Stalker Invades Sonya Deville’s Home, WWE Looking To Sign Major UFC Star, Second Generation WWE Star Hoping To Return, Did HBK Disrespect Orton?, Renee Young Leaving, Vince McMahon Changing Mind On HOF Induction, AEW Bringing Back Live Audience, Shane McMahon Taking Over Raw?, WWE Changes SummerSlam Match

Welcome to the Insider Weekly Newsletter!

This week’s issue, Issue No. 6, includes news from Saturday, August 15, 2020 to Friday, August 21, 2020. Stories were written by Richard Gray and CJ Blaze with final editing done by Richard for clarity. Exclusive behind-the-scenes information was added, with content exclusive to WNC Insider Members.

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WWE News

– WWE announced on Saturday that Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio at SummerSlam will now be a Street Fight. It was originally announced on last week’s Raw that Dominik would be allowed to use weapons in the match. Additionally, Rey Mysterio is rumored to appear on Raw, which would be an indication that he’ll likely be in Dominik’s corner on August 23.

– WWE has agreed to a deal with the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to hold all of their television and pay-per-views through October 30, 2020, as first reported by Jon Alba. According to the report, the deal as it stands is for there to be no fans present through October. However, it also secures a large venue as the company’s exclusive TV and PPV home through this time. WWE had hoped to resume live events at the end of September but that does not look like a possibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WWE is expected to utilize the large LED boards at the venue to showcase virtual fans, similar to what the NBA has done in their bubble. NXT will remain at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

– As first reported here on, Rey Mysterio is rumored to make his return to WWE Raw on next week’s episode. Mysterio, who was working without a WWE contract, is believed to have agreed to a new deal. We do not have terms at press time, however, the plan since shortly after the Eye for an Eye match against Seth Rollins was for him to return to the program, which also involves his son Dominik. Dot com posted the following kayfabe piece, questioning Mysterio’s return to the red brand: Rumors have been running rampant that Rey Mysterio is coming to Raw this Monday. Mysterio, of course, has not been seen since suffering a gruesome eye injury at the hands of Seth Rollins in the Eye for an Eye Match at The Horror Show at WWE Extreme Rules. While the outlook on Mysterio’s recovery has been positive, his reemergence was not expected so soon. That may have changed after this past Monday on Raw, when The Monday Night Messiah brutally attacked his son Dominik, ruthlessly striking him with a Kendo stick more than two dozen times, screaming at Rey to beg for mercy all the while. Any reports on Mysterio’s return are unconfirmed at this point, but if they’re true, will Rollins be faced with the retribution of a furious father? Find out on Raw, this Monday at 8/7 C on USA! Mysterio has already used his social media to promise Seth Rollins will pay for his kendo stick assault on Dominik on this week’s show.

– This week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown was rated TV-14. That of course is notable considering WWE’s strong commitment to producing PG programming over the last decade.

– WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman debuted a new shaved head look on this week’s SmackDown. You can check out a photo below:

– WWE filed new trademarks for Saturday Night’s Main Event on August 11, 2020. It remains to be seen if WWE plans to bring back the series. Saturday Night’s Main Event was a staple for specials on NBC from 1985 through 1991. There were two on FOX in 1992, with specials airing on NBC from 2006 to 2008.

– Sonya Deville had a serious situation at her home early Sunday morning. reports Phillip A. Thomas II, 24, was arrested early Sunday morning for attempting to kidnap the owner of a home in the Tampa, Florida suburb of Lutz. According to police, the suspect had never met the homeowner but stalked them on social media for years. Police did not identify the victim but the home is owned by Sonya Deville, whose real name is Daria Berenato.

Thomas, who is from South Carolina, allegedly began planning the abduction eight months ago. He parked his car around midnight at a nearby church and walked to the home in a subdivision. He gained entry by cutting a hole in the patio screen and remained there for three to four hours, while watching and listening through the windows.

At 2:43 AM ET, after the homeowner had gone to bed, Thomas entered through a sliding glass door. This activated a security system. The homeowner saw Thomas on the property and fled with a guest in a vehicle. Police were called.

Once officers arrived, Thomas was in the home and armed with a knife and mace. He also had plastic zip ties, duct tape and other items he told deputies he planned to use to take the homeowner hostage.

Thomas, who was listed as an Applebee’s crew member, was arrested on charges of aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping and criminal mischief. He is being held without bail.

“Our deputies are unveiling the suspect’s disturbing obsession with this homeowner who he had never met, but stalked on social media for years,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the news release. “It’s frightening to think of all the ways this incident could have played out had the home alarm not gone off and alerted the homeowner of an intruder.”

A Twitter account that allegedly belongs to the suspect is located @Phillip80400010 and includes re-tweets of Deville’s account and messages written in her defense.

“The only person who’s maybe more talented than her in the ring is maybe Charlotte Flair and that’s a damn strong maybe, but Sasha is not more talented than her and especially not Alexa,” one Tweet sent on August 11, 2020 read.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200. has more, including the suspect’s mugshot at this link.

– Sonya Deville took to Twitter to thank the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (out of Tampa, FL) and everyone who expressed their love and concern for her following the incident that occurred at her home over the weekend. “Thank you everyone for your love and concern,” Deville wrote. “A very frightening experience but thankfully everyone is safe. A special thank you to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for their response and assistance. ?”

– WWE officially announced on Monday that a new viewing experience titled “ThunderDome” will debut on this week’s Friday Night SmackDown emanating from the Amway Center in Orlando.

This new initiative will feature “a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, [that] will take WWE fans’ viewing experience to an unprecedented level.”

Below is the rest of the press release featuring WWE’s updated schedule for August:

“WWE has a long history of producing the greatest live spectacles in sports and entertainment, yet nothing compares to what we are creating with WWE ThunderDome,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Vice President, Television Production. “This structure will enable us to deliver an immersive atmosphere and generate more excitement amongst the millions of fans watching our programming around the world.”

With the debut of WWE ThunderDome, WWE will take residency at Amway Center in Orlando and virtually bring fans into the arena via live video on massive LED boards, in conjunction with The Famous Group and its proprietary technology, for every Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and WWE pay-per-view event. Starting tonight, fans can register for their virtual seat to be part of upcoming shows via or at WWE’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.

“As WWE takes residency at the world-class Amway Center, we have reimagined our live event experience for today’s environment,” said Brian Flinn, WWE Chief Marketing & Communications Officer. “In partnership with The Famous Group, we will virtually bring our fans back into the show and recreate the interactive in-arena atmosphere that has been a staple of WWE events for decades.”

