WWE RAW Plans Nixed, Elimination Chamber Breaks Records, Ratings, More
Backstage News On Nixed Plans For Trish Stratus Comeback On WWE Raw
BY SAI MOHAN/UPDATED: FEB. 21, 2023 6:10 AM EST
Lita isn't the only WWE Hall of Famer who is figured into WWE's creative plans going into WrestleMania 39.
According to Fightful Select, Trish Stratus was supposed to appear on the 2/20 "WWE Raw" during Bayley's "Ding Dong Hello" segment, but those plans were nixed shortly prior to the show. Instead, Becky Lynch and Lita confronted Damage CTRL and challenged for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship. As noted, Lynch & Lita vs. IYO SKY & Dakota Kai for the titles is confirmed for next week's red brand show.
The report added that Stratus, a native of Toronto, "physically was at the show in Ottawa, but left before the segment happened." As for the reasoning for the change of plans, Fightful was relayed the simple message of "creative change" by WWE officials. No further details were shared as to why Stratus did not appear on the show.
It's worth noting that Stratus was reportedly also slated to appear on the 2/13 "Raw" in Brooklyn, New York, but those plans were changed in the wake of Kai's legitimate injury. According to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE had internally discussed a six-woman match pitting Lita, Lynch and Stratus against Damage CTRL, and while the seeds for such a match have yet to be planted, Dave Meltzer reported that the potential angle "isn't dead" just yet. Meltzer added that the Stratus vs. Damage CTRL storyline was "expected to be revisited at some point" in the lead-up to WrestleMania 39.
According to several other reports, the team of Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler are expected to pursue the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 39. As such, it remains to be seen if Lynch & Lita's potential victory next week leads to Lynch and Rousey renewing their old rivalry at the Showcase of Immortals. Lynch vs. Rousey was, at one point, rumored for WWE's biggest show of the show.
Elimination Chamber 2023 was the company's highest-grossing and most-viewed Elimination Chamber in the history of the event, with a 54% increase in viewership over last year. In addition to being the largest gate from any Elimination Chamber, the show also brought in the most amount of money from ticket sales of any WWE event ever held in Montreal.
WWE Hall of Famer Booker T weighed in on the Tony Khan - Ariel Helwani feud on a new episode of "The Hall of Fame" podcast. "What the hell is going on with Tony Khan?" Booker asked. "It seemed like some high school stuff, man. It did not seem like something that a boss would be thinking about as far as Ariel Helwani making an appearance on WWE TV."
WWE SmackDown last Friday saw a small drop in viewership, although it was #1 for the night on all of television. AEW Rampage was the least-watched episode in show history. It aired at 7 pm ET instead of the usual 10 pm ET timeslot due to TNT's NBA All-Star Weekend coverage.
Jon Moxley has reportedly been pulled from his upcoming European booking with Over the Top Wrestling on March 17 and 18 and will instead be at the AEW house show in Troy, Ohio, that same weekend.
WWE is advertising Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns for the March 4 live event in the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It would be the first time Reigns has wrestled at a WWE live event since September 24 of last year, when Roman successfully defended his title against AJ Styles in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Chelsea Green did not appear on RAW last night in Ottawa because she is currently unable to appear in Canada due to being landlocked and waiting to receive her Green card.
In a recent Instagram post, former WWE and ECW star Stevie Richards posted the photo below himself with a walker in a hospital gown, revealing that he's been dealing with numerous health issues.
WINC Podcast (2/20): WWE Raw Review, Ariel Helwani, Kenny Omega
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