Welcome back, TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday booking more random matches for your PPV, and missed WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday trying to convince yourself that they were saying “Boo-urns” and missed Raw.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
10. AEW Fight Forever Released
Finally, after much anticipation and lots of delays, the AEW Fight Forever Video game was finally released to the public this week. Reception for the game was seemingly mixed, with some wrestling fans loving it while others found it buggy and too complex. Gaming review website IGN echoed these thoughts by rating it a 6 out of 10, stating that it has “unrealized potential.” On a personal note “unrealized potential” is also what every woman I have ever been with has told me. (TJRWrestling)
AEW is for the bold. AEW is for the fearless. AEW is for those who know, that deep inside, they are ELITE.
— AEW Games (@AEWGames) June 28, 2023
9. Baron Corbin Brings Back Lone Wolf Gimmick
After being a king, sad, happy, and JBL’s protege, Baron Corbin returned to his roots this week. This past Tuesday on NXT, Corbin faced NXT World Champion Carmelo Hayes. When Corbin entered for the match, it was to his old lone wolf music while also wearing his old lone wolf gear as well. Corbin had not used the lone wolf gimmick since leaving NXT five years ago. Returning to his roots unfortunately did not help Corbin, as he ended up losing the match to Hayes. We will now have to see if Corbin stays with the lone wolf moniker, or if he decides to find a new persona to lose matches with every week. (TJRWrestling)
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) June 29, 2023
8. Carmelo Hayes Debuts on Raw
Less than a week after WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins appeared on NXT, it was the NXT World Champion’s turn to appear on Raw. This past Monday on Raw, NXT World Champion Carmelo Hayes came to the rescue of Rollins who was being attacked with a chair by Finn Bálor. Later in the evening, Hayes would face off against Bálor, putting up a great fight before finally getting pinned by Bálor. All was not bad for Hayes, however, as he was able to defeat Baron Corbin the following night on NXT. Hayes clearly has a bright future in the WWE, which should be no surprise for the son of Dok Hendrix. (TJRWrestling)
— WWE (@WWE) June 29, 2023
7. ”Jungle Boy” Jack Perry Turns Heel
”Jungle Boy” Jack Perry let his string of recent losses affect him this week. This past Sunday at Forbidden Door, Perry lost his IWGP World Championship Match against SANADA. After the loss, Perry’s friend Hook tried to console Perry and raise his hand. Perry then shockingly clotheslined Hook, before mocking the Toronto crowd for chanting “you f*cked up.” Perry then went full on heel this past Wednesday on Dynamite, wearing sunglasses and a brown leather jacket. Perry then stated that he was still young, cashing fat checks and banging the “hottest bitch in this entire place.” Perry was talking about his girlfriend Anna Jay with his last comment and was able to make it because Mandy Rose currently doesn’t work for AEW. (TJRWrestling)
— Jack Perry (@boy_myth_legend) June 26, 2023
6. The Elite and Blackpool Combat Club to Meet in a Blood & Guts Match
It looks like The Elite and Blackpool Combat Club will finally be ending their feud. This past Wednesday on Dynamite, “Hangman” Adam Page, The Young Bucks and Eddie Kingston were all attacked by Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, Claudio Castagnoli, and Konosuke Takeshita of the BCC. After the attack, Moxley got on the microphone and challenged the Elite to a Blood & Guts Match on July 19th at Boston’s TD Garden. Moxley is reportedly pushing for this match as he feels he personally needs to bleed more in his matches. (TJRWrestling)
— AEW on TV (@AEWonTV) June 29, 2023
5. Randy Orton Reportedly Close to Return
The Viper may finally be returning to the WWE. It was reported this week that Randy Orton‘s return to the WWE is imminent. Orton has not been seen in the WWE in over a year, after having lower back fusion surgery. Orton was in a tag team with Matt Riddle before his absence. Interestingly, Dave Meltzer reported in April that Orton is nowhere near close to returning, but this could have been due to Orton not being ready to take eight Canadian destroyers in a match. (TJRWrestling)
4. Women’s Tag Titles Unified on Smackdown
There are officially two fewer title belts in the WWE. This past Friday on Smackdown, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler faced NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn in a title unification match. In the end, it was Rousey and Baszler getting the win, retiring the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles in the process. Baszler and Rousey did not have long to celebrate, however, as they will now have to defend their titles this Saturday at Money in the Bank against former champions Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan. Baszler and Rousey are also expected to appear on Raw, Smackdown and NXT to defend the titles, assuming of course that they don’t get in a fight with anyone backstage that causes them to have to avoid someone on one of the shows. (TJRWrestling)
— Shayna Baszler (@QoSBaszler) June 25, 2023
3. Bryan Danielson Fractures Forearm During Forbidden Door Match
It was a night of highs and lows for Bryan Danielson, this past Sunday at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door. Danielson faced Kazuchika Okada in the main event of the evening, in what was a dream match for many wrestling fans. At the end of what ended up being a great match, Danielson was able to shockingly tap out Okada to get the win. It was all not good news for Danielson however, as at the post show media scrum, Danielson revealed that he suffered a broken forearm in the match. Danielson initially thought he would only miss 6-8 weeks with the injury, but was later found to be way worse than he thought. Danielson was not the only person injured during the match, as Dave Meltzer suffered a hand cramp from writing too many stars. (TJRWrestling)
— Jack Cassidy (@RealJackCassidy) June 27, 2023
2. CM Punk Booed at AEW Shows
CM Punk found out that he wasn’t in Chicago no more. This past Saturday at AEW Collision from Toronto, Canada, Punk was booed by a large percentage of the audience during his match. The negative reactions only continued to grow the following night at Forbidden Door, with Punk getting booed heavily during his match with Satoshi Kojima. It will be interesting to see if these reactions will continue once Punk returns to the US, and what it will mean for the “face” Punk. Personally, I was not surprised by the Canadian’s response, as John Canton boo’s me every time he has to edit my article. (TJRWrestling)
1. Money in the Bank Taking Place This Saturday
WWE’s next PLE Money in the Bank is scheduled to take place this Saturday at 3 PM ET from London, England. So far seven matches have been announced, including Gunther defending the Intercontinental Championship against Matt Riddle. Cody Rhodes will go one-on-one with Dominic Mysterio. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler will defend the Women’s Tag Team Championships against Raquel Rodriquez and Liv Morgan. Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Finn Balor. The Women’s Money in the Bank Match will see Bayley, Zelina Vega, Becky Lynch, Zoey Stark, IYO SKY and Trish Stratus all face off. In the Men’s Money in the Bank Match it will be LA Knight, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ricochet, Butch, Santos Escobar, Damian Priest, and Logan Paul all fighting for the briefcase. Finally, Solo Sikoa and Roman Reigns will face their former Bloodline members The Usos. It will be interesting to see if either of the briefcase winners decides to cash in on Saturday as well, or if they will deal with the hassle of carrying it through airport security for the next six months. (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 a 64-year-old-man doing high spots. 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.