WWE Event Schedule for August:

Friday, August 21 – Friday Night SmackDown®, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on FOX

Saturday, August 22 – NXT TakeOver XXX, Full Sail Live, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Sunday, August 23 – SummerSlam, Amway Center, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Monday, August 24 – Monday Night Raw, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on USA Network
Wednesday, August 26 – NXT, Full Sail Live, 8 pm ET on USA Network
Friday, August 28 – Friday Night SmackDown, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on FOX
Sunday, August 30 – Payback, Amway Center, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Monday, August 31 – Monday Night Raw, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on USA Network

WWE’s Amway Center residency will continue for the foreseeable future and Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view programming will be produced on closed sets with only essential personnel in attendance. WWE will continue to administer its health and safety protocols for talent, crew and employees in conjunction with each production, including PCR testing for COVID-19, social distancing and wearing masks.

– There is a report circulating that everyone in WWE except for Roman Reigns have reached out to All Elite Wrestling in some capacity about potential work.

We already explained how things like this get out in today’s Ask WNC but one WWE Superstar has taken the time to respond.

WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman took aim at wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, who the story is attributed to, in his Instagram story. Below is a screen capture:

Photo credit – Braun Strowman on Instagram

Richard Reacts: Like we talked about in Ask WNC, there is nothing wrong with talent putting feelers out to see what their earning potential is elsewhere. The way this “report” circulated was that people were so unhappy in WWE they were lining up to leave for AEW. Not everyone is Jon Moxley and not everyone who works in WWE hates it there. Some people, especially the IWC, prefer AEW over WWE, so they’ll write/say anything that spins WWE in a negative light. Let us also cut Dave a break. A lot of stuff gets attributed to him that was never what he actually reported.

– Eric Bischoff is looking forward to WWE’s new “Thunderdome” viewing experience.

As we reported here at, WWE will debut a new viewing experience titled “ThunderDome” on this week’s Friday Night SmackDown emanating from the Amway Center in Orlando. This new initiative will feature “a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, [that] will take WWE fans’ viewing experience to an unprecedented level.”

“Really looking forward to this,” Bischoff tweeted. “Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can produce live action tv like WWE. For my taste, it’s often overproduced. Given the current circumstances however, if the virtual crowd is realistic and talent adjusts accordingly, could be great!”

– Titus O’Neil issued the following statement to NBC affiliate WFLA News Channel 8 regarding the scary incident that occurred at the home of Sonya Deville over the weekend:

“I have spoken to her and I’m glad she’s safe and I’m thankful and grateful that the sheriff’s office took care of the situation immediately,” O’Neil said. “Celebrity status aside this is sickening. I am a product of a sexual assault and have zero-tolerance or respect for any human being that would violate a person’s privacy and or personal space.”

As we reported here at, Phillip A. Thomas II, 24, was arrested early Sunday morning at the home of Deville and charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping and criminal mischief.

The suspect was armed with a knife and mace. He also had plastic zip ties, duct tape and other items he told deputies he planned to use to take the homeowner hostage.

Thomas is being held without bond.

On Sunday night, Deville issued her own statement where she thanked law enforcement.

– WWE NXT Superstar Shotzi Blackheart had her car and ring gear stolen last week. At the time, she was more upset about losing her helmet more than anything else. Thankfully, everything was found.

Today in Twitter, Blackheart shared a heartwarming story about Triple H helping her out during a time of need.

“I didn’t get to wear this but it came with a really awesome story so I wanted to share,” wrote Blackheart. “As soon as @TripleH found out about my car and helmet he made sure that I had help and had the crew put this together for me in time for my match filmed only 1 day after it was stolen!”

“Absolutely thankful,” she concluded.

Blackheart was a participant in the Tri-Brand Battle Royal on last week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown. Asuka won the match and earned a shot at Bayley and the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam.

– Former UFC World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier fought his retirement fight over the weekend in a rubber match against current champion Stipe Miocic. Although the fight was very close, Cormier lost by decision.

In recent months, Triple H has been very vocal about his desire to see Cormier transition to a WWE career after his UFC career ends. Cormier is a huge wrestling fan and has developed a close friendship with Triple H over the years.

Shortly after losing the fight, one of the first calls Cormier received was from Triple H, who is still hopeful of getting Cormier into a WWE ring at some point.

One idea was to get Cormier involved as soon as SummerSlam, with a surprise appearance to shoot an angle that would lead to a match at Survivor Series. Cormier suffered a torn cornea during Saturday night’s UFC fight after being poked in the eye and complained after the fight about being blind in one eye after suffering the injury, so any future WWE plans may have to be put on hold while he recovers.

– In a recent interview with CBS Sports, Triple H addressed Velveteen Dream’s recent absence from NXT TV, stating that he was not medically cleared due to a car accident.

“You know, in this day today, accusations are made and you take them all very seriously. You look into them the best you can, and you find out what is there and what isn’t. In this situation, [Clark] was also involved in a car accident. That’s what took him off TV. In the moment, all this other stuff happens and you look into it and you find that there is a situation that people bring to everyone’s attention, you look into it and find that it is what it is and there’s nothing there.

Everything that we have done, we are comfortable with him continuing to do what he does and everything else. But he had a car accident. It stemmed down to people thought we removed him from TV for different reasons. We didn’t. He was in a car accident. Once he was medically cleared to be able to return to the ring from his car accident, we continued forward the way we did. We looked into what was there and we didn’t find anything.”

Dream was reportedly investigated for online accusations made during the #SpeakingOut movement. He made his return to storylines last week and will compete against Finn Balor this Wednesday on the final episode before TakeOver XXX.

Velveteen Dream’s return was reportedly kept on the down low, with some said to be upset with him returning following what appeared to be damning evidence.

– WWE is going to be doing things production-wise they could never otherwise do when they move TV operations to the Amway Center in Orlando, FL on Friday.

This according to WWE executive vice president of television production Kevin Dunn who spoke with Sports Illustrated following the company’s announcement of the ThunderDome viewing experience.

“We can now do things production-wise that we could never otherwise do,” Dunn said. “We’re flying drones in the arena, we are putting a roof inside the Amway Center, and we’ll be able to project content onto the roof. So when a big star like Drew McIntyre comes down to the ring, the whole arena will turn into his content with lasers, pyro, smoke, projections on the top of the building and on the floor. It will be a big, beautiful entrance, better than WrestleMania.”

Dunn confirmed something we have reported several times here at, in that virtual fans will be used, similar to what the NBA is doing.

“Like the NBA, we’re doing virtual fans, but we’re also creating an arena-type atmosphere,” he said. “We won’t have a flat board, we’ll have rows and rows and rows of fans. We’ll have almost 1,000 LED boards, and it will recreate the arena experience you’re used to seeing with WWE. The atmosphere will be night and day from the Performance Center. This is going to let us have a WrestleMania-level production value, and that’s what our audience expects from us. We are also going to put arena audio into the broadcast, similar to baseball, but our audio will be mixed with the virtual fans. So when fans start chants, we’ll hear them.”

