Welcome to this week's edition of Sportskeeda Wrestling's WWE Rumor Review. We will take a look at popular rumors from a few months ago and see how they played out.
The month of June saw several rumors about the impending returns of major stars, with one of them being Brock Lesnar. There was a reported condition for him to return to WWE. With him completely back in the fold, we will see whether that condition was fulfilled.
Elsewhere, some interesting plans were seemingly in place for Roman Reigns and The Bloodline. We also got an idea over what the second half of the year would look like after Hell in a Cell, with a reported date being set for the 2021 WWE Draft.
So, without further ado, here is this week's WWE Rumor Review. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
#5 Backstage word on WWE's return to Saudi Arabia
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE did not leave the United States for over 18 months. As a result, the company's semi-annual Saudi Arabia show could not take place. The last one before the shutdown was Super ShowDown in February 2020.
With fans coming back to arenas in July, a return to the Middle East did not seem that far away. Mike Johnson of PWInsider was told by WWE sources that the company would most likely return to Saudi Arabia in the fall of 2021.
That is exactly what happened. Crown Jewel took place in Riyadh on October 21st, featuring some noteworthy matches. Edge defeated Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell, while Becky Lynch retained the SmackDown Women's Championship against Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks.
Roman Reigns retained the Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar in the main event of Crown Jewel. The Beast Incarnate is set to compete in the Middle East once again this month, as Elimination Chamber will emanate from the Jeddah Superdome on February 19th.
So, the initial report regarding the first Saudi show after the pandemic was accurate. Vince McMahon's relationship with the country has carried on seamlessly.
#4 Spoilers for every title match at Hell in a Cell
Hell in a Cell was the final major show to take place at the ThunderDome, without a live crowd present. Among the most notable matches were Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre and Bianca Belair vs. Bayley, both inside the satanic structure.
According to Cageside Seats a few days before the show, no title change was expected to take place at Hell in a Cell. The report included Roman Reigns' Universal Championship defense against Rey Mysterio, which was moved to the SmackDown before the event.
Belair retained the SmackDown Women's Championship over Bayley, while Lashley kept his WWE Championship after a brutal match with Drew McIntyre. Elsewhere, in the only other title match at Hell in a Cell, Rhea Ripley remained RAW Women's Champion despite losing by disqualification to Charlotte Flair.
As a result, the above report was proven accurate. Other notable things that happened on the Hell in a Cell card included Sami Zayn defeating Kevin Owens and Alexa Bliss using telekinesis to beat Shayna Baszler in a weird match.
#3 Reported date for the WWE Draft
There was a lot of talk of WWE refreshing the RAW and SmackDown rosters after SummerSlam. Some of it came from Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Podcast, who reported that the WWE Draft was scheduled to take place on August 30th and September 3rd.
While the Draft did happen in 2021, it took place a month later than what the report said. The proceedings began October 1st and carried over to the 4th of the month.
The date may not have been accurate, but Zarian did state that there were "big plans" for some big stars to switch brands and that was exactly what happened. Among the biggest movers were Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch, who went to RAW, while Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre shifted to SmackDown.
The moves were made at the start of October, but the 2021 WWE Draft would not be reflected on RAW and SmackDown until after Crown Jewel later that month. As a result of the moves made, Lynch and Flair had an awkward title exchange
#2 WWE's plans to add another star to The Bloodline
The Bloodline has been on top of WWE in its current form for over six months now, with Roman Reigns and The Usos enjoying big title runs as a result. Back in June, there was some talk of the trio expanding into a larger group.
According to WrestlingNews.co, there were discussions over a new member joining The Bloodline alongside Reigns and The Usos. The report also stated that SummerSlam would be a big night for them.
The Tribal Chief defeated John Cena in the main event, while Jimmy and Jey retained their SmackDown Tag Team Titles against The Mysterios. So, while The Biggest Party of the Summer was a significant date on the Anoa'i family's calendar, the cousins were not joined by an additional member.
The Bloodline remains a three-man group, with all of their titles still intact. However, while a new member hasn't joined, there may be scope for Roman Reigns and The Usos to expand their ranks.
Solo Sikoa could join the stable once he is ready to move to RAW or SmackDown, while Jimmy Uso's wife Naomi is the perfect fit to be the female member of The Bloodline.
#1 WWE wanted Brock Lesnar to return only when Roman Reigns was ready
A lot of WWE's on-screen decisions have taken place with Roman Reigns firmly in mind, as he is the company's number one star. This was also the case with Brock Lesnar's return. The Beast Incarnate was set to come back in the summer, but only if it worked within the story of The Tribal Chief.
Speaking on a June episode of the Sunday Night Main Event podcast, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer revealed that a lot of people in WWE did not want Lesnar to return until Reigns was ready to feud with him. There were reportedly no plans for him to work with Bobby Lashley or anybody else.
Well, that is exactly how things turned out. Brock Lesnar did not wrestle at SummerSlam. He instead made a surprise return to confront Roman Reigns, who had retained his Universal Championship over the summer against Rey Mysterio, Edge and John Cena.
The Head of the Table had a budding feud with Finn Balor at the time, but WWE still managed to begin the story between him and the returning star. So, the report was accurate. Brock Lesnar's first opponent back was indeed Roman Reigns, with the rivalry being the biggest priority in the company.
After an epic saga that involved high suspense, double-crosses, and a separate title reign for The Beast Incarnate, the two are set to end it in the main event of WrestleMania 38.
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