Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
How TJP Got His Name
You might’ve noticed in recent weeks that Cruiserweight competitor TJ Perkins started going by the much faster to say abbreviation TJP – meaning Cruiserweight matches on Raw can now be even shorter. But apparently word efficiency isn’t the only reason behind the name change.
On a recent episode of the Bryan and Vinny Show, Bryan Alvarez claimed TJP is now so named because Vince McMahon hates the restaurant chain Perkins:
“Vince apparently HATES “Perkins”. He hates it, and he thinks it sucks…and he thinks that if people hear TJ Perkins, they’re gonna think of the f****** restaurant. So now he’s TJP.”
This is yet another example of Vince’s food preferences potentially affecting WWE programming – with Chris Jericho revealing last week that his Wyatt Family / Shawn Michaels pitch never got anywhere because McMahon’s steak was too tough #BadCow.
TJP himself, though, has cleared up the situation on Twitter:
Actually I just asked to be called TJP. Not very complicated. https://t.co/SLkXP8GCEY
— ??TJ Perkins?? (@MegaTJP) June 9, 2017
Going by the McMahon feeding stories, and the quality of last night’s Monday Night Raw, Vince must’ve gotten very, very hungry after booking the episode’s first segment.
John Cena To Return As Free Agent?
The rest of last night’s Raw – watch my review – failed to follow the brilliant pull-apart brawl between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe that opened the show. But there was at least one moment of intrigue, when WWE ran a promo hyping the return of John Cena.
Cena has been on a WWE hiatus since Wrestlemania 33 to shoot the second series of reality show American Grit, and star in comedy film The Pact. He’s being advertised for a 4th July return to Smackdown Live – which Sportskeeda claim is to help the typically low holiday rating – but Raw’s promos have now started promoting him with a new caveat: “Free Agent John Cena”.
— WWE (@WWE) June 13, 2017
This ties in with a report from PWInsider that was published earlier that day, where creative is currently pitching for Cena to be a “free agent” in WWE, allowing him to go back and forth between Raw and Smackdown.
If true, this is how the brand split ends – WWE already growing tired of the concept’s restraints, abandoning the idea in all but name.
Broken Matt Hardy Coming To WWE?
Following last night’s episode of Raw, WWE uploaded “Reborn by Fate: The Hardy Boyz Interview” on the Network; a 15 minute combination of unseen footage from Matt & Jeff’s Wrestlemania 33 return, and a sitdown chat with Corey Graves – where they spoke about a bunch of run-of-the-mill topics like Matt wanting to be WWE Champion, Jeff wanting to do a Hell in a Cell and THE LEGAL SITUATION AROUND TNA IMPACT WRESTLING OWNING THE RIGHTS TO THEIR BROKEN UNIVERSE CHARACTERS!
For a promotion that has never directly addressed Matt & Jeff’s Broken run in TNA, Graves just dropping the ‘elephant in the room’ question was, well, DELIGHTFUL. And even more so, was Matt’s reply to whether we’d see the characters in WWE:
“It’s still within me, it’s still contained, and I think when the time is right, I will unleash it again…When it happens – I’m not even gonna say if – when it happens, it’s gonna be the most exciting thing to hit WWE programming in a long long time. We’re gonna keep people guessing.”
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