WWE News: Cesaro Staying in WWE, Update on Steve Cutler's Release, Parker Boudreaux Signed by WWE, NXT Title at WrestleMania

WWE News: Cesaro Staying in WWE, Update on Steve Cutler's Release, Parker Boudreaux Signed by WWE, NXT Title at WrestleMania

There’s an update on Cesaro’s WWE status. Earlier in the week, there was a report that Cesaro’s WWE contract was set to expire around WrestleMania this year, which we covered here. That story was from WrestlingInc. Today, we’ve learned that Cesaro is staying in WWE and that’s according to the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer.

The report by Meltzer notes that Cesaro either signed or verbally agreed to a new deal a few weeks ago. The Gauntlet Match on Smackdown a few weeks ago was an idea from Daniel Bryan, who is part of Smackdown’s creative team. During that match, Shinsuke Nakamura turned babyface by winning multiple matches and then getting beat up by Roman Reigns/Jey Uso leading to Adam Pearce winning the match in a cheap manner. According to Meltzer, Bryan’s idea for that spot was Cesaro, which would have likely turned Cesaro face the way it did for Nakamura. However, Cesaro hadn’t agreed to a new WWE deal by that point, so WWE went with Nakamura in that spot. Meltzer noted that now Nakamura is basically in the same spot he was in before, except now he’s a face.

As for Cesaro, he remains a singles heel for now with some big wins recently over Daniel Bryan on the January 15 episode of Smackdown and Dolph Ziggler on the January 21 edition of Smackdown. The length of Cesaro’s new deal is not known at this time although most WWE deals are at least three years and sometimes go up to five years. Cesaro is also a regular contributor on WWE’s UpUpDownDown video game channel run by Xavier Woods as well.

TJR Thoughts: I hope this leads to a good singles push for Cesaro on Smackdown. Clearly, his good friend Daniel Bryan is looking out for him and trying to come up with ideas for him, so it’s up to the bosses to get behind a push for Cesaro. Will it happen? I don’t know. At 40 years old, it makes sense for WWE to focus on newer stars, but I think Cesaro’s a guy the fans could rally around if he was utilized more.

 

Update on Steve Cutler Being Released by WWE 

 

It was announced yesterday that Smackdown’s Steve Cutler was released from his WWE contract. You can see his tweet above. There is more to the story in this case.

It was reported by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Cutler tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in January, which is why we didn’t see Cutler and Wesley Blake as one of the “knights” with King Corbin after several weeks of accompanying Corbin to the ring.

The story is that Cutler was at some New Year’s Eve party and then tested positive for COVID-19 at some point in January. Vince McMahon promised Roman Reigns and other wrestlers a safe environment, so when Vince found out about the COVID-19 positive, Vince was “livid” (according to Meltzer’s source) and that’s what led to Cutler’s release. Cutler was training at the Performance Center on Thursday when he was told he was being released by WWE. Meltzer said it is believed that Cutler is the first wrestler to be fired because of COVID-19.

Cutler, who is 33 years old, is dating Impact Wrestling’s Deonna Purazzo tweeted “COVID strikes again…lol” likely in reference to what happened. She also tweeted about Cutler’s release.

Purrazzo was a lot more aggressive with this fan that assumed something and she put him in his place. That fan deleted the tweet, but I decided to screenshot it.

Cutler will have 90 days of a no-compete clause as he alluded to in the tweet above.

TJR Thoughts: There will probably be people that will think WWE is being unfair for firing a guy because he got COVID-19, which I understand for sure. However, if WWE is telling everybody that works for them that going to work for WWE is a safe environment then you have to trust everybody in the company to be smart about what they do when they’re away from WWE. I remember looking at Instagram around New Year’s Eve and there were several wrestling people posting photos from parties where they weren’t wearing masks. I don’t follow Cutler or Purrazzo, but a lot of the wrestlers live in the Florida area and we all know that state doesn’t have a lot of restrictions. If WWE felt like Cutler got COVID-19 because of a New Year’s party then it’s their right to fire the guy. Harsh but fair considering the situation the world is in right now. A lot of us wanted to party with family and friends over the holidays. We didn’t do it because social distancing is the right thing to do.

If I had to guess, he’ll probably be headed to Impact Wrestling where his girlfriend is.

 

Parker Boudreaux Leaving Football to Focus on WWE Career

It appears as though Parker Boudreaux is focusing on his WWE career now instead of playing college football at Central Florida. Paul Heyman has mentioned Parker in the past including New Year’s Day when Heyman gave a spoiler about Parker being a big star one day.

It was reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Boudreaux has signed a developmental deal with WWE after quitting the Central Florida football team. The photo above is from a Royal Rumble watch party with Eva Marie, who apparently is planning a WWE comeback. There were reports about Eva Marie’s WWE return months ago and she’s still not back, but apparently is training for it.

Boudreaux was the starting right guard at Central Florida in 2019, then missed 2020 with a concussion and he was going to come back for his senior year in 2021. However, he has chosen to move ahead with his WWE career. Meltzer noted that Boudreaux was backstage at the NXT TV tapings on January 20.

As you can see in the photo above, Boudreaux is a big man that stands at 6’4″ and had a listed weight of 301 pounds when he played football. He was an elite football player in high school leading to his time at Central Florida.

TJR Thoughts: It’s fair to say that Boudreaux is a top WWE prospect in his early 20s. A lot of people have made comparisons to Brock Lesnar due to his size and look, but he has a long way to go before he can fairly be compared to somebody at Lesnar’s level. As for Eva Marie, no official word on when she returns to WWE.

 

NXT Title May Be Defended At WrestleMania

 

WrestleMania 37 will take place over two nights on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It’s the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl as well.

Last year’s WrestleMania saw the NXT Women’s Title defended when Rhea Ripley lost the title to Charlotte Flair, who chose to challenge Ripley after Flair won the Women’s Royal Rumble.

There is now a rumor from Wrestlevotes that perhaps WWE is considering the idea of having men’s NXT Championship defended at WrestleMania this year.

Consider it just a rumor for now.

TJR Thoughts: I’m all for this. I would make it a multiple-man match in order to get more NXT wrestlers on the show.