storyline were true high points in the companies history!
Jeff Jarrett Meets With Spike TV Executive!
According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, Jeff Jarrett met with a Spike TV executive at this weekend's tapings to discuss Impact Wrestling's UK deal and possibly bringing the show back to the network in America.
Unless something changes, Impact will remain on Pop TV through the end of 2017. Stay tuned to WrestlingNewsWorld.com for the latest.
Goldberg Wins The Universal Championship At Fastlane!
As we saw at Fastlane, the much-anticipated Universal Title match between champion Kevin Owens and challenger Goldberg came to an end when Chris Jericho provided a distraction, allowing Goldberg to pin Owens and win the title in a mere 22 seconds!
Big M Reacts: Even though we all saw this coming a mile away…it still doesn’t make it suck any less!
2017 Hall Of Fame To Be “Ravishing”
The latest addition to the Hall of Fame has been announced by WWE in the form of "Ravishing" Rick Rude. This legendary Minnesotan superstar made a major name for himself in the WWE in the 80s and early 90s while he also saw a career resurgence in WCW shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, he passed away just as he was planning to get back into the ring.
Rude will be inducted by long-time WCW rival Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Rude joins other luminaries in the Hall of Fame this year including the Rock & Roll Express, Kurt Angle, Beth Phoenix, Theodore Long and Diamond Dallas Page.
Big M Reacts: Rick Rude’s induction into the Hall Of Fame is long overdue! He was truly a special talent who’s career and life were both tragically cut short.
Shaq vs Big Show At Wrestlemania Back On?
Despite weeks and weeks of neither Big Show nor Shaquille O'Neal thinking that their Wrestlemania match would go down for various reasons as well as several vicious barbs back-and-forth (but mostly on Big Show's part), it appears that talks are occurring again between Shaquille and the Big Show with regards to the big match.
Shaq said the following on his podcast:
“I’ve talked to somebody high up in the organization, and we’re back talking again. I just want the people to know it had nothing to do with me, despite what you hear."
Big M Reacts: I know WWE higher-ups like having a “special attraction match” at Wrestlemania every year, but this one feels like a lot of effort to set up something that will probably turn out awful!
Spike TV Executive Denies Involvement With Impact Wrestling!
Despite earlier reports we had heard about Jeff Jarrett meeting with a Spike TV executive and thus speculating about a possible future deal between the two, the executive in question (Scott Fishman) has denied any business deals and his presence at the latest set of Impact tapings was apparently only as a fan and to hang out with some friends in the backstage area after the show.
Big M Reacts: Personally, I think Spike should reconsider putting pro wrestling back on their network. Maybe not Impact, but I can see ROH doing well on Spike. In fact, I’d go as far to say they should not have made the decision to move away from pro wrestling.
I can understand them not wanting to deal with Dixie Carter as well as wanting to move away from pro wrestling content after it’s been a cornerstone for them for nearly 15 years (They had deals with ECW and WWE before TNA landed on the network). But the only original show of theirs that’s rated well after dumping TNA is Lip Sync Battle! And that shows ratings plummeted this year.
As much as TV Executives and advertisers look down on pro wrestling, the fact is it’s not super expensive to produce and has always rated fairly well!
Shelton Benjamin Hints At Return!
Shelton Benjamin was all set to return just after the WWE draft began last year but unfortunately, during the routine medical check-up, doctors discovered that he had a torn rotator cuff and would require surgery, which would keep him out of action for quite some time.
However, things are looking up! There "ain't no stoppin" Shelton as he recently posted his doctor's advice on Twitter: "if you can bench 300 pounds by April" then he could return. The video below shows him doing that already... in March.
WWE Concussion Lawsuit Update!
As many of you may know, the concussion lawsuit against the WWE by several former wrestlers is still ongoing and hasn't really gained any traction one way or the other.
PWInsider is reporting now though that a judge would issue a ruling on this whole situation on March 9th.
Big M Reacts: I don’t think you have to be a lawyer to work out this lawsuit is completely frivolous.
Matt Hardy Files A Trademark For His “Broken” Nickname!
Matt Hardy's fight to keep his gimmick and his "Broken" moniker continues as he recently filed for trademark rights for it.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the wrestler filed for a trademark last week on “Broken Matt Hardy” for “Entertainment services, namely, wrestling exhibits and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer.”
