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The Grapevine (6/11/15): WWE Doing Business With WWN, Lana/Rusev, Mickie James, and Petty Vince

Good morning, everyone! It's your daily Grapevine, and for those who need to catch up, here's today's round-up of the (technically unconfirmed) dirt and rumors from the cartoon world of pro wrestling that you may have missed from the day before.

There's a huge (but really, really unconfirmed) business rumor in the pipeline, so let's get right to it:

  • According to the usual sources, some sort of business partnership between WWE and World Wrestling Network (WWN) is in the works. WWN is the parent company of sorts of Gabe Sapolsky's babies, such as EVOLVE Wrestling, DGUSA, SHINE, FIP, among others. As to what the deal exactly is, it's still unclarified because it hasn't been made yet, but speculation is rampant that WWE intends to acquire one of its properties, most probably EVOLVE, to be another developmental territory.

We say: EVOLVE is the most WWE-like, or the most NXT-like of the WWN properties, having amassed a cult following over the four years and counting it's been alive. Alums such as Drew Galloway (McIntyre), PJ Black (Justin Gabriel), and Chris Hero currently work there.

It could lead to either two things: WWE could buy EVOLVE and send its greener Performance Center signees there for more "indy" seasoning and maybe call back some of its stars (and WWE's own alums) to NXT, or worse, WWE could simply just poach EVOLVE's talent like they did with WCW. The former would be more beneficial, especially if NXT truly is being primed to be the second brand. The latter would be terrible, because what's the point of signing and training newbies in the Performance Center if the WWE is going to reinforce the fact that you'll only be good if you were great in the indies?

It's still all speculation from here, but this is insane, to say the least.

  • Mickie James was pushed into an oncoming train because she had a scheduling conflict with the next set of Impact Wrestling tapings. If that sounds ridiculously petty, you can be assured by the fact that it's not clear whether she'll be back in TNA after that.

We say: Still pretty stupid.

  • Apparently, Vince McMahon is trying to break Lana and Rusev up. The reason why they broke up on-screen is apparently because of this. Vince reportedly feels that a guy like Rusev shouldn't be able to get a girl like Lana.

We say: If this is true, petty Vince is petty Vince. Who Lana falls in love with is none of his business. They look pretty happy together, and the business should be reinforcing that, not tearing it apart, considering the kind of douchebaggery pro wrestlers have historically shown. And has he not learned from Chris Benoit?

  • More on the Austin/Lesnar buzz that started from the Stone Cold Podcast: Vince McMahon isn't happy that they talked about it at all. It's obviously not part of their WrestleMania 32 plans and he was slightly pissed that it got the buzz that it got. Vince apparently told Austin to address the issue once so that everyone can move on.

We say: Vince seems to be a little testy. We're far enough from the next WrestleMania that if people stop talking about the rumor, it will die on its own. And he's the boss, so if he doesn't want to book Austin/Lesnar, he doesn't have to. And he shouldn't. We guess he just didn't want the extra pressure on him.

  • And more on the WWE being petty: they're not happy that ROH is releasing a Kevin Steen action figure. They are, and we quote, "upset because the look and character of ROH's Kevin Steen and WWE's Kevin Owens are essentially the same." They now want Triple H and whoever is scouting indy talents to immediately have merchandising deals included in their contracts, create a "pipeline" to scout good indy talents before ROH and TNA find them, and tell up and coming talents to not sign with ROH and TNA if they want a shot at WWE success. (There will always be exceptions to the rule, though.)

We say: We get the first part of the story (although you're upset that Kevin Steen and Kevin Owens are essentially the same? Really?) but the second part is utterly ridiculous if true. It's Vince McMahon killing the territories all over again, although to a lesser extent. It's good that they're finally treating TNA and ROH as competition (again, to some extent), but if they do end up enforcing this, it'll be really short-sighted. You'll have to be nothing short of... phenomenal if you're working elsewhere but want to eventually work in the WWE.

It's your turn. What do you think of all this news? Is Vince pettier than ever before? Let us know in the comments!

Source: WON. Photo from WWE.


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