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Becky Lynch Reveals Nixed Return Plan; Keith Lee's New Nickname; Big E in The Shield?

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 21, 2021

Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

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


Lynch Confirms Talk of Match vs. Bayley at WrestleMania 37

SmackDown Women's champion Becky Lynch said Monday that multiple different plans for her return to the ring were discussed before she showed up at SummerSlam.

Speaking to Alex McCarthy of TalkSport, Lynch said the original idea was for her to appear at WrestleMania 37 in April to potentially face Bayley. 

Becky said the plan was changed and the expectation was she would return in October, but WWE called her the week of SummerSlam and moved her return up to that event.

The change of plans was necessitated by Sasha Banks' inability to compete at SummerSlam in her scheduled SmackDown Women's Championship match against Bianca Belair.

That led to The Man's appearance for the first time in more than a year after giving birth to her first child and challenging Belair to a title match on the spot.

Belair accepted and went to shake Becky's hand when she offered it, but Lynch took advantage with a cheap shot and won the title in seconds, thus cementing a heel turn.

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Had Lynch come back at WrestleMania to face Bayley, she would have been a clear babyface since Bayley was the top heel in the women's division at that time.

Bayley didn't end up having a match at WrestleMania, instead acting as a de facto host and eventually getting beaten up by WWE Hall of Famers The Bella Twins.

While Becky vs. Bayley would have been an excellent addition to the WrestleMania card, having Lynch come back as the heel foil to Belair has been effective.

Both have knocked it out of the park, and there is no question The EST is more over than ever as a babyface because of the heel work Becky has been doing.

Things are constantly evolving in WWE, and it could turn out that bringing back Lynch at SummerSlam was the best move for her, Belair and the entire SmackDown women's division.


Keith Lee Given "Bearcat" Nickname

During a dark match prior to Monday night's episode of Raw, Keith Lee was announced as having a new nickname.

According to WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton, Lee was announced as Keith "Bearcat" Lee before winning a squash match against a local enhancement talent.

Middleton noted that the nickname could be an homage to wrestling legends Bearcat Wright and Bearcat Brown, the former of whom was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017 as part of the legacy wing.

Lee has been kept off television since Aug. 2 when he beat Karrion Kross on Raw. Before that, he made his long-awaited return to TV on July 19 after missing more than five months with an illness.

While fans are eagerly anticipating Lee's return, it is clear WWE is trying to fine-tune his character before having him reenter the fold.

He has worked many dark matches and live events since Aug. 2 and has played a heel role in many of those matches, which could be a sign of things to come.

Also, the WWE draft is scheduled to begin Oct. 1,  and keeping Lee off TV could be a case of WWE preparing to move him from Raw to SmackDown.

Regardless of where and when he resurfaces, the former NXT and North American champion is a big-time talent with the potential to be a top star in WWE.


Kofi Says Big E Was Almost in The Shield

Big E reached the pinnacle of the professional wrestling business by winning the WWE Championship, but his path to get there was almost much different.

In an interview with Rick Ucchino of SportsKeeda (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), New Day member Kofi Kingston discussed the original plan for his stablemate when he made his WWE main roster debut back in 2012:

"Big E will tell the story a lot better, but long-story-short, he was actually supposed to be in The Shield a long time ago, way way back when they were trying to pick people from FCW to come up. So Roman [Reigns] gets the call, Roman goes off, builds himself and does all these incredible things and incredible run with The Shield. Roman is Roman and also Big E has done some incredible things and [shown] some incredible growth. ... Now, everyone loves Big E, so there's a big journey there too."

The Shield ended up being Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, all of whom went on to become world champions in WWE and huge stars in the wrestling business.

Instead of joining The Shield, Big E debuted as a bodyguard of sorts for Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee. He also went on to become Intercontinental champion after breaking out on his own.

It wasn't until Big E, Kofi and Xavier Woods formed New Day in 2014 that he truly started to reach his immense potential, however.

After becoming one of the greatest tag team wrestlers of all time with Kingston and Woods, Big E went off on his own again last year and won the IC title.

He also won Money in the Bank and successfully cashed it in last week to beat Bobby Lashley and become WWE champion.

Now, Reigns and Big E are at the top of their respective brands and are embroiled in a feud of sorts, which goes to show there are many different ways to become a top star in WWE.


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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