Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk STACKED News, I am Chopper Pete Quinnell, still filling in for Oli because he’s on holiday. How dare he.
We’ve got a packed show for you today though, including Sami Zayn potentially spoiling a major feud heading into Summerslam, the latest on CM Punk potentially joining AEW, and The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega almost joined WWE!
Click the timestamps in the video description to be taken to any of those stories right now! Before we get into it today though, make sure to have yourself a superclick party by pressing the thumbs up, subscribe and bell icon to enable notifications, and leave us a comment answering the question of the day, which today is:
Who would you have Sami Zayn feud with at SummerSlam?
Hey guys, did you know that there’s an ESPY for Best WWE Moment this year? I wish they’d have mentioned it on some of WWE’s shows…
Well anyway, the results are finally in and between Roman Reigns’ return to WWE after his bout with leukaemia, Becky Lynch winning the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships at WrestleMania 35, Ronda Rousey winning the Raw Women’s Championship at Summerslam 2018, and Kofi Kingston winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35, The Big Dog was the victor, receiving his award last night.
No doubt we’ll be hearing about this on Sunday and all of next week.
Perhaps Reigns winning an ESPY will boost the ratings, because Raw will most certainly need it after this week’s TV ratings were revealed.
After a huge 10% increase last week in viewership, Raw dropped back down from 2.49 million viewers to 2.351 million viewers. Interestingly, there was no huge dropoff in viewership in the third hour like there normally is, with the hour by hour breakdown showing that hour one had 2.384 million viewers, hour two had 2.349 million viewers, and hour three had 2.322 million viewers. I guess the idea of Roman Reigns tagging with Gary “The Goat” Garbutt was just, such an enticing angle.
Perhaps after Extreme Rules we could be getting someone else to return to boost ratings, that being former Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey.
Rousey hasn’t been seen in WWE since WrestleMania 35, where she reportedly broke her wrist. After that show, she supposedly went on an impregnation vacation with her husband, Travis Browne. Whether or not that vacation was successful is yet to be publicly announced, but there is some new speculation afoot about Rousey’s WWE status.
On wwe.com, they have inactive superstars listed. This can be for a number of reasons, including injury, but can also be for things like Alexa Bliss’ illness this week, and Naomi and The Usos’ vacation last week. Interestingly, as reported by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Ronda wasn’t listed whatsoever, which means in theory, we could be seeing her back at any time now.
Why she isn’t listed is anyone’s guess, but this could be a sign of things to come heading into Summerslam.
Speaking of Summerslam, and Sami Zayn may have just spoiled one of the major feuds heading into the show.
Recently on Twitter, there’s a been a viral…challenge? Meme? I’m not sure what it is, but it’s a thing that people can do to have fun or whatever. The original tweet said that your presidential campaign slogan is the last text you sent, to which Zayn threw in his version.
“Just wondering if the idea [of] me vs Finn at SummerSlam got kicked around.”
Zayn quickly deleted the tweet, adding fuel to the fire that this was not supposed to be tweeted. Considering Balor is the current Intercontinental Champion, a feud isn’t out of the realms of possibility, but Balor seems pretty tied up in a feud with Shinsuke Nakamura after this week’s episode of SmackDown.
Whether Zayn costs Balor at Extreme Rules and the two engage in a feud for SummerSlam remains to be seen, but the one question still remains: who was Sami texting? Was it WWE management, asking about what plans they had for him? Was it a friend, contemplating what the future had in store for him? Or did he not text that at all, and he just wanted to troll the fans. I’m going to go with option C.
While Sami may be contemplating his future, his buddy Kevin Owens has had a blinder of a week, captivating WWE audiences on this week’s episode of SmackDown with his pipebomb-like promo, reeling off about Shane McMahon, the company as a whole and his frustrations with the product.
Owens has followed this up with a mini-tirade on Twitter, where one interesting tweet seems to have come from the heart a little bit, as Owens responds to a fan asking why they didn’t have any Kevin Owens shirts available for sale at the SmackDown event by saying:
“It’s simply a supply and demand situation. Nobody has been asking for them because I’ve been coasting for the last year and a half trying not to piss anybody off so they don’t bring them to the shows. I’m done with that. Make enough noise and they will have to listen.”
It’s been clear to see, especially in recent times since his return to the company before WrestleMania, that Owens hasn’t really had his heart into some segments, coasting and being on autopilot for a lot of them. The prospect of a fired up, invested Owens is a great one, considering Owens is one of the best performers they have on the roster.
There were elements of Stone Cold in Owens’ shenanigans on SmackDown, what with the whole anti-authority vibe and delivering a Stunner to a McMahon, which is now Kevin Owens’ new profile picture on Twitter by the way, and it will be very interesting to see where this goes from here. If WWE ride this wave of momentum, Owens could become another huge megastar for the second time in his WWE career after his debut against John Cena.
