Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
Despite his WWE return being reported as “sooner rather than later” leading up to Wrestlemania weekend, his daughter leaking that the two sides had been in talks, and him only being an hour’s drive from the event on the day, Hulk Hogan did not show up at Vince McMahon’s biggest show of the year.
It’s now been two years since WWE cut all ties with the Hulkster when audio of him using racial slurs was made public during Hogan’s sex tape scandal with Gawker, and an inevitable return to the company now might be even further in the future.
The Hulkster’s best friend forever – and business partner – Jimmy Hart recently spoke on the radio about their upcoming plans. While he answered the usual WWE return question with the usual response “never say never”, Hart also teased their next potential project: an international red and yellow bus tour!
“You’ve seen how the rock groups used to do bus tours? We’re gonna bubble-wrap one of those big buses over there and hit five or six cities during a week…maybe Australia, maybe Germany, maybe England.”
Which probably means a WWE return isn’t on the horizon anytime soon.
Randy Orton sparked a Twitter storm last weekend, retweeting a critical message on the formulaic structure of independent wrestling matches. And then when people like TJP and Bubba Ray Dudley responded, The Viper insincerely apologised by talking about how much money he makes.
The problem is, the wrestling style Orton mocked is responsible for many of the former Ring of Honor, New Japan and assorted indy stars who now share his Smackdown Live locker room. Wrestling News World are reporting – so take this with a pinch of salt – that while Randy’s comments haven’t received any repercussions from WWE officials, “he did tick off not only indie workers, but workers who battled and fought their way up onto the main roster. Especially two that are on SmackDown.”
That hasn’t phased Orton, though – lock-up – who has continued making fun of indy highspots – headlock – posing with a weirdly beardless Drew Gulak and a ‘No Fly Zone’ sign – RKO.
— Drew Gulak (@DrewGulak) May 17, 2017
New Japan and Ring of Honor star Will Ospreay also had fun with the …dive controversy – standing shooting star press – during his fantastic Best of the Super Juniors match on Wednesday – 540 corkscrew senton bomb – go watch it, because that first night is on New Japan World for free – reverse hurricanrana off a balcony – where he mocked Orton’s Viper poses and punching of the matt – 1080 flip off a ladder through a flaming table.
Whether Orton likes it or not, the influence of independent and Japanese wrestling is incredibly influential on WWE’s in-ring style. And, to some extent, their storylines.
Before last year’s brand split, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson successfully formed The Club, WWE’s knockoff of the faction they were all a part of in New Japan – the Bullet Club. But AJ wasn’t that group’s original founder. Finn Balor was.
In what is most probably his latest trolling of fans, Balor has shared this photo of himself and his good Bullet Club brothers Gallows and Anderson.
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— Finn Bálor (@FinnBalor) May 18, 2017
After all, they do say Bullet Club is 4 4 4 4 4 life.
The picture is part of a WWE website gallery of candid photoshoot images, taken of wrestlers who just happened to be around the studio, which also features real-life couple Big Cass and Carmella.
Check back on Flickering Myth every day for round-ups of the biggest professional wrestling news…