Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe and All Elite Wrestling.
Rollins Was Reportedly Planned to Win WWE Title at Day 1
Roman Reigns' inability to compete at Day 1 after testing positive for COVID-19 reportedly led to WWE decision-makers abandoning a plan that would have had Seth Rollins win the WWE Championship.
In an article for Sports Illustrated, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter wrote that original plans called for Rollins to win a Fatal 4-Way that also included Big E, Kevin Owens and Bobby Lashley.
Instead, Brock Lesnar was added to the match to make it a Fatal 5-Way after his Universal Championship bout was called off, and Lesnar was victorious, making him the new WWE champion.
It was a surprising result given that Lesnar wasn't supposed to be in the match in the first place and because he was in the midst of a rivalry with Reigns on SmackDown.
Lesnar said he would be on SmackDown this week, and it stands to reason that it could be a way of tying up loose ends so The Beast Incarnate can focus on being Raw's top champ leading up to WrestleMania.
In the wake of Lesnar's win, Lashley won a Fatal 4-Way on Raw against Big E, Rollins and Owens, setting the stage for a Lesnar vs. Lashley dream match at Royal Rumble.
It is unclear where that leaves Rollins with regard to WrestleMania, although it stands to reason that he will take part in the men's Royal Rumble match.
Rollins doesn't figure to win, though, unless WWE has plans to move him to SmackDown to challenge Reigns, as that would be a fresher matchup than Rollins vs. Lesnar.
The booking decision at Day 1 also could have been a way to build even more momentum behind Big E, as dropping the title opens the door for him to potentially win the Rumble and then beat Lesnar at WrestleMania.
Edge Comments on Teaming with Beth Phoenix at Royal Rumble
After Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz and Maryse was made official for Royal Rumble on Monday's episode of Raw, Edge commented on his excitement over teaming with his wife.
The WWE Hall of Famer took to Instagram, writing:
"This weekend was so much fun. For the first time ever Beth and I had interaction on screen for WWE. The best stuff happens when you can tell the performers are having fun, and Beth and I are havin a blast. This month will probably be the first and last time you see us in this capacity, and I'm so thankful we get the opportunity."
Edge faced The Miz at Day 1, and the match featured a surprise appearance by Phoenix, who foiled Maryse's interference attempts, allowing The Rated-R Superstar to hit a spear on Miz for the win.
The next night on Raw, Edge and Phoenix challenged Miz and Maryse to a mixed tag team match at Royal Rumble, which Miz accepted, much to the chagrin of Maryse.
Edge and Phoenix didn't become a real-life couple until after Edge retired in 2011, so Day 1 marked the first time they worked together in an on-screen capacity in WWE.
After years of retirement, Edge returned to the fold in 2020, and Phoenix, who is a WWE Hall of Famer in her own right, has worked matches periodically in recent years as well.
Phoenix left the NXT commentary team last month, opening the door for her to focus on a return to the ring, even if it is only temporary.
The Miz and Maryse have had some memorable mixed tag team matches over the years against the likes of John Cena and Nikki Bella as well as Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella.
They have a penchant for making rivalries and matches entertaining, and given the real-life chemistry Edge and Phoenix obviously have, all the elements are there for a great bout on the Royal Rumble undercard.
Tony Khan Talks Upcoming 'Dream' Signing for AEW
AEW President Tony Khan expressed excitement over a new signing who will be debuting with the company soon.
In an interview with Josh Martinez of Z100 New York (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), Khan was asked if he has any dream signings up his sleeve in 2022, and he responded: "There is. They are in North America, and they're coming. And pretty soon, and it's going to be awesome. I'm very excited."
Khan didn't give any other hints as to who the signing might be, but it has led to plenty of speculation among wrestling fans.
Two notable names who aren't currently known to be signed with a wrestling company are former WWE champion Bray Wyatt and former NXT champion Johnny Gargano.
Wyatt has been a free agent since getting released by WWE in July, and fans have eagerly anticipated his return to wrestling since he is known as one of the best in the business in terms of character development and promo work.
Meanwhile, Gargano's WWE contract expired last month, and there is reason to believe his time with the promotion is over because of the new direction NXT 2.0 has gone in over the past few months.
Since becoming a free agent, Gargano has reopened his Pro Wrestling Tees store and started YouTube and Twitch channels, which wouldn't have been possible under a WWE deal.
Meltzer (h/t Mukherjee) said last month that he had a "feeling" Gargano might debut for AEW on the Jan. 26 episode of Dynamite, which will be in his hometown of Cleveland.
Gargano would be a significant signing since he is among the best in-ring workers and one of the biggest stars in NXT history, plus a Jan. 26 debut would satisfy Khan's hint that the dream signing is arriving "soon."
AEW has not shied away from signing former WWE stars lately, especially ones who came from NXT. Among the examples are Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, Bobby Fish, Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo and the company's newest signing, Jake Atlas.
While AEW has been on a signing spree in the wake of WWE releases and expiring contracts, Khan's comments suggest more and more talent will continue to be brought in moving forward.
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