Major Updates On CM Punk, Drew McIntyre & Mercedes Mone; April 17th Live Wrestling News Round-Up

Welcome to the April 17th Inside The Ropes Live blog, bringing you the latest news from WWE, AEW, NJPW, IMPACT Wrestling and more.

Today’s biggest stories:

 Get involved and send us your thoughts to join in the conversation.

Cash Wheeler

Cash Wheeler Responds To Social Media Backlash

Last week Cash Wheeler took to social media to defend FTR partner Dax Harwood following social media pushback after his ongoing comments on AEW and CM Punk.

During the post, Wheeler would state that everyone involved in the AEW x Elite x Punk situation needs to do better and that he is tired of the negativity from all sides.

Wheeler’s comments were met, as expected, by a mix of support and anger from fans depending how they view the ongoing CM Punk dilemma in AEW.

The two Tweets, that have since generated a collective almost one million impressions, are still gaining tracking with every fan weighing in on how they would handle the CM Punk problem if they were Tony Khan.

Wheeler has since take to social media to let fans know that if they are still commenting, he isn’t reading because he is too busy enjoying life.

You can find Cash’s original statement, here.

Do you agree with Cash or do you think Dax has been too vocal about the ongoing CM Punk issue in AEW? Let us know by using the ‘Get Involved’ feature at the top of the page!

Bret Hart

Bret Hart Gives SHOCKING Reaction to Surprise WWF Title Win

Bret Hart spoke at an ITR Live show about his reaction to finding out about his first WWF title win and what he thought Vince McMahon was really going to talk to him about at that meeting.

Check it out ⬇️

Austin Theory

Austin Theory Reveals WrestleMania Warning From The Miz

Earlier this month Austin Theory got the win of his career as he defeated John Cena in the opening match of WrestleMania 39.

In the weeks leading up to the generational clash, John Cena would take Theory to school on the microphone, blasting the divisive star for relying on cheap gimmicks and piped in crowd noise to get over.

During an appearance on the Out of Character podcast, Theory reflected on the segment. The United States Champion revealed that The Miz and Baron Corbin told him to get prepared before walking out as Cena would take him to the “deep water.”

You can read what The Miz and Baron Corbin had to say to Austin Theory, here.


On This Day In 1994 - WCW Spring Stampede

Spring Stampede Cover

April 17th isn’t as big a date in wrestling history as some of the days the weeks prior, however that doesn’t mean that they don’t still feature some important shows in wrestling history.

April 17th 2011 saw TNA host Lockdown live from Cincinnati, Ohio, featuring Fortune vs Immortal.

However, it is April 17th 1994 that hosts the biggest wrestling event on this day as WCW presented Spring Stampede at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois in front of 12,200 fans.

On that show:

  1. Diamond Dallas Page (w/Diamond Doll) vs. Johnny B. Badd
  2. Lord Steven Regal (w/Sir William) (c) vs. Flyin’ Brian
  3. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) (c) vs. Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne
  4. Steve Austin (w/Col. Robert Parker) (c) vs. The Great Muta
  5. Rick Rude (c) vs. Sting
  6. Dustin Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck (w/Col. Robert Parker)
  7. Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. The Boss
  8. Ric Flair (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat

You can watch this PPV via the WWE Network, here.


Happy Birthday Bandido!

Bandido AEW Birthday Graphic

We want to take a quick moment out from the news to wish AEW star and modern Lucha Libre great Bandido a very happy 28th birthday!

What are some of your favourite moments from Bandido’s incredible career thus far? Let us know by writing in using the ‘Get Involved’ feature at the top of the page!

Nia Jax

Tyson Kid Pitched For Nia Jax To Make WWE Return

Nia Jax was released by WWE in November 2021 and went on to suggest that her wrestling career was over.

However, the former Raw Women’s Champion made a surprise return to action at the 2023 Royal Rumble entering the women’s match at number 30.

Speaking in a new interview with Ring The Belle, Jax opened up about how her return came about and who put her name forward.

The star said that after realising she missed performing, she was contacted just over a couple of weeks before the Royal Rumble, noting that it was Tyson Kidd who pushed for her return.

You can read Nia Jax’s full statement, here.

