Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Bray Wyatt, Shane McMahon and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2019

Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Bray Wyatt, Shane McMahon and More

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    Bray Wyatt's The Fiend has become the most talked-about character in all of WWE, so it makes sense that officials from Fox would want the horrifying new entity to appear on SmackDown beginning with the upcoming draft.

    Whether that happens or not is at the heart of this week's WWE rumor mill.

    Wyatt is not the only Superstar whose name popped up across wrestling internet this week as Shane McMahon's future was discussed, as were plans for former women's champion Mickie James.

    Sprinkle in some pyrotechnics and the immediate future of WWE programming became somewhat clearer.

Where Will Bray Wyatt End Up in the WWE Draft?

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    WrestleVotes reported that though Fox officials want Bray Wyatt on SmackDown in the upcoming draft, he is expected to remain on Raw, as executive director Paul Heyman is a huge proponent of the character.

    Yes, it makes sense that Fox would want the hottest character in professional wrestling associated with the show it paid $1 billion for, but WWE has to draw a line at some point and remember Raw is still its longest-running, weekly episodic television show and USA is still paying a pretty penny to keep it on its network.

    Robbing it of stars and leaving it a shell of its former self would hurt the red brand, devaluing it at a time when WWE needs to be firing on all cylinders ahead the arrival of All Elite Wrestling to cable television on Wednesday.

    Wyatt is a foundational performer, the type of which WWE can build its brand on to help draw fans and drum up ratings. Let SmackDown have Becky Lynch, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Raw needs Wyatt to maintain its status as a cable TV powerhouse and to keep fans invested in the red brand.

    There is always time to send him to Friday nights later if that show is in need of a boost from The Fiend.

Update on Shane McMahon's Future

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    In regards to the high-stakes Kevin Owens-Shane McMahon ladder match that will air on the October 4 debut of SmackDown on Fox, Paul Davis of reported "...the feud will end with Owens winning and McMahon no longer being involved as an authority figure because WWE is going to present a more sports-like product with more conclusive finishes and less interference from non-wrestling characters."

    This is welcome news as McMahon has taken up entirely too much television time this year, to the detriment of the product at times, and needs to go in order to freshen things up.

    Despite having his momentum diminished by creative decisions over the past month, Owens is the perfect Superstar to send him packing and reap the rewards.

    McMahon has overstayed his welcome and been pushed at the expense of other full-time workers for too long. Both Elias and Drew McIntyre had their own credibility adversely affected by playing second fiddle to the self-proclaimed "Best in the World," while others had their television time sacrificed in order to provide him an outlet.

    His impending dismissal from television is long overdue and will allow the blue brand to move forward and evolve as it hits network television.

What's Next for Mickie James?

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    Mike Johnson of reported Mickie James did commentary for WWE Main Event at Monday's Raw tapings and there is some buzz about her potentially becoming a producer with the company.

    James is a six-time champion in WWE and a bona fide future Hall of Famer. She has done everything there is to do inside a Vince McMahon-owned ring and has a wealth of knowledge to impart on today's Superstars. She would make a great fit as a backstage producer and is charismatic enough to handle herself as a commentator, too.

    Given her recent knee injury, if the plan is not for her to return to the squared circle, maximizing her abilities in roles that best suit her and the company is a smart move.

Pyro Returning to WWE TV

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    WrestleVotes also reported this week that pyro will return to WWE television beginning this coming week.

    Long a fixture of WWE television, fireworks disappeared in 2017 amid budget cuts by upper management. The return to Fox, and the arrival of an AEW product that is not afraid to splurge on pyro to enhance its presentation, appears to have pushed Vince McMahon and Co. to reintroduce the crowd-favorite element to its broadcasts.

    There is something about the pyro that creates energy and buzz, startles fans and pops the crowd at the same time. Kane, Big Show, Goldberg and Shawn Michaels all had their entrances enhanced by concussion blasts, flames and sparklers.

    Bringing that back erases the uniformity of the show, helps allow Superstars the opportunity to change up their entrances and set themselves apart from everyone else, and makes the product look like a bigger deal at a time when it absolutely needs it.

    We will discover how accurate the report proves to be, but we saw just how different and more engaging things are when pyro is involved during the entrances of Goldberg and Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.