Fears that CM Punk nearly quit AEW, almost the entire NXT UK roster released, Charlotte Flair addresses Becky Lynch, and more.
It’s Friday (hooray!), and what better way to start the last day of 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 19, 2022.
CM Punk Nearly Quits AEW?
On AEW Dynamite this week, CM Punk started his promo by calling out Hangman Page for a rematch, then calling him “coward s**t” when he didn’t come out – well there is a LOT more to the story.
Dave Meltzer first reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that, in doing this, Punk was going into business for himself and nobody knew he was going to call out Page, which obviously meant Page wouldn’t be able to come out regardless of whether he wanted to or not.
This was followed up on by a report from Fightful Select which shed a lot more light on the story.
The Select report stated that there’s real life heat between Punk and Page, stemming from some of the stuff Page had said in promos in the lead-up to their match at Double Or Nothing in May.
Punk had reportedly met with company higher-ups to voice his displeasure, leading some in the company to be so concerned that they thought he might end up quitting the company.
People close to Punk even said that he nearly decided to not even show up at the August 17 episode of Dynamite this week.
In relation to Punk calling out Page specifically, many people within AEW felt that was “unfair” to do to Hangman since he wasn’t able to respond. However, people have said Punk may have done it as a “receipt” for what Page had said about Punk in the aforementioned promos a few months ago.
One person said: “Even if (Page) was aware of it, what would he have done? Charged to the ring past Tony (Khan)? Interrupted a promo he knew he wasn’t supposed to be part of? There was no way Hangman could have ‘won’ in that situation”.
In another offshoot of this story, it was added that it was a “late decision” to announce CM Punk vs Jon Moxley for next week’s Dynamite as opposed to All Out. The reason for the decision being made isn’t known as of yet.
NXT UK Becoming NXT Europe, Loads Of Talent Released
The future of NXT UK had been up in the air for the past couple of weeks, and now we have our answer.
WWE announced the brand is going on “hiatus” before the launch of NXT Europe in 2023. Originally it was said that the NXT UK roster would basically be split between moving to the US to be on NXT 2.0 and being involved in NXT Europe, but what’s actually happened is the majority of the roster has been released.
Here’s the known list of NXT UK talents that have been let go:
- Flash Morgan Webster
- Mark Andrews
- Wild Boar
- Jack Starz
- Dave Mastiff
- Ashton Smith
- Emilia McKenzie
- Sha Samuels
- Nina Samuels
- Sam Gradwell
- Dani Luna
- Primate Jay Melrose
- Rohan Raja
- Kenny Williams
- Xia Brookside
- Trent Seven
- Tyson T-Bone
- Sid Scala
- Saxon Huxley
- Eddie Dennis
- Amir Jordan
And as for the talent that is STILL with WWE, as far as we know, those are:
- Aleah James
- Aoife Valkyrie
- Blair Davenport (debuted on NXT 2.0 this week)
- Charlie Dempsey (son of William Regal)
- Ilja Dragunov
- Isla Dawn
- Joe Coffey (debuted on NXT 2.0 this week)
- Mark Coffey (debuted on NXT 2.0 this week)
- Meiko Satomura
- Noam Dar
- Oliver Carter
- Rampage Brown
- Stevie Turner
- Tyler Bate (debuted on NXT 2.0 this week)
- Wolfgang (debuted on NXT 2.0 this week)
In conjunction with the NXT Europe announcement, WWE also announced Worlds Collide for September 4, which will feature representatives from both NXT 2.0 and NXT UK.
It was also noteworthy that Shawn Michaels, who is basically the lead guy in charge of NXT now, was listed as WWE’s “Vice President of Talent Development Creative”.
Charlotte Flair Addresses Becky Lynch
Charlotte Flair is surely nearing her WWE return, and she’s back in the headlines for some comments she’s made about her colleagues.
To promote the upcoming episode of the Broken Skull Sessions featuring her as a guest, Flair played a game of word association with Steve Austin, in which Austin named members of the women’s roster, and Flair had to describe them.
The most notable of these was Becky Lynch considering the well-documented legitimate issues that arose between them last year in the lead-up to Survivor Series.
The word that came to Flair’s mind to describe Lynch? “… Character”. Read into that whatever you like, I suppose.
Flair also said Liv Morgan is the “future”, described Asuka as “iron”, said Ronda Rousey is “legit”, and that she has “unfinished business” with Rhea Ripley.
In other little bits of news…
Dave Meltzer mentioned there was a timing issue during AEW Dynamite and the last couple of minutes of the show had to be rushed, which is why the Andrade & Rush turning on Dragon Lee didn’t really register because the show went off the air literally seconds after.
Also according to Meltzer, WWE is looking to change up its strategy with major shows, and instead of choosing a city to go to, basically put them up for bidding and whichever city bids the highest is the one they’ll go to.
After his return on Dynamite, Kenny Omega tweeted: “The pieces aren’t all there yet but I refuse to burden the Bucks with my limitations. We have a real chance at this. I’ll be even stronger in round 2. I’ll surpass where I was at. I’ll surpass everyone”.
Bron Breakker confirmed he and Cora Jade are dating with a picture of them together and the caption: “W”.
Kazuchika Okada won the NJPW G1 Climax 32 tournament by beating Will Ospreay in the final – this marks the fourth time Okada has won the tournament.
NJPW also made the announcement during the show that Wrestle Kingdom 17 will just be one night on January 4, and New Year’s Dash will be on January 5.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther filed his own trademark on his nickname “Ring General”.
And set for tonight’s SmackDown are a “head-to-head” between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre ahead of their match at Clash at the Castle on September 3, the Viking Raiders hold a “viking funeral” for New Day, and NXT 2.0 stars Nikkita Lyons & Zoey Stark debut on the main roster by taking on Natalya & Sonya Deville in the last quarter-final of the Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament.
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 Monday morning for another round-up.
If you’re in the UK but didn’t manage to get tickets to Clash at the Castle on September 3, WrestleTalk is hosting a watch party at The Joiner on Worship in Shoreditch, London, and we’d love for you to join us! Click here for more details.
- Official WrestleMania 39 Night One & Two Lineups Revealed
- Newest Update On Bobby Lashley Vs. Bray Wyatt WrestleMania 39 Status
- Report: AEW Star’s Contract Has Expired
- Clarification On WrestleMania 39 Night One Main Event
- Former WWE Star Arrives In Los Angeles Amid WrestleMania 39 Appearance Rumours
- Update On Legitimate Injury During AEW Dynamite
- Potential Spoiler On Major Musical Artist Set For WrestleMania 39
- AEW Name Reveals Heartwarming Text From Rey Mysterio After Hall Of Fame Announcement
- This NXT Star Trained Vince McMahon & Steve Austin For WrestleMania Matches
- Latest On Plans For AEW UK Debut