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Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (2/20/21)

Talking Smack’s Day One Ish!

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WWE Talking Smack

The last Talking Smack before Elimination Chamber!

After a wild Friday night, Reginald, Apollo Crews and #MainEventJeyUso are here to talk smack! How does Jey feel going into Elimination Chamber Sunday?

 

Kayla Braxton welcomes us back!

Things are starting a little differently because their first guest is already here! Just 12 hours from the end of Friday Night SmackDown and Apollo Crews is here, hopefully to explain #WhyApolloWhy he did what he did to Big E. Medical update on Big E: he has a brachial plexus injury, causing temporary arm weakness. Big E is resting at home, but Apollo is here. This is his first opportunity to speak on that incident. Kayla asks that he explain his actions. Apollo simply sits their quietly, so Kayla asks if he feels remorse or regret for doing that to a former friend. Any guilt? Apollo again remains quiet. There is a replay of footage, and Kayla asks if he feels anything about what he did. Still nothing.

Paul Heyman says Kayla’s questions are appropriate and he applauds her asking them. But he talks to Apollo now. Apollo wanted people talking about him, and now they are. Apollo wanted Big E’s attention, and now he has it. Apollo wanted the spotlight, and now there is one on him. The question now becomes: “Did it happen in the moment?” Could Apollo just not take it anymore? Was it premeditated? Did he listen to “the voice of reason,” Heyman? Did those moments with the Tribal Chief ring true? At some point in Apollo’s life, he made the decision from which he can never turn back. So when was that decision made?

Again, Apollo is silent. But he does smile and nod at Heyman before leaving. Heyman will pass that along to Roman Reigns. Pass what along? Is that nod the answer Heyman was looking for? Kayla doesn’t get it but Heyman says he sees things. Is this a game Heyman is playing? Is he telepathic? Is she? Thankfully no. But now that things can be a bit more cheerful, Kayla gives us a warmer welcome to the show. We’re just a day away from Elimination Chamber, and there was a lot from SmackDown! Edge delivered a strong message to Roman, and Heyman says Roman had a strong response, didn’t he? Does Kayla know what Roman said to Edge? No, please remind us.

Well he can’t because no one knew! To be reminded means you knew at some point and are remembering. No one knows what Roman said, except for Heyman, and he’s not telling. Well while we’re on the edge of our seats… OH WOW that is terrible, Kayla. But Kayla knows Edge guaranteed that Roman isn’t guaranteed to be Edge’s opponent. And then we heard from Seth Rollins this week, and saw that his suit game is strong! Heyman can take some notes from him. How shallow! Imagine if a man came out here, and Heyman won’t point out any particular woman, but still. Kayla says this is Talking Smack, not Talking Heyman, so let’s keep going.

Heyman says he doesn’t talk about himself, he talks about the Reings-ing, Defending, Undisputed, Uncontroverted WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion and THE main event of WrestleMania, the man you all want to see defend his title at Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns…! Well this isn’t Talking Roman, either. So moving on, we saw an interesting development on Bayley’s talk show, Ding Dong Hello, where Carmella’s supposed sommelier is sorta bouncing back and forth between ladies.

Reginald Thomas joins Talking Smack!

Wow he has his own theme music and tron package now. This is Reggie’s first time, he’s excited. He must be riding Cloud 9 after what we saw in that Six Person Tag. He might’ve been the most shocked of all in that ring. Well, “shocked” isn’t the best word, because when you’re good, you’re good. Then inquiring minds want to know, when we first saw him step into the scene, he was the assistant to Carmella, but now he has an interest in Sasha Banks. Reggie wants to clear this up: he works for Mella. Yes, Sasha is The Boss, the Standard, the Blueprint, but Reggie’s loyalty is still to Mella. Then did the job description include having wine thrown in his face?

