Fightful Wrestling Weekly 5/27: AEW Title Belt, ROH Meetings, Smackdown, New Video Game, RVD


Rob Van Dam tells us that he practiced the Van Terminator move beforehand on Amish Roadkill way back when he debuted the move. He said it was an extension of the Van Daminator, and walked us through coming up with that, saying that he'd come up with the Daminator in anticipation of working in front of a more hardcore crowd. When he started being able to do it from across the ring, he decided he could just go coast to coast.

News On Roman Reigns' New WWE Theme

Moving to WWF was a big adjustment not just because of the ring size, but the style of ropes as well. RVD admitted that he had some issues making the move and he was too cocky to anticipated that he would have any trouble with it. He thinks that if he didn't push the chair with his feet he probably wouldn't have connected early on.

Scotty Anton said that they actually practiced the move a couple of weeks before in Kansas City and he knew right away and knew that he was busted up really badly. Bill Alfonso would keep him updated on where Van Dam was when shielding him with the chair, and Steve Corino and Jack Victory came out to cause a distraction and allow him to get to the back. He figured out a way to shield his face with his arm moving forward to avoid another broken nose. Anton stated that it was actually a pretty safe move all things considered and he was happy to be a part of the intro to it.


Ring of Honor has been going above and beyond to protect their stars during this time off. We've heard from numerous talent that are thrilled with how they've been treated during the pandemic. Ring of Honor asked their wrestlers to stay safe and be creative, which we've seen bleed over into the company's Youtube channel over the past couple of months.

ROH allows its talent to provide anonymous feedback and help via a private channel. The talent are able to give that feedback without fear of repercussions, which has been put over to me both on the record and in private conversations.

If you noticed Ring of Honor's Youtube taking a big leap in quality, you can credit former IMPACT employee Dave Hodgson. Joe Hendry said that he went to bat for Hodgson and Ring of Honor ended up bringing him in to the company, and it's already paid off based on the increase of quality on their channel.

We were able to gain more information on the closed door meeting, which we can determine happened sometime since August, as Joe Hendry noted that he was there. He said there was a podium at the front of the room and the company allowed anyone who wanted to speak or provide input to do so.

Joe Hendry

Hendry told me that he's embraced the creativity that gained him a lot of attention after trying to prove that wasn't all he was. As a result, he went viral with a McDonalds-Oasis themed video. He's stopped showing people the music videos before they air in wrestling, but says he doesn't usually cross the line with content. He thinks if people get particularly offended by them, they're in the wrong business. He says the same will apply for him whenever someone throws it back at him, so he's prepared for it.

Hendry landed in ROH after he made it known that he was operating as a free agent, because he thought that nobody knew he was. He had an offer for IMPACT Wrestling and a few other places, but he contacted ROH GM Greg Gilleland and they hammered out a deal in about five minutes for a deal that wouldn't even go into effect for another two months. Originally he didn't want to be a tag team wrestler, but the partnership with Dalton Castle worked out. He says that he gained some promo inspiration from old Tenacious D skits. His original deal with IMPACT Wrestling didn't work out because he didn't have a visa at the time.

Hendry says that he feels Marty Scurll knows as well as anyone what it's like to get over in today's wrestling environment and knows how to relay that really well and is really in touch with fans and has his finger on the pulse. Hendry feels that's a valuable thing to have in today's wrestling environment. Joe only says it's unfortunate that Marty didn't have that much of a chance to execute his vision that he had planned before the pandemic.


I spoke to a ticketing specialist, who thinks that initially the world will be gun-shy about attending events initially. They're seeing events like Spartan Race and activity based-companies still do well, because people are anticipating getting out after all of this. Ticketing companies had to hold on and put clauses to not pay out clients because of the risk of charge backs and refunds. There are possibilities that promoters wouldn't want to refund ticket holders, and the ticket companies would have been left holding the bag. There are other ticketing companies (like TicketSocket) who give promoters access to their own funds, which allows for refunds, or deferments, postponements and the like.

Virtual Basement

Virtual Basement call their upcoming video game a "passion project," and noted they didn't want to rush anything. They're hoping to self-fund the project and hope to launch it with early access over time. They want to create an alternative that opens up opportunity.

They've signed a lot of wrestlers up, and are working with them as opposed to individual wrestling companies and haven't had any conversations with the companies in general. They're looking to add wrestlers from the past, as well. They are open to integrating actual promotions as a part of add-on content, but as of now they're creating their own fictional brand to utilize in the game. The independent scene will play a role in the game, though. Virtual Basement says they've hand picked the roster themselves so far and reaching out has been a team effort.

Enzo Amore was credited with helping out in the game and connecting the team to a variety of wrestlers, too.

They told me the gameplay is a mix of No Mercy, Here Comes The Pain, Day Of Reckoning 2, and Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, and they're going above and beyond to create a strong foundation that is immediately fun, but can also be built on as they continue to work on the game. They're building a core first, then developing the individual aspects of the game. There are still some important aspects of the motion capture that they have to figure out. They mentioned that some, like taunts, can be motion capture, but for moves they might want the attention to detail that only hand animations can achieve.

AEW Title Belt

For those asking, we're told that the AEW TNT title delays were legit. They weren't able to get the championship properly plated, as there aren't that many places in the States to get that done, and the COVID-19 issues caused them to not be open. We're told Ron Edwardson produced the belt.

WWE notes

- Last week's episode of Smackdown featured heavy post-show editing on the commentary side of things, especially in regards to AJ Styles' trade.

- WWE Raw, Smackdown, Main Event and more for this week was filmed Monday, and next week's was filmed Tuesday.

AEW Heels

- The AEW Heels meetings for female fans are planned to be a regular thing. Friday's featured a Q&A and polls to female fans on what they'd like to see.

- There are talks of having an AEW Heels section at some AEW shows.

Drew Gulak

Drew Gulak is at this week's Smackdown tapings.

Gulak's contract expired just over a week ago, after negotiations between he and WWE reached an impasse. However, it looks like things ended up working out just fine, as Fightful Select has learned that he's working this week's Smackdown, participating in a battle royal.

Gulak appeared in the ring with over a dozen other wrestlers, but his brief absence wasn't mentioned over the house microphones at least. We do not know as to whether or not Gulak has re-signed with WWE or not, as the company officially announced his departure recently. Fightful will keep you updated on the situation as it progresses.

Kairi Sane

A rough situation unfolds on the Tuesday tapings of WWE Raw.

On day two of the WWE tapings, Fightful Select learned that an injury went down about an hour into the Raw portion of the tapings. In a match with Nia Jax and Kairi Sane, Kairi sustained a cut to her head outside of the ring.

The spot occurred outside near the stairs when Kairi was thrown and her head hit the corner of the stairs, opening her up. The match was paused and medical came out to take care of Kairi Sane, sealing the wound and bandaging her up. We were told that Kairi indicated that she was fine, and insisted on finishing up the match.

WWE would resume the match, which will have to be edited. Pretty quickly, Nia and Kairi Sane went to the finish.

Fightful has much more on this week's WWE Raw and Smackdown tapings over on Fightful Select. We'll update you on the story as we gain more details, but at least initially, Sane seemed to indicate that there wasn't major damage.

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