UPDATE: 30 minutes after this story published one of my favorite indie wrestlers became All Elite. Details below.
If you’ve been waiting for this next chapter of The Hot Stove, know that I was too. Yes, I was watching the reports, and not seeing anyone make moves. I was waiting for the industry to get its check-books out again, to start rolling out more contracts. Then, recently, the cogs started moving. And last Friday night at House of Glory in Queens, NY, I realized that the hottest free agents were right in front of me.
Where is LAX going?
Where will Santana and Ortiz land? As the former Impact tag champs stood in the House of Glory ring, and were serenaded by a certain promotion’s name, I looked closely at their reactions. I’ve got no inside dirt or source telling me that they’re leaving Impact and going All Elite, but it certainly feels as if that’s the case. That’s the destination I expect because AEW is positioning itself as the promotion that will re-legitimize tag team wrestling. Oh, and LAX have had encounters with AEW’s top stars on the inaugural Chris Jericho’s Rock N Wrestling Rager at Sea, so all parties are familiar with each other. The deal could have gone down as early as that Friday show at House of Glory, as The Bucks of Youth were in the building.
Why not anywhere else? First of all, aside from writing checks, WWE is doing nothing to make tag teams want to wrestle there. Just look at the SummerSlam card, which was all one-on-one singles matches until hours before the first bell, when one tag match was added to the pre-show. If one of the biggest PPVs in WWE does not feature The Revival or The O.C. or The New Day, then why should any tag team want to think this company will take them seriously.
And I don’t think LAX is staying with Impact, because Impact would have announced it by now — as it loves to so often. This leaves one other location big enough for the team also called EYFBO: New Japan. And as much as I’d love to see it, there’s been nothing close to a hint of interest.
When/Where to expect Sasha Banks:
- Well, if my sources are to be believed, she is going to be on WWE TV quite soon (I made sure this article got up as soon as I could). Further, I’m hearing she was never even going to leave WWE. Why the time off? Well, maybe it’s surgery, maybe it was rest (we all need rest, don’t we?).
- Evolve champ Austin Theory appeared in the crowd on NXT TakeOver: Toronto 2019, in a spot normally reserved for new signees. He’s not signed, though, which makes this as much about NXT as it does Evolve. If it wasn’t clear enough already that Evolve is a pipeline to NXT, it’s more than obvious to everyone. Also, let’s look at that antithesis of a pop Theory got. I’m guessing the Toronto crowd didn’t watch the Evolve 10th Anniversary show or subscribe to Club WWN, but now they’re a little more familiar with the man Kyle O’Reilly called Austin T’Heory, prepping us for a signing that Brad Shepard of ProSportsExtra calls “very imminent.”
- In news sent in the WWN Alerts newsletter, the Buffalo scene standout Daniel Garcia (who’s been working well in Beyond lately) will work Evolve’s September shows in New York.
- Evolve’s also bringing in the Besties In The World: Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett for its August show at the Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL. PACO, Craig Mitchell and GPA are also working that show.
- Orange Cassidy Is All Elite, per the latest BTE episode.
- Good news: PAC’s more available to work AEW now that he dropped the Dragon Gate Open The Dream Gate Championship. He’s also apparently alright after a gross-looking injury suffered in Liverpool a couple weeks ago.
- Bad news: fans are concerned that ‘Smiley’ Kylie Rae’s deleted her social media, which has coincided with a prolonged absence from AEW, during this pre-All Out stretch.
- Yes, the man Neville called Perkins, TJP, is working the Super J-Cup 2019.
- The hugely influential Amazing Red has also taken a moment out of his retirement to also enlist in the Super J-Cup
Thank you all so much! Thanks to @WillOspreay, @azucarRoc, @njpwglobal and pro wrestling fans! You guyz are insane! Now... Let's get it!!! #ExpectTheUnexpected pic.twitter.com/JTEcD4gUa6— ₳₥₳Ⱬł₦₲ RƎD (@AmazingRed1) August 5, 2019
- Sanada is a free agent, according to Voices of Wrestling, and according to many others, WWE has its eyes on him.
- It’s all about Impact for Tenille Dashwood, who signed with IMPACT Wrestling!
- Kiera Hogan signed a multi-year deal with Impact, via our sister site Outsports.
- Rhino also signed a multi-year deal with Impact Wrestling, as he told Sporting News.
- As I wrote last week, Progress co-owner/co-founder Jim Smallman will no longer work with Progress following its Dec. 30 show. His ‘day job’ at NXT UK will continue.
- Completely underrated UK talent Joe Hendry signed to ROH, having most-recently wrestled for Impact. Via Joe Hendry on Instagram
- The Briscoes have also re-signed with ROH, per PWInsider.
- At the July 21 event Mass Hysteria, Alex Shelley returned to Ring of Honor after a year off for injury. In an interview with ROH, he said that this time away was rough: “I got divorced, I was homeless, no income, I was paying for school and working for free, and I had some dark, dark days.”
- MLW just sent out a press release announcing its partnership with the Mexico-based THE CRASH LUCHA LIBRE promotion. MLW CEO Court Bauer is quoted as hyping a “talent exchange, content collaboration and some interesting projects you’ll learn about soon.”
- MLW also announced at partnership with Pro Wrestling NOAH at its recent New York tapings. In a press release, MLW announced it will send Alexander Hammerstone over to NOAH for the N-1 Victory 2019 tournament.
BREAKING: MLW & NOAH partnering pic.twitter.com/82VRazlsfX— Henry T. Casey (@henrytcasey) July 26, 2019
The stove seems to be heating back up, so stick with Cageside Seats for further talent movement. We’ll see you back here hopefully sooner rather than later with report #8!