The Weekly Wrestling Thread Gets Drafted

Hello everyone, welcome to the Weekly Wrestling Thread. Here’s the past week’s big news.

-The WWE draft was this past week and here’s the results:

Going to Raw: Cody Rhodes, Becky Lynch, Gunther, Ludvig Kaiser, Giovanni Vinci, Matt Riddle, Drew McIntyre, The Miz, Shinsuke Nakamura, Indi Hartwell, Erik, Ivar, Valhalla, Dexter Lumis, Candice LeRae, Mace, Mansoor, Maxxine Dupri, Natalya, Apollo Crews, Sonya Deville, Chelsea Green, Zoey Stark, J.D. McDonagh, Rhea Ripley, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Dominick Mysterio, Damian Priest, Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Trish Stratus, Shayna Baszler, Rhonda Rousey, Braun Strowman, Ricochet, Bronson Reed, Otis, Chad Gable, Katana Chance, Kayden Carter, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, Johnny Gargano, Angel Garza, Humberto Carrillo, Akira Tozawa, Piper Niven, Xia Li, Tegan Nox, Emma, Riddick Moss, Veer Mahan, Sanga, Jinder Mahal, Odyssey Jones, and ring announcer Samantha Irvin

Going to Smackdown: Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, Paul Heyman, Bianca Belair, Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford, Edge, A.J. Styles, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Michin, Bobby Lashley, Bayley, Dakota Kai, IYO SKY, Alba Fyre, Isla Dawn, Top Dolla, Ashante “Thee” Adonis, B-Fab, Lacey Evans, Austin Theory, Charlotte Flair, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Rey Mysterio, Zelina Vega, Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro, Joaquin Wilde, Asuka, Sheamus, Butch, Ridge Holland, Karrion Kross, Scarlett, L.A. Knight, Shotzi, Elton Prince, Kit Wilson, Rick Boogs, Cameron Grimes, Tamina, Grayson Waller, and ring announcer Mike Rome

Free Agents: Omos, MVP, Dolph Ziggler, Mustafa Ali, Von Wagner, Brock Lesnar, Baron Corbin, Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander, Xyon Quinn, and Elias

-A.J. Styles appeared for the first time on TV in months. Him and the rest of his stable The O.C. (Anderson, Gallows, and Michin) got into a dispute with the Viking Raiders, setting up a match on Smackdown. Styles is one of the best guys WWE has and it’s great to see him again.

-Braun Strowman’s time on the shelf due to his concussion wound up being shorter than we all expected, returning to action last Friday on Smackdown. He also drove the pace car at a NASCAR race this weekend. As a big fan of his team up with Ricochet (I always flip my shit when they do their finish), I’m glad he’s off the shelf.

-NFL star Travis Kelce might be heading to the WWE. He got attention from wrestling fans for quoting The Rock after a match. He revealed to TMZ that he’s been talking with The Miz about potentially joining. He hopefully has to be better than Rob Gonkrowski’s WWE run.

-The WWE Universe (I made fun of WWE for calling fans this but I’ve kind of grown to love saying this) has been wondering why Carmella’s partnership with Chelsea Green ended out of nowhere with Sonya Deville filling in for her. We learned the reason this week and it’s thankfully happy: she’s expecting a child with her husband, announcer Corey Graves. She also revealed that she’s suffered miscarriages and an eptopic pregnancy in the past, so we’re wishing her and Graves the best .

-Nikki Cross is pursuing a master’s degree in history and submitted her thesis this week. Her thesis is on the history of women’s wrestling. She also said that her master’s shouldn’t interfere with her time in the WWE.

-Phillip Thomas, the man who broke into Sonya Deville’s house in an attempt to kidnap her, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

-AEW’s third show is starting to take form. It’s reportedly going to be called Collision and is supposed to debut on June 17th. CM Punk is said to make his return to the company on this show.

-Tony Khan revealed that this year’s Owen Hart Cup will start at Double or Nothing on May 28.

-Sammy Guevera’s match with MJF at Double or Nothing (that he was paid to take a dive for) might be in jeopardy. Tony Khan changed the stipulation of the “four pillars” match so that if Jungle Boy and Darby Allin defeat Guevera and MJF tonight, their match at Double or Nothing will be a four way match. It would be foolish to not do this.

-Leva Bates (The Librarian) is leaving AEW. She had one of the worst gimmicks in wrestling history but she seems to be a nice girl, so I’m hoping for the best for her.

