Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Big Show, Velveteen Dream and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2020

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Big Show, Velveteen Dream and More

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    The wrestling rumor mill continued to churn out reports on top stars this week, centering on The Big Show and WWE's plans for The World's Largest Athlete and future Hall of Famer.

    Is the giant around for the long-term or is his return but a short stint to maximize the effect of his star power and remind fans he is still under contract with the company?

    And what of his on-screen associate Kevin Owens and potential plans to return to the NXT brand?

    Could someone be poised to join him back in the black and yellow brand?

    On the All Elite Wrestling side of things, has the company managed to sign one of the more prominent free agents in the industry?

    Find out the answer to those questions with this week's ringside rumors and reports.

Update on Big Show's Future

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    Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radioreported The Big Show was brought in for the short term “as a favor.” His return is not for the long run.

    Big Show has been interjected into the main program on Raw, an ally of Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe in their war of attrition with Seth Rollins, AOP and Buddy Murphy. A future Hall of Famer, it is nice to see him in the spotlight but if his return really is short-term, one has to wonder whether management would have been better served using his spot in the rivalry on a younger star with more upside.

    That aside, the giant has appeared motivated and certainly put in the work, taking big bumps Monday night, including on through a table.

    Clearly looking to make the most of this latest opportunity, which logic would dictate may be one of his last, he has been re-energized and the fans have welcomed him back with open arms. Here is hoping he gets a quality sendoff when that time comes. Who knows when, or if, we will see The World’s Largest Athlete back in a WWE ring as an active competitor again.

Stars Wanting to Return to NXT?

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    Tom Colohue of Sportskeeda reported Kevin Owens and Asuka are Superstars who have expressed interest in returning to NXT and who are on a list of competitors considered for the move by Triple H and Vince McMahon.

    Owens spoke to Corey Graves on the After the Bell podcast about his love for NXT and how he would routinely text Triple H about opportunities to return to the brand. He did, at TakeOver: War Games in Toronto this past November.

    Asuka is an interesting prospect in that she is currently engaged in a high-profile title feud with Becky Lynch and will challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble on January 26. With that said, her usage on the main roster has been anything but effective and consistent so it makes sense she would want to make a trip back to the brand that she dominated for two years as the unstoppable, unbeatable top female competitor.

    Knowing the passion of the NXT faithful, both Owens and Asuka would be welcomed back with open arms and more importantly, would likely be allowed to be themselves more than they have to this point on either Raw or SmackDown.

What's the Latest on Velveteen Dream

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    Meltzer also reported in The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Cageside Seats)that there is no timetable on a return for Velveteen Dream as his back injury is “pretty serious.” 

    The report is somewhat alarming given how bright a star Dream was prior to his sudden disappearance from television. The charismatic star, only 24 years of age, appeared on his way to a run atop the black and yellow brand as its world champion until his rivalry with Roderick Strong inexplicably came to an end and he was removed from television with little warning.

    He has not appeared on television since September.

    One can only hope Dream is able to overcome the injury and return to form as he had promise between the ropes not seen since The Rock. Rarely can a performer put together the charisma, both in and out of the ring, and the in-ring work necessary to become a transcendent star. Dream has shown flashes of both.

Brian Cage to AEW Update

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    Steve Bryant of reported Sunday that former Impact Wrestling world champion Brian Cage had signed with All Elite Wrestling. The report came on the heels of Rob Van Dam brutalizing The Machine and leaving him a broken, bloodied mess prior to their advertised match.

    Cage was one of the hottest free agents in the sport and it made sense that AEW would jump at the opportunity to bring a heavyweight with the raw athleticism of Cage into the fold. According to the performer’s wife Melissa Santos, though, no such deal has been struck.

    Santos tweeted in response to the report, “I’m his wife and I can CONFIRM, he hasn’t signed on any dotted line.”

    Perhaps it is an attempt by Santos to preserve a surprise appearance or may she is attempting to drive up his price with other suitors.

    Whatever the case may be, should AEW sign Cage, it would have on its hands a performer whose full potential has not been realized. Hopefully, wherever he signs, he can achieve the type of consistent success that has not been afforded him by Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling, despite the resume he has compiled for himself during his runs with those companies.