Back from a big Memorial Day weekend with a heaping helping of news bites, so let’s get to it!
Goldberg “Hatch” Trailer – WWE
Goldberg was revealed to be a playable character in the upcoming 2k17 video game. If the last few years are any indication (Warrior, Sting) this could be the precursor to a Hall of Fame induction.
WWE Pulls PBR Parody Cena Merchandise – Cageside Seats
As we saw last night on Raw, John Cena debuted new merchandise, because if there’s one thing that goes with Cena returns its merchandising! Late last week WWE Shop posted a new shirt for the leader of the Cenation that resembled the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer logo. However, because everyone wants to sue everyone, Pabst took notice and WWE changed the shirt into the rather generic alternative you saw last night.
Osprey vs. Ricochet – New Japan Pro Wrestling
The match that’s caused a lot of controversy this weekend, with Vader criticizing it and the rest of the world losing their sh*t over it, Will Osprey vs. Ricochet aka Lucha Underground’s Prince Puma from the Best of the Super Juniors tournament has been posted for free by New Japan Pro Wrestling on YouTube.
Cody’s List – Twitter
Cody Rhodes released a list via his twitter entitled after “8/19” presumably of future opponents and “to do” items once he’s free of any non-compete clause. Names include a lot of ROH/PWG names (Adam Cole, Dalton Castle, Roddy Strong, Young Bucks, Moose), Kurt Angle, Chris Hero, Mike Bennett, Trevor Lee, and a New Japan star- Shibata. Wade Barrett responded in hilarious fashion with a list of his own.
Brand Split Rumors – Cageside Seats
The Wrestling Observer is reporting that Raw and SmackDown will not cross pollinate with two exceptions a year: The day after SummerSlam and the day after WrestleMania. Also they’re saying every pay-per-view will be dual-branded, with both Raw & SD teams alternating duties. This goes along with the rumors the Observer reported the other day that there could be a return to two champions and Cena & Reigns would each headline a show.
Sasha Banks Cleared, Performance Center Tryouts – Lords of Pain
Sasha Banks has been cleared to return to action from her concussion and will be at live events this weekend. This link also has a video look at the recent WWE Performance Center tryout.
Dalton Castle on SI.com – WrestleZone
Ring of Honor star Dalton Castle was the subject of Sports Illustrated’s SI.com Extra Mustard‘s Five Questions this week.
Awwwwww don’t you dare be sour! Clap for your world famous wrestling podcast champs and feel the POWAH!
On this episode, with the Big Shooter sidelined due to a scheduling issue with the Nats and CDVTW, Loud Goat and Thom tag team and try to fill Dukes’ shoes. The boys will be discussing Cody Rhodes leaving the WWE, WWE Extreme Rules and the newly announced Raw and Smackdown brand split.
Listen above & share with a friend. You can have the show go straight to your device of choice by subscribing on iTunes and/or Play.it. Also, while you’re on iTunes, leave a 5-star review for your pals.
NXT Takeover: The End Matches Announced – Lords of Pain
Two new matches were added to NXT Takeover: The End on last night’s NXT. Joining Joe vs. Balor for the NXT Championship in a Steel Cage and American Alpha vs. The Revival will be Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries & Nia Jax vs. Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Andrade Almas Vignette – Wrestling Inc
A vignette for Andrade “Cien” Almas also aired last night on NXT. The former La Sombra has been working NXT live events but will be making his on-screen debut for NXT soon.
Eden Blogs on Release – Being Brandi Runnels
Like her husband, Eden aka Brandi Rhodes/Runnels posted a lengthy statement on her requested release from WWE.
Goldust Staying Put – Twitter
Cody Rhodes’ half brother Goldust will not be following him into the independent scene. The Golden one made it clear on Twitter he is not planning on leaving WWE.
It looks like the rumors of a return to split Raw & SmackDown rosters may be finally coming to fruition. In an announcement on their website and Variety.com this morning, WWE announced that starting July 19, SmackDown will move from Thursday to Tuesday nights and air LIVE every week at 8pm ET/7pm CT on USA Network. The biggest part of the announcement is the confirmation of coming WWE draft and brand split.
“This bold move will have major ramifications for all of WWE and exemplify the New Era, as both Raw and SmackDown will each feature their own unique rosters and rivalries following an imminent Superstar draft.”
While TNA Impact Wrestling (Tuesdays at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Pop) can’t be pleased, as they’ve never faired well in head to head matchups with the juggernaut that is WWE, the Wrestling Observer points out that the move gets SmackDown away its own competing juggernaut, NFL’s Thursday Night Football which returns in September. WWE previously had a brand split from 2002 through 2011, by which time superstars both shows were regularly appearing on Raw as part of the “Raw Supershow” era. In 2004 the WWE Draft became a yearly event to “shake up” the rosters.
The move to Tuesdays for SmackDown is being touted as part a trend by television networks to find more live programming to combat DVR and over the top services like Hulu, Netflix, & Amazon. I can’t say that I disagree with the mindset especially when it comes to SmackDown. For many members of the WWE Universe, the live aspect of Raw makes it the show to watch if you want to stay current on WWE storylines. In its current incarnation, the events that take place on SmackDown don’t often “matter” in the grand scheme of WWE.
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