Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Gronkowski’s WrestleMania Plans Reportedly Not Set in Stone
Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is reportedly not guaranteed to appear at WrestleMania 36 in Tampa, Florida, on April 5.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com’s Marc Middleton), Gronk’s WrestleMania role is “still being decided” and is “not a lock.”
Tony Maglio of The Wrap reported earlier this week that Gronkowski had officially signed with WWE and was scheduled to appear on the March 20 episode of SmackDown. Maglio added that Gronk was also going to appear at WrestleMania to set the stage for a future match.
It is unclear how the coronavirus pandemic may impact both shows Gronk was scheduled to appear on. Friday’s SmackDown was moved from Detroit to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and next week’s SmackDown could experience a similar fate.
WWE is still moving forward with the idea that WrestleMania will go on as scheduled, but with major sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL and MLB suspending operations, and the NCAA canceling the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, it seems unlikely that WrestleMania won’t undergo at least some changes.
Regardless of whether the show goes on as planned or not, Gronkowski figures to be an important piece of the puzzle moving forward due to his name recognition and the crossover appeal among football fans.
Gronk appeared at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando and helped his real-life friend, Mojo Rawley, eliminate Jinder Mahal to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Since SummerSlam is set to be held in Boston this year, which is where Gronkowski is most beloved due to his stint with the Patriots, it stands to reason that an appearance at WrestleMania could lay the groundwork for a SummerSlam match.
Given the positive reaction Gronkowski would likely receive, that would be a major coup for WWE.
Photo of Rousey’s Appearance at WWE HQ Causes Controversy
WWE officials reportedly weren’t happy that Cain Velasquez went public with the fact that Ronda Rousey was at WWE headquarters last week.
As seen in the following tweet, Velasquez tweeted a photo of himself alongside the former Raw Women’s champion, who has not competed since WrestleMania 35:
According to Meltzer (h/t Middleton), the photo created “quite the stir” among WWE executives since Rousey’s visit was supposed to be secret. Meltzer added that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was “freaking out badly,” but another source told him it was “overblown” and people within WWE were actually laughing about it.
Rousey is arguably the biggest crossover star WWE has, but she hasn’t been in the fold for almost an entire year.
The Baddest Woman on the Planet dropped the Raw Women’s title to Becky Lynch in the Triple Threat main event of WrestleMania 35, which also included Charlotte Flair. Rousey suffered a broken hand in that match and also expressed a desire to take time off and start a family.
Rousey has been out of the spotlight since then, but the appearance at WWE HQ suggests that something could potentially be in the works.
If WrestleMania goes ahead as scheduled, there is seemingly a good chance that Rousey will be in Tampa on April 5, especially since one of her closest friends, Shayna Baszler, is challenging Lynch for the Raw Women’s title.
Interfering on Baszler’s behalf or even confronting Baszler or Lynch after the match is a possibility and could set the stage for a huge match down the line at SummerSlam.
Triple H Reportedly Receives New Job Title
Triple H reportedly received a new job title recently after spending seven years as WWE’s executive vice president of talent, live events and creative.
According to Meltzer (h/t Middleton), Triple H is now the executive vice president of global talent development and strategy, and it was characterized as a “quiet demotion.”
While it is unclear if the new role is actually a demotion, Meltzer noted that Triple H has gone from essentially being in charge of talent to overseeing the growth and global expansion of NXT.
It is no surprise that Triple H’s primary focus is NXT, as he created the brand and has developed it into one of the hottest entities in professional wrestling.
Triple H hasn’t been on WWE’s main roster programming since last year, and he has essentially gone all-in on working behind the scenes with NXT and ensuring its success.
The Game oversaw NXT’s transition from WWE Network to USA Network, and with the black and yellow brand going head-to-head against AEW Dynamite on Wednesday nights, Triple H will have plenty to keep him occupied moving forward.
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