Although Flip isn't booked for All In 2018, he has just been re-signed by Ring of Honor. According to PWInsider, Flip was extended to Ring of Honor through 2020. Gordon's stock has recently risen with his inclusion of the NJPW Best of the Super Juniors, his inclusion into the Being the Elite YouTube show and even getting a shot at NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, Nick Aldis. Both Cody Rhodes and Nick Aldis celebrated Flip Gordon after his loss.
Flip Signs with ROH
Among the many signings that are being announced this week, Taishan Dong is one of the more interesting ones. Taishan was once promoted as the Yao Ming of Boxing. Formerly a boxer signed to Golden Boy Promotions, the 30 year old 7 ft heavyweight has actually been training for a career in pro wrestling for sometime. After his boxing career failed to materialize he would turn his intentions to pro wrestling.
Enrolling in the United Wrestling Network International Wrestling Center Dong received one on one training with Peter Avalon. Avalon was recently responsible for David Arquette's wrestling training. He received a lot of private training and from my understanding was chomping at the bit to get ready for his next opportunity. Oddly enough, this news broke the same day as the WWE announcing a return to China.
Eli Drake has a curious position. Drake is a former Impact World Champion. And was a former Tag Team Champion with Scott Steiner. It felt like sooner or later Drake would make his return to Impact. He was a natural fit. However, with the way he lost his championships in the past year made him look like he was replaceable. Chalk it up to bad booking, but they didn't do the best job of making Drake look good prior to his hiatus.
Deonna Purrazzo was All In, up until the moment she wasn't. Purrzzo was recently signed by World Wrestling Entertainment. Some think of this move as a way of sabotaging the September 1st event All In that will feature some of the top stars of New Japan, Ring of Honor, and Indie sensations. Purrazzo has had dark matches with the WWE and also had appearances for Impact. She worked pretty regularly for Japanese Joshi promotion Stardom, in the US with Ring of Honor, Shimmer, Shine, Rise, and in the UK with Progress and Rev Pro. The New Jersey native has won titles on the East Coast with NYWC and ECWA. No word on when she'll be starting with the WWE but its expected she'll be taking part of the Mae Young Classic II.
After being released James Ellsworth wasted no time getting back to work on the Independent Circuit. He helped to launch the NWA Worlds Title reign of Nick Aldis. That match has over 976 thousand views.
Ellsworth entered the world of "Inter-Gender" Wrestling. Even fashioned himself an Intergender Title. His first major defenses was against Joey Ryan at Bar Wrestling. He would go on to defend the title against the likes of Mia Yim, Su Yung, Penelope Ford, and Maddison Miles.
For a short time, Ellsworth captured the ACW Tag Team Championship with former WWE Lightweight Champion; Gilberg.
Ellsworth big return to the WWE was during Carmella's Championship defense against Asuka. Carmella picked up the victory with help from Ellsworth. Since Ellsworth has a no contest and a loss to Asuka.
**Update: Ellsworth wasn't under contract with the WWE and has fulfilled his obligations for the company.
James Ellsworth Done With The WWE
Hentai Master of Pro Wrestling & MMA World noted recently that Stardom Ace Io Shirai has announced on her blog that she will be leaving Stardom and that her last match will be on June 17 at Korakuen Hall. Io Shirai let her fans know "I will leaving the stardom for the further advancement of the professional wrestling life in the future." The rumor is currently indicating that she will be joining the WWE Roster and possibly be part of the second Mae Young Classic. Last year Meltzer was reporting that Shirai had signed with the WWE but disqualified her contract due to a pre-existing injury.
Io Shirai had previously been apart of Lucha Underground, while maintaining her status as Ace of Stardom.
Io Shirai's Contract Revoked
Io Shirai has signed with the WWE
At Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's "Bask In His Glory" Keith Lee admitted after losing to Adam Brooksy that, "for some reason, he keeps losing this month." Keith Lee has seemingly been on his farewell tour, it's all but been announced that Lee is heading to World Wrestling Entertainment, probably to the NXT roster. Lee lost his PWG World Title to WALTER in a triple threat match that also featured Jonah Rock at PWG All Star Weekend. Lee also lost his WWN title at an Evolve PPV back in April.
Last May, Lee opted to sign with WWN Live instead of ROH. Seemingly WWN Live's working relationship with the WWE may have had a hand in getting Lee to stay with WWN, however it appears he's now heading to the WWE.
It should be noted that Steve from SoCalUncensored on twitter remarked what a good guy Lee is. "A couple years ago there was a show that canceled last minute right before belltime. Lee was one of a handful of wrestlers who came out and apologized to all the fans, something he didn't have to do. Total class. He deserves the success he gets."
Keith Lee Chooses WWN
Certainly Chris Jericho is a superstar who plays by his own rules. As evident to earlier this morning when Jericho attacked on again/off again rival Tetsuya Naito of Los Ingobernables de Japon. A fan in a mask came out of the crowd to attack Naito, only for the masked man to be revealed as none other than Chris Jericho. This coming off the heels of Jericho making a return appearance at the WWE's Greatest Royal Rumble, which seemed to end the speculation that Jericho would continue his feud with Naito in New Japan. When asked Jericho referenced that sometimes things just don't work out. It's ironic that when Jericho looked to reignite his feud with Kevin Owens at the WWEGRR, that Owens shouted "Just go back to Japan and leave me alone!" Apparently Jericho has done just that. I don't believe that Jericho is officially under contract, but its worth noting that he's so far appeared at New Japan's biggest show of the year, WWE's biggest International Event ever, and still has the Jericho Cruise in October.
Will Whitney recently posted on the "Puroresu Spirit's News & Discussion Group" that Taiji Ishimori was revealed to be the "Bone Soldier." He will serve as the Bullet Club's new Junior Heavyweight representative. Ishimori has been wrestling exclusively for Pro Wrestling Noah, AAA, and Impact Wrestling. In late 2017, Ishimori had won the X-Division title that he defended in North America as well as in NOAH. In recent months, he has lost both the CHG Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Minoru Tanaka & Yoshinari Ogawa and the X-Division title to Matt Sydal. Ishimori alaso wrestled for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's All Star Weekend April 20th and 21st. Earlier today, Bone Soldier returned to NJPW Pro Wrestling and revealed himself to be Ishimori.
According to WrestlinngInc.com, Ishimori gave his notices to NOAH in March, he had been working for them since 2006. Prior to joining NOAH he was trained by Tamon Honda and Ultimo Dragon, making his debut in 2002 for Toryumon.
2014-2018 I have been a part [Impact] worked with a lot good people and for the most part enjoyed my time. Having said that... as I’ve grown ... they well.... ummm. change is good and there defiantly has been a lot of changes and today after much contemplation it time for me to move on from impact. Creatively we just don’t see eye to eye on anything and I beat [EC3] so I’m good... I wish them well in there future endeavors... #nuffsaid"
Tyrus posted on his Instagram account that he was in fact finished with Impact. He was granted a release back in August of 2017 when he acknowledged he was on bad terms with the Global Office, notably Jeff Jarret. Tyrus rejoined the company at the beginning of the year, but the reunion only last a mere four months.
We wish him well in all of his future endeavors...
Tyrus Returns to the Impact Zone
Wishing you the best, on your future endeavors.
Keeping up with the ever changing world of professional wrestling...