It wasn’t thrown. Oh it was. The glass slipped. Well okay, Kayla will use that herself. But is loyalty really his thing? Can Sasha trust Reggie? Heyman asks why Kayla is judging him! “I dOn’T tHiNk LoYaLtY iS yOuR tHiNg~!” What the heck?! Kayla is just trying to play to women, such as strong willed ones as Mella and Sasha, this game is not going to work Reggie’s way. There’s no games! Reggie works for Carmella. So he’s attracted to Sasha? Because that’s what this looks like. Reggie thought he was here to talk about himself and Carmella, but Kayla is suggesting things. Heyman says Kayla is acting up tonight for some reason. Reggie defends there’s nothing there. That’s not what it looks to Kayla.

But okay, let’s have Reggie weigh in. The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match was added to the Elimination Chamber PPV, Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler VS Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair. What is Reggie’s predictions, since he seems interested in Sasha? Did Kayla not see what we saw last night? It’s the EST and the Blueprint! There’s nothing to say. Those two together says it for itself. Then what happens now that Reggie has this interest in Sasha? We’ve seen Mella and Sasha go head to head, so where would Reggie stand if it happens again? Which lane will he choose? Reggie says he is very, very excited for the future, and his future in the WWE.

Well no one knows more than Heyman, so what words of wisdom does he have for Reggie? Both in the ring, and affairs on the outside. Affairs?! Wow! Heyman tells Kayla needs to get out herself. Heyman introduces himself to Reggie, the whole spiel, and says he has Reggie’s rather impressive biography. Top notch stuff. But there are also notes he has about Reggie, but those don’t matter, either. We know he is athletic and educated. So Reggie surely saw Roman and Edge have that personal moment where only Edge, Roman and Heyman know what was said. Reggie says if Roman said something to Edge, then it surely wasn’t for anyone else’s ears.

Heyman likes Reggie! They hug! Reggie is welcomed on the show any time! Heyman wants us to realize there is someone here who finally realizes that what happens in the “universe of Roman Reigns” belongs only on the Island of Relevancy and it is only Roman’s business. This is journalism, not speculation and gossip, Heyman nodding and pointing to the “dateless on Fridays” Kayla! Kayla figures these two can start hosting together then. They both wish Reggie the best of luck, and the one thing Kayla and Heyman agree on is for Reggie to take the mic.

Kayla says Talking Smack is always full of surprises, but here’s one! Instead of the advertised Jey Uso, the last guest is the Lucha Dragon!

Kalisto joins Talking Smack!

Kalisto is happy to be here, Heyman speaks to him in Spanish, and Kalisto tops it off with, “That’s what we do!” Kayla says Kalisto has an exclusive so take it away! Kalisto says he’s been thinking about something for a very long time. And he’s ready to talk. But wait, Jey Uso interrupts?! He has a mask, too! Talking Smack is now Walking Smack, so get out before you get got! Adios, Kalist-Uce! Jey and Heyman high-five and Jey tells us that The Right Hand Man has something to say!

Sami Zayn, Jey will get him! Daniel Bryan, Jey will get him! “Queen” Corbin, Jey will get his ass, too! And when the Right Hand Man gets an opportunity at a title, we know what it’s gonna be. Jey tells Heyman to get the rest of this. Heyman says it’s fight weekend! You have the rare opportunity to see in action, a legend! A once-in-a-lifetime champion, the standard bearer, Roman Reigns, the Best of the Best, defending the Universal Championship at the Elimination Chamber PPV against a winner of that very match.

The winner of the Elimination Chamber is “a man who can display such politically incorrect violence that he not only survives but thrives inside the Chamber, beats whoever is surviving, and emerges as the victor! What happens then?” That man faces Roman Reigns two months out of WrestleMania, and the landscape could change! But why? Because there is now WWE without Roman! There is no Talking Smack without Roman! There is no SmackDown, no Raw- Well there shouldn’t be a Raw. Have you seen it lately? But anyway, there is no nothing without Roman! We exist here and are employed because of the Tribal Chief! He is the sun which we orbit around! Heyman and Jey are with the champ. They’ve got the juice and the stroke and the power around here.

And if you want to see a prime example of that before Elimination Chamber, then this episode of Talking Smack is done in three… two… one. And it’s out! Will this same influence be what keeps the Universal Championship in the family?


