Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday trying to find positive news in the world and miss Smackdown? Perhaps you spent Monday getting ready for your Canada Day party 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. Renee Young Writes a Cookbook
For days, Renee Young teased on her social media account that she would be making a huge announcement on Wednesday. Wrestling fans around the world debated what this monumental news could be. Could Young be leaving WWE to join her husband in AEW? Perhaps she is pregnant, and there will soon be a little Jon Moxley running around. Finally, Wednesday came, and Young let the world know what her huge news was. Young has written and is releasing a cookbook! Huge breaking news stories like this is exactly why you should all be checking TJRWrestling.net multiple times a day.
9. Big Show Calls Out Randy Orton on Raw
WWE focused on pushing their fresh young talent this week on RAW. The Big Show came to the ring and attempted to call out Randy Orton. Orton did not appear however, with Angel Garza and Andrade interrupting Show instead. A few minutes later Ric Flair joined the men in the ring, warning Show that Orton is going to show him why he is the legend killer. This segment eventually lead to Show facing off in a handicapped match with Garza and Andrade later in the night. The 48-year-old Big Show easily defeated Garza and Andrade in around five minutes. The Big Show will now likely go on to face Randy Orton at Extreme Rules on July 19th, unless of course Show wants to squash some more young talent before he gets there. (TJRWrestling)
8. RAW Features Two Contract Signings
If you are a fan of contract signings, then this was a big week for you. RAW featured contract signings for both the WWE Championship match between Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler, and the WWE RAW Women’s Championship match between Sasha Banks and Asuka. Both of these matches will now take place at Extreme Rules on July 19th. To the surprise of no one, these signings turned into a brawl, leading to a mixed tag match between McIntyre and Asuka vs. Ziggler and Banks as the main event of RAW. Banks was able to get the pin on Asuka, winning the match for herself and Ziggler. It is unknown if Banks and Ziggler’s win was official however, as a contract signing for the mixed tag match was not shown. (TJRWrestling)
7. Nikki Cross Becomes Number One Contender for The Smackdown Women’s Championship
Bayley’s opponent for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Extreme Rules was decided this week on Smackdown. Nikki Cross defeated Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke and Lacey Evans to earn the match with Bayley. If Cross can be victorious at Extreme Rules, she will become the second WWE World Champion from Scotland, joining WWE Heavyweight Champion Drew McIntyre. Now if only a certain groundskeeper could win the Universal Championship, Scotland would really dominate the wrestling world. (TJRWrestling)
6. Tessa Blanchard Stripped of the Impact World Championship, Released From Impact
Impact Wrestling is going to have to find a new World Champion. Tessa Blanchard, who has not competed for Impact since mid-March, was fired and stripped of the World Title this week. Blanchard currently resides in Mexico, making it difficult to wrestle in the US with the current health crisis. Impact’s attempts to have Blanchard return to the company to drop the title failed, causing them to make the decision to fire and strip her of the title. Blanchard was also supposed to send in promos for the June 1st edition of Impact, but failed to do so. This also likely contributed to Impact’s decision to let her go. This is a sad end to Blanchard ‘s story, who made history by being the first woman to win the Impact World Championship. Blanchard’s contract with Impact was also expiring soon and she knew that. For the twelve people who still watch impact wrestling, Blanchard’s leaving is surely going to be a disappointment. (TJRWrestling)
5. WWE Extreme Rules: Horror Show Will Have a Swamp Fight
WWE decided this week to call their next PPV on July 19th “Extreme Rules: The Horror Show.” The main event of this show will feature the first-ever “Wyatt Swamp Fight” between Universal Champion Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt. This match will be recorded in a cinematic style, similar to WWE’s The Boneyard Match, Money in the Bank and Firefly Fun House Match. This match will also be non-title, as the Universal Championship will not be on the line. This week on Smackdown, Strowman promised to drag Wyatt into the swamp and let the alligators finish the job. Ironically, it could be argued that a wrestler getting eaten by a gator, is actually less of a horror show than what the WWE roster has been put through this week. (TJRWrestling)
4. NXT: Great American Bash Night One Takes Place
NXT counter programmed AEW’s Fyter Fest this week, with a special of their own. Night one of NXT: Great American Bash took place this past Wednesday night. The show saw lots of great matches, including Tegan Nox becoming the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship when she defeated Dakota Kai, Mia Yim and Candace LeRae in a Fatal 4 Way. Dexter Lumis defeated Roderick Strong in the first ever NXT strap match. And finally, in the main event, Io Shari defeated Sasha Banks, when Asuka interferes and spits green mist in Bank’s face. A wrestler spitting in the face of another wrestler is not the safest thing to do in today’s environment. At the very least, Triple H should have let Banks borrow his face mask for the spot. (TJRWrestling)
3. Fyter Fest Night One Takes Place and AEW Announces a “Puppy Battle Royal”
Night one of AEW’s two night Fyter Fest special took place this past Wednesday night. The show was filled with lots of great matches, including Cody successfully defending his TNT Championship against Jake Hager. The main event of the show saw “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega successfully defend the AEW Tag Team Championships against The Best Friends. Omega and Page will now go on to defend the titles against Private Party next week at Fyter Fest Night Two. AEW also announced that the first-ever Puppy Battle Royal will take place next week. After this announcement, Jerry Lawler immediately tried to get tickets to the event. (TJRWrestling)
— All Elite Wrestling on TNT (@AEWonTNT) July 2, 2020
2. Jon Moxley and Brian Cage AEW Heavyweight Championship Match Postponed to July 15th
The big AEW Championship Match between Brian Cage and Champion Jon Moxley will now have to wait another week. Moxley and Cage were supposed to main event night two of Fyter Fest on July 8th. Moxley, however, chose to stay with his wife Renee Young, who unfortunately was one of the many WWE employees who caught COVID-19 last week. At the time of this article, Moxley has not tested positive for the virus, but AEW is being cautious and postponing the match anyway. The title match will now take place on July 15th during AEW Dynamite’s Fight for the Fallen special. Let’s all hope that both Young and Moxley will be able to leave their kitchen real soon, and return to their respective companies. (TJRWrestling)
1. The Undertaker Retires?
During the final installment of the five-part WWE Network documentary on the Undertaker, known as “The Last Ride”, The Undertaker seemingly announced he has wrestled his last match. During the final moments of the episode The Undertaker stated, “At this point in my life and in my career, I have no desire to get back in the ring. (Pause) I’ve got a pit in my stomach right now. (Laughs) This time the cowboy really rides away.” The Undertaker seemingly reiterated his retirement, by tweeting out the following this week.
— Undertaker (@undertaker) June 23, 2020
WWE celebrated The Undertaker this week on Smackdown, showing the entire Boneyard Match for Wrestlemania 36, as well as video clips from his storied career. Of course, wrestlers have a long history of retiring, to only return later “for one more match.” Taker himself admitted right before saying he was done that, “If Vince was in a pinch, would I come back? I guess time will only tell there. ‘In case of emergency,’ you break glass and pull out The Undertaker. I would have to consider that. Never say never.”
Only time will tell if this is truly the end of Taker’s nearly 30 year WWE Career. What is known is that unlike a neck tattoo, no one will ever be able to erase the legacy that The Undertaker has left behind. (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 I swear more than King George III did on July 4th.)