Last week was a big week in the world of pro wrestling. And this week the train keeps rolling, let's catch up on what happened this weekend.
What happened on Raw this week?
Raw was pretty eventful this week, on the road to WWE Extreme Rules in two weeks. Two matches were added to the big live premium event. Edge will take on Finn Balor in an "I Quit" match. Also, Bayley will challenge for the WWE Women's title.
Here's video of Edge's return in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where the roof blew off the place:
Also, Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins was a fun match as was Kevin Owens and Johnny Gargano vs. Alpha Academy. Storylines were furthered for the Rollins vs. Matt Riddle fight pit match and we even got a fun AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn match. Dexter Lumis keeps stalking the Miz and, oh, we got a surprise return – Candice LaRae is back in WWE.
You can see all the clips from Raw here.
Malakai Black & Buddy Matthews Not Leaving AEW, More on Alleged WWE Contract Tampering
There have been rumors bubbling for weeks that once Triple H took over WWE creative, he sent feelers out to former WWE talent who were under AEW contract to see if they would be interested in returning. We learned that some of these former WWE talents reported the inquiry to AEW legal, saying they were happy in AEW, which led to AEW legal sending WWE a warning.
In recent weeks, it was assumed that Malakai Black was one of those people and that he would eventually be granted a conditional release. Turns out, that's not the case. Black recorded an Instagram live video yesterday where he said he is only taking a short break and not leaving AEW. “I’m only taking some time off…there’s nothing going on. I’m fine. I’m going to be fine. Everything’s fine." Black said. "You’ll see me right back in AEW pretty soon. I’m just going to take some time, that’s it.”
Buddy Matthews initially made similar claims at an indie event that he was taking time off, leading some insiders to speculate he was leaving, but he then denied he was leaving via a suggestive tweet. Matthews is taking time off after being written off the show last Friday as a result of being misted by the Great Muta.
According to a recent report from Fightful Select, the names that were contacted in AEW included Black, Matthews, FTR, Miro, Swerve Strickland, Keith Lee, Andrade, Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly. FTR turned down the offer but said they were willing to talk once their deals were up if they were to get a Roman Reigns-like schedule. Miro, Swerve, Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly turned them down. There were rumors that Fish was trying to convince Cole and O'Reilly to get out of their deals, but the duo turned Fish down. Fish appeared in Impact Wrestling, making a surprise debut this weekend. Andrade posted a tease but it doesn't look like he's going anywhere.
In a report from the Mat Men podcast, Lee apparently refuted WWE's attempts saying he didn't like how he or his wife, Mia Yim, were treated. But Lee recently tweeted denying those reports. Lee tweeted "I am fascinated that such a thing was stated/reported. No one knows my personal business in any capacity. And I certainly have not spoken with whoever those people are. My advice…. would be to ignore outlets that merely use names to make up stories. Read a book instead."
Khan made the decision in recent days not to grant any releases. There is currently some tension in the AEW camp for this attempt at contract tampering and WWE's scheduling of two events the same weekend as AEW All Out.
What's on TV this week?
AEW Dynamite is live tomorrow at 8pm from Philly and here's the card:
- AEW World title eliminator match: AEW World Champion Jon Moxley vs. Juice Robinson
- ROH World Champion Chris Jericho defends against Bandido
- Chris Jericho championship celebration
- Saraya speaks
- MJF speaks
Impact on Thursday at 8pm on AXS advertises:
- Allie Katch vs. Masha Slamovich
- Black Taurus vs. Delirious
Smackdown on Fox in Friday at 8pm announced:
- Sami Zayn & Solo Sikoa vs. Ricochet & Madcap Moss
- Hit Row (Top Dolla & Ashante "Thee" Adonis) vs. Los Lotharios (Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo)
- Bayley vs. Shotzi
No matches have been announced for Friday's AEW Rampage yet.
More Wrestling News & Gossip
Instead of airing on a Saturday like usual, AEW's next Battle of the Belts special will air immediately following next week's Rampage, live on TNT. The reason for the change is WWE is doing their Extreme Rules PPV next Saturday and AEW would rather avoid the competition.
Elias is coming back! Triple H was not a fan of the Ezekiel gimmick and has benched the performer until his beard grows back and he can return as Elias.
The white rabbit tease did not lead to Bray Wyatt debuting on Smackdown like many assumed, myself included. But it did lead to Smackdown's highest rating in years. People are curious about the tease. WWE continues to post various random teasers with the latest suggesting he might be arriving at Extreme Rules.
Speaking of Smackdown, you may not have noticed it, but Drew McIntyre was suffering from a bad case of food poisoning. He was given the weekend off to recover.
Veer Mahaan has been sent back down to NXT. He is teaming with Sanga to reform the Indus Sher team.
Here's a recent photo of CM Punk post-surgery, looking healthy and happy. Hopefully, we will see him in an AEW ring again next year, even though reports suggest otherwise.
Don't forget to tune into the video version of Knotfest Wrestling tomorrow night after Dynamite on the Youtube page, hosted by Alicia Atout, Colin Young and Jordan Olds.