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The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week 6/5: Free Version of WWE Network, Riddle to Smackdown, NXT In Your House, More

Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday waiting for zombies, aliens or whatever other crazy thing will happen this year and missed Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday trying to contact Elon Musk to get on the next rocket to space and missed RAW. Worry not, for I have returned with another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week to catch you up.

10. WWE Bans the BuckleBomb

Another move was added to the WWE banned move list this week. A powerbomb into the turnbuckle, known as a BuckleBomb, has joined the piledriver as a move that is no longer allowed in the WWE. The BuckleBomb has caused several injuries throughout the years, including in the 2015 Night of Champions Match between Seth Rollins and Sting that may have ended Sting’s career. More recently, Kairi Sane was injured after receiving a move similar to the BuckleBomb by Nia Jax. It is unknown at this time if WWE will ban every move in Jax’s set in an attempt to protect the rest of their performers. (TJRWrestling)

9. Vince McMahon Biography Planned

Ever since Mick Foley’s first book was very successful about 20 years ago, it seems that almost anyone who has been associated with the wrestling world now has a book. Therefore, a new wrestling book coming out would not normally make the list, unless that book is about the most influential person in wrestling history of course. A new biography written by Abraham Riesman will cover the life of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. The book will be published by Simon and Schuster and will be released in 2022 and have the title “The Ringmaster.” Naming the book after one the worst gimmicks in WWE history may seem strange, but at least they aren’t naming the book “The Goon.” (TJRWrestling)

8. Rob Gronkowski loses 24/7 Championship

Rob Gronkowski’s short tenure with WWE came to an end this week. Gronkowski originally signed with WWE in March, and captured the WWE 24/7 Championship while hosting WrestleMania 36. Gronk has not been seen in WWE since however, instead deciding to rejoin the NFL and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week that changed as Gronk was shown in a pre-recorded segment on RAW. Gronk and an unknown friend were shown filming a Tik Tok video of Gronkowski, while a gardener worked in the yard. Suddenly, the friend revealed a referee shirt as the gardener revealed himself to be R-Truth. Truth rolled up Gronkowski, capturing the 24/7 Championship for a record 36th time. It was revealed the next day that Gronkowski was released from WWE, ending his short WWE career. Gronkowski actually holds the record for longest reign as 24/7 champion at 58 days, which inconsequentially is also how many consecutive days Jim Ross has visited Sunny’s Only Fans page. (TJRWrestling)

7. Rey Mysterio Contemplates Retirement

Monday Night RAW opened this week with Seth Rollins giving a in-ring promo. Rollins claimed that Rey Mysterio will have to retire from wrestling due to Rollins damaging his eye several weeks ago. Rollins showed a video package of Mysterio’s career, and even said that he would be honored to induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame. Later in the evening, Mysterio along with his son Dominick gave an interview via satellite. Mysterio stated that he doesn’t know when or even if his eye will fully recover, or if he will ever wrestle again. Dominick then spoke, promising revenge on Seth Rollins by quoting scripture by saying “an eye for an eye.” Dominick has been training to be a wrestler, with this angle possibly leading to how he makes his in-ring debut. As to the question if Rey Mysterio will truly retire, I believe it is unlikely as he is only a few years away from being able to main event a Saudi Show. (TJRWrestling)

6. AEW Fyter Fest Planned for July 1st and 8th

AEW announced this week that Fyter Fest will be held on their regular show AEW: Dynamite on both July 1st and July 8th. All of the titles will be on the line, with AEW already announcing the Tag Title and Heavyweight Championship matches. After becoming the number one contenders at Double or Nothing, The Best Friends will get their Tag Title Match against Kenny Omega and Hangman Page. Also after winning the Casino Ladder Match at Double or Nothing, Brian Cage will now face Jon Moxley for the AEW Heavyweight Championship. Cage is being managed by Taz, even using his old moniker of “beat me if you can, survive if I let you.” Nia Jax actually uses a similar moniker of “beat me if you can, survive if you are very lucky.” (TJRWrestling)

5. Jeff Hardy Arrest Angle Airs on Smackdown

Smackdown started in a very unique way this week. The show opened with a car crash showing Elias being pulled out of one of the cars and onto a stretcher. The police officers on scene discovered a bottle of alcohol and a paper with Jeff Hardy’s name on it showing it was Jeff Hardy’s rental car. Jeff Hardy was found in the bushes nearby and was arrested on the assumption of drinking and driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Both Elias and Hardy were scheduled to be in semifinals of the Intercontinental tournament but were now not able to compete. AJ Styles was automatically moved to the finals of the tournament, and a Battle Royal was held to see who would face Daniel Bryan in the other semifinals match. Sheamus won the battle royal and went on to face Bryan in the main event of Smackdown. Jeff Hardy returned at the end of Smackdown and distracted Sheamus, allowing Bryan to win the match. It was announced later that Hardy was exonerated, as it appears he was set up. Doing this angle with Hardy may seem inappropriate due to his past discretions. Let’s just hope this angle doesn’t Sting him to much and he can continue on the Road to Victory. (TJRWrestling)

4. New NXT Cruiserweight Champion Crowned; Drake Maverick Gets New WWE Contract

The finals of the tournament to crown a new interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion was held this week on NXT. The tournament was held due to current Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin not being able to defend the championship, as he is stuck in the UK due to the current health crisis. The finals of the tournament saw El Hijo del Fantasma defeat Drake Maverick to win the championship. Maverick was actually released back on April 15th, with WWE allowing Maverick to work the tournament as it had already been announced. After the match, however, Triple H came out and offered Maverick a new contract to NXT. This will now give him the amazing opportunity to stand and watch RAW for several hours, while being yelled at through the PA system to be more vocal. (TJRWrestling)

3. Matt Riddle Vignette Airs on Smackdown

Another big name is scheduled to debut for the Smackdown brand real soon. WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle appeared on Smackdown via video and announced that NXT superstar Matt Riddle will be coming to Smackdown. Riddle is a former NXT Tag Team Champion, and recently competed in a losing effort against Timothy Thatcher in the first ever NXT Cage Fight. Riddle is now hoping to Weed through all the competition on Smackdown, Smoking through everything that is put in front of him. (TJRWrestling)

2. NXT Takeover In Your House Taking Place This Sunday

NXT Takeover In Your House is scheduled to take place this Sunday night at 7pm ET. There are a total of five matches announced so far, including three championship matches. Keith Lee will defend his North American Championship against Johnny Gargano. The NXT Women’s Championship will be defended in a triple threat match, when champion Charlotte defends against Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai. Finally, Velveteen Dream will get one more chance at the NXT Heavyweight Championship, when he faces NXT Champion Adam Cole. This match was filmed ahead of time, in the now popular cinematic fashion. The match took place outside of Full Sail, with cars surrounding the ring. Perhaps with keeping with the theme of the show, the cars are actually the houses of everybody that WWE has released recently. (TJRWrestling)

1. WWE Reveals Free Version of the WWE Network; Return of Raw Talk

Wrestling fans will now be able to watch parts of the WWE Network for absolutely free. Some of the content available for free will be past episodes of RAW, Smackdown and NXT, along with a number of original series and classic PPV events. WWE also brought back RAW Talk for the first time since 2018, with Charly Caruso and Samoa Joe as hosts. This may now be the second greatest offering of free material in history, only being behind what is found on TJRWrestling.net of course. (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 even the astronauts in space can hear my swear words.)