Would you like to see Jax make a full time WWE return? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

CM Punk

Warner Bros Discovery “Has Been Told” That CM Punk Is Returning To AEW


In a move that appeared unthinkable just a handful of months ago, a CM Punk return to AEW is looking increasingly likely.

Speaking on Wrestling Observer Live, Andrew Zarian reported that Warner Bros. Discovery has been told that Punk is coming back.

“I know for a fact that Warner has been told he’s coming back. They are very much aware of the situation. He had recently said he is willing to return to AEW and he wants to make it work.” [H/t to f4wonline]

With regard to the roster split, Zarian suggested that it might not be as rigid as has previously been reported.

You can read more about CM Punk’s return and AEW’s upcoming roster split, here.

Are you excited to see CM Punk return to AEW? Hit the thumbs down below and let us know!


Hornswoggle's Son Steals The Show!

Wrestling has more than one royal family… but I am not talking about the Rhodes, I am talking about the ‘Swoggle family!

During a recent ACW show in Oshkosh Wisconsin, Landon ‘Swoggle’ Postl – son of iconic WWE ruthless aggression star Hornswoggle – would steal the show by hitting a Tadpole Splash from the top rope that would make his father proud!

Dylan Postl [AKA ‘Swoggle, FKA Hornswoggle] would take to Twitter to share footage of the epic moment commenting that son Landon was “proving more and more how much cooler he is” than his dad already.

You can check out this awesome moment below ⬇️

Deonna Purrazzo

Deonna Purrazzo Sends Emotional Message To Steve Maclin Following IMPACT World Championship Victory

Deonna Purrazzo and Steve Maclin

At IMPACT Wrestling’s Rebellion PPV, Deonna Purrazzo and Steve Maclin made history by becoming the first husband and wife duo to win two different World Championships on the same night.

Steve Maclin would defeat Kushida to capture the vacant IMPACT World Championship in the shows penultimate match before Deonna Purrazzo would defeat long time rival Jordynne Grace in the shows main event for the vacant IMPACT Knockout’s Championship.

Following the show, Purrazzo would take to Twitter to share an emotional message to Maclin, whom she married back in 2022.

“You embraced the suck, navigated through the unknown, and showed the world exactly what you’ve always been capable of.

Proud doesn’t begin to explain how I feel. I love you more than you know”

Kevin Nash

Kevin Nash Claims WWE Hall Of Fame Ceremony Feels Like "Segment Five On Raw"

Triple H Scott Hall Kevin Nash Shawn Michaels X-Pac Sean Waltman Kliq

Kevin Nash has claimed that the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony is longer as special as it once was.

Discussing the ceremony, on his Kilq This podcast, Kevin Nash said that the new format has taken the shine off the event even going as far as too compare it with a random segment in the middle of Monday Night Raw.

“It just doesn’t feel, one of the things about the hall of fame it usually feels like an award show and this feels like a segment 5 on Raw.” [H/t to Sportskeeda]

Do you agree with Nash’s comments on the WWE Hall of Fame? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

Roddy Piper

Remembering Roddy Piper

Today we take a moment to remember the late, great ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper on what would have been his 69th birthday.

Known best for his incredible work in the WWE, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper is internationally renowned for his incredible charisma and iconic feuds against Hulk Hogan, Mr T, Bret Hart and Goldust to name but a few.

WWE has also taken to Twitter to commemorate the birthday of the WWE Hall of Famer, which you can check out below.

Ronda Rousey

Backstage Update On Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey backstage

Ronda Rousey hasn’t wrestled since winning the ‘WrestleMania Showcase’ alongside Shayna Baszler at WrestleMania 39.

A new report has provided an update on Ronda Rousey’s current WWE status following earlier reports that she wanted to take a break following WrestleMania 39.

Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reported that Rousey still isn’t cleared for a full return.

You can read that full report, here.

What would you do with Ronda Rousey in the WWE? Let us know by hitting the ‘Get Involved’ button at the top of the page!

Rhea Ripley

Rhea Ripley Shares Hilarious Response To Thirsty Fan Tweet

Rhea Ripley has fans around the world of all genders calling her ‘Mami’ but she has taken to Twitter to remind fans that somethings are ‘only for Dom Dom’.

When a fan took to Twitter to share a hilarious thirsty Tweet asking where they can “sign up” to get choked by Rhea Ripley’s thighs – they most likely weren’t expecting a respond from the SmackDown Women’s Champion herself.

