Posts Tagged ‘Push’

Powerhouse Hobbs is set for a push in All Elite Wrestling.

Fightful Select reported as much prior to Sunday’s All Out 2022 pay-per-view, where Hobbs faced Ricky Starks, though there was no word on whether or not that meant anything for the duo’s grudge match.

Hobbs ended up defeating his former tag team partner in just over five minutes, triumphing after countering an attempted spear into a Spinebuster. It was a brisk, well-paced affair, but shorter than many had anticipated given the time and effort put into building Hobbs and Starks’ relationship in Team Taz, then splitting them up in July. Fightful later noted that the match ran shorter than originally intended, with no word on why.

July 2020 saw Hobbs start getting regular work with AEW on its YouTube series, Dark, where he frequently appeared as an enhancement talent. The 31-year-old later signed a full-time deal after impression AEW founder and CEO Tony Khan at All Out 2020, where he competed in the Casino Battle Royale, and he was a fully-fledged Team Taz member by that November.

Amongst Hobbs’ most notable AEW singles opponents is CM Punk, who defeated Powerhouse at the Grand Slam special on 15 September 2021.

Wardlow defeating MJF at Double or Nothing this year was supposed to be the culmination of a two-year storyline, and the beginning of Wardlow’s ascent to the top of the food chain in AEW.

However, MJF’s well-documented issues with AEW management, not to mention his pipebomb three nights after the match, seemed to overshadow the biggest victory of Wardlow’s career. In a recent interview with Digital Spy, Wardlow admitted that his momentum was “ruined” by factors outside his control. 

“That should be considered one of the best nights of my life and it really wasn’t,” Wardlow stressed. “Everything that was going on with Max at the time and then in my life personally. Just nothing was going right and it’s kind of sad that everything built up to this big night and there was so much that ruined it.”

“All the crap with Max and everything he was pulling,” Wardlow continued. “I mean, I showed up that day not knowing if I was wrestling. There’s a lot more I could say about it but I don’t want to get angry but, yeah, that should have been one of the best nights of my life and obviously, the outcome was amazing but I really didn’t ever have the opportunity to enjoy it.”

While he did capture the TNT Championship from Scorpio Sky on the July 6 “AEW Dynamite,” Wardlow is admittedly still “trying to get back on track” in the aftermath of the MJF saga.  

“I feel like ever since that night things have kind of been just off and I feel like I’m still trying to get back on track ever since that night and we’ll get there,” Wardlow admitted. “But it is what it is, in this in life and in this business, not everything goes perfectly.”

Wardlow will team up with FTR in a Trios Match against Jay Lethal & the Motor City Machine Guns this weekend at the All Out pay-per-view. As for MJF, there have been rumblings of his possible return to AEW TV for the first time since his pipebomb on June 1. Could it happen this Sunday in Chicago?

Alexa Bliss thinks WWE’s decision to push Liv Morgan is “long overdue”.

Bliss defended the 2022 women’s Money In The Bank ladder match during her interview with Metro too – that bout was notable for some sloppy exchanges, miscommunications and botches, but Alexa is just happy that everybody came out of the thing relatively unscathed.

“We’re all safe, which is what’s important”, she said.

Mainly, Bliss is delighted to see Liv rocket up the food chain. Morgan won the women’s MITB briefcase, then quickly cashed in on the same night following Ronda Rousey’s win over Natalya. Now, the new SmackDown Women’s Champion will face Rousey in a rematch at SummerSlam on 30 July.

Alexa can’t wait to see Liv smash it, because she’s really happy that it’s “her time”. Bliss said that everybody else involved in the match had a smile for Morgan, because they all know how hard she’s worked to get to this point.

Regrettably, WWE’s writing hasn’t exactly made Liv look like the strongest champion to date. She’s still very much in that ‘I’m happy to be here’ mould ahead of the match vs. Rousey.

WWE’s Money In The Bank saw two stars of the future capture the briefcases in Liv Morgan and Theory, and that is something Booker T was happy to see, as he believes it is all about “giving people credibility to be able to go out there and win.”

