Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Kevin Owens, Bray Wyatt and More
The indictment against WWE over the use of its talent is about to grow louder.
The wrestling rumor mill is ablaze this week with speculation that two former world champions, Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt, could be joining Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole and CM Punk in All Elite Wrestling.
The potential arrival of the two former universal champions would strengthen AEW even more and deal a further blow to a WWE roster in need of star power.
What is the latest on the possibility that Wyatt and Owens join Tony Khan's red-hot promotion? Find out now with this collection of rumors from across WWE and AEW.
Kevin Owens Expected to Leave WWE in January
Kevin Owens is expected to leave WWE when his contract is up at the end of the year, according to Jon Alba of the Living the Gimmick podcast.
"In speaking with some WWE sources throughout the day, there is very much an internal belief Owens is gone at the end of his WWE deal," he said. "He has dropped multiple hints on social media in the last 24 hours that allude to him being AEW-bound."
Owens has been one of the workhorses for WWE and, more importantly, as adaptable as any other competitor on the roster. He can be a babyface or heel and can seamlessly transition from the main event to the midcard and back again. Fans love him, and everyone who works with him looks better for it.
KO is an engaging performer and the sort that cannot just be mass produced in the Performance Center. Losing him would be taking a large chunk out of a roster that cannot really afford to lose another former world champion.
Owens' longtime friendship with Adam Cole and The Young Bucks makes the move more likely.
Bray Wyatt Status Update
H Jenkins of Ringside News reported that Bray Wyatt is still under his 90-day no-compete clause but is expected to sign with AEW when it is completed.
"We can confirm that there have been talks between AEW and Windham Rotunda," Jenkins wrote. "If all goes according to plan...Rotunda will be All Elite."
Following the recent debuts of Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole and CM Punk, AEW is the undisputed hottest company in pro wrestling right now. Signing a former world champion with such a creative mind would be another huge addition.
The idea that Wyatt could take his creativity to AEW, and the marketing and merchandising that goes with it, would be a major blow to WWE. Even when Vince McMahon and Co. lost sight of creative plans for the 34-year-old, they always had his top-selling merchandise to fall back on. He was cool, unique and unlike anything else on the show. Fans dug it and clearly wanted to pay for it.
Watching Wyatt, his ideas and that merchandising go elsewhere has to rank among WWE's biggest blunders of recent years.
Sasha Banks Returning for SmackDown at MSG?
Sasha Banks was backstage at last week's SmackDown in Jacksonville, Florida but wasn't used. She is expected back Friday in New York for the special Super SmackDown episode, live from Madison Square Garden, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com.
The Boss has been absent from programming since before SummerSlam, an event she missed despite being advertised to challenge Bianca Belair for the SmackDown women's title all the way up to the moment The EST of WWE stepped through the curtain.
With Becky Lynch returning at that event and capturing the championship, and turning heel in the process, it remains to be seen how Banks fits into the equation at this point.
The Man is the new antagonist who will struggle to receive boos based on her popularity. Belair is the popular babyface the company is pushing as the face of the division. Does Banks become a tweener? Does she remain a traditional heel, stacking the deck against Belair?
Whatever the case, SmackDown is about to get another boost in star power. Do not be surprise if the women's division starts co-headlining the blue brand alongside Roman Reigns based on the talent involved.