WWE and AEW news: NXT champion set for main roster switch, Edge ‘retires’ again – but not from wrestling

27 Sep

The Wednesday Night Wars is upon us next week and the wrestling world is busy every single day right now.

Let’s jump into the biggest news doing the rounds right now:

Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler’s return to RAW temporary

According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, The King’s return to the RAW commentary booth is a short-term thing.

Lawler was announced alongside Vic Joseph with Dio Maddin to be RAW’s new three-man team. While Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton find themselves on the sidelines, WWE are said to still be high on the former.

NXT ratings

NXT scored a 1.006 million viewership for week two on USA.

That’s slightly down from the 1.179 million they did for the premiere, but a slight drop-off was expected. Next week they go head-to-head with AEW for the first time.

Edge ‘retiring’ from the E&C podcast

Edge is retiring again, but this time it’s from the very successful podcast he does with Christian.

It was only a few weeks ago the Canadian intimated he believed he could wrestle another match.

Shayna Baszler call-up

The current NXT Women’s champion, Shayna Baszler, will be heading for the main roster sooner rather than later, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be dropping the belt next week.

“Shayna is geared for the main roster at some point in 2020, if not earlier. I mean, she may be drafted right after.”

Shayna Baszler as NXT Women’s champion
WWE

 

WWE legend The Undertaker hated Shawn Michaels so much he ‘Probably wouldn’t p*** on him if he was on fire’

27 Sep

In 1997, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels made history when they competed in the first-ever Hell in a Cell match at the Bad Blood pay-per-view.

You know, the one where Undertaker’s brother Kane debuted?

Kane making his debut at the first-ever Hell in a Cell match between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels
WWE

Since then, the pair had arguably the greatest match in wrestling history – certainly WrestleMania history – at WrestleMania 25 and a rematch the year after.

The respect they share is golden, but it wasn’t always that way.

Speaking on WWE Untold regarding the first-ever Hell in a Cell, the Deadman revealed he wouldn’t have p***ed on HBK if he was on fire back then.

“Where Shawn Michaels and I are today and where we were at back then on a personal level, it’s taken a complete 360,” Undertaker said.

“If Shawn Michaels back then was on fire, I probably wouldn’t p*** on him to put him out.

“But, that being said, there is no one that I would rather be in the ring with than Shawn Michaels.

“When it came to bell time and we were looking across the ring at each other, we knew it was going to be something really special.”

For Michaels’ part, he explained why they didn’t see eye-to-eye.

“It’s not like there was a bunch of animosity. We were just two very different personalities.

Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania

“I was very outgoing, which is to say I was overly obnoxious, and Mark’s always been a very quiet, laid-back kind of guy.

“A very Cool Hand Luke, very Clint Eastwood-ish type, and I was not.”

Today, they are great friends that have left an indelible mark on the business. But back in 1997? Michaels was a man with a lot of problems and addictions that Undertaker was in no mood to stand for!

Joe Coffey EXCLUSIVE: ‘Proud’ to be working for Triple H and NXT and ‘incredible’ atmosphere backstage at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff

27 Sep

Joe Coffey has been one of the most prominently featured stars in NXT UK since the brand’s inception and with every passing performance, he is showing with good reason.

The is the leader of the ‘firm’ Gallus that also features his brother Mark Coffey and another compatriot in Wolfgang.

Gallus features the Coffey brothers Joe and Mark alongside Wolfgang
WWE

The Iron King has wowed fans with both of his NXT UK TakeOver performances. Firstly in the main event of TakeOver: Blackpool against Pete Dunne and then in a street fight with Dave Mastiff at TakeOver: Cardiff.

Now, NXT UK is rolling into Brentwood, Essex next weekend (October 4 & 5) for the first time and talkSPORT had the chance to catch Joe ahead of Gallus’ foray into a new territory.

Hi Joe! First off, how are you doing after your street fight with Dave Mastiff? The cricket bat did not look nice, but the fans seemed to really enjoy the match.

