Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Sting, Braun Strowman and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2020

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Sting, Braun Strowman and More

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Winter came to All Elite Wrestling Wednesday night on Dynamite and brought with it Sting, who made his debut in the company in an unforgettable, goosebumps-inducing moment.

    The Icon headlines this week's wrestling rumor mill, his return kept hush-hush among those in the AEW locker room until he stepped through the tunnel and saved Cody and Dustin Rhodes, and Darby Allin, from a beating at the hands of Team Taz.

    Joining The Stinger in the realm of rumor and innuendo is former Universal Champion Braun Strowman and the chaotic creative process behind WWE SmackDown.

Latest on Sting and All Elite Wrestling

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    Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reported that no one they spoke to knew Sting was in the building prior to Dynamite kicking off on TNT Wednesday night.

    The surprise was the most buzzed-about moment from a Winter is Coming episode of the Dynamite that also saw Kenny Omega defeat Jon Moxley to win the AEW World Championship before seemingly absconding with it to Impact Wrestling.

    From the video package to Tony Schiavone getting to call, "it's STIIIIIIIING!" for the first time in two decades, the moment was one of those landmark ones that the young company will be able to play over and over again as proof positive of wrestling stars wanting to make the jump to their show.

    Whether the return leads to any in-ring action for The Stinger, who last competed at the Night of Champions 2015 pay-per-view against Seth Rollins where he suffered a neck injury that ultimately retired him, remains to be seen but the significance of a bona fide legend like Sting signing with Tony Khan's company cannot be understated.

Braun Strowman Injury Update

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    Braun Strowman was written off of television by way of his suspension following a physical assault on WWE official Adam Pearce, a cover for a bum knee, but the injury ailing him will not keep him out of action long according to Wrestling Observer Live's Bryan Alvarez.

    Alvarez reports the former Universal Champion is currently rehabbing the knee and should be back sooner rather than later.

    Strowman has been the subject of some questionable booking throughout 2020.

    First, he lost the Intercontinental Championship to Sami Zayn in a feud that never really had an ending. Then, he benefited from Roman Reigns' hiatus, defeating Goldberg to win the Universal title in an ice-cold match. A lengthy feud with Bray Wyatt followed before he popped up on Raw Underground, then as part of the red brand's Survivor Series team.

    The inconsistency, as well as WWE Creative allowing him to fall off significantly following his title loss in August to The Fiend, left Strowman without any obvious path for the remainder of the year.

    Perhaps 2021 will bring with it renewed focus on The Monster Among Men but with so much attention paid to Drew McIntyre, the budding rivalry between the aforementioned Wyatt and Randy Orton, and the eventual return of Edge, it is becoming more and more difficult to figure out where Strowman fits in.

SmackDown's Creative Chaos

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    Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported that so few segments and matches are announced for SmackDown ahead of time because Vince McMahon has been arriving to the arena late in the afternoon and no one knows what the plans will be for the show until he is there.

    Given those conditions, it is a minor miracle that SmackDown has been as strong a show as it has been in recent months.

    A lot of that can be attributed to the work of Roman Reigns and Jey Uso, but the overall quality show has far surpassed that of Raw. While that may be a good thing now, it is only a matter of time before Vinnie Mac's whims and creative chaos plague the show.

    At some point, McMahon really must loosen his grip on the creative elements of the show and allow his creative team to put together a script that includes sensible, coherent storytelling without last-minute rewrites and indirection the likes of which are often contributed to the dying days of WCW.

    McMahon should embrace the role of overseer rather than creative dictator at this point in his career.

    Otherwise, WWE will never be able to establish a long-term creative direction.

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