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Do you want to see Ronda Rousey return to WWE? Because we’ll be talking about the former Raw Women’s Champion’s possible WWE future in this new episode today, as well as details on that Goldberg/Matt Riddle confrontation at Summerslam, and WWE being in talks with a rival promotion. Click the timestamps down below if you want to skip to any of those stories, but first.
Despite what Michael Cole kept telling us on Raw, the wrestling world was not talking about
Seth Rollins slaying Brock Lesnar for the second time this year at Summerslam, and were instead talking about The Fiend’s debut match against Finn Balor. In fact on this week’s Smackdown review edition of WrestleRamble where we aimed to talk about the excellent Roman Reigns vs. Buddy Murphy match, all of the superchat questions were just about Bray Wyatt’s new character and what could be next for him.
I brought up on a Ramble this week that a possible downer of The Fiend debuting at Summerslam is that he likely wouldn’t be in WWE2K20 which is released in October. But fear not, as 2K have clearly let him in – announcing yesterday that The Fiend will be the game’s pre-order bonus. Perhaps I’m just an old man yelling at clouds, but why not give fans something as cool as this in the standard game? You know, other than extorting extra money out of players of course.
The Fiend will be in the Deluxe and Collector’s Editions – so, get your spreadsheets out to keep track of what you get in the unnecessary multiple versions of a single game – and he won’t be the only pre-order bonus – with 2K also revealing their Bump in the Night tower characters – including Wicked Aleister Black, an actual snake Randy Orton, FrankenStrowman, and Sheamus of the Dead. Yes, that is Sheamus dressed as Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. The Tower modes will see players take on stories including Sheamus facing zombie versions of his colleagues, Mandy Rose trying to survive Twisted Nikki Cross’ games, and Daniel Bryan trying to survive The Swampfather Bray Wyatt’s compound. Let’s be honest, it’s better than Fred Durst.
Oli Davis and Chopper Pete Quinell will be going over this story in more detail over on ScreenStalker, so head on over there once you’ve finished watching this video.
The Fiend’s popularity isn’t just confined to YouTube comments sections, social media and WWE2K20 though, as WWE announced this week that his new entrance theme is climbing the music charts.
The song, which is a cover song of Bray Wyatt’s original theme performed by Code Orange, was released on iTunes and Amazon Music this past Tuesday – and is already number #2 in the iTunes charts and #28 in Amazon’s Best Sellers list at the time of this recording. According to WWE, The Fiend is more popular than Shawn Mendes, Tool and Taylor Swift. The song also has nearly 500,000 at the time of this recording, around 400,000 of which were by me.
And speaking of Bray Wyatt and singing along with songs made popular by him – segue – for losing WrestleLeague Season Two, I will be doing the music video punishment very soon – which will be Muscle Man Dance from Firefly Funhouse as voted for by you. So, get ready to see me in a vest. Not sure who is being punished here.
But who is next for The Fiend? Well, going by Twitter it could be none other than Aleister Black. Wyatt posted about his inclusion in WWE2K20, asking if he could have the cover next year, which Alesiter Black responded to by saying that he has a door, with Wyatt replying that’s crazy as he has a door too.
Dear WWE, please make Aleister Black vs. The Fiend happen at WrestleMania. If you don’t, you’re idiots and beyond help. Yours, Luke.
But The Fiend wasn’t just a big talking point following Summerslam.
One day removed from WWE’s Summerslam, New Japan held the finals of the G1 Climax – a tournament that has been hailed as the greatest pro-wrestling tournament ever – with over 50 matches topping the **** scale from Dave Meltzer, with a few even breaking the ***** barrier. But the show didn’t just feature Kota Ibushi beating Jay White to win the tournament overall, it also featured the shocking heel turn of KENTA who joined Bullet Club. Not only that, but also saw Katsuyori Shibata rush the ring, clear house of the Club and hit the running dropkick. The crowd at Budokan Hall lost their freakin’ minds.
Shibata hasn’t wrestled since he almost died in-ring in 2017 after a headbutt that reportedly sounded like a baseball bat hitting a tree to Kazuchika Okada, a headbutt that meant he had to have surgery that included removing his skull. Doctors at the time gave him a 20% chance of living and wouldn’t clear him to wrestle.
And despite this angle suggesting that we could see Shibata vs. KENTA down the line, Dave Meltzer is reporting in the Wrestling Observer that Shibata still isn’t cleared to wrestle. Meltzer writes, “Talent was told that wasn’t possible, that he was doing what he could do to get KENTA over as strongly as possible as a heel. The angle was one of the best in decades, with heat unseen in years. We’re told he’s not cleared to wrestle and that there is no information leading to the idea anything has changed from the 2017 diagnosis that he could never be cleared to wrestle again. But you never say never.”
Speaking of returns to the ring, and Goldberg was at Summerslam to spear Dolph Ziggler out of his boots following his disastrous match with The Undertaker at Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia. But it wasn’t just wrestling fans who thought Taker/Goldberg was a hot mess; Goldberg himself called it the “perfect storm of crap”. And of course there was NXT star Matt Riddle – who tweeted that Goldberg is the worst wrestler in the world after the show was over.