During his latest “Hall Of Fame” radio show, the WWE panelist weighed in on Morgan being pushed immediately as she cashed in her briefcase to defeat Ronda Rousey in order to win the WWE “SmackDown” Women’s Championship on the same night, with Booker stating people like her are “the future of the women’s division.”

“I’ve been saying it for a while as far as making guys … you’ve got to be able to pull the trigger on a lot of these young guys that’s coming up … Right now, Liv Morgan, she’s still got years left in the business. You can’t wait till it’s all over with for Liv Morgan to say, ‘Hey, let’s do something with her,’ you’ve got to do it now,” he said.

Morgan is not the only wrestler that the two-time WWE Hall Of Famer believes has a big future, as he also hopes to see the company use a former WWE ‘NXT” Superstar more now that she’s a part of WWE “SmackDown.”

“That’s why I was talking about Raquel Rodriguez, you’ve got to do something now with talent like that in order to make them,” he said. “You know, we’ve talked about Cesaro being around and not being made — because after you’re made you can do a whole lot because you’re made.”

During Cesaro’s time on the WWE roster, he only captured one singles championship  in theUnited States Title, proving Booker’s point that the company never quite invested in him during his lengthy run.

The Hardy Boyz were initially set to become AEW World Tag Team Champions before Jeff Hardy’s recent suspension.

This is according to Bryan Alvarez, who noted that this was very much the intention of All Elite Wrestling management before plans changed upon news of Hardy’s need for a brain scan. Speaking about it on the Brian & Vinny Show, he said;

“The idea was the Hardys were going to win the tag titles in this ladder match, that was the plan for awhile. Apparently, at the pay-per-view when the Hardys and the Bucks had their match, Jeff was not looking good. Apparently, they examined him afterwards and he was all beat up and he didn’t remember the match. Remember when Jeff got pulled over and said he was on his way to a brain scan? He was on his way to a brain scan. So, his idea was to drink whatever he drank and then drive to his brain scan. They had advertised the ladder match. He was never actually going to be in the ladder match. They were going to do the angle where he and Matt were going to be coming out for the ladder match, they were going to be jumped on the ramp and they were going to be carted off and they weren’t actually going to do the match. So, whether he had his DUI or not, Jeff was never going to do that ladder match. It was always going to be Jurassic Express vs. the Young Bucks for the tag team titles with the Young Bucks winning.”

Obviously none of the above eventually went ahead following Hardy’s latest DUI, other than the revised plot to have The Young Bucks win the belts. Jeff has no set return date yet, with AEW confirming that his comeback could only occur following the completion of treatment and maintenance of sobriety.

On this week’s Wrestling with Freddie podcast from iHeart Media’s My Cultra Network, former WWE creative team member Freddie Prinze Jr. discussed the evolution of Kofi Kingston in WWE.

Freddie revealed that after Kofi Kingston’s breakout NASCAR promo in 2009, the creative team were assigned to come up with a storyline that would ultimately see Kofi capture a mid-card title. Kingston had trashed the custom made motor made for Randy Orton in their feud. However, plans were eventually derailed because of an incident that occurred during a Kofi-Orton one-on-one match on RAW.

“The whole team was motivated,” Freddie Prinze Jr. explains. “We [the creative team] finished the whole thing up, and everybody thinks we have this great run to the title. We bring it and it gets approved by Steph [McMahon]. She’s right behind it. I don’t think Shane was back in the company at that point, I think he was over in China at that point in time. In the meantime, Randy Orton and Kofi have a match. This is a week later [following the NASCAR promo]. In the match, a spot gets blown.

“So a spot gets blown and Randy gets p*ssed on live TV. And you see him, you can check this on YouTube, he yells, ‘STUPID!’ with that deep Orton booming voice. And that, Vince, wanted him to be Johnny Cash and present himself, even though everybody already knew he was Randy Orton,  as, ‘Hello… I’m Randy Orton,’ like, yo, that’s exactly like it is from that trailer that you saw for that movie, ‘Yeah, that’s great!’ Vince, we already know, we already know he’s the best wrestler in the world, already know who he is.

