WWE news: The Rock’s potential return dismissed, Finn Balor’s time off explained, special match for Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon

17 Jul

talkSPORT brings you the latest rumours, gossip and news from the wonderful world of professional wrestling.

Could The Rock return?

The Rock is expected to be too busy
Getty Images - Getty

WWE will host a RAW Reunion next Monday with current stars set to mix it with some of the biggest legends in history.

Several Hall of Famers, such as Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan, are set to appear, but it seems The Rock will not be joining them.

The Hollywood star would be a glaring absence on a night billed as ‘the biggest reunion in Monday Night RAW history’.

According to the publisher and editor of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Dave Meltzer, Dwayne Johnson’s busy schedule means he will not attend.

Why is Finn Balor taking time off?

Balor needs to recharge
wwe

Finn Balor will reportedly be taking some time off from the WWE in the near future.

The Irish superstar lost his Intercontinental title to Shinsuke Nakamura at Extreme Rules last Sunday to bring to a close an underwhelming reign.

The former Universal champion – who turns 38 in two weeks – has been a constant on television apart from the shoulder injury he suffered after SummerSlam 2016.

His future in the company shouldn’t be in question, but this is an interesting development, especially given the fact a lot of fans want to see him aligned with The Club.

According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, the superstar is taking time off in order to recharge.

WWE plot special match for Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon

Kevin Owens famously headbutting Vince McMahon

After being on the receiving end of another stunner from Kevin Owens at the end of last night’s SmackDown, Shane McMahon vowed to make his enemy pay.

And, according to ProSportsExtra’s Brad Shepard, the two will meet in a steel cage match at next month’s SummerSlam.

WWE star Braun Strowman separates pelvis during Monday Night RAW and is rushed to hospital

2 Jul

Braun Strowman suffered a separated pelvis on Monday Night RAW which saw the WWE star rushed to hospital.

Strowmawn, 35, collided into the titantron while fighting Bobby Lashley, with both wrestlers treated by paramedics on the scene.

Strowman and Lashley crashed through the titantron

While Lashley was released from care, Strowman had to be taken to hospital over a suspected separated pelvis.

A WWE statement read: “@BraunStrowman has reportedly been admitted to a local medical facility with a possible separated pelvis.

“@fightbobby has reportedly been released from immediate care.”

According to reports, Strowman will undergo surgery for his injuries.

UFC President Dana White insists Brock Lesnar made the ‘right decision’ to stay with WWE after MMA retirement

19 Jun

Dana White is glad Brock Lesnar has decided to call time on his UFC career.

The 41-year-old retired from mixed martial arts to carry on his career in the WWE.

A bout with current UFC heavyweight champion was teased after Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic, with a summer return touted.

Brock Lesnar will not be returning to the octagon
getty

At WrestleMania 35, the wrestler lost his WWE Universal Championship and it was expected he would return to the octagon. He was even entered into the United States Anti Doping testing pool.

However, UFC president White said he was not upset with the way the situation unfolded.

“I wasn’t p****d at all,” White said about Lesnar’s decision during an Instagram live session on Tuesday. “Brock had a good run here. It’s been fun.

“Listen to fight in this business you have to be 100 percent invested. You’ve got to be in. It’s not where his head was. He made the right decision.”

A UFC heavyweight title fight with Daniel Cormier was touted
getty

Lesnar, who is currently signed with WWE, hasn’t officially won a fight in the Octagon since 2010, when he submitted heavy hitting knockout artist Shane Carwin to retain his heavyweight title in the UFC 116 main event.

The former NCAA Division 1 wrestler did earn a unanimous decision win over Mark Hunt at UFC 200 but the bout was overturned to a No Contest (NC) after it was revealed that Lesnar tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Daniel Cormier, the former light heavyweight champ, will now defend his heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 241. The rematch takes place on August 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Legendary wrestler Rhyno retires after being ‘fired’ by WWE on Monday Night Raw

4 Dec

WWE superstar Rhyno has retired from professional wrestling.

Rhyno was defeated by former tag team partner Heath Slater in a match where the loser would be “fired” on last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw.

