Monday 4/11 Torch Today – Shane & Bobby Roode WWE status, Poll Results – the next big NXT call-up?, Rock’s MTV Movie Awards wrestling tie-ins, McMahons top Trump donor list, Cauliflower Alley Club kick-off & live coverage, Ross blogs on post-Mania Week, Trish on Cauliflower award, Mooneyham on Mulligan, Flair/Comicpalooza, “San Bernardino Strong” EWF fundraiser event, Videos – Cena hypes “American Grit” & Sheamus in new TMNT2 trailer

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

The Rock (art credit Travis Beaven)


TORCH TODAY – Monday, April 11

– POLL RESULTS: We asked who the next big NXT call-up will be to the main roster. The answer from your votes…

  • 40% – Samoa Joe
  • 26% – Bayley
  • 20% – Finn Balor

 Caldwell’s Note: Greg Parks and I recorded a special VIP Audio Update that started Saturday and finished Sunday drafting the entire WWE Roster to Raw and Smackdown. We constructed the rosters (including announcers!) with the idea of Raw needing to find a way to thrive in the three-hour format and Smackdown needing to become relevant again. We think it was a neat exercise starting over with the rosters doing a brand split again. (Check it out HERE) (Not VIP? Find out how to sign up HERE!)

– After the dust settled from WrestleMania Week, Shane McMahon updated his WWE status Monday on Twitter. Shane said “my foot is still in the door” continuing to work with WWE, including as on-air GM for tonight’s Raw in Los Angeles.

– Former TNA star Bobby Roode says he has not officially signed with WWE. Roode told his hometown newspaper The Peterborough Examiner: “I’m not officially signed yet. I mean I’m close, but I don’t want to spoil anything or ruin anything. I want to wait until it’s official. I don’t want to jinx anything either.”

Vince and Linda McMahon were the largest donors to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s foundation between 2004 and 2014, according to fundraising documents released. The McMahons donated $5 million during the timeframe. (News Report)

– One week after appearing/”wrestling” at WrestleMania 32, “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson offered several wrestling references during his hosting gig at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday night. Rock and Kevin Hart did a bit in spandex, plus Rock and co-host Kevin Hart joked about Hulk Hogan following the Gawker trial.

Jim Ross’s latest blog at hits on last week’s hot topics, including the death of Blackjack Mulligan, post-WM32 booking and debuts, this week’s Cauliflower Alley Club, and more.

– The 51st annual Cauliflower Alley Club gathering runs Sunday through Wednesday in Las Vegas, with multiple wrestling shows, contests, seminars, and more wrestling gatherings. Included is Jim Ross’s NWA Hall of Fame induction, Rob Schamberger live-painting Nick Bockwinkel throughout the weekend, and say hi to PWTorch contributor Jim Valley on-location at the week-long event. (Full Events Schedule)

Ahead of the gathering, Trish Stratus was interviewed about receiving the “Iron” Mike Mazurki Award this week. “When Ron Hutchison gave me the news, I was like ‘Are you kidding me?’ I don’t even know what to say. I’m completely humbled by it. I think it’s very forward-thinking of them to do this,” Stratus told Jan Murphy of the Kingston Whig-Standard.

Stratus also talked about stepping away from wrestling with confidence. “It think takes a certain braveness or courage to step away when you’re on top and just confidently walk away knowing that ‘I’m satisfied with what I did’ and I’m ready to start the next chapter. And I haven’t looked back,” she said.

– Pro wrestling columnist Mike Mooneyham wrote a detailed overview on Blackjack Mulligan in his Sunday newspaper column. The historically-significant article can be read at

Ric Flair is scheduled to appear at the annual Comicpalooza event in Houston, which runs June 17-19 at George R. Brown in Downtown Houston. One of the big themes this year is Japanese fashion and anime.

Jesse Hernandez’s Empire Wrestling Federation is putting on a wrestling benefit show for the victims of the San Bernardino shootings from late 2015. “San Bernardino Strong” is scheduled for this Friday, April 15 at the Fox Theater in San Bernardino, Calif. Everyone involved in the show is donating their time to the fundraiser. Proceeds will go victim’s families. (Event & Ticket Info)

– Video: John Cena is hyping “American Grit,” which premieres this Thursday on Fox.

– Video: A new trailer was released Monday for the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2” movie due out June 3. Sheamus makes a quick appearance in the trailer, including one line of dialogue. Plus, WWE celebrity Stephen Amell is a focal point.

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