X

WWE Rumors on Roman Reigns vs. Rock at WrestleMania, New Championships and Tyson Fury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 26: Roman Reigns is seen in Midtown on July 26, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
Gotham/GC Images

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


WWE's Reported WrestleMania Backup Plan for Reigns

If WWE is unable to secure Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to face WWE universal champion Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 in April, there is reportedly already a backup plan in place.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), WWE head of creative Triple H knows what direction he wants to go in if the "very real possibility" of The Rock not being available for WrestleMania comes to pass.

Meltzer noted that while the backup plan isn't publicly known, Cody Rhodes is likely the "betting line favorite" to be Reigns' opponent outside of The Rock.

Rumors and speculation have persisted for months regarding Reigns vs. The Rock at WrestleMania, but WWE has never truly teased the match, which would make it easy for the company to pivot if it can't be made possible.

The Rock is as busy as anyone in show business because of his acting schedule, plus he is the owner of the XFL, which is set to relaunch in spring 2023 and could conflict with WrestleMania season.

Reigns vs. The Rock is the biggest possible match WWE could put on, and it would increase interest in WrestleMania 39 significantly, but it isn't necessarily needed for WWE to put on a great show.

WWE could always try for Reigns vs. The Rock at a later date, especially since the fanbase would likely react positively to Reigns vs. Rhodes as well.

Rhodes is seemingly getting closer to a return after missing several months with a torn pectoral muscle, and if he were to win the Royal Rumble and challenge Reigns, it would still be one of WWE's best stories in quite some time.


WWE Reportedly Considering Adding Another Title

With Reigns in possession of both world titles, WWE is reportedly considering the addition of another major championship.

According to Meltzer (h/t Smita Singha Roy of Ringside News), there "remains a lot of talk" within WWE about creating a new title for Raw if Reigns remains on SmackDown or for SmackDown if Reigns gets moved to Raw the next time a draft is held.

Reigns has held the Universal Championship for over 850 days, and he added the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 38 in April 2022, meaning WWE is closing in on a full year of only having one world champion.

While that makes being world champion an even bigger deal than if there were two world titles, it has also left Raw without a major men's championship to vie for.

Many fans have clamored for the titles to be broken up again and Reigns to perhaps lose one of them, but WWE has stayed away from The Tribal Chief losing big matches.

If WWE has a desire for there to be two world titles but no desire for Reigns to lose, simply merging the WWE and Universal Championships into one and then creating a new world title could be a viable option.

Adding another world title would give WWE ammunition for some compelling television over the course of several weeks, as the winner could be determined by a tournament involving some of the top stars the company has to offer.

Reigns has been excellent in his role, and it is understandable why WWE has protected him, but if it wants Raw to be as interesting and important as SmackDown, a second world champion may be needed in the near future.


WWE's Reported Feelings on Utilizing Tyson Fury

A source within WWE reportedly told Meltzer (h/t Gunjan Nath of Ringside News) that there are reservations about using heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury in an in-ring capacity.

The source told Meltzer that Fury is "not willing to put people over or even look vulnerable," thus making it difficult to do something like a cameo in the men's Royal Rumble match, since he may not be willing to get eliminated.

The revelation came on the heels of a report by Sunni Upal of The Sun U.S. this week. In the report, Upal noted that WWE had plans to use Fury at the 2023 Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 39, but visa issues are preventing it from happening.

Fury is reportedly banned from entering the United States because of his ties to alleged Irish mob boss Daniel Kinahan.

As a result, Fury is reportedly missing out on millions of dollars that he could have earned by working Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.

Fury has made multiple appearances for WWE, including a Crown Jewel match against Braun Strowman in Saudi Arabia. He also had a presence at Clash at the Castle in Wales in September when he punched out Austin Theory during a Money in the Bank cash-in attempt and consoled Drew McIntyre after his loss to Reigns in the main event.

There is no question that Fury is a huge star in the world of combat sports thanks to his success and charisma, but integrating athletes into the world of WWE can be tricky at times, especially when it comes to an undefeated fighter whose career is built on legitimacy.


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