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Wrestling Rumour Roundup: Brand Split News & NXT Star Possibly Injured

This week we have news on the status of the brand split backstage, rumorus regarding a big push for Carmella, Kairi Hojo told she is not allowed to use the elbow drop, and much more!

Kairi Hojo told “no elbow drop” as it’s Bayley’s move

A questionable decision has been made by the WWE, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (by way of botchedlegdrop). Kairi Hojo, known in Japan and around the world for her deadly elbow drop, has been told she will not be using this finisher. Some regard Hojo’s top-rope elbow drop to be the best in the business, and many fans would even argue that it’s this move alone that got her famous. Visually, it’s a stunning finisher. She dives from the top rope, and gets into position, elbow facing down, to deliver a very Savage-esque drop. 

The reason behind this decision was simply because it was “Bayley’s move,” and now supposedly WWE has her looking for a new finisher. In my opinion, this is ridiculous. To take away the one move Hojo has perfected, all for the sake of letting the most over-rated female competitor in the WWE keep her secondary finisher seems ludicrous. However, Hojo is a top talent, and I’m sure she will come up with an equally devastating move. Do yourselves a favour and look up her elbow drop – we’re not exaggerating!

Matt Riddle is not interested in the WWE

Matt Riddle is taking the independent scene by storm as of late. His hard hitting MMA style of wrestling seems to be progressively getting more popular. It is only a matter of time before WWE have their sights on him, as NXT’s earlier acquisition of Tommy End (now strangely named ‘Aleister Black’) shows they have an interest in hard-hitting strong style MMA. However, this may not be the case. From Matt Riddle himself, during his interview with wrestling podcast Ring Rust Radio, he mentioned how he is not interested in joining the WWE, but would love to work for New Japan at some point. Here is the direct quote:

“I just don’t want to go to WWE this second. They have so much talent on their roster and so much going on. I am not saying things won’t change, but right now I am working in the Indies and building my reputation. I get to work the style I want to work 100 percent, and no one is telling me what to do. If I went to the WWE right now, it would be a big deal, but not as big of a deal as it could be. I like wrestling right now, working tournaments, winning titles and going all around the world. At the same time, I feel like there are a few things on my bucket list to do before I go to the WWE. I would like to wrestle for New Japan or at least wrestle in Japan. If I could be in Zak Sabre’s situation, that would be ideal for me right now. He wrestles for New Japan, Evolve and PWG. He wrestles for all the promotions I do, but he also does New Japan.”

Big push incoming for Carmella as WWE officials get planning

This week on SmackDown Live, we saw the Princess of Staten Island pick up yet ANOTHER win against the SmackDown Women’s Champ – Naomi. As a result, Sportskeeda reports that WWE are looking at Carmella very favorably at the moment, and plan to have her feud with Naomi for the title after Backlash is said and done. The report also states that Carmella was originally supposed to win the title at WrestleMania 33, and then drop it to Naomi two days later – however, plans changed. The officials were very pleased with how Carmella dealt with the sudden change of plans, how she conducted herself, and how she has embraced her (ridiculous) angle with James Ellsworth. 

Triple H is also reported to be very fond of Carmella, as he is the one who apparently broke her away from Enzo and Cass so she could develop into her own character as a solo star. She has also mentioned on Lillian Garcia’s wrestling podcast how she had a conversation with Triple H where he told her about her potential. She explained how Hunter told her he believed that she was a lot more than just a hype girl for Enzo and Cass and that he sees more in her. Either way, I am a huge Carmella fan, I think she plays her character extremely well – and it even shows when she wrestles, with her scrappy hair-pulling style. I hope she goes far in the division.

WWE are happy with the brand split

It’s been a controversial year for the WWE since the brand split last July, with many people for it, and many people against it. While it has given the WWE’s over-filled roster room to breathe, people say some questionable decisions, like not bringing up Nakamura, Samoa Joe, Bayley and Asuka as soon as the split happened has hurt their characters. Three of the aforementioned characters are now on the roster, but many people still say the rosters feel unbalanced – and seem to favor Raw as the “better roster.”

However, this doesn’t seem to have had an adverse effect on the WWE officials. According to Cageside Seats, “everyone within WWE has been happy with the brand split, and they may do even more to differentiate between Raw and SmackDown Live.” This is very interesting, and I hope that it’s true. Raw and SmackDown Live are already two very different shows, and it works for me because I dislike the goofy segments in between matches that WWE seem to love, and much prefer to just focus on the in-ring work of the performers. Luckily, Commissioner Shane McMahon also shares this opinion. As a result, SmackDown Live focuses more on their wrestling than their storylines. Hopefully, this news is true, and the writers and creative team for SmackDown Live begin to make the show even more unique and different from Raw.

Former NXT Tag Team Champion Potentially Injured

Lastly, some of the latest news from last night is a potential injury to one-half of #DIY, Tommaso Ciampa. Multiple reports have come in from fans in attendance at a live event yesterday that Ciampa suffered an ankle injury and the match was stopped as a result. The dreaded ‘X’ signal was thrown up by officials and Ciampa was seen to by medical staff. There’s no official word on the severity of the injury, but the timing is extremely unfortunate due to NXT TakeOver: Chicago taking place tomorrow. If Ciampa is unable to compete, WWE’s options are pretty extensive.

Gargano could bring in a substitute partner, a team like Heavy Machinery could step up to replace #DIY, or we might even see some of NXT’s deep talent pool put together to take on the Authors of Pain. Some fans are speculating already that Kassius Ohno & Aleister Black may be teamed back up, harkening back to their “Heroes Eventually Die” team (at that time, Chris Hero & Tommy End) in Evolve prior to arriving in NXT. Nothing is set in stone yet, and we can hope that Ciampa’s injury was not as severe as first believed, but this video of the injury from @briantheguppie doesn’t look good. 

Should Hojo drop her Elbow Drop in order for Bayley to keep her secondary finisher? Are you happy Matt Riddle isn’t planning on going to the WWE anytime soon? Is Carmella deserving of a big push in the WWE? What are your opinions on the two shows becoming more and more different and diverse? Let me know in the comments below!

Fabio Militello

My name is Fabio Militello, I'm a Computer Science graduate living in South London, and I write about professional wrestling and olympic weightlifting. The best wrestler of all time is Kurt Angle, the best WWE Superstar currently is AJ Styles, and the best professional wrestler outside of the WWE is Jay Lethal!

Wrestling Rumour Roundup: Brand Split News & NXT Star Possibly Injured

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