Renee Young To Call Raw
For a long time now, the announce team for Raw of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathan Coachman/Booker T/Byron Saxton have been criticised for its endless Big Dogs, Boss Times and OH MYs. Fans have been clamouring for a change to the trio, and following the announcement that The Coach would not be commentating next week due to business elsewhere, a replacement has been found in none other than Fade Away Renee, Renee Young.
Young has commentated for WWE before, calling NXT matches in 2013 and on WWE Superstars, which made her the first woman ever to call a main roster match. She is also currently providing colour commentary for the second Mae Young Classic with Michael Cole and Beth Phoenix.
In a statement, WWE said: “Young will work alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves for all three hours of the broadcast, making this the first time a woman has called an entire episode of Raw. Don’t miss Renee Young’s historic Raw announce team debut live this Monday.”
Ah, there’s that word historic again. Can’t wait for someone to call her a trailblazer.
To celebrate this historic moment, Stephanie McMahon tweeted: “You’re going to kill it Renee Young”.
Paul Heyman certainly enjoyed the news and seemingly buried Coachman in the process tweeting, “I applaud @WWE for the decision to have @ReneeYoungWWE sit in this coming Monday as a guest commentator on #RAW. The entire program has just been handed an instant upgrade.”
And her new commentating friend Michael Cole tweeted, “#raw will be absolutely incredible Monday Night with @ReneeYoungWWE joining me and @WWEGraves! Renee is true trailblazer (ah there it is!) and about to do something that has never been done before! This is gonna be fun!”
But that wasn’t the only big change to a line-up announced yesterday.
NXT TakeOver Main Event Changed
Following the announcement that the NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn main event would be a triple threat between Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Championship, WWE.com released a video of the former champion laid out backstage by an unknown attacker. It was reported that this was to write Black out of storylines due to a groin injury, with Pro Wrestling Sheet revealing that he might be out of action until October.
There was speculation that NXT might replace Black with newest rumoured signee Matt Riddle, but it was announced yesterday by NXT General Manager William Regal that instead Ciampa and Gargano will face off on the third TakeOver in a row, this time in a Last Man Standing match for the NXT Championship.
But whoever is Champion come the next time NXT holds a TakeOver in Brooklyn, will face stiff competition in terms of selling tickets.
Vince McMahon Furious Over ROH And New Japan Madison Square Garden Show
It was revealed yesterday that the joint Ring of Honor and New Japan G1 show at Madison Square Garden over WrestleMania weekend next year has done very well in its pre-sale of tickets. It had been reported that ROH had sold around 60% of their 15,000 seat capacity to Honor Club members only, however it’s now being reported that number was an under-estimate – and they actually sold around 12,000 seats on pre-sale alone. The event is expected to sell out when tickets go on general sale – something WWE has been unable to do in three years.
That event was built around Brock Lesnar’s return to wrestling in MSG. The last time they sold out prior to that was in 2012. In fact when WWE ran a show there last month built around Ronda Rousey, and The Undertaker’s first match at Madison Square Garden in eight years, the show drew 13,000 fans. This will also be the first $1 million gate in North America not promoted by Vince McMahon.
Which I’m sure is news Vince McMahon has taken very well. After all, this is the building his father promoted in and they’ve held a monopoly on since the 1920s. It’s a building the company have called their Mecca. I mean it’s not like he’s blocked other companies running the venue! It’s not like when ROH announced they were doing a show at Madison Square Garden his team made just one phone call and the building cancelled the date. Oh no wait, he did and has done all of that.
Dave Meltzer has now said on Wrestling Observer Radio that McMahon is most likely furious about this news. “I already know how he’s reacting. In his mind he can’t lose, but he lost trying to block them from getting the show… and obviously it’s going to sell out which they haven’t done in MSG for three years and only once in almost six years.”
Meltzer also speculates that WWE might try and do what they did with All In. Once that show sold out, WWE made big plays to sign people that were working the show – which they managed with Deonna Purrazzo who is wrestling in this year’s Mae Young Classic. And as Meltzer notes in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Kenny Omega, Cody and The Young Bucks will not be under contract to Ring of Honor or New Japan by the time the Madison Square Garden event rolls around – which is why the show thus far has only advertised Tetsuya Naito, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Meltzer added on Wrestling Observer Radio, “Vince may grab everyone, and I expect attempts in that direction for sure, so we’ll see what happens. I think it makes everything a lot more interesting.”