In terms of getting the win, it wasn’t so much about the win as it was making a statement. You make a massive statement by winning a last man standing against an animal like Dave Mastiff. I was very pleased with the match. I didn’t expect such a crazy start with the turnbuckle exploding, but, you know what? It got the attention of the audience and it certainly got my attention. it caught me off guard a little bit. But in that moment it’s like ‘right, I got to dig deep’.

Was the turnbuckle meant to explode like that? I was sitting in the audience and I thought ‘Hmm, that’s timely. But really well done if it was meant to happen, too’

Well, I’ll just let you decide that. That’s for you to decide.

NXT UK is growing all the time and you’ve been a focal point of both of their TakeOvers thus far. Delivering on what must be the bigger stage and platform of your career thus far must be fulfilling?

Of course, yeah. Having the UK TakeOver platform is imperative to our brand and I watched back the full NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff show and I thought it was spectacular. I thought all the matches were absolutely outstanding.

For myself being on both of them so far, it’s put me in good form. Unfortunately, there’s a little blip for me because as good as the match was [against Pete Dunne in Blackpool], it’s 40 minutes of wrestling and I still lost. I can’t really accept that. So it’s something I want to put right on a big stage, on a TakeOver.

The turnnbuckle broke during Joe Coffey’s and Dave Mastiff’s battle
WWE

Having beaten Dave Mastiff in Cardiff, you must be hoping that springboards you into the title picture and the big angles?

Of course, because it puts you at the forefront of a brand. The eyes are on you. I like the pressure, Wolfie likes the pressure, Mark likes the pressure, too. So for us, we’ve been talking about this for a while, it’s all about big scores. This firm wants to be the top boys of this brand. And if anyone else from across the pond – be it RAW, SmackDown or NXT – if they want to go, then that’s fine. We’ll meet them as well.

One thing I have really enjoyed from you and the boys are the videos that you put out on social media. With just one hour of television, they seem like really good ways of showing your personalities and characters. Talk to us about the idea behind them?

First of all, we appreciate it that you watch it. We’ve only got an hour of television time, we want people to understand us for a start [laughs]. We talk a little bit faster so sometimes I have to talk slower and more pronounced in certain situations. The subtitles thing, that was Mark’s idea. We thought it would be really good so people could follow us and, funnily enough, since we started doing it we’ve seen a lot more videos in WWE across their social media doing it! So hopefully more people on the roster will start doing it and that’s what we wanted to do, our original aim was just to get more eyes on NXT UK.

We’re all the same in Gallus but different. Glasgow can be quite a tough place growing up so we’re just trying to bring that to all the videos that we do and show people more. There’s a lot more coming, don’t you worry.

NXT UK will be on Thursdays moving forward. The British public will be getting NXT in the U.S. a day later, so was it a case of just keeping NXT on the same day here?

I think so, but I don’t really know the internal working of it. If that’s the day it’s going to be – that’s grand. I do think it’s going to suit our brand a lot more though because it will put more focus on NXT UK because NXT is now broadcast on a Wednesday live on USA.

Joe Coffey celebrating another victory

What did you think of the first NXT show on the USA Network?

I thought they were brilliant! There was a lot of good stuff. It was interesting to see big Walter make an appearance as well. As much as we butt heads and we’re rival firms, it was good to see our brand represented. I thought the show was insane as well, some great moments of chaos. The North American title changed hands too, so I thought it was a very exciting show and the perfect way to show the world and USA Network exactly what NXT are about.

I think a lot of fans would credit Triple H and his team for making one of the best products in the world in the NXT umbrella, how proud does it make you to work for them and NXT?

100 percent. It’s still surreal sometimes. There’s moments where you’re talking to him [Triple H], Shawn Michaels or Matt Bloom and it’s brilliant. It’s invaluable, I take every second I can with them. I’m immensely proud to be working for them.

