A popular backstage story suggests that some companies like WCW used to book their shows while they are on the air. There are even reports of wrestlers and referees receiving last-minute change in directions while matches and promos were going on. While not every wrestling company ever has been that poorly run, a change of plans is a time-honored wrestling tradition. It’s why “Card Subject to Change” is included on professional wrestling fliers, programs, and commercials to this day. While WWE is no exception to this tradition, one of the qualities that have kept them around for all these years is their ability to run the company like a real business. That means that many important things are discussed, planned, and resolved well in advance of them happening.
It’s also why WWE backstage reports are among the most feared and discussed in all of wrestling. After all, WWE being the business they are, it’s often true that things we hear about months in advance are - at the very least - what the company intends to do. This can cause a great deal of excitement or fear based on how you react to these rumors. On the other hand, the whole “Card Subject to Change” nature of the business means that you can never quite discount the possibility that the supposed 'leak' you dread will not actually come to pass. The WWE dirt sheet mill is constantly turning, and it’s churning out a few reports that leave us excited and some that leave us concerned. These are 10 WWE backstage leaks from the fall we hope aren't true and 10 we hope are.
20 Hope Isn't - WWE Wants Shawn Michaels To Work WrestleMania
Here’s the thing: it’s hard to blame Shawn Michaels for taking that Crown Jewel paycheck. We can only imagine that he got paid an absurd amount of money to basically walk through a match. However, it was pretty clear to everyone that Michaels’ shouldn’t be wrestling anymore (even though he wasn't the worst performer in the match). He’s lost more than a few steps and just seems disinterested by the entire prospect of being a professional wrestler anymore. However, none of that has stopped WWE from considering bringing Michaels back for a WrestleMania match. We’re going to keep this one rather simple by stating “No,” to that idea.
19 Hope Is - The Brand Split May Become Even More Intense (Thanks To FOX)
As many of you probably know, SmackDown is moving to Fox in what is one of WWE’s biggest TV deals ever. What nobody seems to know is what this means for the show. Will WWE devote more attention to it? Will they continue to treat it as the B-show? We don’t know the answers to all those questions, but it does seem like Fox is very interested in keeping Raw and SmackDown separate as to better promote SmackDown as its own show. This could help lead to the brand split mattering more again and other benefits we’ll cover a little later.
18 Hope Isn't - Chris Jericho Won’t Return To WWE
For some time now, Chris Jericho has enjoyed the rather unique position of being able to bounce from wrestling organization to wrestling organization without many people batting an eye. It’s not often that a wrestler is able to work NJPW and WWE shows in the same year, but Jericho has seemingly been afforded that privilege. However, a backstage leak suggests that the party might be over for Jericho. It seems that Jericho might be doing too well for himself with promotions like the Jericho Cruise to really consider returning to WWE. Besides, he’s apparently upset that WWE pulled their sponsorship for the cruise.
17 Hope Is - Drew McIntyre Is The Next Big Star
Few people balked when Drew McIntyre was let go from WWE following his initial run. He just wasn’t ready for the push the company gave him. However, McIntyre managed to turn things around on the indie circuit and is now one of the most complete wrestlers on the WWE roster. Apparently, WWE is ready to reward McIntyre for his turnaround. Reports suggest that WWE is prepared to push McIntyre to the top of the card sometime in 2019. Not only are they happy with his progress, but it seems that his previous run in WWE gives upper management hope that he has adjusted to the corporate machine.
16 Hope Isn't - Braun Strowman’s Push May be Over
As one new star is pushed, so must another star fall. With the plans to push McIntyre apparently in place, WWE is seemingly ready to put the breaks on Braun Strowman’s push. You might think that this has to do with Strowman’s unfortunate recent injury, but it seems that it has much more to do with WWE’s desire to use Strowman to build Lesnar. We’ll talk a bit more about this in a bit, but WWE apparently still thinks that Lesnar is their resident monster and they see Strowman as little more than someone who can go out and make Lesnar look good.
