Posts Tagged ‘WWE Brand Extension’

It’s being reported by BarnBurner’s Brad Shepard that as part of a major pay-per-view shake-up for WWE, the company are looking into replacing current PPVs with classic WCW names, and Starrcade & Halloween Havoc are leading contenders.

As reported yesterday, amendments have been made to the 2018 schedule of pay-per-views, with TLC being moved to December to accommodate WWE’s Super Show-Down in Australia this October, and Clash of Champions seemingly nixed as a result.

Halloween Havoc was hugely popular for WCW, running from 1989 through to 2000, and Starrcade (WCW’s version of WrestleMania) lasted from 1983 to 2000 and was even used by WWE in November last year for a one-off live event for SmackDown.

Despite all pay-per-views now being dual-branded and therefore a reduction in how many WWE will put on this year, one has to assume that the nostalgia associated with these infamous WCW shows would put them ahead in the pecking order of the disappointing Battleground and questionably-named Great Balls of Fire.

Although a final decision has not yet been made, the idea is under consideration and Shepard reported that his source:-

“…specifically mentioned Halloween Havoc and Starrcade as possible names to replace current pay-per-views.”

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Fans eagerly awaiting the return of Dean Ambrose may have to wait a little longer than expected.

The Lunatic Fringe has been absent from WWE programming since a triceps injury took him out of the ring last December. And, while early estimates suggested he would be back in time for SummerSlam, those may prove inaccurate.

Ambrose was back in Birmingham, Alabama for a follow-up visit for his triceps tear and according to WrestleVotes, a source said, “not to expect him anytime before SummerSlam. September seems more likely at this point.”

While this isn’t great news, it’s not far off the original prognosis of nine months, which would have brought The Lunatic Fringe back to WWE just after one of the company’s biggest pay-per-views.

The questions now is, where will Ambrose fit?

Before his injury, Ambrose was teaming with Seth Rollins and in the midst of a feud with The Bar, who are now on SmackDown Live. Jason Jordan, who had temporarily filled in for Ambrose, has also been out with an injury and Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins appear on an eventual collision course for the Universal Title.

Ambrose is a popular personality but his return in September may mean he’ll find himself starting from square one.

WWE has announced four more competitors for The Mae Young Classic – WWE NXT Superstar and former American Ninja Warrior competitor Kacy Catanzaro, Japanese women’s star Io Shirai, Canadian indie veteran Nicole Matthews and current PROGRESS Women’s World Champion Jinny, who is also working the WWE NXT UK brand.

These four competitors join former WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn and NXT Superstar Rhea Ripley as confirmed MYC entrants. It was also reported this week that Vernice Gabriel from The Philippines has been booked for the tournament, which tapes in early August to air later this Summer on the WWE Network.

Below is WWE’s announcement on the 4 new competitors:

Mae Young Classic field widens with addition of international standouts, “American Ninja Warrior” pioneerThree international standouts — Japanese phenom Io Shirai, Canadian ring veteran Nicole Matthews and British up-and-comer Jinny — and former “American Ninja Warrior” competitor Kacy Catanzaro are the latest competitors confirmed for this summer’s Mae Young Classic 2018.

Shirai was recently introduced as WWE’s newest signee at a Live Event in Tokyo. One of the most decorated wrestlers in the modern history of Japan, “The Genius of the Sky” has captured countless titles in her home country and was named the top women’s wrestler for the past three years by Tokyo Sports, a national newspaper. Shirai is renowned for her incredible suplexes and high-flying attacks.

Perhaps best known for her groundbreaking performances on “American Ninja Warrior,” Catanzaro —who was recruited into the WWE Performance Center earlier this year — looks to make an impact in her WWE Network in-ring debut. Though she may not have a wealth of wrestling experience, Catanzaro has been earmarked as a prospect to watch, given her otherworldly athletic abilities. A former Division I gymnast, she was the first woman to scale “American Ninja Warrior’s” “warped wall” and has twice been listed on Sports Illustrated’s “Fittest 50” list of the world’s best female athletes.

A 12-year ring veteran from Vancouver, Matthews has established her name around the globe, having competed in Canada, the United States, England, Japan and Australia. Matthews has faced the likes of Becky Lynch, Asukaand WWE Performance Center trainer Sara Amato. She boasts an aggressive, bullying style of wrestling and likes to finish opponents with a devastating rolling cutter she calls the “Vancouver Maneuver.”

Rounding out this set of competitors is London’s Jinny. Less than three years into her career, Jinny journeyed into a WWE ring for the first time at the 2017 WrestleMania Axxess. Known for her hard-hitting style inside the ring, Jinny is the reigning women’s champion of the U.K.-based PROGRESS Wrestling and holds the distinction of being the first female graduate of PROGRESS’s wrestling school.

Daniel Bryan’s return to the ring was going to happen whether WWE cleared him or not. He had full intentions of wrestling elsewhere, but he passed every test WWE gave him and Bryan is a full-time Superstar once again.

