–Ross on Roman Reigns: “The suspension of Roman Reigns has made the IWC news rounds and by the time many stop discussing it the 30 days suspension will have been served and Reigns will be back at work. I would certainly keep the triple threat main event for Battleground with Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns as there is no reason to penalize the other talents as it relates to the creative plan and where this triple threat main event fits into the big picture. Depending on the monies earned during the suspension period, Reigns could reasonably lose over six figures of income for his error in judgment. For those who recklessly say that Reigns isn’t being punished adequately and should not be “rewarded” for his indiscretions, I’d suggest that he will have paid plenty when all is said and done. My prediction is that Roman will return to WWE and evolve into a locker room leader. I truly believe that Roman will return better than when he left in key areas.”
Powell’s POV: It’s not so much a concern about the talents in the match as much as it is that WWE is operating within the rules. Granted, it’s their own rules and one can certainly make the argument that a wrestler who fails a Wellness Policy test should be immediately suspended. However, they are operating within the guidelines they established. Reigns will be eligible to return on July 21. Battleground is on July 24. He will have served his 30-day suspension before the event. If an mainstream sports star is suspended for a certain number of games, it’s not like his team won’t play him again the moment he is eligible to return.
–Ross on WWE and cruiserweights: “WWE reevaluating their corporate, creative stance on “counterweights,” for the lack of a better term, is refreshing. There is a plethora of outstanding, ‘smaller;’ talents who can and will entertain WWE fans with their unique style of presentation and the fact that WWE is providing new wrestlers for their fans to enjoy. It sounds like a win-win for me as this new brand, as Paul Levesque described it Thursday, has a shot at being successful. Remember this, the biggest money earners/ticket sellers in the pro wresting biz over history have been under six feet tall. That’s a fact.”
Powell’s POV: I’m all for it and I don’t think there are many detractors out there. Conor McGregor is the UFC Featherweight Champion. The division has a weight limit of 145 pounds. McGregor is among the all-time great UFC draws. Size doesn’t matter.
–Ross on Kurt Angle: “Not shocked that the great Kurt Angle is not returning to WWE but I will be shocked if he’s not inducted into the WWE HOF some day sooner than later as in the next five years. Big time contributor to the WWE brand who made the most seamless transition from the armatures to the pros as any wrestler I think I’ve ever seen and that includes Brock Lesnar, Dan Hodge, Jack Brisco and the Iron Sheik, among others. The difference? Kurt’s ability to flourish inside the ‘entertainment cocoon’ of the genre as well as continually developing his in ring skills in the pro wrestling world. The pure, entertainment component was arguably the difference maker for me. Kurt was a natural and I’m blessed to have been in the signing and management process for the early days of Kurt’s career.”
Powell’s POV: Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that WWE officials told him that Angle will not be returning despite Angle telling Mark Madden that he would be. I don’t know if Kurt will ever wrestle in WWE again, but I’m with Ross on the WWE Hall of Fame nod. It’s not even debatable given the career that Angle had in WWE and TNA.
Other topics include The Ross Report podcast (check out my appearance on this week’s show on JR’s website via the link at the top of the page), more on cruiserweights, the ROH Best in the World pay-per-view, the WWE Brand Split, and more.