Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week 5/26: Busy PLE/PPV Weekend For WWE & AEW, Vacant Tag Team Titles, More
Welcome back, TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday trying to buy makeup muffins, and missed WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday trying figure out how much longer before the entire country could not pay its debts, and missed Raw.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
10. Aussie Open Signs With AEW
Tony Khan added to his already impressive collection of wrestlers this week. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, Aussie Open member Kyle Fletcher lost a match to Orange Cassidy. It was not all bad for Fletcher, along with his tag partner Mark Davis, as Tony Khan Tweeted out soon afterwards that they have been signed to AEW. Aussie Open will have to wait a bit before teaming in AEW, as Davis is currently out with a knee injury. Upon signing Aussie Open, Tony Khan immediately called Warners Bros Discovery to inquire about the possibility of adding a fourth show. (TJRWrestling)
9. Sabu Debuts for AEW
AEW got a little more suicidal, homicidal and genocidal this week. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, Adam Cole and Chris Jericho signed the contract for their unsanctioned match at AEW Double or Nothing. After signing the contract, Cole then revealed that he would have an equalizer in his corner for the match. Cole then announced ECW legend Sabu, who came out with a steel chair to help clear Jericho and the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society out of the ring. The 58-year-old Sabu has not wrestled in a match since 2021, with it being unknown if his appearance at Double or Nothing will be a one off. Interestingly, the first thing Sabu did once arriving at AEW, is ask Jon Moxley why he bleeds so much. (TJRWrestling)
8. Nick Khan Confirms That WWE is Open to Several Major Changes
With Endeavor soon taking over the WWE, some big changes may soon be coming to the company. This week Nick Khan gave an interview and stated some of the changes that are being considered. Khan confirmed that they are looking at making the third hour of Raw more “adult themed”, shifting away from PG-rated programming. Khan also confirmed that they are open to adding a third hour of Smackdown. Upon hearing that there may soon be even more wrestling to cover, John Canton immediately booked another vacation. (TJRWrestling)
7. AEW Video Game Finally Gets a Release Date
Over two years after AEW announced plans to create their first video game, we finally have a release date. This week it was announced in a new trailer featuring Kenny Omega that AEW Fight Forever will finally be released on June 27th, just two days after AEW: Forbidden Door is set to take place. Fight Forever has been in production for so long that current WWE superstar Cody Rhodes is expected to be a playable character in the game. The game will also feature: “A long roster of the most popular AEW wrestlers, career mode, wrestler customization, signature AEW arenas, multiple match types, and even some good ol’ fashioned unsanctioned fun.” It has not been confirmed at this time if CM Punk’s locker room will be one of the playable arenas in the game. (TJRWrestling)
6. AEW Collision’s Debut Episode to Take Place in Chicago
After weeks of speculation, rumors and innuendos, AEW Collision’s debut episode will air where everyone thought it was airing and likely feature the guy everyone thought it was featuring. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, Tony Khan announced that the debut episode of AEW Collision on June 17th will air from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. It was also reported this week that CM Punk will be making his return at that show. Doubts of Punk’s return began again last week when it was reported that Punk and Khan were at odds over Punk’s longtime friend Ace Steel’s role with the company. These issues have reportedly been resolved, with Steel agreeing to work with AEW remotely. Reports that Steel has also agreed to wear a muzzle if he is around The Elite have not been confirmed. (TJRWrestling)
5. Mercedes Mone Suffers Ankle Injury
Mercedes Mone was set to become the inaugural NJPW Strong Women’s Champion this past Sunday at NJPW Resurgence. Unfortunately, however, Mone ended up breaking her ankle in a match against Willow Nightingale, with the finish having to be changed on the fly. In the end, Nightingale ended up getting the pin, and winning the title. Mone actually had to be carried out after the match, which goes against her usual MO of just walking out. (TJRWrestling)
Phew 😮💨 not how I dreamed for tonight to go.
I’m so sorry and I love you guys so much.
I’m gonna heal and be back better than ever.