What are people like Triple H, or even a William Regal, Johnny Saint, whoever – what are they asking from Joe Coffey?

I think, essentially, just to be myself. The best version of myself. No one is telling me what to do. Everyone is guiding, there is no telling. They’re letting me be me, but my ears are always open. I don’t know the collective number of years that everybody in that brand as a coach or a producer has in the industry, but we must be talking in the hundreds. So to have that and just pick the brains is again, so invaluable. I consider myself a student of the game so it’s perfect.

Triple H and Shawn Michaels at NXT UK
WWE

We spoke about your Gallus brethren earlier and their tag match in Cardiff was one of my favouites on the show. Triple H seemed to be beaming with pride after the TakeOver in general, how were the matches received backstage and what was the general atmosphere like?

It was a really good atmosphere backstage. You could just feel it. It was indescribable, really. The reactions from the audience, too – it was all magic. Like you said with the tag team match; Mark and Wolfie didn’t lose. So in my eyes, they’re still the boys to take those titles. They’re the number one contender to those titles in my eyes.

You’re hitting Brentwood for the first time next week, where else in the UK would you love to get to? You’re a veteran of the UK scene, there must be some hotbeds you’re eager to get to.

I’d like to see us get to Manchester. That’s a big town but that would be great. Leeds, too. Newcastle would be a fantastic shout. Newcastle is always a great crowd, they’re always up for it and for me, they’re very similar to a Glasgow crowd, which I like. I’d love to see NXT Newcastle. I’d also like to see us go over to Ireland. Maybe an NXT UK: Belfast? We’ve certainly got some Irish members on the roster. I’d like to see Edinborough done, that would be very cool. There’s so many options for us and places to go, I think it’s a question of when not if.

Finally, is it a goal of yours to get over and work for WWE full-time in the States? I’d assume you’d want to conquer NXT UK first, am I right?

Even if we’re still with NXT UK, it might be a good way to go over to the States and do what Walter is doing with Imperium right now. Who’s to say we might not turn up just because they’re on a different patch and batter them? It’s no problem with me, I’ll fight anywhere.

I think everyone would love to be on a main roster or NXT in America, but I take it as every day as it comes right now, to be honest. I’m honestly just concentrating on our brand right now. I want NXT UK to be as big as possible and I still think it can be bigger. Everything that we are building, we’re only scratching the surface and I think there is still so much to come.

Ticket are still available for NXT UK: Brentwood and you can grab them HERE.

 

 

WWE and AEW news: John Morrison signs for WWE again after eight years away and WWE confirm new Raw and SmackDown commentary teams

26 Sep

We’ve just had our last Wednesday without a wrestling war for the forseeable future.

As of next week, NXT and AEW will both air in the same timeslot and the wrestling world steps up a gear. Let’s dig into the latest news:

Vince McMahon still makes moves as the chairman of WWE
WWE

John Morrison signs with WWE

It’s been eight long years since John Morrison left the WWE and in that time, he was fantastic for Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling among others.

But now, he is back. PW Insider reports the deal is done and his return is imminent.

John Morrison has made a stunning return to WWE

WWE confirm their new announce teams

WWE have released their new announce teams and if it wasn’t obvious that SmackDown is the new A-show, it should be now.

It also leaves a lot of question marks around Byron Saxton and Tom Phillips.

New WWE show announced

Renee Young and Booker T will host WWE Backstage on FS1 on Tuesdays.

This is the studio show FOX have planned to do alongside SmackDown Live.

Winner possibly revealed for Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens ladder match for SmackDown Live’s debut on FOX

26 Sep

SmackDown makes its debut on the FOX Network in eight days and the WWE is making sure the Blue Brand has a loaded show for its first outing.

We already know Brock Lesnar will have his first WWE match on TV in 15 years when he challenges Kofi Kingston for the WWE title and the Four Horsewomen will square off in tag action again with Sasha Banks and Bayley taking on Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.

