Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk Super News – I’m Oli Davis.
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If we get enough support, maybe we’ll try and book that Seth Rollins vs Dave Meltzer match that’s being built on Twitter.
As a quick recap of the story so far, following last Thursday’s Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia, the majority of the men’s WWE roster and crew found themselves stuck unable to take off on their flight back to the States for the following night’s episode of SmackDown. The official company line was that the plane had mechanical issues, but there were reports from numerous wrestling sites it could actually have been because of a dispute over money owed to WWE.
Thankfully, the stranded WWE crew made it back by Saturday, and in missing SmackDown, created one of the best TV episodes of the year where an NXT invasion had to make up the shortfall. Of course, the wrestlers and crew’s safety is the most important thing here. But good God, what an Adam Cole vs Daniel Bryan match!
Understandably, a lot of the wrestlers left behind were disappointed in the company, especially as Vince McMahon, Brock Lesnar, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were all able to get out earlier on their private jets. Many even commented about this publicly on social media, angrily making fun of WWE’s statement saying they didn’t “feel strongly” enough about making it back in time for SmackDown.
This all came to a head before Monday’s episode of Raw, where the Wrestling Observer and a 75% right-of-the-time Reddit insider called Toy Story Six reported a backstage meeting was held at 3pm with Vince McMahon and the wrestlers, where the company “blamed talent speculation for causing a problem,” reaffirmed that the delayed flight out of Saudi Arabia was due to a mechanical issue, and that Rusev spoke up, Randy Orton tried to make a joke, and “Seth Rollins attempted to do a rah-rah speech while telling people to keep things like this off social media in the future.” Aka, the Hulk Hogan approach to inspirational HR speeches.
Because he’s really good at Twitter, Rollins himself denied Dave Meltzer’s ‘rah-rah speech’ claims:
“And lastly, @davemeltzerWON, you’re at best a purveyor of misinformation or at worst an outright, vindictive liar. I hope it’s the former. #rahrah”
We’ve actually got exclusive footage taped of Seth making the speech at the meeting.
Rah rah rah rah rah rah.
Meltzer speculated that Seth tweeted that because the speech wasn’t well-received backstage, with him trying to come off as a locker room leader, but actually appearing like a company shill. And Rollins responded to that too.
“No Dave, my problem is that you’re spreading complete lies. I gave no speech. I said nothing before, during or after the meeting. So either you or your source is full of it. Either way, it’s a bold faced lie and I kindly ask you to quit pushing it.”
And he also made a statement to other wrestling news website Fightful about the backstage meeting:
“Vince and Triple H held an all talent meeting to explain the travel situation returning from Crown Jewel. They commended the talent for their conduct in a tough spot and fielded questions and allowed anyone to voice their feelings on the matter. Some talent spoke up and overall it was a productive forum. I said zero words. I made no speech. Pretty simple.”
Which you’d usually take with a pinch of salt, as WWE loves to bash Dave Meltzer, but then Seth’s story was corroborated by the very reliable WrestleVotes:
“This Dave Meltzer / Seth Rollins stuff is funny. Dave reporting Rollins spoke at the Talent Meeting held prior to RAW yesterday. He didn’t. However, AJ Styles did. He spoke up & shared his thoughts according to a source. AJ is very well respected backstage so his voice matters.”
20 minute rant from AJ Styles on flat earth confirmed.
Additionally, the Reddit insider Toy Story Six who was also independently posting about the backstage meeting deleted their account. Before the Rollins story, ToyStorySix had correctly reported Jon Moxley pulling out of All Out, Cain Velasquez signing with WWE and Kylie Rae leaving AEW – although he got the reason for her departing wrong.
An impressive record undone by some rahrah. And we’ll now never get to know what happens in Toy Story Six!
To his credit, Meltzer recognised that his report was incorrect and publicly apologised to Seth on Twitter, replying:
“Very sorry on this. I don’t want to spread misinformation.”
And posted an official retraction on F4WOnline:
“We would like to retract a comment from both Monday’s daily update and Monday’s post-Raw Wrestling Observer Radio regarding Seth Rollins and the meeting Vince McMahon held with talent yesterday before Raw. We had included comments and discussed on WOR that Rollins had spoken at the meeting, but he has since said on Twitter and released a statement to Fightful that he did not. We apologize for this error. It is our policy in our newsletters and on our podcasts to correct mistakes as soon as possible and to always clarify if there are misunderstandings.”
Seth’s rahrah controversy aside, it’s very interesting how a huge story about WWE’s increasingly controversial relationship with Saudi Arabia – which includes reports that wrestlers can’t wait to leave the company, a big share price drop, and then the announcement that WWE will stage shows there all the way through to 2027 – has somehow now been overshadowed by whether or not Seth Rollins spoke at a backstage meeting. It’s almost like there’s a PR plan there to control the narrative away from the real story.
