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    Friday, February 5, 2021

    The Grapevine (2/5/21): AEW and NJPW Enter Into Relationship, Why Steve Cutler Was Released, Lars Sullivan Update

    KENTA in AEW Dynamite Beach Break

    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!

    AEW and NJPW agree to working relationship

    AEW and NJPW have reportedly entered into an official working relationship as of December 2020. The key to the whole partnership was NJPW's need to use IWGP United States Champion Jon Moxley for a match against his #1 contender KENTA on an episode of NJPW Strong, which is taped in the US. While this isn't confirmed, Moxley may not have been able to wrestle for NJPW in the US without AEW and Tony Khan's permission. 

    Former NJPW president Harold Meij's departure played a role in allowing this deal to happen, as well as the pandemic preventing Moxley from flying to Japan and the fact that NJPW did not want to strip him of the title for a yet-unknown reason. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio)

    We say: There's no article that seems to dispute this account, so for now we're taking it as the likeliest story. It's a good thing for AEW (and NJPW) that this happened, and we're looking forward to see what the coalition can come up with. What we do need to know is how guys like Moxley and Chris Jericho can appear for NJPW in Japan, which nobody has yet to fully explain.

    Why Steve Cutler was released

    SmackDown superstar Steve Cutler was released from WWE. The reason was apparently that he contracted COVID-19 in early January, preventing him from working SmackDown days, to the point that he reportedly had heat with Vince McMahon. (Source: Fightful Select)

    We say: Getting heat because this guy got sick from the virus you're so careless about preventing (and won't even provide vaccines for)? Good guy Vince strikes again. What the fuck is the point, especially when your show needs their team more than you realize?

    Update on Lars Sullivan

    After confirming his release from WWE earlier this week, Lars Sullivan reveals that he was "done with wrestling" because of his issues with crippling anxiety. He has owned up to his controversial behavior. (Source: Fightful Select)

    We say: Despite his controversial past, Sullivan seems pretty believable and sincere here, and a worse person would probably try to keep himself relevant after such a release. As people dealing with mental issues including anxiety, we can relate to what he's going through right now, and we hope he can find some peace (and definitely stay out of trouble).

    Photo from AEW

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    Item Reviewed: The Grapevine (2/5/21): AEW and NJPW Enter Into Relationship, Why Steve Cutler Was Released, Lars Sullivan Update Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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