Welcome back, TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday in shock due to losing someone so talented so soon, and missed WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday figuring out who on the AEW roster you were going to hit next, and missed Raw.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
Last week it was decided to forgo the Top Ten List due to the heartbreaking losses of both Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt. Both are obviously incredible losses, with the shock of losing them both in such a short period of time still reverberating across the wrestling world. With it now being over a week since their passing, I have decided to continue with the Top Ten List with the hope of adding a little bit of laughter in an attempt to return to some sort of normalcy.
10. AEW to Hold Grand Slam World Title Eliminator Tournament
Tony Khan announced his annual monthly tournament this week. It was announced this past Wednesday on Dynamite that an 8-man Grand Slam Eliminator Tournament will begin on September 6th to determine a new number one contender for MJF’s AEW World Championship. No competitors have been announced for the tournament so far, as Tony Khan likely wants to make sure CM Punk doesn’t punch anyone else before he confirms anything. (TJRWrestling)
Roderick Strong just entered himself in the #AEW Grand Slam World Title Eliminator Tournament!
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) August 31, 2023
9. Billy Gunn and The Acclaimed Capture The AEW World Trios Championships
In just a few short weeks, Billy Gunn went from “retired” to a champion in AEW. This past Sunday at AEW All In, Gunn and The Acclaimed defeated The House of Black to capture the AEW World Trios Championship. Gunn is 59 years old, making him the oldest champion in AEW history. Gunn and The Acclaimed were even given new title belts this week on Dynamite, which featured a pink strap and could “scissor” closed. After the win, Gunn and The Acclaimed also had the biggest Scissor party on Earth. This surpassed the previous record that was held by Vince McMahon and multiple executive assistants. (TJRWrestling)
8. Ricky Starks to Challenge Ricky Steamboat to a Strap Match
One of the greatest wrestlers of all time may have his first televised match in over 14 years this coming Sunday. This week it was announced that tomorrow on AEW Collision, Ricky Starks will challenge 70-year-old Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat to a strap match at All Out the following night. Steamboat has not had a televised match since feuding with Chris Jericho in the WWE way back in 2009. Steamboat recently appeared on the August 5th episode of AEW Collision as the special outside enforcer for the CM Punk and Ricky Starks match. After the match, Starks whipped Steamboat with Steamboat’s own belt, leading to this match. After Steamboat wrestles a match at 70 years old, he may wait ten more years and attempt to run for President. (TJRWrestling)
7. AEW Announces AEW WrestleDream and AEW All In 2024 PPV’s
Coming off the biggest PPV in AEW history, Tony Khan has no plans of slowing down. This week Khan announced that AEW will be holding a PPV on October 1st in Seattle, WA titled WrestleDream. The event will mark the one year anniversary of the passing of Japanese legend Antonio Inoki, as is expected to have cooperation from NJPW as well. Also this week it was announced that AEW will be returning to Wembley Stadium on Sunday, August 25, 2024 for another All In event. With AEW drawing over 81,000 people for the inaugural All In at Wembley Stadium, it will be interesting to see if they can repeat that success. It will also be interesting to see with a year to plan the event, if Khan still decides to book most of the matches the week before. (TJRWrestling)
#AEWAllIn RETURNS TO LONDON!
Sunday, August 25th 2024!
Start making your plans NOW!
