WWE WrestleMania 36 Rumors: Latest Buzz on Sasha Banks, Austin Theory and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2020

WWE WrestleMania 36 Rumors: Latest Buzz on Sasha Banks, Austin Theory and More

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WrestleMania 36 is shaping up to be one of the most unique viewing experiences fans have ever had, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing it behind closed doors at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.

    However, the rumors continue to pour forth ahead of this weekend's Showcase of the Immortals.

    What did they have to say regarding one of the four top contenders to the SmackDown Women's Championship, the intriguing newcomer to WWE Raw and the Triple Threat ladder match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship?

    And what does the coronavirus situation mean for the WWE product and its live event schedule post-WrestleMania?

Sasha Banks Set for Babyface Turn

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    Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported Sasha Banks is expected to turn babyface after WrestleMania 36, as her rivalry with Bayley—originally slated for the event but pushed back due to time constraints—ramps up.

    While it still feels too early to turn The Legit Boss, the feud will ultimately demand either her or SmackDown women’s champion Bayley assume the role of protagonist.

    Given the fact that the titleholder is in the middle of a heel turn that has included a complete reinvention of her character, it would be easier to switch Banks' character.

    Besides, we have seen a babyface Bayley battle a heel Boss before, during their epic NXT rivalry that paved the way for the Women's Revolution in WWE.

    Now it's time to flip that story on its head and give fans a taste of something new.

Update on Austin Theory's Main Roster Debut

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    Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats reported Austin Theory stepped in for injured United States champion Andrade as Angel Garza's partner in WrestleMania's Raw Tag Team Championship match against The Street Profits because "Paul Heyman sees something in him."

    Taking into account the amount of talent the Raw executive director built from the ground up during his days as the owner and creative genius behind ECW, and it means something to have his trust as a performer. 

    Theory does, hence his incredible rise from indie star to NXT newcomer to WrestleMania competitor in the span of just eight months.

    The 22-year-old is a talented young star whose future is as bright as anyone's. His performance on The Grandest Stage of Them All may determine just how brightly, and quickly, his star burns.

Triple Threat Tag Team Championship Ladder Match to Undergo Change

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    Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that changes are expected in the Triple Threat ladder match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships after illness forced The Miz to withdraw from WrestleMania 36.

    Such a switch could see The A-Lister's teammate, John Morrison, defend the titles against one member each from The New Day and The Usos.

    While that is hardly ideal given how appealing the original match looked on paper, the current conditions demand change for the safety and well-being of all involved. Why that cannot come in the form of Morrison defending the belts against both teams is unknown, outside of the fact that it would be unfair.

    When it comes to forcing heels into unfair situations to give them their comeuppance, wrestling history is full of examples.

    Expect some sort of explanation for the new match on Friday's SmackDown.

WWE Cancels Remaining April Live Events

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    Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com revealed: "It's been reported that WWE plans to air the April 10 SmackDown episode live from the WWE Performance Center, instead of taped, but that hasn't been confirmed. It also appears that they are airing the April 15 NXT episode live from the NXT Arena at Full Sail University."

    He added that the April 27 episode of Raw, scheduled for the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, has been canceled.

    Given the current state of the world due to coronavirus pandemic, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump extending social distancing through at least April 30, it is no surprise that WWE has taken the preemptive step to cancel all remaining shows for the month.

    The question becomes whether it plans to resume touring May 1. 

    After taking so long to make a decision on WrestleMania, one can only hope the choice comes quicker this time.