Rob Van Dam opened up about his decision to join Impact Wrestling, and said that Scott D'Amore was the person to reach out to make the deal. Initially, the idea was just for Rob Van Dam to team with Sabu at United We Stand, but RVD admitted that the financial end of the deal was a good one for him and the motivating factor to get him back in the ring more often. He's only been wrestling roughly a dozen times per year, and says that staying ready more often is about the only thing that will change, and that even though he's motivated by money, that's when he performs best because the performance is worth it. He's not looking at this deal as a major adjustment to his life or his schedule.
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis spoke with Jeremy Lambert of Fightful ahead of the Crockett Cup. Aldis spoke very highly of Tim Storm, the original subject of Ten Pounds Of Gold, which the National Wrestling Alliance used to regain interest in their brand in 2017. He said the new regime could have easily stripped Tim Storm or beaten him quickly, and that would have been the easy approach, but that they went another route and really took a liking to Tim Storm. Aldis said that he was involved in the NWA and the process of Ten Pounds of Gold before it even aired. The title itself was put over as a major asset acquired in the deal.
NWA approached Aldis and asked about what he looked to accomplish in wrestling, and he said that he felt the absence of a "big fight" in wrestling. He cited how he's not a major MMA or boxing fan, but the right fight will draw him in and get him interested. He wanted to bring that element over to pro wrestling as well.
A source on the WWE Roster tells me Lio Rush would be very lucky to be back on the main roster any time soon, if ever. Fightful Select published an updated report on the in-ring standout Saturday.
Some of the frustration stems from Rush's insistence to have his wife present far more often than most. I should clarify as "at almost all times" was perhaps locker room hyperbole. The exact phrase given was "he wants her around all the time." While we've not heard anything about any heat on her in particular, Rush had told members of the WWE roster last year that he hoped to land a reality show with his wife. We should reiterate, it doesn't appear there has been any heat on her, at least that has been relayed to us.
We were told of two particular situations that caused heat on Lio Rush. Rush had told members of the WWE roster last year that he hoped to land a reality show with his wife. We should reiterate, it doesn't appear there has been any heat on her, at least that has been relayed to us. However, he flew her over for a tour of the UK, and walked her onto the bus, which was said to be "something a top guy probably wouldn't even do." It is worth noting that Lio's wife is from the UK
One apparently involves former WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor, who was making an effort to give Rush advice months ago. Balor allegedly let Rush know that it's quite likely that Vince McMahon wouldn't take kindly to his wife sitting in on rehearsals, and Rush responded unfavorably. Word got around the locker room pretty quickly.
We were told of a separate incident with a wrestler in which caused management to get involved, as well. Members of the roster have admitted his talent and called him his own worst enemy, with him reacting poorly to those who offer help.
A third incident was brought up, which happened a few months after the infamous Emma tweet that got him heat after she was fired. NXT Coach Matt Bloom held a meeting letting the roster know that they needed to step up their game, and covered other general notes about the Performance Center. Traditionally, locker room leaders would step up and talk about things after Bloom. Instead, Lio Rush spoke up and "cut a promo" about how everyone needs to improve their game because he outworked everyone. There were several members of the roster who actually found it entertaining and popped for it, while most others saw it as disrespectful.
Lio responded to us, saying
"My issue has never been with Bobby (Lashley)," Lio told Fightful. "Being with Bobby has helped the both of us out tremendously. It’s given me speaking confidence I didn’t know i had. I never was a promo guy on the indies. But being with Bobby made me a promo guy. My issue isn’t with my on screen role. My issue is the fact that I haven’t been on meet & greets with Bobby, haven’t been getting paid for merchandise for us that has my catchphrases on them. (I) have been sent to live shows and TVs and forced to pay for my own rental for 5 days as well as hotel while not making enough money to do so. Walking around broke in the biggest sports entertainment industry that there is while having two kids and a wife to support."
"It’s not about race and it has never been, but public perception is important to me and when we have fans that travel all over the globe and watch us get off of buses and into hotels, the LOOK of a black kid carrying waters and bags for other wrestlers is just not a good look, especially when I’m trying to portray myself as a superstar as well."
"Me and Finn are cool ,and my wife has never been an issue. There is someone who works for WWE who has hated me since the day I’ve worked for ROH and now that they work for WWE they’re leaking false information to get me released. At a certain point, I have to defend myself so that’s what I decided to do. We’re all human, and we’re all grown ass adults. The kind of shit the flies backstage is ridiculous and I’m surprised more people aren’t speaking up."
"These sheets should spread positive messages to the world but they only want to spread false, negative reports to damage someone else's career. What’s wrong with spreading truth? Thank you for reaching out to me, and I appreciate you for doing that. I honestly do. I’ve never been about the BS or politics or anything else rather than showing up to work, doing my job and providing for my family. I grew up in the worst parts of DC, and certain things that I was taught will always stick with me and why I’ve gotten to where I am now in life. I realize that people will talk regardless of how much positivity you try and push out into the world."
WWE Seamstress Julie Youngberg turned a lot of heads and confused a lot of people went she went on a rant about Mustafa Ali on Twitter. Youngberg, the ex-wife of Shannon Moore and Droz, has had somewhat of a recurring issue in doing this in recent years. Many confused wrestlers and talent asked us if we had any idea what set this off, as Ali is well liked backstage. One wrestler suggested that because Youngberg has been around so long and has a volatile personality on social media, WWE is hesitant to let her go. She's also known for being exceptional at her job, outside of the social media situations.
In poking around trying to find out who the "undercard performer not on TV earning 500k from WWE" was that JR talked about, I ended up finding out that Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder were offered similar deals respectively. It's worth noting that Bodyslam.net says that the offers were closer to 550k, and they do have a connection to the team.
I was told that the team has passed on the offers, but that the offers will remain. The duo asked for their releases months ago, and WWE hoped they would stick around and see things through, but the situation hasn't improved at all. If you couldn't tell, there is major frustration among tons of talent in regards to lazy and outright bad creative direction.
The Revival had a meeting with WWE on Monday afternoon, but we're not told how any of that went.