WWE Rumors on Jay White; Rollins Talks Backstage Culture; D-Von Denies Heat with HHHFebruary 13, 2023
Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW.
Jay White to WWE 'Hardly Guaranteed'
For some time, it looked like Jay White making his WWE debut was a foregone conclusion. Some expected him to show up at the Royal Rumble, but the event was surprisingly devoid of debuts and surprises.
Instead, White's next match stateside is slated to take place for New Japan against Eddie Kingston at this weekend's Battle in the Valley event.
Fightful Select reported White may be looking to return to the United States, but signing with WWE is "hardly guaranteed at this point." White's contract with New Japan is reportedly slated to end sometime between Battle in the Valley and WrestleMania, so it remains possible we'll see him on wrestling's biggest stage.
That said, White has a ton of connections to AEW and could decide to stick with the company he knows rather than take a risk on a WWE contract. Regardless, White's contract talks may be the first battle in the AEW vs. WWE war during the 2023 calendar year.
Rollins Talks WWE Locker Room Culture
The level of toxicity in WWE locker rooms has not been very high of late, according to Seth Rollins.
The Architect appeared on the Pat McAfee Show last week and said the camaraderie is high within the company despite a competitive environment.
"From the outside, you think it's a cutthroat business and to an extent it is in some capacity, because everybody wants that top spot and everybody wants to grow as a performer and, you know, the higher up you are on the card, the more money you're going to earn and that's the bottom line, but I can totally understand where you're coming from when you come in," Rollins said. "[There's still] a level of respect. It's like, when it's Sunday, and it's game time and you're going, you're out there to kill somebody, right? You're out there to take somebody out, but as soon as it's not that time anymore, as soon as the game's over or, you know, the play is over, you help the brother up off the field and that's where we are."
"Yeah, everybody wants that top spot, everybody wants to be positioned better than everybody else, but at the end of the day, there is a level of respect for everybody that plays the game and so there is a brotherhood, there is a fraternity to that."
Rollins has been increasingly vocal in his status as a locker room leader within WWE and his desire to keep a certain level of backstage peace. He has spoken out multiple times vehemently saying he does not want CM Punk to return to WWE, calling him a "cancer" in an interview with Wrestling Inc.'s Nick Hausman .
Morale has also been up among talent since Triple H took over creative from Vince McMahon, with the WWE executive chairman's creative whims often frustrating talent and leading to an at-times nonsensical product. WWE has regained its momentum atop professional wrestling in recent months under Triple H, though no company is truly firing on all cylinders at the moment.
D-Von Dudley Says There's No Heat Between Him and Triple H
It turns out the dirt sheet writers got one wrong.
When D-Von Dudley was pulled from an independent show last year, some reports blamed WWE and said the company threatened to fire Dudley. The now-departed Hall of Famer refuted those reports during an interview with Wrestling News .
"Let me just say this. No issues with Triple H," Dudley said. "Triple H did not threaten to fire me. What a lot of people don't know is I did not speak to Hunter directly during that, but no, he did not threaten to fire me. It was just again, you know, miscommunication on the dirt sheet writers or whatever, but that was not the case. Again, I can't really go into detail right now."
Dudley, who retired from in-ring performing in 2020, had been working as a producer with WWE until January. It's unclear whether WWE's restrictions on Dudley making appearances on the indies helped lead to his departure, but he's already back to booking events—including some with Team 3D member Bully Ray.
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