WWE Backstage properly premieres!
Shawn Michaels! John Cena! Rob Gronkowski! Just some of the names you’ll see as Fox Sports 1 truly christens this weekly WWE news show as it sets sail!
John Cena narrates the opening video!
“There is more to a WWE Superstar than what you see in the ring. It’s a long road to the top. 200+ days of traveling.” Changing cities more often than you change your socks. “But it’s passion that keeps us coming back for more.” The crowd roaring for you, and against you. Wins, titles, moments. This show will tell you “what is in the hearts of those men and women that entertain you in that ring night in and night out.” A show that shows us why the superstars chose this path, and why this path chose them. Who knows? You might be inspired. The time is now, so if you want some, come get some!
The panel is hyped for the premiere!
Renee Young, Booker T, Christian and Paige are all pumped that “the ultimate show for WWE fans” is really here! Booker thanks “Shakespeare” Cena for that opening video. Captain Charisma and the Glampire are also enjoying being back, and we get right to a top story already!
Superstars stranded in Saudi Arabia!
175 WWE superstars, production members and general employees were meant to fly back to the United States after Crown Jewel, only for “mechanical issues” to delay them by a full day. A small group of talent chartered their own flight but didn’t arrive until after SmackDown was already going. However, this would result in perhaps one of the greatest weeks in WWE television history! That’s right, we’re talking NXT taking over Friday Night! Shayna Baszler attacking Sasha Banks, Nikki Cross and SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley! Tommaso Ciampa beating The Miz! And just a general assault to “fire the first shot!” But not only that, Brock Lesnar quit SmackDown to go to Raw, only to become the hunted when Rey Mysterio attacked back! Triple H tried to recruit Seth Rollins while Becky Lynch warned Shayna about Survivor Series. #WeAreNXT!
Daniel Bryan lost while Rollins only won from disqualification, and Booker T says “preparation is the only luck you’ll have in life.” Adam Cole impressed Booker T at an indie show, and Cole told him that he was waiting on “the call.” And now, Adam Cole is the NXT Champion that defeated The GOAT, Daniel Bryan! Renee loved the spontaneity and surprises, and Christian agrees with Booker T. NXT hasn’t just moved up, they’re a legitimate third brand! All the superstars that showed up got eyes on themselves and on NXT on USA Network. Last minute, being thrown into the fire, that can be the best thing for you. Renee even got to be on commentary again! She earned that money! But it was so crazy, so much was in flux, everyone was “flying by the seat of our pants.”
And Paige loved that the NXT women stood out. Shayna bringing that MMA badass-ness taking it to Bad Bayley, Rhea Ripley leading the charge on Fire & Desire. Booker loves the killer instinct, even thought Shayna scares him. And now, Survivor Series is finally exciting again!
The Beast is back on Raw!
But it didn’t go as the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Champion thought. Because while he was hunting Rey Mysterio, Mysterio got him first! A pipe to the legs and the belt to the head, Mysterio floored Lesnar! And now they will fight for that world title at Survivor Series! Christian says “about damn time!” Booker and Christian are grown ass men, and as such, seeing their son getting beat up, they’d want revenge. Seeing their friend beat up like Lesnar went after Cain Velasquez, they’d want revenge. Lesnar may be the biggest beast in the business, but Mysterio has always been the biggest underdog, and now these two will match up for a great match. Paige is hoping for a stipulation, because Lesnar has just been throwing everyone around.
Booker says Mysterio has conquered plenty in his career, going against The Big Show and other big obstacles. Of course, Lesnar is a dangerous man, but this will show us just how much Mysterio has left in the tank. Booker wants to see Mysterio make magic and soar with the eagles once again. But while Mysterio VS Lesnar could get nasty, there’re some things down right dirty they have to discuss!
The Women’s Division is going hard!