Dunn admitted the shows without fans “haven’t been what we’d like them to be” and thanked fans for sticking with them.

You can read Dunn’s full interview with Sports Illustrated at this link.

– WWE is paying $450,000 for their lease of the Amway Center through the end of October, according to Jon Alba. WWE has already looked at extending that date but the city will not commit due to the uncertainty regarding the NBA. The Orlando Magic is the primary tenant of the arena.

– Shelton Benjamin pinned R-Truth on this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw to win the WWE 24/7 Championship. Speaking of which, Apollo Crews beat Benjamin on Raw so as the stipulation goes, neither Lashley nor Benjamin will be allowed at ringside for his United States Championship defense against MVP at SummerSlam on Sunday.

– While recently speaking on The Pop Culture Show, WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg revealed that he is under WWE contract through for the next two years at two matches per year.

“I am contracted with the WWE for the next two years through 2022, ’23. I’ve got two matches per year. I’ve exhausted my limit this year quite early on April the fifth with WrestleMania under these really weird circumstances. But I’ve got a couple other extremely interesting projects right on the cusp, but as you guys know in the entertainment business right now everything’s on hold unless it’s a production of 10 or under pretty much. We got a lot of cool things that people are going to find out about pretty soon. My WWE commitment is still going strong. At 53, I never would’ve imagined especially after making fun of Flair when he was doing it in his early 40s.”

Goldberg returned to the ring again at SummerSlam 2019 with a win over Dolph Ziggler. As he noted, he’s exhausted his two matches for this year by competing against The Fiend at Super ShowDown and against Braun Strowman at WrestleMania 36.

– WWE has confirmed Ivar vs. Dolph Ziggler will take place in a Raw Underground match during next week’s Raw. It’ll be interesting to see if WWE continues to film Underground segments from the Performance Center, or if those will be moved to the Amway Center outside of the interactive, technology-filled “ThunderDome.”

– Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke, former MMA fighters who signed with NXT in 2018, made their official Raw debuts last night (results here). Shafir competed in an Underground match against indie wrestler Brandi Lauren until Nia Jax interrupted. It looks like WWE may be setting up a Jax vs. Shayna Baszler Underground fight.

– There are rumors making rounds that WWE could introduce a new championship specifically for Raw Underground. Nothing has been confirmed as of this writing.

– Davey Boy Smith Jr., the son of WWE legend the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, has mentioned in recent interviews that his MLW contract expires at the end of the year. Smith Jr. had hoped to go to NXT UK next year, but there have been rumors for months that NXT UK could be shutting down or having its budget severely slashed in 2021. Smith Jr. is not well liked by Vince McMahon, but Triple H had hoped Smith Jr. could help bolster the NXT UK roster. While WWE and Smith Jr. had had informal talks earlier in the year, since NXT UK went on hiatus, discussions between WWE and Smith Jr. have ceased. Smith Jr. has told close friends that he hopes to return to WWE next year, but with McMahon sour on him and NXT UK in limbo, that would leave only regular NXT, which may not be a financially attractive option to the 35 year old veteran.

– Sonya Deville has been granted a temporary injunction against Phillip Thomas, the man who attempted to abduct her at her home last Sunday. There will be a hearing to have the injunction for stalking put in place permanently. The suspect has a pre-trial bail hearing on Thursday at 4:30 PM ET. There, it will be determined if he will be allowed to post bond or if he will remain in jail while he awaits trial. There is a good chance bond is denied as he is from South Carolina, not Florida, where the crime occurred. Thomas is scheduled to be present for that hearing. Thomas was appointed a public defender on Monday.

– More details have emerged on the incident at Sonya Deville’s home early Sunday morning.

Fellow WWE Superstar Mandy Rose was in the home with Deville, according to The Tampa Bay Times. When Deville came face-to-face with her attempted kidnapper, she shouted, “What are you doing, what do you want?”

Deville woke Rose up shortly after 2:41 AM ET when her security system was activated. Phillip Thomas, the suspect, thought Deville was still upstairs and told police he planned to hold her hostage until she “answered all of his questions.

Per the prosecution: “The defendant admitted that his intention was to take Mrs. Berenato hostage by spraying her (with) pepper spray, binding her hands with the zip ties, and wrapping duct tape around her arms to prevent from fighting back. He stated that he intended to keep Mrs. Bernato hostage, preventing her from attending a planned event schedule for the following week, and that he was not going to leave her residence without her answering all of his questions.”

Police gave Deville the suspect’s name and she looked him up on Instagram. He had sent her numerous “obsessive” messages.

“The nature of the messages from this account were obsessive, suicidal, idolizing, saying, ‘You are the only person I will ever love,” Deville said.

At 12:16 AM ET on Sunday, the suspect sent a message that read, “Look outside, baby, by your pool. I’m here. I’m gonna kill that little b—- you have inside with you.”

The suspect had previously sent messages telling Deville he knew her address, made threats against her family, described sex acts and sent her a photo of his penis.  Deville was granted a temporary injunction against him.

As reported here at, Thomas was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping and criminal mischief.

– WWE officially uploaded the application to be a virtual fan featured at the first WWE ThunderDome show, which will be this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown. The application is located at this link.

To summarize some of the guidelines: Participants are not allowed to share their link with anyone else, must be respectful, refrain from smoking, no political statements or endorsements, no being offensive or violent, no disparaging WWE or its talent and/or sponsors, no promoting third-party brands.

The following has been sent out to applicants who are accepted:

2020 WWE ThunderDome
Terms and Conditions of Participation

You have been selected to participate in the 2020 World Wrestling Entertainment (hereinafter known as “WWE”) ThunderDome fan program. By participating in the 2020 WWE ThunderDome (hereinafter referred to as the “WWE ThunderDome”), you agree that you are 18 years old or over and you agree to comply with the following terms and conditions (hereinafter referred to as the “Terms”).

Given the unique opportunity of WWE ThunderDome, every fan is expected to participate and appear on his or her screen throughout the duration of the event. Any extended absence from the screen may result in his or her WWE ThunderDome seat being reassigned to a replacement participant or otherwise discontinued. We reserve the right to not allow you to participate or to immediately terminate your participation at any time in the WWE ThunderDome for no reason or for any reason at our sole discretion including but not limited to if your behavior is inappropriate or violates any of these Terms listed below:

1. The custom link you have been provided is specific to you. You may not share, forward or otherwise disclose the link to anyone else. No one other than you will be permitted to appear or participate in the WWE ThunderDome. No unauthorized people will be allowed on camera.

