WWE Rumors: Reviewing Top Buzz Following WrestleMania 37

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2021

WWE Rumors: Reviewing Top Buzz Following WrestleMania 37

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    The conclusion of a WrestleMania means the onset of another rumor-packed season. 

    Over the course of last weekend, major title changes, surprises and unforgettable moments capped off WWE's biggest event of the year, which organically transitions to the biggest Raw of the year—the Monday night right after Mania. 

    There, huge returns, call-ups and downright shockers tend to happen as the fallout occurs. With Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns positioned as the top men's champions and a new women's era starting with Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair, it feels like this Raw and stretch run through the end of the week is more important than ever. 

    Naturally, that means some eyebrow-raising rumors making the rounds on the mill, so let's review.

The Sheamus-Matt Riddle Fallout

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    WWE pulled a bit of a shocker during its U.S. title match between Sheamus and Matt Riddle. 

    Riddle, after all, is a fast-rising star and former NXT call-up who looked positioned to get something of a WrestleMania moment by beating a modern great. 

    But WWE zigged when most seemed to expect a zag. Sheamus won, and Riddle now figures to go into a bit of a rebuild. 

    And now we possibly know why. 

    According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t WrestlingNews.co's Andrew Ravens), Riddle was never actually planned to be the U.S. champion. That spot was slotted for Keith Lee, who abruptly disappeared from programming right when WWE wanted to take the title off Bobby Lashley—so he could go on to fight for bigger things. 

    In short, the plan was for the U.S. title scene to elevate a fast-rising star, but it was Lee, not Riddle. With Sheamus winning it to rectify things, it could hint that Lee is about to come back and enter the scene again. 

Damian Priest Injury Update

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    A WrestleMania classic almost didn't happen. 

    According to Meltzer, Damian Priest almost wasn't cleared for his match with Bad Bunny against Miz and Morrison. Were this write-up before WrestleMania, it might get met with a shrug—but not in the aftermath of a match that stole the show. 

    This celebrity sideline of a match turned out to be a classic largely because of Bunny, who clearly put in the work to be competent, if not thrilling in the ring. He's now a good example of this new wave of celebrity appearances in the Pat McAfee vein—some serious passion for the business can have wrestling outsiders looking amazing on the biggest of stages. 

    Funnily enough, if Priest couldn't go, it was going to be a singles match between Bunny and Miz, which simply might not have been as good. It's a good thing he got late clearance, then played a pivotal role in the match—which should leave fans wanting more of Bunny and Priest in the near future. 

Changed Plans

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    Given the live nature of WrestleMania in front of fans this year, things got back to something resembling normal proceedings—which meant changing things on the fly. 

    One good example? According to Fightful Select (h/t Ravens), the women's tag title match featuring Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler retaining over Tamina and Natalya went over the planned allotted time. No word if WWE made that time back later somehow, but the pay-per-view's second night finished quite a bit later than 11 p.m. ET. 

    In another fun example, Fightful Select also reported that an interesting crash pad popped up behind the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium—but never got used. One has to think it was there for a fun pirate-ship spot, maybe involving Bunny or somebody else. Instead, it seems inclement weather that caused a delay on Saturday night played a role in it going unused. 

    It's almost refreshing to hear reports like this as a signal of a return to normalcy. The era of the pretaped proceedings is fading, meaning WWE can't just retape things that go wrong or delayed, and the live nature of things has a way of leading to some fun things in the weekly programming.