By Bayani Domingo, Associate Editor
Baron Corbin is in some pretty rare company after his failed attempt at cashing in his Money In The Bank briefcase. Only John Cena and Damien Sandow have failed to capitalize on their opportunity. Those of you who have the WWE Network were also “treated” to the debut of Enzo Amore on 205 Live. Challenging the Champ, Neville, on the basis of his successful…umm…his recent string of….errr…because…he has cool catch phrases? You can also look to a couple of other curious cases, which have seen wrestler’s stocks drop like a Kairi Sane Top Rope Elbow: Naomi also mysteriously jobbed cleanly to Natalya, and not only that, but she ended up tapping out, which is generally rare for Faces to do. Then you have the recent “Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal” winner, Mojo Rawley, all but disappear from the mid-card scene and be thrown back into the flailing tag division.
The term “Heat” is thrown around so casually now a days it’s hard to know what the dirt sheets reporting is real or not. Rusev jobbed in less than 30 secs to Randy Orton, which sparked the rumors of him asking for his release. Paige seems to have no further hurdles to her return after she was cleared of domestic abuse charges, though it will be interesting to see if she ever sets foot in a WWE ring after her little tape and legal trouble. Not to be out done, Alberto de Patron was stripped of his belt faster than Paige in a department store dressing room (there are literally ENDLESS Paige sex tape jokes, people) by GFW, and if it wasn’t for his recent near death incident Shibata might’ve found himself on the outs with NJPW. In japan the attitudes around adultery are far less flippant than they are in the States. There is a good chance his punishment would either be a suspension, fine, or being shunted so far down the card that he’d be jobbing to Bone Soldier Jr.
The reason you don’t have this kind of problem on the Indy circuit is that any time a wrestler gets Heat in the locker room or with management, they simply aren’t booked again. Simple as that. Even in lucha companies they are able to simple blackball wrestlers, as anyone who has worked with Konnan or Vampiro will tell you. When Taya got Heat with Vampiro, unbeknownst to her, she was stripped of her title immediately without her knowledge, it’s a totally different animal outside of the E. Now that Vampiro has the book and is being accused of abusing his position to put himself over, it will be interesting to see what the Heat on management does to the locker room. There are wrestlers with fairly ironclad contracts that may not be able to do anything but bend over and take it, while others could look to flee the toxic backstage situation. But management Heat is a topic for another day.
There are different levels of “Heat” in wrestling. What happened to Baron Corbin is less traditional “Heat” and more of what is rumored to be a slight by John Cena, who himself has had Heat within the locker room for being perceived as burying more men than a Chilean coal mine cave in. But that’s the kind of Heat you get from someone in power, at this point I’d argue Cena IS management. Enzo apparently just lost the entire locker room, the man lost all respect and didn’t have the talent, nor the work ethic to make up for a perceived ego that was on display. Talent and politicking can get you pretty far in the business, along with bloodlines and nepotism, but you better have one of the things in spades if your ego keeps getting in your own way.
That isn’t to say that all Heat is deserved, I’d argue that Paige was foolish to even MAKE a tape in the first place, but I don’t see Xavier Woods being punished, or Brad Maddox for potentially leaking it. Corbin sure as hell didn’t book himself to win MitB, but he’s now suffering the consequence and it’s not Mojo’s fault that the man is rawer than Daniel Bryan’s vegan diet. Low Ki’s run in the E came to an abrupt halt after it was apparent that the Indy fans that the E are shamelessly shilling to now got him way more over than the E ever intended him to be. There have also been instances when people received Heat backstage but were either too important or famous to bare the full brunt (Stone Cold’s domestic charges, Brock’s contract demands, HBK and “The Curtain Call”) or guys who merely ended riding it out to obtain success later (Daniel Bryan, CM Punk to some degree, and Randy Orton).
At the end of the day a wrestling company is still a company. It’s no different than people working in a corporate office or at a retail store. You have management, the perception of management, and you have reality. In any working environment, there is bound to be Heat on someone, whether it’s deserved or not. There are sometimes opportunities for it to blow over, or sometimes you’ll just be left with the options of either remaining in purgatory, never getting a promotion or opportunity to advance, or you can simply wait until you have the chance to leave, if you’re lucky its on your own terms, but usually it involves taking a dump in your manager’s right top desk drawer, pissing in the coffee pot, and stealing everything in the supply cabinet you can fit in your company issued duffle bag they gave you instead of bonuses that one Christmas. The point is, the Heat is real, and while your favorite wrestler may or may not be able to escape the flame, it’s not always a death sentence. The question is whether they’re willing to wait it and or look for greener and cooler pastures. In this case methinks Corbin and Naomi will eventually be fine. I’m just waiting for Enzo to show up at GFW in a couple months or ADP and Paige showing up at next year’s AAA Triplemania, because no one loves a Triple like Paige. Really, ENDLESS jokes….
- NJPW is holding try-outs in Australia. They previously signed “The Mighty Don’t Kneel” who went onto NXT as TM61. This time I suspect we’ll get another member of Bullet Club. Perhaps, “The Down Under Boss”?
