Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Charlotte Flair, Kairi Sane and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2020

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Charlotte Flair, Kairi Sane and More

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    Is The Queen gearing up for stardom away from the spotlight of WWE?

    Charlotte Flair found herself at the forefront of the wrestling rumor mill this week as reports of a potential television project emerged.

    The 12-time women's champion and her plans beyond the wrestling ring while recovering from elective surgery leads this week's collection of reports and innuendo from behind the scenes in WWE and All Elite Wrestling, but it is far from the only worthwhile talking point.

    What is going on with Kairi Sane and her potential return to Japan? Which original SummerSlam plans are still intact, if any? And are we seeing the genesis of a new Kenny Omega in AEW?

    Find out with this collection of rumors from around the wrestling world.

Charlotte Flair Return Timetable and Potential TV Deal?

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    Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported Charlotte Flair has a television project in the works, but it is not a reality show. Instead, it's a scripted project for a major studio.

    The Queen was last seen on the June 22 episode of WWE Raw, where she brawled with Nia Jax and suffered a storyline injury to write her off the show for the time being.

    It should be of no real surprise to anyone that Flair has attracted a TV offer from Hollywood. She has a star aura about her, is just 34 and has shown her emotional range over the course of her WWE career.

    While we don't know what type of show is being offered, or if she will even take it, Flair possibly making the jump to the mainstream is something WWE officials had to know would be coming one day.

    Even with the offers that will inevitably come her way, though, The Queen is a wrestler's wrestler. It is in her blood, and it is difficult to foresee a scenario in which she is not still wrapping opponents up in her Figure Eight and making them tap en route to another championship. 

Kairi Sane Returning to Japan

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    Tokyo Sports reported Kairi Sane is expected to return to Japan (h/t Ringside News), with an announcement to be made sometime around SummerSlam.

    The Pirate Princess recently returned to WWE television to assist Kabuki Warriors tag team partner Asuka in her battles with Bayley and Sasha Banks.

    Sane's status with the company has been back and forth in recent weeks, with some reports insisting she's leaving but her own actions suggesting an exit from WWE is far from certain.

    However, the latest report from Japan throws gasoline on the fire that is her impending departure.

    Perhaps Sane returned to eventually set up a match with Asuka that we never got to see. Maybe WWE Creative is playing the long game, planting the seeds for a shocking betrayal that puts the teammates on a collision course.

    Or maybe Sane is to be the damsel in distress for The Empress of Tomorrow to rescue from a returning Nia Jax or Shayna Baszler as a feud with either of those two women kicks off.

    Whatever the case may be, Sane has never really fit on the main roster. She has all the talent in the world, but WWE officials have never pushed her with the same intent and determination they did Asuka, thus making her yet another NXT export failed by the creative process on the main roster.

How Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Affected SummerSlam Plans?

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    WrestleVotes reported the original plans for SummerSlam have been torn up.

    The article cited Edge's recent triceps tear and the company's lack of desire to waste Brock Lesnar on crowdless events. As a result, two of the highest-profile matches on the August 23 show have been scrapped.

    Who knows what Edge and Lesnar would have been involved in, but if recent trends are any indication, they may have mirrored their WrestleMania 36 matches with Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre, respectively.

    The coronavirus pandemic has affected WWE's long-term creative plans on more than one occasion since March: Sami Zayn's planned Intercontinental Championship reign was scrapped, Roman Reigns opted out of WrestleMania 36 for the safety of his family, and Braun Strowman gained a 100-plus day Universal Championship reign out of it.

    If the report by WrestleVotes proves accurate, do not be surprised if SummerSlam features some curveballs as the company makes up for the storyline developments it had originally planned.

    Given the current state of its television ratings and a record low figure for Raw on July 13, tearing up the plans and revisiting the card may be in the best interest of all involved.

Kenny Omega Update

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    Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported All Elite Wrestling intentionally downplayed Kenny Omega as one of its prominent stars over the course of its first year because the plan was always to position him in that role in Year 2.

    In his first year with the company, The Cleaner was instrumental in enhancing stars such as PAC and Hangman Page, while teaming with Page to strengthen the tag team division.

    As we witnessed on Wednesday's Fight for the Fallen broadcast of Dynamite, there may be a heel turn coming for Omega.

    The disrespect and frustration he endured over the course of the show manifested itself in a post-match attack on Marko Stunt and an instance in which he was visibly talking to himself.

    While Omega and Page are still tag team champions, surging teams such as FTR, The Lucha Bros, The Butcher and The Blade, and The Young Bucks are seemingly ready to take the mantle from them. That would open Omega up for a major run at the top of the card, possibly as a heel.

    If nothing else, it would be a fresh take on a character that has just hung around in recent months, completely overshadowed by his own tag team partner and pretty much everyone else he has shared the ring with.

    Who would have thought that would be a sentence used to describe Omega midway through 2020?