Cathy Kelley Leaving WWE, Rusev Contract Dispute, Candice LeRae Injury Update

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


Cathy Kelley Announces WWE Departure

WWE backstage interviewer and digital content talent Cathy Kelley took to Instagram on Friday to announce that she is leaving WWE after four years.

Kelley noted that Sunday's NXT TakeOver: Portland will be her final show with the company and wrote the following:

"I've typed out and deleted this about 20 times over the past few days, still unsure what to write... I have come to the decision to leave WWE, with Sunday's NXT Takeover being my last day. If you know me, you know this was more than a job, you know how much I loved it and how difficult this decision was. But sometimes in order to have room for growth, you have to step away. I am so thankful for getting to live out a crazy dream the past four years. Thank you to the WWE digital team for being a platform that never stifled creativity. Thank you to Stephanie McMahon for being a mentor and inspiration in every way. Thank you to Triple H for heading up the best wrestling show currently on tv and letting me be a part of it. And thank you to everyone who has supported me, whether it's watching a video I've done or sending a tweet of encouragement. Words cannot begin to express how much it means. I'm not sure yet where my next chapter will take me, but I am damn excited for it. And I promise this isn't a goodbye, it's just a see you later."

The 31-year-old Kelley did WWE recap shows for AfterBuzz TV before getting hired by WWE in 2016. She had several responsibilities in WWE including backstage interviews on NXT, Raw and SmackDown, and producing content for use on WWE's digital platforms.

Kelley is primarily synonymous with NXT, as she spent most of her four years in WWE has a key part of the black and yellow brand.

While Kelley's WWE tenure is about to come to an end, the wording of her farewell post suggested that she may be open to a return some time in the future.

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Rusev WWE Contract Dispute Reportedly Ongoing

Rusev is reportedly still in the midst of a contract dispute with WWE despite being advertised for an upcoming show.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t's Marc Middleton), Rusev has "plenty of time" left on his WWE contract, but there is no sign that his dispute with WWE is close to a resolution.

Even so, Rusev is advertised to be part of the Tuwaiq Trophy gauntlet match at WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia on Feb. 27. AJ Styles, Erick Rowan, R-Truth, Andrade and Bobby Lashley are scheduled to be in the match as well.

The Bulgarian Brute was a key part of Raw for months because of his storyline with his real-life wife, Lana, and Lashley. He has not been seen on Raw since the Jan. 20 episode, however.

On that show, Rusev and Liv Morgan lost to Lashley and Lana in a mixed tag team match. The angle continued with Morgan beating Lana in singles matches the next two weeks, but Rusev was nowhere to be found.

Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin reported in November that Lana signed a new five-year contract with WWE, and Lana later confirmed that she inked a new deal.

Satin reported at the time that Rusev was negotiating with WWE as well, but the two sides reportedly have yet to come to an agreement.


LeRae Listed on NXT Injury Report

WWE released the NXT injury report Thursday and listed Candice LeRae following her loss to Dakota Kai on Wednesday's episode of NXT:

It was noted that LeRae is day-to-day after suffering a bloody nose during the match. Also, it was determined that she did not suffer a fracture.

LeRae was seemingly on the verge of beating Kai when Kai surprised LeRae with a roll-up. The win was huge for Kai since she is set to face Tegan Nox in a Falls Count Anywhere match at NXT TakeOver: Portland on Sunday.

Since she is friends with Nox, LeRae has been an ancillary part of the angle, and she could play a role at TakeOver if she is cleared to get physically involved.

Also, Cameron Grimes was listed on the injury report with bumps and bruises, including possibly bruised ribs, suffered during a loss to Johnny Gargano on Wednesday. Grimes is also day-to-day.

Grimes has been a regular part of NXT programming in recent months, and although he is on a bit of a losing streak, he has turned in some impressive performances.

He was merely a means to an end Wednesday, though, as Gargano picked up a big win that helped him look strong entering his match against Finn Balor at TakeOver: Portland.


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