Brock Lesnar and Kofi Kingston will main event the first ever SamckDown Live on FOX for the WWE title
WWE

However, this week on SmackDown, we learned that Kevin Owens will face Shane McMahon in a ladder match where the loser will be forced to leave WWE.

Long story short, Shane McMahon fired Kevin Owens whilst doing the very thing he originally fined Owens $100k for – putting his hands on a referee – and Owens then threatened to sue McMahon for $25 million.

The out-of-court agreement, if you like, is for the two men to have a ladder match and it’s understood Shane will lose.

Kevin Owens fired from WWE thanks to Shane McMahon
WWE

According to WrestlingNews.co, McMahon is going to be taken off SmackDown TV where FOX want a more sports-like programme with less interference from non-wrestlers.

Owens has been one of the most over babyfaces on the WWE roster for the past few months and it seems once he moves out of this feud with McMahon, he may move onto bigger things.

It’s expected that Lesnar will likely beat Kingston for the WWE title, too, but there are signs that it might not be on the very first SmackDown on FOX.

All Elite Wrestling UK TV deal: British fans left angry after AEW’s ITV deal is announced

26 Sep

All Elite Wrestling are just six days away from debuting their weekly TV show.

And yet, it seems like they’ve only really sorted out their distribution deal in the United States after news dropped yesterday on how they plan to let fans watch AEW: Dynamite internationally.

Cody Rhodes, left and Tony Khan, right, stand either side of new AEW producer, Dean Malenko
Twitter @codyrhodes

At Starrcast around one month ago, Cody Rhodes was quoted saying AEW had a better TV deal than the WWE in the UK – “Way better” were his exact words.

Yesterday, it emerged that ITV will show Dynamite four days later on Sunday mornings at 8:20am, except for pay-per-view weeks where Tony Khan says they will make the programme available before the Saturday show.

A few hours later, Khan then said that you can watch Dynamite live internationally if you pay $4.99 monthly to FITEtv.

As you can imagine, going from airing on free TV to paying a subscription isn’t something fans wanted to hear a week from the company’s weekly TV debut.

When you put it into context, all fans pay to watch WWE in the UK by paying for Sky and, as of January, BT Sport.

Had AEW made this clear from the start, fans may have reacted to the news a little better but it’s still a fair deal for a product that fans can get excited about.

Stone Cold Steve Austin admits he could make stunning WWE comeback

26 Sep

Stone Cold Steve Austin is probably the biggest name in wrestling history.

You could argue that Hulk Hogan, The Rock and perhaps even John Cena have become more mainstream personalities, but Austin is indisputably the biggest draw in wrestling history.

Stone Cold Steve Austin returns to RAW
WWE

We haven’t seen him have a proper match since he faced The Rock in the final of their WrestleMania trilogy back in 2003, but could he ever wrestle again?

With that Saudi Arabia money around, it seems that legends are considering comebacks now more so than ever before.

Talking on his podcast, the Texas Rattlesnake suggested that, in theory, he could wrestle another match.

“For the last couple of weeks, down there at the RAW reunion in Tampa, down there at the Madison Square Garden show at Monday Night RAW – people always ask me, ‘Hey man, you’re still in really good shape. You got one more match left in you?’ And I tell them, ‘Man.’ I say, ‘You know, it’s a tough thing to think about.’ Physically, would I be able to have one more match? Yes, most definitely, and I could make it to that match without being injured. Although the risks are always there, just because I think all of the surgeries, I had… where I had the spinal stenosis, and getting that bone spur taken off my spinal cord – I’m in a good place. Nerves are feeling a lot better than they use to. So, you know, in theory, could I have a match? In theory, yes.”

Austin is 54 years old. Even The Undertaker, Kane, Shawn Michaels and Goldberg aren’t as old as Austin – although it’s close – and all of them have been criticised at one point or another for outstaying their welcome in the squared circle.

But, could Austin stomp a mud hole and hit a stunner? Sure he could.