The stipulation was made by Raw acting general manager Baron Corbin, who wanted to free up space on his roster.

Following the bout, which lasted just over a minute, Rhyno announced his retirement during a commercial break.

The legendary wrestler, 43, spent seven years with WWE across two spells and remains a popular figure among fans.

But he was used sparingly by the company since losing the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships with Slater in 2016.

Outside of WWE, Rhyno enjoyed successful spells with Extreme Championship Wrestling, Ring of Honor and TNA.

WWE Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon looking forward to first female only pay-per-view

26 Oct

Sunday night will see WWE make history once again with the first ever all-women’s pay-per-view Evolution.

Emanating from the Nassau Coliseum in New York City the show will be headlined by Ronda Rousey putting her Raw Women’s Championship on the line against Nikki Bella, and includes a card featuring the biggest female talent from WWE both past and present.

Stephanie McMahon addresses an intrigued audience

It’s just the latest chapter in WWE’s evolution of the women’s division, and at the centre of that movement has been the company’s Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon.

Ahead of what will be a landmark weekend for the company her Grandfather created, the Raw Commissioner spoke to talkSPORT about her dreams finally become reality thanks to WWE Evolution.

Stephanie, this weekend sees the first ever all-women’s pay-per-view. How much are you looking forward to it and what match are you most excited about?

I’m really looking forward to all of them, those that have been announced. Ronda Rousey versus Nikki Bella for the Raw Women’s Championship, then there’s Becky versus Charlotte, which is going to go down as one of the greatest rivalries of all time for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

McMahon and Sports Illustrated Lead Anchor Maggie Gray speak onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit

Trish and Lita are coming back and the NXT Women’s Championship match between Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler I think is going to be a contender to steal the show. The list goes on and this is going to be an incredible show. It’s going to be high quality, incredible action and storytelling and I think we are going to leave our audience wanting more. WWE Evolution is the crucial and next step in the evolution of women’s wrestling in WWE.

Given your performance at WrestleMania this year, were you not tempted in joining the ladies with a match of your own?

Fire and foremost I’m just privileged to be the voice of this movement. This has been a movement that has been happening ever since women stepped into a ring, and that’s every woman in every promotion who has made this happen and helped pushed this through. In terms of my match at WrestleMania, I wouldn’t say I’m a skilled or accomplished wrestler in the ring and it was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life.

McMahon with husband Triple H and former UFC champion Ronda Rousey

Getting in the ring with Ronda Rousey alongside Triple H and Kurt Angle. I currently don’t have any plans to compete at Evolution because it’s about our women’s division, however I’m always open to getting in the ring if it’s best for business.

Trish and Lita are in action and we’ve some big names announced for the Battle Royal, but can we expect further legends to return for this landmark event?

This is WWE you should always expect the unexpected. This is the evolution of WWE so ‘Then, Now, Forever’ represents more than a tagline for us. It really does represent where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going to go. We try our best to represent that throughout our programming and Evolution will be no different.

You mention Ronda Rousey, how important has she become for the division and this pay-per-view?

Ronda is absolutely key in opening doors. She has star power and presence, and she brings such a diverse history and background.

Rousey has burst onto the scene in the WWE

From competing in the Olympics and becoming the first ever UFC Women’s Champion, to being in moves and being a philanthropist, an entrepreneur and even an executive producer. She has absolutely increased the interest in women’s wrestling in WWE and has brightened the spotlight for all competitors, which is exactly what Ronda wanted to do. She wants to raise the bar for the women’s division and bring a light to it that has never shined as bright before.

There’s such a talented pool of female stars in WWE right now. Outside of Ronda do you have a personal favourite you like watching?

You can’t just highlight one. It’s not just Alexa Bliss, it’s Becky Lynch, it’s Charlotte Flair, it’s Ember Moon, it’s Naomi, it’s Sasha Banks, it’s every single person on our women’s roster that are bringing a it to a different level.

They are exciting to watch, they are incredible personalities and they are incredibly talented in the ring. They are performers, they are professional athletes and they are continuing to raise their own level of competition.

How much further can this evolution go? Are there any targets left for WWE Women’s division?

