Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Asuka, NXT and WrestleMania 37 Leaks
WWE may be on The Road to WrestleMania, but Raw women's champion Asuka is on the road to recovery, as detailed in this week's collection of wrestling rumors.
The status of The Empress of Tomorrow headlines a week that also features a major move for the brand she used to call home, NXT, and news on Vince McMahon's reaction to WrestleMania 37 plans leaking out.
Let's dive deeper into each of those topics and find out what they mean for everyone involved.
Asuka Injury Update
Raw women's champion Asuka straight-up got her tooth kicked out by Shayna Baszler on the February 22 episode of Raw and, according to a report by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, she suffered a concussion as well.
The injury occurred during a match pitting Asuka and Charlotte Flair against women's tag team champions Baszler and Nia Jax.
The injury is the latest setback for The Empress of Tomorrow in what has been a frustrating few months for the titleholder.
She has been essentially disregarded by WWE Creative as it centers the women's division around Flair. She has seen her character growth stop, her role in active storylines come to a screeching halt and is now forced to watch from the sidelines.
The question becomes whether she will be treated like Flair's equal when she returns from injury or if she will continue being the clear No. 2 behind The Queen. If that is the case, no amount of clever storytelling encompassing their last WrestleMania match will be enough to drum up excitement for their next.
Here's to a speedy recovery for Asuka and more attention from a creative team that has failed her so badly over the last three months.
NXT on the Move?
Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live reported NXT moving to Tuesday nights is a "done deal" at USA Network, because the NHL will attract more advertising dollars following the dissolution of NBC Sports rather than as a result of poor ratings for the black-and-gold brand.
Mat Men Pro Wrestling podcast originally reported the move Tuesday.
It is hard to find fault with USA's position. More ad-friendly content equals more dollar bills, and so in that regard, it had to make the change.
Alvarez reporting the details of the move should help quell any chatter about WWE tucking tail and running from the Wednesday Night Wars.
NXT was always going to fight from behind in whatever "battle" it found itself in with All Elite Wrestling on Wednesday nights. For all of its extraordinary wrestling and considerable talent, it is still seen as WWE's third brand.
Meanwhile, Dynamite is AEW's premier product.
Hopefully, NXT can get back to what made it special: character development, kick-ass storytelling and great in-ring content. Preferably in a one-hour window, though that might be asking too much at this point.
Either way, this will be a move that benefits both NXT and AEW; Impact Wrestling and its fun, energetic show every Tuesday night on AXS TV? Not so much.
Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard Go on WrestleMania Lockdown
No one likes spoilers, but Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard especially hate them, leading to a creative lockdown on all WrestleMania 37 plans, per Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co.
According to the report, mid- and under-card talent has no idea if there is even a spot for them on the show since the WWE chairman and senior vice president have instructed agents not to talk to talent about their plans for the marquee event on April 10-11 until given permission.
The edict stems from plans for Roman Reigns vs. Edge, Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks and Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt being leaked. The WWE executives were especially upset when plans for Bad Bunny and Damian Priest vs. The Miz and John Morrison were revealed, if only because it tipped the company's hand regarding plans for The A-Lister and his short WWE Championship run.
While understandable, the decision puts talent in a tough predicament and adds to the low morale in the locker room, according to WrestleVotes.
Hopefully, getting in front of a live audience for the first time in over a year will curb some of the bad feelings among company employees ahead of The Showcase of the Immortals.