WrestleWipe 2020: May

– The Santino Brothers close down their wrestling school due to having no monthly income during lockdown.

– Big Japan unveil their crowd funding campaign with hopes of making through the lockdown season in one piece.

– ROH cancels all the events scheduled for June due to COVID-19 to keep wrestlers, fans and staff safe.

– Governor of Florida Rod Desantis announces that Florida is open for business, meaning that WWE can continue with their shows, & can even look for venues in FL to have live fans. It also means that Florida indies can start up again, including Chasyn Rance’s peado wrestling ring.

– Ian Rotten, the incredibly clean and wholesome wrestling promoter, lets the world know that IWA-MS plans to run FOUR shows in June, just mere days after Indiana reduce the restrictions.

One show? Fine. Four of the fuckers? And by IWA-MS, at that? Christ alive.

– In another massive casualty of COVID, GCW is forced to cancel their junkyard joint show with Zona 23.

– RAW hits a 1.560 rating for the third hour, which borders on what Dynamite pulled in during AEW’s first shows.

– Some lad called Brendan Vink pinned Ricochet on RAW in a tag team match. Yeah, I am not making that name up. Brendan…Vink. Over fucking Ricochet. What the fuck…

– NJPW cancels the Best Of The Super Jrs tour, which would’ve gone ahead between May 12th and June 6th.

– Enzo Amore, bright spark that he is, has a rant about wearing masks during a pandemic. He states that his parents have Corona but believes the best way to protect kids is to NOT wear masks. Is common sense also something they don’t teach, mate?

– Former announcer Chris Cruise, tired of nobody knowing he is as and begging for a job with Vinne Mac, tells on AEW to the Maryland State Athletic Commission for using weapons and blood in the Omega vs Moxley match at Full Gear. AEW are fined $10,000 & people still don’t know who Chris Cruise is (apart from being a fucking cop caller).

– CZW is forced to cancel their up-coming annual Tournament Of Death due to, believe it or not, safety concerns during a pandemic. Who’d a thunk it?!

– Scarlett Bordeaux and Karrion Kross debut on NXT, with a really over-the-top choreographed entrance. Which is fine and all, and it’s certainly a look, but Scarlett’s lip syncing during the entrance was embarrassingly bad. Minus points to whoever suggested and okayed that one.

– AEW holds TV takings in Jacksonville, and they coincide with UFC’s 249 event in the same vicinity. Ariel Helwani reports that most of the staff and talent from both companies are sharing the same hotel, and three days later Jacare Souza tests positive for COVID-19.

– Rumours about AEW’s leadership also appear around this time. Apparently Tony Khan took December to mull over the dire status of Dynamite & took more control of AEW’s booking/creative direction in 2020, which caused the Bucks to begin sulking & being distant & hard to contact.

– Jake Roberts cuts a really uncomfortable promo on Dynamite where lays on top of Brandi Rhodes in the missionary position. Creepy, needless shit, even when we’re not in a pandemic.

– Total good boy & very nice person Brad Sheppard is fired from his postilion at Pro Sports Extra, with PWS citing reasons such as Brad starting a wrestling group & filling it with fake bloggers, & realising that there are more people who hate him than there are real fans of his.

– Wrestlenomics reports that WWE is on track to record massive profits for 2020, and it may be WWE’s most profitable year to date. I’m sure WWE upper-management will pass this cash around to the wrestlers and staff, and make sure everyone’s job is secure…

– Roman Reigns reveals that he isn’t back as he’s trying to protect his family & children (as well as himself due to his impaired immune system). What a top bloke. WWE continues to avoid mentioning him wherever possible though, including editing clips from the past to remove him.

– In what had to be an undercover sting operation to lure sweaty wrestling fans into a woman’s DMs, Charly Caruso tweets out her phone number. I’m sure this went very well.

– Former XPW wrestler Supreme sadly passes away at the age of 49.

– Chris Jericho records a message for Triple H’s 25th anniversary, where he sarcastically mocks their chemistry and matches. Fantastic work.

– Kazuchika Okada donates 5 million Yen (around £37,000) to the Nippon Foundation’s COVID relief fund.

Alberto Del Rio is arrested for physically and sexually abusing his partner, and then threatening to take her son and “drop him off in the middle of the road somewhere.” Hope the prick fucking rots, to be perfectly honest.

– After severing ties with WWE and much of the wrestling circuit last year, ACH says that he’s regretful in the way that he handled the situation but feels like he is in a good place after some time to reflect. Those WWE t-shirts are still the dirt worse though.

– New Japan postpones their up-coming Wrestle Dynasty MSG show to a TBA date in 2021.

– Ever the mature and healthy company, WWE edit out Roman Reigns from a video package that shows Seth Rollins cashing in his MITB briefcase and winning the WWE title during the Lesnar vs Roman match at WrestleMania 31.

