With WrestleMania season starting to loom, the rumor mill is beginning to intensify. Right around this time in the Fall, various wrestling news websites begin to heat up with various speculations of storylines and returns set to unfold in the near future.
As of right now, the WWE product seems to be rather stale and that’s unfortunate considering all the hype surrounding the brand split. The WWE finally decided to take a gamble and brought Bill Goldberg back to television after a lengthy hiatus. The move paid off instantly, and the former WCW star bolstered the ratings in a product that seems to be lacking stars that are over.
With Goldberg’s recent success, the mill is buzzing over various returns that we will discuss in this article. We will also take a look at future matchups, wrestlers departing and rumored matches set to take place at the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
Let us now take a look at all the speculation with 15 of the biggest rumors currently circulating in the WWE. Enjoy!
15. Conor McGregor Vs Roman Reigns
Not sure how thrilled fans would be with this encounter, but man would it ever draw some serious dough if it truly does go down. In the last couple of weeks, the rumor mill started to intensify discussing this possible matchup between the UFC and WWE stars. Conor took the first shot ripping the WWE and its Superstars; some believed it was all a work for a future program, while others simply thought of it as Conor being Conor.
Nonetheless, wrestlers took exception to his thoughts and fired back. Roman in particular, took several swipes at the UFC star several times which has lead to some serious speculation about the two going toe-to-toe in the very near future. Although some don’t like the idea, it would be genius for the WWE to involve Roman. McGregor is hated by most WWE fans and making Reigns confront him will only help his career, allowing him to gain mega babyface status, something the company has been trying for years. If this unfolds, it can work really nicely for the WWE in more ways than one.
14. The Next Big Call-Up To The Main Roster
A crucial factor that made the brand split an actual possibility was the rise of NXT and all the Superstars it was able to create. The upbringing of new stars, along with the signings of various Indie wrestlers has bolstered the WWE’s main roster thanks to the developmental brand.
Looking at both Raw and SmackDown nowadays, the rosters still seem very thin in terms of upper-card depth. Both shows really only have a handful of legitimate main event stars. What makes things even harder, is that NXT is also going through a transition phase nowadays, so calling up talent from the development isn’t as easy as you might think. NXT tours and needs attractions to sell tickets.
With that said, it appears that an NXT call-up is likely to happen any day now. The rumor mill feels strong that Samoa Joe will be the next big thing added to the WWE roster very soon. Many believe once he’s done with Nakamura, he’ll be a full timer on either Raw or SmackDown. Although, rumors suggest the former NXT Champ will in all likelihood end up on Raw. His first feud is rumored to be taking on Braun Strowman in his open challenge.
13. Goldberg Getting Inducted Into The Hall of Fame
For years and years, rumors have linked Goldberg to a WWE return and thankfully, that day has finally come. Despite the WWE’s unwillingness to see Goldberg as a legit draw, he silenced all critics in the main event segment which drew a tremendous reaction from the fans at hand and spiked ratings at home. Whether the WWE understands or not, it’s quite clear, Bill’s a draw.
Such an epic comeback opened the door for even more speculation regarding his future. The latest rumblings indicate that Goldberg will headline this year’s WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony. For some fans, this isn’t too surprising. But for HBK and Triple H, it probably is. In 2010, the two iconic performers bashed Goldberg when discussing his spot in the Hall of Fame. Michaels in particular said Bill shouldn’t even be considered because of the longevity pertaining to his career. Despite their previous comments, it appears as though Goldberg will in fact join the legendary class as early as 2017.
12. NXT’s Future Signings
With the brand extension taking place, NXT suffered the loss of various crucial performers. With that said, the developmental brand will only lose even more moving forward. As we stated earlier, Joe is set to debut shortly and others, including Nakamura and Asuka, appear to be main roster-ready and more than capable for a call-up any time now. With all this in mind, it’s time for the brand to reload in a big way and that starts with a thorough invasion of the Indie circuit.
Several names have already began to surface; two in particular pertains to the CWC stars Kota Ibushi and Zack Sabre Jr. Other prominent names include the likes of Kenny Omega and the greatest Tag Team in the world today, the Young Bucks. According to Omega, he has a spot on the NXT roster whenever he’s ready. You can expect that wrestler to be the next A.J. Styles and Finn Balor in the company.
11. Undertaker’s Status And Future Opponent
The picture above is probably something you don’t want to see, especially with WrestleMania season right around the corner. For the first time in years, Undertaker’s WrestleMania status appears to be in serious doubt with this new injury. Some actually believe his in-ring days are over.
