WWE Women’s Championship returning

Brad Davis:

WWE finally caved and the decision has been made to rebrand Divas division as the Women’s division. The official announcement will be made on Monday’s WWE RAW from Dallas, the night after WrestleMania. The news was first reported by PWInsider and we’ve since verified it independently.

A new WWE Women’s Championship belt has already commissioned. From what we’ve been told, the new Women’s Championship bares a strong similarity to the WWE World Heavyweight championship belt – but smaller.

Finally.

Wrestlemania hates tag teams

Brad Davis:

It appears that The League Of Nations’ match against The New Day at WrestleMania 32 will no longer be for the WWE tag team championships.

The match was announced last week as a 3-on-4 contest with the tag titles on the line. WWE has since deleted the tweet announcing the title match and the match preview over at WWE.com no longer mentions the titles being on the line. Now, it’s being billed as a “Battle for Supremacy” between the two teams.

Somebody at WWE remembered that under no circumstances are the Tag Titles to be defended at WrestleMania.

Bray Wyatt, injured

Eric Lynch:

Turns out Bray is working with a back injury right now. Meltzer says Bray’s back is in really bad shape, so WWE made the decision to stop him from taking bumps for the time being. This adds to the list of injuries Bray has sustained since his NXT days, including a pectoral injury that required surgery and several nagging injuries.

Bray currently isn’t advertised to compete at WrestleMania on April 3rd.

Is now a good time to talk about increasing safety measures for pro wrestlers?

Just friends!

Eric Lynch:

Kurt Angle and Triple H reportedly met last weekend for the first time since 2006. The two multi-time WWE World Champions were both in attendance at the Arnold Sports Festival last weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Angle was there to be inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame, and Triple H was there to film and produce some videos for WWE.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported news of their meeting on Sunday night, but said there’s no word on what they talked about.

Do you think Kurt led with “So how’s Stephanie?”

Ryan Ward, promoted

Brad Davis:

NXT head writer Ryan Ward has been moved to the SmackDown writing team, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

One of the things viewers have noticed with nXt performers moving up to the main shows is that they tend to lose something in the process. One of those components is the writing quality. It’s important to take note that nXt is the grooming level for all aspects of WWE, including every level of production. Imagine WWE in a few years, when all current successful nXt crew are working the main shows. You’ll see a difference.

WWE and Orlando are so in love they’re actually making a physical Hall of Fame there

Brad Davis:

The WWE Hall of Fame, which is replacing NBA City, will feature a restaurant, merchandise store and tons of WWE wrestling memorabilia on display.

The concept will be very similar to the WWE New York themed restaurant in Times Square that closed back in 2003.

The physical WWE Hall of Fame and restaurant is scheduled to open in 2017 prior to WrestleMania 33 from Orlando.

A physical WWE Hall of Fame that people can stand in and buy hats from has been something that should have always existed. It’s one of the things that has made WWE’s Hall of Fame kind of silly, because it mostly just amounts to a ring, a speech, and a web page. But let’s try to make it a little bit better than WWE New York, okay? That place was a shit hole.

Christian not officially retired

Brad Davis:

WWE legends Edge & Christian recently appeared on Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast, which you can listen to over at PodcastOne.com.

Christian [mentioned] that he is not officially retired and never had a conversation with WWE about his career being over. However, Christian did say he’s come to terms with the fact that it’s unlikely he will be wrestling again.

There isn’t a better argument for more non-wrestling roles for former wrestlers than Edge and Christian. Both guys are still young, they were mostly known for their character work, and could still bring so much to the narrative.

However, it should be something other than their Network series. It’s unwatchable.

Big Show Possibly Injured

Brad Davis:

It appears that Big Show may have suffered a knee injury at Sunday’s WWE live event in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

WWE’s largest athlete teamed up with Dolph Ziggler against The Wyatt Family’s Braun Strowman and Luke Harper. Towards the end of the match, Show landed bad on his knee and appeared to be hurt.

Is now a good time to talk about increasing safety measures for pro wrestlers?

Jury Selected In Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker

David Bixenspan:

It’s interesting that the jury’s ratio of women to men is two to one. Comparisons of what happened to Hogan (sex tape made without his consent and eventually sent to a gossip website that published a small portion of it) to “revenge porn” have been fairly common with in legal arguments themselves as well as the media. You’d think that women (or at least younger women), might be more inclined to be more put off by Gawker as a result, though there could also be a distaste for Hogan for his infidelities. It all comes down to how well the lawyers questioned the jurors and if the jurors answered honestly.

This is a trial about the worst of American culture vs the other worst of American culture.

Jim Ross on switching places with Mauro Ranallo

Brad Davis, recapping from Observer Radio:

Jim Ross now calls NJPW while former NJPW English announcer Mauro Ranallo calls WWE SmackDown. JR said,

“It’s coincidental isn’t it? It’s very ironic that’s how its worked out, but I think we’ve both got wins. Mauro’s living a dream of finally working in WWE, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, and so that’s good for him. He’s allowed to continue to do his MMA and boxing, so he came out on the other side really well. I think that I did as well. I think I found my gig, I found my home that I hope is in place for years to come.”

He added that he and Josh Barnett are hell-bent on building the NJPW brand in the United States. AXS TV’s upper management team loves the product and would get involved in a larger capacity if they could.

Whoever is in charge of AXS TV feels it’s a good idea to have a wrestling show on a network as an anchor. It’s one of those old TV standby beliefs that might just hold true. And if you’re going to have one, an hour of handpicked NJPW PPV matches contextualized by Jim Ross are tough to beat.