WWE gossip column: WWE impressed with Nikki Cross, popular WWE Network show cancelled and all of todays top news

29 Jan

With WWE’s Royal Rumble in the books, the road to WrestleMania has finally and officially begun.

We take a look at all the latest rumours in the world of professional wrestling – ahem, sports entertainment – in our daily gossip column.

Vince McMahon cutting a promo on Raw

Jeff Jarrett signs new WWE deal

Once upon a time, Jeff Jarrett was a name never to be uttered in the WWE after he held Vince McMahon up for backdated pay-per-view payments before his final appearance for the company in 1999.

However, he has now been hired as a to work backstage as a producer, per Bill Apter’s 1Wrestling. Furthermore, PW Insider says the former WCW champion will be appearing as on-screen talent, too.

Jeff Jarrett is making a long-awaited return to WWE

New backstage producers in WWE

Along with Sonjay Dutt and Abyss working backstage in WWE now, Shane Helms has also made the made the move.

Triple H recently said that the WWE would be hiring more backstage talent in the near future and Helms, formerly known as the Hurricane, is one of the most successful cruiserweights in company history.

WWE impressed with Nikki Cross

PW Insider is reporting that people backstage at the Royal Rumble were very impressed with the big pop Nikki Cross got during the Women’s battle royal.

Cross has yet to people a permanent member of either Raw or SmackDown but it is speculated she is set for a decent push heading to WrestleMania, possibly getting involved in the SmackDown Live title picture.

Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross got one of the pops of the night during the Royal Rumble

Ember Moon could miss WrestleMania

WWE posted a video announcing that Ember Moon suffered a serious elbow injury at the Royal Rumble and needs immediate surgery to fix it.

Rumour has it the injury is very similar to the one Braun Strowman just had fixed and that took around two months to heal. It would, therefore, be very tight for Moon to recover and get in a storyline for WrestleMania on April 7.

WWE cancelling Botch Club on the Network already

WWE fans were waxing lyrical about ‘Botch Club’ when it debuted on the WWE Network, but it seems after one episode it is done.

Karl Anderson – co-host of the show with tag team partner Luke Gallows – tweeted his doubt at any new episodes being created.

WWE entered Nia Jax into the Men’s Royal Rumble to test the waters of inter-gender wrestling

28 Jan

Nia Jax shocked the world last night when she entered 30th in the Men’s Royal Rumble.

Jax becomes only the fourth woman after Chyna, Kharma and Beth Phoenix to enter the men’s version of the battle royal and she made quite the impression.

Nia Jax taking an RKO from Randy Orton

The 34-year-old looked just as powerful as the men during her stint in the ring and it took three former world champions in Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler to hit their finishers on the Samoan.

According to Dave Meltzer, this was the WWE’s way of testing the waters to introduce more inter-gender wrestling that has become so popular on the independent scene.

“I think the idea is they want to slowly bring in because this is the first time that a woman has taken punishment from a guy and if you’re going to do it the first them then you do it with a really big woman that’s bigger than most of the guys. So that way people are gonna go, ‘It’s not really… the woman’s really big.’ So when you ease it in that’s one of the things they like to do.”

It’s worth noting that women have been attacked by men before in the WWE. Around the turn of the millennium, it was common for the Dudley Boyz to target a woman for a date through a table.

In fact, Jax is not the first woman to suffer an RKO. Both Stacy Keibler and even Stephanie McMahon have been on the receiving end of one of the deadliest finishers in the WWE.

But, in this day and age where society has become hyper-sensitive, the WWE have wisely stayed away from anything too controversial in favour of PG programming.

Jax getting thrown out of the men’s Royal Rumble

However, Jax was made to look the equal of the men and it took three legendary superstars to prevent her from wreaking havoc.

Becky Lynch and The Rock were talking on Twitter yesterday and teasing a future match, too. Maybe the tides are turning in the WWE.

Roman Reigns: WWE superstar reportedly poised to return to wrestling soon after recovering from leukemia

28 Jan

Roman Reigns had to depart the WWE last October in order to deal with a second bout of leukemia.

He relinquished the Universal title in the process, but now Dave Meltzer believes his leukemia is “not a deadly form” and “with that form he would be wrestling soon”.

