WWE 2K's Future, AEW Taping Plans, Mustafa Ali Rumored for SmackDown Mystery Man

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2020

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR 2K - WWE Hall of Famer and WWE 2K16 cover, Superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin arrives on the red carpet at the WWE 2K SummerSlam Kickoff in New York, N.Y., on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (Photo by Stuart Ramson/Invision for 2K/AP Images)
Stuart Ramson/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


2K to Make Announcement on WWE 2K's Future

WWE confirmed Thursday on its first-quarter 2020 earnings call with investors that there will be no WWE 2K video game this year.

Following that announcement, 2K noted that it will reveal more regarding the future of the WWE 2K franchise and some "exciting news" on Monday.

After several successful installments of the WWE 2K franchise, WWE 2K20 was seemingly doomed from the start. Developer Yuke's left during production of the game, which may be one of the primary reasons why there were so many issues after it was released.

WWE 2K20 was plagued by bugs and glitches that led to across-the-board criticism from gamers and wrestling fans on social media.

That may have played a role in the decision to cancel WWE 2K21, and the uncertainty that comes along with the coronavirus pandemic could have impacted things as well.

The fact that 2K is teasing a big announcement Monday suggests that its relationship with WWE may not be over. One can only speculate at this point, but perhaps there are plans in place to prepare for WWE 2K22 or even a different video game venture involving 2K and WWE.

WWE and 2K have had a strong working relationship for several years, and while WWE 2K20 didn't go as planned, it could be a blip on the radar if they bounce back with something better in the future.


AEW Reportedly Planning Return to Live TV Soon

WWE has continued to produce live and taped content for Raw, SmackDown and NXT during the coronavirus pandemic, as has AEW with its flagship show Dynamite.

While AEW had been going live weekly, it decided to tape content a few weeks ago and has aired taped shows ever since. That may soon come to an end, as AEW reportedly has plans to place to go back live in the near future.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), AEW is planning to air live weekly from Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida, beginning on May 6.

AEW's first few shows during the pandemic aired live from Daily's Place with no fans in attendance, but it moved to Georgia when Florida shut down non-essential businesses. WWE has been permitted to continue taping in Florida, however, and Florida's policy may be what leads to AEW returning to its home base.

Meltzer noted that enough content was taped by AEW in Georgia to cover shows for the next several weeks. That includes the entire TNT Championship tournament aside form the finals, which are set to take place at Double or Nothing.

When AEW goes back live, it will place a great deal of emphasis on building to the May 23 Double or Nothing pay-per-view, according to Meltzer. AEW reportedly expects to have "about twice as many talents" available when it returns to live programming.

AEW had been working with a smaller roster, opting to keep top performers such as "Hangman" Adam Page, MJF, Pac and The Lucha Bros. at home.

If and when AEW does start airing live episodes of Dynamite again, a bigger roster and an emphasis on Double or Nothing could go a long way toward increasing the show quality significantly.


Ali Among Those Rumored for SmackDown Mystery Man Role

WWE has been running segments featuring a mystery Superstar on SmackDown for the past several weeks with the tagline, "The truth will be heard."

According to Meltzer (h/t Middleton), Ali has been mentioned most often as the person behind the gimmick, but there has also been talk about Ali and Chad "Shorty G" Gable both being part of the reveal together.

The angle started as a strange glitch during the SmackDown broadcast for a few weeks and eventually graduated to the mystery person cutting a promo with an altered voice.

The mystery man even played a big role in an angle, as he revealed that Dolph Ziggler and Sonya Deville plotted to have Mandy Rose dump Otis and start dating Ziggler. When Mandy found out, she dumped Dolph and helped Otis beat him at WrestleMania.

It has been months since Ali was last seen on television, but he is a Superstar who is oozing with potential and was in the WWE Championship scene leading up to WrestleMania 36. This storyline may be precisely what he needs to establish himself as a top star on the blue brand.

Gable would also be an intriguing option since he is a strong all-around talent as well. After losing to King Corbin in the King of the Ring finals last year, Gable transitioned into the Shorty G gimmick, which essentially halted his momentum.

Ali and Gable may both have what it takes to be big-time stars in WWE, and the mystery man angle would at least ensure that there is a great deal of focus on them whenever the reveal occurs.


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