— Mercedes Moné Varnado (@MercedesVarnado) May 22, 2023
4. Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez Forced to Relinquish WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships Due to Injury
Unfortunately, WWE is going to crown new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions this Monday on Raw. This past Friday on Smackdown it was announced that Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez would have to relinquish the titles due to a serious injury to Morgan. It was later reported that Morgan suffered a shoulder injury, and may require surgery. This Monday on Raw a Fatal 4-Way Match will be held to crown new champions. The match will feature Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Bayley & IYO SKY vs. Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green vs. Raquel Rodriguez & Shotzi. Making things even worse it also has been reported that the reason Bayley is teaming with SKY and not Dakota Kai, is that Kai suffered an ACL tear in the same match that Morgan was injured in. Kai had knee surgery this week, which will lead to a long absence and Morgan may need surgery too. Hopefully, both Kai and Morgan get well soon, as the only way WWE can salvage this Women’s tag situation is to find a Rose within all these weeds. (TJRWrestling)
3. NXT Battleground to Take Place This Sunday
NXT decided to get in on the fun this weekend as well. NXT Battleground is set to take place this Sunday night. Six matches have been announced including Ilja Dragunev facing Dijak in a Last Man Standing Match. Gallus will defend the NXT Tag Team Championships against The Creed Brothers. Wes Lee will defend the NXT North American Championship against Tyler Bate and Joe Gacy in a triple threat match. Noam Dar will defend the NXT Heritage Cup against Dragon Lee in a British Rounds Rules Match. Lyra Valkyria and Tiffany Stratton will battle for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship. Finally, Bron Breakker will try to recapture the NXT Championship from champion Carmelo Hayes. This show will be airing at the same time as AEW Double or Nothing, meaning that John Canton will be inquiring about hand transplants by the end of the night. (TJRWrestling)
2. AEW Double or Nothing to Take Place This Sunday
It is a weekend full of wrestling as AEW Double or Nothing is also scheduled to take place this Sunday night. So far nine matches have been announced including Adam Cole facing Chris Jericho in an unsanctioned match. Ethan Page and The Gunns will face Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Isiah Kassidy in a Six-man tag team match. Jade Cargill will defend the AEW TBS Championship against Taya Valkyrie. Jamie Hayter will defend the AEW Women’s Championship against Toni Storm. Orange Cassidy will defend the AEW International Championship in a 21-man Blackjack Battle Royal. Christian Cage will challenge Wardlow for the AEW TNT Championship in a Ladder Match. FTR will defend the AEW Tag Team Championships against Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett with Mark Briscoe serving as the guest referee. The Blackpool Combat Club will face off against The Elite in an Anarchy in the Arena Match. Finally, MJF will defend the AEW World Championship against Darby Allin, ‘Jungle Boy’ Jack Perry, and Sammy Guevara in a Four-Way Match. This is actually the third wrestling PPV between WWE and AEW that is scheduled to take place this weekend, which should give wrestling fans plenty of opportunities to ignore their family over the long holiday weekend. (TJRWrestling)
1. WWE Night of Champions to Take Place This Saturday
WWE Night of Champions is scheduled to take place this Saturday afternoon at 1 PM ET. So far seven matches have been announced including Becky Lynch facing Trish Stratus. Rhea Ripley will defend the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship against Natalya. Asuka will try to capture the WWE Raw Women’s from Bianca Belair. Gunther will defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Mustafa Ali. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will defend the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships against Roman Reigns and Solo Sokia. Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar will face off in a street fight. Finally, a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be crowned when Seth “Freakin” Rollins and AJ Styles face off for the belt. Personally, I am really excited for this show, as with a 1 PM start time it should be over before my bedtime. (TJRWrestling)
That concludes another edition of The 10 Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Although I often joke, I have recently started refereeing with GroundZero, Immortal Championship Wrestling and training at the Institute of Professional Wrestling, and now respect more than ever what wrestlers do every week. If you like what I do, despite my jokes being almost as bad as not knowing what loves got to do with it, then follow me on Twitter @Fowlerwrestlin1 and listen to my Podcast The Smark and the Noob. Thank you to all of those who read this every week.