Before Alexa Bliss was a supernatural demon that attacked people via puppet, she was young woman trying to make it in the world with a modelling career, posting a ‘Throwback to before WWE (21/22 maybe? ) … when I was in shape & did photo shoots 😂 …’ with a photo of her posing on some candy coloured stairs.
But the wrestler bug was inside her from the start, as she then revealed she “fell down those stairs immediately after shot was taken 😂” And then hopefully also threw herself threw the make-up table. Gotta get those bumps in.
Although she fell down the stairs after the shot was taken? What was she doing in the shot?
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More WWE Firings Coming
While I’d like all of our videos to be about Alexa Bliss comically falling down stairs, WWE has other plans. As following the mass main roster releases back in April – that saw such big names as Samoa Joe, the IIconics and Mickie James let go from the company; and last week’s NXT round of cuts – which got rid of Alexander Wolfe, Jessamyn Duke and the highly controversial Drake Wuertz and Velveteen Dream, the Mat Men Podcast is reporting more firings are being planned.
Andrew Zaharian has said “I heard [there’s] maybe some more [releases] to come. Some NXT UK talent.” The Mat Mean Podcast have established a good track record of breaking news recently, with them being the first ones to report NXT moving to Tuesday nights.
The NXT UK roster actually survived last year’s round of cuts in April, but then faced a series of releases following #SpeakingOut allegations from June – which saw El Ligero, Jack Gallagher and Travis Banks let go.
Other than that, the NXT UK roster has been largely untouched by firings during the pandemic, potentially because of this country’s furlough scheme, where the government will pay up to 80% of people’s pay who can’t work. This means the NXT UK roster currently has 45 men, women and various on-air personnel signed to it – despite only producing a pre-taped 1 hour weekly TV show that was paused between last April and September. The main NXT brand, however, has a collective roster of 75, to produce a live two hour weekly TV show that hasn’t missed an episode. Given how brutal WWE’s ‘budget cuts’ have been, NXT UK is a sizeable target for the company’s money making strategy – especially with the UK’s furlough scheme set to wind down soon.
And Alexander Wolfe, one of those fired last week from NXT, has said ‘budget cuts’ were the exact reason he was given for being let go – which he has accused of being a scapegoat to Germany’s Sport1: “WWE makes so much money that no firing is really mandatory. But it is what it is.”
Last week’s NXT releases were reportedly originally planned to happen three weeks ago, so around the same time as the main roster cuts, but the decision was made to hold off until now.
Who do you think will be fired from WWE? Let me know in the comments because I’ll be replying to as many people as I can for the first 15 minutes after this video goes live from outta nowhere.
Thankfully, one beloved, but currently missing, WWE star is reportedly safe…
Keith Lee WWE Update
Keith Lee is one of my favourite wrestlers in the world right now, but despite debuting right into Raw’s main event mix last August, he’s been missing since February – being pulled from the Elimination Chamber US championship three way match, where he was widely expected to win the title.
He was reportedly removed from TV for an undisclosed health reason. Two weeks ago, Lee tweeted “Today is a day that can and will define the future. The wheels can have motion and move forward….or…. they can stop completely.” – implying he was undergoing some kind of medical to decide whether he could return.
Lee has now answered a fan on Twitter asking what’s next for him, saying:
“Good question. Unfortunately, only time will tell my friend.”
This appeared to start unfounded rumours that WWE had let Lee go. Thankfully Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp has tweeted:
“WWE officials and talent have both confirmed to me that Keith Lee has not been released, debunking a vague rumor that was gaining steam this afternoon.”
But because the Internet doesn’t really understand the idea of privacy, some on Twitter continued to demand an update on a man’s personal medical condition. Which got a reply from Lee’s real life fiance Mia Yim:
“It’s no ones business. Please be patient and let it be.”
All we can do is go over to @RealKeithLee on Twitter and respectfully tell him he’s freaking awesome. Go do that.
But what about Edge?
Edge WWE Update
Edge hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since his WrestleMania 37 loss to Roman Reigns which obviously means: Edge to surprise team up with Christian at AEW Double or Nothing confirmed.
