At last night’s Raw TV tapings, Shane McMahon announced two new matches for WWE Payback. Dean Ambrose will face off against Chris Jericho while Sami Zayn will finally get some measure of revenge when he will take on his arch nemesis Kevin Owens.
The Number One Contendership Tag Team Title Tournament (say that five times fast!) found it’s final two last night too as Enzo & Cass defeated The Dudley Boyz to advance while The Vaudevillians beat The Usos to set up the final for WWE Payback.
And although already announced, Natalya surprised Charlotte and her father Ric Flair by announcing that her uncle Bret Hart will be in her corner when the two square off at Payback.
With all that in mind, here is the updated Payback card:
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
Roman Reigns (c) vs. AJ Styles
WWE Intercontinental Title Match
The Miz (c) vs. Cesaro
WWE Women’s Title Match
Charlotte (c) with Ric Flair vs. Natalya with Bret Hart
WWE Tag Team Number One Contendership Match
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. The Vaudevillains
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
TNA Investor Problems?
It was reported yesterday that TNA were negotiating with Aroluxe, a Tennessee based marketing company, for a controlling interest in TNA Wrestling.
PWInsider.com dug into the relationship between Aroluxe and TNA,and found that that Aroluxe have been working with TNA since January this year, with Aroluxe handling all TNA TV taping expenses, with TNA later reimbursing them.
One report, which is unconfirmed at this time of writing, is that TNA reportedly owes Aroluxe a payment due in the not to distant future, with the day varying from yesterday (Monday) to this Wednesday. If TNA are unable to make the payment, Aroluxe would then be able to claim majority ownership of TNA, with Dixie Carter being a minority owner.
A number of people inside TNA weren’t willing to talk about the situation and Dixie Carter herself has yet to comment on the story. The way the situation stands is as follows: if TNA reimburses Aroluxe, Carter will remain in control and nothing changes within the company right away. If they cannot pay back what they owe, then Aroluxe takes over and while it seems as if Carter would remain in some capacity, it isn’t known what this would mean for the rest of the company’s employees.
It was mentioned that Panda Energy (the company her father owns) has not put any money into TNA in the last 4-5 years, and when Carter bought out Jeff Jarrett (former TNA owner) last year, she remained the only stockholder.
Finn Balor Breaks Record
Last Sunday, Finn Balor officially broke Neville’s record for longest WWE NXT title reign. While being the longest NXT Champion in history, it also makes him the longest-reigning champion for any WWE developmental territory ever, including Deep South Wrestling, Frontier Championship Wrestling, and Ohio Valley Wrestling.
That is some achievement for a guy that many thought wouldn’t make any impact at all when he left NJPW for WWE. One can only hope that on his eventual debut on the main roster, that he can carry on showing the world that he can be a standard bearer for the company.
Austin Aries Interview: Dream Match, TNA Problems, Cruiserweight Series
One of NXT’s new recruits, Austin Aries, was interviewed recently by ChicagolandSportsRadio.com’s Fightclub Chicago. Aries talked in length on whether he will be a part of WWE’s Global Cruiserweight Series, who he would like as a dream opponent, and TNA’s ongoing struggles. You can click on the link above to hear the interview in it’s entirety but below are some highlights:
Is he in the WWE Global Cruiserweight Series?
“As far as I know, I will not be a part of that. I think that they’re using this tournament as an opportunity to kind of introduce maybe some more unknown talents to fans. I think the thought might be with where I’m at in my career that, not that I wouldn’t love to be a part of it, it is probably with the mindset behind it is that there are probably a lot of other guys that would benefit from that exposure.”
“I think the idea is that whether it’s guys from within the system that maybe, again, haven’t been showcased or some guys that are from outside the system that have a chance to make an impression. These are all guys that I should be looking at because they are guys I could be in the ring with down the road.”
Who would be his dream opponent?
“No matter who the dream match is because there are probably 100 of them on the list, I want Bobby Heenan as my manager. As long as I can get Bobby Heenan in my corner, then I’m a happy man because, to me, Bobby Heenan is one of the most underrated performers of all time. He’s in my top five of all time performers because I don’t think people realize just how good he was.”
