Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Sasha Banks, The Fiend and More
This week in backstage WWE rumors features updates on who is responsible for Sasha Banks' significant push and details about potential championship plans for The Fiend, among other topics.
Which major player has been behind the renewed attention and focus on The Legit Boss, including her show-opening promo from Monday's Raw?
Just how soon is Vince McMahon considering a championship push for The Fiend?
Find out the answers to those questions, as well as the latest on The Street Profits and NXT, with this recap of rumors and reports behind the scenes in WWE.
Sasha Banks' Behind-the-Scenes Ally
Wade Keller of PW Torch reported Paul Heyman has been heavily involved in Sasha Banks' creative and was responsible for her opening Monday's show.
The emphasis placed on Banks, including the show-opening promo and her match with Natalya later in the evening, suggests someone behind the scenes is really pushing for The Boss, and it makes sense Heyman would be that someone.
The former owner of ECW worked closely with Ronda Rousey during her year-long run with the company, and it showed in the quality of her work.
Banks' promo Monday was a bit clunky and unfocused, but it also included the bits of hard-hitting truth that have been a staple of Heyman's creative process dating back to his extreme days.
Having the executive director of the brand working closely with her means Banks should finally receive that consistent creative attention and focus she longed for but never really benefited from prior to her post-WrestleMania absence.
Championship Plans for The Fiend?
If true, it would be a major creative misstep for WWE.
The Fiend should spend the next six-to-eight months demolishing the competition. He should roll over the opposition en route to a title match that puts WWE at large in jeopardy of succumbing to the horror and destruction of the masked enigma.
If The Fiend does challenge for the title at Hell in a Cell, he has to win, which cuts short Seth Rollins or Braun Strowman's universal title reign, hurting their credibility and creating a scenario where WWE Creative has to overexpose the hot new character in order to keep the title visible on TV.
There is no winning solution to the scenario the way it appears to be, if Ortman's report on the advertisements prove correct, and the result would be the diminishing of a character who captured the audience's attention immediately upon his debut at SummerSlam.
Why Haven't The Street Profits Appeared in the Ring on Raw?
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported The Street Profits are being kept out of the squared circle on Raw in hopes of getting them over with audiences through backstage segments and pre-taped vignettes rather than throwing them out in front of a live audience and bungling their debut.
This is a welcome change to the way NXT talent is typically introduced to the masses, then ultimately fail because they were pushed on TV without any build or hype.
The Street Profits are a wildly charismatic team in the midst of a red-hot run of spectacular in-ring performances on NXT. They are a potentially game-changing act that should be handled with care rather than treated like any other team in the division.
Montez Ford, in particular, has been outstanding, while Angelo Dawkins' not-so-low-key crush on Nikki Cross has been a lot of fun to watch every week. The one mistake management must avoid is holding them off of TV for so long that when they do finally debut between the ropes, no one cares.
Timing is everything, and if the creative staff can work that out effectively, the impending debut of The Street Profits should be everything management hopes it will be.
Update on Vince McMahon's Influence on NXT
Ortman also reported there continues to be buzz about Vince McMahon's influence on NXT, but as of now, the plan remains for the brand's product to remain untouched as it makes the jump to USA Network.
The billionaire owner of WWE has always been very hands-on with his company's television shows, and rightfully so. He has built his empire on the idea that he knows what sells, what does not and how to push it to the audience.
With that said, NXT has earned the reputation it has because it is such an alternative to everything else going on under the WWE umbrella. Triple H understands his talent, knows what they do best and has put them in a position to succeed.
Having his father-in-law interject himself and muddy the waters, changing the tone of the product hardcore fans have come to love, would probably do it greater harm in the impending Wednesday Night Wars with All Elite Wrestling than anything, so reports like this are encouraging, even if it still feels like it is only a matter of time before McMahon involves himself in the proceedings.