Despite all these rumblings, the rumor mill is still filled with ideas pertaining to Taker’s next WM opponent. For years now, the rumors have indicated one final match against John Cena, although that went the way side when John fell victim to an untimely injury last year. Now, despite Cena being healthy the rumor mill has once again set its eyes on another match which involved The Undertaker and the newly returned Bill Goldberg. As of right now, if The Undertaker has multiple matches left, his bout against Goldberg is a possibility. However, if he has one more in him, you must believe that would happen at the expense of a loss to John Cena. It’ll be interesting to see how this all unfolds in the next couple of months.
10. Shane McMahon Vs Brock Lesnar
As the years go by it seems harder and harder to find Brock Lesnar a suitable opponent. Finally, with the return of Goldberg, the WWE has a legitimate contender to compete against Lesnar.
Like wrestling fans typically do, the rumor mill is already looking ahead to Lesnar’s opponent following his encounter with Goldberg. Rumblings suggest that the man next in line is none other than SmackDown’s Commissioner, Shane McMahon. With the Brock/Goldberg bout set to take place at Survivor Series live from Toronto, Canada, many speculate a run-in of some sort from Shane-O-Mac during the match. This will ultimately set up a classic David Vs Goliath showdown which should take place at WrestleMania 33. However, due to speculation that the WWE wants a huge card for the Royal Rumble, we might see this match happen a couple of months prior. No matter what the case might be, it’ll make for some great television.
9. More Legends Returning
With the success of Bill Goldberg returning, the WWE Universe made their feelings about the product abundantly clear: the company needs to bring back stars that can draw. Assessing the WWE’s current roster, it includes far too many mid-carders that can’t seem to become legitimate stars. With this in mind, the ratings have taken a series hit in the last couple of months with the viewers starving for somebody they know.
Goldberg’s return did exactly that and it has also opened the door for more returns according to speculation. One name that keeps popping up is Kurt Angle. The rumor mill suggests that it’s up to Vince and only Vince, if he decided to bring him back or not. Angle has admitted to talks but stated he’ll likely return next year. Other rumors indicate his return will be booked similar to Goldberg’s, making Angle the face of WWE 2K18.
8. Paige Getting Released
Becoming the youngest Divas Champion in history, it certainly seemed like Paige was going to be on top for years, but that hasn’t happened. Rising to the top at such a young age comes with a fine degree of maturity. Even some of the very best the business has to offer can attest to that. Superstar Randy Orton, suffered a similar faith earlier in his career as well.
Right now, things are at the lowest of lows for Paige. Not only was her boyfriend Alberto Del Rio released by the company, but Paige herself was also suspended. While outside of the company, Paige has toured the Indie scene alongside Alberto, and this truly has boiled the blood of WWE officials.
So why hasn’t she been released yet? Well, the rumors indicate that an injury may have prolonged her career. Paige recently underwent neck surgery and the WWE felt hesitant in releasing a Superstar while recovering from an injury. Factor in her age and that has luckily kept the former champion her job. When she finally returns, it’ll be interesting to see how the situation unfolds pertaining to her future.
7. Rollins And Triple H Confirmed
We’ve seen it time and time again, Triple H loves to bolster the careers of those he treats as his protégées. Randy Orton and Batista are just a small portion of that. His latest project is now Seth Rollins.
The plan for this feud according to the rumblings is to make Rollins the most over babyface in the last couple of years. Since John Cena’s upbringing, the company has failed time and time again to create a star with a similar type of overall popularity and power (Roman Reigns). Now Hunter will take his talents in an attempt to do so with Rollins. Look for the feud between the two to be comparable to the one of Austin and McMahon, which sees the rebel take on “The Authority”. The feud is expected to heat up in the upcoming weeks and reach its peak with a match on the “grandest stage of them all”, WrestleMania.
6. WrestleMania 33 Card
Every year, the WWE loves to use the prestige of the Survivor Series PPV to set up a WrestleMania encounter. Looking back, the WWE has used this formula on multiple occasions. Just last year, Roman and Hunter intensified their feud when Reigns dropped his title to Sheamus. Even two years ago, Sting made his long awaited WWE return setting up one of the most iconic clashes with himself and Triple H at WrestleMania 31. As you can see, booking-wise, the event is a pretty big deal.
