JERRY LAWLER DOESN’T LIKE COMMENTARY
Someone who might not be around for a long time is Jerry Lawler, who was a surprise announcement for the Raw commentary team alongside Vic Joseph and Dio Maddin. Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Lawler was chosen by Vince McMahon as he wanted someone with experience to help guide Joseph and Maddin, who were both handpicked by Paul Heyman, and added that Lawler wouldn’t be a permanent part of the booth.
And Lawler himself has seemed to have alluded to this as well, with Podcast One sending out a press release with comments from Lawler’s podcast where he says he doesn’t even like doing commentary for Raw. Lawler said, “They have a hard time believing it, but I don’t really – I’m not crazy about being a commentator. It’s not – at least to me – it’s not fun. It’s a lot of pressure.”
If it makes you feel any better, Jerry, I’m not crazy about you being a commentator either. It’s not – at least for me – it’s not fun.
But speaking of legends returning to Raw!
HULK HOGAN WANTS ANOTHER WRESTLEMANIA MATCH
Hulk Hogan made his return to WWE last year, and since then has been around for the various nostalgia shows that USA Network want WWE to do in order to boost the ratings. But most recently, he’s started a new storyline that will culminate at the controversial Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia, where he will captain a team to take on another team which is captained by his longtime rival Ric Flair.
There was a bit of worry from some fans that Hogan himself might have been part of the match, especially given the Saudi Arabia shows centering themselves around nostalgia matches like DX vs. Brothers of Destruction and Undertaker vs. Goldberg. Hogan’s last actual match took place in 2012 teaming with James Storm and Sting to take on Bobby Roode, Bully Ray and Kurt Angle on a TNA house show, with his last PPV match taking place at Bound For Glory 2011 when he beat/lost to Sting.
But if the Hulkster gets his way, brother, he wants to lace up the boots once again for another match. He told The LA Times recently, “I talked to Vince, and I said I really don’t know if I could live with myself knowing my last match was with TNA. If I can get fixed, I pray I can have one more match. I told Vince, ‘When I get through this back surgery, I’m going to get in the best shape of my life and we’re going to talk about me having one last retirement match.’”
But who would Hulkster like to face? Would he like to put over a new talent and perhaps create a new star? It would seem not. When asked who he would like to face, he had one answer: “I’d love for it to be against Vince [McMahon]. I had such a great time with him in the ring at WrestleMania 19. I had no idea what to expect from him, but he’s a great bad guy. His timing is great.”
Hogan took on Vince McMahon in one of the more memorable matches from WrestleMania XIX, which was The Hulkster’s last Mania match. The match was a total smoke and mirrors show, and even featured a run-in by Rowdy Roddy Piper, but there’s no denying how much fun it was. Whether I’d like to see that match again in 2019 is a different matter entirely. Now Shane McMahon on the other hand…
WRESTLETALK EXTRA WINNER REVEALED
And Hulk Hogan will be a big part October’s episode of WrestleTalk Extra, our Patreon exclusive podcast where Oli Davis and I review classic PPVs from the past. This month’s winner was TNA Bound For Glory 2010, which beat NXT TakeOver: Respect by 3%. Bound For Glory is a fun PPV for a lot of reasons – for starters it features The Young Bucks vs. Motorcity Machine Guns – but also features the infamous THEREEE HEEERE sign held by Jeff Jarrett. And as a special treat for the Swaftnation, to celebrate our second anniversary of doing WrestleTalk Extra shows, we’ve released our 4 and a half hour review of WrestleMania XX into the free podcast feed! So subscribe to the WrestleTalk Podcast on your podcast catcher of choice, and listen to me and Oli talk about a PPV for longer than the actual show itself.
Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk MIDWEEK MECHA NEWS! I am Luke Owen. Press the thumbs button, give us a subscribe, and leave a comment down below to answer our question of the day:
What did you think of AEW Dark and NWA Powerrrr? We’ve got a packed show of news for you today, including quick reviews of both shows, the real reason Jeff Hardy was arrested, and did Bray Wyatt just agree with the criticism of the Hell in a Cell finish? Click them timestamps down below to jump to any of those news stories. But first.
The Wednesday Night War kicked off officially last week – with NXT going all-the-way two hours on USA Network, and AEW launching Dynamite on TN – but with Smackdown now moved to Friday, there’s a new war brewing for Tuesday nights. But this one isn’t fought on the airwaves of cable television, this battle takes place IN CYBERSPACE.
