WWE News: Reviews, Analysis and Rumors for Week of Aug. 12
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
With SummerSlam scheduled for Sunday, this has been a big week for the WWE in terms of getting the fans excited for the big event, as well as making any last-minute decisions regarding storyline development. Some of that was evident on RAW and SmackDown, but there is certainly plenty of backstage hustling going on as well.
The biggest news this week has to do with the highly-anticipated Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H match as Shawn Michaels was originally supposed to be in Triple H's corner. After being attacked by Lesnar on RAW, however, those plans may now have to be altered.
On top of that, there have been tons of rumors swirling around with regards to the respective directions of Lesnar, Paul Heyman, CM Punk and other moving forward. Also, the long-awaited new WWE Championship may be on the verge of being revealed, but you'll have to keep reading to find out when.
SummerSlam may very well be the second-biggest event on the WWE calendar, and if this week's happenings are any indication, then we should be in for quite a night on Sunday.
Here are the biggest WWE rumors and news pieces circulating around the Internet for the week beginning on Aug. 12.
Shawn Michaels Not Scheduled to Appear at SummerSlam
Last week, Shawn Michaels announced that he would be in Triple H's corner for his match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, but it appears as if that may no longer be the case.
Lesnar attacked HBK on Monday when Michaels was trying to leave the arena and it ended with Lesnar "breaking" Michaels' arm with a Kimura lock, much like Lesnar had done to Triple H a couple of months prior.
According to WWE.com, Michaels said that attending SummerSlam was "highly unlikely" at this point. It will now be interesting to see if Michaels does in fact stay away from the match or if this is all a red herring to hide his eventual involvement.
I was excited about the notion of Michaels being in Triple H's corner, so I was a bit disappointed when this news came out, but I'm not convinced that HBK won't make an appearance.
Perhaps this was just done as a way to get Lesnar some more heat heading into SummerSlam and Michaels was never scheduled to be involved in the first place, but I feel like there is a good chance that HBK will indeed be at SummerSlam.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding a Triple H vs. Michaels match at WrestleMania and I'm buying into it. HBK has been appearing a lot more lately and if he is going to come out of retirement for one more match, it's likely going to be against his best friend.
With that in mind, I'm expecting Michaels to either accidentally screw Triple H by hitting him with a stray Sweet Chin Music, or perhaps he will do it purposely and reveal that he and Lesnar are in cahoots.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman Planning to Team Up?
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Although Paul Heyman is currently working on a per-date basis with the WWE as Brock Lesnar's mouthpiece, there are many within the business as well as outside it that would like to see Heyman stick around for the long term. One of his biggest supporters may be WWE Champion CM Punk, and there are rumors that an alliance between them could be in the works.
According to WrestlingInc.com, Punk and Heyman have pitched the idea to Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H and are waiting for clearance. Heyman was a big part of Punk's early success in the WWE as part of the ECW brand, so they have a good history together and a partnership could definitely make sense moving forward.
The only thing better than one great promo cutter is putting two of the best in the business together. That would be the case if Punk and Heyman forged an alliance and it would be great for WWE programming.
This rumor would also seem to lend some credibility to my thought that Punk, Big Show, Lesnar and Heyman will create a heel stable at SummerSlam, headed by former general manager John Laurinaitis.
It seems to me that huge things are being planned for Punk's heel character, and while it's tough to say for certain what might happen, I could definitely see a partnership with Heyman being a possibility.
Punk, Show and Lesnar all have had some sort of relationship with Heyman in the past, and they have all been involved with Laurinaitis as well, so I'm anticipating some major fireworks when SummerSlam comes to a close.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio Reinstated for SummerSlam
Last week, after Alberto Del Rio had some thugs beat up Sheamus on SmackDown, general manager Booker T canceled the World Heavyweight Championship match between Sheamus and Del Rio at SummerSlam.