Stone Cold Steve Austin admits he could make stunning WWE comeback

26 Sep

Stone Cold Steve Austin is probably the biggest name in wrestling history.

You could argue that Hulk Hogan, The Rock and perhaps even John Cena have become more mainstream personalities, but Austin is indisputably the biggest draw in wrestling history.

Stone Cold Steve Austin returns to RAW
WWE

We haven’t seen him have a proper match since he faced The Rock in the final of their WrestleMania trilogy back in 2003, but could he ever wrestle again?

With that Saudi Arabia money around, it seems that legends are considering comebacks now more so than ever before.

Talking on his podcast, the Texas Rattlesnake suggested that, in theory, he could wrestle another match.

“For the last couple of weeks, down there at the RAW reunion in Tampa, down there at the Madison Square Garden show at Monday Night RAW – people always ask me, ‘Hey man, you’re still in really good shape. You got one more match left in you?’ And I tell them, ‘Man.’ I say, ‘You know, it’s a tough thing to think about.’ Physically, would I be able to have one more match? Yes, most definitely, and I could make it to that match without being injured. Although the risks are always there, just because I think all of the surgeries, I had… where I had the spinal stenosis, and getting that bone spur taken off my spinal cord – I’m in a good place. Nerves are feeling a lot better than they use to. So, you know, in theory, could I have a match? In theory, yes.”

Austin is 54 years old. Even The Undertaker, Kane, Shawn Michaels and Goldberg aren’t as old as Austin – although it’s close – and all of them have been criticised at one point or another for outstaying their welcome in the squared circle.

But, could Austin stomp a mud hole and hit a stunner? Sure he could.

WWE and AEW news: The Rock will return for SmackDown Live’s FOX debut, Cody Rhodes issues statement on AEW: Dynamite

25 Sep

SmackDown is now firmly on it’s way to FOX next week and the WWE machine is in a good spot.

Let’s dig into the news circulating the business right now:

Vince McMahon is the key decision-maker for the WWE
Vince McMahon is on the eve of the biggest TV deal in the company’s histoiry
WWE

The Rock set for SmackDown Live?

An article from Adage.com provided a teaser that suggested The Rock will return next Friday.

Among the WWE veterans who’ll come out to help Fox make some new memories next week are Mick Foley, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Jerry Lawler and Ric Flair. While many other opening night appearances are being kept under wraps, keep an eye peeled for the trash-talking Goliath who is now the WWE’s most storied alum, as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may very well look to pop in on the 20th anniversary of “SmackDown” and promote his upcoming Disney flick, “Jungle Cruise.” 

The Rock is one of the busiest men in Hollywood
Getty Images - Getty

205 Live moving to Friday nights

According to PW Insider, 205 Live will now be taped after SmackDown Live on Friday nights and air on the WWE Network at 10pm.

They also suggest the NXT writing team is taking it over.

Cody Rhodes issues statement on AEW Dynamite

The ever-interllectual Cody Rhodes issues a statement regarding AEW: Dynamite one week ahead of its debut on TNT.

Among other things, he thanks the fans for making AEW possible.

The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more: Top 10 moments in SmackDown history ahead of it’s debut on FOX

25 Sep

SmackDown Live has aired it’s final episode on Tuesday nights for the foreseeable future. 

As of next Friday, the Blue Brand moves to FOX in a $1 billion deal and it marks the start of a new era, one that will see SmackDown become the ‘A’ show it’s never been.

Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H backstage

To celebrate 20 years since SmackDown’s inception, let’s take a look at the 10 greatest moments in the show’s history.

John Cena’s legendary debut

In June 2002, Kurt Angle came to the ring on SmackDown – arguably the best wrestler in the world at the time – and issued an open challenge. A young John Cena made his way to the ring, proclaimed he had ‘ruthless aggression’ slapped the taste out of Angle’s mouth and we were off tot he races.

