The Rock Rumors; Alexa Bliss Calls out Raw Crowd and Finn Balor Time off Request

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2019

Dwayne Johnson attends the LA premiere of
Richard Shotwell/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

The Rock Reportedly Not Appearing at Raw Reunion

Many of the biggest legends in WWE history are scheduled for next week's Raw Reunion, but Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is reportedly not among them.

According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), The Rock will not make his first live WWE appearance since WrestleMania 32 in 2016.

WWE has a stacked show in store, however, as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Ric Flair, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash are just a few of the 30-plus names announced for the event thus far.

Raw is seemingly heading in a new direction with Paul Heyman installed as the executive director, but going back to big names who have enjoyed success in the past is often a good way to ensure a viewership boost.

Also, with SummerSlam on the horizon, there is a chance that the legends on Monday's show will have involvement in some significant angles.

Even if Raw Reunion is merely a ratings ploy meant to generate some nostalgia pops, you'd be hard pressed to find a wrestling fan who isn't excited to see Austin back in a WWE ring. That alone makes Raw Reunion worth a watch.

Bliss Calls Out Raw Crowd

Alexa Bliss shot back at fans who reacted negatively to a Fatal 4-Way women's match on Monday's episode of Raw in Uniondale, New York.

Bliss faced Natalya, Naomi and Carmella for the right to take on Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam. During the match, some fans began chanting things like, "This is awful" and "Sasha Banks."

Following the bout, which was won by Nattie, Bliss tweeted the following:

She also responded to a Twitter user who took exception to how some members of the crowd reacted to the match:

While the match may not have been the best Fatal 4-Way of all time, it produced some entertaining spots and moments, and it allowed all four Superstars to showcase their skills.

The fan reaction was bizarre considering the overwhelming majority of fans on social media tend to call for a more consistent spotlight on the women's division on a weekly basis.

The Fatal 4-Way was one of the longer women's matches on WWE programming in recent memory, and it featured four women who have fairly sizable fanbases.

Although the reaction was largely negative, WWE shouldn't take it as an indictment of the women in the match since the reception very likely would have been different in another city.

Balor Reportedly Requests Time Off

Finn Balor has reportedly been granted permission to take some time off.

According to Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet, Balor asked for two months away from WWE, and his hiatus is set to begin some time in August, likely after SummerSlam.

A source told Satin that Balor is simply looking to "recharge."

After losing to Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match on SmackDown last week, Balor dropped the Intercontinental Championship to Nakamura on the Extreme Rules Kickoff Show. Nakamura essentially dominated Balor in both matches.

If Balor is set to take time away, then the booking makes sense.

After losing to Samoa Joe on Monday's episode of Raw, Balor was attacked by the returning Bray Wyatt, which suggests they are set to face each other at SummerSlam.

If Balor uses his demon persona it would be a perfect foil for Wyatt's fiend character, and beating Balor in his first match back would give Wyatt some big-time momentum. It also wouldn't hurt Balor much if he is taking time off.

Balor has not consistently been used as a top star lately despite his all-around skill set, so taking time may actually be a positive for him in terms of allowing WWE to reset his character and give him a bigger push upon his return.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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