This Week In WWE Biz: Roman Reigns Denial, Daniel Bryan To Win Royal Rumble?, Goldberg Deal, More
January 20, 2018 - WWE
WWE Star Roman Reigns Named As Client Of Alleged Steroid Distributor
An indicted steroid distributor has identified WWE luminary Roman Reigns as an purported client.
According to WrestlingInc, Reigns was labeled a customer by Richard Rodriguez, who was arrested in 2017 as partial of a DEA review into an bootleg steroid placement ring:
As noted, Richard Rodriguez concerned WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns as a customer in a steroid placement ring during an speak with filmmaker Jon Bravo. He also named actors Mark Wahlberg and Josh Duhamel as other customers. Rodriguez is a former owners of a Iron Addicts Gym in Miami, and Bravo has been operative on a film to expose a poser behind a gym. The DEA arrested Rodriguez and raided a gym in Feb 2017 following an investigation. Rodriguez was indicted of being concerned in a placement sequence that alien products from China, afterwards done bootleg steroids in Arizona before distributing them out of a Miami area. It should be remarkable that Rodriguez’s claim about Reigns would be before his detain final February.
WrestlingInc also records that Alfred Konuwa, a author to FORBES, has supposing additional sum on Rodrigue’z company:
Forbes…stated that Rodriguez’s company, Wellness Fitness Nutrition LLC (WFN) , had a customer list that enclosed “at slightest 50 business in a Eastern District of New York.” It was remarkable that a ring done over $10 million in a placement of bootleg steroids and that a classification is being compared to a a Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), that was associated to several high-profile athletes including Jason Giambi, Marion Jones, Bill Romanowski and Barry Bonds.
WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR WWE?
According to WWE.com, Reigns was dangling for 30 days in 2016 for his initial defilement of a company’s Talent Wellness Program.
Although WWE does not publicly recover any information per luminary suspensions, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc) reported during a time that “multiple sources” pronounced Reigns tested certain for Adderall, that is ordinarily used to provide ADHD. Given a timing of Reigns’ cessation in propinquity to Rodriguez’s initial allegations, however, that has caused many to assume that Reigns’ Wellness cessation could presumably be associated to these allegations.
The conditions bears some similarities to a Signature Pharmacy liaison of 2007, when Randy Orton, Edge and Booker T were among a names associated to a liaison involving a probable bootleg placement of steroids. While Orton was not dangling for a matter, WWE suspended 10 superstars for their reported involvement, nonetheless those superstars were never publicly identified by a company.
It is doubtful that Reigns will humour any consequences from WWE quite for being indicated as a intensity steroid user (especially with no proof), and a usually approach Reigns would substantially be dangling is if he unsuccessful a Wellness talent, was charged with any arrange of crime or shown to have strike with Rodriguez. What creates a timing of this liaison so intriguing, however, is a probable outcome it could have on a Royal Rumble since Reigns is widely noticed as one of a favorites to win a compare and go on to a categorical eventuality of WrestleMania 34.
In fact, Reigns has prolonged been penciled in for a WrestleMania compare opposite Brock Lesnar, that some are speculating could be in danger and chuck a outrageous wrench into ‘Mania skeleton for Reigns and a series of other superstars. That seems unlikely, however, given that Reigns is denying even meaningful Rodriguez and expelled a following matter to FORBES:
‘I have never listened of Richard Rodriguez or Wellness Fitness Nutrition. we schooled from a mistake we done scarcely dual years ago and paid a chastisement for it. Since then, I’ve upheld 11 tests as partial of WWE’s eccentric drug contrast program.’ -Joe Anoa`i (aka Roman Reigns)
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— Bleacher Report WWE (@BR_WWE) January 17, 2018
New Japan Pro-Wrestling Reportedly Expressed Interest In Goldberg
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
New Japan Pro-Wrestling has been perplexing to pointer another large WWE name.
According to Sports Illustrated, NJPW recently voiced seductiveness in signing Goldberg, presumably for an entrance and/or compare during a company’s arriving debate in a US:
Goldberg was announced Monday as a initial inductee for WWE’s Hall of Fame category of 2018, nonetheless SI.com also schooled there was seductiveness from New Japan Pro Wrestling per a evident destiny of Goldberg. New Japan is encircling a west coast, and a tires were kicked on Goldberg.
WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR WWE?
The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that Goldberg recently had discussions with NJPW about operative a “big shows,” presumably its “Strong Style Evolved” uncover that is set for Long Beach, California in March.
