Let’s take a look at the top WWE News & Professional Wrestling stories of the day:
• WWE Not Giving A Big Push To “WOKEN” Matt Hardy?
During a recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed “WOKEN” Matt Hardy possibly not getting a big push in WWE. Below is what he said:
“In the old days of wrestling, if you had character and everything, they didn’t trademark the characters, but in television you do them. If you start a character on the television show you can’t take that character. You yourself can’t play that character on another show. It’s the people who produce the show. They have the right.
But I guess because of perhaps contract breaches and things like this, which I’m gonna guess, is the key to this and the fact that they probably financed some of those tapings and all these different things that completely change the dynamic of normal that it was becoming more obvious that they did have a case.
It’s gonna be done and probably done rather quickly and needs to be done rather quickly because boy, without it Matt was sinking. He was gonna sink bad. And at the house show they were in Salt Lake City and I mean it was heavy, heavy stuff. I’m sure on TV it’ll get stronger and stronger and probably a fairly quick morph into it and then from there a lot depends on Vince’s slotting.
I mean… I don’t say everything because there are guys who can still get over even with bad booking, without favorable booking. It’s possible. It can be a cult thing. In fact in this case very possible. But as far as how far it goes….. it’s like they’ve never… you know… Matt’s never been pushed that hard as a single and there were times when he was very hot that he wasn’t pushed that hard as a single.
Remember that period for a long time where Matt Hardy was like one of those guys that was over way, way, way more than his push? Like he got no push, but he would always stay over.
Matt had some success at certain points as a single, but never you know… the biggest success he had was the Edge thing and even in the Edge thing it was very, very clear, even though he won some of the matches, that in the end Edge was gonna win this thing.
And Matt was only in there because the thing got so hot underground that they thought they could draw money with it and then when they put the thing together people actually were interested and it really was a hot program. So that got maddest chance. But then when it was over Matt was back to whatever.
And I know that there were also times where Matt was very over where from the outside it looked like well he’s over, they should push him and they couldn’t push him because he was self-destructing. But he wasn’t self-destructing the whole time there, but there was obviously that period where he was and we haven’t heard anything bad from Matt in that situation in a long, long time. So he has seemingly completely turned his life around.
Creatively, he has done a great job with it and I’m sure that he will evolve other characters if he gets the chance to do it. I mean… the thing in TNA, when he was doing it is that he literally had free reign. I mean it wasn’t all Matt, but Matt was spearheading it and there were other people involved like Jeremy Borash and stuff, but you know it was like he got as much TV time as he needed.
I don’t see them devoting the kind of time that TNA did to this character and that’s one of the reasons the character got over big. But you know, the character is already over to an extent. I mean obviously there’s a lot of WWE fans who don’t know it, but when you see it how quickly people picked up on it. Logically, you go like it’s in TNA.
It was only seen by you know at peak 4,000 people or whatever. As far as television goes, WWE has much larger audience, yet it seems like a lot larger percentage of the WWE audience than one would think had the awareness of it.
It’s like the AJ Styles thing when he came in from New Japan and of course he had his TNA as well, but the whole mentality of AJ Styles when he came in was like – “Yah, there’ll be some fans who will be into him, but he won’t be that over to our fan base”. And then he came in and at every house show he was one of the most if not the most over guy on the show.
You just never know and the Matt Hardy thing, I think that all indications to me are the character is going to get great reactions. But also great reactions don’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a great push. So it’s going to be interesting to watch. But he’s a lot better off doing this than he was without it because without it, with Jeff being hurt, he was going nowhere.”
• Former World Champion Hints At Leaving WWE Soon
During a recent appearance on “E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness” podcast, former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler hinted at leaving WWE soon due to his frustrations.
Below is what Ziggler said:
“About two and a half years ago I was debating… I don’t know what I have left here. I can help… keep helping people out, but I feel like a lot of my cries are falling on deaf ears to either have a change or kind of go away for a couple months and it wasn’t happening.
So I go – “Okay, when this one’s up, I’m out of here for now”. Surely I love it. They treat me well. They pay me well. But man, there’s just something where I go….It’s great and I get on the live events. I get to do whatever the hell I want and it’s awesome and fun and I go – “I feel like I need to go away”. I hate that I have to go away, but I have to.
And about two-and-a-half years ago this happened and I said, “Listen, thanks for everything. I got to get the hell out of here. You guys won’t give me a couple months off to just have them forget that I lose 99 times out of 100. I just need them to forget.
I don’t need to win a bunch. I need them to forget” and they would say no and I go – “Okay, I’m gonna have to do it myself then” and two and a half years ago I went to do it and they asked me to stay and help out. I said all right I’m in. So I have a very short amount of time left to figure out.
