WWE and AEW are friendly competitors in the realm of wrestling – there are no sly barbs at one another, no counter programming and definitely no poaching talent.
Ok ok, things are maybe a little more fraught than I was making out, but these are companies staffed by adults, petty squabbles are for kids.
So Chris Jericho was at the New York Toy Fair in 2020 with the rest of the AEW crew to show off their new line of action figures, Chris, a decorated champion in WWE, wanted to pop over and see what was going down at the E’s booth at the same event.
On Talk is Jericho he told how he was turned away from a toy booth, it’s like a sequel to Jingle All The Way, Jingle Y2J:
“It was so funny. Typical WWE bulls**t, they wouldn’t let us up there to see their display, and so one of the guys let me in. And then I was filming something.
“He goes, ‘You can’t film.’ I go, ‘Why?’ He goes, ‘Because I’ll get in trouble if they know you’re up here.’ I’m like, ‘I’ve made these guy f**king 200 Chris Jericho WWE action figures! And I can’t come look at your display?’ But their display was in the back of the room in a corner. They had nobody there. None of the talent was there and I thought, this is pretty lame in comparison to what AEW has, which really surprised me especially at the Toy Fair in New York City.”
I think you can understand why WWE didn’t just want AEW talent hanging around their booth – it’s like free advertising for a rival, but Jericho is a bit of a different story, because they were probably selling his action figures.
That’s kind of free buzz about your booth.
It also worth pointing out that this might have been a partner PR agency person, someone who worked for the toy manufacturer or whatever – it’s not like it was Vince in a little Mattel t-shirt.
WWE Commentators Tease WrestleMania Match
Talking of buzz, it’s building for the wrestling calendar’s biggest event as people begin to wonder what matches we will be treated to come the showcase of the immortals – I’m betting good money they go with Edge vs Roman Reigns. There were fireworks Louis.
One thing complicating people’s theorycrafted match card is The Miz’s cash-in of his Money in the Bank contract that closed out Elimination Chamber and saw him walk away with the WWE Championship.
I think a lot of people assumed Drew would still be champion at Mania, and likely will be, because Miz’s title reign doesn’t look like it’s lasting long as Armageddon is walking right towards him next week. And this all might have been a way to get the belt off Drew, to then get it on Bobby, so Drew can get it back from him at Mania. It just makes sense.
With Bobby Lashley looking set to win the title though, that could change plans for Mania quite drastically.
One teased by Corey Graves and Vic Joseph on ‘After the Bell’ is the one we all wanna see:
“I think there’s an obvious answer that’s out floating there, but I’m not going to give that obvious answer.”
And Corey went: “I am, I am, Brock Lesnar (mimicks Paul Heyman)”
To which Vic followed up with: “Well, there you have it. That’s the one guy, that’s the marquee, that’s the name, that’s something that has been teased, would you say, Graves, for years? Definitely since Bobby (Lashley) came back, even before he came back to WWE. It has so much potential, it draws, and that’s the case again of – you’re looking across two guys that you know, physically, would beat your a** if you were out in a bar and did something and they’re now going to lock horns.”
Lesnar is currently not signed with WWE, but rumours of a return have been floating around for quite some time. And Lashley even called him out as a potential opponent on this week’s edition of The Bump.
Whether or not that happens and whether or not its over the WWE Championship remains to be seen.
Backstage Reaction To Bad Bunny
With the apocalypse mooching toward him Miz’s chances of keeping hold of the WWE Championship look slim, especially when the reported plan is currently for him and John Morrison to team against Damian Priest and Bad Bunny at Mania.
The current 24/7 champion and t-shirt shifting extraordinaire has jumped right into a WrestleMania match which you think would ruffle a few feathers backstage, as celebrity angles are not always welcomed by fans or performers.
But according to a report from Fightful Select Bad Bunny is especially popular backstage. Sources said that he is easy to deal with and open to doing what is asked of him.
Additionally one Raw wrestler reportedly said that because Bunny has treated the business seriously, he has made a great impression in the locker room.
