WWE: WWE Reportedly to Use Smaller Stage Setups for Shows Going Forward, Damian Priest on WWE World Title Victory, More News

WWE Reportedly to Use Smaller Stage Setups for WWE Shows Going Forward

WWE reportedly will be using smaller stage setups for their RAW and SmackDown television shows and Premium Live Events going forward, according to PWInsider.

Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that the smaller stage setups used by WWE for their RAW and SmackDown shows over WrestleMania 40 weekend will be the new norm going forward for WWE shows. Johnson reported that the reason is due to Endeavor officials rolling back certain aspects of WWE production in favor of adding more fans into the arenas for shows.

Johnson reported that WWE’s upcoming SmackDown show at Madison Square Garden on June 28th is also currently scheduled to feature a smaller production setup compared to past years shows at the venue.

Johnson also reported that there may be exceptions to this over time but this will be one of the changes for WWE as part of the current Endeavor ownership era.

Damian Priest Comments on His WWE World Title Victory at WrestleMania 40

A recent episode of the WWE The Bump show featured Damian Priest as the guest. One of the topics discussed included Priest’s thoughts about a recent tweet he posted thanking his fans in Puerto Rico following his WWE World Heavyweight Championship victory at WrestleMania 40.

“Knowing that somebody from whatever background, whatever culture, you can achieve success and you can live out your dreams. I am the example. For me, and my little island in Puerto Rico, it makes me proud that I can say I’m the second in history. It’s been 50 years since we had a Puerto Rican champion. Just saying that out loud, oh my god. It’s wild to me. I appreciate the support, I can’t thank our fans enough. Especially our Latinos. Because I speak specifically of Puerto Rico because I’m Puerto Rican, but I’m a proud Latino. And I’m proud to represent and I hope that the culture is proud of me to be one of theirs. This means the world to me.”

Priest also gave his thoughts about if his title victory was also a win for Judgement Day and his belief that Judgement Day is one of the best wrestling factions of all-time.

“Absolutely. I talk about representing culture and my background, but I also represent the Judgment Day. We all represent each other. But winning the world title means a lot for us. It solidifies the group. We have Rhea, the women’s world champion, me, the men’s world champion. I think you look at the history of factions, where does that put the Judgment Day? We’ve had undisputed [tag] titles, we’ve had North American Titles, now we have world titles. I don’t know see how we’re not in the conversation for one of the best factions of all time.”

Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com, Fightful.com

WWE News & Notes

As noted before, WWE had recently announced that a new behind-the-scenes documentary based on WrestleMania 40, titled WrestleMania XL Behind the Curtain, would be released this past Wednesday, which ended up not taking place. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that the reason for the release delay was due to WWE officials wanting to add footage from this past weekend’s event for the documentary. It was reported that it is currently not known when this documentary will be released.

Tampa Florida Judo and Mixed Martial Arts school announced that Shayna Baszler recently received her black belt in judo.

As noted before, Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Charleston, West Virginia featured AEW airing never before seen backstage CCTV footage of the infamous backstage altercation between Jack Perry and CM Punk at this past August’s All In event. Punk recently responded on Instagram with a photo of former United Stated President George W. Bush standing before a banner that read “Mission Accomplished.”

Sports Video Group reported that WWE recently launched a new production facility in Connecticut that was stated to “give both the WWE and external clients new opportunities for production in the New York Tri-State Area.”

Lightshed Partners’ Brandon Ross reported that Netflix aired this past weekend’s WrestleMania 40 event live in New Zealand. Ross reported that this was something that was not advertised ahead of time for New Zealand residents and likely was meant to be a test of their service for live events.

Prior to this past Sunday’s WrestleMania 40 Night 2 event, Drew McIntyre stated on Twitter that UPS had lost his ring gear and mocked CM Punk asking if he could borrow Punk’s gear since Punk wouldn’t be needing it over him being injured. WWE special effects artist Jason Baker revealed this past Tuesday on Twitter that McIntyre legitimately had lost his gear. Baker also stated that his wife Mindy stayed up all night on Saturday to make new gear in time for McIntyre to use for his match at this past Sunday’s event.

This past weekend’s WrestleMania 40 event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania featured multiple references by WWE of them being in a new era, called both the “Triple H Era” and “Paul Levesque Era.” Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that this was a very deliberate move by WWE officials to disassociate the company away from Vince McMahon. WWE officials reportedly wanted to make it clear to WWE fans that McMahon was fully gone and had no pathway to return. It was also reported that WWE officials current plans are to move away from the term “sports entertainment” to describe the company as part of the recent abandoning of many of McMahon’s previous “standards and rules” for the company.

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Dustin Rhodes gave his thoughts about his brother Cody’s Undisputed WWE Championship victory at WrestleMania 40 and his star evolution in WWE. Rhodes stated “Watching Cody, that was emotional. I enjoyed the ride they all took us on. I watch everything and I study everything, and seeing him perform at such a high level–at the top, two nights in a row–it’s truly amazing. Cody pulled it off, and it was an incredible feeling. I’m very proud of him. He’s a superstar that has turned into a mega star.

In a recent interview with the AEW Unrestricted podcast, former WWE VP of Global Television Production and current AEW co-Executive Producer and Senior Production Executive Mike Mansuray gave his reasons why WWE’s production missed the shot of the titantron for AJ Styles official WWE debut at Royal Rumble 2016. Mansuray stated “This was something I was laughing about with our Director (at AEW), Andrew Thomas. So when I was on the other side, there’s the famous thing that internet wrestling fans scream about still to this day, A.J. Styles, not seeing his name at the Royal Rumble when he debuted in 2016… But that was one of those things where we couldn’t rehearse it in the afternoon, wanted to keep it very much lock and key. Our Director at the time didn’t know it was gonna happen so in fairness to him, he didn’t know it was the ‘I Am Phenomenal’ was gonna reveal to say ‘A.J. Styles’. I was sitting in the truck with our director Andrew Thomas and we’re just kind of going over notes, etcetera, and I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t know why this just stuck out in my brain,’ because the one thing I had talked to Mercedes (Moné) about was we weren’t gonna reveal her name on her entrance graphics until she had started rapping. We wanted to get the ‘CEO’ chant over which we did and really build up the anticipation and the drama so that there was the initial pop. Then there’s the, yup, this is it, it’s her and then you see her, right? It’s just kind of, you’re building, right? You’re adding layers to what you’re trying to do. I sat with Andrew and we went through it and I was like, ‘Alright, this is the plan of how we’re gonna do it and we’re gonna reveal her name so that you get the, yeah!! And then when she comes out, yeah!!’ That story though just lives so close and I was like, alright, let’s make sure we dot that ‘I’ and cross that ‘T’ on our end just to make sure we cover because that was gonna be a moment, right? Sure enough it was. She came out, she took it all in and it was all genuine.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)