Yes, I want to do that again or if there’s something to reach for. All I can reach for is having fun matches and tearing it down on the weekends because it doesn’t seem to be a specific great prize to be reaching for here that I can attain so you can be patted on the back and be told – “you’re our guy, you’re our Shawn Michaels, you’re so good at this, we can’t do this without you”. But then watch a bunch of people not in that position kind of just go straight by.
So there’s no feeling hurt. This is a show business thing. I love it. And in a very short time I have to decide if I need to go away, go do my own thing or find a different role here because gatekeeper is a great spot for someone who hasn’t been World Champion, who doesn’t excel at seven out of the eight possible things that you can do here as a Sports Entertainer and it’s really weird that I can’t get more, but trust me when I say I’m knocking on the door every other day and almost demanding it.
So we will see what happens in the next very short while.”
• Promo For Clash of Champions 2017 Main Event
Below is the promo for Clash of Champions 2017 main event for the WWE Championship between “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles & “The Modern Day Maharaja” Jinder Mahal:
The #Phenomenal @AJStylesOrg will defend his #WWETitle against The #ModernDayMaharaja @JinderMahal at #WWEClash of Champions! #RAW pic.twitter.com/H6x1va0g0G
— WWE (@WWE) December 5, 2017
Below is the updated match-card for Clash of Champions 2017:
– WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
– Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn with Shane McMahon as the Special Guest Referee (If Owens & Zayn lose, they’ll be fired from WWE)
– Lumberjack Match For The SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Natalya
– United States Championship Match: Baron Corbin (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
– SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. Rusev & Aiden English
• Vince McMahon Not Impressed With Former WWE Champion’s Ring Work
Word going on is that Vince McMahon wasn’t impressed with former WWE Champion Bray Wyatt’s ring work on last week’s Raw during his match with Matt Hardy.
Vince wasn’t impressed with his physical condition as he looked “blown up” during the match and he looked sloppy in the match.
• Roman Reigns Thanks John Cena For Taking Him To His Level
During the recent “Straight To The Source” episode with special guest Roman Reigns, Reigns thanked John Cena for taking him to his level. You can watch it below:
"He brought me up and then when we get in the ring… That's my playground!" –@WWERomanReigns @WWEGraves #StraightToTheSource pic.twitter.com/rjLS7IC8xT
— WWE (@WWE) December 5, 2017
• Cody Rhodes To Announce 10,000+ Seat Venue For Self-Financed Wrestling Show In 2 Weeks
Below is what former WWE Superstar and current ROH World Champion Cody Rhodes said about his self-financed wrestling show:
“We’ll have a date and a place within two weeks. That’s why I went ahead and commented on the original story, because it’s far enough along in the process that people need to know it’s happening.
I was confident enough to say let’s do it. Matt and Nick were confident enough to say let’s do it, but this is something that hasn’t been done. A lot of things have to happen. I think I’m most excited about the creation process. Putting this together with those two guys myself.
Some of the stuff that we’ve already got on board – not talent-based, but as far as people who are involved with this and people who have put some confidence in us, it’s just crazy.”
• Raw Loses 700,000+ Viewers Between The First & Third Hour Of Raw
This week’s episode of Raw, which featured two title matches, drew 2.81 million viewers. This is up from previous week’s 2.76 million viewers.
It should be noted that the first hour of Raw, which featured Roman Reigns defending his Intercontinental Championship against Jason Jordan, drew 3.15 million viewers. On the other hand, the third hour of Raw, which featured Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins challenging The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) for the Raw Tag Team Titles, drew 2.43 million viewers.
This means that Raw lost over 700,000 viewers between the first & third hour. Below are the results from the show:
– Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns def. Jason Jordan to retain the Title.
– Paige def. Sasha Banks
– Drew Gulak def. Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Tony Nese
– Braun Strowman attacked Elias
– Asuka def. Alicia Fox
– Finn Bálor def. Bo Dallas
– Matt Hardy sentenced Bray Wyatt to “deletion”
– Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus def. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins to retain the Titles.
Below are the top 10 moments from this week’s Raw:
• Goldberg’s Possible WWE Return Date
WWE officials are in talks with WCW Legend and former WWE Universal Champion Bill Goldberg for a return to WWE programming and a possible Hall of Fame induction during the WrestleMania 34 weekend.
Current talks are for him to return on Raw’s 25th anniversary episode, which airs on January 22nd and will also feature The Undertaker’s first appearance on WWE programming since his WrestleMania 33 loss to Roman Reigns.
