Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday trying to figure out who is on the NXT roster still, and miss Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday realizing that “flattening the curve” didn’t mean what you thought it meant, and missed Raw. Worry not, for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
10. Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae Expecting First Child
The wrestling world will be getting another addition. This past Thursday, NXT Superstars Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae announced on Gargano’s Twitter that they are expecting their first child. Gargano also shared an ultrasound and announced that the “Baby Wrestling” is due in February of 2022. Gargano and LeRae then of course will immediately start the child on growth hormones with the hope that he will someday grow to become the height of an NXT superstar himself.
The secret's out! Our team is getting a little bigger..
The best is on the way!
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) August 12, 2021
9. Paul Wight Gets Physical on AEW Dynamite
It appears that AEW may be planning for a “Big Show” very soon. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, QT Marshall and the rest of The Factory attacked Tony Schiavone and his son, Chris. This led to Schiavone’s broadcast partner on AEW Dark Elevation, Paul Wight, to come down and make the save. Wight ended up giving a Chokeslam to Factory member, Aaron Solow, before staring down Marshall to end the segment. Wight has not wrestled for AEW since joining the company last March, instead primarily being used as a commentator on AEW Dark Elevation. Despite this, however, Wight is a former WWE Superstar, meaning that he will likely bypass everyone else and go right into the World Title picture. (TJRWrestling)
8. Elias Declares That His Gimmick is Dead
WWE is going to have to find another superstar to walk with. This past Monday on Raw, a vignette was shown of Elias standing near a bonfire. While Eli’s played his guitar, clips were shown of various superstars hitting Elias with the guitar. Elias then looked into the fire, and threw the guitar into it. He then stated that “WWE stood for ‘Walk With Elias’ but Elias is dead.” It is unknown if Elias just wants to refresh his character or if he is changing it because he was afraid that Alexa Bliss would steal it as well. (TJRWrestling)
7. Two Big Matches Announced for NXT Takeover 36
Two big matches were announced this past Tuesday for NXT Takeover 36 on August 22nd. First, LA Knight will once again defend the Million Dollar Championship against Cameron Grimes. If Knight can once again defeat Grimes, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase will have to replace Grimes as Knight’s butler. Also, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly will try to settle their feud in a Three Stages of Hell Match. The first stage will be a regular match, the second stage a street fight, and the final stage, if needed, a Steel Cage match. Interestingly, Three Stages of Hell is also what every NXT superstar is currently going through every time the phone rings. (TJRWrestling)
6. Edge to Face Seth Rollins at SummerSlam
A dream match for many wrestling fans is now scheduled to take place on August 21st at SummerSlam. After weeks of tension between Seth Rollins and Edge, Rollins attacked Edge on the July 30th episode of Smackdown. This past week on Smackdown, Edge came down to the ring and formally challenged Rollins to a match at SummerSlam. Rollins then appeared via satellite and agreed to the match with Edge. Edge and Rollins feud actually goes all the way back to 2014, when Rollins attacked Edge and threatened to paralyze him with a curb stomp. After seven years, Edge will now get a chance to get his revenge, assuming of course that either Edge or Rollins isn’t released by next week. (TJRWrestling)
5. Sasha Banks to Challenge Bianca Belair at SummerSlam
Sasha Banks will finally get her rematch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. After attacking Bianca Belair the previous week, Banks opened Smackdown. Banks went on to claim that Belair would be nothing without her, and that she has returned to Smackdown to make Belair pay. Belair then came out and interrupted Banks, going on to challenge her to a match at SummerSlam. Belair, of course, beat Banks at WrestleMania 36 for the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a great match that just recently won a WWE Bumpy Award for best match. For those of you who aren’t aware the “Bumpy Awards” are WWE’s half-year awards. We on this site considered giving out similar awards, but unlike WWE we here at TJRWrestling don’t believe in doing something halfway. (TJRWrestling)
4. Randy Orton Returns on Raw
The Viper returned to Raw this week. After a month away, Randy Orton returned to Raw this past Monday. Orton opened the show, and was quickly interrupted by Riddle. Riddle claimed that he missed Orton so much, and that he was excited to team again with Orton. Orton told Riddle however that he is better by himself, and that the team is over. AJ Styles and Omos then came down and provoked Orton and Riddle. This encounter all led to Styles and Orton facing each other in the main event of the evening. Orton ended up winning that match, and then was once again joined by Riddle in the ring. Riddle then begged Orton to team with him again. Orton hugged Riddle and celebrated with him, before suddenly hitting an RKO out of nowhere on Riddle to end the show. We will have to see if Orton and Riddle can reconcile or if this truly is the end of their Bromance. (TJRWrestling)
3. Christian Cage to Face Kenny Omega in Two Separate Title Matches
Christian Cage is going to get not one, but two chances to become a World Champion. Tonight on the debut episode of AEW Rampage, Cage will challenge Kenny Omega for the Impact World Championship. Then, a little over three weeks later at AEW All Out on September 5th, Cage will once again challenge Omega, but this time for the AEW World Championship. This situation is rare in the wrestling world, as anyone who watches Raw knows that they should be wrestling each other way more than twice in three weeks. (TJRWrestling)
The very first match in #AEWRampage history is set, and let's just say it's gonna be a good one 🤯
Drop an emoji that shows how excited you are 👇 pic.twitter.com/xlliZxwbJD
— All Elite Wrestling on TNT (@AEWonTNT) August 12, 2021
2. AEW Rampage to Debut this Friday
AEW will finally have another show to feature their abundance of talent. Tonight at 10 PM on TNT, AEW’s one-hour new show titled Rampage will debut. Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Excalibur and Taz have been announced as the announcers of the show, which promises more in-ring action. AEW already reportedly has huge plans for next week’s Rampage, with CM Punk rumored to debut in Chicago. A second show should give AEW the chance to feature talent that are not usually used on Dynamite, or more likely be able to sign even more of WWE’s castoffs. (TJRWrestling)
1. NXT Releases 12 Superstars During Smackdown
In what unfortunately has become the norm this year, WWE released even more superstars this week. This past Friday (while Smackdown was airing on Fox), it was announced that NXT had released a total of 12 superstars, including big names, such as Bronson Reed, Bobby Fish, Mercedes Martinez and Leon Ruff. With these cuts, WWE has released over 100 wrestlers since just last April. What makes these releases even more disturbing is reportedly Triple H and Shawn Michaels had no say in the releases, as it is apparently a part of a bigger initiative to revamp WWE. According to reports, Vince McMahon no longer wants “midgets and guys over 30,” instead wanting guys who can someday be “box office attractions”. Interestingly enough, this is the same exact edict that often keeps me and my friends out of parties. (TJRWrestling)
Just got released from @WWE
This monster is back on the loose … you don't know WHAT you've just done.#WWE
— JONAH (@JONAHISHERE) August 7, 2021
That will conclude another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Thank you for taking the time to read this each week. Although I often joke, I have recently started training to get in the ring at The Institute of Professional Wrestling and respect more than ever what wrestlers do every week. If you like what I do, despite my jokes being as bad as a 40-year-old midget in the main event, then feel free to listen to my brand new podcast The Smark and the Noob and follow me on Twitter @Fowlerwrestlin1 as well.