NXT commentator Mauro Ranallo calling Mayweather/McGregor fight

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, tonight there’s this boxing fight featuring Floyd “Money” Mayweather and “Notorious” Conor McGregor, a boxing fight that is expected to break all kind of pay-per-view and gate records. Calling the action tonight for Showtime will be a very, very familiar voice for wrestling fans.

Former Smackdown and current NXT commentator Mauro Ranallo will be in charge of the play-by-play, certainly the biggest and most prestigious fight he has called to date. Ranallo, who does regular work for Showtime, was chosen to call the action along with host Brian Custer, analyst Al Bernstein, ringside reporter Jim Gray, as well as color analyst Paulie Malignaggi. The man known as “The Bipolar Rock and Roller“ has called Showtime Championship Boxing since 2012. He is a former Pride and Strikeforce commentator as well.

WWE wished Ranallo good luck in a tweet.

Posted in WWE

Charlotte Flair returns to the ring

Former WWE Women’s champion Charlotte Flair returned to the ring last night at the non-televised live event in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the Raising Cane’s River Center Arena.

Charlotte teamed up with Becky Lynch, taking on the team of Lana and Tamina. The former champions came out victorious. Flair is doing the whole loop this weekend, with the non-televised live events in Monroe, Louisiana tonight and Texarkana, Arkansas tomorrow. She will also be at the live Smackdown from Little Rock, Arkansas on Tuesday. Charlotte described her little setback as a “setup for a comeback.”

Charlotte last appeared on WWE television on the August 8 episode of Smackdown Live and then had to do promotional work for WWE in China and then took time off to stay by her dad’s side as the Nature Boy was hospitalized with serious health problems.

Posted in WWE

Tommaso Ciampa undergoes 3 surgeries in 12 weeks

Former NXT tag team title holder Tommaso Ciampa said that he underwent three surgeries in just 12 weeks, all performed by Dr. Jeff Dugas at Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

The first surgery was on his right ankle, the second was on his right shoulder, and the third was on his left shoulder. He is expected to be out for the rest of the year and the early months of 2018 as well. The man known as The Psycho Killer last appeared on NXT television on the May 31 episode and came out on crutches.

Ciampa suffered an ankle injury two days before NXT Takeover: Chicago.

Posted in WWE

Dwayne Johnson does narration for Mayweather/McGregor opening video

Just hours before the Mayweather vs McGregor fight in Las Vegas, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson revealed that he will be featured in the “bad ass open” of the pay-per-view, doing the voice over narration.

Johnson did his voice over work in Vancouver where he is currently filming his latest blockbuster movie Skyscraper.

The former WWE champion said that he talked with McGregor earlier in the week and said that his intentions go far beyond his extraordinary skills. “There’s only one way you gain respect… by earning it. Let’s get after it boys and may the best man win,” Johnson wrote.

You can see the two-minute opening below.

Big Cass to undergo surgery, out for up to 9 months

Big Cass needs to undergo surgery to repair an ACL tear he suffer during a street fight on Monday Night Raw against Enzo Amore.

“It looks like he has an ACL tear, possibly a medial meniscus tear, but we’re going to wait for the radiologist to evaluate the MRI and give us their full report,” WWE ringside physician Dr. Chris Robinson said.

Cass will be traveling to Birmingham, Alabama this week to undergo surgery and start the rehabilitation process which is expected to take up to nine long months.

The injury occurred when Cass was going for a big boot but Amore held down the ropes, sending his former tag team partner flying out and landing badly on his leg. After initially ignoring the pain and continuing on with the match, Cass had to eventually stop after his knee gave out, causing him to roll out of the ring and the referee stopping the match, handing Enzo a win.

Posted in WWE

Enzo Amore joins 205 Live

Amidst rumors of backstage heat with his fellow co-workers, Enzo Amore was moved to the 205 Live roster and will now be wrestling inside the purple ropes.

Amore interrupted Neville’s celebration promo after successfully defeating Akira Tozawa to retain the Cruiserweight title, declaring that the 205 Live broadcast is now the “realest show in the room.”

