Booker T Reveals WWE Last Match; Alexa Bliss Calls out Rumors; Mandy Rose Talks AEW

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 8, 2023

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: WWE Wrestler Booker T attends the All in for CP celebrity charity poker event benefiting the One Step Closer Foundation's effort to fight Cerebral Palsy at Bally's Las Vegas on December 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

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

Booker T Says Royal Rumble Was His Final WWE Match

WWE Hall of Famer and NXT announcer Booker T believes his WWE in-ring career has come to an end.

Speaking on his Hall of Fame podcast (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), Booker T divulged that he doesn't expect to have another WWE match after being a surprise entrant in the 2023 men's Royal Rumble match in San Antonio last month.

Booker noted that while he still plans to get in the ring and work with his students at his Reality of Wrestling school and promotion, the Royal Rumble was the "last time" he will mix it up in the ring "at that level."

While Booker admitted that retiring from WWE in-ring competition is "kind of sad," he added that he doesn't "think it can get better than" doing it in his home state of Texas at one of WWE's biggest annual events.

Booker has not been a regular in-ring performer since 2009 when he was under contract with TNA, but after returning to WWE in 2011 in a variety of roles, he enjoyed a mini run in which he wrestled several matches in 2011 and 2012.

Aside from working the occasional match for Reality of Wrestling, the 2023 Rumble marked Booker's first match in over a decade.

Booker's primary role currently is providing color commentary on NXT, and all signs point toward him continuing to focus on endeavors outside the ring.

His biggest contribution to the wrestling business is training and preparing the stars of the future, and because of his employment with the company, WWE has a direct line to some top-end talent who could become big-time Superstars for WWE in the future.

Bliss Responds to Report of Taking Time Off

Alexa Bliss seemed to suggest Tuesday that reports of her taking time off from WWE may not be entirely accurate.

The three-time Raw women's champion and two-time SmackDown women's champion took to Twitter to remind fans not to believe anything unless she says it herself, writing: "Don't believe things you read. Unless it comes directly from me...it's not real lol."

Bliss was likely responding to a report from Mike Johnson of PWInsider Elite (h/t WrestlingInc's Sai Mohan) regarding Bliss taking some time off after her loss to Raw women's champion Bianca Belair at Royal Rumble.

Johnson reported that Bliss would be taking "a bit of a break" and her absence would not be injury-related. It was also reported that it was already known going into Royal Rumble that Bliss would be taking time off afterward.

After losing to Belair, Bliss was confronted by images of Uncle Howdy, which is a character that has been related to Bray Wyatt since Bray's return to WWE in October.

Uncle Howdy seemed to influence and change Alexa in the weeks leading up to her match against Belair, moving her in the direction of the character she portrayed while aligned with Wyatt.

Although it isn't yet fully clear where WWE is going with Bliss, it does seem likely that she will join forces with Wyatt again in order to finish the story that was never paid off following Wyatt's release from WWE.

If there are indeed big plans for Bliss and Wyatt, she figures to be back on WWE programming soon for the build toward WrestleMania 39 on April 1 and 2.

Mandy Rose Open to Joining AEW

Following her surprising release from WWE in December, Mandy Rose is open to the idea of possibly signing with AEW at some point.

Appearing on The Sessions with AEW backstage interviewer Renée Paquette (h/t WrestlingInc's Marco Rovere), Rose was asked about her potential interest in making the move to AEW.

Rose didn't shoot down the idea, but she also made it clear that wrestling isn't her primary focus currently, saying: "I haven't ruled it out for sure, it's not like the boots are hung up and stuff. It's just right now, it's not my main focus, but definitely for the future, maybe."

In December, Rose's 413-day reign as NXT women's champion came to a screeching halt when she dropped the title to Roxanne Perez. One day later, WWE released Mandy from the company.

Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp reported that WWE felt some of the content on Rose's FanTime page was "outside of the parameters" of her contract, which led to the decision to release her.

Rose had a subscription-based page on FanTime, but some of the content leaked on social media, and it featured nudity and sexually suggestive photos and videos in some cases.

After getting sent back to NXT from the main roster, Rose reinvented herself and became one of the most complete female wrestlers in the business.

In addition to improving her in-ring work, she refined her character and promo ability, and was the ideal leader for the Toxic Attraction stable.

Rose is currently focusing on FanTime and is making huge money in the process, so it is understandable why wrestling may not be on her radar.

If she does decide to return to the ring, though, she has a link to AEW in Saraya, who was part of the Absolution stable with her and Sonya Deville in WWE several years ago.

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