Coming up… A WrestleMania main event scrapped? Will Tyson Fury return to WWE following his world title win? A top WWE star returning soon and more…
Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk Super News – I’m Oli Davis.
While the Raw side of WrestleManiaaar 36 (it’s pirate themed) is mostly announced or firmly foreshadowed – with Brock Lesnar vs Drew McIntyre for the Universal title, Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley for the NXT title, and Shayna Baszler set to challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship – SmackDown doesn’t yet have a single match officially confirmed.
And with the show only just over a month away, WWE have reportedly torn up the original plans they had for the blue brand and are starting pretty much from scratch.
Dave Meltzer has claimed on an episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that “a lot’s changed” and that the only two matches that have been planned on the SmackDown side have been dropped – which were The Fiend Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns for the Blueniversal Championship, and John Cena returning for a match against Elias, off the back of their interaction at last year’s WrestleMania. On top of that, Meltzer believes “there’s about five or six matches in total that have changed.”
While one is apparently a Raw alteration, basically “every match is either going to change or is in danger of changing” on the SmackDown side, with “everything” up in the air on the blue brand.
One of these has already officially been confirmed. Last week, Wrestling Observer Live revealed that Bayley vs Naomi was scheduled for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania, but that has now been moved forward to this Thursday’s Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia because women are cool there now.
Now before we get on with the rest of the news, the guys said they wanted to talk to me about something. Something serious. Something they say I’ve been putting off far too long. And I think I know what they’re going to tell me to finally shave. My big hairy balls!
Oh…we were going to talk about something el-
My big hairy balls, Laurie!
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So what does that mean for Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, John Cena and even Goldberg? For clarity, I am now talking about the WrestleMania plans again. Not my big hairy balls.
Well, there’s a lot of moving parts. Huh, but that also does apply to my testicles.
Reigns vs the Fiend, with Roman most likely winning lol, has apparently been a planned Mania match for months, with the two purposely being kept apart on SmackDown to build anticipation. Up until mid-January, Reigns was even scheduled to win the men’s Royal Rumble, where he would pick facing Wyatt to be the proper main event of WrestleMania. Vince McMahon then apparently changed his mind, going with Paul Heyman’s idea of Drew McIntyre winning the Rumble to close Mania with Brock.
First Drew affecting the Reigns Vs Fiend plans? Who’s next? Bdm tsk…
On the 7th February episode of SmackDown, Goldberg returned to WWE in an interview segment, where he challenged The Fiend for a Universal title match at Super Showdown. It’s the perfect kind of Saudi Arabia match – one I’m curious to see, but have no idea how they’ll manage to make it any good.
But Goldberg’s segment popped more than just the Crown Prince, as the SmackDown interview was amongst WWE’s highest TV ratings in a long time. Shortly after Goldberg’s cameo success, McMahon is now reconsidering his SmackDown plans on the Voyage to WrestleMania… and it’s worryingly possible we could see Goldberg win the Blueniversal title at Super Showdown – a la him beating Kevin Owens at Fastlane three years ago – and go onto defend it against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Where, yes, Roman still probably wins, lol.
Whoever Goldberg faces, Brad Shepard claims he’s “fully expected” to be at the biggest show of the year in some capacity.
But Goldberg isn’t the only WWE legend who’s hopping aboard the WrestleMania ship.
WWE announced last week that John Cena would be returning on this Friday’s episode of SmackDown, smartly just missing Super Showdown the day before, meaning WWE will at least have one wrestler in the States in case there’s any travel issues. For the greater good.
It was initially reported that Cena would be having a match against Elias at WrestleMania, which many found very underwhelming. But now with the Fiend vs Reigns match no longer happening, it puts Cena’s name in the mix for a top SmackDown match along with Goldberg. In my opinion, the best combination of these four guys is Reigns vs Goldberg in a battle of the spears, and Fiend vs Cena for the Blueniversal title, with Cena going for his ‘record-breaking-but-not-actually-record-breaking’ 17th world title, and The Fiend trying to redeem Bray’s first big career loss, all the way back at WrestleMania 30, to John Cena – from which the Wyatt Family never really recovered.
Then if Wyatt and Reigns win, along with McIntyre beating Brock, you can tell a passing-of-the-torch story at WrestleMania with the current generation finally fully overcoming the part-time legends.
What do you want to see from SmackDown at WrestleMania? Let me know in the comments because I’ll be replying FROM OUTTA NOWHERE.
Or perhaps Goldberg isn’t in that mix at all. Because Matt Riddle is currently trying to start a feud with everybody.
Despite being seemingly punished in the Royal Rumble match, where he was quickly eliminated by Baron Corbin, and then explicitly told to stop calling out main roster talent without NXT approval, Riddle keeps trashtalking Brock Lesnar and Goldberg whenever he can, bro.
So on the Total Slam podcast, Bill got a shot back in himself, saying: “Riddle is like a booger stuck in your nose, he’s annoying and won’t go away. He has no influence on Goldberg’s life.”
