A rumored AEW debut leak, details on Logan Paul’s new contract with WWE, a COVID-19 outbreak within AEW, and more.
It’s Friday, we just need to get through today and then it’s the weekend, and what better way to get today started, than by getting caught up on all the latest wrestling news. I’m Liam Winnard for WrestleTalk.com, and this is our audio news bulletin for July 1, 2022.
Listen to this morning’s round-up here:
Rumored AEW Debut Leak
Yesterday, AEW music producer Mikey Rukus, who has created so many incredible entrance themes that we hear on AEW TV, posted a video deconstructing the creation of the music for The Butcher and The Blade.
During that video, Rukus ended up showing his entrance music files, which included some that you’d expect like the new themes for Claudio Castagnoli and Luchasaurus, but also some that seemed more interesting, including IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace.
When this was noticed, it was picked up and led to speculation that Rukus had accidentally leaked that Grace would be making her AEW debut soon.
Rukus was pretty quick putting the rumor to bed, as long as you believe him which we have no reason not to, as he tweeted: “Sorry to rain on the parade but this has nothing to do with AEW”.
Fightful Select also got a comment from Jordynne Grace on the situation, and she clarified that Rukus has actually been making entrance music for her for a while, even going back before AEW even existed.
Grace is under contract with IMPACT Wrestling until spring 2023, but as we’ve seen, that doesn’t necessarily mean an AEW appearance during that time is impossible.
But at least of right now, the rumor is pretty much dispelled.
There were still a couple of other noteworthy files in Rukus’ collection though, including one that looked to be for the tag team of Brock Anderson and Brian Pillman Jr who have been teaming together outside of AEW, a new theme for Shawn Spears, the scrapped theme for Brian Kendrick because his AEW debut was cancelled several months ago, and Captain Insano – the character played by Paul Wight in the 1998 movie Waterboy, a name that AEW actually filed to trademark when they signed Wight last year.
Logan Paul New WWE Contract Details
It was officially announced yesterday that Logan Paul has signed with WWE, with photos being shared of him holding his contract alongside Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, and some follow-up details soon emerged.
According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Paul’s deal with WWE is a multi-year deal to wrestle at multiple events per year, including an undisclosed number of matches at Premium Live Events across 2022 and 2023.
All signs point to his first match back being against The Miz at SummerSlam on July 30, but he could of course appear on TV before then to build to the match.
Paul and Miz of course teamed at WrestleMania in Paul’s debut to beat the Mysterios, but The Miz attacked Paul after the match. Miz said on Raw this past Monday that he wanted to team with Paul again at SummerSlam, but it seems more likely that it’ll actually be a singles match between them instead of that.
COVID-19 Outbreak In AEW
It seems that the days of COVID-19 outbreaks causing chaos in the wrestling business are not yet a thing of the past, because AEW has been struck once again.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, quote “a lot” of people missed this past Wednesday’s show due to COVID-19. Meltzer didn’t explicitly say anyone had tested positive.
However, this would explain why Tony Khan waited until very late Tuesday night to announce the matches on the card that weren’t the actual Blood & Guts match, because he had to change some things around based on people not being available.
We wish anyone who needs it a safe recovery and hopefully everyone is at full health and availability soon.
In other little bits of news…
Jeff Hardy has filed a written plea of ‘not guilty’ regarding his arrest for DUI on June 13.
Fightful reported that Brandi Rhodes and AEW still have a quote “cordial” relationship and have been in discussions about multiple things, including the company’s potential partnership with KultureCity which is an arrangement she’d headed up in her previous role of Chief Brand Officer, as she’s actually a board member for KultureCity. She’s also been continuing her in-ring training.
The viewership for the Blood & Guts special edition of AEW Dynamite came in at 1.023 million viewers and a rating of 0.36 in the key 18-49 demo. This was the first time since March that the show cracked a million viewers, and was the highest 18-49 rating since June 1 which was the post-Double Or Nothing show.
Dave Meltzer reported that quote “a lot, a lot” of fans left the arena during the Rampage main event that was taped for tonight on Wednesday between Toni Storm on Nyla Rose. This was the last match on a show that the crowd had already seen the Blood & Guts match and the 20-man Royal Rampage.
Tony Khan described the rules for the Royal Rampage as: “Each minute a new wrestler enters an alternating ring, red/blue, until all 20 wrestlers enter, 10 wrestlers in each ring. Each ring has a winner, & they’ll fight under battle royal rules to determine who gets a shot at the @AEW Interim World Title!
Former ROH star Tony Deppen revealed in an interview with Ringsiders Wrestling that AEW pulled him from an appearance as one of Wardlow’s security guards, because it was in Baltimore and people would recognise him as a prominent ROH guy, and they basically didn’t want to use him as a geek.
During the latest episode of his podcast, the coach of AEW’s Blackpool Combat Club group William Regal has called WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther the quote “perfect heavyweight lion”.
D-Von Dudley tweeted that he officially returned to work backstage in WWE for the first time since October at this past Tuesday’s NXT 2.0 taping.
Sports Illustrated ran an incredible story of five strangers who met for the first time after finding out they’re the children of Rocky Johnson and half siblings of The Rock.
According to Dave Meltzer, WWE is considering calling up Sanga and Xyon Quinn from NXT, with management reportedly viewing Quinn as quote “the total package”.
And announced for tonight’s SmackDown is a face-to-face between all the competitors in Saturday night’s Money in the Bank ladder matches. Unless they’ve changed it to just six participants, there’s still one spot in the men’s match to be filled.
The current card for Money in the Bank is the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match with Raquel Rodriguez, Lacey Evans, Liv Morgan, Alexa Bliss, Shotzi, Asuka and Becky Lynch; the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match with Seth Rollins, Omos, Sami Zayn, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Riddle and the aforementioned to-be-decided participant; Bianca Belair defending the Raw Women’s Title against Carmella because Rhea Ripley was pulled out due to injury; Ronda Rousey defending the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Natalya; Theory defending the United States Championship against Bobby Lashley, and the Usos defending the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against the Street Profits.
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.
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