February 3, 2021 | News | No Comments
source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
— There is talk going on regarding JBL’s in-ring future. His back is still in a lot of pain (the original reason for his hiatus) and he is frustrated that he can’t wrestle at the level he’d like. His back problems likely hinder his ability to train as effectively as he’d like, not to mention that he’s in his forties and presumably not on anything, which is why his physique sometimes doesn’t look up to par in comparison to the other wrestlers.
— At the moment, Carlito is talking like he’s staying put in WWE. He was said to be really unhappy with his push, particularly after Raw two weeks ago when he and Marella jobbed to Cryme Tyme. At one point it looked like Marella & Carlito were going to get the tag titles, but it never materialized. The company made the decision for them not to get the belts due to storyline plans involving Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly, and he was said to be really upset. Carlito gave his notice at the end of last year but Vince McMahon talked him into staying, saying he would get a bigger push. The push never materialized and he got upset again. He got conflicting stories from the Raw creative team on his long-term future, and he got a sense that head writer Brian Gewirtz wasn’t really looking to pushing him. In light of declining ratings, Gewirtz has been pressured to devote more time on the show to the biggest stars on Raw. Some friends suggested he try getting moved to ECW, where he’d be a headliner, or Smackdown, which before the draft, had less depth, as well as a huge Hispanic television audience that WWE is paying great attention to now. The feeling on his move to SmackDown is that head writer Michael Hayes would at least start him out with a push and give him an opportunity to sink or swim. The knock on Carlito is that he usually works well enough to get by, but not well enough to headline and move past mid-card status.
— Both Matt and Jeff Hardy weren’t told about their respective brand moves beforehand. After their one match together on Raw, Matt was sent to ECW and the reaction you saw from them was their real reaction because both brothers had no idea it was going to happen. In Jeff’s case, he was told about the move to SmackDown a few moments before the announcement on television. On another note regarding the brand changes, pretty much all of the draftees with the probable exception of Triple H have no idea what the moves mean or what their new roles will be as creative hasn’t given them an explanation on anything.
See photos of 49-year-old Ultimate Warrior’s wrestling return yesterday!