WWE want Sting to return!
Two major WWE signings have been confirmed.
And a pretty, pretty, pretty big WrestleTalk announcement at the end of the show…
Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk Super News – I’m Oli Davis.
With the Royal Rumble officially in the books, we’re now properly in the most exciting time of the year to be a wrestling fan. January to April is the wrestling season; when mainstream interest in the product is at its highest, when huge part-timers start to return, and when the company’s biggest annual feuds conclude… at the next show in Saudi Arabia! Because money.
The last week’s episodes of Raw and SmackDown have made two matches official for the Super Showdown event on Thursday 27th February – with John Morrison and the Miz winning a No. 1 contenders match to face The New Day for the tag team titles there, and Ricochet pinning Bobby Lashley in Raw’s main event to get a shot at Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship.
Also on this week’s Raw, WWE announced Goldberg will be making his first appearance for the company since August’s SummerSlam win over Dolph Ziggler – where he’ll be showing up on Friday’s SmackDown. Both PWInsider and the Wrestling Observer have since reported that will be to set up a match for Saudi Arabia, with possible opponents being Roman Reigns in a battle of the spears, Blueniversal Champion The Fiend, or even maybe a second attempt at the Undertaker match that was botched so heavily at last June’s Super Showdown.
But Bill isn’t the only legend WWE had planned to feature in Saudi Arabia – as despite their doctors refusing to clear him since a neck injury in late 2015, some in the company have been pushing for Sting to make a return for the event. Again, mostly because MONEY.
Sting was one of the few WCW main eventers that never jumped ship to Vince McMahon in the years after that promotion went under in 2000, instead becoming a lynchpin of TNA, where he spent the next 10 years of his career. Several attempts were made to bring him into WWE, mostly for the never done before dream match against The Undertaker. But each time he chose to re-sign with TNA. He finally joined following being WWE 2K15’s pre-order bonus character, lost a DX vs nWo match at WrestleMania 31, and feuded with Seth Rollins over the WWE title in 2015, unfortunately suffering a neck injury in their Night of Champions match in December, and hasn’t wrestled since.
He’s said in interviews though, that decision hasn’t actually been his, even revealing he postponed having the cervical spinal stenosis surgery that would fix his neck – as doing so would mean he could never wrestle again, and he’s still holding out for that Undertaker match, which he described as “unfinished business”.
It seems WWE’s strict stance on retirements has softened over the years, with both Daniel Bryan and Edge coming back after what was originally deemed to be career ending injuries. And now despite retiring in his 2016 Hall of Fame speech, PWInsider reported late last month “there is a lot of talk” that Sting would be a “major part” of the next Saudi Arabia show, “possibly even returning to the ring for one more match.” He was meant to be backstage at the Royal Rumble “to get the ball rolling” on negotiations for this, but now PWInsider is reporting these talks have died down.
With Undertaker reportedly also in talks about a WrestleManiaarr 36 role, though, perhaps WWE have postponed a Sting return for the second biggest show of the year. Do you want to see Sting return, and who should he face? Let me know in the comments, because I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA NOWHERE!
Perhaps he could face one of the several new wrestlers WWE just signed…
Both Squared Circle Sirens and PWInsider revealed yesterday that top indie wrestler Timothy Thatcher – who has the back muscles of a Gooood – was at the Performance Center and was believed to have signed with WWE. So Ryan Satin had some ‘breaking-but-not-breaking-news’ on last night’s episode of WWE Backstage – officially confirming not just Thatcher joining the company, but also former top IMPACT wrestler Killer Kross.
Kross has actually been rumoured for either a WWE or AEW move for the last few months, and it looks like Triple H’s chequebook won again.
I thought you were supposed to have the most money, Tony.
34-year old Kross has made a name for himself in IMPACT, MLW, AAA and Lucha Underground over the last several years, but he asked out of his IMPACT deal all the way back in May because of disagreements over crearive and pay, which was finally granted in December. Kross will join his real-life girlfriend, the also recently signed to NXT Scarlett Bordeaux – which may have played into Kross choosing WWE over AEW.
Thatcher is a far more interesting case, as WWE have actually made him numerous offers over the years to join them – with William Regal and talent development executive Canyon Cemen being big fans of his – but he’s turned them down time and time again. He’s an incredible wrestler, being the longest ever reigning champion in EVOLVE – a partner promotion of WWE – and was part of the mega indie faction Ringkampf with WALTER, which has been reformed in NXT UK as Imperium.
Why he’s suddenly changed his mind about joining WWE is unknown, but reuniting with WALTER and Imperium seems like the obvious fit. Or, at 36 years old, perhaps he finally decided it was time to join the E.
And because WWE just love signing wrestlers right now – which is nothing to do with the talent war between them, AEW, ROH and New Japan – the very reliable Squared Circle Sirens is also reporting 25 year old Aja Perera has also agreed a contract with WWE to be part of the latest class of recruits to the Performance Center. Aja debuted in 2013, and is a former SHINE Tag Team champion. She had a WWE tryout in December, and appears to have impressed enough to get a deal here.
It’s not just NXT that’s freshening up their roster, though – as Monday Night Raw has made a concentrated effort to debut and showcase new and younger talent on the Voyage to WrestleManiarrr, with the NXT appearances of Rhea Ripley and Angel Garza this week. Unfortunately, two great back-to-back shows hasn’t at all translated into ratings.
Despite being just two episodes out from the Royal Rumble, with all that mainstream interest from Edge’s return and the WrestleManiaarr build, the Wrestling Observer writes Raw did it’s lowest non-holiday, non-football season rating in the history of the show – with the average viewership being just 2.17 million viewers – losing almost a quarter of a million people from the previous week. And down 1.5 million from the same time in 2017.
Maybe it’s because there was no Samoa Joe on the show, who missed the episode because of a suspected concussion he suffered the week before… or did he?
As we covered yesterday, the usually very reliable WrestleVotes hinted that Joe actually missed Raw because of a Wellness Policy violation, and that more suspensions were coming, but Fightful then denied that story with their own sources.
Piling on the Samoa No side, PWInsider has now corroborated Fightful’s report, writing “there is nothing to the story that WWE has suspended Samoa Joe,” and that “Numerous WWE sources have vociferously denied Joe is currently suspended.” They instead say the reason for his absence is because he’s “not yet cleared following what is believed to have been a concussion.” Now it is time for WrestleTalk’s pretty, pretty big announcement.
Hark, Chopper. Come hither to herald our announcement with your thumbs. Dance Chopper. Of course have a thumbs up party and press the thumbs up, you wonderful viewers.
Two weeks ago, Adam Blampied very kindly agreed to come and do a Fantasy Booking Warfare video with me here on WrestleTalk, and we’ve been genuinely blown away by your positive reaction. It’s actually our most liked video ever, and has had over 5,000 comments of you saying how much you missed Adam and want to see him back talking wrestling on YouTube.
Well thanks to you being so awesome, get in here buddy. We’ve decided to bring Adam Blampied on board!
And it’ll all start with Adam’s first video this Sunday on WrestleTalk, so make sure to give us a subscribe and enable notifications to always on so you know first as soon as it goes live! Because it’s new, it’s fresh, it’s a format I’m pretty sure no wrestling YouTube channel has ever done before. Tell ‘em what it is, Adam!
Wrestling lists. [But not just any kind of wrestling list. Tell how many entries each one will have!
- They’re going to be top 10 wrestling lists.
That starts this Sunday, but right now, you can hear me and Adam discuss our Royal Rumble fantasy booking and his review of the actual Rumble pay-per-view by subscribing to the WrestleTalk Podcast wherever you get your podcasts!
I’ll catch up and have that Thumbs Up Party with you in a bit guys! Wow… our little WrestleTalk family just keeps growing bigger and bigger. Chopper Pete, Randy Andy Datson, El Fakidor Laurie Blake, The Other One Luke Owen, me, and now Adam Blampied.
What do you mean I’m being replaced?
No… no Nikki Bella… we’re adding to our family. We all love each other. Oh, Nikki, you say such hurtful things. Ok… Ok… I’ll get you the thumbs up… don’t worry, I’ll get you the thumbs up…
Press the button on the right to subscribe to the WrestleTalk Podcast right now and get a special episode with me and Adam reviewing Royal Rumble and going over our Fantasy Booking! And find out all the details on WrestleVotes’ Samoa Joe suspension claims by clicking the video there! I’ve been Oli Davis, and that was wrestling.