2. You must provide your own device and other necessary equipment. Subject to any local law obligations, the WWE is not responsible for any loss of or damage to devices or equipment caused by your use of any of the software or other platforms utilized as part of the WWE ThunderDome. We urge you to limit your internet capabilities to solely the device used for participating in the WWE ThunderDome. This means no one in your household should be using your internet connection for other streaming purposes during your participation (e.g. streaming services like Twitch, Netflix, YouTube etc.) We reserve the right to terminate or refuse participation in the WWE ThunderDome if we determine, in our sole discretion, that the video or audio connection to the WWE ThunderDome is unclear or unstable.

3. Your behavior while participating in the WWE ThunderDome must be, and must appear to be, appropriate and respectful at all times. Your behavior while participating in the WWE ThunderDome must be, and must appear to be, appropriate for a family-friendly, all-aged television audience at all times.

4. You may not smoke or appear to smoke any substance, which includes making any gestures imitating smoking. We reserve the right to terminate or refuse participation in the WWE ThunderDome if you appear to be intoxicated or otherwise under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances.

5. You may not say or do anything during your participation in the WWE ThunderDome (whether or not you are appearing on the television broadcast at the time) that, in the sole discretion of WWE:
* constitutes a political statement or endorsement;
* is or could reasonably be considered offensive, obscene, discriminatory or distasteful, including, without limitation, making or appearing to make any obscene or lewd gestures, or saying or appearing to say any obscene or lewd words or statements (including, without limitation, cursing);
* is violent in any way;
* disparages or reflects adversely the WWE or any of its athletes, sponsors, or affiliates;
* promotes, infringes or violates the rights of any third-party; or
* promotes the brand of any third-party.

6. Your attire must be appropriate and must remain on at all times. We reserve the right to not allow you to participate (or to immediately terminate your participation) if you are not appropriately attired (as determined in our sole discretion). Your attire may not contain any immoral graphics, images or texts, any political statements, slogans, logos, images, texts, or graphics, or any logos, graphics or other commercial identification of third parties (other than the WWE, its athletes and sponsors). Officially licensed WWE clothing is preferred.

7. The environment and background you are in during the WWE ThunderDome must also be appropriate. It may not depict logos, graphics, images or other commercial identifications of non-WWE parties (including, without limitation, signs or product placements), any immoral graphics, images or texts, or any political statements, slogans, logos, images, texts, or graphics. We reserve the right to not allow you to participate (or to immediately terminate your participation) in the WWE ThunderDome if your environment or background are deemed to be inappropriate (as determined in our sole discretion) or if you alter the environment or background once you have entered the WWE ThunderDome to one that we deem to be inappropriate (also as determined in our sole discretion).

8. By participating in WWE ThunderDome and inputting your name below, you certify that you understand you will be photographed, videotaped or otherwise recorded (video and/or audio) by WWE (“Footage”). You grant WWE the sole, irrevocable and exclusive right, including the right to authorize others, to use and incorporate the Footage, in whole or in part, in conjunction with other photographs and footage, and the right to use your image, name, screen name, voice, likeness and/or biographical information (collectively, “Likeness”) in connection with the exploitation, advertising, promotion and/or packaging of the Footage or any WWE initiatives, promotions or campaigns and/or any product into which the Footage may be incorporated, including but not limited to, inclusion as part of the WWE ThunderDome of another WWE program, editorial, commercial, trade, print, advertising, promotional, radio, television, home video, motion picture programs, sound recordings, video games, social media related activities and games or for any other purpose at such times and in such manner as WWE may elect throughout the world in perpetuity (and in any event for a period of not less than one hundred years as permitted under local law obligations or, where not so permitted, for a period of fifty years or the longest period which is permitted), and to broadcast, exhibit and/or exploit the same in any and all media, whether now or hereafter known or devised (including, but not limited to, television, radio, motion pictures, streaming, downloads, online, physical media, print and public display) (“Products”). Subject to the separate data protection notice set out below, you grant any other consents, waivers and permissions it may otherwise be necessary or desirable to give under, and to the fullest extent necessary permitted by, local law obligations to enable WWE’s use of the Footage and/or Likeness in the Products. You further acknowledge and agree that WWE shall be under no obligation to use or exploit the Footage and/or Likeness; that you shall not be entitled to any payments, residuals, monies or other compensation arising out of WWE’s exploitation of the Footage and/or Likeness in any manner, that subject to local law obligations you hereby release, discharge and agree to save and hold harmless WWE, its licensees, successors and assigns, parent corporation, subsidiaries and affiliates and its and their respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, advertisers, insurers, and representatives from any and all claims of liability arising out of any use of the Footage and/or Products; and that the Footage shall be the sole and exclusive property of WWE in perpetuity. In this regard, the Footage shall be deemed created for the benefit of WWE as a work made for hire as defined in the United States Copyright Act of 1976 WWE, its designees and broadcasters may edit or alter the Footage without your approval and without notice to you but if you do own any rights in the Footage (including but not limited to the right to exploit, copy, distribute, edit, broadcast, perform, communicate to the public, participate in the benefits of resale, transform and create derivative works) you hereby assign them to WWE, free of charge, on an exclusive and worldwide basis, and for the full term of protection, as and when they are created, for all purposes whatsoever, including but not limited to commercial use, advertising and marketing. If necessary or desirable, including as a result of local law obligations, you will enter into any further agreement or undertake any other action as deemed necessary by WWE to give effect to the above. If you choose to allow a minor appear in the WWE ThunderDome, you are certifying that you are the parent or legal guardian of that minor and are agreeing to these Terms on behalf of you as well as the minor.

9. By participating in WWE ThunderDome, you assume all risks incident to participation and hereby waive any and all claims or potential claims arising from such risks and participation, subject to section 11 below.

10. By participating in the WWE ThunderDome you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the WWE its licensees, successors and assigns, parent corporation, subsidiaries and affiliates and its and their respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, advertisers, insurers, representatives, advertisers and broadcasters from any and all actions, suits, fines, penalties, and claims brought by anyone (including, without limitation, fines imposed by governmental agencies) as a result of your behavior, attire, statements, actions, or environment during your participation in the WWE ThunderDome, and to reimburse all such parties for any costs and expenses, including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, incurred in defending such actions, subject to section 11 below.

11. Local law obligations may restrict the ability of WWE to limit its and other persons’ liability to you and to impose liability on you to them. If you are resident outside of the United States, sections 10 and 11 only apply to the extent permitted by local law obligations and if local law obligations do not allow such provisions in certain circumstances then they will not apply in those circumstances.

