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The Grapevine (8/4/17): A Giant Bag of News



Good morning, and this is the Grapevine! This section of Smark Henry is where we round up all the founded and unfounded rumors abound the pro wrestling scene that you may have missed over the evening.

Because we've been out busy all week, today's Grapevine is a loaded stalk:


  • Karen Jarrett is apparently downplaying the supposed bar incident that happened between her and Braun Strowman. The incident saw Strowman refusing to sign an autograph for Karen's son with Kurt Angle after reportedly not recognizing her as Kurt's ex-wife, leading her to threaten to tell Angle. Strowman reportedly begged her not to tell Kurt, but after an interview where she was asked about it, Jarrett simply said that the incident was just "two people in the wrestling business playing their characters," and that it was "blown out of proportion." (Source: WON, Wrestling Inc)

We say: Karen's story doesn't, uh, quite make sense, but if she's choosing to not make a big deal out of it, then we're all right with it, we suppose. If it was real, let it be a lesson to Braun to not be such a dick in real life.

  • Baron Corbin was originally planned to interfere in the John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura main event of SmackDown Live. He would have tried to take out Nakamura but ended up taking out Cena instead, which would lead to Nakamura winning and Cena going into a feud with Corbin. Instead, the run-in happened after the show went off the air, seeing Cena AA Corbin through the announce table. The WWE.com recap of the episode inadvertently leaked that plan when it still claimed that Corbin interfered during the match itself. It's still not clear if the decision to go with Nakamura winning clean was Cena's idea, or Vince McMahon's idea. (Source: WON)

We say: No matter whose idea it was, it's a pretty big deal for them to go the way they did and not taint the Nakamura win with any interference. You don't see that every day. Now the only heel they had to get rid of is the damned commercial breaks.

  • Speaking of SummerSlam plans, Sports Illustrated is reporting that Paul Heyman is pushing for Samoa Joe to win the Universal Championship. It's not necessarily so that Brock Lesnar could have time to train for his UFC comeback against Jon Jones, as that's still up in the air, but relieving him of the title would make sense if that were his game plan. (Source: Sports Illustrated)

We say: That's one hell of an endorsement, and one of two nice results we could get behind. We wonder if this means Heyman would also take on Joe as a client? That would be awesome.

  • Alberto El Patron is apparently headed back to work for GFW soon. His suspension may be up as he was cleared of the battery charges by Orlando police, and while only Alberto knows when he's coming back, it won't be in the next set of GFW tapings later this month. In related news, Paige also claims that she'll be back to work in WWE soon after her neck injury had recovered, but if she is charged with battery then she will be released from her WWE contract, according to the company's code of conduct. (Source: Wrestling Inc)

We say: We really don't think we'll be seeing Paige in a WWE ring again, after this mess.

  • It turns out that highly-regarded joshi star Io Shirai is apparently not getting a WWE contract, after a neck injury was discovered in her physicals for the company. WWE delayed the offer after they found out and asked her to rehab the injury, but after she was cleared to compete, the offer was gone, as the company is now reportedly avoiding signing new wrestlers with a history of neck and concussion issues. It's also being speculated that the company may have already found a diverse women talent pool in the wrestlers they signed for the Mae Young Classic, including Kairi Sane. In any case, Shirai returned to her home promotion Stardom last Sunday, July 30. (Source: WON)

We say: That's quite the unfortunate development, but if her health is a concern then Shirai may have dodged a bullet. Only time will tell, and we wish her the best.

  • Enzo Amore reportedly has even bigger heat backstage, and RAW Creative is apparently trying to find a way to move him away from the show. It's likely that Enzo is headed back to NXT or going to 205 Live, especially after officials overheard a phone call he made in which he reportedly bashed the wrestling business and bragged about the money he was making. This follows reports that he already had a lot of heat and was once kicked off a tour bus by Roman Reigns. It was mentioned by both JBL and Corey Graves on the latest Bring It To The Table episode that nobody liked him and that the "odds are completely against" Enzo making it in the company. It's possible that he could be moved to 205 Live as the show needs more stars, but the decision remains to be seen. (Source: WON)

We say: The Enzo train just does not stop. While we don't completely buy this phone call story (especially considering how Enzo worked hard to be in the business after being too small for it) the other things are hard to dispute, especially the Twitter reveal by a stripper who accused Enzo of being cheap. If he does get shipped down to NXT, Enzo's going to need to work hard and rehabilitate his standing while he still has a chance.

Let us know what you think of today's news in the comments!

Photo from WWE

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