Lashley Calls Out Dwight Howard; WWE Rumors on Riddle's Injury, Triple H Backstage

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 3, 2022

Brett Carlsen/Fan Controlled Football/Getty Images

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

Lashley Calls His Shot on Dwight Howard

On the heels of NBA veteran Dwight Howard taking part in a WWE tryout in Nashville, Tennessee, last week, United States champion Bobby Lashley had some strong words for him.

Appearing on The Ringer's Masked Man Show (h/t Manik Aftab of ThirstyForNews.com), Lashley said the following about what he intends to do to Howard if they cross paths in a WWE ring: "If he steps into the ring, I'll spear him and chop him in half. He's like a giant. He's 10 foot tall. I have experience with giants. I had Omos, threw him around, and he's half the size of Omos. I don't think he wants to go against the All Mighty. Baby steps."

Howard was a surprise participant in the tryout, which featured athletes from many different sports, but none with the type of professional resume that Howard possesses.

The 36-year-old has played 18 seasons in the NBA for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers, averaging 15.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He is currently a free agent.

As an eight-time All-Star, five-time rebounding champion, three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and one-time NBA champion, Howard has arguably put together a Hall of Fame resume.

Howard has nothing left to prove in the NBA, which is why WWE may be an appealing next step for him.

At 6'10" and 265 pounds, Howard has the size and strength to succeed in pro wrestling, plus he has shown over the course of his basketball career that he has no shortage of charisma.

Howard would have a long way to go before reaching the level of an elite performer like Lashley, however, and there is no question that Lashley would be considered a heavy favorite in a match against Howard, even in a predetermined business.

Riddle Scheduled for Live Events Despite Injury

Although WWE announced last week that Riddle is dealing with a stinger, he is reportedly slated to return to in-ring action.

According to PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson, Riddle is scheduled to compete this weekend at WWE's live events.

WWE called off the match between Riddle and Seth Rollins at SummerSlam due to Riddle's injury, but every indication is that the ailment is for storyline purposes.

The supposed injury occurred on the final episode of Raw before SummerSlam when Rollins attacked Riddle after a six-man tag team match pitting Riddle and The Street Profits against The Bloodline.

Rollins hit Riddle with a stomp on the steel stairs, and it was later announced that Riddle would not be medically cleared to compete at SummerSlam.

Despite that, Riddle got into the ring at SummerSlam and called out Rollins, who ran down and took out The Original Bro with another stomp.

All signs point toward the Riddle vs. Rollins feud continuing and potentially getting resolved at Clash at the Castle, which will emanate from Cardiff, Wales, early next month.

Reported Changes Triple H Has Made to WWE Promos

As the new head of WWE creative, Triple H is reportedly loosening some of the restrictions that were in place previously.

According to Johnson, backstage sources have indicated that Triple H is allowing talent to improvise more often both on the microphone and during matches.

Johnson specifically mentioned the Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus Donnybrook from last week's SmackDown as a match where the participants were allowed to call most of it in the ring.

It is no secret that heavy scripting was long a hallmark of WWE programming with Vince McMahon at the helm as the CEO, chairman and head of creative.

McMahon retired from all three roles last month, however, while facing allegations that he paid a total of $12 million to four women formerly employed by WWE millions of dollars to suppress allegations of infidelity and sexual misconduct against him.

Triple H has been leading the charge creatively since then, and there have already been some notable changes compared to the way McMahon ran things.

Given that he served in a similar role in NXT for years, Triple H has plenty of experience as a creative leader, and he has seemed to press the right buttons in his short time in his new role. SummerSlam was better than expected, and the ensuing Raw was also well received.

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


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.