The reported reasons for Cesaro not using one of his favorite weapons and the timing of Emma's return to Raw are the kinds of WWE rumors one doesn't want to believe are true.
Poor decision-making and pettiness are seemingly at the heart of these choices. These types of stories make fans regret peeking behind the curtain.
Other reports from backstage point to imminent budget cuts and rumored plans for Rusev and Jack Swagger at SummerSlam.
Those two items will surprise no one. Signs of budget-trimming and flag-waving abound.
It's the buzz around Emma's last appearance on Raw that is as perplexing as it is unexpected.
A Jab at Emma?
Emma joined forces with Natalya on last week's Raw, marking her first match on that show since she was arrested for shoplifting earlier this month in Connecticut.
That same night, fake police arrested Stephanie McMahon. Those two moments may have been more connected than one would expect.
According to F4WOnline (h/t WrestlingInc.com), it may not have just been a coincidence that Emma's return to TV happened on the same show as McMahon's storyline arrest. Word is that it may have been a way to poke fun at Emma.
That's a bizarre way to do business. If this is indeed the case, it ranks as one of the most passive-aggressive ways to punish someone. It's not even a good rib.
The real and fictional arrests are too different for most people to make the connection. Emma herself may not have noticed the flimsy parallels.
Keeping Emma off TV for a short while was punishment enough. This reported knock on her is pure childishness.
More Budget Cuts Coming
WWE has been cutting costs for months now.
Wrestlers such as Teddy Long and Drew McIntyre have been let go. The shift in budget has been expected to affect air travel and catering as well, per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestleZone). It looks as if WWE personnel can expect more of the same soon.
Dave Scherer of PWInsider reports, "There is a lot of talk that some of those cuts will take place on Thursday."
That's when WWE is expected to announce its second-quarter earnings. One has to assume these looming financial moves have made several folks uneasy.
Wrestlers who rarely appear on TV, such as Zack Ryder, and the company's low-level employees will be hoping Thursday comes and goes with only good news sliding down the pipeline.
Rusev and Swagger are certainly headed for a collision of some sort. It appears the nationalistic part of their feud is set to be further spotlighted when that happens.
According to F4WOnline (h/t WrestlingInc.com), WWE is considering pitting the two foes against each other in a Flag match at SummerSlam. The thought process behind this is that Swagger could win without pinning Rusev.
The nature of this rivalry and the latest showdown between these two point strongly in that direction. On Monday's Raw, Lana dogged Old Glory in addition to her usual anti-American rhetoric.
Swagger and Rusev soon brawled and then stared each other down, each with his nation's flag in his grip.
That's a major hint of what's to come between them. The backstage report only solidifies the expectation of flags being at the center of their next bout.
Fans may have noticed that Cesaro has been whipping his opponent around with the Cesaro Swing far less often recently. Reportedly, that's by design.
The solution to a heel being cheered isn't to take away what is exciting to fans but to make the wrestler a babyface. Fans have been pulling for Cesaro for some time, but the company has held back his potential transformation into a fan favorite.
Cesaro did use the dizzying move on Monday's Raw against John Cena. Perhaps that was just a special case of him going back to the move to make the idea of avoiding a babyface reaction by holstering the Cesaro Swing seem misguided.
If the company is indeed intent on having him stop the move for now, it's an odd choice. WWE should be looking for ways to capitalize on Cesaro's surging popularity instead of dampening it.
Not every wrestler can turn an outdated wrestling move into a buzz-creating phenomenon.
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