AEW talent is said to be reaching “breaking point” backstage due, a big name is gone from WWE, an update on the return of MJF, and more.
It’s Monday morning, and what better way to start the week than getting caught up on all the latest wrestling news – I’m Liam Winnard for WrestleTalk.com, and this is our news bulletin for August 22, 2022.
AEW Talent Close To ‘Breaking Point’ Due To ‘Backstage Drama’
In the Friday morning news bulletin we covered the news that came out about CM Punk’s call-out of Adam Page, and how it was completely ‘off-script’ and there were legitimate issues between them.
Well, it sounds like there’s more to the story, because Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that there is “a lot of backstage drama involving many of the top guys that has gotten much worse in recent weeks”.
The root of this ‘drama’ is said to be the situation with Colt Cabana, who essentially disappeared from AEW when Punk debuted, likely because of the issues they’d had in the past.
Cabana was actually going to be cut by AEW until people stepped in and convinced Tony Khan not to, so he kept Cabana for ROH instead.
Obviously that wasn’t the make-good people were looking for as there still seems to be a lot of friction between the locker room, and Meltzer even said several people are reaching their “breaking point” and Tony Khan might need to sit everyone down soon to “air it out” before it gets any worse.
On a somewhat related note, Meltzer also reported that the current plan for All Out is indeed CM Punk vs Jon Moxley, despite it being announced for this week’s episode of Dynamite.
Jeff Jarrett Gone From WWE
There have been several signings coming into WWE recently, but one big name has now departed the company in the form of Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett had been hired by WWE in may as Senior Vice President of Live Events Booking, and even appeared on-screen several times in July, culminating in his role as special guest referee for the Usos vs Street Profits at SummerSlam.
Prior to that, he had been with WWE since 2019 as a producer but was let go in 2020 during the pandemic.
His departure was first reported by PWInsider, but no further details on the reasoning for it or story behind it are known as of yet.
Outside of WWE, he of course also competed alongside Jay Lethal in a tag match against Ric Flair and Andrade El Idolo – which was billed as Ric Flair’s Last Match – at Starrcast the night after SummerSlam.
MJF AEW Return Update
Jumping back to AEW now, there had been a little bit more speculation creeping up about MJF potentially making a return last week, but that’s all it was – speculation. Until…
Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer that MJF is indeed scheduled to make his return to AEW “somewhat soon”.
That’s as specific as Meltzer got, but the mere fact that he is scheduled to return is good news for AEW business-wise, and for viewers, because it really hasn’t been the same without him.
MJF is the last big name set to return after Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, CM Punk and Kenny Omega all made their comebacks, and it comes at a time where the momentum has been with WWE and Triple H for a few weeks now.
The clues had been there on TV with things like the Pinnacle being referenced, and now Meltzer reporting it is likely as close to confirmation as we’re gonna get before it actuall happens.
In other little bits of news…
On SmackDown, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne of NXT’s Toxic Attraction faction debuted and beat Sonya Deville and Natalya in the women’s tag team tournament. They replaced Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons due to Stark suffering a concussion in her match against Mandy Rose last Tuesday, and Lyons not being able to get into Canada due to being unvaccinated.
The other notable news from SmackDown was Sheamus winning a five-way match to earn an Intercontinental Championship match against Gunther at Clash at the Castle.
Sarah Logan also made a little bit of a surprise appearance as she popped up in the Viking Raiders’ ‘viking funeral’ for New Day.
Chris Benoit trended on Twitter after SmackDown because WWE used an Our Lady Peace song as the theme music for Clash at the Castle. Our Lady Peace is the band that performed Benoit’s entrance theme.
Dave Meltzer reported that there’s a little bit of a feeling among some people that the NXT Europe announcement was somewhat of a cover-up for just getting rid of NXT UK, specifically due to the release of Amale who was a big star in France, so theoretically they would have kept her if they were serious about NXT Europe.
WWE is said to be on the lookout for big stars from both Japan and Mexico right now.
Talent in NJPW reportedly believe Kota Ibushi is on his way out of the company.
Jinny is among the names from NXT UK expected to stay with WWE and move to the US full-time. She is the real-life wife of SmackDown’s Intercontinental Champion Gunther.
After they debuted on NXT 2.0 last week, it appears the Gallus faction may now be officially named The Gallus Boys according to WWE.com’s preview of this week’s show.
With no more NXT UK after the latest set of tapings finishes airing, there has been talk that NXT Level Up could replace it on BT Sport in the UK to fulfill WWE’s contractual obligations.
Speaking of BT Sport, it has been announced that Clash at the Castle will air live on BT Sport 2.
Nashville, the host of SummerSlam 2022, is on WWE’s shortlist to host the event in 2023 as well, according to WrestleVotes.
Fightful Select reported that AEW has signed Matt Menard and Angelo Parker of the Jericho Appreciation Society to contract extensions.
Tenille Dashwood, formerly Emma in WWE, is gone from IMPACT Wrestling and tweeted the famous eyes emoji along with a screenshot of the defintion of “free agent”, so she’s the latest name people are speculating about for a WWE return. SmackDown star Madcap Moss, who is dating Dashwood, also tweeted three eye emojis in response to her tweet.
It appears the name for the Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY faction is “Damage Control”. WWE trademarked that term and Kai later used it in a tweet.
There was a fair bit of news coming out of last night’s AEW Dark tapings. Two former WWE stars made their AEW debuts in the form of Wesley Blake (Westin Blake) and No Way Jose (Levis Valenzuela).
The Bear Country tag team was renamed the Iron Savages, and now have JT Davidson as a manager.
VSK, who has wrestled Dark matches for AEW a whole host of times, is now named Jeeves Kay, and is the ‘Trust Butler’ for the Trustbusters.
Fightful reported that the Good Brothers actually agreed to an extension with IMPACT Wrestling and will work the August 26 and 27 tapings.
It was also noted by Fightful for last week that Shane Helms, who has been specifically used as the producer for Veer Mahaan’s matches in recent months, wasn’t used in that role last Monday, and instead it was Kenny Dykstra. In fact, Helms wasn’t used at Raw at all.
Mustafa Ali tweeted that he’s done trying to be marketable, and he’s now going to play into and embrace his heritage of being Pakistani, Indian, American and Muslim.
And set for tonight’s Raw in Toronto are hometown hero Edge vs Damian Priest, another hometown hero Trish Stratus making her return, and the semi-final of the women’s tag team title tournament with Alexa Bliss & Asuka facing Dakota Kai & IYO SKY.
Be sure to stay tuned to WrestleTalk.com throughout the day to keep up with all the news from the world of pro-wrestling, and I’ll see you tomorrow morning for another round-up.
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