Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Mickie James Reportedly Nursing Knee Injury
Mickie James reportedly suffered a knee injury during a WWE live event match Saturday, according to F4WOnline (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com).
The reported injury occurred during a bout with Carmella in Waco, Texas, which had to be cut short. James reportedly left the ring with only minor assistance.
James had been scheduled to wrestle at a live event in College Station, Texas, on Sunday, but she was replaced by Zelina Vega. The severity of James’ injury isn’t yet known.
The 39-year-old veteran was moved from Raw to SmackDown Live as part of the Superstar Shake-up after WrestleMania 35, but she has yet to appear on the blue brand. James’ last televised match came at WrestleMania, when she was part of the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal.
James is a five-time Women’s champion and one-time Divas champion who brings great value to the roster as an experienced performer who can help in the development of some of WWE’s younger and less-experienced women.
Even when James isn’t appearing on television regularly, she is an important part of the roster and she will be missed if she is forced to take some time off.
Several NXT Superstars Undergo Name Changes
Multiple NXT Superstars will be going by different names moving forward.
According to Middleton, five NXT wrestlers have had their names altered. Eric Bugenhagen is now Rik Bugez, Jessie Elaban is Jessi Kamea, Trevor Lee is Cameron Grimes, Adrian Jaoude is Arturo Ruas and Luke Menzies is Ridge Holland.
Of the aforementioned Superstars, Bugez has generated the most buzz. Although his television time has been limited, he is known for putting on some stirring air guitar, drum and piano performances at NXT live events.
Kamea is an impressive athlete who competed in the second Mae Young Classic and also performed well in the recent WWE Performance Center Combine.
Grimes is a recent WWE signee who previously held the X-Division and Tag Team Championships in Impact Wrestling.
Ruas and Holland have had several appearances on NXT programming as enhancement talent in recent months.
While none of the Superstars who received name changes are a big part of the television product currently, they all have the potential to be major players moving forward.
Evans Talks WWE Main Roster Push
Lacey Evans has been pushed into a top position in the WWE women’s division since getting called up from NXT, and she discussed her quick ascension in a recent interview.
Evans spoke with Brian Fritz of Sporting News this week and addressed her push, as well as the pressure that comes along with it:
“It was amazing. I’m not going to lie-it was nerve-racking because coming from NXT and not being a fan of WWE (at a younger age), I’m starting from scratch. I wasn’t even three years in and now I’m put up in their level and I definitely didn’t want to let my bosses down. I didn’t want to let the WWE Universe down. “But like everything else in my life, I wasn’t going to half-ass anything. I took the ball, I ran with it, and I worked and I continue to do so to perform and give them the matches and character work that’s entertaining. I’m just blessed to be a thought in all of this. I hope to continue to entertain and show the world what women all over the world are capable of.”
Prior to WrestleMania, Evans’ only match was as an early entrant in the Royal Rumble match. Aside from that, she would only make her entrance at random times on Raw and SmackDown, as well as during pay-per-views.
On the night after WrestleMania, however, Evans attacked Becky Lynch and entered into a feud with The Man over the Raw Women’s Championship. Evans has also mixed it up with Charlotte Flair, who is already the most decorated woman in WWE history.
Evans has the size, athleticism, character and speaking ability to be a huge star in WWE, and it is clear that the higher ups have a great deal of confidence in her already.
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