Welcome one and all, to your weekly irrelevant round up of the weeks hottest stories in pro wrestling. As always, I, “Smart” Mark Blake, have scoured the internet to find the biggest, strangest, and most interesting stories. So kick back, put your feet up and feast your eyes on this week’s Pro Wrestling Post Week In Review 3/3/19!
NXT UK Gains New Members Of The Roster
Wednesday 27 February, WWE announced that they had formally signed five new wrestlers to join the NXT UK brand. The new additions are –
- Jay Melrose
- Ilja Rukober
- Oliver Sauter
- Jazzy Gabert
- Kay Lee Ray
WWE.com posted this statement which contains more information on each of the new signees –
NXT UK signs five new Superstars
Five new Superstars from throughout Europe — Ilja Rukober, Kay Lee Ray, Jazzy Gabert, Oliver Sauter, and Jay Melrose — have joined the NXT UK roster. The group will join other NXT UK Superstars in training at WWE’s United Kingdom Performance Center in North London.
The 25-year-old Rukober, who has competed around the world under the ring name Ilja Dragunov, was born in Russia and raised in Germany, where his career in sports-entertainment took root. Often described as “Unbesiegbar” (the German word for “invincible”), Rukober is feared for his unbridled intensity inside the ring. He turned heads at a WWE tryout in Cologne last November.
Ray and Gabert, both of whom competed in the inaugural Mae Young Classic in 2017, were introduced as incoming NXT UK competitors while they were sitting ringside at TakeOver: Blackpool in January.
Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, the 5-foot-8 Ray has racked up numerous championship reigns over her 10-year career, including three stints as Insane Championship Wrestling’s women’s titleholder. Known for throwing caution to the wind, the Scottish daredevil recently appeared on NXT UK on WWE Network and promised to “go straight to the top” of the Women’s division.
Gabert made an unforgettable impression during her Mae Young Classic appearance in 2017, leaving onlookers in awe of her incredible power. Widely regarded as one of the strongest women in sports-entertainment, the burly Berliner stands 6-foot-1 and has won wrestling titles in Germany, Japan, and Switzerland.
Sauter comes to NXT UK from Dietikon, Switzerland. The 24-year-old was a soccer standout before training for the ring. Fast-moving and hard-hitting, Sauter wrestled throughout Europe under the professional alias of Oliver Carter. Like Rukober, he attended last year’s tryout in Cologne.
NXT UK fans, meanwhile, have already grown familiar with “Primate” Jay Melrose, the ape-mask-wearing Superstar who debuted on the brand in December. Hailing from Newcastle, England, the 220-pound Melrose served in the British army for six years, including as a member of the British Household Cavalry, which provides direct protection for the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace.
Keep your eyes peeled for the newest signees when NXT UK streams every Wednesday at 3 ET/8 GMT on the award-winning WWE Network.
Keep your eyes peeled for Melrose, Gabert
Joey Janella Injury Update
Way back in October I wrote – click here to refresh your memory – that AEW’s (although he wasn’t signed at the time) Joey Janella had suffered a serious knee injury at a Game Changer Wrestling event.
On this past week’s WINCLY podcast, Janella discussed how the injury and rehabbing is going, and when us fans can expect him back in a ring. Here’s some highlights from the interview –
“I feel good. The knee seems to be coming along. I was behind schedule but now it seems that I’m on par with the schedule. I don’t think I’m behind anymore but it was a rough situation and I never dealt with an injury like that. Just a lot of therapy and mental mind games.”
On whether he will be ready to perform at All Elite Wrestling’s Double Or Nothing event on May 25 in Las Vegas –
“That’s up to the doctor – no idea yet. The way my MCL was torn, it really exploded. It’s up to the doctor’s orders and I don’t want to get back in the ring and blow out my knee again especially at this time (with AEW) and making some real money.”
Long time readers will know that I am a huge fan of Joey’s and I would love to see him at Double Or Nothing! But only if he’s 100% recovered.
Possible NXT Takeover: New York Card
NXT held their tapings this past Wednesday, and based on the storylines coming out of those tapings, here are the rumoured matches for the NXT Takeover: New York on April 5, just two days before WrestleMania 35 –
Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa (c)
NXT North American Championship
Matt Riddle vs Adam Cole vs Velveteen Dream (c)
NXT UK Championship
WALTER vs Pete Dunne (c)
NXT Women’s Championship
Io Shirai vs Kairi Sane vs Bianca Belair vs Shayna Baszler (c)
NXT Tag Team Championship
Winners Of The Dusty Rhodes Classic (The Forgotten Sons or Ricochet/Aleister Black) vs War Raiders (c)
The only match that IS official at the time of writing is the Dunne vs WALTER match. Which in itself is worthy to main event any card in the world!
Impact Wrestling Re-Signs Two Talents
Over the past two days, Impact Wrestling has announced that two former talents have re-signed.
Two days ago, former Impact Knockouts Champion Rosemary re-signed with the company to an as yet undisclosed multi-year deal. She has been with Impact for over three years. Last January she returned after an eight-month lay off due to a torn ACL.
And as you can see from the image above, Impact Wrestling original Knockout Madison Rayne has returned. After a brief excursion in Ring Of Honor and an appearance at last year’s Mae Young Classic.
The word is that Madison had been pitching ideas to ROH executives for many months but they were all turned down. On the back of that she asked for her release. Upon hearing that news the same execs gave her some alternative ideas for her going forward. She declined and asked for her release again, which this time was granted.
The former five-time Knockouts champion has been also been given a multi-year deal
That’s it for today’s Week In Review, but as always I thank you all for reading not only my work, but all the work here at PWP each and every week. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
If you have any comments, quries, or just want to chat then feel free to hit myself or Pro Wrestling Post in the comments below or on our social media. Just click the links –
Mark Blake Facebook – MarkBlakeSmart
Mark Blake Twitter – @Smart_Mark_B
Pro Wrestling Post Facebook – ProWrestlingPST
Pro Wrestling Post Twitter – @ProWrestlingPST
So until next Sunday….