– The Revival have the traditional post-WWE podcast interview with Chris Jericho only to serve up a dull, lifeless chat that falls incredibly short of the Moxley and Brodie interviews. Very disappointing.

– Former WWE champion Kofi Kingston, who won the big strap in an emotional, culturally important match at last year’s WrestleMania (before shortly dropping in to Lesnar in mere seconds), goes onto an interview to talk about how ‘special’ WWE’s tag team division is. Christ.

– Irony strikes the Wrestling Observer when they have to issue an apology for accidentally referring to Akira Tozawa as “Tajiri” in their coverage of Jerry Lawler’s “Ramen Noodle” comment the month prior.

– The Money In The Bank match is a gigantic mess of cringe ‘comedy’ and an accurate representation of WWE’s stagnant creative output and direction. This was an embarrassing display of bad ideas, bad direction and a frustrating lack of self-awareness. Fucking awful, all round.

– During the MITB match, Baron Corbin throws Mysterio and Black off a roof, seemingly to their deaths. There are cartoon sound effects added to in post. Black and Msyterio would appear unharmed on the very next RAW.

– Also, Bray Wyatt is defeated by Braun Strowman, who put on his old goat mask while Bray hammed it up in the ring, but it was a distraction for Braun to win with his slam. It was also shit. Very, very shit. There’s no justification for how shit everything was on this show.

– Seth Rollins takes out Rey by injuring his eye and WWE runs a storyline about this ‘critical injury’. THE MAN WAS THROWN OFF A FUCKING THE ROOF THE PREVIOUS NIGHT, FOR FUCKS SAKE.

– TJP logs on to spew some COVID conspiracy bollocks, only to be dunked on by everyone, and for all those dunks to be liked by ‘Good Lad’ Kevin Owens.

– The night after MITB, Becky Lynch reveals on RAW that she is pregnant and awards the Women’s title to MITB briefcase winner Asuka. It’s a very rare, emotional, organic scene from WWE and apparently Asuka had no idea it was going to happen.

– WWE kickstarts the promotion and hype machine for Edge vs Orton 2: THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER, and they will escalate the hype further and further with each passing week. The stock in Edge’s comeback plummeted harder and faster than the Gobbelygooker.

– Michael Elgin has a big ol’ moan on Twitter about how he doesn’t like wrestling anymore, how everyone is “so soft”, and how fans and outsiders dictate how wrestlers should act. He would later claim that he was just tweeting in-character. Riiiggghhhtttt.

– WWE fans prove themselves to happily brainwashed mutants when the opinion of Otis being the “new Dusty Rhodes” is widely circulated online and readily agreed with. Fucking hell.

– After signing Rachael Ellering and barely using her (she worked the NXT house show loop and dark matches), WWE releases her (after she spent a year out with a torn ACL) as part of their COVID budget cuts.

– NOAH cancels their June 14th Korakuen Hall event due to the pandemic.

– AEW hit’s their lowest TV rating with 654,000 viewers despite being up 25% in the females 12-34 demographic.

– Keeping the boring ratings talk going, NXT’s see-through aesthetic as the hip, cool show for young adults is clearly working as they continue to lose all the key demos to AEW Dynamite apart from the all-important adults over 50 demographic.

– Jim Cornette goes on a massive rant during his podcast about how Becky Lynch chose to have a baby than make a million dollars a year, conveniently forgetting that her partner is Seth fucking Rollins, who has more than enough cash flow to help compensate for that. What a creep.

– CZW continues it’s wholesome programming with PPVs like CZW GIRLZ: TOP HEAVY AND TOUGH, CZW GIRLZ: ALL ASSETS REVEALED & CZW GIRLZ: HOT & SWEATY COMBAT. CZW issue a non-apology on this, saying that the media distributor has the right to utilise their footage without limitation.

– Undertaker (or Mrs Undertaker with his Twitter password), in all the hype of his right-wing t-shirts getting attention in the The Last Ride, decides to become very online by vanity searching his ring name and talking about THE FLAG USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

– DDT re-brands it’s on-demand service from DDT Universe to Wrestle Universe, and now houses NOAH, Ganbare Pro and Tokyo Joshi Pro.

– PROGRESS cancels the Super Strong Style 16, all their UK shows up until September and their US tour.

– With CZW’s name out there for being really skuzzy, more wrestlers tell their tales of dealing with the company & DJ Hyde, including Hyde booking hotel rooms with women so he can “cuddle with them” & former ref Kris Levin talking about the incredibly toxic atmosphere & bullying.

– After a well received match vs Daniel Bryan on Smackdown, Drew Gulak is released by WWE as his contract expired. WON reports that Gulak asked for more money & WWE declined, leaving Gulak on the open market without a 90-day no-compete clause.

He’s quickly rehired 2 weeks later.

