This Week In WWE Biz: Brock Lesnar Concern, John Cena Vs. Rey Mysterio?, AJ Styles To Raw, More
March 3, 2018 - WWE
WWE Concerned About Brock Lesnar Vs. Roman Reigns, Keeping Options Open For Braun Strowman
WWE competence have a unequivocally large Brock Lesnar problem.
According to a Wrestling Observer (h/t SEScoops), there is inner regard within WWE about a WrestleMania 34 categorical eventuality of Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns due to a far-reaching accumulation of factors, including new steroid allegations opposite Reigns and Lesnar’s probable unhappiness:
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio recently reliable that there is indeed some regard backstage about a accusations [against Reigns] and how it could impact their skeleton for WrestleMania. If a claims opposite Reigns are critical afterwards WWE would need a backup devise for a categorical eventuality opposite Lesnar…There could also be some critical regard with Lesnar. Nobody knows since he was a no-show for RAW final night after being advertised for a uncover for a past several months…WWE is now gripping Braun Strowman’s WrestleMania news open in box any changes need to be finished to a categorical event.
WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR WWE?
Fightful.com reported final week that Lesnar sensitive WWE he would not be with a association for SummerSlam, indicating that he presumably skeleton on leaving when his agreement expires after WrestleMania 34 or is simply observant that as a negotiating tactic to precedence a improved deal.
There are a lot of questions floating around right now per Lesnar’s standing and destiny with WWE after last notation changes on Raw that took “The Beast” off a uncover completely, and it’s even been reported that WWE has used all of his contractually thankful dates. Speculation is that Lesnar competence have walked out of Raw in hopes of alighting a improved contract, that final second rewrites simply altered skeleton or that he competence have been taken off a uncover due to his assembly with UFC boss Dana White last weekend.
WWE reportedly wants a Lesnar/Reigns argument to feel “as genuine as possible,” however, so a simplest and many judicious reason is that Reigns’ fire character promo on Raw was a approach to supplement a clarity of realism to this storyline and that there are indeed no issues behind a scenes. Then again, White doubled down on his faith that Lesnar will quarrel for UFC again this year, and with Lesnar indicating a year ago that he designed on withdrawal a company, it positively looks like he could be on his approach out after WrestleMania.
That would explain a storyline description of Lesnar as someone who doesn’t caring about WWE, even yet his WrestleMania competition Reigns could shortly find himself in prohibited H2O as well. Filmmaker Jon Bravo continues to explain that there is plenty justification that Reigns has been a customer of an bootleg steroid placement ring, and any arrange of information expelled on Reigns’ probable impasse could put his WrestleMania compare with Lesnar in jeopardy, generally if Reigns is found to have disregarded WWE’s Talent Wellness Program for a second time.
With unsure resources surrounding both Reigns and Lesnar, WWE has motionless to leave WrestleMania 34 skeleton for Braun Strowman adult in a air, with a thought being that he could fill in for presumably star if something happens. The bad news for “The Monster Among Men,” however, is that if Reigns vs. Lesnar goes on as planned, he could be left yet a estimable compare during WWE’s flagship pay-per-view.
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‘Very, very, unequivocally good’ probability of Brock Lesnar entrance behind to UFC, Dana White says – https://t.co/A2i2q15bfX
— WWE on ESPN (@WWEonESPN) February 28, 2018
John Cena Vs. Rey Mysterio Possibly Happening At WrestleMania 34
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
On Monday’s Raw, John Cena pronounced that a compare with The Undertaker “is not possible,” and yet it’s still misleading if that is loyal or not, WWE appears to have a backup devise in place.
According to a news from Sports Illustrated (h/t WrestlingInc), Cena could instead face a returning Rey Mysterio during WrestleMania 34:
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated reports that Mysterio was also backstage for tonight’s SmackDown TV tapings in Los Angeles to finalize sum for a understanding that will see him work WrestleMania in New Orleans. Barrasso combined that Rey’s rumored competition is Cena.
WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR WWE?
Although it looked like contract negotiations between WWE and Mysterio pennyless down late final year, Mysterio finished a intolerable lapse in a Royal Rumble compare that left fans speculating if he’d be behind for good.
There seemed to be a lot of seductiveness in Mysterio’s return, that did outrageous numbers that lilliputian those of Ronda Rousey’s WWE debut, so maybe that got a round rolling on WWE wanting to pierce him back, even yet conflicting reports advise he competence not have been during SmackDown, after all. Cena and Mysterio do have a story with one another as Cena degraded Mysterio to win a WWE Championship on an part of Raw in 2011, yet this compare still seems doubtful given that new reports indicated that The Undertaker vs. Cena was still designed for WrestleMania 34.
