Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on WWE Title Plans, Tucker and More
On the heels of a noteworthy Hell in a Cell pay-per-view and the television leading into the event, WWE found itself at the center of this week's wrestling rumor mill, with Randy Orton's monumental title victory headlining the discussion.
What does The Viper's win mean for future WWE Championship plans? As it turns out, not much.
And what of Tucker's shocking betrayal of Otis that cost the big man his Money in the Bank briefcase? Will their residence on separate brands prevent any sort of appropriate payoff to their rivalry?
Find out the answers to those questions and more with this rundown of this week's rumor and innuendo.
Report on Randy Orton's WWE Championship Win and Future Plans
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported the long-term plans for the WWE Championship remain unchanged as Orton is slated to defend against Edge at WrestleMania 37.
The Viper's win over Edge at Backlash in June seemed to indicate the issues between them were not settled, and the injury suffered by The Rated-R Superstar derailed any plan to blow off the program in fitting fashion.
While some may balk at the idea of a Hall of Famer coming in and winning the top prize at the expense of full-time competitors, what better way could Edge stick it to his rival than by relieving him of the most significant championship in all of WWE?
It makes sense and would provide Edge with the redemption story he did not necessarily get to have earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the empty arena shows.
And Orton, who is turning in his best performances as a heel since 2009, is the perfect character for him to take the title from.
Update on Tucker's Raw Status
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported that Tucker's feud with Otis will continue despite him still being part of the Raw brand.
Some speculated that the betrayal that unfolded at Sunday's Hell in a Cell may be a not-so-subtle way of switching Tucker back to SmackDown for a proper feud.
As it turns out, WWE Creative will not allow something silly like a brand split get in the way of a good, old-fashioned midcard hoss fight.
Maybe it's for the best.
Neither Otis nor Tucker are involved in anything of any real substance elsewhere so why not bring this chapter of their career to an end with a showdown that will inevitably put Otis over, force him to show emotional range and highlight just how improved Tucker is from his days as an also-ran in NXT?
It's a program that will benefit both men and give them some television time in the process, something that will be imperative to the growth of Otis as he recovers from losing the Money in the Bank contract, an admission from WWE Creative that he is either not ready for the push or has fallen out of favor with the writing staff.
What Led to the Return of Chad Gable?
Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co reported that several backstage supporters were responsible for WWE Creative dropping "Shorty G" and allowing the performer to revert back to his Chad Gable ring name.
Former WWE champion Daniel Bryan is said to be one such supporter, arguably the strongest Gable has behind the scenes.
A source told Davis: "Vince sees talent in him and he meant well with the Shorty gimmick but Vince might not want to push him all the way as a top guy because of his size. The agents and the writers want more for Chad but Vince can change his mind tomorrow and I think we all know that. Chad knows that."
Such a statement should not be of any real surprise to anyone who has watched the WWE product since, say, 1984. McMahon has always favored the bigger, taller, hulking talents. Gable, though, is a charismatic performer who could easily get over on his own if given the opportunity.
There are hours of television from NXT on Vinnie Mac's own streaming network that are proof of it. The 2012 Olympian certainly has the in-ring skill set to be a top performer in the business. In that way, he is similar to Bryan.
It remains to be seen if the attention paid to him on SmackDown this past Friday will continue into the weeks and months to come. McMahon's attention span is so short that is would not be a surprise to see this latest push abandoned within a month.
It also won't be a surprise if Gable went on a nice little run that finally reflects his talent.
The uncertainty of it all, though, has to be frustrating.