Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk Super News – I’m Oli Davis.
It’s Wednesday. You know what that means. Yes I do, Luke Harper’s Twitter account. It’s CM Punk said a load of stuff on WWE Backstage news time!
After not appearing for the last two weeks – as he’s only a ‘periodic’ contributor to the show – CM Punk made his return to WWE Backstage last night to talk the biggest wrestling news stories from the last seven days.
No, no, not the four wrestler releases. Or two Wellness Policy suspension. He was there to talk about Seth Rollins’ heel turn!
Since Punk first appeared on WWE Backstage last month, Seth has tried to work a program with him on Twitter, posting ‘FIGHT ME!’ and asking Fox to buy him a plane ticket to a recording to confront him. Going by Twitter, you could afford that yourself.
Seth actually brought this up on the post-Survivor Series episode of Raw, where Punk’s hometown of Chicago drowned Rollins out with CM Punk chants, so Seth replied: “I tried to get him here, I’m sorry. He didn’t wanna show up. He wants to sit behind a desk in Los Angeles and talk about a change that he’s too afraid to make himself.”
But during Seth’s WWE Backstage appearance the following week, with no CM Punk in sight – he said he didn’t have anything more to say on the feud.
This could be because Vince McMahon was reportedly furious at Rollins for potentially building to a Punk match on WWE TV, as the chairman hates talent pushing for matches on-air that can’t happen – like when Brock Lesnar and Stone Cold Steve Austin teased a match several years ago. Although Vince has no qualms announcing matches he never intends putting on himself.
Since then, on Monday’s Raw, Rollins had a very literal heel turn, revealing himself as Kevin Owens’ Uber Pool passenger from hell. After calling Seth a fool several weeks ago, Punk also dialed back their feud, taking a more neutral stance when reviewing the angle on Backstage – saying he’ll “wait and see” about Rollins teaming with AOP, but he doesn’t want a “regurgitated Shield.” And that “[Seth isn’t] good at being a good guy. The ironic thing is, everyone is gonna cheer him” now he’s turned heel. A heel turn that apparently didn’t go down the way WWE originally planned – more on that later, or timestamps are your friend.
Elsewhere on the show, Punk also said WWE should drop the red light for Fiend matches , and called WWE’s Hall of Fame illegitimate unless every member of the nWo is inducted – a reference to Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman being announced as 2020 headliners earlier this week, despite Waltman being the sixth addition to the faction after Big Show (when he was called The Giant) and Ted DiBiase. In fairness to WWE though, if they were to induct every member of the nWo, that would fill up the next 14 years of Hall of Fame classes. Pretty much every wrestler in the 90s was part of that faction.
One of Punk’s most shocking revelations, however, was that he actually didn’t mind the very poorly received Baron Corbin and Roman Reigns dog food angle at the end of Friday’s SmackDown.
I don’t either, Punk. I really like it to now I’ve had more of a chance to think about it. Please be my friend.
Welcoming every town’s favourite son, our King Baron Corbin, Punk compared Friday’s angle to one of his favourite horror movies, the period drama Carrie.
“I’m going to blow a lot of people’s minds right now. I did not hate the dog food as much as everyone assumes I’m going to hate it… The first thing I thought of was one of my favourite films, Carrie. They dump pig’s blood on this poor girl, and she goes haywire. Dog food, pig’s blood, is either one cornier than the other one? Bad guys need to do bad things.”
Punk then seemed to develop an unlikely bromance with Corbin – a wrestler Punk confessed to not being familiar with just several weeks ago – during Baron’s interview segment, bonding over heel shenanigans. Which is, like, totally fine. I guess we’re seeing other best friends now. It’s healthy.
WHY WON’T YOU REPLY TO ME ON TWI-
The episode also took a look back at AJ Styles and Finn Balor’s TLC match from two years ago, where Punk took against the Bullet Club reference after the finish:
“I don’t get the “too sweet” thing. Rasslin cosplay. Side bar, does everyone just take pics with @TripleH now?”
Yes, including Triple H. Punk continued about how the wrestling world now is so different from his era just five years ago:
“Man. What a different world. I’m basically unfrozen caveman lawyer. Your world frightens and confuses me. #rasslin”
Ok boomer. But while he might not quite get Bullet Club references, he can sure longterm book a cuckold storyline.
WWE’s Rusev, Lana and Bobby Lashley feud has been going on since September, but despite being very negatively received by many fans, its clipped-up versions consistently do great numbers on WWE’s YouTube channel.
Vince McMahon reportedly loves the work Rusev and Lana are doing, and the storyline is said to payoff with Rusev looking great. But Punk has offered his own bit of Fantasy Booking on last night’s Backstage:
“I don’t think Rusev wants to be involved with Lana anymore on-screen. So, Lana and Bobby go off and do their thing, but Lana grinds on the nerves, Bobby is sick of her. He leaves Lana too, they have another divorce. She gets another tag team to go after Bobby and Rusev, who have become best friends because they have the familiar: the ex-wife.
This new tag team with Lana in tow go after them. What they do at WrestleMania, they put Lana in a shark cage because by WrestleMania the new tag team is already so sick of Lana that the loser of the match gets what’s in the shark cage.
We can continue it past WrestleMania! I don’t know if we’re still doing shows in Saudi Arabia, but Lana in Saudi Arabia, I’ve got ideas for that too, come at me after the show!”