Of course, it’s always probable that skeleton altered and that The Undertaker will not combat during WrestleMania (if ever again), yet each indication, including Cena’s promo on this past week’s Raw, points during a compare still being penciled in for a grandest theatre of them all. In fact, WrestleVotes (h/t Cageside Seats) reports that “the John Cena vs. Undertaker argument will take place on SmackDown Live heading adult to WrestleMania 34,” presumably since Raw will have adequate vital feuds and Cena/Taker is seen as a adversary that could boost TV viewership and sheet sales for TV tapings.
Although presumably compare would be outrageous for Cena, there are issues with both bouts. You could disagree that WWE waited too prolonged to do Cena vs. Undertaker, that will therefore minimize a impact, while Mysterio competence be a improved fit for a opposite competition during WrestleMania, maybe someone like Finn Balor or a star in a Cruiserweight division. No matter what WWE’s skeleton for Cena are, though, we should get a plain denote of where he’s headed after Fastlane, where he’s approaching to remove in a six-pack plea for a WWE Championship.
That will continue a weird engagement of Cena, whose been in a mid-life predicament of sorts, one that clearly sets a theatre for him to try to infer himself opposite The Undertaker. However, it’s value observant that Sports Illustrated also reports that “Cena requested to work a ‘Mania compare with presumably Samoa Joe, who is now injured, or Mysterio, who left some-more of a hum during a Royal Rumble with his coming than any other wrestler,” that indicates that Undertaker could indeed stay late and not lapse for a compare opposite Cena.
However, we competence wish to siphon a brakes on any Cena/Mysterio speak as another news says Mysterio hasn’t strictly sealed with WWE while a Observer’s Bryan Alvarez (h/t Ringside News) says that Undertaker vs. Cena is still designed for a grandest theatre of them all.
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— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) February 28, 2018
Are AJ Styles And Seth Rollins Switching Shows?
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
We could see dual extreme changes during a tip of a label in a nearby future.
According to Cageside Seats, “Along with rumors of AJ Styles relocating to Raw after WrestleMania, it seems Seth Rollins is a tip claimant to conduct to SmackDown in a intensity draft.”
WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR WWE?
To go along with a lapse to dual-brand PPVs, WWE reportedly could reason another breeze or “Superstar Shakeup” during Backlash in May as a approach to reset a rosters.
Both Raw and SmackDown desperately need to make some vital changes, generally in a categorical eventuality and tip midcard, and AJ Styles and Seth Rollins are dual primary possibilities to be moved. Styles has been a face of SmackDown for roughly dual years and is a large reason since a show’s ratings increased by 5% over a march of a final year, that would positively explain since WWE wants to get him on Raw, a flagship show.
Vince McMahon is reportedly a large fan of Styles, and after all a good work Styles has finished on a blue brand, a pierce to Monday nights would open adult a far-reaching accumulation of uninformed argument and storyline possibilities. Likewise, Rollins could advantage tremendously from a pierce to SmackDown since he has spent his whole singles career on Raw and badly needs a change of pace. WWE apparently has large skeleton for Rollins after his record-setting opening in that memorable gauntlet compare on Raw, and it’s some-more approaching that he’d be resolutely cemented as a tip man on SmackDown.
A Rollins-for-Styles barter is about as even of a trade as WWE could do since Google Shopping hunt information (h/t Fightful) indicates that both stars are chosen sell movers, that is a revealing pointer of a superstar’s popularity. Although a detriment of Styles would be a large blow to SmackDown, Rollins is, along with Reigns, maybe a usually Raw star who could make a burst to a blue code and sufficient fill in for him in terms of star energy and altogether performance.
There is no necessity of WWE stars who would advantage from relocating one uncover to a other, yet of all a probable moves, Styles trade places with Rollins is maybe a easiest decision.
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— Raj Giri (@RajGiri_303) February 28, 2018
Who Will Reigns Feud With After WrestleMania 34?
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
Reigns is widely approaching to win a Universal Championship during WrestleMania 34, so who will he argument with after a pay-per-view?
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Ringside News), there are 3 approaching options for Reigns’ initial argument as Universal Champion:
Dave Meltzer mentioned in a latest emanate of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe would be probable contenders for a Universal Championship that will be hold by Roman Reigns after WrestleMania this year.
WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR WWE?
Ultimately, there will usually be a few picturesque probable contenders for Reigns’ Universal Championship since WWE hasn’t unequivocally built adult a ton of stars to be on his level.
Reigns has already feuded with Strowman, Rollins and Joe, yet he does have good chemistry with all 3 stars, who have been positioned as his many plausible rivals. With Reigns approaching to have a extensive pretension reign, however, a discuss is either WWE would wish to have Reigns argument with any of these 3 only to kick them. Strowman clearly established himself as a tip draw last year, yet engagement him to invariably remove during his query to turn Universal Champion will do him no favors. Rollins, meanwhile, could be slated for a pierce to SmackDown (as mentioned previously), and Joe is now harmed and not advertised for any live events by a month of May.
