Weekend Roundup: WrestleMania Backlash Opener, Sami Zayn, Rumored Heat Between AEW EVPs, New Jack, NJPW, Indies


  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that as of shortly before 5PM EST, the RAW Women’s Championship Triple Threat match of Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley is currently scheduled to be the opening match for tonight’s WrestleMania Backlash event. Johnson also reported that WWE officials have been tweaking the match order for tonight’s show all day.
  • WWE reportedly recently disbanded their Talent Management Group, according to WWE’s Senior Vice President Amy Tunick. Tunick recently stated on her Linkedin profile that WWE made the decision to disband the group following a recent change in direction of their plans to handle the monetization of all of their talent.
  • WWE filed trademarks for “I’m Nobody’s Bitch” and “There’s Never A Bad Time To Have A Good Time” on May 11th for wrestling and merchandise-related purposes to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • WWE filed a trademark for “B-Fab” on May 12th for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes to the USPTO.
  • WWE announced that WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase will be making an in-person appearance on this Tuesday’s episode of NXT.
  • During a recent interview with Sporting News Australia, Damian Priest revealed that he was told by several people within WWE that had his pairing with Bad Bunny failed, his career in the company likely would have been “done.” Priest stated “Yes (it does give me confidence). It goes both ways. I can put in all the work I want, but obviously I also need the company to believe in me and have my back. A lot of people were honest with me and they told me, ‘Listen, you can’t blow this because if you do, you’re done.’ All I said was you’re giving me the opportunity, I’m going to do everything to my abilities to knock this out of the park. I knew I had put in the work, so give me the opportunity and I will do my end. It goes both ways, and I think we both delivered so we brought our audience a product worthy of them being entertained and being happy to watch.”
  • As noted before, WWE recently made several changes to their COVID-19 policy for fans attending NXT tapings at their Performance Center. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the company also recently made changes to their COVID-19 policy for their talent as well. Meltzer reported that talent who currently live in Orlando now have the option of being tested on the day of television tapings instead of being required to be tested on the day before. Those who opt for this choice will also be allowed to travel back home and rest while they wait for their test results to come back instead of needing to be at the Performance Center all day to wait for their results and then work at that night’s television tapings.
  • As noted before, several WWE officials have been upset at NXT referee Drake Wuertz over several of his controversial incidents in recent months. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Wuertz did not work at this past Wednesday’s tapings of NXT due to him being involved in another controversial incident. This incident involved Wuertz being at a Seminole County school board meeting to complain about children being required to wear masks at school. Wuertz made several unsubstantial claims that masks make it easier for sexual predators to prey on children and also claimed that the order to require children to wear masks at school goes against the wishes of God.
  • WrestlingInc.com reported that Sonya Deville’s stalker, Phillip A. Thomas, was recently found to be incompetent to stand trial following the results of his medical evaluations. It was reported that Thomas is currently in the process of being transferred to the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, Florida.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that the presiding judge of the on-going Riddle sexual abuse lawsuit ruled earlier this week that Riddle and his accuser Samantha Tavel must reveal their initial disclosures to the other side by May 21st. Johnson reported that the judge also ordered for this discovery process to be completely finished by November 30th.
  • Sami Zayn reportedly was involved in an online controversial incident this past week regarding the recent on-going conflict in Israel and Palestine, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that pro-Israel group had recently contacted WWE, FOX, and NBC demanding that Zayn be punished over tweets he made lambasting Israeli settlers stealing the homes of Palestinians and politician Andrew Yang’s tweet in support of Israel’s use of force against Palestinians. Meltzer reported that neither WWE, FOX, nor NBC responded to the requests made towards Zayn.


