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The Grapevine (2/22/19): The Panic Button


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 week. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt!

Here's everything we know about the surprise NXT callups this week:
  • Vince McMahon made the call to bring up Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa after various circumstances left him "feeling off." These circumstances include declining ratings, the Undertaker appearing for this year's Starrcast, and All Elite Wrestling's momentum. Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream will also apparently be joining SmackDown. Vince asked for the brand's four biggest stars, and Triple H reportedly did not know about his plans at first. The four NXT stars will appear on both main roster shows as well as NXT for the time being while they receive a push. It is still unknown how this move would affect the plans for TakeOver on WrestleMania weekend. (Source: F4WOnline, Wrestling Observer Radio)
We say: The old man panicked, and here we are. Instead of trying to institute systemic changes to the stories they tell that would guarantee better performance in the long-term, the guy decides to panic-book and possibly destroy carefully laid-out plans down in NXT... all for a lousy crowd reaction in Lafayette and everyone's confusion. They can still fix this as long as they've got a solid plan in place. Continuing to knee-jerk this will not be the way to go.
  • There are no set plans yet for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. While WWE is reportedly not sure yet of who they want for the match, Kofi Kingston's momentum can change any plans they're considering. A number of names have been rumored to be Daniel Bryan's contender, including Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Batista, John Cena, the Undertaker, and Kurt Angle. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio)
We say: If there's anything they should book as a knee-jerk reaction, it's Kofi Kingston. It may not be such a bad idea to give him an Eddie Guerrero win at Fastlane and have him come into WrestleMania as champion, but that's just us.
  • WWE reportedly pitched an invasion angle to the Young Bucks during contract negotiations. This was done before the Bucks decided to sign with All Elite Wrestling. Their WWE deal would apparently also include a slot for Being the Elite on the WWE Network, and an exclusive six-month window for them to leave the company if they were not happy. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio, Wrestling Inc)
We say: Interesting to hear about the WWE falling all over themselves just to have the Young Bucks on the team, but it's great that they didn't take the offer. Now we'll be having ourselves a robust pro wrestling industry in 2019.

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

Photo from WWE

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