Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Money in the Bank, Brendan Vink, More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Money in the Bank, Brendan Vink, More

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    On Sunday night, WWE presents Money in the Bank on pay-per-view, and the women's version of the event's namesake match may have already been spoiled.

    At least a little.

    What did WWE do to tip its hat at a potential winner in the contest, and how might it affect one of the most popular and unique matches of a year stricken by uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic?

    Speaking of which, the unprecedented nature of the situation facing WWE has allowed for young stars to jump from NXT to main-roster programming and enjoy a bit of the spotlight. Brendan Vink and The Forgotten Sons are just a few of them, but both are in the headlines for different reasons. What might the future hold for them?

    Those topics, plus Tony Khan's role in writing All Elite Dynamite over the past month, headline this week's collection of wrestling rumors.

Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match Plans

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    Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats reported the tease of Becky Lynch confronting the Women's Money in the Bank winner on Raw indicates one of Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler or Asuka will win the briefcase at Sunday's pay-per-view.

    How WWE could so irresponsibly promote a segment that essentially tips its hat as to what the plans are for one of its signature matches is a question only its production team can answer—especially considering that it aired during a taped episode of Raw on Monday and easily could have been edited out had someone been paying attention.

    Yes, SmackDown's Lacey Evans, Carmella and Dana Brooke were all shown too, but with commentator Tom Phillips strongly insinuating that if a Raw star wins MITB, he or she will challenge for the red brand's title, it all but confirms none of those three will emerge victorious.

    Nor should they given the opposition.

    Still, it is a major blow to the element of surprise that is such a major part of the fan-favorite gimmick match. To have half the participants ruled out because someone fell asleep at the dial while putting together a video package is inexcusable.

Update on The Forgotten Sons

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    Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that The Forgotten Sons' call-up happened because of the knee injury Jimmy Uso suffered at WrestleMania 36.

    The team has helped to bolster the SmackDown tag team division since their arrival and, with their win over The New Day on Friday, is in a position to battle for the blue brand's tag team titles Sunday night at Money in the Bank.

    To this point, the SmackDown creative team has done more to get the trio of Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake and Jaxson Ryker over than NXT did, a rarity given how talent typically fares better under Triple H than on the main roster.

    They have made the most of the opportunity and have a very real chance to capture the gold Sunday. Whether WWE is ready to abruptly switch the titles after New Day only regained them from The Miz and John Morrison remains to be seen.

Big Plans for NXT Call-Up?

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    Recent NXT call-up Brendan Vink picked up his first televised win with partner Shane Thorne Monday on Raw, knocking off the red-hot team of Ricochet and Cedric Alexander as WWE teases the idea of a stable managed by MVP.

    If a report by Mike Johnson at PWInsider Elite is to be believed, Vink is being considered for a significant push on the main roster. It is not difficult to see why. The Australian is big, looks like a million bucks and is a natural athlete. While he is still an unrefined in-ring performer, the ingredients are there for a big-time player.

    But at what cost.

    We have seen in the past what happens when a prospect is rushed through development and on to the big stage before he is ready. The Ruthless Aggression Era is lined with similar cases, from Luther Reigns to Jon Heidenreich. Size, athletic background and a million-dollar physique do not translate to guaranteed success.

    He is off to a solid start with his high-profile win, though, and an alliance with MVP will help to bring him along slowly from a talking perspective. He will not be asked to do too much on the mic, hiding what may be a weakness at this point in the game. 

    Hopefully, for his sake, his story ends differently than those of so many others who have come before him. If he does have an asset those did not, it is in the form of veteran tag team partner. Thorne can help him learn on the job and find himself as an in-ring performer.

Tony Khan's Role in the Past Month of AEW Dynamite Shows

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    AEW President Tony Khan confirmed a report by Mike Johnson of on the company's AEW Unrestricted podcast Wednesday, acknowledging that he threw together the cards and hurriedly wrote the past month of television when it was revealed the state of Georgia would shut down and the company would not be permitted to hold tapings as originally planned.

    Khan went on to praise the talent involved in the tapings, applauding them for their hard work and willingness to wrestle multiple matches in a 24-hour span to make sure the company had enough content to last a month without having to revert to airing PPV matches.

    The fact that the most recent show Khan was responsible for, featuring the semifinals of the TNT Championship tournament pitting Cody against Darby Allin and Lance Archer against Dustin Rhodes, was as critically acclaimed as it was is a testament to his vision and ability to lay out a month's worth of programs with a very short turnaround.

    Like WWE, AEW was faced with a nearly impossible task of producing television in a performance art setting without any audience to feed off of. Both have pulled it off to varying degrees and managed to produce fresh entertainment at a time when there is not much of it to be had.