Fightful Wrestling Weekly (2/2): Ronda Rousey, Crossover News, Rusev Day, Raw 25 Notes, Cyborg, More

Raw 25 Notes

A lot of my digging in regards to Raw 25 came a little later than I'd like due to the Enzo Amore and XFL situations, but never the less, the show underwent major time cuts and changes. The rumor that Jimmy Fallon caused those was said to be completely false, for what it's worth.

WWE SmackDown Viewership Drops Below 2 Million Following Post-WrestleMania Episode

Matt Hardy was seen limping on the show. He's not injured, and was instead just integrating the "broken" aspects of the character into his appearance.

Three segments in particular got big cuts, and they were all things with build. The Revival vs. Balor Club was originally scheduled to go much longer than it did on that episode of Raw, but had to be rushed through. The re-match was booked for Royal Rumble, went much longer and saw the Revival go over.

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt, which had been a big program for WWE, had five minutes cut from it. They continued the feud throughout the Royal Rumble and the following WWE Raw.

The main event segment featuring Kane, Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar was extremely rushed as many who were watching could tell. With the show already running long, they were told to go ahead and get the segment going and accomplish their goal as quickly as possible to get off the air. 

Rusev Day!

- I'm told WWE weren't happy with the fact that revealed the new Rusev calendars. After we ran a story on them, they rushed the release and announcement. Keep in mind these are 2018 calendars that hadn't been released by the end of January. Either way, it got a lot of positive buzz and hopefully it puts some money in Rusev's pocket for the great, entertaining work he's done. 

Cris Cyborg spoke to Cris Cyborg recently about pro wrestling, in particular Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch. Cyborg told us that she was really happy both for Rousey and her fans who would still get to see her compete in a ring somewhere. It's evident that Cris Cyborg and whoever handles her social media (apparently her boyfriend), aren't on the same page on a lot of topics. The unbelievably likable person we see in interviews, and the other person we see pretending to reflect her best interests on social media. She also said that WWE has been in contact with her in the past, but nothing was worked out between the two sides. As it pertains to Rousey in WWE, Cyborg said that she's open to the idea of the two squaring off in the WWE ring.

After going back and forth with Becky Lynch for months last year on social media (again, likely not her), Cyborg had to be reminded that Lynch was "the girl with the red hair." After confirming that, she joked that the two should compete against one another over the rights to keep their hair red. 

Another thing worth noting was that Cyborg indicated that she had "private lessons" with WWE Superstars. When I asked around about this, I was told that she was likely confused, as instead she had participated in some training sessions with former TNA Knockout and Tough Enough Alum Gabi, which made their way to social media last year. For what it's worth, I'm told that Cyborg took to these brief sessions at a shockingly quick rate. 

Shane Helms

For those asking, I had no idea Shane Helms was going to show up at the Royal Rumble. He and his wife went to great lengths to keep both of their appearances secret, as she's pretty identifiable herself. I'd spoken to Helms on Friday about a couple of things, including the influx of WWE talent after WCW and Nathan Jones, and nothing about the Rumble came up. It was a great surprise to see him there after 8 years away from the company. 

Jeremy Borash

In a move that shocked many, TNA, GFW, Impact mainstay Jeremy Borash made the move to WWE after being with Impact since the beginning. 

When Fightful inquired about the move, we were told that several talent that came from Impact over the years had pushed Jeremy Borash as a "must-hire" for WWE if he were ever available. This was accentuated when the Hardys were brought over last year, as Borash was integral in producing the "Broken" segments that became so popular in 2016.

We spoke to people in Impact, NXT and WWE, and all of the discussions we had spoke to how valued Jeremy Borash is as an asset. Word broke last week that he was likely to be working with the NXT brand, which left those who at least know who he is on the production team there rather excited.

On the main roster, there are a lot of people who have worked with him over the years in TNA -- AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, The Hardys, R-Truth, Samoa Joe, Goldust, TJP,  Brian Kendrick, Mickie James, Drake Maverick, Kurt Angle, Mike and Maria Kanellis, Xavier Woods. By the time Borash had left Impact, he'd already had experience with a giant portion of WWE's roster that are there now. He'll also walk into NXT to familiar faces in EC3, Drew McIntyre, Zelina, Roderick Strong, and several others who had participated in TNA One Night Only tapings. 

As far as Impact goes, they've lost virtually every long time contributor who isn't Abyss. Many, even the newer talent who haven't been around were surprised that either Borash would leave, or that Impact would allow a situation where he would want to leave due to his loyalty over the years. Borash's ability to do about anything he was asked and do it well was seen as an invaluable tool. Over the years he's produced, performed on-air, worked as a ring announcer, play-by-play announcer, and done a ton of digital work. 

One thing that I was told would be even tougher to replace was Borash's ability to produce good content on a budget, which is obviously a high priority for Impact moving forward.

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