There have been several stories floating around about Enzo Amore and his behavior backstage. There are rumors that he was given The Miz treatment from years ago, where he is not allowed to change in the same dressing room among other things. Amore was kicked off a tour bus by Roman Reigns during a recent tour after his attitude continued to irritate several people.

Posted in WWE

Dwayne Johnson slips to #2 in Forbes’ top 10 best-paid actors chart

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lost his #1 place on Hollywood’s top 10 best-paid actors chart however he came mighty close in #2.

Johnson earned a total of $65 million for the year, approximately half a million more than last year, but he was toppled by his Pain & Gain co-star Mark Wahlberg, who came in at $68 million – just $3 million more than Johnson.

The former WWE champion remains one of the most in-demand stars in Hollywood.

Posted in WWE

Bobby Roode arrives on Smackdown Live

Just days after losing his NXT title, Bobby Roode returned to the Barclays Center last night on Smackdown as the newest member of the blue brand and received a thunderous ovation complete with the usual sing-along to his theme song.

Roode wrestled former NXT star Aiden English on his main roster debut and afterward told Renee Young that SmackDown Live went from “being great to being absolutely glorious.”

Bobby Roode signed with NXT in the beginning of 2016 and made his first public appearance at NXT Takeover: Dallas. He made his in-ring debut in June and had a solid run as one of the company’s top performers. He won the NXT title at NXT Takeover: San Antonio from Shinsuke Nakamura and held the title till last weekend where he lost it to Drew McIntyre at Takeover: Brooklyn III.

The 40-year-old Toronto native is said to be moving quickly into the Smackdown main event picture soon.

Posted in WWE

Dana Brooke’s 26-year-old boyfriend Dallas McCarver passes away

TMZ.COM is reporting that Dallas McCarver, the 26-year-old boyfriend of WWE Superstar Dana Brooke passed away.

The bodybuilder known as “Big Country” apparently died after he choked on his food at his Florida home. Brooke told TMZ that he was found unconscious just after midnight Tuesday morning by a friend at his home shortly after they spoke on the phone.

He was taken to a local hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival. There does not seem to be any foul play involved according to police.

Brooke told TMZ that McCarver told her he was about to make dinner and the last thing he said to her was, “I love you. Goodbye.”

In a post on Instagram, Brooke wrote that the Lord received “another angel” who happened to be her life, the only one who understood her. “He is the best individual I have ever met – my ying to my yang…finished my sentences and knew what I was thinking before I’d say it,” she wrote.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYHH-5EAMS0/?taken-by=ashasebera_danabrooke

Posted in WWE

Smackdown! Live TV report for 08/22/2017

First off, I would like to give my best wishes and blessings for Ric Flair. I didn’t write anything last week about him because I wanted to wait until more news broke out, and I honestly was preparing for the worst, thinking I would have to write a tribute piece tonight. I am glad that did not happen, and that he is on the road to recovery.

In the business he loves, SummerSlam in the books, and we have a “new era” of sorts that begins with Smackdown! tonight. We have new champions, some still champions, and a whole lot of questions as to who’s going against who for the next month. I will not spoil for those who want to be surprised, so instead just read on to find out!

Smackdown Live Television Report for August 22, 2017 – “More Opportunities”

Introduction Segment: Video Promo

A recap of SummerSlam featuring the United States Championship Match between Champion A.J. Styles and challenger Kevin Owens with Commissioner Shane McMahon as the special referee is shown.

Arena Promo

We go live to The Barclay’s Center and the United States Champion A.J. Styles is out first. Amid chants of his name, he has a microphone in hand in the middle of the ring. “Welcome to Smackdown! Live, ‘the house that A.J. Styles built!’ And I am still your United States Champion after beating Kevin Owens at SummerSlam.” He calls himself “the workhorse of WWE,” and brings back the United States Championship Open Challenge, beginning immediately! The man to answer … the former champion, Kevin Owens.

