I spoke to Harlem Heat's Stevie Ray, who FOR SURE didn't remember me from our April 2018 interview, which we joked about. I also informed him of some of the downright filthy samples that the Harlem Heat theme utilized. He seemed to think it was funny, and even honored that the theme sampled from such random sources. He was also happy to see former partner Virgil on AEW, but joked that he thought it was photoshopped.
Stevie mentioned Arn Anderson as someone who was important to him for greeting him upon joining the WCW locker room, and he wanted to treat other people like that. He says he's never been worried about losing a spot or someone taking what he has, so it encourages him to help out younger talent or anyone that needs guidance or advice.
He remembered being given the Slapjack gimmick, and says that if he could make his own gimmick or weapon, he'd use a slapjack because the old gangster movies utilized them. He didn't ask for it, but someone overheard it and took word back to the office to make him one. He still keeps a couple on him and joked that he might market them.
Alicia Atout spoke with us about going to work for MLW. She indicated that the conversations and negotiations were pretty quick, and MLW reached out to her to make the deal happen. She already likes the locker room and knows much of the roster. The taping schedule is a little different than she's used to, filming four weeks in one day, and a pre-tape day as well. She enjoys the challenge, and says that the process isn't all rushed, and much more relaxed. She's still able to work conventions and other bookings, but makes them the priority and wants to prove herself.
Her work has her traveling through the U.S., and she noted the exchange rate and food as a couple of benefits in that regard. The work that she had done with Impact wrestling was all in Canada.
We also took time to sufficiently trash RJ City. She confirmed that her AEW deal was only for Double Or Nothing.
Fightful reached out to several names on the Raw roster and staff this week after the Lashley and Lana wedding official was tackled. Nobody that got back to us knew it was going to happen, but we were told it was planned to some degree, as first reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet.
It wasn't paid much mind backstage by those that we spoke with, and nobody seemed to understand why it was set to happen. Another said they figured it was a rouse once they saw a camera cut to the tackle happening.
- The decision to make the Tag Team Title match a handicap match was finalized on Sunday.
- The North, Tessa Blanchard and Sami Callihan were kept away from media at the end of Hard To Kill.
- People close to Tessa Blanchard told Fightful that she didn't seem sure that she would win the championship as of Saturday evening after everything unfolded. We were told that "they would talk" on Sunday before the show.
- Moose was suffering from vertigo and it was feared that he sustained a concussion at Hard To Kill.
This is hardly news at this point, but those that we've spoken to in WWE say that WrestleMania is still "wide open in many regards." At this point in previous years, there would be run-sheets or tentative WrestleMania lineups around, though those have been made more secretive in recent years. At this point, no one we've spoken to has seen a run sheet or anything related to that yet. There have been a couple of people at the Performance Center who have been told to "be ready" in case a WrestleMania spot is there for them.
Of those that we spoke to about the topic, almost all saw that as a positive and a welcome change as compared to previous years. One wrestler said that it leads them to think WWE will go with who is hot for certain spots instead of trying to make certain talent hot to fit the roles they've already decided for them.
WWE has made continued efforts to re-sign the Revival. The initial offer to them last year was 550k a year, which is significantly higher now. In the months following that offer, The OC were offered way higher than that to re-sign, and we're told that Revival's deals are around or more than that. Revival have been non-commital in whether or not they'll stay, but the main sticking point has been creative satisfaction and a strong booked tag team division. Most of the top people of influence in the company are in favor of the Revival, but the issue has been convincing Vince McMahon of their act, look and what they want. WWE has also offered Revival and others reduced dates. The Revival had also initially passed on doing the comedy gimmick presented weeks ago, before going back and saying that they would, as they feel they can stay over regardless.
Fightful has reached out to Tessa Blanchard personally about the accusations levied today, but haven't heard back. She was scheduled to speak at a Q&A this afternoon to promote Hard To Kill but we're told that is no longer happening.
In addition to this, we're told David McClane specifically emailed the WOW roster to tell them to give a "no comment" on any inquiries about the story. There were several other stories among the WOW locker room as it pertains to bullying, as well, so this hadn't calmed down as it seemed since joining IMPACT.
We've heard from several women's wrestlers along the way that are levying more accusations of varying degrees, though none as extreme as the situation outlined by Allysin Kay. We've heard instances of situations in the ring getting physical due to a lack of co-operation, among other things.
Again, we've reached out to Blanchard, but she hasn't replied so it should very much be noted that this is one side to each respective story.
There are several other women in wrestling who have heard all of the stories in regard to Blanchard, but haven't experienced any issues with Blanchard herself. Everyone we talked to at the time of All In said Blanchard was easy to deal with. There are some wrestlers who said that certain companies wouldn't have ever brought them in without her endorsement, as well.