Special, Themed Shows
Wrestlevotes reported that WWE was looking to utilize more themed shows like Old School Raw, King of The Ring, Viewers Choice and the like in the future, with Andrew Zarian mentioning Raw Roulette is also likely to happen.
Fightful has learned that Fox and USA/NBC were a big part of the push for this to happen, and there are several other NBC Sports-integrated pitches being made. Among those are tie-ins with NASCAR, contingent around a major race that integrate race cars and star drivers. Another pitch included NFL night for the launch of Sunday Night Football, with football themed matches and angles, and NFL players and commentators around. There was also a Wrestling World Cup pitched, which is self explanatory, and would include all brands.
Another pitch NBC has made is a "points month" where wins, signature moves and other things rack up "points" for wrestlers.
Fightful can confirm PWInsider's report that Becky Lynch was at the WWE Performance Center last week, specifically Thursday.
Fightful was told by numerous people at the Performance Center that Becky looked "jacked" and "like she never left." She was said to have taken in some of the PC Live matches that have been going on this week.
WWE has been hopeful at multiple points this year for a return or appearances from Becky Lynch. Several women on the main roster have noted to Fightful they hoped Lynch returns as it means the booking will likely improve.
In an update, we're told Becky Lynch was in the ring training on Thursday. She was also backstage at WWE Smackdown and Hell in a Cell, with her daughter visiting the show Friday.
Hell in a Cell
Many were left surprised when WWE inexplicably moved Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio from the Hell in a Cell PPV. When asking why this happened, we didn't get much of an answer, but heard some notes about the constantly changing creative process.
As of Friday morning, we were told and confirmed by WWE staff that Reigns vs. Mysterio was meant to be straight up, no frills, no goofy finish, and was not scheduled to be "run back" at Hell in a Cell. In its place, Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn in Hell in a Cell was pitched and seemed to be set for the show, but that was also changed by early Friday afternoon.
Moose is hanging around in IMPACT Wrestling. Wrestling Observer reported the news that Moose had signed a new contract, and Fightful was able to learn some significant details of the negotiations.
Fightful has learned from other companies that there was interest in bringing Moose in, but as of now we're able to confirm if those led to any serious talks. The new contract is for two years, and will carry Moose into the Summer of 2023. The contract is said to have been a significant improvement over his last deal, though we don't have details on the financial terms. We're told by the IMPACT side of things that Moose figures in to their plans in a major way.
Lars Bare Knuckle
Fightful has confirmed that Lars Sullivan is in the early stages of training in boxing. He's considered taking a fight down the line, and says he's open to capitalizing on his past as a WWE Superstar. He reiterated to us that he's just jumping in and wants to see how he progresses and improves before doing anything solid in boxing. It wasn't specified that it would be bare knuckle boxing as previously indicated.
WWE Non Compete
Fightful has learned that multiple 2021 WWE releases have asked WWE if they can forego their non-compete clauses, anywhere ranging from the entire duration, down to just a few days before their scheduled non-competes. WWE have said to be receptive to this, with Johnny Ace being the general point of contact for wrestlers to get this approved. We haven't heard if the wrestlers will still be paid for that period in the case of a few days, but WWE has been more lenient than ever before about inquiries regarding non-competes.
We spoke with Maria Kanellis, who spoke openly about her WWE release, noting that she'd also received her belongings in a trash bag before things came to light and WWE altered policy. Maria said that talent should probably have an exit interview, which is something many of the recently fired employees in WWE went through, but talent did not. Maria said WWE claiming not to know that talent was getting items sent back in trash bags is reflective of them needing to do better about how talent is treated on the way out. She didn't see Mark Carrano as the only person at fault there, because it was a practice long before he took over the role.
Women of Honor
Even though ROH's Women's division is just now getting kicked off, there were plans in effect over the last year to relaunch it. After the pandemic derailed original plans, ROH was putting pieces in place in the fall of 2020 to kickstart the division. As revealed last year, they reached out to several stars, and had told them ROH was going to get the ball rolling at the turn of the year. Some of the Women of Honor content you've seen over the last couple of months was filmed at both the January and March tapings.
Vince McMahon and Reginald
If you've been enjoying Reginald on WWE programming, you're not alone, apparently. Fightful has been told that Vince McMahon himself has been a fan of Reginald, from his presentation and delivery, to his skill set in the ring for what he's doing. Those in the company have said that Reginald has been easy to work with and has been open to pitches given to him.
AEW Taping Schedule
For anyone confused, the June 18 episode of AEW Dynamite was a taped edition, and planned to be the last taped episode in quite a while. At the last set of Dynamite tapings, the company taped through Friday, Saturday and Sunday, putting content in the can. The crew returns next Saturday for the Saturday Night Dynamite special -- open to fans, and has a quick turnaround for the following Wednesday live in Jacksonville with fans as well. That will signify the company's return to Wednesdays, where they're slated to air all through July, with that month's shows taking place on the road. There is no officially listed venue for the August 4 and 11 Dynamite shows.