I’ve always wondered what the actual wrestler atmosphere backstage is like in WWE. You know, apart from John Cena burying people, Chris Jericho starting fights and Sin Cara annoying everyone, how the wrestlers themselves actually talk about and discuss the creative decisions made for them by the company.
The occasional piece of frustration leaks out on Twitter, like when Summer Rae and Emmalina criticised Charlotte and Sasha Banks’ never ending feud last year, and when Rusev seemed to vent on the same few guys always getting the main event spots on Raw. But these are rare, because nobody wants to be wished well in their future endeavours. Or, even worse, enter a feud with Titus O’Neil.
Thanks to Xavier Woods’ UpUpDownDown channel, filmed in the wrestler’s natural habitat – the locker room – we have a glimpse into how several of WWE’s top stars talk about one of the most heavily-criticised creative directions in the company – the push of Roman Reigns.
While Cesaro was choosing his nickname before playing the latest episode’s game, Roman Reigns offered a suggestion from off the screen. Cesaro said that maybe he should call himself Roman Reigns, because, you know, you can’t beat Roman Reigns. Somebody else offscreen mutters, “nobody beats Roman Reigns.” And then Kevin Owens, on camera, sighs, “Don’t I know that.”
While Owens delivered the line deadpan, it was most definitely a joke, with everyone laughing – including Reigns from just a few feet away. But that the wrestlers make these jokes amongst themselves backstage shows how Vince McMahon overly protecting Roman’s character is something they talk about too. And that it was said in jest to Reigns himself, arguably shows that even Roman is tired of his own push.
If there was a Hall of Fame for backstage wrestling burns, I’d hastily induct Owen’s one into this year’s class with no build-up or storyline tie-in!
After Kurt Angle was officially announced as the first inductee into this year’s Hall of Fame on Monday, with him apparently only finding out on the day, he told Lilian Garcia on her show Making Their Way to the Ring that if he did have another match in WWE, he’d want to face off against his former TNA foe AJ Styles. Interestingly, it was only after Kurt said that when AJ tweeted:
“Congratulations to my friend @RealKurtAngle #WWEHOF2017”
So perhaps AJ is keen for that match, too.
It appears as though the decision to announce Angle’s inclusion in this year’s Hall of Fame was made very late on, potentially spurred on by 5 Star Wrestling revealing Kurt had been signed to commentate on their UK TV special on the 28th January – the day before the Royal Rumble – especially because he wasn’t amongst any of the names leaked by the very reliable PWInsider – DDP or Rick Rude – nor any of the rumoured names from Wrestling Observer Live – Christian, William Regal, IRS or the Natural Disasters.
PWInsider are now reporting that another name expected to be in this year’s class is The Glamazon Beth Phoenix, who married another Hall of Famer Edge last October.
What do you make of Kevin Owens’ shoot joke about Roman Reigns? Tell me how WWE will probably edit the sad fan guy over it in the comments down below.
You can still buy tickets for the aforementioned 5 Star Wrestling Show next Saturday on the 28th January, and you can watch it broadcast live at the same time with Rey Mysterio, Johnny Mundo, Drew Galloway and more in action on Spike TV in the UK, which can be found on channel 31 on Freeview, 160 on Sky and 154 on Virgin.