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There has been a number of positive Covid-19 workers over the last 10 days, in addition there are a several dozen talents throughout all of wrestling who are quarantining due to coming into contact with a positively tested person. While many independent wrestling companies do as much as they can to make sure their team, talent and fans are safe we do have to remember that many of the talent is still traveling and that includes all of the major companies as well and due to not being in a bubble or daily testing these issues are going to happen.
It is fascinating as well as a testament to most of the talent who isn't collecting a salary check missing independent bookings to make sure their coworkers are as safe as possible. Many shows in every US promotion have had to be rebooked or changed in some way over the last few weeks. For those that have asked Ring of Honor not only did testing but quarantined their team essentially in a bubble (hotel) during their last set of tapings.
MLW will be taking a similar approach to their tapings in October with on site testing. One of the issues has been the availability of tests throughout the last month due to the NCAA, and government agencies buying most of the rapid tests.
WWE continues to make a long term future focus on a true developmental system with NXT being all but a third brand. WWE knows and understands how important it is to help younger talent get reps in and it is too challenging with the current NXT model. WWE continues to speak to some of the best minds in independent wrestling about the best way to go about doing this. One of the biggest things moving forward is if you would keep the NXT name or if you would simply use the Evolve banner and name to run shows under.
As most have watched Retribution play across television and while the reviews have been mixed to say the least, as of right now it's full steam ahead. The group will have a large social media presence as well as a new member of the group could be added very shortly. The idea is to give the group a manager that can be the voice of the group.
Brock Lesnar who is currently a free agent has received some calls over the past week. While AEW is interested in services of Brock Lesnar I am told that the money is so far apart that it is very unlikely that it comes together and furthermore that Brock would not just take the offer back to Vince to match. Brock is looking for similar money as he received in the 2019 calendar year, which was near 5 million.
Brock Lesnar does not have Dana White and the UFC to play off of this time around due to no serious interest in getting back into the USDA pool. Most close to the situation assume, Brock taking calls was simply to speed up negotiations with WWE. Brock does have a tremendous value to ESPN in UFC due to buy rates if he were to fight, however with no live gate currently and the way the UFC ESPN deal is structured doesn't bring the same value.
Keep in mind Vince McMahon and Dana White have always had this weird relationship and even if Brock was serious about getting into the testing pool both Vince and Dana would let Brock double dip and do both.
There are many non WWE contracts coming due in the next 30 days, in something that has kind of flown under the radar due to the pandemic. AEW and WWE have continued to add younger talent and top Indy workers that were available this year, however there will be many names looking for new deals and possibly new companies.
Roman Reigns and The Rock teases on social media of a WrestleMania match next year in Hollywood are not out of the blue, Vince McMahon has wanted this from some time and the stars look to be aligning for next year. On a Roman Reigns note, it is being planned for this Sunday for him to debut new ring gear and new music. The ring gear change may have waited another few weeks, however with retribution the look was too similar to wait it out most feel.