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McMahon Addressed Talent + US Title Match Cut Short

-Last night, before the start of Money In The Bank [1], WWE executive Stephanie McMahon delivered a speech to the talent.

This, by itself, is not necessarily noteworthy. Leadership addresses the locker room with some regularity, most often as pep talks and the like.

What is noteworthy in this instance? Per reports from Wrestling Observer, [2] during Stephanie McMahon’s talk with the talent, she explicitly mentioned All Elite Wrestling by name. What’s more, she actually named AEW as a competitor to WWE. From what we’ve heard, both are moves WWE never did before.

This move likely reflects a few different things going on within WWE. First, while they lived through the Monday Night Wars, it’s safe to say that Shane, Stephanie and Triple H are all more involved now than they were then.

Second, WWE knows it has some serious issues. There have been plenty of wrestlers reportedly unhappy with things, with several asking for releases [3]. Also, word has been morale among the locker room has been bad.

With AEW debuting this weekend, the timing was certainly interesting.

-Speaking of Money In The Bank… [4]

Last night, for the second consecutive PPV, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe worked a really short match.

Per the Observer, last night’s United States Championship match was cut short due to the blood element. During the match, Mysterio landed a kick or knee to Joe’s face, and inadvertently busted Joe open.

The match wrapped up quickly from there, with Mysterio capturing the title in the process.

In spite of the blood and the shorter match, the post-match sequence had been planned and did go off according to that plan, per reports.

In addition to the possibly busted nose for Joe, it sounds like WWE training staff were also evaluating the new United States Champion for a possible shoulder injury.