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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Wrestling

Wrestling world pays tribute to ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund after announcer’s death

The wrestling world lost a legend and one of its most recognizable figures on Wednesday, as announce and on-air personality “Mean” Gene Okerlund has died at age 76.

Okerlund began working for the WWF in 1984 and regularly interviewed some of the biggest stars in wrestling history, including Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage and many more. He left to work for the WCW from 1993-2001 before returning to the WWE, where he signed a lifetime contract and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 1, 2006.

Anyone who grew up watching wrestling remembers some of Mean Gene’s interviews like they were yesterday. After learning of his passing, several members of the wrestling world paid tribute to Okerlund on social media.

Conor McGregor offers backup to WWE’s emerging Becky Lynch

Conor McGregor

Is Conor McGregor trying to get himself involved in a WWE storyline? That could be the case.

Becky Lynch, the SmackDown Women’s Champion, tweeted an article on Thursday that said she channeled her inner McGregor to become the WWE’s biggest star. McGregor retweeted the article, and then responded to some trash talk from Lynch by offering her some backup. They both agreed they would share some of McGregor’s Proper whiskey too.

This isn’t insignificant. Lynch is Irish, like McGregor, and they could be setting up for an eventual mixed tag team match. Perhaps Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar would get involved.

Enzo Amore kicked out of arena after causing scene at Survivor Series

Enzo Amore

Enzo Amore’s antics at WWE Survivor Series on Sunday night had everyone wondering whether he was part of the show or crashed the party.

Amore, who was fired by WWE earlier this year over a rape accusation for which he was not charged, showed up at Staples Center for the big WWE event. He was hiding in the front row and then decided to make a scene, attracting plenty of attention.

Amore was kicked out of the arena by security. However, this nugget makes it seem like the incident may have been staged as part of a storyline.

Charlotte Flair to replace injured Becky Lynch in Survivor Series

Charlotte Flair

The WWE has bumped up an anticipated match between Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair to this weekend due to a legitimate injury to Becky Lynch.

Lynch suffered a broken nose and concussion after being punched in the face by Nia during RAW on Monday night.

Lynch was set to face Rousey at Survivor Series on Sunday. Since she will be medically unable to wrestle, she appeared on “Smackdown” Tuesday and asked Flair to replace her in the match.

There was heavy speculation that the WWE was trying to build towards a Flair vs. Rousey match at WrestleMania next year. Perhaps whatever happens on Sunday will be with a future WrestleMania match in mind.

H/T Big Daddy

John Cena reportedly refusing to go to Saudi Arabia

The WWE has faced a lot of scrutiny for proceeding as scheduled with its “Crown Jewel” event in Saudi Arabia in the wake of the mysterious death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and at least one superstar may be backing out.

Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports reported on Monday that John Cena and Daniel Bryan are “refusing” to go to Saudi Arabia, while other wrestlers have expressed concern about working the show.

In his latest episode of “Wrestling Observer Radio,” Dave Meltzer confirmed that Cena is refusing to take part in the Crown Jewel. Meltzer said the WWE creative team was informed on Monday that they need to find a replacement for Cena, according to WrestlingInc.com.

Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian who lived in the United States, was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate on Oct. 2. News reports stated that he was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate, and Saudi officials initially said he left alive before admitting he died. They claimed Khashoggi was strangled to death after a fight broke out.

Many politicians and companies have called for Donald Trump to condemn Saudi Arabia in the wake of the incident, but the president said he spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and believes a thorough investigation is taking place.

The Crown Jewel is scheduled for Nov. 2, but there has been talk that it is in jeopardy. Fox said WWE officials have been scrambling in an attempt to find a new location for the event.

Tip via Big Daddy

Wrestling community reacts to Roman Reigns leukemia news

Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns will not have to fight leukemia alone.

Reigns will have the support of the wrestling community as he battles leukemia, which has returned after it was in remission since 2008.

The WWE Superstar announced at the start of “RAW” on Monday night that he was relinquishing his title due to the return of his leukemia. He asked for the prayers and support of anyone who would provide it. He received plenty of well wishes and support from his fellow wrestlers.

Take a look at all the tweets sent in support of Reigns:

Roman Reigns relinquishes WWE title to fight leukemia

Roman Reigns

WWE’s “RAW” show on Monday night turned somber very quickly after the promotion announced some difficult news about Roman Reigns.

Reigns opened the show by taking the mic and saying he was relinquishing his championship belt because his leukemia returned. He ended up laying his title belt in the ring to show he was relinquishing it.

The WWE also announced the news in a press release.

Reigns’ leukemia had been in remission since 2008.

Reigns, real name Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, is 33 years old. He has been controversially pushed as a major face of WWE the past several years and has headlined WrestleMania the last four years, including a shocking win over The Undertaker.

He is a four-time world champion in WWE. Reigns was suspended 30 days in 2016 for a violation of the company’s wellness policy.