Columnist Rob Pasbani catches you up on the big wrestling stories and previews the week ahead on TV.
Bray Wyatt was scheduled to wrestle at a big non-televised event this weekend at Madison Square Garden, but he ended up being pulled from the show at the last minute. Initial speculation was that Wyatt and WWE had creative differences and that Wyatt had left because of it.
However, Fightful Select reported yesterday that Wyatt was out of action not because of creative differences, but because of “physical issues,” according to WWE sources.
Dave Melter confirmed the report on Wrestling Observer Radio although he would not go into details, and said that his WWE sources said that Wyatt’s match at WrestleMania against Bobby Lashley is still the plan. “From what I understand, the match is still on for WrestleMania,” Meltzer said on his premium radio show. “And [Wyatt] should be back very soon, so we’ll see. That’s pretty much all I can say. There is something to it, but I’m not at liberty to discuss it. As far as I know, everything that I’ve been told is that it’s not a creative issue or anything like that.”
Lashley tweeted yesterday, in character, writing “I’ve worked too hard to be denied. I will be ready to fight on the biggest stage of them all, #WrestleMania. I don’t care who it is, somebody will feel the wrath of the All-Mighty,” suggesting that Wyatt’s status for the big event in two weeks is still iffy.
Wyatt has only wrestled one time since returning in October, and that was at the Royal Rumble this past January. He hasn’t been seen on TV in weeks, save for a pre-recorded workout segment with Lashley last week on Raw.
Ultimately, we wish Wyatt a speedy recovery and hope to see him back in a WWE ring soon.
If you missed it yesterday, Squared Circle Pit is back and host Rob Pasbani was joined by the MLW World Champion, Alexander Hammerstone, to talk all things rock and wrestling. Hammerstone discusses how he got into pro wrestling, his love of rock, and playing drums as a kid, he shows off his guitars and discusses legends he would’ve loved to get in the ring with. Listen to the episode here.
It’s a big week for pro wrestling on free tv.
WWE NXT is tonight at 8pm on USA Network.
MLW Underground tonight at 10pm on REELZ announced:
AEW Dynamite has a loaded show for their Winnipeg debut tomorrow night at 8pm on TBS:
Impact Wrestling on Thursday has announced:
Friday night on WWE Smackdown at 8pm on Fox has one match announced:
GCW has two events streaming this weekend, including a big NYC show on Friday, with Bandido , Kushida, Alex Shelly, Matt Cardona, and Homicide among those scheduled. Info on the Saturday show in Toronto can be found here.
On Raw next Monday, Roman Reigns is scheduled to appear.
Rey Mysterio has been announced as the first inductee into this year’s class of the WWE Hall of Fame. His mentor and best friend, Konnan, will be inducting him. Based on angles on recent shows, this seems to be a big set up for his rumored WrestleMania match with his son Dominick. Expectations are Dominick will attack Rey, and possibly Konnan, during the induction. They had a great segment on Raw this week.
Dave Meltzer reports that WWE officials were impressed with the positive reaction L.A. Knight got at the Madison Square Garden show this weekend, and are looking to feature him more because of it. Knight seemingly got rewarded with a match on Raw the next night, in a losing but competitive affair to Cody Rhodes.
The latest WrestleMania goes Hollywood vignette features Rhea Ripley parodying Stranger Things:
John Cena was asked by Associated Press if it was “tough to reconcile the feelings you have toward Vince McMahon with the sexual misconduct accusations made against him?” and Cena responded “No. I mean, everyone has the right to have their perspective. I have the right to have mine. When you love somebody, you take them as imperfectly perfect as they are. We all make mistakes, we all have poor decisions. Lord knows I’ve made my collection of poor choices. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to love somebody. There’s no way I can go on record and say I don’t love Vince McMahon.”
Undertaker commented on Vince’s departure in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani saying “He called me the day before he announced [his retirement] and we got into an argument because I thought he was ribbing me. I said, ‘There’s no way, there is absolutely no way you’re stepping away.’ We ended up kind of going at it a little bit. Finally, I was like ‘alright, okay.’ Sure enough, next day, Vince resigned but I knew there was no way he’d stay away.” Asked if he sees a day where WWE would be Vince-free, Taker said “I would have a really hard time imagining that there wouldn’t be some kind of contingency that he has some type of control there. I don’t think even if the company was to get sold, which I don’t have any feeling one way or another whether that’s going to happen or not, but I just can’t imagine somebody coming in and buying the company and running it the same way with just the dedication to detail the way it’s run now.”
Kevin Nash commented on a recent edition of his Kliq This podcast that he has a pact with Steve Austin not to watch AEW, but Kenny Omega is still his favorite wrestler. “I just want to go on record today, I have not watched AEW in months. It goes back to Steve Austin and I got a pact that he’s not watching it therefore I’m not watching it and what I can tell by Twitter is Undertaker is now not watching it. It’s nothing against any of the talent over there, anybody that does anything over there. It’s just something that we decided. It’s like lent, you have to give things up so we did that. It doesn’t change the fact that Kenny Omega is my favorite wrestler. Doesn’t change that at all”.
Fightful reported that Steve Austin got another pitch for a WrestleMania match, this time with L.A. Knight. Previously, he was pitched a match against Brock, but the rumor is Austin felt the money was not right for that kind of dream match.
Nikki and Brie Bella have rebranded as Nikki and Brie Garcia:
Edge vs. Finn Balor is now officially a Hell in the Cell match at WrestleMania, and the expectation is that it will be the “demon” version of Finn vs. the “Brood” version of Edge.
The Great Muta is expected to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and Ric Flair is his expected inductor. Flair will announce the induction tomorrow on WWE’s the Bump Youtube show. Stacy Kiebler is the rumored other induction.
All Elite Wrestling is getting a third wrestling show on TBS. The rumor is the show is slated to be one hour and air on Saturdays at 6:05 pm eastern, a nod to the traditional wrestling timeslot on the station that ran for over 30 years. No confirmation was offered, but an announcement is expected soon.
Dragon Lee’s visa was approved last Monday and the next day, he flew to Orlando to appear on WWE NXT TV. He’s expected to be figured into plans imminently. He wrestled on the house shows as Dragon Lee.
Bryan Alvarez reports that while Wardlow really did have his car broken into last week in the Bay Area, AEW is now turning it into a storyline with Hobbs and QT.
If you’re a Raven fan like I am, you will enjoy this interview he did on Fightful.
Do you enjoy pro wrestling? Knotfest Wrestling has a bi-weekly column filled with wrestling news. Read previous editions of this column here. You can always follow me @robinjection on Instagram and Twitter and @Squaredcirclpit.