Impact Wrestling claims that they own all rights to the "Broken" gimmick though and that it will stop Matt from owning the rights to it.
Big M Reacts: Matt really should have done this as soon as the “Broken” Gimmick started to get over!
Updated Wrestlemania Card!
Below is an updated look at the WrestleMania 33 card coming out of this week's WWE SmackDown Live:
Universal Championship Match
- Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
WWE Championship Match
- Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton
United States Championship Match
- Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens
Raw Women's Championship Match
- Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks
SmackDown Women's Championship Match
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. available SmackDown Live Women's roster
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
- Participants from Raw & SmackDown include: Mojo Rawley, Apollo Crews
AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon, John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin, and SmackDown Tag Team Champions American Alpha vs. The Usos are likely to be confirmed by next week or so for SmackDown.
On the Raw side, it's all but confirmed that Roman Reigns will face The Undertaker. Also, Raw Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson will defend against either Enzo & Big Cass and/or Sheamus & Cesaro.
WrestleMania 33 will take place on Sunday, April 2, 2017, from the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. We'll have live coverage right here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
AJ Styles Confronts Shane McMahon In The Gorilla Position!
After the ending of Smackdown Live, we were presented with exclusive footage on Talking Smack of Styles confronting Shane McMahon in the gorilla position.
What is interesting to note is that we got to see Michael Hayes, Michael Cole, Brian James and several other officials who usually work in that position during the show.
This is probably leading to AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania as has been the rumour for quite a while now.
Big M Reacts: Like many of you, I think AJ Styles should be main eventing Wrestlemania this year. And quite frankly, I’m not sure if I want to see Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles.
Daniel Bryan Hints At In-Ring Return After WWE Contract Expires!
It was a rather quick comment during a heated conversation with the Miz but the segments between Daniel Bryan and Miz always come so close to teetering between kayfabe and reality that it's hard to tell what's real or not at times. The comment in question came as a response of the Miz telling Bryan that he hurt his head and can't wrestle anymore.
Bryan responded by saying "I can't or they won't let me? We'll see in a year and a half and see what happens," thus alluding to his contract ending in 18 months and Bryan perhaps attempting to return to the ring in another promotion at that point in time.
The show even ended with Bryan saying "I wish I could say more" to Renee, leaving fans to wonder how much of this was a shoot and how much was in-character.
Talking Smack does such an excellent job of bluring those lines that it's almost impossible to tell and I believe it's mostly due to the fact that the show is not as heavily scripted as the rest of the WWE programming. Everything feels off-the-cuff and even when wrestlers are 'cutting promos' on each other, it seems very natural and more akin to their personalities.
Big Show Announces His Retirement Date!
In the midst of all the back-and-forth between the Big Show and Shaquille O'Neal and fans constantly wondering whether they will actually have their Wrestlemania match or not, it is somewhat refreshing to get a different story from the Big Show.
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, the Big Show announced that he would end his run as a full-time guy in February 2018. The big man said that he would be willing to accept an ambassador-type role or whatever the WWE offers him but for now, he just knows that he will hang up the boots by then.
Big M Reacts: Big Show has had a long and successful Hall Of Fame worthy career! If we really only have another year to enjoy the giants work, I hope he is given something memorable to do by WWE during that time.
Jerry Lawler Returning At Wrestlemania!
On his brand-new podcast, "Dinner with the King," Jerry Lawler revealed that he will indeed be returning to commentary at Wrestlemania 33 for one match and that he will also be appearing on the kick-off.
NXT News And Notes!
- NXT Women's Champion Asuka will officially defend her title against Ember Moon at NXT TakeOver: Orlando on April 1. We'll have live coverage of the show right here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Kassius Ohno returns to the NXT ring in next week's main event to challenge Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship.
It was also confirmed that the winner of next week's big match will defend the NXT Title against Shinsuke Nakamura at TakeOver.
Big M Reacts: Takeover: Dallas completely out-shined Wrestlemania last year! And it would not shock me if NXT managed to do it again this year with Takeover: Orlando.
Daniel Bryan’s Possible In-Ring Return Plans Revealed!
As we noted a couple of days ago on Talking Smack, Daniel Bryan alluded to wrestling again in about 18 months when his WWE contract expires.
