Wrestle Review: Black Friday Submitted by Andy Sullivan on 04/17/2021 at 10:43 AM
Yesterday was what is known as Black Friday in WWE. Or you can say it was their annual Spring cleaning. Samoa Joe, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Mickie James, Chelsea Green, Wesley Blake and Tucker. I'm honestly surprised there weren't several more on that list. I wondered why Adnan Virk was on commentary on Raw Monday. Turns out he was replacing Samoa Joe. Not to miss out on the firings, AEW let go of Ivelise. Her tweet of "History repeats itself. I speak up about mistreatment and get let go" leads to a few questions. What was the mistreatment? Or is she just bitter about being let go? Could be just as interesting of a Talk is Jericho episode as Tucker, who said he'd tell his side of the story. I don't think we've heard the last of these.
I was very surprised that, just days after Escobar unified the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, he lost it to Kushida in an open challenge. Taya Valkyrie is now Frankie Monet in NXT. Friend of mine asked me why they insist on changing their names when they come in from another company. I'd imagine that, for example, AJ Styles owns that name so that allows him to be AJ Styles wherever he goes. The same can't be said for everyone. Of course, some companies just change a name. It's not a huge deal. Unless you hate the company they're going to. Then everything is a huge deal, I suppose.
Impact got in on the releases as well, letting Naveah go. On the flip side, looks like Maria Kanelis has signed with ROH again. Impact announced that Mauro Ranallo will call the Rebellion main event.
Pat McAfee debuted as Smackdown commentator this past week. I was pleasantly surprised. I think I was afraid NXT Pat McAfee was going to be the commentator. Luckily he didn't play his charachter. I was afraid he would and thought "oh no! This could be annoying". I'm glad I was wrong.
WrestleMania Backlash is up next. I'm glad they've finally realized that Backlash is just a bunch of WrestleMania rematches. I'm thinking we get Seth Rollins, with Roman Reigns' backing, vs Cesaro. Looks like they're finally putting Cesaro in the Universal Championship picture. He faced Jey Uso in the main event. Seth comes down and attacks Cesaro, saying "we're not done until I say". I love that, at least it appears, Cesaro is getting the big push. He won't dethrone Reigns of course. But it's good to see him finally get a shot.
AEW Dynamite was very good this week. I really enjoyed that Matt Hardy/Darby Allin match. Glad they had Darby go over. Mike Tyson joining Iner Circle was cool. I can't help but wonder if he doesn't turn on them and join Pinnacle, though. Perhaps at Blood & Guts May 5?
I'll be back next week! Can't wait to see that Darby Allin/Jungle Boy match Wednesday night!