After a weekend of turmoil in the United States, with riots and protests over the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump addressed the country, warning he was ready to deploy the military to enforce order.
Shortly after this address, new SmackDown star and Forgotten Sons member Jaxson Ryker tweeted his support of the President, saying he was “thankful for the President we have! God bless America. Built of freedom.” before signing off with The Forgotten Sons’ catchphrase of “Forgotten No More”.
This tweet didn’t go over well with the rest of the WWE locker room and beyond, as several wrestlers immediately and publicly shot back at Ryker’s tweet. Kevin Owens replied:
“The freedom you speak of entitles you to speak your mind all you want. I’m not here to argue that. I just really need to tell you that I think you pushing your s****y wrestling catchphrase as all of this is happening is absolutely f***ing pathetic. Good night.”
Former policeman Mustafa Ali also posted:
“I’m thankful you posted this because I’m now aware of what you stand for. When black brothers and sisters are crying, you praise someone that refuses to acknowledge their hurt.”
“I was talking about my peer who had the nerve to post that ignorant ass tweet. Supporting a #fakepresident who is inciting violence and posing with Bibles like he’s a decent human being. Speaking the words of a dictator while people are being gassed in the streets.”
“I’m just keeping him nameless because he’s a sorry ass motherf***er who I refuse to let ride my coattails. He gets no love from me. He gets no rub from me. And if he would like to discuss it in person we have enough mutual acquaintances that he will be able to find me easily.”
Sami Zayn simply responded: “Literally built on oppression.”
And Ricochet held out hope this was just Ryker attempting to get over as a heel:
“I get you’re a “bad guy” on tv. And I’m HOPING that’s all this is. Even then, that ain’t it. But if this is actually your true thoughts – I’ll be really sad, man.”
Ryker is yet to respond to any of these tweets, and it remains to be seen whether this will have any sort of effect on his main roster run.
It’s hard to segue from something the real world into out more kayfabe wrestling bubble, so let’s run our new bumper.
NXT Stars Unhappy
As WWE batch taped a fortnight’s worth of TV over several days last week, NXT talent ended up being used as audience extras for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s tapings for Raw, SmackDown and NXT – which Tomasso Ciampa has already publicly criticised, saying it undermines trying to make them stars. And now WrestlingInc has revealed just how exhausting this schedule was.
NXT talent were transported to the Performance Center for 11am after taking temperature tests at Full Sail, and did not return until 10pm that night. The day involved a lot of standing, as they were only allowed to sit down during ad breaks.
Things then got worse during Thursday’s TakeOver: In Your House taping of Adam Cole vs Velveteen Dream. Fightful Select revealed the match was filmed outside, behind Full Sail University, with cars surrounding them and their headlights lighting up the area.
Unfortunately for the talent used as a crowd though, the taping was delayed by over 5 hours because of rain. The wrestlers had arrived by 7pm, but the match only got underway after midnight, meaning the talent didn’t get home until the early hours of the morning.
But a big name won’t have to deal with WWE’s taping schedule any longer…
Rob Gronkowski Released By WWE
WrestleMania 36 host and former 24/7 champion The Gronk has now been officially released from WWE.
The Gronk lost the 24/7 championship to R-Truth on Raw, in a loss so devastating, he just needed to leave the company. Or he’s returning to the NFL. Where The Gronk?
According to WrestlingInc, The Gronk is leaving WWE as he exercised a release clause in his contract that frees him from any future obligations with the company. He does, however, have a no-compete clause preventing him from wrestling elsewhere. But AEW could’ve had Mike Tyson vs The Gronk.
What was your favourite Gronk moment in WWE? That awkward dance he did when he was first brought out as the WrestleMania 36 host, or not being able to dive off the tower at Mania itself, so Vince McMahon had to show him how it’s done. Let me know because I’ll be asking When The Gronk? from outta nowhere in the comments.
Head over to wrestletalk.com for more wrestling stories, like the promising SmackDown ratings, Mike Tyson actually losing AEW viewers, a free version of the WWE Network being announced, and Kurt Angle refusing to manage Matt Riddle on the main roster! Click the links in the video description below for those, while right now, I review last night’s episode of Raw… in about 5 minutes.
