Sat. Roundup: Undertaker on Retirement Decision, Britt Baker, Bryan Danielson, NJPW, Kota Ibushi, Steve Maclin Injury, Indies


  • Friday’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a preliminary viewership of 2,345,000 viewers on FOX, according to Programming Insider.
  • Rapper Lil Uzi Vert recently released a new song and music video titled “Nakamura” which includes samples from Shinsuke Nakamura’s “The Rising Sun” entrance theme in WWE. This song was part of the recently released Pink Tapes album by Lil Uzi Vert.
  • WWE recently released a new vlog focusing on LA Knight and the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder match at today’s Money in the Bank 2023 event in London, England.
  • Friday’s WWE SmackDown show in London, England featured WWE announcing that Edge making his return to the company at next week’s SmackDown show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. This will be Edge’s first appearance in WWE since the May 12th episode of SmackDown.
  • As noted before, Shane McMahon suffered a torn quad injury during his impromptu match against The Miz at this past April’s WrestleMania 39 event in Inglewood, California. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that McMahon and one of his sons was seen earlier this week in Birmingham, Alabama for a medical checkup on the status of his injury recovery and rehab.
  • As noted before, Dakota Kai has been out of action for WWE since this past May due to a torn ACL injury. In a recent interview with Haus of Wrestling, Bayley provided an injury update on Kai stating “She’s already off her crutches. She’s already driving. She’s already squatting 315 pounds on a barbell. Do you believe that? She’s a monster. She’s a beast. She’s coming back. Honestly, I don’t really know the timeline, but probably faster than I did.
  • As noted before, former ECW and WWE wrestler Droz, real name Darren Drozdov, passed away on Friday at the age of 54. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Taz, and several others from around the wrestling world paid tribute on social media to the life and wrestling career of the late Drozdov.
  • In a recent interview with Billboard, Shayna Baszler revealed that her current entrance theme in WWE was inspired by a cover version of “God of Thunder” by KISS. Baszler stated “I’m in this tag-team right now with Ronda [Rousey], who has a very iconic entrance song, so it just makes sense that we come out to that. But as far as [my first entrance song] “Loyalty Is Everything” — if I’m being honest, I didn’t like it at first, but it actually really grew on me to the point that I almost didn’t wanna change it when it was time. I know fans really loved that song, too, because they still kind of complain about the new one, “Limb By Limb.” But the thing with “Limb by Limb” is that when I was wrestling in the indies — I’m a huge Kiss fan. They were, like, my first favorite band. My dad took me to a concert when I was real young, and I was like, ‘These guys are so cool! There’s fire!’ ‘God of Thunder’ was a song that I used as an entrance. But I needed something a lot heavier, so I found this band called EXCRUCIATION that did a cover of ‘God of Thunder’, and I came out to their song — their version of it. When I was ping-ponging with WWE about a new entrance song, I sent them this track, and if you listen to this EXCRUCIATION version of ‘God of Thunder’ and the song “Limb By Limb,” you’ll see where it comes from. It’s very much inspired by that. “God of Thunder ” — my indie theme — is very much the mood that I was talking about that I love, and feel like I’m coming out to. I had a hand in it and I like it.
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that WWE officials have held talks regarding potential plans for a Logan Paul and Butch feud to tale place after their Money in the Bank 2023 event.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that WWE officials have put a lot of their major plans on hold until after their sale to Endeavor and merger with UFC into a new company is complete. One of those major plans reportedly includes major changes to be made for their RAW brand shows.
  • In a recent interview with Metro, WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker gave his thoughts on when was the exact moment that he knew it was time for him to retire from wrestling. The Undertaker stated “In my heart, I wasn’t ready to do it but in my mind I knew I had to. It’s been a difficult transition because if I physically could, I would still be going. But I can’t put on a match the way people expect to see The Undertaker wrestle. There’s no sense in tarnishing the legacy, or cashing in on the equity that I built up. My back is completely locked up, I’ve got pain shooting down my legs. That’s when I knew I was done. It was physical, we did some really big stunts, but I shouldn’t have felt the way that I did. It was just that moment of clarity.
