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WWE Rumors on Eva Marie's Return, SummerSlam and Tom Phillips' Release

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 29, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


WWE Reportedly Planning to Use Eva Marie as Manager

Eva Marie has never been known for her in-ring prowess, and WWE is apparently aware of that, as they reportedly aren't planning to use her in a wrestling capacity.

According to Fightful Select (h/t WrestlingInc's Marc Middleton), WWE's current plan with Eva is to have her "be a vehicle to help get another female Superstar over."

For the past several weeks, vignettes have aired on Raw featuring Eva Marie talking about her "Eva-lution." In those vignettes, Eva has seemingly hinted at wanting to share her secrets to success with others.

Given Eva's struggles from an in-ring perspective during her first run with WWE from 2013-17, placing her in a managerial role instead makes all the sense in the world.

Eva has appeal outside the world of pro wrestling because of her social media following, plus she has a great look and plenty of charisma, making her a great fit as a manager.

Based on the current Raw women's roster, Eva would likely be the biggest help to Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, who have been tagging together for the past several months.

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Like Eva, Mandy and Dana both have modeling and fitness backgrounds, so there is enough common ground for the partnership to feel natural.

WWE needs to start building up more credible women's tag teams, and with Eva guiding them, Mandy and Dana could be the ideal threat to dethrone Natalya and Tamina as WWE women's tag team champions.


SummerSlam Occurring on a Saturday; Multiple Venues Considered

WWE is hard at work when it comes to nailing down specifics for the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view in August.

According to ESPN's Ariel Helwani, WWE announced Friday that SummerSlam will occur Aug. 21, which is a Saturday. That is a significant departure for the company, as its pay-per-views have almost always been held on Sundays.

Helwani added that WWE announced it will emanate from a "summer destination location" and that the venue will be announced during the Belmont Stakes pre-race show on NBC on June 5.

Fightful Select (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News) reported that there "are a lot of wheels in motion" on the subject of determining SummerSlam's location.

Bret McCormick of Sports Business Journal reported that WWE has considered six different NFL stadiums as potential SummerSlam venues.

Those stadiums are Hard Rock Stadium in Miami; SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California; NRG Stadium in Houston; Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas; MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey; and Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.

The fact that WWE is looking into NFL stadiums and moving SummerSlam from its traditional Sunday slot suggests the company is looking to go all-out in terms of presenting it as a massive event.

WWE hosted fans at a show for the first time in over a year at WrestleMania 37 in April, and it announced recently that it will go back to touring on the road starting in July with a 25-city tour.

SummerSlam will be part of that tour, and all signs point to it potentially having WrestleMania-esque attendance and importance as well.


Tom Phillips Reportedly Released by WWE

As part of sweeping cuts within the company, WWE reportedly parted ways with announcer Tom Phillips this week.

Fightful (h/t Middleton) was the first to note the departure, which has not been publicly acknowledged by WWE.

Phillips had been with WWE since 2012 and served in a number of roles during that time, and he was best known for his work as a play-by-play announcer on Raw, SmackDown, NXT, NXT UK and 205 Live.

Most recently, Phillips was the play-by-play announcer on Raw alongside Corey Graves and Samoa Joe. However, he was replaced by former ESPN and current MLB Network announcer and analyst Adnan Virk the day after WrestleMania 37.

Virk's departure from WWE was announced this week after he appeared on just seven Raws and one pay-per-view. At the time, it seemed possible that WWE would put Phillips back on Raw.

Instead, WWE announced that former UFC and Bellator announcer Jimmy Smith will take the Raw play-by-play role next to Graves and Byron Saxton.

Phillips is still just 32 years old and has a ton of announcing experience at the highest level, which could make him a sought-after commodity by other wrestling promotions.


Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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