Whether he shows up at Extreme Rules to interfere in the Shane McMahon tag match against Roman Reigns and The Undertaker is another question, but the day before Extreme Rules is Fight for the Fallen, AEW’s third show.
While it’s been a busy time for AEW, forming at the start of the year, running Double or Nothing in May, Fyter Fest in June, Fight for the Fallen this Saturday, and securing a TV deal on TNT, Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes still found time for some passion projects outside of that.
The son of a son of a plumber revealed that he will be releasing a children’s book on July 15 entitled Cody: Heart of the Mountain, which will feature young versions of himself and The Elite dealing with the mystical properties of a magical mountain top.
For those looking to purchase the book, it will be available on Amazon on July 15, with a recommended retail price of $16.95.
Cody and Brandi Rhodes will be doing several book signings with the release, with one of them handily around the time of Fight for the Fallen this Saturday.
Speaking of Fight for the Fallen, and one of AEW’s biggest stars that was originally built to be one of their top guys hasn’t been seen in quite some time, that being former WWE Cruiserweight Champion, PAC. PAC was due to face off against Hangman Adam Page at Double or Nothing, however due to creative differences, PAC pulled out, and they had the match at WrestleGate the day before instead *Luke scream*
Recently, The Young Bucks appeared for an interview with Chris Van Vliet, where they spoke about PAC’s AEW status and if they could see him back soon.
“Matt: He’s coming. I mean, eventually. Yeah, he’s coming though. We’re pretty much at 99%.
Nick: It’s a work in progress. It’s obvious that Matt and I are big fans of his. We met him like 10 years ago over in Japan so we’ll always have ties with him and we wanna work things out with him.
Matt: It’s a priority for us, and I think we’re gonna make this thing work.
Nick: I think it’s just a matter of trying to fit his schedule with ours and hopefully, things work out.”
It’s reassuring to hear that PAC, one of the most technically and athletically gifted wrestlers on the planet who single handedly dragged the WWE cruiserweight division to prominence, is still very much with AEW and will hopefully be making some appearances for the company soon.
The same may also be said, hold on to your hats ladies and gents, for CM Punk. CM PUNK TO AEW CONFIRMED THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT CM PUNK IS DEFINITELY 100% CONFIRMED TO AEW
In the same interview with Chris Van Vliet, The Young Bucks were asked about all the CM PUNK TO AEW CONFIRMED rumours, to which they responded:
“Nick: We’ll be honest. Of course, we would love him to come to our company. At this time, I just don’t think he wants to.
Matt: When he wants to come back to wrestling, it’ll be his decision.
Nick: Matt talks to him all the time about it and it’s just, the timing’s not right, I guess.
Matt: Professional wrestling – he knows better than anybody – this is the most demanding thing in the world. You can’t just find yourself back in it one day and be like ‘okay, I guess I’m doing this again.’ You really have to want to do it, and that’s up to him.”
I guess the CM in CM Punk stands for Calling Matt…because he…talks to Matt about…AEW.
The Jacksons have seemingly been really trying to convince Citadel Maester Punk to join AEW, and while All Out takes place in Chicago, Chipmunk Martyr Punk’s hometown, only time will tell if Cat Man Punk will actually make an appearance, even if it is just a one-off.
While things seem to be soaring for AEW right now, with almost immediate sellouts for their big shows, AEW almost never happened because The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega almost ended up in WWE.
In the very same interview with Chris Van Vliet, Matt and Nick Jackson spoke about how they and Kenny Omega very very nearly ended up accepting an offer from WWE, before Tony Khan swooped in at the last minute.
“Nick: The last options we had before AEW became a thing was going to WWE or starting our own thing and we were probably going to start our own thing.
Matt: We talked to them endlessly. At one point, I remember me, Nick and Kenny were in a room because all of our deals were up at the same time. We got off the phone one day and we looked at each other and we said ‘I think we’re all going to WWE.’ It was that close. Tony came to us at the right time and he made the right offer.
Nick: One thing that took out of the race for going to WWE was the amount of dates that they wanted us to do.
Matt: They even offered us a limited schedule.
Nick: We have young families. Even with the limited schedule, it was like ‘God, I can’t imagine being home [just] for 2 days for my kids.”
The Bucks expanded on Khan’s offer, saying it wasn’t the financial side of it that made it interesting, but more that they were allowed the keys to the castle, they were allowed to hire the people they wanted to, and run the shows the way they wanted to, which ultimately is what led to them choosing to venture down the road of AEW instead of joining WWE.
Imagine though, in an alternate timeline. We could be seeing The Young Bucks lose against Heavy Machinery on the pre-show, and Kenny Omega could be having a soap-opera drama feud with Titus O’Neil that’s only promoted with wwe.com exclusive videos. Ah, we can only dream.
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