Truths & Lies – Looking at WWE Rumors Regarding Roman Reigns, Bully Ray and More
Posted by Justin Watry on 08.26.2014
411's Justin Watry looks at the latest rumors in pro wrestling..
Last week, my readers decided that the WWE Night of Champions 2011 main event was worse than the NOC 2012 and 2013 main events. The vote was not even close, and while I may argue a little bit for all three, my opinion matches yours. WWE was in a tough situation back in Fall 2011, but that only excused so much. Thankfully, everything worked out just fine. Moving to this week...
From the man who brought you the Good, Bad, and Ugly reviews, Who Was Better, Which Was Better, Which Was Worse, and many more, I have decided to bring back Truths and Lies. Maybe for one week only. Maybe not. I will let all of you decide that! Basically, the premise is about as simple as can be. There will be a few wrestling rumors discussed, covering both the 'truth' side as well as the 'lie' side. Then a determination is made on the story - Truth Or Lie?
Bully Ray Leaving TNA Impact Wrestling
Truth - Stop me if you have heard this before: A TNA talent in leaving the company! Let me see here. Tara, ODB, Mickie James, Matt Morgan, Chris Sabin, Luke Gallows, Rob Van Dam, Kaz, Daniels, JEFF FREAKIN' JARRETT, Sting, Hulk Hogan, AJ Styles, and countless others have departed TNA in the past two years or so. Yeah, at some point, it is well beyond "Oh, somebody left, no big deal." After awhile, the names just pile up and become too much to ignore. Why would it surprise anybody that Bully Ray is next on the list? Because he recently got major power backstage? Yeah, so did Jeff Jarrett last Fall...then he left. Because he is in a main event feud? Yeah, so were AJ Styles, Sting, Hogan, and others...then they left too. Honestly, it could be anybody on the entire roster - Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, etc. If the headline reads "TNA Star Leaving The Company," I would tend to believe it at this point. Just how it is sadly.
Lie - Eh, Bully Ray is 43 years old and (reportedly) does not have a clear path back to WWE. Yeah, I am sure he has his supporters and all that, but to everybody in the WWE Universe (which is majority of wrestling fans whether you want to admit it or not), he is still Bubba Ray Dudley. An all-time great tag team specialist from the Attitude Era. That is just the reality. I give major props to Bully Ray for re-inventing himself and getting into shape this late in his career. Major props! However, the fact remains if WWE is not too interested or interested at all for that matter, then his best bet is to stick around in TNA. Hopefully at a fair price and nothing too low. Keep one of the top spots on the show. Work with all your ECW buddies. Help with creative and be in control of your character. Unless WWE is knocking down your door or there is some huge offer out there elsewhere (see AJ Styles), just stay in TNA and see how it goes. As long as Velvet Sky is there, Bully Ray should not go anywhere...
What do YOU think - is Bully Ray leaving TNA a truth or a lie?
Roman Reigns To Face WWE World Champion Brock Lesnar At WrestleMania 31?
Truth - Well, duh. Not exactly a ground breaking news report here. Roman Reigns got the big moment last year at the Survivor Series looking dominant. Roman Reigns set the record for most eliminations at the Royal Rumble in January and juuust fell short of winning the whole thing. Roman Reign has been cleanly defeated once (maybe more?) in his entire 20 months on the main roster with The Shield. I would not call it an 'inside scoop' that WWE has major plans for him this upcoming WrestleMania season. Seems like the writing is on the wall for an epic clash between Roman Reigns and unstoppable Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Title come next April. Lie - Even so, it is still a risk. We are currently eight months away from Mania and five months away from the Rumble. I would say WWE needs to make a decision on this by late 2014. That shortens the time line even more to just a few months away. What if his crowd reactions go down a bit? What if a freak injury occurs? What if The Rock informs WWE he is free/available to battle Brock Lesnar in the ultimate showdown come early 2015? What if Daniel Bryan is healthy, returns in January and has the backing to win the Rumble (unlike last year) for the David vs. Goliath build with Lesnar at WM31? So many variable here. It is definitely NOT written in stone just yet that Reigns will get the Rumble victory/WM title win next year. WWE could easily do a mega-slow burn with him and delay his crowning moment until WrestleMania 32 in 2016. As I wrote about last week (on another website), there are other options here, whether it is Rocky, Bryan, or whoever.
What do YOU think - is Reigns/Lesnar at WM31 for the title a truth or a lie?
WWE Smackdown Moving To Thursdays Starting October 2nd?
Truth - *sigh* Well, at least WWE is waiting until the September-CBS-NFL fever to fade away a little. At this point, I give in. I was hoping against hope Smackdown would stay on Fridays, but I have no say. For whatever reason, WWE/Sy-Fy looks to be moving the Blue Brand to Thursdays starting in October. The more signs pop up, the more this rumor becomes legitimate.
Lie - Nothing has been 100% totally, positively confirmed just yet. That is my only saving grace right now. There are just so many problems waiting for WWE on Thursday nights. Read my column from a few weeks ago for a more in-depth discussion. Maybe they are getting paid more on a better night? Maybe they are happy to escape the (false) 'death slot' on Fridays? Maybe I will end up being wrong, and this move is going to be a HUGE success? Until then, only time will tell...
What do YOU think - is Smackdown moving to Thursdays a truth or lie?
TNA Impact Wrestling Has A "Non-Major Network" Lined Up After Their Spike TV Deal
Truth - It would not surprise me. The laughable speculation of a big network like TNT, FX, or anything like that picking up TNA is just that: laughable. Those channels/stations are so far above caring about a low rated wrestling show with zero brand recognition, especially in prime time. Just so ridiculous people actually think like that. However, a station like ION, Tru, WGN or Discovery network's VELOCITY channel (yes, seriously) certainly fit the billing. Welcome to reality TNA! That is your value. Low rated channels wanting a low rated TV show for cheap. Seems about right.
Lie - This is the problem with trusting any kind of report, as I used to cover weekly in my Truths/Lies column. TMZ said Spike TV was canceling TNA, which actually meant letting their contract expire. Not quite a cancellation. Then we found out TNA will stay on Spike until the end of the year. Remember when AJ Styles and TNA agreed to a short-term extension? Yeah, how did that work out? Some sort of 'courtesy' or 'thanks for coming' gesture from Spike towards TNA to keep them alive as they finalize a TV home elsewhere. Followed by the "Spike wants to buy TNA" rumors. Followed by the "Spike wants nothing to do with pro wrestling" rumors. Keeping up with this all? Of course, that is on top of TNA suddenly out of the blue getting moved to Wednesday nights after being on Thursday night for YEARS! Is Spike setting TNA to fail, thus justifying their move to 'dump' them? Or is this Spike giving an honest effort to keep TNA and give them a chance to succeed? Just so many different scenarios here. Who knows - maybe Spike TV and TNA end up agreeing to a long-term deal? Nothing would shock me anymore with this company.
What do YOU think - TNA having another 'non-major' network lined up a truth or a lie?
What do you think? Which rumors are truthful? Which are lies? Let me know below in the comment section!