Gable Steveson's Brother Bobby to Make Debut; Mickie-Charlotte; CM Punk Praises Hook

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 24, 2021

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - WWE Superstar Charlotte Flair celebrates the Mae Young Classic at the Thomas & Mack Center on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP Images for WWE)
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP Images for WWE

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe and All Elite Wrestling.

Bobby Steveson to Make WWE Debut on 205 Live

Bobby Steveson, the older brother of Olympic gold medalist and fellow WWE signee Gable Steveson, is set to make his WWE in-ring debut against Andre Chase on Friday's Christmas Eve edition of 205 Live. He's performing under the moniker Damon Kemp.

"IT'S TIME!!" he wrote Thursday on Instagram. "Tomorrow only on [Peacock TV] in the U.S. and the [WWE Network] watch me smash my opponent on 205 Live at [10 p.m. ET], you do not want to miss this!"

Steveson won three state championships as a wrestler in high school and went on to spend five years on the wrestling team at the University of Minnesota. His career with the Golden Gophers ended in 2020, and he joined the WWE's Performance Center in August.

Chase, previously known as Harlem Bravado of The Bravado Brothers in Ring of Honor and other promotions, is a veteran with more than a decade of experience. That makes him an ideal opponent for Steveson, who's still developing inside the squared circle.

Gable Steveson, who's following in his brother's footsteps as a wrestler at Minnesota, signed a name, image and likeness (NIL) contract with WWE in September.

It's not far-fetched to think the siblings will one day face off inside a WWE ring.

Mickie James Seeks Feud with Charlotte Flair

James was released by WWE in April following a six-year stint. She previously worked for the company from 2003 through 2010, emerging as a top Superstar with five Women's Championship reigns.

One goal she didn't accomplish during her latest run was a feud with Charlotte Flair, the current SmackDown women's champion.

James discussed her desire to face off with Charlotte during an appearance Tuesday on the Tru Heel Heat Wrestling podcast (via Jeremy Lambert of Fightful):

"I still would want a moment with Charlotte because I never got it. That's No. 1. That will always be...I really wanted to have that moment with her. I don't know why it matters so much, I'm just like 'God, we finally got that little moment in the Rumble,' a little beat, and it was pretty awesome. My whole tenure there, the whole time I was back, we were never in the ring together until that moment, which is so crazy to me. I was pretty much in there...I would have loved to have a run, a real angle with Sasha [Banks], Bayley, Becky [Lynch]. I love all those girls, they are mega-talented and I always think about what I could do with them or what we could do together."

James, who's become Impact Wrestling's Knockouts champion since leaving WWE, will probably have to wait a while for the chance to battle Charlotte.

In October, PWInsider reported (via Danny Wolstanholme of Sportskeeda) Flair still has "years" left on her contract and remains an "important asset" in the company's future plans.

James, 42, is still performing at a high level, and Flair, 35, figures to remain a main event talent for the foreseeable future, so there should be plenty of time for their paths to cross, either in WWE or elsewhere.

CM Punk Praises Hook, Other AEW Young Talent

CM Punk has worked with several of AEW's rising stars since his return to wrestling in August, giving the 43-year-old fan favorite a chance to see the future of the business up close.

The Chicago native spoke on ESPN's SportsNation on Wednesday (via Eric Mutter of Wrestling Inc) about some of the wrestlers who've impressed him, either during a head-to-head feud or while watching from afar:

"There's so many honestly. There's so many guys. I think the future of AEW is in such good hands. Most of the younger guys that we have that we're going to wind up spotlighting in the next five years or so are in their early 20s. Britt Baker, Hook. I mean, everyone seems to love Hook and the guy's had one match. I just think we take our time with our talents.
"AEW as a whole is still a baby. Two years old. And we're going to be moving to TBS in the new year. That's a big step. And just taking time and fostering the new talent instead of just kind of throwing them out there and having a sink or swim attitude, I think helps. Daniel Garcia is a guy that I think is phenomenal. Powerhouse Hobbs, Ricky Starks. I'll forget so many people if I name them. I just think that the future is very, very bright."

Hook, the son of longtime wrestler Taz, made his wrestling debut in early December and became part of Team Taz alongside his father, Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs.

It's a rare opportunity to shine in one of the biggest promotions for a 22-year-old wrestler, but his initial match, a win over Fuego Del Sol on Rampage, showcased ample potential.

Meanwhile, Punk's run in AEW is giving the company a chance to test its younger talent against one of the best in the business, and it appears the former WWE standout is relishing that role.

An eventual feud with Hook could attract a lot of attention and be extremely beneficial to a potential star in the making.

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