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Khan Talks Punk, Bryan AEW Rumors; Big E On Malakai Black Feud; WWE Queen of the Ring

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 28, 2021

John Wolfsohn/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


Khan Won't Comment on Punk, Bryan Rumors

Rumors have been swirling regarding CM Punk and Daniel Bryan signed with All Elite Wrestling, but AEW President Tony Khan isn't ready to address those rumors publicly.

Khan was asked about the possibility of Punk and Bryan joining AEW in an interview with Joseph Staszewski of the New York Post.

Khan said: "I have no comment on those. Those are good questions, but I can't comment on those."

When pressed further on Punk and Bryan, Khan added: "I can't comment on those two guys. But I think there are certainly a lot of exciting rumors right now."

Last week, Fightful (h/t WrestlingInc's Joshua Gagnon) reported that Punk was negotiating for a potential return to pro wrestling with AEW.

BodySlam.net's Cassidy Haynes later reported that Bryan had signed with AEW and was "100 percent locked in" with the company.

Punk has been out of wrestling for more than seven years ever since leaving WWE after the 2014 Royal Rumble. Bryan, meanwhile, wrestled for WWE as recently as April before his contract expired.

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It can be argued that Punk has long been the biggest free agent in wrestling, and the multitime WWE world champion would undoubtedly move the needle for AEW.

Bryan would be a huge signing for AEW as well, considering he is also a multitime WWE world champion who headlined WrestleMania 37 against Roman Reigns and Edge in April.

AEW has already gained a great deal of traction in its two years of existence, and the arrival of Punk and Bryan could be what it needs to further challenging WWE's television viewership numbers.


Big E Talks Nixed Feud vs. Black

Big E seemingly began a feud with Aleister Black on SmackDown in May, but it never got off the ground, as Black was surprisingly released two weeks later.

In an interview with Louis Dangoor of Give Me Sport, Big E addressed that storyline publicly for the first time, saying:

"I don't know the plans. I had no idea. Obviously we'd seen the vignettes for weeks and weeks, then he comes out at the end of the main event and kicks me in the face so I think, 'Alright, it's him and I. We're going to run for a bit.' So I definitely was surprised by his release.

"I think he's extremely talented, I think he has a ton to offer. I think people were excited to see us, you know because there's such a difference in the way that we carry ourselves, in our characters, in many ways polar opposites. I think it could have made for a lot of fun."

Black's release occurred on June 2, less than two weeks after his first live appearance on WWE programming in months.

WWE had held Black off television for quite some time and it was unclear if he would ever return. His return came as something of a surprise, but his departure was even more shocking given the time WWE had invested in vignettes hyping up his return.

While it is unfortunate that Big E vs. Black never happened, things have seemingly worked out quite well for both of them.

Big E went on to win the men's Money in the Bank ladder match this month, meaning he is just a successful cash-in away from becoming world champion for the first time.

Black made his AEW debut one month after his WWE release as Malakai Black and immediately entered into a rivalry with Cody Rhodes.


Queen of the Ring Finals Date Reportedly Set

WWE reportedly has plans to hold the finals of the rumored Queen of the Ring tournament on a major stage.

According to Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast, WWE is planning on holding an October show in Saudi Arabia for the first time since February 2020, and the finals of Queen of the Ring will take place then.

WrestlingInc's Raj Giri initially reported last week that WWE was working on putting together a Queen of the Ring tournament for the first time in company history.

King of the Ring has been held many times and used to be a significant WWE pay-per-view, but an equivalent tournament has never happened for WWE's female Superstars.

The tournament would be significant under any circumstance, but holding the final in Saudi Arabia would take it to a different level.

Due to that country's stringent customs, women were not allowed to be on the card the first few times WWE held shows there, but that changed at Crown Jewel in October 2019 when Natalya faced Lacey Evans.

Another women's match was held in the country at WWE Super ShowDown in February 2020 when Bayley took on Naomi.

The Queen of the Ring finals would be the highest stakes yet for a women's match in Saudi Arabia, and it would likely make the winning moment even more memorable.


Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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