Roman Reigns will make his film debut alongside The Rock

In the past couple of days it has been revealed that Reigns will star in the new Hobbs and Shaw movie alongside WWE legend The Rock.

Reigns will play Rock’s brother in the Fast and Furious spinoff and they are, of course, real-life cousins.

The fact that Reigns has been able to film a movie during his recovery period is either very encouraging from one perspective or a tad suspicious from another.

Nobody seems to be suggesting that his illness has been a work of any kind and he has definitely had it before, so cynics need not worry.

Roman Reigns saying goodbye to WWE

However, Meltzer is said to have spoken to doctors – not Reigns’ actual doctors – for research of the situation and they seem to think his return to the ring will be in the very near future.

Chances are, the WWE will leave the Big Dog off WrestleMania even if he was ready because they have started to map out the top of that card now.

Seth Rollins won the Men’s Royal Rumble event and seems on a collision course with Brock Lesnar while Becky Lynch – winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble – is almost certain to face Ronda Rousey.

Either way, it’s great to hear that Reigns is doing well.

Chris Jericho rips Brock Lesnar and calls him fat in incredible Twitter rant during WWE’s Royal Rumble

28 Jan

Chris Jericho departed the WWE for All Elite Wrestling earlier this month and he is already stirring the pot.

During the Royal Rumble last night, Jericho went on a Twitter tirade and one of his targets was WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar.

Brock Lesnar defeated Finn Balor at the Royal Rumble

Lesnar defeated Finn Balor in nine minutes at the Royal Rumble in what was a fun sprint of a match. The Beast Incarnate seems to be heading for a date with Seth Rollins at WrestleMania after the Kingslayer won the Royal Rumble match itself.

However, Y2J insisted that Lesnar has a ‘gut’ now and he needs to ‘give it up’.

Considering Lesnar has been considering a return to the UFC heavyweight division for the past year or so, those comments won’t be well received by Brock.

Lesnar is 41-years-old now but it still considered one of the most intimidating presences in the business today and quite possibly, ever.

Ironically, fans lambasted Jericho for his return to New Japan in 2018 where he had clearly put on weight himself. Although, Jericho is 48 and tours full-time with his band Fozzy, so it would be much harder for him to keep peak physical condition.

Brock, on the other hand, has plenty of spare time.

Jericho in his WWE days
Jericho in his WWE days

Lesnar and Jericho famously had an allegedly spat backstage at SummerSlam 2016 following Lesnar’s main event match with Randy Orton.

Jericho didn’t appreciate how Lesnar had opened up Orton the hard way and left him bleeding profusely. You can’t say Jericho didn’t lack courage by having it out with Lesnar at least!

He’ll need to find that courage once more if Paul Heyman’s client finds him in the near future for sure.

WWE to stream special six-man tag team match at half-time of the NFL Super Bowl

28 Jan

The WWE’s Royal Rumble event is now in the books and wrestling fans will be happy with what they saw.

But an announcement the company made during the show will have excited WWE followers just as much.

Seth Rollins won the 2019 Royal Rumble Event

Super Bowl LIII goes down this Sunday, February 3 with Los Angeles Rams battling the New England Patriots in Atlanta.

And everyone knows the half-time adverts and entertainment are some of the most-watched segments in the world.

Instead of going for an advert slot like they famously did during the Attitude Era back in the 1990s, the WWE are instead going to stream a six-man tag team match on the WWE Network and YouTube. It seems like they may show it on Facebook and Twitter, too.

It’s a genius move from the WWE to give fans an option on so many platforms and represent their brand during one of the biggest sporting event on earth.

Their competition will be three-time Grammy Award-winning band Maroon 5 which the WWE announce teams were sure to mention should be no competition at all.

The fact that it will feature Richochet, Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream on one team and Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa and Adam Cole on the other is a huge deal in itself – it’s the best NXT has to offer.

Becky Lynch before replacing Lana in the Royal Rumble match

As for the Rumble, fan favourites Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins ended up winning the Women’s and Men’s version of the event respectively and now WrestleMania 35 is looking rather exciting.

However, the NXT brand is arguably the hottest in the world right now and the WWE has made a wise decision leading with it during the Super Bowl.

WWE Royal Rumble 2019: Three surprise entrants for the Men’s main event have been leaked

25 Jan

The Royal Rumble is upon us this Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona and the WWE is always sure to keep some surprises up their sleeves for the main events.

