One of the hottest stories in WWE right now is the rivalry between Roman Reigns and John Cena.
The top two stars in sports entertainment have bickered and insulted their way to a match on September 24 at No Mercy. Thanks to the wrestling rumor mill, there is a better idea of what fans can expect from the match and Reigns in particular.
Those same fans also have a timeline of Asuka's impending main roster debut.
On the September 11 episode of Raw, a vignette announced the arrival of The Empress of Tomorrow to the brand, but now fans have an idea of when they can expect the longest-reigning NXT women's champion of all time to set foot inside a red brand ring.
Then there is the announcement of a series of Raw brand events in India, the potential appearance from SmackDown Live's WWE champion Jinder Mahal at the shows and what that means for the title picture in the coming months.
Roman Reigns and No Mercy Indecision
According to Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats, fans can expect Roman Reigns to be well-protected come No Mercy in Los Angeles' Staples Center: "The winner of No Mercy's John Cena/Roman Reigns match isn't decided yet, but either way, Reigns will be protected and eventually go over Cena sometime between now and WrestleMania 34."
The revelation should not be a surprise to many.
Reigns is the future, while Cena is back for what feels like a short stint before returning to the bright lights of Hollywood. He has already put over Shinsuke Nakamura to strengthen the SmackDown main event scene and is expected to do the same for Raw.
The biggest takeaway from the report is that it does not specify when Reigns may get his win over Cena. Common sense would suggest it would come in L.A. at No Mercy, but the open-ended nature of the report suggests Cena may be around past the September 24 event.
If he goes over Reigns at No Mercy, the effect of a Reigns victory is lost. Instead of going over strong and proving his greatness, he has to have a second or third chance to do so. It hurts his credibility and makes it even harder to overcome comparisons to Cena.
Protect Reigns all you want, but there are still fans who equate top stars with big wins. Given the fact that Reigns has spent his 2017 losing pay-per-view matches, that does not bode well for him.
Asuka's Raw Debut
Also according to Ortman, fans of NXT's Asuka can expect the dominant competitor to arrive on Raw within the next month or so: "Asuka's Raw debut is expected for mid-October, with her first match likely at TLC."
Still recovering from a collarbone injury suffered at TakeOver: Brooklyn against Ember Moon, Asuka will sit on the sidelines for the next few weeks before making what should be an explosive debut.
The most dominant female performer of her generation, she relinquished the NXT Women's Championship without ever being beaten for it and leaves NXT without ever suffering a loss.
Asuka may not have the quality of competition on Raw that she would have on SmackDown, but she can bring a legitimacy to the brand through matches with Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Emma and Mickie James that will spark that division.
It is a wise, strategical creative decision that will help the women's roster on Monday nights while building Asuka's star on the flagship show of WWE.
WWE Touring India, Jinder Mahal and the WWE Championship
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reports WWE's Raw brand will tour India on December 7 and 8.
"The Raw brand will be holding two live events this December in New Delhi, India at the 16,000 seat Indira Ghandi Indoor Stadium, the first time the company has toured that country since launching its localized weekly series WWE Sunday Dhamaal in Hindi," according to Johnson.
Naturally, questions about WWE running India with the brand that does not feature the current WWE champion Jinder Mahal, and Indo-Canadian champion whose Indian heritage plays heavily into his on-screen persona, arise.
Ortman over at Cageside Seats followed up on the report with news that Mahal and The Singh Brothers may not only appear at the events but the timing could affect The Modern Day Maharaja's WWE Championship status: "No word yet if SmackDown's Jinder Mahal and The Singhs will accompany Team Red, but speculation is out there Mahal will remain WWE champ until the trip."
It makes complete sense that WWE would want to roll into India with a WWE champion who represented that country's people. Taking the title off Mahal ahead of that show would be an interesting booking choice unless it is absolutely sold on Shinsuke Nakamura reigning over SmackDown Live as the titleholder.
If not, if there is even a bit of hesitation, keeping the title on Mahal and allowing him to arrive in India as champion is the right decision.