I spoke to a source within WWE about the line of thinking in regards to putting Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles at the beginning of Smackdown Live this week as opposed to the main event. I was told that they wanted to get the news of a title match change out in the open early on, and they also wanted time throughout the show to build the new title match as opposed to leaving viewers with question marks at the end of the show.
Edwards Moose Impact
I spoke to Eddie Edwards and Moose ahead of their Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory advertised match when they appeared on an Impact media call together. Whenever opponents are on the same media call together, you can always count on it being 90 percent kayfabe. I'm sure companies see that as a useful tool in promoting whatever storyline they have, but generally when media is involved, it renders the contents of the call pointless. Most engagement we get that leads to investment or attention in a particular wrestler or character are real quotes from outside of the world of wrestling. There are some exceptions tiptoe the line, like Becky Lynch's comments about Ronda Rousey reminding her of a slot machine, but that's typically pretty rare. For a company like Impact Wrestling that could use any non-controversial attention they can get, this is crucial, and surprising they'd rather go a kayfabe route in 2018.
"We always had open discussions with Rey and he informed us that he wanted to join Aro Lucha and see it succeed, but that he always wanted to end his career at the WWE." Brown explained. "At the time of our initial conversations, there was no discussions with the WWE or a timeline, so we all thought it could be 2 or 3 years before he decided to go back. Rey continues to hold stock in the company and we are a place that he can return to and help outside of WWE. We want what is best for Rey and the opportunity for him to return happened a lot faster than any of us predicted, including Rey. Our relationship with Rey is good and we will continue to grow the brand while he is away. We are different than the WWE and there are special reasons why Rey found Aro Lucha interesting. He said something in the WeFunder video, something to effect that he loved Aro Lucha because it was 100% lucha and for the lucha fans, that's what makes us different and unique." Brown concluded.
Former UFC Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk made an appearance at an American Top Team pro wrestling event last weekend in a quick cameo role. She showed up and barely got physical in a match, setting up an armbar for one of her teammates. American Top Team has done these shows for years, and it's no secret that ATT owner Dan Lambert is a big fan of the wrestling world, as he's appeared on Impact Wrestling television in the past.
Don't look for Joanna to transition over to pro wrestling any time soon, as I'm told the situation was simply her making a cameo spot for her gym. She'd actually told Fightful recently that she admires Ronda Rousey for making the move, but wasn't planning on doing so for herself, because she wants to start a family after her fighting career is over and the travel is something she wouldn't want to juggle while doing that. Former Strikeforce Champion King Mo was also at the event, which is no surprise considering he's been in and out of Impact Wrestling for several years.
It's now been a couple of weeks since NWA 70th anniversary, and I was given some insight about some of the tech errors they experienced. NWA had hired a production crew who had hired an audio technician who was actually a replacement and subpar. This led to the broadcast being incredibly unprepared, with major audio issues plaguing the beginning of the broadcast. I'm told the conversation was not a pleasant one as the National Wrestling Alliance was making their first impression to many fans.
One of the major positives to come out of National Wrestling Alliance's show was Jazz. The former WWE Superstar emerged victorious from her NWA Women's Championship match against Penelope Ford, and there was immediate renewed interest in companies booking her. The next week she wrestled Jordynne Grace, and was involved in a segment that Stokely Hathaway ended up filming as well.
A prominent indie name echoed my sentiment after the Jordynne Grace match that if Jazz so chooses, she could very well be the PCO of the women's side of independent wrestling. Jazz had a really strong showing at NWA 70, and multiple promoters already informed me that they were hoping to book her on upcoming events as a result of the match.
Fightful MMA's James Lynch spoke to UFC 230 PPV card late replacement Jared Cannonier on our new MMA & Boxing Youtube channel and approached the topic of pro wrestling during the interview. "Hulk Hogan used to be one of my favorites before he started to drop N Bombs," he said. He also pointed out Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Booker T as personal favorites, noting he watched it back in the "WWF days."
The former top 15 light heavyweight said he never really considered a move to pro wrestling, but if WWE was willing to help him out with the acting end of things and was willing to pay him, that he would be open to it in the future. He said that he wasn't interested in "sticking to a script." Stone Cold Steve Austin was a favorite, and mentioned his birthday is actually 3/16. He wanted to walk out to Austin's theme song for past UFC fights, but noted that he wants to gain permission from the man himself before doing so.
Cannonier takes on a former WSOF Double Champion in Dave Branch, currently ranked #7 in the division.