Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday trying to figure out if you even had FS1, and missed WWE Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday trying to find a replacement for Derrick Henry on your NFL fantasy team, and missed Raw.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
10. Sola Sikoa Wrestles First Match for NXT 2.0
The most successful family in professional wrestling officially added to its lineage this week. Sola Sikoa, member of the famous Anoa’i family and younger brother to the Usos, competed in his first match for NXT 2.0 this week. Sikoa was able to make quick work of Jeet Rama, defeating him with a Uso splash off the top rope. Time will tell if Sikoa can continue to be successful in NXT, but he without question has The Bloodline. (TJRWrestling)
9. Tony Nese Debuts on AEW: Dark
A former WWE champion debuted on AEW Dark this week. Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese defeated Fuego Del Sol on AEW’s YouTube Show AEW Dark. Nese recently appeared in the crowd on AEW Dynamite, and was referred to as one of the hottest free agents in wrestling. Nese was released from WWE in June due to budget cuts. Nese was recently critical of his time in WWE, calling 205 Live “Wrestling Purgatory”. I for one am happy that Nese has escaped 205 Live Purgatory, and will now be seen by everybody who watches AEW Dark!
8. AJ Styles Out With “Non-Injury Medical Issue”
If you have been watching Raw for the last few weeks, you may have noticed that “the face that runs the place” is noticeably missing. This week it was reported that AJ Styles has been dealing with a “Non-Injury Medical Issue”. Styles has not been seen since he and partner Omos lost to RK-Bro at Crown Jewel on October 21st. Omos has appeared at Raw since then without Styles, most recently coming out during the Street Profits vs. The Dirty Dawgs match. Omos ended up distracting The Street Profits, allowing The Dirty Dawgs to get the win. It has not been reported what medical issue Styles is suffering from, but it may be related to carrying a 7’3”, 400lbs man for eight months. (TJRWrestling)
7. Kalisto Debuts for AEW
This week two Lucha Libre stars challenged FTR for the AAA titles on AEW: Dynamite. The first superstar was Aero Star, which any old fan of Lucha Underground is sure to recognize. The other was Samuray Del Sol, who most fans would know better under his WWE name of Kalisto. Kalisto held both the United States and Cruiserweight Titles for WWE, before getting released from the company last April. Kalisto and Aerostar were not successful in their match against FTR, and Kalisto actually got criticized on Twitter by Chris Jericho after the match for spelling Jon Huber’s (Brodie Lee) name wrong. Coincidentally Jericho has also criticized me for accidentally spelling his band Fozzy’s name CRAP. (TJRWrestling)
You spelled his name wrong. https://t.co/5xMymtqfzd
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) November 4, 2021
6. Brock Lesnar Fined One Million Dollars
WWE did their best Dr. Evil impression this week. This past Friday on Smackdown, it was announced that Brock Lesnar was being fined $1 million for attacking WWE official Adam Pearce two weeks ago. This fine was along with the indefinite suspension that Lesnar had already received. Personally, I feel this fine is a little unfair, as forcing Brock to pay 5% of his yearly income seems a little steep.
5. Bryan Danielson and Miro to Meet in the Finals of the Eliminator Tournament
The finals of the AEW Eliminator Tournament to determine a new number one contender for the AEW World Championship is all set. This past Friday on AEW Rampage, Bryan Danielson defeated Eddie Kingston in an incredible match to move on to the finals. Then on Dynamite this week, Miro replaced Jon Moxley in the semifinal match against Orange Cassidy, and went on to defeat Cassidy to earn his spot. Danielson and Miro will now face off against each other to determine who will become the new number one contender. Although this match will unquestionably be great, there is a chance that it is only happening so Tony Khan can show his father that he does play with the things he buys him. (TJRWrestling)
The tournament has been redeemed. @bryandanielson will be too.
