Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Randy Orton-Edge, Rusev and More
The Road to WrestleMania 36 is paved with high-profile matches and stars, but no ongoing storyline has attracted as much positive feedback and emotional attachment as that of Randy Orton and the returning Edge.
But who was behind the creative success of that story?
The answer lies in this week's collection of backstage WWE and All Elite Wrestling rumors, which also includes updates on Rusev and The Revival and the status of AEW's drug-testing policy.
Who Is Behind the Edge-Randy Orton Storyline?
According to Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co, Paul Heyman is the man behind the superb Edge-Randy Orton feud, which should culminate in a showdown between the former Rated-RKO teammates at WrestleMania 36.
Davis also spread around some of the credit for the recent angles: "A lot of what is playing out on TV is coming from Paul Heyman, but I am told that Randy Orton and Edge have been giving a lot of their input on this storyline. The idea was to include a lot of real-life events in this story."
The reality of the angle has been an integral part of its success.
The emotion on display from Orton has been nothing short of phenomenal. He has proved himself to be a virtuoso performer throughout. Edge, meanwhile, continues to evolve into one of the hottest babyfaces in the industry despite not making a single appearance since the post-Royal Rumble episode of Raw.
At a time when WWE is oftentimes criticized for the over-the-top nature of its storytelling or its scripted nature, it is no surprise that a storyline steeped in the real-life relationship between its protagonist and antagonist is the best the company has to offer.
Update on Rusev and His Status with WWE
Davis also reported on Rusev's status, noting: "Rusev has been backstage at some Raw shows in recent weeks, and he was there [on Monday] but not used. The word making the rounds backstage at Raw is that Rusev has not signed a new deal."
Not all that long ago, WWE devoted a ton of television time to the love triangle between Rusev, Bobby Lashley and Lana. In hindsight, one has to wonder why the company opted to waste its creative efforts on a Superstar it had not ironed out new contractual terms with.
That is a major misstep.
A featured player on WWE as recently as January has disappeared with no rhyme or reason, and his real-life wife and Lashley are left to pick up the pieces as creative afterthoughts on the Road to WrestleMania.
Why Isn't The Revival Booked for Elimination Chamber?
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, the reason The Revival are conspicuous by their absence from Sunday's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view is that they have not signed new deals and turned down the company's most recent offers.
It makes sense that WWE would not want to prominently feature an act that may be preparing to go elsewhere when their contracts are up in such a high-profile specialty match. It is disappointing in that the creativity of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder would likely enhance the match's quality, while their in-ring talent would be useful in getting over new champions The Miz and John Morrison, let alone everyone else involved.
Unfortunately, their negotiations appear to have hit an impasse, and they are simply waiting out the days until they are free agents.
Does AEW Have a Drug-Testing Policy?
Meltzer also reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that while AEW contracts allow them to drug-test talent, the company does not have a written drug-test policy at this time.
AEW is still in its infancy as a company, and one has to believe the more it grows and evolves, the sooner drug-testing policies will be implemented. If not, there will be plenty of reason to criticize the company.
As it is, it is merely an issue the company will have to address before it opens itself up to unnecessary questions and concerns regarding its talents' well-being.