The World According to ZAH

What a crazy couple of weeks…

The big news for wrestling, still, is just what’s going on with the new performers coming over from New Japan and how they’ll be used in WWE. I’ve heard some rumors and I’ve got some theories…

Guns and Gallows 1– The latest rumors have Luke Gallows and Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson debuting on NXT television in March. My immediate guess is that they’ll be heels and won’t be as “chummy” with Finn Bálor as he would expect them to be. Then, on April 1st at NXT: TakeOver Dallas, the team of “Guns-n-Gallows” will help Bálor win his expected title match against Sami Zayn…setting up a “Bálor Club” invasion storyline and a heel turn for Bálor.  This is all “fantasy booking” at this point, though…all of us will find out as the weeks continue.

– This must be a TON of fun for Bálor at the moment, because he’s been sending out extremely interesting things via his social media accounts…

#FinnBálor #KarlAnderson #LukeGallows #BálorClub #suplexwrestling

A post shared by Finn Bálor (@finnbalor) on

Shinsuke Nakamura 1– The latest on Shinsuke Nakamura is that he will be done with New Japan by the end of January and will then report to the Performance Centre in February to begin working out and complete the required WWE medical tests.  Then what? My guess is that he’ll probably debut in NXT under different name at some point after WrestleMania and then work up to the main roster. At 35 years of age, I think WWE realizes that they don’t have a ton of time to waste with Nakamura and will want to use him as quickly as possible.

AJ Styles– The biggest question right now (to me, at least) is just what WWE plans to do with AJ Styles. The latest is that he was scheduled to be a surprise entrant at the Royal Rumble but that changed once word got out about him coming to WWE. I’ll have a podcast on that very subject up in the next couple of days, but my guess is that he’ll use his own name, similar to Samoa Joe, and debut at the Royal Rumble. I could be way off, though, but I just feel that Styles has a big enough name that he could debut in the Rumble and the crowd would go nuts. I don’t think he needs to go through NXT, but that might just be a “pipe dream” as it seems EVERYBODY has to go through NXT, regardless of their history. Still…a Rumble debut could gauge just how long Styles stays in NXT. A massive pop and buzz could mean a fast-track to the main roster, where a big pop and general WWE Universe question marks could lead to him being in NXT for awhile. I don’t know, but this is a major story and I can’t wait to see what happens (if anything) at the Rumble.

James Storm NXTFor folks wondering if “Cowboy” James Storm was going to pop up on NXT television again…wonder no more. It seems as though the “just-under $100,000” contract offer he received from the company couldn’t match the $200,000+ contract offer given to him by TNA. I mean, can you blame the guy? Regardless of whether or not TNA survives another year or gets booted to yet another television channel, Storm did what he had to do in order to provide for his family. I’ve read that there is no burned bridge between him and WWE so a potential player/coach role down the road is still a possibility…though unlikely.

So here’s a question…is John Cena truly out for WrestleMania? He had shoulder surgery last week but there has been no official word on his return date. Dr. Jeffrey Dugas performed the surgery and said the following:

“He had a complete tear of a small portion of the rear rotator cuff tendon, the infraspinatus — toward the top-back of his shoulder — which I repaired. Also, there was a large piece of loose tissue in his shoulder that needed to be removed.”

Cena shoulder surgeryThe original estimated time out reported online was 6-9 months, but that was for a torn labrum…which turns out was not the actual injury. Here’s the thing…with Cena, you NEVER know how long he’ll be out. He’s returned from bad injuries in a LOT less time than originally diagnosed, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all to still see Cena compete at Mania. I think it’s unlikely, but it’s still potentially a possibility.

Mad Max wtfI’m not going to get into how racist this year’s Oscar nominations appear to be because it’s a group of primarily white people sitting around nominating other white people for pats on the back. Having said that, however, a HUGE congrats to Mad Max: Fury Road for being one of the movies nominated for Best Picture. I never would have thought that this would be possible prior to watching it, but as I’ve said during my movie review and with my Best Movies of 2015 post, this was absolutely one of the BEST movies of the year and a cinematic beauty of a film.

