I interviewed Conrad Thompson to promote Starrcast being broadcast on the Fite App. I talked to him about the differences in his co-hosts, the packages Starrcast has available to viewers, and some of the merchandise available as a part of the deals. Starrcast will provide a live and on-demand stream of the event on FITE. Thompson said that FITE approached him for the deal and made the pitch. He sounded most excited for longtime WWE composer Jim Johnston's appearance at Starrcast.
As far as Something Else To Wrestle show on WWE Network, Conrad and Bruce decided to switch up the intro (not a WWE directive) because they were introducing themselves to a completely different audience. He tells me that WWE would like to do another season, and that the show did really good for the Network, and the evergreen nature of their program really helps it fit in on the subscription service because their content doesn't necessarily age because of the topics tackled.
Pentagon tells us that he remains completely independent in Mexico and globally, but does have "obligations" with Impact and a contract with Lucha Underground. He said that AAA and himself recently got together and think that he can help expand AAA globally. He would also go as far to call CMLL the "cathedral" of pro wrestling, and while he was offered a few dates there, he will continue working for The Crash, AAA and any other promoter that wants him without a conflict.
I asked Jeff Jarrett details on the severance between Impact Wrestling and Global Force Wrestling, since he retained the name, logos and such, but not the championship belts themselves. Jarrett wouldn't really expand on that because I think he's trying to stay amicable, and didn't seem too worried about losing the titles themselves in the deal. He also mentioned that Sonjay Dutt is still a close personal friend of his, and we joked about Dutt's Impact Wrestling going head-to-head WrestleMania weekend with Jarrett's Hall of Fame speech.
Being The Elite
Not much of a scoop here, but the Chris Jericho segments that aired on this week's Being The Elite were filmed weeks ago. We were told this last weekend, but Cody's hair still being blonde in the most recent episode kind of gave that one away anyway.
Fightful reported on Monday that Bray Wyatt wouldn't be at Raw. He had to handle a court situation involving his divorce proceedings and had to miss TV, which didn't exactly endear him to higher ups. This came right after a car accident in which Wyatt is implicated at fault, and forced WWE to make big changes. The B-Team wasn't originally scheduled to win the championships, and the angle was set to head in a much different direction. Bray Wyatt has only been cleared for limited action thus far, and hasn't bumped in any of his live event matches, his Raw appearance or his pay-per-view matches.
The appearance from he and tag team partner Matt Hardy was a pre-tape.
Impact didn't seem happy that I asked Sami Callihan and Jake Crist a contract question on last week's media call. Honestly, in asking it I knew I wasn't going to get a straight answer anyway and didn't see the harm in it. Callihan does those largely in character, so I could have asked about his grandmother and he would have kayfabed it and then heeled her. I wish they would have been that concerned about rescheduling an interview for one of their wrestlers that ghosted me last week.
Hulk Hogan, Omega and Bucks
I heard from several wrestlers about Hulk Hogan returning to WWE. Contrary to the narrative WWE wants to portray, they don't fly in Hogan's business manager, film videos for him, and have cameras around him backstage without a deal in place. One wrestler told me that WWE is making an effort to get any "game changers" under contract so they can't make noise outside of WWE's walls. That person also said that Young Bucks & Kenny Omega are priorities for the WWE, and Ring of Honor's attempts to get into Madison Square Garden have really accelerated WWE's interest in some people that they may not have previously given opportunities to or signed before.
As far as the response to Hogan, I'm told it was about 50/50, and the wrestlers knew it was coming eventually, but the cameras made it seem less genuine. Hogan spoke to a few wrestlers after the meeting and left halfway through Extreme Rules. Triple H was the one who "reintroduced" Hogan to the locker room and gave a speech about how you have to watch what you say and how you say it. Hogan echoed that sentiment, apologized, and said he was happy to be back.
Figthful.com spoke to UFC fighter Paige VanZant recently about the possibility of transitioning to WWE. VanZant made it pretty clear she's all about marketing herself above all else, especially when talking about negativity on social media -- in fact she's very blunt, saying "I know how to push things I want pushed." She was rumored to have interest from WWE a couple of years ago but has lost a lot of luster since then. I thought it was interesting that she referred to women's WWE wrestlers as "WWE Divas," which hasn't been a term that WWE has used for well over two years, so it shows that she doesn't really follow wrestling whatsoever.
Raw & Smackdown
This week's WWE Smackdown Live working title was "Five Matches and a Funeral," in reference to Miz's "eulogy" of Team Hell No, and pretty obviously the number of matches.The title for WWE's Monday Night Raw was "To Beast or Not To Beast," playing off of the indecisiveness surrounding Brock Lesnar's WWE Universal Championship.
There was a backstage live shot of Constable Baron Corbin in his office, with Paul Heyman entering that was supposed to run right after the Alexa Bliss - Ronda Rousey segment, but for whatever reason it didn't end up happening. Instead, later, we saw Kurt Angle, Paul Heyman and Constable Baron Corbin watching the main event together backstage.