12. Outside of the United States, WWE acknowledges that there are certain mandatory local rights and laws (including without limitation in respect of unfair consumer terms) which may not be excluded, restricted or modified or may only be limited to a certain extent (“local law obligations”). Nothing in these Terms excludes, restricts or modifies the local law obligations except as permitted by such laws.

– Shawn Michaels generated some controversy over his segment with Randy Orton on this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw.

Bully Ray felt he did not properly sell Orton’s punt by getting up. Ray’s girlfriend, Velvet Sky, stated it was “complete disrespect.”

“An RKO and a punt to the head from Randy F—ING Orton and Shawn is on his feet??????????????????,” Ray tweeted shortly after the segment aired on the USA Network.

Velvet Sky added, “So Shawn takes Orton’s RKO PLUS punt to the head & sits himself up in the corner & tries to get up like nothing happened.Basically no selling both moves.Way to bury Randy.Then Drew takes RKO alone & stays down selling like ur supposed to. Complete disrespect to Orton by Shawn.”

When a fan explained to Sky that Shawn looked dazed and he sold it with his facial expressions, Sky fired back:

So Shawn takes Orton’s RKO PLUS punt to the head & sits himself up in the corner & tries to get up like nothing happened.Basically no selling both moves.Way to bury Randy.Then Drew takes RKO alone & stays down selling like ur supposed to. Complete disrespect to Orton by Shawn.

– Federal authorities are trying to seize the $1.5 million Madison, Mississippi home of former WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase Jr., according to ABC News.

DiBiase’s younger brother, Brett, was arrested on Feb. 5, 2020 by the State Auditors Office of Mississippi in connection with a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme. The case is considered one of the largest public corruption cases in Mississippi’s history.

A 2019 state audit revealed DiBiase’s family received millions of dollars from Mississippi’s welfare agency through nonprofits, business deals and travel reimbursements. The state’s Department of Human Services was denying more than 98% of applicants welfare benefits at the time.

Brett worked at the Mississippi Department of Human Services and was indicted on charges of stealing $48,000 in welfare money. He has pleaded not guilty. Authorities accuse Brett of getting paid to teach drug abuse classes in the state, despite the fact he was in a luxury drug rehabilitation program in Malibu, California, at the time.

Ted DiBiase Jr. and his wife were in the process of finalizing the sale of the home when federal agents served paperwork to Scott Gilbert, DiBiase’s attorney, who was handling the sale. DiBiase has not been accused of a crime.

Ted and Brett’s father, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase Sr., received more than $2 million in welfare funds from Mississippi’s Department of Human Services for his Christian wrestling ministry.

Ted DiBiase Jr. was with WWE from 2007 through 2013. After retiring from the ring, he attempted to finance an action movie in Mississippi that was never finished. He never worked for the Mississippi Department of Human Services. However, he did work with the agency through his Law of 16 self-help leadership training program.

Brett was also with WWE from 2008 through 2011 before attempting to work as a referee due to knee problems. He later competed on the independent circuit.

The two DiBiase children inducted their father into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010. DiBiase Sr. last appeared on WWE TV in 2019 when he “bought” the WWE 24/7 Championship from Alundra Blayze. He lost the title later that night to Drake Maverick.

– Renee Young is on her way out of WWE, according to a new report from PWInsider. Young gave her notice last week, but there’s no word yet on when her last day is or what is next for the 32-year-old broadcaster. Young signed with WWE in 2012 and filled a number of roles such as NXT commentator, backstage interviewer, Talking Smack host, Total Divas star, the first full-time female commentator on Monday Night Raw, and more recently the host of WWE Backstage on FS1.

– Last week the wrestling world mourned the loss of WWE legend Kamala, who had suffered in recent years with a variety of health ailments.

Kamala and WWE had not been on good terms for many years, stemming from a variety of business disagreements and lawsuits that had left Kamala outside of the WWE family for quite some time.

Every time Kamala’s name has come up in regards to the WWE Hall of Fame, Vince McMahon has ultimately nixed the idea.

Kamala was heavily rumored to be inducted back in 2013 and had made it past the first few rounds of cuts as WWE whittled down potential names, only to be removed from the list of candidates before ever being announced for induction.

In recent days, there have started to be some discussions in WWE that it is finally time to induct Kamala. Announcements for the 2021 induction class are still many months away, but WWE usually starts working on lists the summer before as names are suggested and vetoed over a period of months.

McMahon is said to now be open to the idea, as Kamala was one of WWE’s biggest stars at one point and very recognizable to fans of that era. One source described McMahon’s reaction as being the most open he had been to the idea since 2013 when Kamala came close to being inducted.

– Johnny Gargano beat Ridge Holland and Velveteen Dream beat Finn Balor on this week’s NXT (complete results here) to qualify for the North American Championship Ladder Match at TakeOver XXX.

Additionally, it was announced that Legado del Fantasma vs. Breezango vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch in a number one contender’s match will take place on the TakeOver pre-show to determine the next challengers for Imperium.

– WWE has announced on Thursday Finn Balor will face Timothy Thatcher this Saturday at NXT TakeOver XXX.This comes after Balor and Thatcher competed in the same triple threat qualifying match a few weeks ago before Thatcher cost Balor’s match against Velveteen Dream on Wednesday.

Below is what appears to be the final advertised TakeOver card:

NXT Championship Match
– Keith Lee (c) vs. Karrion Kross

NXT North American Championship Ladder Match
– Bronson Reed vs. Damian Priest vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream

NXT Women’s Championship Match
– Io Shirai (c) vs. Dakota Kai (w/Raquel Gonzalez)

– Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee

– Finn Balor vs. Timothy Thatcher

Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Tag Team Match (Pre-Show)
– Legado del Fantasma vs. Breezango vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

The TakeOver pre-show airs at 6:30pm ET, with the event officially beginning at 7pm ET. We’ll have complete coverage of NXT TakeOver XXX right here at

– The September 2nd episode of WWE NXT will air on Tuesday, September 1st, according to USA Network’s online schedule.

A National Hockey League game is scheduled for 8pm ET on that Wednesday, while NXT will air at 8pm ET on Tuesday. That week’s AEW Dynamite will air on Wednesday, September 2nd, but other episodes throughout August and September are being preempted due to NBA on TNT.

This Saturday’s Dynamite will partially go head-to-head against NXT TakeOver XXX.

– WrestleVotes reported on Thursday that morale is up ahead of the live debut of WWE’s new ThunderDome at the Amway Center. There are several “backstage road employees” that are back to work with the increased production.

As noted, the ThunderDome will feature “a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, [that] will take WWE fans’ viewing experience to an unprecedented level.”

