An NXT of a different color is set for war this Sunday as the newest generation of WWE’s future collides with the once and perhaps future kings at WarGames. While the “TakeOver” name is noticeably absent from the marquee, it’s likely another casualty of NXT’s 2.0 rebranding.
Several talents have been released with an eye towards the future, and WarGames looks to distance NXT even more from the previous black and gold era. Men’s and Women’s WarGames Matches headline the card along with two title matches, and someone will lose their hair.
Between all of the changes to NXT and Beth Pheonix leaving the broadcast booth following the show, WarGames might represent out with the old and in with the new.
Former WWE star Nia Jax noted on Twitter she changed her handle to Lina (Savelina) Fanene. That’s not a new ring name but her real name. She also said it is highly unlikely that she will ever wrestle again, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Another Survivor Series has come and gone, and after Raw the following night, we finally know who stole Vince McMahon’s 100 million dollars golden egg. Yep, that’s right. Paid promotion disguised as a “Whodunit” was the big takeaway from one of WWE’s big four events.
It’s not surprising that Survivor Series laid an egg (Pun intended). The build leading up to the show was the laziest and uninspired for a major pay-per-view, perhaps ever. Typically, the finished product ends up quite good with poorly built WWE shows…Not this time.
Impact Wrestling held their Turning Point pay-per-view over the weekend. There were five championship matches, including Moose defending the Impact World Championship against Eddie Edwards in a Full Metal Mayhem Match. Impact has been putting on some solid shows as of late with some great matches and the “forbidden door” of talent from other places emerging.
The thinning of the WWE roster continues as the company released 8 wrestlers last night after releasing 18 wrestlers two weeks ago. The newest group of releases are all from the main roster. Some of the talents haven’t been used in any meaningful capacity for months, while others were called up to the main roster last month.
The complete list includes John Morrison, Top Dolla, Ashante “Thee” Adonis, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Tegan Nox, Drake Maverick, Shane Thorne, and Jaxson Ryker.
The first defection from Ring of Honor was revealed on Saturday night at AEW Full Gear. Former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal declared himself “All Elite” in an interview with Tony Schiavone, and he challenged Sammy Guevara to a TNT Title match tonight on Dynamite.
Last month, ROH announced they’re going on hiatus after Final Battle on December 11. The promotion informed talent that the company wouldn’t have their contracts renewed and can immediately work wherever they want.
Lethal talked about singing with AEW at the Full Gear media scrum, stating, “It all happened so quickly, a few days ago.” Lethal also stated he had about a month left on his ROH deal and would not be at Final Battle pay-per-view.
Despite ROH’s hiatus announcement, many feel the promotion is closing for good. Sadly, it’s a safe assumption to make based on history. Many promotions, small and big alike, have had to cease operations with the hope of coming back, only to be never seen again.
It’s a tale as old as time in the wrestling business.
“We’re proud of you” – The Graphics Team on Adam Page’s nameplate as he made his entrance to the ring for the biggest match of his career encapsulated the importance of AEW’s Full Gear.
Full Gear started as a tongue-in-cheek joke with Cody Rhodes yelling at Adam Page on The Elite’s YouTube show, BTE. 2 years later, it all came full circle with Adam Page ending Kenny Omega’s near year-long reign as AEW World Champion.
While Jericho and Moxley held the title before Omega’s memorable run, it was always about Adam Page.
Ring of Honor (ROH) announced two weeks ago that their parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting, is shutting down the promotion after December’s Final Battle pay-per-view and will take the first quarter of 2022 to reimagine ROH. All talent will be released from the contracts at the end of the year but can work wherever they want immediately.
As a result, over 50 wrestlers are on the open market. Then, last Friday, WWE released 18 wrestlers, thus making the realm free agency a more competitive place. With approximately 70 talents vying for contracted work, the belief that ROH’s hiatus is a permanent vacation, and AEW and Impact signing many of WWE’s prior releases, there are not enough spots to go around.
Worse, for an elect few, their careers are irrevocably altered or over.
Welcome to our late to the party review of the G1 Climax, Queen’s Crown, and King of the Ring finals. One tournament finale triumphed while another one ended in disaster. Then, there was one that was just, meh.
QUEEN’S CROWN: Zelina Vega defeated Doudrop to become the inaugural Queen’s Crown winner. It was a slow and plotting match that failed to resonate on an engaging level. I’m not sure if it was the massive size discrepancy between the two.
Perhaps their ability to move around the ring comfortably was hindered by the long sleeve shirt and pants they wore instead of their wrestling gear per Saudi law? While Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bianca Belair didn’t have that problem in their Triple Threat Match, it’s different strokes for different folks.
Vega’s Queen’s Crown coronation on Raw and rematch with Doudrop was her longest televised segment in over a year. Vega looks the part and is good on the microphone. If WWE sticks with booking her as a serious character long-term, they will get a good return on the investment. I would have bet the farm she would lose to Doudrop due to WWE’s 50/50 booking. Surprisingly, she did not, which is promising.
Three tournaments culminate tomorrow as WWE and NJPW hold one of the biggest events on their respective calendars. New Japan Pro Wrestling will hold the finals of the G-1 Climax, a grueling month-long, round-robin tournament. WWE will head to Saudi Arabia with a loaded card to crown a new King of the Ring, and one woman will win the inaugural Queen’s Crown.