Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
WWE Talent Less Restricted Under Triple H
One benefit of having a longtime wrestler running creative is giving performers more freedom to try things for the audience.
Per Mike Johnson of PW Insider, since Triple H took over as head of creative last month, there has been a "loosening up of freedom" for talent on promos and in the ring.
Johnson noted the Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre match on SmackDown last week was largely called in the ring, instead of having every spot planned out in advance.
Among the problems with WWE in recent years when Vince McMahon was running the show is how programmed every aspect of the show felt.
There were always good matches on Raw and SmackDown because the roster is so good, but those bouts would often end in a weak disqualification or when a debuting star would win, they would never get put over strong.
The language being used on television since Triple H took over has also been a welcome change. McMahon also had weird quirks where everything had to be a buzzword (WWE Universe instead of fans), or certain terms he would ban (belt/strap) for no discernible reason.
It's not hard to figure out that one reason ratings for WWE have been up recently, even after the curiosity of McMahon's retirement wore off, is because the product feels more loose and natural.
Triple H proved for years with NXT that he knows how to run creative for a promotion very well. He's carried that over to Raw and SmackDown since taking over as head of creative on July 22.
Bayley Posts Tribute to Sasha Banks
In her first televised bout since returning from injury, Bayley included an Easter egg midway through the match with Aliyah on Raw.
Bayley delivered a double knee strike as Aliyah was propped up on the ropes in the corner. The WWE women's triple crown winner called that moment out on Instagram, with clips from her match against Sasha Banks from NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2015.
The date of Monday's raw also coincided with the anniversary of that memorable bout seven years ago, which marked Bayley's first singles championship in WWE.
And 7 years ago today since <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NXT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NXT</a> TAKEOVER BROOKLYN!!!!!!!!!!! <br><br>Toronto doesn’t deserve me on this historical day. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/raw?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#raw</a> <a href="https://t.co/nv0qhiWlJL">https://t.co/nv0qhiWlJL</a>
Cora Jade @CoraJadeWWE
This match was such a big part in me starting my journey to become a professional wrestler. I still watch it every now and then. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without <a href="https://twitter.com/itsBayleyWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@itsBayleyWWE</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/SashaBanksWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SashaBanksWWE</a>. Thank you for inspiring the next generation 🖤 <a href="https://t.co/Y0v4UNSAJO">https://t.co/Y0v4UNSAJO</a>
It's certainly possible Bayley was just commemorating a historic moment in her career and from NXT's past, but it could also be a way of teasing Banks' return.
Banks and Naomi haven't been seen in WWE since they walked out during an episode of Raw in May. Both women have agreed to return to the promotion, with speculation they could come back to challenge the winners of the women's tag team title tournament.
With Becky Lynch out of action because of a separated shoulder suffered during her match with Bianca Belair at SummerSlam, the women's roster could certainly use an infusion of star power.
Big E Opens Up About Future
It's been nearly six months since Big E suffered a broken neck after landing on his head while taking a belly-to-belly suplex from Ridge Holland in a tag match on SmackDown.
The former WWE champion told ESPN's Marc Raimondi in July that doctors have told him he will make a full recovery, but his future as a wrestler remains uncertain.
If Big E is unable to continue his in-ring career, he does have plans that will allow him to stay busy. He said on the latest episode of the Out of Character with Ryan Satin podcast (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of ThirstyForNews.com) that he has his eye on acting and voiceover work:
"I love doing VO [voice over]. I’ve really enjoyed doing VO and have some cool things coming that I can’t really divulge yet, but hopefully the next few months. I love doing voice work, I still want to do more of that. I realized, I started wrestling because I love the athletic side of it, and I felt like I had more to offer athletically. As I got older and started progressing and as New Day started to take off, I realized that I love performing, I love entertaining, I love making people laugh, I love breathing life into characters. That stuff, I really enjoy. Now, I kind of gravitated more towards storytelling and doing that in different mediums. That’s what I’d love to do more of."
Big E did update his status on July 4, noting his C-1 vertebrae isn't ossifying yet and he will wait to get additional scans until the one-year anniversary of his injury.
Even though that means Big E won't be back in WWE until March at the absolute earliest, he seems to be in great spirits given the severity of the injury.
As long as Big E is able to get back to full strength at some point, it seems likely he would at least make appearances on WWE television from time to time.
The New Day remain one of the most popular acts in the company. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are more than capable of handling the wrestling if Big E had to transition into a manager role.
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