Because jokes are always funnier when people explain them, Punk referencing Saudi Arabia is most likely a thinly veiled jab at the country’s lack of women’s rights. After three big money shows in Saudi Arabia over a year and a half, WWE were only able to put on their first women’s match last month, where Natalya wrestled Lacey Evans while covered up in oversized t-shirts, which unfortunately didn’t stop one member of the audience throwing a bottle of water at Nattie during her entrance.
But for married women committing adultery there, the punishment is significantly harsher than a bottle of water, as according to the country’s law, the offending wife would have stones thrown at her until she dies. Maybe jokes aren’t that funny when you explain them.
Lana, of course, also actually appeared on last month’s Saudi show heavily covered up, accompanying Bobby Lashley for the Team Flair vs Team Hogan match. But no reference to the cheating storyline was made.
Just in case she wasn’t watching, though, Punk helpfully told Lana he’s figured out her storyline:
“Loser keeps @LanaWWE match. Just booked you through mania, chica. You’re welcome. @RusevBUL #WWEBackstage”
Saudi Arabia is just one of the many real wrestling stories Backstage hasn’t touched. And now we know exactly why that is.
Since fully premiering last month, WWE Backstage has either glossed over or totally ignored:
-WWE’s heavily critiqued relationship with Saudi Arabia!
-The Saudi Arabia travel issues which caused many of the roster to miss SmackDown!
-NXT often losing in the ratings to AEW.
-The actual existence of AEW.
-Mike Kanellis publicly requesting his release again. I don’t know if he has, I’m just putting this in here to be safe.
-Jordan Myles accusing the company of institutional racism!
-Luke Harper, Sin Cara and The Ascension being released!
-Mauro Ranallo missing Survivor Series and NXT because of comments made by Corey Graves!
-Robert Roode and Primo Colon being suspended because of Wellness Policy violations!
-And many, many more.
But don’t worry, because The Miz has signed a 5 year deal! Nothing to see here!
One of the main criticisms against Backstage is that it fundamentally fails the concept of a wrestling news show, as the agenda appears to be set to not offend WWE. It’s like watching the news in North Korea and going, why aren’t they talking about the famine?
Until now, this has just been speculation. But now Renee Young has pretty much confirmed that’s the case to TV Insider:
“We want to do a service to WWE and FOX. Obviously, we keep our fans in mind with all of it. We want to cover as much as we can, but we bounce stuff off WWE as well to see what they are comfortable with us talking about. I’ve worked there for so long I know exactly what that line is always going to be anyway.”
Anyway, we gotta make time for all those matches they still haven’t announced for TLC.
Following their five minute open challenge win over the Street Profits on Monday, the Viking DON’T MENTION THE WAR EXPERIENCE Raiders issued another Raw tag team title open challenge on Backstage for this Sunday’s TLC. Wrestling Observer has already reported that “as of a week ago” a match between The O.C’s Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson and the Raiders was planned for the card, so expect the challenge to be answered by them.
Maybe only announcing your pay-per-view matches just six days before is actually a smart strategy these days, as news has also come out that two major injuries have affected the TLC card.
Another planned match was Braun Strowman vs Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental title, but Strowman is currently dealing with a back injury, so he’s been given time off to heal. The hope is that he’s ok for Friday, where he can shoot an angle with Nakamura to set up the championship match on Sunday, which was originally meant to be done on last Friday’s episode.
The other reportedly injured star is Raw’s Seth Rollins, which appears to have altered his heel turn plans. According to Dave Meltzer, Rollins broke his little finger in a street fight against Erick Rowan on Sunday’s house show in Georgia, meaning he was pulled from wrestling on this week’s Raw.
What a difference a decade makes, where in 2013 Alberto Del Rio reportedly legitimately roughed up Sin Cara Uno for not finishing a match with a dislocated finger, and Sin Cara was the one who got heat backstage.
Seth was originally meant to wrestle Cedric Alexander on Monday’s episode, which was “scheduled to be a step in the heel turn but Rollins was pulled from the show.” And while there was talk of him wrestling Kevin Owens at TLC, “the match was never finalised” and apparently is still not confirmed.
While WWE officials have now cleared Rollins to wrestle with the injury going forward, it raises questions over whether the plan was always for Seth to fully unveil his AOP faction on Monday, or whether his full turn was meant for later on, and it was a hastily booked change because of the scrapped Alexander match.
Whatever the plans were, another, longer standing question remains: Is Seth Rollins cool? Let me know in the comments down below because I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA NOWHERE for the first 30 minutes after this video goes live!
The question was first asked by this furious fan’s sign at the end of October’s terrible Hell in a Cell match between Rollins and The Fiend, in a clip that quickly went viral. In something a little different, I’ve interviewed that fan, Cabel Allen, about what drove him to make that sign, and how The Fiend losing has actually affected his wrestling fandom since. Check out news Robert Roode has been suspended by clicking the ‘i’ above my head now, or stick around for that interview now…
If you enjoyed this video, please press the thumbs up button, give us a subscribe and share this video around! And find out all the details on WWE suspending two wrestlers yesterday – including a top SmackDown star! – and details on the botched ending to Raw by clicking the videos on the right! I’ve been Oli Davis, and that was wrestling.