Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
Luke Harper Breaks The Streak
There are many well-known streaks in professional wrestling – the Undertaker’s 21 straight victories at Wrestlemania, Raw’s run of horrible episodes from mid-November to March this year – but another one has come to an end: Luke Harper’s ‘You Know What That Means’ run.
Harper hasn’t used his Twitter account for anything else since Halloween last year, tweeting the day of the week and ‘You know what that means’ every day for the last 226 days. Until yesterday, where the Smackdown wrestler and sometimes actor promoted his new horror film Mohawk screening at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.
Fantasia Film Festival.
— . (@LukeHarperWWE) June 14, 2017
Thank you, Harper. The streak is over.
But congratulations to WWE for keeping their run of lowest Raw ratings ever alive in 2017!
…oh no wait, that’s a bad thing. I’m revoking that ‘congratulations’.
This week’s Raw averaged just 2.53 million viewers, the second lowest in its modern history according to F4WOnline. The episode had strong competition against the NBA Playoffs, which did a staggering 24.47 million.
In your ratings, 44% of you thought the show was AvRAWge, while 36% agreed with me at Poor.
Samoa Joe Backstage Plans
One positive coming out of Monday’s episode, though, was the terrific opening segment – a pull apart brawl between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe. While Raw’s first hour only drew 2.77 million viewers, the Brock vs Joe video clip uploaded to WWE’s YouTube channel currently has a massive 4.5 million views – over 3 million of those coming in just the first 24 hours. This is considerably more than WWE’s Raw clips usually get, and could mean good things for Samoa Joe’s backstage plans.
Joe was never meant to face Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire – yep, they’re still going with that name – it was Braun Strowman who was being built up. But Strowman got hurt, so his match was moved to Summerslam. Joe would then get a ‘one-and-done’ feud with Lesnar in the meantime.
But then Joe had one of the best Raw segments of the year on last week’s episode, menacingly choking Paul Heyman out in the middle of the ring. CageSideSeats started reporting a rumour that if fans got invested in the storyline, WWE officials are open to extending the feud past Great Balls of Fire.
CageSideSeats now claim the success of Joe and Brock’s brawl clip on YouTube has become a topic of discussion backstage in WWE, and there could be an even bigger angle set to follow it.
Braun Strowman Cleared To Return?
Speaking of the Monster Among Men, PWInsider is reporting that Braun Strowman has been medically cleared to return to the ring! Unless…he isn’t.
Strowman had to undergo elbow surgery last month, which WWE claimed would put him out of action for 6 months. In reality, the procedure was much less severe, with the actual recovery time being 4-8 weeks. WWE said it was longer so when Braun made his shock return, it would make him appear even more superhuman – see: Cena, John.
Or, rather, you can’t see: Cena, John.
But although PWInsider say they’ve heard from “multiple sources” he’s been medically cleared, Ryan Satin over at Pro Wrestling Sheet tweeted:
Just read an incorrect report on Braun. While he IS close to coming back, my sources say Strowman has NOT been cleared for return yet.
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) June 13, 2017
Wrestling News World claim the answer is somewhere in between – Braun is cleared to return to the ring for training, but he hasn’t been medically cleared to wrestle, as they’re still working out how to reinsert him into Raw’s main event picture.
Check back on Flickering Myth every day for round-ups of the biggest professional wrestling news…