Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Ronda Rousey PPV Matches and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

The absence of Roman Reigns due to his leukemia diagnosis has catapulted Ronda Rousey to the forefront of WWE Raw, cementing her status as the face of the red brand.

As such, Rowdy faces several scenarios, and even more rumor and speculation, regarding her role at both the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 35.

The Raw women's champion has been the subject of several backstage rumors that give fans a taste of what they can expect from her on the Road to WrestleMania.

She was not the only female Superstar to gain publicity this week as a former Mae Young Classic star returned to the headlines as well.

         

Ronda Rousey PPV Plans

The January 7 episode of Raw saw Sasha Banks defeat Nia Jax for the right to challenge Rousey for the Raw Women's Championship at Royal Rumble on January 27.

She was not the original choice, as reported by Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio.

The original plan, according to Meltzer, was a rematch from Survivor Series pitting Rousey against SmackDown Live's Charlotte Flair.

Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats later reported Rousey vs. Flair vs. Becky Lynch is now under consideration for WrestleMania. 

The most disappointing part of the individual reports is that Banks appears, at least on the surface, to be little more than a placeholder for Rousey.

Once the face of WWE's Women's Revolution, The Legit Boss has taken a back seat over the last year or so, descending into midcard mediocrity, left behind with the emergence of Alexa Bliss, the signing of Rousey and the explosion in popularity for Lynch.

Her role as the latest Superstar to experience Rousey's unforgiving force between the ropes will only further frustrate her fanbase and the performer herself. The silver lining? The match will give Banks an opportunity to remind everyone she is one of the most gifted singles competitors on the roster.

As for the proposed Triple Threat match between Rousey, Lynch and Flair, it almost has to be the main event of WrestleMania.

There are no other Superstars, outside of Brock Lesnar, who carry the star power and mainstream appeal of Rousey. Throw in the red-hot Lynch and the consistently great Flair, and you have a trio made for the bright lights, high pressure and prestige of the WrestleMania main event.

     

Piper "Viper" Nevin to Sign with WWE

Independent women's star Viper will be signing with WWE once her contract with World of Sports runs out, according to Meltzer. He reported All Elite Wrestling also had great interest in signing her.

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 12:  Mae Young Classic contestant Piper Niven appears on the red carpet of the WWE Mae Young Classic on September 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE)
Bryan Steffy/Getty Images

Viper, who competed in the 2017 Mae Young Classic under her real name of Piper Niven, is one of the most talented in-ring competitors in the world and would provide a major boost to the main or developmental rosters in WWE.

Her size sets her apart from other women on the roster, but she also has the ability to excel at various styles. She can take an opponent down, work them over and tap them out or she can brawl with them. She's equal parts technician and powerhouse.

A complete package between the ropes, some time in NXT will hopefully allow her to find herself as a character so she can make the jump to Monday and Tuesday nights and dominate the competition.

        

Kushida is WWE-Bound

Former IWGP Jr. heavyweight champion Kushida is headed to WWE, as the ever-busy Meltzer reported this week on Wrestling Observer Radio.

The Timesplitter lost his title to Taiji Ishimori at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on January 4.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 04: KUSHIDA enters the ring prior to the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match between KUSHIDA and Taiji Ishimori during Wrestle Kingdom 13 of New Japan Pro-Wrestling at Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ets
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Kushida has long been one of the most exciting stars in the world and it makes sense, as he nears his 36th birthday, he would want the opportunity to perform for WWE.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling's official website translated his words at a post-Wrestle Kingdom press conference: "I'm only looking forward to my dream of fulfilling my childhood dream of 'Becoming a Man of the World.'  I think that I would like to achieve that by fighting overseas."

Kushida added:

"As mentioned previously by Mr. (NJPW Chairman, Naoki) Sugabayashi, I will leave New Japan Pro-Wrestling at the end of January. Regarding this choice and decision, it was one made with the full co-operation and understanding of Mr. Kidani, Mr. Meij and Mr. Sugabayashi. It was a very big decision in my life and I'm thankful they understood. As for the future, I would like to see the wide world of professional wrestling with my own eyes, from one end of the earth to the other." 

The most likely landing spot for Kushida is NXT, where he will be a focal point of the brand almost immediately.

The question then becomes whether he can succeed on the main roster or if his finest work will come alongside the many supremely talented wrestlers NXT founder Triple H has amassed on his show.

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