Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Dolph Ziggler, Super ShowDown and More
In the wake of Money in the Bank, and with Super ShowDown right around the corner, the WWE rumor mill has churned out its fair share of interesting reports involving some of the most recognizable stars on the roster.
Dolph Ziggler returned to SmackDown Live Tuesday night and announced a WWE Championship match against Kofi Kingston in Saudi Arabia on June 7. Is that a one-off or is The Showoff back to cause some chaos in the title picture for good?
There are a number of Superstars who will not be heading to Saudi Arabia for the event out of protest. Who was the latest to join the ever-growing list?
And what is the deal with Charlotte Flair and her gaggle of championship reigns?
Find out the answer to those questions with this look at the week's backstage rumors and reports.
Dolph Ziggler Update
Randal Ortman of Cageside Seats reported Dolph Ziggler's WWE Championship match with Kofi Kingston was booked at the last minute. So much so, the company will be forced to find a replacement for him as he was slated to appear in Australia at the same time as Super ShowDown.
Furthermore, Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center is advertising Ziggler vs. Kingston vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules, suggesting The Showoff's return may have come from left field but the company is expecting to use him in a high-profile spot on SmackDown Live.
It is no surprise, really.
WWE is looking to spike ratings in any way it can, and while Ziggler has never been recognized as much of a ratings draw, he is one of the company's most talented workers and has familiarity with the audience.
Bringing him back, programming him against a guy such as Kingston, with whom he has considerable history, and letting them tear it up is a great idea.
Throw Owens into the mix and you have the potential to steal Extreme Rules right out from underneath the rest of the roster.
Aleister Black Not Traveling to Saudi Arabia for Super Showdown
John Pollock of Post Wrestling reported Aleister Black will not participate in the upcoming Super ShowDown event in Saudi Arabia.
The former NXT champion joins Kevin Owens, who also will not be making the trip, as noted by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.
The Saudi show has, and will continue to be, highly controversial among Superstars and fans alike given the political elements at play.
The payday for WWE makes the event almost impossible to turn down, but at some point, the company really needs to consider the frustration of its employees and the anger of its fans. Otherwise, it could alienate all involved at a time when it cannot afford to lose its audience or open up a door for its talent to leave.
Charlotte Flair Championship Record
Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that the plan is for Charlotte Flair to eclipse her father Ric's historic championship record, which would be why she is already nine title reigns in after four years on WWE's main roster.
This should be of no surprise to anyone.
From the minute Flair debuted on Raw, she was destined for big things. Yes, her last name had something to do with it but to suggest she has only received the opportunities she has because of who her father is would be reckless and irresponsible.
Flair has consistently delivered in big-match situations and established herself as one of WWE's best workers, regardless of gender. She is steady, she is great and she has earned every chance she has been given by the company to compete in title matches or main events.
Of course, anytime someone wins as many titles as she does, there is a risk of devaluing their reigns. We saw that Sunday, when Flair just had to win the SmackDown Women's Championship from Becky Lynch, only to lose it directly to Bayley moments later.
A minutes-long reign is forgettable and only looks like a desperate attempt to inflate the numbers. That helps no one, least of all Flair.