Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk Super News – I’m Oli Davis.
We’ve got a packed show for you today, including a huge AEW match potentially being leaked, a top wrestler having a tryout at WWE and news of a potential breaking point backstage at SmackDown with the impending draft!
Click the timestamps in the video description below to jump to any of those stories right now!
And answer our question of the day in the comments down below: How should WWE revamp SmackDown when it moves to Fox next month? Because I’ll be answering comments FROM OUTTA NOWHERE… saying the main thing should be having match graphics where the wrestlers are animated moving towards the camera and doing their taunts and stuff.
Chris Jericho’s AEW World Championships has been recovered by police! Which is a cause for celebration if I ever did hear one. Don’t really know what beverage to drink for the news, though. I know! Oooh, a little bit of the cup of tea!
As Chopper Pete reported on yesterday’s News, the inaugural AEW World Champion Chris Jericho had the prestigious belt stolen from him just two days after winning it at Saturday’s All Out. It was a debaucherous tale that involved luggage mix-ups, rented limos, chain steakhouses and, of course, more than A LITTLE BIT OF THE BUBBLY.
Sightings of a cackling Vince McMahon fleeing from the steak restaurant, howling ‘bad cow, bad cow’ remain unconfirmed.
All Elite Wrestling immediately launched a worldwide investigation, with a statement from their now belt-less champion Jericho:
”Now, as I sit here in my palatial estate, in my beautiful mansion, getting ready to have a little bit of the bubbly, I’m just imagining what I would do to that son of a bitch if he was here right now. And as a result, I am launching a worldwide investigation using the top private investigators in the world today to find out who committed this crime.”
But while the Fashion Police couldn’t find the AEW waist accessory, the Tallahassee Police soon did, with reporter Jeffrey Burlew breaking:
“@TallyPD announces it did in fact recover @IAmJericho ‘s championship belt earlier today. Someone turned it in at headquarters after reporting finding it along the side of the road. The golden belt was valued at nearly $30,000.”
Because ‘finding it along the side of the road’ isn’t suspicious at all.
Burlew adds “No arrests have been made in the theft of @IAmJericho ‘s championship belt,” as while the police have recovered the title, they still don’t know who actually stole it.
I must stress, sightings of a cackling Vince McMahon dancing outside Tony Khan’s Jacksonville base yelling ‘it should spin, it should spin’ are still just unconfirmed rumours.
Jericho has celebrated the news with, you guessed it, a little bit of the bubbly, and worked the seemingly real-life-but-never-forget-this-is-professional-wrestling-it-could-totally-be-kayfabe incident into an angle:
“Hi, I’m AEW champion Chris Jericho, and less than 24 hours after I launched a worldwide investigation to find my missing championship title, it’s been returned to me. That’s not because of any law enforcement agency that was too busy with posting pictures on Twitter and then deleting them and posting them again, or a funny meme, or a clever GIF – it was because of me.”
“The AEW championship title is back where it belongs, over the shoulder of the champion. And as I sit in my palatial estate, in my beautiful mansion, drinking a little bit of the bubbly”
A LITTLE BIT OF THE BUBBLY! Also, he said Champion in a French accent. I know Jericho’s main event with Hangman Page was somewhat of a letdown for the first ever AEW title match, but his heel work since has been incredible, with Y2J seemingly reinventing his character yet again.
In a sign of the times, Jericho being AEW’s top champion makes for another interesting wrestling history footnote – he is the first champion of a major promotion to also host his own, very popular podcast.
While that might not seem like much, as everyone has a podcast these days – please subscribe to WrestleTalk’s WrestleRamble show on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts from! – it means that we’ll have a weekly insight into the real-life and behind-the-scenes workings of a character at the top of a wrestling company.
And that’s exactly what the latest episode of Talk is Jericho, entitled ‘All Out – A Behind the Scenes Report’, is, where Chris discuss backstage happenings and his real thoughts on other wrestlers and angles in the promotion.
He gave his honest opinions on the Dark Order, saying he still hasn’t figured them out, but weekly TV should help establish them, and that while he doesn’t see hardcore-for-the-sake-of-hardcore matches as wrestling, he still gave props to Joey Janela, Jimmy Havoc and Darby Allin for their insane three way.
Apparently everyone got their faces scanned for a possible use in video games and action figures down the line. And Cracker Barrel provided the catering backstage. Hopefully Darby Allin didn’t just throw himself through all of it.
Former wrestler and noted concussion specialist Chris Nowinski did a seminar on head trauma for the wrestlers backstage, which was organised by Tony Khan. Presumably The Young Bucks missed that one as they were too busy planning all their headfirst into ladders spots.
Jericho also revealed that the Luchasaurus and Jungleboy t-shirt is outselling everyone else on Pro Wrestling Tees over the last week – showing how over they are as a gimmick – and that Kenny Omega vs PAC went too long, so they had to cut out a bunch of stuff and rush to the finish, which both were unhappy about backstage.
