It’s not me, it’s you. There, I said it. Throughout the years the WWE has upset talent to the point that said talent either left at the end of their contract or were quietly pushed aside to enjoy their ‘future endeavours’. But alas, now a new, popular, and more importantly deep-pocketed company has arisen and threatens the very monopoly that the WWE had on the North American market. Yes, All-Elite Wrestling is alive and well, and with such WWE divorcee’s as Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley, has established itself as a solid number two promotion on network television. Now, let’s rattle down those most likely to head for WWE divorce court and show up at the hotter, younger competition.
Poor old Dash and Dawson. Fisting their way (get your mind out of the gutter) in an industry full of flips. You’d have thought they were perfect for WWE’s counter-programming, but alas, they find themselves continually reciting the ‘we’ve been wronged for too long’ promo that never goes anywhere. All this along with the WWE allegedly throwing money at the problem, this is the absolute definition of ‘its not me, it’s you’ in the sense that the WWE doesn’t do tag team wrestling correctly. Truthfully, right now neither does AEW but they’re trying and Dash and Dawson as the now trademarked ‘Shatter Machine’ could be a well needed shot in the arm. Not to mention that they could finally get their hands on those pesky Young Bucks.
I was in attendance at WrestleMania 33 when the Hardy’s returned ‘home’, only for Matt to realise that his gimmick wasn’t the only thing that was broken. Broken homes aside, Matt is in the best shape he has been in in quite some time and has been using his social media platform to ‘Free The Delete’. Unfortunately, the only thing it appears to be freeing is WWE’s ability to do as they please with his character, jobbing him out. The ‘Broken/Woken’ gimmick was a bust in the WWE, much like many people thought it would be, but hopes lie with he creative paradise of AEW, where he’ll most likely be saddled with the head of the Dark Order…this man just can’t get a break.
Okay fine he hasn’t exactly been talked about when the talk of AEW comes up as he seems to be happy with his current role/salary in the E. But come on, the ‘Swiss Cyborg’ deserves so much more than what he is currently getting, in a ‘sinking very quickly’ faction with Shinsuke Nakamura and his translator Sami Zayn. The man looks like a superhero, speaks 20 languages (including Dothraki), and can do things most men can’t in terms of feats of strength. He’d be great in All Elite from the pure athleticism perspective alone, although, let’s face it, its all about how you connect to your audience and AEW already has slight issues on that front with their talent. But with the wealth of experience, he’d bring, Cesaro would be great. But it’s not going to happen so meh!
Yeah yeah, Io Shirai’s first destination is most likely not AEW, but interestingly, she is one of the few female competitors who have been openly unhappy with her booking, ironically in NXT. Stardom who are under new management are preparing for a big year, with the promotion allegedly putting a lot of money into talent and promotion. Apparently they want Shirai and Kairi Sane to kick start this, and they are willing to offer big bucks for their services. From this fans’ perspective, the NXT women’s division is stacked right now and losing Shirai, although sad would not be a devastating blow at this juncture. Take the money and the fame Io, the American market can wait.
I left the best until last here. So, lets recap. Rusev was brought in under the guise of being a Russian bloke who beat people up, along with his new blushing bride Lana as his mouthpiece, sounding like every 80’s foreign villain in an American action film. He ran through people, looked great, ran through more people and genuinely started getting over a heel. He rode into WrestleMania 31 on a tank and was then handed his first loss to good ol’ ‘Big Match John’ Cena. After that, the wheels fell off his push spectacularly. He somehow went from Russian to Bulgarian, and then creative had the idea of pairing him up with poor old Aiden English, whose tag team partner Simon Gotch was ‘future endeavoured’ by the WWE in April 2017. Somehow, they made chicken salad out of chicken shit and low and behold, ‘Rusev Day’ was born. But when you’re the WWE and someone is getting themselves over when they shouldn’t. Well, they split them up, using the storied ruse that English was trying it on with Lana, who was very happy with her man. Until she wasn’t. Of course, this is purely storyline, but due to the rumours of Rusev’s mistrust of the companies handling of his character, and the whispers of him not signing a new contract (even though Lana did), he was saddled with the infidelity storyline. Yes, that one.
So for reasons still unexplained, Lana’s storyline was to cheat on Rusev with Bobby Lashley. This all fed into the theory that Rusev is on his way out of the company at the end of his contract. But there was one more bump in the road. Lana recently signed a new five-year contract with the WWE, and the wrestling community expected her husband to follow suit. He hasn’t as of this writing, and as it stands, we could have another married couple making livings from different companies. If Rusev does walk at the end of his contract, which looks even more likely given that he wasn’t at the Royal Rumble this past week and RAW the night after, it leaves Lana’s character in a bit of a predicament. Not that either of them would mind, given that Lana is most likely being well compensated for not leaving for the competition, and Rusev will most likely make a good wage if he chooses AEW, which may not happen at all. Scott Hall once said you could make friends or make money in this business, Rusev may just do both.
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