  • WWE filed trademarks for “Zeus” and “Nyx” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on June 27th to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, LA Knight gave his thoughts about the online criticisms of him just being an imitation of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin for his current character in WWE. Knight stated “Oh my God, man. Look, when I was in high school those guys were my bread and butter. Those are the guys that I wanted to be when I was like 16, 17 years old. I’m sure there’s — hell… my normal speech pattern everyday when I’m talking to you is somehow derived from them. Whether that’s purposeful or not, and it’s definitely not. So it’s just the fact that, man, I sat there and watched every single episode of Monday Night Raw. I had all the little VHS cassette tapes like ‘Cause Stone Cold Said So’, or ‘The Rock Says’, and stuff like that. I watched all that stuff. So man, you’re talking about formative years, very moldable years of maybe in some way have penetrated my brain in some way. But whether you want to make the comparisons — hey, I’ll tell you what. Let’s make this comparison. You want to say that I’m the Kobe to their Jordan? I’ll take it.” (Transcript h/t:


  • AEW filed a trademark for “AEW: Rise to the Top” for video games-related purposes on June 26th to the USPTO
  • The New York Comic Con recently announced that MJF will be making an appearance for the company at their New York Comic Con 2023 convention on October 13th in New York City, New York. It was also announced that MJF will be doing autograph signinsg and photo sessions at the event. It was also announced that this will be the only day that MJF will be attending for this year’s convention, which takes place from October 12th to the 15th.
  • Friday’s edition of the London Metro newspaper featured a large single page ad from AEW for their upcoming All In event this August at Wembley Stadium in London, England. This ad featured CM Punk, Samoa Joe, FTR, Kris Statlander, and PAC and the tagline of “Yes, We Really Mean Wembley Stadium.”
  • As noted before, Britt Baker was pulled from this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Hamilton, Canada due to her suffering from an illness. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that AEW officials did not find out that Baker would not be able to compete until around 20 minutes prior to the start of the show.
  • In a recent interview with the AEW Unrestricted podcast, AEW Senior Vice President Nik Sobic stated that there were around 100 different ideas for potential mini-games for the recently released AEW Fight Forever video game. Sobic stated “Not all development meetings are fun, but one of the best and most fun times was the brainstorming meeting for mini-games. We came up with 100 ideas. I pushed so hard for Shida’s slugfest. It made me happy that Adam Cole liked it too. That one was a little controversial, but it’s my favorite. I’m not capable of being unbiased on that. Why mini-games? This game is optimized for couch play. It’s awesome online and has unlimited online features, but I will tell you that the people that worked on this game are gaming nerds that have been playing games their whole lives and miss the couch play experience. Mini-games sort of scratch that itch.” (Transcript h/t:
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW and NJPW’s Forbidden Door II event did not rank among the Top 10 for searches on Google for this past Sunday.
  • As noted before, Bryan Danielson suffered a fractured right forearm injury at this past Sunday’s AEW and NJPW Forbidden Door II event in Toronto, Canada. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that prior to his injury, AEW officials had plans for a match between Danielson and Tomohiro Ishii at this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Hamilton.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that one reason why Bryan Danielson did a convulsions spot during his match with Kazuchika Okada at this past Sunday’s Forbidden Door II event was due to AEW wanting to add some realism to their matches in recent weeks. This idea reportedly to play up on people’s past real life injuries and having doctors come in during the middle of matches for added realism effect. In regards to Danielson, the idea was to play up on his past history and health issues with concussions.
  • As noted before, Fuego Del Sol’s contract with AEW expired at the end of June and left the company. In a recent interview with Fightful, Del Sol gave his thoughts about Sammy Guevara’s reaction over his departure. Del Sol stated “I’m pretty sure this man has texted me every hour on the hour since the news broke. We were both a little devastated. I’ve always tried to let him do his own thing. He’s his own star. I don’t ever want to damper that or try to pull away or try to leech off of that. But I know he’s going through his own struggles constantly. Me and him constantly talk and give each other advice and give each other ears the vent when we need to vent. It was so crazy. Because he just this past Wednesday on Dynamite. He had had a whole situation where, you know, he was like, ‘Man, I’m down. I’m down right now. I’m not where exactly I want to be right now at this moment.’ He was having a bad day. I was like, ‘Bro, you’re undeniable, don’t let one moment get you down.’ Then it turned immediately around when I got my news and he became that lending ear after me. We’re both sad. But also, he was immediately like, ‘Okay, where do we go next? What do we do next? What can we do next? How can I help you?’ That’s what he did. So I again, all the credit in the world to him and so many guys that reached out and helped me out. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say thank you to Lance Archer. He might be the monster that he is but he worked so hard to get me on as many segments as possible with him. If he needed to beat somebody up, he knew I was available to do it. I was open to doing it. He tried to get me on TV as much as possible. Shout out to Brian Cage because Brian Cage is another good friend of mine. He called me immediately. He’s tried to help me so much over my time there. The Bucks, Cody, QT. I cannot say thank you enough to so many people that helped and not only that have reached out since and given me some positive encouragement.” (Transcript h/t:
  • In a recent interview with the Insight with Chris Van Vliet podcast, Mark Henry gave his thoughts on why he decided to leave WWE in 2021 and join AEW for a coach and backstage interviewer job. Henry stated “From a business standpoint, I wanted a position in the office because I didn’t want to wrestle anymore, and they wouldn’t hire me. I didn’t have experience on the corporate side, or the business side, or the executive side, or however you want to phrase it … I was not given that opportunity.” (Transcript h/t:
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that former Ring of Honor talent Beer City Bruiser, real name Matt Winchester, underwent hip replacement surgery this past Thursday.

