They left the medals that they won at home instead of bringing them on the road, which are just a showcase for winning tournament, but they've now taken a backseat to the AEW Tag Team Titles, so don't expect to see them around moving forward. They spoke highly of teaming with CIMA, and said that AEW fans will be seeing a lot more of the OWE crew moving forward. Kazarian doesn't seem to get why everyone thinks they should use the Freebird rule, because "they aren't the Freebirds and that hasn't been around since" even though it has several times.
Eric Bischoff completely wiped his hands clean of any involvement in the Roman Reigns mystery angle, and really any aspects of creative whether it be good, bad or otherwise in his latest WWE run, when speaking to Jeremy Lambert of Fightful. He said that he wasn't really brought in to work in the creative process, and instead was brought into WWE to manage it. As he's clarified several times, he says there are no hard feelings between the two sides.
The ROH-Kelly Klein situation got even messier last week when Klein was effectively fired from the company. This lead to a plethora of wrestlers reaching out and sharing negative stories about the ROH office, and some of the Ring of Honor roster reaching out to defend the company.
Fightful reached out to Ring of Honor for information regarding their concussion protocol, and haven't heard back from them, but they did get back to Newsweek. Kelly Klein, the company's Women of Honor Champion, has been out of action since sustaining a concussion a while back, as has TK O'Ryan. After that, all hell broke loose, as seen last week.
Klein asked for a raise to $24,000 per year, which we were able to confirm was up from $20,000 a year. Originally, the Women of Honor deals were set for a firm $12,000 and we were told were "non-negotiable" at that point before being bumped up to $20,000. Klein and ROH had been negotiating a new, three-year contract that would have included some back pay to this past summer, but it fell through. Klein and her husband BJ Whitmer feel that she was fired unfairly while concussed, while ROH officials hold firm to us that wasn't the case, and the deal wasn't renewed. As of Friday, the company had not communicated anything to Klein's side about the future of the Women of Honor Championship.
David Bixenspan also had a story coming this week in regards to a burner Twitter account allegedly used by an ROH office worker, which isn't a good look for them.
TK O'Ryan spoke to us and said that contrary to what Joey Mercury said, he himself informed ROH that he had a concussion, and he knew he had it right after his match. He said that since then, he'd been taken care of very well by Ring of Honor, and they've continued checking on him. He specified that he's not anti-Kelly Klein or Joey Mercury, but pro-ROH, and noted that everyone there has a different experience.
We spoke to several wrestlers on the condition of anonymity, who unanimously sympathized with Klein's position, and agreed with her issues. However, the perception that the roster is all unhappy, as the "results may vary" notion would indicate. There are several wrestlers who are very happy with their schedule, money and the ability to live a normal life without insane travel.
Most of the exclusive notes that we had regarding Klein were also in the subsequent Newsweek story that stirred things up further.
- Stephanie McMahon was also seen speaking to Britt Baker and Adam Cole along with Triple H backstage. Multiple names from AEW's side of things weren't buying into the idea that Baker was on camera via an accident from an NXT director. I've not heard of any heat on her for this.
- Mike Bennett/Mike Kanellis is still under WWE contract after posting on Twitter that he's accepting speaking engagements and non-wrestling appearances.
- Saturday afternoon, Fightful Select was able to confirm with several people involved in the segment that Smackdown was originally supposed to go off the air with the Spanish Fly dive between Ali and Lio Rush. However, due to some issues with timing and cues, the plan went awry. Ultimately, I haven't heard of any heat going around about that situation, either.
- We were told that Mauro Ranallo wasn't backstage in any way for WWE Survivor Series.
- Another person not backstage was Shane McMahon. We're told he hasn't been seen backstage at any shows since the premiere episode of Smackdown Live on Fox.
- Even though we've seen more personality out of the WWE and NXT Twitter accounts, it isn't operated by the same person who controls the WWE on Fox account, as that is a Fox employee.
- Some within WWE weren't happy with AEW promoting a Bash at the Beach, and there's talk that they may attempt to take action to stop it. There were also comments about Billy Gunn using his WWE name on AEW Dynamite -- more in the sense of displeasure among WWE as opposed to something that would lead to legal action. However, Gunn owns the name and has for years, so it was more of a reactionary quip than anything.
We had a very light hearted Soultrain Jones feature, thanks to Jeremy Lambert. Joey Janela revealed to Lambert that he was actually the person who put All Elite Wrestling in contact with Virgil for the spot a couple of weeks ago. Janela said that within five minutes, a deal was put together and Virgil was AEW bound.
Some played along with the fun nature of the story, some completely embraced it -- mainly the members of the Inner Circle, and others were outright confused about the questions. Virgil actually reached out to Fightful after the feature dropped and said he'd like to speak with us, so that's a thing that exists and I'm not sure will happen.