Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Roman Reigns, RK-Bro and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2022

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Roman Reigns, RK-Bro and More

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    Will Roman Reigns miss 10 weeks of WWE television over the summer?

    It's a question that was on the minds of fans earlier this week when it became apparent that The Tribal Chief was not scheduled for WWE events beyond June. 

    A new report suggests that will not be the case.

    The topic of The Head of the Table's status through the summer headlines a collection of rumors that also include upcoming plans for his Bloodline teammates, The Usos, as well as reports on WWE producer Molly Holly and All Elite Wrestling's Owen Hart Foundation tournament.

Is Roman Reigns Taking Time Off?

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    Andrew Zarian of Wrestling Observer Live and Mat Men Podcast reported that Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns is not expected to take extended time off this summer, despite not being advertised for WWE events beyond June. 

    He will be available for all pay-per-views and TV shows. "The only change will be with smaller market house show, which is why he showed his gratitude to the fans in Trenton NJ," Zarian tweeted. 

    It is not particularly surprising that Reigns would ease his schedule a bit. Not only has he been with the WWE main roster for nearly a decade, but he also has Hollywood aspirations.

    Just as other top names did before him, when they transitioned in the later stages of their careers, Reigns will likely use the time spent away from those smaller shows to focus his time on outside projects and to spend time with his family.

    As the biggest star in WWE, his value to the company is undisputed. That he will continue to be an on-air performer is welcome news, especially given the lack of genuine needle-movers beyond him on the roster.

    The Head of the Table may be a T-shirt motif but when it comes to his position on the roster and the company's need to keep him heavily involved in creative plans for the foreseeable future, it reflects his position in the world of sports entertainment, too. 

Update on Plans for RK-Bro

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    The scheduled tag team title unification match between RK-Bro and The Usos may have been changed to a six-man tag at WrestleMania Backlash but there are still plans for Randy Orton and Riddle to battle Jimmy and Jey Uso, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio.

    There are no plan to unify the titles, though.

    Given the time dedicated to that particular feud, it makes sense to blow it off in a suitable fashion. Both teams have beaten contenders on their respective brands multiple times, and with no other tandems ready to step up and challenge for their brand's respective championships, an interpromotional feud for bragging rights is hardly the worst option available to WWE Creative at this point.

    Taking into consideration the quality of the WrestleMania Backlash main event tht also involved Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns, there is reason to be excited about the eventual match. The chemistry is proven and all four competitors have had their fair share of great bouts in recent months.

    It would be no surprise whatsoever if they added another one to their resumes when they finally clash, perhaps as soon as Hell in a Cell on June 5.

High Praise for Molly Holly

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    Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats reported that Molly Holly produced the I Quit match for the SmackDown Women's Championship between Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania Backlash.

    "Positive reviews for that has led to people pointing out the positive impact the Hall of Famer's had on the women’s division since being hired last year," Ortman wrote.

    A star in both the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras, Holly is a Hall of Famer who earned her place among the best of all time during her in-ring career. A mat technician essential to the growth and evolution of stars such as Trish Stratus, Lita and Victoria, she helped usher in the golden age of wrestling. 

    It is not surprising that her insight behind the scenes has positively influenced the overall quality of the women's division and helped create some of the better matches it has produced since her full-time appointment last August.

    A product of Fit Finlay's tutelage, Holly has proved adept at laying out matches that meet expectations and highlight performers to their fullest potential.

    With young stars such as Rhea Ripley, Liv Morgan, Lacey Evans, Aliyah, Shotzi and others coming up through the main roster, her influence will be felt in a way that only serves to strengthen her legacy as one of the most influential figures in the history of women's wrestling.

Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Format Update

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    Meltzer also reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that it was never likely that the Owen Hart Foundation men's and women's tournaments would have a round-robin format similar to that of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling G1 Climax because of a lack of television time needed to execute it and still build other matches for the upcoming Double or Nothing pay-per-view.

    Just over two weeks before the show, the tournaments are only at the quarterfinal stage, meaning there will be a mad sprint over the next two weeks to produce two men and two women to compete in the finals.

    Thus far, Jeff Hardy and Adam Cole have advanced to the semifinals on the men's side of things, while Toni Storm is the only woman to move onto the last four of the women's bracket.

    The matches have been good-very good and that should continue given the talent involved. The question is, with what appears to be a loaded Double or Nothing card on May 29, will the tournament finals have the time to develop into potential classics or will they be rushed through?

    Regardless, the competition has reintroduced Owen Hart to fans 23 years after his death. Given his undeniable influence on this generation of wrestlers and his legacy as one of the best workers of all time, that is a win in and of itself.