1. Rob Gronkowski Signs With WWE
Rob Gronkowski helped his real-life friend Mojo Rawley win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33. Three years later, the 3-time Super Bowl Champion is on his way to becoming a regular Superstar on the WWE roster.
Ryan Satin reported on the latest episode of FS1’s WWE Backstage that Gronkowski and WWE were very close on finalizing a deal. And that deal is now reportedly done.
According to Tony Maglio of The Wrap, Rob has signed a contract with WWE and is set to debut on the March 20th episode of Friday Night SmackDown. The NFL megastar is also scheduled to appear at WrestleMania 36.
“Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has officially signed with WWE, an insider told TheWrap exclusively. The ex-NFL great is set to debut one week from Friday, on the March 20 “SmackDown” on Fox.”
Gronkowski is an NFL analyst for FOX and his reported debut on The Blue Show under the same network would be the most sensible move on the Road To WrestleMania.
2. No Casket Match At WrestleMania 36
AJ Styles and The Undertaker will square off in just 25 days at WWE’s biggest pay-per-view of 2020, WrestleMania 36. The battle line has already been drawn – The Phenom attacked The Phenomenal One costing him the Tuwaiq Mountain Gauntlet Trophy at Crown Jewel and a supposed victory over Aleister Black at Elimination Chamber, and the 2-time WWE Champion retaliated with a scathing promo on Monday Night Raw.
During the promo, Styles not only dragged Michelle McCool through the mud but also vowed to “kill” The Undertaker at the Show Of Shows, hinting at a potential Casket Match on April 5th. However, Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live reports that there are currently no plans for a Casket Match at WrestleMania.
“Another update from yesterday. The AJ Styles, he promised to cause Undertaker to die in the ring, he also said that he would literally put the nail in his coffin, which of course, led me to ask, ‘well, is it going to be a casket match.’ How do you literally put a nail in a coffin if it’s not a casket match. The answer is, as of this moment, no, it is not a casket match.”
Styles took the rivalry a step further when he appeared on WWE Backstage this week and fired shots at The Phenom’s legendary American Badass gimmick.
3. Has AEW Influenced Paige’s WWE Return?
Paige will return to Friday Night SmackDown this week to confront Bayley since being written off of WWE TV in October. The inaugural NXT Champion’s sudden return on the Road To WrestleMania has given new life to the rumor that she may have been cleared for competition.
On PW Insider Elite audio, Mike Johnson discussed the possibility of Paige returning to the ring by bringing up the recent development with Edge. The Rated R Superstar made his miraculous return at Royal Rumble and will now face Randy Orton at WrestleMania 36.
It appears that AEW’s very existence has changed WWE’s parameter of clearing retired Superstars; Vince McMahon would rather bring top names back from retirement in whatever capacity possible than have them leave for AEW.
“The Paige thing is weird. A lot of people wrote me like, ‘Did she get cleared?’ — ‘Is something up?’ I haven’t heard she’s cleared, but in a world where Edge is wrestling Randy Orton at WrestleMania I don’t put anything past WWE and I think the fact that AEW exists has changed their parameter in terms of what they’re willing to allow talents to do physically in the ring.”
“There were chats between Edge and AEW and magically Edge was cleared to return to the ring. Could similar things have happened with Paige? I don’t know. I’m not stating that they did happen, but I do find it interesting. Either they’re doing an angle or they’re using Paige as the mouthpiece for the challengers at WrestleMania.”
For what it’s worth, Edge and Paige’s cases prove that WWE has likely changed its standard guidelines for clearing medically disqualified talents.
4. Beth Phoenix Return
On RAW after Royal Rumble, Edge received a heartfelt welcome from Randy Orton only to be brutalized by his long-time ally moments later. The Rated R Superstar left the arena on a stretcher after being on the receiving end of an RKO and Con-Chair-To a the hands of The Viper. Last week, Hall Of Famer Beth Phoenix showed up to provide an update on her husband’s health.
Orton hit the ring once again and verbally abused Phoenix who lost her cool and slapped the 13-time World Champion. Seconds later, Orton planted The Glamazon with an RKO. The segment sparked speculations of a potential in-ring return for Phoenix as well as the return of intergender wrestling in WWE.
Now, Beth’s recent tweet has fueled rumors that she could be on her way back to the ring. While she could just be in Edge’s corner as part of his ongoing feud with Orton, there’s every possibility of WWE booking Phoenix for the Women’s Battle Royal or the Women’s Tag Team Title match at WrestleMania.
5. Edge’s Next WWE Appearance
This week on RAW, Edge speared MVP and assaulted Randy Orton, unloading his month-long anger and frustration on The Viper for what he did to him and his wife Beth Phoenix in the middle of the ring.
It’s no secret that WWE is using Edge sparingly to protect his mystique as one of the top attractions in the company.
Local television commercials in Forth Worth, Texas are currently advertising Edge for the March 23rd episode of RAW. WWE is yet to officially announce Edge vs. Orton for WrestleMania and we may see that happen when the 11-time World Champion returns to the flagship show two weeks from now.
6. WWE Files For Two New Trademarks
For the last few months, WWE has aggressively filed for a plethora of trademarks and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The billion-dollar company likes to own every name it can, oftentimes locking down talents’ own unique nicknames as well.
PWInsider reports that WWE has filed for two noteworthy trademarks for two future Hall Of Famers, namely, The Undertaker and Randy Orton. Copyrights were filed for “The Deadman”, “The Phenom“ and “The Apex Predator“. It is to be noted that “The Phenom” was copyrighted in September 2019.
7. WrestleMania 36 To Be Cancelled?
The novel coronavirus has spread like wildfire in the United States with over 1000 documented cases. World Health Organisation has officially declared a global pandemic as events, conventions, concerts and other mass gatherings continue to be canceled or postponed in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
WrestleVotes reports that WWE’s mindset is “all very fluid” about possibly changing WrestleMania 36 plans due to the virus.
According to Ryan Bass, the City Of Tampa will meet on Thursday to discuss the fate of “major” events due to coronavirus. It’s extremely likely for WrestleMania 36 to be on the list.
Last week, two residents from Tampa were diagnosed with coronavirus. However, WWE noted in its official statement that WrestleMania 36 would still go down as planned. As previously reported, WWE is almost on the verge of holding WrestleMania and other future events in empty stadiums in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.