LA Knight (left) and Vince McMahon (right)

Vince McMahon Almost Fired LA Knight In 2022; Wrestling News September 22nd 2023

Welcome to the September 22nd 2023 TJRWrestling live blog, where every Wednesday and Friday we bring you the latest news from across the wrestling world including WWE, AEW, NJPW, ROH and more!

Today’s top stories are:

  • Vince McMahon Almost Fired LA Knight In 2022
  • Dolph Ziggler, Elias & More Released From WWE
  • Montez Ford Would Be “So Open” To CM Punk WWE Return
  • Who Was ‘Fired’ From IMPACT During 2023 Feast Or Fired?
  • John Cena & The Rock Pay Tribute To Dolph Ziggler After WWE Release
  • Will Ospreay Set For Dream Match At IMPACT Bound For Glory
  • Adam Cole Reportedly Facing YouTuber In Their Wrestling Debut
  • Brock Lesnar Vs The Rock Was Considered For WrestleMania 30
  • AEW WrestleDream Championship Match Reportedly “In Jeopardy”
  • Reported Reason Behind Recent WWE Talent Releases Revealed

Reported Reason Behind Recent WWE Talent Releases Revealed

WWE HQ Exterior

The reported reason behind WWE releasing tens of main roster and NXT talent from the company yesterday has been revealed.

As part of significant talent layoffs following the company’s merger with UFC last week, stars like Dolph Ziggler, Elias, Shelton Benjamin, Emma, Aliyah, and more were let go from the company yesterday. The move follows WWE purportedly releasing over 100 staff members last Friday as part of a separate set of layoffs to the company’s staff.

Now Dave Meltzer has reported the supposed reason behind yesterday’s talent cuts in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer notes that the company aimed to cut talents that were making main roster-level money but were not being used on either RAW or SmackDown either now or in the near future. One WWE official reportedly stated that it was a case of return on investment.

“The key to the releases were talent making main roster money but not being used on the main roster and with the idea that they were not going to be used in the future.

‘It’s time in vs. how much money you are paid vs. return on investment,’ said one WWE official regarding the talent cuts.”


09/22/23 WWE SmackDown Preview

Tonight’s WWE SmackDown will emanate from the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The next WWE pay-per-view event is two weeks away: WWE Fastlane on October 7th.

Matches and segments announced for the show include:

  • John Cena will appear
  • Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar vs The Street Profits
  • Iyo Sky (c) vs Asuka for the WWE Women’s Championship

What are you most excited to see on tonight’s episode of SmackDown? Let us know by sharing your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter down below!


AEW WrestleDream Championship Match Reportedly "In Jeopardy"

The poster for AEW WrestleDream 2023

One of the championship matches set for AEW WrestleDream is supposedly “in jeopardy” due to a recent injury!

In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that Adam Cole’s status is unknown after he seemingly injured himself at AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam. The former NXT Champion ran in during the main event to support his partner MJF from ringside and as he jumped from the entrance ramp to the ringside area, he landed awkwardly and was seen noticeably limping.

Cole & MJF are currently set to face ROH tag team The Righteous at WrestleDream for the ROH World Tag Team Championship but the match’s status is now up in the air due to Cole’s apparent injury, which there has yet to be a diagnosis or update on since Cole’s reported hospital visit following the event.

“Cole ran in at the end of the MJF vs. Samoa Joe title match. He jumped off the ramp to the floor while running and his ankle or knee went out. He did all the spots he was supposed to do in that finish but was limping and not moving well. He was taken to the hospital after the match and we still haven’t heard a diagnosis.

Because nobody heard anything on Cole, people feared the worst. Cole & MJF were scheduled to defend the ROH tag titles on the 10/1 PPV against Vincent & Dutch, but that’s obviously in jeopardy. I have no earthy idea why MJF would be in a match with those two on a PPV show.

He should be defending the title, but if it was going to be a tag title match it should have been with either FTR or the Young Bucks, or at worse Penta & Fenix. Even the Kingdom, who were teased more as opponents and the storyline makes more sense, maybe that would be fine for TV or an ROH PPV, but not a show when you’re looking to get 140,000 buys or more or draw an $800,000 house or more.”