Sneak peek footage of the setup has leaked online:

Friday’s live SmackDown will be the go-home to SummerSlam with AJ Styles defending the Intercontinental Championship against Jeff Hardy. We’ll have complete coverage right here at

– Dominik Mysterio will make his in-ring debut with WWE at Sunday’s SummerSlam pay-per-view in the Street Fight against Seth Rollins.

In a lengthy piece by ESPN, it is revealed that Dominik has plans to eventually perform under the mask with the name Prince Mysterio. Rey is Spanish for King, so the name and masked character would be a way for Dominik to carry on his father’s legacy.

“We actually talked about it. He definitely has to continue with the Mysterio dynasty. It’s in his genes,” said Rey Mysterio, whose mask and surname was passed down by his uncle, told ESPN. “I think we’re going to incorporate that eventually and create a good story so the fans can understand the rich history behind lucha libre and the masks.”

“I’ve always wanted to wear a mask mainly because of tradition. It’s important to keep that tradition going,” said Dominik. “Now with my face being out there, I think it would just have to be introduced a little bit differently so people understand. I definitely want to wear one, but it has to be introduced properly.”

Dominik already has the Prince Mysterio gear and mask designed but wanted to hold off on debuting it at SummerSlam. You can read the complete piece by ESPN at this link.

– Shane McMahon is being considered to take over the Raw brand from Bruce Prichard, according to Alex McCarthy.

This would leave Prichard, a WWE Senior Vice President and the Executive Director of both SmackDown and Raw, to focus solely on SmackDown. Prichard is apparently struggling with the long hours and would like to lighten his workload.

Shane returned to WWE after a seven-year absence in 2016 after proving himself outside of his father’s shadow. In the past four years in WWE, he has regained an influential role backstage. His return also casts doubt on Triple H and Stephanie McMahon taking over for Vince McMahon.

Prior to returning for Raw Underground on Monday Night Raw, Shane had not been on WWE TV since losing to Kevin Owens on SmackDown’s debut night on FOX. He helped put together the men’s Royal Rumble match this year and frequently sits with Vince in the Gorilla Position at main roster shows.

The Raw Underground concept is clearly influenced by Shane, who advocated his father to get into MMA prior to his departure in 2009.

– The rumors are true.

Word going around earlier this year was that WrestleMania 36 host Rob Gronkowski was scared to jump off the ten-foot platform during a 24/7 Championship segment. During rehearsals, McMahon took the bump onto a crash pad to prove to Gronk that he would be fine.

McMahon taking the jump was caught on camera and will air as part of the WWE 24: The Show Must Go On documentary this weekend covering WrestleMania 36 at the Performance Center.

Take a look for yourself and check out the sneak peek video embedded below:

– County Circuit Judge Catherine Caitlin denied bail to the man arrested and charged with stalking Sonya Deville.

Caitlin ruled on Thursday that Phillip Thomas, 24, would remain in jail until his trial, citing the suspect as a “threat to the safety of the community.” Video of the court proceedings is available online:

As reported here at, Thomas was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping and criminal mischief.

We have also learned of some disturbing messages the suspect sent Deville. Mandy Rose was also in the home at the time of the invasion.

– WWE will not permit virtual fans to wear AEW merchandise while a part of the ThunderDome experience.

The company issued the following as part of their initial guidelines to virtual fans:

Your attire must be appropriate and must remain on at all times. We reserve the right to not allow you to participate (or to immediately terminate your participation) if you are not appropriately attired (as determined in our sole discretion). Your attire may not contain any immoral graphics, images or texts, any political statements, slogans, logos, images, texts, or graphics, or any logos, graphics or other commercial identification of third parties (other than the WWE, its athletes and sponsors). Officially licensed WWE clothing is preferred.

AEW merchandise is specifically banned from being worn during the broadcast.  This was made clear at last night’s invite-only rehearsal of the new Thunderdome concept.  It is also rumored WWE will reserve the right to “fine” fans for inappropriate behavior.

WWE has officially announced that Talking Smack will return to the free version of the WWE Network on Saturday morning with Kayla Braxton and Xavier Woods as hosts.

Talking Smack originally aired on Tuesday nights following SmackDown Live from 2016-17 with Renee Young and Daniel Bryan hosting.

Raw Talk was recently reintroduced for the WWE Network’s free tier. Charly Caruso now hosts the post-Raw show with Samoa Joe and R-Truth recurring as co-hosts.

– WWE superstar Nia Jax will be a guest star on ABC’s What Would You Do? reality show this Tuesday, August 25, at 9pm ET.

According to host John Quiñones, Jax will be involved in a scenario involving mean girls.

“A group of teen girls is verbally bullying a classmate at a park. What will witnesses do? Will they defend the young woman or ignore the situation? Jax joins Quiñones behind-the-scenes and opens up about her own story of overcoming bullying and finding self-confidence.”

– Jeff Hardy beat AJ Styles on this week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The finish saw Styles go for the Styles Clash but Hardy hit him in the face with his knee brace. Hardy hit Twist of Fate. He went to the top rope and hit a Swanton Bomb. Hardy made the cover and got the three count for the pinfall victory.

– WWE seems to be changing course following the recent real-life events involving Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.

During the final SmackDown before SummerSlam, WWE subtly incorporated their trauma into their rivalry. Mandy wanted to talk things out after everything they’ve been through, but Sonya said she doesn’t want to see Mandy in WWE anymore. As a result, their Hair vs. Hair match is now a No Disqualification Loser Leaves WWE match.

Below is what appears to be the final SummerSlam card for Sunday:

WWE Championship Match
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton

WWE Universal Championship Match
Braun Strowman (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match
Sasha Banks (c) w/Bayley vs. Asuka

WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Bayley (c) w/Sasha Banks vs. Asuka

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match
The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade & Angel Garza w/Zelina Vega

WWE United States Championship Match
Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP

Street Fight
Seth Rollins w/Murphy vs. Dominik Mysterio w/Rey Mysterio

No DQ Loser Leaves WWE Match
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville

WWE SummerSlam will emanate from the ThunderDome at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on Sunday. The show will begin at 7 PM ET/4 PM ET. There will be a two-hour Kickoff prior to the show, which we will have the stream here.

AEW News

– AEW Dynamite will be preempted this week on TNT due to the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

As we reported here on, the network confirmed earlier this month a total of three episodes will be preempted. Those episodes include this Wednesday’s show, the August 26 episode and the September 16 episode.

Tony Khan revealed over the weekend on social media the September 16 show will be one hour followed by a two-hour show the next night.

“Yes. We’ll have a new 1 hour episode late Wednesday after NBA on September 16 + then we’ll have another new full 2 hour show on Thursday September 17,” Khan wrote.

