Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Andrade, Sheamus and More
This week's backstage WWE rumors are an eclectic mix of future plans for one of the brand's most talented Superstars, an injury update on a multi-time world champion and a report on a talented big man banished to the company's dog house.
What do industry insiders have to say about a push for Andrade, the in-ring future of Sheamus and why Harper appears to be stuck in WWE purgatory?
Find out with this recap of the week's WWE rumors.
A Push for Andrade?
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported Andrade is in line for a push in the aftermath of Money in the Bank, specifically the continuation of his rivalry with intercontinental champion Finn Balor.
Tuesday night on SmackDown Live, El Idolo defeated Balor, Randy Orton and Ali in a Fatal 4-Way match, pinning The Extraordinary Man following a hammerlock DDT and insinuating the two will have unfinished business beyond Sunday's pay-per-view event.
Andrade has been one of the premier in-ring talents for the better part of the past year, consistently delivering between the ropes, even when his status in the company did not necessarily match the quality of his performances.
There will be some who continue to argue he deserves even better than the IC title but considering he was so inconsistently utilized just four or so months ago, this is a significant improvement that should, at the very least, lead to more screen time.
Plus, Andrade vs. Balor sounds like a hell of a series.
Update on Sheamus' In-Ring Career
Matt Boone of Rajah.com reported Sheamus may be forced to consider retirement as injuries mount.
The report stated Sheamus is suffering from spinal stenosis, an injury WWE Hall of Famers such as Edge and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin suffered from, and also experienced a concussion on the April 9 episode of SmackDown Live.
"With WWE breaking up The Bar by moving Cesaro to the Raw brand, and due to the fact that the company has not disclosed the specific nature of the injury, there has been growing concern that Sheamus, who just turned 41 years old in January, could be forced into retirement," Boone reported.
Sheamus has been one of the workhorses of WWE since 2015, appearing on both Raw and SmackDown and consistently delivering strong in-ring performances in singles and tag team action. The Celtic Warrior's physical style and willingness to bump as much as he does for a guy of his size has to take a toll on the body, and if the specifics of this report are accurate, it is no surprise that the wear and tear of the grueling mat game have taken their toll.
It remains to be seen what awaits Sheamus, but one can only hope he is healthy before he decides to set foot inside the squared circle again.
If he decides to wrestle again.
Report on Vince McMahon's Issues with Harper
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful updated readers on the status of Harper and his issues with Vince McMahon, reporting, "A source...said that Vince McMahon himself seemed to have a long-term issue with Luke Harper and that whatever happened wouldn't have mattered anyway, going as far as to say that McMahon 'decided to hate anything he was involved in long ago.'"
Sapp went on to accurately point out that Harper had a few solid runs in WWE despite this apparent "hate," citing his work with The Wyatt Family, the big man's Intercontinental Championship reign and last year's stint as one-half of the tag team championship-winning Bludgeon Brothers.
In the wake of the report, the biggest question on the minds of fans should be "why?"
What has Harper done to encourage such disdain for his work by the most powerful man in pro wrestling?
A hard worker with a physical style who can work a quality match with wrestlers of any size, Harper has been a hidden gem since the aforementioned IC title reign and feud with Dolph Ziggler in 2014. His work during that feud proved how valuable an in-ring asset Harper can be, even if McMahon reunited him with Bray Wyatt and Rowan shortly thereafter, cutting off his singles push.
Unfortunately, McMahon's attitude toward Harper has left the competitor trapped in the proverbial dog house with nothing to do until his contract runs out sometime in 2020.