Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
The Raw and Smackdown rosters are currently touring around Europe like rockstars, breaking kayfabe on Internet and being interviewed by all us pasty British folk.
The latest is Inside the Ropes’ Kenny McIntosh asking AJ Styles about WWE’s recently announced upcoming pay-per-view name, to which the Face That Built That Place responded:
“Do we really have a pay-per-view called Great Balls of Fire? Wow. Huh. Err…is there gonna be pianos everywhere?”
Kenny later tweeted an image of Styles’ expression when he first found out the name.
This's LEGIT AJ Styles reaction when I told him WWE had a PPV coming in July called 'Great Balls of Fire' Footage coming tomorrow on ITR YT! pic.twitter.com/kVZbPW346H
— Kenny McIntosh (@KennyMc1985) May 4, 2017
Glad it’s not just us who thinks it’s totally ridiculous.
The first ever three-time Ring of Honor World champion Adam Cole may soon be on his way to WWE.To room with Kevin Owens again.
Although he’s still scheduled to face Hiroshi Tanahshi at next weekend’s War of the Worlds pay-per-view on May 12th, and is expected to wrestle more dates with ROH, his contract with the company reportedly expired last weekend – meaning he’s currently one of the hottest free-agents in wrestling.
The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting, “WWE has been hot after Cole to be a top star in the NXT brand for a long time, a deal that’s been held up by his ROH contract” but “everybody wants Adam Cole right now” with New Japan and Impact Wrestling also said to have made offers.
But an immediate NXT debut might not be as straightforward as you would think. Ring of Honor recently warned WWE about contract tampering, as it’s thought Vince McMahon’s company approached Kyle O’Reilly, Donovan Dijak and others while they were still signed to ROH. This means that a number of wrestlers who have left Ring of Honor over the last few months have been stuck in a form of indy limbo – which sounds like a terrible gimmick match – until the legal situation cools off.
Once WWE feel comfortable approaching the ex-ROH group, though, a sudden influx of Cole, O’Reilly, Dijak and Bobby Fish into NXT could start another golden age of WWE developmental.
But it isn’t all one way traffic. The former Cody Rhodes in WWE – now just called Cody because of more legal blah blah blah – has reportedly signed with Ring of Honor, according to Wrestling Inc. His new contract means he won’t be able to appear on television for any other US promotions. This protects his work in non-televised promotions like PWG, and overseas dates in New Japan, but means he can no longer appear for Impact Wrestling.
WWE’s Payback pay-per-view on Sunday night was surprisingly watchable given its terrible build on the go-home episode of Raw. WrestleTalk viewers even gave it an overwhelming 62% Cor rating. But there was criticism: the comically awkward House of Horrors match, and that Bayley lost the title in her hometown of San Jose.
According to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the decision to put the title on Alexa Bliss was in constant flux, changing “four times over the last 30 or so hours before match time.” Bayley was apparently booked to win as of Saturday afternoon, but the result changed three more times the day of the show.
Check back on Flickering Myth every day for round-ups of the biggest professional wrestling news…