WWE Rumors Roundup for Week of July 13 Ahead of Extreme Rules 2018
WWE Extreme Rules is on Sunday, July 15, and the build has been, shall we say, less than extreme. This is one of the problems with having stipulated pay-per-views. True, it makes for a good tagline. But on a card of 11 matches, only one of the matches this year is an official "Extreme Rules" match.
It seems WWE Creative focused on storytelling instead of dreaming up ways to shoehorn the premise into every matchup. It was probably the right approach; weapons should brought into play because a feud reaches a boil, not because it's July.
Here are the latest rumors leading into WWE Extreme Rules. It's a lot of "big picture" gossip that affects where the company might be headed months from now.
Paul Heyman Returns to the WWE Creative Team?
Paul Heyman has worked as a booker and a writer, as a part of ECW and WWE. Currently, his role is as the advocate of Brock Lesnar, a position that is more performative than creative. But now, there is a report of Heyman taking a more hands-on responsibility.
According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com, Heyman was one of the writers for the Bobby Lashley segments on the July 9 episode of Raw. Sapp also reported that WWE was not pleased this news leaked out.
Heyman's most notable writing gig was as the head writer for SmackDown from 2002-2003. He was also the head booker and writer for Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory, in 2005.
Both stints were successful, and his skills as a promo writer (and deliverer) are beyond question. Any report of Heyman taking a hands-on creative approach—even an off-the-record approach—is excellent news.
The Greatest WrestleMania?
This year, WWE followed WrestleMania 34 with the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia—not to be confused with the regular Royal Rumble in January.
Would WWE follow suit with its other major events? If the latest rumors are any indication, that appears to be the case.
According to Jon Fisher at Barn Burner, WWE plans to run two additional WrestleMania events by 2020. They haven't decided on the name of the second one yet, but it's going to be produced in the same spirit as the Greatest Royal Rumble. Possible locations include London, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
If true, this is a terrible idea. The Greatest Royal Rumble was already an oversaturation, and it had the look and feel of a glorified house show. WrestleMania is supposed to be more exclusive than this. Another, "greater" Mania would cheapen the impact of the original.
All-Women WWE PPV?
Owing to Saudi Arabia's conservative, religious culture, women were not allowed to perform at the Greatest Royal Rumble. It appears, however, that the company is trying to make right by its female employees.
Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that WWE is entertaining the idea of an all-women PPV, perhaps in late September or October. If true, it's a fantastic idea.
September and October are part of the cooldown season, after SummerSlam and before the Road to WrestleMania. It presents low risk while making women's wrestling fans happy.
It would also ensure that the company puts its money where its mouth is; Triple H and Stephanie McMahon talk a big game about empowerment, and this would be an excellent way to put it into action.
Return of WCW PPVs?
And lastly, here's a WCW-related rumor. Despite owning WCW, WWE has always kept their one-time competitor at arm's length. It's a holdover from the Monday Night Wars; Vince McMahon takes great pride in his triumph over his longtime nemesis, and WWE must always be shown as the superior product.
But a new rumor has suggested that this attitude might be waning. According to Brad Shepard of Barn Burner, WWE is considering changing some of its WWE PPV names to WCW names, such as Halloween Havoc and Starrcade.
If true, it would be a nice way to acknowledge the company's WCW heritage. Many of the WWE's biggest stars started there, and maybe, after 30 years, McMahon can bury the hatchet in his one-sided feud.