  • AEW reportedly has recently stopped performing temperature checks on fans prior to them entering Daily’s Place for AEW shows, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that this past Wednesday’s tapings was the first time the company did not require fans to undergo and pass temperature checks in order to enter their venue.
  • AEW reportedly generated an attendance of 850 for this past Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite at Daily’s Place, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that the split was 650 paid and the rest as comp tickets.
  • AEW’s Countdown to Double or Nothing 2021 special on TNT is currently scheduled to air sometime between 7PM EST and 9PM EST on May 29th, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that the start time of this special will be entirely dependent on the NBA Playoffs schedule for that date on the network.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the official reason for Santana’s absence from this past Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite was due to him recently feeling ill.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that recent rumors of WWE talent Shinsuke Nakamura being backstage at AEW’s Dynamite show this past Wednesday are not true. Johnson reported that recent photos of him and NJPW’s Yuji Nagata that were posted online were not taken at Daily’s Place.
  • Cody Rhodes reportedly recently abandoned his trademark filing for “The American Dream”, according to HeelByNature.com. It was reported that Rhodes abandoned the filing on March 31st due to him not being able to provide sufficient documentation for the lingering issues the USPTO had over his trademark filing. It was also reported that Rhodes likely will be using the nickname at AEW’s Double or Nothing 2021 event in order to help resolve the lingering issues by the USPTO and then file for a new trademark at a later date.
  • Max Caster filed a trademark for “Platinum” on May 10th for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes to the USPTO. This is the current nickname of Caster in AEW.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW officials currently have plans for this year’s Full Gear event to take place on November 6th.
  • PWTorch’s Wade Keller and ProWrestling.net’s Jason Powell reported (via CageSideSeats.com) in a recent episode of the Tuesday Flagship podcast that AEW is currently rumored to be dealing with backstage issues and heat between AEW’s Executive Vice Presidents Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, and The Young Bucks. Keller reported that the issues are rumored to revolve around disputes over the direction of AEW’s shows and are also rumored to have gotten to the point where they are no longer talking to each other. Powell reported that one “would-be difference maker” star talent free agent is rumored to be currently hesitant on signing with the company over the rumored backstage in-fighting going on.

Other Wrestling

  • A GoFundMe fundraiser was recently launched by the family of New Jack to help financially support New Jack’s family for his funeral costs.
  • Wrestling clothing merchandise retailer CollarxElbow announced that they have released a new shirt honoring New Jack with all proceeds going directly towards his family.
  • Fightful Select reported that Impact Wrestling will be holding a new set of television tapings this week in Nashville, Tennessee. These new tapings reportedly will be held over the course of four days and will cover the remainder of this month and all of June for Impact television episodes. It was also reported that following this set of television tapings, the company will hold another set of tapings during the week of their Slammiversary 2021 event in July.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that NJPW announcer Kevin Kelly recently flew back home from Japan following the company’s announcement that their two Stadium events this month were postponed due to coronavirus pandemic issues. Kelly reportedly had traveled to Japan earlier this month and underwent a quarantine in order to be able to provide English commentary for NJPW’s now postponed Stadium events.
  • Dave Melzter also reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that NJPW’s foreign-based talent have been recently upset with the company regarding them being left in the dark over the company’s decisions to postpone shows. Meltzer reported that this has prevented the company’s foreign-based talent from returning home and working on quarantine plans should they leave Japan.
  • Lucha Libre AAA talent Areostar reportedly suffered a torn muscle injury in his arm during his match at AAA’s Rey de Reyes 2021 event on May 1st in San Pedro Cholula, Mexico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AAA reportedly will be holding a press conference this Tuesday to announce the official date for this year’s Triplemania event, according to the Wrestling Observer. Dave Meltzer reported that the AAA Mega Championship match of Andrade vs. Kenny Omega is also currently expected to be officially announced as the main event for the show.
  • Major League Wrestling reportedly is currently in the process of removing a lot of their content on their official YouTube channel, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that the reason for this decision is due to MLW is currently working on plans to sell a new rights deal for their library.
  • Ring of Honor announced that their Survival of the Fittest tournament will be making its return this June. This will be the first time that the tournament will be held since 2018.
  • L.A. Park reportedly is currently battling pneumonia, according to TheCubsFan.com.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH announced that this year’s Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Show has been postponed from its originally scheduled date of May 30th to a new date of May 31st in Tokyo, Japan due to coronavirus pandemic-related issues in Japan.
  • Jon Moxley made a surprise appearance for Game Changer Wrestling at their Draft Day event this past Saturday. Moxley confronted Nick Gage following Gage’s GCW World Championship match and engaged in a brawl that spilled into the streets.