While Brock Lesnar was hammering John Cena into the mat, Alberto Del Rio was angering WWE officials from miles away.
The latest WWE rumors provide insight into Lesnar's recent showdown on Raw and what's next for him. For Del Rio, rumors point to his former employer's unhappiness with his non-WWE appearance on the same night as SummerSlam.
Other backstage reports discuss the promotion for which some WWE wrestlers are reportedly interested in working, as well as a glimpse into how Triple H and Vince McMahon view WrestleMania 31's main event.
The one certainty with that match seems to be Lesnar's place in it.
As the company's world champion and resident predator, he's in no danger of having to look for work elsewhere. That's not true for the less vital parts of the roster. Recent roster-thinning is likely the reason for Japan being a potential destination for them.
Japan on Wrestlers' Minds
With all the budget cuts that have been happening throughout WWE, it's smart for its lower-tier wrestlers to have a backup plan. It appears for some that one possibility is to head for the Land of the Rising Sun.
For a guy like Zack Ryder who is rarely on TV, one has to wonder if taking a pay cut and traveling east isn't a better option. Tensai found that he had more chances to showcase his skills while working in Japan as Giant Bernard.
The move won't make a Superstar go broke either. Last year, "The Machine Gun" Karl Anderson tweeted what he makes as a member of NJPW:
To set the record straight, for all you marks that keep asking me, I make $640,000 a year, downside. And ppv bonus for when I pop the house.— Karl Anderson (@Machinegunka) November 29, 2013
That's not WWE money, but it's not peanuts.
Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio in Mexico
Not long after his WWE career ended abruptly, Del Rio returned home, appearing for Mexico's AAA promotion at TripleMania XXII.
The event ran the same night as SummerSlam. Del Rio, referring to himself as "El Patron," talked about his dream turning to a nightmare and dealing with racism. PWInsider provided a translation of the promo:
History will mark this day as the day that El Patron returned home. But the truth is, after listening to that grand reception, I don't think El Patron ever left, because his heart belongs to you, it belongs to Mexico. A lot has been said about why I left, why I came back. Seven years ago I embarked on that dream, that adventure called America. And by suffering, blood, sweat and tears we showed North Americans and the entire world, that when you do things with heart, with passion, with love, and being humble under the eyes of God our Father, dreams do come true. Of course it wasn't easy, and then came a day that the dream turned into a nightmare. Similar to many of you, or if not you, to family members of yours, who have gone to the other side looking for a better life for those that we love, I came across a monster, a monster called racism. Racism doesn't distinguish sex, race, religion, color, it doesn't care…if you have money, if you don’t have it. But this man that’s standing right here (points at his father Dos Caras), that has given me everything and has made me the person that I am, gave me the biggest gift a father can give his son—honesty and the spirit to triumph. He never lowered his head, so that I could learn to never lower it in front of anyone. I love you, Dad. In the U.S., they might be able to take my job, but they'll never, ever take away my dignity and my pride. And on this night, my fellow Mexicans, I promise you and God that never again will someone come and disrespect my people, myself and all those that I love—because I am El Patron Alberto and I am Mexican, ladies and gentlemen!
Mysterio, who is still under contract with WWE, appeared at the show via video:
As one might expect, WWE wasn't thrilled with any of this. According to F4WOnline (h/t PWMania) WWE officials are upset with Del Rio and Mysterio working for AAA. The reports also notes that the company fears coming off as racist, especially to the Latino community.
Del Rio didn't compete at the event, per ProFightDB.com, so he didn't break his 90-day no-compete clause. However, as PWInsider reports, "The name Alberto Del Rio was used in a graphic, and he used his WWE ring music."
As much as that is going to get WWE dialing its attorneys in a hurry, Mysterio's appearance has to rile them up even more.
The Master of the 619 still has a contract with WWE. This isn't going to earn him any points with the company in his efforts to break free from it.
It looks as if Del Rio's and Mysterio's next battles are going to be in a courtroom.
WrestleMania 31 Indecision
WWE's two most powerful voices differ on who to send The Beast Incarnate after at WrestleMania 31.
According to F4WOnline (h/t PWMania), there are currently rumors of Triple H and McMahon disagreeing on creative issues. For one, McMahon is said to be pushing for The Rock and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31, while Triple H wants Roman Reigns vs. Lesnar.
McMahon's choice is the safer route. It's destined to bring in big bucks with two stars of that caliber.
Triple H's approach is more forward-thinking. The Rock isn't going to be around to carry the company. He'll be too busy making movies.
The company needs to build up its emerging stars so that when Lesnar and The Rock aren't wrestling anymore, it's not flailing around in search of headliners.
Reigns, though, may not be ready for that kind of spotlight yet. He's an unknown, a blue-chip prospect with a projected high ceiling. The Rock is a proven commodity.
Both options make sense for different reasons.
These reported differing views are about more than a WrestleMania match, though. They are an indication of a difference in philosophy. Triple H appears to be the bolder of the two, willing to shake up the status quo.
McMahon would be wise to listen to him. The Rock can sell tickets facing someone else, allowing an up-and-comer to benefit from going one-on-one with The Great One while Reigns gets his crack at The Beast Incarnate.
Backstage News on Brock Lesnar
Before Lesnar pummeled Cena at SummerSlam, he prowled around a ring full of legends in a memorable segment on the Aug. 11 Raw. Apparently, what he said to Hulk Hogan was a bit of improvisation.
The moment was better off for this reported departure from the script. With Lesnar being unable to F5 any of those Hall of Famers, he needed something to punctuate his presence. His line, whether of his or Heyman's design, did just that.
Now that he's world champ, what's next for him?
One would assume that Cena will get a rematch at Night of Champions. It's unclear, though, how many dates the powerhouse is working. One report says that he'll be at the next pay-per-view, even if there has been no official announcement of that.
That's not surprising news considering how important it is for WWE to acquire new subscribers. Having Lesnar take on Cena once more is certainly a way to entice folks to order the WWE Network.
Besides, what would Night of Champions be without the company's top titleholder?
Let's just hope that during the build to that pay-per-view, Lesnar throws in a line of his own again. The last time out produced a gem.