What were the top stories last week?
Let’s get to the stories that didn’t make the top five.
– Cody Rhodes has asked for his release and WWE has granted it.
Rhodes wrote his response on Twitter.
My one&only statement on the matter. No podcasts or tell-all nonsense.
Thank you friends. pic.twitter.com/c5MNKw6spH
— Hyrule Husky (@PrinceCGR) May 22, 2016
– Dave Meltzer reported on the latest PWG show. One of our favorites here at FGB, Jeff Cobb, had his first match at PWG and it sounds like it went quite well.
– Adam Rose was also released per his request.
– Hiroshi Tanahashi is off because of injury.
– Sasha Banks is also hurt.
– An edited version of Raw will be shown on Syfy.
– Samoa Joe vs Finn Balor in a steel cage main events the next NXT: TakeOver.
– Conor McGregor was interviewed by Kenny Mayne on ESPN.
– College football writer Clay Travis wrote that he thinks Netflix should be interested in buying WWE and UFC.
– Our Alex Goff wrote that both parties should go forward with Mayweather vs McGregor.
– Bob Arum settled his lawsuit with Al Haymon and PBC.
And now, the top five…
5. Michael Bisping replaces Chris Weidman at UFC 199.
Word got out during the week that Chris Weidman had a neck problem that was just not going away. He had to pull out of his fight with Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Stephania Bell from ESPN wrote about the severity of the injury.
Who stepped in?
— michael (@bisping) May 17, 2016
It was none other than Michael Bisping.
Bisping lost to Rockhold already and it wasn’t a competitive fight. But with Jacare also out because of injury, Bisping was the best bet to step in. He’s going to sell the hell out of the fight and be as ready as anyone on two weeks notice could possibly be.
4. Vince McMahon sells over 2 million shares of WWE stock.
Since I won’t even pretend to know exactly what this means, I reached out to our guy Alex Goff.
Here’s his thoughts on it:
In a story I assumed would be larger, Vince McMahon doesn’t actually believe he’ll live forever.
The Chairman of WWE has stated his belief in his own immortality many times, but this week he sold over 2 million shares for “estate planning.” When you are wealthy, developing trusts and other such vehicles in order to lessen your tax burden becomes important. When you reach roughly 5.43 million (single person) or 10.86 million (married person) in any type of holdings cash, bonds, and/or stocks, the Federal Government looks to tax roughly between 7.7-18.8 percent. When money changes hands, it is taxed, and vehicles such as trusts are created in order to prevent that.
According to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxes, this applies to about .2 percent of Americans. Not too shabby for a failed rock concert promoter. It is a good thing all of those pro wrestlers are taking lower payouts since switching to the network, though. While they are afraid to take time off when hurt and banged up, Vince is making sure he can give all the millions to future members of his family he may not meet. I think this is an excellent example of Gov. Chris Christie’s quote, “Shared sacrifice for everyone.”
3. Canelo vacates his middleweight title.
I told everyone who was within earshot that I didn’t think Canelo vs GGG was anywhere close to being made. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to see the fight. I just didn’t see the Canelo giving up his status as the top draw in boxing so easily.
A fight with GGG is the biggest one he can make outside of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather or maybe even one with Manny Pacquiao. But he can make two or three others that would be close enough to it, to where the risk isn’t worth GGG. It’s all in the negotiation. What leverage does GGG have? None, really. Canelo holds all the cards.
If GGG and his camp want the fight so badly, make a deal. Make some concessions. GGG wants to be where Canelo is and Canelo wants to hold onto his spot. This is normal. This is boxing.
2. John Cena will host the ESPYs.
This story hasn’t gotten the hype it deserves. John Cena is hosting the ESPYs. The ESPYs in of itself isn’t a great awards show. But it gets a lot of eyeballs and more importantly, will show Cena on stage with some heavy hitters. (If ABC can swing it, they should do whatever it takes to get The Rock to be there to do a skit with him.)
This is a much bigger deal for Cena than it is for WWE, but WWE should get something out of it too. What it shows to me is that Cena is now someone Hollywood people are taking seriously. With his recent acting roles, hosting gigs on not only a reality show, but also the guest hosting shots on the Today Show, and now this, WWE should continue to be full steam ahead on their Cena exit plan because he might be around less and less.
1. Seth Rollins returns at Extreme Rules.
Thanks to the NBA scheduling the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night, I didn’t get a chance to watch Extreme Rules live. And thanks to my Warriors completely getting bulldozed by the Thunder, I wasn’t really in the mood to watch the show as closely as I generally do.
But I still saw enough to see that AJ Styles is by far, the best wrestler in WWE. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Cesaro are all up there, but Styles bests them all. I can’t wait for Nakamura to come up to the main roster.
A few more thoughts:
– We need a new name for Anderson and Gallows. The Club sounds copycat and generic. I’m okay with them becoming part of the Balor Club eventually, but right now, they need something to match their personas, which is admittedly bad ass so far. I’m enjoying them.
– I think four-ways are chaotic and can often be phony matches because of all the interference, but the one for the IC strap was really good. There was maybe a few too many false finishes on Cesaro, but overall, I enjoyed it a lot.
– I didn’t like the Asylum match like most. I thought the idea was pretty terrible, but the booking of it to go so long made it worse. I will give them credit though as I thought the last 5 minutes was super fun. It just took forever to get there.
– I was so bummed with the Women’s title match. They had so much to give on two shows in a row and WWE has limited them by making it more about an overall storyline.
– The main event was maybe the best WWE main roster match that I’ve seen this year. I’m not sure that I like it more than Nakamura and Zayn, but it could be a tossup. Did I say that AJ Styles is great?
— WWE (@WWE) May 23, 2016
And of course, like I sort-of predicted to my buddy Myles, Seth Rollins made a pretty big return.
@MylesInSF – I don't think it's the right time, but a Seth run-in during the main event wouldn't surprise me.
— GG (@roheblius) May 22, 2016
WWE should have a big summer based on all their returns.
See you next week.