— Miro (@ToBeMiro) November 4, 2021
4. Shotzi Attacks Sasha Banks
Shotzi’s first night as a singles superstar on Smackdown did not go as planned. After Charlotte Flair refused to give Sasha Banks a title match this week on Smackdown, Shotzi came down to challenge Charlotte. Charlotte went on to accept the challenge, with the two having a match while Banks watched from ringside. Banks then proceeded to get on the apron, with Charlotte then getting in her face. Shotzi then proceeded to try to hit Charlotte, but almost hit Banks instead. This distraction allowed Charlotte to hit Natural Selection and get the win. Banks then went to check on Shotzi, which lead to Shotzi blaming Banks for the loss. Shotzi then snapped, and brutally attacked Banks. Shotzi later appeared on Talking Smack and stated that she was “fed up” and “done being the happy and easygoing Shotzi.” Clearly, Shotzi is done being the good guy, as her heart has turned black. (TJRWrestling)
3. No Matches Announced for Survivor Series
Perhaps the strangest news this week was the complete lack of news about Survivor Series. With Survivor Series taking place in the Barclays Center in just 16 days (November 21), not a single match has been announced for the show. This past Monday’s Raw pretty much ignored the “Big Four PPV”, with it just being mentioned in passing. We will have to wait and see if WWE starts announcing matches tonight on Smackdown, or if they just like everybody else have stopped caring who the team captains are. (TJRWrestling)
With #SurvivorSeries 3️⃣ weeks away, give us your boldest prediction of what will happen
— WWE (@WWE) October 27, 2021
2. Jon Moxley Enters Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Program
Any long-time fan of wrestling has seen firsthand the effects the wrestling business can have on its performers, with far too many of them leaving us too soon due to drug and alcohol abuse. If these superstars had just reached out and gotten help like Jon Moxley did this week, many of them would probably still be here today. Tony Khan announced on Twitter this week that Moxley has checked himself into an Inpatient Alcohol Treatment program, and will be out indefinitely. I would personally like to applaud Moxley for making this decision and hope that future superstars who are dealing with similar issues follow his lead.
Jon Moxley has allowed me to share with you that he is entering an inpatient alcohol treatment program. Jon is a beloved member of the AEW family. We all stand with him and Renee, and all of his family and friends, as he shifts his focus to recovery.
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) November 3, 2021
1. WWE Releases 18 Superstars
Thursday afternoon WWE reported a 15% increase in revenue at their third-quarter earnings meeting. A few hours later they released 18 superstars due to budget cuts. Among the names released were main roster superstar Keith Lee, Nia Jax, Karrion Kross, Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado, Eva Marie, “B-Fab” Briana Brandy, and Harry “British Bulldog Jr.” Smith. Along with the main roster stars, NXT superstars Scarlett Boudreaux, Oney Lorcan, Franky Monet, Ember Moon, Trey Baxter, Jessi Kamea, Jeet Rama, Zayda Ramier and Katrina Cortez were also released. Seventy-three superstars have either been released or not re-signed in WWE and NXT so far this year. Normally I would make a joke about Tony Khan’s dad’s checkbook, but the reality is with ROH now gone there is not many places for these guys to find profitable jobs in wrestling. Therefore I am calling on the greatest creative mind in wrestling John Canton, to spend some of that sweet TJR money and start a federation of his own for these talented guys and gals to work at. (TJRWrestling)
It’s one thing to not renew someone’s contract.
It’s another thing to have someone uproot their entire lives, move to an unfamiliar area, and release them from their contract mere months into it.
THAT’S what’s fucked up.
— Trisha Parker (@JordynneGrace) November 5, 2021
That will conclude another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Thank you for taking the time to read this each week. Although I often joke, I have recently started working with NYCW and respect more than ever what wrestlers do every week. If you like what I do, despite my jokes being almost as bad as spelling Jon wrong, then feel free to listen to my brand new podcast The Smark and the Noob and follow me on Twitter @Fowlerwrestlin1 as well.