Schedule issues are the focal point of the latest WWE rumors, including when fans can expect Brock Lesnar back and when they can count on Batista leaving.
WWE's roster is set to experience some thinning out in the near future. Not only will Lesnar and Batista not be around regularly, but it appears we can count on Rey Mysterio and AJ Lee missing time as well.
Of course, with those wrestlers away from the ring, it means more opportunities for others.
Paige may be able to take advantage of additional screen time. Another high-flyer has a chance to step up and take Mystero's place. As for The Shield, WWE is planning on one member taking center stage after Batista steps away.
Word on Evolution, Batista
Evolution's reunion may be a short one. It appears that Batista will be moving on from the group and WWE after Extreme Rules.
PWInsider reports the following:
Batista is not currently being advertised for any WWE events following Extreme Rules, so it appears he will be taking some time off.
As we reported when he returned to the company, he was expected to take a break to do promotional work for his next film, Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy", which opens in August.
This is why so many fans were upset about the prospect of Batista winning the WWE title at WrestleMania. Just like The Rock, he's just not going to stick around for sustained amounts of time with all the obligations he has in the movie world.
There's no word yet on how long he would be gone.
WWE may only need him in the short term regarding Evolution's feud with The Shield. The company's reported plans aren't focused on highlighting Batista or Randy Orton but instead to make a main eventer out The Shield's powerhouse.
PWInsider, via Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc, reports, "The main goal of WWE doing a feud between The Shield and Evolution is to push Roman Reigns as a top player and to get him into a singles match against Triple H."
This is far from surprising, as Reigns has been presented as a human wrecking ball.
You don't give a wrestler the record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble unless you have big plans for him. Those plans, in Reigns' case, are reportedly going to begin with a battle opposite Triple H.
That would make one heck of a SummerSlam bout. Another big match is reportedly being discussed for that event, featuring Triple H's last two WrestleMania opponents.
Lesnar, Next WWE Title Contender?
Paul Heyman is still saying his name ad nauseam on Raw and SmackDown, but it looks like Lesnar won't be on WWE TV for several months. After ending The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania, he's reportedly scheduled for some time off.
According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via Middleton of Wrestling Inc:
Brock Lesnar is not booked for the WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view and likely won't be back until SummerSlam. There's been speculation that he may challenge Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Title.
While that may end up being a Match of the Year candidate, Bryan fans can't be happy to see this idea being thrown around. There's no way to be confident about the champ's chances going into this battle.
Jim Ross certainly believes the match will happen.
He also believes that Lesnar should be the next titleholder.
Whether that's a good idea depends on how much Lesnar is signed on to wrestle for the rest of the year. Fans don't want to see the world title not get defended for months. Watching that happen to the United States belt is bad enough.
A New Role for Rey Mysterio?
As his in-ring career comes to a close, Mysterio's schedule is apparently set to slow down dramatically.
As reported by Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via Middleton of Wrestling Inc, "Rey is said to be on a very limited schedule at this point as WWE transitions him into an ambassador role." That's expected news due to how long Mysterio has been a part of this crazy business and how much damage his knees have endured.
Although he's been in a number of matches this year, he's mostly been relegated to Battle Royals and six-man tag matches.
This reported move to make him more of an ambassador is a good idea. Mysterio is still valuable in terms of marketing and public relations, even if he's not able to entertain in the ring like he once did.
AJ's Return Date
Expect her to start kicking butt again before long, but AJ won't be around for the time being either.
AJ Lee is expected to return next month in May as she's scheduled for the European tour during the middle of the month. That tour will include some television tapings. Her first scheduled events in the U.S. are not until June.
That would explain why she disappeared after Paige dethroned her as Divas champ rather than demand a rematch. The time off would allow AJ some time to recharge and for Paige to get some added spotlight.
Once AJ is back, count on those two colliding again. That's too good of a pairing and too good of a potential feud to not explore.
Their next clash could happen at either Payback or Money in the Bank.
Batista and Lesnar are unlikely to be at either show. As WrestleMania season fades, the part-timers are headed elsewhere. Those absences will leave extra spots under the spotlight available, something Reigns and others are poised to grab.