Long before the era of PG wrestling that the WWE currently uses, pro wrestling was something that couldn’t exactly be described as family friendly. Not only did the Attitude Era of the (then) WWF push the boundaries of sex and violence when it came to what was acceptable television, but Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) was actually pioneering the same concepts in bingo halls and dimly lit arenas years prior.
In case you missed it, Raw was live from Los Angeles this week and featured a few celebrity guest appearances. Most notably, recent L.A. Laker draft pick Lonzo Ball showed up with his little brother LaMelo and his somewhat-crazy father LaVar. With a bizarre segment that featured a 48-year-old LaVar taking off his shirt and threatening to fight The Miz, along with with LaMelo dropping some racist slurs into a live mic (which the WWE immediately issued an apology for), the WWE hoped that the the additional star power of the Big Baller Brand trio would spike the ratings a little bit.
Daniel Bryan, former WWE champion and leader of the YES! Movement, has never been shy about his desire to continue wrestling. However, after numerous head and neck injuries, the WWE medical team refuses to clear him for in-ring action. Bryan even went as far as getting numerous second opinions, but the WWE refused to budge, fearing the worst if Bryan somehow became seriously injured (or worse) if he returned to action.
It wasn’t that long ago that Daniel Bryan and CM Punk were at the very top of the wrestling world. They were both considered by fans to be among the most talented superstars in the WWE, and both had world title runs to show for it. Things are a little different now, though.
Seth Rollins got a nice little treat this week when it was announced he would the cover athlete for the upcoming WWE 2K18 video game, which comes out later this year. As part of that announcement, Rollins appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter to promote the game. During the interview, Rollins was asked about the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight, which is easily the biggest sports announcement of the year so far. Whether it lives up to the hype or not, well, that’s another story still to be told.
Kurt Angle left the WWE a decade ago, partly because they were reluctant to clear him to wrestle after a number of serious injuries (plus his growing problems with addiction when it came to pain pills).
If you’ve been paying attention to the wrestling internet in the past couple of months, you’re probably aware that there is an ongoing legal skirmish between the WWE, Impact Wrestling, and Matt and Jeff Hardy over who, exactly, owns the rights to the intellectual property known as the “Broken Universe” — the Hardy’s wildly strange (yet successful) gimmick in Impact Wrestling that included things like Broken Matt, Brother Nero and the Final Deletion.
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.
Despite all the rumors to the contrary, Kenny Omega didn’t up leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling and making the jump to the WWE when his contract expired in early 2017. Instead he remained with NJPW, as leader of the Bullet Club, and put on an all-time great match with Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11.
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.