Vince McMahon is still the one most responsible for everything that goes down in WWE for better or worse. Many fans are upset with the current WWE product. Despite having one of the deepest rosters in modern wrestling history, WWE is still putting out an inconsistent product often met with mixed reactions. McMahon’s vision is scrutinized for how the shows go these days. More and more news comes out from the backstage world regarding how things are going for the wrestlers working for WWE.
There has been even more news, rumors and speculation than usual in recent months. WWE is inching closer to WrestleMania 34 while trying to create interest in the end of year events. We have witnessed the return of Kurt Angle to the ring, The Shield reuniting and Roman Reigns versus John Cena all in recent months proving WWE is clearly trying to find buzz all year rather than going through the usual boring time period in the Fall.
We’re going to take a look at some of the backstage stories and interesting notes going around when it comes to WWE right now. All of these are things that the people running the company would to keep under wraps. Instead, it is now being discussed daily on the internet. These are fifteen recent revealing stories floating around that Vince McMahon wants us to forget about.
15. Fan Vote Shows Vince Is Wrong About Finn Balor
One of the biggest recent stories to surface regards Vince McMahon’s feelings about Finn Balor. The original plan for the co-main event of Royal Rumble 2018 was going to see Balor challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Balor has never received a rematch after vacating the title due to injury and Paul Heyman has teased the match in prior promos.
McMahon reportedly canceled this plan for the title match due to Balor not being over enough to face Lesnar. WWE ran a poll on their website asking who fans most wanted to see face Brock of the top stars on Raw. Balor dominated the poll with 64%. The next closest person was Braun Strowman with just 10%. Guys like Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe had a fraction of the votes. Online polls can be misleading, but the numbers being so drastically in favor of Finn proves a lot of people want to see him challenge Lesnar.
14. Kurt Angle vs. Triple H Rumored To Happen Before WrestleMania
The rumored plan for WrestleMania 34 all year has seen reports of Triple H facing Kurt Angle in a showdown between legends. Angle has recently competed in two matches since returning to WWE as the Raw General Manage but is yet to work a singles match. This match with Triple H is expected to happen, but it is now slated to take place at an earlier PPV.
WWE wants to make the Royal Rumble event bigger than most years and the new plan will see Angle and Triple H face off here. A major factor in play here is that both guys will have different programs set for WrestleMania. Triple H and Braun Strowman set an angle in place at the end of Survivor Series that will now head into the biggest show of 2018. Angle’s storyline with Jason Jordan being his son is also expected to culminate at WrestleMania 34 in a match.
13. Vince Destroyed Kevin Owens’ Confidence Following WrestleMania 33
WWE Network’s new original show WWE 365 took a look at the year of Kevin Owens between the summers of 2016 and 2017. One would have expected it would be all pleasant moments since he was Universal Champion, United States Champion and a main event fixture in that time period. However, Vince McMahon completely killed the confidence of Owens for a short time period.
Cameras caught McMahon flat out telling a heartbroken Owens that he hated the WrestleMania 33 match with Chris Jericho. Owens was brutally honest in the special revealing that it was all down moments after WrestleMania as he tried to figure things out. Jericho has said in other platforms that McMahon likes to break down wrestlers before building them back up. That appears to be the case as Owens had the huge moment of destroying Vince on national television.
12. Impact Changing Rules Is Why Matt Hardy Will Be “Broken” Again
Matt Hardy has been treading water on WWE television over the past few months while his brother Jeff Hardy is injured. Everyone had excitement when the Hardys returned to the WWE at WrestleMania 33. It was the most watched video on WWE’s YouTube channel all years. However, the established “Broken” character that Matt made so special outside of WWE was not allowed due to Impact threatening suing if used on WWE TV.
That has recently changed with Impact now changing their stance. Wrestlers are now allowed to use any gimmicks they portrayed on Impact Wrestling television without the threat of a lawsuit. Matt recently started showing the signs of his “Broken” condition coming to fruition in the WWE world. We’ll finally see the Hardy gimmick we wanted all year but this is due to Impact stepping aside rather than WWE stepping up to challenge them.
