It’s been a crazy few weeks in the WWE. With budget cuts looming, the company shy of its promises to investors and traditional roster cuts on the horizon, there is no shortage of rumor and speculation surrounding the company. Some of it is good, some of it isn’t.
Any juicy rumor worth mentioning starts with people coming and going. Are new or returning wrestlers on their way to the WWE while other wrestlers leaving or getting future endeavored? Maybe some of the talent isn’t at the point of being dismissed or promoted, but are current members of the WWE roster feeling the heat behind the curtain or are they in line for a major push?
Some of the wildest rumors circulating right now in the WWE include some of the industries biggest names. From Rey Mysterio to Brock Lesnar, everyone is fair game. Some rumors include names from outside wrestling and some items don’t involve active wrestlers at all.
Below is a list of the 15 wildest rumors currently circulating around the WWE right now. How soon will these rumors become reality? Perhaps some as early as this Sunday at SummerSlam. Others may happen over the next few weeks and, like any rumor, some may never happen at all.
Which of these 15 rumors do you believe? Comment and share. Let us know if you’ve heard any other rumors that are not included on this list. Finally, don’t forget, rumors are rumors for a reason. They may be wildly inaccurate and they may be bang on. No one knows for sure until they happen or don’t.
15. Cris Cyborg Unhappy With WWE
It looked like an angle that had some promise, however, it never came to be and it certainly didn’t get promoted as a match for this year’s SummerSlam. Cris Cyborg is unhappy WWE didn’t do anything with the angle she and Becky Lynch were trying to start on Twitter and is insinuating Ronda Rousey killed it so she wouldn’t wrestle for WWE.
MMA stars have a tendency to piggyback off the WWE in an attempt to gain extra buzz for their fights. This is not abnormal. But, more than most, the Cyborg vs Lynch matchup had potential and it would have given the Women’s Division something fresh while doing wonders for Becky Lynch. This may still happen, but for now, it seems dead in the water.
14. Rey Mysterio Never Close to Returning
There was a ton of speculation that Rey Mysterio was working toward a comeback with either Global Force Wrestling (GFW) or the WWE. It was the kind of deal that would bring him back to the mainstream, let him make a final run and give the WWE a rep to its Latino audience. The truth was, Mysterio and the WWE were never close on a deal that would see the former champion return. He’ll likely go to GFW or stay on the independent scene.
Money, budget cuts, McMahon’s opinion of Mysterio’s drawing power and the unwillingness to work with Konnan (Mysterio’s rep) were all reasons the WWE never seriously pursued a deal. The idea that these two will get together eventually isn’t completely gone, but the circumstances weren’t close to right to make it a deal now.
13. Dolph Ziggler To Be Repackaged
One of the biggest busts in 2017 has got to be Dolph Ziggler. Once a darling among the fans, he was the underground favorite everyone wanted to see succeed. Today, he’s nothing more than an enhancement talent that can’t seem to catch a break. As a result, he may be getting re-packaged soon, according to Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Live.
This may be the last chance Ziggler has to make his mark. If this re-packaging doesn’t work, there may not be much else for him to do in the WWE and he could be a casualty of the upcoming roster cuts that have been rumored for some time. There is no word yet on what this new character will be, but hopefully, it’s a far cry from what he was doing.
12. WWE Has Lost Faith in Baron Corbin
Many are speculating that the loss suffered by Baron Corbin on the most recent SmackDown Live (where he failed to cash in his Money in the Bank contract) is a sign that Corbin has been pushed down the totem pole in the WWE. The real sign will come after SummerSlam if Corbin loses convincingly to John Cena.
Corbin hasn’t done well with his promo work of late and he’s looked foolish on social media picking fights and losing the war or words with guys who have been critical of his performances. He was at one time considered a sure thing by the WWE. That faith in his ability may be gone. There’s still a chance his recent setbacks are leading to something more positive, but it’s not looking good.
11. Adam Cole Is Coming to NXT
Former Ring of Honor World Champion Adam Cole has reportedly signed a contract with WWE. PWInsider’s confirmed that he will be starting work at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando almost immediately and begin his career for the company as part of the NXT brand. Will he make an appearance at the NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III pay-per-view on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017?
Where he’s used is still unclear. He could be part of a stable of former ROH guys (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly were recently signed as well) or he could be given a major single’s push with the lack of top draws currently on the NXT brand. This is big for NXT as they needed someone with some name appeal to enter the main event scene. He could be that guy.
10. Brock Lesnar Leaving WWE
Brock Lesnar is known for using leverage to re-sign with the WWE and get the best deal possible. Recent speculation is that his public declarations he would like to go back to UFC isn’t just rumored fodder. He is looking to enter the testing with USADA once his MMA suspension is lifted and might be looking at a UFC return.
Lesnar’s decision has led to speculation that something big is coming with Paul Heyman. Will he turn on Lesnar and side with a WWE Superstar like Samoa Joe? Will this be the heel turn for Roman Reigns that everyone has been waiting for? Or, does Lesnar retain the title and stay with the WWE after all? Perhaps the WWE understands that letting Lesnar do both is good marketing and they find a way to make it work.
9. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura At WrestleMania 34
AJ Styles recently told Wizard World Columbus that he wants to face Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania 34 next year, a match that he prefers over one against Finn Balor. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura signed with WWE together from New Japan Pro Wrestling early in 2016 but shortly before coming to WWE, Styles and Nakamura faced one-another in an IWGP Intercontinental Championship bout at Wrestle Kingdom 10.