But that is exactly what happened.

You can check out Rhea’s hilarious response down below ⬇️


Westin Blake Congratulates Steve Maclin On His IMPACT World Championship Victory

Jaxson Ryker Thumb

It turns out Forgotten Sons, don’t forget each other.

Westin Blake, best known as Wesley Blake in WWE, has taken to social media to congratulate his former Forgotten Sons tag team partner Steve Maclin [FKA Steve Cutler] on his IMPACT World Championship victory.

Blake and Maclin teamed in the WWE between 2017 and 2021 before both were released as part of the April 2021 mass WWE releases.

Writing via Twitter, Blake would state:

“Congratulations my brother.  I’m so proud and happy for you. Love you “

Maclin would defeat Kushida to win the vacant IMPACT World Championship during the 2023 Rebellion PPV.


WWE RAW Preview - April 17 2023

Brock Lesnar RAW FI

Ahead of tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw, let’s take a look at what we currently know about tonight’s show.

Currently announced for the April 17th edition of Monday Night Raw:

  • Brock Lesnar responds to Cody Rhodes’ Backlash challenge.
  • Seth Rollins takes on The Miz in singles action.
  • Trish Stratus explains why she turned her back on Becky Lynch.
  • Bobby Lashley takes on Austin Theory in singles action.

Fightful Select has also reported that 20 extras have been brought in for tonight’s show to serve as on-screen security guards.

New Japan

Will Ospreay Opens Up On "Deteriorating" In Front Of Our Eyes

Will Ospreay makes his entrance as IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion at AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door 2022

On April 16th it was revealed that Will Ospreay had been cleared to return to action.

Ospreay hasn’t wrestled since defeating Mark Davis in the second round of the New Japan Cup on March 13th. Although he advanced to the third round, Ospreay was forced to pull out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Speaking in a new video posted on social media, Ospreay reflected on his career to date and discussed the impact his high-action style has had on his body – even going as far as to state that he doesn’t know “if this ride’s gonna be a long one.”

You can watch the full post, here.

Eric Bischoff

Eric Bischoff Wanted To “Drive A Stake” Through Vince McMahon’s Heart

Eric Bischoff

While the ratings war between WCW and WWE helped push wrestling to new heights in the 1990s, there was a level of very real animosity between Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon.

Speaking on his podcast, What Happened When, Tony Schiavone admitted that many felt the switch hurt Nitro instead of helping it.

With regard to the ‘war’ between WCW and WWE, Schiavone recalled one incident backstage where WCW Senior Vice President Bischoff laid down a rallying cry to staff.

“I remember it like it was yesterday, Eric had a meeting in catering with everybody, and said these words: ‘I will not rest until I’ve driven a stake through the heart of Vince McMahon.” [H/t to Wrestling Inc]

You can read more about this heated altercation, here.


IMPACT Wrestling x NJPW Present: Multiverse United 2: For Whom the Bell Tolls

IMPACT Wrestling & NJPW

IMPACT Wrestling and NJPW will crossover once again as they present Multiverse United 2: For Whom the Bell Tolls live from Philadelphia on August 20th 2023.

Following NJPW’s shock announcement that their All Star Junior Festival would be coming to ECW’s 2300 Arena on August 19th, they kept the major announcements coming by revealing that they would once again be working with IMPACT Wrestling following the success of Multiverse United back in March earlier this year.

NJPW’s official announcement states:

“It was a night of major announcements April 16, as following the reveal of All Star Junior Festival on August 19 during Collision in Philadelphia, IMPACT Wrestling made the special announcement of Multiverse United 2: For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Following on from the recent sell out event in LA’s Globe Theater, NJPW and IMPACT’s next collaborative event will be held in Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena on Sunday August 20.

Just one day after the 2300 will see junior heavyweights from across the US landscape take part in All Star Junior Festival 2023 USA, what will Multiverse United bring? Stay tuned for more information and ticket details!”

New Japan

NJPW Announces All Star Junior Festival USA

NJPW has been an innovator in Junior Heavyweight wrestling for several decades now, and they don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon!

Back in March, NJPW put on the All Star Junior Festival in Tokyo, Japan, which featured Junior Heavyweight from across ten promotions, including NJPW, Dragon Gate, CMLL, AJPW and more, competing on a single stacked card.

