Minutes to Bell Time

Where Have You Been?

Body Slam Brigade # 68 – Where Have You Been?

August 27, 2021

* * *

“Where the Hell Have You Been?” – Vince McMahon to the Smackdown audience on July 16th.

The quote from Vince just seems to fit this week’s newsletter. Just look at all the returns that occurred over last weekend (Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch, CM Punk, Kay Lee Ray).

On to this week’s stuff!

Hope you enjoy!

* * *

1. Brock Lesnar is Back
The return of Brock Lesnar at the end of SummerSlam caught me by surprise. I always expected that we would see Brock back, but I never thought it would be so soon. In my mind, Roman would knock off most of the roster, maybe set up the ultimate program with The Rock for WrestleMania 38, and then we would see Brock about this time next year for a huge Roman v. Brock match at SummerSlam.

I was wrong. Brock has returned, but I’m a little disappointed that he seems to be headed straight for Roman Reigns when fans were actually clamoring for a Lashley v. Lesnar match.

Fightful reported on 8/26 that Lesnar has signed with WWE for roughly a year and a half and at least 8 matches. I guess that leaves room for Brock v. Roman, Brock v. Lashley, Brock v. McIntyre 2, and a few others.

Related: An article I wrote titled “Brock is Back. Now What?

* * *

2. Becky Lynch is Back
Perhaps more surprising than the return of Brock Lesnar was the return of Becky Lynch. PW Insider and other reputable news outlets reported that Lynch was scheduled for an October return. It seems that the unavailability of Sasha Banks caused that timeline to move forward.

WWE knew Sasha would be unavailable for approximately 8 days, but they continued to advertise Bianca v. Sasha with the idea that the return of Becky Lynch would be a suitable replacement for the long advertised WrestleMania rematch.

It’s also being heavily reported that Becky Lynch will return as a heel. I’m just one person, but I doubt the fans will boo Becky (especially after such a long absence).

It’s great to have Becky back, but the 25 second squash of Bianca Belair stole the headline. WWE spent more than a year getting Bianca to this level just to make her look like a fool on the second biggest show of the year.

Related: An article I wrote titled “Becky is Back. Now What?

* * *

3. CM Punk is Back
CM Punk’s return overshadowed everything else in wrestling last weekend, which is surely saying something when you consider how big SummerSlam weekend was for WWE.

The debut of CM Punk on rampage brought in over a million viewers in a 10 PM slot – something AEW struggles to do many weeks with their Dynamite show that runs in primetime.

The video of CM Punk walking out has about 7.5 million views in less than one week on You Tube. The video fo CM Punk’s first promo has 5.1 million views.

If you want to see something really fun, watch the last several minutes of this video that shows the AEW production team at work during Punk’s debut. I found it fascinating.

* * *

4. NXT is oing Through Some Changes
Over SummerSlam weekend, Nick Khan (WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer) explained that NXT was going through a complete revamp led by Paul Levesque (HHH). Those following the industry closely knew these changes were coming.

After NXT TakeOver on Sunday night, WWE set out to tape the next three episode of NXT for the USA Network.

We saw the first of those episodes this week. While the show appeared cosmetically similar, a change in direction was evident.

Several new characters (Gigi Dolin, Jacey Jane, Duke Hudson, Xyon Quinn, Carmelo Hayes, Odyssey Jones, & Elektra Lopez) are being incorporated into featured spots as some established characters (Karrion Kross, Adam Cole) exit the brand.

NXT even brought in Kay Lee Ray from the UK brand. PW Insider reported that Ray is now a full-time member of the NXT roster, and she has moved to the United States.

Related Podcast Episode: Daily Wrestling News Episode 151: NXT Changes Part 1

* * *

Classified Ads

If you think Body Slam Brigade Readers would benefit from your product or service, get in touch with me by replying to this email. Maybe a classified ad will be right for you.

  • Get creative pro wrestling themed shirts for a reasonable price at the MTBT Shop. Price includes all sizes and shipping. Check out the newest “Just F’N Fight” Shirt. Available in Navy Blue and Black.

* * *

5. Samoa Joe is Back
Samoa Joe has been back for some time, but now he’s wrestling again.

Not only that, he’s also the new NXT Champion and the first ever 3 time NXT champion.

It’s a little strange that Samoa Joe was one of the many wrestlers (57) that left WWE this year, but he was immediately signed back to NXT where he became champion on his first night out.

Hunter deserves some major credit for keeping Samoa Joe off the open market. If Joe truly became available, AEW would surely have singed him to work with CM Punk. Joe and Punk is an enormous blockbuster of a match with a story that goes back to their Ring of Honor days.

I didn’t watch ROH with regularity back in the Samoa Joe and CM Punk days. In fact, I took several years off from going to live pro wrestling before heading to the 2017 Extreme Rules PPV in Baltimore.

Samoa Joe won the main event of that Extreme Rules show defeating Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, and Bray Wyatt. With that win, Joe became the number one contender and he would move on to face Brock Lesnar at “Great Balls of Fire.”

Joe never won the world title on the main roster and time will tell how he makes out during this second NXT run. For Joe’s sake, I just hope his major injuries that kept him sidelined for more than a year are a thing of the past.

Related: An Article I wrote titled I Was There for Extreme Rules 2017

* * *

Have A Great Weekend!


PS – If you enjoyed this newsletter, I would love for you to tell others about it.

They can subscribe here.


PSS – If you didn’t know, I have a daily podcast to help you keep up on wrestling news! Here’s my pitch.

Share this: