Posts Tagged ‘Backstage Heat’

AEW’s Thunder Rosa recently announced that she’d be stepping back from in-ring competition to recover from a back injury. However, some fans and pundits have speculated that the AEW Women’s World Champion has been written off of television due to reported backstage heat with Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter. Rosa has since confirmed that the injury is real, but reports of behind-the-scenes drama continue to circulate.

According to FanByte, there have been conflicting stories from a myriad of sources about Rosa’s behavior. Some employees told the outlet that she has a history of berating opponents and talking down to colleagues, including veterans. Non-contracted wrestlers who’ve appeared on “AEW Dark” and “AEW Elevation” have reportedly received negative reactions from the AEW Women’s World Champion, with one talent recalling a time Rosa accused her of being badly trained.

However, similar critiques have been lobbied at Rosa as well. After accidentally breaking Hayter’s nose during their recent match at “AEW Battle of the Belts III,” the 36-year-old was reportedly nowhere to be seen for a while afterward. The report notes that Rosa eventually tried to apologize to Hayter before locking herself in a bathroom. Of course, the bathroom story should be taken with a grain of salt, with the FanByte stating that it may not have been related to the Hayter incident.

Per the report, one AEW talent claimed that Rosa lacks some basic in-ring fundamentals. On the flip side, a former colleague of Rosa’s in Lucha Underground dismissed the idea that she’s an unsafe worker, though they did say that she’s reluctant to take bumps and sell some of her opponents’ offense. Elsewhere, some wrestlers criticized Rosa for working stiff, especially in regard to her low dropkick maneuver. “She’ll just beat the fuck out of people,” one FanByte source claimed. “Her strikes are killing you.”

The backstage drama between All Elite Wrestling stars Sammy Guevara and Eddie Kingston rumbles on, with yesterday bringing Guevara’s statement on the events that led to his on-air rival serving a suspension following a heated backstage altercation.

Fightful Select has released a detailed report on what went down between the duo. The writeup confirms the Kingston/Guevara flare-up was due to a comment Sammy made on Eddie’s weight, calling Kingston a “fat piece of shit” in an in-character promo edited out of the show on which it was intended to air. Kingston, who was due to go over when the duo wrestled at All Out 2022 (4 September), felt this comment buried their match, as what would it mean for Sammy if he lost to a “fat piece of shit”?

The account states that Guevara smiled in response to Kingston yelling at him backstage. Eddie then pie-faced the former TNT Champion, hence his suspension.

However, an interesting facet of this is that Guevara had apparently developed a reputation for being difficult while working on recent storylines with Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, and Sonjay Dutt. There wasn’t an abundance of wrestlers looking to work with him following the Sky/Page feud in particular, though Eddie had specifically asked to do something with Guevara in the wake of this.

Whether or not Kingston and Guevara will end up wrestling at All Out 2022 is currently unclear. The feud continues on tonight’s Dynamite, with Guevara and Tay Melo facing Ortiz and Ruby Soho.

A new report from Voices of Wrestling’s Joe Lanza paints a chaotic picture of All Elite Wrestling’s women’s division behind the scenes, where heat between two top stars has allegedly been brewing for years.

Last night’s AEW Dynamite was preceded by company CEO Tony Khan hosting a backstage talent meeting touching on a number of topics, including talk of issues between various wrestlers. Later, a tearful Thunder Rosa said during the broadcast that she was unable to defend her Women’s World Title due to injury, leading to AEW announcing a four-way pitting Britt Baker, Hikaru Shida, Jamie Hayter, and Toni Storm against each other for the interim strap.

Lanza touched on these situations during VOW’s Instant Reaction LIVE show after Dynamite. On the women’s division, he noted longstanding issues between Baker and Rosa, who have reportedly “been mortal enemies for years.” In addition, Hayter now has heat with Rosa, leading to an issue where the Women’s World Champion allegedly hid from Hayter in a backstage bathroom out of fear she was going to be attacked:

“There are way more onscreen feuds where the people legitimately hate each other than people think in AEW. Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa cannot stand one another. They have been mortal enemies for years now at this point. They can’t look each other in the eye. They hate each other’s guts. Jamie Hayter now cannot stand Thunder Rosa. Thunder Rosa broke Jamie Hayter’s nose in a match, then Thunder Rosa was scared that Jamie Hayter was going to beat the living shit out of her and was hiding in a bathroom. Things are ugly in the back, and this is why they’re having meetings, and all of this is starting to come out now, and it’s just a mess. I don’t know if Thunder Rosa legitimately can’t wrestle or if they’re just sending her away so some people can cool off, I don’t know.”

Jamie suffered the aforementioned broken nose in a Women’s World Title match with Thunder Rosa at Battle of the Belts III, which was taped on 5 August.

