With the news that former WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn would be returning to the company for the Mae Young Classic (check that story out here), which begins filming on August 8th and 9th at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, there’s been a lot of talk about who else will be entering the field for the second installment of the tournament. We’ve seen reports that NXT Superstar Rhea Ripley would be participating for the second time (read about that here), plus Japan’s Meiko Satomura possibly competing as well (find that here), but no other names confirmed by WWE.
That has now changed as WWE has now announced that Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Kacy Catanzaro, Nicole Matthews and Jinny will join Kaitlyn in the Mae Young Classic. Catanzaro, the former American Ninja Warrior competitor, is also signed to NXT and has been working Live Events over the past few months. Shirai is a new signing for NXT (for more on that go here), one of the most recognized female performers out of Japan who nearly signed in 2016 when Kairi Sane joined the company, but could not pass her medical examination.
Nicole Matthews is a 12-year veteran out of Vancouver who has mixed it up in the past with the likes of Becky Lynch and Asuka. Meanwhile, Jinny is out of London, England and another reported recent WWE signee (go here for that story) who was scheduled to compete recently at the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament, but was pulled due to an injury. She is also the reigning PROGRESS Women’s Champion and the first female graduate of PROGRESS’s school.
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Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle (2/20/19)
Start your Wednesday off with commentary on Asuka and Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania opponents, the Uso’s being free agents, NXT call ups and more!
Jason shuffles into hump day with the Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle! Today we take a look at news on Asuka and Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania opponents, the Uso’s being free agents, NXT call ups and more!
Asuka’s WrestleMania Opponent Set?
In yesterday’s new shuffle, I chatted about the talk of Dave Meltzer stating that Lacey Evans was due for a huge push in WWE. On today’s episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer alludes to the possibility of a match between Asuka and Lacey Evans at WrestleMania:
“As far as Asuka goes, I mentioned the thing with Lacey Evans last night. There actually was talk of Asuka and Lacey Evans being the WrestleMania match and it was definitely on the books at one point. But I was let to believe that it was being reconsidered and that it was not a 100 percent ‘no’ and it could happen but it was actually on the books and the point is that it’s not a 100 percent ‘yes’ and it may be more than likely ‘no.’ I wasn’t given an opponent for Asuka yet. I don’t think they have one.”
Who Will Daniel Bryan Face At WrestleMania?
There have been various reports making the rounds today as to who Daniel Bryan may face at WrestleMania. There was talk that the WWE could bring back someone currently not active such as Batista, Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens, or Sami Zayn. Other reports, and it is the hope of many fans, that Kofi Kingston will be the opponent at WrestleMania due to his strong showing and fan support at the Elimination Chamber pay per view. Wrestling Observer Radio has reported both scenarios the past few days, so perhaps we will receive an answer in the coming weeks.
Some Upset With NXT Stars On RAW?
Many of us were excited to see NXT stars on RAW Monday, however, some backstage weren’t as excited. According to PWInsider, some stars backstage are worried that their spots might be in danger. (Special thanks to @WrestlingNews.com for the transcription)
“Four NXT stars were brought up,” Johnson said. “They were not at the Elimination Chamber. I can tell you from speaking to a number of people who work on the main roster, no one seemed to have any knowledge or understanding that they were coming to work the show. When they showed up, there was definitely some side eye at these guys going ‘ok, why are they all here? why are they all working Raw?’ There were definitely some talents who have been brought up within the last couple of months who really have kind of just floated around not due to their issues but just due to how they were treated on creative. They were kind of like ‘oh, are they coming for my spot? what’s going on here?’”
Johnson continued, “For the first time in a while, not that there was anger or resentment against the quartet that showed up last night [but] we definitely heard some feedback from some WWE talents who were paying closer attention to their own spot and what these talents coming up could mean for their spot. I don’t mean people who just came up to the roster from NXT. I’m talking about existing mid-card talent who haven’t gotten a lot or are just starting to get a little bit of a push again. There was definitely some whispering among each other like ‘hey what’s going on here?’”
Special Announcement Planned For NXT This Week?
According to an article on WWE.com, a big announcement is planned for NXT this week. The article states:
“Get ready, because this week’s NXT will feature a special announcement. With no additional details currently available, speculation about what’s in store for the black-and-gold brand is running wild. Be among the first to find out when NXT streams Wednesday at 8/7 C on WWE Network.”
Uso’s Potentially Leaving WWE?
It wouldn’t be a Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle without a potential AEW defection. Rikishi took to Instagram this morning congratulating his sons on winning the SmackDown tag team championships, but also alluded to the fact that they will potentially be free agents soon.
