As we embrace the month of June, the sun beating down on our skin, the chirping of birds filling our ears and the wonderful smells that comes with the summer season, the WWE seems to be heating up right on schedule.
Summer Training, Summerslam Rumours & Raw Turning up the Heat
With so much to talk about in the upcoming months, as the company prepares for the road to Summerslam, the hottest event of the summer, there have been many stories heating up the WWE Universe. Brock Lesnar‘s rumored return has made the waves and a surprise appearance during a house show in Japan has the Internet buzzing. WWE Shop has also been sizzling with the release of not one but TWO new Kevin Owens shirts, likely two of the hottest items to hit the online store in quite some time.
As we ride Internet train, here are some of the stops that we made to discuss some of the bigger stories of the new month!
Eva Marie’s training paying off?
It was announced about a month ago that Eva Marie was in line for a big push in the near future, and that she had been training with (The) Brian Kendrick. While the idea of the red-headed diva getting a push left much of the Internet groaning, mostly due to the inexperienced Marie not showcasing much talent in the few matches she worked, some warmed up to the idea that she sought out for more training at the WWE’s performance center.
It seems like the work has been paying off, as a week later some videos started to circulate of Eva’s progress with Kendrick. Short clips showed her ability to run the ropes properly, take several bumps in succession and showcased a willingness to learn new moves like snap suplexes, tornado DDTs and even a suicide dive. The best part of these videos was the reaction after each move performed well — her smile. Signs of a young wrestler, giddy about learning new moves and seeing progress rather quickly. With each lesson learned, the smile grew on her face and Kendrick rewarded her each time with a high-five. Below is a video summarizing her small video clips.
Sure, she got to the business before learning much and most fans would prefer to see well-groomed athletes run the ranks and pay their dues before they make it to the WWE, but for Ava Marie there is a desire to get better and learn everything in order to improve, so we’ll cut her some slack for now. How can we not when she’s receiving endorsement from Mick Foley?
— Mick Foley (@realmickfoley) May 31, 2015
Stephen Amell to wrestle?
On last Monday’s episode of Raw, we were treated to a match between the high-flying Neville going one-on-one with the enigmatic Stardust. Right before the match started, during his entrance, Stardust was going through his usual routine of walking the barricade and hissing at the crowd. Only that night, he spotted Arrow star Stephen Amell and got up into his face, hissing at the celebrity who was sitting front row. Amell stood up, seemingly unaware of Stardust’s intentions, visibly upset with his actions. According to an article published on HollywoodLife.com, a source close to the company reveals that there are plans to have Amell, 34, wrestle in a match against Stardust at this year’s Summerslam event.
“Steven is looking to get in the ring for the WWE and the match looks like it will take place at SummerSlam in NYC,” a source tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY.
While we can’t confirm whether or not these sources are legitimate, what we can say is that following the minor altercation at Raw, Stephen Amell was quick to respond to Stardust’s hissing in a tweet.
It’s also interesting to note that Amell has also changed his Twitter avatar to a picture of that moment. Stephen is a long-time fan of the WWE product, as demonstrated in a backstage interview with WWE representative Tom Phillips, as well as several Vine videos posted by the celebrity of him watching the product during his breaks on the set of Arrow. While the superhero series is currently off-season, Amell has also been filming for the new TMNT movie, where he’ll play the role of Casey Jones, a vigilante that fights alongside the Turtles, using a hockey mask to hide his identity and an array of sports objects as weapons. We’ve also since learned that Sheamus will also play the role of Rocksteady in the new TMNT movie.
As Last Word On Sports wrote a few months back, Stephen Amell deserved a chance to host an episode of Raw but we never expected to see him work a match.
The match itself could make sense too. Cody Rhodes, who plays the role of Stardust, is a tremendous and safe worker in the ring and could take care of Amell and make sure he doesn’t get severely hurt. He could even go through the works and make sure Amell is prepared and trained beforehand. The gimmick of Stardust, a wrestler who is captivated by space, planets and stars, could mix well with an actual Hollywood star.
The only question we have now is if Amell will perform under his own name or if he’ll get the rights to wrestle under the Vigilante or Oliver Queen.
The summer of Kevin Owens
Following his match against John Cena, Kevin Owens is expected to be a regular feature of Monday Night Raw going forward. The 31-year-old from Marieville, Quebec continues his reign as NXT Champion and will likely be going back and forth between the NXT branch and WWE’s Raw and Smackdown brands, at least for the time being, until he eventually drops the NXT title.
In an interview with La Presse, a local paper in Montreal, Owens discussed about Triple H’s methods with running the NXT product and how he’s allowed Owens to have a say in a lot of what he’s done so far, from storylines, promos and even his theme song. “I had no idea what was waiting for me in NXT,” Owens told La Presse. “NXT is like Triple H’s baby, he’s very open. They had me listen to my theme music for several weeks and I even got to make some suggestions. It’s team work and it’s a lot of fun to see.”
Who knows what’s next for Kevin Owens on the WWE’s main roster going forward, feud-wise, but it’s already off to a great start with a strong performance against WWE’s top star in John Cena at a PPV level. Perhaps he continues to focus on the United States Champion and attempt to remove the gold from Cena, or maybe he sets his sights on Dean Ambrose, who we saw on Smackdown following Owens’ in-ring interview with Michael Cole. As we saw, the Lunatic Fringe walked right by the NXT Champion, almost as if he didn’t notice him, and the look that Owens gave Ambrose following that sequence could lead to bigger things.
There’s also the Money In The Bank PPV coming up and inside the suitcase is a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. We all know that being the champion means more money, and we also know how much Kevin Owens wants to provide for his family. Owens is no stranger to using a ladder, after all.