– Sami Zayn is stripped of the IC title (as he’s being a good lad & staying at home during a pandemic). The Observer reports that WWE aren’t happy with Zayn exercising his option to stay at home…y’know, the option that they gave to all their staff without fear of reprisal.

– After being released, Lio Rush alludes to being done with the wrestling business for the foreseeable future, and more permanently for WWE. He also noted in an interview with Forbes the utter lack of African-American representation in WWE’s backstage crew.

– Wrestling reviewer mainstay Larry Csonka sadly passes away. Wrestling fans and wrestlers have raised over $38,000 to date in order to help Larry’s family.

– John Oliver rips into WWE on ‘Last Week Tonight’ for their continued, consistent clumsy handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

– In the lead up to the Owen Hart Dark Side Of The Ring, Martha Hart goes on Talk Is Jericho to reveal the hellish legal battles with Vince McMahon’s unlimited supply of lawyers. During this, Vincels spew bile about Martha & how “OWEN NEEDS TO BE IN THE HOF!!!”. Fucking gross.

– NJPW senior guy Harold Meij conducts a charming online address, where he doubled down on wrestler/staff safety as the number one priority in regards to live events. Meij also mentions terms such “pandemic” & “Coronavirus” instead of “current events” & “current circumstances”.

– Francis Kaspin, wXw regular and up-and-comer, announces hit retirement due to a herniated disk in his lower back.

– Stardom announces that Arisa Hoshiki has officially retired due to neck and head injuries. Her Wonder Of Stardom title is relinquished.

– WWE’s Vice President Of Global Television Production, Michael Mansury, leaves the comp[any after giving in his notice several months prior. This is another blow to the Paul Levesque regime as he was part of his inner-circle, and was unofficially dubbed as the “next Kevin Dunn”.

A piece on PROGRESS’s hefty bank balance causes a stir (they’d been asking for fan donations & begging for merch buys over the past month), causing Brit Wrestlers to ask the wrong questions & conjure up weird arguments about fans not being fans anymore.

– Shad Gaspard sadly passes away whilst swimming with his son in Venice, LA. He was swept away by a rip current, but in one last selfless act made sure his son was rescued by lifeguards first. It’s a massive tragedy that sweeps the wrestling world.

– Matt Striker is a contestant on a new reality TV show called ‘Labour Of Love’, where a group of men try to win the affection of a woman who is desperate to have a baby. Yes, you read that right; Matt Striker competing in a reality TV show to shoot his load & win a baby.

– The Owen Hart Dark Side Of The Ring breaks VICE TV records, & the lack of immediate investigation around Owen’s death garners mainstream attention. More WWF nutters flood social media, begging for Owen to be inducted in WWE’s HOF so they can have him as DLC in WWE 2KWankFest.

– WWE’s hellspawn shitbag Jerry McDeviit comments on Martha Hart; “(she) was not even remotely interested in finding out what happened that night; she just wanted to use it as a vehicle to beat up a business that she didn’t like that her husband was in.”

– Marty Jannetty goes on FaceBook to ask whether or not a girl looks 20 & get opinions on his plans to head to Alabama to have sex with her AND her mother. In another twist to the story, it’s revealed that someone was just trying to catfish Jannetty and that the girl was 16.

– CJ Banks drops some worrying tweets that feature several racial slurs. It’s later revealed that he was suffering with mental health issues and was apparently was in a bad place, and thus a discussion arises on how much mental health plays into someone spewing offensive terms-

– During an episode of The Last Dance, Sandman appears out of nowhere to celebrate Michael Jordan’s 6th ring

– Drake Maverick secures his place in the Counterweight Championship finals by defeating Kushida and Tony Neese. Oh boy.

Fans and wrestlers raise over $155,000 for the Shad Gaspard Family Fund.

– Mauro Ranallo refers to Damien Priest as the “Toxic Toxophilite”. This commentary audio actually aired on the USA Network during a two-hour episode of a professional wrestling show called NXT, where actual people with actual ears heard it and processed it.

– After attempting to use the name THE REVOLT, ex-WWE superstars The Revival are sent a ‘cease and desist’ by established indie tag team The Revolt. The Mechanics then issue an apology and stated that they “never interned to use the name as a team’. Sure thing, lads.

– Brian Cage debuts at Double Or Nothing, winning a ladder match with weird battle royal rules to become the number one contender to the AEW title.

– Also at DoN, COdy defeats Lance Archer to become the first AEW TNT champion, complete with a nasty looking belt that wasn’t even finished. Like, you couldn’t have found a solution in this fake predetermined industry to work your way round that??

– Mike Tyson, acting as an enforcer during the Cody vs Archer match, is shown yawning on-screen during the engaging contest. Almost on queue, he is then shown afterwards suddenly all engaged and emoting.