On Rosa’s injury status, Lanza stated:

“She was hurt several weeks back and did come back and wrestle, I know that she was wrestling hurt. I don’t know if she re-aggravated an injury. This was like two hours ago, I haven’t talked to anybody… maybe she is hurt. Do I think she was working? I don’t know, I saw some real emotion there and Britt Baker rubbed it in later. She totally rubbed it in later.”

Baker addressed the injury during her Dynamite victory over KiLynn King, doing so with a gleeful tone. Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp has since confirmed that Thunder Rosa is legitimately hurt:

Continuing, Lanza elaborated on the reported issues between Hayter and Rosa, offering more details on what is alleged to have gone down:

“There was the dropkick to the back of Jamie Hayter’s head and Hayter didn’t take kindly to it. Word got back to Thunder Rosa that Hayter was coming for her and then they had that singles match on Rampage, and Rosa broke her nose in the match and Rosa was afraid Hayter was going to shoot on her and she was hiding in the bathroom allegedly all day. This is the craziness that’s been going on there. There’s just wild shit going on in that locker room right now and it ain’t just Punk and Hangman, it’s up and down the locker room.”

There is currently no word on the nature of Thunder Rosa’s injury. Her expected recovery time has not been disclosed either.

Despite a report from last week stating CM Punk has been so unhappy backstage at AEW some thought he may quit, CM Punk is making it clear he loves working for WWE’s top competition. When asked by Sports Illustrated if he was happy working for AEW Punk said, “Yes, 100%.” This response, of course, also comes in the wake of Punk calling out Adam Page on “AEW Dynamite” last week, a move that was reportedly not planned ahead of time and is rooted in real-life animosity.

“You try not to put too much stock in internet rumors,” he said. “But for AEW, I definitely think that’s part of our audience. Twitter’s not real life, though. On top of that, a lie makes its way around the world twice before the truth puts his boots on or gets out of bed.”

“AEW allowed me a second chance to do what I do best, and that’s professionally wrestle,” Punk continued. “Even just a cursory glance at the excess of rumors leads to wrestlers speaking with reporters, and that is undoubtedly a part of the intrigue behind the curtain in pro wrestling. But just because people are talking does not necessarily mean it is accurate.”

“My locker room is never closed,” Punk added. “It’s always open. Anybody who wants to DM [the Wrestling Observer’s Dave] Meltzer some bulls— can come talk to me about it. It’s not macho, stupid bulls—. I’m an adult. Come talk with me.” 

Wrestling legend Konnan has confirmed rumours of friction between one of AEW’s most tenured and established tag teams, Santana and Ortiz.

Konnan’s remarks came during a recent episode of his podcast, Keepin’ It 100. When asked about the situation, the former WCW, AAA, and TNA star stated, quite simply, that Santana and Ortiz “are not on good terms.”

This is the first concrete comment on a matter that has been speculated for several months now. Curiously, the duo has not wrestled a traditional two-on-two tag team match since Dynamite’s 16 February episode. This is despite standing as one of AEW’s most popular tag teams since coming into the company at All Out 2019, where they attacked The Lucha Brothers and Young Bucks, later aligning with Chris Jericho for The Inner Circle’s formation on Dynamite’s first episode.

28 April saw Santana tweet the following:

Counting forward, this takes you to 1 September. Inevitable speculation that he was referring to the time remaining on his AEW contract followed, though this is unconfirmed.

Santana is currently sidelined by a serious injury suffered while competing in AEW’s second Blood & Guts match on 29 June. Ortiz also featured in the bout, with the duo joining forces with Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, and Claudio Castagnoli to defeat the Jericho Appreciation Society.

Natalya reportedly has backstage heat in WWE after no-selling a finish to a house show match this past weekend.

Monday saw Nattie make headlines when the relevant footage went viral. The clip shows the veteran popping up immediately after being pinned by Liv Morgan, who had just won a Triple Threat also featuring Ronda Rousey after nailing ObLIVion on Natalya. From there, Natalya pointed an angry finger at the SmackDown Women’s Champion, appeared to say something, and left.

While there is currently no word on what, exactly, triggered this from Natalya, Dave Meltzer stated on Wrestling Observer Radio that she has heat stemming from the incident. Whatever issue led to the apparent confrontation reportedly had nothing to do with Morgan.

Meltzer continued, stating that while there was “a situation”, it was dealt with immediately and is considered “over and done with.” What happened didn’t have anything to do with any underlying heat between Natalya and Liv despite how the clip looked.

Morgan wrestled Rousey and Natalya on separate WWE house shows this past Saturday and Sunday, repeating the same Triple Threat. She is currently due to defend her newly-won SmackDown strap against Ronda at SummerSlam 2022 (30 July).

Eddie Kingston is never one to shy away from making his true feelings known about somebody, and now the Mad King has reiterated his dislike for recent AEW arrival, Claudio Castagnoli.

