Fightful Select learned this weekend that the former WWE, World Heavyweight, TNA Champion Jeff Hardy has already had his WWE contract extended for "at least" another year due to injury.
Earlier this year, WWE opted to roll over Matt and Jeff Hardy's contracts for another year into 2020. However, we're told that this decision to add time to Jeff's contract came after that.
Jeff Hardy has been on the shelf for several months when a lingering leg injury caught up to him and he was forced to undergo knee surgery.
Matt Hardy's contract is a different story, we're told. As things stand, Matt's contract is up in early March. If he's injured or sidelined ahead of that, WWE has the ability to extend his stay. The decisions in doing so have been arbitrary, with several talent telling Fightful they aren't sure of what criteria if any are followed in implementing it. Matt has not signed a new contract, and extending Jeff's deal effectively keeps a collective Hardy Boyz act away from the independent circuit, as well as competitors.
We spoke to former WWE Tag Team Champion Big E about his time off from the ring, and his flirtation with Twitter. He joked that he lusted over Twitter, and wasn't actually in love with it during his injury. Big E became one of the platform's most entertaining voices for a couple of months, and made the mistake of opening up his direct messages at the urging of Xavier Woods. He said that Twitter can often be negative and he spends too much time on his phone.
Big E also professed his love for MMA, and really knew his stuff. He rattled off names of several fringe 205 pounders that most non-MMA fans wouldn't have any clue about. On the subject of realism, he went at detractors of his finisher, saying it's an RKO to the body!
Speaking of Xavier Woods, we spoke about some of his former tag team partners like Pacman Jones and R-Truth. Other spots in the interview included him talking about Xavier's fake glasses, Kevin Owens' New Day name, and where his last name went.
Ali, Elias, Liv Morgan
Ali has made an impression on many he's worked with on Smackdown Live, especially Eric Bischoff according to those that we spoke to. Both he and Vince McMahon were said to have walked up to Ali and congratulated him on the King of the Ring match he had with Elias, with one saying it was Elias' best match. Eric Bischoff was said to be in favor of pushing Ali, though there have been stops and starts and unfulfilled plans made for Ali in the past.
We're told Kevin Dunn was also happy with Ali and Elias' match. There was also plenty of Elias praise, with it being noted that Elias is well liked and easy to work, and both are guys "everyone seems to want to work with."
In addition, we were told of a situation recently where Liv Morgan and Ember Moon were set to work a dark match before Vince McMahon nixed it via Michael Hayes. B-Team and a completely unprepared Heavy Machinery were brought out and did a match instead -- with the latter in tank tops and shorts.
Generally WWE doesn't have people work without warming up, but didn't want Liv Morgan in front of the live crowd before she was repackaged
Big Cass Situation
In addition to the news reported by Voices of Wrestling and PWInsider, Fightful has learned that police asked Joey Janela if he wanted to press charges against Big Cass after the incidents that occurred. Janela declined, and said that Cass needed help. In reaching out to several wrestlers, this was the common sentiment.
After all of this, Cass ended up getting his car towed because he parked in the middle of the venue's parking lot, blocking other vehicles along the way.
There were several talent that told us that not only was Cass (and Enzo, for that matter) fine on Friday night around Joey Janela, that Saturday Cass was shaking hands in the locker room upon arrival. He was supposed to be a surprise, but had been in and out to his vehicle multiple times throughout the night, where people could see him.
WrestlePro had to have people standing in door ways in order to ensure that Cass didn't try anything erratic during the show, specifically Janela's match
Some significant news came of Kristen Ashly's interview with Thunder Rosa/Kobra Moon for Fightful. Rosa specified that she was actually contacted by WWE, but not for what she had expected, and didn't specify beyond that. While she has been contacted by other companies, she's not heard from All Elite Wrestling, and is staying as independent as possible for the time being. She chose to work with WOW because of the platform and the different format that it provided from other wrestling shows.
Lucha Underground wouldn't allow her to use the Kobra Moon name, and instead of using "Thunder Rosa" in WOW, she and David McClane developed the Serpentine. She says that she feels more comfortable in the role now as opposed to Kobra Moon. She also spoke about her struggles with Lucha Underground and how wrestlers need to take more control of their careers.
Tommaso Ciampa, Other WWE Injury Dates
You may have seen Tommaso Ciampa "refute" our report of his injury status, per WWE's internal injury report. We contacted Ciampa directly with our information, and a document listing his "clearance date." He said that this is often the fault of miscommunication within WWE and doesn't think it was done with malice.
Other injuries that were listed with no other specifics included both Jason Jordan and Naomi. Both were on last week's internal WWE injury reports with INJ next to their names, and no additional details. There are no return or evaluation dates or anything of the sort associated with it. Again, as pointed out by Ciampa himself, these aren't hard and fast, and can often be subject to miscommunication between WWE, the respective Superstars, and whoever puts the lists together.