Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
Former WWF booker Vince Russo – the man who uses the word ‘bro’ like most people use punctuation, and someone widely credited, at least in part, for the failures of WCW and TNA – has revealed to Fightful that he recently reached out to Vince McMahon, and Vince McMahon replied:
“I’ve reached out to Vince McMahon in the past week. He got back to me…I didn’t use the word help. You don’t tell Vince McMahon he needs help. I said ‘if you want me to contribute, I’d love to once again contribute.”
Although Russo gets a considerable amount of flack, much of which is well deserved, he was also a significant part of the hottest period in the company’s history: the Attitude Era. And in McMahon, he found a very effective creative tandem – the older Vince acting as a filter for Russo’s crazy, overbooked ideas. And perhaps with WWE’s downward ratings spiral, McMahon might be willing to try anything.
There is some good news about those declining Raw ratings, though – they’ve bottomed out. This week’s show averaged 2.61 million viewers, the same as last week. But, actually, in some ways this is worse. Raw did the same number despite no longer having competition from the NBA playoffs, is down 20% from the same time last year, and the actual rating of 1.75 – the percentage of all people watching television that night – is the second lowest in show’s history.
In your ratings, 44% of you thought the episode was poor, while 34% deemed it slightly better at AvRAWge.
Hopefully Raw will improve following this Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view, which officially kicks off The Road to Great Balls of Fire! – still an actual name being used for a pay-per-view.
Who, exactly, will face Lesnar at the June pay-per-view remains to be seen, with five men competing for the No. 1 contender spot in this Sunday’s main event, and Wrestling News World reporting officials are still going back and forth over who will win. Local advertisements might provide a clue, however, currently listing Lesnar vs Bray Wyatt for the Universal Championship at the June 26th episode of Raw in the Staples Center, Los Angeles.
This is most probably a dark match for the live audience only once Raw has gone off-air, though, as it’s very unlikely Lesnar would put his title on the line on TV just two weeks before his Great Balls of Fire ‘first Universal title defence’ promoted fight on July 9th.
Whoever ends up facing Brock at Great Balls of Fire, Dave Meltzer has reported on Wrestling Observer Radio the winner will only enter a short feud that they’ll end up losing in a one-off match. This is because WWE’s longer-term plans have Braun Strowman scheduled in to face Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Summerslam.
With the Great Balls of Fire match only being a one-off, Wrestling News World speculate that Seth Rollins is the most likely opponent. Roman Reigns is slotted in against Brock for the Wrestlemania 34 main event, Wyatt isn’t ready to lose another big match just yet and the company have larger plans for Samoa Joe and Finn Balor – which the site reports contains a multi-match Brock/Joe feud, and a long-term storyline where Finn turns heel on Lesnar, finally forming the Balor Club, which will play into a Shield reunion on the Road to Wrestlemania, setting up Brock vs Roman for that show’s main event.
Be aware, though, Wrestling News World have not had the best track record as of late, with them being seemingly wide off the mark on the Broken Hardys gimmick story. So take those plans with a pinch of fantasy booking salt.
Check back on Flickering Myth every day for round-ups of the biggest professional wrestling news…