Several matches for Backlash were announced during Monday Night Raw. During a Cutting Edge interview segment featuring everyone in the WWE title picture, it was announced that WWE champion John Cena would defend his title at Backlash against Shawn Michaels, Edge, and Randy Orton in a Fatal Four Way bout. ECW World champion Bobby Lashley will defend the ECW championship against Vince McMahon, Umaga, and Shane McMahon in a handicap match. WWE Tag Team champions Matt and Jeff Hardy will defend their titles against Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch at Backlash by virtue of Cade and Murdoch’s victory over Ric Flair and Carlito on tonight’s Raw.
Kylie Rae, Austin Theory Among Wrestlers Heading to WWE Tryouts
The next set of WWE tryouts are set to begin next week and they feature some notable names, including Reality of Wrestling’s Kylie Rae and Evolve’s Austin Theory.
Squared Circle Sirens issued a report confirming Rae will be among the wrestlers at tryouts, which will be held at the WWE Performance Center.
Rae made her professional wrestling debut in 2016, winning the ROW’s Diamond Championship from Ivory Robyn in her first match. She is a two-time holder of the title, defeating Robyn to the belt in December.
Rae has also wrestled in RISE, as well as Freelance Wrestling.
In a report from PWInsider, Theory was listed as one of the wrestlers traveling to the WWE Performance Center for a tryout.
Theory is another wrestler who is making a name for himself, holding the FIP and FPSW Heavyweight titles. Like Rae, Theory made his professional debut in 2016, defeating his trainer AR Fox to win the WWA4 Heavyweight title. He has found a string of success in Evolve.
Other wrestlers confirmed for a WWE tryout according to the PWInsider report:
Evan Cloyd – aka Jarek 1:20
Also known as Chase Silver, Jarek 1:20 is a seven-year veteran who got his start in Beyond Wrestling. He has competed in various promotions in the United States. In the last year, he has made appearances in Evolve.
Barnes is a veteran of the United States Air Force and has wrestled in different promotions, including the World Association of Wrestling in the U.K.
Hailing from Canada, Nicole is a four-year veteran who has wrestled in her home country and in the United States. She is a two-time PWA Elite Women’s Champion and a former APW Women’s Champion.
Although Vieru has no wrestling experience, he comes in with an impressive athletic background. Vieru played football for Oregon State University and was a three-sport athlete in high school.
Matt Van Buren
Known as “Gutter,” Van Buren comes to the Performance Center with an extensive MMA background. He has fought in both Bellator and the UFC where he made it to the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn” light heavyweight tournament.
Like all the tryout classes at the Performance Center, these competitors come the performance from all different backgrounds and varying levels of experience. Rae, Theory, Jarek and Nicole will have a leg up because of their experience wrestling on the independents as well as platforms like ROW and Evolve, which broadcast events – so they know how to work in front of a camera.
But fans shouldn’t out Van Buren and Vieru just because they haven’t competed inside of the squared circle as professional wrestlers. Having an athletic background can help a performer when it comes to learning the basics and conditioning.
Even if they don’t get signed to a developmental dea, all of the aforementioned people will have the opportunity to learn some tips that will help them in their journeys as professional wrestlers.
And if they do get signed to a developmental deal after this tryout, they have the opportunity to take the first step to becoming WWE superstars.
Rey Mysterio Talks About Being A Free Agent, Wanting One Final WWE Run
Former WWE, WCW, ECW and Lucha Underground superstar Rey Mysterio has been a free agent for quite some time, but is eyeing one final run in WWE.
Mysterio spoke with ESPN and talked about being a free agent as well as finishing his career in the place he experienced his most success.
“I’m not locked up to any company. I’m an independent contractor, as we say. I could go work wherever I want. That’s the beautiful thing about being on this side of the fence. You don’t have a commitment with only one company. You can go around and pretty much wrestle wherever you want. You can choose when you want your off-days to be. That was one of my main priorities when I left WWE.”
“I told myself, once I started feeling aching and I was having hard times getting up from my bed in the morning when I woke up, it was gonna start getting close to that time [to quit]. I was feeling that right towards my end of the last year or so of WWE. It came to the point where I was feeling like that constantly. I didn’t want to fall into another phase of taking either medication to ease my pain. I wanted to use the rest way to heal my body up. Believe it or not, the last two years, I don’t think I’ve felt better.”
And about a WWE return?
“This is the way I was thinking at the time, and I still think that to this day. When I left WWE, from my understanding and from the time that we sat down … that I decided not to re-sign another contract with WWE was for me to get some off time. I never meant or insinuated in any way or form that I was gonna leave for good. I think that should say a lot. I wasn’t announcing that was the end of Rey Mysterio’s career. I would definitely love to go back and finish up. Whether it’s one year or whatever the case might be. Whether it’s a farewell. I owe a lot to that company. That company gave me such an amazing opportunity, and I took advantage of every single moment I was with WWE to the fullest. I wouldn’t want to just be remembered as ‘Oh, man, he never re-signed and he never came back.’ I would definitely love to come back and do a last run and say goodbye to my WWE fans. Tell them goodbye in a proper way.”
TNA Releases Lance Rock And Petey Williams
TNA has released both Lance Rock and Petey Williams. The reason for the releases is said to be an effort to freshen up the undercard roster by replacing talent that has been with the company for an extended period of time.
The plan is to bring in some new performers to replace them. There is no heat with either Williams or Rock, and the feeling is that both could be back with the company down the line.
Other releases are expected.
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