My Thoughts:

Talking Smack is more like Talking Short at just 18 minutes, but they made it work out in story. Apollo was already there so there was no time wasted with an opening segment. Apollo was actually playing that perfectly by being quiet. He didn’t need to say anything himself, and Heyman understanding adds another layer to the story. Reggie having a titantron and song does make sense for the sake of a show like this but also means he is ready to have his own matches now. There’s a good chance he gets “dumped” by Mella, rejected by Sasha, and he ends up in the Cruiserweight Division on 205 Live.

I find it a touch disappointing that last night, they advertise Jey Uso for the show, act like Kalisto was the intended guest here tonight, and then have Jey get in the way and be part of the show after all. Left hand, right hand, communicate please. I am really curious as to what Kalisto’s supposed announcement was going to be. Jey’s part of things were alright, it was a lot of just heated rambling and also repeating himself from other times, but Heyman had the strongest part of it as he “shuts down” Talking Smack. I really wonder how that will play into the story, too. Will they unofficially make sure Jey Uso is last so that he can try and clean up? It’d make sense, and stack the deck in Roman’s favor even more.


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Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (3/1/21)

Who wants to Talk With Elias?!

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WWE Raw Talk

Ladies and gentlemen: Raw Talk.

After a wild Monday Night Raw, things are only speeding up towards Fastlane! What will Drew McIntyre have to say about his triumphant return?

 

Charly- Wait, Kayla Braxton welcomes us back!

Charly Caruso has taken time off this week but Talking Smack’s usual hostess is here! And she’ll leave it up to the WWE Universe to figure out a good nickname for her and R-Truth. Truth tries to figure out some for himself, though. Kay-Truth? R-Braxton? Maybe their names just don’t go together. But either way, Kayla is happy to be here with Truth and wants to talk the highlight of Monday Night Raw: The NEW WWE World Champion a long time coming, it is Bobby Lashley! Truth was a lumberjack and he was lost in the moment. There has been tension between Truth and Lashley but Truth was definitely proud of Lashley in that moment.

Truth confirms, because Lashley has clawed and scratched and finally got his due. Of course Truth got lost in the moment. Lashley did what he had to do and got it done! Miz kept us wondering all night, faking this and that, not that anyone bought it. But Miz tried to okie-doke, only to get got. Then Kayla wants to talk about that moment with Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss’ strange message. Orton choked and had more black gunk coming out of his mouth! Alexa is being creepy. Truth is creeped out, yes. Truth knows Alexa is weirder than him, that is some left field, over the fence, in the street stuff. Just look at it! What was it Orton spitting up!? And how often is Orton “shook” like that? Truth’s also known Orton a long time, and Orton doesn’t get shook, but he was here.

But moving on, their first guests are a duo that had mixed luck tonight on their way to a title defense, it’s the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions!

Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler join Raw Talk!

Truth is happy but the champs aren’t. And Shayna doesn’t even know who Kayla is! Nia asks if Kayla even goes here. Truth says they should be nice. They’ve been on The Bump, they know who she is! They’ll even be on The Bump again. Not by choice. Kayla says Nia should be in a good mood, she won tonight! Truth says that’s a compliment! But Kayla admits Shayna lost. But that all aside, they have their title defense on NXT against Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai! The momentum must make Nia confident but Shayna might have doubt. Shayna asks if Kayla remembers the TWO YEAR reign Shayna had! Or what she did to Dakota! But a different day, a different Dakota. Not really!

Kayla admits Shayna’s one of the best in NXT, her name is synonymous with the brand. Does that make this match even more important? Is there any concerns? Nia says this isn’t comedy hour. Kayla is more the guest than they are! Nia doesn’t even really know her. But are they excited to dominate and wreck shop? Yes! They’re going to stomp respect into two girls who don’t have any! Nia and Shayna are the top of this division! Not just as tag champions, but they’re the TOP champions! They’ve spent enough time showing everyone, even on SmackDown, so they’ll do it again to the “NXT Universe.” Being dominant in NXT is like being Freshman JV. They’re VARSITY!

