Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Rollins Discusses Return of Crowd on Raw
Monday's episode of Raw had a decidedly different feel, as WWE decided to use Performance Center trainees as audience members.
WWE had no crowd of any kind for the first two months of the coronavirus pandemic, but it switched things up in order to create some noise and atmosphere. The trainees were scattered throughout the crowd six feet apart and behind panes of Plexiglass in order to separate them from the performers.
During an appearance on FS1's WWE Backstage (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Joshua Gagnon), Rollins discussed how he felt about the new implementation:
"I've actually gotten into a grove doing the promos with nobody in the crowd. I think from an audience perspective it allows the words to sink in a little bit more when there's not an audience around. When they are out there listening, they are going to kind of take the promo where they want to sometimes. They don't listen to every word that you are saying. You don't get to tell the story that you fully want to tell. The other night when I went out there it was cool, I went out there for entrance and I got boos, it felt like wrestling again. It was cool in a way. ... It was cool to get a little bit of that energy back. Just some of the normalcy, it really made it feel like wrestling again."
It can be argued that no Superstar in WWE has thrived more without crowds in attendance than Rollins. His Monday Night Messiah gimmick is getting better with each passing week, and his ability to tell a story in his promos without interruption has played a role.
The crowd didn't seem to impact him negatively Monday, though, as the trainees allowed him to say what he had to say during a tense segment that involved Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo.
It seemed as though the audience members were instructed to simply cheer the babyfaces and boo the heels, which is rudimentary, but also helped Rollins get some actual heat for the first time in months, as there was nobody there to disapprove of his actions before.
Rollins and other Superstars have likely learned some good tricks during the no-crowd era that will help them when real crowds do return, and the current situation will allow him to test those theories with people in the audience even though they are plants.
Orton Announces Purchase of a Plane
Randy Orton took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce a big purchase.
In the Instagram post, Orton showed off a photo of himself inside an airplane with the caption: "F--ked around bought a plane. #greatest #wrestling #match #ever #whatarib #hatebutidontblameyou."
The 40-year-old Orton has been part of the WWE main roster since 2002, and he is also one of the most accomplished Superstars in WWE history with 13 world title reigns, meaning The Viper has likely made a lot of money over the years.
Several top Superstars have bought themselves buses in recent years to make travel easier, but buying a plane takes it to the next level and will allow Orton to avoid many of the headaches that come along with flying out of busy airports.
It is also notable that Orton played up to his upcoming match against Edge in the Instagram post, which is being heralded as the "Greatest Wrestling Match Ever" by WWE.
After Edge beat Orton in a Falls Count Anywhere match at WrestleMania, The Viper challenged Edge to a traditional wrestling match to prove who the best wrestler truly is.
Edge hasn't had a normal singles match in more than nine years, so there will be no shortage of intrigue surrounding the bout in terms of whether Edge still has what it takes to put on a technical classic.
Orton has done some of the best work of his career in recent months, and there is no doubt that he is earning the money that helped him purchase that plane.
Sane Reportedly Injured at Raw Taping
Kairi Sane reportedly suffered an injury during a match against Nia Jax at this week's WWE Raw tapings at the Performance Center.
According to Fightful (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), Sane got her head busted open on the steel steps and required medical attention. Sane got her head bandaged and then insisted on finishing the match.
Sane has absorbed quite a bit of punishment from Jax in recent weeks. She lost to Nia in matches on the April 13 and 20 editions of Raw, and then she was attacked backstage by Jax on Raw last week, as Jax began a feud with Raw Women's champion Asuka.
There was no indication that Jax injured Sane before this week's taping, but the size disparity between them makes everything Nia does to Kairi look painful and impactful.
Sane does have a history of head injuries in WWE, as she suffered an apparent concussion during a TLC tag team match at the TLC pay-per-view in December. Sane was unable to finish the match, but Asuka retained the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships on her behalf over Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
Kairi returned to in-ring action less than one month later, and she has been a key part of the Raw women's roster ever since.
With Asuka and Jax currently feuding over the Raw Women's Championship ahead of their match at Backlash, it may be wise for Sane to take at least a couple of weeks off to rest and heal after what reportedly happened in her match against Nia.
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