Ken Kidney returns with a round up of the wrestling news from the past seven days, including a preview of the 26th annual Summerslam event in Wrestling Weekly.
In an update from last week, Dublins own Sheamus underwent successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The Celtic warrior is already said to have begun rehab and is hoping to be back in action as soon as possible.
Also following up on last week, several reports suggest that John Cena’s elbow injury is in fact more serious than he or WWE is letting on. WWE officials are said to be very quiet in conversations concerning Cena taking time off after Summerslam. Cena is apparently scheduled to have surgery on the elbow after tonight’s Summerslam event which will force him to at least spend some time on the sidelines. If this is true, it could foreshadow the result of tonight’s WWE title match.
Brooke Hogan, daughter of TNA star attraction Hulk Hogan, was released from her TNA contract earlier this week. Rumours had been circulating that a major incident may have occurred that lead to her release but there is said to be no dispute between either party. Brooke is getting married soon, and the decision to let her go appears to be amicable, and likely a result of further attempt to cut costs. Brooke added little or nothing to TNA’s television product other than the fact that she is the daughter of Hulk Hogan. I always got the impression that she turned to wrestling as a last resort when her music career dried up so I think her release is best for all concerned. Her marriage to Dallas Cowboy, Phil Costa may drum up enough in interest for another VH1 reality show which is the area that “Brooke Knows Best” so I think she will be just fine.
That said, amicable or not, I don’t think the Hulkster will have been too pleased at this news and his contract is said to be up in October. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hulk follows his daughter out the door at TNA wrestling and perhaps look to get his feet back under Vince McMahon’s table at WWE. I also don’t see TNA putting up much of a fight if he does threaten to leave, especially given recent budget cuts. Hulk is very expensive for an on air personality and brings little to the table except his name and antiquated ideas on how wrestling should be booked. Hogan’s relevance in the 21st century wresting scene is at an all time low.
The one consolation for Hogan is that I can see WWE welcoming him back into the fold with open arms despite his past disputes with Vince McMahon. Vince is stubborn but he always does what’s right for business and Hulk is still a major attraction if used sparingly and in the right context.
WWE Superstar Darren Young admitted that he is gay in an interview with TMZ earlier in the week . This makes him the first openly gave active wrestler in the company’s history. Young, real name Fred Rosser, commented on the brave decision by tweeting, “Never b bullied n2 silence.Never allow yourself 2 be made a victim. Accept no ones definition of your life; DEFINE YOURSELF- Harvey Fierstein.” Young also told Matt Lauer of The Today Show that he was “terrified” about someone else taking the chance to “out” him as being gay before he had the chance to do it himself.
He spoke of the incredible support from fellow wrestlers, and even Vince and Stephanie McMahon. He said that he spoke to NBA player, Jason Collins who recently announced his homosexuality publicly . Collins is said to have given him advice on how to handle the situation.
He ended the interview by saying that “I’m in love…and I’m a lucky man”. This may sound strange, and even insensitive, but the decision may up his profile in WWE. He has already made several television appearances talking about his decision and WWE has covered the story themselves. Young, as part of the prime time players, was barely on WWE TV, and if he was it was in quick losing efforts. I am not suggesting for one minute that his decision was career motivated but I can see it working to his advantage as far as his career ambitions in WWE. He is not the first gay wrestler, and there is bound to be more but he is the first and he is on a wave of momentum right now. It makes sense for him and WWE to capitalise on it and maximise the positive effect.
His decision to come out comes at a good time because the homophobic stigmas in wrestling of the past have lessened as times and attitudes have changed and WWE’s anti bullying “Be a Star” campaign is one of the company’s top priorities. Young’s story fits in perfectly with Be a Star’s message. Time will tell whether his bravery will encourage other’s to follow his example but I think it’s a landmark moment in wrestling history, and one for which Young will never be forgotten.
Summerslam is but mere hours away and I thought I would give my thoughts and predictions for the main matches on this years card.
WWE Championship Match:
John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
This match will more than likely close the show and with Cena being injured I see Bryan winning. However, there is the X factor of WWE Title Money in the Bank briefcase holder, Randy Orton is possibly cashing in his title opportunity on either man. Seems a bit obvious to me given that they have been teasing exactly that for weeks but it could happen. He could cash in on either new champion Bryan, fatigued after a hard-fought battle or on an injured Cena who has barely managed to hold onto his title. Personally, I would like to see Bryan walk away with the title but I wouldn’t bet my house on it. I would love to see a scenario where Bryan beats Cena for the title, Orton cashes in and he beats him too, but something tells me this is wishful thinking on my part.
WWE World Title Match:
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Christian
This has the potential to be match of the night if both competitors click and they turn in the performance both are capable of. I can’t see fan favourite, Christian, winning but as long as the match is exciting and competitive, the fans will still come out as winners. The World Title Money in the Bank briefcase is also still in play so there is a chance that holder, Damien Sandow, will take his opportunity.
Ring of Fire Match:
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt
This is a is a new take on the Inferno Match for the PG era. The previous rules involved the ring being surrounded by fire and the loser the one who is the first to be set on fire. This match will be decided by pinfall or submission only which takes away an element of danger from the match. The stipulation is designed to keep the rest of The Wyatt family at bay but I wouldn’t I have a feeling they will find a way to get involved. It’s also Bray Wyatts first big pay par view match and the Wyatt family is said to be a priorty for WWE creative right now so expect a Wyatt victory.
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar
Part of the double main event, Summerslam is being sold on Brock Lesnar again this year so this match is under pressure to deliver. The feud has been okay leading up to this match and Lesnar has been playing his part well. The problem is due to Punk’s comparatively diminutive size, he doesn’t seem a credible match for Lesnar. They had done a good been doing a good job of playing up this mismatch by having Lesnar get the upper hand on Punk in their exchanges and billing Punk as the underdog. However, on the go home show this week, they had Punk get the better of Lesnar which I think was a mistake. I see Punk coming out on top in this one but I am not sure if anyone will be it. I have no doubts that it will be one of the matches of the night if both men click in the ring.
Other matches on the super show include:
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
Brie Bella vs. Natalya
Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. Big E. Langston and AJ Lee
Kickoff Pre-Show U.S. Title Match:
-Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
This match is an odd choice to have on the pre show and I don’t know why it wasn’t placed on the main card. However, there were rumours that a match would be added that would see the other members of the shield take on Mark Henry and a returning Big Show. This has not yet been the case so I have a sneaking suspicion that the U.S. Title match will go to a non finish due to interference to set up a six man tag on the main show.
That’s it from me for now, let me know what you think of this weeks Wrestling Weekly by commenting below or tweeting me @KenKidney.
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