One thing Pro Sports Extra has been missing for some time is pro wrestling news updates. While this column will not necessarily be breaking any news, the goal is to look back on recent events and provide my own personal take/opinion on the subject at hand. I’ll be covering primarily WWE and AEW, and occasionally some indy promotions or two if I feel it warrants coverage. Let’s go ahead and get things started.
“John Laurinaitis Re-Hired As Head of Talent Relations For WWE. Laurinaitis worked in the position from 2004, when he replaced Jim Ross, to 2012”
I think this is one of the best moves WWE could have made in regards to signing new talent. No offense to Triple H, I like the talent that he has signed, but have many of them really transitioned well to the main roster? The majority of the big name talent WWE has had were either signed by Jim Ross and Big Johnny. With Jim Ross currently being underutilized in AEW, Big Johnny was the best option to take on this role. This the guy that signed Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, etc. Those are just a few that I can name off the top of my head. The recent influx of talent while is fantastic in the ring, just is not translating or making waves with the audience in terms of connecting from an emotional standpoint. I’m all for Big Johnny taking the reigns again and pulling in a new crop of talent that can hopefully connect better with the audience.
“Dax Hardwood Eludes that Chad Gable’s contract is up soon and that he may be moving on from WWE.”
If this is the case and Chad Gable is moving on from WWE, I cannot blame him. I think there is definitely a place in wrestling for smaller athletes, as long as they have the badass fight in them that makes it believable they can hang with the big boys. Guys like Taz and Daniel Bryan are perfect examples of this. I think Chad Gable proved himself in NXT not just as a great athletic talent, but as someone who can connect with the audience. Unfortunately “American Alpha” was hot shotted on Smackdown as they won the Tag Team titles on that brand. Shortly thereafter, Jason Jordan and Gable split up and Jordan eventually moved on to a storyline with Kurt Angle whereby he was featured as Angle’s long lost son. Personally, I think Gable should have been chosen for this role as he not only looks like Angle but he has the Olympic background. That was a big missed opportunity by WWE that could have led to a great retirement match for Angle.
Ultimately, Chad Gable needs to put on a platform whereby he can spread his wings and show the world again what he is capable of. I’d hate to see him leave because he is full of talent, but he really may be better of in a promotion like AEW.
“According to a report by Fightful Select, there has been discussino of WWE bringing over talents from other countries that have been signed for quite some time and to have them work out at the WWE Performance Center. These talents were allegedly signed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
I am probably going to catch a lot of flack for this. With all due respect, I think it is safe to say that on a mainstream level, especially on Monday Night RAW and Smackdown Live that international talents just do not get over with the audience as well as talent from the United States. This can be argued many different ways, but please, hear me out. On the men’s roster you have past and present guys like guys like Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Rusev, Wade Barrett etc. These are just naming a few. Sure, Drew McIntyre had a recent run as WWE Champion but it hasn’t exactly been memorable. A lot of that is not his fault as he was positioned to be the flag bearer in unprecedented times with COVID-19 running rampant. But for the most part, I think it’s safe to say that WWE mismanages international talent and for whatever reason most of them cannot make it over in the main event level. In my personal opinion, I think WWE should focus on talent that its primary fanbase can relate to and that is homegrown talent in the United States.
“Vince Mcmahon has reportedly banned thigh slapping on WWE television moving forward.”
While the sound of the thigh slap never bothered me before, I am 100% on board with this if it means that the WWE Superstars will tone down the usage of the Superkick. As a huge Shawn Michaels fan, it does bother me that the Superkick is used so frequently in matches that it essentially is a meaningless move. I get that finishing moves from wrestlers of yesteryear eventually become common moves, like the Bodyslam, the Bear Hug, the Sleeper Hold, etc. But Shawn Michaels was one of the greatest workers of all time and that Superkick took down the biggest and baddest superstars in history. I’ll admit that when i was a kid, the sound of the thigh slap (not knowing what it was at the time) always got my attention and I just assumed that HBK really clocked someone in the jaw with his foot pretty hard. Will it be weird seeing a superkick without that noise? Absolutely. Will I miss the overwhelming amount of superkicks in matches? Absolutely not.
“There has been recent speculation that Andrade may be done with WWE or that his time with the company will be ending soon.”
The reason for the speculation is because he recently removed “WWE” from his Twitter account. Although it does still say “WWE Superstar” on Instagram, his most recent post was the following:
“If you don’t like where you are, move you are not a tree.” Now, this could be very easy to read into. it is very possible he has a contract coming due and is trying to leverage a situation. Who knows? The last time we saw Andrade was in October of 2020. I’m not sure how I feel about this, as I’m lukewarm on Andrade. While I think he is an excellent in ring performer, the guy falls into the same category as mentioned above. WWE fails to market their international stars properly and it makes them very difficult to get over with the audience. Andrade should not be on his own as the guy can barely speak a lick of English. He needs a Manager of some sort to cut compelling promos for him. Without a Manager to work the mic for him, I think he is virtually useless in WWE unless he would like to be an enhancement talent.
There is plenty more news out there, but that is all for this week. I’ll try to post this column every few days. Feel free to send your thoughts and comments to @WWEFactoids on Twitter.