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Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week 3/20: WrestleMania Changes, Big AEW Debuts, No Fans, More

Welcome back TJR Readers. Were you going house to house in hopes someone would “spare a square” and missed Smackdown? Perhaps your mantra is if they aren’t booing you aren’t watching, so you missed RAW. Worry not, as I have returned with another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week to catch you all up.

(Note from John Canton: I told Matthew if he wants to take a week or two off doing this while the world is in the state that it is in then he can, but he really wanted to do it and hopefully his unique brand of humor can make you laugh because we all need a laugh these days.)

10. Jeff Hardy Returns to Smackdown

After being out of action since April 2019 with a knee injury, Jeff Hardy returned to in-ring action this week on Smackdown. Hardy was victorious in his return, defeating King Corbin in around three minutes after Corbin was distracted by Elias. Hardy also attended rehab while he was away from the ring to help deal with his long-standing substance abuse issues. Jeff’s brother Matt Hardy will not be joining Jeff on Smackdown anytime soon, as he is now under contract with AEW. With Jeff Hardy only wrestling one match in the last eleven months, he should qualify for part-timer status giving him a great shot of getting a featured match at WrestleMania. (TJRWrestling)

9. Kevin Owens to Face Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 36

Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins will finally try to settle their feud that has been ongoing for over three months at WrestleMania 36. A featured men’s match between two full-time competitors in their prime is harder to find than a roll of toilet paper at this year’s WrestleMania. Rollins and Owens will, without a doubt, try to get on a roll at WrestleMania, and continue Charmin the wrestling world. (TJRWrestling)

8. AJ Styles and The Undertaker Sign Contract for WrestleMania

The highly anticipated WrestleMania match between AJ Styles and The Undertaker was made official this week on RAW. Taker came to the ring first for the contract signing and found that there was no contract to sign on the table, causing him to flip the table in anger. Styles with Gallows and Anderson then appeared on the big screen with the contract. After Styles verbally berated both Taker and Taker’s wife, Michelle McCool, he signed the contract and forced Gallows and Anderson to bring it out to Taker in the ring. Taker then proceeded to lay out both Gallows and Anderson before signing the contract. Taker then did his best Roman Reigns impression and shoved the contract down Anderson’s throat. (TJRWrestling)

7. Edge Challenges Randy Orton to a Last Man Standing Match

Edge’s first singles match in almost nine years will now have a huge stipulation attached to it. Edge and Randy Orton will now try to beat down each other until they cannot stand back up for the count of ten as they compete in the Last Man Standing Match at WrestleMania 36. The only way for the stakes to get any higher for this match at this point is if they made the match a Hand Sanitizer on a Pole Match. (TJRWrestling)

6. Rob Gronkowski to Host WrestleMania 36

Last week it was reported that three-time Super Bowl Champion Rob Gronkowski was going to sign with WWE. This week on Smackdown, Gronkowski’s close friend Mojo Rawley confirmed that Gronkowski had signed with WWE and would be on Smackdown this week. Later, Gronkowski announced on Twitter what his first assignment for WWE will be, as he will be the official host of WrestleMania 36. Gronkowski will probably do fine in the role, but tasking a former New England Patriots player with keeping the fans interest from deflating is an interesting choice. (TJRWrestling)

5. Brodie Lee Debuts on AEW Dynamite

The answer to who is the leader of the Dark Order was answered this week on AEW: Dynamite. Former WWE Superstar Luke Harper, now going by the name Brodie Lee, was introduced as The Dark Order’s Exalted One. Lee joined Dark Order member’s Evil Uno and Grayson in the ring and helped them take out SCU members Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. Lee was then joined by the rest of The Dark Order who all chanted “We are one” together. It’s possible this was done to try to confuse the government’s count of how many people were in the building at that time. (TJRWrestling)

4. Wrestling Goes on Without an Audience

Wresting’s mantra that “the show must go on” was truly put to the test this week. AEW Dynamite, Friday Night Smackdown and Monday Night RAW were all held this week without an audience due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. WWE only showed a limited amount of in-ring action, airing prior matches and focusing heavily on promos for the majority of the shows instead. Reports have also surfaced that WWE plans on taping all the episodes of both RAW and Smackdown through WrestleMania 36 this week. Having any sort of entertainment in these trying times is welcomed, unless of course it’s a King Corbin match as then you may be better off watching paint dry. (TJRWrestling)

3. Matt Hardy Debuts on AEW Dynamite

Luke Harper was not the only former WWE Superstar to debut for AEW this week. The Elite made up of the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Cody, and Adam Page were set to face off against The Inner Circle team of Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Ortiz, and Santana in the upcoming Blood & Guts Match. Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks was attacked and taken out indefinitely by The Inner Circle last week on Dynamite however, leaving The Elite a man down for the match. Instead of the match being 5 on 4, Matt Jackson got on the microphone in the ring and announced that he had called in a friend to join The Elite for Blood and Guts. Matt Hardy’s drone, Vanguard 1, then entered the arena, followed by Hardy himself. Hardy will now compete at Blood and Guts (whenever it happens), assuming that the government doesn’t intervene and Delete it. (TJRWrestling)

2. WrestleMania 36 to Have No Fans Present

RAW and Smackdown are not the only shows that will be held without an audience. It was announced this week that WrestleMania 36 will also be held without any fans present due to the Coronavirus pandemic. WrestleMania was originally supposed to be held in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida with an estimated 80,000 fans in attendance. The biggest wrestling show of the year taking place without a single fan present is going to feel surreal without a doubt. It is unclear what card they had planned for the show with the battle royals already being nixed, or if they will still try to convince the world that they broke an all-time attendance record again this year. (TJRWrestling)

1. WrestleMania 36 to Take Place Over Two Nights From Multiple Locations

WrestleMania taking place without a single audience member present is not the only big change this year. WrestleMania 36 will also be held over two nights from multiple locations. One of the locations will be the Performance Center, with the other locations being unknown at this time. It has also been rumored that these matches will be taped ahead of time, though this has not been confirmed as of this writing. Whether the matches are live or taped they will be shown on the WWE Network on both Saturday, April 4th and Sunday, April 5th. The only other time that WrestleMania was held from multiple locations was all the way back at WrestleMania 2. The only thing Big and Blue at this year’s Mania, however, will be what Goldberg has to chew to get up for his match against Roman Reigns. (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 the government has had to limit how many times I say the F-word in one day.)

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