Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Roman Reigns, Eric Bischoff and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Roman Reigns, Eric Bischoff and More

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    SummerSlam weekend is upon us, and WWE's plans for Roman Reigns have potentially been revealed.

    What awaits The Big Dog at The Biggest Party of the Summer on Sunday?

    How much creative influence did Eric Bischoff have in it, if any?

    The answer to those questions lie in this week's WWE rumor mill, as does an update on the women's tag team titles and what plans WWE CEO Vince McMahon may or may not have for them.

Roman Reigns SummerSlam Plans

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    WrestleVotes reported Wednesday that Roman Reigns vs. Buddy Murphy may end up taking place at SummerSlam:

    "There were discussions last night about adding Roman Reigns vs Buddy Murphy to the SummerSlam card after the angle that went down on SmackDown. Source said it wasn't decided either way yesterday, but it remains a possibility as we get closer to the show this weekend."

    Murphy's status on the roster has diminished since jumping to SmackDown Live in the latest Superstar Shake-up. WWE's Best Kept Secret routinely stole the show against the likes of Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese, Akira Tozawa and Hideo Itami, all without substantial or engaging storyline for fans to invest in.

    A high-profile performance against Reigns, even in defeat, would elevate Murphy's star immensely and give him the type of platform reflective of his in-ring abilities.

    An opponent like Reigns, who has low-key developed into a hell of a worker since his singles run started in 2015, suits his style perfectly. The match could be a show-stealing late addition to the show.

Eric Bischoff's Creative Influence

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    Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported on Eric Bischoff's creative input Tuesday, tweeting, "From what I'm hearing, Eric Bischoff still hasn't had much influence on the creative direction of SmackDown Live. One source told me hasn't suggested or pitched anything that's made TV yet. Sounds like he's still getting familiar with his new surroundings."

    Anyone expecting Bischoff to jump in and immediately alter the SmackDown brand is probably fooling themselves.

    Whereas Raw executive Paul Heyman had familiarity with the company and its creative process, having worked behind the scenes in an unofficial capacity for the past year or so, Bischoff has been thrust into a foreign land of sorts and is still observing and figuring out exactly what the goal is as the company plans to take SmackDown Live to Fox.

    Not that it has mattered.

    SmackDown has consistently delivered engaging and captivating television thanks to the performances of its Superstars and the simplistic stories told by its writing staff. Bischoff's vast experience in an administrator role will help him going forward.

    When he finally immerses himself in the role is the question.

No Plans for the Women's Tag Team Championships?

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    Citing a source within WWE, Tom Colohue of Sportskeeda reported that Vince McMahon had (and still has) no real creative plan for the women's tag team titles: "Vince didn't want women's tag titles. He was under a lot of pressure, so he brought them in early without thinking much about it. There was no plan. We still don't know if there's any plan."

    Given the creative content behind the titles, is this of any real surprise?

    Sasha Banks and Bayley won the gold to much fanfare at February's Elimination Chamber, but nothing really came of it. The IIconics won the titles at WrestleMania and proceeded to be involved in no feuds of note. Now, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are champions, with no clear direction beyond an eventual breakup and a rivalry of their own.

    Anyone even half paying attention can tell the creative direction for those titles is nonexistent. And with that being the case, more damage has been done to the women's division than good.

    If the goal is to give Bliss and Cross a legitimate run with the gold, essentially scrapping any plans for a program between them, the fate of the titles may be reversed. If not, the championship may prove one of the bigger blunders in recent memory.