Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week 5/6: WWE WrestleMania Backlash, NXT Releases, More

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Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday making more phone calls due to “budget cuts” and missed WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday just being happy your relationship is better than Johnny Depp and Amanda Heard’s was and missed Raw.

Worry not for I have returned with another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.

10. Stu Grayson’s Contract Expires with AEW

The Dark Order are officially down a member. This week it was reported that Stu Grayson’s contract with AEW has expired, and he is now a free agent. Grayson had been with AEW since the inaugural Double or Nothing PPV in May 2019, and was a founding member of The Dark Order with Evil Uno. Uno along with the rest of The Dark Order are all still working with AEW at this time. Reportedly, Grayson not re-signing was difficult on Tony Khan as well, who had to re-write eight weeks of AEW Dark because of it.


9. Undisputed ROH Women’s Champion Crowned

In true “Forbidden Door” Fashion, the main event of AEW Dynamite featured a match for the ROH Women’s Championship. The match saw ROH Interim Women’s Champion Mercedez Martinez defeat ROH Women’s Champion Deonna Purrazzo to become the Undisputed ROH Women’s Champion. This is not the first time that an ROH title has been defended on AEW programming, with it still being unknown when and if ROH will get a show of their own. What is known is if ROH does get their own show, Tony Khan will certainly have a huge announcement about it. (TJRWrestling)


8. Bron Breakker Carried Away by Masked Disciples After NXT Spring Breakin’

Things went from good to bad really quickly for Bron Breakker this past Tuesday NXT Spring Breakin’. The main event of NXT Spring Breakin saw Breakker successfully defend his NXT World Championship against Joe Gacy. After the match, however, Breakker was attacked by two of Gacy’s hooded disciples wearing red masks, while Gacy watched from the corner. The disciples then placed Breakker on a barbed wire stretcher, and carried him away to end the show. It is unknown at this time who these disciples are, but we do know ten people who definitely aren’t them. (TJRWrestling)


7. Men’s Owen Hart Tournament Bracket Revealed

The bracket for the AEW Men’s Owen Hart Tournament was finally finalized this week. On the right side of the bracket, it will be Jeff Hardy facing Darby Allin and Adam Cole facing Dax Hardwood. On the left side, it is Rey Fenix versus Kyle O’Reilly and Samoa Joe vs. Joker. At this time it is unknown who the Joker will be, as neither Jared Leto or Joaquin Phoenix have been confirmed.


6. Roderick Strong Reportedly Denied His Release From WWE

Roderick Strong was not one of the ten NXT Superstars released this week (more on that later). However, Strong has asked to be released by WWE several times over the last month, but was denied his request. Strong is a former NXT Cruiserweight, North American and Tag Team Champion, and is also the last of The Undisputed Era to still be in NXT. Strong’s former partners Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, as well as his wife Marina Shafir, are all now employed by AEW. It is unclear what plans WWE has for Strong, as I don’t see Rodney Stout making much of an impact on the main roster. (TJRWrestling)


5. WWE UK PPV Gets a Name

WWE’s biggest show in the UK in 30 years now officially has a name. This week during a WWE Live Event in London, Drew McIntyre announced that the WWE PPV taking place in Principality Stadium in Cardiff Wales on September 3rd will be titled “Clash at the Castle.” Tickets for the event will go on sale on May 20th, with over 100,000 people reported already signing up for the pre-sale. Clash at the Castle should not be confused with the event happening in Florida between Ron DeSantis and Mickey Mouse. (TJRWrestling)


4. New AEW TV Show Coming to TBS

It appears that even more AEW content will soon be appearing on TBS. This week an email was sent out to wrestling fans from WarnerMedia-owned Ringleaders asking them to take a survey on what a new AEW show should be called. The email also stated that “a new AEW show is coming to TBS!” Some of the options for the new shows name included AEW To the Top, Fight to the Finish, The Climb and many more. Surprisingly, “AEW Huge Announcement” was not given as an option for the name of the show. (TJRWrestling)


3. Tag Team Championship Unification Match Removed From WrestleMania Backlash

WWE decided this week that fans didn’t really want to see the tag titles unified or a world championship match at WrestleMania Backlash. Instead, WWE decided that what fans really want to see is a six-man tag team match! This past Friday on Smackdown, the tag team unification match between Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro and Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos was changed to a six-man tag team belt. Drew McIntyre will now be joining RK-Bro, while Roman Reigns will be teaming with the Usos. Neither tag titles nor either of Roman Reigns’ WWE Championship or Universal Championship will be on the line in the match. It is unclear why WWE suddenly canceled the huge unification match that they have been teasing for weeks and changed it to a meaningless tag match, but just like the fans, I don’t think they expected the Backlash they have gotten. (TJRWrestling)


2. WWE Releases 10 NXT Superstars

WWE decided that it needed to trim its budget again this week. Last Friday, WWE released 10 superstars from NXT including eight wrestlers, a manager and a referee. Mila Malani, Raelyn Divine, Vish Kanya, Blair Baldwin, Draco Anthony, Persia Pirotta, Harland, Malcolm Bivens, Dexter Lumis and Dakota Kai all received the call from WWE’s VP of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis. In light of the releases, WWE considered changing the name of Tuesday’s NXT Spring Breakin’ episode to NXT Permanent Vacation. (TJRWrestling)


1. WrestleMania Backlash to Take Place This Sunday

WWE’s next PPV titled WrestleMania Backlash is scheduled for this Sunday at 8 PM ET. So far only six matches have been announced including Madcap Moss facing Happy Corbin. In a WrestleMania 38 rematch, Bobby Lashley and Omos will once again face off. Also in a rematch from WrestleMania 38, Edge and AJ Styles will compete with Damien Priest banned from ringside. In yet another WrestleMania 38 rematch, Charlotte Flair will defend the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Ronda Rousey in an I Quit Match. Three WrestleMania 38 rematches were not enough, as Cody Rhodes will once again face off against Seth Rollins. Finally, in the main event, Roman Reigns and The Usos will face Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro. With only one title match and six matches total admittedly WrestleMania Backlash does not feel that exciting, but heck it is not like there is anything else more important happening this Sunday.

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That concludes 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 refereeing with NYCW and respect more than ever what wrestlers do every week. I wrote an article all about it all right here. If you like what I do, despite my jokes being almost as bad as forgetting Mother’s Day, then follow me on Twitter @Fowlerwrestlin1.