Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Vince McMahon's Reason for WrestleMania Change
The original plan for Roman Reigns vs. Edge for the WWE universal championship at WrestleMania has been thrown out in favor of a three-way match with Daniel Bryan included.
Per Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), Vince McMahon made the change because he "wasn't satisfied" with the initial match:
“So, the story on this is when Vince decided to tear up the show—not tear up the show because most of the matches are the same as they were before, but he just wanted some changes. He wasn’t satisfied. Evidentially, this is the match he wanted changed around and there all kinds of ideas thrown around, and from what I was told most of them weren’t good, but this is the best of them to make it a three-way. The idea is that it’s three guys who are really good workers.”
It's a baffling idea just from a storyline execution. The idea of Edge returning from a long layoff after he came back last year following a nine-year retirement to win the Royal Rumble and, potentially, win the title over the biggest star in the company is a good one.
Adding Bryan, who didn't seem to have a clear match at WrestleMania prior to this decision, will certainly enhance the work because he's still one of the best wrestlers in WWE.
If Edge is going to win the title, it would seem to mean more if he pinned or submitted Reigns in a singles match. Reigns hasn't lost a one-one-one match since King Corbin beat him at TLC in December 2019.
Since it appears that Edge turned heel based on the way he attacked both Bryan and Reigns with a chair at the end of the FastLane main event, Bryan will go into the WrestleMania match as the babyface.
Putting Bryan in the match allows McMahon the chance to take the title off of Reigns without having him lose, if that's the direction they choose to go.
There's still three episodes of SmackDown left for WWE before WrestleMania to put the pieces together so that this idea makes more storyline sense.
Batista's WWE HOF Induction Delayed
WWE originally announced in December 2019 that Batista would be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class, but that ceremony was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company announced earlier this month that the 2020 class would be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, alongside the 2021 class.
While the Class of '20 is still expected to be part of the ceremony this year, Batista isn't expected to be involved due to the limited fan capacity.
Per Phillip Hendrix of Ringside News, WWE recently removed The Animal from the list of Hall-of-Fame inductees this year on its official website. The move was made because the company wants him to be inducted "when a full crowd can enjoy it."
WWE typically headlines its Hall of Fame ceremonies with a major superstar from the past. The 2020 class really doesn't need Batista to generate headlines and fan interest because it will also include the nWo with Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman.
Batista is one of WWE's biggest stars from the 2000s. He won the world heavyweight title four times, WWE title twice and headlined several pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania 21 when he defeated Triple H to win the world title for the first time.
This year's Hall of Fame ceremony will be held on April 6.
Latest on Charlotte's WrestleMania Plans
While WWE has seemingly set up a Charlotte-Asuka match for the WWE Raw women's championship, there may be a change of plans due to potential issues with The Queen.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer (h/t Upton) spoke about the situation between WWE and Charlotte:
“She’s doing the movie. As far as Charlotte and WrestleMania, they’re definitely avoiding me on that one. There’s definitely a story that’s not the movie, because if it was the movie it wouldn’t be hidden.
“It’s definitely something that’s behind hidden as far as what’s going on with Charlotte.”
Meltzer did note that Charlotte is attached to do a Walking Tall reboot for USA Network. H Jenkins of Ringside News noted that she has been conspicuously removed from the WrestleMania 37 poster, where she had been featured alongside other superstars like Reigns, Drew McIntyre, Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.
This report comes in the wake of WWE announcing on Sunday night that Andrade has been granted his release. Andrade and Charlotte have been dating for two years and became engaged in January 2020.
There has been no indication at this point that Andrade's status with WWE is at the root of the reported rift between Charlotte and WWE.
There are conflicting reports about some terms of Andrade's release from WWE.
Per Hendrix, Andrade's release contains a 90-day non-compete clause that will prevent him from joining another promotion until at least June 20.
Meltzer reported that WWE didn't include a non-compete clause, which would make Andrade eligible to sign with anyone as soon as he finds the right offer.
Charlotte's status does potentially throw a wrench into a major match at WrestleMania. She issued a challenge to Asuka for the pay-per-view three weeks ago on Raw.
With less than three weeks remaining until the biggest event of the year, WWE will likely shed some light on what direction it will go with Asuka on tonight's episode of Raw.
One potential option to replace Charlotte if she is off of WrestleMania is Rhea Ripley, whom WWE announced will make her Raw debut this week.
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