Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
JBL Talks Backstage Fight Between Guerrero and Angle
WWE Hall of Famer JBL took to Twitter this week to tell a backstage story about a fight between fellow Hall of Famers Kurt Angle and the late Eddie Guerrero:
JBL explained what happened during the skirmish and revealed the conversation he had with Eddie after the fact (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Douglas Canavin):
"Well, apparently, something happened in that match, and as they come back Eddie and Kurt get into a physical fight. Eddie leg dives an Olympic gold medalist. Now, Kurt Angle was not good in high school, he was not really good in college, he was the best in the world. Out of 8.5 billion people, he was the gold medalist. You might have a chance punching Kurt, hit him with something. Don't leg dive an Olympic gold medalist.
"As they come back down the hall, I can hear this whole fight going on, and I'm the only one in the dressing room, and as they get back to the dressing room door, Eddie is on this side of the door, Kurt is on the other side of the door, John Laurinaitis, the head of talent relations, shuts the door and leaves Eddie on this side of the door with only me in this big dressing room.
"And Eddie comes back, doesn't even look at me, sits right beside me and he's staring at the door, and he's breathing so loud you can hear him breathe. And I look at him and he's still looking at the door, and I said, 'Eddie why would you leg dive a gold medalist?' Eddie says, 'Cause I'm stupid!'"
Eddie and Angle are two of the all-time greats, and they had no shortage of in-ring chemistry. In particular, their match at WrestleMania 20 for the WWE Championship is still remembered as one of the best matches ever on the big stage.
While both Eddie and Angle were great grapplers in the world of professional wrestling, Angle was a legitimately great amateur wrestler who won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, which speaks to how ill-advised Guerrero's attempt to take Angle down was.
Although Eddie tragically died in 2005, stories like the one JBL told and the love so many fans still have for him today help keep his memory alive.
Jericho Recalls Idea He Pitched to Vince McMahon
While Chris Jericho is currently a top star in All Elite Wrestling, he spent roughly 15 years in WWE as a main player under Vince McMahon.
During a discussion with Matt Hardy on his Talk Is Jericho podcast (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Jason Ounpraseuth), Jericho discussed the difficulties of getting through to McMahon and making him understand his ideas at times.
Jericho specifically mentioned his Highlight Reel segment, which he originally meant to be a talk show to aid in getting over lower-card wrestlers:
"It's funny as the original Highlight Reel, I pitched it as 'Jericho's Junction' because I was watching a bunch of Mean Gene Okerlund interviews and myself included. When I first started doing interviews, he was the Jedi. If you didn't know what you were doing, Gene would lead you through the interview and make you look like a star, and I said, why don't we do Jericho's Junction where every week like a Piper's Pit, we bring out underutilized stars whoever they were at the time. I'll lead the interview. We'll get the people over. We'll get them to do interviews and connect with the crowd.
"Vince is like, 'I love it', and your first guest is Goldberg. I'm like, well Goldberg is not really the guy. I'm thinking more like Bull Buchanan. Nope Goldberg. Next week Scott Steiner. The next week, it's Rock. I'm like the whole concept of what I had is gone, and now it's just another talk show, which is fine. That's great. But the original plan was much like you, just like let's give some of these underutilized guys a spotlight where somebody like me or you knows how to bring them along."
The Highlight Reel became one of the most well-known interview segments in WWE history and featured some memorable moments, including the beginning of a heated feud between Jericho and Shawn Michaels.
Given those facts, it can be argued that McMahon was right in deciding to use big-time Superstars to craft big-time angles. At the same time, it is fun to think about what might have been had Jericho been given the opportunity to work with some lesser-known names.
So far in AEW, Jericho has aided in the development of young stars such as Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin, so it is possible that he could have done something similar in WWE.
The creation of new stars or lack thereof has been a major point of contention among WWE fans in recent years, so perhaps WWE could benefit from an idea similar to the one Jericho pitched McMahon so many years ago.
Edge Calls Balor "The Guy"
WWE Hall of Famer Edge paid a huge compliment to NXT star Finn Balor during a conference call Tuesday ahead of WrestleMania 36.
According to Rohit Nath of SportsKeeda, Edge said the following when asked about NXT and who has stood out to him:
"There are so many talents, you can seriously point to everyone on the roster. Obviously [Tommaso] Ciampa and I have a very close relationship, we're both 'neck' guys for a lack of a better term. So he's picking his brain a lot and I love it because he cares a lot and he'll try the ideas too. I love [Johnny] Gargano. To me, 'the guy' who is dialed in and completely found what it is that he's supposed to do is Finn Balor. It's exciting to watch him right now. To me, he and Gargano set the template for what an NXT match should be going forward."
Edge also went on to mention Adam Cole, Keith Lee and Velveteen Dream as Superstars who have emerged to anchor the black and yellow brand.
While Balor had a solid run on the main roster, a shoulder injury suffered during his Universal Championship win forced him to miss a significant amount of time, and he struggled to return to the main event scene after that.
With Balor hovering around the upper midcard, he made the decision to go back to NXT, and that move has allowed him to expand his character significantly.
Balor shockingly turned heel on Gargano several months ago, and he has proved since then that he is much more than a smiley babyface or the demon. Without any bells or whistles, Balor has established himself as a top heel and an elite performer.
Balor is in the midst of a rivalry with United Kingdom champion Walter, and although NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, their match will likely take place on NXT in the coming weeks, and it could have match of the year potential.
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