3 Wrestling rumors we hope are true and 3 we hope aren’t: WWE changes plans for 2 major title feuds at Extreme Rules, Champion has backstage heat for comments against Roman Reigns?

Welcome to this week’s edition of WWE/wrestling rumors we hope are true and those we hope aren’t. It’s the fallout of AEW All Out and it seems like the entire landscape of wrestling has changed for the better.

WWE may or may not respond to that, but what is crucial is quality programming on a consistent basis. This week’s rumors features plans for the WrestleMania 38 main event, a retired legend returning to SmackDown, WWE keeping a big SummerSlam return under wraps, backstage news, and more!

#3. Hope is true: WWE makes a switch-up to two title feuds

Things are getting interesting on Monday Night RAW, although it doesn’t seem like there’s a clear road for Bobby Lashley. Last week’s episode of RAW was an interesting one, as it started with the four men’s champions of the brand (minus Reggie) all in intertwined storylines.

Damian Priest would go on to successfully defend the United States Championship against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre, while Lashley and MVP would team up and unsuccessfully challenge RK-Bro for the RAW Tag Team titles.

Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer Radio reported that there was a scramble in the plans and that two title feuds have been changed in the process:

“It appears the decision was that they’re gonna go with Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley, so therefore they wanted Randy Orton in there with Bobby Lashley, which took Sheamus out of that match. And I did hear that Drew and Priest at one point was going to be a singles match, but when they took Sheamus out (of the Lashley match), Sheamus was moved, and they made it into a three-way match. There were a million changes during the day, and at the end of the day, every match advertised didn’t happen,” said Dave Meltzer. (H/T: Wrestletalk)

We hope this is true because this was a better plan. Admittedly, the idea of a Damian Priest-Drew McIntyre feud seems good and entertaining. So far, the duo has proven to have good chemistry.

As for Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton, we have mixed opinions about it. While Orton is undoubtedly a worthy WWE title challenger, it seems as though the company doesn’t have a concrete plan for Lashley’s title reign in the coming month or two.

A non-title bout against Goldberg has been teased and is expected to happen at Crown Jewel 2021. It seems as though WWE is simply winging it creatively with no long-term plan in mind.#3. Hope isn’t true: Backstage heat on a WWE star for comments against Roman Reigns

There are certain things in WWE that aren’t often tolerated, and negative media comments tend to be among them. In this case, the WWE Superstar in question is Riddle. He recently made comments taking shots at Roman Reigns for claiming to have moved the needle.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Riddle’s comments haven’t sat well backstage in WWE, leading to some reported heat on him:

“It was very much considered a negative by many with the basic theme that Riddle is incredibly talented, more so than he gets credit for, but he’s not very astute politically in the WWE jungle,” as per WON.

Just to clarify, this was what The Original Bro said about Reigns in an interview with Bleacher Report:

“No disrespect to Roman [Reigns], he seems like a swell fella, but at the same time, it’s like when people say they’re a good parent,” Riddle said. “You know what? If you were a good parent, your kids would be telling you you’re a good parent. When he’s saying ‘Acknowledge me’ or ‘I move the needle,’ no, you don’t. You’re related to The Rock. Shut up. Like, I’m not impressed, I can beat you up in a real fight. So, shut your mouth.”
Riddle proceeded to say that it was RK-Bro moving the merchandise, and said that Roman Reigns is undoubtedly an amazing talent. With that said, he once again took a shot at him by saying that he isn’t a first-generation talent and that he is in his top spot “for a reason”.

We hope that this rumor isn’t true because it’s clear that Riddle is simply blurring the lines between his character and real life. He is known to talk trash about legends and top stars, potentially to secure a match against them in the future.

#2. Hope is true: News on Triple H’s role in WWE’s “new” version of NXT

WWE is giving NXT a complete makeover. Following the brand’s “defeat” to AEW in the so-called Wednesday Night Wars, there seems to have been a big change in mentality. Vince McMahon is seemingly going to be hands-on with the developmental system, as is Bruce Prichard.

