Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk STACKED News, my name is Chopper Pete Quinnell.
We’ve got a huge show for you today, including the latest on the Sasha Banks and WWE situation, a load of head figures in the company missing this week’s episode of Raw, and a huge return from injury for a WWE star!
Click the timestamps in the video description to be taken to any of those stories right now!
And make sure to have yourself a superclick party by pressing the thumbs up, subscribe, and bell icons to enable notifications, and while you’re there, make sure to leave us a comment answering the question of the day, which today is
Which currently injured WWE star are you most looking forward to returning? Probably in some battle royal though, can’t have any shocking or impactful returns these days…
Well, regardless let’s see what fun news stories we’ve got in store today shall we?
Are we sure that headline’s right? I’ve got to…talk about…ok sure. This job continues to surprise me.
Following the recent announcement that he will be joining the cast of Fast and Furious 9, 16-time World Champion John Cena appeared on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live earlier this week, where he revealed that he may have had accidental erections while working in the ring.
“It’s something the body does, you just ignore it. Just ignore it. It’s what the body does. You can’t be blamed for that.”
Really gives a whole new meaning to “Big Match John” doesn’t it? I guess this means he’s now a stiff worker. It’s alright John, I know a solution. Just give it a Five Knuckle Shuffle.
Penis jokes aside, Cena hasn’t been seen in WWE since WrestleMania 35, even missing out on Super Showdown, which is normally when we see all the big names make their returns, like Goldberg, The Undertaker, and Triple H. This is because Cena reportedly did not want to wrestle in Saudi Arabia given the controversy surrounding the country.
The company line that has always been given regarding these events is that WWE is at “the forefront of change”, and it seemed that may have actually been the case with Super Showdown last week, as both Natalya and Alexa Bliss were flown out to Saudi Arabia to potentially have the first WWE women’s match in the Kingdom.
The match never came to fruition thanks to the Saudi government, but Stephanie McMahon has now spoken on the future of women’s wrestling in Saudi Arabia.
Speaking at the Celebrating Women in Sports Luncheon, Stephanie McMahon was asked about WWE’s deal with Saudi Arabia, to which she responded:
“In terms of women…we’ve been promised that we will be at the forefront of change that’s coming in Saudi. I believe we will have a women’s match in the near future.”
Whether this women’s match will be at the next Saudi show on November 1 which is yet to be officially announced, or next year when they return again, remains to be seen. But one thing that we can be assured of is that WWE most certainly is at “the forefront of change”.
Stephanie would go on to mention the women’s match that took place in Abu Dhabi between Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss, perhaps Sasha Banks could be the one to wrestle in Saudi Arabia too.
Banks hasn’t been seen in WWE since WrestleMania 35 where she and former tag partner Bayley lost their women’s tag team championships to the IIconics. Since then, Banks has reportedly been in a stalemate with WWE regarding her decision to leave or stay in WWE.
After reportedly requesting her release, WWE officials gave her time away to contemplate her decision, which she is still on. More reports surfaced claiming that Banks would be back with WWE by the summer, however it wasn’t clear whether this would be Banks returning to just ride out her contract until she could leave, or whether she was happy to return as her and WWE had come to some sort of agreement.
Now it’s being reported by freelance journalist Tom Colohue, who writes for Daily DDT and PWTorch, that Sasha Banks has been in constant contact with WWE while she’s been on her leave. While some had speculated that Banks had essentially been granted time off, time away to leave the wrestling industry as a whole, it seems it’s more of a time to go away and think about work some more. The best kind of time off.
More reports surfaced this week claiming that Banks had begun filming content for WWE 2K20, which means she may indeed have reached an agreement with WWE. Only time will tell. Maybe she’ll make her return next weekend at Stomping Grounds, Time to Kick Ass and Take Names and challenge Becky Lynch for her Raw Women’s Championship. That’d be nice. Well, it would be nice for all 12 people in attendance that is.
Stomping Grounds, Time to Kick Ass and Take Names, will be taking place on June 23 from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. The arena itself has a capacity of 23,000, however WWE are likely to set it up for a capacity of somewhere from 10,000 to 20,000. The usual set-ups are around 10,000 for American football events, 19,000 for hockey events and just over 21,000 for basketball events.
But just because you set up to have a capacity of 10,000 doesn’t mean you’ll get the fans to fill those seats, as a screenshot from Twitter user @TheVicMacias has done the rounds this week, showing the available tickets remaining for next weekend’s WWE Stomping Grounds, Time to Kick Ass and Take Names.