View this post on Instagram
#AndNew 6x @wwe Tag team champions .. @jonathanfatu and @uceyjucey ( Josh Fatu ) @thesamoandynasty legacy continues there’s nothing else to prove Twins .. Congratulations your hard work in the industry will and never be denied in the @Wwe or anywhere else in the wrestling 🌍 #UsosIs$$$$ #TooLegitToPassUpOn #TimesUp #SoonToBeFreeAgents or Not – @rikishi sons #samoamosamoa🇼🇸🇦🇸 • • “You go out there day in and day out and you grind and you bust your ass. As soon as you slip one time you got the world against you, you know?” “It’s hard to go out like that with the mindset thinking everyone out there’s against you. Until you go out there and you show them what you’re really made of. “ Jonathan Fatu
Jason’s Thoughts On Today’s News
Sorry for the lack of context and news in the shuffle the past few days, I’ve been battling the plague. In all honesty, what has the WWE done with Asuka since her winning the Royal Rumble in 2018? Her undefeated streak came to an end at last year’s WrestleMania, and other than her recent SmackDown women’s title victory over Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, creative really has done nothing with her. While I understand the potential that Lacey Evans may have, a push to a title match at WrestleMania seems like a bit of too much too soon. the infusion of young talent in to the WWE roster is great, but WWE shouldn’t force it down our throats either.
I am very interested to see what the announcement will be on NXT. Perhaps there will be talent exchanged between RAW and SmackDown and NXT? Perhaps it is regarding the potential superstar shakeup in 2019?
Some of the main roster stars should be worried. Ratings have been in the toilet for months, and typically when times are like that, the WWE makes unorthodox moves to the roster. Black, Ciampa, Gargano, and Ricochet will be great additions to the main roster, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Black and Ciampa aren’t in the world title hunt within the next two years.
I am writing this as SmackDown is airing, and they plan to announce a Fastlane Undisputed title match before the end of the show. Most likely, Kofi Kingston makes sense, however, if the match occurs at Fastlane, don’t expect Kingston to walk away as champion. WWE has a chance to finally push someone else for a change, hopefully they don’t blow it.
Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle (2/19/19)
Start your Tuesday off with commentary on DX in the Hall Of Fame, Lacey Evans, heat for Lio Rush, and more!
Jason shuffles into Tuesday with the Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle! Today we take a look at news on DX, Lacey Evans, heat for Lio Rush, and more!
Why Becky Lynch Won The Royal Rumble
Many fans have been questioning why Becky Lynch won the Royal Rumble if the goal was to have Charlotte inserted in to storyline with Ronda Rousey. The current storyline between the three would have made more sense had Charlotte won. Dave Meltzer stated on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that Vince McMahon was insistent that Becky Lynch win the Royal Rumble.
Are You Ready?
It was announced earlier today that the first members of the WWE Hall Of Fame Class of 2019 will be none other than D-Generation X. Xpac, Shawn Michaels, HHH, The New Age Outlaws and Chyna will all be a part of the induction.
— WWE (@WWE) February 18, 2019
Big Plans For Lacey Evans?
Since debuting on the main roster and participating in the Royal Rumble, fans have wondered what creatives plans are for Lacey Evans. According to Dave Meltzer and the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Lacey Evans is in for a gigantic push, and there are many backstage officials that are very high on her.
Lio Rush Has Heat ?
Sunday nights finish to the Intercontinental title match between Finn Balor and Bobby Lashley has people scratching their heads. Perhaps there is reason to the breakup of Lashley and his hype man Lio Rush. According to PWI Insider Elite, Rush has heat backstage.
“It appears as if Lio Rush is done with Bobby Lashley. I can tell you behind the scenes there were not a lot of people surprised at that and not a lot of people surprised that Lio took the pin.”
“There are times Lio has a reputation for rubbing people — including other workers the wrong way. Whether that was being held against him and that was part of the reasoning for him losing or whether it was just a decision to protect Lashley and shift the belt to Finn Balor, I guess we’ll have to see based on how Lio is presented in the weeks and months to come.”
Jason’s Thoughts On Today’s News
DX is getting a well deserved Hall Of Fame Induction, but I have mixed feelings on it. This feels like an easy way out for WWE to have Chyna included into the HOF, rather than have her inducted as an individual. Also, I am probably in the minority on this, but there are others more deserving to be in before DX. I personally would have went with the NWO, but I am a mark for the NWO, so that’s just me.
Lacey Evans has the look, and her mic skills aren’t bad, however, she is green as grass. It will be interesting to see what type of program they come up with for her. A clash with Alexa Bliss perhaps?