WWE Rumors: Buying or Selling Latest Buzz After WrestleMania 36

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 11:  A WWE logo is shown on a screen before a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was announced that WWE wrestler Braun Strowman will face heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury and WWE champion Brock Lesnar will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at the WWE's Crown Jewel event at Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The WrestleMania 36 two-night spectacular took place last weekend and significantly shifted the landscape of WWE even with no fans in attendance because of the coronavirus pandemic.

New champions were crowned such as Drew McIntyre (WWE), Braun Strowman (universal) and Charlotte Flair (NXT women's). WWE also provided some unforgettable matches, including the Boneyard match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles as well as the Firefly Fun House match pitting "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt against John Cena.

While WrestleMania is in the rear-view mirror, WWE is moving forward with its weekly programming and seemingly building toward next month's Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

As WWE continues to traverse its way through a unique situation, here are some of the biggest rumors making the rounds regarding the company.

   

NXT Building to El Hijo del Fantasma's Debut

One of the most bizarre storylines to play out over the course of the past few weeks on NXT is reportedly a vehicle to debut a top talent who recently signed with the company.

According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), the recent kidnappings of Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde by masked men is leading to the debut of El Hijo del Fantasma as the leader of a stable.

Per Meltzer, the plan is for Mendoza and Wilde to essentially become brainwashed into doing Fantasma's bidding and becoming his henchmen.

If that is the plan, it would be a strong way to debut Fantasma. Not only would he feel important as the leader of a stable, but it would also give a couple of talented performers in Mendoza and Wilde something to do.

Fittingly, both Mendoza and Wilde are cruiserweight competitors, and Fantasma may be used in the division as well. On Wednesday, NXT general manager William Regal announced that a tournament is being held to determine the interim cruiserweight champion since current titleholder Jordan Devlin is stuck in the UK because of travel restrictions.

If Fantasma enters that tournament and gets help from Mendoza and Wilde, it will bring some much-needed storytelling to the cruiserweight ranks. 

    

WWE Puts TV Taping Schedule in Place

With the COVID-19 pandemic making it difficult to provide live episodes of Raw, SmackDown and NXT every week, WWE reportedly has a taping schedule in place that will cover the next several weeks.

According to Post Wrestling (h/t Upton), WWE will begin taping episodes Friday at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.

WWE will also tape episodes of NXT at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, during that time. Full Sail has been NXT's home base for the past several years, and WWE has been allowed to continue using the facility despite the fact that the school is shut down.

WWE and All Elite Wrestling have continued to produce content when most wrestling companies and sports leagues have decided to take a break.

While there are risks involved, every indication is that WWE and AEW are taking the proper precautions. Among them is taping shows ahead of time so that performers can spend the bulk of their time at home in quarantine.

Although both WWE and AEW have received some backlash on social media for their "show must go on" mentality, the fact that they are finding ways to entertain fans during a difficult time certainly deserves some praise.

    

Reigns' Status Uncertain

Roman Reigns was originally supposed to challenge Goldberg for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 36, but he was replaced by Braun Strowman after deciding to pull out of the match because of the risks involved with the coronavirus.

Since Reigns has battled leukemia twice, his immune system is weakened and the 34-year-old could be more susceptible than most.

According to Meltzer (h/t Upton), Reigns' short-term status with WWE is uncertain, even among those who are "high up" in the company.

Since appearing on SmackDown would likely require The Big Dog to get physical, it is difficult to envision him returning to television until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control more.

There is no telling when that will happen, and it isn't known when fans will be allowed to resume attending events either.

Until Reigns does return, Strowman is preparing to carry the banner for the blue brand as the universal champion, but he won't be alone, as Wyatt, Daniel Bryan and several others figure to play a significant role moving forward as well.

Reigns has every right to prioritize his health, and there is little doubt that his top spot will be there waiting for him whenever he does decide to return.

    

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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