For starters, NXT will no longer be WWE’s third brand and is reverting to a developmental style. Bryan Alvarez had reported on the Wrestling Observer Radio that McMahon and Prichard will primarily be behind the direction of the brand.

WrestleVotes doubled down on this report, claiming that Triple H, Matt Bloom, and William Regal will still be an integral part of NXT, but the appearance of it will be in the hands of Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard:

We hope this is true because it’s good for Triple H and co to have their hands in NXT – essentially The Game’s baby. With that said, we hope that McMahon and Prichard don’t have too big a hand in terms of the weekly booking.

The implication seems to be that the direct booking decisions that Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard will be involved in is primarily for the top stars of the brand.#2. Hope isn’t true: The Undertaker to make WWE return on SmackDown?

The Undertaker finally retired from WWE – 30 years after his debut at Survivor Series 1990. It marked the end of a historic run, and thankfully, it was a segment and promo and not a match in itself.

The Phenom’s in-ring career with the company concluded at WrestleMania 36 in the highly-acclaimed “Boneyard Match” against AJ Styles. According to PlanetaWrestling, The Undertaker is penciled in for an appearance on the Madison Square Garden episode of SmackDown. However, it remains unclear if his presence will be physical or not:

“According to a report by PlanetaWrestling, it’s currently unclear if The Deadman will be physically part of the show in New York or part of a recorded segment.”

We hope this isn’t true because The Undertaker character should be gone for good. 2020 was essentially his retirement tour from WWE, and although he didn’t get to have his formal retirement with a crowd present, enough was enough.

The Phenom seemed to think that he was done as well. Although this seems to be the implication of a one-off return, it’s better to keep the mystique of The Undertaker by retiring the character for good.#1. Hope is true: How WWE kept Becky Lynch’s return under wraps

Becky Lynch made her triumphant return to WWE after close to a year-and-a-half away. It happened at SummerSlam 2021, where she shockingly dethroned Bianca Belair in half a minute and became the SmackDown Women’s Champion.

Although it wasn’t well-received by the WWE Universe because of the treatment of Belair, it has spun off into a story of its own. Interestingly enough, the company only kept Bianca Belair and Carmella in the loop beforehand, and went out of their way to keep Becky Lynch’s return under wraps, according to Fightful:

“According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select, Bianca Belair and Carmella both knew about Becky Lynch’s return ahead of time, and it wasn’t something that was sprung upon them at the last minute. But the information was “officially” kept secret to others backstage throughout the day.”

We hope this is true because it’s a good way to keep any return under wraps. The company often does well with super-secretive returns. Becky Lynch’s was executed well, minus the treatment of Bianca Belair.#1. Hope isn’t true: WWE changing plans for WrestleMania 38 main event?

Roman Reigns vs. The Rock seemed to be WWE’s originally-targeted main event of WrestleMania 38. It makes a lot of sense, but only if WWE is logistically able to get The Brahma Bull’s signature for a match at the event.

The big problem is the fact that The Rock suffered an injury during his last proper match at WrestleMania 29. As a result, he had to undergo surgery and his filming of the movie Hercules suffered a big delay in the process.

Speaking on the Wrestling Observer Radio (WOR), Dave Meltzer said that Brock Lesnar returning to WWE was a last-minute decision to respond to CM Punk.

He went on to admit that Dwayne Johnson/The Rock is presumably not available for WrestleMania 38 at AT&T Stadium:

“Brock [Lesnar] being brought back was a reaction to Punk,” Meltzer said. “That’s what it was because it was a last minute call. I’m presuming today that [Lesnar vs. Reigns is for] next year’s WrestleMania. That’s what I’m presuming today because Dwayne Johnson is probably not – you know, that’s up to Dwayne Johnson, I mean next year’s WrestleMania. When he wants to wrestle and when his schedule is cleared, that’s when he’s gonna wrestle.” (h/t WrestlingNews.co)

We hope this isn’t true because we don’t need to see Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar headlining WrestleMania for the third time in seven years. It’s an overdone main event that won’t be as exciting for a 100,000 seater show.

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