For those unfamiliar with the Fightful Wrestling Weekly, it's about 1,000 words of exclusives or behind the scenes info from Fightful staffers that may be unique to this column, or may be something you've missed from recent interviews. We also provide clarity and additional info to other reports.
I talked to Ivelisse before next weekend's Ladies Night Out 5 show. We spoke about her issues with Lucha Underground, and she seemed remorseful about the tweet she'd posted about their problems, but she also sounded like she saw it as a necessity to shed light on the situation. What resulted weeks later was a class action lawsuit against Lucha Underground, which explained why she was being coy while telling me that she was still under contract. The back and forth has led to her considering a career in MMA again after not for the past several years.
Ivelisse was set to go to Impact Wrestling last year, but said that the night before she was supposed to, it was nixed without any explanation given to her. She saw this as one of her last hopes due to her restrictive Lucha Underground contract limits where she can work, and many of the show's stars were going there to get additional paydays. She wasn't given a reason why the plans were pulled and hasn't had any additional contract with the company. She also wouldn't detail what the specific plans for her on the show were.
EVOLVE'S Darby Allin was a man of few words when Fightful's Andrew Thompson spoke to him for a recent interview. His style was a big part of the conversation, with Allin confessing he knows when he faces bigger wrestlers he's going to incur more damage, and saying that he doesn't overthink or hesitate before doing a big spot because it can end up costing you.
Fightful's Andrew Thompson spoke with Killer Kross recently, who spoke highly of Johnny Impact despite their bitter rivalry. Kross noted that some of his favorite moments in Impact Wrestling have been working with John at Homecoming and the following tapings, and powerbombing his wife off a stage. Before saying that his plans for 2019 involve him causing mayhem everywhere, he tongue in cheek mentioned that he wished Sean O'Haire would have gotten a bigger push in WWE.
If you're wondering how many championship titles the NWA acquired, it was six -- Ten Pounds of Gold, Women's, Junior Heavyweight, North American, National and Tag Team titles. Myself and Dave Lagana joked during our interview about the dozens of regional titles that existed under the NWA name, which now exist physically, but not as a part of the NWA itself. Lagana said that he would love to tell the story of all these championships one day and may end up doing so, but that the titles they have under the NWA banner will be rolled out when it works best for the company. The polarizing design of the NWA National Title -- complete with seahorses -- was also brought up, with Lagana noting that they knew what they were doing when they had that title produced like that.
Fightful spoke to UFC fighter Luke Sanders ahead of his fight this weekend with Renan Barao. Sanders opened up about his split with WWE star Becky Lynch, and seemed to indicate it was due to the fact that he took on his daughter full-time and didn't quite have the time or energy to focus towards a relationship. He spoke very well of Becky Lynch and said that she deserves to be where she is and has worked hard to get there.
I'm told former TNA star Monty Brown was a big hit at the Saginaw, Michigan live event that he was backstage at this weekend. Despite the huge influx of TNA talent that has been signed to WWE in recent years, there actually weren't a lot of people that he'd worked with that were at the event and on the card Sunday. Instead, a lot of the reactions I got from wrestlers were "I grew up watching him," or "I really liked him when I was breaking into the business."
It should be noted that we've confirmed that the Twitter account that Bobby Roode tagged in their photo is a fake. Fightful has tried to reach out to Monty Brown several times for interviews, but he hasn't done them in a long time, and everyone we've spoken to says he's not seemed interested in returning to wrestling at what would be almost 49 years old.
Fightful Select broke the news about Mustafa Ali's injury last weekend. It was bad enough that Mustafa had sustained multiple injuries over recent weeks, but a Sunday live event concussion forced Ali out of this weekend's Elimination Chamber match. I've seen a lot of people pointing the finger at Randy Orton, but he was hardly to blame for the black eye, and wasn't even in the match on Sunday in which Ali sustained a concussion. The injury happened as Ali launched himself into a corner, although a couple of people I've spoken to suggest that he may have been hurt prior and just tried to tough it out.
I was told that Mustafa was intended for a highlight spot that was given to Kofi Kingston, although to what extend that was intended is something I can't really know as the match wasn't laid out as far back as Sunday when Ali got hurt. That afternoon, "TBD" was listed backstage as filling in for Ali.
Fightful Select had more information on Charlotte being added to the WrestleMania 35 main event, and the mentality behind it. Almost everyone within WWE expects this match to go on last, making it the first women's headliner at a WrestleMania. Ronda Rousey is expected to leave after WrestleMania, and WWE doesn't want half of their first all-women's main event walking out the door. We're told as far as WWE is concerned, getting Rousey back for Survivor Series would be a "best case scenario" for them. Rousey hadn't told WWE she planned to leave as of a few weeks ago, but WWE also hadn't made any firm plans for her after WrestleMania as it was assumed.
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