AOP and Mauro Ranallo Leaving WWE, No More Twitch or Cameos & More Quick Takes


Welcome back to another round of Quick Takes—a post that indulges in the topics that aren’t worth dedicating a full article to, but are still on my mind.

Each week, I try to cram in as many smaller talking points as I can via a speedier process, and I invite you to chime in with your own thoughts about these topics and anything else by keeping the discussion going in the comments below! Drop some more talking points in there for everyone to chat it up about, too!

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s topics.

Brock Lesnar is a Free Agent

Everyone seems to be going a little crazy over this idea that Brock Lesnar is no longer under contract with WWE, as if he’s going to pop up in AEW on the next episode of Dynamite.

I wholeheartedly expect nothing at all to happen, period, until some random day, we get the announcement that he’s signed a new contract with WWE. That’s it. Nothing more to it than his contract expiring, WWE realizing it’s stupid to pay him to sit home, Brock not wanting to do anything but sit home, the end.

Admittedly, it would be pretty interesting to see what would happen if he did get snatched up by Tony Khan, though. WWE would panic and it would mean no Roman Reigns vs. Lesnar match at WrestleMania 37, which I’m pretty fearful of.

Mauro Ranallo Leaving WWE

It’s a shame Mauro has left WWE, but it seems like it’s for the right reasons. Supposedly, he wants to focus more on the health and well-being of himself and his family while working more on his other causes and worrying less about his weekly job for WWE.

A lot of people aren’t too fond of Mauro. I like the guy a lot. He can be a bit overwhelming at times, but I’d take his passionate enthusiasm over the bland, uninteresting commentary we get from some of the others on any occasion. At least when Mauro is calling a match, I feel like I’m supposed to care. More often than not, when I’m listening to most other commentators, I feel like they’re there just to remind me of whatever they’re about to plug.

Here’s hoping Mauro finds his way back to WWE at some point in the future. At least for now, I’m digging Wade Barrett as his replacement, so it’s not all lost.

The IIconics Split

WWE’s decided to push Peyton Royce (let’s see how far that goes) and split her up from Billie Kay. You know the deal—in WWE, tag teams are meaningless 99% of the time and you’ll never make it unless you’re a singles star. Then, when you break up the tag team, you realize the tag act was what they were best at, and that you don’t feel like actually pushing them, so you kill their momentum. Once you do that, you start looking at that person as a failure because you didn’t do your job in setting them up properly. By the time both members of the tag team are chewed up and spit out, you have no recourse but to put them back together again, but this time, their credibility has been diminished so even as a tag unit, they don’t matter as much.

Let’s hope that isn’t the case for Royce and Kay. It seems Kay is already positioned as the Marty Jannetty of the tag team from day one of their split, so it’s not looking optimistic for her.

It’ll be interesting to see if they split them up with the draft, whenever that happens. That will be the true test of whether or not WWE is serious, even momentarily, about pushing Royce.

AOP Released from WWE

Typical. These guys were a big deal in NXT and were great to watch. So what happened with them on the main roster? They were misused, got injured, waited a while and got released.

What a waste.

I’m interested to see which company they go to. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be signed to AEW, Impact or elsewhere. Maybe New Japan could be a cool spot for them.

WWE Stops Superstars from Using Cameo, Twitch, Etc

WWE is trying to say they own the rights to the real names of the superstars and that they can’t do things like Cameo and Twitch. Some of these wrestlers were using this as a supplemental source of income during this pandemic. A few were even doing it for charity.

How can you be an independent contractor who can’t do anything outside of a company? What justification is there that people can’t use their REAL names for outside projects?

Are they going to try to tell the legends like Ric Flair and Mick Foley they can’t have Cameo accounts? What about Bruce Prichard?

Here’s what I’m imagining will happen. They’re going to look at this backlash and they’ll try to play themselves off as being “the good guys” by “allowing” them to continue doing this, but with some clause that states that if they do anything that they find problematic, they’ll fine them. That, or they’re just asking for more superstars to want to have such poor morale that they leave WWE as soon as possible.

It’s amazing how a company can be so proactive in trying to create problems.

HOWEVER – if this is a misunderstanding and communication is odd and it turns out this is actually a situation where WWE is saying they can’t use their ring names for these things, but they can use their real names, then it’s much more understandable. For instance, if Liv Morgan’s new YouTube channel has to be Gionna Daddio, then that’s reasonable, I think.

What are your takes on these topics? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!

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