This year, more so than ever before, the rumor mill is all over the place pertaining to what matches will take place. The main event itself also remains unknown, although the WWE would love to close the show with a match between Cena and The Undertaker. If this doesn’t happen, other news suggests that John will capture the WWE Championship for a record setting 16th time in the main event. Fantasy theorists believe Cena will win the strap as a heel opening the door for a new era in the WWE. For now, all we can do is dream about that possibility.
5. Big Retirements
2017 may very well be the year that sees some prominent stars finally call it a career. One in particular, has confirmed that next year’s WrestleMania will probably be his last and that mountain of a man is Big Show. His involvement has been quite limited since being drafted to the Raw show, nowadays Big Show spends more time behind the scenes and working live events. His involvement on-screen is quite limited. His final program is set to take place at WrestleMania 33, taking on none other than NBA legend Shaq. The match will certainly create a buzz via mainstream media outlets.
Another star who looks like his time might be ending sooner rather than later is Kane. Nowadays, Kane is involved in the world of politics more so than ever before. His schedule is also part-time, leaving him the opportunity to pursue his other field more prominently alongside his wife. Tough to see both these Superstars leave, but that’s the business, folks.
4. Trish To Bolster Women’s Division
They say timing is everything in the wrestling business. If that’s so, Trish returning seems to be logical right around this point. We praise the WWE for their revolution of this division but it’s all starting to get a little stale. The WWE shocked its fans when they decided to divide the division on separate brands, but this has caused a little too much repetition as of late. Looking at Raw, Sasha and Charlotte are great, but we’ve seen it one too many times already. Even Bayley’s use has been extremely poor falling victim to one too many losses as well. To help shift the division, the women need an established face and that’s Trish Stratus.
Trish claimed she’d return if something exciting came up. Surely, a possible match against Sasha would be good enough for a return. The rumor mill suggests that Sasha will turn heel soon and that can most certainly happen with a feud against Trish. You can circle this bout as a potential WrestleMania encounter in the future.
3. Cena’s Heel Turn
One story the rumor mill has continuously discussed in the past years is the chance of Cena finally turning heel. Well it’s not surprising that once again, the rumor mill is buzzing discussing the chances of this happening once again in the near future. With another “unfair” lose to Styles, many believe Cena will also change his ways once he returns using ruthless tactics like A.J. in order to win matches and cement his legacy as a 16-time Champion. The likelihood of that happening is still in serious doubt, but boy would that be something!
The scenarios discussed are all quite intriguing; one of which we discussed earlier which would see John turn heel on the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania. Another possibility linked Cena to a match against Hulk Hogan, turning heel in the encounter, although that one remains pretty far-fetched considering Hogan’s current relationship with the company. No matter how it goes down, most wrestling fans just hope this rumor will become a reality.
2. Shawn Michaels Vs AJ Styles
This appears to be the hottest headline on the rumor mill nowadays. Wrestling websites have seen their traffic increase dramatically because of this story and the possibility of it actually happening.
The announcement that the Royal Rumble would take place at the Alamodome in front of 60,000 plus began the speculation of a possible HBK return. Things intensified when AJ posted a picture of the clash on social media. The possibility of it all going down reached new heights when HBK responded to a fan on Twitter, telling him he had no time for future meet and greets because he was “booked solid”. Does that mean he’s booked and penciled for a WWE return? Maybe.
If this return does happen, you can expect the roof of the Alamodome to come unglued similar to two decades ago when HBK defeated Sid in a bout for the WWE Championship in the same venue. Right now, all we can do is drool at the speculation and enjoy the countless videos fans have made hyping this match.
1. Big Things Are Coming
With all these crazy rumors surrounding the WWE’s product, we have reason to believe they can actually happen because of McMahon’s current stance on the affairs of the company. Ratings-wise, Vince is none too pleased about the current situation, especially with NFL season in full flight. With that in mind, McMahon has been desperate to elevate Raw’s performance on a weekly basis. Finally, the WWE took an aggressive measure by debuting Bill Goldberg rather quickly. This gamble paid off immensely and skyrocketed the ratings.
Vince is no dummy and when he sees something working, he won’t hesitate to go down that road again. McMahon is rumored to be making some huge changes, which includes the likelihood of various returns. One in particular he’s been trying for years is HBK’s comeback. Flair unleashed a rumor that Vince was trying to convince Shawn for the last couple of years to come out of retirement and partake in a match at Mania. Perhaps then, the timing wasn’t right. But now, it seems like a return can be a huge possibility.