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With WWE’s Fastlane pay-per-view in the rearview mirror, the company’s Road to WrestleMania 37 has taken an unexpected turn with the revelation that one of that event’s top matches has undergone significant changes, according to the wrestling rumor mill.
The Universal Championship match, originally slated to pit Edge against Roman Reigns, is not the only ‘Mania attraction to have a massive change, as the company’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is also set to be minus its most prominent honoree.
Those two notes headline a collection of rumors that also features the status of one of women’s wrestling’s most recognizable stars following her disappearance from key WrestleMania marketing materials.
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The Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 37, originally slated to be Edge vs. Roman Reigns, will now be a Triple Threat match also involving Daniel Bryan, per Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com.
“Edge’s apparent heel turn after laying both Reigns and Bryan out with chair sets, leading to Reigns’ win at tonight’s WWE Fastlane event, appeared to set up a change in the match even though they went off the air on the show pushing Reigns vs. Edge, which has been the announced match since last month’s Elimination Chamber,” he stated.
“It’s since been confirmed that finish was done to set up a three-way that had been rumored for a week and interviews pushing Edge and Bryan as adversaries seemed to indicate them meeting down the line.”
There is no denying there was a lack of excitement for Edge vs. Roman Reigns. Though The Head of the Table has been the hottest act in WWE and Edge was in the midst of an emotional and inspirational comeback, there was a notable lack of spark surrounding the advertised main event.
The moment Bryan was added to the proceedings and WWE Creative was able to work with a three-man storyline dynamic, intrigue for the Universal Championship match at the show picked up.
All three competitors were driven by different motives: Reigns and his desire to remain the head of the WWE table, Edge and his determination to prove to himself and the world that he could complete the improbable comeback and Bryan and his realization that this could be his last opportunity to win gold on the WrestleMania stage.
Those motivations and the chemistry between the three have created some of the best WWE television in months, culminating with the blockbuster championship clash we witnessed at Fastlane that ended with Edge bashing both prospective opponents with a chair.
Bryan, having tapped out Reigns despite no referee catching it, will understandably make the case for another title opportunity seeing as how he is the rightful champion. That will spark the need for a three-way main event and provide fans with what might go down as one of the best WrestleMania main events of all time when all is said and done.
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H Jenkins of Ringside News reported that Batista will no longer appear as part of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame induction class.
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select followed up the report, revealing WWE officials would rather hold off on The Animal’s big moment until fans are able to attend the ceremony. Sapp also said the Hall of Fame will be taped and air April 6.
It is not difficult to see the logic here.
Batista is one of the biggest stars of the past 20 years—a bona fide box office attraction and a multi-time world champion. He is a marquee name in an industry hurting for them, so it only makes sense that WWE would want as much attention and fanfare for the induction as possible.
The taped nature of the event, coupled with the attendees being limited to family and WWE talent, means it only makes sense to wait to induct the iconic competitor and Marvel films star.
The performer himself deserves as much. As do the fans, who would undoubtedly welcome him back with a warmer reception than he received in either of his last two runs with the company.
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Charlotte Flair has been removed from WrestleMania ticketing graphics, per Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.
Flair’s fiancee, former NXT and United States champion Andrade, recently asked for his release from the company prior to the on-sale date. WWE’s initial refusal to grant it almost certainly drew the ire of The Queen, who remains one of the company’s leading and most marketable Superstars.
Andrade was formally released from his contract Sunday night, which was made official after the Fastlane pay-per-view went off the air via a statement on WWE.com.
Flair appeared in the official WrestleMania 37 commercial that aired during Fastlane, but the spot has aired numerous times in recent months and should not be considered an indication that issues between the sides have been ironed out.
It will be interesting to see what awaits Flair come WrestleMania.
If she does appear, she has already made her intentions to challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship clear. Asuka holds that title, and a match between the two of them would surely be fantastic, especially if their 2018 clash on the grand stage is any indication.
Rhea Ripley’s arrival Monday on Raw introduced an interesting element to the division and its WrestleMania plans. Might we see a rematch from last year’s show-stealer?
Whatever the case may be, there is no denying Flair is a massive star, so it behooves WWE to do whatever it can to make sure she is part of this year’s Showcase of the Immortals. As long as bridges have not already been burned, that is.