CM Punk AEW World Champion

CM Punk Returning To AEW In 8 Weeks; April 21st Live Wrestling News Round-Up

Welcome to the April 21st 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.

Joe Coffey

Joe Coffey Reveals Incredible Celtic Inspiration Behind NXT Ring Gear

Joe Coffey shocked the NXT Universe when he returned to the WWE during WrestleMania weekend.

Coffey would wrestle his first WWE match in nearly a year when he took on Tank Ledger during the April 11th edition of NXT.

Taking to Twitter, Coffey has revealed that Scottish Football legend and Mark DeVries’ number one fan Henrik Larsson inspired his ring gear – or more specifically, it was inspired by Celtic’s now iconic 1996 away kit.

Check it out ⬇️


Britt Baker Shows Off Brutal Aftermath of AEW Beatdown

Britt Baker has taken to social media to show off the brutal aftermath of the beat down she sustained during this weeks AEW Dynamite at the hands of Chris Jericho and Saraya.

On the April 19th edition of AEW Dynamite, Adam Cole was handcuffed to the ropes whilst Jericho and Saraya (accompanied by The Jericho Appreciation Society & The Outcasts) took turns beating down former AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker with Kendo Sticks in front of her husband.

Baker has since taken to Twitter to show off the brutal bruises sustained during the beatdown.

Check it out ⬇️

What did you think of this divisive AEW Dynamite segment? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!


Notorious Mimi Claims They Were “Ignored” Prior To WWE Release!

Thea Hail takes down Notorious Mimi aka Sloane Jacobs on WWE NXT

Notorious Mimi who was released after only eight months in the WWE has reflected on her experiences there.

During a recent appearance on Talk is Jericho, Mimi said she learned a lot while working in the company, but admitted her frustrations about not getting much TV time.

Reflecting further on her release, Mimi said her pitches for storylines and characters had gone “unnoticed” in the months leading up to being let go.

“I was still 19 when I got fired (from WWE) actually. It definitely really sucked, but at the same time, part of me immediately went, I actually get to wrestle again.

“I was so excited because I had done nothing for three months. I pitched stuff, it had gotten ignored. I’d offer storylines, characters, stuff like that and it had gone completely unnoticed and I couldn’t even get on live events for the life of me.

“Even though I was really sad, one, I think it was kind of one of those things where you see it coming but, more so, I was just like, thank God I get to actually wrestle again because I have 13 matches in 2022 which is way low for me or something like that and I’ve already had like 30 this year.

“It’s like you feel privileged to get the training and be able to make the paycheck but at the same time, if you’re not actually producing the product, you feel kind of pointless being there.” [H/T to POST Wrestling]

You can read more about Mimi’s ‘frustrating’ WWE experience, here.

Since being let go, Mimi has gone on to wrestle in multiple promotions, including making her Ring of Honor debut against Willow Nightingale.


Details Emerge On Scrapped WWE Retirement Match For Goldberg

Who's Next With Goldberg

Goldberg recently shot down claims he has officially retired revealing that WWE had actually agreed to give him one final retirement match prior to Vince McMahon’s 2022 departure from the company.

It has now been reported that the prospect of a retirement match with WWE was a very real possibility. Speaking on the Mat Men Podcast, Andrew Zarian noted that plans for a match were underway and being led by Paul Heyman.

It is believed that Goldberg was on board with these plans, but progress came to a halt once Vince McMahon became embroiled in the sexual misconduct allegations that ultimately led to his short-lived retirement.

You can read that full report, here.

Who do you think should retire Goldberg? Let us know by hitting the ‘Get Involved’ button at the top of the page!


WWE SmackDown Preview, April 21, 2023

WWE SmackDown Banner Gunther vs Xavier Woods

Here is everything currently announced for the April 21st episode of SmackDown:

  • Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs The Viking Raiders
  • Xavier Woods vs Gunther – Intercontinental Championship Match
  • Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan vs Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

Do you think Xavier Woods will end the historic reign of GUNTHER? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

Tony Khan

Major AEW Announcement Coming On May 17th

A report has offered an update on when AEW will confirm plans for its new Saturday night television show.

Although no official announcement has been made, it has been reported that the show will debut on June 17th, at the United Center in Chicago, and Punk will make his long-awaited comeback on the show. The venue famously played host to Punk’s AEW debut back in August 2021.