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) August 27, 2023
6. Adam Cole and MJF Capture the ROH Tag Team Championships
It was an up and down night for Adam Cole this past Sunday at AEW All In. The evening started out on a high for Cole, as he and AEW World Champion MJF defeated Aussie Open to capture the ROH Tag Team Championships. Cole and MJF then would face each other in the main event of the evening for the AEW World Championship. After an eventful match that saw several ref bumps and interference from Roderick Strong, MJF was able to defeat Cole to defend his title. The new ROH Champions and best friends seemed to then be about to break up, before instead embracing in the ring to end the show. Incredibly not only did MJF and Cole not punch each other after the match, but neither got hit by CM Punk backstage either. (TJRWrestling)
5. AEW All Out to Take Place This Sunday
If you forgot that AEW was actually holding another PPV this weekend, don’t feel bad because so did Tony Khan. AEW All Out is scheduled to take place this Sunday in Chicago, Illinois at 8PMET, just one week after AEW All In and on the same weekend as WWE Payback. So far 9 matches have been announced including Samoa Joe defending the ROH Television Championship against Shane Taylor. Eddie Kingston and Katsuyori Shibata will face Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta. Kris Statlander will defend the TBS Championship against Ruby Soho. The Young Bucks and FTR will team up to face Jay White, Juice Robinson and The Gunn Boys. Powerhouse Hobbs will face Miro. MJF and Adam Cole will defend the ROH Tag Team Championships against John Silver and Alex Reynolds of The Dark Order. Luchasaurus will defend the AEW TNT Championship against Darby Allen. Kenny Omega will face Konosuke Takeshita. Finally, Orange Cassidy will defend the AEW International Championship against Jon Moxley. CM Punk was reportedly supposed to face Ricky Starks on this show as well, but that match was cancelled due to Punk being suspended. I am sure however that the Chicago crowd won’t miss Punk at all, after seeing the 9 random matches that Khan threw together in a week. (TJRWrestling)
4. Saraya Captures the AEW Women’s Championship
It was a very successful trip home for Saraya this week. This past Sunday at AEW All In, Saraya defeated Hikaru Shida, Dr. Britt Baker and Toni Storm to capture the AEW Women’s Championship. Saraya’s family was among the 81,000 fans in attendance at Wembley Stadium to see Saraya win her first championship in AEW. This was also Saraya’s first championship in almost ten years, after missing over six years due to a neck injury. This was an incredible moment for every fan in attendance, with even Tony Khan remembering that he has a women’s division for a few minutes.(TJRWrestling)
3. John Cena Returning to WWE
With Hollywood essentially shutting down due to the strikes, John Cena was forced to return to his old job. This week it was reported that Cena will be appearing on WWE Smackdown starting tonight. Cena then will appear on seven more Smackdowns through the end of October. It was also revealed that Cena will be wrestling on the September 8th show from Hyderabad, India. Cena has not competed for WWE since losing to Austin Theory at WrestleMania 39, though he did make a surprise appearance at WWE Money in the Bank last July. Rumors that Cena is only working the India show because he heard that Bollywood is not striking has not been substantiated. (TJRWrestling)
2. WWE Payback to Take Place This Saturday
WWE’s next PLE titled WWE Payback, is set to take place this Saturday night at 8PMET. So far six matches are scheduled to take place including Rey Mysterio defending the WWE United States Championship against Austin Theory. LA Knight will go one on one with The Miz. Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus will face-off inside a Steel Cage. Rhea Ripley will defend the WWE Women’s World Heavyweight Championship against Raquel Rodriquez. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will defend the WWE Tag Team Championships in a Steel City Street Fight against Damien Priest and Finn Bálor. Finally, Seth “Freakin” Rollins will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura. Interestingly, unlike in AEW, all of the Payback matches on the show are expected to happen in the ring and not backstage or on social media. (TJRWrestling)
1. CM Punk and Jack Perry Get Into Backstage Physical Altercation
AEW should be celebrating having setting the highest paid attendance record this week at AEW All In. Unfortunately, however, they are instead dealing with yet another backstage incident. This past Sunday at AEW All In, Jack Perry faced Hook during the “Buy-in” pre-show. During the match, Perry looked into the camera and said, “It’s real glass, cry me a river.” This was a direct jab at CM Punk, who reportedly got into a verbal argument during an episode of AEW Collision over Perry wanting to use real glass for a spot. Reports of what happened next differ, but what is known is that Punk and Perry ended up getting into a physical altercation. Perry was then sent home after the fight, with Punk then leaving on his own after his match with Samoa Joe. Punk and Perry are now both reportedly suspended until the investigation of the incident is completed, meaning that both will miss AEW All Out this Sunday. This is a worse-case scenario for AEW and Tony Khan, with yet another black eye on the company. As for Punk, one has to wonder when he no longer is worth the drama. On a positive note for Punk, he has already landed more punches backstage than he did in his entire UFC career. (TJRWrestling)
That concludes another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Although I often joke, I have recently started refereeing with GroundZero 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 as bad as using real glass. 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.