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“The Beast” Brock Taylor. Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk MIDWEEK
MECHA NEWS. I am Luke Owen. Give this video a thumbs up, share it with your friends, and
leave a comment down below to answer today’s question of today:
What do you make of Eric Bischoff’s firing from WWE? We’ve got a packed show of news
for you today, including the real reason Eric Bischoff was fired after just a few months,
Roman Reigns criticizing WWE’s Hell in a Cell finish, and more details on the 2019
draft and various changes that have been made. And you can jump to any of those news stories,
right now. And make sure you give this channel a subscribe, as we’ve been told by Swaft
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But first up let’s talk about Mike Kannellis who asked for his release from WWE this week.
Mike is on the list of several WWE guys and girls who have publicly either shown unhappiness
with WWE or flat out asked for their release, but there was a question mark over the position
of his real-life wife Maria Kannellis, who is currently involved in an angle where she
is getting ready to reveal the real father of Mike’s child. At least I think that’s
still a storyline, it’s been a while since we had any form of an update on it.
Well Maria has now clarified her position, posting on Instagram that she supports her
husband Mike but has not requested her release from the company. Now it’s probably worth
taking this with a pinch of salt, as Maria has often used social media to shoot down
reports that end up being true. She denied all reports that she had Mike were leaving
Impact, and then they left Impact and joined WWE, and she also denied reports that she
and her Mike were unhappy in WWE earlier this year – only for Mike to post on Twitter that
he’s unhappy in WWE and has asked for his release.
Mike and Maria were not part of the recent WWE draft, which saw Raw and Smackdown split
into distinct rosters once again, even though Crown Jewel features a Smackdown guy going
for Raw’s top title. Brand split lol. And it took less than 24 hours after the draft
was finished for plans to change. The draft got off to a rough start on Friday Night Smackdown,
when WWE released a list of those eligible to be drafted but accidentally posted the
order in which they were going to be drafted. WrestleVotes reported that WWE knew they’d
made a blunder and were looking to shake things up on the Raw draft, including a “blockbuster
trade”. With Smackdown’s Bray Wyatt vying to win the Raw’s Universal Championship
from Raw’s Seth Rollins, many figured Bray Wyatt would be jumping brands. But word is
that Fox really want Bray on their Smackdown show, and it’s now been revealed that the
blockbuster trade is Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross jumping over to Smackdown as a tag team.
Only a few days removed from being drafted to Raw as separate wrestlers and not a tag
team. The move was announced on WWE’s new Backstage
show on FS1 by Triple H, who added that Raw would get “considerations and draft picks
down the line”. Whatever that means. A few other names not on the Draft list this
year were The Usos and Naomi, who’ve not been seen on WWE TV since the end of July,
when Jonathan Fatu – aka Jimmy Uso – was arrested for a second time in seven months, the latter
of which being a DUI. The Usos and Naomi were all taken off the road from live events, and
Dave Meltzer has reported via Figure Four Online, “While they were at a recent television
taping backstage, there is right now no creative for them nor return date, nor a decision regarding
which brand they will be with. Because of that, they weren’t involved in the draft.”
Maybe they could be drafted to Raw, which is in need of a ratings boost.
In what will likely be unsurprising news, Raw dropped in the ratings after last week’s
show, which had the usual post-PPV bump. However this is pretty bad news for the company, as
this edition of Raw was the second night of the highly publicised draft and featured Tyson
Fury’s contract signing with Braun Strowman. Overall the show wasn’t down massively,
drawing 2.28 million which is just 2.4% down from last week, but it was more damning in
the detail. The show started off with 2.5 million viewers for hour one, which dropped
to 2.3 million for hour 2, and only 2 million for the final hour – which was advertised
to focus on Seth Rollins going Fiend hunting against Bray Wyatt. So if you’re keeping
score, half a million viewers tuned out before the show’s major storyline happened.
Worse still, the 18-49 demo dropped 24% in men, 35% in teenage girls, and 34% in teenage
boys, a drop that Dave Meltzer writes is “pretty much unheard of.”
But what did you think? Oli Davis gave the show a rating of Poor, and it was pretty split
as 40% of you agreed, with 34% thinking the show was slightly better with AvRAWge.
Raw also saw two new matches announced for Crown Jewel, the Saudia Arabia show which
has become so controversial that WWE have stopped announcing where the shows takes place,
meaning Crown Jewel literally hails from Parts Unknown. As mentioned earlier in this news
episode, WWE announced that Smackdown’s Bray Wyatt takes on Raw’s Seth Rollins for
Raw’s Universal Championship – brand split lol – and we’re getting the The Largest
Tag Team Turmoil Match To Determine The World Cup For The Best Tag Team In The World – or
TLTTTMTDTWCFTBTTITW for short. However it’s being reported that one of the Crown Jewel
matches might have changed. With the announcement of The Fiend vs. Seth
Rollins, The Universal Champion was set to pull double duty on the show was he’s also
supposed to be part of Team Hogan along with Rusev and Ricochet as they take on Team Flair
of Randy Orton, King Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Shinsuke Nakamura. That likely won’t
be the case however, as Dave Meltzer is reporting that, “As of right now, [Seth Rollins] is
no longer scheduled for the match and his removal will likely be addressed on television
over the next week.” Speaking of PPVs and this coming weekend sees
Impact Wrestling present their biggest show of the year, Bound For Glory, which will see
WrestleTalk favourite Sami Callihan go one-on-one with Brian Cage for the Impact World Championship.