WWE Raw Review
Seth Rollins opened the show with a 15 minute in-ring promo. What is this, 2015? About him having to announce Rey Mysterio’s retirement, because Rey won’t do it himself. Which is slightly disingenuous. Rey teases his retirement every couple of months.
Seth played a video package celebrating Rey’s career, which got pretty dark, pretty fast, just replaying when Rollins tried to burst Mysterio’s eyeball on the corner of the steel steps the other week. Seth, that’s an eyelight, not a highlight!
This brought out Aleister Black for a very good TV match, going through multiple commercial breaks with a great back-and-forth final section. Carillo stopped Murphy and Theory from interfering, letting Aleister win with a roll up. But the heels stood tall afterwards, beating up Black after the match.
About five minutes later, this whole opening segment was then played again in a fully edited video recap package. There was a lot of filler on this show.
Caruso alert! Angel Garza gave Charly Caruso a rose, for Zelina Vega to snap it in two, which was followed by Apollo Crews inviting out Kevin Owens for a United States Championship match. It’s like the opposite of Cody’s open challenge stipulation on Dynamite, with Apollo choosing those he feels have earned a shot at his title, a nice babyface inversion of the typically heel spot to duck proper opponents. Talking of typically heel spots… Kevin Owens then kicked Apollo in the dick.
It was an odd ‘accident’ spot – or was it?! – in their very brawly match, with KO wrestling from outta desperation following his loss to Garza last week. The line was blurred between Owens wrestling ferociously for the title, and him wrestling heel.
Garza and Andrade interfered causing a screwy finish, setting up a tag team match, playas, which Apollo won by pinning Andrade for a second week in a row, after Garza took out KO’s leg.
Yes, the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders are very charismatic. Yes, Ivar’s ability to find turkey legs everywhere is funny. But don’t let this distract you from the fact that this feud is WWE’s worst told story of the year so far. It makes no sense, it’s missing any basic structure for the overall jokes to land, and, ultimately, what is this building?
Continuing their tag team title feud, Billie Kay beat Nikki Cross, which is a shame considering how Nikki has been the best part of this division since winning the belts.
Rey Mysterio condemned Seth’s actions from home, before Eddie Guerrero’s son Dominick looked down the lens and said ‘an eye for an eye, Rollins’, revenge that makes the whole world blind!
The Gronk was jumped by R-Truth in a gardener disguise to lose the 24/7 title. The question still remains: Why The Gronk?
Nia Jax said Asuka was only handed the women’s title because of hormones next. Wrestlers getting title reigns because of enhanced hormones – what is this, the 80s? – and then we got the much reported on match from last week’s tapings, where Kairi “knocked herself silly” with a bump into the steel steps. In real life, they had to stop the match, but that was edited out to rush to Jax winning.
After Shawn Michaels chose Edge to beat Randy Orton in This is the Greatest Match Backlash! Orton cut a well-delivered promo backstage, but everything in this feud feels like it’s more overcompensating than my uncle’s new sports car and hair transplant. Give it up, Nigel, the divorce has ruined you.
Asuka and The OmniFlair had the joint best match on the show, with some fantastic back and forth at the end. But Nia Jax distracted Asuka for a lame count out loss by impersonating her entrance. I’m seeing double here, four Asukas!
In what has somehow become a seriously badass unit with just a few weeks of build, Bobby Lashley was in MVP’s corner to take on Drew McIntyre. But unfortunately, Lana also came out despite being told not to, like the ghost of storylines past.
Drew, as always, carried himself perfectly as champion, giving MVP enough to make it dramatic, but never seeming actually in trouble, winning with a Claymore, but then being Masterlocked by Lashley as the show quickly cut off air – something intentional, as this was pretaped last week, not live.
That was this week’s Raw in about 5 minutes. Let me know what you thought of the show in the comments down below because I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA A PLACE OF LOVING KINDNESS, I LOVE YOU ALL.
While there was a lot of filler on this show in the form of video packages and replays, which did make the episode drag, I enjoyed all the wrestling. This week’s Raw is AvRAWge.
A top SmackDown writer was fired over the weekend because of an incident with Vince McMahon, find out the whole story by clicking the video on the right! And click the video below that for Louis Dangoor’s interview with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre! Where he talks about a Jinder Mahal feud and the long-awaited UK pay-per-view. And make WrestleTalk.com your homepage for all the latest wrestling news. I’ve been Oli Davis, and that was wrestling.