WWE Rumors: Examining Latest Buzz Around Baron Corbin, Bobby Roode and More

Erik BeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2017

WWE Rumors: Examining Latest Buzz Around Baron Corbin, Bobby Roode and More

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    Credit: WWE.com

    In this post-SummerSlam WWE, rumors and news are running rampant, including that of NXT stars poised to debut on Raw and SmackDown Live soon.

    Fresh off the brand's red-hot TakeOver: Brooklyn III special on Saturday and the arrival of Adam Cole, it is time for NXT to refresh its roster and send those deserving competitors to the promised land of WWE.

    Who are the performers tapped to appear on cable TV?

    Speaking of NXT, alumnus Baron Corbin finds himself in hot water as the fall months approach.

    What does that mean for a Superstar once considered a future headliner with the blue brand?

    Find out the answer to those questions and more with this recap of the WWE rumor mill for August 22.

NXT Superstars Set for Main Roster Debuts

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    After another extraordinary NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn event, it appears as though several of the brand's favorites are headed for the main roster. 

    Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reports Bobby Roode is most likely to debut on the main roster, perhaps as soon as Tuesday's SmackDown Live. According to the site, he was backstage at Raw Monday: "The word making the rounds [Saturday] was that Roode was going to the main roster, most likely for the Smackdown brand."

    The former NXT champion has enjoyed a career rejuvenation since arriving in WWE last year. The former TNA world heavyweight champion became the face of the brand and its champion for a seven-month period.

    At TakeOver: Brooklyn III, he dropped the title to Drew McIntyre in a hotly contested match.

    Roode is a quality main event-level heel and should do wonders to help shore up the star power atop the SmackDown Live brand. He fits that show well and could very well usurp Jinder Mahal as its lead heel sooner than later.

    Randal Ortman of Cageside Seats also reported Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, No Way Jose, The Authors of Pain and Hideo Itami will join Roode on the main roster—possibly as part of an upcoming Superstar shuffle.

    On one hand, it is nice to see management rewarding talent for their hard work in the WWE Performance Center and as part of the NXT brand. On the other, there is a logjam of talent on both shows and not nearly enough time to highlight them all. 

    That's particularly true on SmackDown Live, where Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger and Chad Gable are routinely ignored, Mike and Maria Kanellis are tossed aside and Aiden English is infrequently utilized.

    Where these Superstars fit into the equation without taking opportunities away from other performers is a question WWE Creative should address before making the decision to call them up.

Update on Baron Corbin's Backstage Heat

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    Baron Corbin lost his Money in the Bank briefcase on the August 15 episode of SmackDown Live, then proceeded to roll into SummerSlam and lose in unimpressive fashion to John Cena in Sunday night's opening contest.

    Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Cageside Seats for the summary) reports that Corbin is the subject of serious backstage heat: "There's considerable backstage heat on Baron Corbin, and that's the reason for his booking over the past week."

    Monday, Corbin took to Twitter to denounce speculation that he is in the doghouse with WWE officials.

    "If you people on here knew 1/100 of what you thought you did, your opinions might matter. I'll just keep doing what I do and succeeding. So keep commenting and following everything I do," he posted.

    After being buried in consecutive television appearances, perhaps the confrontational and combative approach is not the best one to take. A little humility may not hurt.

    It is a rapid descent for a Superstar once considered a sure thing to be a SmackDown Live main event attraction just weeks ago. Well on his way to becoming WWE champion, he now faces an uncertain future that will likely see him have to fight his way back to the position he was in just over a week ago.

    Perhaps he should start by laying low on social media and not allowing fans, analysts or journalists to goad him into a response.

Another Addition to the SmackDown Live Roster?

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    Shelton Benjamin is on his way back to WWE, where he was an intercontinental and tag team champion, according to a report by PWInsider.com:

    "Benjamin has signed a new deal with WWE. The company planned to sign Benjamin last summer as part of their brand split and even ran videos promoting his return to the company, only to learn the 42-year old had a torn rotator cuff during the standard pre-signing medical testing. Benjamin underwent surgery to repair the injury while WWE quietly stopped running the videos."

    Originally slated to be a major part of the SmackDown Live brand following the roster separation, Benjamin now has the opportunity to compete on a Tuesday night show in need of star power. While he was never a main event attraction, he has name recognition among fans of a bygone generation.

    Once considered the best athlete in all of WWE, it should be interesting to see how he competes with a smaller, quicker, more athletically gifted roster than he ever had during his first run with the company from 2002 to 2007.

    A former collegiate wrestler at the University of Minnesota, he is a skilled technician who can ground his opponent and outwrestle him when necessary.

    His style meshes well with that of AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and even WWE champion Jinder Mahal, making him an ideal addition to the SmackDown Live roster.

    Even if that crop of wrestlers is bloated without enough time of focus for the Superstars it already has.