If you've been missing Charly Caruso of late, there's a reason she's been absent from WWE TV. Fightful heard from several sources on Raw that she gained heat backstage after consistently being late to conduct interviews meant for Raw. We're told that there were specific instances with Randy Orton and Sheamus that led to WWE taking her off television for the time being. The belief among the talent roster is that her WWE contract expires soon, but there's no word on her future with the company. We're told that Vince McMahon got word of the tardiness himself and took exception to the situation, but another name in the company said she's one injury or illness away from being back in the fold. The same source also indicated us that Kevin Patrick being brought in was seen as a direct replacement to her.
WWE has a busy schedule ahead of WrestleMania, and they're taping some of their WrestleMania week shows. Fightful has learned that the plan as of today is for the WWE go-home show for WrestleMania, the April 9 episode of WWE Smackdown, is actually slated to be taped the week prior. The early schedule actually calls for the April 9 episode to tape before the April 2 episode airs -- the latter of which is slated to be live. That week will also see the WWE Hall of Fame shows tape over the course of two days.
WWE WrestleMania Tickets
The on-sale date for WrestleMania tickets was moved back, which many wrestlers in the company have told us that they saw coming. Talent tells Fightful that ahead of the planned on-sale date last week, they weren't given any information as far as how to procure tickets for friends and family, outside of being informed a while back that comp tickets likely would not be provided.
We're told that Vince McMahon has softened his stance on cardboard cutout ideas in recent months, although there's no word on whether or not they'll be in the stands. Based on information Fightful has gained, there original plan called for seating pods for Wrestlemania, with 1-6 seats per pods. We were told that the situation was "a mess" as of early March.
WWE Hall of Fame
Fightful reported recently that WWE Hall of Fame ceremonies for 2021 are set to be filmed and edited for their Tuesday broadcast. We also learned this week that the plan is to film is on Tuesday and Thursday the week before the ceremony airs. We're told that the class of inductees will not be exactly as WWE originally planned, and some changes were made.
Fightful has learned a host of Hall of Fame news over the weekend. Batista has been removed from advertising for the Hall of Fame, and Ringside News noted that he was no longer slated for the show. We can confirm that as WWE sources have told us that they prefer to have Batista go in to the Hall of Fame when a full crowd can enjoy it. Numerous WWE sources indicated to us that the Daniel Bryan "2021 Hall of Fame Inductee" was simply an error, and he isnt planned for the ceremony.
We ran an article recently noted some rejected trademarks by WWE. We've reached out to WWE sources in regards to the situation, who cleared up how it works. WWE applies for the trademark without consulting the talent in question. If it ends up getting rejected for lack of written consent from the person it's applied for, the company simply politely asks the talent to sign a document. We're told that in almost every instance this goes smoothly and there aren't really and issues associated with it. This has little to nothing to do with talent directly going against WWE or any other company.
We reported recently that Chelsea Green has signed a new three-year contract with WWE, locking her down through 2023. However, we've also learned that Green has been cleared to return to the ring. We'd noted she started the process before the Royal Rumble, but Smackdown sources confirmed that she was cleared to make an in-ring return by mid-February. Creative pitches were being made for her, but we're unsure if any plans are in order, or if she'll use the "Victorious" name that was originally planned for her back in November.
Ridge Holland has been sidelined since a freak accident sidelined him in early October, but we've heard from several wrestlers that he's been rehabbing at the WWE Performance Center the last few months. He's not considered to be anywhere near a return right now. Holland was set for what we were told was a "major" push ahead of his injury, and plans had to be changed significantly as a result.
The DAZN/MLW relationship seems to be going well, and DAZN has some ideas of their own. We're told that DAZN has floated the idea of Major League Wrestling running a show in Hawaii. In addition, MLW is hopeful that if such a show happens, they can get Dragon Gate presence associated with it to do an MLW vs. Dragon Gate show. The potential card is heavily contingent on the ability to gain visas, however.
Fightful spoke to ROH Star Sledge for a new interview. He told us that he'd actually signed his original ROH deal before the pandemic and the company paid him all the way through even though he'd not debuted yet. He re-signed with the company after roughly a year and spoke highly of the process. He was surprised that he didn't end up getting signed by IMPACT Wrestling after what he thought was a good match against Eli Drake in 2018
He gained his ROH deal by participating in a tryout. He's appeared on Steve Austin's podcast in the past and he mentioned to us that when he asked Austin for advice, Austin simply told him to "leave no doubt."
You may have noticed that Ohio State University jokes were a constant on Smackdown's show last night. This was for good reason, as Angelo Dawkins is a loud and proud Buckeyes fan, which led to him getting ribbed mercilessly on screen for their loss to Oral Roberts. We're told that this had been going on backstage as well, where "Oral" chants were heard.
Fightful has learned more about the release of Andrade. Sources that we spoke to were surprised to hear of the release, as they were told early last week the release was not expected to be "immediately granted," and spoke of a change of heart over the past week. There is a 90-day non-compete clause attached to the deal, which is up the weekend of June 20 this year. Andrade will be able to continue to use the "Andrade" name, but not the extension of "Cien Almas" that he used in NXT.