“K.O.” stands on stage with a mike too, but A.J. quickly denies him. Owens disputes the outcome of their SummerSlam match, and reiterates a “screwjob” from a McMahon to a “legendary Canadian.” The Commissioner now joins in the ring with the two rivals. Shane sticks to his word that he “called the match right down the middle, and in the end, A.J. won, fair and square.”

Kevin argues about McMahon’s physical aptitude and then airs footage of the three-count that was waived off because Styles placed his foot on the bottom rope. A.J. has heard enough and tells Owens that if he wants it, he can have a rematch. Shane relents but books it, however, “K.O.” wants more. Citing numerous issues, he wants a referee of his own. McMahon refuses but Styles is fine with it, so Shane again reluctantly agrees, but also puts Owens on notice that this will be his last opportunity for the championship if he loses.

Office Promo

General Manager Daniel Bryan is on his cellphone when The Singh Brothers walk in. They introduce WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, who puts himself over. Daniel points out that he can’t win without the help of Samir and Samil, which Mahal becomes displeased with the accusation. Bryan books a match with Shinsuke Nakamura taking on The Singh Brothers tonight!

Commercials.

Backstage Promo

Kevin Owens spots Sami Zayn and asks him to be the referee, despite their history. Sami doesn’t even recall why they started feuding as they have been for a while, which Owens agrees and tells him that Zayn’s not had much of a job on Smackdown! lately, so why not have one tonight. Sami looks like he is pondering that idea while Kevin walks away.

Arena Promo

Aiden English calls for a spotlight and he sings in an operatic voice, until he is interrupted by ….

“GLORIOUS!”

Bobby Roode makes his Smackdown! debut and will be wrestling now!

Match #1: Single – Aiden English VS. Bobby Roode

They both pose and then Bobby clotheslines Aiden to the floor!

Commercials.

Roode and English go back-and-forth until Aiden misses a top-turnbuckle dive and is slammed with a spinebuster. Bobby signals, and then drives English to the canvas with his Glorious DDT! (Implant DDT). Roode covers fro the victory!

Winner via Pinfall: Bobby Roode

Post-match, Rene Young interviews “Glorious.” He touts his successes, and thanking Shane and Daniel for bringing him to Smackdown off of Free Agency. “Smackdown went from being ‘great’ to being ‘glorious!’”

Office Promo

Daniel is with Chad Gable, who wants a new start. Bryan is going to give it to him in the form of a new tag team partner – the returning Shelton Benjamin! Chad is excited, but Benjamin seems a little more reserved and wants to find out what happens next week when they will be in their first match together as a team.

Backstage Promo

Kevin Owens has a referee’s shirt and hands it to Sami Zayn, but Zayn denies him afterall.

The Hype Bros – Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley make their entrances for a bout, next!

Commercials.

Match #2: Tag Team – The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder) VS. Tag Team champions The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (Non-title)

Mojo and Jimmy start out trading shots, and then Jey and Jimmy double-team Mojo, allowing The Usos to take control. Rawley eventually gets the hot-tag to Zack, but The Champions are too much and Superkick him for the 1 – 2 – 3!

Winners via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champions The Usos

Post-match, Jimmy and Jey warn all of Smackdown! Live’s Tag-Teams that The Usos are here to rule!

Shinsuke Nakamura is walking through the halls, and is taking on The Singh Brothers next!

Commercials.

Match #3: Two-On-One – Shinsuke Nakamura VS. The Singh Brothers (Samir and Samil) (with WWE Champion Jinder Mahal)

Even though both Brothers can be in the ring at the same time, Nakamura dominates the early part of this contest. Jinder helps out – hands off – and that allows The Singhs to double-team for a bit, until Shinsuke catches one of the Brothers in a Triangle Choke, forcing them to give-in!

Winner via Submission: Shinsuke Nakamura

Post-match, Mahal attacks, but Nakamura turns it around and hits his Kinsasha knee-to-the-face!

Backstage Promo

Kevin is still looking for a referee and is caught by Breezango! They want to be his “referees,” but he flat-out rejects them. Baron Corbin walks up and offers his help, only if he gets a shot at the title. Owens agrees.