Miz Thought Bryan Would Hit Him During Infamous Promo
Still sticking with The Miz, he is the WWE Champion after all, he was on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast and talked about one of his most infamous moments on Talking Smack: the heated promo war with Daniel Bryan.
Renee said that the fire between the two in the heated promo was real:
“Just the level that it got to, I remember at one point feeling like I needed to get in between you two cause I was like legit concerned cause there was like a bit legit animosity between the two of you.”
To which Miz said: “I thought he was going to hit me. I was waiting to get hit.”
Which also describes Miz’s wrestling style. I kid, opportunities like that don’t come up very often so I had to say it.
Miz went on to say that he was having a “bad day” career-wise after being drafted to Smackdown and winning the Intercontinental Title but not being features on the show, so he went up to Road Dogg and told him to put him on “Talking Smack” saying he would “unleash it all on” Daniel Bryan.
Lacey Evans Confirms Pregnancy, But Not Father
Speaking of unleashing it all. No wait that sounds wrong.
*TV test card and beep*
Lacey Evans has confirmed she is pregnant for realsies.
Wrestling Inc previously reported that this was a shoot baby, really resisted writing a different pun there, and not part of the Ric Flair angle that Lacey has been involved in in recent weeks on Raw.
The sassy southern belle has now confirmed it herself while speaking on American Brain and Brawn:
“I’m having a baby ya’ll. I didn’t expect it to be right now, as of a week ago. Women in sports entertainment, women in general, you never know. I don’t have an office job where I can get a big belly and type away at a computer desk. That’s not what God put in my life. Unfortunately, I gotta take it easy,”
AEW Game Update
Last night, AEW Games held their second episode of their presentation show, AEW 2.Show, highlighting progress and updates regarding several AEW games coming soon. With regard to the AEW console game, footage was shown of Yuke’s collecting audio from the DDP Yoga studio. The audio being table breaks, weapon shots and bumps, not DDP doing yoga.
While there is currently no release date lined up for the console game, Kenny Omega mentioned as part of the conference that every two weeks he’s reviewing something new and has had no setbacks or hurdles as of yet.
Aubrey Edwards talked through some pre-alpha footage of the AEW Elite GM mobile game, explaining how stats and stamina work. These are some of the shots, courtesy of Sean Ross Sapp on Twitter. As you can see on this one, all three matches on the card received 5 stars. Alright Meltzer, calm down son.
And finally AEW Casino: Double or Nothing was announced to be released on February 26, that’s today! The app includes 13 casino games including blackjack, poker, slots and all the classics. And it looks like…well like every casino betting app ever.
Papa Buck Wanted To Cut Himself For AEW Angle
But in terms of actual wrestling the wrestling company is doing, AEW Revolution is coming up next weekend, and ahead of The Young Bucks vs MJF & Chris Jericho for the AEW Tag Titles, MJF & Jericho looked to beat up the Bucks’ dad on this week’s episode of Dynamite, as you do.
Papa Buck was bloodied up, which was of course fake blood. But according to Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Live, that’s not what he wanted:
“The first question I asked about AEW last night was, ‘Papa Buck wanted to cut himself, didn’t he?’ The answer was ‘yes.’ He wanted to gig and be bleeding all over the place, but then they were like, ‘Brother you can’t do that.’ So, then they put on the fake blood; and so if you’re complaining about fake blood — the one guy complaining about fake blood was the guy covered in fake blood.”
Hardcore Papa Buck. Hardcore. Next step is an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch.
AEW + NXT Viewership
That angle, along with a cracking main event of Rey Fenix vs Lance Archer and a corker of an opening promo from Jon Moxley, helped Dynamite increase its viewership by 84,000 viewers up to an average of 831,000 for the episode, up from last week’s 747,000.
Meanwhile in NXT, which featured Adam Cole re-breaking everyone’s hearts and turning on Roderick Strong and Dexter Lumis defeating North American Champion Johnny Gargano in a non-title match, managed to increase its viewership by 21,000, up to 734,000, up from last week’s 713,000.
With a big Dynamite planned for next week including Cody’s match against Shaq, and with it being the go-home show for Revolution, you’d expect a bit of a jump up for the show. How that will affect NXT, we’ll have to see.