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The Wrestling Hot Stove Report #8 (Sept. 1, 2019): Is Mercedes Martinez signed? Kylie Rae is all out?

A lot to break down this labor day weekend, with AEW possibly signing one of the top unsigned women and questionable NXT rumors.


Summer may be ending soon but it’s still a hot one on the Wrestling Stove report. We’ve just seen LAX debut at All Out, which also featured Orange Cassidy’s first appearance with the company since signing, err, blender’ing his deal. So, to borrow a line from a man who’s got Matt Riddle in his sights, who’s next?

AEW: Who’s the next Elite signing? And who’s all out?

On All Out’s pre-show Buy In Battle Royale, independent wrestler Mercedes Martinez made a somewhat surprising debut. Seen in both Mae Young Classics, Martinez has been working with the WWE-friendly wXw promotion, where she is currently the women’s champion. She’s also got the Phoenix of RISE championship and World Association of Wrestling’s Bellatrix World title.

If AEW doesn’t sign her, I can only guess it’s because WWE saw her debut and doubled its offer to get her on a deal.

At a press scrum after All Out, Tony Khan revealed that Kylie Rae asked for her release from the company, which was granted.

NXT’s August 2019 Class

  • EVOLVE champ Austin Theory has finally entered the performance center. Full details on Theory and his fellow PC classmates can be found here.
  • His class is also headed by Santana Garrett, who we all could have sworn was already signed to WWE.
  • Other names in the list include Tehuti Miles (U.S. Army vet., Division I football player), the six-foot-six, 265-pound EJ Nduka, Aleksandar Jaksic (trained by Santino), Briana Brandy (who WWE lists as a practitioner of ninjutsu and “extreme CrossFit” who has also toured as a musician with Soulja Boy and Jadakiss), Rita Reis (Brazil), Marcos Gomes (Brazil) and Catalina Garcia (Chile).

LOL Alert

So, here’s the timeline of the biggest moments of anxiety in recent memory.

  • On Aug. 29, Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter printed news of WWE’s interest in re-signing the two performers who went by the names Big Cass and Enzo Amore during their time in NXT and the main roster (and since dropped those names while they fell in the standing of many).
  • Before we learn what follows, I spent hours wondering how Carmella feels about the possible return-to-the-fold of Cass, whose release was reportedly tied to terrible backstage behavior. I also wondered what the hundred-plus NXT-signed performers would think of WWE bringing back that pair of rejects.
  • Later that same day, Big Dave tweets “WWE says no interest in Enzo & Cass at this time. So looks like that’s not happening,” which is like a retraction, except it isn’t.
  • Lastly, we got this video clip from Alex McCarthy over at talkSPORT, where Triple H says that the original reports were false, that he had to use WWE PR to get the message straight and ... well, some more about the smaller half of this tag team:


  • At NJPW Royal Quest, the beloved tag team Aussie Open made a valiant campaign for the promotion’s World Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, but GoD stopped them from completing their mission. This tweet from ‘Dunkzilla’ Mark Davis suggests that he and ‘Aussie Arrow’ Kyle Fletcher could continue to work in New Japan.
  • After a strong debut at AAA TripleMania, Cain Velasquez has apparently caught the eye of NJPW management. Marc Raimondi reports that Velasquez had a meeting with senior New Japan officials during the Super J Cup tour’s stop in San Francisco.
  • The least controversial tweet Will Ospreay’s ever tweeted suggests he is now signed to New Japan for the next 5 years.


  • What’s Kyle Clover (Ken Shamrock) doing in the Impact Zone?
  • Tenille Dashwood debuted on Impact before she appeared the All Out Buy In Casino Battle Royale, which Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso reports was the product of an agreement between the companies.
  • Impact lost John Morrison (fka Johnny Nitro/Mundo/Impact) earlier this year, but it’s filling his void with Johnny Swinger (formerly of WCW, ECW and TNA).
  • Lance Storm is working in a backstage role, reportedly on a part-time basis, in Impact.


You made it this far, here’s a treat:


  • Fightful reports that Madison Square Taven himself, ROH Champ Matt Taven is currently in contract negotiations with Ring of Honor and his contract expires in September.


  • 4 days after Taven defended his ROH title against Alex Shelley on ROH TV, Shelley made a surprise appearance to say hi to his friend KUSHIDA. He specifically said to not take this appearance as anything more than an appearance.
  • In kayfabe, MMA veteran Anthony ‘Sharkbait’ Gutierrez ‘won’ an EVOLVE contract with a victory this past month. The promotion has him on its talent list for its September 20, 21 shows in Brooklyn and Queens, NY.

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!