The latest WWE rumors tell us that Brock Lesnar will be back as soon as next Monday's Raw while Bad News Barrett's return won't come until long after that.
Lesnar's road to SummerSlam is reportedly set to start soon. Barrett's road to recovery will have him out of action longer than his fanbase would have hoped.
Other WWE buzz provides word on what the company has in mind for The Miz and Sheamus and what concerns are simmering in the locker room.
Several backstage reports provide a glimpse behind the curtain, a look at WWE's plans and a better idea of when fans can expect to see Lesnar and Barrett stepping between the ropes again.
Plans for The Miz and Sheamus
The Miz defeated Sheamus on Monday's Raw thanks to sidestepping a Brogue Kick and a quick schoolboy pin. They will meet again on Tuesday's Main Event.
It appears that this is just the beginning of something longer.
According to F4WOnline (h/t WrestleZone), The Miz and Sheamus will feud for the next few weeks, possibly even until SummerSlam. The fluky nature of The Miz's win, their rematch coming a night later and the fact that they are both entering the Battleground Battle Royal are signs that this is true.
The bigger question will be if the rivalry will be built around the Unites States title or if it will be a champion-versus-champion affair should The Miz win the WWE Intercontinental Championship at the pay-per-view.
Their bouts together have generally been solid but haven't featured the type of chemistry that gets fans thrilled. Thanks to that, expectations for this potential feud will be modest.
Brock Lesnar's Arrival Reportedly Looming
On Monday's Raw, Paul Heyman didn't accompany Cesaro to ringside.
He did appear later, though, when he spoke to Triple H about offering a plan C for Battleground. He implied that if Randy Orton, Kane and Seth Rollins can't bring the WWE title to The Authority, he has someone who can.
It sounded a lot like he was offering Lesnar's services. A post-Raw report furthers that suspicion.
PWInsider's Mike Johnson writes that Heyman "was kept away from Cesaro last night on Raw as the plans are for Brock Lesnar to return shortly, possibly as soon as Monday's Raw in Miami, Florida." Johnson also notes that "Heyman's focus will be on the Lesnar storyline leading into Summerslam."
The expected route is for Lesnar to challenge John Cena for the WWE title. Johnson's report makes that look even more likely.
While WWE will have a money match at the ready for SummerSlam in Lesnar vs. Cena, heavy-handed foreshadowing and a leaked poster have made the Battleground main event mighty predictable.
For fans, the WWE Network has been an entertainment treasure trove. How it is performing financially and the money it's been bringing in is a concern for WWE's wrestlers, though.
The switch from traditional pay-per-views to the current streaming service apparently hasn't been good to the wrestlers' pockets. Even if there's a downgrade in pay post-WWE Network, other companies still can't compete with what WWE can shell out.
It doesn't help the situation that WWE hasn't communicated enough with its talents about the WWE Network. According to PWInsider (h/t WrestleZone), nothing had been said to wrestlers about how their pay would change, even as late as June.
In a recent report from F4WOnline (h/t WrestlingInc), word is that very few people, including some higher-ups, know how well the WWE Network is even doing.
That has to drive the roster crazy. The Network is built on the wrestlers' hard work, bruises and sweat. WWE can at least be more upfront with the men and women it depends on.
Bad News Barrett Update
A shoulder injury forced Barrett to relinquish his WWE Intercontinental Championship, and it may be a long while before he can battle to get that title back.
Johnson reports for PWInsider that "Barrett had his shoulder checked out by physical therapists this week and will officially begin therapy in the next few weeks as he works to return to the ring. He's not expected back for at least several months."
That's unfortunate news for the Preston, England, native.
Barrett was having a great year, his momentum piling up as he put on standout bouts against Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus and others. Now, a new champ will leave Battleground and begin to gather momentum of his own.
Barrett will then have a lot of catching up to do. As Daniel Bryan is finding out, when one is forced to the sidelines with injury, WWE simply points the spotlight at someone else.