These days, A.J. Styles is known as one of the best wrestlers in the world. But 15 years ago he was basically jobbing to people like Gregory “The Hurricane” Helms on WWE Metal, the company’s now-defunct Saturday afternoon show, in a try-out match. Even then, though, he was announced as A.J. Styles.
In a curious case of strange booking, the WWE put their most important championship, the Universal Title from Raw, around the waist of Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33. Having Lesnar be a champion isn’t the problem — he’s a very worthy (and marketable) superstar. The weird thing here is that Lesnar only works on a part-time contract, good for a limited number of appearances and matches every year.
The Diva’s Revolution continues!
Okay, so “Diva” was always a stupid name and we’re happy that the WWE finally retired that term and started calling their female wrestlers “superstars,” just like their male counterparts (plus renaming the Raw and SmackDown women’s championships). However, naming controversy aside, the WWE continues to push their female stars down the road to equality, and that trend will continue when the women of SmackDown Live compete in the first ever all-female Money in the Bank ladder match at the upcoming pay-per-view.
The good ol’ shoot interview. In wrestling terms, it’s an interview or promo that is “legit.” In other words, it goes off script or contains personal feelings and behind the scenes secrets. While they rarely happen on television anymore (other than the occasional “worked shoot”), many former wrestlers are quick to jump onto YouTube after their contracts expire and start dishing out dirt on their former bosses and co-workers.
The internet was quick to cast blame when it was reported in early May that Sean Waltman (aka X-Pac, aka Syxx, aka The 1-2-3- Kid) had been arrested at LAX airport for possession of meth and marijuana. Having a long and public history of drug addiction, many wrestling fans feared the worst for Waltman. However, in the days after the arrest, the former NWO member insisted that it was all a misunderstanding.
As expected, Chris Jericho is taking some time off from the WWE. Officially, it’s because Kevin Owens powerbombed him into the apron and he’s injured. Unofficially, of course, his time off is because he is busy touring with his rock band Fozzy.
For any internet “smart” fan, it was hardly a surprise when Jinder Mahal rose to the main event of SmackDown Live and eventually won the WWE Championship from Randy Orton at Backlash. It had been rumored for weeks that the WWE and Vince McMahon wanted to make a serious business push into India, the home of 1.3 billion people. McMahon felt it would be much easier to push things like merchandise and WWE Network subscriptions if the company had a champion that the people of India could identify with. Thus, Jinder Mahal’s championship reign was born.
Matt Riddle may be the “King of Bros” in a wrestling ring, but the indy sensation also has experience in some real fights — he has a 8-3-(2) record as a professional MMA fighter, mostly as a member of the UFC. His cross-over success in both sports makes him perfectly qualified to talk about the differences between the scripted nature of pro wrestling and the very real nature of MMA, especially when it comes to head injuries, which is a hotly debated topic in every sport that involves physical contact.
Aww man, this is awful news.
Just as Braun Strowman was really getting over as an unstoppable monster on Raw, an elbow injury forced him out of action for what the WWE originally said would be somewhere between four-to-eight weeks. That was a bummer, but at least the beastly force of nature would be back sooner rather than later, likely in time for a big match at SummerSlam.
Anything can happen in the world of pro wrestling, and that’s just talking about the scripted action. When you add in the element of live television (or being part of an arena crowd), the potential for something unplanned is even higher. And no matter how careful the WWE (or other promotions) are, sometimes things go wrong in the middle of their shows, for a number of different reasons. It could be an injury that changes the path of an entire storyline, a performer going rogue, or some other unforeseen disaster.