Although Rollins, Joe and Strowman all make clarity as presumably rivals for Reigns, a probability of another breeze or “Superstar Shakeup” could change a rosters so most that someone now on SmackDown or not even with WWE stairs adult to be Reigns’ initial challenger. Either way, it will be engaging to see how Raw viewership fares with Reigns as Universal Champion, that will symbol a initial time in some-more than a year that WWE had a Universal Champion who appears each week.
It’s also value observant that a pierce to dual-brand PPVs could play a large purpose in final Reigns’ opponents, with a proof being that WWE will wish to bucket adult those shows with as many large matches as possible. That approaching means that, in an bid to urge a WWE Network subscriber count, Reigns will always argument with a vital star on a turn of guys like Rollins and Strowman in hopes of gripping fans interested.
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— NoDQ.com – WWE News (@nodqdotcom) March 1, 2018
WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
- Raw viewership was down by some-more than 100,000 viewers, that has to be deliberate a staggering beating since a uncover came a night after Elimination Chamber and had advertised appearances from Lesnar, John Cena and Ronda Rousey, who WWE didn’t foster as heavily as it should have.
- SmackDown viewership was adult somewhat by 79,000 viewers this week, and we can substantially appreciate an advertised coming from Cena for that jump.
- Vince McMahon reportedly views Strowman as “the ideal chronicle of a pro wrestler,” that should bode good for his destiny and a continued pull after WrestleMania 34.
- WWE is discussing a probable lapse with Neville, who walked out of a association final year. It’s believed that Neville’s agreement was “frozen” after his walkout and that WWE is anticipating he will lapse in April, presumably after WrestleMania 34.
- This week’s Mixed Match Challenge viewership was the lowest of a deteriorate with a rise live viewership of only 62,200 fans, and that’s positively a warn given that a uncover featured Asuka, The Miz, Sasha Banks and Finn Balor, 4 of a tip superstars on Raw.
- FOX Sports executives were in assemblage during this week’s SmackDown taping amidst reports that FOX is a clever claimant to land WWE’s subsequent TV deal, so there positively appears to be a probability that FOX will offer WWE a some-more remunerative agreement than USA Network will.
- Bobby Lashley has reportedly agreed to terms on a WWE contract, and he will yield a association with some most indispensable abyss and star energy during a tip of a card.
- WWE is looking to book Ronda Rousey in a same demeanour as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, or in other words, as a babyface who rebels opposite authority. Needless to say, that worked out flattering good for Austin, yet Rousey will need to find her comfort section as a performer before anyone can start creation legitimate Rousey-to-Austin comparisons.
- After Rusev had a tip offered object on WWEShop.com for several weeks, he was overtaken by not one yet dual Elias t-shirts, that is a clever pointer that a pull of Elias is operative and that he’s apropos a tip star.
- It looks like strange skeleton for The Miz have been scrapped, and he will now approaching urge his Intercontinental pretension against both Seth Rollins and Finn Balor during WrestleMania 34. That compare has actually already happened before, and if we recall, it was positively tremendous, that should make fans confident about how good it could be on WWE’s flagship pay-per-view. However, another news indicates Miz competence urge his pretension in a Fatal 5-Way involving Balor, Miz, Strowman and Elias instead.
- Asuka and The Miz are a betting favorites to win a Mixed Match Challenge, that creates clarity since WWE will not wish to book Asuka to have her initial detriment in a contest that has no genuine storyline implications.
- There may not be an Andre a Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 34 this year, that would be a warn since it’s typically seen as a approach to get some-more people on a card. However, a hitch competence be transposed by a women’s conflict royal, nonetheless another news indicates there competence be dual apart conflict royals, one for masculine superstars and one for womanlike superstars.
- Jeff Hardy is expected to lapse soon, yet it is not transparent if he would be behind before WrestleMania. Speculation is that he’ll lapse as “Brother Nero,” but given Jeff’s definite recognition and his intensity to be an chosen sell inciter again, it’s always probable he is pushed as a singles star instead.
- Even those within WWE comprehend that SmackDown’s product has been bad for a prolonged time now. After six true weeks of descending viewership, maybe a further of Cena will assistance change that as it did this week.
- Sasha Banks vs. Bayley is penciled in for WrestleMania 34, so there’s a clever probability WWE competence have 4 or some-more matches featuring womanlike superstars during a pay-per-view, that is a good pointer for a continued expansion of women’s wrestling.
Blake Oestriecher is an facile propagandize clergyman by day and a sports author by night. He’s a writer to a Forbes @SportsMoneyBlog, where he essentially covers WWE. You can follow him on Twitter @BOestriecher.