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar Vs The Rock Was Considered For WrestleMania 30

The Rock hitting a Rock Bottom on Brock Lesnar at WWE SummerSlam 2002

A new report has claimed that, at one point, WWE was planning for Brock Lesnar to take on The Rock at WrestleMania 30!

In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that had The Rock not sustained injuries in his WrestleMania 29 match with John Cena, he would have continued competing semi-regularly for WWE at that time. This is why he has not had a serious match since then, as those injuries forced the shooting of the film Hercules, which he was starring in, to be delayed.

Meltzer went on to reveal that WWE originally planned for Johnson to compete at WrestleMania 30 the following year, which would have been the climax to a year-long feud with Brock Lesnar. The planned victor in that proposed match was not revealed.

Adam Cole

Adam Cole Reportedly Facing YouTuber In Their Wrestling Debut

Adam Cole

Adam Cole is seemingly set to face a well-known YouTuber in their professional wrestling debut later this year!

Dave Meltzer writes in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Cole will face YouTuber Chris Denker (known on the platform as DenkOps) in their wrestling debut on November 12th. Denker rose to prominence on the platform with videos on WWE video games, most notably his MyCareer playthroughs as a recreation of himself known as Chris Danger.

Denker teased that Cole, who is a close friend of his in real life, would be his first opponent during a DPW event last month. However, the status of the match is currently up in the air after Cole seemingly injured himself at AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam earlier this week.


Will Ospreay Set For Dream Match At IMPACT Bound For Glory

Will Ospreay

Will Ospreay is set to return to IMPACT Wrestling for the first time in seven years to compete in what many consider to be a dream match!

On last night’s IMPACT Wrestling, two high-profile matches were unveiled for the promotion’s upcoming Bound For Glory pay-per-view next month. IMPACT World Champion Alex Shelley will defend his title against Josh Alexander, who was forced to vacate the belt due to a torn bicep injury earlier this year.

Also announced for the event was Will Ospreay’s first match in the promotion since 2016: The IWGP United Kingdom Champion will face ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey. This marks the 5th match between the two men, with Ospreay holding three wins over Bailey’s one, after previous clashes in Rev Pro, WCPW, PWG and wXw.

John Cena

John Cena & The Rock Pay Tribute To Dolph Ziggler After WWE Release

The Rock John Cena

John Cena and The Rock were among several notable names who paid tribute to Dolph Ziggler after he was released from WWE.

Shortly after Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reported that Ziggler had been let go, his former tag team partner Big E took to X to thank the former World Heavyweight Champion and called him “one of the smoothest workers I’ve ever been in the ring with.”

Later, John Cena echoed his respect for the star whilst The Rock posted a graphic celebrating all the star’s accomplishments in WWE, going on to say that he was excited to see what Ziggler did next with his career.


Who Was 'Fired' From IMPACT During 2023 Feast Or Fired?

Impact Wrestling

Last night’s IMPACT Wrestling saw the opening of this year’s Feast or Fired briefcases, causing one star to be ‘let go’ by the company.

Moose, Chris Bey, Crazzy Steve and Yuya Uemura all opened their briefcases in the hopes of earning championship shots on IMPACT Wrestling last night and unfortunately for Uemura, his briefcase revealed his time with the company is now over. He will have a goodbye celebration, presumably alongside his JoYa partner Joe Hendry, on next week’s show.

Meanwhile, Moose earned another shot at the IMPACT World Championship, Chris Bey got an opportunity for the IMPACT Tag Team Championship alongside his partner Ace Austin and Crazzy Steve now has a match for the IMPACT Digital Media Championship. It is currently unknown when each individual will get their respective title shot.

The Rock

Check Out The Top 10 WWE Returns Of The Rock!

WWE has released a brand-new video on their YouTube channel compiling the top 10 best WWE returns of The Rock!

Moments like The Rock’s return to join the Nation of Domination, appearing alongside Becky Lynch on SmackDown’s FOX debut and his recent return where he laid the SmackDown on Austin Theory are all included.

