Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW.
Goldberg Still Under Contract With WWE
While Goldberg completed the number of dates required under his WWE contract, he told Joseph Staszewski of the New York Post that he's still technically with the company. The 55-year-old has not been on WWE programming since losing to Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber, but he has not ruled out a return to the ring.
“I’m still waiting for that one [call] to happen one of these days,” Goldberg said. “But I suppose you never retire in the wrestling world until you’re dead, so who knows.”
It's likely Goldberg's contract called for a specific number of dates, and WWE simply used them before the actual expiration of his deal. WWE would likely have to pay him a previously agreed-upon fee to make more appearances or have another match before the end of the contract.
Goldberg revealed he worked the match against Reigns with a debilitating shoulder injury that left him unable to train. He's since been in the gym and said he's feeling close to normal.
“I have worked my ass off day, after day, after day to get to a point where I feel almost normal again,” Goldberg said. “I just kind of needed that break. I needed the mental focus of understanding that surgery wasn’t an option at the time and I needed to put my ass to the grindstone.”
Goldberg has been a fixture on WWE's shows in Saudi Arabia, wrestling three times at the live events. The company is expected back in Saudi later this year, so don't be surprised if Goldberg winds up popping up again in the build to that event.
Bayley Shuts Down SummerSlam Rumor
It turns out fans may have to continue waiting for Bayley's return to the ring.
The former women's champion seemed to dispel rumors of her return in a tongue-in-cheek tweet about attending a Paramore concert.
PW Insider previously reported Bayley will be in Nashville for SummerSlam weekend, hinting that she would make an appearance. Bayley and Charlotte are both natural potential thorns in the side of Ronda Rousey, should they want to make their presence known during Rousey's match against Liv Morgan.
That could potentially take Rousey out of the title picture for the time being while keeping her strong.
Bayley has been gearing up for her return to the ring for months after undergoing knee surgery last year. However, there has been no firm timetable for her return.
It's possible Bayley will be in Nashville for SummerSlam but simply not participate onscreen. The event is WWE's second- or third-biggest premium live event on the calendar, so Bayley being around even just backstage would make sense.
Smackdown Women Frustrated With Lack of Screen Time
The in-ring product on SmackDown has been lackluster of late. The July 9 episode of SmackDown saw only 13 total minutes of in-ring action, only 2:15 of which went to the women.
Fightful Select reached out to some women on the roster who expressed frustration at the lack of attention being paid to the division. The complaints came from women at the top and bottom of the card, so it's not just lower-level complaints.
There has been a general quality slog on SmackDown of late, perhaps thanks in large part due to the part-time nature of Roman Reigns' new contract. Reigns and The Bloodline were such a large part of SmackDown—and the best part most weeks—that it seems the program has gone into a stasis with the undisputed champion only popping up occasionally.
It would seem that more focus should go into the women's division with Reigns not around, but that hasn't been the case.
Natalya recently told Ariel Helwani that Vince McMahon has been receptive to adding more women's segments.
“Whenever I go in to pitch an idea to Vince McMahon — because at the end of the day, he’s the guy we pitch to — I always make sure to pitch stuff that’s going to elevate other people… Vince has been super receptive to making sure there’s been even more inclusion," Natalya said.