Jordynne Grace revealed on the PWI Podcast that she's signed a new, multi-year extension with IMPACT Wrestling. Fightful has confirmed that deal is a two-year deal which will carry her into May of 2023. We've heard that at least one company was interested, but was under the impression Jordynne was staying with IMPACT.
To clear up any confusion, AEW set up the two-rings at the last set of tapings and filmed the matches that aired in hour one of Dynamite this past week. Fans in attendance said the mood was good during that hour.
Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa appeared in front of the live crowd for their promo, and a couple of segments had some time trimmed from them to meet constraints. Both Nakazawa and Cody Rhodes were busted open hardway.
We're told that Darby Allin is "good" after the filming of him being thrown down the stairs and was expected to make his match with Miro for the AEW TNT Title as planned. Well, as "good" as you can be after being thrown down a flight of stairs.
We followed up about any major injuries in Blood & Guts and have not heard of any as of now, but several wrestlers were "banged up." Sammy Guevara suffered a laceration to his head.
There have been conflicting reports regarding the emerging details of MLW and WWE having discussions regarding talent sharing. Many in NXT were left in the dark about the situation and didn't even know until the rumor had emerged, but we can confirm Dave Meltzer's report that the preliminary conversations have happened, and the talks go "high up" in WWE. We're told the conversations go high up in both companies, but don't have any further details beyond that.
We haven't seen Kip Sabian wrestle in over a month after he returned from an injury that had sidelined him for a couple before that. We weren't told of a specific injury, but were told in late April that Sabian was "on the shelf" again, prior to being attacked by Miro on last week's Dynamite. Sabian tweeted that he needed surgery, and we were told that the attack by Miro is being used to explain that.
Fightful spoke to Jeff Jarrett ahead of his "My World" Podcast debut with Conrad Thompson. Jeff Jarrett confirmed to us that this had been on the table before, but he wasn't quite ready for it, and thought now was the perfect time. He said that he's already had conversations on how to expand the brand including future touring and the like. We spoke about Randy Savage in TNA, and he said that it was more of the connection his own father Jerry had with Randy and his father Angelo that ended up making that deal happen.
It seems as if Killer Kelly made a good impression back in November at the IMPACT Wrestling tapings she participated in while in America. Fightful has been told there was immediate interest in signing Killer Kelly to a contract, but some things had to be worked out before that can happen. Kelly returned home overseas, and had previously spoken with Fightful about the extended quarantine periods she was required to go through when coming to the states in 2020. However, we've been told that IMPACT plans on bringing her over and had almost immediately. However, Portugal's embassy had been closed for interviews and she was stuck overseas for almost half the year already after planning to be back in the states in January
The Diamond Mine
WWE teased a Diamond Mine act on NXT last week, leading to heavy speculation on who that might be. WWE sources confirmed to Fightful that it was not intended to imply Tessa Blanchard was joining the company. Blanchard has used diamond imagery in the past. A WWE source, when asked, did not want fans expecting Blanchard to be the act or a part of it, but understood how the misconception could happen. Diamond Mine is being played close to the vest within the company.
Sin Cara was brought to the Raw brand shortly before his WWE release, but saw the writing on the wall. You may remember that Sin Cara was accompanied by Catalina Garcia, aka Katrina Perez, which seemed to be a call up for her. However, we're told that's not the case. According to Sin Cara himself, they were only there to get Andrade and Zelina over and there were no long term plans for the duo. Paul Heyman even told Sin Cara himself that "the Sin Cara character was dead."
Fightful has spoken with sources both inside and outside of WWE that have indicated that Daniel Bryan's WWE contract either expired or was set to expire last week, after his Smackdown match. Bryan was on the losing end of a WWE Universal Title match to Roman Reigns in which stipulated he leave Smackdown if he lost, and was quickly moved to the alumni section of WWE.com.
High level sources both outside and inside have noted that they'd heard of the expiration of the deal, but that Bryan had not spoken openly about his contract status that they're aware of. We also hadn't heard of any particular farewells backstage as if he wasn't going to be around, although that doesn't mean they didn't happen privately.
Bryan did an interview with TV Line, where they noted that he was tight lipped about when his contract actually ended, and Bryan said the following: "It’s funny that people gravitate towards the date “September,” and I think it’s because that’s when my last contract ended, but it doesn’t end in September. [Note: Bryan was tight-lipped about when his contract actually runs out.] I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like… I had a tag team match on SmackDown last Friday, and it was a lot of fun, but my neck was just wrecked"
We should note that this doesn't mean that Bryan is leaving WWE, that he won't work for WWE without a contract, as we're told he's been vocal about doing some unconventional work with and for WWE. This wouldn't come as a surprise since he's said as much in interviews.
Backstage Reactions to Daniel Bryan
Fightful has spoken with several talent about the expiration of Daniel Bryan's WWE contract, and what they think is in store for the future Hall of Famer. WWE sources indicated that backstage, Bryan didn't make a big deal about his contract expiring, and many only heard it through the grapevine over the past few weeks as opposed to from Bryan himself.
When inquiring with sources in Ring of Honor, they said they expect ROH to make contact and at least make an effort to bring him in for some appearance at the minimum, noting the company hasn't been completely out of contact with him in recent years.
Two AEW talent we spoke with said they fully expect Bryan to remain with WWE, with one outright saying they've heard he's staying with WWE. Of course we've not been able to confirm that, as it's just speculation.
WWE held a female set of tryouts on May 6 & 7 in Orlando, and Fightful has learned some more about some of the participants. We've heard there are a dozen participants, and some familiar indie names as well.
Tesha Price- A four year wrestler, she's appeared for WWE in the past, wrestling Britt Baker in a dark match during the Mae Young Classic and working an enhancement match against Lacey Evans on NXT in 2018. She's been an AEW regular on Dark since November, making nearly 20 appearances, including a Dynamite match against Abadon.
Alex Gracia- Gracia has been working for three years and has appearances for NWA, Stardom, IMPACT Wrestling and EVOLVE. She's another AEW regular dating back to September, working over a dozen matches there. She wrestled Hikaru Shida on Dynamite in December.
Ava Everett- Wrestling since 2018 primarily in the northeast, she's been working Limitless Wrestling a lot of late. She's also made appearances for CZW, Beyond, among others.
Natalia Markova- Markova isn't a stranger to the process, as she also had a WWE tryout in 2017. She has worked with several now-WWE connected properties such as EVOLVE and PROGRESS, but primarily worked in SHINE. She's been working well over a decade.