Former WWE Superstar Ryback has been fairly active since his WWE contract expired recently, and one of the things he’s apparently decided to put his time into is a podcast called “Conversations With The Big Guy”. In his debut episode, Ryback said a couple things that we just felt had to be noted, for our own amusement if nothing else.
Yes, the rumors that started when Goldberg signed a deal to appear in WWE 2K17 may have borne fruit, as TMZ is reporting that he and WWE are apparently in negotiations that would see the 49-year-old former World Champion make his return to the squared circle in some capacity. Nothing has been confirmed, but we’d have to believe that the most likely outcome, if Goldberg plans to return as a wrestler, would be a Lesnar-Goldberg rematch, likely at WrestleMania 33.
When WWE revealed that Finn Balor had suffered a torn labrum and would be out 4-6 months, it turns out that was just the beginning, and Balor’s return to the ring will unfortunately not be taking place anytime soon. Balor provided an update on social media about his condition, and the results of his surgery. While everything went well, the full extent of Balor’s injuries were actually far worse than originally diagnosed.
This seems like the kind of story that could only exist when talking about someone as ridiculously enthusiastic as the character Bo Dallas plays on TV, so maybe we shouldn’t be shocked, but according to reports on social media from as high an authority as Late Shift host Steven Bell, Bo Dallas was taken off a flight to WWE’s weekend tour of Mexico for being excessively intoxicated. His response, apparently, was to break into the “Circle of Life” song from Disney’s The Lion King, which we’d like to think is the strangest thing we’ll be writing about in wrestling. Well, today. Probably.
This Monday, thanks to Finn Balor being forced to vacate the title due to injury, four Superstars will meet in a Fatal Four-Way Match, with the winner becoming the second-ever WWE Universal Champion. Your four contenders are former Shield members Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, angry Canadian Kevin Owens, and the seven-foot-tall Big Cass. We know who we’d like to see win, but we’re going to let you have your say in our exclusive poll. So, who do you want to see walk out of Raw this week as the Universal Champion?
It looks like all that hard work is paying off in a big way for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as his tireless pursuit of movie roles has led to him dominating Hollywood in a big way, and as was just revealed, topping the list as the highest-paid actor in the entire world. According to Forbes, The Rock earned $64.5 million for his theatrical works this year, more than double what he brought in last year, making him an “A-list” celebrity in every sense of the word. Rock edged out Jackie Chan at #2 (apparently he’s still making movies, and ridiculous money, in China), then Matt Damon, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp at #3, #4 and #5, respectively. That’s some high-powered company for the Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment.
You’ve probably heard by now that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had some less-than-complimentary things to say about one of his Fast 8 co-stars after shooting wrapped up, and industry sources revealed that the source of Rock’s ire was mostly likely the star of the franchise, Vin Diesel, who Rock seemed to be accusing of laziness and unprofessionalism. Everyone has an opinion on this, from the other stars of the film, to industry experts, to wrestling fans, and it seems like it’s that last group who might have figured out the angle on this whole thing from the very beginning.
It’s been no secret that legendary wrestler Bret “Hitman” Hart has a serious problem with wrestlers who cause injuries, and perhaps justifiably so, as his career was ended by a reckless move from a poorly trained opponent, while Hart can still lay claim to never injuring somebody in the ring during a match in his career. As a result, Hart has been quite vocal about Seth Rollins and his recent history, where several of his opponents have come away from matches with serious injuries. So, when Finn Balor went on the injured list as a result of a move taken during a match with Rollins, people wanted to know what Hart’s opinion was, and here it is:
Reports have surfaced which suggest that Roman Reigns’ suspension just before the Brand Extension changed more than a few long-term plans for WWE, so just for fun, we decided to see how many of their current issues they could blame on The Guy. According to the Wrestling Observer, the biggest change caused by Reigns’ suspension was the fact that it ended up sending the WWE World Heavyweight Title to Smackdown, with Dean Ambrose as champion, instead of Raw, which was allegedly the original plan. Reigns and Seth Rollins were expected to feud over that title, while the Universal Championship was supposed to be introduced as a Smackdown-exclusive title, and most importantly, won by AJ Styles, likely in the match against John Cena which happened at SummerSlam anyway. In addition, a planned undercard match for SummerSlam was supposed to see Finn Balor fight Chris Jericho, as the two were expected to have an extended feud for Balor’s initial period following his promotion from NXT. Instead, as Reigns was removed from the Universal title picture, Balor was inserted, and ended up winning the title at SummerSlam…and seriously injuring his shoulder, putting him out for roughly 4-6 months.
Smackdown’s ratings had been trending downwards after the Draft episode, but that trend is officially over as of this week. The show, which featured the introduction of the Smackdown Tag Team and Women’s title belts, as well as a main event of AJ Styles vs Dolph Ziggler in order to determine the WWE World Heavyweight Title match at Backlash, scored 2.71 million viewers and 0.98 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the highest rating for the show since the Draft, and the most viewers since the brand extension officially began. While the show was still bringing in numbers higher than pre-Draft episodes, this jump will certainly be seen as a welcome one for WWE and the USA Network, which have both declared a desire to see Smackdown treated as an equivalent show to the flagship, Raw. Smackdown also easily won the night for original cable programming, and most importantly, was a pretty good show!