A number of AEW stars could be on their way out of the promotion soon, spoilers for NXT talents who are likely to be in the Royal Rumble, and two IMPACT champions who were offered spots in the Rumble and said no.
It’s Monday morning, and we’ve got quite a lot of news to catch up on from this past weekend. I’m Liam Winnard for WrestleTalk.com, and this is our audio news bulletin for January 24, 2022.
Listen to this morning’s round-up here:
Many AEW Stars’ Contracts Expiring
AEW contracts have been a big topic over the past couple of weeks, with news coming out about the likes of Peter Avalon, Joey Janela and most notably Cody Rhodes, but the story does not end there.
Lio Rush took to Twitter to announce that his AEW contract is expiring and he’ll be a free agent come February 14.
Other than his one-off appearance at Double Or Nothing in May last year, Rush only joined AEW in September, and only wrestled four matches.
Rush worked last night’s GCW pay-per-view replacing Jonathan Gresham against Blake Christian, and has been announced for the February 24 Terminus show.
There’s still more to come though, as PWInsider reports that two other names that repeatedly came up when asking about contract expirations were Marko Stunt and Brian Cage, whose deals both reportedly end in the coming months.
Of course, they could re-sign, but both of those are guys we haven’t seen wrestle on TV for a number of months, and many would consider it more surprising if they stayed than if they didn’t.
Fightful Select added that there are “many” AEW contracts coming up in the near future, so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
Royal Rumble Surprise Entrant Spoilers
The Royal Rumble is now mere days away, and we’re all thinking about what surprises could be in store.
Well, a report from PWInsider has revealed two NXT stars who are scheduled to be at the Rumble event this coming Saturday.
Firstly, there’s Bron Breakker, who is the son of Rick Steiner and the current NXT Champion, having beaten Tommaso Ciampa for the title on January 4.
And second is Gunther, the artist formerly known as WALTER, whose name change caused quite a lot of controversy last week.
The report does note that just because they’re scheduled to be at the Rumble doesn’t necessarily confirm they’ll be in the match itself.
If you’re thinking, “Well why else would they be there?”, that’s a good question that I do not know the answer to, so they are more than likely going to be in it.
PWInsider also reported that The Undertaker is slated to be at the Royal Rumble, but unlike Breakker and Gunther, it’s probably just to be with his wife Michelle McCool who’ll be in the women’s Rumble, or could also be to film some content for the WWE Network. But, as we know, anything can happen in the World Wrestling Federation.
The IInspiration Reject Royal Rumble Offer
So that’s two people who probably will be in the Rumble, but we also know two people who won’t be, despite being asked by WWE.
Those two people are Cassie Lee and Jessie McKay, the IInspiration, formerly known as Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, the IIconics.
According to Fightful Select, WWE – despite having released both women recently – reached out to them about participating in the match, but they rejected the offer as they’re happy with the path they’re currently on as IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champions and didn’t feel it was the right time to go back.
The report stated that IMPACT would have given it the go-ahead had they wanted to accept, much like Mickie James did, who will be in the Rumble, as was announced a couple of weeks ago.
Fightful also mentioned that there are other names who WWE has released over the past couple of years that the company has asked about returning for the Rumble, but didn’t specify any names.
In other little bits of news from this past weekend…
WrestleVotes reported that WWE is “disappointed” with how the first four months of NXT 2.0 have gone, and expected that fans would gravitate to new talent quicker than they have done.
The planned AEW Rampage match between the Young Bucks and Roppongi Vice was cancelled due to Rocky Romero testing positive for COVID-19, and instead Trent Beretta beat Nick Jackson in a singles match.
NXT’s Roderick Strong and LA Knight worked a dark match against each other ahead of Friday’s SmackDown. Tommaso Ciampa and Pete Dunne had been doing that for the couple of weeks prior.
Wrestling Inc reported that Brian Pillman Jr suffered a concussion on last week’s AEW Dynamite during his match that saw the Varsity Blonds lose to the Kings of the Black Throne.
After reportedly having his request to be released rejected, Mustafa Ali appeared to block the ‘WWE On Fox’ Twitter account after that account blocked an account that had replied “#FreeAli” to one of its tweets.
And announced so far for tonight’s episode of WWE Raw is a weigh-in segment with Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley ahead of their WWE Championship match this weekend, The Miz throwing a birthday celebration for his wife Maryse ahead of their match at Royal Rumble against Edge and Beth Phoenix, and an “Academic Challenge” between Raw Tag Team Champions the Alpha Academy and former champions RK-Bro.
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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