Weekend Roundup: Ronda Rousey, WWE Hall of Fame Update, Dax Harwood Injury, Tony Khan, Maven, CMLL Releases Bandido, Indies

WWE

  • WWE announced that a new documentary titled “Superfan: The Story of Vladimir” will be airing on NBC’s Peacock and WWE Network this summer. A trailer for this upcoming documentary was also released.
  • WWE released the entire opening WrestleMania 37 speech delivered by Vince McMahon to the fans in attendance and those watching the event from their homes to their official YouTube channel.
  • Fightful Select reported that Ronda Rousey’s original contract with WWE would have expired after the end of last night’s WrestleMania 37 Night 1 event. It was reported that it is currently not known if Ronda signed a new contract during her current time away from the company.
  • Following her SmackDown Women’s Championship victory, Bianca Belair made an appearance on WWE’s WrestleMania 37 Watch Along show reflecting on the historic moment at the start of her match. Belair stated “That first moment, I felt like we just felt the moment. Hearing the fans for the first time in over a year. Hearing ‘EST’ and ‘Boss,’ we just wanted to stay in that moment because it was an amazing opportunity to main event WrestleMania. We were creating history and we wanted that image to be in the world. Just standing there, that was honestly one of my favorite parts of the match. Just taking my time and soaking it all in. That moment in the beginning, that’s what I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. That feeling, making [fans] feel something. My heart was so full of love and joy and my mind is blown. I’m blessed.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that NBC recently edited out several segments from the WWE Network which involved Goldust wearing black face paint from the late 90s.
  • Dave Meltzer also reported that WWE recently released all of their international broadcast teams with the exception of their Spanish broadcast team. Meltzer reported that this decision was influenced by NBC who cancelled almost all of WWE’s international language commentary for their pay-per-view events on Peacock.
  • WWE reportedly aired the wrong footage for one of their legacy inductees for the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame class, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that the footage shown meant to honor African American women’s wrestler Ethel Johnson was actually from a different female wrestler named Sandy Parker.
  • WWE filed a trademark for “Hit Row” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on April 5th to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • WWE also filed two trademarks for “Commander Azeez” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes and “No Mercy”for merchandise-related purposes on April 7th to the USPTO.
  • WWE recently released their first ever limited edition NFT cards featured The Undertaker.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in a recent episode of the Wrestling Observer Radio that Damian Priest’s status for WrestleMania 37 was a “touch and go” issue due to the severity of his recent back injury despite him being recently medically cleared to compete.

AEW

  • Dax Harwood reportedly has been dealing with an elbow injury for the past six weeks, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that Harwood made the decision to work through the injury due to him not wanting to miss out on being involved in notable storylines in AEW for the time being.
  • DDT Pro-Wrestling talent Konosuke Takeshita made an appearance for AEW at their The House Always Wins event on April 9th in Tampa, Florida. Voices of Wrestling’s Andre Rich reported that Takeshita took a month off break from DDT Pro-Wrestling to travel and work in AEW.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW featured around 92 wrestlers for all of their matches during the first quarter of 2021. Meltzer reported that this was an increase of around 48% (62 wrestlers) compared to the same quarter last year. Meltzer also reported that the amount of people at ringside during matches also rose by around 49% compared to the same quarter last year.
  • AEW recently announced that they have rescheduled their June 30th AEW Dynamite event in Houston, Texas to a new date of August 18th and their July 14th AEW Dynamite event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a new date of August 25th. The company also announced that they will honor all tickets purchased for the original dates at these newly scheduled shows.
  • ET Canada held a recent interview with Christian Cage and one of the topics discussed included Cage’s thoughts on the difference between his official debut for TNA in 2005 and his official debut for AEW in 2021. Cage stated “When I left in 2005, it was more to bet on myself and to prove a point. I felt like I was stuck in a rut. I felt like I needed to get away in order to come back and be better than I was. I needed to step away and prove that I can work at and wrestle at the top of the card and carry a show. I felt like if I just stayed in WWE, I wasn’t necessarily going to get that opportunity no matter what reactions or the quality of matches that I was putting on. So I needed to kind of bet on myself, get out of their face for a little while, go and prove that even if it was on a smaller scale that I could do that. I feel like I did. then I came back. This time is a little bit different. I didn’t leave WWE because I wasn’t under contract with WWE. I hadn’t been under contract for WWE in probably six, seven years at this point in time. So it was a choice that I made. I needed the best platform for me at this stage of my career where I felt like I could go out and do my best work and also elevate the next generation that is coming up behind me.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • A recent episode of the Busted Open Radio podcast had AEW CEO Tony Khan as the guest and one of the topics discussed included his thoughts on why Chris Jericho’s appearance on the WWE Network will be a good chance to promote AEW. Khan stated “What happened was, I had never even considered this would be a possibility. When I heard from Chris that this was something that they wanted to do, I had to think about it for a minute. He and Steve had talked and Steve had asked Chris if he had an interest in doing [the show]. When Chris brought it up to me, at first I was taken aback because Chris doing something with Peacock, WWE’s partner is obviously going to give me pause. When he said it was Steve hosting, I didn’t have to think very hard. I feel Steve [is independent] even though he works with WWE and that’s a company we compete with. I trust Steve immensely and I trust Chris. They’re both friends of mine and I feel it’s going to be a good show. Chris told me I’m going to like it. It’s a good chance to promote AEW to different fans and Steve being the host had a lot to do with it. I’m not sure how it’s going to work out, but I’m excited about it and anytime Steve is involved, I think it’s great.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)

