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The Grapevine (1/20/20): Long Live the Soulman


Welcome to 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 what we know about Rocky Johnson's death:

  • WWE Hall of Famer "Soulman" Rocky Johnson reportedly died of a blood clot. The clot traveled from his leg to his lung, said former WWE star Brian Blair. Johnson had also been suffering from a "flu-like illness" two weeks prior to his death. Johnson and partner Tony Atlas made history as the first African-American WWF World Tag Team Champions. (Source: The Tampa Bay Times)
We say: Our condolences to Johnson's family. The wrestling world lost a true legend.
  • Former WWE star Sylvain Grenier is returning to the company as a backstage agent. The former member of La Resistance is currently in training to become a producer after getting in touch with Kevin Dunn last April for something he needed for a new fitness show. (Source: TVA Sports)
We say: That's an interesting return, and Grenier isn't a name we've heard in a long time. While fans normally won't be able to tell, we're interested to see what he can bring to the WWE product backstage.
  • Mike Kanellis has returned to action for the WWE in an NXT live event. He is currently teaming up with fellow cruiserweight Tony Nese, testing to see whether the team would be a good fit for NXT. Kanellis previously asked for his release in public last October, which the company did not grant. Maria Kanellis was not with him at the event as she is due to give birth soon. (Source: PWInsider)
We say: At least they're not keeping him on the sidelines out of spite, and he'll be getting something to sink his teeth in.
  • WWE NXT UK star Jazzy Gabert is apparently now a free agent. The German wrestler, who signed with the company last year and debuted in May, last appeared on NXT UK on the October 4th episode, tagging with Jinny against Piper Niven and Rhea Ripley. Gabert recently announced on Instagram that she's looking for a reset and a change in her appearance and profession. (Source: Wrestling Inc)
We say: What a waste, as Gabert was one of the more impressive women to have come from Europe. We wish her luck in her future endeavors.

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

Photo from WWE

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