Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Lana, Cody Rhodes and More | Bleacher Report
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What’s the deal with Lana?
For the past seven weeks, we have watched the artist formerly known as The Ravishing Russian being driven through announce tables by Nia Jax.
With her real-life husband Miro (formerly Rusev) now competing for the enemy in All Elite Wrestling, it certainly felt like retribution by management within WWE. However, a new report suggests otherwise.
The plans for Lana and her character, as well as the latest on the Royal Rumble and the return of “Cody Rhodes” headlines this week’s wrestling rumor and innuendo.
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Sources told Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co that there are plans for Lana to get back at Nia Jax for the seven weeks of table spots (so far) and that Vince McMahon is not merely holding a grudge because her husband signed with All Elite Wrestling.
There are few spots that would get Lana over with the fans more than avenging the table spots and, presumably, putting Jax through one for revenge. How she would manage that and if she would have help is another question, but the WWE Universe has a long history of supporting underdog babyfaces who finally stand up for themselves against an imposing heel.
Lana has the potential to be one such competitor, but it is imperative she drops the whining delivery of some of her promos because that person isn’t very likeable. She should be herself, talk with confidence and ride the wave of momentum her inevitable response to Jax will bring.
That is, unless Vinnie Mac really is being a petty businessman, in which case she should cash out and leave while the getting is good.
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WrestleVotes reported that, though WWE is planning on retaining the ThunderDome concept through February, it has something big planned for Royal Rumble. Even if it is just for one night, the company very much wants fans in the stands for that particular pay-per-view.
It isn’t difficult to understand why the company would want fans in the arena for Royal Rumble. Not only is it a signature event, but it is also the one show that thrives on fan participation and reaction.
From the 10-second countdown between each Superstar arriving to the enormous pops for unexpected surprises, it is an event that needs such a response. It cannot exist in the world of the empty arena.
Hopefully, no matter what WWE has planned for the extravaganza, it will do its due diligence in terms of putting protective and preemptive steps in place to guarantee the safety of fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported Triple H has been brought in to oversee SmackDown more frequently of late.
There is a noticeable differences in the overall quality of Friday’s show versus Raw, so it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that there are different people overseeing the two broadcasts.
Fans of the main roster have long pined for Triple H to get his hands on the product, bringing some of his acclaimed NXT influence to the shows.
It can be felt in different aspects of the blue brand, for sure. Particularly in the emphasis on the SmackDown Women’s Championship feud between Sasha Banks and Bayley, as well as the attention paid to in-ring content rather than some of the over-the-top storylines that have been implemented elsewhere.
The one exception, though, is the Mysterio family melodrama that just won’t go away.
Hopefully, with patience and if the report proves accurate, The Game will have more influence on Friday nights moving forward, perhaps elevating the overall quality of the show to levels it has not seen in quite some time.
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PWInsider.com’s Mike Johnson reported that All Elite Wrestling star Cody regained the use of the “Rhodes” name when WWE abandoned trademark applications for it.
While it is not known if it is directly linked or not, Insider’s Steven Fernandes reported the AEW executive vice president abandoned his own trademark applications for WCW event names Slamboree, “The Match Beyond,” Superbrawl, Bunkhouse Stampede and Battlebowl.
It is almost too coincidental that Rhodes regained possession of his last name at roughly the same time he gave up attempts to trademark the names of iconic WCW events, many of which are attached to events available now on the WWE Network.
Perhaps this is the first instance of WWE and the EVP of AEW setting aside any bitterness and coming to a mutual understanding. Maybe they stopped flipping each other the bird for five seconds and managed to do business.
Or, maybe it is merely coincidence and all is right with the world—at least for now.