Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW.
Roman's Pairing with Heyman a Long Time Coming
It'd be understandable if you saw Roman Reigns' surprising return at SummerSlam and his subsequent pairing with Paul Heyman as the latest in WWE's slapped-together booking. The whole thing feels rushed, in large part because it was set up in service to a pay-per-view that was nonsensically scheduled one week after SummerSlam.
Turns out the Roman-Heyman connection has been in the offing for some time.
Dave Meltzer said on Sunday's Main Event podcast that Reigns has been wanting to turn heel for some time, and WWE paired him with Heyman because he's been seldom on television since Brock Lesnar's post-WrestleMania hiatus.
Reigns' turn has been the most intriguing storyline WWE's put out in months. Even though there are some clear logical fallacies going on—since when can you just sign a contract mid-match?—Heel Roman is something fans have clamored for and are now getting.
It'll be interesting to see what direction they take Reigns under Heyman's wing. Let's hope he doesn't fall into the "cowardly heel" trope WWE loves so much and can be a dominant force for (kayfabe) evil.
Braun Asked Vince Permission to Shave Head
When Braun Strowman debuted his new bald-headed look, most fan reactions were the same: Thank you. Strowman's hairline had been sprinting to the back of his scalp for years, and the Monster Among Men himself knew things weren't looking follically sound.
"I called Vince and I said, 'Vince it's time to get rid of this crappy hair.' He's like, 'Well, why?' Well for one, it looks bad and two, I'm about to get a little nasty," Strowman said of his conversation with Vince McMahon on a WWE Chronicle documentary.
Strowman said McMahon gave him the thumbs-up to get rid of his hair the next day, and he made his bald-headed debut earlier this month.
With Strowman set to return to a menacing heel role, the baldie gives his character a more menacing look as is, so this is a positive change all around.
Matt Cardona Talks WWE Release
While Matt Cardona was not expecting his WWE release in April, per se, he wasn't exactly against it. Cardona told Nick Hausman of Wrestling Inc. that he was fully prepared for his departure:
"When we found out the cuts will be coming that day, like I said, I'm always ready. It's not just a cute hashtag. I already set up my Pro Wrestling Tees store. I'm like, I'm ready. Let's go. Let's go baby. It sounds crazy to say, but I wasn't calling anyone begging for it, but inside I was begging for it please. Please let this happen because for over a year, I hadn't signed a new contract. I was debating, do I stay [or] do I go because like you said, I felt like a lifer there.
"I spent my whole adult life, my real professional career there, so I wasn't sure what to do, and when the decision was made for me, it was like thank God. It was this instant sigh of relief, and I was so excited to go do the things I always wanted to do. And I already had the Pro Wrestling Tees store ready to go, and I just had to call up Ryan at Pro Wrestling Tees. I said make it live, so I was pumped which it sounds crazy. Even me saying it right now, seems ridiculous. It seems untrue, but that's the truth right there. I was so happy and so excited for the future."
Cardona, who wrestled in WWE under the name Zack Ryder, spent nearly a decade-and-a-half with the company. WWE released several longtime employees, ranging from wrestlers to backstage producers, early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cardona is currently signed to a short-term contract with AEW.