Welcome to this week’s edition of WWE/Wrestling rumors we hope are true and those we hope aren’t. We’re now a week removed from WrestleMania 37, and while WWE hasn’t gotten off to a promising start like they usually do, things can always pick up.
This week’s edition focuses on various rumors from the past week, including the new set of WWE releases (that hopefully won’t become an annual tradition on April 15th), WrestleMania this past week, as well as the plans ahead of Superstars getting pushed, and more.
#5. Hope is true: WWE planning three blockbuster matches for Roman ReignA triumphant Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 37.
A triumphant Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 37.
Roman Reigns walked out of WrestleMania with the Universal Championship intact. He defeated two bonafide legends in Edge and Daniel Bryan – pinning them both to retain his Title.
It was a good decision in the eyes of many WWE fans, as Roman Reigns has largely been the best Superstar in WWE since his return at SummerSlam 2021. There were a lot of fans who thought Edge would walk out of WrestleMania with his 11th World Championship after all these years away from WWE.
That wasn’t the case, and WWE sent out a strong message by having Roman Reigns retain the Universal Championship. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter revealed that WWE is planning three big money matches for Roman Reigns in the future:
“They are playing the long game. The three biggest money matches they believe they have are all with Reigns, with Dwayne Johnson, John Cena and Brock Lesnar. You don’t have to have Reigns always win and those matches would still draw if he lost now and won it back later.”
When asked why Daniel Bryan or Edge weren’t chosen to win, Meltzer explained:
“But Bryan is not their pick as champion now, and while Edge would have made for a better story on the day, he’d have to lose it back, and by the result, you can see they made the decision that they’d rather protect Reigns for the money matches than give fans a happy ending for night two.”
We hope this is true because it’s a more rational long-term decision. As great as Daniel Bryan and Edge are, Roman Reigns seems to be the right choice to go with, especially since he’s currently enjoying the best run of his WWE career.
Even though Roman Reigns has already faced and defeated Brock Lesnar and John Cena, they can be redone in a much better way now that The Tribal Chief is a heel.#5. Hope isn’t true: WWE originally wanted a released star to become the next Goldberg?Goldberg
Not every Superstar signed by WWE has high expectations. Since everybody in WWE has a role, several names are signed, knowing that they might end up being midcarders or enhancement talent.
That wasn’t the case when WWE signed Mojo Rawley in 2012. After nine years with the company, Rawley was released in WWE’s “spring cleaning” in 2021 a few days ago.
Rawley’s career didn’t amount to much in WWE, with his biggest accomplishment being an Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal victory in 2017 at WrestleMania 33.
According to Dave Meltzer of WON, Rawley was highly touted to be the next Goldberg:
“He was highly touted as a future superstar when signed in 2012. The first idea I heard for him was to make him into a Bill Goldberg powerhouse. But then that idea changed, and it was constant changes and all downhill
We hope this isn’t true because it’s an unfair expectation to have from a newly-signed Superstar. To add to that, WWE’s handling of Mojo Rawley didn’t reflect their expectations of him.#4. Hope is true: Aleister Black’s future in WWE amidst all the releasesAleister Black
Aleister Black is one of the names that many fans expected to be in the set of WWE releases a few days ago. The release of his wife, Thea Trinidad (Zelina Vega), a few months ago seemingly reinforced the idea.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Aleister Black, who hasn’t appeared on WWE TV since the 2020 Draft, appeared to be a name for the “chopping board.”
According to PWInsider, WWE has already started to film vignettes for Aleister Black’s return, meaning that his future is safe:
Sportskeeda’s Shruti Sadbhav wrote:
However, the latest reports in PWInsider have stated that Aleister Black’s future is safe in WWE. The company has reportedly started recording the promos for his return, and the vignettes used in Black’s promotional are based on his childhood.
We hope this is true because Aleister Black is a Superstar who has main-event-level potential. It would be a shame if he continued to be underutilized on the WWE main roster.#4. Hope isn’t true: The explanation that the WWE released Superstars were givenJohn Laurinaitis
The most recent set of WWE releases had some shocking names on the chopping board, including Samoa Joe, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, among others.
Despite WWE getting a huge increase in operating income, Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis told the released Superstars that budget cuts were the reason they were being let go, as per Fightful:
Sean Ross Sapp was told that John Laurinaitis made calls to the wrestlers who WWE released yesterday, explaining the decision was made due to budget cuts. Dave Meltzer notes that none of these performers can sign with another wrestling promotion until July 14 due to a 90 day non-compete clause.
We hope this isn’t true because it reflects badly on WWE and their treatment of talent. The “independent contractor” status is controversial enough, and citing budget cuts as a reason for laying off talent despite public records suggesting otherwise isn’t a good look.
Hopefully, all the released Superstars get good employment opportunities outside of WWE. It likely won’t be as difficult to find work as it was a year before in 2020.#3. Hope is true: WWE’s plans for SummerSlam 2021Will there be a live crowd at SummerSlam this year?
Will there be a live crowd at SummerSlam this year?
WWE hosted their first event with fans in 13 months at WrestleMania 37, when a sold-out but limited crowd of 25,675 people were allowed in for both days. When asked about the future of touring in front of live crowds, WWE issued a statement saying that the next time fans return, it will be a full-time one with a touring schedule as well.
The biggest event in 2021 will now be SummerSlam 2021. While WWE hoped to have fans for the event last year, it didn’t work out that way. The UFC is already beginning to bring fans back into arenas, with the upcoming UFC 261 pay-per-view sold out and taking place less than a week away.