What is the underlying problem in TNA?
“It always goes back to the ownership group. At the end of the day, you can change coaches and managers and players, but if there’s something intrinsic, something wrong, then you have to look at what the common denominator is, and, usually, you’ve got to look at the ownership because everything runs from there.”
“All I can say is I hope they continue to remain a viable company where guys and girls can make a living and make money. The wrestling industry needs healthy, successful products and the more the better because that’s just more opportunities and jobs for the men and women who enjoy professional wrestling for a living.”
Many thanks to the folks at WrestlingInc.com for transcribing the interview.
In Other News
*WWE posted the following video to their Twitter account a few days ago. It’s a short video to show exactly who Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows really are, their history, and their fellow comrades. Give it a watch.
— WWE (@WWE) April 17, 2016
*NXT star Carmella sat down with WWE.com and spoke about a multitude of subjects including her boys Enzo and Cass, and her future. Below are some highlights:
What were you feeling when you saw Enzo and Cass debut on Raw the night after WrestleMania?
“Pure excitement. I’m so proud of them. Seeing them out there, they looked like stars. They looked like they belong there. It was really exciting to see.”
Some of the passionate members of the NXT Universe were a little disappointed that you weren’t out there with Enzo & Big Cass on Raw. How do you feel about not being with them?
“My entire NXT career has been alongside Cass & Enzo. Of course, it would have been nice to be out there and relish in the moment of their debut on the night after WrestleMania with them. But, I’m here to be a Superstar and an in-ring performer. I’ve been training for over two years in the ring now. A lot of the fans don’t necessarily get to see what I can do, because they’ve seen me as the hype girl for Cass & Enzo.”
“I’m here to compete at a higher level. I want to be NXT Women’s Champion. Unfortunately, I can’t do everything. I can’t be with them and take over the NXT Women’s division at the same time. Of course, it’s a little sad to not be with them, but it’s a super-exciting time for me to break out on my own.”
What can the NXT Universe expect to see from you in the weeks ahead?
“They’ll see a big change in me. My focus is just on me and on becoming NXT Women’s Champion. I don’t have to worry about what my boys are doing now. I support them and I’m so excited to see their success. But now, everyone gets to see Carmella and who she really is. I’m not just the hype girl.”
*Yesterday Emma went onto Twitter to build some hype for her match against Becky Lynch:
— TENILLE DASHWOOD (@TenilleDashwood) April 18, 2016
The match was supposed to happen at last night’s Raw TV tapings but for one reason or another it didn’t happen. That hasn’t stopped Becky from keeping a potential feud fizzle out by posting this:
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) April 18, 2016
Looks like Becky Lynch isn’t always about the puns, with a nice jokey reference to Emma’s preference to one glove ring wear.
*The most excellent Edge And Christian Show That Totally Reeks Of Awesomeness continues their very impressive run on the WWE Network, and last night the theme was “Old School”. And with that in mind, and to whet your appetite in case you missed it last night, here is a teaser featuring Virgil:
Read Our Stuff
A few days ago, John Canton posted his 14th edition of the TJR Q&A. With over 60 questions answered from his fans and followers on his Facebook page. Some very great and interesting questions answered as only John does.
TJR columnist Ron Pascari recently took in his first House of Hardcore show and spoke about it in length in his article right here.
Well another Tuesday is in the books. WWE Payback card is taking shape, with those matches officially announced on last night’s Raw. Are you looking forward to it? Are there any matches there that you think could steal the show? I’m throwing this out there now, and say that if they’re given the time, Charlotte vs Natalya is a definite show stealer. It’s basically the same match they had for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship from May 2014, and that was one of the best women’s matches I had seen at that point. Let me know in the comments what you’re looking forward to, what you’re feelings are for the event.
Now it’s time for to bid you adieu, and remind you that Mark McAllen will be here tomorrow to serve you up your daily news digest. Editor-In-Chief John Canton will be here on Thursday and I will grace you with my presence on Friday, you lucky so and so’s!