The new show believed to be titled Collision will spark a roster split between the show on Saturday and Dynamite on Wednesday.

Speaking on the Mat Men Podcast, Andrew Zarian noted that the announcement regarding the new show is set to come on May 17th!

You can read Zarian’s full report, here.


Update On Warner Bros Discovery's Interest In WWE

Warner Bros. Discovery

On April 20th it was reported that there was some interest within Warner Bros Discovery around potentially doing a deal with WWE. This is despite the media giant being the home of AEW.

Following the news of WWE’s deal with Endeavor and merger with UFC, attention has now turned to the upcoming media rights negotiations. With regard to these negotiations, longtime media journalist James Andrew Miller stated there was some interest from Warner in WWE.

However, it appears that the chances of Warner Bros Discovery picking up WWE programming are slim to none.

Speaking on the Mat Men Podcast, Andrew Zarian stated that he had been told by a “key person” at Warner that it’s “hard to believe” a deal could be made.

You can read Zarian’s full comments, here.

Triple H

There Is A “Lot Of Concern Among Talent” About WWE Cost Cutting

WWE Logo Money background

There have yet to be significant talent cuts in WWE since Triple H took on the role of Chief Content Officer but some feel that this could be about to change.

When Endeavor purchased UFC back in 2016, the deal was followed by serious cuts as the company slashed costs. As a result, many predicted the same strategy will be employed with the sports entertainment giant.

These predictions appear to have been confirmed as Nick Khan stated in a recent interview that there will be cuts, although the intention is to leave “the product” untouched.

Despite his attempt to reassure the talent roster, it has been reported by Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that there is significant concern backstage. This follows a similar report from Mike Johnson of PWInsider that noted there is a “slight bubbling paranoia” among some talents.

You can check out the full report, here.

Do you think we will see mass WWE releases in the coming months? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey On WrestleMania 39 Match - "F*ck It"

Ronda Rousey & Shotzi at WrestleMania 39

Speaking in the lead-up to WrestleMania 39, Ronda Rousey discussed her numerous injury issues and the mentality that helps her push through them.

In a post on social media, the star broke down how she has “no ACL or cartilage” in her right knee, before recalling a conversation with her mom when she was a teenager.

Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reiterated earlier reports that the star is dealing with a hairline fracture in her arm and isn’t properly cleared for an in-ring return. Meltzer added that Rousey was determined to perform at WrestleMania despite the injury, noting he’s been told her attitude was “f*ck it.”

You can read the full report, here.

Who would you like to see Ronda Rousey take on when she returns to the WWE? Let us know by hitting the ‘Get Involved’ button at the top of the page!


NJPW Priced Out Of Signing Former WWE Star Naomi

Sasha Banks Naomi WWE Women's Tag Team Champions

With Mercedes Mone, FKA Sasha Banks, currently tearing it up in Japan, many fans have begun speculating over when we could see former tag team partner Naomi make join her in STARDOM or NJPW.

According to new report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, fans should not expect to see Naomi in NJPW or STARDOM any time soon as they do not see the former SmackDown Women’s Champion as a sensible capital investment.

Bushiroad [the company that owns both NJPW & STARDOM] is under pressure to reduce spending and although they were granted permission to sign Naomi [AKA Trinity Fatu] it was decided that the costs associated with the deal were too high and would not represent a good business decision for the company.

Do you think Naomi will return to the WWE as part of the 2023 Draft? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

Ted Dibiase Jr

ICYMI: Former WWE Star Ted DiBiase Jr Could Face DECADES In Prison

Cody Rhodes Ted DiBiase Jr.

Ted DiBIase Jr.’s legal troubles show no sign of slowing as the former WWE star has officially been charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, fraud, and theft.

Back in May of 2022, WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase and his sons Ted DiBiase Jr. and Brett DiBiase were among 38 names in a civil lawsuit seeking to reclaim a total of $24 million dollars which was meant to be used to tackle poverty in Mississippi. NFL legend Brett Favre was also listed among the names.

Now, the United States Department of Justice has sent a press release stating that Ted DiBiase Jr. has officially been criminally charged. The press release reads as follows, detailing multiple counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, wire fraud, theft, and money laundering. The maximum penalties for each count could see the former WWE star land in prison for decades if convicted

You can read more about this, including the formal press release, here.

