Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe and All Elite Wrestling.
Jericho Believes MJF Better Off in AEW Than WWE
Count Chris Jericho among those who feel MJF would be watered down in WWE compared to his AEW presentation.
In an interview with Alex McCarthy of TalkSport published Monday, Jericho gave his take on the best fit for MJF moving forward, saying:
"Oh absolutely [his character would be watered down in WWE]. He's better off staying in AEW. But, again, don't stick your finger in the light socket. You tell a little kid not to do that and they're going to do it to see what happens. I'm not going to tell anybody not to go elsewhere because I did it. I did it for years."
MJF's future has been among the biggest talking points in pro wrestling in recent months, with rumors running rampant regarding his unhappiness with his AEW contract.
Last month, Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp reported that MJF had grown so frustrated that he was leaning toward not re-signing with the company when his contract expires on Jan. 1, 2024.
Things got even wilder later in the month when MJF no-showed a scheduled meet-and-greet during Double or Nothing weekend. There was even concern about him not showing up for his match against Wardlow, but MJF did appear and was essentially squashed by his former bodyguard.
MJF then cut a heated promo on the ensuing episode of Dynamite in which he brought up several real-life issues, including his contract and his disgust over former WWE wrestlers getting paid more than him.
He punctuated the promo by calling AEW president Tony Khan a "f--king mark" and demanding to be fired before his microphone was cut off and he left the ring.
Given the nature of the promo, most have assumed that it was a work and MJF was given clearance to say what he said. If so, AEW has gone to great lengths to make it seem legitimate, including removing MJF from the roster page of its website and removing his merchandise from its online store.
Regardless of how real the issues between MJF and AEW are, the 26-year-old phenom stands to get massive offers from both AEW and WWE if he chooses to test free agency.
MJF is arguably the best heel in wrestling, and he will have no shortage of leverage in his favor.
To Jericho's point, MJF would likely have to cut back on the profanity in WWE, but based on how WWE has presented Cody Rhodes as a top star since making the leap from AEW, it breeds hope it would do the same with a talent like MJF.
Uncertainty Surrounding Banks' WWE Contract
It remains unclear if Sasha Banks has been let go from her WWE contract or when she will be if it hasn't happened yet.
According to Dave Meltzer on TSN's Sunday Night's Main Event (h/t Michael Perry of ThirstyForNews.com), there are no definitive answers regarding Banks' contractual status as of yet.
Meltzer noted that while he has heard that WWE and Banks are "negotiating" her release, it wasn't yet official the last he had heard. Meltzer added that it "wouldn't shock" him if it happens this week, though.
WrestlingInc's Raj Giri reported last week that WWE had released Banks, but no other reporters have been able to confirm it, and WWE hasn't made any announcements regarding her potential departure.
Banks has not appeared on WWE programming since she and Naomi walked out prior to a scheduled match on the May 16 episode of Raw.
WWE released a statement condemning their actions and later announced that both Superstars had been suspended indefinitely and stripped of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships:
B/R Wrestling @BRWrestling
Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out on tonight’s Raw after Banks had issues with “creative ideas pitched,” per <a href="https://twitter.com/PWInsidercom?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PWInsidercom</a><br><br>WWE issued a statement afterwards <a href="https://t.co/c7PZc3K4KL">pic.twitter.com/c7PZc3K4KL</a>
Banks and Naomi were scheduled to compete in a six-pack challenge against Becky Lynch, Asuka, Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop to determine the next challenger for Raw women's champion Bianca Belair.
It was later reported by PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson that the plan was for Naomi to win the six-pack challenge by pinning Banks before going on to face Belair for the Raw women's title at Hell in a Cell. Instead, Belair ended up facing both Lynch and Asuka in an instant classic.
Per Johnson, Banks and Naomi expressed concern about their creative direction, and when no changes were made, they left rather than going through with the plan.
If Banks is indeed on the verge of leaving WWE, it would represent a massive loss for the company, as she is one of the best and most accomplished female Superstars in WWE history.
Along with Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Bayley, Banks helped usher in a new era of women's wrestling in WWE, and she was part of many firsts in the women's division.
The Boss is also a five-time Raw women's champion, one-time SmackDown women's champion, one-time NXT women's champion and three-time WWE women's tag team champion, plus she main-evented Night 1 of WrestleMania 37 with Belair.
Banks would not be easily replaced, and signing her would be a major coup for any other wrestling promotion able to land her.
Nature of Ripley's Injury Unknown
WWE is reportedly keeping the reasoning for Rhea Ripley missing the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view under wraps.
Ripley earned the right to challenge Raw women's champion Bianca Belair for the title at MITB, but Belair announced on Monday's episode of Raw that Ripley won't be medically cleared in time for the pay-per-view.
According to Meltzer (h/t Perry), WWE isn't elaborating on the nature of the injury, noting: "I don't know what the situation is. I'm hoping to find out, but I've asked around and nobody seemed to know what the exact thing is."
Ripley beat Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan and Doudrop in a Fatal 4-Way a couple of weeks ago to become No. 1 contender. She appeared on Raw the following week as well, cutting a promo on Belair with fellow Judgment Day members Finn Balor and Damian Priest.
It seemed like all systems were go, but with Ripley ruled out this week, WWE called an audible.
A Fatal 5-Way between Bliss, Morgan, Carmella, Lynch and Asuka was held, and Carmella scored the surprise win in her first match since WrestleMania.
Now, Belair vs. Carmella is set for Money in the Bank, and if The EST retains as expected, she made it clear that Ripley will be granted a title match when she is cleared.
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