• Sting Reveals If He Has Any Complaints Regarding His WrestleMania Match With Triple H, Still Wants To Face The Undertaker
Old School WCW Legend & WWE Hall of Famer Sting did a Q&A session at Wales Comic Con. Below are the highlights:
It has been reported that you held off getting neck surgery in order to have one more match. What is the story?
“I have never said ‘one more match’ ever. I’d like to have one more match, I’d like to have that Undertaker match. The only reason I held off on the surgery is because I had guys like Stone Cold saying don’t do it. I don’t have any side effects? I can still work out and it doesn’t bother me, I don’t get a sore neck from sleeping or anything so why would I get surgery? If you don’t need it, don’t do it.”
If you were going to return to WWE, which persona would you be?
“I can’t pull off Surfer Sting anymore as I don’t have enough hair on my head. Probably Crow Sting or Joker Sting.”
What is your favorite incarnation of Sting?
If WWE asked you to work a program with a young up and coming talent who would you pick?
“Bray Wyatt, I like him. I know he’s not young but he has character, it’s kinda old school and I like that.”
What is your personal take on the way your WrestleMania match with HHH was booked? Many believe you were screwed, were you?
“No. I have no complaints. It was WrestleMania. You had DX, you had the NWO. It was surreal. A great moment and great memories. No complaints from me.”
Why didn’t you get a return match with HHH?
“I think we got everything out in that match. I don’t think there was a need for it. We both got everything out in that one match.”
What were the plans for you after your WWE Title match with Seth Rollins?
“I don’t know, I don’t think they really had any plans to be honest. I had my plans, I wanted that match with Taker and would have done my best to make it happen.”
How much creative control did you have? Is there anything that you have had to do that you didn’t want to do and / or anything you wanted to do but never got chance to?
“I’m sure that there is plenty that I wanted to do like the Taker match for example. As for things that I didn’t want to do – I just didn’t do them. If I didn’t wanna do something I would find an alternative, better thing to do.”
• Two More Top Impact Wrestling Stars Leaving Soon?
Former TNA World Heavyweight Champion James Storm recently left Impact Wrestling. According to the Wrestling Observer, two more top Impact Wrestling stars might be leaving the company soon when their contract expires – Bobby Lashley & Ethan Carter III.
• Raw Women To Make History This Thursday At A WWE Live Event
At Thursday’s WWE Live Event in Abu Dhabi, Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss & Sasha Banks will make history when they wrestle in the first ever WWE women’s match in that country.
• Former World Champion Disqualified From Working For WWE
Former WWE Champion Rob Van Dam filed for a divorce with his ex-wife Sonya. RVD wants to pay less money to Sonya than she is demanding because he can no longer make good money in the Wrestling Business.
The reason behind RVD not being able to make good money is that he was disqualified from working for the WWE after he suffered a concussion, which resulted in visual impairment.
WWE isn’t renewing RVD’s merchandising contract either and this has resulted in RVD making way less money than he used to. RVD noted that he has aged out of the business, while his ex-wife is still capable of doing a job and earning herself.
• NXT Wrestlers Suffer Injuries This Past Weekend
Aleister Black and No Way Jose suffered injuries this past weekend at NXT Live Events. However, these were just minor injuries and nothing serious. Officials still prevented them from competing at Saturday’s Live Event as a precaution.
• Top UFC Heavyweight Fighter Wants To Fight Brock Lesnar – Says He’s Stronger Than Lesnar & Will Deal With Him Easily
Top UFC Heavyweight Fighter Francis Ngannou, who recently knocked out MMA Legend Alistair Overeem this past Saturday at UFC 218 PPV (you can watch it below in the article), wants to fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion and the current WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar.
Below is what Ngannou said about facing Lesnar during his appearance on the Top Turtle MMA podcast:
“I’d always like to see the match between me and Brock Lesnar. Two big dudes. I like that matchup. I’m excited for that kind of match as a fan. … I want to see that match. He’s big. Huge, as you say. But he’s not stronger than me.
I’m stronger than him. I’m the best striker in the heavyweight division and the more powerful guy. I’m also a talented guy and I will deal with that very easy.”
Ngannou will likely face the current UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic next for the Title and below is what he said about this potential fight:
“I always predict KO.
If he tries to stand up with me, he will not stand up too long. And I think he will probably try something. He’s a good striker, but he doesn’t know how dangerous I am.”
You can watch Ngannou’s brutal KO of Overeem from UFC 218 below:
• Shield Powerbombs Raw Star Through A Table After Raw (Video)
Below is a video of The Shield powerbombing Raw Tag Team Champion Sheamus through a table after Raw went off the air:
The Shield powerbombs Sheamus through a table after Raw goes off the air. pic.twitter.com/07fMFNqKW6
— World Wrestling News (@WWENewsMafia) December 6, 2017