Reports have surfaced that Bryan has re-signed with WWE. Bryan’s WWE contract was set to expire in September this year. At this time there are no known specifics about his new deal.

Since dropping the title of SmackDown GM, Bryan has been a consistent face on television in angles leading to his WrestleMania match with Shane McMahon against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Bryan feuded with Big Cass before his WWE release and he has now realigned himself with Kane.

Natalya spoke with The Sun about her Father (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) not wanting her in wrestling, training at the Hart Dungeon, and how he family has influenced her wrestling career. Here are some of the highlights:

Training in the Hart Dungeon:

“There was only one other girl in there with me and about 25 different guys coming in and out over the years. So for the most part there were only men to train with. We got treated all the same. I’m grateful for those days because nothing was handed to me – it made me stronger. Training with men made me tougher. I had to learn to stand on my own two feet. When I look back, it’s helped me so much. There’s nothing I can’t get through in WWE.”

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart not initially being thrilled with her getting into wrestling:

“He was very protective. I have two sisters and he didn’t want us in the ring. When he was competing, there wasn’t a prominent women’s division. He came from a different era and he didn’t want us to get hurt. Females become more dominant in WWE with Trish Stratus and Lita, but it wasn’t until he saw me have my first match … he’s been my biggest fan ever since.”

How family has influenced her wrestling career:

“My family have influenced me heavily. I loved Owen’s style – I’m not a high flyer but I love looking back at his matches for his personality.Bret was always great at selling and he’d always make you believe. Bret was also compatible with everyone he worked with. Whoever it was, they’d always say Bret was their favorite match – from Roddy Piper to Steve Austin. And British Bulldog was so agile for a guy his size. He could do just about anything. I’m a bigger girl – sturdy and I can do a lot of power moves, but I’m also agile on my feet.

“Every time I do the surfboard submission hold I think of British Bulldog – I pay homage to him. And the Sharpshooter is me paying homage to Bret and our family’s legacy. And my father was about power. Just the way he moved around in the ring… we have a lot of the same mannerisms. I look back at old matches and think we’re so much alike. When I first started I didn’t want to do the things they did or wear the same colors because I didn’t want people to think I was riding off my family’s coattails. Now I see it differently – I’m proud of them.”

Natalya also discussed more about her family. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

Don’t try to convince Dolph Ziggler his limited success is in any way his fault; he simply won’t buy it.

The current Intercontinental Champion is on his way to defending his title in an Iron Match this Sunday at Extreme Rules, and while he’s been flying a little higher on WWE programming, most of Dolph’s 2018 has been overshadowed by a lack of direction. He’s had failed runs at getting over and feuds no one seems to care about, all while trying to prove he’s one of the best in the business. It’s a situation he’s frustrated to still be in after 12 years of wrestling for WWE.

A recent guest on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast, Garcia came right out and asked why Ziggler thinks he’s not considered main-event worthy. Ziggler responded:

“I have no idea; but, I’ve done everything I can…. If you’ve done everything you can and creative has nothing for you sometimes they have nothing for you. Sometimes it’s personal. Sometimes it’s not.”

Ziggler doesn’t reckon he’s been used to his full potential, and when he hears WWE Legends and Hall of Famers try to suggest it’s on him, he’s calling foul. He says the company knows how good he is, he knows how good he is, and the WWE should be finding more ways to use him.

Ziggler suggested even Shawn Michaels is baffled. He asked Michaels to watch one of his matches and provide feedback. “I said to Shawn, ‘I’m going to go out here in this dark match and you tell me why the hell I’m not on TV kicking ass.’ He goes, ‘Ah Ok.’ I had the match, came to the back and he said, ‘Yeah, I don’t know.’”

Ziggler admitted that seven years ago, he might have had to take a closer look in the mirror. Today, he’s pitching to Vince McMahon, working out in the gym more and trying to get noticed. None of it seems to be getting Ziggler past an unexpected run as the IC Champion.

When it comes to wrestling, there is no bigger name than Hulk Hogan. From main-eventing the first WrestleMania to making one of the greatest comebacks of all time, the WWE legend has done it all. And it appears that WWE is finally ready to celebrate his legacy once more, as the wrestling icon has been reinstated into their Hall of Fame.

WWE released a statement to its official website on Sunday, which read:

“After a three-year suspension, Hulk Hogan has been reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. This second chance follows Hogan’s numerous public apologies and volunteering to work with young people, where he is helping them learn from his mistake. These efforts led to a recent induction into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame.”

The Hulkster was originally inducted into the Hall of Fame back in 2005 but he was removed from it in 2015 after a recording of him making racial slurs years prior, was leaked. The company also fired him, ending his short-lived return. Furthermore, he wasn’t mentioned on any WWE programming for quite some time after his dismissal.

The news of his return to the Hall of Fame comes just hours after rumors of a potential appearance at WWE Extreme Rules surfaced. So, we have to wonder: Could this mark the beginning of another on-screen run for The Immortal One?