Coming up on today’s news, AEW are interested in more WWE released talent, WWE are looking to re-sign Braun Strowman, a review of last night’s episode of SmackDown, and more!
Now subscribe for daily wrestling news videos. I’m not asking. I’m demanding. Subscribe.
Unless you’ve been living under one hell of a rock lately, you’ll have heard that both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have reportedly signed with AEW, which comes off the back of both Andrade El Idolo and Malakai Black making their debuts recently too.
And it seems the train isn’t stopping there, as a new report from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter stated that both AEW and Impact Wrestling are interested in getting the services of one Buddy Murphy. Our best friend, Buddy Murphy, who watches our content to keep up with WWE. Hi Buddy.
Meltzer notes that it isn’t clear how far this interest has gone or if either company has reached out to Murphy about signing with them. So if this is the first you’re hearing about it Buddy, soz mate.
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega has also named Murphy as one of his dream opponents in the past, so if he were to sign with AEW there would be at least one major star lining up to face him. And let me be the first to just say: yes f****** please.
And now it’s time to talk about CM Punk again, because this week might be the biggest news week of the year. More details have since come out regarding Punk’s rumoured move to AEW since yesterday.
WWE Believes CM Punk Is Joining AEW
Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the belief within WWE is that Punk will, in fact, sign with AEW. Meltzer wrote:
“With Punk, a WWE source has said that internally the belief is that Punk has signed with AEW. There are a number of things going on behind-the-scenes that would indicate that, but nobody in AEW has confirmed it, and of course, they won’t until the decision is made for them to go public with something of that magnitude.”
All signs are pointing to CM Punk joining AEW but there are also some remaining skeptical because well, CM Punk returning to wrestling has seemed impossible for so long.
Sean Ross Sapp reported on Fightful Select that his sources close to the situation have informed him that CM Punk has not put pen to paper with AEW as of Friday night.
It seems highly unlikely that AEW will make a CM PUNK IS ALL ELITE announcement before his first appearance with the company. But you never know. Maybe they’ll take a page out of WWE’s book and announce that Daniel Bryan’s cleared to return to in-ring wrestling on Twitter.
I’m still not over that.
WWE Interested in bringing back Braun Strowman
Maybe the most shocking name to be released by WWE on June 2nd was Braun Strowman. He was as much of a WWE guy as you can get. But still, WWE released him anyway. Now, WWE reportedly has interest in bringing him back.
Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE is interested in re-signing Strowman because AEW signed Andrade and Malakai Black, and have been in talks to sign Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.
Which makes literally no sense. If you knew Strowman was a star, and has name value, and could make your company money, then out of everyone you’ve got under contract, why did you pick him? It’s like WWE have gone ‘ow, why does my foot hurt, and why am I holding this gun?’ It’s baffling. I’m flummoxed. Flabbergasted. And other such words.
Strowman was reportedly released due to the size of his contract, so perhaps if he is brought back to the company, it might have to be for less money. Which I’m sure Strowman will be thrilled about.
WWE Announces New Year’s Day pay per view
Something else that I’m sure both wrestlers and fans alike will be thrilled about is WWE announcing they’re going to run a PPV on New Year’s Day in 2022. Which is a Saturday. I’m sure absolutely zero people who wrestle or attend or cover the event will be hungover.
And now it’s time for a review of last night’s episode of SmackDown, in about 5 minutes.
The show kicked off with John Cena, who came out and made some sports references about Cleveland. Yes. The Guardians. He also said that fighting Roman Reigns is a chance for everyone to stand up for what you believe in. Which I’m not entirely sure how that works, but sure let’s go with it.
I’m genuinely quite happy for Cena that he’s getting such unanimous babyface reactions, it’s honestly quite refreshing. Cena called out Reigns, but was of course answered by Paul Heyman, who said that Reigns will answer his challenge tonight.
After Finn Balor’s return on last week’s episode, he faced Sami Zayn here in a decent little match. Aside from Michael Cole calling the Blue Thunder Bomb a Michinoku Driver. And then trying to cover for his mistake by calling a combination Michinoku Driver Blue Thunder Bomb. Nope. It’s just a Blue Thunder Bomb Cole.
Balor won with the Cowp Dee Grace – that’s how you pronounce it right? – which is a nice win for his return. At least he’s not losing yet.
And then we got maybe my new favourite thing? Baron Corbin is backstage saying he actually lost money from his Corbin Fund that he set up last week, and almost verges into the heel territory, saying he had to get the bus to the show, have you ever been on a public bus? It smells. But then, he turns to Kayla Braxton, and very sincerely just says “what happened to me?” and man, I just wanna Corbin a hug. There was more of this, later.
