Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Becky Lynch, MJF and More
WWE fans have been waiting for The Man to come around since Becky Lynch first teased the return of her popular persona.
Unfortunately, an injury forced her to the sidelines, from where she has watched Bianca Belair's continued dominance and the emergence of Damage CTRL as a threat in the women's division.
An update on her progress and potential return headlines this collection of rumors, which also features the latest on MJF's desire to be a babyface and why Shotzi has been teaming with Raquel Rodriguez in pursuit of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship.
Dispelling Becky Lynch Return Rumors
Despite rumors and expectations that The Man was ahead of schedule with her shoulder injury and may have returned in September, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reported, "We were told that the company had yet to follow up with Becky Lynch about a possible return at that point, and was never slated for a September return."
Sapp added: "We were told that her doctors and physical therapists had thought it would be at least a couple of months before she could get near a ring. There's no definitive timetable on her return."
Lynch was last seen on the receiving end of a vicious beatdown by Damage CTRL two nights after SummerSlam in which she was written off of television for the foreseeable future.
Upon her return, she will almost certainly be feuding with Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky. The former Raw women's champion teased a return to her The Man persona, something that had sparked renewed interest in her just before her injury.
Lynch has been one of the biggest stars in WWE for the last four years and will be a major asset for Triple H and the creative forces when she returns.
A match with Bayley, which has not happened as much as you may think on WWE television, would be a clash between two of the four women most synonymous with the women's revolution in the company and a main event-worthy showdown.
Does MJF Actually Want To Be A Babyface?
Despite rapidly increasing popularity, MJF wants nothing to do with being a babyface, according to a report from Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio.
Unfortunately for the All Elite Wrestling star, the fans' appreciation and support of him may be a runaway train at this point.
The audience appreciates his candor and willingness to let them in. He tells emotional stories of a young man wanting so badly to succeed in the world of wrestling, and no matter how hard he tries to heel it up after, it cannot undo the equity he has forged with the fans.
That the 26-year-old has put in the work, developed his own persona and is unabashed in his understanding of his value, has only enhanced the appreciation the audience has for him. And it does not appear to be coming to an end anytime soon.
As his much-anticipated championship opportunity against Jon Moxley at Full Gear on November 19 draws near, both fans and the No. 1 contender should expect the admiration for the self-proclaimed Salt of the Earth to grow.
MJF is likely to arrive at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey next month as one of the most popular stars on the show, regardless of how much he tries to reverse that trend ahead of the show.
Update on Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez Tag Team
Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez will challenge Damage CTRL for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Friday on SmackDown, but they were never intended to be a tandem, according to a report by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The Ballsy Badass was booked in that spot only after Aliyah suffered an injury that put her out of action and kept the former champions from regaining their titles.
It is not necessarily a bad thing, though.
Shotzi is a performer who has not been utilized to her fullest potential by a previous creative regime that did not know what to do with her, her unique look or personality. Having signed the 30-year-old to a contract with NXT, Triple H will be aware of what she brings to the table and is in a better position to see to it that she succeeds.
She and Rodriguez may not beat Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky on Friday, but the fact that they are challenging for them represents a concentrated effort by The Game and those in charge to ensure they remain a focal point of the division, and that is a positive for everyone involved.
Cody Rhodes Update
Meltzer also reported that Cody Rhodes is ahead of schedule in his rehab from a torn pectoral but no timetable has been set for a return.
It is good news for WWE that one of its top stars is preparing to make a comeback sooner than expected ahead of the push toward WrestleMania 39, especially considering the fact that Rhodes is likely to play a pivotal role in the company's plans for the Royal Rumble.
The American Nightmare was last seen delivering one of the gutsiest performances in recent memory in a discomforting match that saw him work though a badly bruised pectoral area and defeat Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell.
Rhodes, 37, will likely be a top-tier talent and a potential challenger to Roman Reigns' Undisputed WWE Universal Championship upon his return.
At a time when Triple H is still fleshing out what he wants the long-term future of WWE to look like from a creative perspective, having all of the pieces at play back and healthy can only be a good thing.