4 Wrestling rumors we hope are true and 3 we hope aren’t: 2-time WWE Champion set to face Roman Reigns; disappointing plans for WrestleMania 38 main event?

Welcome to this week’s edition of WWE/wrestling rumors we hope are true and those we hope aren’t. It’s the first edition of 2022, and with WWE Day 1 now behind us, the focus will be to kickstart the road to WrestleMania.

This means that we are gearing up for the most exciting period of the WWE calendar year. With this, we bring you some of the biggest rumors of the week, including the fallout from Day 1 and the consequences for WrestleMania 38:


#4. Hope is true: WWE has a big match planned for Roman Reigns down the line

There aren’t many credible opponents left for Roman Reigns on SmackDown – not ones that can realistically dethrone him anyway. Over the course of his Universal title run, Roman Reigns has defeated the likes of Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Cesaro, Rey Mysterio, John Cena and Brock Lesnar, among others.

Roman Reigns has run through everyone, and the decision to have him retain on all occasions was generally well-accepted by fans. The only problem with Roman Reigns’ current run is that he is a bit too far above anybody else.

One name who can credibly dethrone him, however, is two-time WWE champion Drew McIntyre. It was this time last year when McIntyre was in his second WWE title reign, and he is now a SmackDown superstar.

However, he was written off TV at WWE Day 1 after beating Madcap Moss and suffering an assault. Dave Meltzer revealed on Wrestling Observer Radio (WOR) that there are still plans for a Roman Reigns-Drew McIntyre match, which is why the Scotsman won at Day 1:

“I don’t think anyone believed for a second he (Madcap Moss) was going to beat Drew McIntyre. It’s funny because with Drew McIntyre being hurt, you know, they could have done it, but they didn’t even dare do it. I wouldn’t have either because, at the end of the day, the plan is still supposed to be Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns at some point. So he shouldn’t be losing to Madcap Moss even if he is going to be hurt. Hopefully, the injury is not too bad.

We hope this is true because it’s a match that needs to happen as soon as possible. Hopefully, they meet at a marquee WrestleMania main event-caliber match and not a regular pay-per-view bout with Reigns predictably retaining the Universal title.

#3. Hope isn’t true: A drastic change in plans with Brock Lesnar’s WWE title win?

The initial rumors stated that WWE intended to make Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar a multi-match series culminating at WrestleMania 38. Brock Lesnar’s sudden WWE title win led many to believe that the originally planned WrestleMania main event has been changed.

That isn’t necessarily true. Bryan Alvarez stated that WWE is potentially looking to book a champion vs champion match for WrestleMania 38. According to him, Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar could still be on the cards:

“My presumption [and] I don’t have this 100 percent confirmed. What people have told me they believe is what’s going on here. Here’s the thing with WWE, everybody. When there’s a storyline involving Roman and Brock, the people that know where this is going are Roman, Brock and Vince and probably Paul Heyman and maybe Bruce Prichard. I can talk to 100 people there and 100 of them would tell me, ‘I think this is what’s happening but I don’t know for sure.’ But I think that the idea here is that they are doing champion vs. champion at WrestleMania. Roman would be the SmackDown Champion, Brock would be the RAW Champion. Either a unification match or just champion vs. champion like they do at Survivor Series,” said Bryan Alvarez. (h/t WrestlingNews.co)

We hope this isn’t true because it seems wasteful of one match. There is the opportunity to simply go with Brock Lesnar vs Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre as the two marquee main events for WrestleMania.

WWE was hit with the unfortunate news that Roman Reigns tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the main event of the Day 1 show fell through, and it led to all sorts of changes.

The Fatal-5-Way was always going to be an exciting one, and it delivered every second for eight minutes. Eight minutes is a short duration for such a star-studded main event, but it did the job it needed, created the perfect chaos, and fulfilled the objective of making Brock Lesnar a six-time WWE Champion.

Sean Ross Sapp reported on Fightful Select that Jamie Noble was the sole producer of the Fatal-5-Way match. He noted that Noble played “a significant role” in the booking of the 8-minute match.

\We hope this is true because it could be one of Jamie Noble’s best pieces of work as a producer to date. It also helps his tenure in an era where few people within WWE have job security.

#2. Hope isn’t true: Drew McIntyre being written off WWE TV due to a legitimate injury?
WWE
WWE
@WWE
INJURY UPDATE: @DMcIntyreWWE suffered a cervical neck strain with severe contusions.

Upon further evaluation by medical staff he will have a follow-up with an orthopedic cervical specialist.
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9:33 AM · Jan 2, 2022
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Drew McIntyre was written off TV at WWE Day 1 following his win over Madcap Moss. When he was being interviewed backstage, Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss brutally assaulted him.