Kayla hopes so because they’re going to be embarrassed if things get turned around on them. Nia asks if they can get a replacement for the replacement host. Shayna feels like this must be Kayla’s “tryout.” And she’s failing! Truth is saying they need to show respect! Kayla is just pointing out that they went 50-50 on Raw tonight. Nia says the ones that should be respected are THEM, because THEY are the champions! Where is Truth’s title, huh!? Mr. Bugs Bunny has it! Shayna says there are 40 days left before they are the longest reigning Women’s Tag Champions ever! Did Kayla do the research to get her job here?

Kayla says that yes, they are the best champions of this division, but they might not be come WrestleMania. There is another title they’re both after and that is Asuka’s Raw Women’s Championship. Oh the same Asuka Shayna kicked to the curb? These two and Charlotte want a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship. So between these two, who deserves that opportunity more? Don’t try to drive a wedge in! Truth says Kayla’s not doing anything. Nia tells Truth to shut up! If anyone is getting the shot, it’s Nia. Shayna gets upset but Nia says Nia is on a streak. Shayna says she’s been doing so much more for the team! She’s why they have the titles! Nia is letting Kayla win here!

Truth says these two are making good points as pointiologists. That’s not a real word! Kayla says it is, Truth says it’s just obscure. Fist bump! Seriously? Shayna asks why they keep being forced to do this. Kayla wishes Nia and Shayna luck for NXT. Shayna and Nia don’t like Truth no more. They leave, but Truth says it was time for them to go anyway! So disrespectful. Truth will cheer Dakota & Raquel on now. But now, it’s time to #DriftAway!

Elias & Jaxson Ryker join Raw Talk!

Elias is happy that his chair isn’t sinking on him this time. Ryker is happy to have a chair at all this time. Truth wants an autograph because he follows Elias. Truth bought the album, too! From a friend, though. But Universal Truth is legit, because it’s about Truth! Well, sure it is. Hidden lyrics, maybe. Kayla wants to bring up the “outlandish” proposal from Elias to Bad Bunny for a musical collaboration. What’s so outlandish about it? Universal Truth was at the top of the charts on iTunes! But Bad Bunny is multi-platinum. So is she saying Bunny is above Elias? No, the numbers are! Universal Truth is up there, but Bunny is way, WAY up there! And the fact Truth is willing to say that even though Bunny still has the 24/7 Championship, that’s some truth. Wait, does that ruin Kayla’s argument?

Elias says he’ll get Truth his autograph real quick. Truth asks which is Elias’ favorite song on the album. Elias’ favorite song of his own album? Yes. Well it has to be Amen, which is now his entrance song. Ryker’s favorite is Changes, because that’s what Elias is about. Elias tried to offer something to Bugs- No, wait, Bad Bunny. Sorry. But Elias says a real music star in the WWE, and then Bad Bunny comes in and shoves Elias aside! Elisa is a generous man, but Bunny goes and rejects “the offer of a lifetime.” Wouldn’t Truth take that offer? Elias says he would. But Priest is speaking for Bunny, there’s the match, it’s all aggravating for Elias.

Kayla says Elias and Ryker were trying to cheat. Ryker wasn’t cheating, he was just keeping Priest from using the ropebreak for too long. Anything else is coincidence. But while Ryker admires and is inspired by Elias, why is he inspired? Elias gives Ryker a different way of seeing life! It just speaks to something. it electrifies Ryker and shows that there are better things in this world. IS there a better way to say that? The Universal Truth touches souls. Truth says he wanted a carrot after for some reason. Carrots are good, though. And Kayla admits Elias is a good musician.

But what is the ultimate goal? Change more lives with more music! Elias has Ryker now, they are unstoppable with their track record. They run track? Sometimes. But Bad Bunny saw Elias beat up Priest, was probably impressed, and if he still wants to take Elias up on the offer, Elias is fine with that. Bunny has Truth’s title, but Elias will take that, too, if he has to. Kayla keeps Truth calm from hearing that. And on that note, no pun intended, nice to see them. Elias and Ryker head out, and now the final guest of the night is here! It’s the Scottish Warrior!