Following the live broadcast of Dynamite last week, All Elite Wrestling taped an additional four matches which made up the debut episode of AEW Dark. The show, which is hosted by Tony Schivone in a studio that most definitely real and not a green screen, kicked off with Darby Allin picking up a win over Cima in an entertaining bout. This is Allin’s first singles win, and because it was over the legendary Cima, it’s been announced that he’ll face the winner of the Cracker Barrell Clash Jimmy Havoc on tonight’s Dynamite – with the winner facing AEW Champion Chris Jericho on October 16th. There’s a lot of upside to Darby Allin, and he already feels massively over with this AEW crowd.
Tag Team Tournament entrants teamed up next, as Private Party & Best Friends took on the Lucha Bros and Hybrid Two of Jack Evans and Angelico. This was a really fun eight-man tag, but did get a bit confusing when tags just stopped happening and everyone got in to do big moves. This was also a problem in the six-man that came later in the show, and I think this is just an AEW rule, but it’s one that needs to be established by the announcers and commentators quickly so fans are not sat there asking simple questions like the one I’m asking now. Lucha Bros reversed Storm Zero into a Canadian Destroyer and hit an assisted package piledriver for the win, giving Hybrid Two their first AEW win.
The tag team action continued next, as Britt Baker teamed with Allie to take on Bea Priestly and Penelope Ford. The crowd were mostly dead for this, and the action was broadly fine – with Baker picking up the win for her team with a mandible claw submission on Ford. Along with the Havoc vs. Allin, AEW Dark also announced that Baker would be in action to tonight’s Dynamite, teaming with AEW Women’s Champion Rhio to take on Priestley & Emi Sakura. Those matches join Sean Spears vs. Jon Moxley, and Sammy Gueverra & Jericho vs. Dustin Runnels & Hangman Adam Page.
The main event was an All Out rematch, with Jurassic Express taking on SCU in a fun match – with lots of comedy from Marko Stunt, amazing athleticism from Jungle Boy, and the utter brilliance of Luchasaurus. Sadly they couldn’t pick up the win again, with SCU pinning Stunt.
Overall, AEW Dark was a good hour of wrestling, and a great accompaniment to Dynamite if you feel that there isn’t enough wrestling on your screens at the moment.
But what about NWA Powerrr?
NWA Powerrr on the other hand – a title with more r’s in its name than the word “referrer” – thanks ScrabbleCheat.org for that help – was a totally different show. Really, NWA Powerrr feels like a time capsule show – a true throwback to the old NWA shows from 30+ years ago. The sets are old school, the onscreen graphics are old school, the values of its commentator are old school, you can almost hear Jim Cornette’s nostalgia boner. NWA Powerrr really succeeds in what it sets out to do. It’s so old school, its soundtracked by Dokken’s Into The Fire, a song that was released in 1984 and was featured in Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: The Dream Warriors.
Tag Teams The Dawsons and The Wild Cards picked up squash wins, with the latter starting a feud with Eddie Kingston and Homicide, while Eli Drake had a short but competitive match against Kaleb Connely, and James Storm quickly defended his National Championship in a 9-second squash. Lot of that going around at the moment. And the main event was a 20-minute bout between Nick Aldis and Tim Storm, the latter of which cut an amazing promo before the match. It wasn’t written by a group of people, this came from the heart and it felt genuine and pure. The resulting match was also very good, with Aldis picking up the win with a small package, meaning Storm can never challenge for the NWA World’s Championship ever again.
For old school wrestling fans, this was a lot of fun. It took the feel of NWA shows, and added modern wrestling standards to them. Some viewers might be turned off by the presentation of the show as it is appealing to a very niche audience, but I had fun with it. It also found a fan in Smackdown commentator Corey Graves, who tweeted: “Checking out #NWAPowerrr on YouTube right now. Really fun throwback presentation. Old school in a good way.”
And it was those old school fans that meant last week’s Season Premiere of Raw drew the best rating its had in months. It was reported later in the week, that half a million people tuned in for the MizTV segment with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair – where they announced their 10-man tag for Crown Jewel – and then immediately tuned out as soon as it was over. But despite all the news coming out of Smackdown, the controversy from Hell in a Cell and the big hype for Tyson Fury appearing on the show, Raw did drop its rating this week – pulling in an average of 2.33 million viewers. However even with the drop from the Season Premiere, it’s better than what the show has been drawing as of late.
