Another week has passed without Finn Balor making his return to WWE television, despite the fact that he returned on during a house show over a week ago. His lack of appearance on Raw with just two more shows before WrestleMania seems to indicate that the company will take the slow route with bringing Balor back, as it seems unlikely he would be tabbed to compete on the WrestleMania card.
The rumor wire this week has been almost singularly centered on WrestleMania, with just two weeks remaining before the event.
There will be a post-WrestleMania draft/trade, likely to feature A.J. Styles:
This makes a ton of sense from the WWE’s perspective, even if the move would come just eight months after establishing a new roster split. There would be numerous practicalities to be figured out in terms of a draft or trade sequence, but giving a handful of superstars a fresh start heading into the start of a new wrestling year should work.
The primary subject of the rumor has been A.J. Styles, who following his attack of SmackDown Live commissioner Shane McMahon, doesn’t have much of a future with the blue brand. General manager Daniel Bryan even attempted to fire Styles before McMahon made a match between himself and Styles for WrestleMania.
A handful of other names have been discussed in the swap such as Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler, who both seem to have run their course in their current situations. Following their record-setting tag team reign, The New Day could also find themselves heading to SmackDown Live in order to help revive a stumbling tag team division.
Odds of this rumor being true: 4.75 out of 5.
Overall, some kind of swap of talent seems necessary, especially for someone like Styles. Even before any call-ups are made from NXT, Raw and SmackDown Live will have to make plans for their current base of talent moving forward.
Brock Lesnar-Roman Reigns slated for main event of WrestleMania 34 in 2018
Despite his notorious ability to change his mind on a whim, Vince McMahon still let it leak heading into this year’s WrestleMania that he already has a dream main event in mind for next’s year show in New Orleans and it’s one we’ve seen before. Lesnar and Reigns never got a true conclusion to their match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 31, as Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the title for the first time.
On the surface, this is just an idea thrown around by McMahon, but there’s actually multiple layers here:
If Brock goes in as champion, the WWE is considering allowing him to have a year-long title run. In addition, Vince still seems insistent on pushing Roman as the top face in the company, despite his less-than-superhero reactions in arenas around the country.
Heading into WrestleMania 33, Reigns has been booed ahead of his collision with The Undertaker, which will surely crescendo during his entrance — and potentially after his match — in Orlando.
Odds of this rumor being true: The rumor itself being true? 5 out of 5. The odds it actually takes place? 1 out of 5.
Surely this is a great idea in Vince’s mind. But to think that the company would be able to stick to a year-long plan for a match seems far-fetched to the highest degree.
John Cena to take break following WrestleMania 33:
The things The Miz has been saying about John Cena being a part-timer? They appear to be back on the verge of being true from his perspective.
Reportedly, Cena could take another break from in-ring action, less than a month after having been the WWE Champion. Cena came back at the Royal Rumble to win his record-tying 16th World Championship, just to drop the belt the next month in the Elimination Chamber match.
Does his departure mean The Miz and Maryse are more likely to go over Cena and Nikki Bella at WrestleMania, or is it just the opposite? In a rivalry that has been created solely for WrestleMania, Cena could be protected if Nikki takes the pinfall or by other measures.
Odds of this rumor being true: 4.5 out of 5.
It would seem odd to speculate that Cena would miss time, just for him to not miss time. Considering he didn’t have much going coming into WrestleMania — and spent just two and a half months back with the company — his presence won’t be the end-all-be-all post-‘Mania.