We took some time away from the front office to tackle other responsibilities, and we come back with so much wrestling news that we can’t simply share it all. This is the Wrestling Rundown for Saturday, August 7:
[Insert name here] to All Elite Wrestling?
The dirt sheets have been hot and heavy with the whataboutism of wrestlers going to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). We reported on the early developments surrounding CM Punk and Bryan Danielson potentially making the jump to the promotion.
Now we’re learning of several other talents who may consider making that similar jump.
Among those names, per Fightful Select, former WWE star Ruby Riott could jump to AEW once her non-compete expires. Currently, that is set to expire just before the promotion’s All Out show in Chicago.
Riott, who now goes by Ruby Soho, appears to be planning for her AEW debut.
While a promoter tried to reach Soho roughly a month ago, Fightful was told she wasn’t taking bookings.
Renee Paquette to join husband in AEW?
Renee Paquette recently made comments on her future, revealing if there is potential interest in joining AEW.
The commentator formerly known as Renee Young revealed that her non-compete with WWE “is nearly up” in an interview with Wrestling Inc.
Paquette’s husband, Jon Moxley, is a major star in AEW. Moxley held the AEW World Championship for 277 days. He also held the New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s IWGP U.S. Championship for 694 days between two reigns.
Regardless, Paquette noted that she plans to remain associated with professional wrestling in some form.
“I don’t ever want to separate myself from professional wrestling,” Paquette said. “I know that’s where my fanbase comes from…that’s essentially going to always be my bread and butter — and I love that.”
She also admits that she did not give much thought to considering joining Moxley in AEW.
“Looking at AEW, I think there are endless opportunities of other things I could be doing over there…” Paquette adds. “I’ve honestly not put much thought into it.”
Paquette left WWE in August 2020, noting she accomplished everything she could do in the company.
Dave Meltzer clarified the details of the clause in this week’s Wrestling Observer, stating that Paquette was under an employee contract with the company. This means even if she departed at will with two weeks’ notice, she was unable to work for a competitor for one year.
Paquette and Moxley welcomed their daughter, Nora, into the world in June.
Is Adam Cole going All Elite, Bay-Bay?
The sheets have been stewing over the potential of NXT star Adam Cole going All Elite.
Cole is currently working without a contract, but as Meltzer alludes, he was in the process of a contract renegotiation. Meltzer hinted at AEW making an offer.
However, AEW president and CEO Tony Khan debunked this rumor. Khan issued comments that the promotion has not made an offer to Cole. These comments were doing a recent broadcast of Busted Open Radio on SiriusXM.
Cole’s contract expired last month, but he would agree to a temporary extension through NXT TakeOver 36.
WWE management did not realize that Cole’s contract was expiring so soon. It is possible that this led to the firing of former Senior Director of Talent Development Canyon Ceman.
The temporary extension allows Cole to conclude his program with Kyle O’Reilly at TakeOver 36.
WWE – again – makes headlines for all the wrong reasons
World Wrestling Entertainment releases 13 developmental talent Friday
Not even one week after the release of Bray Wyatt, WWE is at it again with yet another round of releases. This time, it’s another round of releases from within developmental NXT.
As reported by multiple sources, the following developmental talents received their pink slips Friday:
- Bronson Reed
- Leon Ruff
- Tyler Rust
- Mercedes Martinez
- Bobby Fish
- Ari Sterling
- Jake Atlas
- Kona Reeves
- Zechariah Smith
- Asher Hale
- Giant Zanjeer
- Stephon Smith
- Desmond Troy
As WrestleTalk reveals, Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men podcast expects that more stars will be let go soon.
Reed made a response to his release via Twitter:
Just got released from @WWE
This monster is back on the loose … you don't know WHAT you've just done.#WWE
.@AEW .@IMPACTWRESTLING .@njpw1972 .@ringofhonor pic.twitter.com/9h5I2G4L1J
— JONAH (@JONAHISHERE) August 7, 2021
There was also a fair amount of outrage among fans, as made apparent under the #WWEReleases hashtag on Twitter.
AEW to return to Jacksonville in December
This recent broadcast of AEW Dynamite was branded as AEW Homecoming, returning to their home base for the first time since resuming touring.
Nothing was taped for AEW Dark post-show, but something did air Friday on the YouTube channel compared to the standard Tuesday.
Instead, AEW president and CEO Tony Khan announced that AEW will be returning to Daily’s Place December 29 episode of AEW Dynamite.
In the announcement, Khan noted that he hopes Jacksonville will become the promotion’s destination for New Year’s Eve. He continues to compare it to Chicago over Labor Day weekend for All Out and Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend for Double or Nothing.
AEW Rampage commentary staff is official
The commentary staff is official for new AEW show Rampage, which starts this upcoming Friday, Aug. 13.
Dynamite commentator Excalibur revealed Wednesday that he will be joining Taz, Chris Jericho, and Mark Henry on the commentary booth.
Rampage airs Fridays at 10 p.m. Eastern on TNT.
A Women’s World Championship match will take place during the debut broadcast between current champion Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. and challenger Red Velvet. This is according to a story from WrestleTalk.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.