Tyler Breeze & Summer Rae 2Hey…have you been sitting back (like me) wondering why the push for Tyler Breeze suddenly died? I mean, he finally got called up to the main roster and got a really nice debut with a PPV clean pinfall victory over Dolph Ziggler only to be put on the backburner and losing his potentially awesome valet, Summer Rae. So what’s the deal? Apparently, in yet another blatant example of him being completely out of touch with today’s sports entertainment audience, Vince McMahon didn’t see what Triple H saw in Breeze and put the brakes on his push. Triple H saw Breeze as an upper midcard heel (similar to Ziggler’s status) capable of Intercontinental or United States championship gold. Not only that, but the marketing potential of someone so unique and different and NOW with their gimmick was written all over the wall. Vince, however, didn’t see star potential in Breeze so now he’s back to being an afterthought…which is ridiculous.

New Japan might be losing another Bullet Club member while two other roster members have given their intent to stay with the company. Last week, Tama Tonga sent out this tweet…

Does this confirm he is leaving the promotion? I’ve read nothing official yet, but it appears to be the case. Will he follow his friends to WWE? I think the guy has a ton of potential, so I hope that WWE is paying attention.

Two other roster stars, longtime New Japan favorite Rocky Romero and Bullet Club member “The Underboss” Bad Luck Fale each confirmed their intentions to remain with the company.

CloverfieldI woke up this morning and nearly crapped my pants when I saw that there was a trailer online for the previously unannounced “sequel” to Cloverfield…which is one of my favorite movies. From what little information is out there (including statements from producer JJ Abrams), 10 Cloverfield Lane is a “blood relative” to the original film, but isn’t to be considered a direct sequel. In fact, the end of the trailer could very well be the end of the movie and the entire film may be a “contained thriller”, where 99% of the movie takes place inside of the bunker.

SlashFilm.com has already dug into things and has reported the following:

“After further evaluation, I have concluded that the trailer is for the movie that was going under the working title Valencia. The film, which shot in New Orleans in late 2014, has been editing deep inside the mystery box of Bad Robot Productions, which had an extra shell of security due to a little film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  The original script made the rounds under the title “The Cellar”…and as far as we know, the story follows a young woman who wakes up in a cellar after a severe car accident and fears she has been abducted.

“Her captor, a doomsday prepper, tells her he saved her life and that there has been a terrible chemical attack that has left the outside uninhabitable. She does not know what to believe and as tensions rise, she decides she must escape, regardless of the terrors that await outside.””

This could be the result of what the government had to do in order to try killing the original Cloverfield monster, but it’s all just guessing at this point. I have no idea what this movie will be like, but the trailer for this movie has me extremely intrigued.

Johnny & CandiceIt was announced this week that wrestling couple Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae were recently engaged (Gargano…you went all-out for a very impressive proposal…kudos!). I’m a big fan of both so to see their relationship develop into this love is pretty awesome.

Congratulations to both!!

Wyatt Family 5WWE has been discussing the possibility of debuting Sister Abigail and adding her to Bray Wyatt’s stable for some time now. Lately, however, the discussions have been getting pretty serious. The question then becomes…who plays Sister Abigail? Is she a “real” sister (i.e. a nun) or is she “related” to Bray? Is she older or younger? If you bring up someone from NXT, the only person I can think of who would fit-in with the Wyatt’s would be Nia Jax (once repackaged, obviously). I don’t know if any other woman on the roster has the chops to pull off the role and play it legit. Because she’s been on NXT television in her own gimmick, though, I doubt that she’d be chosen to play the part.

Sister AbigailI think, however, that WWE can go one of two ways with this gimmick. They can either bring up someone from the Performance Centre who hasn’t debuted on NXT television yet (which is possible since it was already done with Braun Strowman), or hire an actress for a non-wrestling role who can truly put on a believable performance (as they did with Lana). Either way, this is going to be very interesting to see as there have been hints at a Wyatt Family babyface turn…which is something I do NOT want to see yet. Sister Abigail would help the faction remain extremely heel-esque.

F4WOnline reported the following yesterday:

Royal Rumble“For whatever it is worth, the finish for Royal Rumble is written and whatever it is, it is going to lead to a big match at Fast Lane since they want that to be an A-level PPV and not just a stop on the way to WrestleMania.”

Could this be Triple H screwing Roman Reigns out of the WWE championship, leading to their match at FastLane? I don’t know what other match it could be at this point that would make any sense. I thought they’d save Reigns vs HHH for Mania, but with all of the injuries hitting the roster right now everything is up in the air.

My Song of the Week comes from one of my favorite rock bands, Disturbed. Their incredible remake of the classic Simon & Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence” is something that needs to be heard with the volume turned up all the way. This is truly a re-imagining that’s worthy of your attention.

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