“Anyway, so this spot gets blown meaning the technique, a stunt in the match gets blown. You can tell something doesn’t look good. I don’t know what it is, because I don’t see the spot when it happens. I don’t what happened, I just know something is not good, right?”

Prinze Jr. explained that the incident in the match immediately affected their upcoming creative plans for Kofi Kingston, which led to Kofi’s push being scrapped.

“I’m sitting through this two-hour, three-hour production meeting,” Freddie Prinze Jr. said. “My story is dead. I tried to save it for about 10-15 minutes. When I say my story, I mean my team’s story. It’s my job to sell their crap. It’s my job to put it over. That’s my job as your salesman on production day. And when I say crap, I don’t mean bad stuff. I was behind this, I believed in this story. I say that about my crap too, don’t worry. But 10-15 minutes, I’m fighting for it and there’s just no winning this battle. Now I’m trying to fix it. I’m offering alternative solutions, other people are offering alternative solutions. The whole thing is just gone and dead.

“So finally, I just shut up and we move on. And I don’t even think Kofi even worked that night, and I get out and they tell me what happened. They tell me about this blown spot and Randy’s p*ssed at it. It got shut down. And they ended up — for those who aren’t in the know, they ended up using that real moment of why Randy sort of held Kofi down in the actual story of Kofi winning the title, after winning the Gauntlet match, that I saw ten years later off of Randy Orton. They literally put that into the story.”

In an interview with Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, two-time WWE Champion, AJ Styles, dropped by to discuss his career, which was recorded on the eve of the 2022 Royal Rumble in St Louis, Missouri.

The Phenomenal One was asked about his debut at the Royal Rumble in 2016. According to Styles, WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon, was not sure the fans would know who he was and did not have any particular plans in mind for him.

“I don’t know that they planned anything,” Styles stated. “I think it was a bit like, ‘hey, you know what, we need something different for the Rumble. You wanna throw AJ? Ahh, I don’t wanna throw him in.’ You know, I think there was a big discussion when I’d even go out because I don’t think Vince believed that anyone would know who I was. From what I’m hearing, or heard, that he saw nothing great about AJ Styles. Even after the pop at the Rumble, I wasn’t even going to be on the RAW the next day.”

AJ Styles explained that Vince McMahon never told him directly, but he had heard it from close associates that he’d worked with, in the past, who were now in WWE. However, after some big discussions behind the scenes, AJ entered the Royal Rumble match as the third entrant.

“Somebody believed in me,” AJ said. “Somebody convinced him like, ‘Hey, not only does he need to come out third, but we also need to have him on RAW, you know, I’m telling ya, I’m telling ya.’ I think I had a lot of guys batting for me in the process of my debut. I knew these guys. I worked with them in other companies, so we’d become friends and they understood that I was a hard worker. I was willing to get after it, I just needed the opportunity.”

In time, the WWE Chairman eventually came around and saw AJ Styles as a top-tier WWE Superstar, which ultimately saw him become WWE Champion in 2016 and 2017.

“I believe he does [when I asked if Vince McMahon believes in him now],” Styles said. “He certainly pays me like I am.”

AJ recalls the turning point in which he believed swayed Vince McMahon’s opinion, and that moment came during a guest appearance on Miz TV with The Miz.

“I think there was Miz TV, and there was a point that I needed to beat him up,” AJ explained. “It couldn’t just be. It had to look the way it should. And several people came up to me and said, ‘Put it on him!’ ‘What, what do you mean? They want me to hurt this guy?’ I kept thinking, it was at least three guys who told me that I needed to get after him, I’m like, ‘They really want me to hurt him?’

“But what they were trying to say is, listen, this has to look really good. You have to convince Vince that you belong here and that you have that pitbull that he wanted to see. And I was able to pull that off without hurting The Miz and looking like a guy who, you know, would tear you apart.”

Hook has taken AEW by storm since his in-ring debut late last year. But Cody Rhodes says AEW must be careful going forward if it wants Hook’s popularity to endure with fans.