One would assume that NJPW’s remarkable seductiveness in Goldberg is especially due to a new success a association has had with another former WWE star, Chris Jericho. New Japan’s recently Wrestle Kingdom 12 uncover was built mostly around Jericho’s dream compare with Kenny Omega, and according to Fightful.com, a uncover was a large success, one that resulted in a event’s largest assemblage and increasing subscriptions for a NJPW World streaming use by a whopping 35%.
It’s protected to contend that many of that can be attributed to a participation of Jericho and that NJPW officials believed Goldberg could also do large business for a company. The information indicated Goldberg was a large strike for a company during his many new WWE run that resolved during WrestleMania 33, and NJPW apparently had some turn of seductiveness in capitalizing on that by carrying Goldberg work during slightest a uncover or dual in a US.
You could disagree that Jericho, an chosen in-ring performer, is a many softened fit for NJPW, nonetheless given a right booking, Goldberg could positively do good there, too. This might be all be a indecisive prove now, however, as Goldberg was announced as a luminary for a WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018, which, according to a Observer, means that Goldberg approaching had to pointer a short-term agreement to go along with a induction.
Not usually does that substantially put an finish to any Goldberg-to-NJPW speak for now, nonetheless given that WWE is open to regulating him again, that could pave a approach for another WWE dream compare for Goldberg, presumably opposite someone like Reigns or Braun Strowman.
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Bill Goldberg, owners of a furious 173-0 win streak, is headed to a WWE Hall of Fame. https://t.co/ktZaiY2inh
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 15, 2018
The Latest On Hulk Hogan Possibly Returning To WWE
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
In a new speak with The Washington Post (h/t WrestlingInc), Hulk Hogan had a following to contend about a intensity lapse to WWE:
I don’t know if they wish me back. we consider a fans wish me back. we consider that I’m partial of that association from a belligerent up. Triple H we know is a outrageous fan of a guys that gave their blood, persperate and tears and their personal life to make this happen. we know Triple H would adore to see me behind on a inside again.
WWE, however, issued a following statement to The Washington Post about Hogan’s standing with a association and a preference not to use “The Hulkster:”
At this time, WWE stays committed to a decision.
WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR WWE?
Hogan recently pronounced he will not seem on a arriving 25th anniversary part of Raw, that indicates WWE still isn’t gentle putting him on a programming due to probable open backlash.
It’s good famous by wrestling fans that Hogan was dismissed by WWE in 2015 for a “racial tirade” held on tape, and WWE essentially scrubbed a WWE Network purify of Hogan-related content before that altered only a few months later. There have been reports in a past that Hogan would be returning to WWE, nonetheless so far, zero has come to delight and Hogan is one of a handful of a tip legends in WWE story who isn’t reliable for Raw’s 25th anniversary episode.
One would consider that would be a ideal time to pierce behind Hogan, who has recently been associated to a probable run for a US Senate even nonetheless he says he would not run for it. If Hogan does not lapse on Raw 25, however, we can approaching assume that he won’t be returning anytime shortly and that WWE might have strictly sealed a doorway on any possibility of a intensity comeback. Even if WWE did acquire Hogan back, though, it’s doubtful it would be for another match.
While Hogan looks to be in extensive shape, he is 64 years old, and as someone who was never famous for being an chosen in-ring performer to start with, it’s doubtful that he could put on a endurable compare during this theatre of his career. If Hogan were to lapse to WWE, it would presumably be in some arrange of envoy role, nonetheless given WWE’s new statement, that doesn’t seem to be in a cards during all, either.
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— Bleacher Report WWE (@BR_WWE) January 18, 2018
Daniel Bryan Now One Of The Betting Favorites To Win The Royal Rumble
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
Read into this what we will, nonetheless Daniel Bryan is now listed as one of a favorites to win a 2018 Royal Rumble match.
According to RingsideNews.com, “a vital change in a betting odds” altered Bryan from contingency of 66/1 to 9/1, and a site speculates that approaching has something to do with Bryan recently observant that he doesn’t trust he will ever combat for WWE again if he doesn’t do so by WrestleMania 34. It’s also value observant that, as of this writing, betting site Paddy Power currently has Bryan’s contingency during 4/1, giving him a third best contingency to win a match.
Meanwhile, a orator for Oddschecker told WrestleZone.com the following about a extreme change: “There might be something in this story, however, with a sources claiming that a storyline between Bryan and Shane O Mac [McMahon] entrance to delight and ensuing in a fairy-tale lapse win, for a constantly over superstar.”
WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR WWE?