But WWE will be hoping that rating increases next week, as this Friday the 2019 Draft kicks off on Smackdown on Fox, where we will once again have defined split rosters. There are some rumours floating around that Paul Heyman is high on both Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy so there is a chance we could see them jump to Raw, while one theory as to why The Fiend didn’t win the Universal Championship on Sunday is because Fox really want Bray Wyatt to be part of the blue brand.
One person who likely won’t be on either show is Sasha Banks. It was reported following Hell in a Cell that Banks had picked up an injury but there were no details on what it could be. Mike Johnson might have shed some light on the situation though, writing, “word making the rounds is [Sasha] suffered a back injury in her match with Becky Lynch”, adding, “There is no word yet on the severity of the issue.”
Dave Meltzer added on Wrestling Observer Radio that Banks’ injury is being kept very quiet, but we should get more details in the coming weeks.
Speaking of injuries, and there has been a lot of talk recently about a possible in-ring return for Edge. Last week Meltzer reported that, “the idea of him wrestling again has definitely been talked about very privately”, though the Rated R SOOOOOOPERSTAR seemingly responded to these reports saying, “ No I’m not and no I’m not.”
Edge has reportedly signed a new deal with WWE, and with those Saudi Arabia paying a lot of money for nostalgia matches, it’s interesting to note that Edge was in Pittsburgh recently on WWE business. The reason this is interesting is that’s the base of Dr. Joseph Maroon, the head of WWE’s medical team who would the man to clear Edge for in-ring competition.
Edge in-ring return confirmed!
Edge made a name for himself during the Attitude Era during his epic clashes with The Hardy Boyz, but one part of that foursome has once again found himself in trouble.
Last week it was reported that, once again, Jeff Hardy had been arrested for a DWI, reporting that he was “weaving badly” in his lane after being spotted parked outside of a liquor store and buying a case of beer.
TMZ have now reported the police report of the arrest notes that Hardy had dried blood on his nose, which Hardy told officers was from a fight he had with his wife Beth who was also in the car. According to TMZ, Hardy informed the officers that he’d only had two shots of vodka before driving, but “bombed” the sobriety test, and was “uncooperative” when he was asked for a blood sample and to perform a breathalyzer test. Police told TMZ that Hardy had not filed a domestic abuse report against his wife, and they will not be investigating the situation unless one is ordered.
This is Hardy’s second arrest in 2019, after being arrested for public intoxication in July of this year. He is currently out injured from WWE, with no timetable of when he’ll be back in the ring.
Speaking of getting back in the ring, and despite reports of him being injured The Fiend was in the dark segment of Raw attacking Cesaro, following his pretty disastrous match with Seth Rollins at Hell in a Cell for the Universal Championship. The finish of the match – which was ruled a no contest when Seth Rollins kicked too much of The Fiend’s ass – was roundly booed by the WWE fans in attendance, who chanted for refunds, bull s-word, and AEW. It was reported by the very reliable Sean Ross Sapp that Vince McMahon found all of this very funny in Gorilla Position so that’s… that’s lovely.
The company came under fire from fans for the poor treatment of The Fiend and the booking of the match, and we’ve personally been sent a lot of screenshots from Swaft Nation members who have cancelled their WWE Network subscriptions off the back of it. Deciding to have a little fun with the situation, porn company Brazzers tweeted: “Hey WWE, let us know if you need advice on how to craft logical and coherent storylines with satisfying finishes.” SEXY TWEETALITY.
At the time of this recording the tweet has over 70k likes on Twitter, and it’s been revealed that one of those likes came from Bray Wyatt himself. Thanks to Jason Fresta for sending this over to us!
While this could just be Bray Wyatt agreeing that the funny tweet is funny, 2019 has seen several WWE stars publicly show their displeasure of booking decisions – including Luke Harper and Shawn Spears both asking for their releases from the company. So could it be that Bray Wyatt also doesn’t agree with how Hell in a Cell went down?
Thank you for watching, and a special thank you to our Pledge Hammers on Patreon – some of which you can see scrolling their way into my stomach. Check out Oli Davis’ review of a forgettable Raw from this past Monday, and head on over to ScreenStalker Live where we’ll be talking about PlayStation 5 and playing some games! I’ve been Luke Owen, and that was Mecha News.