The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week 5/1: Triple H’s WWE Anniversary, AEW TNT Title Tournament, New Video Game, More

Welcome back TJR readers, did you spend all day Friday on the phone with poison control after injecting bleach, and missed Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday driving to Georgia to get a haircut, and missed RAW. Worry not, for I have returned with another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week to catch you up.

10. Curtis Axel Released by WWE

The releases by WWE continued this week, with former Intercontinental and Tag Team champion Curtis Axel being released. Axel is a third-generation superstar, being the grandson of Larry “The Ax” Hennig and the son of  WWE Hall of Famer “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Axel has worked for the WWE since 2007, debuting under the name Michael McGillcutty on the original NXT. It is unknown at this time if Axel asked for his release or was let go from the company, though it would be quite perplexing for WWE to let go of such a talented and experienced performer. (TJRWrestling)

9. Jinder Mahal Returns on Monday Night RAW

Former WWE Heavyweight Champion Jinder Mahal returned to Monday Night RAW this week. Mahal has been out of the WWE due to a knee injury since last June. In his return, Mahal easily defeated Akira Tozawa in under two minutes. It is yet to be seen if Mahal will once again be pushed all the way to the main event, though with the way 2020 has been going another Jinder title run seems entirely possible. (TJRWrestling)

Akira Tozawa vs. Jinder Mahal: Raw, April 27, 2020

8. Finals of the TNT Championship Tournament Set

The Finals to crown AEW’s inaugural TNT Champion was set this week on AEW: Dynamite. Cody Rhodes was victorious against Darby Allen in the first semifinals match. Rhodes will now go on to face Lance Archer, who defeated Cody’s brother Dustin Rhodes to advance to the finals. The finals of the tournament will take place at AEW: Double or Nothing on May 23rd, meaning that the first TNT Champion will not even be crowned on TNT. I suppose however that the“B/R App and Traditional PPV Providers Championship” would have been hard to fit on a title belt. (TJRWrestling)

7. Two Title Matches to Take Place Next Week on NXT

NXT is planning on having a stacked card for their show this Wednesday night. Charlotte Flair will defend her NXT Women’s Championship against number one contender Io Shirai. Also, Velveteen Dream will finally get his chance to become NXT Champion, as he faces Adam Cole for the title. Finally after several weeks of vignettes and attacking Tommaso Ciampa, Killer (Karrion) Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux will officially debut next week. Kross will now be wrestling under the name Karrion Kross, which I suppose is better than Kris Kross as Kross doesn’t really jump jump much in his matches. (WWE)

6. Samoa Joe Does Commentary on Monday Night RAW

Samoa Joe returned to Monday Night RAW this week, but not to compete in the ring; instead he did commentary. Joe has been absent from WWE after being suspended for violating the drug policy as well as suffering a concussion during a commercial shoot last February. Joe replaced Jerry “The King” Lawler, who did appear in an in-ring segment later on show. It is unclear why Lawler was replaced by Joe, but it could be that Lawler just forgot his “101 Out of Touch and Completely Inappropriate Jokes” book at home. (TJRWrestling)

5. Apollo Crews Out of the Money in The Bank Ladder Match

It was a rollercoaster night for Apollo Crews this week on Monday Night RAW. The night started on a high with Crews pinning United States Champion Andrade in a tag match, leading to Crews getting a shot at the US Title later that night. During this match, however, Crews injured his knee (this injury appears to be storyline and not a legitimate injury) losing the match and now having to be pulled from the MITB Ladder match as well. A Second Chance Gauntlet Match will be held this Monday on Raw to decide who gets Crews’ spot to try to climb the corporate ladder at MITB. Crews is without a doubt upset at losing the chance to be Mr. Money in the Bank, but at least he doesn’t have to worry now about being sued by hundreds of people if he was on top of the corporate ladder. (TJRWrestling)

Andrade vs. Apollo Crews – United States Championship Match: Raw, April 27, 2020

4. WWE Announces New Video Game

After announcing last week that there would not be a WWE 2K21 this year, WWE announced a brand new video game this week;  WWE 2K Battleground, an arcade style game that is set to be released later this year. WWE released a trailer for the new game, showing some very unique images including The Rock throwing John Cena towards an alligator. It is unknown if 2K will make it possible to jump over a shark in the game as well. (TJRWrestling)

WWE 2K Battlegrounds Teaser Trailer

3. Cain Velasquez Released From the WWE

Cain Velasquez’s WWE run came to a quick halt, as it was reported that week this he was released along with a large number of wrestlers a couple of weeks ago. Velasquez reportedly signed a multi-year contract in October, and even competed for the WWE Championship against Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel on Halloween last year. After Crown Jewel, it came out that Velasquez needed knee surgery, only competing in a tag match in Mexico City before having the surgery. It is unknown what will be next for Velasquez, though he could follow in the footsteps of previous men with a similar sounding name and become the mayor of a major city. (TJRWrestling)

2. AEW to Resume TV Tapings on May 6th

Seemingly a week cannot go by lately without a report of a wrestling company changing their plans on how they are going to record their programming. This week it was announced that AEW has decided to once again start taping Dynamite live starting next week. AEW is able to do this because of Florida deeming all live sports “essential”, allowing AEW to return to Jacksonville’s Daily Place to record. By recording live, AEW is hoping to be able to have more of their roster present and properly build towards their next PPV Double or Nothing on May 23rd. It has not been officially announced where Double or Nothing will be held but Jacksonville is likely, as the only thing that seems to be deemed “non-essential” in Florida is an education. (TJRWrestling)

1. WWE Celebrates Triple H’s 25- year Anniversary

Triple H’s 25-year anniversary with the WWE was this week, with WWE choosing to celebrate on both RAW and Smackdown. Smackdown ended with a 20-minute in-ring promo with Triple H and Shawn Michaels. During the promo, they showed some bloopers of Triple H’s career and called Stephanie McMahon, Road Dog and Ric Flair. The segment ended with Vince McMahon coming out on stage and making some jokes about Triple H, before telling them to wrap things up and turning off the lights. On RAW they showed the top ten moments of Triple H’s career, strangely though they left out him knocking up the bosses daughter. (TJRWrestling)

Mr. McMahon turns off the lights on Triple H’s celebration: SmackDown, April 24, 2020

That will conclude another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. As always, if you like what I do, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter @BackseatBookers and listen to my podcast The BackseatBookers (please be aware that it is explicit as no amount of bleach can clean my potty mouth.)