Sting threw a lit match onto the smoldering rumors about him coming to WWE, making it seem likely that he debuts before CM Punk returns to the ring.
In 2014, fans haven't been able to go more than a week without hearing rumors about either wrestler possibly appearing at the next WWE show. This week's batch of Internet buzz will please Sting fans and give Punk fans less hope than before.
Other WWE rumors provide some insight into what officials have in mind for Randy Orton this summer and why Jack Swagger wasn't around on Monday's Raw.
We begin with Punk, the man Montreal fans chanted for Monday night despite the fact that he, like Swagger, was not part of the action in the Bell Centre.
CM Punk Return Talk Squashed
Now that AJ Lee is back, questions about whether Punk is coming back to WWE have grown louder again:
@Wale you think they let AJ win as a circumstance for CM punk to return?— Seth DJPOOKiE Rivera (@TheRealDJPOOKiE) July 1, 2014
There's no evidence that the Divas champ returning has any effect on Punk, though. Mike Johnson of PWInsider writes, "When WWE sources were asked whether there was any change with Punk's status with the company, one source declined to comment, saying, 'I'm not going there' and the other said, 'Nope.'"
That's not what Punk's biggest fans want to hear, but it's not surprising. Punk was burned out and struggled to maintain his passion for wrestling as much as a year before his departure, as Paul Heyman told Chris Jericho on his podcast.
His wife coming back to WWE TV doesn't change that.
Only time and him pining to start kicking people on camera again will. Fans just have to be patient. Perhaps WrestleMania 31 will have been a long enough time away.
Backstage Word on Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton on Raw
Orton met the madcap Dean Ambrose on Monday's Raw. The men crashed into each other and put on an entertaining match before The Viper won with an RKO.
According to F4WOnline (h/t WrestlingInc), the reasoning behind Orton beating Ambrose was to keep Orton looking strong before his pay-per-view bouts with Roman Reigns.
The win was the right move and not at all surprising. Orton is the more established star, while Ambrose is still looking to prove himself. Ambrose looked great in defeat anyway.
The more interesting part of the report is that it confirms that fans can expect Orton vs. Reigns again, perhaps at SummerSlam.
In late June, F4WOnline (h/t WrestlingInc) reported that officials were discussing saving Triple H vs. Reigns for SummerSlam, opening the door for Orton to take on Reigns at the marquee event in August. This is just another reason to believe that's how things will play out.
It makes SummerSlam a touch less interesting but amps up the excitement over what will be an long-anticipated match in Triple H vs. Reigns.
Backstage News on Why Jack Swagger Was Not on Raw
Rusev and Swagger's rivalry didn't continue on Monday's Raw. Instead, Rusev earned a victory over Rob Van Dam.
During that bout, Zeb Colter appeared via video insert and challenged Rusev to a match against Swagger. A recent report sheds light on why WWE went this route rather than having Swagger and Rusev engage in another physical confrontation.
According to F4WOnline (h/t PWMania), Swagger likely missed Monday's Raw due to previous legal troubles. The report goes on to say that Colter appeared via video as a means to avoid the Canadians booing him.
WWE has been milking the duo's patriotism in a feud against Rusev. The company has begun to push them into babyface roles.
It makes sense, then, to not chance them being treated as heels so early in the transition.
For Swagger's sake, he better hope there isn't a WrestleMania or SummerSlam in Canada before his reported legal problems get sorted out. Being pulled out of a Raw in early July is not a big deal, but losing one's WrestleMania spot would be a career-altering occurrence.
Sting Rekindles Rumors
Is Sting signed with WWE? Is he going to wrestle for the company for the first time in his career?
The Icon has fans asking those questions even more than before after he tweeted a mysterious message:
07.14.14— Sting (@Sting) July 8, 2014
That happens to be the date of the next Raw. It's hard to imagine why he would post this outside of it being his debut date, when he will officially be announced as part of the WWE 2K15 video game or a case of him doing some high-level trolling.
Richmond, Virginia, plays host to Raw that night. Those who buy a ticket to see Sting on July 14 will either witness a huge moment in wrestling history or experience the disappointment of him not showing up firsthand.
Either way, he has successfully compelled fans to start talking about the potential genesis of his WWE career again.