Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Brock Lesnar, Big E and More
The Beast Incarnate is at the forefront of this week's wrestling rumor and innuendo as new details on his relationship with the company came to light. What is up with the former world champion and when might fans see him back in the squared circle?
That topic, along with Big E's future and debuting NXT stable The Diamond Mine, are covered in this week's collection of reports from top wrestling insiders.
Brock Lesnar Return Update
Brock Lesnar has been in talks with WWE recently, according to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select, but those closest to The Beast Incarnate "don't believe any real contact or movement has been made in that direction."
Also per the report, "in speaking with people in different departments of WWE, many have expected a Lesnar return, but have not been prepped to ready any promotional materials for said return."
If there is one thing WWE excels in these days, it is marketing and promotion. If Lesnar was that close to a return to the company, the superb team behind the video packages, print and digital materials would have something ready to go for when the former WWE and universal champion makes his long-awaited comeback.
Since they don't, according to Sapp's typically accurate reporting, there is no reason to believe Lesnar will be a part of SummerSlam on August 21—at least not advertised or heavily promoted.
WWE Draft Plans for Big E
WrestleVotes reported that Big E is being considered for a move from SmackDown to Raw in this year's WWE draft, which will likely take place after SummerSlam.
"I've heard from a few sources an idea making the rounds—Big E moving from SD to Raw in the post SummerSlam draft while still be pushed as a singles. In essence, New Day back together without necessary being a team. If so, E would become a fresh face for the RAW main event scene," the report noted.
Big E appeared set for a significant singles run on the blue brand, but the rise of The Tribal Chief incarnation of Roman Reigns and his success as a main event heel has made it nearly impossible for WWE to consider pushing anyone at his expense.
As a result, Big E has been relegated almost exclusively to the midcard, where he has held the Intercontinental Championship or competed for it for the better part of the last year.
The idea of him heading to Raw, reuniting with The New Day and freshening up a flagship show desperately in need of it is mightily appealing, not just to the fans but also the performer himself.
Diamond Mine Report
Sapp also reported that The Diamond Mine, which debuted Tuesday night on NXT as the show was going off the air, has been in the plans for months now, predating the angle in which Roderick Strong quit the brand.
The feud is "a big part of NXT increasing their focus on the Cruiserweight Division throughout the summer," according to the article.
Strong, Tyler Rust and Hideki Suzuki make up the faction and targeted Kyle O'Reilly and cruiserweight champion Kushida at the conclusion of this week's show.
With the other key Undisputed Era members finding success elsewhere on the brand, particularly at the top of the card, it is nice to see Strong reappear at the forefront of a suddenly hot act, with real plans for him moving forward.
For a while, it appeared as though he may be lost and/or directionless, but that is clearly not the case. And as the face of a new faction managed by the great Malcolm Blevins, the potential is there for him to steal some spotlight from O'Reilly and Adam Cole this summer.