Not so, according to Sean Ross Sapp again, who has explained The Rated R Superstar is having some “planned time off” from WWE. There’s no word yet on when he’ll return, but with WWE set to resume live event touring in July, he could be waiting for that loud pop from actual fans.
I imagine ThunderDome thumbs up get a bit soul draining after a while.
But he’s not the only person involved in the first ever Money in the Bank cash-in potentially returning to WWE soon.
THAT SORT OF TRIVIA KNOWLEDGE WILL MAKE ME QUIZZLEMANIA CHAMPION THIS WEDNESDAY SEGWAY
John Cena WWE Return
John Cena hasn’t been seen after kayfabe being locked in the Phantom Zone by The Fiend at WrestleMania 36’s Firefly Fun House match. Or maybe he’s been here all along and he just isn’t visible.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter wrote on Friday that WWE is discussing Cena’s return for the first WWE show in front of fans – which will begin with the Friday 16th July episode of Smackdown at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas – which is the go-home show for that Sunday’s Money in the Bank.
PWInsider is now adding that Cena’s production on his HBO Max series Peacemaker, a spin-off with his character from James Gunn’s new Suicide Squad movie, will have wrapped on July 6th in Canada – meaning Cena has ample time to return for SmackDown 10 days later.
But, of course, Peacemaker is a WarnerMedia property, which also airs AEW. So John Cena to AEW confirmed.
Unless he’s also been there all along, but he’s out of sight.
And if Edge and Cena’s returns aren’t enough for you, how about all those people WWE fired also coming back?
PWInsider is reporting that WWE kept their return to live touring super secret, even from their own wrestlers, “in order to prevent leaks”. But also, with the company returning to the large logistical challenges of moving production from city to city, they might require many of the backstage staff they fired or furloughed at the start of the pandemic last year. This remains to be seen, although PWInsider speculates WWE “will remain conservative in how they proceed.”
So why not just sign some more wrestlers?
WWE Interested In Speedball Mike Bailey
Last Friday’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that WWE is interested in signing ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey – who is one of the most exciting wrestlers I’ve seen live in the past few years. The Canadian has a black belt in Taekwondo, which sees him do loads and loads of spins before hitting a kick, but hasn’t been able to perform in the United States since 2016 when he didn’t have the correct paperwork for an EVOLVE show. Instead he’s been building his reputation on the worldwide scene in the UK and Japan. Now that ban has been lifted, US interest has picked up.
AEW Ticket Sales Update
Presumably much to Vince McMahon’s annoyance, WWE won’t be the first major wrestling promotion to hold full capacity shows in the United States – as AEW’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view this Sunday is aiming to see Daily’s Place’s full 5,500 seats occupied.
According to Wrestling Observer Radio, though, the show still hasn’t sold out, but is close to doing so. AEW’s Dynamite tickets for Miami and Texas are also selling slowly. It implies people are still hesitant to go to live events. Would you feel comfortable going to a wrestling show in the next few months? Let me know in the comments.
Enzo Amore Hospitalized
Independent shows have been running live events in the US for several months now, and the weekend saw a scary injury to former WWE star Enzo Amore.
Enzo, who now goes by the name nZo, was knocked unconscious from a DDT on the floor at an SWE show. The match was stopped and Dave Meltzer added he was put on a stretcher and then taken to hospital.
Thankfully Enzo had recovered enough to post a tweet the following day, simply saying “Thanks everybody” for their support.
Elsewhere in wrestling, Kazuchika Okada has revealed to Tokyo Sports he tested positive for covid-19 earlier this month, which resulted in a number of wrestlers being pulled from New Japan’s Wrestling Dontaku show. Rather scarily, he initially tested negative on multiple tests, but upon feeling unwell and losing his sense of taste, he took another test, which came back positive. He says he’s feeling better now.
And in a great PR move for a company that just released a bunch of wrestlers for ‘budget cuts’, NXT is reportedly bringing back the Million Dollar Belt as part of the Cameron Grimes, Ted DiBiase storyline. The news comes from the Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast again, with Zaharian saying “People are very excited within WWE” about it.