During last week’s Collision in Philadelphia, Rocky Romero would announce that on August 19th the All Star Junior Festival will be coming to Philadelphia!

All Star Junior Festival USA is set for Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena and ticket’s are on sale now!

You can check out the full announcement below ⬇️

CM Punk

How Would Twitter Solve AEW's CM Punk Dilemma If They Were Tony Khan

Everybody knows that if there is one thing Twitter loves, it is an opinion.

So last night we took to Twitter to find out how wrestling fans across the globe would solve AEW’s CM Punk dilemma, if they were Tony Khan.

Here are some of the most popular responses:

AEW Talent's Chris Jericho & CM Punk

“Punk vs. Jericho, if they’ll agree to do it. If they do business, with CJ being the first star/veteran/cornerstone of AEW, it sets an example for everyone else. Plus the real heat they’ve had would keep audiences on their toes and blur the line between work and shoot.” – @BJLisko

AEW President Tony Khan

“To be honest he should release him. It would make a statement that Tony will not let anyone go into business for themselves in his company without consequence.” – @garyh3k

CM Punk leaning on turnbuckle

“Get him to apologize to the roster first. Then take him, The Elite and some backup into a room and mend fences. Then get him to apologize to the fans in the ring while telling beforehand that if he has another meltdown or shoots someone again, he’s fired and banned.” – @AcpwFox98

Do you agree with any of these solutions? You can write in and tell us how you would solve the CM Punk dilemma, here.

New Japan

Bullet Club Hits 20 Members

Bullet Club

Bullet Club is one of modern wrestling’s most influential factions with former leaders now major players in WWE, NJPW and AEW.

However, in recent years, Bullet Club has begun facing criticism for being oversaturated and for losing the awe it once generated.

Now led by David Finlay, son of WWE legend Fit Finlay, Bullet Club has 20 faction members from all across the globe!

Those members now include:

  1. Bad Luck Fale
  2. Chase Owens
  3. David Finlay
  4. Dick Togo
  5. Evil
  6. Gedo
  7. Kenta
  8. Sho
  9. Taiji Ishimore
  10. Yujiro Takahashi
  11. Ace Austin
  12. Chris Bey
  13. Clark Connors
  14. Jay White
  15. Juice Robinson
  16. Jack Bonza
  17. Lyrebird Luchi
  18. Caveman Ugg
  19. Tome Filip
  20. Stevie Filip

Do you think Bullet Club has ‘jumped the shark?’ Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below.

Hiroshi Tanahashi

Hiroshi Tanahashi Suffers Broken Rib, Not Medically Cleared By NJPW.

Hiroshi Tanahashi

NJPW has confirmed that ‘The Ace’ Hiroshi Tanahashi is not medically cleared to compete after suffering an injury NJPW Capital Collision.

In an official statement NJPW would state:

“Hiroshi Tanahashi, who was scheduled to tag with Lio Rush and Tomohiro Ishii against Aussie Open and TJP tonight in Philadelphia, sustained an injury during Capital Collision Saturday and will be unable to compete.”

Tanahashi would then take to Twitter to apologise to fans and confirm the nature of his injury.

“I went to hospital last night. My rib is broken. Sorry.”

You can read NJPW’s full statement, here.


IMPACT Wrestling Crowns Two New World Champions!

IMPACT Rebellion

With Josh Alexander & Mickie James both forced to vacate their IMPACT World Championships due to injury, last night’s Rebellion PPV saw the crowning of two new World Champions.

Steve Maclin would defeat Kushida to capture the IMPACT World Championship before Deonna Purrazzo would defeat long-time rival Jordynne Grace to recapture the IMPACT Knockout’s Championship.

Fightful Select has since noted that Grace’s IMPACT contract was set to expire in March and there has since been no news of a contract extension or re-signing.

Grace has previously had interest from both WWE & AEW, however she has also since become a millionaire thanks to her exclusive fan site and this could possibly impact (pun not intended) her next move.

Ric Flair

Ric Flair Faces Social Media Backlash After "Tasteless" Post

Ric Flair at Raw XXX

Ric Flair has sparked controversy on social media with a now-deleted post that many have deemed insensitive.

