Things aren’t looking good for Finn Balor in WWE, the latest news on our good friend Gunther (formerly known as WALTER), an AEW star’s contract expiration date has been revealed and it’s pretty soon, and more.
It’s Thursday morning, and it’s time to get caught up all of the big news from the wrestling world. I’m Liam Winnard for WrestleTalk.com, and this is our audio news bulletin for January 20, 2022.
You can listen to this morning’s round-up here:
Vince McMahon Has “No Faith” In Finn Balor
As we briefly mentioned yesterday, Finn Balor’s loss to Austin Theory on Raw this past Monday raised some eyebrows and caused some concerns about the Irishman’s future… and it sounds like those concerns may be pretty justified according to another new report.
The WrestlingNews.co story we mentioned yesterday said that Vince McMahon sees Finn Balor as someone in the Jeff Hardy spot whose role is to put over younger guys, and there’s no real interest in giving him a significant push.
Ringside News has now followed up that report with a similar one, including quotes from a tenured member of the WWE creative team. That creative team member said:
“Vince never had faith in Balor. To him, Balor is a high spot guy that doesn’t sell in a way that means box office. He sells, then he’s doing a spot, and Vince just thinks he’s filler on the roster.”
Ringside News was also told that WWE isn’t releasing Balor because the company knows that, despite Vince’s opinion of him, he’d be seen as yet another huge pickup for AEW.
Even though his contract isn’t cheap, he’s being kept around largely for that reason.
WALTER Is Indeed Now Gunther
Our lead story yesterday was that WWE had seemingly changed WALTER’s name to Gunther as of this week’s NXT 2.0, but there were still a couple of things that weren’t cleared up.
Those things are now cleared up, as WWE has updated its website to reflect that fact that he is now Gunther, not written in all capital letters, and no mention of the Stark surname that caused so much controversy.
His Twitter handle has been changed from @WALTER_AUT to @Gunther_AUT, but his display name is still WALTER.
Grayson Waller saw an opportunity to get himself trending as a result of the outrage, as he jokingly tweeted:
“Just so everyone knows, Walter was just too close to Waller, so I spoke to my lawyers, and they are GOOD at what they do. You’re welcome”
While that is probably just him working, it’s notcompletely out of the question, because there have been similar situations in the past, such as Alex Zayne having to change his name because it was apparently too similar to Zayda Ramier.
And finally, if you were wondering whether people have calmed down and accepted this change, the answer is no.
Joey Janela AEW Contract Update
Following the recent AEW contract news about the likes of Cody Rhodes, Peter Avalon and more, another update has emerged on an AEW talent’s contract that is set to expire soon.
Some fans have been wondering about Joey Janela’s AEW status, as he hasn’t been used prominently in a TV role for a very, very long time, and there was an assumption his contract was coming due with him effectively being an AEW original.
Well, it is pretty soon, but not immediately. Janela told Fightful Select that his contract is coming due this coming May.
Janela said that he likes working for AEW, and does want to remain with the promotion, bridging the gap between it and GCW.
In other little bits of news…
Braun Strowman revealed that he pitched a tag team match where he and his father would take on Shane and Vince McMahon.
Kofi Kingston has reiterated that the New Day talks “all the time” about wanting to face The Elite in a six-man tag team match.
Randy Orton said he wishes he could go back in time and come up with a different finisher as the RKO is starting to take a toll on his body.
The announced tag team match with FTR taking on Brock Anderson & Lee Johnson was pulled from last night’s AEW Dynamite due to medical protocol, but according to PWInsider, the plan is to still have the match whenever it becomes possible.
Scotty 2 Hotty revealed that Vince McMahon wants NXT’s trainers to dye their beards and cut their hair so they look younger. What a bizarre human being.
And Drew McIntyre is being advertised locally for the March 25 episode of SmackDown in Brooklyn, which could indicate he’ll have returned by then, but that shouldn’t be taken as 100% confirmation.
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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