15 Hope Is - Daniel Bryan’s Heel Turn Is Here to Stay
WWE heel turns are a lot like the weather in Texas. If you don’t like one, you can usually just wait a few hours. Indeed, WWE sometimes seems to just forget they turned someone heel (or face) or otherwise just lose all enthusiasm. If you’re worried that’s what’s going to happen with Daniel Bryan, we might have some good news for you. Reports suggest that WWE wants to keep Daniel Bryan happy and around the company and that doing so requires them to commit to the heel turn that Bryan requested. That’s good news for anyone who enjoys Bryan’s heel persona.
14 Hope Isn't - John Cena Is Preparing To Leave WWE
It’s entirely possible that part of the reason that WWE want to keep Bryan happy is that they feel that John Cena might soon leave the company. We know you’ve heard this rumor a million times before, but this time is a little different. This time around, Cena himself has been dropping hints that his time in WWE might be coming to an end. On top of that, Cena has been spending less time in WWE and participating in fewer notable matches. It’s not clear when Cena might leave, but it does feel like WWE may be paving the road for his departure.
13 Hope Is - Conor McGregor Is Coming to WWE
Say what you will about Conor McGregor, but the man has entertainment running through his veins. His ability to work a microphone is arguably even better than his in-ring abilities. There’s something about him that just demands your attention. All of those qualities have led many to suggest that McGregor might make a cameo in WWE. So far, that hasn’t happened. However, the latest reports of McGregor’s appearances suggest that he might finally make it happen as part of WWE’s desire to push Becky Lynch. The two make for a natural pairing, and McGregor himself has expressed his interest in accompanying Lynch at WrestleMania.
12 Hope Isn't - WWE Will Restrict Which Promotions Their UK Wrestlers Can Work For
It’s hardly unusual for WWE to prohibit their talent from working for other organizations. With the exception of guys like Chris Jericho, they rarely let contracted wrestlers appear elsewhere. However, a new restriction may prohibit WWE’s UK talent from taking outside opportunities previously afforded to them. WWE is supposedly adding a clause to WWE UK talents' contracts that will prevent them from appearing for organizations like Ring of Honor and New Japan. What’s interesting about this is that WWE hasn’t exactly gone out of their way to give WWE UK talent a lot of work. We hope that changes if WWE is going to limit their outside opportunities.
11 Hope Is - Alexa Bliss Might Become An Authority Figure To Preserve Her Health
There’s some conflicting information at play regarding this report. First off, it should be noted that Alexa Bliss has indeed sustained multiple concussions over a relatively short amount of time. Generally speaking, WWE prioritizes the health of their talent in such situations. While Bliss has been denying some reports of retirement, there have been even more reports that suggest that she is going to assume some kind of non-physical on-screen role in lieu of wrestling in the near future. Baron Corbin recently placed her in charge of the women's division, but don't be surprised if Alexa is named the permanent RAW GM in the near future. We think that might be the best use of her skills as well as a great way to ensure that she remains healthy.
10 Hope Isn't - Nia Jax Isn’t Going Anywhere
Nia Jax is quickly becoming one of WWE’s biggest headaches. Some believe that WWE was too hasty when they promoted Nia Jax from NXT despite her apparent lack of progress. Those fears have not been alleviated by her tendency to hurt people in the ring and her inability to put on a memorable big stage match. While such qualities would usually lead in a swift parting of the ways, Nia Jax seems to be immune from such actions. It sounds like WWE are choosing to be stubborn in the case of Nia and may hesitate to let her go due to her family connections.
9 Hope Is - WWE Is Planning More Live Events For The WWE Network
The WWE Network is amazing. Even if the Network consisted of nothing but classic PPVs and other archival footage, it would still be worth the monthly price. However, the fact that the Network allows fans to watch live events makes it invaluable. Now, it sounds like WWE is planning on increasing the network’s value by offering even more live events. These events will be in the style of shows like Starrcade and WWE’s Madison Square Garden show. That is to say that they’ll basically be elaborate house shows with PPV style cards. If true, this rumor means Network subscribers can expect a lot more exclusive content.
8 Hope Isn't - That Batista/Triple H Match Won’t Happen
WWE’s refusal to let Batista wrestle has been nothing short of astonishing. Due in large part to his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Batista also happens to be one of the biggest stars on the planet with a wrestling background. He’s also a guy who has indicated his interest in wrestling for WWE again. Despite all of this, WWE has been hesitant to allow him to wrestle in some of his preferred matches. Now, it sounds like that showdown with Triple H might not happen either. While it's understandable that a match can't happen at WrestleMania, due to Hunter's torn pec muscle, reports are the match has been scrapped altogether, for reasons unknown.
