Daniel Bryan Wants NXT Call-Ups, Jay White-WWE Rumor, Nick Jackson Injury Update

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2021

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - Daniel Bryan celebrates after winning the main event during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

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

  

Bryan Reportedly Wants NXT Call-Ups for SmackDown

Daniel Bryan, who is both a Superstar and creative writer on SmackDown, has reportedly made a push recently to bring some fresh talent to the blue brand.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Phillip Hendrix of Ringside News), Bryan has called for SmackDown to call up some Superstars from NXT in order to keep things interesting.

It comes as little surprise that Bryan reportedly wants to work with new talent since he has been involved with the likes of Big E, Chad Gable and Otis on-screen—and likely behind the scenes as well—and is known for advocating for new stars to be built.

Meltzer (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News) reported there were plans in place last week to call Damian Priest up from NXT and pair him with Kevin Owens in his feud against Universal champion Roman Reigns and Jey Uso.

That didn't happen, but calling Priest up to SmackDown could still be in the cards soon, as he lost to Karrion Kross on NXT this week, which may have been his swansong.

Rhea Ripley also stands out as a potential NXT call-up after her loss to Raquel Gonzalez in a Last Woman Standing match on NXT.

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While Reigns is the face of SmackDown and all of WWE right now, there is plenty of room for some fresh faces to emerge take on bigger roles. Big E has already done so by winning the Intercontinental Championship from Sami Zayn.

SmackDown feels like the more exciting and overall better show than Raw right now, and bringing in some new talent would likely lend even more credence to that viewpoint.

  

WWE Reportedly Pursuing Jay White

Fresh off his impressive performance at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 15 this week, Jay White reportedly could be on the move.

According to the Super-J Cast (h/t Hendrix), White's NJPW contract expires this month, and WWE is making a "strong play" for him. It was noted that the chances of White leaving NJPW are "50-50."

White faced Kota Ibushi in the main event of Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 15 this week for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships. Although White fell short, he pushed Ibushi to the limit in a 48-minute classic.

Although White is just 28 years of age, the New Zealand native has essentially seen and done it all in NJPW already.

In addition to headlining Wrestle Kingdom at the Tokyo Dome, "Switchblade" has held the IWGP Heavyweight, Intercontinental and United States Championships one time each.

Any wrestling company would undoubtedly love to sign White, and it would be a major coup for WWE. White's in-ring style has often been compared to WWE Superstar Seth Rollins, who could be an ideal opponent for White if he makes the leap.

If White does sign with WWE, it could be reminiscent of what WWE did in 2016 when it signed AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson away from NJPW after Wrestle Kingdom.

Styles debuted immediately as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble, while Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson debuted later.

In the event that WWE signs White, it could put him on the main roster right away and debut him in the Rumble like Styles, or it could take a more measured approach like it did with Nakamura by making White a top star in NXT first.

Regardless, WWE would make headlines by signing White, especially since some would view it as the company outmaneuvering rival AEW for a top talent.

  

Nick Jackson Possibly Avoids Serious Injury

Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks reportedly feared he suffered a significant injury this week, but may have lucked out.

According to Meltzer (h/t Upton), Jackson thought he may have broken his leg on Wednesday's episode of AEW Dynamite when he, Matt Jackson, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian beat Angelico, Jack Evans, Max Caster and Anthony Bowens in an eight-man tag team match.

Jackson reportedly iced his leg throughout the night and started to feel better, however, and doctors expressed their belief that he only suffered a contusion. As a result, Jackson is reportedly expected to be cleared to wrestle by Jan. 20.

Despite the injury, Jackson returned later in the night, as he and Matt seemingly joined forces with Kenny Omega, Gallows and Anderson by doing the "too sweet" hand signal with them.

The Young Bucks are the reigning AEW World Tag Team champions, while Gallows and Anderson hold the titles in Impact, so perhaps Wednesday was a swerve to set the stage for an eventual champion vs. champion match between the two teams.

No matter how AEW uses The Bucks moving forward, the fact that Jackson may have avoided a serious injury is a huge sigh of relief given that they are the leaders of the AEW tag team division.

    

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