WWE Rumors: Latest on WrestleMania 36 Taping and Samoa Joe Injury Update

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

TOKYO,JAPAN - JUNE 29: Samoa Joe enters the ring during the WWE Live Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan on June 29, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

With WrestleMania 36 just over one week away, WWE is in the midst of its busiest time of the year, but it finds itself in a unique situation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WrestleMania had been planned for Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on April 5, but since no fans are allowed to attend, WWE moved the biggest show of the year to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and other undisclosed locations, and made it a two-night event on April 4 and 5.

As WrestleMania quickly approaches, here is a look at some of the most significant rumors surrounding The Showcase of The Immortals and WWE as a whole.

       

WWE Reportedly Tapes Several Top WrestleMania Matches

While WWE has been dealt a bad hand on the road to WrestleMania, the company is seemingly doing everything it can to make the most of the situation.

One positive that comes along with no fans being in attendance is the fact that it allows WWE to tape the matches ahead of time and present them in precisely the manner the company desires.

According to Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), WWE filmed "several" of the top WrestleMania matches Wednesday, and it is expected that the filming will conclude Thursday. While it was initially reported that WWE would tape Night 1 and Night 2 in order, that may not have been the case.

Among the top matches on the WrestleMania card are Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship, Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship and Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler for the Raw Women's Championship.

While all of those matches could happen in the ring and be entertaining without fans, some of the bouts on the card need more bells and whistles.

It was announced on Monday's Raw that The Undertaker and AJ Styles will face off in a Boneyard Match, which suggests that they will do battle in a graveyard setting of sorts. Also, John Cena vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt seems like the perfect match to put in an odd location, such as the Firefly Funhouse or an abandoned warehouse.

Arguably the most highly anticipated match on the card is Edge vs. Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match, which is a stipulation that will allow them to battle all throughout the building.

Taping the matches ahead of time will also allow WWE to make WrestleMania more of a cinematic experience, which could be an ideal way to make up for all the pomp and circumstance that is lost with no fans being in attendance.

       

Samoa Joe Eligible for WrestleMania, But 'Not Likely'

WWE fans reportedly shouldn't expect to see Samoa Joe at WrestleMania 36.

According to PWInsider (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), Joe's 30-day suspension for violating WWE's Wellness Policy has expired, but it is "not likely" that he will be part of the festivities.

Part of the reason for Joe's potential WrestleMania absence may be the fact that he got injured during a commercial shoot last month. Per Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin, The Samoan Submission Machine hit his head while trying to do a table break stunt.

Satin noted that Joe "could be out of action for a considerable amount of time."

Joe has had bad luck around WrestleMania time with injuries during his career. It wasn't until last year at WrestleMania 35 that he finally got to have a match on The Grandest Stage of Them All, although his win over Rey Mysterio only lasted about a minute.

The 41-year-old veteran's last match was on the Feb. 10 episode of Raw when he, Kevin Owens and The Vikings Raiders lost to Seth Rollins, Murphy and AOP in an eight-man tag team match.

Joe was primarily focused in aiding Owens during his feud with the Rollins-led group prior to getting suspended and injured, so if he is going to have a role at WrestleMania, it may be getting involved in the Rollins vs. Owens match.

There figures to be plenty of interference in the bout, and perhaps the best and most shocking way to utilize Joe would be to have him turn on KO and align himself with The Monday Night Messiah.

        

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