It still holds up as one of the best debuts of all-time and Cena has gone on to become a 16-time world champion. That’s pretty good all things considered. SmackDown gave plenty of stars their start that year, including Randy Orton and Batista.

Steve Austin blows up the DX Express

Steve Austin was still recovering from neck surgery at the time, so he was unable to get physical in a WWE ring. He did, however, play mind games on DX all night long ahead of a teasted appearance at the next pay-per-view.

Austin, driving a crane, of course, dropped an explosive onto the fabled DX Express and blew it to smithereens. Austin had been apart of many memorable moments on TV, but that was his most destructive by some distance.

Big Show and Brock Lesnar break the ring

This has been redone with Mark Henry and Big Show as well as the pairing of Braun Strowman and Big Show, but the original is the best.

As Lesnar and Show went for a superplex, the whole ring imploaded and the fans in attendance went absolutely bananas for it. The fact that Tazz said ‘holy sh*t!’ only made the moment more special.

Arnold Schwarzenegger takes down Triple H

The former California governor was still one of the biggest actors in the world in the 90s. After Triple H provoked Schwarzenegger outside of the ring, the former bodybuilder proceeded to ragdoll The Game around and the crowd went nuts for it.

Stone Cold Steve Austin would raise Schwarzenegger’s hand in victory afterward and it’s still one of the best uses of a celebrity in WWE to this day, despite taking place way back in 1999.

Brock Lesnar beats WWE legend Hulk Hogan

You’ve heard it all before. Hulk Hogan is selfish, Hulk Hogan only looks out for number one. But here? No way, Hulk put over Lesnar in a huge, huge way. The Next Big Thing even smeared the Hulker’s blood across his chest.

It’s probably the strongest sign of a push in living memory and Hulk did a fantastic job to help make it happen. The winner of this match faced The Rock at SummerSlam for the Undisputed title, and you guys know the rest.

Stone Cold Steve Austin and Booker T’s supermarket brawl

This is just the greatest TV, ever. Booker T, fresh from WCW a few months prior, had cost Steve Austin the Undisputed title at Vengeance 2001.

Austin had struggled to get his hands on the five-time WCW champion, until he found him in the grocery store. What ensued was a long segment of Austin and Booker T battling all over the shop until Austin reigned supreme. “Price check on a jackass!”

Rhyno spears Chris Jericho through the SmackDown set

Chris Jericho was always giving Stephanie a hard time and she was always looking for superstars to shut Y”J’s mouth for good. Except, she never could find anyone up to the task.

The ultra-intense Rhyno wanted to break the mould and after he speared the legendary Jericho through the SmackDown set, he made plenty of fans into believers.

Kurt Angle’s Sexy Boy

Wrestling is supposed to be entertaining, and you can’t tell me this isn’t! Kurt Angle was in the midst of a feud with Shawn Michaels and, for some reason, he thought it would be a great jab to be ‘Sexy Kurt’.

And it really, really was. “I’m just a sexy Kurt (sexy Kuuuurt), I’ll make your ankles hurt (ankles huuuurt). Genius.

The Rock closes Vince McMahon’s Kiss My Ass club.

Following WWF’s victory over WCW in the Invasion angle, Vince began making stars kiss his ass – literally – to save their jobs. William Regal was the first to oblige.

After a few weeks, The Rock would win a match that said Vince had toi kiss his ass. Rock said his rectum was too nice for Vince to kiss, so he offered Jim Ross, then Trish Stratus – which Vince was very game for – before forcing McMahon to get the stinky ass of Rikishi. I’m not making this up.

Big Boss Man crashes Big Show’s dad’s funeral

I should start this explanation by stating Big Show’s actual dad had died several years before this segment went down, but still… right?!

The Big Bossman was having the first crack at the new WWF champion back in 1999 and he was trying to get under the giant’s skin. To do that, he drove off with Big Show’s father’s coffin… yep, the coffin! And it gave us the ever-lasting visual of Show clinging onto it for dear life.