This week's WWE rumors center around returns, including a possible date for when Chris Jericho will be back in action and how Batista has reportedly garnered heat even before his return on Jan. 20.
Hulk Hogan's name pops up once again. He joins a rumored match at Elimination Chamber and possible reasons why Kaitlyn left the company amid backstage reports and speculation.
When is Jericho coming back?
Word of a Jericho return spread when the Winnipeg Sun wrote that he was among the Superstars scheduled for a WWE show in Winnipeg on March 7. It sure seemed that this was another case of a returned surprise.
Don't count on seeing folks suffering in the Walls of Jericho just yet, though.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com wrote that it he had heard no confirmation of Jericho coming back. WWE also later said, per F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, that the Winnipeg Sun "advertisement was a mistake and they are asking the newspaper to run a correction."
That's enough to quell's one excitement about Jericho's return for now. Although, he does have a reputation for being sneaky about his returns, as he proved at the 2013 Royal Rumble.
WWE could just be trying to unspoil the surprise, but it will be hard to know what info to trust until Jericho shows up at Raw or perhaps that aforementioned house show in his hometown.
Batista offending the locker room?
Batista has since deleted a harsh tweet aimed at Alberto Del Rio, but it reportedly still had an effect on the WWE roster.
Del Rio challenged Batista on the air. Batista answered back via Twitter and a feud began outside the ring.
So I hear Alberto Del Rio is talking trash. Just one question... Who the hell is Alberto Del Rio?!!!— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) January 7, 2014
I'm the one wining all the major titles while u were getting ur ass kick by your plumber (Vince lucero) See u at the rumble— Alberto Del Rio (@VivaDelRio) January 8, 2014
"The Animal" later tweeted the following, quoted here by WrestleZone.com.
Seems 2 me that some C level stars in a B level star era have bought into their own hype. Don't turn a work into a shoot. #realitycheck
According to PWInsider, via WrestlingInc.com, it wasn't just Del Rio who took issue with that statement. The report notes that "his comments have been a hot topic within WWE among other wrestlers this week, with the feeling that he pretty much buried the entire locker room with one tweet."
The fact that Batista deleted the tweet likely means it did in fact anger a few folks. For him to come in after several years off and presumably be in line for a top spot right away has to create some jealousy and tension among those who have been working hard in his absence. The tweet didn't help.
His comments weren't harsh enough, though, that he can't smooth things over once he arrives.
Hulk Hogan set to be a part of WWE again
While it remains uncertain as to what role he'll play at WrestleMania or otherwise, "The Hulkster" returning to WWE appears to be imminent.
PWInsider, via WrestleZone.com, reports that "There is a deal in place for Hulk Hogan to return to WWE and he is expected to sign the contract anytime now."
That comes as no surprise with how much Hogan's name has come up in recent rumors and reported pitched ideas for WrestleMania XXX. With that huge show coming, WWE clearly wants Hogan to be a part of it.
It just has to find the best way to utilize his star power.
As WrestleZone.com reported, everything from a Roddy Piper vs. Hogan singles match to Hogan and Cena teaming up against The Real Americans has been discussed. With Hogan apparently ready to sign a deal, he presumably heard some ideas he could get behind.
More reports on why Kaitlyn left
There is reportedly more to it than that, though.
Bryan Alvarez of F4WOnline first wrote that Kaitlyn was waiting around for storylines that never came about and she "was just over it." There's more information now to back that up.
PWInsider, via WrestlingInc.com, reported the following on the former Divas champ.
She just got tired of WWE not using her. Apparently she asked for her release several months ago but WWE officials told her to hang on because they had something in mind for her but that never came to fruition.
Kaitlyn had gone from a prominent part of the Divas division to an inconsistent part of WWE programming. The women of Total Divas have become an increasingly bigger part of Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-views, leaving women like Kaitlyn out of the spotlight for the most part.
There's little reason not to believe that Kaitlyn didn't get bored or frustrated after being on the sidelines for so long. She's certainly not the first female WWE wrestler to struggle for airtime.
Even as the current Divas champion, AJ Lee is not defending the title or being used to her full potential. Fans have to hope that AJ doesn't eventually follow her former tag partner out the door.
Another unification match in the works?
It may be time to have just one midcard championship just as their is a single world championship in WWE.
Per F4WOnline, via WrestleZone.com, "WWE will likely be unifying the US and Intercontinental Titles at the Elimination Chamber PPV next month. A match featuring Dean Ambrose vs Big E. Langston with both titles on the line is currently planned for the event."
Ambrose hasn't defended the title in months. It's easy to forget that he's even champ at this point.
That's a clear sign that WWE struggles to book both an IC and U.S. champ. This rumored plan would make booking easier. It would eliminate some opportunities for midcarders, but it would also make holding either of those titles far more significant.
This would put the winner of this match and subsequent champs just below the level of the world champ, a far cry from holding a nearly irrelevant piece of gold.
The fact that the report specifically names Langston and Ambrose makes it a safe bet that those two will remain champions into February. That should be rather easy for Ambrose, who may not have a single challenger until then.