Drew McIntyre joins Raw Talk!

Truth is pumped to see McIntyre but was hoping to see the sword. Kayla says she’s interviewed McIntyre many times, and it pains her to say that for the first time in awhile, he’s not champion. Is it weird to not hear that title in front of his name? Yes, and while it might be odd for him, a man who wears only a kilt and no shirt most of the time, he feels naked without the world title. Note to cameramen, don’t shoot below the waist. There’s some skin showing. But being without the title is weird. McIntyre spent a year as champion. He was hoping to return to WrestleMania as champion, Miz and Lashley messed that up, but McIntyre vows to make is his way back.

Kayla brings up tonight’s match with Sheamus, but also the fact Lashley is the NEW world champion. McIntyre says he would’ve bet on Lashley, of course. Lashley has worked hard, is an animal in the gym and in the ring. They’ve faced off, so McIntyre knows Lashley has earned this moment. And now, the match of Lashley VS McIntyre is going to be big for Raw, especially if it’s at WrestleMania. It is a lot of pressure to be a champion. Miz must’ve felt it every night this week. You surround yourself with friends, those friends might get jealous and want what you want. Sheamus did it to McIntyre, the Hurt Business might do it to Lashley. Consider that free advice.

Kayla wants Truth to see if he has any advice for McIntyre. Truth had a title that is very near and dear and he doesn’t hold it right now. McIntyre had the WWE World Championship in the same regard. What can McIntyre do to get through these times without it? “It’s your baby, man. You gotta remember the good times, but you also got to get your baby back.” McIntyre knows that. Having the baby by your heart is what you want. But Truth getting the title from Bugsy means getting past Priest. McIntyre needs to get past Lashley. But McIntyre is a fighter! Look what he and Shamus did tonight!

McIntyre admits, they beat the hell out of each other. He has a bruise, it looks like the Scottish flag! McIntyre knows he went to war with Sheamus, but that is what this is about! You go to war, put it all on the line, and the best man wins. McIntyre was the better tonight, but he knows this is how Lashley fights. Maybe Sheamus will let his grudge go. They hadn’t faced each other in a significant singles match since FCW. It didn’t have to go this way but it did. Sheamus turned on McIntyre but the match was awesome and hopefully the fans loved it. Now it’s on to Lashley. Maybe we’ll again call McIntyre the WWE Champion.

Kayla wishes him all the luck. McIntyre says things just got real interesting on the Road to WrestleMania! McIntyre heads out, Kayla thanks Truth for letting her cohost, and it’s onward to Fastlane! See you again next week!


My Thoughts:

A pretty good episode here, with the surprise substitute of Kayla adding just a little different touch to the show. Shayna and Nia being hard on her for being the substitute was a good touch, and Kayla trying to bring up their 50-50 math was good stuff. The Raw Women’s Championship story will definitely bring back that dysfunction from when Nia and Shayna first started teaming together, and though it surely won’t cost them the titles on NXT, it could be what costs them against Naomi and Lana. Elias and Ryker had a good segment, though only so much was really said. McIntyre had a good segment, and it does seem he’s moving on from Sheamus to go right at Lashley, but I’m thinking someone steps up to get the title shot instead.


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News From Cook’s Corner 3.1.21: No Big Show

Steve Cook brings the birthday shout outs and a nice variety of different wrestling topics! Check it out!

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! My name is Steve Cook, and I’m somewhat decent at remembering birthdays of people close to me thanks to social media notifications, but ages are another matter. A day ago, I would have wished Larry Csonka a happy 67th birthday. Not that he would have been 67 years old, it’s just a gimmick I do with people that are older than me. Assign them an age much older than they actually are. Greg DeMarco has been on the receiving end of this before.

It’s good times, loved by all. (Actually, Larry hated it and I’m pretty sure Greg does too.)