The schedule for Dynamite is as follows:

  • Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020 instead of Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020
  • Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 instead of Wednesday, Aug 26, 2020
  • Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020
  • AEW All Out on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020
  • Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020
  • Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 – one hour late night after NBA
  • Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

– Cody Rhodes wants the AEW TNT Championship to be the “most important and coveted belt of all time.” “She’s a looker alright,” Cody tweeted. “My goal is to make it the most important and coveted belt of all time. (The walk from my office to the entrance tunnel on Wednesday was maybe my favorite bts moment ever. Stopped folks in their tracks)” A fan on Twitter questioned whether or not the AEW World Championship should be the most important. Cody explained he does not believe in “mid card” titles in response: “Man/woman wearing any belt defines it, not the other way around,” Cody explained. “I don’t believe in “Mid card” titles.”

– Chris Jericho revealed on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Special it was an “NXT reject” who spoiled Eric Bischoff’s appearance on AEW Dynamite. As we reported here on, Reddit user SpaceForce1 announced Bischoff as the special guest moderator in the debate segment between Jericho and Orange Cassidy on the August 5, 2020 episode of AEW Dynamite. The news was shared on the social media platform days before the episode. Jericho stated AEW knows who it was and he will never be back to Dynamite. As for Bischoff’s appearance in AEW, it was just that, a special appearance. As explained here in Ask WNC, there have been no discussions about Bischoff going to work for AEW in any other capacity. He is also on the record as to saying he has no interest in working on the company’s creative team and they are on a roll right now.

– Matt Jackson posted a clip on his Instagram account from The Young Bucks’ match against Grayson and Evil Uno on last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite. The clip showed Matt flipping off the stage to the floor and knocking down some other members of the Dark Order in the process.

“I really stuck that landing, didn’t I,” Jackson captioned.

Randy Orton commented, pointing out that Jackson did not hit anybody. He then listed a number of former WWE Stars that work for AEW.

“Sweet landing…but you didn’t hit anybody,” Orton replied. “Tell Cody, Goldust, Harper, Swags, Y2J, Hardy, Ryder, Spears, Ambrose, Arn, Milenko, Gunn, and most importantly FTR for me.”

Jackson ended up responding by referencing an offer Paul “Triple H” Levesque made to him [to come to WWE] in 2018 before they launched AEW.

“Thank Paul for the generous offer in 2018,” Jackson wrote. “Hope you’re all happy & healthy!”

– With AEW forced to preempt Dynamite on Wednesday nights in the coming weeks due to NBA on TNT, more changes have been announced.

The following graphic reveals that All Out 2019 will be uploaded to AEW’s official YouTube channel in two parts on August 19 and August 26. The replays will stream at 8pm ET when Dynamite would normally air on TNT.

All Out 2019 featured Pac vs. Kenny Omega, Cody vs. Shawn Spears, and Chris Jericho vs. Adam Page to crown the first AEW World Champion.

– Matt Jackson and Randy Orton had a brief exchange on Instagram last week, which resulted in a bit of AEW vs. WWE banter.

For those that missed it here on, Jackson posted a clip on his Instagram account from The Young Bucks’ match against Grayson and Evil Uno on last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite. The clip showed Matt flipping off the stage to the floor and knocking down some other members of the Dark Order in the process.

“I really stuck that landing, didn’t I,” Jackson captioned.

Randy Orton commented, pointing out that Jackson did not hit anybody. He then listed a number of former WWE Stars that work for AEW. “Sweet landing…but you didn’t hit anybody,” he replied. “Tell Cody, Goldust, Harper, Swags, Y2J, Hardy, Ryder, Spears, Ambrose, Arn, Milenko, Gunn, and most importantly FTR for me.”

Jackson ended up responding by referencing an offer Paul “Triple H” Levesque made to him [to come to WWE] in 2018 before they launched AEW. “Thank Paul for the generous offer in 2018,” he wrote. “Hope you’re all happy & healthy!”

During this week’s episode of Being the Elite, Matt was asking Brandon Cutler to film a scene for the “50+ seconds for 50+” segment. Matt has an ongoing joke as he has been trying to figure out various ways to increase Dynamite’s 50+ demo as they usually don’t win the demo against NXT.

“It’s just gotta be something boring, slow and plodding,” Jackson said, before responding to something from Cutler that was inaudible. “it’s a good idea, but I don’t think WWE is going to license out a Randy Orton match.”

– Cody Rhodes says AEW has had no contact with Bill Goldberg.

Jim Cornette claimed recently on his podcast that Tony Khan wanted to bring Goldberg in to re-do his streak storyline from WCW in All Elite Wrestling. Cody, who doubles as one of AEW’s executive vice presidents, chimed in on Twitter.

“This isn’t real. We had no contact ha,” Rhodes wrote

It is important to note Cornette never claimed AEW and Goldberg talked but rather Khan wanted to bring him in.

As reported earlier here at, Goldberg is under WWE contract through 2022 and 2023. His deal calls for him to have two matches per year, which he has already done in 2020.

– All Elite Wrestling has announced that a limited number tickets will be on sale Friday, August 21, for the Thursday, August 27 live edition of Dynamite at the open-air Daily’s Place amphitheater in Jacksonville, FL.

The event will have 10-15% capacity with masks and social distancing required. Temperature checks and health screenings will be administered with sanitizer stations placed throughout the venue.

Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased through TicketMaster.

Below is the entire press release:

– AEW has announced Orange Cassidy will participate in his first-ever in-ring interview on Saturday’s special edition of Dynamite. Cassidy will speak following his big win over Chris Jericho last week.

Here’s the updated lineup:

  • Orange Cassidy interview
  • FTR vs. Private Party
  • The Elite vs. Alex Reynolds, John Silver & Alan Angels
  • The Nightmare Sisters vs. Diamante & Ivelisse – finals for the Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament
  • Darby Allin in action
  • Lucha Brothers, The Butcher & The Blade vs. Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, QT Marshall & Dustin Rhodes
  • Brodie Lee vs. Cody (c) for the AEW TNT Championship

Ratings News

– WWE Friday Night SmackDown did 1.979 million viewers on FOX in the overnight numbers. That is up from the 1.962 viewers the show did in the final number last week, which was adjusted up from the overnight number that was 1.956. Friday’s show did 1.932 million viewers the first hour and went up to 2.025 million viewers the second hour. SmackDown helped FOX finish first place in the men 18-49 demographic and first in the adults 18-49 demographic for the night with a 0.5 rating.

