WWE and NJPW News: Free Agency, NXT Battleground, G1 Climax 34

Contract news continues to be one of the biggest items heading into another week of professional wrestling.
NXT Battleground
NXT Battleground / WWE/GettyImages

Several WWE contracts up in the air

The 2024 free agency season continues to be a wild affair. Reports broke over the weekend that Ricochet apparently informed WWE leadership that he would exit the company when his contract ends. While that timeline is yet to be confirmed, reports were that WWE will begin to write him out of storylines, as he’s already dropped the WWE Speed Championship to Andrade.

Ricochet is one of several names that are apparently involved in contract talks. Natalya, Dijak, and Chad Gable are three other big names to watch in the coming months. It will be interesting to see who WWE secures or how they plan to replace individuals as they depart for other opportunities in wrestling.

WWE NXT packs out the UFC APEX

NXT Battleground went down at the UFC APEX on Sunday, June 9. MMA fans consistently complain about the lackluster APEX shows, one reason being that the lack of a real crowd makes the shows unwatchable and lifeless. That led to some concerns about the configuration for NXT Battleground. According to WrestleTix, hours before the show the event was set up 702 seats with 683 tickets distributed. Many in attendance posted videos of the line outside the venue that wrapped around the building. This was the biggest crowd in the venue, much larger than the crowds for UFC events. It will be interesting to see if UFC adjusts the presentation of APEX shows and begins to sell more tickets.

G1 Climax schedule announced

The structure and schedule of the G1 Climax was announced. The tournament will take place starting on July 20, with it ending on August 18. There will be two blocks of 10 wrestlers. Two participants will be determined during a “play-in” tournament. The top three wrestlers in each block will enter a knockout stage. The winner of each block moves on to the semi-finals, while the second and third-place wrestlers will have to wrestle to get to that same match. The participants will be announced in the coming days. There’s no news yet about whether names from AEW will take part as they have in the past.