11. Wrestlers Finally Have Some Leverage
The success of wrestlers outside of WWE is changing the landscape for frustrated wrestlers in the company. Vince McMahon has held all the power since WCW died by being the only realistic option to make a great living in wrestling. However, the freelance wrestlers to work all over the world are now becoming stars on their own thanks to the power of the internet and word of mouth.
Neville reportedly has asked for his release and has been off television for a few months now. It isn’t even just stars like Cody Rhodes doing better outside of WWE. Jack Swagger claims to be happier than ever and making good money wrestling for smaller promotions. Wrestlers will choose to leave WWE if unhappy and this isn’t something McMahon can be thrilled about.
10. Paige Was Almost Fired
WWE recently had Paige come back with two valued prospects by her side on Raw. The group known as Absolution featured Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville becoming the heel trio that is looking to shake things up in the Women’s Division. Paige has looked great cutting promos and serving as the leader of the group in the time since returning.
It is easy to remember why Paige was such a top asset for the Women’s Division before all the controversy. The talent and potential of Paige is as impressive as almost any other woman on Raw. Vince McMahon reportedly considered releasing Paige by running out her contract and having her hit the open market with no momentum. Now, she is one of the most important women on Raw and helping improve the show.
9. Jinder Mahal Failed to Draw in India
Vince McMahon’s biggest project in 2017 was trying to push Jinder Mahal as a top heel. Mahal won the WWE Championship out of the blue with a one month push after working as an enhancement talent for months. McMahon loved the look and potential of Mahal since he is still young. However, a big reason for this was Jinder being the face WWE could market to the India market.
India received a weekly WWE television show shortly after Mahal won the WWE Championship. An announcement of a live event tour at the end of the year added more reason to believe Jinder would draw. Unfortunately for him, the sales weren’t strong enough and WWE had to cancel one of the two India shows. A.J. Styles defeated Mahal for the WWE Championship earlier than anyone expected to end the experiment of McMahon.
8. WWE Cutting Down PPVs in 2018
WWE has tried to run two PPVs per month as much as possible for the Raw and Smackdown brand split needing shows each. The company has recently announced they will be cutting down the number of PPVs in 2018. We’ll get 14 shows next year with five Raw PPVs, four Smackdown PPVs and five cross-branded blockbusters events, including Money in the Bank being for both brands.
The reason for the shortening of the PPV schedule is the lack of success for adding more shows this year. WWE noticed there was not any noticeable improvement in subscription numbers in the months that featured two PPVs. A plan put into place to improve business at the beginning of the year meant absolutely nothing this year as a bottom line.
7. Vince Ended Baron Corbin’s Punishment Early Due to Favouritism
One of the most shocking moments of the year was when Baron Corbin lost his Money in the Bank title shot in humiliating fashion. Corbin became the third man to fail to cash in by getting rolled up by Jinder Mahal in a matter of a few seconds. This ruined the all but guaranteed title reign everyone expected him to have before the year ended.
Corbin lost as a punishment for screaming at one of the WWE doctors talking about concussions in a backstage meeting. A talent getting confrontational with a doctor in front of the locker room is a massive strike in WWE. Corbin was expected to be punished for quite some time, but Vince McMahon changed his mind. McMahon loves the potential of Corbin and he is now the United States Champion after the very short term punishment.
6. John Cena Potentially Working His Last House Show
Fan speculation has seen many wondering if John Cena is working his final house show for WWE at the end of the year. Cena is expected to continue working for WWE in a part-time capacity by having big matches at the big four PPVs. However, Cena has still wrestled at house shows off television on and off during his returns in recent years.