Just when you thought Asuka and Kairi Sane would be glad to have their manager back, they metaphorically kicked her to the curb when the Empress of Tomorrow spat the mysterious green mist in her face! And just as Renee returns to commentary, she has the misfortune of being in the way of Sonya Deville when Tegan Nox tosses her over commentary! But Booker is proud of Renee for not running off after that. The mist was no fun, it definitely stings and doesn’t taste nice. Paige took a quick pic after cleaning off, able to laugh it off. But between Asuka and Kairi being Paige’s previous pick, and Fire & Desire being her previous pick, this all comes back on her. Paige realizes she needs to stop. Or just find the right partner, like Renee, and they can go up against everyone at Fox.
Booker detracts from the Fox Tag Division by saying he was working on a stuffed avocado recipe, with crab meat and a drizzle of diced tomato and bacon. Renee says he’s trying to snipe her WWE cooking show! But make sure you’re hungry for more, as there is a lot left to this premiere!
WWE Backstage has a special edition of the Firefly Fun House!
Yes, the NEW WWE Universal Champion comes to Fox Sports 1 fresh off his Falls Count Anywhere victory at Crown Jewel! Bray Wyatt waves hi to the panel and is “super duper excited and humbled” to be part of this premiere. For all the new Fireflies tuning in, he formally introduces himself, the Fun House, and warns them about all the nicknames he’s been given. From genius to madman, sex symbol and eccentric, it might scare you to see what’s going on in his noggin. Montage! Flames… See what he means?
But don’t worry! You’re all safe here. Just don’t make “him” upset… Seth Rollins did, and now look what happened! YOWIE WOWIE, Bray has the Universal Championship! And he already has The Fiend’s special side plates installed! Like that? Well now everyone will realize there’s a NEW Ruler of the Universe! But don’t worry, you can all join him. Just #LetHimIn. See you Friday~! Bye~! Have a good day~!
The panel reacts.
“Disturbing.” And why did he forget Paige and Christian? Well no one is safe from The Fiend, but we’ll only know what he’s planning once he’s done it.
The panel goes No Holds Barred!
The new Universal Champion is on SmackDown, so what is next for The Fiend?
Christian is still bummed he didn’t get a hello, but the thing is: Bray doesn’t even need the title to be on top, but now that he has it, there is going to be a long reign for this generational talent. The Fiend has already reached levels similar to The Rock and The Undertaker. He captivates the audience, has stepped up his in-ring ability, and even bringing the red light is special. He can’t be on the show every week, he’s not that kind of superstar, but when he does appear, it has to mean something.
Booker takes over to say that Bray is someone that has created something special. Hell in a Cell, the fans reacting to everything, they were awestruck. The artistry Bray brings is something different and special, too. Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, they’re what we’ve seen. Bray Wyatt has yet to show us everything, but there is a lot more to do. Christian agrees with that, and thinks that even Lars Sullivan would be something similar. If he returns and is built the right way, he’d be something, too. Paige adds that Fiend should just be champion for life.
Meanwhile, Seth Rollins has no title, has no direction, he might not even be cool anymore.
So what is next for The Architect? We saw HHH try to help Rollins figure out what’s next, as he has many times in his WWE career. NXT ran roughshod on SmackDown, and planned to do so on Raw. So is Rollins with HHH? Or against him? Rollins VS Cole turns into a brawl, how does everyone feel about this?
Paige has gotten flamed over this, but Rollins needs to stop caring, be more like his girl, Becky Lynch. It helped her become the face of the company, and Rollins was that when he did that, so it was just more entertaining. Rollins is getting there, but is it believable? Booker says that Rollins could go out there, put on a great match, but he hasn’t been has hot as he was when he was with The Shield. Renee of course likes The Shield. But this new dynamic with HHH and NXT, this might be what Rollins needs. He needs a buffer to cover up some flaws.
