Is the WWE planning some significant shake-ups to WrestleMania 40? If a recent news report is accurate, the company may have no other choice. The WWE has been hit by some unexpected happenings, including injuries and the recent lawsuit filed against Vince McMahon, John Laurinatis, and the WWE. As we'll see, wrestlers may not be the only individuals affected by these shake-ups. However, as regrettable as these situations are, they could play out well for other wrestlers.
Now, WrestleVotes is reporting:
There are other potential problems. Kevin Owens is reportedly dealing with a fractured foot and Charlotte Flair isn't expected back until around fall. Sadly, there may be other Superstars who are the walking wounded, toughing it out to stay on the job, but one bad bump away from a serious injury.
Wrestling's "show must go on" mentality is similar to sports and entertainment, where an athlete or entertainer is sidelined and someone has to step up. In some cases, the substitute may end up being a diamond in the rough who shines once they're given a chance to play or perform. However, will the WWE give someone previously overlooked or underutilized a chance?
Another area that needs to be addressed is the WWE's creative department. If the reports that TKO-Holdings management is looking to purge the WWE of personnel with connections to Vince McMahon, the WWE could lose creative talent (not to mention other executives in the company). While no one is irreplaceable, the timing couldn't be worse since WrestleMania is just two months away.
TKO-Holdings might take a closer look at WWE employees with a record of bad behavior that was swept under the rug years ago but that might surface thanks to the renewed spotlight on the WWE. The WWE could find itself under a microscope by the media as they investigate the lawsuit filed against McMahon and company. For example, if an employee had issues with alleged racist behavior towards employees, TKO might consider releasing them rather than keep them around. This would avoid the bad publicity of explaining why said employee was kept around.
While the injuries to various Superstars are unfortunate, they could benefit other Superstars. As WrestleVotes noted, the WWE is looking at card variations. Let's examine how other Superstars might benefit from the WrestleMania card being shaken up.
Damien Priest: If Seth Rollins is unable to wrestle due to his MCL tear, the WWE needs to take the title off him. Rollins has been dealing with various nagging injuries and at some point, one of these nagging injuries is likely to become serious due to the wear and tear he puts on his body.
So, where does Damien Priest fit in? El Senor Money in the Bank could get a career boost by successfully cashing in his briefcase against Rollins. Priest has developed enough where he's a viable world champion, even if, at this point, it's to make him a transitional champion. If Seth can't compete for a while due to injury, put the belt on Priest and have him defend it at WrestleMania.
LA Knight: The WWE has an excellent opportunity to give LA Knight a push into the championship picture. The current belief is that Cody Rhodes and/or The Rock will challenge Roman, which opens the door for someone challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship. Based on the WWE's past booking, it's likely there will be an Elimination Chamber Match to determine the challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship if Cody opts to wrestle Roman. The WWE has brought in Superstars from other brands to compete in cases like this and having LA Knight win would be a fantastic way to capitalize on his popularity.
Austin Theory: Is Austin Theory's push over with? A-Town and his partner-in-crime Grayson Waller has been busy making life miserable for Kevin Owens. However, Theory should be doing more than playing henchman to Waller. What if the two have a falling out? This could lead to a babyface turn for either wrestler (more likely for Theory). Theory isn't ready for a world title push, but he would make a good opponent for Logan Paul (although WrestleLamia has a feeling the WWE is going to have LA Knight challenge for the belt if he isn't used in the world title picture).
The Women's Division: The WWE's women's division is stacked with so many main event talents that it's unlikely the promotion would elevate someone for a shot at either Women's World Championship, even if there was an unexpected injury to a champion or their likely challengers (such as Becky Lynch and Rhea Ripley). However, the WWE could elevate the women's tag team title picture by creating more teams from the undercard.
Some Wild Cards: The WWE has many acts that could easily jump from the mid-card to the upper-card or even from the upper-card to the main event. There are so many talents that could be given a push toward the top, including Ivar, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Karrion Kross, Chad Gable, and Sheamus. These wrestlers don't have to get a title shot but they could do more than just wrestle a random opponent or become the latest wrestler to put over a Gunther or Roman Reigns.
The WWE has some opportunities to see if underutilized wrestlers have what it takes for bigger success. The WWE shouldn't fall into the trap it had under Vince McMahon where it failed to create new stars or give fan favorites a chance at the top. If this report about the WWE having to change WrestleMania is accurate, this is an incredible opportunity for the WWE, its wrestlers, and its fans.