And now Braun Strowman’s trying to book himself a big time WrestleMania match too…
After his warm-up match against Braun Strowman at November’s Crown Jewel – IT’S STILL REAL TO SAUDI, DAMMIT! – Tyson Fury beat Deontay Wilder on Saturday to win one of boxing’s hundreds of world titles. Thou in glass houses!
Fury won in spectacular fashion, with a TKO in the 7th, prompting many WWE stars to tweet their congratulations, with JBL posting: “Fury is about to become the biggest boxing draw since Tyson.” – himself once a money draw at WrestleMania.
And Triple H, who was at the fight live, praising: “Amazing boxing performance by @Tyson_Fury … Unreal heart shown by Deontay Wilder . There is now only one… Congratulations to the #GypsyKing!!”
Which, let me run that through the booker translator… means please come do another wrestling match for WWE please please please.
An idea that Strowman took the hot tag for:
“Hell of a W @Tyson_Fury what ya say wanna try your luck for my #IntercontinentalChampionship ????? #LetsRunItBack #GiveTheWorldWhatTheyWant #RealHeavyweights”
This could support a WrestleVotes report from mid-January, where McMahon was putting off making any plans for Fury until the result of his Wilder rematch.
“Lots of speculation regarding Tyson Fury & WrestleMania. Source said his fight at MGM Grand vs. Deontay Wilder on February 22 is crucial to him appearing in Tampa. If Wilder wins, Vince isn’t throwing $$ at a guy who just lost on PPV. So to a degree, the ball is in Fury’s court.”
Which Triple H followed up on in an interview, saying: “I think the door’s open on our side, and the door’s open on his side… but it needs to be right for everybody.”
Elsewhere on the WrestleMania card, Meltzer has said there are currently no plans to include one of the hottest stars in the company – our big boy Keith Lee! – following his star turns at Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble, and that Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins are still question marks for the show, with potential opponents for Rollins being either a singles match against Kevin Owens, or a tag team bout with the rest of his disciples. Heyman instead appears to have plans for Seth post-WrestleMania – that’s, like, long-term booking – with WrestlingNews.co claiming Rollins is one of McIntyre’s first feuds for the WWE title after beating Brock.
And there’s potentially yet another name to throw in the SmackDown mix returning soon.
PWInsider has reported Jeff Hardy was backstage at last Friday’s SmackDown, and is also scheduled to be at this Friday’s post-Saudi episode too – noting it appears that Hardy will be on the Blue Brand moving forward.
Hardy hasn’t been on TV since the 30th April last year, being written off TV by a Lars Sullivan beatdown because of a leg injury. On top of that, Hardy was arrested in both July and October for public intoxication and DWI respectively, and he has a court date set for April 6th for the latter. It was previously thought Hardy would be kept off TV until those legal matters had been resolved, but these latest reports imply they’re preparing for him to return in WrestleMania season.
His brother, meanwhile, is being a lot more open about where he’ll possible show up in the next few weeks…
Matt’s WWE contract expires on the 1st March, meaning he can appear for other wrestling promotions right away. 90 day non-compete clauses only apply for those who have been released.
Now Matt has been written off WWE TV twice, with two separate attacks from Randy Orton, it’s fully expected he’ll be debuting for AEW soon. And now Le Champion himself Chris Jericho is teasing just that.
Posting a broken-style video on his Instagram page, Hardy said: “But Randy Orton didn’t kill me… I am alive. I am truly unkillable! How long did you think a medical facility could contain an abomination like me?”
Which Jericho has simply commented on “Stay Home.”
Meanwhile, Evil Uno – a member of AEW faction the Dark Order, who Matt is likely to be unveiled as the leader of – has tweeted:
“Everybody lives. Everybody dies. The Exalted One is near. The Exalted One arrives.”
Despite Raven being shown in the crowd during last Wednesday’s Dynamite, who has been another rumoured Dark Order leader name, PWInsider claim he was just a “red herring” to misdirect fans.
Hey Oli, we brought you a cup of tea!
Cheers guys! What have you been up to? I was waiting for you all on Friday, but you didn’t show up to the pub.
Yeah, we were re-launching ScreenStalker as our new wrestling channel partsFUNknown! You can watch my booking video up there right now!
You… you launched a new wrestling channel?
By rebranding ScreenStalker?
Yeah, with you and Luke now doing all the movie stuff for Cineworld, it made sense.
No, no… they didn’t tell me they were going to do it. It sounds like a good idea. Of course they still like me, I’m still hip, I’m still cool. Oh Nikki, you… you’re so cruel.
So go over to partsFUNknown right now by clicking the video on the right to watch my first Fantasy Booking video How I would book Kurt Angle’s illegitimate son storyline! And if you like it, give partsFUNknown a subscribe too as our wrestling RPG series starts this Sunday too!
I’ve been Oli Da-
I’ve been Adam Blampied.
And that was lucha!