- Rumors are swirling that Rusev and Lana asking for their release? I understand from Rusev’s point of view after his string or horrendous booking. But, Lana should know better. Most new Russian brides aren’t granted a release until 2 years after their Green Card is granted. Or…you know, they turn 35. #stealthtrumpjoke
- Low Ki has also apparently asked for his release as well from GFW. Sources can’t agree as to whether it is over financial or creative differences. Either way, I guess he’ll have to change his gimmick to “Agent 86’ed”.
- Veneno was unmasked on Lucha Underground to reveal himself as Cortez Castro. which is clearly going to put his life in danger now that his cover is blown. No way would he be able to sneak back into the temple in another disguise, like a….MASK?!?! Jebus, LU is using the same gimmick to keep Ricky Reyes on screen that I do on Saturday afternoons at Costco on Sample Day. “Uno mas mini quiche por favor!”
- Prince Puma has won the Cueto Cup, and with it an instant title shot against Johnny Mundo. So while Cage won a crazy ass gauntlet that gave him super powers, but turned him into a bi-polar violent psycho, apparently Prince Puma won a Cup that…gives him a match. Well THAT’S anti-climactic. That Cup better have some kind of special powers or something. Like it better turn grant eternal life, unlimited title shots, or…turn water into a carbonated flavored drink. Shit, I ummm…should stop watching those Soda Stream commercials late night…
- Dominick Mysterio interfered in his father’s match against Johnny Mundo and inadvertently cost his father the title. I can’t believe he would think he would have gotten away with it too. That locker room has a lot of Latino Heat waiting for him. He thought he could lie, cheat, and steal in order to get ahead, I mean, what kind of father would you have to have to that’s ok? Ohh….oh no….
- Lio Rush signed with NXT this week. Which was confusing, because at first I read his name as LiO, and I thought Lonzo Ball had snuck in another son on RAW somehow. Those blond tips on his flat top didn’t help either.
- Big Cass has suffered a torn ACL on RAW this week. I get there’s only ONE word to describe his ligament and I’m gonna SPELL IT OUT….S-A-W-F-T
- Shelton Benjamin returned to SDL this week and looks to be tag teaming with Chad Gable before…he turns on him and goes Heel. Yeah, we all see this coming, right? It does feel like Gable is destined to endlessly tag with Black wrestlers though. I still think the standard bearer for Black/White tag teams has to go to Xavier Woods and Brad Maddox though. Those guys can REALLY hit a double team ‘Finisher”…although, it feels like it’s never a CLEAN finish for those guys.
- Bobby Roode made a GLORIOUS debut on SDL this week while dispatching Aiden English in a surprisingly competitive match. Hopefully this isn’t leading to an underwhelming feud between the two. Because so far English going 0 for 1 against Roode puts him in a small Glorious Hole. And that sucks.
- Johnny Impact made his GFW debut this week. I like the idea of him changing his last name in every promotion he works. Although I’m not looking forward to “Johnny WrestleReunion”, “Johnny Legend”, and eventually “Johnny Hospice”.
- Lars Sullivan runs wild over No Way Jose. I know some people are wondering if William Regal is going to punish this huge Aryan looking hunk of Hoss for unjustifiably singling out, attacking, and unnecessarily brutalizing the Dominican born No Way Jose, but…I’m fairly sure a higher power is going to end up pardoning him anyways. #NOTstealthtrumpjoke
- Asuka reportedly suffered a broken collarbone at Takeover and has relinquished her title. She is now under negotiations to join either RAW, Smackdown, or “The Money Team” alongside Mayweather. Because where else are you going to get a big paycheck after brutally beating women without repercussions?
- Tony Nese might not have realized that they already did a min-Big Poppa Pump gimmick with “Little Petey Pump”. So far he’s been riding his “Premiere Athlete” gimmick all the way to the mid-card of the D-Show. He might wanna stop working the “Curls for the Girls” and working his “Tushy for a Push-y”.
- Marty Jannetty recently posted a pic on his Twitter of a young woman which more or less eluded to finding out a girl he thought was his illegitimate daughter, was in fact not. And now he was having conflicted feelings because he thought she was hot, so….ummm…. obviously, right fellas? This gives new meaning to the term “The Jannetty of the tag team”. So any women out there with a paternity suit reason to slap Chad Gable with, you…might wanna reconsider. Because he might be Ready, Willing, and Gable to tap that.
- Also, I guess that means one of the stops on the “Rock n Roll Express” is Incest-Town, “ALL ABOARD!!”.
- To be fair, this could be considered a “Pre-Existing Condition” after that Superkick through the barbershop window all those years ago must’ve scrambled his brain….I just wish I could Repeal and Replace those 30 seconds of my life reading that nasty ass tweet.
- And finally… there’s got to be just the hardest to find Youporn channel that caters to this very specific Old man-teen/Incest fetish. I just wonder if the password to it is “Bigly”. Ok, I’m done now.