The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week 4/2: WWE NXT Takeover & Tuesday Move, Christian Cage First AEW Match, RVD to WWE HOF, More

Welcome back TJR readers. Did you spend all day Friday looking for a new job as a ship captain, and miss Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday officially mourning the end of the WWE Network (if you’re in the US), and missed Raw. Worry not, for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.

10. William Shatner to be Inducted Into the Celebrity Wing of the WWE Hall of Fame

Nerds around the world rejoiced this week as WWE announced that Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, will be inducted as a member of the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Class. Shatner has appeared several times on WWE programming, with his most recent appearance being as a Guest Host of Raw in 2010. The legendary captain recently turned 90 years old, meaning that a main event match in Saudi Arabia is still very much in the cards. (TJRWrestling)

9. Kris Statlander Returns to AEW

AEW was once again visited by extraterrestrial life this week. The main event of AEW Dynamite this week saw Miro and Kip Sabian go against Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor in an Arcade Anarchy Match. During the match, Penelope Ford attempted to attack Cassidy and Taylor. Ford was quickly stopped, however, when a returning Kris Statlander popped out of an arcade machine and attacked her. The finish of the match saw Trent also make his return and help Cassidy and Taylor win the match. Personally, I am just thankful that almost five months after the election, aliens finally feel safe enough to return to America. (TJRWrestling)

8. Logan Paul to Appear at WrestleMania 37

From Mr. T to Floyd Mayweather, there has been a long history of celebrities appearing at WrestleManias. This year, all of the real celebrities must have been unavailable, so WWE booked Logan Paul for the show instead. The troubled YouTube “star” will be appearing tonight on Smackdown as well. Paul will be appearing with Sami Zayn on the show as Zayn debuts the trailer for the documentary that he has been working on. Paul will then reportedly appear at WrestleMania as well, being involved in the Sami Zayn Vs. Kevin Owens match. Perhaps the only positive thing to come out of this announcement is that if WWE has now stooped so low to be booking YouTube stars, then bloggers and podcasters can’t be too far behind. (TJRWrestling)

7. Taya Valkyrie to Debut for NXT

Taya Valkyrie is set to debut for NXT, and she is bringing her dog with her. This week on NXT, several vignettes were shown of a Pomeranian dog running through the Capitol Wrestling Center. Finally, during the last vignette, the dog came upon a woman. Only the boots of the woman were shown, but it was announced that she would be arriving on April 13th. Fans of Valkyrie noted that the dog was actually Valkyrie’s Pomeranian named Presley, for who Valkyrie actually has an Instagram account. It is unknown if WWE will also try to book Presley for WrestleMania, so they can have another “big name” celebrity for the show. (TJRWrestling)

6. Christian Cage Wrestles His First Singles Match in Seven Years

Christian Cage made his AEW in-ring debut this week on Dynamite. Cage was victorious in the match, defeating Frankie Kazarian with the Killswitch. This was Cage’s first singles match in over seven years, as he was forced to retire from in-ring competition due to concussion issues. Cage, of course, did appear in this year’s Royal Rumble, before deciding to sign with AEW. Cage will now continue to try to “outwork everyone” by being the only wrestler on the AEW roster not in a faction. (TJRWrestling)

5. Braun Strowman and Shane McMahon to Face off in a Steel Cage Match

WWE is planning on doing something that they haven’t done in 35 years. This week on Raw, Braun Strowman announced the stipulation for his match against Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 37. Strowman announced that he and McMahon would be facing each other inside a solid steel cage. This will be the first time that a cage match has been held at a WrestleMania since King Kong Bundy and Hulk Hogan faced off in the Big Blue Cage at WrestleMania 2. It is unknown if a sweaty, gassed Shane McMahon will be jumping off Big Blue or just the standard steel cage at this year’s WrestleMania. (TJRWrestling)

4. Rob Van Dam to be Inducted Into the WWE Hall of Fame

There will be no need for smoke machines at this year’s WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. It was announced this week that former ECW and WWE World Champion Rob Van Dam will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021. RVD responded to the news by saying the following:

“It’s a pretty awesome feeling. Just like you probably would imagine, it feels like I’m being acknowledged and appreciated for my body of work. It feels very good. I’m honored. [Fans have] been calling me future Hall of Famer for years and I always just shrug and say, ‘All right, man. As long as you think so.’ But, glad to be among the chosen few this year.”

“I’m glad for me and for all the fans. I feel like them being behind me and wanting to see this happen is a win for them as well.”

Besides for all of RVD’s fans, this announcement was also a win for every pot dealer in the Tampa Bay area. (TJRWrestling)

3. The Hurt Business Loses Two Members

For every six factions that AEW seems to create each week, WWE seems to break one up. Raw opened this week with WWE World Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP reprimanding fellow Hurt Business members, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin, for their recent losses. This exchange led to Alexander and MVP arguing, causing Lashley to attack Alexander. Benjamin then started attacking Lashley, leading to Benjamin and Alexander being kicked out of The Hurt Business. Later in the show, Lashley defeated Benjamin in a match, further putting an end to the group. At the end of Raw, Smackdown superstar King Corbin actually came down to help Lashley against Drew McIntyre. We will have to see if Lashley now attempts to recruit new members to The Hurt Business, or if Alexander and Benjamin will attempt to recruit any of their old friends from catering for another faction of their own. (TJRWrestling)

2. NXT Officially Moving to Tuesday Nights

After weeks of speculation, the Wednesday night wars are officially over. WWE announced this week that NXT will be moving to Tuesday nights starting April 13th. NXT will continue to air at 8 PM EST on the USA Network, with NXT and USA actually extending their television partnership. In anticipation of this announcement, Impact Wrestling announced that they will be moving from Tuesday nights to Thursdays. This means that there will now be wrestling on every weekday night. This of course is very bad news for a number of tired mothers who were hoping to finally get their 35-year-old sons out of the house. (TJRWrestling)

1. NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver to Take Place This Wednesday and Thursday Night

NXT’s next Takeover event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 7th on USA/Peacock and the WWE Network, as well as Thursday, April 8th on Peacock/WWE Network. Night one is set to feature three title matches including WALTER defending the NXT UK title against Tommaso Ciampa. New NXT Tag Champions will be crowned in a triple threat match between MSK, The Grizzled Young Vets and Legado del Fantasma. Finally, in the Main Event of night one, Io Shirai will defend the NXT Women’s Title against Raquel Gonzalez.

The action will then continue on night two, with Johnny Gargano defending the NXT North American Championship against the winner of a Gauntlet Match that will be held on night one. Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart will be defending the NXT Women’s Tag Titles against Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar will defend against Jordan Devlin. Adam Cole and Kyle O’Riley will attempt to settle their feud in an unsanctioned lights-out match. And finally, in the Main Event of night two, Karrion Kross will try to regain the title he never lost when he faces NXT World Champion Finn Bálor. This should truly be an incredible two nights of wrestling. The only thing missing will be a big name celebrity like the kid who opens toys or the guy who plays Minecraft to really put it over the top. (TJRWrestling)

That will conclude another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. As always, if you like what I do, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter @BackseatBookers and listen to my podcast The BackseatBookers. (Please be aware that it is explicit, as swear more then Logan Paul’s parents after watching his YouTube channel.)