AEW Grand Slam Notes, CM Punk & Bray Wyatt Status Updates and More Wrestling News
AEW Dynamite Grand Slam happened earlier this week and may go down as one of the best Dynamite episodes ever. I was in attendance, as was Knotfest Wrestling host Jordan Olds and the atmosphere was absolutely electric.
There were two big shocking moments during Dynamite. The first was the opening match, which saw Chris Jericho win the ROH world title by cheating in a finish that was completely unexpected. It's a great storyline advancement for Jericho, who is doing a sports entertainment gimmick, to win the world title of the promotion least known for being sports entertainment and more known for being pure wrestling. It advances the tension with his protege, Daniel Garcia.
The other big shocking moment of the night was the debut in AEW of Saraya, the former Paige in WWE. Saraya holds a close place in my heart. Fun fact: her mom claims she came up with the name as an amalgamation of "Slayer" and "Tom Araya." The big question is will Saraya be able to wrestle?
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reports that as of this moment, she is not cleared to wrestle, but that could change. Saraya suffered a major neck injury in 2016 that took her out of action permanently. Many point to Sting as an example of somebody who was told by WWE he will never wrestle again to having some matches that may end up being the top matches in the company of the year. Perhaps things can start slowly for her, but it's notable that she did not have any physical contact when she made her debut. But listen to that crowd reaction…
After the report went public, Saraya tweeted "Ignore the dirt sheet click bait. See ya Wednesday."
The crowd also absolutely went nuts for The Acclaimed when they won the world tag team titles:
Overall, it was five absolutely great matches and then they taped an absolutely STACKED Rampage card. Take a look at this lineup for tonight on TNT:
There is a huge surprise during the opening match between Sting/Darby Allin and House of Black that longtime wrestling fans will absolutely appreciate.
My one complaint is that I think it was asking far too much by AEW of the local New York City crowd to do a taping on a Wednesday night that ended at 12:40am at night, when many people had to take public transportation home and likely had work the next day. Hopefully, in future years they can tape an hour of Rampage before Dynamite to keep more of the crowd present for the show.
Either way, it was a great time and Arthur Ashe Stadium is absolutely perfect for pro wrestling.
Did CM Punk wrestle his last AEW match?
Could AEW All Out have been the last time we've seen CM Punk in a AEW ring? I've been covering the ongoing drama between Punk and the company, as he is currently suspended pending investigation after throwing the first punch backstage in a fight with AEW EVPs the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega.
PWTorch reporter Wade Keller noted during his audio show recap of the ROH world title match from Wednesday's Dynamite when the announcers were recapping great ROH champions of the past, Punk's name wasn't mentioned. "I think this is noteworthy but not surprising
On Bryan Alvarez's Wrestling Observer Live show today, Bryan commented on Wade's report by saying "I did hear Wade speculating about a buyout and let's put it this way. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised but nobody, nobody, nobody is talking right now. So everything is speculation. Nobody is saying anything."
"The thing about the brawl is there really aren't two sides of the story anymore. There were two sides of the story for a while but now pretty much both sides agree that CM Punk threw the first punch. The Punk side has backed off the kicking the door down thing. They have admitted
"Other than that, all sides are on the same page. I don't expect to see CM Punk in AEW again. I don't know about The Bucks and Kenny Omega. I don't know what they're thinking right now but I do know it's been a long time and nobody is communicating with anybody about anything. It has to be frustrating. So I don't know what they are thinking right now…"
"If they are working a buyout for Punk then there is some communication. You don't work out a buyout with somebody and not communicate. As far as Kenny Omega and The Bucks, from talking with all sorts of people in AEW, nobody is communicating anything to Kenny Omega and The Bucks. Nothing. They are absolutely 100 percent in the dark…I don't know what the future is for anybody."
Will Bray Wyatt debut on Smackdown tonight?
This past Monday on Raw, there was a heavy tease that the white rabbit would debut on September 23rd, which is TODAY, and wouldn't you know it, Smackdown is on tonight.
Bray Wyatt did tweet today, but it's not what you think…
The only other hint is he liked this post yesterday from the late, great Brodie Lee.
Maybe we'll see Wyatt tonight, maybe not. But we WILL definitely see this on Smackdown tonight:
- Roman Reigns makes his return
- The Usos defend the tag team titles against the Brawling Brutes
- Braun Strowman takes on Otis
News and Gossip from Around the Internet
According to the Wrestling Observer, MJF got a bump in pay and is now making over a million a year. It is believed he did not sign a contract extension.
WWE announced a DX 25th-anniversary celebration for Monday Night Raw on October 10th in Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center. You have to imagine that Triple H and HBK will be appearing, as would Road Dog and X-Pac. Billy Gunn who is currently Daddy Ass in AEW will likely not appear.
Speaking to SPORTbible Stories, Triple H discussed his plans for expanding NXT saying "NXT, for us, is that academy model or sort of that collegiate athletics for us," Triple H said. "If "Raw" and "SmackDown" are the NFL … "NXT" is collegiate athletics and we had a small brand here called "NXT UK." We were headed down this road prior to the pandemic, pandemic kind of like, put a hold on it. But, we shut that brand down because we're going to relaunch it in 2023 as "NXT Europe" and try to blow it out bigger. The intent will be to take "NXT Europe" and take that around the world, so, "NXT Europe," I'll just throw names out; "NXT Australia," "NXT South Africa," South America, Mexico," Triple H continued. "Eventually build that into a global system that will lead to almost a World Cup scenario."
Chris Jericho spoke to GQ about the backstage moral in AEW after All Out saying "Without getting into specifics, it happens all the time," Jericho explained. "That's one of the things about being around as long as I have: You just recalibrate and you focus on the positives and realize we got a great locker room, a great group of guys and girls. <..> We know that this is a pretty special place, and we're gonna go out there and we're gonna kill it," he said. "That's what we did. It's a reset and that's exciting for everybody involved, including me." He continued, "We're just gonna keep building upon it. That's what you do. That's how you have longevity."
Here's the first trailer to Batista's new movie, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, “Knock at the Cabin”