At the moment I still think there are targets. Ultimately will we have achieved success when we’re no longer talking about the difference between men and women’s wrestling?

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

Perhaps. I do want to see a women’s main event at WrestleMania, even though all matches are main events I’d really like to see a women’s match close the show. I think that would be a real crowning achievement for this movement.

When you first began working with you father in this business could you ever envisage how far the women’s division could go?

It was something I dreamed of every day and now our division is paving the way for women everywhere, no matter what industry you’re in. I was out to dinner the other night with my daughters and three little girls in this restaurant stopped me for autographs. I don’t usually get stopped, because it’s usually my husband so it caught me off guard a little bit, but I asked them about Evolution and they were so excited and they told me who they like and who they look up to.

The thing with WWE is that we are showing diversity because it’s so it’s important to see yourself in true success stories, whether that’s in business, sports or media, you need to see it to know it’s possible. We have all different body types, we have all different ethnicities, different religious backgrounds, personal beliefs – you name it. We really encompass all the different beliefs in the world, that’s our universe and that’s our roster. So we want little girls to be able to see these women achieve success, achieve their dreams, because we want every girl to know that she is capable of anything she wants to be.

Watch WWE Evolution this Sunday on the WWE Network

Khabib Nurmagomedov threatens to ‘smash’ Brock Lesnar after WWE offer to sign UFC superstar

12 Oct

Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed the WWE have tried to sign him after he was temporarily suspended by the UFC.

And, in his typically menacing style, the undisputed lightweight champion has vowed to smash wrestling legend Brock Lesnar if he makes the switch.

Brock Lesnar has been dominant in both the UFC and WWE himself

Nurmagomedov is currently locked in a Mexican stand-off with the MMA promotion after threatening to quit following his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229.

Although the Russian convincingly beat his bitter rival, the ensuing brawl marred the performance as members of Nurmagomedov’s team entered the octagon to attack the battered Irishman.

Immediately after the brawl, UFC President Dana White threatened to suspend Zubaira Tukhugov for his part in the attack. But his teammate vowed to also quit the promotion if Tukhugov was released.

Sesning an opportunity, WWE chairman Vince McMahon appears to have reached out to the 30-year-old with the intention of utilising his brawling abilities in a squared circle instead.

Nurmagomedov battered McGregor in their lightweight title fight last Saturday
Tukhagov can be seen attacking McGregor shortly before Islam Makhachev punched him in the back of the head

Nurmagomedov Tweeted from his official account: “@WWE ask me to jump inside.
“What do you think guys? #SmashLesnar #FakeFights”

Former WWE world champion Brock Lesnar infamously hopped between fighting for the UFC heavyweight championship and WWE belts during his illustrious.

Although he is currently tipped to fight reigning two-weight world champion Daniel Cormier in 2019, it appears as though he has a tempting offer to fight the 27-0 UFC champion instead.

Former WWE star Wade Barrett – AKA Stu Bennett – wants REVENGE on Wayne Rooney after that slap at Raw in 2015

17 Aug

Former WWE star Wade Barrett has called out Wayne Rooney LIVE on talkSPORT, saying he wants revenge on the former England captain after THAT slap back in 2015.

Rooney was making headlines in the United States even before his move to join Major League Soccer side DC United – where he has starred since leaving Everton this summer.

Wayne Rooney has proved to be a big hit in the MLS

At a Raw event in Manchester, the ex-Man United striker went viral after he picked a fight with Bad News Barrett – laying the smackdown on the British wrestler after the pair traded trash talk at the side of the arena.

That moment sparked a bitter feud, with the former King of the Ring winner quickly vowing his revenge and telling Rooney to watch his back at Old Trafford.


MORE: WWE star King Barrett says he’ll “batter’ Roy Keane for Wayne Rooney jibes


And it appears the all-star match-up could be a step closer, after Barrett – AKA Stu Bennett, who is now an executive and commentator at UK-based World of Sport Wrestling – called out Rooney on talkSPORT on Friday.

Watch the video IN FULL below!

‘I can’t wait to face Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam’ – Alexa Bliss aiming to defend her WWE Raw Women’s Championship against UFC Hall of Famer

16 Aug

Alexa Bliss has her sights set on ‘The Baddest Woman On The Planet’ this Sunday at SummerSlam.

