Undefeated UFC fighter Juan Adams spoke to Fightful MMA insider James Lynch recently and opened up about his WWE tryout. He claimed he wasn't able to put out a lot of the personality the coaches wanted to see because he was going through a breakup, but that his athleticism turned heads. WWE left the door open for him to try out again after he's done fighting, but he was going to have to pick between pro wrestling and MMA. He went with the latter and ended up in the UFC shortly after.
I'm told there's no bad blood between Jonathan Coachman and Renee Young after the latter replaced Coachman. There was chatter backstage on the production end that Renee would likely take over the role after she impressed in her first week filling in for Coachman. WWE announcers are slowly gaining more freedom in the announcer's booth, and that sometimes led to Corey Graves and Michael Cole arguing with Coachman for better or for worse.
Young has received a lot of praise from wrestlers we've spoken to, and our sources on the production side said that she's learning very quickly. Young is extremely popular backstage, and everyone we spoke to knew that she would have plenty of options outside of the WWE.
On the other side of things, I was told WWE was very happy with Coachman's performance during the WWE Hell in a Cell kickoff show. One production employee told me Coachman seemed much more confident in the spot as opposed to the commentary booth.
Following up on our Colby Covington interview from last week and him recounting his experience backstage, he mentioned talking to Paul Heyman while he was there, but we've learned that the conversation was more in passing than anything, as it was a busy night. Colby did, however, have an extended conversation with another former UFC Champion in Ronda Rousey. Covington had an uncharacteristically positive, glowing review of Rousey and said that the two talked about the process of promoting UFC fights and traded stories in that regard.
Covington is very transparent in saying he wants to work for WWE in the future, and went as far as to say he's going to be a WWE Champion in the future. However, he's letting Dan Lambert do all of the negotiating on that end of things, and has no plan to stop fighting any time soon since that's where his bread is buttered. You may remember Lambert, who was also a part of the IMPACT Wrestling vs. American Top Team angle last year.
When I asked someone backstage about whether Covington's claims in regards to their conversation were true, the person simply said "I'll let Colby Covington say whatever it is he wants about that situation."
Triple H Toronto Fan Expo
Fightful.com founder Jimmy Van spoke to sources who interacted with the WWE presence at Toronto's Fan Expo as he recounted on The List & Ya Boy #89. Jimmy claims that Triple H was paid a fee of $100,000 to appear at the expo, but donated the entirety of the fee. Triple H was also brought on to sign several items and was flanked by WWE representatives and assistants, who weren't the easiest for the expo employees to deal with when Triple H was not around. When he was, their tone changed and they suddenly were more pleasant.
Mahabali Shera, who went by his real name of Amanpreet Singh, was released by WWE this week after less than seven months in the company. When he was signed earlier this year, it was met with surprise from many he worked with in Impact, who felt the only reason he was working there was because of their Sony Six deal that was their main source of cash. He was let go from Impact last year, and most didn't even think he'd get a look from WWE, much less signed. I was told he just hadn't improved during his stint, and had poor performances at several live events, and it didn't look like any improvement was coming his way.
Shane Helms at WWE PC
Fightful.com exclusively reported that "Hurricane" Shane Helms was serving as a guest coach at the WWE Performance Center this week. I can tell you from personal experience, I was keen on bringing Shane Helms on at Fightful as a podcaster because he'd worked as a singles, tag team, trio, serious act, comedy act, cruiserweight, heavyweight, manager, road agent, promoter, booker, experience as a top merchandise seller and was an amateur wrestler as well. Shane was well regarded backstage during his time in TNA, and has made good impressions from what I hear of his stops at All In, ROH and AroLucha this year as well.
The Daily Star ran an article this week about a fan who had her anti-Charlotte Flair signs taken at WWE Hell in a Cell. This dropped around the same time that reports from the Observer stated that WWE wanted the crowd to turn on Becky Lynch during the event, which I've been told were untrue. WWE didn't provide me with a statement despite my request, but I was told by those within the company that it's likely that the number of signs that the woman brought to the event were particular, and that many actually discourage signs because of complaints view obstruction during events.
Raw & SD Notes
The title of WWE Monday Night Raw this week was "Unhinged," an ode to the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view the night prior, and Paul Heyman coming out for his promo with the unhinged door. For those asking, I'm told that the show was always planned to go a little heavy, which is kind of confusing considering virtually nothing really happened until the end of it.
The title of Smackdown Live this week was "Queen B," in reference to Becky Lynch's promo at the close of Smackdown where she told Charlotte to call her the "Queen.......bitch."