If this is your first time checking out the weekly, it's a column of about 1000 words, covering some exclusive news that Fightful.com has reported in the wrestling world over the last week, as well as additional new tidbits. These are posted early for tier 2 ($10) subscribers of FightfulSelect.com, and it's covered on the FightfulSelect.com Weekender (tier 1, $5 monthly) Podcast, as well as by Pro Wrestling Unlimited.
Making a Finisher
The first two episodes and articles of "Making a Finisher" have dropped, featuring Adam "Hangman" Page and ECW/WCW/NWA/TNA/WWE legend Raven. Raven's edition was actually the motivation for me to start the series, and the interview took place right in the middle of this year's Super Bowl after months of trying to get on the same page.
Hangman said that he knew well before he ended up teaming with the Young Bucks that he wanted to collaborate with the duo and modify his finishing move. He also spent time shooting down some of the listings online of old finishing moves that he says he's never used, or names that he's never used.
Raven was a very open subject about the how and why. He hilariously spoke about how Sandman always took the move way worse than anyone else. He claims that he stopped using a piledriver because of he pain that it caused his asscheeks and tailbone.
We posted an interview with "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels ahead of tonight's Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view, and also filmed with him for an upcoming episode of "Making a Finisher."
Daniels really put over Stephen Amell's willingness to improve and learn ahead of their match at All In and knew that expectations would be tempered a little bit because of Amell's lack of experience. Daniels said that Amell's athleticism really helped in that regard. When I asked him about appearing in a comic book related property, he said he's open to anything, but is a Marvel Universe fan at heart.
He said that he is a "cog in the machine" at ROH, but is always throwing ideas around and is trying to help out, as are many others and calls it a team effort. He put over Scorpio Sky and Adam Page as two people who are big names emerging for Ring of Honor, at way different points in their careers. He would also call Jeff Cobb a possible game changer for the company.
We'll have more on the talk with Daniels in upcoming editions of the Fightful Wrestling Weekly, as we crammed a ton of info into the allotted time. He wrestles at tonight's ROH Death Before Dishonor (HonorClub and Fite TV) in a tag title match against the Briscoes.
Longtime TNA/Impact wrestler Abyss re-signed with Impact recently, but the terms and length of the deal weren't specified. Abyss has received a lot of praise for his work backstage with the company, notably at the acclaimed Slammiversary show, which pretty clearly had his finger prints all over it. I spoke with him about his transition into the role, and how he's continued to wrestle. He told me he enjoys making small towns, and even using it as an opportunity to scout talent along the way.
We also talked about his Barbed Wire Massacre match with Sabu, which he got confused with the TNA Unbreakable 2005 No DQ match that I'd actually asked him about. Either way, he said that he looks at the barbed wire match as one of his highlights and an important part of his career. His ever-changing look was also brought up, which he says he has a lot of input in.
Matt Riddle was expected by virtually everyone to debut at last week's set of NXT tapings, but there were production issues out of everyone's control that prevented that from happening. Riddle would end up debuting the next night against Fabian Aichner on a live event, got a good reaction, and was wearing his wife's shorts. We're told that aspects of his entrance are still undergoing changes.
Morgan is having issues with remembering what happened and was said to have been on "auto pilot" right after, and underwent concussion testing. The referee in the match was being told via the Gorilla Position to keep Liv Morgan out of the match. Sarah Logan had to help her out of the ring while Ruby Riott was in the ring calling the match on the fly. As much of a mess as the match was, we were told that the concern was only on Liv Morgan.
Morgan returned to the ring apron, and jumped into a triple suplex spot that she wasn't supposed to, as she was being told to leave the ring. The rest of the Riott Squad had to physically restrain her at ringside after the move and talk to her, to ensure that she'd remain out of the ring until the end of the match or help arrived.
There was another spot after this where Bella was to be catapulted into a forearm from Ruby Riott, but ended up cracking Riott in the mouth instead.
Based on who we spoke to, there doesn't appear to be any bad blood between Brie Bella and Liv Morgan, and Brie Bella apologized to Liv repeatedly backstage. On the other hand, we're told that Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott "looked" to be unhappy, as they're legitimately close friends of Liv Morgan's.
Contrary to other reports, and WWE's own commentary, Morgan was not taken backstage to the trainer's room, locker room, or anywhere for that matter. She remained at ringside through the end of the match, as she was being tended to by Dr. Chris Amann. Immediately after the match, Logan and Riott checked on her.
I had a lot of people contacting me, saying that WWE was running scripted lines during Raw and Smackdown Live. That isn't true. A Pepsi Center rep in Denver confirmed to me that they run closed captioning for the hearing impaired for events such as this. The words show up after they're spoken, which should have been a dead giveaway to viewers to begin with.
Smackdown & Raw Notes
The title of Smackdown Live (episode #997) was "Funny Games," while WWE Monday Night Raw was titled "Lunatic Flip." The latter was named after the "Lunatic Fringe" Dean Ambrose and the tease of him possibly defecting from The Shield throughout the course of the show. I'm not sure that Smackdown Live's title had a specific angle in mind, as it fit much of the show.