Quick Takes on Sting, Tessa Blanchard in WWE or AEW, Page and Omega and More

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2020

Quick Takes on Sting, Tessa Blanchard in WWE or AEW, Page and Omega and More

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    Speculation is running rampant regarding another match for Sting, but his recent social media teases likely aren't what fans hope them to be.
    Speculation is running rampant regarding another match for Sting, but his recent social media teases likely aren't what fans hope them to be.Credit: WWE.com

    Mere weeks removed from The Undertaker declaring he was content with his match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36 being his last, it seems Sting has come calling for a final hurrah of his own.

    A tweet from the WCW icon on Wednesday asked the masses whether they would want to see him embark on one "last" ride. Many fans took that to mean he was eyeing a return to the ring after retiring five years ago following a clash with Seth Rollins.

    As a result, The Stinger was the center of attention in the wrestling world this week alongside Tessa Blanchard, who is fresh off her controversial departure from Impact Wrestling. Where she will wind up between WWE and All Elite Wrestling remains to be seen, but if recent events have been any indication, it might be best for the 24-year-old upstart to lay low for the foreseeable future.

    Also on the AEW front, "Hangman" Adam Page and Kenny Omega are still the AEW world tag team champions following their successful defense of the AEW World Tag Team Championship in the main event of Wednesday's Fyter Fest event. With the duo's reign having lasted almost six months, it's become a question of when will they lose the titles so the build to their inevitable one-on-one encounter can begin.

    The latest installment of Quick Takes will analyze the best possible options to dethrone Page and Omega, The Riott Squad's apparent reunion, Rhea Ripley losing a massive amount of momentum since WrestleMania 36 and more.

Sting's Hints of 'Last Ride' Are Nothing to Get Excited About

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    Unlike The Undertaker, the chances of Sting wrestling again in WWE are slim despite what his cryptic tweet seemed to indicate this past week.

    His last match was at 2015's Night of Champions pay-per-view, at which he unsuccessfully challenged Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship in the night's main event. The two two buckle bombs he endured at the hands of Rollins during the course of the contest caused him to suffer a serious neck injury that required immediate surgery.

    Although Sting later claimed that the cervical spinal stenosis was corrected, it essentially ruled out any possibility of him ever competing in another match for the company. Granted, Daniel Bryan and Edge have both returned from career-ending injuries in recent years, but Sting's situation is different given he's 61.

    Other than a match against Undertaker, which WWE had the chance to do at WrestleMania 31 but didn't, there isn't anything for him to come back for. There were rumblings in May that he could have been AEW-bound once his WWE contract expired, but there aren't any obvious matchups for him there, either.

    Undertaker vs. Sting in Boneyard match-style bout isn't entirely out of the question, but fans must realize that it wouldn't be as epic as it would have been a decade or so ago. That ship has sailed, and thus his tweet shouldn't be looked at as anything more than a tease of something that won't happen.

Why a Riott Squad Reunion Is for the Best

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    Truth be told, The Riott Squad were never booked to look like a legitimate threat to anyone on the WWE roster for as long as they were around. For as well as Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan worked together, it was rare that they won anything of importance, including championship gold.

    Breaking up the trio wasn't the worst idea initially, but considering none of the women have amounted to great success in the singles ranks (through no fault of their own), a reunion is probably the smartest course of action the company can take with them right now.

    The seeds were planted several weeks ago when Riott confronted Morgan after one of her losses on Raw. The two have yet to officially bury the hatchet after Riott betrayed her upon returning to the ring earlier this year, but surely that chapter of the story is coming sooner or later.

    In fact, it couldn't be more obvious that's where WWE is headed with them. Morgan lost to Natalya two weeks on Raw before Riott was beaten by Peyton Royce, so it only makes sense for them to put aside their differences and team up against their common enemies.

    Plus, another run for The Riott Squad would be a big boost to WWE's women's tag team division, which needs as much star power as it can get.