With the way things have been in the world over the past year, there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you’ve lost somebody you cared about over the past year. Wrestling has seen a nearly non-stop parade of death, including the loss of the man who played Jocephus & The Question Mark last week. His passing touched a number of his brothers & sisters in the wrestling business, who posted about how great he was as a person.

All we can do is hang together and help each other through our periods of grief. We all go through it, and it’s definitely been way too much of a thing over the past year.

You can still donate to help out Larry’s family!

It’s tempting to wonder what Larry would think about the things going on now. I won’t pretend to know how he’d react to most of 2021, but I can safely assume that he would be excited as I am about Tully Blanchard having a match on television this week, and also wondering why a bigger deal isn’t being made of it. He probably would have written the best column about Tully Blanchard since 1999.

The best way I can think of to celebrate Larry’s birthday? Ramble through some wrestling news a day after it! Makes sense, right?

AEW Signs Paul Wight

This one came as quite the surprise when it broke on Wednesday. Paul Wight, the wrestler formerly known as The Big Show (or The Giant if you’re more of a WCW fan), has decided to take his wrestling and announcing talents to All Elite Wrestling. Wight had worked for WWE for most of the past twenty-two years, with the exception of February 2007-08. He hadn’t done much with the company over the past several years, appearing for brief periods of time in the ring. WWE did help produce The Big Show Show, a sitcom that lasted one season on Netflix.

It seems like this comes down to Wight wanting to do more, and WWE not really having anything for him to do. Since his sitcom was ended, he only made a handful of appearances on WWE television, with his last appearance consisting of Randy Orton berating him for not being able to wrestle anymore. Wight will apparently be doing some wrestling in AEW, which will be interesting on a number of levels since there isn’t a bevy of talent there that’s anywhere near his size. I mean, there is Shaq, and that’s been a dream match for some for years, but there’s no telling whether or not Shaq will be back after his tag match this week. He’ll also be announcing alongside Tony Schiavone on AEW’s new YouTube show titled AEW Dark: Elevation.

AEW has made it a priority to keep increasing their online presence, as we saw on Sunday night when they aired some of their Women’s Championship Eliminator matches on Bleacher Report’s website. Including Riho vs. Thunder Rosa, which made some pretty angry when it was announced as they would have preferred to see the match on Dynamite. While I get that they need matches like that to draw eyeballs to new platforms, it will raise some eyebrows from those that see things like this as demotions. They aren’t meant as demotions, as having Wight on this new show further indicates.

I don’t see this changing the momentum of the wrestling wars, but I think its nice for older talent to have viable options other than a WWE Legends contract.

WWE: Still Big In India

Jinder Mahal WWE Bold Prediction

People like to make a big deal of how many viewers these wrestling shows have. One thing we often forget: Americans aren’t the only people that watch television! Sure, on average we probably watch more programming via various devices than anybody else. However, there’s a great big world out there of people watching wrestling that we often don’t keep track of!

Fortunately, we have people like Lucha Libre Online to keep track of places like India for us. Here’s what they told us!

4 million people watch Raw every week, while 3 million watch SmackDown and 1 million watch NXT. Which makes me wonder if Raw viewers are forced to choose between SmackDown & NXT. Are they in the same time slot?

People are making a big deal about how this means more people in India are watching WWE than in the US. I mean…India has a few more people, right? I’m guessing their share of the overall audience is lower than it is here.

All I know for sure is that all this proves that India doesn’t need Jinder Mahal pushed on top to remain interested in WWE.

NWA Pulls Videos From YouTube

NWA Power

I have to admit that I was concerned when WrestlingInc & other websites drew my attention to the fact that the NWA had pulled their videos from YouTube. Not really the best timing on that either, as I’m sure there were fans of Jocephus & Question Mark looking for something to watch after his tragic death last week. It’s easy to see why people thought the worst.

As we know, the NWA has virtually ceased production since the pandemic started. A good amount of their wrestling talent has moved on to other opportunities. If David Lagana has been replaced behind the scenes, we haven’t heard who it is. Heck, the women’s division has pretty much become part of AEW. We’ve been waiting to hear some kind of NWA news for awhile now, either good or bad.

