Weekend Roundup: Royal Rumble Plans & Backstage Notes, Amanda Huber on Brodie Lee’s Passing, Jordynne Grace, Indies


  • WWE and Paramount Pictures animated film Rumble reportedly has been delayed from its planned theatrical release of May 14, 2021 to a new date of February 18, 2022, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It was reported that the reason for the film’s release delay is due to issues with the coronavirus pandemic.
  • During a recent interview with the First Class Fatherhood podcast, AJ Styles revealed that he would like to become a talent scout for WWE in the future. Styles stated “Well, I’m not sure what those goals are but if I could have an opportunity, if I have that opening I guess you can say, to work for the WWE, I think I’d like to be a scout. I wanna be able to go to these independent shows that these other guys are doing and girls, and say, ‘You’ve wanted to be a wrestler all your life, here’s how to get there. I’m gonna come back in six months. I’m gonna check on you’ and see if I can get those guys who’ve always wanted to do this their whole life. You know, we have scouts that go to weightlifting competitions and stuff like that but I don’t know if we have guys that go to the small independent shows and we can grab these guys early, get them to the WWE system because there’s a way you need to learn. It’s not just about moves, it’s about camera angles as well and stuff like that and promos and whatnot so, I would like to find these guys and these girls that have wanted to do it their whole life, and help them get into the WWE.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • Chelsea Green reportedly is currently in the process of becoming medically cleared for a return to WWE’s SmackDown brand, according to Fightful Select. It was reported (via WrestleTalk) that Green has been seen training at WWE’s Performance Center during this past month.
  • WWE reportedly currently has plans to eventually run their NXT India brand and shows locally in India once the situation with the coronavirus pandemic is over, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE recently released their annual “Royal Rumble By The Numbers” video for tonight’s Royal Rumble event.
  • WWE announced that they will be airing a new Watch Along show during tonight’s Royal Rumble event on their YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Announced to be appearing throughout the show are The Bella Twins, DDP, Rikishi, Tegan Nox, Sam Roberts, Vic Joseph, Kayla Braxton, the cast of WWE’s The Bump, RJ City, Queen of the Ring: Alex Pagan, and Superfan Mike Brown.
  • WWE reportedly is currently considering using Performance Center talent as extras for their Royal Rumble event, according to Fightful Select. It was reported (via HeelByNature.com) that WWE officials are not currently planning on having them be involved in a physical role but instead might be used as extras for Bad Bunny’s musical performance of “Booker T” at the event.
  • Carlito, Jinder Mahal, and Christian reportedly have been seen backstage at WWE’s ThunderDome for tonight’s Royal Rumble event, according to the Wrestling Observer.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that Carlito is also currently scheduled to appear backstage at Monday’s episode of RAW. Jonson reported that there have been recently talks of WWE being interested in signing him to a producer role in the company.
  • PWInsider reported that WWE’s current plans are for the WWE Championship match to be the opener for tonight’s Royal Rumble event. Johnson also reported that the Men’s Royal Rumble match is currently planned to close out the show.
  • PWInsider also reported that WWE will be taping content backstage for three new documentaries based on Big E, Edge, and Goldberg during tonight’s Royal Rumble.
  • WWE recently announced that they have signed Tony Gill, Metehan Kocabasoglu, and Bailey Matthews to official contracts for their NXT UK brand. Gill was trained by Lance Storm and worked under the ring name of Gursinder Singh during his career in Impact Wrestling. Kocabasoglu previously worked for Westside Xtreme Wrestling and has performed under the ring names of Lucky Kid and Metehan. Matthews is the son of current NXT General Manager William Regal.