Commercials.

Arena Promo

New Women’s champion Natalya struts to the ring. She puts down former champion Naomi, and declares herself “forever” to be Smackdown’s champion. She promises to bring back “dignity” to the championship.

“Ms. Money In The Bank” Carmella and James Ellsworth make their entrances and threaten Natalya about her cashing in for a title shot. “At SummerSlam, I let you have your moment, but just remember, when the time is right, I’ll be trading in my contract for that championship. Capiche?”

Match #4: Tag-Team – Women’s Champion Natalya and Carmella (with James Ellsworth) VS. Becky Lynch and Naomi

Carmella and Naomi start out, with Carmella dancing around at first, and then suddenly tagging in Nattie. The Champ and Naomi lock up and we go to break!

Commercials.

Becky and Nattie are now in the ring, with Natalya stomping away at Lynch in the corner. Nattie clamps on a grounding rear-chinlock, but Becky works out of it, however Natalya hits back with a clothesline. Nattie wants to switch, but Carmella hops off of the apron; they argue and Becky takes advantage. She elbows Natalya out of the corner, but the Women’s Champion pulls her off of the second turnbuckle and covers but only gets two! Lynch reverses a suplex into an inside cradle, and then tags in Naomi, who locks on her submission. Natalya works out of that and tries the Sharpshooter, but Naomi wiggles out. Nattie forces Carmella in, and Becky and Naomi finish her off!

Winners via Pinfall: Becky Lynch and Naomi

Commercials.

Backstage Promo

Dasha is with a Dolph Ziggler, who is back after a long absence. He pokes fun at everyone who has some fancy attribute to them, claiming that’s what he needs to be noticed again. Dolph vows to start that next week.

Locker Room Promo

Lana is with Tamina and tells her that her “quest” for the Women’s championship starts next week. She has Tamina bring out her “rage” through meditation, and calls her “the most-feared woman on Smackdown! Live.”

Backstage Promo

United States Champion A.J. Styles is walking towards the entrance area when Baron Corbin stops him. He wants to make the same deal with Styles, but A.J. informs him to get in line with the Open Challenge next week, when Styles wins tonight. Corbin quips “see you out there, champ,” and walks away.

Baron Corbin makes his entrance for the main-event, next!

Commercials.

Match #5: Single for the United States Championship – Kevin Owens (Challenger) VS. A.J. Styles (Champion) (Special Referee: Baron Corbin)

Owens stalls on the outside and then slides in and stomps away. Styles gains control as Corbin fairly looks on.

Commercials.

Kevin trips up A.J. on the apron and throws him into the barrier with a fall-away slam. He rolls him back in the ring for a near-fall, and then wears him down with a grounding rear-chinlock. Owens continues to govern until Styles reverses into a wheelbarrow-facebuster!

They slug away at each other and then A.J. hits numerous fists and kicks. He measures Kevin in the corner and runs at him with a leaping-forearm! He almost gets this after a fireman’s-carry neckbreaker! Styles and Baron have calm words, and then A..J. sets up for the Phenomenal Forearm; Kevin ducks but gets trapped in the Calf-Crusher! He just about taps and almost clasps the bottom rope; Styles rolls him away, but Corbin tells Styles that Owens actually did grab the rope.

Kevin shoves A.J. into Baron, who shoves Styles back into a roll-up for a very-quick two! Owens rolls-up again for another fast-count, and they both clothesline each other. Commissioner McMahon charges down and bickers with Corbin about his officiating. In the ring, Kevin gives A.J. a low-blow and covers, but Shane pulls Baron out of the ring! They squabble again, and then Corbin ditches the referee shirt and job!

McMahon is now the ref, to Owens’ chargin! Styles capitalizes with his Phenomenal Forearm and covers for the victory!

Winner via Pinfall and STILL United States Champion: A.J. Styles

Post-match, A.J. celebrates as Kevin looks on in disbelief and anger to close the show.

End of Smackdown! Live.