It seems as though a week does not go by in the world of professional wrestling without Braun Strowman grabbing headlines for one reason or the other. Unfortunately for The Monster Among Men, this week he is the subject of rumors for the wrong reasons.
The massive Superstar underwent surgery last week to repair an injury to his elbow. Monday, news broke that Strowman would miss six months, putting him on the sidelines essentially for the rest of the year.
But is that timetable legitimate, or is it a way to throw fans off the scent of a potential surprise return?
The women’s tournament announced during WrestleMania 33 weekend has also been at the forefront of the wrestling rumor mill, with names and details being speculated upon.
Who are the competitors that will compete for the right to earn prestige and notoriety? Who will call the action, and which female performer may be the referee for the tournament?
What other topic has wrestling fans buzzing?
Braun Strowman: Six Months or Sooner?
Cageside Seats, citing multiple sources, reports that the six-month timetable for Braun Strowman’s recovery from elbow surgery may be little more than a work.
“Multiple sources indicate WWE’s six-month timeframe for Braun Strowman’s recovery from elbow surgery is a work, and he should be back in a couple months.”
If that is the case, the reason for the worked number could be to ensure The Monster Among Men looks like a world-beater upon his return. After all, here is a Superstar who returned early from a shattered elbow, ready to wreak havoc and destroy anyone in his path.
It is actually an effective way of booking Strowman even as he sits on the sideline and watches championship opportunities originally meant for him go to his fellow Raw Superstars. It gives him a killer edge for when he returns and ensures he is able to maintain the momentum he had prior to the injury.
Women’s Tournament Details
This past April, WWE officials announced a women’s tournament to be held this summer. Prospective details began making themselves apparent Monday.
PWInsider.com Elite (h/t Squared Circle Sirens) revealed potential announcers for the event are Renee Young and Charly Caruso.
Utilizing one or two female announcers for a women’s wrestling tournament is the right move. A charismatic color commentator such as Young would bring a bit of flare to the proceedings. The Canadian has a history of commentating dating back to her days as part of the NXT broadcast team prior to the advent of the WWE Network.
Caruso has not had an opportunity to prove herself as a commentator, but through her work as a backstage interviewer and pre-show hostess, she has proved to be an effective on-screen presence. Always engaged and never one to steal the spotlight from the talent she is working with, Caruso would likely be a strong candidate for play-by-play, though her knowledge of the in-ring work may not be strong enough.
Also according to Squared Circle Sirens, WWE has hired independent star Kennadi Brink to a contract, though not as a wrestler. Her role would be that of a referee, a role she has filled during NXT events in Florida, the report revealed.
While that is not necessarily related to the tournament, one would assume Brink would be heavily involved in officiating the tournament if her role is to be that of a referee.
Finally, PWInsider.com Elite also reported (h/t Wrestling Inc) that WWE officials are interested in bringing former Impact Wrestling talents Jade (Mia Yim) and Marti Belle in to compete in the tournament, as well as independent stars Evie and Nixon Newell.
If true, it appears as though WWE will take the same approach to the women’s tournament it did with the cruiserweight tournament last summer by recruiting established stars to be the faces of the competition. It is a smart move that should garner more interest while opening the eyes of fans to performers, like Evie and Newell, who audiences may not be as familiar with.
The New Day’s SmackDown ETA
Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods will be making their debut on Tuesday nights by June, at the latest, as reported by Cageside Seats.
The trio’s arrival will be a welcome one for SmackDown Live, which is in desperate need of credibility for its tag team division. While Tyler Breeze and Fandango have done a marvelous job of getting over as the lead babyfaces and No. 1 contenders to The Usos’ tag team titles, they still do not have the legitimacy that the immensely over New Day does.
The act, a juggernaut that far exceeded expectations, is one of WWE’s best and most prominent. They can help bolster a SmackDown roster in need of stars and succeed as both a united tag team act or in singles competition if absolutely necessary.
They are vital to SmackDown Live’s success going forward. Their presence alone will create a more electric atmosphere than the brand has been used to with vivid acts like Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal at the top of the card.