  • A recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast had the late Brodie Lee’s wife Amanda Huber as the guest. One of the topics discussed including Huber revealing the circumstances that led to Lee’s tragic passing in December of 2020. Huber stated “We have the Peleton in the garage, he came in and he’s like, ‘I quit my ride.’ I was like, ‘that’s not like you.’ He had never quit a ride before. I was like, ‘You okay?’ ‘Yeah, I just feel like I can’t catch my breath.’ I have been COVID paranoid. No fever, I asked if he could smell, and went through all that. He recorded the podcast and everything was normal. Tuesday, he tried to do his workout, did his workout, tried his Peleton ride, came in the house and was like, ‘I don’t know what the hell is going on, I can’t get this ride in.’ He would typically drive to Jacksonville on Tuesday. He drove to Jacksonville, got COVID tested through AEW and tested negative. Doc Sampson was like, ‘I don’t trust this. I know you don’t feel good, I don’t feel safe letting you in. Go home, come back next week.’ He drove him, I quarantined him in the bedroom on the off chance he had COVID. He had a fever Thursday and Friday. Thursday, he got the nasal swab. I was keeping him hydrated, he wasn’t eating. Friday, we went to urgent care and they diagnosed him with bronchitis and allergies. We were like, ‘That’s not what this is.’ He felt like he had pneumonia. They gave him an oral steroid and allergy medicine. Saturday was the same deal, not eating, but he was drinking. I told him, ‘As soon as you stop drinking, you’re going to the hospital. As soon as your fever goes to 103, you’re going to the hospital.’ His fever would tap out at 102.9. Sunday was awful. His face looked sunken in and I was done with it. We go to the hospital and he walked into the hospital. He used my shoulder to brace himself, but not really putting pressure on me.”
  • While at the hospital, Huber stated that Lee’s medical test results revealed that he had very low oxygen levels in his body. Huber stated “the machine wasn’t broken. His oxygen was at 52. A normal person is supposed to be 95-100. They rush him back, got him on oxygen. Every day he was doing kind of okay, a little rocky, but kind of okay. Wednesday, they moved him into ICU and the reasoning was they wanted to keep a better eye on him and get more one-on-one care. They wanted to be proactive. A handful of people at AEW knew what was going on.”
  • Huber also stated that Lee was diagnosed with “idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which literally means that his lungs scarred up and the idiopathic part means they don’t know why.”
  • Huber also revealed the issues that caused Lee to not be approved for a lung transplant. Huber stated “They talked to me about a lung transplant on November 9. I filled out the paperwork and then he showed signs of getting better. He started physical therapy and things were looking up. They performed a tracheotomy so they could remove him from the ventilator and put oxygen through his tube. He was able to wake up and started communicating with me. He would smile and mouth words to me. He couldn’t talk, but he could mouth words. Things were looking up. He got taken off the ventilator and put on straight oxygen. That was the day things started going bad. We were super hopeful and he had a panic attack while on oxygen. From that day on, things went to shit. This was end of November. They had warned me when he started ECMO that it was a long process and there were going to be days where it was two steps forward, one step back and there would be days where it would be three steps back and one forward. I was prepared for ups and downs. Starting in December, it was consistently downhill. It kept getting worse … I got back to the Mayo clinic and they were like, ‘He has an infection in his lungs.’ They said it was a common bacteria, but because he was so immunocompromised, the bacteria had grown and his lungs were fucked.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason why AEW did not announce a Saturday, March 6th date for their upcoming Revolution pay-per-view event is due to UFC holding an event on that date. Meltzer also reported that there has been some talks of the NBA holding this year’s All-Star game on March 7th and if it does happen, AEW reportedly currently does not have any plans to move their Revolution event to another new date.

Other Wrestling

  • During a recent interview with the House of Hardcore podcast, Jordynne Grace revealed that her current contract with Impact Wrestling expires this May.
  • John Cena recently announced on Twitter that his upcoming book, titled “Be A Work In Progress: And Other Things I’d Like To Tell My Younger Self”, is currently scheduled to be released on April 6th.
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly generated a paid attendance of 1.325 for their January 23rd Road to New Beginning in Nagoya event, 471 for their January 24th Road to New Beginning in Nagoya event, and 416 for their January 25th Road to New Beginning in Nagoya event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Real Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly will be holding an event on April 22nd to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the debut of the original Tiger Mask character, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Former WWE writer Chris DeJoseph reportedly has been in recent talks with Major League Wrestling for a potential creative job in the company, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Impact Wrestling announced on Twitter that new episodes of their weekly Impact! series will now premiere on their YouTube and Facebook accounts for their United Kingdom market. The company also announced that more details regarding their current television contract with cable network Freesports will be revealed soon.
  • Game Changer Wrestling announced that they raised $53,030 from their 24-hour marathon Fight Forever event on January 29-30th. All proceeds from this event was stated to go directly to all of the talent who worked at the event to help financially assist them during the coronavirus pandemic.