Stephanie McMahon's reported rage and how officials plan to build up Paige in the audience's eyes headlines the latest WWE rumors.
Backstage reports give insight into why McMahon was red-faced behind the scenes and how the current Divas champ is being booked. The plan for Paige is as unsurprising as McMahon's reaction to inside information finding its way outside.
Other buzz focuses on how Hugh Jackman interacted with Superstars backstage and why Bad News Barrett may be getting his latest push.
In a matter of weeks, Barrett has gone from only being active behind the podium to beating Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus and Rob Van Dam to become the No. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship. What sparked the shift?
It may have been his performance at the latest WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
Barrett smashed his Hall of Fame segment out of the park on Saturday. Ooh - En-Ger-Land chants. #WrestleZone— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) April 8, 2014
According to F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc, "Wade Barrett's stock within WWE went up a lot with his promo at the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. Vince McMahon has been high on Barrett for a while and is a fan of the Bad News Barrett gimmick."
McMahon's reported high opinion of the Englishman is finally showing up in the form of opportunities. He's had two lengthy, quality matches throughout the recent tournament, defeated a former world champ in Van Dam and now gets a shot against Big E at Extreme Rules.
It would be strange for his Hall of Fame speech to be what got him these chances, as he's been knocking out home runs for much of his time as the bearer of bad news.
McMahon Reported Reaction to Leaked Script
The strong, take-no-prisoners executive that fans see when McMahon appears onscreen may not completely go away when the cameras go off.
Someone leaked a draft of the April 14 Raw script, and McMahon was reportedly incensed about it. The document detailed which Superstars are listed as injured and who is classified as a "miscellaneous" member of the roster, per ProWrestling.net.
Leaked Raw Script Explains AJ Lee, Summer Rae Absences http://t.co/wVO6H5a5GF— Diva Dirt (@divadirt) April 16, 2014
Wrestling news outlets caught hold of it, and as reported by F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc, "Stephanie McMahon was reportedly very upset with the RAW script leaking last week, to the point that she was described as "mad enough that she could beat Ronda Rousey in a UFC fight.'"
It's certainly not a surprising reaction. Much of WWE's entertainment comes from the element of surprise.
Even though this was an earlier draft of the script and several things changed once the show hit the airwaves, no WWE official want this kind of information out. It's hard enough to keep a secret in this age of instant information.
Word on Jackman's Appearance on Raw
Jackman made his second-ever WWE appearance on the Extreme Rules go-home Raw. He continued his tradition of taking a shot at a heel Superstar, this time hip-tossing Damien Sandow to the mat.
Word is that Jackman was a gracious guest backstage.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider reports that "Jackman was said to have gone out of his way to speak to everyone he could at the taping. He grew up a huge fan of WWF when he was a kid and attended shows in his native Australia."
It's always good to hear that someone being invited into WWE's world respects it. It appears that Jackman didn't just feel obligated to promote his new movie. He appreciated the opportunity to be a part of WWE.
That was evident in his enthusiasm throughout the Sandow and Ziggler segment. This wasn't some silly gig to him it seemed, but yet another chance to entertain.
Add him to the list of guests who are welcome back anytime.
Booking Strategy for Paige
Since defeating AJ Lee for the Divas Championship, WWE has been slowly been giving Paige more ring time and increasingly tough opponents. A recent reports gives some insight in what WWE's thinking is with this method.
PWInsider, via Wrestling Inc, reports the following:
WWE is booking Divas Champion Paige against a number of low-level heels because there's a feeling that the WWE audience needs to get to know her, understand who she is and find a reason to get behind her.
By her wrestling Divas like Aksana and Alicia Fox, officials feel that she will have a chance to develop in front of fans so she will then be ready for pay-per-view matches like the one with Tamina Snuka at Extreme Rules and bigger matches to come.
This is sound strategy, as many fans aren't familiar with her NXT work.
She didn't stick around fighting the low-level heels for long, though. Tamina is a huge step up from Aksana.
She'll likely deliver a match with Paige at Extreme Rules that will snag the Divas champ a number of new fans.
Tamina just put on an excellent match against Natalya on Friday's SmackDown. Paige had been regularly producing quality bouts for NXT. They just have to combine their powers.
One has to assume that the "bigger matches to come" mentioned in the report have to include an eventual showdown with AJ. AJ's time off is allowing Paige to develop her own fanbase before those two meet.