In major ROH Wrestling news, CMLL top star and original founder of the Mexican version of the Los Ingobernables faction, Rush, has signed an exclusive deal with the Philadelphia based promotion. While it’s certainly possible Rush will continue working with CMLL, as Matt Taven is a big player down there, it’s also possible that he’s now exclusive tot he American based promotion. Though, CMLL losing their top draw to a friendly promotion won’t be something they’ll enjoy. So either the CMLL/ROH deal is done, or there will still be a working relationship with Rush and CMLL. Rush highlights a class of new talent like Brody King, PCO, Tracy Williams, PJ Black and fellow lucha libre star Bandido. This has caused some shakeup for MLW, who had Rush headlining their April 4th event. They’ve now changed the main event to feature La Park II vs. Pentagon Jr.
With ROH’s current situation, it looks like Rush will be a top guy for the brand, unless he fails to connect with the audience. This is good news considering they’re now down two of their better wrestlers. Flip Gordon and Chris Sabin both suffered knee injuries, with Gordon spraining his MCL. The injury isn’t bad, and is expected to miss a month. Chris Sabin on the other hand had devastating news, as he’s again torn his right ACL. This is the second time he’s torn his right ACL and his third ACL tear in his career. He missed nearly a year after his last ACL tear in his right knee. It’s not over-dramatic to imply this may be the end of his career. ACL injuries devastate the structure of one’s knee, and considering cartilage damage goes hand in hand with ACL tears, one has to wonder how painful it is to work with minimal cartilage left. Sabin’s one of my favorite performers, so here’s hoping he doesn’t have to enter early retirement like Alex Shelley did last year.
In WWE news, the company has debuted their women’s tag team championships for the first time in 30-some-odd years. The belts were premiered with Paul Heyman and Alexa Bliss during last night’s RAW. The belts kind of borrow from their other promotion, Evolve, with four points that seem to create an atom effect. The centers are clean and predestine, and easy to see, and the center plate has the Olympic olive leaf crown surrounding it. The belts are fantastic, and while I’m not a white strap guy, I think it makes sense considering the women’s titles are white. So, just change the Intercontinental strap and we can be properly color coded.
In other WWE news, Lars Sullivan is still away from the promotion after suffering an alleged panic attack. He was not used last night and currently the company has suspended plans for him in the meantime. He has not been released, and there is apparently no desire to release him. Though, the WWE is as bad as we think, and the notion that he’ll be used properly going forward can be kissed bye-bye.
In other news, notorious teenage-chaser Jerry Lawler got a two year contract extensions, with a raise, and will be serving with JBL on the commentator table at the Royal Rumble. JBL has been away from WWE lately due to the controversy with Mauro Ranallo (even though they deny it). They’ll call the match with Michael Cole serving the play-by-play role. Though, let’s be honest, no one calls that match with play-by-play commentary.
Heading into that night was going to see Braun Strowman take on Brock Lesnar for the Universal Pictures Championship. Strowman though is apparently still recovering from his elbow surgery. They knew this was going to be the case for weeks but kept Braun on the card in order to sell as many tickets as possible; because they’re in a baseball stadium. And can’t sell out 8,000 venues for t.v. anymore. I understand the bait-and-switch. Finn Balor has been tapped to replace Braun for a variety of reasons, some of which include Lesnar wanting to work with him. While it’s unlikely Balor will win, if he did, that would mean two workers go into WrestleMania with the two biggest titles. What a grand notion.
Lastly in WWE news, Toni Storm has returned to social media following her deactivating her accounts in the wake of nude video going viral. I’m hearing that the WWE was accepting of her going off the grid, so to speak, but I believe from what I’ve heard, that the WWE more than likely asked her to reactivate her accounts after wining the NXTUK Women’s Championship. The last part is just me hazarding a guess, but it falls in line with the WWE’s constant brand model of promote-promote-promote. If one champion doesn’t promote, then it looks bad for the brand.
In Other News….
Former MLW and Lucha Underground star Shane Strickland (Killshot) is officially a free agent according to his Twitter account. Strickland is expected to join with the NXT brand in the coming weeks, following IMPACT Wrestling’s Trevor Lee who recently announced his signing.
Also, Lucha Underground star Ivelisse is calling out her bosses at Lucha Underground for refusing to release her from her contract. The Day 1/Season 1 star is apparently over her time in the promotion, despite being heavily featured during the first few seasons. She tweeted the following message;
I’ve done everything in my power to avoid having to do this but… at this point I literally have no other choice. For a bit over 1 1/2 [years] now, I’ve been battling LU to grant me my release. They convinced me to do S4 under the promise that I’d be released after the season concluded and was still unhappy. They currently are still refusing to do so despite having been told numerous times that they would. This has caused me an unbearable amount of grief for so long now, I really have no words to describe and don’t know what else to do. Being legally held hostage while Pro Wrestling is booming is a matter not to be taken lightly, especially coming from someone who has dedicated their life to their work, it’s everything to me. I am at my wits end, so at this point, regardless what happens from here on out, at the very least my story is told.
It should be noted that she is not being “held hostage”. She signed a contract. She agreed to the terms. She’s responsible for being unhappy. To blame the promotion to holding anyone to their deals is a childish move. It’s one that should garner no support, but will. That being said, I’m of the mindset if someone doesn’t want to work with me, I won’t make them. However, my opinion isn’t relevant here. Ivelisse has also gone to on to Tweet that she’ll
None of the producers, executives, or lawyers at MGM make those decisions. All contracts are controlled by the LLC – currently run by Dorian Roldan and John Fogelman.