– AEW hold their own madcap DDT-style match at DoN and, with the exception of some very questionable stuff with Matt Hardy being dunked in a pool, it’s a rousing success. Fresh, innovative, exciting and with little-to-no embarrassment for any fans watching. Wonderful stuff.

– Crap comedian Tom Segura does a bit mocking wrestling. It’s not my kind of comedy (It’s lowest-common denominator shite) but Satin, wrestling fans & wrestlers throw their dummies out over someone taking the piss out of this very serious sport involving men in their underpants.

– In an interviewer, Undertaker does indeed confirm the long-lasting rumour that has had forums and social media battling for decades; he is indeed afraid of cucumbers, especially cut-up cucumbers.

– Ricochet, still plugging away at Main Event, goes online to talk about how thankful he is to be part of the WWE family and bigs up Main Event. He’s thankful for his paycheck, you can’t deny that, but you also can’t deny that the fucker should be in the upper-card of PPVs.

– Hana Kimura passes away at 22 years old due to the incredibly toxic social media around her appearances on reality TV show, Terrace House. It’s a tragic and alarming story that details just how vicious social media can be.

– Shitty professional wrestles will constantly use this horrible tragedy as a way to moan about fans being critical of their work, as if telling someone to die and saying “Well I didn’t really enjoy this match…” are the exact same.

– Rob ‘Why don’t you have a seat?’ Feinstein is caught selling fake autographs of the British Bulldog for $500.

– Tony Khan reveals the original plan for Fyter Fest 2020 was to hold it in London, but this was scuppered by COVID. The UK collectively & openly weeps at this.

– Tony Khan also talks about how the Young Bucks have a “Deadpool inspired” booking approach. A fucking what, mate?

– Sunny has a rant about how she was bullied & called horrific names in the business, and then swerves us all by saying “not ONCE did I ever think of killing myself over it” and how she just made money of it all instead. Get in the fucking trash.

– WWE takes the next steps with their robotic shell of a promotion by filling the PC with NXT wrestlers to act as robotic fans for the RAW, Main Event, 205 Live and Smackdown tapings. No chairs, no pillows, just straight-up standing for hours and hours and hours of WWE content.

– OTT cancels two more of their up-coming shows, as live wrestling seems to be a blurry distant pastime of a generation ago.

– Despite filling their shows now with crowd members, Meltzer reports that WWE still isn’t swab testing at the PC, opting only for temperature tests.

– Jim Cornette rants about AEW’s Stadium Stampede and swears off AEW for good this time! (And he really means it this time, I swear!).

– FTR debut on dynamite on the same show that has Mike Tyson, Vitor Belfort, Henry Cejudo, Rashad Evans and some actor called Mickey Gooch in weird black face paint for some reason. I hope the TV rating was worth it (it wasn’t), because most of this was terrible.

– In the immediate wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police, Washington-based wrestler Rob Rollenbeck takes to FaceBook to demonstrate that the hold applied to Floyd is apparently ‘harmless’, which is easy to say when you’re a white man in a controlled environment.

– On NXT, the Kushida vs Drake vs Atlas match ends with possibly the worst finish of 2020; KUSHIDA catches Atlas in an armbar, & Drake drapes his arm over Atlas at the same time, so the referee counts three for Drake, despite Kushida’s legs also being on top of Atlas. Fuck me.

– We won’t gloss over the Drake Maverick ‘redemption’ story line either, where either it’s all work and extremely tasteless, or it’s legit and speaks volumes about how to stay afloat in a toxic, carnivorous industry.

– Wales-based wrestler Sierra Loxton announces her retirement due to a lower-back injury.

– After being postponed back in March, AJPW announce that the Champion Carnival tourney will be going ahead in September.

– Nigel McGuiness is furloughed by WWE. Remember those high-profit projections laid out by Wrestlenomics? Yeah, real high protections. Very promising.

– Despite being at the high price point of $50 for a wrestling event during a pandemic, Meltzer reports that DoN did well over 100k buys. Well worth the accolades for the Stadium Stampede alone in my very humble, very important opinion.

– Randy Orton begins his online face turn by advocating hard for the BLM movement. Good lad!

– WWE run an incredibly ill-advised angle involving Jeff Hardy getting arrested for an apparent drink driving-related hit and run. He is shown being taken away by a group of police officers whilst Elias is loaded into an ambulance. Holy Christ.

– Bushiroad cut executive salaries in order to ensure no one loses their jobs during the pandemic. With ROH, AEW and Impact firing nobody and actually signing people where they can, WWE are still cutting wrestlers and staff despite their profits looking astronomical.

– Chris Jericho bounces back from his great Trans Rights stance to become problematic once again when he takes a stand for All Lives Matter. He then doubles down by telling people to stop rioting and “spread peace and love instead”.

– Scott Hall gets in on the action too

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