…Whew. I opened Bleacher Report to verify one thing and got a ton of other info I wasn’t aware of instead. LOL.
Fair warning: I’m gonna start with the two Wrestlemania Spoilers. Scroll down to the picture of Big Cass if you do not want to be spoiled.
A venue hosting a WWE house show later this year apparently spoiled the outcome of the Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship at WM34 in their advertisement of a match involving Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. The Miz is obviously going to drop the title so he can take time off since his wife is due to give birth to their daughter soon. Everyone knows that. My prediction was actually that Rollins would win the title but this leak prettymuch confirms he will.
…We already know Charlotte is booked to drop the Smackdown Women’s Championship to Asuka. What’s REAL interesting is apparently, there are talks for Asuka to defend the title against Ronda Rousey at Wrestlemania 35 next year (WM35 will be at the MetLife Arena in New Jersey). This would mean Asuka would hold the Women’s Championship for 12 months and it’s also assuming she isn’t forced to vacate the title due to injury like Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and D-Bry have in recent years. The precident was set this year: Rousey will win the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble and challenge Asuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
I’m not sure if this is a good idea personally, more so given it appears Carmella is being set up to cash in her Money in the Bank briefcase at Wrestlemania ala Seth Rollins. Of course, Carmella COULD cash it in on Alexa Bliss but as well but that would kill the emotional buildup for Alexa’s title match with Nia Jaxx. That means Carmella either has a failed cash-in (I don’t think WWE will do this personally) or she will cash in for the RAW Women’s Championship, which I think might be the plan after all.
It could be set up for Carmella to cash in the briefcase right after the title changes hands at Wrestlemania or the following night on RAW. That way, they can build a 3-way feud involving Nia, Carmella and Alexa for the RAW Women’s Championship.
It was recently announced both Samoa Joe and Big Cass have been cleared by WWE to return to RAW. Big Cass suffered a knee injury last summer after splitting from his former tag team partner Enzo Amore (fired by WWE in January). He was a Heel when he left but that could change, more so if he’s moved to Smackdown when he returns. Samoa Joe has been out since suffering a shoulder injury after his Summer Slam match with Brock Lesnar last year. Both men could make their return in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale as well.
According to various sources, WWE plans to introduce Women’s Tag Team Championships titles–a pair for both RAW and Smackdown–“around the time of Summer Slam”. This tells me one thing for sure: The Bella Twins will likely be back either at Wrestlemania or right after. No question they will be back to help promote the new Women’s Tag Team Division.
Assuming they’re not broken up, The Riot Squad could become the second stable after The New Day to use The Freebirds Rule and THAT can be milked indefinitely just like The New Day has been. How The Freebirds Rule works is basically, any two members of the 3-person stable can be involved in title defenses and all 3 members are considered the Tag Team Champions.
…Moving on. There’s enough women on both rosters, nevermind potential NXT callups to form two or three tag teams on both RAW and Smackdown. Some teams that come to mind:
- Alexa Bliss and Mickie James (RAW)
- Torrie Wilson and Eve (Smackdown)
- Lita and Trish Stratus (RAW)
- The Bella Twins (Smackdown)
- Becky Lynch and Naomi (RAW)
- Tamina Snuka and Lana (Smackdown)
- Absolution (RAW)
- The Riot Squad (Smackdown)
…Looking ahead, I do see a few legends being brought back to help promote the RAW Women’s Tag Team Division like was done for the Women’s Royal Rumble. The four names I dropped all proved they still got it in January so…yeah. I do see Becky Lynch and Naomi being moved to RAW after Smackdown on that note with Asuka moving to Smackdown as the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. The named pairings don’t account for expected NXT callups post-Wrestlemania. Naomi being moved would also coincide with her husband Jimmy Uso and his brother Jey being moved to RAW to keep their marriage healthy.
In an interview with Renee Young last year, D-Bry and Angle both said they would love to have a match with each other. The invterview happened before D-Bry was medically cleared to wrestle last week. Now that he is cleared to return to the ring, the match can actually happen. I don’t see WWE waiting until WM35 to make it happen so it’s certainly possible we will see it happen at Summer Slam later this year.
For storyline reasons, it makes sense for Kurt Angle to be moved to Smackdown after having a match with his bosses Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WM34 and for related storyline reasons, Jason Jordan would likely go with him. Assuming D-Bry steps down as Smackdown GM and Stephanie vacates being the RAW Commissioner, all four leadership posts on both brands will be vacated after WM34. Could be interesting to see how that’s handled.
This is a bit off topic but as most of you know, some Superstars discuss their family and some do not. I don’t mean Charlotte (Ashley) Flair and Ric Flair or The Usos + Rikishi (Father and Sons), Jimmy Uso + Naomi (Husband and Wife), The Usos + Roman Reigns + The Rock + Nia Jaxx + Tamina Snuka (Cousins) or even Dean Ambrose + Renee Young (Husband and Wife).
I’m talking about Superstars and WWE Personalities who have family but don’t talk about them publicly, usually for privacy reasons. When asked in an interview a few years ago, Sasha Banks stated she doesn’t want to publicly talk about her husband (who works for WWE as a costume designer) as part of her character. I mean she doesn’t want to make mention of the fact to the WWE Universe she’s married even though most clearly know she is. She said this shortly after they married when her character’s popularity on the main roster started to take off. He is quiet and reserved and prefers to work behnd the scenes (he’s well aware of his wife’s popularity on that note and doesn’t mind). Sasha is very protective of him and this is also why I did not show you a picture of them together. As it happens, Bayley is engaged herself to a wrestler who is with an indie promotion. No wedding date has been set yet though.
Another example is Roman Reigns, who “disappeared” last year twice. Once was because of the Menningitis Outbreak that took him out of the TLC PPV Main Event. Everyone was aware of that. The other reason was for the birth of twins he and his wife welcomed earlier in the year (they also have a daughter together). This absence was never explained publicly though it was assumed he was taking a rest break.
Another example is Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas, who are actually brothers in real life. The Menningitis Outbreak that sidelined Reigns also sidelined the brothers but at different times. AJ Styles was called in to replace Bray Wyatt at TLC where he faced Finn Balor. It ended up being the best match on the card that night and was a welcome break from the horribly built feud between Balor and Wyatt more or less. Bo Dallas’ absence was explained as illness prior to TLC but in the case of Bray (and Reigns), he hadn’t shown the sympthoms yet. Their relationship isn’t part of their characters’ storylines obviously but when Bo got sick, his older brother getting sick wasn’t much of a surprise.
I could go on. One thing the last year and a half showed is there are unique challenges female superstars face when they start a family. Not everyone is Maryse and Brie Bella, who were very public with their pregnancies. In Brie’s case, she was already away from the ring when she became pregnant and in Maryse’s case she wasn’t part of a feud with another female superstar. Neither was Maria Kannelis (Also currently on Maternity Leave) on that note.
I won’t pretend to know what Naomi, Lana, Sasha, Nikki Bella or Bayley’s family plans are but four of the five are huge draws. No one knows what the future holds but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if WWE has a plan in place for if two or more top-tier female superstars are away for a year or more due to pregnancy. Brie taking time off to have a baby was both known and expected when she and D-Bry first got engaged. It was just a matter of when more or less after WM32.
Finally: I’ve mentioned The Bella Twins a few times but it looks like they’ll make an appearance in the Women’s Battle Royale at WM34, then officially return to the main roster shortly afterward. The reason they’re not back yet is mostly because of storylines for other talent leading up to Wrestlemania has priority. They’re both vets as well so…yeah.