The Wrestling Observer made note of a few things including the fact that Bryan was rushed into making his retirement speech and that it is unlikely that the WWE will release him early from his contract. They also noted that Bryan apparently would like to work in CMLL with a new lower-risk wrestling style he's developed and build to a Hair vs. Hair match in the company.
Bryan has already noted that he has been cleared by several other concussion experts to return.
Big M Reacts: I am so torn about this! Like most fans, I’d love to see Daniel Bryan return to the ring. But at the same time, I don’t want him to risk his health.
Adam Cole Comments On WWE Rumours!
Adam Cole has had rumours swirl around him regarding a move to the WWE and was asked about it again in an interview on Sports Illustrated's website. Here is what he had to say:
"That question comes up all the time. To be honest, it's a question I've dealt with, pretty consistently, since 2012. A lot of people have entertained the idea of me leaving, or going to WWE or me leaving for NXT, so that question comes up quite a bit for me. I answer truthfully, as the fact of the matter is I am still under contract with Ring of Honor. For me, I focus so much on what I have in front of me, as opposed to my future. I don't know if that will hurt me or help me, but I can't think six months, nine months, or a year ahead from now. The challenges I have set in front of me currently are big challenges, and those are being the Ring of Honor world champion and starting a career in New Japan Pro Wrestling. I have so much to focus on that I'm not even thinking about going to WWE. I'm completely focused on what I have in front of me right now. People ask, 'Well, would you ever like to go?' Yes, some day. I would be lying to you if I said I didn't want to have my own 'WrestleMania moment.' Yet the goals that I have and the task I have in front of me are keeping me fully focused on taking care of business in ROH and New Japan."
Big M Reacts: Speaking personally, I think Cole should stay in ROH! I just can’t shake this feeling Vince won’t do very much with him.
WWE Announces First UK Championship Live Event!
The WWE has announced that they will be making an appearance in the UK for the very first UK Championship live event in Norwich, England:
“WWE comes to Norwich, England for the first time ever with WWE Presents: UK Championship Live from Epic Studios on Saturday, 6 May at 7 p.m., and Sunday, 7 May at 5 p.m.
Tickets go on sale today at 1 p.m. GMT at livenation.co.uk.
Fans will see inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate, plus Trent Seven, Pete Dunne, Mark Andrews, Wolfgang, Tyson T-Bone, Sam Gradwell, James Drake, Joseph Conners, Dan Moloney and Saxon Huxley. Also appearing will be Superstars from WWE’s Cruiserweight division seen on 205 Live on WWE Network, including Rich Swann, Akira Tozawa, TJ Perkins, The Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese.*
“It’s exciting to come to Norwich for the very first time,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative. “The passion of our fans in the UK makes every show an incredible, unforgettable experience.”
You can talk about WWE Presents: UK Championship Live on Twitter using #WWEUKLive.”
Fin Balor Returns From Injury At A House Show In Buffalo, New York!
Below are complete results from Friday'sWWE Raw live event in Buffalo, New York, which featured the in-ring returns of Finn Balor and Triple H:
1) Big Cass def. Rusev
2) Cruiserweight Champion Neville def. Rich Swann
3) Sasha Banks & Alicia Fox def. Nia Jax & Dana Brooke
4) Raw Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. Cesaro & Sheamus and The New Day
5) Brock Lesnar def. Big Show
6) Raw Women's Champion Bayley def. Charlotte
7) Roman Reigns def. Braun Strowman
8) Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn & Finn Balor def. Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe & Triple H
Big M Reacts: I can not wait to see Fin Balor return to WWE TV!
ROH 15th Anniversary Show Results!
Ring of Honor held their 15th Anniversary pay-per-view Friday night in Las Vegas. Below are complete results:
1) Jay White def. Kenny King
2) Frankie Kazarian def. Chris Sabin, Hangman Page, Punishment Martinez, Cheese Burger & Silas Young in a six-man mayhem match to earn a shot at the ROH TV Title
3) Jay Lethal def. Bobby Fish
4) The Kingdom def. Dalton Castle & The Boys to retain the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championship
5) Marty Scurll def. Lio Rush to retain the ROH Television Championship
6) Bully Ray & The Briscoes def. Davey Boy Smith Jr. & War Machine
7) The Hardys def. The Young Bucks and Roppongi Vice in a Las Vegas Street Fight to retain the ROH Tag Team Championship and to capture the Bucks' "Superkick Party" Tag Team Titles.
