Columnist Rob Pasbani is here to catch you up on all the big stories in the wrestling world heading into the weekend including the return of a classic WWE PPV, the 30th anniversary of Raw and a preview of this weekend’s wrestling events.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been doing media promoting his new movie, Black Adam, which comes out this weekend and he’s been encountering some wrestling fans during some of these interviews asking very interesting questions.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg Canada, Johnson was asked if he would consider being an investor in WWE or purchasing it outright. While Johnson didn’t say yes or no, he did reveal that he’s had conversations with WWE co-CEO Nick Khan about the matter.
“Nick and I have talked about that, and we always enjoy that over a bottle of Teremana [Johnson’s tequila brand],” Johnson said. “I love the wrestling business. I grew up in it. My grandfather [and] my dad started here in Canada, where [his father] was born. So, I’m not quite too sure if a board seat is in my future, but possibly other things are in my future, for sure.”
Johnson spoke about who would be the right fit to take over WWE. “I’ve known Vince for a very, very long time and he’s a businessman. I think the key if there were a sale of the WWE is to make sure that whoever acquires that brand in that property, you’ve got to love the wrestling business. Of course, you can love the asset, and you can love everything that comes with it, but you got to love the professional wrestling business … because if not, then you could kind of see the writing on the wall; four or five years down the road, what will happen?”
The Rock has said he and Khan are lifelong friends. Khan’s sister, Nahnatchka Khan, coincidentally is also the showrunner on NBC’s Young Rock.
There seems to be progress in the ongoing investigation from the fall out of “Brawl Out” – the backstage fight between CM Punk, Ace Steel, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega.
As a quick recap, Punk had just trashed the Bucks and Omega in a public interview. He was in his locker room with Ace Steel, Steel’s wife, and Punk’s dog, Larry. The Bucks and Omega came in and after some heated words, Punk struck Matt Jackson. Ace Steel threw a chair at Nick Jackson. Omega allegedly tried to get Punk’s dog, Larry, out of the room and got his hair pulled by Ace Steel and also was bit by Steel.
As a result of this, Steel has officially been released from the company. This seems to be a relatively new development, as Dave Meltzer posted on his forum that Steel was telling friends last week he was expecting to be back on the road.
Meltzer also reports that AEW is currently in discussions with CM Punk to buy out the remainder of his contract. The hold up is the discussion of a non-compete period. Obviously, the only company that could even afford Punk at this point would be WWE, and Meltzer speculates that they would take him back in a heartbeat to sway the perception of the company. Would Punk even want to go back? For enough money and a light enough schedule, maybe he would.
As a fan of Punk, it’s sad to see his AEW run end this way, as there was so much more I was looking forward to him doing in the company. But sadly, it seems like both sides think this is the best course of action.
WWE Smackdown is live at 8pm on Fox tonight and scheduled so far:
Scheduled for AEW Rampage tonight at 10pm eastern:
Saturday is NXT Halloween Havoc on Peacock. Here’s the lineup:
Raw on Monday only has Bianca Belair vs. Bayley in a non-title match announced.
Next week scheduled for Dynamite, Wednesday on TBS:
There was a scary moment at the end of Dynamite when the main event was promptly stopped after “Hangman” Adam Page suffered a concussion. Mox went to clothesline Hangman and Hangman did a flip and landed awkwardly on his head. Thankfully, he will be okay. Hangman tweeted on Wednesday “hey thanks everyone for being so nice, im doing alright and feeling good today. had a nice panini for lunch. thanks to paul, medical, mox, brandon, bj, etc, (insert introspective yet merciless quote about unfinished business here)”
WWE may be bringing back King of the Ring as a premium live event next year. The show would feature a one-night men’s King of the Ring tournament and a one night women’s Queen of the Ring tournament. WWE is looking at doing more international PLEs next year, and cut back on some of the gimmick PPVs.
Goldberg revealed to RomanAtwoodPodcast that he has two months left on his WWE deal.
WWE will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Raw with a special show planned for this January. The original plan, while Vince was still in charge, was for the show to emanate from the Manhattan Center, the original location of the show. They attempted to do a dual broadcast from the Manhattan Center and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, leading Manhattan Center attendees to be very upset they couldn’t see the Brooklyn portions of the show.
WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash’s son, Tristian, passed away earlier this week. He was only 26 years old. No cause of death had been announced. Our deepest condolences to the Nash family.
During a recent episode of Keeping It 100, Konnan confirmed rumors that Ortiz and Santana had a beef a few months ago. According to Konnan, Santana was unhappy with the team’s position in AEW, while Ortiz was happy to be in a national touring company and getting a steady paycheck, leading to some heat between the two. Konnan said there was almost a physical altercation between Santana and Eddie Kingston. “I can see Santana when his contract was up leaving [AEW],” Konnan said. “Ortiz is very chill, laid back, and Santana is more of a hot head.”
Dan Soder revealed he and fellow comedian Dan St. Germain worked with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin on a new animated series starring Austin that they sold to Peacock, but WWE has been holding up the release. He told Barstool Sports’ KFC Radio that he sold the series seventeen months ago “But now, WWE and Peacock have been bullshitting and it’s been 17 months on the sidelines. I keep calling these motherfuckers and saying, ‘This is going to be f*cking funny,” he explained, going on to say that Austin is “way on board” and has been calling him asking for updates.” Soder added WWE wanted to be involved but they are pushing back thinking it would make the show “corny” when they are going for more of a dark and weird vibe.
Jeff Hardy’s trail for a June DUI charge has been pushed back to starting on November 17th. Don’t expect him back on TV until this gets resolved.
ROH has announced its next PPV, the annual “Final Battle,” emanating from the University of Texas at Arlington on Saturday, December 10th with a special start time of 4 PM Eastern. ROH is expected to announce a deal for a weekly show shortly.
WWE is reportedly planning on doing a NXT special that same day, but at 8pm eastern. The show is tentatively titled NXT Deadline.
Here’s a trailer for the new AAA / Marvel show coming to Disney+ (likely only in Mexico)
And finally, since we talked about The Rock and CM Punk to start the column, let us end the column with their classic match: