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    Monday, February 15, 2021

    The Grapevine (2/15/21): Sammy Guevara Removed From Impact Booking, Okada Rumored To Appear On AEW and Impact, WWE Employees Upset

    Sammy Guevara on AEW Dynamite

    Welcome to the Grapevine! This section of Smark Henry is where we round up all the important founded and unfounded rumors floating around the pro wrestling scene that you may have missed over the past few days. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt!

    What we know about Sammy Guevara, Impact Wrestling, and AEW

    Sammy Guevara reportedly criticized a planned booking for him on Impact Wrestling, leading to him subsequently getting nixed from it. While some outlets are reporting that Guevara is in some sort of trouble following this, there is no update yet on what the real status is. It's also being reported that the relationship between AEW and Impact Wrestling has not been affected despite fears of Impact being offended. (Source: Slam Wrestling)

    We say: All of this seems like there were a couple of egos being trampled. Guevara should have the right to criticize whatever booking he's going to get—between this and the rumor that Cedric Alexander was in Vince McMahon's doghouse, talents should really have more agency to decide what's right for them so that you don't get a terrible wrestling product. But of course, if the issue was he didn't criticize it in a civil manner, then that's on him as well. We'll likely find out more about it as the days go by, but as the facts stand now, we stand by Sammy's act of criticism.

    Kazuchika Okada rumored to eventually work in AEW and Impact

    Following former IWGP Tag Team Champions Juice Robinson and David Finlay's announcement that they will be appearing on Impact!, rumors are now saying that former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada will be headed to both brands. There are absolutely no details yet as this was hinted at as more of an implication of the new working relationships between the three companies. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio)

    We say: We'll have to call it what it is for now—this is excited speculation on Meltzer's end. He's framing it as a thing that's most likely going to happen now that the "Forbidden Door" is now open, so it must not be taken as gospel just yet.

    WWE talents and employees left upset by recent developments

    A recent meeting held for WWE employees revealed that raises and promotions will be put on hold. This has left employees upset. Another update from the ThunderDome also states the observation that unhappiness and anger backstage are reportedly at an "all-time high," although it is unclear whether this is related to the raise and promotion freeze. Bonuses are said to be unaffected, however. It's also worth noting that WWE just entered into a $1 billion deal with NBC for the WWE Network to be on Peacock. (Source: PWInsider, @Wrestlevotes)

    We say: We're willing to bet that it's all related, plus with a little COVID-19 fear thrown in. WWE continues to show their hand as a greedy corporation with very little concern for employees—talents would probably do better to jump ship and do business with the growing coalition on the other side.

    Photo from AEW

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    Item Reviewed: The Grapevine (2/15/21): Sammy Guevara Removed From Impact Booking, Okada Rumored To Appear On AEW and Impact, WWE Employees Upset Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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