For the men’s Rumble match this year, it seems as though three names have already been revealed.

The madness of a WWE Royal Rumble
The madness of a WWE Royal Rumble

Whether it be NXT appearances, blasts from the past or stars returning from injury, it always seems as though the WWE reserve some spots to please the crowd in the Royal Rumble.

This year is no different and according to Wrestle Votes – a reliable insider source – who claim three names have been spoken about a lot in recent weeks.

As you can see from the tweet above; Kurt Angle, Velveteen Dream and Bray Wyatt are in line to delight the crowd, but with all three men contracted to the WWE already, they hardly come as true major shocks.

Wyatt made his presence felt at the Starrcade event in late November last year and teased he was ready to return. Rumour is creative have just been waiting for the right story to bring him back into.

Angle went on holiday as Raw GM while Baron Corbin assumed power and he has never picked his position back up. A crushing defeat to Drew McIntyre on Raw in the UK was his last meaningful bout while the demolition of Corbin the night after Survivor Series was the last actual outing.

One of NXT’s hottest stars is Velveteen Dream

As for Dream, the NXT prodigy is widely viewed as the next big star in the business and has received endorsements from the likes of The Rock and Triple H along the way.

Triple H said on a conference call promoting NXT TakeOver: Phoenix: “I have not spoken to him about it [his Twitter usuage]. He is a remarkable young man that is wonderfully gifted on all levels.”

The 23-year-old has become wildly popular in NXT and it seems only a matter of time before the WWE pull the trigger on him to join the main roster on a full-time basis.

* WWE Royal Rumble 2019: How to watch live for FREE plus full card, UK start time and date

WWE champion Daniel Bryan says he is the best wrestler in the world, followed by AJ Styles and Seth Rollins

25 Jan

The ‘new’ Daniel Bryan has been a big hit with the WWE Universe since he dethroned AJ Styles as the WWE champion late last year.

Now spewing his hatred of anything that can harm the world from animals to the environment, the 37-year-old has done a complete 180 from his time as the Leader of the Yes Movement.

Daniel Bryan with the WWE title
Daniel Bryan with the WWE title

At the Royal Rumble on Sunday, Bryan will defend his title against Styles and the road to WrestleMania will officially begin.

Styles came into the WWE at a time where Daniel Bryan had retired from wrestling due to concussion symptoms affecting his health and many had regarded the Phenomenal One as the best performer in the world en route to building SmackDown Live.

Speaking to News Week, Bryan said that he once viewed Styles as the best performer in the world.

“I’ve also got to wrestle some incredible wrestlers. Like Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series and now AJ Styles, who when I was out I kept watching and said “man, this guy might be the best guy in the world.”

But now?

AJ Styles during his long second reigns as WWE champion
AJ Styles during his long second reigns as WWE champion

“Hell no! I’m the best wrestler in the world [laughs] Are you kidding me?

“It’s interesting. There are people you can say that are better at different aspects of wrestling than I am, but I don’t think there’s anyone in the world who is a better, complete performer than I am right now. And obviously, that changes and evolves over time. People fall into lulls and dips or whatever it is but as far as being a complete wrestling WWE performer, there’s no one in the world who can touch me.”

Sunday represents a chance to see two of the best in-ring performers go at it and Bryan thinks that’s a draw in itself.

“Yeah and I think that’s why this match is happening, there’s a lot of reasons. I saw AJ Styles as one of the best wrestlers in the WWE and maybe in the world. And now I see that I’m the best wrestler in the world, but if you’re talking about “who is in competition for that?” Ok, it’s AJ Styles, Seth Rollins a couple of other people.

Seth Rollins is the favourite to win the 2019 Royal Rumble
Seth Rollins is the favourite to win the 2019 Royal Rumble

“I don’t know if you saw Rey Mysterio and Almas from last week but that was awesome you have to throw those guys in there [laughs]. But that’s one of the reasons why I’m so excited and jazzed for this match because I get to wrestle AJ Styles, one of the best wrestlers in the company, and we’re doing it at the Royal Rumble.”

It’s interesting that he would acknowledge Rollins in that conversation too and, certainly within the WWE, not too many people are going to dispute with those three as the three best workers in the company, if not the world.