Welcome back, TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday getting ready for court, and miss WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday swimming down your road, and missed Raw.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
10. Dominik Mysterio to Challenge for NXT North American Championship
The NXT North American Championship may soon be getting a little dirty. This past Tuesday on NXT, “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio confronted NXT North American Champion Wes Lee as Lee was being interviewed backstage. Mysterio then challenged Lee to a match, with it being scheduled to take place this Tuesday on NXT. Incredibly this will be the first time that Mysterio has ever challenged for a singles title in the WWE, although he did hold the tag titles with his father Rey Mysterio. Mysterio was also the prison yard champion, but that title is not recognized by the WWE. (TJRWrestling)
We run this shit. ⚖️🔥 pic.twitter.com/eluRRqnLeZ
— RheaRipley_WWE (@RheaRipley_WWE) July 12, 2023
9. Grayson Waller Competes in First Match on Smackdown
For the first time since being drafted to Smackdown two months ago, Grayson Waller actually competed in a match on television. Waller’s first match ended up being a huge one, as he went one on one with WWE Hall of Famer Edge this past Friday on Smackdown. Edge and Waller ended up having a very competitive match before Edge was able to hit the Spear for the win. It was a huge week for Waller, as he also got into a confrontation with John Cena at Money in the Bank. Waller’s career should only go up from here, with there being lots more superstars from the early 2000’s to beat him up. (TJRWrestling)
Work until their idols become your rivals pic.twitter.com/MZLE87iBtw
— Grayson Waller (@GraysonWWE) July 10, 2023
8. Brian Pillman Jr. Leaves AEW
It appears that AEW may have actually lost a roster member for a change. This week it was revealed that Brian Pillman Jr.’s contract with AEW has not been renewed. Pillman Jr. has worked for AEW since 2019, and is the son of former WWE and WCW superstar Brian Pillman. Although signing a full-time contract with AEW in 2021, Pillman Jr. was never really given a push or featured heavily during his tenure with the company. We shall have to see if Pillman Jr. will now show up in NXT under the name Mike Rotch. (TJRWrestling)
7. FTR and Bullet Club Gold to Compete in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match
A huge tag team title match is set for this Saturday night on AEW Collision. This past Saturday on Collision, Bullet Club Gold members Jay White and Juice Robinson defeated AEW Tag Team Champions FTR in an outstanding non-title match. After the match, Bullet Club Gold confronted FTR backstage and challenged FTR to a 2 out of 3 falls match for the titles. This should be an outstanding match, with likely it almost getting as much time as a Bloodline segment. (TJRWrestling)
After #BulletClubGold’s @JayWhiteNZ & #JuiceRobinson win over #AEW World Tag Champs #FTR, @daxftr & @cashwheelerftr will defend their titles in a 2 out of 3 falls match SATURDAY LIVE from @calgarystampede!
Don’t miss Saturday Night #AEWCollision at 8pm ET/ 7pm CT on @tntdrama! pic.twitter.com/tlSQ529sIA
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 11, 2023
6. Finals of AEW Blind Tag Team Title Tournament Set
The finals of the AEW Blind Tag Team Title Tournament were set this week. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, Daniel Garcia and Sammy Guevara defeated Darby Allin and Orange Cassidy to advance to the finals. The other semifinal match of the evening saw AEW World Champion MJF and Adam Cole defeat Big Bill and Brian Cage. The final two teams will now face off in the finals this Wednesday on Dynamite, with the winners earning a future tag title shot. Personally, I love a good tournament, especially when they are done sporadically and treated as something rare and special. (TJRWrestling)
5. Finals of the Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Set
We now know the two men who will face off in the finals of the men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament. This past Saturday at AEW Collision, the two semifinal matches of the tournament were held. In the first match, Ricky Starks was able to defeat Powerhouse Hobbs to advance to the finals. Then in the main event of the evening Samoa Joe and CM Punk held the seventh singles match in their fabled rivalry. This match had a different ending, however, as for the first time ever Punk was able to defeat Joe. Punk and Starks will now face off in the finals of the tournament this Saturday on Collision, with Tony Khan already having four more tournaments planned to replace it. (TJRWrestling)
4. Kota Ibushi to Debut for AEW
One of the biggest stars in Japanese wrestling is set to debut for AEW. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, the final two participants in this Wednesday’s Blood & Guts Match between The Elite and BCC were announced. On the BCC’s side, it will be a returning PAC joining Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, and Konosuke Takeshita in the match. For The Elite, it will be former IWGP heavyweight champion Kota Ibushi joining his longtime friend Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and ‘Hangman’ Adam Page. Ibushi is currently a free agent, with it being unknown if Tony Khan got enough money from his dad for a one-time appearance or to sign him to a full-time contract. (TJRWrestling)
3. AEW and Warner Bros Discovery Working on New Deal
Tony Khan may need to borrow his father’s checkbook a lot less in the future. It was reported this week that AEW and Warner Bros Discovery are currently in talks about an extension to their current tv rights deal. It also has been reported that AEW has implemented a number of new rules and banned a number of dangerous moves, with it being unknown if the two stories are related. The deal is said to be for significantly more money, and could also include expanding the current PPV schedule to once a month. It is unknown if these PPV’s would be part of a larger MAX streaming deal. Upon hearing about the potential for even more wrestling to cover, John Canton immediately began researching if ChatGPT can write wrestling reviews. (TJRWrestling)
2. Cody Rhodes Challenges Brock Lesnar for Match at SummerSlam
It looks like Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar are going to lock up one more time. This past Monday on Raw, Rhodes gave an in-ring promo where he challenged Lesnar to one more match at SummerSlam on August 5th. This will be the third match between the two men, with the series currently being tied 1-1. Hopefully this match will settle the feud, so we can finally get to the match that everybody really wants to see…Sable vs. Brandi Rhodes. (TJRWrestling)
Suit or gear? 😉 https://t.co/IBOYKUgEMf
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) July 10, 2023
1. Jey Uso Challenges Roman Reigns
The continuing saga of the Bloodline took another turn this week. This past Friday on Smackdown, The Usos held a Tribal Court for WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns. In a segment that went over 35 minutes, Reigns at first seemed to surrender to the Usos by dropping to his knees and stating that he is done. Reigns then hit a low blow on Jey Uso, however before Reigns and Solo Sikoa brutally attacked the Usos. The attack was so brutal, that Jimmy Uso ended up leaving the arena in an ambulance. Jey Uso did not just let this attack go however, as he would return at the end of the show to attack both Reigns and Sikoa with a chair. Jey would then challenge Reigns to a match for the Undisputed Universal Championship. This match is expected to take place at SummerSlam next month, with every other wrestler on the card hoping that match doesn’t take up half the show as well. (TJRWrestling)
That concludes another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Although I often joke, I have recently started refereeing with GroundZero 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 bad as doing three tournaments at the same time. 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.