“I’m picking Shinsuke,” said Styles. “Shinsuke’s my best chance getting into that Main Event picture at Wrestlemania. That’s why he wins the championship. I hope he wins it so I can get in there and wrestle him at Wrestlemania.”
8. Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks Have Legit Heat
Rumors continue to swirl that the animosity between Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks is more than just an angle. They’ll be going head to head at SummerSlam and the bout will be one of the more interesting matches on the card to see if any bad blood spills over. It wasn’t the originally intended bout, but an injury to Bayley changed plans.
While it has widely known that The Boss and The Goddess do not like each other, there have been recent instances that suggest Sasha is not holding back her feelings toward the current Raw Women’s Champion. Banks made reference in a post-Raw interview about Bliss being a snake since their days in NXT and then a video emerged of Banks’ mood drastically changing during a house show when Alexa’s music hit. Their Great Balls of Fire incident, (where Bliss wound up bloody) only added fuel to the fire. If Bliss retains, that likely won’t sit well with Sasha Banks who doesn’t see Bliss as a wrestling purist.
7. Jon Jones Considered SummerSlam Appearance
After issuing a challenge to Brock Lesnar last month, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones considered making an appearance at WWE SummerSlam. When asked by one Twitter user whether he plans to show up ringside on Aug. 20, Jones replied, “It’s crossed my mind.”
Things have calmed since Jones first dropped the mic at UFC 214 and mostly because Lesnar is not cleared to return to the UFC and is still under contract with WWE. Jones, on the other hand, is merely looking for a big payday and if he can get one in the UFC, the Lesnar thing might fade away.
6. Daniel Bryan Will Wrestle, But Not in New Japan
In a February 2016, Daniel Bryan retired from in-ring competition due to medical issues resulting from multiple concussions. However, since his announcement, he seems to have regretted his decision and is looking to get back into the ring. The WWE won’t medically clear him, so it appears he’ll have to find employment elsewhere. One of his options would have been New Japan, but that too appears to be off the table.
Recently Brie Bella discussed Bryan’s condition and suggested he found a treatment that was working to heal his brain. The treatment is called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and it involves using high-pressure oxygen as a drug in order to treat “basic pathophysiologic processes and their diseases.”
This may not mean the WWE will clear him and New Japan takes a similar stance on concussions, but it isn’t slowing down Daniel Bryan from trying. Is ROH his only option? Financially, it would be hard to make the choice.
5. Ronda Rousey Training For WWE Debut
Ronda Rousey has apparently started some training for pro wrestling, and there have been talks with WWE. Rousey recently appeared at the Mae Young Classic and posed with Triple H for some photos. From that point on, speculation has run wild that she was gearing up for a run in the WWE.
When asked, Jim Ross then later stated in an interview with TMZ that Rousey coming to WWE was not a matter of if, but when and that she’d be a natural star. Another UFC star, Cris Cyborg then stated she believes the reason the WWE didn’t do anything with Cyborg and Becky Lynch was because of Rousey. All those signs point to a Ronda Rousey debut sooner than later. Something could be set for WrestleMania 34. The fit is a natural one for the two sides.
4. Raw and SmackDown Live To WWE Network
There are rumors that the WWE may be considering moving both of its flagship shows to the WWE Network. The move wouldn’t happen right away and it would be some serious television licensing revenue the WWE would have to be ok walking away from, but some suggest it’s the natural progression for where things are going. Among those people is Eric Bischoff.
Bischoff explained that he thinks it might be something that happens over the next two to three years and that everyone will learn what the business implications will be but once the WWE Network reaches a critical mass that will support that decision. Bischoff is almost certain that is what we will see. If it happened, it would bring an end to the longest reigning episodic television program in history.
3. Matt Hardy No Longer “Broken,” He’s “Woken”
Because of the legal battle between Anthem Sports and Matt Hardy, it appears the WWE has abandoned the idea of trying to acquire the rights to the “Broken” gimmick Hardy used in TNA. Instead, the WWE and Matt Hardy will be adding a twist to the character and skirting around the copyright issues.
Hardy will soon be “Woken” instead of “Broken” and take on many of the traits he made popular on Impact Wrestling. He’s already started to act a bit more eccentric and he’s finding words to add to his vocabulary that are not the same, but similar to his past vocabulary. He’ll focus on words easy to market for his new gimmick. The change could start shifting in the coming weeks and that’s something the WWE Universe has been eagerly awaiting.
2. Bayley On The Outs
The WWE was more than upset with the crowd reaction when Bayley came out on Raw injured and explained her inability to face Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam. She was met with a chorus of boos for acting hurt by the news and she couldn’t understand the crowd response to her plight. The WWE didn’t understand it either.
What they do know is that Bayley was starting to lose steam prior to her injury and her push towards the Raw Women’s Championship was a way to get her back in the spotlight. The injury was terrible timing and it’s made the WWE realize that her hugger gimmick is reaching only a small audience of kids. The WWE perhaps sees her as the less popular, female version of John Cena. That’s a scary thought for the WWE who had big hopes for Bayley.
1. Another Superstar Shake-Up
If and when WWE goes ahead with plans for another Superstar Shake-Up this year, it’s expected the next one will be shortly after SummerSlam. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the timing, but what does seem clear is that Vince McMahon is going to use the Shake-Up frequently and as a way to mix up programming.
Some are suggesting the decision is in response to how well SmackDown Live has been doing even though it was given the seemingly inferior talent. Others are thinking that because the WWE has allowed people to jump brands with no explanation, the WWE isn’t too concerned about the walls between red and blue.
In the end, this looks like something Vince will overuse and eventually it could affect the viability of a Brand Split.
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