WWE News & Rumor Roundup: Cancelled plans for top stars, Stolen title spotted? Veteran on Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (December 19, 2021)

Charlotte Flair (left) and Brock Lesnar (right)
Charlotte Flair (left) and Brock Lesnar (right)
Kartik Arry

Welcome to the latest edition of WWE News and Rumor Roundup. A report regarding the change in plans for the most recent episode of SmackDown has emerged.

A RAW Superstar's lost title might have resurfaced not too long ago. Meanwhile, Dutch Mantell gave his take on the quality of Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns' storyline.

Jim Ross recently admitted that he is not a fan of a current championship in WWE. Additionally, Bret Hart spoke about a different career he had in mind before he became a professional wrestler.

Without further ado, let's take a closer look at these news and rumor stories.

#5. WWE changed plans for Brock Lesnar and Charlotte Flair on SmackDown

The latest SmackDown show on December 17 saw Charlotte Flair and Shotzi join forces to face the duo of Toni Storm and Sasha Banks. The latter team won when Storm pinned The Queen.

As per Fightful Select, the tag team match was initially supposed to go down on the December 24 episode of the blue brand. Flair and Storm's Championship Contender's contest had been planned for this week's show instead. However, WWE nixed the singles match and pushed it back for the upcoming Christmas Eve SmackDown episode.

According to the report, higher-ups originally wanted Roman Reigns to kickstart the episode with an in-ring promo, which they later moved to the main-event spot.

Additionally, original plans for Brock Lesnar on December 17 included a sit-down interview, but it didn't air on television. The Beast Incarnate appeared during the show's final moments and obliterated The Bloodline (Reigns and The Usos) with multiple F-5s.

WWE seemingly made these changes to SmackDown hours before it aired live. While Flair's status for the Day 1 pay-per-view on January 1, 2022, isn't yet confirmed, Lesnar will face Reigns for the Universal Championship at the event.

#4. Rhea Ripley's WWE Women's Tag Team Championship possibly resurfaces

In October 2021, WWE RAW Superstar Rhea Ripley lost a bag that contained her gear and women's tag title during a live tour in New Mexico. Back then, she even took to Twitter to ask for any possible information regarding her missing luggage.

"*LOST GEAR BAG* My MosherZ of Albuquerque I know this is a stretch but, if any of you have seen a black travel suitcase around Office Boulevard & Montano rd please hold onto it and let me know. It has all my gear in it, including my title. Cheers!" Rhea Ripley stated in a tweet.

A few minutes later, Ripley also tweeted out a request to her followers:

If you see any of my gear being sold online, please send the link my way.

While she and Nikki A.S.H. dropped their women's tag team titles to Carmella and Queen Zelina last month, an update regarding the missing belt recently emerged online.

Twitter user Dan Beltzer spotted someone who might have wanted to sell Ripley's stolen championship in a Facebook group. He stated the following via a tweet:

Looks like Rhea's lost bag with belt was found and the idiot tried selling it on my group. He deleted it shortly after and will not return messages.

After Rhea Ripley had initially lost her bag, she borrowed some gear from fellow RAW star Damian Priest for a live event in El Paso, Texas. Both of them are known to be pretty good friends in real life.

#3. Dutch Mantell comments on the drawing potential of Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns' upcoming WWE match

Following the latest episode of WWE SmackDown, Dutch Mantell gave his take on why the quality of Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar's current storyline is good for business.

Speaking on Sportskeeda Wrestling's Smack Talk, the wrestling legend highlighted how the uncertainty factor in their feud makes it quite intriguing in the eyes of many WWE fans.

"[Uncertainty] is what makes this angle good because now, you and I are of course [discussing it], that's what we're supposed to talk about. But fans are now thinking 'I wonder where this is going now' and this is when you get sell-outs. When it's interesting and you don't know really who's gonna win or where it's gonna go, that's when people say 'I'm gonna go see this.' I think [the pay-per-view] will do well," said Dutch Mantell.

On SmackDown, Roman Reigns fired Paul Heyman from The Bloodline after weeks of doubting whether or not the latter was really on his side. This newsworthy development has created several important questions heading into WWE's Day 1 pay-per-view, most of which are regarding the future of Heyman in Reigns and Lesnar's saga.

The Wrestling Observer even noted a few days ago that the announcement of their Universal Championship rematch had positively impacted ticket sales for Day 1.

#2. Jim Ross is not a fan of the WWE 24/7 Championship

The WWE 24/7 Championship, introduced back in May 2019, has changed hands over 150 times in a series of comedy segments.

Jim Ross recently criticized the belt's design on his Grilling JR podcast. The veteran commentator called the 24/7 Championship worse than its predecessor — the WWE Hardcore Title. Interestingly, Ross wasn't a massive fan of the latter belt either.

"It was just another watered-down championship (Hardcore title), and now it's even worse. The 24/7 title, right? That's hideous. It's not even realistic. It has had so many champions, you can't name them all," admitted Jim Ross.

WWE's Hardcore Championship is now a defunct title. Established in November 1998, it remained an active belt until August 2002. Many legendary names held the championship throughout their tenures in the company, including The Undertaker.

Despite my hate for the 24/7 Championship, I still do think it can be saved.Why not have a top tier main eventer hold the title? Like The Undertaker did with the Hardcore Title.Nobody would want to take advantage of the 24/7 rule then, and it gives a star a title.#WWE

The Deadman won the gold back in December 2001 and had a 58-day run with it. Jim Ross also said on his podcast that he didn't think The Undertaker needed that reign, as the latter was already an established name at the time.

#1. WWE legend Bret Hart had different ambitions before he became a professional wrestler

Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart is inarguably one of the greatest ever to step foot inside the squared circle. However, before joining the professional wrestling industry, he had different goals in mind.

Speaking to Calgary Sun, Hart recently said he wanted to become a film director at one point in time.

“I never saw myself as an actor. I always wanted to be a movie director, I had bigger plans."

Hart added that he got to live his non-wrestling dream to some extent in the pro wrestling world itself.

“In a lot of ways, I ended up being a guy making little 15 to 20 minute movies each night as a wrestler. I was a stunt coordinator, director, and producer of an epic wrestling match. Wrestling turned into that career I never had as a movie maker. I got to tell these great stories as a wrestler.”
Bret Hart is the first wrestler inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. The Legend continues...

The Hitman's above comments come as no surprise. Not too long ago, the two-time WWE Hall of Famer said Vince McMahon trusted him to tell his own in-ring stories back in the day.

Edited by Kaushik Das
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