Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Mickie James Suggests WWE is Ageist Against Women
Recently released WWE Superstar Mickie James continued to take issue with her former employer this week during an appearance on her podcast.
On GAW TV (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News) this week, James took umbrage with how WWE treats older female wrestlers compared to older male wrestlers:
"I think the small-minded mentality sometimes leads to thoughtless behavior. Especially for me, to constantly be presented as old, when I'm 41 and every single male champion has always been my same age or older and has been glorified for those reasons. As they should be, they're f---king amazing. But, why is it different for women? Or why is it different for me? Ageism is a real thing and it's bulls--t.
"I'm truly grateful for the strides that we [as women] have made, and to be seen as more equal. But it's simply not true for every single person. Sometimes, that's unfortunate. I don't know why I was made to feel like I didn't deserve [the same treatment] because I did everything in my power to be a company girl, and for some reason I was made to feel like I didn't deserve it."
To James' point, it seemed clear late in her tenure that WWE was trying to transition her out of an in-ring role and into something else, such as announcing.
James did some announcing work on Main Event and was also part of the pre-show prior to NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, calling matches with Vic Joseph and offering her expertise on the panel.
Mickie competed in just one match since September of last year, participating in the 2021 Women's Royal Rumble match as a surprise entrant.
While WWE was phasing James out, it continues to utilize older male wrestlers in big roles, such as 44-year-old Bobby Lashley being WWE champion and 47-year-old Edge and 39-year-old Daniel Bryan both challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal title at WrestleMania 37.
WWE is also willing to utilize male part-time Superstars such as the 43-year-old Brock Lesnar and 54-year-old Goldberg in big spots when given the opportunity.
The multi-time WWE women's champion didn't end her tenure with WWE on the best terms, as she felt disrespected by the company sending her belongings to her in a trash bag, but regardless of the relationship, Mickie seems to have a valid point.
Bret Hart Rips Triple H
Bret Hart added more fuel to his well-documented dislike for fellow WWE Hall of Famer Triple H this week.
Appearing on The 81 Podcast (h/t Mukherjee), Hart had some less-than-flattering things to say about the 14-time WWE world champion:
"There's always some guys, you know, that no matter what they do with them, you always wonder how they got there. And I never thought Triple H ever had an idea, original idea, for anything. And I always thought he was overrated. The only reason people even know him or remember him today is because [of] daddy, daddy-in-law."
Hart was referencing the fact that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is Triple H's father-in-law since Triple H is married to Stephanie McMahon.
Triple H has long dealt with the narrative for much of his career that he was only pushed as a top star due to his relationship with Stephanie despite the fact that his push to the top started well before he started dating her.
Both Triple H and Hart deserve to be recognized among the all-time greats even though they were different performers in nearly every way, which speaks to the beauty of professional wrestling.
Hart was a technical master who lived up to his Excellence of Execution moniker and did most of his talking in the ring. Meanwhile, Triple H is known as one of the better talkers ever, plus he has always told great stories in the ring even if he isn't as proficient as Hart.
The Hitman has long held a grudge against Triple H, likely because of his involvement in the planning of the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997, which saw Shawn Michaels beat Hart for the WWE Championship before Hart made the leap to WCW.
Hart infamously graded Triple H's matches against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 28 and Lesnar at WrestleMania 29 as "4 out of 10."
Bret clearly hasn't backed off his assessment of Triple H, but The Game is likely more concerned with his behind-the-scenes role in WWE, including running NXT.
Strowman Sets WWE Record with Three Matches on Raw
Braun Strowman competed in three matches on Monday night's episode of Raw and made WWE history in the process.
According to WWE Stats & Info, Strowman became the first Superstar in WWE history to take part in a singles match, tag team match and handicap match in the same night.
The Monster Among Men opened the show in a handicap match against Mace and T-Bar. He won by disqualification when Mace and T-Bar wouldn't stop attacking him, leading to Drew McIntyre making the save.
Strowman and McIntyre then faced Mace and T-Bar in a tag team match, which they lost by count-out after colliding outside the ring. Strowman then took out McIntyre after the match.
That led to a main event clash between Strowman and McIntyre with the stipulation that McIntyre vs. Lashley for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania Backlash would become a Triple Threat if Strowman won.
Braun did ultimately beat McIntyre amid interference from Mace, T-Bar, Lashley and MVP, meaning he will have a WWE title opportunity at WrestleMania Backlash.
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