Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! Last week was kind of weird for me. I had more time to write than usual, yet I got less done than usual. Life is strange like that sometimes. I’m hoping that since I have less time this week, I can get more done. Seems to make sense.
Speaking of getting things done, let’s hit the news! WWE had a show last night.
What happened in the Chamber?
I actually watched this one after getting home from work! You guys know that’s a rarity at this point.
Daniel Bryan won the SmackDown Men’s Elimination Chamber
This match showcased one of the main ways my fandom has changed over the years. Back in the day, I would have been outraged that Daniel Bryan & Cesaro had to start the match, as it lessened the chances of one of them winning. Now, I’m like “Cool, they get to carry most of the match, so it’ll be good”. Also, the first people in these matches tend to do very well. Bryan outlasted everybody, but tweaked his left knee while delivering a flying right knee off the turnbuckle on the padding. It was a main story of the match, but didn’t help him much afterward.
Roman Reigns made short work of Daniel Bryan
Rough break for Reigns’ challenger to not even get some time between matches, but that’s how Roman does things. Edge speared him afterwards, pointed at the WrestleMania sign and set off some pyro. Guess that makes it official!
Bad Bunny slapping Miz around was entertaining enough.
Riddle beat Bobby Lashley & John Morrison for the US Championship
I seem to remember somebody calling Riddle winning here since he’d done little else but get beat up by Lashley for weeks at a time. I wonder who that was? Morrison won a 4-way on the Kickoff Show to get in this match, but he has no excuse because he had an hour more prep time than Daniel Bryan got for his second match.
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defended the Women’s Tag Team Championship against Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair
We didn’t get Asuka defending the Raw Women’s Championship against anybody, but we did get this match, featuring Reginald wandering down to the ring with some champagne and distracting Sasha. One wouldn’t think that Banks would be so easily distracted, but here we are. Not a bad match, not great, kinda there.
MVP gave Miz some advice!
Drew McIntyre retained the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber
The announcers made a big deal of Randy Orton having history with everybody in this match, which makes me wonder if there’s somebody that’s been on the roster over the past several years that doesn’t have history with Randy Orton. Pretty solid match, quickly forgotten after…
The Miz cashed in his briefcase & won the WWE Championship
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) February 22, 2021
With some help from Bobby Lashley! Lashley beat the crap out of McIntyre, who had just been through an Elimination Chamber. Not much of a chance there. I know some of you might be looking to blame me for all this, but I don’t tell WWE which of my ideas to use. There are plenty of great ideas I have that don’t involve Miz as WWE Champion that they don’t use. Should I mention my idea of having Bad Bunny beat Miz for the title here or not? Nah, I think it’s more likely Lashley gets involved.
Here’s the thing: If Miz as WWE Champion heading into WrestleMania is an every ten year thing, he’ll only be fifty years old the next time around. So we definitely can’t rule it out!
Show was just kinda there, to be honest. Not worth going out of your way to see unless you’re an Elimination Chamber or WWE Championship title change completionist.
Old Guys Are Big In Japan Too
We here on the Interweb have been giving WWE a lot of guff lately for pushing older wrestlers on top, middle & bottom of their cards. 54 year old Bill Goldberg & 47 year old Edge as top championship contenders…little did we know that’d pale in comparison to what other wrestling companies could offer!
Name value is a very important thing in pro wrestling, not just here in the United States, but all over the world. Pro Wrestling NOAH is looking to expand globally. It’s been a rocky road for the promotion since the death of its founder Mitsuharu Misawa. It’s been sold to various companies, and is now under the umbrella of a company called CyberAgent, along with DDT Pro-Wrestling & Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. There’s big plans for the group to go global, run domes and become the biggest thing in Japan.
In order to do that, they need stars. And there isn’t a much bigger star in Japan, globally, than Keiji Muto. People still fondly remember the Great Muta from his WCW days, not to mention his time with pretty much every group in Japan. The man has an incredible staying power with his fan base.
NOAH is looking to use that to their advantage. Muto defeated Go Shiozaki for the GHC Championship last week, completing his goal of holding the major championship of each of Japan’s three biggest promotions. Apparently the match went near 30 minutes too, and Muto held up his end of things. Didn’t do much, but what he did worked.
Keiji Mutoh signing a two year contract with Pro Wrestling Noah today. pic.twitter.com/1pKAeA8bzw
— Pro-Wrestling Noah Eng (Hisame, 冰雨) (@Hi5ame) February 15, 2021
See? No reason to dump on WWE for pushing the old guys. Its been proven as a good way to get attention, which NOAH needs. The show drew a pretty good house too, given the Covid limitations. There’s an audience out there for Old Man Muta.
Doesn’t seem like my cup of tea, but at this point I can’t knock them for trying. One could point out I’ve gone softer on the idea of pushing old folks as I’ve gotten older, but that’s more self-reflection than I care to do right now.
In case you were wondering, Lou Thesz holds the record for oldest heavyweight champion of a major wrestling promotion, as he was 62 when he held the UWA championship in Mexico. I expect this record to fall some time in the not so distant future. At least in 11 years or so, as Triple H is currently 51.
