Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week 5/5: WWE Draft Concludes, Backlash, AEW All In Tickets, More
Welcome back, TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday analyzing the guard your team drafted, and miss WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday working on your baby registry, and missed Raw.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of the Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week.
10. Corey Graves and Carmella Expecting First Child
Mella is a soon-to-be Mommy. This week on Good Morning America, Carmella announced that she is expecting her first child with WWE announcer Corey Graves. Carmella and Graves got married in April of 2022, and unfortunately suffered two miscarriages at the end of last year. Carmella has not competed in the ring since early March, but she shared some incredible news this week revealing that she is due to have a baby this November. This means that Carmella had actually, unknowingly, wrestled several matches while pregnant. I personally can relate to what Carmella did, as I once walked an entire 1/4 mile with a stubbed toe. Congratulations to Corey, Carmella and their family. (TJRWrestling)
😭😭😭 We need a “Mella is Mommy” shirt please @WWEShophttps://t.co/xtfzSizFii
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) May 2, 2023
9. Olympic Gold Medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock Signs With the WWE
WWE has added yet another Olympic Gold Medalist to its ranks. The 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist in the women’s freestyle 68-kilogram competition, Tamyra Mensah-Stock, signed with the WWE this week. Mensah-Stock is the first African-American woman to win gold in Olympic freestyle wrestling and only the second American woman to win gold in the sport. Mensah-Stock will join Gable Stevenson and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle as former Gold Medalists that have joined the company. Upon hearing the news, Tony Khan immediately signed the entire Canadian Curling Team. (TJRWrestling)
It's true! It's true! 😉
As first reported by @espn, Olympic gold medalist @MensahTamStock has signed with WWE! 🥇https://t.co/YyncLHVL9w
— WWE (@WWE) May 3, 2023
8. AEW Cancels AEW Dark and AEW Dark Elevation
AEW’s robust talent roster will soon have fewer places to work. This week it was reported that AEW will be ending its YouTube shows AEW Dark and AEW Dark Elevation. This move reportedly has to do with AEW signing a new deal with Warner Brothers Discovery to air AEW Collision on Saturday nights, with WBD wanting to be the exclusive home for AEW Wrestling. Reports that every AEW show will now feature a Battle Royal or a Lumberjack Match have not been confirmed. (TJRWrestling)
7. MJF to Defend AEW World Championship in a Pillars 4-Way Match
After a month of different scenarios, AEW Double or Nothing officially has the main event that everyone assumed it was getting. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, Sammy Guevara and MJF faced Darby Allin and “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry in a tag team match. The stipulation of the match was that if Allin and Perry were victorious, they would be added to the AEW World Championship match between Guevara and MJF at Double or Nothing. The finish of the match saw Allin hit Guevara with the Coffin Drop to pick up the win. These four men will now face off, not only for the AEW World Championship but also to see who is the strongest of the “four pillars.” AEW is going to need to have really strong pillars if it wants to hold up its roster. (TJRWrestling)
The #AEWDoN main event is OFFICIAL! It will be a four-way Four Pillars match for the #AEW World Championship LIVE on PPV between Champion @The_MJF, @sammyguevara, @DarbyAllin and @boy_myth_legend!#AEWDynamite is LIVE on TBS every Wednesday! pic.twitter.com/srXRCFhgfF
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 4, 2023
6. AEW All In Sells 50,000 Tickets During Presale
There are clearly quite a few AEW fans in the United Kingdom. This past Tuesday, tickets to AEW All In from Wembley Stadium in London, England went on presale. Just 48 hours later, Tony Khan tweeted out that they had already sold an incredible 50,000 tickets. The 50,000 tickets equate to a gate of $6.5 million, as well as also beats WCW’s most-attended show ever. Incredibly all of this is before AEW All In tickets officially go on sale to the public today. Upon hearing how much money he has already made, Tony Khan immediately signed 30 more wrestlers. (TJRWrestling)
Thanks to the amazing support from our fans, #AEWAllIn London @wembleystadium just hit 50,000 tickets sold for £5.2M ($6.5M)!Remarkably all 50k tickets sold have been in the pre-sale!
