Weekend Roundup: Samoa Joe & WWE Update, AEW Interested in Braun Strowman, Antonio Inoki, Demolition Ax, NWA, Indies


  • WWE recently announced that Sam Roberts, Arash Markazi, and Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso will be the guest hosts for tonight’s NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2021 pre-show panel.
  • WWE reportedly recently made several changes for NXT events at their Capitol Wrestling Center, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that the capacity for tonight’s TakeOver: In Your House 2021 event has been expanded to allow over 300 fans in attendance. Meltzer reported that WWE also made changes to their COVID-19 protocols with fans no longer required to follow social distancing rules nor need to be tested before being allowed inside the venue.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that as of this past Thursday, WWE recently released additional tickets for their July 16th SmackDown show in Houston, Texas. WWE reportedly has also sold around 10,589 tickets for their July 18th Money in the Bank 2021 event in Forth Worth, Texas. In regards to other locations, Meltzer reported that the July 19th RAW show in Dallas, Texas is around 2,100 tickets shy of being a sell out while their July 23rd SmackDown show in Cleveland, Ohio and their July 26th RAW show in Kansas City, Missouri are both selling poorly.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that WWE recently rehired Shawn Daivari to a backstage producer role in the company.
  • Following the airing of this past Friday’s episode of 205 Live, Sunil Singh revealed on Twitter that he had suffered a shoulder injury during his match against Grayson Waller.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason for the surge in WWE’s stock price this past week was due to meme stock related antics caused by Reddit’s Wall Street Bets subreddit. Meltzer reported that several Wall Street analysts currently expect WWE’s stock price to fall back to regular levels soon due to the spike being artifical. Meltzer reported that the Wall Street Bets subreddit had picked WWE’s stock under the belief that the return of live shows would increase its value despite not realizing that live shows have been a big money loser and not a money maker for the company over the years.
  • WWE reportedly is currently considering the idea of bringing back Samoa Joe to the company, according to Fightful Select. It was reported that several NXT staff and talent spoken to stated that they have heard of NXT officials holding recent talks over the idea of having Joe return in an active wrestling role for their brand.
  • WWE filed new trademarks for “Amari Miller” and “Grayson Waller” on June 8th for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • WWE also reportedly filed new trademarks for “E:Spir” and “Ethereal Spirit” on June 9th for wrestling and merchandise-related purposes to the USPTO.
  • WWE also reportedly abandoned their trademark filing for “The Collective” on June 4th, according to HeelByNature.com. This is the same name of Game Changer Wrestling’s series of indie events that are typically held during WWE’s WrestleMania week.
  • Mat Men Wrestling’s Andrew Zarian’s reported that WWE President Nick Khan was the person who made the decision for this year’s SummerSlam event to take place at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Zarian reported that Khan has also been the key person within the company pushing the idea for Cardi B to be the host of this year’s event.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that it was recently discovered that WWE contracts no longer allows any talent who were released the ability to sign autographs under their former WWE ring names even after their no-compete clause expires. Meltzer reported that the previous rule was that all released talent were not allowed to work indie events using their former WWE ring names but this rule did not cover fan autograph signings.
  • WWE reportedly is currently planning for their next NXT TakeOver event to take place on August 22nd at the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida, according to Living The Gimmick podcast’s Jon Alba and Fightful Select.


  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Kenny Omega is currently working through several injuries. Meltzer reported that Omega is currently dealing with a hand injury, typical wear and tear on his body, a stomach virus illness, a bruise near his tailbone, and an athletic hernia. Meltzer also reported that the severity of Omega’s injuries are not at the point where he is expected to miss any time for AEW and Impact Wrestling.
  • Chris Jericho revealed during a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast that AEW originally had plans for music from DMX to be played during the club fight scene portion of the Stadium Stampede match at last month’s Double or Nothing 2021 event. Jericho stated “the original idea, I think [MJF] mentioned we should try and get DMX. To go back, when Max and I teamed, we tried to get Van Halen’s ‘Running With The Devil’ and they came back and said it was $500,000 for a one-time use, which is a nice way of saying, ‘Go fuck your ass.’ If I was Tony, I would have said, ‘here’s a million (dollars), give it to us twice.’ Frank Sinatra was a lot cheaper, but it was hard to get because Sinatra’s ‘Me And My Shadow,’ it’s the publishers who own it. When I want to use ‘Judas,’ I can’t just use it. Sony, who owns our publishing, has to approve. So, DMX was the idea. I asked [Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh] to get ‘X Gonna Give It To Ya.’ They came back and it was for, not a huge a amount of money, but not Frank Sinatra money, which was 15 grand. It was affordable and I said I would pay for half. I told Santana, ‘I got a surprise for you. We got DMX!’ We were all excited. A couple of days before, one of our production managers is on the field with us during the Stampede and he goes, ‘I heard we don’t have DMX.’ Then it’s a domino effect to where we were originally given permission, but the family had to sign off on it and they didn’t. Once DMX was out, we were trying to find different things. We were offered Curtis Blow’s ‘The Breaks.’ I listened and it was way too happy.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that as of this past Thursday, AEW had sold around 2,900 tickets for their July 7th Dynamite show in Miami, Florida. AEW reportedly has sold around 3,600 tickets for their July 14th Dynamite show in Garland and around 3,800 tickets for their July 21st Dynamite show in Cedar Park, Texas.
  • AEW reportedly generated an attendance of 900 for this past Friday’s episode of 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.
  • During a recent interview with TMZ, Mark Henry stated that AEW is currently interested in the idea of signing former WWE talent Braun Strowman to a contract once his no-compete clause expires.