– Last week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown ended up doing 2.002 million viewers on FOX. That is up from the 1.979 million viewers the show did in the overnights that were released over the weekend. Friday’s show, which featured a confrontation between Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt, did a higher viewership than the week prior, which garnered 1.962 million viewers. SmackDown helped FOX finish first place in the key demos for the sixth week in a row. This was the first episode since June 26 to hit over two million viewers.

– This week’s WWE NXT drew 853,000 viewers on the USA Network without head-to-head competition from AEW Dynamite. This number is the highest of the year and fifth-highest since NXT went live. The go-home to TakeOver show ranked No. 23 in the 18-49 demographic with a 0.24 rating. This week’s viewership was up 36% from from last week’s 619,000.


– Former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jay White is scheduled to return to New Japan Pro Wrestling on this Friday’s episode of NJPW Strong. The announcement was made during this week’s NJPW Finish Strong video, which we have included in the player above. His opponent has not yet been announced. White has not competed since February 22, 2020 at the NJPW Manabu Nakanishi Retirement Event where he teamed with Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Tama Loa to beat David Finlay, Juice Robinson, Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma in an eight-person tag match. This week’s NJPW Strong will also feature the finals of the New Japan Cup USA. KENTA will face David Finlay, who were successful on last week’s show. The winner will become the No. 1 contender to the IWGP United States Championship, which is currently held by Jon Moxley.

– Gabriel Kidd suffered a neck injury and as a result has been removed from New Japan Pro Wrestling’s cards from Korakuen Hall on August 26 and August 27.

As a result, Yuji Nagata will replace him to team with Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji against YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto on August 26.

On August 27, Satoshi Kojima will team with Tomoaki Honma & Yuji Nagata to face YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto. Kojimi, who was scheduled team with Hiroyoshi Tenzan against Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji but that match has been canceled. Instead, Yota Tsuji will face Yuya Uemura in a singles match.

Below is NJPW’s official announcement:

“Gabriel Kidd has suffered a neck injury and will not be able to compete on Korakuen Hall cards on August 26 and 27. Changes have been made to both cards accordingly.

We apologise to fans who were looking forward to seeing Kidd wrestle. We appreciate your understanding and wish Kidd the best in his recovery.

NJPW’s official announcement is located at this link.

– Former WWE Superstar Hideo Itami, known as KENTA in New Japan Pro Wrestling, says his five years in WWE were the most frustrating days of his life.

KENTA gave the comments in a new interview with Sports Illustrated to promote NJPW’s eight-man tournament for a shot at the IWGP United States Championship.

“I’ve felt in my heart that the five years I spent in WWE were the most frustrating days of my life. I’ve talked about this, but I’ll always remember the humiliation in America. Being here reminds me of that regret. And when you’re not good, you tell yourself that. That is what inspires me.”

KENTA explained while going to WWE was an attempt to work for the world’s largest organization, NJPW is a better fit for him.

“It may have been possible [in WWE] to satisfy myself as I was in the “world’s largest organization”. But as a wrestler, I now prioritize what I want to do. I can do what I want and where I want to now.”

Should KENTA get a shot at the IWGP United States Champion, he would face Jon Moxley. He admits a few years ago, he and the former Dean Ambrose were on different levels. He does not feel like that now.

“I said many times that I’m going to prove that I’m the best pro wrestler in this business. That’s why I’m here. I’ve had ridiculous past feelings here in America, and I want to get rid of that humiliation. That’s why this tournament is a great opportunity for me. And I want to get the belt from Moxley. Honestly, a few years ago, Moxley and I were at different levels. But I don’t feel like that now.”

“Life is funny. I think no one thought Moxley would do a match with me a few years ago. But if I win this tournament, it could come true. This is the best chance. I’ll shut up those who looked down on me. That is one of my motivations.”

KENTA rose to fame as an accomplished star in Japan and also completed in Ring of Honor. In 2014, he signed with WWE and was assigned to NXT. In 2017, he was moved to the main roster as part of the cruiserweight division on 205 Live. He never found his footing in WWE and was granted his release in 2019.

Ring of Honor News

– Former ROH World Champion John “Xavier” Kirius has died at the age of 43, according to Mike Johnson. Circumstances surrounding his passing are not immediately known. Xavier was the second ROH World Champion in the promotion’s history, winning the title from Low Ki at Unscripted 2002. He went on to hold the title for 182 days. Xavier, who had not worked for ROH since 2007, was scheduled to return to the promotion at ROH Presents: Past vs. Present in March but the show was canceled due to COVID-19. Xavier worked as an extra for WWE several times and was also known for work in Defiant Championship Wrestling, East Coast Wrestling Association, Ultimate Championship Wrestling and USA Xtreme Wrestling. He also tried his hand in mixed martial arts, fighting as John Xavier. He won his first fight in 2009 and lost his second by decision. Both fights were under amateur rules.

– ROH Wrestling issued the following statement about the death of Xavier on their official website:

“Ring of Honor is saddened to learn of the passing of former ROH World Champion Xavier (John Bedoya). He was 43.

A product of the New York independent wrestling scene, Xavier defeated Low Ki on Sept. 21, 2002 to become the second ROH World Champion. He held the title for 182 days before losing it to Samoa Joe on March 22, 2003.

Xavier made his ROH debut on the company’s first show, The Era of Honor Begins, on Feb. 23, 2002, defeating Scoot Andrews. He last wrestled in ROH in 2007 and retired from pro wrestling in 2011. Xavier also competed in several mixed martial arts fights, beginning in 2009.

Xavier was scheduled to come out of retirement to face Jay Lethal at the ROH Past vs. Present show this past March in Las Vegas, but the show was canceled due to the pandemic.

ROH extends its deepest condolences to Xavier’s family, friends and fans.”

Details surrounding Xavier’s death are still not known. The news came as a shock to several in the business, with many commenting how they had spoken to the former ROH World Champion in recent months.

– Ring of Honor has announced the updated list of competitors who will soon compete in the ROH Pure Title tournament:

  • Jay Lethal
  • Jonathan Gresham
  • Matt Sydal
  • David Finlay
  • Tracy Williams
  • Josh Woods
  • Wheeler Yuta
  • Tony Deppen
  • PJ Black

Sixteen competitors in total will compete in the tournament to crown a new Pure Champion. This tournament was originally scheduled for earlier this year before the pandemic forced shutdowns.

ROH will resume production in the coming weeks at a closed set in Maryland. Stay tuned to for the latest updates.

PWInsider is reporting that EC3 is in Baltimore and will make his Ring of Honor debut at the upcoming television tapings this week.

EC3 recently returned to Impact Wrestling following his WWE release in April. EC3 hasn’t signed an exclusive deal with any company yet as he looks to “control his own narrative.”

This week’s tapings will also feature the first matches in the ROH Pure Championship tournament. Stay tuned to for the latest updates.


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