The general ticket on-sale begins TOMORROW, with great seats opening up!https://t.co/AcHw5kLnSr
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) May 4, 2023
5. CM Punk Visits Impact Wrestling
Less than a week after making a surprise appearance backstage at Monday Night Raw, CM Punk once again appeared backstage for a wrestling company he does not work for. This past weekend Punk appeared backstage at Impact Wrestling’s taping in Chicago, Illinois. Punk reportedly met with several wrestlers, and even played a game of Uno (TJRWrestling)
— Jordynne Grace (@JordynneGrace) April 30, 2023
4. Multiple NXT Superstars Drafted to the Main Roster
NXT is down a significant amount of superstars after this week. An incredible total of 16 NXT superstars were called up to the main roster including NXT Women’s Champion Indi Hartwell and NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Alba Frye and Isla Dawn. Also drafted to the main roster was Elton Prince, Kit Wilson, Katana Chance, Kayden Carter, Xyon Quinn, Jinder Mahal, Veer Mahan, Sanga, Odyssey Jones, Cameron Grimes, Grayson Waller, Zoey Stark, JD McDonagh, and Apollo Crews. Hartwell officially vacated the NXT Women’s Championship this past Tuesday, with a tournament being held to crown a new champion. Clearly, NXT will now have to restock its talent, with them likely hoping that CM Punk decides to show up backstage next week. (TJRWrestling)
What an amazing night for the #WWEDraft and the #WWENXT roster!
I’m so excited for our #WWENXT superstars as they move forward and forge their own path on #WWERAW & #SmackDown
Congratulations to our champs @indi_hartwell, @wwe_alba, and @IslaDawn!
— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) April 29, 2023
3. WWE Draft Night One
WWE held night one of its annual draft this past Friday on Smackdown. Smackdown saw Roman Reigns, Solo Sokia, Paul Heyman, Bianca Belair, The Street Profits, Edge, Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Michin, Damage CTRL, Alba Frye and Isla Dawn all be drafted to their brand. On the Raw side, it was Cody Rhodes, Becky Lynch, Imperium, Matt Riddle, Drew McIntyre, The Miz, Shinsuke Nakamura and Indi Hartwell all getting drafted. This means that Cody Rhodes will not be able to get a rematch at Roman Reigns’ Undisputed Universal Championship unless he wins Money in the Bank, the Royal Rumble again or like usual WWE completely forgets about the brand split in two months. (TJRWrestling)
#SmackDown gets the first pick in the #WWEDraft:
Undisputed WWE Universal Champion @WWERomanReigns, @WWESoloSikoa & @HeymanHustle! ☝️🔥 pic.twitter.com/GABXUrpSfq
— WWE (@WWE) April 29, 2023
2. WWE Draft Night Two
The annual WWE draft continued this past Monday on Raw. The Raw brand drafted Rhea Ripley, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, The Judgement Day, Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez, The New Day, Trish Stratus, Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Braun Strowman, Ricochet, Bronson Reed, Alpha Academy, Katana Chance, and Kayden Carter. On the Smackdown side, it was Austin Theory, Charlotte, The Usos, The LWO, Asuka, The Brawling Brutes, Karrion Kross, Scarlett, LA Knight, Shotzi, Pretty Deadly, Rick Boogs and Cameron Grimes. Omos, MVP, Dolph Ziggler, Mustafa Ali, Von Wagner, Baron Corbin, Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin, Xyon Quinn and Brock Lesnar are all free agents, and allowed to compete on both brands. CM Punk is also considered a free agent that is allowed to appear backstage at both shows. (TJRWrestling)
TJRWRESTLING: Brock Lesnar A Free Agent After WWE Draft: Brock Lesnar has been joined by some surprising names on the free agent list following the conclusion of the 2023 WWE Draft. https://t.co/G6DPJcfeHOpic.twitter.com/64ZzxpPHcF
— John Canton (TJRWrestling) (@johnreport) May 2, 2023
1. WWE Backlash to Take Place This Saturday Night
WWE’s next PLE titled WWE Backlash is scheduled to take place this Saturday night at 8PMET from San Juan Puerto Rico. Currently, seven matches are scheduled including Austin Theory defending the WWE United States Championship against both Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed. Seth “Freakin” Rollins will go one on one against Omos. Rhea Ripley will defend the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship against Zelina Vega. Bianca Belair will defend the WWE Raw Women’s Championship against IYO SKY. Grammy Award-winning artist Bad Bunny will go against Damien Priest. Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will face The Usos and Solo Sokia in a six-man tag team match. Finally, Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes will face off in the main event of the evening. Interestingly this event will take place just three weeks before WWE’s next PLE in Saudi Arabia, which is two weeks more than WWE used to build most of the matches on this show. (TJRWrestling)
That concludes another edition of The Top 10 Wrestling Stories of the Week. Although I often joke, I have recently started refereeing with GroundZero, Immortal Championship Wrestling 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 almost as not being drafted, 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.