Afternoon Update: Rousey’s next potential gig, unconventional Charlotte-Becky angle this weekend, wrestlers on social media in heated political climate, Miz TV guest announced, Jarrett on NWA Anniversary show, Reigns no-show

By Wade Keller, PWTorch Editor

Ronda Rousey (photo credit Brandon LaClair © PWTorch)


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-On this week’s Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast “Interview Friday,” I interviewed “TrumpMania” book author Lavie Margolin who spoke about whether wrestlers in WWE are hesitant to express themselves politically for fear of repercussions due to how much Vince McMahon and Donald Trump have worked together over the years and since Linda McMahon is part of Trump’s cabinet.

This has been more of an issue in the last couple weeks with the “Crown Jewel” controversy stemming from Saudi Arabia being the host site at a time that many powerful figures in the U.S. are pulling their support for and involvement in Saudi-funded projects. “I think they’ve been very cautious. WWE is a big corporate right now, and just like a Nestle or Amazon or Tesla, they don’t want their employees representing themselves in such a way. It’s sort of doubly for wrestlers because when you’re on social media, this is your brand or name or handle, that if not developed in WWE has been championed in WWE or become most well-known for that. So when you speak, even kayfabing dead people, people perceive that as a character or as an actor of the company, so it’s very hard to separate the two. So you have to be very careful on that platform and keeping your job in terms of speaking out in one extreme or another.”

He said there are exceptions, such as Jerry Lawler and JBL. “That’s where the honesty and truth comes out what represents the politics of the company and friends in the company because they don’t feel the need to be most politically correct.” He noted that Jerry Lawler’s Facebook page has primarily been him advocating for Donald Trump, including pictures at a rally. “When representing a brand or a company you have to be careful how you present yourself on social media. If do so in a way the company doesn’t lime you have to pay the repercussions for that. And when it’s a company that controls the creative and decides who wins and loses and how your character is portrayed, it can really be a long winter of the death of your character.”

Check out the full one-hour interview on Stitcher (or subscribe in Apple Podcasts HERE), including details and conversation about who spoke out on election night nearly two years ago who are on the roster today.

-Speaking of social media, WWE shot an angle at the WWE Performance Center between Charlotte and Becky Lynch on Saturday morning. They Tweeted about it today on their @WWENXT Twitter account, noting that Smackdown officials “are investigating the matter.”

-WWE has announced Smackdown this week will feature Miz TV with guest Rey Mysterio Jr. plus Rusev vs. Aiden English in a one-on-one match.

-As reported in our detailed house show report HERE, Roman Reigns was heavily advertised for Friday night’s WWE live event in Bangor, Maine but did not appear and no explanation was given. Braun Strowman, his scheduled opponent in much of the advertising, didn’t wrestle, but instead did a run-in at the end of the WWE Raw Tag Team Title match between Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre. He played the babyface role in beating up Drew and Dolph. Originally Strowman was advertised as challenging Reigns for the Universal Title and the that became a six-man tag match. Braun was sent to Hardford, Conn. last night for a two-branded “Super Show” house show where he quickly beat Dolph Ziggler, whom he teamed with last Monday on Raw but ended up beating up after the match.

-Jeff Jarrett called Cody capturing the NWA World Hvt. Title from Nick Aldis at “All In” last month “possibly” the 2018 Match of the Year in an article in The Tennessean ahead of tonight’s NWA 70th Anniversary PPV rematch. “The way this came together was just remarkable,” Jarrett said. “When Billy and I started talking about this in early 2018, there wasn’t a rematch to be had. Now it’s possibly the match of the year. For it to be happening on the 70th anniversary show, and for it to be happening in the fairgrounds – obviously since the day the doors opened my family has had a relationship with that building – and then on top of all of it the political situation that has transpired, it’s pretty amazing how it’s come together.” He also explained why tonight’s show is in Nashville. “When we looked at the 70th anniversary show, it was going to be a celebration,” he said. “It was pretty simple. We both arrived at the fact that the most recent home for (the NWA) was the Asylum in the early 2000s. Then you jump back into the late-’70s and through the ’80s, Nashville was definitely a stop on that tour.” Check out the full article HERE.

-Ronda Rousey might join the cast of “Total Bellas” next season. Originally reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, it was highlighted with a big headline story in the UK’s Express website. With the struggling ratings for this season of Total Bellas, the “Total” franchise by WWE on E! network could use a spark, and Rousey would certainly be a spark to draw extra eyeballs because there would be curiosity seeing her in a different element.

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NOW CATCH UP ON YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: Afternoon Update: WWE removes Saudi Arabia from Crown Jewel listing again, lots of legends added to Evolution women’s battle royal, Seth meet & greet, Ranallo misses NXT TV taping, Crown Jewel petition, Ventura inspiring Trump

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