Impact, NJPW, Indies, & Misc. Wrestling

  • As noted before, New Japan Pro Wrestling recently declared that Shota Umino, Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji will now be known as the Reiwa Three Musketeers going forward in the company. This was for recognition of their fast rise as future top stars and as leaders of the next generation for the company’s future. Umino recently responded on Twitter stating that he was not told beforehand by NJPW officials of this decision and felt their handling was disrespectful of the Musketeers tradition in the company. Umnio stated “What exactly is this title of “Reiwa Fighting Spirit Three Musketeers”? I’m so sorry. Frankly, I don’t care and I’m not interested. I have nothing but respect for the “Three Musketeers”… Such a sudden announcement by a company is disrespectful to the “Three Musketeers” and, to be honest, it’s irritating. It was announced, but I have not consented to it in a small way, and is it named? I don’t want us to be grouped by such words. However, it is certain that we have to make New Japan Pro-Wrestling a big explosion in the pro-wrestling world with this young generation, and I still have the awareness that I will break through more than anyone in this and create a paradigm shift in the ring of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. I’ll be here forever, so that’s all.
  • Besides Umino, Tsuji also responded unfavorably on Twitter statingPresident Obari, how long will New Japan Pro-Wrestling cling to the past? Why do you want to line me up with “John’s shin biting” and “Shibata’s imitation bastard”? Aren’t they telling a youth story with two people in the same generation? Kitani, have you been watching New Japan Pro-Wrestling World recently?
  • Fred Rosser recently announced that he will be unable to make his scheduled appearance for next week’s NJPW Strong Independence Day events in Tokyo, Japan due to unforeseen circumstances beyond his control. Rosser had been originally advertised to be making an appearance but was never officially announced for a match at the events.
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that there were a lot of travel delay issues for NJPW’s talent flying out of Toronto following this past Sunday’s Forbidden Door II event in the city.
  • This past Sunday’s Forbidden Door II event for AEW and NJPW featured SANADA defeating Jungle Boy Jack Perry to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the match’s time of 10:42 was the shortest for a IWGP World title match since the Akebono vs. Brock Lesnar match in March 19, 2006.
  • Major League Wrestling recently announced that this year’s MLW Open Draft will be taking place starting at their Never Say Never 2023 event on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was also announced that the first two rounds of this year’s Open Draft will be taking place at their upcoming event and will air live on FITE+.
  • Game Changer Wrestling recently announced that this year’s GCW Homecoming events will be taking place on August 19-20 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
  • GCW also recently announced a new match for the card of their No Signal In The Hills event on August 11th in Los Angeles, California. This is a tag team match of Joey Janela & Sawyer Wreck vs. The Rejects (John Wayne Murdoch & Reed Bentley).
  • West Coast Pro Wrestling recently announced that they will be holding their first ever event in Los Angeles, California called From The West Coast With Love on September 10th.
  • GLEAT recently announced that they have pulled Komander from their events this weekend due to him currently dealing with work visa-related issues preventing his travel to Japan.
  • During Saturday’s Ver. 6 ~ 2nd Anniversary event for GLEAT in Tokyo, Japan, a video aired featuring Kota Ibushi announcing that he will be making his in-ring return to wrestling in Japan at GLEAT’s Ver. Mega event on August 4th in Tokyo. This will be Ibushi’s first match in Japan since G1 Climax 2023 Finals for NJPW in October of 2021.
  • During Saturday’s Down under Tour Day 2 event in Wagga Wagga, Australia, Impact Wrestling announced that they had pulled Steve Maclin from his scheduled match against Frankie Kazarian due to him suffering an undisclosed injury at this past Friday’s Down Under Tour Day 1 event.