Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
McIntyre Heaps Praise on Lesnar
Ahead of his WWE Championship match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36, Drew McIntyre praised his opponent Monday.
In an interview with Alex McCarthy of TalkSport, McIntyre credited Lesnar with making a segment between them on Raw a few weeks ago so successful:
"I was so into it [the beatdown]! But I didn't forget that, he [Brock] felt that in the moment and said, 'Do it!' The camera just picked it up, but that's how much he's invested in this. He made that call because he felt the crowd. Nobody, one, sells like Brock Lesnar and two, feels a crowd like Brock Lesnar. In my experience of anyone I've been in the ring with—and even talking with him backstage—in terms of learning it's like wow ... this guy gets it more than anybody I've ever spoken to. There's a superstar level and being over level, and then there's the elite level that very few people get to.
"Right now I'm doing all I can to get to that level because I want WWE to be as big as it can possibly be and I want those ratings to go back up. I'm like a kid in college again like I was with Shawn Michaels in NXT, taking notes. I want to get to that level."
The Scottish Superstar was referencing a segment during which he interrupted Paul Heyman and stared down Lesnar. When The Beast pretended like he was going to walk away before charging McIntyre, he was met with a Claymore Kick.
McIntyre then hit Lesnar with a second Claymore on the stage, which led to the crowd chanting for one more. Microphones caught Lesnar telling McIntyre to pick up the WWE title, and then Lesnar got up again for an impromptu third Claymore.
Lesnar already helped make McIntyre into a star at the Royal Rumble when McIntyre eliminated him and then went on to win the Rumble, but the segment on Raw helped take the challenger to another level.
McIntyre already has the look and charisma needed to be a main eventer in WWE, but Lesnar selling for him in such a big way is the stamp of approval many fans need in order to embrace McIntyre in that role.
It was a long bumpy road to this point for McIntyre, but there is no denying that he has made it based on the fact that he is getting the better of Lesnar is physical altercations.
A portion of the WWE fanbase is critical of Lesnar since he is a part-time Superstar who often wins in dominant fashion, but with the likes of McIntyre, John Cena and others talking Lesnar up to such a high degree recently, it is clear that those within the business have a great deal of respect for him.
Edge Discusses WrestleMania Match vs. Orton
WWE Hall of Famer Edge discussed his upcoming WrestleMania match against Randy Orton and returning to the ring for the first time in nine years in an interview last week.
Speaking with Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy, Edge mentioned why he is in favor of WrestleMania 36 still happening despite the coronavirus pandemic forcing it to move from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, with no fans in attendance:
"As long we can try and be as responsible and as safe as we can, why wouldn't we try and do this for everyone? As a performer, that's what we want to do. If we can do that and if people watch and can have fun for a few hours then our mission is accomplished.
"It's a privilege, it's an honor, it's also a responsibility—and it's one that I know all of us don't take lightly. There's a reason the show is going on. Those are the reasons why."
Edge was out of wrestling for nine years because of what was believed to be a career-ending neck injury, but he made a surprise return in the 2020 men's Royal Rumble match and lasted until the final three.
The Rated-R Superstar discussed how much it meant to him to return to the ring and receive such a positive reception:
"At the Royal Rumble, that was the first time I ever felt nerves. Once the music hit, then it was just ... you can't explain it. You can't do it justice. There is no way to explain this melting pot of things that all came together, after nine years being off and being forced to retire.
"It is a story that has never happened before and to be in the center of that is just overwhelming, it really is. I don't know if I have fully wrapped my mind around the whole thing."
One night after his return, Edge was attacked by Orton on Raw, which set the stage for their WrestleMania match.
Last week, Edge challenged The Viper to a Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania. On Monday's Raw, Orton accepted, which means they will compete in what is perhaps the most highly anticipated match on the card.
While Edge won't get a massive reception from a WrestleMania crowd of 70,000-plus people in his first singles match back, the rivalry between Edge and Orton and the Last Man Standing stipulation should be conducive to the empty arena environment and still make for a highly entertaining match for those watching at home.
Rezar Reportedly Out with Torn Bicep
Rezar reportedly suffered a torn bicep that will likely cause him to miss WrestleMania 36, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
The injury likely occurred on the March 9 episode of Raw, which saw Seth Rollins, Murphy, Akam and Rezar beat The Street Profits and The Viking Raiders in an eight-man tag team match. Rezar hasn't been on television since then.
Meltzer noted that AOP were likely going to challenge The Street Profits for the Raw Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania, but with Rezar on the shelf, they were replaced by Andrade and Angel Garza.
After a dominant run in NXT that included a reign as NXT tag team champions, AOP debuted on the main roster in 2018. They eventually won the Raw Tag Team Championships before dropping them to Chad Gable and Robert Roode.
Akam got injured in January 2019, which resulted in AOP being held off TV for five months until Super ShowDown 2019.
In December, AOP joined forces with Rollins, and Murphy later joined the group as well. Since that time, the stable has been among the most dominant forces on Raw.
With Rezar injured, however, it doesn't appear as though AOP will have a spot on the WrestleMania card, and Rollins will be down one man in reserve for his WrestleMania match against Kevin Owens as well.
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