According to The Wrestling Observer, WWE told Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro their new roles are now to make new stars. This direction effectively erases any chance of either wrestler finding residency in the main event scene.
Nia Jax lost to Lana in a Tables Match last night on Raw and hurt her “hole” in the process.
Following a missed leg drop on the apron, Nia oversold it and screamed out, “AHHHHHH! My Butt! My Hole!” in a moment that has gone viral on social media.Continue reading “Nia Jax “My Hole” Goes Viral to My Inbox… at Work.”
The road to WrestleMania has officially begun as Edge, and Bianca Belair won their respective Royal Rumble matches. Edge joins the two timers club 11 years after winning his first one, while Bianca Belair becomes the first African-American wrestler to win the Rumble.
WWE’s over the top streaming service in the United States is coming to an end as the WWE Network will migrate to NBC Peacock on March 18. Wall Street Journal reported the deal is valued at 1 billion over five years, equalling 200 million dollars a year.
In a television landscape where sports leagues are looking to sell the rights to their content, WWE sold their entire network. Along with Monday Night Raw airing on NBC owned USA, this move puts WWE firmly in the NBCUniversal portfolio for years to come.
Wow, it has been a while since I’ve posted.
2020 hasn’t been kind to us. Some are returning to a version of normal, while others are still struggling. I’m in the middle of a 14-day quarantine after recently returning to my office for the first time since March.
I was nervous about the test results since I had some symptoms a few days after exposure. Knock on wood; my COVID test came back negative.
Like most people, my wife and I have spent a lot of time with various streaming services. My ever-growing list contains many movies and television shows that I wouldn’t have watched otherwise.
I wondered, what if I wrote a blog that might get people into professional wrestling?
There are many great matches and moments from a multitude of wrestling promotions all around the world. I stuck to WWE since it is the brand most people associate with wrestling.
This isn’t a “best-of” list. Consider this pro wrestling 101 for the uninitiated, citing ten matches that best illustrate the squared circle’s essential story elements. Continue reading “10 Matches for People Who Don’t Watch Wrestling”
While many hoped the second half of the New Japan Cup could be salvaged, the remainder of the tournament has been canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Japan. The first half of the tournament was canceled last month, with the second half scheduled to occur between 3/16 and conclude on 3/21. Continue reading “Coronavirus Slams Pro Wrestling”
We’re on the road to WrestleMania 36 as the “granddaddy of them all” goes down on Sunday, April 5, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Several matches are confirmed, while others are all but official due to budding feuds on television.
On Sunday, WWE announced the release of The Ascension (Viktor & Konnor), Luke Harper, and Sin Cara from the roster in a move that was somewhat surprising considering the current landscape of the industry. WWE has been scooping up any wrestler with name value, re-signing wrestlers to lucrative five-year extensions, and not granting releases to avoid supplying talent to the competition, All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
So, what changed? Is WWE merely cutting costs, or is there more than meets the eye?
Luke Harper publically asked for his release from WWE in April while Sin Cara expressed his desire to leave a few weeks ago. The Ascension was out of sight, out of mind on television. Unfortunately, they never showed the promise of their NXT run on the main roster due to the way they were booked from the jump.
Sin Cara is a character that never got over whether it was Lucha libre superstar Mistico, who the role was designed for or Jorge Arias, who took over the part when Mistico left the company in 2014. Luke Harper is the big missed opportunity of the four wrestlers that were released. Reportedly, Vince McMahon was never high on him, despite his talent. All four will be looking for work, however, where will they land?
When it comes to The Ascension, the word on the street is that Viktor is a tremendous worker but never got the chance to show it. Konnor is a big guy that is serviceable in the ring. Do they stay together as a team, or do they go their separate ways? While their tag-team act is their most viable commodity, NXT was a long time ago. Perhaps, Viktor decides to bet on himself and work the independent scene to build his name back up.
Jorge Arias will have to reinvent himself fundamentally. He’ll probably find work in Mexico; however, being able to charge a high price for his services in the states will be a challenging venture. Arias never had a viable name beforehand, and WWE owns the Sin Cara character.
Even if Arias comes up with a new gimmick, promoters will feel the need to market him as “formerly Sin Cara.” Honestly, fans might not even care for a wrestler who was so low on the totem pole. If Arias starts churning out five-star classics and becomes the belle of the indy ball, then he won’t need “Former WWE Superstar” etched under his name on an event poster.
Presumably, Luke Harper has the most to gain from his release. The soon to be rechristened Brodie Lee had an excellent reputation for putting on awesome matches before he signed with WWE and continued to do so as a member of the Wyatt Family.
AEW is his most anticipated landing spot because he’s a talented big man, and AEW could use more physical stature on their roster. New Japan Pro Wrestling wouldn’t surprise me either as Harper/Lee has a Bruiser Body look to him that could pay dividends.
The question remains, though, why did WWE cut these wrestlers after having a firm no release policy? This is pure speculation, however, maybe Vince McMahon no longer sees AEW as a threat. Of the ten weeks AEW Dynamite and NXT have gone head to head on Wednesdays, the ratings show AEW won eight of those meetings.
However, NXT won two of the last three weeks with only losing the previous week’s rating by only 1,400 viewers. While specific demographics have recently come into play when comparing ratings, NXT’s hold on people over 50 years old is strong while they are almost neck and neck with the more coveted demos that AEW previously dominated.
It is feasible that Vince McMahon believes he’s either winning the war against AEW, or he’ll win soon enough. If that’s the case, it’s easy to see why WWE has changed its release policy. Several wrestlers are still publically campaigning for their release, and with more cuts rumored to occur, those public requests could be granted.
It stinks getting fired at any time of the year, especially around the holidays. Even though two of the four wanted out, high paying indy gigs are not guaranteed. Besides, those only last so long before the wrestler is no longer a novelty and promoters begin to pay less. Best of luck to the four gentlemen as this new era of wrestling continues to be full of surprises.
A new look WWE Intercontinental Championship belt debuted on SmackDown last week as Sami Zayn presented it as a gift to current titlist Shinsuke Nakamura. This is the second title inside of the last two weeks to get a makeover with the Universal Championship getting a blue strap to match the motif of its new home, SmackDown.
This marks the fifth renovation of the IC title throughout its forty-year history. Cody Rhodes introduced the previous version of the belt in 2011 in an attempt to rebuild the prestige of the championship by reintroducing the classic style with an updated white strap.
The new design has a black strap and a center plate with gold and yellow trim brandishing the WWE logo. Two smaller plates are extending outward with a split illustration of the globe. For the first time, the IC title has interchange side plates allowing wrestlers to customize the belt with their name and logo.
While the old school fan in me wants to hate the new belt, I have to admit, it looks pretty cool. It’s very 2019 and speaks to the aesthetic of WWE’s current presentation. Visually, it’s the literal definition of the Intercontinental meaning travel between continents.
The classic version will always be my favorite, however, and it pains me to say this; it looked outdated compared to the other belts in circulation.
Shinsuke Nakamura joins Cody, as mentioned earlier, along with Tito Santana and The Rock as wrestlers who have ushered in a new era for Intercontinental Championship. As they say, out with the old, in with the new.