Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
While Kenny Omega is kicking Adam Cole to the curb and replacing him with Marty Scurll in the Bullet Club, Finn Balor appears to have been laying the groundwork for his own new Balor Club addition – WWE reporter/interviewer Cathy Kelley, with the two being spotted HOLDING HANDS IN PUBLIC!
— Iki Akata (@TheRageInMadnes) May 17, 2017
As fun as who’s dating who gossip can be in WWE, I’m more interested in Balor’s long-distance relationships. Namely, the one with the promotion that made his name, New Japan Pro Wrestling, which Finn paid tribute to on Twitter as their Best of the Super Juniors 2017 tournament got underway. Look – a Zack Sabre Jr. in the wild.
— Finn Bálor (@FinnBalor) May 17, 2017
In the tournament’s first night, Bullet Club’s newest member Marty Scurll made his New Japan debut taking on Will Ospreay in a fantastic match, and Dragon Lee vs Hiromu Takahashi in a just-as-excellent main event.
With so much great wrestling going on in Japan, it’s only a matter of time before WWE starts to snap up their various top stars – like one of the biggest names in women’s wrestling Io Shirai signing with Vince McMahon’s promotion.
Shirai attended a Performance Center tryout in March, which WWE tried to keep a secret, removing all photos of her from the event’s accompanying article on their website. She will join fellow former-Stardom wrestler Kairi Hojo after both initially turned down contracts from WWE last year.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer is reporting one of WWE’s more ridiculous demands of their new signees – apparently telling Hojo, who has arguably the best top rope elbow drop since Randy Savage, which is the move she’s best known for, that’s Bayley’s move, so she needs to come up with a new finisher.
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Meltzer also reports that while Shirai has no current start date, Hojo is expected to feature in WWE’s upcoming Women’s Tournament on the Network. Which brings us to…
…returning legend Jim Ross and his plans within WWE.
JR first re-appeared on WWE programming to call Wrestlemania 33’s main event of Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker, and it was soon revealed he’d signed a two year deal with the company.
Good Old JR has already been announced as the lead announcer for both Friday night’s UK Championship special on the WWE Network alongside Nigel McGuinness, and he’ll also join the commentary team for Saturday’s NXT TakeOver: Chicago UK title match between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne.
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) May 15, 2017
And here’s where those new female signees comes in. Cage Side Seats are reporting a rumour – so take this with a pinch of salt – that JR will likely be the lead commentator for the Women’s Tournament, which PWInsider is reporting will first start taping in mid-July, to culminate in a live special on August 29th.
Smackdown can’t stop its worrying ratings decline, with this week’s episode drawing its lowest audience of the year so far, and the third lowest since going live with the brand split, with just 2.17 million viewers. The only two episodes lower were ones that went up against last year’s presidential debates.
You weren’t that impressed either, with 60% of your rating the episode Smack Bang in the Middle, and 25% thinking it slightly worse at Ellsworthy.
Check back on Flickering Myth every day for round-ups of the biggest professional wrestling news…