Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week 12/23: John Cena Will Wrestle On WWE Smackdown, Bronson Reed, Uncle Howdy, More

john cena wwe smackdown screen

Welcome back, TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday trying to explain to your wife what that new $30 monthly charge on your credit card was, and missed WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday Googling what insurrection meant, and missed Raw.

Worry not for I have returned with another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.

10. Sasha Banks Reportedly Arrives in Japan

It appears that Sasha Banks is going to try to prove that she is huge in Japan. This week it was reported that Banks flew to Japan, and will be in the country for NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4th. NJPW began its Women’s division in October, with Kairi (Kairi Sane) becoming their first champion. It is still unclear what Banks will be doing at the event, or when and if she will actually wrestle for NJPW. It was reported that Banks has been paid huge amounts of money to appear at the event, likely in the hopes that she will actually stay for the entire show. (TJRWrestling)

Sasha Banks

9. Edge and Finn Bálor Reported to Compete in a Hell in a Cell Match

The months-long-feud between Edge and Finn Bálor, is reportedly going to a head in a big way at the Royal Rumble on January 28th. This week it was reported that Edge and Bálor will be competing in a Hell in a Cell Match at the show. Edge and Bálor have been feuding since June when Bálor replaced Edge as the leader of The Judgment Day. Edge has not been seen on television since losing to Bálor in an I Quit Match at WWE Extreme Rules in October. The finish of that match saw Edge quit when Rhea Ripley teased attacking his wife Beth Phoenix with a steel chair, before proceeding to do so anyway. Notably, teasing doing something before proceeding to do it anyway is now officially known as the Mandy Rose. (TJRWrestling)

wwe raw edge spear finn balor

8. AEW Dynamite and Rampage to Have a New Look in 2023

The year 2023 will look completely different for AEW fans. This week, Tony Khan announced that both AEW Rampage and Dynamite will be getting a brand new look at the beginning of the year. The new look is likely the brainchild of longtime WWE executive Mike Mansury, who recently joined AEW as their Co-Executive Producer and Senior Production Executive. The new look should be very exciting for everyone at AEW, aside for the referees who won’t notice the change. (TJRWrestling)

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7. Two Title Matches Announced for First Raw of 2023

WWE is planning on starting 2023 in a big way. It was announced this week that the January 2nd Raw will feature two big title matches. First, Seth Rollins will once again attempt to become WWE United States Champion when he faces Austin Theory. Also number one contender Alexa Bliss will get her shot at the Raw Women’s Championship when she faces Bianca Belair. Interestingly, AEW is going in the opposite direction for their first show of the year, by only having four title matches on the show. (TJRWrestling)

6. New Faction Debuts on AEW Dynamite

Yet another faction has debuted for AEW. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, Rick Ross was in attendance to mediate a meeting between former AEW Tag Team Champions Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. The former teammates reuniting was not in the cards however, as Strickland warned Lee to watch his back. Lee was then suddenly attacked by Parker Boudreaux. Just when it appeared that Lee would get the better of Boudreaux, a masked tattooed assailant assaulted Lee. The masked man and Boudreaux then held Lee down and put a cinder block on his chest, while Strickland then hit his double foot stomp through the block and onto Lee. All three men were wearing clothing branded with the words “Mogul Affiliates”, with that evidently being the name for the new group. It was later reported that the masked man was actually former MLB player Granden Goetzman, meaning that Tony Khan has finally run out of wrestlers to sign and has moved on to other sports. (TJRWrestling)

5. Mandy Rose Makes A Lot Of Money Since WWE Release

For those of you who were worried about Mandy Rose after being released last week, worry not. This week Mandy Rose’s agent Malki Kawa told TMZ that Rose has made an incredible $500,000 dollars on her subscription site since her release. Rose was shockingly released on December 13th, after it was found that she was posting explicit content on her site. Rose is charging $30 per month for her subscription and once a person has a subscription, there are other photos/videos available to purchase. Rose making half a million dollars in the WWE that quickly would have been incredibly hard to do, unless of course, she signed a non-disclosure agreement. (TJRWrestling)

4. Alexa Bliss Seemingly Turns Heel

Alexa Bliss and Bray Wyatt are clearly not done with each other. This past Monday on Raw, Bianca Belair and Bliss did a backstage interview with Byron Saxton. Near the end of the interview, the Wyatt logo appeared on the screen. Bliss seemingly instantly was brainwashed by the image, hitting Belair with a vase. Belair and Wyatt had a strange alliance for several months, which included Bliss seemingly gaining supernatural powers. These powers are completely different than Mandy Rose’s powers to separate horny wrestling fans from their money. (TJRWrestling)

3. Uncle Howdy Appears Live on Smackdown

After weeks of appearing via video, this week we finally saw Uncle Howdy in person. This past Friday on Smackdown, LA Knight went to the ring to call out Bray Wyatt for attacking him over the last few weeks. Wyatt then came down to the ring, with Knight suddenly attacking Wyatt. Howdy then appeared on the screen, before then shockingly entering the arena while Wyatt was still in the ring. It is unknown at this time who is portraying Howdy, but it is known that he was wearing way too many clothes for it to be Mandy Rose. (TJRWrestling)

uncle howdy smackdown

2. Bronson Reed Returns to the WWE

Triple H decided to get one more NXT return in before the end of the year. This past Monday on Raw, The Miz faced Dexter Lumis in a Winner Take All Ladder Match. The finish of the match saw Bronson Reed return to the WWE, helping The Miz secure the win. Reed, like many superstars, was released last August when Vince McMahon was still in charge. It was reported this week that Reed was a “priority” hire for Triple H, with it being so important that he brought back 30 other NXT superstars first. (TJRWrestling)

1. John Cena to Wrestle on December 30th Episode of Smackdown

It is better late than never for John Cena in 2022. This past Friday on Smackdown it was announced that not only will Cena be appearing on the December 30th episode of Smackdown, he will be wrestling as well. Cena will be teaming with Kevin Owens to face the team of Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn. This will be Cena’s first match of 2022, and means that he will have competed in at least one match for WWE every year since his debut in 2002. Twenty years is certainly a long time to be working for WWE, especially without taking a single hush money payment. (TJRWrestling)

That concludes another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Although I often joke, I have recently started refereeing with NYCW and FCWA, and respect more than ever what wrestlers do every week. I wrote an article all about it all right here. If you like what I do, despite my jokes being almost as bad as Santa being taken out by a Bomb Cyclone. Then follow me on Twitter @Fowlerwrestlin1. Thank you for taking the time to read this each week.