VideoWe publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.
Beth Phoenix is going into the WWE Hall of Fame, as she should. She was a standout performer in the women’s division, and likely helped propel WWE into their more modern period where women’s wrestling is something to celebrate and promote. She even told USA Today in a recent interview that she was in WWE during “leaner times” and hopes that she had a hand in making things easier and more wrestling-focused for today’s women of WWE. If you watched her wrestle, you know she did, and that’s even more reason for WWE to bring Beth Phoenix back as more than just a Hall of Fame inductee. Hey, if Kurt Angle is going to come back to maybe wrestle matches after his induction, why can’t Beth Phoenix?
WWE wants to bring back women from their past. Mickie James has already returned, Kelly Kelly is another they’ve considered, and there is certainly space for additional reunions. While WWE’s women’s divisions are getting more focus these days, the divisions themselves are still small, and NXT isn’t quite ready to graduate a large enough batch of wrestlers to make that problem go away. Signing someone like Beth Phoenix to wrestle at a time when she can face any of Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Nia Jax, Nikki Bella, Alexa Bliss, Naomi, and so on seems like a no-brainer. She’s great, the divisions are great, and they should all be together as one big, happy wrestling family.
Phoenix has connections to her own era around in both Mickie James and Natalya. She’s a former WWE Women’s Champion as well as a Divas champ, so potentially getting a shot at one of the new Women’s titles makes all kinds of sense. There is no reason for WWE to avoid asking the question: Phoenix might not respond the way they hope, given she has two young children, but maybe now that she has them she’s ready for a return to the ring. She did respond “never say never” to the question of a return, so long as it makes sense for her family. So, WWE, come up with something that does.
Friday’s Rumor Roundup has the latest expectation for the Broken Hardys as well as why Braun Strowman is suddenly the betting favorite over Roman Reigns at Fastlane.
This week’s Impact Wrestling was a bit of a lame duck episode, considering it was the end of a taping and so much talent has left since it was put together.
However, Impact also taped additional episodes on Thursday, and there’s a spoiler in the form of a former WWE champion who showed up.
And just to go all spoiler inception on you, there’s an additional spoiler about the above spoiler!
They also have a new TV deal with Spike in the United Kingdom, so maybe things are looking up even as talent leaves Impact.
Last Impact thing! A current (but injured) WWE superstar was also backstage at the Impact tapings. Seeing how WWE reacts to that will be interesting, but that might have been the point.
Conan O’Brien received lessons about being a luchador and, well, you should probably watch.
You don’t have to be a good guy to be a face. Suck it, tradition.
Would you like to read an oral history of Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage from WrestleMania 3? Yeah, yeah, stupid question, of course you do.
Thursday was Dr. Seuss day, so here’s Lana and Rusev reading “Green Eggs and Ham” even though Rusev doesn’t understand any of it.
The 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards have been published, and we broke them down.
The retro Best and Worst of RAW is up to May 12, 1997, and it features Bret Hart in a wheelchair being an awesome heel.