Ted DiBiase

Ted DiBiase Reveals His Favourite WrestleMania Match

Ted Dibiase

WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase has taken to Twitter to reveal his favourite WrestleMania match of all time.

Writing on Twitter, ‘The Million Dollar Man’ would name his iconic WrestleMania VI clash with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts as his favourite ever WrestleMania match.

“I have said many times that my match with @JakeSnakeDDT is my favorite Wrestlemania match. What do you think Jake?

Roberts would respond stating that the 1990 WrestleMania classic is one of his favourite matches of all time period.

“One of my all time favorite matches.”

You can check out the WrestleMania clash via the WWE Network, here.

What is your favourite WrestleMania match of all time? Let us know by hitting the ‘Get Involved’ button at the top of the page!

Nick Khan

Nick Khan - WWE Is "Open For Business"

Nick Khan, Stephanie McMahon, Vince McMahon

Nick Khan has commented on WWE’s current sponsorship strategy, noting that everything that can be sold, will be sold.

Speaking to LightShed Live, WWE President Nick Khan explained that when it comes to WWE sales everything is under consideration.

This includes sponsorship of the ring apron, mat, turnbuckles, and beyond.

“We are open for business. Ring mat, ring apron, the turnbuckles, everything that can be sold, we want to explore selling it.

Obviously, it needs to be the right product, it can’t be too distracting, but if it’s the right relationship and the right company, we’re ready to go.” [h/t Fightful]

WWE has featured some controversial sponsorship deals in the past six months including the ’embarrassing’ Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match and the poorly placed Cinnamon Toast Crunch advertisements during Rey & Dominik Mysterio’s family grudge match at WrestleMania 39.

You can read more about Nick Khan’s vision for WWE in 2023, here.

What did you think of the Mountain Dew Pitch Black match? Let us know using the thumbs down below!

New Japan

NJPW Sends Warning To Fans

Following Elon Musk’s bizarre decision to strip all verified accounts of their verified status unless they pay $100/year, NJPW has warned fans to be on the look out for fake accounts.

Taking to Twitter, the official NJPW Global Twitter account would warns fans to “beware Tweets, and especially unsolicited DMs from unofficial accounts”, before sharing their full list of authentic accounts.

Check out the Tweet below ⬇️

Mick Foley

Mick Foley Reveals His Wrestling Regrets

Mick Foley and The Rock

Mick Foley isn’t normally one for wrestling with regrets, however The Hardcore Icon has revealed that there are two things from his legendary career he wishes he had never done.

Speaking on his ‘Foley is Pod’ podcast, Foley would reveal that his two regrets are both related to how he treated his body during his career.

The first, dropping elbows onto concrete during non-televised matches and the second was not protecting himself more on chair shots.

You can read the full quote below.

“So I could have done things that were healthier, but then I’m not the guy who got to the dance. You know, those were the things that brought me there.

I wish I had not dropped elbows on the concrete in non-televised matches and used it less on TV also, and I wish I’d brought up the hand because here was no correlation to me between guys who blocked or did not block chair shots and guys who got over big time, because the guys who were the biggest stars in the business did block the chairs, and no one thought any less of them.” [H/t to WrestlingNews.Co]

You can read more about Mick Foley’s career regrets, here.

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

Big Show

WATCH: Big Show Gives FRUSTRATING Reason He Left WWE!

Paul Wight spoke to Kenny McIntosh back in 2021 about why he decided to leave WWE and join AEW.

Check out this new exclusive clip from the interview below ⬇️


WWE Draft Set To Feature Multiple Surprises

WWE Draft

The Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania 39 disappointed fans due to a lack of surprises and shake ups, but according to a new report there was a good reason why.

According to a new report from Bryan Alvarez, many of the planned surprises for the Raw after WrestleMania 39, including NXT call ups, were pushed back in order to accommodate the upcoming WWE Draft.

Writing on his Twitter Subscription feed, Alvarez would state:

““It looks like some people who were supposed to debut right after Mania will appear in the draft instead”

There have been rumoured call ups for Cameron Grimes, Bron Brekker and Pretty Deadly for quite some time now and only time will tell how accurate those reports turned out to be.

You can read more about the upcoming WWE draft, here.