According to Sports Illustrated, WWE is planning to host SummerSlam 2021 with fans present. Sportskeeda’s Vatsal Rathod wrote:
According to Sports Illustrated (via Cageside Seats), WWE’s current plans for SummerSlam 2021 is to hold the pay-per-view in front of a live crowd. There are no reports yet on when WWE plans to go back on the road for weekly shows and SummerSlam could also be a special show with live fans just like WrestleMania 37.
We hope this is true because Texas and Las Vegas have opened as well, meaning that a show with live fans is almost 100% possible.#3. Hope isn’t true: The reason why WWE released Samoa JoeSamoa Joe
Samoa Joe was perhaps the most shocking name on the WWE release list. He hadn’t competed throughout WWE’s pandemic era, shifting his role to the RAW commentator for over a year.
It was due to him suffering a concussion and WWE not medically clearing him to compete. While there was some speculation that Samoa Joe being replaced on the RAW commentary team meant he was cleared, that wasn’t the case.
Instead, he was part of the “spring clean-up” on April 15th. Dave Meltzer of WON reported that despite Joe being an all-round performer, WWE viewed him as a potential liability:
“It becomes an interesting strategy because Joe, in particular, if he is in good shape, because he’s a star to the AEW fan base and can talk, could be a valuable acquisition. But perhaps WWE believes with his age and injuries, he wouldn’t be, similar to not competing to keep Jay Reso (Christian Cage).”
We hope this isn’t true because Samoa Joe is legitimately one of the world’s best all-round wrestlers. His release is a huge loss to WWE, but a big gain for any other promotion that decides to sign him.#2. Hope is true: A current WWE star has finally won over Vince McMahonVince McMahon at WrestleMania 37
Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 37
Apollo Crews is a Superstar who struggled for almost half a decade in WWE. He was called up to the main roster in less than 12 months of his NXT debut, and it was clear that he wasn’t ready.
He spent years in creative limbo, but 2020 proved to be a turning point, with his move to RAW seeing him improve drastically. Perhaps one of the big beneficiaries of having no crowds in WWE for 13 months, Apollo Crews has evolved. His heel turn on SmackDown culminated with a huge Intercontinental Title win over Big E at WrestleMania 37.
It’s clear that WWE has plans for Apollo Crews now, and Wrestlingnews.co reported that he finally won Vince McMahon’s trust with his hard work:
“We were told that Vince McMahon is really behind the new version of Crews, and the feeling is that Crews has finally found himself and he’s worked hard to improve, so expect to see a lot more of him in big segments on SmackDown in the coming months. Obviously, his feud with Big E will continue.”
We hope this is true because it’s good to see Apollo Crews go from a WWE Superstar who “has all the tools” to one who is finally being utilized well.
#2. Hope isn’t true: WWE fans left the arena in the WrestleMania 37 Night 1 main eventBianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks was an incredible main event
Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks was an incredible main event
WWE had their second Women’s WrestleMania main event this year when Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair headlined Night 1 of the event. It was a great match and the two women paid back WWE’s faith in them with an incredible match worthy of the top spot on the card.
However, many WWE fans reportedly left during the main event of Night 1, according to Dave Meltzer of WON:
“Several noted that a lot of people left on night one prior to the Banks vs. Belair main event. I wasn’t there and reports varied, but reports as the match started indicated the number was high, and it was very visible right on camera in the early part of the match.”
We hope this isn’t true because it was a great main event, and it’s a bad look if people leave during the big match on Night 1.#1. Hope is true: Aleister Black was in the running for Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania match last yearAleister Black vs. Brock Lesnar – what would have happened?
Aleister Black vs. Brock Lesnar – what would have happened?
Aleister Black hasn’t been seen since before the WWE Draft 2020. After Paul Heyman was removed as the RAW Executive Director, Aleister Black’s time on TV quickly disappeared.
Despite being available, the former NXT Champion wasn’t utilized. He wasn’t a part of the released Superstars list, but his absence from TV has made this rumor a bit surprising to read.
According to WON, Aleister Black was reportedly one of the two people (the other being Drew McIntyre) who was considered to be a Superstar that could dethrone Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36:
“In fact, in early 2020, he was one of the two people considered to beat Lesnar and win the WWE title at WrestleMania. Black and McIntyre were both being groomed but the decision was made by McMahon that McIntyre was the most over of the two and he got the title. Black’s fortunes changed when Heyman was removed from power shortly after WrestleMania.”
In hindsight, Drew McIntyre turned out to be the right choice, but we hope this is true because it holds out hope that his WWE career could still take a positive turn.#1. Hope isn’t true: WWE discontinuing the 2-day WrestleMania format from next year?WrestleMania returns to Arlington in 2022
WrestleMania returns to Arlington in 2022
WWE is going big for WrestleMania in 2022. They will host The Grandest Stage of Them All at the AT&T Center in Arlington, Texas – six years after they had their highest-attended show.
While COVID-19 could prevent 100,000+ people from attending the show, things could change in a year’s time. WWE went with a two-day format for WrestleMania in 2020 and 2021 – and it was met with a positive reception.
The consensus seemed to be that stretching the card over two nights with three-hour events was better than a single event that lasted over six hours. However, WrestleVotes stated that WWE is planning to make WrestleMania 38 in 2022 a single-night event:
“Now that the weekend is behind us, nearly everyone I’ve spoke to regarding WrestleMania had positive things to say. Aside from the weather, everything went smooth. The 2 day event was viewed as a success, but plans still remain for 1 single night next year in Dallas.”
We hope this isn’t true because the two-night format has proved to be a great one. WrestleMania is a lot more enjoyable over two nights and the crowds react better to most matches as well.