Then came, not a good segment.
Big E came out to celebrate his Money in the Bank win, and just as I literally thought, thank god he’s finally away from Apollo Crews, he’s interrupted, by Apollo Crews. But before Apollo can say anything, he gets interrupted by Ziggler & Roode, who say they should be about the Intercontinental Championship, for some reason, but then they get interrupted by King Nakamura, who then gets interrupted by Cesaro, and then they fight.
I can’t describe how bad and convoluted this segment was, because it was all in the staging and the presentation. This whole segment took maybe two minutes at most, and anytime someone was interrupted, they’d just carry on walking to the ring, because I guess that’s where you need to get to because the script says so. It’s one of those things that just make you realise no-one is acting like actual people, they’re just getting in place for their spots. What a weird segment.
And then we head over to the Rolling Loud festival, where I’m sure the crowd all want to watch some wrestling, isn’t that right Rolling Loud, make some noise.
Our QuizzleMania best friend Wale introduced the Street Profits, as Angelo Dawkins took on Chad Gable. This was a fun little match, but boy howdy did this crowd not care, and really, can you blame them?
And then it was time for Bianca Belair vs Carmella. And boy howdy did this crowd not care. Also this is day 272 of me politely requesting that the Mella Go Round be completely eradicated from existence because it is the worst move in professional wrestling.
Bianca Belair won clean, again, there was no reason for this match to exist.
But it’s ok guys, because we’re back to the new best thing on the show. Backstage Shotzi & Nox are trying to fix their tank, with Kevin Owens offering advice. But as he walks away slightly, my man Baron Corbin finds him, and apologises for last week, saying he shouldn’t have insulted him, and it’s a bad habit. Owens says yes, it is a bad habit, that you’ve had for like 8 years. You can’t be surprised that no one feels bad for you. But Corbin acknowledges that, apologising again, and asking for help.
Owens, being the good guy that he is, gives Corbin some money. But then as he moves, Shotzi & Nox manage to fix the tank, firing it straight into Corbin’s penis. He rolls on the floor, before Ziggler & Roode come in and steal the money Owens just gave him, but Owens comes in with a chair and scares them off.
They’re doing it. They’re doing a Baron Corbin face turn. He’s going to be in a team with Kevin Owens. And it’s the exact odd couple pairing that could totally work from out of zero expectation. I’m genuinely quite into this. And as a singular segment, it was competent storytelling. Shotzi & Nox fixing the tank actually led to something, it’s Chekov’s Gun, they didn’t include something for no reason. Wild, I know. This is great.
Edge came out to the ring next, saying he should be Universal Champion, before Seth Rollins came out, and cut genuinely one of the best promos he’s ever done. This was masterful work, switching from goofy to serious and back again at the drop of a hat. Seth says he wants to crush all of Edge’s dreams, and they brawl, with Seth just managing to avoid a Spear. This was good stuff.
Toni Storm made her SmackDown debut next against Zelina Vega. I sure am glad Vega came back to WWE for all those plans they’ve got for her. She lost here, obviously, with Storm hitting the Storm One for the win in a few minutes. This was alright.
We got Jimmy Uso vs Dominik Mysterio next, for some reason, and after some fun back and forth, Jimmy Uso won in the same manner: rolling up Dominik with Jey assisting. I mean it was ok, but this didn’t further anything from Money in the Bank.
Roman Reigns came out and posed with The Usos as The Bloodline holds the gold, which was cool.
Which led into the final segment of Reigns answering Cena’s challenge, and after he compared him to the missionary position, which was 100% a Paul Heyman line, he said Cena was a nostalgia act, not worth his time, and he rejected his challenge.
But then, out came Finn Balor. Balor came down to the ring, and said if you’re not interested in Cena’s challenge, then maybe you’ll be interested in mine. After some advice from Heyman in his ear, and after the crowd chanted “Roman’s scared” at him, Roman accepted.
So it looks like we’ll be getting Balor vs Reigns on a SmackDown before SummerSlam, and then Cena vs Reigns at SummerSlam itself I would think. This is a nice way to keep Cena and Reigns apart so their feud doesn’t get stale, because realistically, there isn’t that much depth to it.
So that was the show, let me know what you thought in the comments below and by voting in our POLL ON A POLE MATCH, where 65% of you voted for Balor vs Reigns?! Okay!.
I thought this was a good show. The Rolling Loud stuff was just plain awkward, but Balor vs Reigns, Baron Corbin’s face turn, The Bloodline holding the gold, there’s a few things to be excited about on SmackDown, so this show gets a 4/5.