Other Wrestling

  • New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that they are currently holding a fan vote to determine the official match stipulation for the Provisional King of Pro Wrestling 2021 Championship at their Satsuma no Kuni event on April 28th in Kagoshima, Japan. The options are a Creation of Darkness Blindfold match and a Darkness match which involves the lights being turned off at certain intervals.
  • NJPW reportedly is currently expected to be taping the Jon Moxley vs. Yugi Nagata match for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship at some point this month, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Melzter reported that this match will be taking place in the United States and Nagata was given this month off from the company’s tours in Japan.
  • NJPW reportedly generated a paid attendance of 4,844 for their Sakura Genesis 2021 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • The government of Japan reportedly recently enacted new restrictions on all sporting events due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that all sporting events will be limited to a maximum of 5,000 fans which will impact NJPW’s upcoming stadium events next month.
  • Former WWE wrestler Maven made a surprise appearance for Figure Wrestling Federation at their FWF! Live show on April 9th. This was Maven’s first time in a wrestling ring since 2016.
  • The April 8th episode of Wipeout with John Cena as co-host drew 892,000 overall viewers on TBS. This was down from last week’s debut episode of 1,060,000 viewers.
  • Global Syndicate Wrestling recently announced that former Impact Wrestling and ROH talent Davey Richards will be making an appearance for the company at their GSW Catalyst event on May 22nd.
  • Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre announced that they have recently released Bandido from the company. LuchaBlog reported that Bandido’s contract with the company had been expired for some time and CMLL officials needed an excuse to explain why he was working for their rival Lucha Libre AAA.
  • Eddie Edwards announced that he is currently in the process of opening a new wrestling school called Eddie Edwards’ Die Hard Dojo in Rockland, Massachusetts. Edwards’ new school was also revealed to be affiliated with New England All-Star Wrestling.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Season 3 of VICE’s Dark Side of the Ring documentary series is currently planned to be split into two halves with the first half airing starting on May 6th and the second half airing later this year.
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Police reportedly charged a second man in his late 30s on April 5th over his involvement in the cyberbullying of Hana Kimura leading to her death last year, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, Bea Priestly is currently rumored to have recent signed a contract with WWE following her departure last week from Stardom. Dave Meltzer provided an update in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that stated Priestly will not be working in the United States due to her work visa recently expired and instead will be staying in the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future. Meltzer also reported that Priestly kept the status of her future career a secret from Stardom and Bushiroad officials beyond saying she was moving back to the UK.
  • Game Changer Wrestling reportedly generated a paid attendance of 500 for their Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 6 event on April 8th in Ybor City, Florida, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Lucha Libre FMV filed a new trademark for “Lucha Underground” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on March 31st to the USPTO.
  • Gladiator Sports Network, parent company of Ohio Valley Wrestling, filed two new trademarks for “OVW” and “OVWrestling” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on March 31st to the USPTO.