Batista dominated the latest batch of WWE rumors, overshadowing word of Cesaro being set to earn a major push up the card.
Much of the backstage word on who will get pushed, WrestleMania XXX plans and what WWE has in mind for the coming months centers around Batista. Already at the forefront of SummerSlam talks, he made news recently when he confronted a fan.
He is also among the Superstars the company plans to highlight over the next few months, a list that also includes Cesaro.
The following is a look at reports from various pro wrestling outlets, deciphering the unlikely from the plausible. We start with Batista, whose name will come up several times in the process of picking apart the week's rumors.
Batista House Show Notes
Batista's return to the house show circuit has resulted in him knocking off ring rust and having a confrontation with a fan, an event that may or may not have been scripted.
Regarding the former, WrestleZone.com reports that many officials "felt Batista had his 'first good weekend' on the road at the house shows, and that he just needed some time to adjust to the lack of interest in his return."
Based on what he's shown fans on Raw and SmackDown, he's clearly recapturing what he had before he left. It's wise of WWE to have him work such a full schedule so that he'll be better prepared for WrestleMania XXX.
As the report goes on to say, the company has embraced the fans' disapproval of Batista by turning him heel.
That has seemingly allowed to him to thrive as a villain rather than flounder as the hero who many are rooting against. There are apparently still some issues with the audience, though.
At a live event in Winnipeg over the weekend, radio DJ Cam Carson and Batista clashed. The radio personality, who sat in the audience, reportedly harassed Batista before and after his match.
There are conflicting reports as to whether this was a part of the storyline.
As reported by WrestleZone.com, "DJ Cam Carson was kicked out of the show after what was likely a planned altercation with Batista at ring side."
Carson's radio station being the sponsor of the event led many to agree with this assessment. However, there is reason to think it was unplanned.
According to WrestlingInc.com, "Word is that the incident was not planned by WWE and that Carson was intoxicated. He was legitimately escorted out of the building by security after the incident."
A woman also claimed that her kids were trampled during the scuffle.
My children got trampled on tonight because of the incident @CamCarson97— Deborah Simmons (@pinkysimovitch) March 8, 2014
If this was scripted, it would seem that WWE would try to use it to gain heat on Batista. The lack of coverage from the company itself makes it more likely a case of a drunk fan angering a man fed up with fans.
WWE Considering SummerSlam Options
WWE is reportedly already mulling over plans for SummerSlam. Count on Batista getting a high-profile opponent at that event.
According to F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, "Three names listed internally for potential Batista opponents at SummerSlam had been Daniel Bryan, John Cena or CM Punk." With Punk's exit, that last name is of course off the list.
That narrows the options to a rematch from SummerSlam 2008, a contest that saw Batista pin Cena, or what may be a partial reprise of WrestleMania XXX's main event (assuming Daniel Bryan gets added to it by defeating Triple H).
SummerSlam happens some four months after WrestleMania, which means it would take a lengthy feud between Bryan and Batista to have them face off then. Bryan may be champion by that point and look to fend off the powerhouse challenger.
WWE likely isn't sure what direction it wants to go. The WrestleMania card is still in flux, so any word on SummerSlam will not be definitive.
The company seems to just be identifying key Superstars to place in prominent spots.
That list of key Superstars is an intriguing mix of the emerging and the established.
F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, reports the following:
Cesaro will also be pushed big time and is being planned for a big match at SummerSlam. Other names to be pushed hard after WrestleMania include Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Batista, Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman and Randy Orton.
Bryan fans need not sweat as the same report notes that WWE plans to keep Bryan and Cena as the top two wrestlers in the company.
That's hardly a departure from what's happening now. The more interesting name is Cesaro.
He has been racing up the rankings lately, garnering increasingly loud reactions from fans and putting on spectacular matches on the main roster and NXT alike.
He joins a group of rising stars, along with Wyatt and Reigns, that WWE has been high on as of late. This youth movement appears to be gaining steam as these names are coming up next to megastars like Lesnar and Orton in this discussion.
Cesaro's name is also coming up in reported discussions about a possible NXT and WWE clash at WrestleMania XXX.
Justin LaBar on WrestleZone.com notes that "a match featuring NXT and WWE stars is being considered for WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans." This proposed bout would pit Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville and Bo Dallas against Jack Swagger, Corey Graves and The Ascension.
While that would allow for a number of rising stars to get some major spotlight, it feels unlikely now what WWE is hosting the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WRESTLEMANIA will be History made all over again,I wish I could win it for Andre,only love. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) March 11, 2014
WrestleMania's card is filling up, and the 30-man match is going to take up a large chunk of airtime. Cesaro and Swagger are among the Superstars likely to enter that contest.
With the talk of how much WWE wants to push Cesaro going forward, he'll also be one of the favorites to win it.
Fans will be intrigued to see how much of a push Cesaro is set to get. That jump may just mean breaking away from The Real Americans and getting some midcard wins, or it may mean that he gets added to the list of potential Batista opponents at SummerSlam.