But NXT’s invading the main roster!
What’s your opinion of Seth Rollins vs Dave Meltzer? And who will win in the eventual WrestleMania ladder match? Let me know in the comments because I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA NOWHERE!
Speaking of wrestlers who potentially want to leave, WWE have just announced they’ve locked down one of the potential highest profile defectors.
After a few specials here and there, last night saw the full premiere of FS1’s new wrestling studio show WWE Backstage. The original plans for the show had Brock Lesnar announcing he was quitting SmackDown to move to Raw – which would still make no sense – but that had to be hotshot to Friday’s episode because of the Saudi travel issues. And with also no CM Punk return confirmed, the show scrambled to have as many newsworthy segments as possible for the launch, including a taped message from John Cena, Shawn Michaels phoning in from the WWE Performance Center to talk about the NXT invasion and a VT from NFL player The Gronk, who revealed his favourite wrestler of all time is Val Venis.
It was also announced that Tyson Fury would be making a live appearance on this Friday’s SmackDown after his Crown Jewel victory over Braun Strowman, a look at Bray Wyatt’s Universal Championship side plates on a special edition of the Firefly Fun House – which are pretty awesome Fiend faces, but should’ve been the words Hurt on one side and Heal on the other – and the flat Earth-shattering news that Roman Reigns will take on King Baron Corbin after their match couldn’t happen last Friday.
Oh joy, I was worried we were going to miss out on that one.
Jokes, Corbz has massively grown on me, and I think it’ll be a really fun match.
But the real biggest news of the show came from outta… a PWInsider report earlier in the day.
Mike Johnson actually revealed a few hours before WWE Backstage began that the word at Monday’s Raw – besides everyone obviously saying ‘rah rah’ – “was that Randy Orton inked a new, multi-year deal with World Wrestling Entertainment.”
This was then officially announced on the Backstage show, with Randy himself tweeting:
“The 3 most dangerous letters in sports entertainment- #RKO just re-signed with the 3 most dominant letters in sports entertainment- #WWE Looking forward to pi$$ing off the #WWEUNIVERSE for at least 5 more years”
Orton’s previous deal was a 10 year contract beginning in 2010, and this new one will see him stay with the company until at least 2025 – on which his Evolution mentor Triple H happily commented:
“I’m glad to put the rumors to rest. For almost two decades, Randy Orton has been a cornerstone of WWE…and Randy Orton will remain a cornerstone of WWE for a long time!”
Those ‘rumors’ Hunter mentions are ones mainly started by Orton himself, who’s been quite obviously teasing on social media for the last two weeks that he could defect to AEW to be with his Legacy buddy Cody Rhodes, with his WWE contract reportedly expiring next year – posting a picture of him next to a door sign that read ‘Elite’ and tagging in Cody and AEW Champion Chris Jericho, and also by tweeting with The Revival – themselves heavily rumoured to go to All Elite Wrestling when their contracts expire in April – that they’ll reunite their faction together sometime next year.
It appears this was all a negotiating ploy to leverage more money from WWE for his new contract, which is a very smart move. But that’s not the full story regarding Orton and the Revival.
Fightful reported shortly before Orton’s deal was announced that Randy pushed heavily to work more with Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder beyond their feud with the New Day through SummerSlam – with Randy “even going as far as pitching a faction to Vince McMahon personally.”
Unfortunately, “The idea fell on deaf ears and Orton and the Revival were put on different brands in the WWE draft.”
Fightful adds that the Revival asked for their WWE releases earlier this year and have since rejected deals worth half a million dollars each. Oddly, WWE have given them three tag team title runs in the time since, possibly as a way to persuade them to stay, but they’ll be free to leave next Spring – where it’s expected they’ll go to AEW to make their long running social media feud with the Young Bucks a reality.
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Love? Of course not you big sap. Money!
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And also, just so you’re not caught unaware, we’re still trying to figure out the best way to cover AEW Dynamite and NXT on Thursdays, as many of you have said the way we currently do it favours AEW. So from tomorrow we’re trying something new – a Super News detailing the most newsworthy points from both shows, with the usual industry stories, and then a WrestleTalk Live review of Dynamite with me and Luke (which will be Pete tomorrow), and then a WrestleTalk Live review of NXT with Laurie and Housemate Simon right after – which will go into some WWE 2K20 craziness! Make sure to subscribe and enable notifications to ‘always on’ to know when those go live first!
Is Seth Rollins turning heel? Find out in my Raw in about 4 minutes review by clicking the video on the right! And find out the real reason WWE announced their extended partnership with Saudi Arabia this week by clicking the video below that. I’ve been Oli Davis, and that was wrestling.