7 Hope Is - SmackDown & Raw Will Be Run By Separate Production Crews
As WWE prepares for SmackDown’s FOX debut, they are also apparently preparing to ensure that each show has its own identity. While that will almost certainly mean keeping each shows stars within the confines of their respective rosters, it might also extend to WWE going so far as to give Raw and SmackDown their own production crews. This recent report suggests that each show will be handled by a separate crew who will aim to give each program a distinct visual style. This news will certainly be welcomed by any WWE fan who is tired of WWE’s generic presentation.
6 Hope Isn't - Brock Lesnar Will Stick Around WWE After WrestleMania 35
Look, we’re not going to pile on to the Brock Lesnar hate train. At least we’re not so far as we can help it. However, it must be said that Lesnar’s time with WWE is costing them a ton of money, is keeping other stars from getting serious time in the spotlight and is starting to result in some diminishing creative returns. While some suggested that Lesnar might actually be done with WWE after WrestleMania 35, new reports suggest that he might just stick around after the PPV. We just hope that this doesn’t mean another predictable Lesnar WrestleMania victory.
5 Hope Is - Brock Lesnar Vs. Seth Rollins At WrestleMania
While the previous rumor leads us to worry regarding the outcome of this match, we’re still excited by the latest reports regarding Lesnar’s WrestleMania opponent. Yes, the most popular reports at the moment suggest that Brock Lesnar will square off against Seth Rollins at next year’s big show. This excites us for a few reasons. First off, it might mean that Rollins might once again be catapulted to the top of the WWE card where he belongs. Second, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that WWE sees Rollins as the guy who could reasonably take the belt off Lesnar. Third, these two work very well together.
4 Hope Isn't - The Rock vs. Bobby Lashley At WrestleMania
Moving from a WrestleMania match we want to see to the one we don’t, we deliver this unfortunate piece of news from the WrestleMania rumor mill. At present, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the possibility of The Rock facing off against Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania 35. Why? We haven’t the slightest clue. If WWE insists on having The Rock wrestle at WrestleMania, then we’d rather he didn’t do it against a guy who many fans don’t really care about and who doesn’t benefit from the match rather he win or lose. Fortunately, this is one of the less likely WrestleMania possibilities at the moment.
3 Hope Is - Bray Wyatt May Reform The Wyatt Family
The solution to all of WWE’s problems doesn’t involve making everything that was old new again. Quite often the opposite is true. After all, I’m sure we all have bad memories of WWE deciding to bring a wrestler back past their prime or revive a tired storyline. However, there are times when a dose of nostalgia is what the doctor called for. Bray Wyatt reforming the Wyatt family is certainly one of those times. If recent reports are to be believed, then Wyatt might just team up with Luke Harper (and possibly Erick Rowan) once more. Given how little these guys have had to do in recent years, we think this would be a welcome reunion.
2 Hope Isn't - WWE Creative Doesn't Know What to Do With Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks’s WWE story is quickly becoming a wrestling travesty. As a member of NXT, Banks established herself as one of the best heels in the world (regardless of gender), one of the best overall performers in the world (regardless of gender), and a natural-born storyteller. Despite her considerable qualities, WWE hasn’t really given her much to do on the main roster. What’s sad is that she keeps falling down the pecking order as new stars rise. From what we’ve heard, we shouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon. It sounds like WWE’s creative team just don’t know how to handle multiple female stars at one time.
1 Hope Is - Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch Main Eventing WrestleMania 35
WWE may struggle with giving multiple stars something to do, but one particularly exciting report suggests that they know what to do with two of their biggest female stars. There has been a lot of buzz recently about the possibility of Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey main eventing WrestleMania 35. Apparently, the talk surrounding this match only increased when Lynch’s injury prevented her from wrestling Rousey at Survivor Series.
Even if you put aside WWE’s sometimes heavy-handed women’s revolution storyline, this match strikes us as one of the most appealing possible matchups that the company has in their creative arsenal.