The company’s official Twitter handle provided an update stating that Drew McIntyre suffered a cervical neck strain with severe contusions. While many thought that it was just a part of the storyline, there was a reason why he was taken out.

Drew McIntyre beating Madcap Moss was never in question, but the company decided to write him off so he can deal with legitimate neck issues, as reported by PWInsider:

“The word backstage is that the angle was brought about by some legitimate neck issues McIntyre has been dealing with of late (at least several weeks), necessitating him needing to undergo medical testing. So, WWE wrote him out of storylines with the attack to be proactive about the situation.”
Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre
@DMcIntyreWWE
Madcap, We Hardly Knew Ye #WWEDay1
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11:30 AM · Jan 1, 2022
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We hope this isn’t true because the timing is close to WrestleMania season. Hopefully, it’s a short-term break and Drew McIntyre returns on time for the road to WrestleMania.#2. Hope is true: Current WWE star willing to test out free agency
Sportskeeda Wrestling
Sportskeeda Wrestling
@SKWrestling_
According to @SeanRossSapp, #WWE has released former NXT UK Women’s Champion Toni Storm!
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3:09 AM · Dec 30, 2021
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A lot of WWE superstars are hitting the free-agent market after getting released. Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly present the rarer cases of WWE superstars finishing their contractual obligations before ending their tenure with the company.

Then there are superstars like Toni Storm, whose release comes unexpectedly, but one with a back story to it as well. However, it seems as though some WWE stars are getting comfortable with the idea of being a free agent, as the independent wrestling scene has begun to re-emerge after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sean Ross Sapp addressed the topic on the Fightful Q & A show, and said that a female WWE star, whose name wasn’t revealed, is open to testing the idea of free agency:

“I’ve not heard of any women wanting out of their WWE deals, but I’ve definitely heard of some that believed that they could make good money on the independent circuit. I’ll say this. I spoke with one that says that they could probably make a good amount of money on the independent circuit because there aren’t a ton of former WWE long-term main roster draws that are out there,” revealed Sean Ross Sapp.
Dive Bomb City 
Dive Bomb City 
@DiveBombCity
Since they both were the most recent releases I thought I’d share a #ThankYouJeff and #ThankYouToni
#WWE #WWERaw #SmackDown #WWENXT #JeffHardy #ToniStorm
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3:46 AM · Dec 30, 2021
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We hope this is true because superstars being more confident in having a free agent status gives WWE less power over the talent. It’s also less impactful on morale when superstars know that there are alternatives.

#1. Hope isn’t true: Toni Storm quit WWE with little notice

Toni Storm’s sudden WWE release took fans by surprise. It wasn’t because she was a big name, but because she was just coming off a SmackDown Women’s title feud against Charlotte Flair.

However, from the newest reports, it appears that the “release” was a bit different. PWInsider reported that Toni Storm flew home from Baltimore and abruptly quit WWE:

“According to the latest update PWInsider, Toni Storm flew herself home on Wednesday morning from Baltimore. The triple threat bout, which also involved Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks, reportedly went down as scheduled. Nothing occurred during the match that may have caused Toni Storm to ask for her release.”

Dave Meltzer noted that burnout was the main reason for Toni Storm’s abrupt WWE departure:

“As far as her reasons and why she left, the only thing I heard was burnout essentially,” Meltzer revealed.

We hope this isn’t true, but the burnout that WWE superstars can face is real, and creative frustration may only add to that. Toni Storm will undoubtedly be a big success wherever she ends up.

#1. Hope is true: WWE planning Bobby Lashley vs Brock Lesnar soon?

The end of WWE Day 1 saw Brock Lesnar stand tall, but that wasn’t the end of it. Day 1 marked the first time ever that Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley shared the ring, and WWE knew what fans wanted to see.

While the face-to-face between the former and current WWE Champion didn’t happen, there was a tease at the end where Bobby Lashley glared at Brock Lesnar.

“With [Brock] Lesnar having won the title, the next step is Lesnar vs. [Bobby] Lashley. You could tell, at the end of the show, they teased that glare with Lashley and everything like that, and that was the last scene. The match was booked specifically for that direction. Big E was the one that was pinned because if Big E wasn’t pinned, and obviously, you’d want to go with Lesnar and Big E. But, the decision, for whatever reason, and the reason is that the people who are making the decisions felt that there was a more marketable match, went with Lesnar and Lashley.”

We hope this is true because WWE has missed the boat on Brock Lesnar vs Bobby Lashley enough times. The All Mighty himself and the fans deserve the dream match that they’ve been clamoring for.

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