THIS WEEK: Shania Twain cuts a Promo with Kevin Owens (Seriously), Enzo Speaks Out, Cody's Triple Crown Crusade Begins This Weekend, A Canadian legend returns to the Ring this weekend, and Rey Mysterio's WWE Debut revisited...
1. Enzo Speaks Out
It was a very interesting episode of the Steve Austin Show this week. real1, aka Enzo Amore, aka Eric Arndt, gave his side of the story of his departure from WWE. According to him, he was blindsided by his firing, and it changed the scripting of RAW 25 – where he was to be heavily featured in an angle that involved the legends poker game.
Ardnt went on to call out the Phoenix police department, saying the only reason he was investigated was because of the tweet his accuser made. He claimed that he and his lawyers were constantly questioning the police about the investigation, and were awaiting to see if charges were going to be pressed. He said that he paid to prove his innocence, which while his accuser didn't change her story, police admitted to not having evidence to consider pressing charges, and closed the file.
As for wrestling, Arndt said that he is dealing with injuries, and also said that he has no immediate desire to return to WWE. While it would seem that would be the case for both sides, it’s all an unfortunate series of events for what used to be the most anticipated main roster debut for stars from NXT. While fans seemed to turn on the two after a while, accompanied by a series of changes which seemed intended to make both Big Cass and Enzo singles stars, things just didn’t seem to pan out for the “Realest Guys In The Room”.
A couple weeks ago in this column, I expressed concern for Arndt, the person. After hearing him on Austin’s podcast, my opinion has actually changed. While I didn’t fully understand or appreciate his music video, nor did I quite get his “rally” in Times Square, I do have a better understanding of a man wanting to clear his name, especially in the face of heinous allegations.
Whether right or wrong, Arndt’s confidence in what he’s doing now and in the future is actually quite admirable. For that, I wish him well.
2. CODY'S CRUSADE STARTS FRIDAY: ROH BEST IN THE WORLD THIS WEEKEND
If you haven't been following along, let me get you up to speed.
- Billy Corgan, NWA Owner, appears at ALL IN Press Conference in Chicago
- Corgan declares NWA Championship will be defended at ALL IN
- Current Champion, Nick Aldis, "agrees" to the match, on the condition that if Cody wins the Ring of Honor World Title at Best in the World this Friday, that title is ALSO on the line.
- Since then, it has also been announced that Cody will face Kenny Omega for Omega's IWGP (New Japan) Heavyweight Championship July 7 at the G1 Special at the Cow Palace in San Francisco
In other words, Cody is now vying for 3 of the biggest championships outside of WWE... within just a few months of each other.
One could almost argue that these three brands are forming their own "Super-Indy", although the "indy" term would only apply to New Japan's efforts into coming into the US Market, as they are incredibly established already.
That said, all three companies are becoming the "cool alternative", all by working together. It will be interesting to see if Cody obtains all three championships - and if so, what it will mean for the future of all three organizations.
CANADIAN LEGEND RETURNING TO THE RING
This Friday, I’ll be ring announcing for High Impact Wrestling at the Hungarian Club in Regina, Saskatchewan, for a TV taping. Tickets are available at the door, or details are at hiwcanada.com. However, next month, HIW announced that a mainstay in Canadian Professional Wrestling, “The First Nations Sensation”, Wavell Starr, will be making his return to the scene.
In the 90’s and early 2000’s, Starr was among a crew of Canadian wrestlers who were all prospects of WWE and WCW. While Wavell had a few runs with WWE as a non-signed recurring performer, he did have a developmental deal which saw him perform as "Standing Thunder", as well as himself from time to time on shows like Sunday Night Heat. After his WWE departure, Starr maintained his presence wrestling in Canada and around the world.
While Starr has teased retirement a few times, he has never officially hung up his boots. The question remains what his intentions are now, whether he will make a full time run at wrestling again, or if these are to be special appearances.
4. Kevin Owens v. Shania Twain
When I first started working in country radio, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to make my love of pro wrestling relatable to the audience, so I needed to keep it on the D-L. Well, I think that philosophy can officially be tossed out the window after Global icon Shania Twain recently shared HER stage with WWE’s Kevin Owens.
It was at a show in Montreal, where she “picked” KO out of the crowd, and brought him up on stage to chat. He requested her song, “When”, and she said she would only do it if he could beat Braun Strowman at the upcoming Extreme Rules Pay Per View. The chat is actually pretty fun to watch, as Owens is his typical self – telling fans “don’t touch her!” as they walk through the crowd together, and even tells Shania that he has more Twitter followers than she does.
5. Classic Match of the Week: Rey Mysterio's WWE Debut v. Chavo Guerrero
With all signs pointing to some sort of return to WWE by Rey Mysterio, the latest being his inclusion as a bonus pre-order character for the WWE 2K19 Video Game, it seemed fitting to look at the match that brought him to WWE in the beginning.
Minus the “Jr’s” in their names, there was no better way to finally bring Rey into WWE than with a match against Chavo.
I’ve always felt that Chavo was underrated as a performer. In this match, both men delivered a fantastic introduction of Rey, and set him apart from the rest of the roster, while not deviating from a style that would see Rey continue his career as a wrestler who could convincingly face any opponent.
While Mysterio is currently confirmed for the ALL IN show on September 1, don’t be surprised to see him make a comeback in a WWE ring, and possibly an induction into next year’s WWE Hall of Fame class.
That’s all for this week, thanks for reading!