Former ROH booker and star Marty Scurll was backstage at a recent set of New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong tapings, sources have confirmed to Fightful. We were originally told that he has expressed interest in rejoining the company. Scurll hasn't worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling in any capacity since June 2019 as a part of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament. He and ROH parted ways after he was implicated in the Speaking Out Movement in June 2020.
In the following hours of the story breaking, Emily Pratt reported that Scurll was involved in an angle at the tapings in January with Rocky Romero.
Emily Pratt of Fanbyte noted in a recent update of the Marty Scurll situation that wrestlers adhere to a non disclosure agreement regarding the New Japan Strong tapings. Sources that have participated in those tapings noted that NJPW was upset that word got out that they mass film the content, and asked their wrestlers to not talk about any of the inner workings associated with producing the show. We'd heard of several wrestlers getting heat for talking about their time at the tapings as well as at the New Japan Dojo in LA.
Those that we spoke to said that they weren't particularly bothered by agreeing to an NDA as the company wanted to prevent spoilers from emerging more than anything. In regards to the other aspects of getting heat, it was chalked up to the difference in culture.
Baron Corbin Superstar Spectacle
A large number of WWE stars going down due to COVID-19 and quarantine caused a shuffle on a lot of programs. Fightful learned that the day of the WWE India Superstar Spectacle taping, Baron Corbin was actually only supposed to work that set of shows. However, due to several wrestlers missing Smackdown, WWE asked him to also work those tapings, which changed the course of things and reignited the feud with the Mysterio family.
This probably isn't a big surprise to anyone who has paid attention of late, but the planned WrestleMania match for Bad Bunny as of early February was he and Damian Priest taking on Miz and John Morrison in a tag team match. He and members of his family and entourage have been at the WWE Performance Center and have participated in private lessons and training.
We'd mentioned that Damian Priest had impressed people backstage upon his WWE debut, but his on screen "friend" Bad Bunny seems to have been a hit as well. Those that we heard from said that Bad Bunny was easy to deal with in their interactions with him, and was open to doing what he needed to on Sundays and Mondays, as well as being "excited to do business in the future." One Raw wrestler said that Bad Bunny treating the situation seriously made a great impression on several in the locker room.
Beth Phoenix was announced for the upcoming episode of WWE Icons. WWE sources that we've spoke to said that announcing the series was more of a branding issue as a solid series they could push and gain excitement for as opposed to individual documentaries. WWE was still working on the Beth Phoenix documentary as of a few weeks ago and actually went to her hometown to film.
Fightful has heard varying things about the use of cardboard cutouts at Raymond James Stadium for WrestleMania as they used in the same venue for the Super Bowl. There are several names pushing for them to be used in a similar fashion because of how full the venue looked, including multiple that contacted us in awe of the the visuals were. However, we've been told that at least initially, Vince McMahon himself was not in favor of them.
We spoke with Sean Maluta recently, who had some interesting insight on WWE and the Cruiserweight Classic he participated in. He noted that AEW's Michael Nakazawa was actually with Kota Ibushi during the tournament to help translate and lay out some of the matches.
Sean Maluta spoke to us about the process of appearing in AEW. We constantly hear that Christopher Daniels and QT Marshall are usually the points of contact there, and for Maluta, it was Marshall. Maluta was already living in Florida because of how much WWE work he'd been doing in the past. He ended up getting good feedback and has been brought back to AEW several times since.
We'd mentioned recently that several WWE talent that were offered new contracts hadn't signed theirs, but you can mark one name off that list.
Fightful learned from WWE sources that Chelsea Green signed a new three-year deal with the company at some point since her wrist injury that sidelined her from in-ring action for the past few months in November. Her original contract was set to expire in the Summer.
As reported in the past, there have been several creative pitches with Chelsea Green that weren't used before her debut.
Beer City Bruiser talked to us for Enhancement Stories, and mentioned his Wisconsin connection to Mr. Kennedy helped get him booked. Initially he was just supposed to get beat up by Simon Dean, but he impressed Jim Ross and Paul Heyman enough to get a speaking role on TV. He'd later face Gymini. Bruiser would develop a professional relationship with Simon Dean that helped him land some additional TV booking when Simon Dean (Mike Bucci) took over some of the talent relations responsibilities. He also said that Michael Hayes helped him a lot and told him Bruiser reminded him of Terry Gordy. Hayes liked that Bruiser was willing to accept criticism and improve.
WWE brought him in during the Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt feud to portray the fake Bray Wyatt because they're built similarly. Around that time, Ring of Honor offered Bruiser a contract. WWE asked him to keep the line of communication open, and they had some talks with him in 2018. He passed on the deal to stay with ROH, but is still on good terms with WWE.
Big Cass returned at Luke Gallows' Lariato Pro show tonight, looking in great shape for a tag team match. We're told he was very easy to deal with and had his head on straight for the show. Fightful also learned that this appearance has been planned for a few months.