Check out the video above and let us know your favourite return of The Rock by sharing on Facebook or Twitter down below!

CM Punk

Montez Ford Would Be "So Open" To CM Punk WWE Return

CM Punk

Montez Ford of The Street Profits has revealed why he’d be open to, and welcome, CM Punk back to WWE!

Speaking on Fox Sports’ The Happy Hour, Ford gave his thoughts on CM Punk, explained why he’d be “so open” to his return to WWE and why he wants to face him!

“If they asked my opinion on it, I’m so open to every single aspect, talent in the world, whether they come from all works of life.

I feel like everyone has something to bring to the table. Believe it or not, whether people love this individual or not, and this goes for any WWE superstar, if they are generating buzz and generating topics and generating people talking, that’s all good for business.

I love to be the person to always welcome someone back with great arms. If he wants to make his way back this way, I guess we can have a battle and see who is the best person from Chicago.”

h/t to Fightful

Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler, Elias & More Released From WWE

Dolph Ziggler

Former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler is among several WWE stars who were released from the company yesterday.

WWE are reported to have released over 100 staff last week as part of layoffs stemming from their merger with UFC into TKO Group Holdings, which went into effect on the 12th. Nick Hausman of Haus of Wrestling later reported that the “major cuts” to the main roster and the NXT roster would also be expected soon.

Yesterday, the company released 22 stars across the main roster and the NXT roster. Most notable among them are Dolph Ziggler, Elias, Shelton Benjamin, Mustafa Ali, Emma, Aliyah, and Rick Boogs. You can see the full list of every release that occurred yesterday below:

  • Dolph Ziggler
  • Elias
  • Mustafa Ali
  • Shelton Benjamin
  • Top Dolla
  • Riddick Moss
  • Emma
  • Aliyah
  • Rick Boogs
  • Quincy Elliott
  • Bryson Montana
  • Dana Brooke
  • Mansoor (Mån.sôör)
  • Mace (Ma.çé)
  • Shanky
  • Dabba-Kato (AKA Babatunde and Commander Azeez)
  • Yulisa Leon
  • Daniel McArthur
  • Kevin Ventura-Cortez
  • Alexis Gray
  • Brooklyn Barlow
  • Ikemen Jiro
LA Knight

Vince McMahon Almost Fired LA Knight In 2022

LA Knight (left) and Vince McMahon (right)

During his divisive run as part of Maximum Male Models’ Max Dupri, Vince McMahon almost fired LA Knight!

Knight’s former allies in Maximum Male Models, Mace and Mansoor, spoke on a Twitch stream yesterday following their respective releases from WWE. During their conversation, the topic of Knight’s superstardom and how he was almost fired a year ago came up!

Mace: Who do we have heat with?

Mansoor: LA Knight. Should we shoot on LA Knight? Mr. big star getting his hand raised by John Cena. Mr. most over man in the company. Fair play. You really made it work. You did it. [Sarcasm]

Mace: Yes, congratulations. We started in the same place and we clearly went the wrong direction. The L is on us. [Sarcasm]

Mansoor: There is no heat with LA Knight. He was going to get fired. He was this close to getting let go because, for whatever reason, Vince hated his Max Dupri performance.

Mace: He wanted him to be softer.

Mansoor: Like a scummy agent. It was never the right role for him. I was always saying ‘let me be Max Dupri.’ I begged them. ‘Let me talk, let me be someone’s manager.’ I can talk, nobody knows that I can talk. It’s just not how it worked. No heat with him. He took the best of a really bad situation, strapped himself onto his own rocket, and shot up when nobody was helping him.

h/t to Fightful


Happy Friday!

Morning everyone, happy Friday!

Welcome back to the TJRWrestling live blog! I’ll be with you from 7am to 1pm EST covering the latest stories & breaking news from WWE, AEW, NJPW and elsewhere across the wrestling world!

Today’s top stories are:

  • Vince McMahon Almost Fired LA Knight In 2022
  • Dolph Ziggler, Elias & More Released From WWE
  • Montez Ford Would Be “So Open” To CM Punk WWE Return