And according to Riddle, the two crossed paths at Summerslam and had what could be considered an awkward encounter. According to Riddle, the meeting didn’t go particularly well because Riddle called him “bro”, and Goldberg didn’t take kindly to that saying, “I’m not your bro.” When Riddle told him to take it easy bro, Goldberg replied: “I’ll see you later, and it was a pleasure meeting you.” Dave Meltzer adds in the Wrestling Observer that, “[Goldberg] has the attitude generally if people are dicks to him to – in his words – ‘kill them with kindness’.” Riddle responded to this by saying, “the pleasure was all mine, bro”. I love you, Matt Riddle.
If WWE were smart about this, they’d book the two to have a match at a big PPV like Survivor Series or WrestleMania. But let’s just hope it’s not a repeat of Will Ospreay vs. Vader, though.
Someone who has a question mark over their WWE return is Ronda Rousey. As reported late last year by Dave Meltzer, Rousey left WWE following her loss at WrestleMania because she wanted to start a family. There have been rumours that Rousey could come back as part of Smackdown moving to Fox in October, seen as though she was sold as a key figure in the company when WWE were arranging the TV deal with the network. But there hasn’t been any news on that for some time.
Well, perhaps the train can pull into speculation station now, as Deadline are reporting that Rousey has signed on to star in the Fox TV show 9-1-1. Deadline write, “Rousey will play Lena Bosko, a stoic and fearless member of the Los Angeles Fire Department Station 136 who leaps into action to save lives when a disaster hits.”
The show, which also stars Angela Bassett and Jennifer Love Hewitt, pulled in an average of nearly 10 million viewers on a Monday night when its second season aired. And crucially, this is a Fox show so there is some crossover potential with 9-1-1 and Smackdown. Recently a Fox executive was asked about Smackdown’s declining ratings on USA Network – ratings which would be seen as a disaster on Fox considering how much they paid for the rights – and they said that measures would be in place to make sure it would be a success.
This has led to many speculating that we could see Rousey make a return to WWE, especially with season three of 9-1-1 debuting the week before Smackdown does on Fox.
The Smackdown move is seen to be one of the ways WWE will be competing against AEW when it heads to TV in October too, but that might not be the only way of competing.
The Wednesday night wars are rumoured to be kicking off this coming October, when AEW arrives on TNT and WWE will reportedly move NXT off the WWE Network and onto FS1 as a weekly live two-hour show with more main roster stars. It’s been reported that WWE are trying to do as much as they can do slow down the momentum of AEW – whose ticket requests for All Out were larger than any WrestleMania in history – and one of these tactics is signing as much talent as possible. In fact it was written in this week’s Observer, that WWE are actively signing people they have no interest in, just to keep them from going to competition like AEW, ROH, New Japan or even Impact Wrestling.
And in a very interesting note from the Observer, Dave Meltzer is reporting that WWE were “in talks” with Mexian promotion CMLL. This comes one month removed from the death of its long-time promoter Paco Alonso. The reports claim that now that his daughter Sofia Alonso is in charge, WWE are starting the discussions.
This also comes one week after the report that WWE were having meetings about purchasing FITE – the wrestling streaming service that is an AEW partner. Although those were rumours that were shot down by FITE themselves.
At present, it’s unknown what these talks with CMLL are about – whether its a partnership similar to what WWE have with wXw in Germany or Progress here in England, or whether it’s to buy them out completely. There’s also the possibility that WWE could use CMLL as their jumping off point for NXT Mexico, which follows on from the rumours that WWE were interested in purchasing a Japanese promotionto start NXT Japan.
And speaking of NXT, we’re about to dive into the spoilers from the latest set of tapings which include some pretty big news, some even bigger news, and a surprise debut. This will be the last thing we’re covering on today’s WrestleTalk News, so feel free to click off this video onto other great WrestleTalk content, or head on over to ScreenStalker where Oli Davis and Chopper Pete Quinnell will be going into detail about the WWE2K20 pre-order bonuses.
We’re about to head into the Spoiler Room Brawl in 3…2…1.
NXT taped its next set of TV shows at Full Sail last night – which saw Roderick Strong continue his feud with Velveteen Dream by setting his sofa on fire, Killian Dain defeat Matt Riddle, Keith Lee and Dominic Dijavokic have a match that was described as “insane”, and Jordan Myles challenge Adam Cole to the NXT Championship after he won the Breakout Tournament on this week’s episode – with Cole successfully defending his title.
But one of the big bits of news was the NXT debut of former NXT UK Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley – who came out to challenge NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baslzer. According to the live reports on WrestleTalk.com, Ripley said that Baszler has beaten everyone in NXT except for her – and the two had a match later in the tapings that ended in DQ when Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir interfered – possibly setting up a return match for the next TakeOver event.
Another big bit of news coming from the tapings is that Johnny Gargano apparently isn’t heading to the main roster as had been speculated last Saturday, as he came out to cut a promo but was interrupted by Shane Thorne. Thorne told him he could leave, but Gargano superkicked him and announced he was staying in NXT.
And finally the real big news from the tapings is that we’ve got new NXT Tag Team Champions, as Undisputed Era of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly defeated Street Profits to become the first-ever 3x tag champs. Well, it’s the third for Kyle and the second for his team with Fish, but it’s the third overall for Undisputed Era. This should now signal the official call up to the main roster for Street Profits to Raw.
Thank you for watching and a special thank you to all of our awesome Pledge Hammers on Patreon, some of which you can see scrolling their way into my stomach. Click the video on screen to watch Oli Davis and Chopper Pete Quinnell discuss the pre-order bonus news from WWE2K20 over on ScreenStalker. I’ve been Luke Owen, and that was Mecha News.
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