NXT Going to an “Edgier” Product?!

A week ago WWE rebooted NXT into a colorful product known as NXT 2.0. It was a throwback to WWE programming of yesteryear with many comparing it to the classic WWF Superstars of the 80’s and early 90’s.

It was a 180 from the dark, edgy classic pro wrestling presentation of the black and gold brand. Different but fun.

Now comes word that NXT might be changing again! Into a more “edgier” product…pal.

Continue reading → NXT Going to an “Edgier” Product?!

Gable Steveson Signs NIL with WWE

WWE has announced that it has “signed” Olympic Gold Medalist and college wrestling champion Gable Steveson. But the deal isn’t what most would expect. The deal is taking advantage of the NCAA’s new “Name, Image, Likeness (NIL)” rules and will allow the champion amateur wrestler to return to college and defend his title.

NIL deals have been all the rage but this is a first for a major company to hire an athlete and still allow them to compete as an amateur. WWE being an entertainment company most likely makes the deal possible but it will be interesting to see if other professional sports leagues, such as UFC or the big four, will follow suit.

More as it becomes available…

Report: Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Stevenson Signs with WWE

Talk about a Saturday news drop in the world of combat sports. Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Maltzer is reporting that Olympic gold medalist Gable Stevenson is off the market and he’s signed with WWE.

Stevenson, a NCAA National Champion, two-time All-American, two-time Big Ten champion at Minnesota, is a huge WWE fan and was present at SummerSlam in Las Vegas. The UFC was also pursing the services of Stevenson.

Gable Stevenson at WWE SummerSlam

WWE has not confirmed the signing.

CM Punk Retires…from MMA

CM Punk is stepping away…from the Octagon. Punk, who returned to pro wrestling at AEW Rampage: The First Dance, removed his name from the USADA testing pool and notified the UFC of his desire to step away from fighting.

Punk famously left the WWE in 2014 and expressed his desire to take up the sport of MMA. The “Second City Saint” was a long time Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner and took up training at Roufusport in Milwaukee. Give credit where credit is due, Punk took the time but the work in and train for a sport that he had a passion for.

His official MMA record will stand at 0-1-1 with a loss to Mickey Gall at UFC 203 and “no contest” to Mike Jackson at UFC 255. The Jackson fight was originally a unanimous decision loss however the fight was changed to a “no contest” when Jackson tested positive for a banned substance.

Punk won’t be walking completely away from MMA however. He will still be the color commentator for the New Jersey based Cage Fury Fighting Championship (CFFC).

The news was confirmed by MMA Fighting.

DOC’s Diagnosis: Blame Vince McMahon for NXT’s “Failure”

What “went wrong” with NXT? Vince McMahon is what went wrong with NXT.

Let me rephrase that, Vince McMahon caring about what other wrestling companies were doing is what went wrong with NXT. 

Let me expand on that for a minute.  Vince McMahon is on the record as saying the WWE’s competition is everywhere and anywhere.  God damn pal, WWE is an entrainment company not a rasslin’ company! But that’s not true at all.  They’re a wrestling company masquerading as an entertainment company.  They always were, always will be.

So back to the original premise, Vince McMahon caring about other WRESTLING promotions and not his own brands is what went wrong for NXT. 

When the WWF was at its best, arguably the Hulkamania and the Attitude era’s, they didn’t care what anyone else was doing.  McMahon and company were so laser focused on their own brand that they didn’t care or even acknowledge what the AWA, WCCW, NWA, WCW, or whomever else was doing.  Seriously, you could watch WWF TV and not know other promotions were out there. 

But what about when WWF acknowledged WCW and the nWo?!? 

Continue reading → DOC’s Diagnosis: Blame Vince McMahon for NXT’s “Failure”

DOC’s DIAGNOSIS: WWE is Making the Right Move with NXT

This is part I of a “Doc’s Diagnosis” triple feature on WWE’s NXT brand.

Vince McMahon and the WWE are making the right move with their “restructuring” of NXT whether you or I like it.

Let me slow it down on second, I love NXT. As a diehard ECW purist and a ROH original (before Sinclair), the NXT brand immediately produced the joy of those two brands brought me when watching a pro wrestling program. Because they were just that, pro wrestling.

And there lies the problem for Vince McMahon and WWE…they’re not a pro wrestling company. They haven’t been one since October 19, 1999. That’s the day the McMahon’s went public and became a full on entertainment brand.

So back to the original statement, Vince McMahon and the WWE are making the right move with the “restructuring” of NXT.

Why? Because they need to DEVELOP their own stars just like they did before.

Stop yelling at the screen! Yes, they did. Here are a few:

Continue reading → DOC’s DIAGNOSIS: WWE is Making the Right Move with NXT

WWE Cuts Continue, Focusing on NXT

Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp was the bearer of bad news to the WWE Universe on Friday night.

SRS unleashed a tweet storm of cuts that were made to WWE’s NXT brand. Some of the moves were so shocking that Sapp had to confirm that he wasn’t hacked. Oh and all of this occurred during the midst of SmackDown live on Fox.

Bobby Fish, Bronson Reed, Mercedes Martinez, and Leon Ruff are among the many cut that left a lot of fans shaking their heads.

Here’s the complete list:

Continue reading → WWE Cuts Continue, Focusing on NXT

AEW Rampage in Chicago Sells Out in 15-Minutes

The headline says it all. AEW Rampage: The First Dance, a show that was just announced and has no card, sold out the United Center in 15-minutes.

Again, for the WWE fanboys in the basement, a show with no card, that was just announced in a city that has a major PPV coming, sold out the “Madhouse on Madison,” the home of the Blackhawks and Bulls, in 15-minutes.

Nope, clearly AEW isn’t competition to the WWE (insert sarcasm font).

Now Tony Khan and company have to deliver the goods. It’s LIKELY that CM Punk is going to debut for AEW at this show but it has to be a damn certainty or AEW will really piss off a lot of people.

AEW Sells 10,000-plus Tickets for Rampage: The First Dance

AEW will always have Jacksonville as it’s “home” but Chicago might be turning into their second city (yup). The brand is set to sell out their fourth show in the Windy City, a show that was just announced and is 2-weeks before a PPV-based trifecta.

Rumor has it someone might be showing up.

That’s not too shabby for a company that Vince NcMahon doesn’t consider competition. For AEW it might just be clobbering’ time.