Let’s start with the WWE news. The current plan according to Dave Meltzer is to pit Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch at WrestleMania. No word on what title, if any, will be on the line but this seems to be the WWE’s best pitch for a potential female main event. Meltzer maintains it’s always possible for the WWE to add Charlotte Flair to the match.
Meltzer claims that Natalya was planned to be involved in the top women’s match at WrestleMania against Rousey until her father passed away. While it’s obvious that she’s far more sympathetic now after a real life tragedy, it does still suck that her father’s passing is the alleged reason why she’s not getting a huge opportunity.
This may be a minor thing or more of a sign to how needed Daniel Bryan really is to the WWE, but fans piled out of the house show last night in Chicago after Bryan retained. He was in a triple threat cage match against Mustafa Ali, replacing AJ Styles and The Miz. The match ended and fans started to leave; despite the main event not even going on yet. The main event was Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, though some fans alleged that no main event was expressly announced. Still, to hear that fans were leaving before the Women’s title match had even been defended, be it announced prior or not, shows me that Becky Lynch’s drawing power is over hyped. If Stone Cold didn’t wrestle yet on a card, would you leave, or would you wait for Stone Cold? Exactly.
More cause for concern, little used, and uber attractive Mandy Rose is being eyed by Vince McMahon for a big push in 2019. I bet it’s not because she’s blonde and pretty. Nope. The Observer claims that this is in line with how they wanted to push Lana before dropping that idea. Remember when Lana was must see t.v.? Yoko.
In IMPACT Wrestling news, the company continues in their attempt to rebound after the disaster that was the Pursuit Channel announcement. Scott D’Amore recently did an interview and he revealed some unique things. Firstly, the idea of Chris Jericho in IMPACT remains a possibility that they’re teasing;
One thing Chris has proven in his very successful career is that you can’t predict what he’s going to do. Chris has been wonderfully supportive of myself, Don [Callis] and Impact Wrestling.
…It’s always great to have a guy at this level who’s in your corner. If the stars ever align, who knows? I certainly can’t promise he’ll be there but can’t rule it out so people are going to have to tune in on Pursuit [Channel] and all of our other great partners around the world, digitally, and see what 2019 holds.
As for Pursuit, D’Amore sees a massive positive being on the channel (for however long that lasts), saying;
One of the things you might see is that we’re going to have a little more freedom to take the product in different areas that we haven’t been able to take it so far. POP TV has been very supportive, but they have a lot of restrictions on what can and can’t be done on their network. Pursuit, while still being a channel that pursues family programming, they are a little more open to ideas as to what we can do content-wise.
Don Callis also got in on the action and on his Killing the Town podcast got really in-depth about how he felt about being on Purusit, saying;
This week we announced our move from Pop TV which was a great partner for us. A lot of fans thought, ‘Wow, you guys should be on a different network with a different demographic’ so we announced this week we’re moving to Pursuit which is an exciting thing for me. When you talk about how you deal with your content as a company because our parent company Anthem owns not only the Fight Network and Game TV, they also own a significant stake in Pursuit. It’s a great strategic move for us, and I think people are going to love to see a sexier, edgier, maybe even a little more hardcore IMPACT Wrestling. I’m really, really pumped about that.
In Ring of Honor news, two big names who look to be (and are) done with the promotion are Christopher Daniels and former producer BJ Whitmer. Daniels is a free agent and actively taking indy dates at the moment, while Whitmer quit his job as a producer for ROH last week. The Observer notes that both men are being eyed by the new All Elite Wrestling promotion. Insiders are talking about talent being eyed by the promotion and SoCal Uncensored is on the short list. Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian and Daniels are three names the promotion wants, and it looks like Daniels would serve in an agent role while Whitmer, if he signed, would serve as the point man in the Gorilla position. Whitmer also took on the role as Bernard the Business Bear, a staple with Cody Rhode’s time in Ring of Honor.
Turning our focus to New Japan, the group is moving forward towards 2019 and seemingly bracing for the departure of Kenny Omega; who is more than likely on his way to All Elite Wrestling. To cushion the blow, Hiroshi Tanahashi was rewarded with a big new contract by NJPW. Tanahahsi posted the following message on Twitter;