Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2019

Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn and More

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The wrestling world was shaken this week with the return of Roman Reigns, who announced Monday on WWE Raw that his leukemia was in remission and that he is back in time for WrestleMania.

    The Big Dog was not the only familiar face to return to WWE this week, though, as Matt and Jeff Hardy reunited on SmackDown and sent the entire tag team division a message with their victory over The Bar.

    This week's collection of backstage WWE rumors has an update on them, Reigns and another Superstar ready to step back through the curtain for the first time in months.

Who Knew About Roman Reigns' Return?

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    Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reported Vince McMahon was the first person to know of Roman Reigns' return to WWE and that, by Monday night, only his daughter Stephanie, Triple H, Kevin Dunne and Michelle Wilson were aware.

    The report also states that it was Reigns' decision to return so quickly after the remission revelation.

    The Big Dog announced his leukemia diagnosis last October and subsequently relinquished the Universal Championship.

    Reigns returns to the company at a time when WWE officials are putting together a WrestleMania card that appears to be in flux more than any other in recent memory. Not since 1997's WrestleMania 13 has it felt like the company is unsure of what it wants to do for the biggest show of the year this late in the game.

    Now with its biggest star back, it must scramble to find something for him to do.

    WrestleVotes reported "WWE is now figuring out where to slot Roman Reigns on the card, with multiple options on the table. Along with Reigns, John Cena’s matchup is also still in discussion. Many different roads they can travel down. Lots in play." 

    We saw him join Seth Rollins Monday in laying out Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Elias and Drew McIntyre. Perhaps a showdown with one of those heels would be enough to satiate fans' appetite for the former champion.

    Whatever the case may be, the WWE Universe greeted Reigns with open arms Monday night. Now it is up to Reigns and WWE to turn that goodwill into sustained cheers for a guy whose love of the audience and the business itself was never more evident than Monday night on Raw.

Sami Zayn Update

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    Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Live reported Sami Zayn is ready to return to WWE.

    Tuesday night marked the return to television of Kevin Owens, who was last seen palling around with Zayn on both Raw and SmackDown Live. There is no word if Zayn will remain a heel or if he will undergo a babyface turn, much in the same way Owens appears to have. 

    Of course, it would make sense for Zayn to feud with Owens, presenting a fresh take on their rivalry. The Prizefighter has never been a babyface under the WWE umbrella. In fact, Owens made a splash upon his NXT debut by betraying Zayn and embarking on a year-long rivalry that had fans chanting "fight forever" at their matches.

    Zayn as the heel, disenfranchised by Owens' returning without him, could make for some intriguing television, especially since he had embraced the role of the fast-talking bad guy before his shoulder injury.

    The question becomes whether or not WWE has a spot on the card for Zayn at WrestleMania or if it would behoove all sides to wait until the night after The Showcase of the Immortals to return him to television.

The Hardy Boyz Update

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    Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported "The word backstage is that WWE has involved a clause in Matt and Jeff Hardy's existing WWE deal, rolling it over for the third year. Had WWE not rolled over the contract, it would have expired next month."

    The Hardys returned Tuesday night on SmackDown Live, defeating The Bar's Sheamus and Cesaro in a competitive tag match.

    While most will look at Matt and Jeff's reunion as a positive, especially given the need for star power across the board, it muddies the waters of a SmackDown tag team division already jam-packed with talent. The Usos and New Day have anchored the division for two years now but teams like Sanity and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson can hardly sniff television time. 

    Throw in newcomers like Aleister Black and Ricochet, and Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, and you have a division that may be too star-studded at this point.

    Even with that problem, the Hardy Boyz provide fresh matchups at a time when WWE is doing everything in its power to create excitement for its product. That makes them nearly invaluable.

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