Details on a heated backstage incident involving Tony Khan and MJF, an update on The Rock’s status for WrestleMania 39 next year, Finn Balor relegated within WWE, and more.
It’s Tuesday morning, WrestleMania is getting closer and closer, and what better way to start the day than getting caught up on all the latest wrestling news. I’m Liam Winnard for WrestleTalk.com, and this is our audio news bulletin for March 29, 2022.
Listen to this morning’s round-up here:
‘Heated’ Backstage Incident Between Tony Khan & MJF
You’ll probably recall that last week, MJF did an interview with Ariel Helwani during which he spoke very highly of WWE and played into the idea that his AEW contract is up in 2024 and he might be weighing up his options.
Well, it turns out AEW President and CEO Tony Khan wasn’t too happy about the interview, but not for the reasons you might think.
According to Fightful Select, Khan and MJF had a quote “heated discussion”, not necessarily because of what MJF said during the interview, but rather because he didn’t get the interview approved by the AEW PR team before doing it.
Dave Meltzer provided an update shortly afterwards, reporting that the story is true, but he added that since said “heated discussion” happened, any issues between Khan and MJF have now been resolved.
It’s no secret that WWE is interested in MJF, so we’ll just have to wait and see when 2024 comes around whether he’s just playing it up for the sake of his ‘character’, or whether he actually is considering his options.
The Rock WrestleMania 39 Update
Well WrestleMania 38 hasn’t even happened yet, that’s this weekend, but we’re already looking a little bit ahead to next year’s WrestleMania 39 event which will be WrestleMania Hollywood.
Now before we get to the update on The Rock, let’s just briefly recap the story so far.
WWE originally wanted to do The Rock vs Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 37 last year, because that was supposed to be WrestleMania Hollywood. However, Covid meant the Hollywood edition was moved to WrestleMania 39, which is next year.
WWE was still keen on doing the match this year in Texas though, because there were so many tickets to sell and it would mean waiting another whole year otherwise. However, The Rock’s busy schedule didn’t allow for it.
So that’s now two years that have been missed out on, and now all eyes are on WrestleMania 39.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the belief is that The Rock does want to do the match next year, and obviously WWE does too. It’s currently the quote “probable main event” and the “working plan” but is not “etched in stone by any means”.
Of course, again, the situation is at the mercy of The Rock’s schedule, but as of right now, it seems that all involved are keen to do it, and that’s what is pencilled in.
Finn Balor On WWE Main Event
Speaking of being pencilled in, everyone assumed that Finn Balor defending the United States Championship against Damian Priest was pencilled in to be added to WrestleMania this weekend, but then they were both announced for the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal on this Friday’s SmackDown instead, making a Mania match a lot less likely.
Anyone who tuned into Raw last night will have noticed that both men were absent from the show, and it’s actually the second week in a row that’s been the case for Priest.
Well, if you were wondering where Balor was, he wrestled on Main Event before Raw, picking up a win over Apollo Crews.
Now obviously, this might not be the end of the world, but if you look at the fact that he’s seemingly not on WrestleMania, and he’s now wrestling on Main Event, it’s not exactly painting the picture of someone that WWE sees as one of its biggest stars.
There were reports a couple of months ago that Balor had basically fallen out of favor in terms of his position on the roster, but then he won the US Title and things seemed to be about to pick up again. But as you can tell, that title win doesn’t really seem to have helped.
Of course Finn Balor isn’t the only champion without a WrestleMania match, as Ricochet will instead be defending his Intercontinental Title against Angel and Humberto in a three-way on SmackDown. Ricochet lost squeaky clean and decisively to Austin Theory on Raw last night.
In other little bits of news…
WWE’s full touring schedule for 2022 has been revealed in new court documents as the company filed a complaint regarding the sales of bootleg WWE merchandise. This complaint is something that WWE often files right before WrestleMania when bootleg merch is likely to be at its highest point. The court documents were obtained by Heel By Nature, and revealed WWE’s entire touring schedule from April 2022 to March 2023. Obviously I’m not going to read it all out because I’d be here all day, but it’s on Heel By Nature’s site, and we’ll have it up on our site as well.
Heel By Nature also reports that WWE has transferred ownership of the trademarks to the names Matt Hardy and Mia Yim to, well, Matt Hardy and Mia Yim. WWE transferred Matt’s to him on March 7, and Yim’s to her on February 18.
Fightful Select is reporting that TJ Wilson AKA Tyson Kidd is back to being listed as a producer backstage as of last night’s episode of Raw. He had been absent since before the Royal Rumble.
WWE officially announced that Rick and Scott Steiner will be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame.
In an interview with the Hindustan Times, Drew McIntyre very heavily hinted that he could be the first challenger for whoever emerges from Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns as the unified champion.
Arn Anderson pointed out that AEW has a problem with a big roster meaning popular names often disappear onto AEW Dark for long periods, using Dante Martin as a specific example.
WWE had announced Ronda Rousey & Bianca Belair vs Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch for last night’s Raw, but then pulled the announcement. Neither Rousey nor Flair appeared on the show.
After last night’s Raw, the lineup for WrestleMania Saturday is as follows according to WWE.com:
- Charlotte Flair vs Ronda Rousey
- Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair
- Stone Cold Steve Austin on the Kevin Owens Show
- The Mysterios vs. The Miz & Logan Paul
- Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin
- The Usos vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs
- King Woods & Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland
- Seth Rollins vs. An Opponent of Mr McMahon’s Choosing (believed to be Cody Rhodes)
The lineup for WrestleMania Sunday is:
- Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
- Edge vs. AJ Styles
- Johnny Knoxville vs Sami Zayn
- Queen Zelina & Carmella vs. Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley vs. Naomi & Sasha Banks vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler
- Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory
- RK-Bro vs. Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy
- Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
And for tonight’s NXT 2.0, which is the final episode before Stand & Deliver on Saturday, the lineup is:
- Cameron Grimes vs. Roderick Strong vs. A-Kid to determine the final participant in Saturday’s North American Title Ladder March
- LA Knight & MSK vs. Imperium
- Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen vs. Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza
- Nikkita Lyons in action
- Ivy Nile vs. Tiffany Stratton
- Bodhi Hayward vs. Von Wagner
- Joe Gacy vs. Draco Anthony
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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