Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on McIntyre-Reigns, Royal Rumble, MoreMay 5, 2022
Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on McIntyre-Reigns, Royal Rumble, More
WWE may have planted the seeds for a colossal clash between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre, but it will resist the urge to waste it on a throwaway pay-per-view like WrestleMania Backlash and instead hold off until a major stadium show this summer, according to reports.
The topic of the major Undisputed WWE Universal Championship clash headlines a collection of wrestling rumors that also features the latest on a potential Royal Rumble location, the next NXT Stand and Deliver event and disappointing news of All Elite Wrestling's struggles with its video game developer.
Update on Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns
Wrestling Observer Radio's Dave Meltzer reported that WWE is saving Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns for a bigger show sometime in the near future because "this one (WrestleMania Backlash) is whatever."
If true, WWE is absolutely right in doing so.
WrestleMania Backlash is a throwaway event that exists for the sake of existing. There is little heat for the card of WrestleMania 38 rehashes and wasting a potential big-money title match would be a huge misstep.
WWE does not have an overwhelming amount of guys who can step into a match with The Tribal Chief and realistically stand a chance of beating him. But McIntyre is a two-time WWE champion and has been protected enough to be a viable contender to The Head of the Table.
Wasting the Scot's championship opportunity, his first since WrestleMania 37, would be a misfire at a time when the company is gearing up for three major stadium events in the coming months.
Don't be surprised if McIntyre gets his title opportunity in Las Vegas at Money in the Bank on July 2 or at SummerSlam four weeks later in Nashville, Tennessee, though the latter option would appear to be too far away given the fact that WWE has already started the feud.
Possible Royal Rumble Location?
San Antonio's Alamodome is the front-runner to host the 2023 Royal Rumble, according to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select.
The venue has hosted the event two other times, in 1997 and 2017. San Antonio itself has hosted the pay-per-view three times, with the 2007 extravaganza emanating from the city's AT&T Center.
The city has been home to some unforgettable Royal Rumble moments, including "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's controversial first victory in the men's same-titled match, Shawn Michaels' triumphant homecoming, John Cena's epic WWE title defense against Umaga, and Randy Orton's second Rumble win.
The report stated Seattle and New Orleans have also expressed interest in hosting the show and nothing is set in stone, but the site of this year's SummerSlam had been the subject of intnse speculation and was only recently decided.
NXT Stand & Deliver to Be a Stadium Show This Summer?
WrestleVotes reported that WWE has discussed the idea of adding a NXT Stand & Deliver event to one of its upcoming stadium shows, with the favorite being Clash at the Castle in September. With that said, Nashville and SummerSlam appear to be more likely.
WWE mostly recently presented a Stand & Deliver special over WrestleMania Weekend. The event took place early Saturday afternoon and featured Dolph Ziggler successfully defending the NXT Championship against Bron Breakker.
Stand & Deliver appears to have taken the place of the old TakeOver events, the latest in the rebranding of NXT 2.0. A show in September would give the brand a ton of time to build stories and feuds but may prove to be too far out for sustainability purposes.
Hooking the show up with SummerSlam makes sense and gives the performers a sense of the big time that comes with the company's signature summer event.
It also does not ask NXT's creative team to stretch ongoing programs out for another four months before there is any sort of resolution.
That is in the best interest of all involved given the idea of Breakker vs. Joe Gacy going much longer is anything but welcome.
Latest on AEW's Video-Game Partnership with Yukes
AEW and video-game partner Yukes are butting heads over the former's upcoming Fight Forever video game, per Michael Straw of Sports Games Online:
"Sources have indicated that the relationship with Yuke's and AEW, specifically Kenny Omega, isn't in the best place at the moment. According to those close to the game's development, Omega has found himself frustrated and 'hating' working with Yukes. One person even claimed that it has come across at times like Yuke's was trying to "take advantage" of an inexperienced Omega in this position."
He added: "AEW has invested significant money into development, but the game is “way over budget” at this point. It even required extra investment, but the specific amount wasn’t mentioned. These budget issues have led to a number of features of the game either being less than originally planned or cut altogether."
The report went on to suggest the video-game developers will almost certainly be up for signing a long-term deal with AEW but the company is "nervous" about signing anything beyond this one game.
There has been genuine excitement within the AEW fanbase and the gaming world over the company's console debut, and this report is not at all what fans would have hoped to hear, nor is the information regarding a bloated budget way beyond what was expected.
That Omega, the greatest driving force behind the project, is reportedly as frustrated as he is with the process only makes matters worse.