Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on SummerSlam, Sammy Guevara and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2020

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on SummerSlam, Sammy Guevara and More

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    Credit: WWE.com

    With WWE SummerSlam 2020 fast approaching, the location of the event remains in as much question as anything.

    A series of reports this week shed some light on where the event won't be staged, but the million-dollar question now is where The Biggest Party of the Summer will emanate from on Aug. 23.

    Ric Flair once figured to play a key role in the event as the right-hand man of Randy Orton, but their split has The Nature Boy's future with the company in question.

    Then there is Kevin Owens, who has not been involved in anything significant since returning from the foot injury that put him out of action after WrestleMania 36.

    What does the future hold for SummerSlam, Flair's status with WWE and Owens' creative prospects?

    And just how much heat is on Sammy Guevara in All Elite Wrestling after his steel-chair mishap with Matt Hardy?

    Find out the answers to those questions with this week's collection of rumors and innuendo.

SummerSlam Location

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    Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported WWE has dropped plans to tape portions of SummerSlam in Atlantic City and that the show will take place in Florida.

    Meanwhile, WrestleVotes noted the show won't take place inside the Performance Center but still won't have fans in attendance.

    Neither report specified a new filming location, but the decision to move away from the P.C. is a step in the right direction and will help make SummerSlam feel more special than every other WWE event since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to film without live crowds.

    Sometimes, a change in scenery can be everything an event needs to recapture fans' attention.

    With a strong card headlined by Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship and Braun Strowman defending his universal title against "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, the pieces are there for a memorable broadcast.

    Hopefully, the company will select a unique location and deliver on the potential of the event. If so, it could well be the sleeper contender for WWE PPV of the Year in 2020.

What's Up with Kevin Owens?

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    Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that Kevin Owens was originally supposed to be feuding with Seth Rollins at this point but that all changed when Rey Mysterio opted to stay with WWE.

    That would account for KO wandering aimlessly on Raw of late, including being used to further the reunion between Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan one week and being one of Randy Orton's latest victims the next.

    It never ceases to amaze who WWE opts to emphasize at the expense of others.

    While the Mysterio-Dominik-Rollins storyline has been entertaining at times—and over-the-top ridiculous at others—the idea that Owens does not have something more important to do despite being as valuable a performer as he has proved to be is astonishing.

    Hopefully, by the time the hype for SummerSlam dies down, The Prizefighter will be able to find something befitting his talents because he should be emphasized—particularly when WWE is struggling to attract (or keep) viewers.

Ric Flair Written off of TV

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    Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co reported Ric Flair has been written off television following the attack at the hands of Randy Orton on WWE Raw on Monday night.

    It was probably the right move from a creative standpoint.

    Orton has become more and more ruthless in recent weeks and has demonstrated the ability to cut some extraordinary promos of late. He did not need a mouthpiece, nor did he need an association with his former Evolution mentor.

    He is his own man, a veteran performer and future Hall of Famer. He is capable of carrying his own program with Drew McIntyre without relying on Flair to bring a level of credibility or intrigue to it. 

    What Flair did bring Orton, though, was his last link to humanity. Orton has been brutal, violent and inconsiderate in his attacks on former friends and colleagues. Flair kept him grounded. Without Naitch, it will be interesting to see if Orton unleashes an even darker, more punishing side of himself in time for his showdown with McIntyre at SummerSlam on August 23.

Heat on Sammy Guevara?

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    Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select (h/t Cageside Seats) reported there is heat on Sammy Guevara for the steel-chair spot that left Matt Hardy a busted open, bloodied mess on the August 5 episode of AEW Dynamite. Some even went as far as to call Guevara "reckless," something The Spanish God eluded to in his latest vlog. 

    It is difficult not to find fault with Guevara for not using the standard steel folding chair, but last week's episode of Dynamite was a taped show. At any point, when it became clear that Guevara was struggling to spot the chair he was supposed to use, Tony Khan and the production team could have halted things and reshot the angle.

    Hardy would not have been put in the unenviable position of having a chair he was not prepared for thrown at his head, above all else.

    Sure, the spontaneity of a live-to-tape show is a lot different than stopping and reshooting, but in this instance it would have spared one of the most recognizable faces in the industry from an injury that did not have to happen.

    Guevara will be fine. He's a young guy who has not been on national television for a full year yet. He is still finding his feet in the big leagues and just had a bad night. Hopefully, those nights do not happen often and he will learn from this mistake—as will the production team.