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McIntyre Addresses Rumors; Rhea Ripley Trolls CM Punk, Orton; Buzz on 2024 Contracts | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news around WWE and AEW.

Drew McIntyre Explains Frustration After Survivor Series

Apparently, it was a work.

Either way, Drew McIntyre’s frustrations after the end of Survivor Series seem to be making their way into storylines.

McIntyre addressed reports he was unhappy with CM Punk’s return at the end of the WarGames match during a live event in Peoria, Illinois.

“If you’ve been watching the show, you know why. I lost the World Title match, WarGames last night, my stupid team lost the match for me. You’ve probably heard things on the internet,” McIntyre told the crowd in a video package Sunday.

If McIntyre is addressing the reports 24 hours after he was allegedly “angry,” the odds are this was a work from the beginning. Talent didn’t have time to run full-scale creative after being informed of Punk’s arrival, but McIntyre and Seth Rollins both expressed anger in ways that could have been perfectly in character.

McIntyre turned heel and joined Judgment Day in a losing effort at WarGames, and his long-running storyline has been about his frustrations boiling over after consistently losing in big moments lately. Taking another loss—and being upstaged by a returning Punk—could be frustrating both in real life and in kayfabe.

Even if McIntyre was actually angered at the moment, it seems like they’ve already adjusted and are steering into the curve.

Rhea Ripley Trolls CM Punk, Randy Orton

Rhea Ripley also didn’t seem particularly pleased about Punk’s return, giving him a patented one-finger salute as his music hit in the arena.

Of course, that was very much in kayfabe and she’s even doubled down by needling Punk on social media. When one fan showed Ripley hitting the GTS during her independent scene days, she reposted it with a light dig at the so-called “best in the world.”

RheaRipley_WWE @RheaRipley_WWE

Best in the world 🙅🏻‍♀️ <a href=”https://t.co/yb7vNmXYRj”>https://t.co/yb7vNmXYRj</a>

She also threw a barb Randy Orton’s way for good measure:

RheaRipley_WWE @RheaRipley_WWE

I hear voices 🐍 <a href=”https://t.co/I1iQHQJFSh”>https://t.co/I1iQHQJFSh</a>

We’re going to have to wait until Punk addressed the crowd Monday night at Raw to see where his storyline is headed, but it would not be a surprise to see him interact with Judgment Day.

The faction has been part of nearly every main-event storyline for months on Raw, and Punk certainly didn’t show up in WWE to hang out on the midcard.

Given Ripley’s willingness to get physical with men during JD matches, don’t be surprised if she winds up trying to put Punk to sleep at a certain point in the near future.

WWE Offering Big Contracts to Talent to Avoid AEW Departures

The momentum in professional wrestling belongs entirely to WWE at the moment, and the company is determined to keep it that way.

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio said WWE has been offering significant contract raises to talents who have deals expiring in 2024.

“There’s a lot of movement in WWE right now. … They don’t want anyone leaving. There’s a lot of people who are being offered very big money—much more than they’re making—to stay,” Meltzer said (starting at the 2:45 mark). “A lot of people thought that, with Endeavor, no one’s going to get big contracts. It’s actually been different.”

Meltzer went onto say that WWE talent is actually paid a lower percentage of the overall revenue than UFC, which Endeavor also owns, so WWE’s new parent company is able to pay more to retain talent.

That could come as a massive blow to AEW, which has its own talent to worry about retaining with the specter of a deeper-pocketed WWE waiting in the wings. With Punk’s return creating headlines for a company that was already selling out nearly every TV venue, AEW’s going to need to create positive buzz for itself to become the “hot” wrestling promotion again.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below.

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