Chris Jericho Talks Vince McMahon; Mick Foley Praises R-K-Bro; HHH Hypes Mansoor

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2021

Chris Jericho attends New York Comic Con to promote TNT's
Charles Sykes/Associated Press

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


Jericho Talks McMahon's Feelings on Broken Skull Sessions Appearance

AEW star Chris Jericho shocked the wrestling world last month when he appeared on Broken Skull Sessions with Stone Cold Steve Austin on the WWE Network portion of Peacock.

Despite appearing on a WWE platform, Jericho was allowed to discuss AEW and what led to his joining the promotion, marking the first true AEW-WWE crossover since AEW was first conceived in 2019.

In an interview with Scott Fishman of TV Insider this week, Jericho said WWE Chairman Vince McMahon may have regretted allowing the interview to happen:

"It was lightning in a bottle sort of thing with [respective company heads] Vince McMahon and Tony Khan giving their approval. I think it was also well-timed. The Peacock relationship with WWE was just starting. They wanted something huge out of the gate. It was perfect for us considering AEW had its first unopposed show [without NXT].

"Once that big Dynamite rating came in though, I think Vince may have had a little bit of second-guessing. Would they do it again? Maybe. I don't know if you can find anyone with respect and goodwill on both sides that would allow that. If they don't do it again, it was one of the coolest moments in wrestling history."

To Jericho's point, AEW Dynamite did over 1 million viewers in each of its first two unopposed weeks following WWE's decision to move NXT to Tuesdays. That included an average of 1.219 million viewers the first week, which was the show's largest audience since its debut in October 2019.

Dynamite's viewership has dropped the past two weeks, however, and it did just 889,000 viewers last week despite a lack of wrestling competition.

AEW is still a young company that will experience fluctuations in viewership, and one can only assume it will bounce back this week with the Blood and Guts match between The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle headlining the show.

Jericho's assumption that his appearance on Broken Skull Sessions got more eyes on the AEW product may be correct, but McMahon's decision to allow him on the show proved that he is more concerned with his own product than other ones.

WWE has become so huge with multiple billion-dollar television contracts that it is essentially impossible for it to fail any time soon, and McMahon seems to realize that, as he willingly gave another promotion free publicity since he knew it would help WWE and its placement on Peacock.


Foley Praises New R-K-Bro Tag Team

A new tag team has emerged on Raw over the past couple of weeks in the form of R-K-Bro, which Randy Orton and Riddle comprise.

The team started after Riddle scored an upset win over Orton a couple of weeks ago on Raw, and since then they have picked up victories over the teams of Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander, and Elias and Jaxson Ryker.

One WWE legend who knows a thing or two about odd-couple tag teams is Mick Foley, and he gave R-K-Bro his stamp of approval Monday night on Twitter:

Mick Foley @RealMickFoley

I think #RKBro has a little of that #RockAndSock feel. I LIKE IT! @RandyOrton @SuperKingofBros https://t.co/ma4st6wtqw

Foley compared R-K-Bro to The Rock 'n' Sock Connection, which was his own beloved tag team with The Rock during the Attitude Era.

The dynamic between Foley and The Rock made The Rock 'n' Sock Connection a huge success, as Foley was over the top and even annoying at times, while The Rock was a cool customer who tried to not allow Foley to get on his nerves.

It can be argued that The Rock 'n' Sock Connection is the greatest comedic team in WWE history, although they still managed to get the job done in the ring and held the Tag Team Championships together on three occasions.

R-K-Bro is similar in that Riddle is playing the Foley role and Orton is playing the role of The Rock. That much was palpable on Raw this week during a backstage segment when Riddle wouldn't stop talking and Orton had to find his inner Zen so as not to snap at his partner.

The Raw tag team division is starting to pick up steam with R-K-Bro, The Viking Raiders, New Day and the Raw Tag Team champions AJ Styles and Omos leading the way.

Tag team wrestling has not been a focal point on Raw in quite some time, but if R-K-Bro continues to receive positive reviews, that could soon change. 


Triple H Compliments Mansoor

Mansoor made his main roster debut on Monday night's episode of Raw, joining the Raw brand and losing to United States champion Sheamus by disqualification due to interference from Humberto Carrillo.

Following Mansoor's debut, NXT founder Triple H had some great things to say about the young star:

Triple H @TripleH

I’ve watched @KSAManny grow in and out of the ring since he first came to the @WWEPC. With stellar performances on #WWENXT and #WWE205Live, can’t wait to watch him on Monday Night #WWERaw! https://t.co/byA7tD1aZv

Mansoor signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2018 in conjunction with the company expanding into Saudi Arabia and beginning to hold regular events in the country.

The 25-year-old from Riyadh is likely best known for the success he has enjoyed on the Saudi Arabia shows, winning a 51-man battle royal at Super ShowDown in 2019 and then beating Cesaro in a singles match at Crown Jewel later that same year.

Over the past couple of years, Mansoor has made some appearances on NXT and primarily wrestled on 205 Live. More recently, he has enjoyed success on Main Event and entered Raw on a 49-match winning streak.

That streak ended Monday, but the fact that the loss was by DQ rather than pinfall or submission speaks to the notion that WWE is looking to protect and push him.

Mansoor held his own Monday on the mic and in the ring, and he may have a bright future on the red brand.


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