We’ve finally got something new coming from the NWA. Dave Meltzer reported that they’ll be holding TV tapings from March 21-24. No word on where the tapings will be taking place, if fans will be allowed, or who will be involved. As we’ve noticed, a good number of NWA wrestlers have moved on to other places. Hopefully the NWA will be able to fill those slots with new, compelling characters that can give fans the same level of enjoyment they got out of Powerrr.

I’m always in favor of more wrestling produced for the people.

Marty Scrull Returns to New Japan

Marty Scurll

Our friends at Fightful got the inside scoop from the NJPW Strong tapings back in January and found out that Marty Scrull appeared on the show. He did an angle with Rocky Romero that will presumably air at some point. Scrull has not been seen or heard from in any major way since parting ways with Ring of Honor.

I remember reading before that New Japan might be the most likely landing spot for Scrull, since apparently sleeping or doing other things with underage females is less frowned upon over there. And there is a bit of a difference between having someone work for you as a wrestler or in a management position. Scrull was management in ROH, and keeping him around would have been unneeded publicity.

That’s what all of these Speaking Out defendants are going to be dealing with in their attempts to return to pro wrestling. The ones that haven’t yet will try eventually, it’s just a matter of timing and business. Companies will bring in these people if they find them valuable. New Japan finds value in Marty Scrull, who has enough friends there to help him out.

The question, as I’ve stated before, is if fans feel strongly enough about Scrull and his failings to hold it against the people that employ him. If they do, and they don’t watch NJPW Strong, Scrull won’t be around for too long. If fans don’t care, then promotions don’t need to, and Scrull will be twirling his umbrella back into the wrestling world.

As for my opinion? I’m really the wrong person to ask, as Marty Scrull wasn’t a draw for me before all his business came out. I’m not inclined to watch his stuff, but I already wasn’t. What matters is how the people that did fawn over Scrull in the past take to him now.

Klein vs. ROH

Kelly Klein

Its been a minute or two since we’ve talked much about the former Women of Honor Champion. It wasn’t too long before the pandemic when all of this drama went public with Kelly’s allegations about her treatment in Ring of Honor, Kelly getting divorced after her former husband (BJ Whitmer) accused her of being unfaithful with the man assisting her in making allegations (Joey Mercury), and ROH eventually stripping her of their championship and not renewing her contract.

Things died down on this front over the past year, largely due to the global pandemic thing. Klein isn’t going away though, as she filed a lawsuit against Ring of Honor & Sinclair Broadcasting, naming Greg Gilliland, Delirious & Jay Lethal as defendants. Klein’s issues with ROH came to a head when she suffered a concussion during a match and there was no protocol or staff on hand to address her problem. There were other issues, including pay, which apparently ROH’s female roster members get considerably less of than the males.

ROH has never really had much interest in pushing women’s wrestling. That’s just a fact. The Women of Honor re-boot in 2018 seemed to be a step in that direction, but the company quickly lost interest in featuring the competitors. Since the debut of the ROH bubble, the only woman regularly appearing on television has been the studio host, Quinn McKay. McKay has an angle going with Mandy Leon & Angelina Love, but that hasn’t been touched on at all on television and has been confined to an Internet show where they did one confrontation and that was it. Leon & Love appear in the opening video, but that’s the only place they’ve appeared on television in months. Vita Von Starr appears with The Righteous on occasion & Maria Kanellis-Bennett recently made her on-screen return to commentate on a match.

So, no, it doesn’t surprise me that ROH had/has no interest in paying women equally to men.

There’s a lot going on within the lawsuit, including harassment claims directed towards Lethal. The main thing to keep an eye on here for wrestling purposes? Klein is claiming that she was an employee, not an independent contractor, and the State of Maryland has a strong policy to ensure that workers are not misclassified. So we’re saying there’s a chance this issue might actually be addressed in a court of law after how many years. Stay tuned.

That’s all we have time for this week! Thanks for reading, and keep your stick on the ice.


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