The fall months are upon us, and with them come two major WWE presentations in a short span.
First up is the historic all-women event Evolution on October 28 from Uniondale, New York. Then, on November 2, the male Superstars travel to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel.
Those events and the competitors involved make up this week's WWE rumor mill.
Backstage Reaction to Becky Lynch
WrestlingNews.co's Paul Davis reported Vince McMahon and other high-ranking officials within WWE are "very happy" with Becky Lynch's work of late, adding McMahon "recently used her as an example of someone who has taken the ball and run with it."
"One wrestler was recently told to watch some of Lynch's matches and promos so they could improve their game," Davis continued.
It was announced during Tuesday's episode of SmackDown Live that Lynch will defend her SmackDown Women's Championship against Charlotte Flair in a Last Woman Standing match at Evolution.
Buy or Sell?
Buy. WWE should be more than pleased with Lynch and the level of her performance since turning heel at SummerSlam.
The Irish Lass Kicker has been one of the brightest spots on WWE television, fully embracing her new attitude and speaking with great conviction as she details what were likely real frustrations surrounding her place on the card.
The quality of her promos, coupled with the intensity of her matches with Flair, have delivered Lynch the most significant push of her career.
In a company that is notorious for not always capitalizing on a Superstar's popularity and hard work when it should, it is nice to see Lynch earning the respect and kudos she deserves.
WWE Evolution Update
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported that the originally announced singles bouts pitting Trish Stratus against Alexa Bliss and Lita against Mickie James were never intended to be one-on-one matches.
The on-sale date for WWE Evolution did not coincide with booking plans to turn Nikki Bella heel and announce her Raw Women's Championship match against Ronda Rousey, and as a result, the company felt as though it needed two high-profile bouts to sell tickets based on.
It was always intended to be Stratus and Lita vs. Bliss and James.
Buy or Sell?
Sell. Bait and switch is a tactic WCW used over the course of its history, infuriating its fans and fracturing trust between consumer and company.
Stratus vs. Bliss, for all the critics, is a high-profile match that probably did sell tickets based solely on the idea of a Hall of Famer against one of today's most decorated champions. The idea that the fans who purchased tickets based on that match now suddenly do not get to see them square off in singles competition is both disappointing and frustrating.
It is also a cheap tactic.
Why not announce Rousey will defend her title against a mystery opponent? Surely the biggest female star in the company is good for drawing ticket sales.
Kevin Owens Injury Report
Meltzer also reported that Kevin Owens is legitimately injured and the recovery timetable is unknown at this time:
"The angle last night (Monday) with Bobby Lashley and Kevin Owens was a cover because Owens needs knee surgery. While reports are out that it will be minor surgery and he will be back shortly, in actuality they won't know the severity of the knee problems until he goes into surgery, and that will determine the seriousness of the surgery. There is no estimated time back because it is based on the severity of the injury and nature of the surgery."
Owens had been feuding with Lashley for a number of weeks, including a tag team loss with Elias to Lashley and John Cena at Super Show-Down.
Buy or Sell?
Sell. Owens is an immensely talented performer, and for the most part, any show he is on is better as a result.
With that said, he has taken tremendous beatings over the last three years and has put his body through some incredible bumps, be it in ladder matches or Hell in a Cell. Factor in the wear and tear from his days on the indy circuit and it should be no real surprise he is in need of knee surgery.
The extent to which he is injured is the real question, as Owens has routinely been at or near the forefront of a major WrestleMania storyline for years now, and if it is a substantial injury, it could affect his ability to be back in time for the biggest event in WWE.
One can only hope it is a minor surgery that requires minimal recovery time. If anything, it gives him the opportunity to spend time with his family and rest up after a years-long stretch of entertaining fans through self-sacrifice.