“There was this natural anticipation for him,” Rhodes told Rasslin’. “And you’ll even hear people refer to it like the meme wrestler that was kind of becoming the whole ‘Send Hook’, and that is not a bad thing if people are excited, if they have an interest.

“The thing you have to do, not just Hook himself but as the company, we have to turn that into, ‘No no, he’s not a joke’”, Rhodes continued. “He’s not this inside gag, he’s actually going to be a wonderful pro wrestler himself and in the first outings Hook has had, he’s been able to do that. That’s big. That’s what’s so delicate about it.”

Cody Rhodes recalled one instance where a wrestler’s rapid rise in popularity backfired. He witnessed it firsthand while he was in WWE. Fans quickly rallied behind Fandango following his main roster in-ring debut at WrestleMania 29.

“Everyone in the crowd was going nuts for Fandango, it was insane,” Rhodes explained. “But somewhere along the line, it fell back into humor and it fell back into an ironic wrestler and not an actual guy.”

Hook has carried a humorless demeanor into the ring that is reminiscent of his father Taz. Hook joined his father’s Team Taz faction on AEW programming nearly a year ago, lurking in the background for months before he finally had his first match.

“In this case, you got crowds chanting, ‘we want Hook’”, Rhodes said. “You have people going nuts for what he’s doing. It’s really cool to see. As far as another second-generation person watching it, all I see though when it happens is I just want to make sure we keep it going. Everything in wrestling is delicate, it is. In that case, I just want to keep it going, all the time in the world. I feel like ‘The Khan’ has got him in a good spot and they’re gonna keep rolling.”

Vince McMahon has given up on the idea of Finn Balor as a “top star”, reports’s Paul Davis.

This follows Balor being used essentially as a springboard for Austin Theory to move up the card on recent episodes of Raw. This week, the former NXT and Universal Champion lost to Theory clean in around six minutes, with Austin continuing his quest to win McMahon’s favour on Monday nights.

Per Davis’ source, Vince now sees Finn in more of a Jeff Hardy-like role. He has become a solid veteran hand there to put younger talent over.

The following quote reportedly comes from within WWE:

“Yea, Finn was moved into the spot that Jeff Hardy had. He’s just there now to help get over the younger guys. There was a pitch to make him heel but that was weeks ago and I haven’t heard much about it since then. Vince never saw Finn as more than just a mid card guy. Heyman would have pushed him to the moon but Vince just never saw it. Austin [Theory] is going to get time to shine in the Rumble match. Last I heard was he will be in the final 4 or 5 at the end of the match.”

Balor is currently back on the main roster after a successful NXT return from October 2019 to May 2021, during which he served as a vanguard-like champion. His last singles win came over Theory on Raw’s 20 December episode.

WWE star Live Morgan recently chatted with Sportskeeda about the highs and lows of her career since debuting in NXT in 2015. Soon arriving on RAW, Liv hopes this transition will lead her to finally capturing gold in WWE.

“I feel like the past two years of my career, I’ve had moments where I feel like I’ve had so much momentum and I’m just about to break through, and then I don’t. I do feel this time is different. I like to think positively and I’m very glass half full, so when I look back, I’m like, maybe I wasn’t as ready as I thought. And that’s why I didn’t break through even though I wanted it just the same. Maybe I just wasn’t ready as a performer.

“But now I feel so much more well-rounded, that I’m just ready. I’m ready for that top spot, I’m ready to be that girl. So I definitely feel like after Money in the Bank, I’m just gonna keep the momentum going until I’m SmackDown Women’s Champion,” Morgan said.

On an episode of Talking Smack from August, Liv revealed that WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch had inspired her by saying Morgan would be champion upon Becky’s return from giving birth. That obviously hasn’t happened quite yet, but Liv is determined to climb the ranks and take gold from the very woman that brought her that encouragement.

“Not that I’m disappointing Becky, but just to know that was an expectation and I didn’t meet it. But I know I will meet it, eventually. I’d love to prove her right and to prove her wrong. And I’d love to take the title from Becky,” Liv said.