In the post, Flair was seen posing by the bedside of Steve “Mongo” McMichael. The former NFL and WCW star revealed he had been diagnosed with ALS in April 2021, and the degenerative condition has left him paralysed from the shoulders down.

While Flair and McMichael remained friends after working together in WCW, fans didn’t appreciate a photo from the Nature Boy’s latest visit. In the post, Flair wrote that Mongo is “stronger than anyone we know,” and posed for a photo with the star’s wife Misty at his bedside.

Many fans were quick to call out Flair for his apparent cheerful, all-smiles demeanour, next to McMichael lying in bed attached to medical equipment.

Flair was criticised for being disrespectful, while others accused him of doing whatever he could to stay in the spotlight. The post was then deleted.

You can view the original post, here.

Do you think Flair was wrong to share the post? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below.


Nick Aldis Makes IMPACT Wrestling Return!

In recent weeks reports have circulated that WWE were looking to sign former NWA Worlds’ Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis, but after last night’s IMPACT Wrestling Rebellion PPV they look to have missed out.

Ahead of Steve Maclin and Kushida’s IMPACT World Championship match, Nick Aldis would make his return declaring ‘the deal has been done’ and ‘Nick Aldis is back’ in IMPACT Wrestling.

Aldis, who first wrestled in TNA/IMPACT back in 2008 as Brutus Magnus as part of the British Invasion, would join Tom Hannifan and Matt Rhewoldlt on commentary for the main event before confronting new IMPACT World Champion Steve Maclin after the main event.

Do you think WWE missed a trick by not signing Nick Aldis? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

Drew McIntyre

Update on Drew McIntyre's Current WWE Status

Mojo Rawley Drew McIntyre WWE Raw

Drew McIntyre hasn’t featured for WWE since WrestleMania 39 and that absence looks set to continue.

‘The Scottish Warrior’ has WWE fans in a state of panic after blacking out his social media following reports he was unhappy with both his current WWE contract and recent creative decisions.

Those hoping to see the former WWE Champion back on WWE TV sooner rather than later are out of luck however as McIntyre is set to be off TV for at least a few more weeks.

Dave Meltzer has reported, via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Daily Update, that McIntyre will be out for a number of weeks.

You can read the full report, here.

Do you think Drew McIntyre will re-sign with the WWE? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

Sasha Banks

Major Update On Mercedes Mone's Future

Mercades Mone NJPW

Mercedes Mone is currently tearing up NJPW’s blossoming Women’s Division and is set to take on Mayu Iwatani at STARDOM’s All Star Grand Queendom on April 23rd, but will this be her final match in Japan?

According to Dave Meltzer, NJPW as certainly hoping not.

Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reported that negotiations are currently ongoing about another match after April 23rd.

“They are in negotiations for one more match.”

You can read Dave’s full report, including a possible date for the final match, here.

Do you think Mercedes Mone will sign for AEW when her NJPW deal expires? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below.

CM Punk

CM Punk's First AEW Opponent Revealed?

AEW Talent's Chris Jericho & CM Punk

CM Punk’s AEW return is the spiciest story in wrestling currently and it appears to have taken another twist.

After multiple AEW talents took to Twitter over the weekend to callout CM Punk for ‘gaslighting’ AEW, it now appears like Punk’s first feud upon his return has already been planned.

With The Elite refusing to work with the former AEW Champion, Tony Khan is turning to another top star to feud with Punk on his return and his name, is Chris Jericho.

Speaking on Wrestling Observer Live, Andrew Zarian would reveal that it had been ‘alluded to him’ that Punk vs Jericho is the plan and there is no word yet on the involvement of FTR or The Jericho Appreciation Society.

You can read the full report, here.

Do you think CM Punk vs Chris Jericho is the right move? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

Drew McIntyre

Good Afternoon!

Good Afternoon!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and is charged and ready for the busy week ahead!

We are kicking off the Monday April 17th edition of the Inside The Ropes Live Blog with some major updates on the futures of CM Punk in AEW, Drew McIntyre in WWE and Mercedes Mone in NJPW.

We will then have all the latest news from around the world of wrestling for you throughout the afternoon all the way up until 6pm GMT (1pm EST).

Do you have anything in particular you want to see us cover this afternoon? Let us know by hitting the ‘Get Involved’ button at the top of the page!