Fightful Wrestling Weekly (4/13): Ladder Match, Raw Script, ROH, Ivelisse, Riddle

Ladder Match

As first revealed on FightfulSelect.com this weekend, the six participants got help from both Shawn Michaels and Michael Hayes in producing the match. The wrestlers involved were heavily influential in pitching spots that would take place.

Shawn Michaels is one of the early innovators in the ladder match in WWE, having experience against Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, Goldust, and Triple H with a ladder in the ring. His WrestleMania 10 match with Razor Ramon was long considered among the best gimmick matches of all-time and a highlight of that year's show.

The Hall of Famer Hayes has developed a reputation over his over two-decades of work behind the scenes in WWE as having a knack for coming up with clever (and sometimes over-the-top) high spots across different kinds of matches. 

We're told several of the guys in the match are banged up, but no serious injuries came out of it. Lars Sullivan even wrestled the next day against Keith Lee, as did Adam Cole. 

Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne

There was a report from BSO that there was heat on Ronda Rousey, and quite frankly virtually everything about the report was incorrect based on the information that I received. You can check it out below, which features a thread, which is full of complete fabrication. I don't usually devote my time in this column to shutting down rumors, but I did a lot of following up and no one I spoke to heard of things going down this way.

Ronda Rousey has no heat to speak of in WWE. Thus far she's made a really positive impression with her work ethic, and Sunday's WrestleMania only served to help things out. A couple of the women on the roster I spoke to said that Ronda Rousey being on the WWE's show probably sped things up for the division by a couple of years, and that's with it already moving at a fast pace. 

Raw Script Notes

I posted this week's WWE Monday Night Raw script for free over on FightfulSelect.com. It's interesting to note that the script outright mentioned the Authors of Pain, Samoa Joe, Ember Moon, No Way Jose all debuting on the show, and both Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe returning, when their music was cued, and what segment they'd be in. However, Bobby Lashley's return was left "blank," Kind of ironic considering that of all those names, Lashley was the only one that had leaked before the event because of a graphic that was seen at ringside.

Producers: Fit Finlay and Sarah Stock (TNA's Sarita) handled the Nia Jax & Ember Moon vs. Mickie James & Alexa Bliss match, as well as the Sasha Banks vs. Mandy Rose contest later on in the evening. Former NWA World Champion Adam Pearce produced the barely existent No Way Jose match, while new WWE Hall of Famer and tag team specialist D-Von Dudley was in charge of The Club vs. The Revival. Four Horsemen member Dean Malenko produced Bobby Lashley's return with Elias, and former WWF Tag Team Champion Mike Rotunda (I.R.S) oversaw the Authors of Pain debut. On a tag team heavy show, Arn Anderson produced Woken Wyatts against Titus Worldwide. To cap things off, Jamie Noble was the producer for the Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens, while Tyson Kidd was the producer for the main event six-man tag team match.

Other interesting notes include the fact that Paige's in-ring retirement speech wasn't listed on the rundown at all. 

Matt Riddle

Fightful alumni Matt Riddle got high marks from many within WWN for being a "team player" throughout all of WrestleMania week. Riddle wrestled several matches, including seven in about 36 hours. This includes knock-down drag out matches, an intergender match, and a bit of a special attraction with James Ellsworth. Of course he stood to make a lot of money by competing so often, but I was told that his willingness to do so made really good impressions to many who were in town. Riddle himself told me that his favorite match of the weekend was against Will Ospreay.

ROH Honor Club

While a great deal on the surface, Ring of Honor's Honor Club streaming service was a nightmare during WrestleMania weekend. There were constant buffering issues both live and on demand, and multiple people within Ring of Honor told me that they saw it as an embarrassment. One went as far as to say that they thought it made the company look minor league on a weekend that was a big one for them. Ring of Honor is firmly entrenched as the number two promotion in America, and I was told by one wrestler that "production-wise, the gap widened. You couldn't tell there were more than 300 people in the room. We had almost 6,000."

Ivelisse

I'll have some more from Ivelisse in next week's Fightful Wrestling Weekly, but my interview with her (and others) may have been lost a little bit in the rush of WrestleMania week. Ivelisse was flat out "pissed off" that she wasn't booked for any wrestling appearances this weekend, specifically the Lucha Underground vs. Impact Wrestling show. She's locked into a long-term contract with Lucha Underground, as are many of the wrestlers who signed seven-season deals. She agreed to terms at age 26, and at the pace of LU's filming, could very well be under a deal until the time she's 33-34.

When I asked her about the possibility of returning to WWE, where she was once contracted, she said that no matter where she is, she wants to someday be a part of the revolution going on in WWE, as she thinks she'd be a perfect fit there.

From The Web