If the members of Being the Elite are leaving Ring Of Honor, Flip Gordon doesn't seem bothered by it. I interviewed him ahead of ROH Final Battle where he'll take on Bully Ray. Flip Gordon put over Cody Rhodes huge as someone who has helped him and influenced his career, and pointed out the Young Bucks as a couple of names who did the same. Gordon stressed how important BTE has been to his career, particularly getting him over and making him comfortable speaking. He held a sense of kayfabe during our talk as he would go in and out of storyline and crediting Bully Ray for giving him advice as well.
Obviously Flip Gordon is going to be seeing an advanced role after the turn of the year with a lot of big names set to leave Ring of Honor. With Flip as a visible name, he said that he sees it as an opportunity to move up the card, and if they all end up sticking around, he'll view it as a challenge and an extra hurdle to get where he wants and needs to be. He was told by Ring of Honor that he is already booked for Madison Square Garden's G1 Supershow on WrestleMania weekend, and it'll be the first time he's ever stepped foot in the building.
UFC fighter Juan Adams makes his UFC debut on December 15 against Chris De La Rocha, but actually had a WWE tryout once upon a time. We've talked to him about it before, but James Lynch asked him to expand on it. Adams said that he roomed with Stacey Ervin Jr. during his tryout, who got signed by WWE and has actually been working matches since September. Adams claims he doesn't put too much thought into the "what if" scenario about whether or not he got signed.
While he's been in training camp for his fight, Adams hasn't been watching wrestling. If you looked at Juan, he's a dead ringer for No Way Jose, who performs on the Raw brand. He won't close the door on wrestling, and says the fact that he can go back to it after his MMA career is a big reason why he pursued MMA a little more. He was asked by WWE if he would give up MMA, and he said that he wouldn't because his window to be an athlete is much smaller than the window to be a performer.
We're told that a couple of NXT Superstars, including EC3 was a little under the weather last weekend. EC3 tweeted that he'd not had an in-person conversation with anyone in two days on Twitter, which was a reference to the illness he was battling. He'd also battled the hiccups a couple of days before. Not career threatening, I'm told. Alexa Bliss and Finn Balor were among others that were under the weather. There were a lot of fans fearing the worst when this was put out there, but it wasn't that serious.
Vince McMahon - Valet - Asuka
To follow up on the story about Vince McMahon being surprised about Asuka's pre-Survivor Series reaction, we've heard that he in fact was at the building and said that the other reactions were "nothing" compared to hers. After the event, a valet in the car park who was handling The Big Show's vehicle actually almost ran into Vince McMahon's car backstage. Big Show joked that the valet almost "killed" the boss, but it was nowhere near that serious, obviously.
There was a horrific incident at last weekend's House of Hardcore show that saw Big Cass suffer a seizure at the event. Fightful talked to several names who were backstage at the show, who said that Big Cass got up and walked out after the seizure and was tended to by EMTs and an ambulance was on site. Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer were fast to check on him, with Bully Ray being put over as a true locker room leader for his attitude throughout the entire process. While no mention of drugs, alcohol, or anything of the like was brought up, it was said that Cass was supposed to enter a "DDP-like" situation after the show and was supposed to move in (not in with DDP, but a similar situation) before the seizure happened. Both this weekend and last weekend, we were informed that Big Cass just didn't "look right" by other wrestlers. Cass has also put on a lot of weight since he left WWE, and hasn't seemed happy or motivated. That was the wrap on him in WWE too, but many figured because the machine was behind him that would change, and it didn't. The same people who told us that also figured that his release would "get him in gear," but that didn't end up being the case either.
In case you were wondering, Seth Rollins stuff on Raw was all scripted -- as if there was any doubt. Almost nobody has creative freedom on the roster even in the ring, much less outside of it. Even all of the in-ring stuff has to be run through an agent on Raw and Smackdown, except in a couple of rare instances. From what I've experienced, WWE morale is actually pretty high by-and-large and has been for quite some time. There's always exceptions to the rule, but usually the guys and girls there seem happy.
Mixed Match Challenge
A quote directly from a WWE employee on the condition of anonymity: "Mixed Match Challenge is a giant mess. Nobody knows on a weekly basis what's going to happen, who will be hurt, or how things will end up. It's really cheap content and easy to film so (we're) going to keep doing it until we're not able to do it anymore. The wrestlers enjoy working the matches, but it has become a big inconvenience for several who lose their days off to a tournament that won't really help them."