WWE and AEW Backstage Rumors: WrestleMania 37, McIntyre vs. Sheamus, and MoreMarch 11, 2021
WWE and AEW Backstage Rumors: WrestleMania 37, McIntyre vs. Sheamus, and More
This week's collection of rumor and innuendo has it all: changing WrestleMania 37 plans, a Last Man Standing match and leg slaps.
Those topics are at the forefront of the wrestling rumors, while one All Elite Wrestling star has teased the possibility of a rekindled rivalry with one of his greatest foes.
Dive deeper into each of those topic with this roundup of rumor-mill buzz dedicated to the two most prominent companies in the wrestling world.
WrestleMania 37 Plans
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Vince McMahon's creative whims are leading to changes with the WrestleMania 37 card, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The WWE chairman did not think the original plans for this year's Showcase of the Immortals were "big enough" for the event and is making changes to rectify that issue.
For all of the criticism he faces for his creative tendencies, McMahon may be right about this one.
The proposed lineup, at least thus far, hasn't exactly set the world on fire ahead of the marquee pay-per-view at Raymond James Stadium on April 10-11.
Edge vs. Roman Reigns has star power, sure, but it's not exactly the most heated main event in the show's history. Ditto Bobby Lashley vs. any number of potential opponents and the finale of the feud between "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton.
The card could use a spark and while that absolutely isn't Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon, Vinnie Mac is usually very good at figuring something out to generate buzz for his most prestigious show.
Hopefully, he accomplishes that this year, especially as WWE makes its return in front of fans for the first time in over a year.
What's Next for Drew McIntyre and Sheamus at Fastlane?
After the steel stairs double-down spot on Monday's Raw that led to a referee stoppage in a No Disqualification match, the current plan is for Drew McIntyre and Sheamus to settle their differences at Fastlane on March 21 in a Last Man Standing contest, per Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live.
The match is a logical next step for the pair given the ever-intensifying feud between them, but the gimmick does feel a bit worn out at this point. Last Man Standing matches were previously used sparingly as ultimate conclusions to any major feud.
Since 2017, though, WWE has produced 12 of them across their brands.
It is an overdone, overproduced match type that loses its luster with every Superstar slowly struggling to their feet to avoid the referee's 10-count.
Much like the ladder match, WWE has beaten this particular gimmick into the ground.
Luckily, if there are two competitors who can bring the appropriate aggression and physicality to it and help deliver something special, it is McIntyre and Sheamus, who have delivered time and again in recent weeks.
Update on Leg Slaps in WWE
Meltzer also reported that, despite a memo that went out to talent regarding leg slaps in matches, there has been no follow-up.
The philosophy behind leg slaps, to intensify the impact of any given superkick, came under fire when Randy Orton unleashed a tweet last June criticizing the number of them during NXT TakeOver: In Your House.
The remark earned a response from Tommaso Ciampa and became a fairly significant issue for a few days before fading away. Why it was decided that a memo needed to go out so far after the exchange, effectively banning the slap when it has been used for years, remains a mystery.
That it has not been followed up suggests it may have been a symbolic gesture, maybe even a show to appease those higher-ups suddenly dismayed by it.
Whatever the case, one would assume those within WWE would have more important things to worry about, such as actually putting a card together for WrestleMania 37.
Dax Harwood Teases Chad Gable's WWE Contract Status
AEW star Dax Harwood raised some eyebrows on Twitter Monday when he hinted that Chad Gable's contract with WWE may be up in as soon as two months.
He followed up the next day by suggesting they battle in a tag team match in response to a screen cap of an American Alpha-Revival match from NXT.
Gable's renewed push on SmackDown alongside Otis makes the potential that his contract may be up that much more surprising, especially since WWE tends to de-emphasize Superstars who have opted not to re-sign with the company.
This suggests Harwood is just trolling to drum up buzz and controversy, testing the waters for a Gable move to AEW when his contract is up.
Whatever the case may be, the idea of him and Gable one day sharing the same ring again is appealing, especially based on the quality of matches they had at the height of their popularity in NXT.