Christian doesn’t see it the same. Being in a legendary faction to start, and going back to that, that’s not good. Rollins can ride the wave to see where he goes, because silence is the real problem. Roll with the punches. Booker agrees, Rollins can’t stagnate. But Renee wonders: can Rollins get the cool factor back? Speaking of silence…
SmackDown will feel the Fury!
Tyson Fury will return to the blue brand when WWE goes to the UK! Will the Monster Among Men encounter the Gypsy King in his home territory?
The Heartbreak Kid is via satellite!
Renee and Booker sit down to talk with Shawn Michaels as he’s in the WWE Performance Center. Is he doing alright after a whirlwind week? Yeah, HBK has had a busy week but a fun one. So to SmackDown: Talent is stuck overseas and they get a call down in Orlando to “haul ass” up to Buffalo. What was that like? HBK says that he’s been in the company for 30 years. That morning, the chatter about the timing, 17 hours before showtime but 14 hours left until they all arrive, well, 99.9% of the time, the show must go on. HBK was going to text HHH, but surely HHH knew. HBK used that window of opportunity and then got a call to jump in a car and get going.
Long story short, they all jumped on a plane, 5 PM EST, hop on a plane and arrive in New York at about 7:55. They were getting texts, planning stuff and passing it along to the NXT talent, got in at about 8:05. HHH got HBK in their sneaking-in shot, and there you go. HBK is surely used to such situations, how did the NXT talent react? They were unsure, nervous, excited, “youth is a wonderful thing.” And they handled it like true professionals, delivering on every part! HBK is rather attached to them, and is very proud of them all. Then even doing Raw just last night and now they’re back to do NXT for Wednesday.
Booker wants to know from HBK how big this is for all those NXT superstars, and how much bigger can it get? Booker knows how it is to care about a job and work with the young stars on the same passion. That inspires HBK, and then these new environments like live television, it was a big change for the NXT team, they were all nervous about it, but so many of these young stars handled the situation like pros. HBK has no doubt it will just continue from here. Renee asks about being right at ringside for Cole VS Bryan, having trained Bryan in the past. It was amazing, for sure. Bryan has become one of the best in the business ever. HBK was so proud of both men, but seeing that great match on such a big stage, HBK told Cole himself that he was so proud. Renee thanks HBK for his time, and is sure NXT will only get hotter from here.
The Satin Sheet debuts!
Pro-wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin joins the WWE as a correspondent! And Renee asks him first about Alexa Bliss’ absence since that blockbuster trade a few weeks back. Ryan is aware of the speculation online, and confirms that Alexa will return soon from “a minor, undisclosed injury.”
Meanwhile, Randy Orton tweeted himself that the “3 most dangerous letters in sports entertainment,” the RKO, “just re-signed with the 3 most dominant letters in sports entertainment,” the WWE. He has signed for another five years or so, and has been trolling about it, and now he and HHH confirm that Orton will “remain a cornerstone of the WWE.” Renee thanks Ryan for the news, and now it’s on to the panel’s reactions!
The Viper is still in the WWE!
That’s a franchise tag right there for Booker. Christian says Orton isn’t being paid enough, he is that important to this company.
Paige gets called out by Twitter!
Was Paige being too harsh on Seth Rollins earlier? She can’t be the only one, though. But Paige says it all out of love. She’s known Rollins since day one of NXT, and she wants him to have the success he deserves.
Rob’s favorite wrestler of all time? Val Venis, “hello, ladies!” His favorite match? Stone Cold VS anyone, or Degeneration X! “And if you’re not down with that…” Best finisher? The People’s Elbow and the Stone Cold Stunner! Someone always busted that out in the backyard.
Gronk did have his own WrestleMania moment. He and his friends all dreamed of being in the WWE, and Gronk got to POUNCE Jinder Mahal out of the Andre the Giant Battle Royal! Gronk takes credit for motivating the Modern Day Maharaja to become the WWE World Champion after that. #YouAreWelcome!