WWE’s card for a big Madison Square Garden house show saw a huge change. Cena went from facing Samoa Joe in the main event to having a match against Roman Reigns. Various interviews have seen Cena reveal that MSG is one of his favorite places to work and he has gone out of his way to work the holiday show each year. This could be another passing of the torch moment as Reigns becomes the man associated with his annual event rather than Cena.
5. Daniel Bryan Upset at WWE Clearing Kurt Angle Before Him
Brie Bella revealed that a total of eight doctors have cleared Daniel Bryan over the past few years as he travels all over the country trying to get clarification on his health. WWE doctors disagree with these other doctors as they feel Bryan is prone to concussions and a risk to wrestle in the ring again. Bryan refuses to listen to WWE doctors and believes he is healthy enough to compete.
WWE recently cleared Kurt Angle, who has also been a controversial figure in terms of being healthy enough to compete. Bryan expressed frustration at WWE overlooking Angle’s more physically obvious concerns. The contract of Bryan will expire in the summer of 2018 and he has already stated he will leave to wrestle elsewhere if WWE doesn’t clear him.
4. Closer Relationship With Goldberg Influenced Goldberg’s Title Win
WWE 24 took an in depth look at the return of Goldberg in late 2016 and early 2017. Goldberg admitted that the biggest difference between his failed run in 2003 and this return was a closer relationship with Vince McMahon. The two men developed a trust and bond that did not exist thirteen years prior. McMahon getting closer to Goldberg saw him book to the legend’s strengths which is a huge change from his past run.
The fact that Vince actually believed in Goldberg at the age of 50 rather than in his prime is a horrible look for the outlook of WWE. McMahon actively booked against Goldberg’s strengths to try to make him prove something when signing a bigger contract in 2003. The only change this time was McMahon getting to know Goldberg better and giving him the run he failed to have in his prime for WWE.
3. Nia Jax Body Shamed by WWE Locker Room
As one of the largest women in WWE, Nia Jax is a unique athlete in many regards. WWE has huge faith in her becoming a major player and potential breakout star. Jax has a background in modeling and the athleticism to contribute to WWE. Unfortunately, a recent comment from Nia saw her reference some less accepted times in the WWE locker room.
Jax claimed she was body shamed for being a larger woman when changing with others. It doesn’t take rocket science to realize that Nia changes in the locker room with the other ladies in WWE. This could be a huge negative story that makes WWE looks terrible. The company is trying to practice diversity and acceptance, but some of the talent apparently thinks otherwise.
2. A.J. Styles Planning Retirement Sooner Than Later
A.J. Styles has been arguably the most valuable performer for WWE since signing back at the start of 2016. A long road to WWE saw him ready for the opportunity as he emerged into a top star very quickly. WWE trusts Styles to be the face of the SmackDown brand and he is now the two-time WWE Champion. However, Vince McMahon clearly waited too long to sign Styles. Considering A.J. has been great for about fifteen years now, WWE waited until the end of his career to bring him in.
A recent Styles interview saw him admit that retirement is sooner for him than most fans would realize. Styles is currently 40 years old and stated he is planning to retire from the business in a few years. WWE is giving him the best pay of his career which is just more to add to the savings account. Styles is a family man more than anything and we may only get to appreciate a few years of his remaining matches before he heads home.
1. Cody Rhodes and Young Bucks Planning Super Show to Compete with WWE
One of the biggest reasons why wrestling outside of WWE looks so weak to the average fan is the smaller venues. Even credible promotions like Ring of Honor run small armories and venues that can fit a few hundred people. The recent rise in popularity for Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks and the Bullet Club has seen them all leading a movement for wrestlers outside of WWE.
Rhodes and the Bucks not only want to make big money, but they want to change the industry. The three wrestlers are reportedly putting their own money into running a 10,000 seat venue to prove their worth and convince other promotions to take the risk. Rhodes revealed they are close to securing the venue for a 2018 show with a few interesting names in talks to appear. This could be a game changer for wrestlers and fans wanting a product outside of the WWE.
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