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WWE RESPONSE TO AMBROSE EXIT, HALFTIME HEAT UPDATE, SHANE HELMS, VELVETEEN DREAM, NXT UK AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2019-01-31 09:30:00

As I noted yesterday on the We Don't Need No Stinkin' Name Show, there was a big flurry of activity backstage at Smackdown as WWE officials were meeting with talents who's deals are set to expire in the next year or two, seeking to lock them into new deals.  WWE has been trying to lock talents in to new five-year deals for some time, dating back to new deals for The Miz and Kevin Owens last year.  It would appear the departure of Dean Ambrose (and the obvious potential of him heading to AEW) set all this off, and a lot of talents backstage were in amazement watching it all unfold before their eyes at Smackdown.  

WWE did not tape Halftime Heat at the NXT tapings last night, so they are indeed going live from the WWE Performance Center.  It would be the first time they have broadcast live from there, although there were scuttled plans to film Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles for Crown Jewel there last year when Bryan decided he was not going to travel to Saudi Arabia.  There was nothing said to fans last night about attending, and I would suspect that after past issues with fans at the PC, WWE doesn't want to encourage them to come on the PC property.  My guess is they will fill the building with friends, family, Full Sail University students, etc.  The broadcast will air during the Super Bowl halftime show, featuring Ricochet & Aleister Black & The Velveteen Dream vs. Adam Cole & NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano.

Velveteen Dream did work last night's NXT taping, so whatever his neck issue was that led to him wearing a neck brace over the weekend, it didn't prevent him from wrestling.

WWE had been in contact with Shane Helms for a long time about coming in as a producer.  Helms discussed his return to the company on the new episode of his podcast.  Helms was extremely popular as a producer and really pushed to change the culture at Impact Wrestling during his time there.

I am on this week's edition of Jim Ross' podcast.  You can listen by clicking here.

The latest episode of The Rock's Titan Games will air tonight on NBC.  Wrestling promotions should really be scouting some of the athletes on there because there have been some REALLY amazing ones featured on the series.

WALTER vs. Mark Coffey will be headlining next week's NXT UK TV episode on the WWE Network.

NXT UK will tape TV 2/22 and 2/23 in Coventry, UK at Planet Ice Coventry.

WWE NXT Women's Champion Toni Storm vs. Rhea Ripley in a rematch from Takeover: Blackpool will air on the 2/20 epsiode of NXT UK, which was taped over the weekend in Phoenix at Royal Rumble AXXESS.

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