The blue dots are seats that are still available, which means that some of the best seats, the ones that sell most quickly, haven’t sold yet and Stomping Grounds is 9 days away.
It’s not exactly surprising fans aren’t enthused by the event. After just having Super Showdown last week, with plenty of rematches from that event and from Money in the Bank and WrestleMania, it’s not a card that fills a fan with joy.
No doubt WWE will make the arena look full anyway with a combination of ticket giveaways, shuffling ticket purchasers around to one side of the arena and some clever, tricksy shooting camera angles, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that interest in the WWE is declining at a rather rapid pace.
Something needs to change within WWE, and fast. Let’s hope Vince McMahon can pull another amazing thing from out of nowhere as he tends to do. If he’s at Raw that is.
It’s been reported via Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that a lot of head figures backstage in WWE missed this week’s episode of Raw, including Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and even Kevin Dunn.
It was explained that Vince had “corporate items” to attend to, and that because Vince wasn’t there, neither was Kevin Dunn as he supposedly only attends when Vince. What a loyal pet Vince has. Good boy.
Stephanie McMahon wasn’t at the TV show as she actually regularly isn’t. She has little to do with the creative process in WWE and is more of an on-screen presence. The TV ratings have been plummeting since she left our screens, so no doubt she’ll make her return sometime soon and claim she’s the only reason why WWE is still afloat or some other such nonsense.
And finally, Triple H wasn’t present because NXT taped eight episodes over two days, and on the Monday, Trips was busy writing for eight hours of television instead of on the other side of the country in California running Raw.
This left head writer Ed Koskey in charge, who was apparently “running around like crazy” backstage, and honestly I don’t blame him. Everything that was on the show still needed to be approved by Vince beforehand, so even when he’s not there, Vince still makes his presence felt.
Once the XFL starts up in 2020, chances are we could see more weeks like this, when Vince is away doing his other duties and Triple H is busy making a much better product. Perhaps they should hire someone in the interim to run the show while the others are away. But that would mean offering control to someone else, so you know it isn’t happening.
Fans are anticipating the day Triple H takes control of WWE, which isn’t even a done deal it will happen, because they believe he will be the one who can fix everything. But chances are, Vince will have something in place so he’ll still be able to run WWE until the end of time.
Guess that means you’re stuck to just NXT then Hunter.
Speaking of NXT.
This week saw the yellow and gold brand record a huge eight episodes, leading them all the way up to Takeover: Toronto the night before SummerSlam. Some crazy things have happened, and I’ll be covering the highlights in the next few seconds, so if you don’t want to know what’s happened and want to watch them for yourself when they happen, look away now because we’ll be entering the spoiler room brawl in 5, 4, 3, 2, CM Punk returned to NXT, just kidding, 1…
IO SHIRAI TURNED HEEL, WHAT IN THE NAME OF HECK. Following her previously announced Steel Cage match with Shayna Baszler, in which Baszler retained her NXT Women’s Championship, Shirai turned on Candice LeRae, attacking her and turning heel in the process. I am very much looking forward to that episode.
Another episode I’m very much looking forward to is the return of Pete Dunne, as he came out to seemingly set up a three-way feud between him, Velveteen Dream and Roderick Strong over the North American Championship. Yes please. That’s a match I want to see.
Then we got possibly the greatest news of the entire tapings. Following a surprise roll-up victory over Jackson Ryker of the Forgotten Sons, Tyler Breeze was being beaten down by the aforementioned Sons of Forgetfulness, before Breeze’s tag partner Fandango made his return to a huge pop from the crowd, reuniting the Fashion Police in NXT. Will we get the return of The Fashion Files in NXT? Will they actually be good and get pushed because of it? Am I just living in the hype with no evidence to suggest that? Yes. Yes I am.
Either way, it’s great to see Fandango back from injury, let’s hope Breezango can make a name for themselves in NXT, maybe they can win the NXT Tag Team Championships? That’d be great. It would be Tyler Breeze’s first championship in WWE history, aside from his time in FCW where he won the FCW Championship and was a one-time FCW Tag Team Championship alongside Leakee, who we now know as Roman Reigns. How crazy is that?
E3 is finally over, so it’s time to wrap up everything that happened, and who were the winners and losers this year? Click the video to my right to be taken to a video discussing exactly that! Press the thumbs up, subscribe and bell icons before you go though, and leave us a comment answering the question of the day. A special thank you to our pledgehammers on Patreon, some of whom you can see scrolling below me right now. I’ve been Chopper Pete Quinnell, and that, was wrestling.