Kyle O’Reilly worked people into a shoot
Some interesting doings at the end of last week’s NXT got a lot of people on the Internet worried. Adam Cole is being Adam Cole again, a bit of a dickhead, and he’s reestablishing this personality trait by beating up his buddy, Kyle O’Reilly. Cole delivered a brainbuster to O’Reilly on the ring steps, which back in my day would have resulted in somebody riding out on a stretcher.
Come to think of it, that’s what happened here too. O’Reilly rode off on a stretcher afterwards. It probably wouldn’t have drawn much more attention than usual goings on at the end of an NXT show…except that some fans there really freaked out.
Apparently Kyle selling with a seizure a la D-Von Dudley back in the day made them worried. Which made online fans worried. I saw more people complaining about posted pictures of O’Reilly being carried out than I saw actual pictures. Which is funny…because the whole thing was storyline. NXT wrestlers playing into it were either in on it or being worked too.
Heck, Kyle probably would have appreciated more pictures & video of his selling being posted. The guy did a good job! I’m sure he appreciated the positive thoughts though, as it’s nice to know that the fans care.
I was impressed that the angle made that kind of impression on people. We’ll see if it leads to anything down the road.
Update on Sammy vs. Impact
We wrote a bit on the rumored issues surrounding Sammy Guevara’s aborted trip to Impact Wrestling last week. Since then, representatives of both sides have spoken to Internet journalists to give their take. Gotta love it when that happens! I might be a little more interested than you here since I’m a Sammy fan and dig a lot of what Impact does these days.
Dave Meltzer got the Impact side of things. Whoever the source was didn’t think much of the idea, pointing out that Sammy shouldn’t have liked the idea, which came from Chris Jericho & Don Callis. Sammy apparently suggested alternate ideas, including his winning the X Division Championship. Allegedly, this didn’t include Sammy dropping the title, as he’d return to AEW with the title and Impact would have a tournament to crown a new champion. Whatever the plan was apparently involved Sammy winning three matches.
Bryan Alvarez got the response to the Dave report from a source friendly to Sammy, who claims that Sammy never suggested winning the X title and not dropping it. Apparently, a large source of Sammy’s issue with the creative concerned the fact he was doing a bunch of tag team matches after leaving the Inner Circle to go out on his own. Going somewhere else to just do more tag team matches didn’t seem to make much sense.
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and apparently things between AEW & Impact are fine for now. We shall see. It’s not like Impact has a whole lot of leverage, and their main hope here is that they can be the middlemen between AEW & New Japan. Gonna be interesting to keep an eye on for sure.
Buddy & Alliyah Dropped
Remember when everybody was complaining about the angle featuring Rey Mysterio’s daughter Alliyah having feelings for Murphy? Everybody got their wish, as the story has been dropped with no hint of an explanation. I mean, relationships end all the time and they don’t always need to be played out in public. Maybe Alliyah needed to go back to school. Nevertheless, this doesn’t strike me as a good sign for the career of one Buddrick W. Murphy.
Murphy was off of TV until he was part of the nameless mob walking out on a Seth Rollins speech. Poor guy, there was a time where Murphy would have been the subject of such a speech! Now he’s back to being the Best Kept Secret in WWE, which isn’t the worst role but doesn’t seem like it would pay much.
We can only hope that the next time WWE gets around to giving Murphy something to do on TV, it’ll be something that the Internet approves of. Its the only chance he has, obviously.
Big Week for Bo Dallas News
Y’all, I haven’t even thought about Bo Dallas since whenever he last appeared on television. Which, according to the Internet Wrestling Database, is September 2019. So it’s been awhile. Anyway, Bo’s name came up this week during an interview Sami Zayn did with Sportskeeda. Zayn mentioned how Dallas is one of the most talented people WWE has that isn’t even being used at all.
Some people might have felt tempted to feel sorry for Bo not even getting invited to catering during the pandemic…until they found out via the Wrestling Observer that he’s living on a farm with Liv Morgan. Hmm, let’s see. Go to TV and get beat up all the time, or sit at home, study some real estate and wait for Liv to get home?
Sounds like Bo’s made the best of the pandemic to me.
Bow Wow training with Rikishi
As we all know, the combination of music with pro wrestling has proven to be a success here in 2021. Many of you just saw WWE’s 24/7 Champion doing a musical performance on Saturday Night Live. While it feels like we’ve been talking about the decline of SNL since at least the 2000s, it’s still a pretty big deal.
Bow Wow is looking to follow in Bad Bunny’s footsteps. Well, he wouldn’t say that, but that’s pretty much what’s happening here. Mr. Wow is currently training with Rikishi’s school and making some noise about working for WWE. Which, honestly, would be a good career move for him. He “retired” from rapping some years back and was most recently seen on The Masked Singer. Pretty big show, I’m told.
Personally, I have zero desire to see more singers get involved with pro wrestling. But that’s me. There’s obviously an audience for it, and WWE will milk as much out of it as they can. So don’t be shocked if you see Bunny vs. Wow headlining WrestleMania in the future.
I kinda wanna see it happen because I’ll be able to get some jokes out of Bunny vs. Wow for whatever Greg’s calling his site at that point. Hopefully it’s still The Chairshot, I love the brand name!
That’s all we have time for this week! Thanks for reading, and keep your stick on the ice.
Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (3/1/21)
Who wants to Talk With Elias?!
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!
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.
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!
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
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
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
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
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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