WrestleTalk.com’s Louis “Danger” Dangoor had the chance to sit down via Skype with
both Callihan and Cage ahead of the match, and asked them about the upcoming Tuesday
Night War between Impact, AEW Dark, and NWA Powerrr. Here’s what they had to say.
Let’s hope that match has a more satisfying finish than Hell in a Cell, and it would seem
that the company’s top dog also thought it was bobbins.
We’re now over a week removed from the dud finish to WWE’s Hell in a Cell, where the
unstoppable Fiend was stopped quite easily by Seth Rollins who took him out with a sledgehammer
leading to a ref stoppage. And despite Seth Rollins taking the criticism of the match
personally by “well, actually”-ing fans on Twitter – even though the smarter fans
are criticising the company who booked it and not the wrestlers in the match – it would
appear that Roman Reigns was also not a fan of the finish.
In an interview with Forbes, Reigns was asked about the fan reaction to the match – where
he highlighted that some fans were wrongfully blaming Rollins and Wyatt when it had nothing
to do with them – but also added, “I didn’t like the Hell in a Cell finish either, but
I wasn’t about to cuss some guys out who got hit in the head over and over. Bray Wyatt
put his health on the line to entertain some fans to the best of his ability. I didn’t
like it, but I respect Bray’s effort and willingness to go out there and do what you
have to do.” Roman really should have a word with Seth
Rollins about how to conduct himself in interviews and on Twitter.
We found out last week that Roman Reigns was drafted to Friday Night Smackdown – for now
at the very least – but he won’t be seeing Eric Bischoff around anymore.
It was randomly announced a few months ago that WWE had hired Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff
to be the executive directors of Raw and Smackdown. The move was reported to be because WWE had
their investors call coming up, and wanted some positive news to soften the bad news
about falling ratings and attendance, by announcing the heads of ECW and WCW were getting involved
in creative. But while there have been a lot of reports about Paul Heyman’s finger prints
being all over Raw, which has been evident since he started, Smackdown hasn’t seen
much of a change. Dave Meltzer reported this was because Bischoff wasn’t actually involved
in the creative process for Smackdown like Heyman was on Raw, and was more being a liaison
between WWE and Fox. This was backed up by several other reports – most recently WrestleVotes
who noted it was Fox wanting Bray Wyatt and not Bischoff – with some even saying Bischoff
had only been hired as a scapegoat in case the ratings for Smackdown on Fox were bad.
And with the second week of Smackdown on Fox losing one million viewers, it was announced
yesterday that Bischoff had been fired by WWE – just four months after he was hired
and moved his family to Connecticut to be closer to the company. He has now been replaced
by Bruce Prichard, a move that would appear to make sense, as Bryan Alvarez of Figure
Four Online noted recently that Prichard has been running the creative meetings for Smackdown
for some time despite Eric’s title. Alvarez adds that those he’s spoken to in
WWE told him that Bischoff was “barely doing anything” on Smackdown. He said on Wrestling
Observer Live, “The first thing I was told is, ‘I haven’t seen him’ [and] ‘he isn’t there’.”
Then I would hear, ‘he shows up’. Then I would hear, ‘he shows up in catering’. I don’t know
what he was doing, but I know he was doing enough that no one liked working under him.
I’ve heard that people wanted to quit that were working under him. I heard that he didn’t
know anybody, he didn’t know any of the talent, he didn’t go out of his way to learn about
anything. He would leave and no one could get hold of him. I heard literally zero good
things about Eric Bischoff, whatever he was doing.”
There are also rumours of more releases and shake-ups coming in the backstage area, and
Alvarez noted on Wrestling Observer Live, “Morale has not been good for a long time.
But the morale has taken a bigger hit I’m told,” and that, “I had texts from people
who work at WWE saying, ‘I can’t watch this show, I’ll listen tomorrow to get your recap
of it’.” Bischoff himself responded to the news in
a very classy manner on Twitter, praising Prichard saying: “Bruce is a great producer,
good friend and I am certain he is going to thrive in his position. He’s going to be
working with a great team of the most dedicated and hard working people I have had the pleasure
of working with and getting to know.” What’s the latest on CM Punk and WWE? Click
the video on screen right now to find out, and check out the latest live episode of ScreenStalker
by clicking the other video! Thank you to our Pledge Hammers on Patreon, some of which
you can see scrolling their way into my stomach. I’ve been Luke Owen and that was wrestling.