SummerSlam 2023 Set To Smash Major WWE Record

WWE SummerSlam 2023 Logo

WrestleMania 39 broke a plethora of records for the WWE and despite still being four months away SummerSlam 2023 has already begun following suit.

Since the announcement of the event along with the new logo, there has been no further information provided by the company other than the Premium Live Event will take place at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on Saturday, August 5th.

Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer would confirm that SummerSlam 2023 is on track to set the record for “biggest first day of ticket sales for a non-WrestleMania PPV event in company history.”

You can read the full report and ticket sales breakdown, here.

Nikki Cross

Happy Birthday Nikki Cross!

Nikki Cross

Happy Birthday to former WWE Raw Women’s Champion Nikki Cross who turns 34 today!

Cross last appeared for the WWE on Monday’s taping of WWE Main Event when she took on fellow Scot Isla Dawn in the latter’s main roster debut.

Reports have recently circulated revealing that there are several surprises planned for the upcoming WWE draft, could Isla Dawn be one of them?

Andrew Zarian

Andrew Zarian Confirms AEW Will Be Running The United Center on Saturday, June 17th

The pieces are falling place for CM Punk’s AEW return and that latest piece is AEW Collision.

It was reported earlier today that CM Punk’s return is provisionally set for Saturday June 17th – with this likely being a show at the United Center lining up with the launch of AEW’s newest show ‘AEW Collision.’

This information now seems to have been confirmed as Andrew Zarian of The Mat Men Podcast has revealed that AEW WILL be running the United Center in Chigaco on June 17th with those close to the show believing this will be the debut episode of AEW Collision and CM Punk’s return.

You can read the full report below:

“Spoke to a few people this week and it seems AEW will be running the United Center on Saturday, June 17th.

This could be the date for CM Punk’s return to AEW, and the debut episode for AEW Collision.”


Wrestlers React To Twitter's Major Changes

Various wrestlers from across WWE & AEW have taken to Twitter to warn fans to be on the look out for fake accounts following changes to the platforms verification system.

Previously notable users could receive a blue ‘verified account’ badge helping fans to identify them as real accounts, however following Elon Musk’s disastrous purchase of the platform, verification is now only supplied to those willing to pay a monthly $10 subscription fee to ‘Twitter Blue’ – Twitters new premium feature.

All legacy verified accounts lost their ticks on April 20th making it easier for scammers and fraudsters to impersonate the accounts.

Something that various talent took to Twitter to pre-warn fans of.

WWE star Nikki Cross was one such talent, taking to Twitter she warned fans that she would not be signing up for Twitter Blue and that fans should be ‘mindful’ of imposters and money scammers.

Alexa Bliss blasted Twitter for changes to the feature stating that they are now “responsible for paying back the people who get scammed by a ‘verified’ Alexa Bliss account.

What do you think of Twitter’s new verification system and the implication for WWE Superstars? Let us know by by hitting the button at the top of the page or by clicking here.

Young Bucks

CM Punk Has "Not Attempted To Make Amends" With The Young Bucks

Being The Elite Kenny Omega The Young Bucks Matt Jackson Nick Jackson Don Callis Michael Nakazawa make their entrance on AEW Dynamite 2021

Ahead of CM Punk’s highly anticipated AEW return, Tony Khan has been attempting to repair the fractured relationships throughout the AEW locker room.

With reports that CM Punk and Tony Khan were set to meet with Chris Jericho to attempt to resolve their issues, social media began to speculate if a similar meeting would be occurring between CM Punk and The Young Bucks following their brawl in the after match of Punk’s AEW All Out press conference.

According to a new report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, no such meeting is planned with the noted journalist even going as far as to state that CM Punk “has not attempted to make any direct amends to The Young Bucks.”

Meltzer would also state that those close to Punk have claimed that ‘The Second City Saint’ hasn’t attempted to contact The Young Bucks “because he’s been told not to have any contact with them.”

You can read more about CM Punk’s ongoing issues with The Young Bucks, here.

Sasha Banks

Mercedes Mone Blasts Recent Rumours As "Far From The Truth"

Mercedes Mone

Never one to shy away from the public eye, ‘The CEO’ Mercedes Mone has blasted recent rumours as ‘far from the truth’ in a new interview.

Recently Dave Meltzer reported that Mercedes Mone only had one match left on her NJPW contract (her upcoming clash with Mayu Iwatani) but negotiations were in place about one more potential match.

