Welcome to this week's edition of WWE/wrestling rumors we hope are true and those we hope aren't. The road to WrestleMania is coming to a close, with only two episodes of RAW and SmackDown left before WWE's biggest show of the year.
This week's edition will focus on WWE's plans for WrestleMania, more backstage rumors, injuries, and bizarre situations as well.
#4. Hope is true: WWE's original plans for the US title
Riddle is now the United States Champion, less than a year into his WWE main roster run. At Elimination Chamber 2021, the originally-planned United States Championship match was a Triple Threat bout featuring Bobby Lashley against Keith Lee and Riddle.
For unknown reasons, Lee was quietly pulled from the pay-per-view by WWE and a Fatal-Four-Way match was made to determine his replacement at Elimination Chamber. John Morrison won that match but ended up taking the pinfall in the title match to Riddle, who won the United States Championship in the process.
Riddle will now be heading into WrestleMania 37 as the US Champion, where he is expected to face Sheamus, based on a segment from the 22nd March episode of RAW.
As per Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Keith Lee was originally planned to win the United States Championship, but was removed:
"Riddle's winning the U.S. title was not the original plan. The booked idea for the three-way was for Riddle to lose the fall to Lee, as a way to get the belt off Lashley since they were moving him to the WWE title and get the U.S. title on Lee. But Lee missed the show due to health-related issues and still hasn't returned."
While we don't hope that the health issue rumors are true, we hope that the original plan for Keith Lee to win the US title was. WWE couldn't have gone wrong with either option, especially since Bobby Lashley came out the biggest winner from that situation in the long run.
Lee was in a better position than Riddle at that point as well, having challenged for the WWE Championship (unsuccessfully) a month earlier. Either way, we don't doubt that Keith Lee's upward trajectory will resume once he returns to WWE.