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Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week 1/16: AEW Dynamite Extended, Murphy Joins Rollins and AOP on WWE Raw, More

Welcome back TJR readers. Did you spend all week in a bomb shelter waiting for the big one from Iran and miss Smackdown? Possibly you were rocking out to Rush albums to mourn the loss of Neil Peart and missed RAW. Whatever the reason you missed wrestling this week, The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week have returned to catch you all up.

10. Tessa Blanchard Wins Impact Wrestling Heavyweight Championship

It was a week of highs and lows for Impact Wrestling’s Tessa Blanchard. After getting called out by several other female wrestlers for bullying and using racial slurs on Friday, Blanchard made history Saturday night by becoming the first woman to win the Impact Wrestling Heavyweight Championship. Blanchard, who is the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Tully Blanchard, won the title by defeating Sami Callihan in the main event of the Impact Wrestling show Hard to Kill. No matter what poor decisions Blanchard has made in the past, becoming the first woman to win a title that has been held by the likes of AJ Styles, Kurt Angle and Sting is a huge accomplishment for women everywhere. Let’s hope that this push for women’s equality turns out to be as Hard to Kill as Impact Wrestling has been.

9. New WWE Series Fight Like a Girl Debuting on QUIBI Streaming Service

Just in case you thought there wasn’t enough WWE programming on television as is, a new series featuring WWE Superstars was announced this week. The series will feature Stephanie McMahon and several members of the WWE women’s roster in a new show called Fight Like a Girl on the QUIBI streaming service. Stephanie McMahon will be featured as she pairs a struggling young woman with a different female WWE Superstar every week. The superstar will help the young woman overcome the obstacles in their lives, helping them become stronger and more confident. Luckily the WWE didn’t try to air this show during the “Divas” era, or Fight Like a Girl would have aired for three minutes during the bathroom break. (TJRWrestling)

8. Bianca Belair Becomes the Number One Contender for the NXT Women’s Title

NXT held an 18 women battle royal last night to crown a new number one contender for the NXT Women’s Title. Bianca Belair ended up outlasting everyone else and will now go on to face Champion Rhea Ripley at NXT Takeover Portland. Belair is hoping that the third time is the charm as she competed for the NXT Women’s Title at two different Takeovers last year. If Belair once again fails to capture the title, perhaps Stephanie McMahon can pair her up with a WWE Superstar to show her how to overcome adversity and Fight like a Girl. (TJRWrestling)

7. David Benoit Planning on Becoming a Wrestler

There is no name that is more controversial or loathed in the wrestling world than Chris Benoit, with the WWE doing whatever it can to try to erase it from history entirely. Forgetting about Benoit may become much harder, however, if his oldest son David has his way. Chris Benoit’s now 27 year-old-son David plans to begin training to become a wrestler, with the hopes of working for AEW. David plans on going by the moniker Chris Benoit Jr., even going as far as having similar tights as his father’s made. Trying to honor the memory of his father is a noble cause, but David may have an easier path in the wrestling world if he chooses a less controversial name, such as Paul Levesque Jr. (TJRWrestling)

6. Diamond Dallas Page Returns to the Ring on AEW: Dynamite

AEW Dynamite had their Bash at the Beach special last night, bringing in one of WCW’s legendary stars to compete at it. Sixty-three year old Diamond Dallas Page teamed up with QT Marshall and the 50-year-old Dustin Rhodes to face the team of The Butcher, The Blade and MJF. Page’s team, who’s combined age was a 137, ended up losing the match when Marshall was quickly rolled up by MJF for the pin. This may not be the last we see of Page, however, as he may be brought back if AEW ever does The Great Geriatric Bash. (TJRWrestling)

5. Robert Roode Returns to Help King Corbin on Smackdown

Robert Roode returned from his 30-day wellness violation suspension this past Friday on Smackdown to help King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler lay out Roman Reigns and The Usos at the end of the show. Reigns will now go on to face Roode this week on Smackdown in a tables match, before doing double duty at the Rumble when he both faces King Corbin and competes in the Rumble match itself. Roode will also enter the Rumble, but will not be a threat to win of course, unless he draws number 30 or somehow gains 200lbs. (TJRWrestling)

4. Brock Lesnar attacks R-Truth on RAW

Brock Lesnar and his advocate, Paul Heyman, came out on RAW to promote Lesnar’s entry in the Royal Rumble match. After Heyman spent several minutes promoting Lesnar, he and Lesnar were surprisingly interrupted by the often forgotten 24/7 champion R Truth. Truth then gave a hilarious in-ring promo which included threatening to eliminate Heyman from the Rumble match, before Lesnar finally had heard enough and brutally attacked Truth. Mojo Rawley then came out and took advantage of the injured Truth and pinned him to end Truth’s 30th 24/7 title reign. Lesnar briefly teased taking the 24/7 title for himself before laughing and throwing it down, depriving the WWE Universe of the opportunity of “Brocky Two Belts.” (TJRWrestling)

3. WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson Passes Away at the Age of 75

WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson has passed away at the age of 75. Johnson was a pioneer in the wrestling business having many amazing accolades including being the first African American WWF Tag Team Champion with Tony Atlas. If Johnson’s own accolades didn’t leave enough of an imprint on the wrestling world, he also fathered one of the biggest stars in the world, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It is clear that if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson truly is “The Great One” that he was passed down that moniker by his father. (TJRWrestling)

2. Buddy Murphy Joins Seth Rollins and AOP

After once again losing to Aleister Black on RAW this week, Buddy Murphy stayed by the ringside barrier clearly distraught. Murphy stayed there until the end of the “Fist Fight” match between Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and The Big Show versus AOP and Seth Rollins, when Murphy suddenly assisted Rollins and AOP to help them win the match. Rollins then all came together at the end of RAW to form a yet to be named faction. Buddy Murphy, Rezar, Akam and Seth. (TJRWrestling)

1. AEW and WarnerMedia Extend Dynamite Contract Through 2023, Announce Plans for Second Show

Any fears that wrestling fans had that the Wednesday Night Wars between AEW and NXT would be over quickly, were put to rest this week. WarnerMedia has agreed to a $175 million, four-year extension of AEW’s television contract with TNT, as well as plans to debut a second weekly hour long show very soon. AEW Dynamite has been very successful since debuting last October, with an average of 1.2 million viewers when you take DVR numbers into account. NXT and AEW have both said in the past that the war between them is a marathon and not a sprint, clearly with this announcement TNT and AEW are prepared to run for a very long time. (TJRWrestling)

That will conclude another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Like always if you enjoy 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 swore six times alone when Adam Sandler wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award this week.)

 

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