Kingston and Castagnoli’s beef has rumbled on for years, with some believing the two to genuinely despise each other – particularly from Eddie’s end – while others insist this is all merely the pair having some fun in working the fans. Regardless, Kingston used a recent interview with Michigan Live to repeat his sentiments on the former Cesaro.

As picked up on by Wrestling Inc., Eddie explained how he wasn’t a fan on having to now team with Claudio on this week’s Dynamite for the six-on-six Blood & Guts bout:

“Of course I didn’t like it. I don’t trust the guy. And people who say whatever they want to say about me, that I’m a hothead and I don’t let things go. I just know when I see bad people, I like to call him out on it.”

Claudio Castagnoli and Eddie Kingston have a long history together, dating back to the two first facing off during their time in IWA Mid-South back in 2004. From there, the pair have battled in the likes of Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, and famously had a heated rivalry in CHIKARA shortly before the Swiss Superman signed with WWE.

As it stands, this Wednesday will see Kingston, Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, Santana and Ortiz face off against the Jericho Appreciation Society in only the second ever Blood & Guts match in AEW history. The fact that Claudio was hand-selected by Bryan Danielson – another of Eddie Kingston’s mortal enemies – as the American Dragon’s replacement for this contest will likely serve to only further irk the ever-agitated Mad King.

Former WWE star Raven “had heat” with Vince McMahon during both of his runs in the company.

Raven told Soundsphere that (in particular) he “didn’t get to do everything [he] wanted” during his second stint with WWE between 2000-2003. The celebrated ECW original actually viewed his career as a failure because he didn’t win Vinnie Mac’s World Title – Raven later “had to spend time on a psychologist’s couch to be happy” and “accept the fact that [his} career was incredibly successful”.

He admitted during the interview that he always held himself “to a higher standard” than others around him. That, Raven says, was “arrogant” and “pretentious” behaviour. Had a peer moaned about a career as successful as his, he’d have cut them down and then helped them see that they still had a great time.

Raven couldn’t see that at the time. He had quite the chip on his shoulder.

Some of this “heat with Vince McMahon” may have been born during his first WWF/WWE run in the early-1990s. The then-Johnny Polo partied with a young and impressionable Shane McMahon, and that could’ve raised the ire of Vince.

Not everybody can be liked in a wrestling locker room all the time, and according to Booker T, one person the roster didn’t always get along with was Melina.

“I really like Melina now,” Booker made clear on his “Hall Of Fame” podcast, but he also claimed that he “did not like Melina in her day, no one did.” He is not the only person to have publicly aired those feelings either, as Candice Michelle has previously stated that they “hated each other,” and almost had a shoot fight inside the ring.

Melina is not someone that often gets brought up by WWE as a legend in the same manner that the likes of Trish Stratus or Lita do, and Booker wonders if that is due to “the departure of Melina more than anything.”

“She was one of those that owned it, she wanted to be the best in the ring and she was hell to deal with in the locker room,” he claimed. “I think she would attest to that, perhaps, these days … And I have always said this, as far as talent go, there was nobody better than Melina.”

Melina may have had her detractors in the locker room, but she was always a hit with fans and that led to her being pushed heavily by management. During her career, she worked as a key part of the MNM faction, before going on to become a three-time Women’s Champion and a two-time Divas Champion.

Booker admitted that she was “very controversial in WWE when she was there,” but he didn’t doubt her skill level, and he once told her that, and Melina, “almost started crying.”

“None of it had to do with her in-ring prowess or anything like that,” he stated about her backstage heat. “… I said, ‘Melina, I always thought you were the best female wrestler in that damn locker room in your time,’ and I really believe that.”

Melina has not been a full-time talent with WWE since 2011, but there were rumors of her returning to the company back in 2020. That never ended up happening, but she did confirm talks between her and the company took place, and Melina was involved in the 2022 Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant.

AEW contract rebel MJF was in the building for Double Or Nothing 2022 on Sunday, quelling a full day of speculation by showing up in Las Vegas, doing the job for rival Wardlow, and leaving on a stretcher.

The 26-year-old was in no mood to stick around, however. Per PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, the Dynamite Diamond Ring holder showed up during Double Or Nothing’s Buy In pre-show, worked his match, then left the arena immediately after the stretcher job, with AEW producer Pat Buck accompanying him out.

MJF was hurried into the show, too. Johnson states that he was hidden away in a room prior to hitting the ring, which happened so fast that some within the promotion didn’t know he was there until his music started playing. That MJF wasn’t at the gorilla position had some worried that he wasn’t at the show.

It is stated that some AEW locker room members are upset with the 26-year-old over his current situation, as MJF continues to angle for a bigger payday from boss Tony Khan. The duo reportedly held a meeting in Las Vegas yesterday, doing so roughly 48 hours after MJF had no-showed a Fan Fest event ahead of Double Or Nothing.

While that happened in that MJF/Khan meeting is yet to come out, Johnson states that compared to a few days ago, the wrestler and company are now likelier to work something out.