WWE has seen it’s fair share of crossover athletes over the years, but few have made an impact as big as Ronda Rousey. The UFC Hall of Famer made her WWE debut at this year’s WrestleMania to much acclaim, and has since played a major role on WWE television as one of Raw’s biggest draws.

Bliss can’t wait to get into the ring against ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey

This Sunday the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion gets another shot at gold, when she challenges WWE Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss as WWE invades Brooklyn once again for SummerSlam.

Bliss, a five-time champion in her own right and arguably the best all-round performer on the WWE roster, will put her strap on the line against ‘The Baddest Woman On The Planet’ and despite Rousey’s reputation and her impressive start in WWE, the champion can’t wait to step in the ring with someone she calls a sporting icon.

Alexa, this Sunday you go one-on-one with Ronda Rousey. What do you make of Rousey’s impact on sports and sports-entertainment?

I’ve watched her career, and I really do think she is what she says she is ‘The Baddest Woman On The Planet’. She’s a UFC Hall of Famer, a forefront in women’s sports in general. She’s so real and so tough and a real inspiration. I feel like she’s made such a name for herself as one of the top athletes in the world, so being in the ring with her will be an honour.

Alexa Bliss believes her opponent is an ‘inspiration’

Especially seeing her grow as a WWE performer, I’m excited to see how good she gets two, three years from now. I’m happy to be part of the process and I can’t wait to face her at SummerSlam.

What do you say to those who have suggested that title shots have come too early for Rousey and they she hasn’t paid her dues in WWE. Has her rise been unfair?

She may not have paid her dues in the ring, but she’s done it in other ways. She’s literally a sports icon and paid her own dues to get there. If she wants to step into our world and do what we do I welcome it with open arms, it’s not unfair at all.

With Ronda being as popular as she is and yourself a multi-time champion, is there an argument for the match to headline SummerSlam on Sunday?

With the women’s evolution going the way it is I say why not. You have a five-time women’s champion going up against a UFC Hall of Famer, so why not?

The clash for the Raw Championship looks set to be an enthralling one

I think that would be awesome. However, this is Ronda’s first big pay-per-view singles match, so it’s going to be a big moment wherever it is on the card.

The title match marks another notch in your already impressive WWE CV. Can you pick out a highlight of what’s been a whirlwind of a five years with WWE?

Nothing ever tops your first ever title win and I did love winning the title from Becky Lynch at TLC – especially because my whole family was there. But I did love my match with Bayley that saw me become first ever woman to hold both the Raw and Smackdown championships. I would say going into WrestleMania as champion too, but for some reason I can’t seem to retain at WrestleMania!

You’ve been one the major players in the revolution of women in WWE, so with October’s first all-female pay-per-view on the horizon who would your dream opponent be?

Trish Stratus! I always watched Trish growing up and it would so much fun being in the ring with her. Especially because I missed her at the Royal Rumble because I wasn’t part of that match. I’d love to mix it up with her. If that opportunity comes, I’d be really excited about it.

Trish Stratus would be Alexa Bliss’ ideal match-up

One thing we are yet to see from Alexa is a run as a good guy. Is this something you’d be interested in doing at some point down the road?

I think it be fun to be a good guy down the line. I have a different mentality when being a bad guy, as I feel I shouldn’t do flashy wrestling moves or certain athletic skills, so it be cool to show what else I could do other than talk crap on a microphone. However, I do enjoy being a bad guy so much more. I started out in NXT as good guy and it didn’t fit, so maybe one day I could go down that route again but for now I’m having too much fun.

Instagram Photo

What’s next for Alexa Bliss? You’ve won both championships, been Miss Money In The Bank, so what ambitions do you have left in WWE?

I would say main event WrestleMania. I’d say that’s the same for all the women, but definitely for me and to see that women’s evolution cemented.

 

SummerSlam will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. UK viewers can tune in on Sky Sports Box Office or watch on the award-winning WWE Network. Sign up now and get your first month free from www.wwe.com/wwenetwork