Other Wrestling

  • Legendary Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki announced on Twitter (English translation via PWInsider) that he recently underwent surgery to repair his intestines. Inoki stated that he was suffering from volvulus, which is a twisting of the intentness, and underwent emergency surgery to fix this health issue.
  • Braun Strowman recently denied on Twitter reports of him being in recent talks with indie promoters and demanding a high asking price for any indie bookings.
  • Despite Strowman’s denial, PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that Strowman’s manger Nick Antocelli has been in recent talks with indie promotions for potential bookings. Johnson reported that several indie promoters spoken to stated that Antocelli is currently asking a booking fee of $20,000 to $25,000, first class airfare, two nights of hotel plus all meals, and ground transportation covered for any potential event.
  • The National Wrestling Alliance reportedly currently is planning to hold their upcoming set of NWA Powerrr television tapings and pay-per-view events for the month of August at the Chase Ballroom in St. Louis, Missouri, according to PWInsider.
  • The NWA also reportedly is currently considering plans for Mickie James to have a executive level role in the company, according to PWInsider.
  • A recent episode of the GAW TV podcast had Mickie James as the guest and one of the topics discussed included James’ plans for the NWA’s upcoming all-women’s pay-per-view event. James stated “I’m building a brand. Billy Corgan has been kind enough to work with me and partner with me with the NWA brand. The beautiful thing is no more golden handcuffs for Mickie James. I don’t need or want a contract. I have an opportunity to build something fresh, new, and exciting. A place where — when you were in the Indies, all you needed was that one chance or that one person who believed in you — I was so excited when I get that chance to debut on Ring of Honor and when Jeff Jarrett called me to go in for TNA pay-per-views. ‘This is my chance.’ Out of all that, it led to my next chapter and developed me. How cool is it for females to sit and learn under the tutelage of the women who have been there and done that? I want to change the way we look at women’s wrestling in a real aspect, no more novelty bullshit. #MoneyGrabs. The real respect women deserve and that the women before us deserve. Now that we’re getting it, it’s an opportunity for us to step back and we’re in it to win it. I want this to be all-inclusive and all-embracing. The only way it’ll be successful is for all of us to come together for one purpose. I’m sick of the men always running the table and ‘good ol’ boys.’ The business has evolved and wrestling has always been 10-20 years late to the party. That’s over.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • Ring of Honor recently announced that Flip Gordon vs. EC3 has been added to the card of their Best In The World 2021 event on July 11th in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Former wrestler Demolition Ax, real name Bill Eadie, reportedly is currently suffering from heart-related health issues, according to the Wrestling Observer.
  • Game Changer Wrestling announced that Matt Cardona vs. Nick Gage has been recently added to the card of their GCW Homecoming 2021 Part 1 event on July 24th in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Dark Side of the Ring drew 165,000 viewers and a 0.06 key demographic rating for their May 27th Warrior episode on VICE TV. Meltzer reported that the May 20th Collision in Korea episode drew 191,000 viewers and a 0.06 rating on the network.
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly drew a paid attendance of 3,045 for their Dominion 2021 event on June 7th in Osaka, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that NJPW officials had given permission to Lio Rush to sign an second contract with AEW. Prior to his retirement, Rush had been under contract with NJPW since this past April.
  • Dragon Gate recently announced that they have cancelled their July 24th event in Yakage, Japan due to coronavirus pandemic related reasons.