8) Christopher Daniels def. Adam Cole to capture his first ROH World Championship when now-former Bullet Club member Frankie Kazarian came out and assisted his long-time tag team partner. Daniels celebrated the big win with the current ROH World Title belong, along with the original.
Big M Reacts: I can’t recall anyone watching an ROH show and not having anything but positive things to say about it! WWE’s higher-ups and creative should really be taking notes. The booking team at Ring of Honor really has it’s finger on the pulse of fans right now
Paige’s Father Angry With WWE, Claims There Is a Conspiracy Against Him!
Ever since the WWE announced their plans to come to Norwich, England for a 2-day event, Chris Knight (father of WWE superstar Paige) has not been thrilled about it. The company has been planning to host their events in Epic Studios, where Knight holds his own WAW promotion's shows on Friday and Saturday night.
On BBC Radio Norfolk, Knight claimed it was a conspiracy to derail his ticket sales because the WWE has been following his promotion and knows "this is the biggest weekend in WAW history." He added that he still expects his events to sell out anyway and told WWE to "do your best."
Big M Reacts: While WWE is not above tactics such as these to prevent smaller promotions growing, I think Chris Knight has delusions of grander! Yes, his promotion has seen a lot of growth in the last few years thanks to Paige’s success in WWE. But WAW is still not as big as other independent promotions in the UK (e.g. RPW, Progress or ICW).
Possible Universal Title Plans For After Wrestlemania?
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title will indeed occur at Wrestlemania and doesn't feel like it will go long much like their other match. However, Meltzer still reports that he believes the match will be under ten minutes but that it will not be a two-minute squash.
The expectation following this (in which Lesnar is expected to win the title because Goldberg has not signed for any more dates outside of Wrestlemania), Meltzer notes that Roman Reigns is more than likely going to be the next champion when he feuds with Lesnar following his match with Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
Big M Reacts: If this is what’s in store for us on Raw the next few months, I think it’s very possible Smackdown will start getting a few Ratings wins! I firmly believe Vince McMahon simply no longer understands his audience.
WWE Was One Day Away From Debuting “Bully” Ray!
According to an interview on Sports Illustrated, the man himself stated that he was nearly able to debut his Bully Ray gimmick back in August in the WWE but it was pulled at the last minute, which was literally the day before it was planned. Bubba didn't go into any more detail than that but at least now he was able to make his debut as Bully Ray in Ring of Honor.
Big M Reacts: WWE missed a huge opportunity by deciding to not run with this! Bully Ray would’ve been a big hit in WWE.
Rey Sky Accuses Impact Wrestling Of “Threatening” To Sue Cable Providers Who Air Hardy’s Footage.
Ever since the Hardy Boys' rather murky departure from Impact Wrestling, neither Matt nor Reby has been shy about their feelings following the split. Reby, in particular, went on a fairly lengthy diatribe on Twitter directed at Impact Wrestling, Jeff Jarrett and other executives specifically.
The latest from this situation is that Reby recently posted on Twitter that Impact Wrestling has been threatening cable outlets to not show footage of the Hardy’s appearances in Ring of Honor.
Edge & Christian Starting A Podcast!
Yet another wrestler with their own podcast! In all seriousness though, the two blonde Canadians have never had issue with the gift of gab so this would seem like a natural fit for them. There's no word if the new podcast will get in the way of a possible second season for their WWE Network-exclusive show.
"E&C's Pod of Awesomeness" will make its debut on March 24th via iTunes.
John Cena To Star In Daddy’s Home 2!
At the end of the 2015 comedy hit Daddy's Home, John Cena made a cameo appearance as a buff, rough-looking rival for Mark Wahlberg's kids' affection and that's where the movie essentially ended.
In the planned sequel, Cena would be reprising his role but he would have a bigger part. This is the official synopsis according to Deadline:
“Father and stepfather, Dusty (Wahlberg) and Brad (Ferrell), who are now working together to give their kids a perfect Christmas. When Dusty’s Dad (Gibson) and Brad’s Dad (Lithgow) arrive, their blended family conflicts rise to the surface. Cena’s character shifts the macho dynamics as Dusty faces the challenges of being a stepfather in the face of a more ripped rival.”
Big M Reacts: John Cena is really starting to do big things in Hollywood. I fully expect the movie business will start taking up more of Cena’s time than the wrestling business sooner rather than later!