It has been an eventful week in WWE with the announcement of Evolution, the first women's pay-per-view in company history, and the solidification of the two championship bouts for the August 19 SummerSlam extravaganza.
This week's rumors, though, center on Superstars who are either not WWE contracted or have yet to even make it to the main roster television shows.
Matt Riddle on His Way to WWE?
On July 23, Slice Wrestling on Twitter reported that all signs pointed to independent star Matt Riddle joining WWE.
Report: WWE Has Set Their Sights On Signing Independent Mega Star And Former Pro MMA Fighter Matt Riddle To A WWE/NXT Contract This Year. All Movements Indicate Another Successful Triple H Independent Acquisition As Riddle Is One Of The Top Future Star Prospects In The Industry https://t.co/OPeSb1UwoE
Within 24 hours, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla announced on their Twitter account that Riddle would no longer be involved in the 2018 Battle for Los Angeles tournament.
Now, according to Slice, Riddle-to-WWE is a done deal.
Riddle earned rave reviews for his match against Will Ospreay over the WrestleMania 34 weekend and has consistently performed at a level high enough for both WWE and New Japan Pro-Wrestling to take notice of the former MMA competitor's in-ring exploits.
Buy or Sell?
Buy. Riddle has long been one of the most buzzed-about workers on the independent scene, thanks in large part to his personality and raw athleticism. He has repeatedly shown off the tools necessary to be an enormous star for one of the big promotions in wrestling, and now, if Slice Wrestling's report proves accurate, he will have the chance to be just that.
Whether he will be able to accurately and effectively showcase said personality in the more scripted and structured WWE remains to be seen and may well dictate whether he achieves the same success under the company umbrella that he has thus far in his young career.
Nikki Cross Update
The unstable element of the NXT women's division had Twitter buzzing when she appeared during Raw Monday night, standing front-and-center for the historic announcement from Stephanie McMahon of WWE Evolution on October 28.
According to Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats, "there continues to be talk of Nikki Cross being called up to the main roster soon."
Cross has recently worked SmackDown house shows, teaming with babyfaces such as Asuka, Naomi and Becky Lynch.
Buy or Sell?
Buy. Cross is one of the most talented women in all of WWE, but her time in NXT has run its course. The Scottish-born competitor feuded with "Ace of Spades" Shayna Baszler over the women's title and, most recently, battled Kairi Sane and Candice LeRae in a Triple Threat match to determine the No. 1 contender to that same title.
A member of Sanity, it was a bit odd that she was not called up with Eric Young, Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe, but given her unfinished business in the developmental brand, it is not hard to see why she was held off.
The announcement of WWE Evolution and the necessity of more women to fill out the 50-woman card hyped by WWE for the event, Cross' debut should be imminent.
Do not be surprised to see her wreak havoc on either Raw or SmackDown after SummerSlam, a time that has become as recognizable for its NXT call-ups as the post-WrestleMania week.
Ring of Honor Wants CM Punk for MSG
Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com reported Ring of Honor has sent feelers to CM Punk regarding a return to the ring at the company's co-branded Madison Square Garden show with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Punk has not wrestled a match since the 2014 Royal Rumble.
An appearance at the April 6 show would almost certainly be the talk of the wrestling world, stealing thunder from WWE during WrestleMania weekend.
Buy or Sell?
Sell. Unless it is a massive misdirect, Punk has made it clear he has no intention of returning to wrestling.
While the business has always operated under a "never say never" mindset, Punk has taken four years off and has yet to even admit to an itch to get back in the ring, let alone a desire to.
Yes, his appearance at the show would be massive and would shake the wrestling world to its core, but Punk has, if nothing else, repeatedly proved to be a man of his word. When he says something or commits himself to it, he has typically stuck to it.
An appearance for ROH and NJPW would go against his every denial of a return to the squared circle.
Perhaps the one thing working in ROH's favor is Punk's connection to the company. The Straight Edge Superstar previously worked for the promotion from 2004-06, where he became Ring of Honor champion and embarked on a Summer of Punk storyline that ranks among the best in that company's history.