Now, in a new interview with Sports Illustrated, Mercedes Mone has shot down these rumours claiming that Japan is her ‘new home’ and these rumours are ‘far from the truth.’

You can read Mone’s full statement, here.

Who would you like to see Mone take on in NJPW or AEW? Let us know by hitting the button at the top of the page or by clicking here.


Goldberg's Insane WWE Earnings Revealed!

Recently Goldberg has revealed that he was ‘promised’ a retirement match by Vince McMahon prior to the WWE Chairman’s departure from the company in late 2022.

The WCW legend would go on to reveal that he is looking into ‘self promoting’ a final match identify markets such as Israel as potential destinations for his final match.

Goldberg’s last two WWE appearances came in Saudi Arabia, in 2021 & 2022, and it has now been revealed how much ‘Da Man’ was paid for these international appearances.

Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that Goldberg was paid a remarkable $2 million per match for his bouts in Saudi Arabia while with WWE. For reference, following his return to WWE in 2016, Goldberg wrestled in Saudi Arabia four times, and eight times in the United States.

This means that between 2016 and 2022, Goldberg made a minimum of around $8 million from his Saudi Arabia appearances alone – this excludes his base US contract fee and income from merchandise sales and on-going royalties.

You can read the full breakdown of Goldberg’s astronomical WWE earnings, here.

Cody Rhodes

WWE Backlash 2023 Main Event Confirmed

WWE Backlash Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

On May 6th WWE heads to Puerto Rico for the first time since 2005 for the upcoming Premier Live Event, Backlash.

With Roman Reigns reportedly not traveling to the event, fans have been speculating over what may main event the show.

Dave Metlzer of the Wrestling Observer has now confirmed that Cody Rhodes vs Brock Lesnar is listed internally as the shows main event, despite reports that Puerto Rican icon Bad Bunny will be competing on the show.

Meltzer states:

“Backlash on 5/6 is confirmed for Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar as the main event plus Usos & Solo Sikoa vs. Matt Riddle & Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. It is expected that Rey Mysterio & Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio, or possibly a trios match involving them, would be the other major match. It’s a sold out show with about 17,000 tickets out.”

You can read more about Backlash 2023 including more planned matches for the event, here.

CM Punk

CM Punk's AEW Return Date Confirmed

CM Punk leaning on turnbuckle

In 2021 CM Punk shocked the world when he returned to wrestling after seven years away from the business.

Well, in just over eight weeks, ‘The Second City Saint’ is set to shock the world again when he returns to AEW on June 17th for the inaugural episode of AEW’s new Saturday show.

Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer notes that Punk’s comeback will be on June 17th which could well be the launch of the new show.

“As things stand right now, the return of C.M. Punk is scheduled for a 6/17 show at the United Center in Chicago, which being a Saturday night show, is likely the debut of the new weekly show.”

You can read more about CM Punk’s upcoming AEW return, including why he is being brought back, here.

Who would you like to see CM Punk feud with on his return to AEW? Let us know by hitting the button at the top of the page or by clicking here.

CM Punk

Reason For CM Punk's Shock AEW Return Revealed

With every passing day, it appears that a CM Punk return to AEW is becoming more and more inevitable.

CM Punk in AEW

Now a new report has revealed why CM Punk is being brought back to AEW despite on-going issues with the vast majority of the AEW locker room.

Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has revealed that AEW’s broadcast partner Warner Bros Discovery have been the driving force behind CM Punk’s return.

“One person outside the company has seen correspondence indicating that WBD definitely wanted him back”

You can read the full report on why Warner Brothers Discovery are pushing for the AEW return of CM Punk, here.

Are you excited to see CM Punk return to AEW? Let us know by hitting the thumbs down below!

CM Punk

Good Afternoon!

Good Afternoon!

We are back with the Inside The Ropes Live Wrestling Blog.

I will be with you from 12pm – 6pm [GMT] this afternoon, covering some of the biggest news stories from the world of wrestling.

We will be kicking things of this afternoon on when and why CM Punk is returning to AEW alongside news on WWE’s record breaking SummerSlam and some ‘untrue’ rumours surrounding Mercedes Mone.

As always we will be looking for your opinions on everything that is unfolding throughout the day, so make sure to ‘Get Involved’ by hitting the button at the top of the page or by clicking here.