WWE and AEW Should Steer Clear of Tessa Blanchard for Now

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    In the previous edition of Quick Takes, it was discussed how the absences of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair from the Raw women's division should lead to fresher faces such as Shayna Baszler and Bianca Belair being given more opportunities.

    To WWE, that may sound like the perfect opportunity to bring in Tessa Blanchard, who was recently released from Impact Wrestling, and immediately push her to title contention on the main roster. She's undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in wrestling today, but that's no reason to excuse bad behavior.

    Blanchard's contract with Imapct was terminated recently after she failed to appear at the latest set of television tapings and refused to send in content for the weekly show despite being a world champion. Officials felt she wasn't going to re-sign or make good on her advertised appearance at Slammiversary on July 18, so they went ahead and cut ties with her all together.

    This messy departure was in addition to her being called out by multiple peers at the onset of 2020 for an incident that allegedly occurred a few years ago in Japan, which she denies ever taking place.

    By all accounts, Blanchard has not been the easiest person to work with this year, which is why WWE and AEW should steer clear of signing her for the foreseeable future. She would be a great get for either of their women's rosters, but now would be a terrible time for them to recruit her with everything going on between racial injustice and the Speaking Out movement.

    If she continues to grow as a person and owns up to the mistakes she's made, the sky is the limit for her. Until then, it would be ill advised for any promotion to sign the second-generation star amid all the controversy surrounding her.

Adam Page and Kenny Omega Have Overstayed Their Welcome in AEW's Tag Team Ranks

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    When "Hangman" Adam Page and Kenny Omega captured the AEW World Tag Team Championship in January, they weren't expected to hold on to the gold for long. However, almost six months later, they are still the champions with no end in sight to their run.

    Best Friends have been riding a wave of momentum for months and seemed to be the perfect team to take those titles from Page and Omega at Fyter Fest. AEW had other ideas, opting to keep the belts on Page and Omega for a little longer.

    Page and Omega are scheduled to defend the titles against Private Party on Night 2 of Fyter Fest, but it's unlikely that will be when their reign concludes. Based on their post-match interaction with FTR on Wednesday night, it looks like FTR will be next in line for a run with the straps sooner rather than later.

    That said, The Young Bucks vs. FTR sells itself and doesn't need anything on the line to feel special. While the bout was considered by fans to be a lock for All Out in September, AEW may be aiming to have them involved in the tag title picture with Omega and Page that night instead.

    To their credit, Omega and Page have put down every tandem that has stepped up to challenge them, but the time has come for them to return to singles competition and deliver on the feud they have been teasing all year.

    The tag team division is strong enough that it will survive without them, not to mention that AEW could use another babyface or two toward the top of the card. Page and/or Omega would fill that void.

Examining Rhea Ripley's Fall from Grace Since WrestleMania

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    To see where Rhea Ripley is now in NXT compared to where she was leading into WrestleMania 36 is disheartening, to say the least.

    Ripley had a hotter stretch than just about anyone else in WWE late last year from winning at WarGames, successfully representing NXT at Survivor Series and ending Shayna Baszler's historic reign as NXT Women's champion a month later. She had the world in her hands coming into the new year.

    Although her feud with Charlotte Flair was well done on the whole and culminated in an excellent match at WrestleMania, the outcome, with Flair beating her for the belt, still doesn't make sense more than three months later. We know now that it did way more to harm Ripley's red-hot momentum than help it.

    She disappeared from WWE TV for a full month and failed to regain the gold at TakeOver: In Your House. Io Shirai becoming the new champ that night was the right call, but Ripley eating the pin instead of Flair—who was on her way out of the brand—was not.

    Her recent rivalry with Aliyah and Robert Stone is proof that NXT doesn't have a clue what to do with her at the moment. She's bound to re-enter the title picture at some point, but it won't mean much because her wins over Aliyah and Stone haven't given her the slightest shred of credibility.

    At only 23, the former NXT and NXT UK Women's champion has her entire career ahead of her and will rebound before long. That doesn't make WWE's booking of her in 2020 any less disappointing, however.


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.