WWE Backstage Rumors: Latest on Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles and Omos, More
Daniel Bryan will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship on Friday in a high-stakes match that could see him banished from SmackDown if he fails to dethrone The Head of the Table.
What might the future hold for him should that happen? The former WWE world champion is at the forefront of this week's wrestling rumors and innuendo.
Joining him are Raw tag team champions AJ Styles and Omos, who have been conspicuous by their absences since WrestleMania 37, as well as the red brand's women's champion Rhea Ripley, whose booking has left many fans scratching their heads.
Daniel Bryan Update
Based on the way WWE has worded the stipulations of the Universal Championship match between Reigns and Bryan, it is believed a loss for the challenger will result in him moving to a different brand, per Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats.
Considering the lack of depth at the top of the card on Raw, matches with the likes of Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Riddle, and a renewed rivalry with Randy Orton are all intriguing options for The Yes! Man; certainly more intriguing than the prospect of Bryan just disappearing from television entirely.
Bryan told Alex McCarthy of TalkSport that his contract is up soon and he has no real indication of how much longer he will continue to wrestle, which means now is the time for him to get in any dream matches he might have against the stars of WWE.
Jumping brands to do so with a wealth of Superstars he has not had the opportunity to work with recently or at all is the best way to utilize his talent and star power.
Besides, a Bryan-McIntyre match sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.
Where Have AJ Styles and Omos Been?
One of the biggest stories coming out of Night 1 of WrestleMania 37 was Omos and AJ Styles defeating The New Day to win the Raw Tag Team Championships and the reaction to the big man's performance. Yet, there has been no follow-up to speak of, leaving fans wondering what the deal is.
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reported, "at least one of the two simply 'wasn't cleared'" and that's why they hadn't appeared. The two claimed they'll be on next week's show, but have barely been mentioned on TV."
Styles and Omos appeared on Tuesday's The Bump and said they had been "partying in Nigeria."
WWE's inability, or unwillingness, to remind fans of the new tag team champions highlights an issue with the company's shortsightedness. Not only are they champions, but Styles is also one of the biggest stars in the industry.
Whatever the reason for one of them not being cleared may be, was it that difficult to have one or both Superstars to record a video on their phones or appear via Zoom to keep them on-air and in the forethought of the fans?
There are so many different technological advancements that allow them to stay prominent that to simply let them disappear without any mention feels lazy and oblivious to the significance of being champions on the flagship show.
What's Up with Rhea Ripley's Booking?
On Tuesday's Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez reported that although Rhea Ripley was booked alongside the heel women's tag team champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, fans attending the WWE Thunderdome were instructed to cheer her.
It is interesting because of her placement in the six-woman tag team match against Asuka, Naomi and Lana and also because of the booking that preceded her WrestleMania title victory against The Empress of Tomorrow.
On the final Raw before The Show of Shows, Ripley attacked Asuka, leaving her lying in a display of brute force and viciousness typically reserved for heels. Then, she got the big babyface entrance with Ash Costello performing her to the ring, and her title win at the show was treated like a huge moment as she was celebrated as the future face of women's wrestling.
If anything, her recent booking on the heel side of things, despite the insistence by WWE officials that she is to be viewed as a babyface, is an indictment on the lack of depth in the Raw women's division outside of Charlotte Flair.
With The Queen's storyline reinstatement this past Monday, things may become less cloudy for Ripley in the coming weeks, but WWE Creative will still have to do something about the lack of quality heels in a division that has become so stagnant and uninteresting in recent months.