Booker dares Gronk to show up on WWE Backstage! He wants to baste Gronk like a turkey! He also wants Gronk to know Booker is retired so they can’t actually have a match. But the open invitation is standing, will Gronk accept?
The panel talks favorite crossovers.
What were some favorite other sport or even celebrity wrestlers? Paige goes with Stephen Amell did a great job. Green Arrow didn’t have wrestling experience but he trained hard and killed it. Renee is partial to Karl Malone in wrestling tights. Booker was impressed by Dennis Rodman back in the day. But Malone was great, too, for a basketball player being so jacked. Christian points out the obvious: Gronk said “Ginger Mahal.” But Christian says Kurt Angle is the ultimate, as he moved from Olympic wrestling to professional wrestling. And of course, he became a greatest of all time.
Renee just got some news: Big E tweeted something.
“When is the Feet of the Week segment I proposed?” And he has a picture of when Renee went barefoot backstage to interview the New Day! Oh no~! Big E, don’t you dare! She was just trying to put them over as taller guys! But speaking of Twitter, the Social Media SmackDown is still to come!
It’s time for Social Media SmackDown!
The WWE loves their fans, but sometimes, fans can be jerks. Haters gonna hate, but time to talk trash back! This segment is sponsored by #YourMom!
RyanMiller73 wants to know, “Everyone is smiling and looks happy, but why does Christian look like a smug rich (censored)?” Christian says that perception is reality. His perception is this Twitter troglodyte is a simpleton. Rich? Smug? Maybe Christian just isn’t enjoying the company. Is this supposed to be an insult? Bring the smoke. #WeWantTheSmoke! Christian will do Christian, RyanMiller73 will do RyanMiller73, i.e. continue to bait for simple social media reactions. But the reality is, RyanMiller73 is just embarrassing himself and those who know him.
Booker’s turn! The Vegas Guy says “I hope ‘King Booker’ has Twitter up on that laptop…… If you do Booker… you suck. Go back to wrestling!” Booker ain’t even upset right now. He won’t talk about his two Hall of Fame rings, his 35 total championship reigns. No, he’ll talk about being from the hood, with a heart as big as Texas. Vegas Guy is about as big as a mustard seed! Welcome Backstage, “you roody poot!”
But wait, there’s a NICE tweet! And it’s from NattieByNature, sweet ol’ Natalya! “I love seeing Paige on Backstage!!! She’s perfect for this show!” And three black heart emojis! Paige is so touched. She loves Natty back, as does the panel. What a sweet note to end the show on. Renee doesn’t want to encourage mean tweets, but this is going to be a segment and the tweets won’t stop anyway. So maybe mommy can make some keyboard warriors some pizza rolls real quick. But until then, WWE Backstage will be back again next Tuesday!
While this premiere wasn’t the first episode ever aired, this was a pretty good “premiere.” Cena had a great opening video, the panel touched on the Saudi Arabia stuff but obviously they weren’t going to dive into any of that. I can’t be sure, but I think Backstage started to blur the line the right way. They didn’t really pull the curtain back on kayfabe as much as the first two episodes, so I think they figured it out after the trial run episodes. HBK had a good interview, he also managed to keep it on the line of kayfabe and reality, though I’m sure even in kayfabe, HBK would’ve complimented Daniel Bryan. Gronk had a good segment, too, and plugging previous celebrity/athlete crossovers, maybe Gronk has another go?
I think the big news coming out of this was Ryan Satin of Pro-Wrestling Sheet joining WWE Backstage, and therefore the company. He gets his own quick segment to kayfabe up some superstar news like Orton’s new contract and Alexa’s return. This is great for him, and Satin himself tweeted that PWS isn’t going anywhere, he’s #GotThatFoxMoney! But seriously, this is really great for him. Satin, “Wrestle & Flow” Josiah Williams, glimmers of hope that fans being a little more than just fans might get noticed. I hope he gets to do many more segments like this.