-Rampage is going to air at a different time this week, airing at 10 P.M. on Saturday. This is mostly because of sports competition but I can’t help but wonder if this is a test balloon to see how well a Saturday night show would do.

Other wrestling:
-NJPW’s Road to Dontaku series aired over the weekend. NJPW events are almost always great but the April 30 event was unfortunately an exception. There was one great match but the rest was middling with a few outright bad matches. Even worse, the worst match didn’t involve Evil.

-Naomi is heading to Impact Wrestling. She’s going to be wrestling as Trinity (her real first name). After how badly she was treated at WWE, I’m glad she landed on her feet.

-CM Punk was backstage at another wrestling promotion, this time being Impact. He wrestled for Impact (then TNA) near the start of his professional career. I don’t know exactly what Punk is getting at but it should be interesting if he shows up backstage at more shows (let’s just hope he doesn’t show up at XPW).

-Wrestling historian Don Luce passed away at age 84. He’s one of the most important historians in the wrestling field (famously debunking the story of Abraham Lincoln wrestling a local bully) and will be missed.

-MLW’s TV show might be coming to an end. Their show last night was promoted as a “season finale.” The only other time a weekly wrestling show had a season finale was the very last Nitro, so this is ominous. MLW has been involved with a lawsuit with WWE, accusing them of stifling their success MLW airs on Reelz, which has a deal with Peacock. Because of WWE’s Peacock deal, they can’t show any wrestling show not owned by them. This has hurt MLW’s attempt to gain fans. I’m naturally sympathetic to indie wrestling promotions and against monopolies but I must confess that some of their evidence is hilariously flimsy. For example, they claim that WWE ruined their chances of being on Vice. The same Vice that airs The Dark Side of the Ring, a show that has consistently shown Vince McMahon to be a monstrous individual, to put it charitably.

-The mayor of Monterrey, Mexico revealed plans to build a statue of legendary wrestler Blue Demon.

-Nia Jax has changed her mind about leaving wrestling, saying that she got bit by the wrestling bug after this year’s Royal Rumble. We here wish condolences in advance to all her opponents if she does return.

-Tessa Blanchard has signed a multi-show deal with XPW. By all accounts, Blanchard is a gigantic racist and bully so she should fit in well with XPW.

Best matches of the week:

  1. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemuru (NJPW)
  2. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso (WWE)
  3. Shingo Takagi vs. Taichi (NJPW)
  4. J.D. McDonagh vs. Dragon Lee (WWE)
  5. Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis vs. Mikey Nicholls and Shane Heste (NJPW)
  6. Francesco Akira and TJP vs. Kevin Knight and KUSHIDA (NJPW)
  7. Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn vs. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter (WWE)
  8. DOUKI vs. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW)
  9. El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Ren Narita, and Shota Umino vs. Kazuchika Okada, Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, and Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW)
  10. Orange Cassidy vs. Bandito (AEW)
  11. Deonna Purazzo vs. Taylor Wilde (Impact)
  12. Butch vs. L.A. Knight (WWE)
  13. Seth Rollins vs. Solo Sikoa (WWE)
  14. Hiromu Takahashi and Tetsuya Naito vs. SANADA and Yoshinobu Kanemaru (NJPW)
  15. Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb vs. Kosei Fujita and Zack Sabre Jr. (NJPW)
  16. Wes Lee vs. Drew Gulak (WWE)
  17. El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Oskar Leube, and Ren Narita vs. Kazuchika Okada, Tomoaki Honma, Tomohiro Ishii, and Toru Yano (NJPW)
  18. Dani Palmer vs. Tatum Paxley (WWE)
  19. Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb, Kyle Fletcher, and Mark Davis vs. Kosei Fujita, Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste, and Zack Sabre Jr. (NJPW)
  20. El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Ren Narita, and Yuto Nakashima vs. Kazuchika Okada, Ryohei Oiwa, Togi Makabe, and Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW)

Worst match of the week: it was tempting to go after all of Evil’s matches but it’s got to be Omos vs. Anthony Alanis (WWE) for how utterly lazy it was.

This week’s prompt: which of this year’s WWE Draft picks shocked you the most. For me, it was Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley’s trades. When Belair was traded to Smackdown, I wondered if this meant there would be a fight between her and Ripley in the future (which I heard rumors about). But then Ripley was traded to Raw, so I don’t know. It does make me wonder about their matches at Backlash this Saturday now…