Hey yo. Normally I'm just the Wednesday Headlines guy, but Lonestar is out of the TJRWrestling "office" due to a vacation, so I'm filling in.
As I do every week, I wrote the Raw Deal column (or is it a review?) yesterday. I'm not going to summarize Raw here, but if you missed Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins on Raw you should try to find it somewhere. They had an awesome match that went nearly 20 minutes.
There was some news prior to Raw on the injury front. It was reported on WWE.com that Fandango is currently out of action with a concussion. Here's part of the WWE.com story.
WWE.com sources have reported that Fandango suffered a concussion during the SmackDown taping on Tuesday night and was pulled from WWE Live Events throughout the week.
Fandango passed his impact test, but has yet to pass further testing needed for clearance.
He passed the test, yet he's still not cleared for action. That sucks for him. Hopefully it's not an injury that keeps him out for over a month like the concussion that Dolph Ziggler had.
His match on Smackdown was against Zack Ryder. Does this mean Ryder will be punished for causing an injury on an opponent? I don't think so. Plus, even if they did what could they do to Ryder? He's barely on television and if he is all he does is lose matches. It's not like they can punish him even more aside from firing him.
The lineup at Payback (more on that below) changed due to Fandango's injury. Instead of Fandango taking part in the IC Title match, they have moved Curtis Axel into that spot. In my column about Payback on Saturday, I figured that Fandango would win the IC Title. That plan has obviously changed now. It will be interesting to see what role he has when he returns to action.
Regarding the concussion issue, we've had several columns written about it on TJRWrestling.com in the last few weeks. Here's one from Mike Holland that was posted today that you should read closely. I think he covered the subject very well.
IN OTHER NEWS
- Prior to Raw, only three matches were announced for Sunday's WWE Payback pay-per-view. By the time Raw ended, eight matches were official for the event. Here's the lineup straight from WWE.com.
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Ryback (Three Stages of Hell Match)
World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel
United States Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Kane
Divas Champion Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow (special Kickoff to Payback Match)
The "special Kickoff to Payback Match" is odd to me. There's nothing "special" about a pre-show match. That's all that it is. I'm not sure why they put the word "Kickoff" in there either. It's not like this is a NFL game. Perhaps they felt like calling it something other than a pre-show because that term is demeaning. I don't know.
I guess this means that the next time The Miz is not actually on a PPV he can say he is the most "Must-See Kickoff to (Insert PPV name) Match" wrestler ever. It hurts my head just thinking about that potential promo.
Anyway, the full Payback PPV preview with Andrew Johnson, Christian Michael and myself will be posted on Friday. I'll save the detailed picks until then.
- Smackdown ratings are on the rise again. Good to see that. (PWTorch) I enjoy Smackdown most weeks because the in-ring action is above average. Plus, the guys from The Shield and Daniel Bryan usually play a big role in the show every week. My biggest gripe with Smackdown is they air too many replays of Raw. Most people that watch Smackdown have already seen Raw. We don't need two long video packages featuring the big angles from Raw. It's not new. It's a waste of time that could be used on focusing on talents that don't get a lot of TV time.
- Nikki Bella is going to be a guest judge at the Miss USA competition on June 16th in Las Vegas. (Reuters) Her boyfriend John Cena won't be there because he'll be wrestling at WWE Payback.
I don't know if this counts as news. I feel stupider for even reading that news. It's a slow news day.
I think after writing that last "story" it's time to wrap it up. I have to save some content for tomorrow's Headlines, which is another way of saying I really hope there is something interesting that pops up later today because right now the material is thin.
I'll be back with Headlines tomorrow morning, then TJR Radio tomorrow night and then on Friday with the Payback PPV Preview.