That left a major hole on the card, so it was obvious that Booker would address the situation on Friday, and he did, but he simply reinstated the match after Sheamus begged him to do so.
I'm not quite sure what the point of canceling it in the first place was, but now fans will be blessed with the 837th match between The Great White and Del Rio.
There was plenty of speculation that the match might become a Triple Threat or Fatal Four-Way with Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio or even a returning Wade Barrett being added, but none of that came to fruition.
I can't help but think that the WWE dropped the ball here. The writers figured out a way to make the match more interesting, albeit quite clumsily, but all they did with it was reinstate the match when everything was said and done.
I would have expected Sheamus to retain whether it was a singles match or a 40-man battle royal, but at least adding a couple more bodies into the match would have created more possibilities and excitement.
The fans aren't buying Sheamus vs. Del Rio as a viable World Heavyweight Championship feud and the vast majority of them don't want to see another match between them.
The only way this is saved is if my prediction of Barrett attacking Sheamus after the match and Dolph Ziggler successfully cashing in his Money in the Bank contract comes true.
I don't hate Sheamus as champion, but the title scene needs to be awoken and Ziggler can inject some new life into it.
New WWE Championship Belt to Debut Soon?
There have been rumors regarding a possible new design for the WWE Championship for well over a year now and the current design has been stale for much longer than that.
Possible pictures of plates for the new belt leaked a few months back, but there hasn't been much news on that front until now. ProWrestling.net is reporting that Punk said at a Wizard World interview session that expects the new title to be introduced soon.
Punk said that it could happen as soon as SummerSlam, or perhaps the following pay-per-view, Night of Champions.
Even the biggest John Cena supporters can admit that the spinner belt is played out and well past its prime, so any kind of tweak to the current design would be welcomed by the vast majority of fans.
I would love to see a new title design, but I'm not all that confident that we'll be seeing it as soon as Punk believes. I tend to believe that Punk isn't entirely sure and was just trying to humor the crowd to some degree.
There has been talk about a new belt ever since Punk originally won it at Money in the Bank last summer, so I'm curbing my enthusiasm until I actually see some movement happening on that front.
Also, I'm a bit worried about what a potential new title might look like. The most recent new WWE belts that have been produced are the Tag Team Championship and Divas Championship, and both of those look awful.
I would much rather the WWE go back to an older design like it did with the Intercontinental Championship. The Undisputed Championship would look great and the "winged eagle" is one of the classiest belts of all time, so I would prefer to see a reprisal than a totally new design concept.
Alberto Del Rio's Brother Signs Developmental Deal
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The WWE has continued its overhaul of the developmental system as it officially re-branded Florida Championship Wrestling as NXT Wrestling, and it has also been doing a lot of movement in terms of the talent.
Several wrestlers have been released over the past couple weeks, but plenty have been getting signed as well, including Alberto Del Rio's brother, who will play a character known as Memo Montenegro, according to PWInsider.com.
Montenegro is the younger brother of Del Rio and the son of Dos Caras, so it would be fair to say that wrestling is in his blood. Del Rio has lost a lot of his luster over the past year, so it will most definitely be interesting to see if Montenegro might be paired with his brother moving forward if he develops to the WWE's liking.
I'm sure some of the more cynical fans will say that Montenegro was only signed because he's Del Rio's brother, and that may be true, but if he can work and has a good character, then it doesn't matter to me.
I have been really impressed with the WWE's developmental system as of late and am encouraged by the way it has been integrated into NXT. Hopefully, NXT can get another television deal in the United States so these superstars will already be over when they eventually make their WWE debut.
As for Montenegro, I'm interested to see what he has to offer. Del Rio has hit the skids, but he is still great in the ring and has a main-event presence, so hopefully his brother is similar in that regard. If worse comes to worst for Del Rio, maybe he could be revitalized by tagging with his brother in the future. The division needs a face lift and Del Rio's character may as well, so I would like to see that at some point.