Nothing has altered in regards to Bryan’s conditions as a latest reports prove that he still has not been privileged by WWE doctors and approaching never will be.
However, a estimable change in Bryan’s contingency could prove a few things. One, someone “in a know” knows Bryan will be cleared to get behind in a ring in time for WrestleMania 34. Two, a new engagement of Bryan and his argument with Shane McMahon could have a oddsmakers speculating that Bryan will combat again. Three, a wish among fans that Bryan will be privileged to contest is creation those contingency ascend as some-more fans place bets on him. Four, as Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Ringside News) reports, it’s believed a WWE artistic group member pitched that Bryan should win a Rumble, that resulted in some-more bets being place on Bryan to win a match.
There are, of course, large other explanations as to because Bryan’s contingency have softened so many (and that final one positively creates sense), nonetheless unless WWE has managed to keep Bryan being privileged underneath wraps, his contingency are substantially many softened than they should be. There are still a series of other superstars who, no matter what a contingency say, are many some-more approaching to win a Royal Rumble, including Reigns, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena or Braun Strowman.
In a ideal world, Bryan would be privileged to combat and go on to face possibly AJ Styles or Brock Lesnar during WrestleMania 34, nonetheless until WWE confirms that Bryan has been given a immature light, we can substantially marker that adult as zero some-more than sad thinking. Let’s only wish we’re wrong, nonetheless it’s value observant that one pro wrestling site is stating Bryan recently deserted “a vital offer for a WWE agreement extension.”
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— Still Real To Us (@stillreal2us) January 10, 2018
WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
- SmackDown viewership was radically even with final week’s (down by only 1,000 viewers), nonetheless a opening between a blue code and a red code was poignant this week. Raw viewership was adult to 3.25 million, an boost of scarcely 500,000 viewers from a prior week, while hour one averaged scarcely 3.6 million, that is a good pointer for Braun Strowman, who was a concentration of that whole hour.
- Shinsuke Nakamura is now a transparent betting favorite to win a Royal Rumble match, and during this point, he seems to be a many essential choice as well.
- Although Chris Jericho was announced for a Raw 25th anniversary episode, WWE might have jumped a gun on that as he reportedly hasn’t concluded to appear only yet. In associated news, nonetheless he’s nonetheless to be strictly announced, it looks like The Rock could be during Raw 25 if he can fit a entrance into his bustling schedule.
- Consider former Impact Wrestling star Ethan Carter III a primary claimant for a probable warn Royal Rumble entrance as he pulled out of an eccentric show that was scheduled for a day of a pay-per-view. ECIII was recently speckled during a WWE Performance Center, and a latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Carter is indeed WWE bound.
- In fact, WWE reportedly is also meddlesome in Bobby Lashley, so don’t be astounded if one or both stars earnings soon, nonetheless Lashley’s agreement won’t concede that to occur until during slightest Feb 1st, with some sites stating his agreement might not finish until April.
- The screenplay for a Vince McMahon biopic Pandemonium has been finished, and actor Bradley Cooper is still being followed to play McMahon. If that happens, this could be a biggest film focusing on pro wrestling since The Wrestler a decade ago.
- The initial part of a Mixed Match Challenge “peaked during 135,600 viewers” during a live broadcast, according to WrestlingInc. That series sounds like a disappointment, nonetheless to be fair, the USA Network did concurrently atmosphere Raw’s tip 25 moments of all-time, that approaching influenced a MMC’s viewership. The uncover did, however, do significantly softened viewership when holding into care viewers who didn’t watch live.
- Kevin Owens is a latest WWE star to be injured, and nonetheless a undisclosed damage isn’t serious, it did means him to skip mixed live events and is approaching to extent his in-ring movement heading adult to a Royal Rumble.
- Samoa Joe has been removed from a Royal Rumble match, indicating that his new feet damage could keep him out of movement for an extended period, which appears to be a case. Paige will also miss a women’s Royal Rumble match as reports have circulated her in-ring career is over for good.
- According to Fightful.com (h/t Cageside Seats), WWE is approaching to pointer former Impact Wrestling star Laurel Van Ness, who was recently expelled by a association and seemed on a show Tough Enough in 2015 underneath her genuine name Chelsea Green. She is one of a best non-WWE womanlike talents right now, so this pierce seems like a no-brainer.
Blake Oestriecher is an facile propagandize clergyman by day and a sports author by night. He’s a author to a Forbes @SportsMoneyBlog, where he essentially covers WWE. You can follow him on Twitter @BOestriecher.