Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Paige Comments on Kabuki Warriors
On Tuesday's episode of SmackDown Live, Paige announced that the team of Asuka and Kairi Sane had been renamed the Kabuki Warriors.
Online reaction to the name was largely negative with most blaming WWE creative for the decision, but Paige revealed a different story on Twitter.
In response to a fan who later deleted their tweet, Paige revealed that Asuka and Sane were the ones who got the ball rolling on the Kabuki Warriors name:
Rather than going with their idea of Kabuki Girls, WWE went a more menacing route and opted to call the new team the Kabuki Warriors instead.
Paige introduced Sane to the main roster a few weeks ago and named her Asuka's tag team partner with Paige serving as the team's manager.
Since their formation, the Kabuki Warriors have set their sights on The IIconics, who are the WWE Women's Tag Team champions. On Tuesday, Asuka and Sane took another step toward a title shot by beating Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
Regardless of what they are called, Asuka and Sane seem poised to win the WWE Women's Tag titles in the near future.
Cody Rhodes Talks AEW's Commitment to Realism
All Elite Wrestling Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes discussed his hopes Wednesday for what WWE shortcoming AEW can take advantage of.
In an interview with Joe Otterson of Variety, Rhodes talked about his desire to make AEW a more realistic, sports-leaning product than the one WWE currently produces: "[As] much as I say [WWE] was a wonderful job, it wasn't wrestling. That's something I've learned a lot about, the grittiness and the sports-centric element of the industry that doesn't exist really anywhere else currently. We have the opportunity to seize that."
Rhodes also mentioned the importance of focusing on the little things, such as wins and losses and the presentation of statistics in a way that other wrestling companies aren't currently utilizing:
"One thing we really strongly want to present is wins and losses mattering again in pro wrestling. That takes more than the W and the L column. We're talking about percentage of times someone loses to this particular maneuver, percentages against somebody of this height, a whole by-the-numbers approach that really intrigues me. It's not a cornerstone of AEW necessarily but it's a great peripheral element we're working on and that's going to be exclusive to us."
Cody's comments came on the same day that it was announced AEW and WarnerMedia came to terms on a deal that will see an AEW weekly television show begin airing on TNT later this year.
Also, AEW will stream on B/R Live, which starts with the Double or Nothing pay-per-view on May 25.
WWE Reportedly Planned Big Pay Raise for Dillinger
WWE granted Tye Dillinger's request to be released in February, but The Perfect 10 said last week on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with Edge and Christian that WWE was prepared to give him a raise before his departure.
During the interview (h/t William Windsor of WrestlingInc.com), Dillinger said he was told about the raise when he expressed a desire to leave WWE, but he went forward with his decision anyway:
"It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I didn't really ask too many people because I didn't want to be influenced either way. I wanted it to be all on me. My family had no idea. My mother had no idea. My wife knew. She knew what I was going to do, but she didn't know I was going to do it on that particular day. I just said to talent relations at the time that I needed to go and they said, 'Well, we're about to offer you a pretty substantial raise.' Now, I am by no means a millionaire. I'm not even close. I've been very lucky. I have everything I could possibly need and I wouldn't have that without WWE. But for me, personally, it wasn't about the money, so I didn't even let him get the offer out of his mouth. Later I found out what it was, a couple of weeks later, but I just said, 'It wouldn't change anything tomorrow morning when I wake up—I'm still going to feel the same way that I do right now and the way I've felt for the last six months.'"
At the time of his departure, Dillinger noted that he "wasn't excited anymore" and added that he was "probably late in leaving" WWE.
The 38-year-old veteran gained a major following in NXT with his Perfect 10 character, and there was a lot of initial excitement for his call-up to the main roster in 2017.
Dillinger was never used as much more than a lower-card performer, however, and his momentum quickly fizzled out. Rather than waiting for things to get better, Dillinger decided to be proactive.
Since leaving WWE, Dillinger has accepted independent bookings under the name Shawn Spears, and he is set to begin wrestling again at the end of the month.
It is well known that Dillinger is close friends with Cody Rhodes, which suggests the door could be open for his arrival in AEW at some point as well.
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