But as will probably be the way with an hour of talking every week, Jericho is likely to let a few things slip that he probably shouldn’t. Or possibly should, because he’s actually working us and is also using the real-life backstage report as a way to build storylines too. Wrestling! And he might’ve spoiled who his mystery tag partners are for the six-man tag main event of AEW’s debut TV episode on TNT next month – revealing he shot some backstage stuff with Ortiz and Santana, the former LAX in IMPACT, who debuted at All Out attacking the Young Bucks and Lucha Bros.
And it’s not just TV AEW is currently building, as they’ve announced the first match for their next pay-per-view, Full Gear, on November 9th.
After their All Out match had to be cancelled just a week before because of Jon Moxley suffering an MRSA infection on his elbow, AEW have now announced Moxley vs Omega will happen at Full Gear – ahead of tickets going on sale for the event this Friday. Which will be very interesting to see if AEW can continue their sell-out momentum a year after All In.
And Full Gear isn’t the only AEW-related thing that’ll happening on November 9th, as Conrad Thompson has announced his Starrcast convention will be running in Baltimore from the 7th to the 10th – implying Starrcasts will run alongside all future AEW pay-per-view events.
With AEW gearing up – pun intended – for their TNT debut on October 2nd, WWE is also preparing for the impending TV phase of their wrestling war to begin, by having a huge onscreen and backstage shake-up, and also by scouting a top star from outside the company…
Scarlett Bordeaux was built up on IMPACT last year as one of their most-pushed performers, playing an overly sexualised character, which was reportedly her idea, rather than one forced upon her by management *cough* Emmalina *cough*.
Possibly due to IMPACT’s waning popularity, though, Bordeaux reportedly asked for her release in June, and it was granted. She continued wrestling for Mexican promotion AAA, where she won their World Mixed Tag Team Championships at TripleMania last month. AAA, of course, has a close working relationship with AEW, with the AAA tag team titles being defended in the Young Bucks and Lucha Bros match at All Out. But, weirdly, Bordeaux didn’t feature on that same show’s 21 woman Casino Battle Royale. Well that could be because she’s got her sights on WWE.
Squared Circle Sirens, who are a very reliable news source for female wrestling, has reported Bordeaux was at the WWE Performance Center yesterday, and “has been seen inside the ring for what sources tell us is a tryout.”
And that’s not the only personnel change happening in WWE…
F4Wonline is reporting that “there has been a shake-up in the writing teams of WWE television [yesterday], which has been brewing for some time” – making significant changes to the lead writers on Raw and SmackDown as the latter heads towards its debut on Fox.
The report notes that Ed Koskey, formerly the head writer of Raw and a company man for over 18 years, has been moved to become the head writer of SmackDown, to work with Eric Bischoff. Koskey is currently the Vice President of Creative Writing.
Jonathan Baeckstrom will be replacing Koskey as the head writer on Raw, to work under Paul Heyman. Baeckstrom has been the head writer of 205 Live since it began back in November 2016, but he’s been working more and more on Raw since Heyman took over in July. He’s obviously a ‘Paul Heyman Guy’.
Where this is most interesting, however, is the former head writer of SmackDown, and now odd man out, Ryan Ward.
Ward is one of the more respected writers backstage in WWE, with him first gaining praise as the head writer of NXT back when it was first making itself a super indie brand in 2014 to 16. And then he moved to SmackDown following the brand split, where he was credited for the blue brand becoming the superior show at the time.
But in recent months, almost every episode of SmackDown has been plagued by reports of Vince McMahon ripping up scripts just hours before the shows are due to begin, and completely rewriting them. The F4WOnline report notes that because of this, “it was known some type of change on the SmackDown side was inevitable.”
Pro Wrestling Sheet has since confirmed the ‘big creative team shake-up’ report, and added “We’re told Ryan Ward will be taking time away for a short period of time due to unspecified reasons.”
This follows another SmackDown lead writer Steve Guerreri being let go from the company in July. To speculate, it seems like Ward has taken a break as he’s been phased out of the creative team.
And it’s not just the backstage that’s getting a revamp for SmackDown’s move to Fox, as both F4WOnline and Post Wrestling are reporting a WWE draft will be taking place in five weeks’ time.
The Wrestling Observer has already noted how WWE will reinforce the brand split from October, and now the date has been leaked for the October 11th episode of SmackDown in Las Vegas – the week after it debuts on Fox. Raw’s portion of the draft will then take place in Denver on October 14th.
Watch my review of IT CHAPTER 2 which is out now by clicking the video on the right! It’s not just got my spoiler-free and spoiler-full thoughts on the movie, but also Laurie and Pete going to the IT Chapter 2 experience, and their live reactions to watching Chapter 1! And is Daniel Bryan turning babyface? Click the video beneath that to find out in our review of this week’s SmackDown. I’ve been Oli Davis, and that was wrestling.