Former NXT and WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor got physical with two of NXT’s top competitors Wednesday night … however, the wrestler claims doctors have yet to give him the green light for Raw.
WWE released video of Balor coming to the aid of Shinsuke Nakamura at the University of Central Florida during Wednesday night’s NXT TV taping and it looks like he’s back to 100%.
Finn easily clotheslined Andrade ‘Cien‘ Almas over the top rope, then hit Bobby Roode with a kick to the gut and Sling Blade.
The company reports that even though he looks ready for action, Balor told the live crowd that he still hasn’t been medically cleared to compete by WWE doctors.
Finn Balor may have gotten physical at an NXT event Wednesday night, but he isn’t lying about his medical situation — sources say he truly hasn’t been cleared yet.
even though Finn’s been working in the squared circle again and feels back to normal, the wrestler still has one more medical evaluation scheduled for the beginning of March.
Source: Pro Wrestling Sheet
Just to clear up any confusion, Finn Balor is still scheduled to be a part of WWE’s main roster following last night’s WWE NXT appearance after the University of Central Florida tapings. Balor is being advertised for RAW live events in March. Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that Balor has always been scheduled for WrestleMania 33 but there’s no word yet on what his role will be. Balor has been out of action since SummerSlam 2016.
Kelly Kelly is one of the former women’s wrestlers that WWE has contacted about a WrestleMania 33 appearance. Kelly was backstage visiting at Monday’s RAW and noted that she will be appearing for Axxess appearances in Orlando. She also expressed interest in having another run with the company.
No word yet on what WWE has planned for the women at WrestleMania 33 but it appears Lisa Marie Varon (Victoria) was also contacted. The plan for the RAW women’s division is for the RAW Women’s Title, currently held by Bayley, to be defended in a Fatal 4 Way with Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and former champion Charlotte Flair.
No word yet on what WWE is planning but the company has been contacting a lot of former women talents from the past to tell them that they’re wanted for WrestleMania 33. We do know that RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte vs. Nia Jax vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks is the plan for one of the WrestleMania women’s matches.
Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker is the current plan for one of the WrestleMania 33 main events.
Despite the fact that Reigns will likely be booed out of the Camping World Stadium, Vince McMahon has reportedly wanted to do this match for some time. WrestleMania 33 may be the last big chance to do the match due to Taker’s health.
Reigns eliminated Taker in this year’s Royal Rumble match to set up their WrestleMania beef but Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that there is the idea of a generational passing of the torch being discussed, which may be hard to pull off with the expected crowd reaction to Reigns. That could indicate an official heel run for Reigns but The Observer notes that WWE’s long-term goal is still for Reigns to be the face of the company.
Regarding Taker’s health, we noted before that he was said to be really hurting with hip pain after Sunday’s Royal Rumble main event. Taker had hip surgery last fall but still needs a hip replacement surgery, which he’s been putting off until his in-ring career is over.
An honorary statue of Ric Flair will be unveiled by WWE during WrestleMania 33 weekend … and the model it was sculpted after spoiled the surprise on social media.
A model named Sean Perry recently posted the photo below with the caption, “Sooooo, the other day a studio did a full body mold of me for a statue of Ric Flair (in his prime) for the WWE Hall of Fame.”
One source confirms that this guy isn’t telling a lie … a Flair statue is being made to join the ones WWE already has for Andre the Giant, Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes and Ultimate Warrior.
As in the past, it will be more than likely be unveiled at WWE Axxess.
Source: Pro Wrestling Sheet
John Cena vs. The Undertaker is no longer in the works for WrestleMania 33, according to a new report by Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The match was nixed after Vince McMahon changed his mind.
There’s been speculation on The Undertaker challenging for a title at WrestleMania but as of this week, he is not scheduled to challenge for the WWE Title or the WWE Universal Title. There’s also been speculation on Taker vs. Braun Strowman but that match is not in the works, at least as of this week.
It was also noted by The Observer that there will be six or seven major main event level singles matches on the show this year, not including the women’s or cruiserweight matches. Kevin Owens vs. WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho looks like it’s happening but top Superstars without singles matches include Cena, current WWE Champion AJ Styles, Roman Reigns, current WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose and the returning Finn Balor. No word yet on plans for Ambrose and the Intercontinental Title but he could end up defending in another multi-man match, perhaps a ladder match.
Regarding the RAW Women’s Title, the match has not been decided on but Charlotte defending against Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and Bayley in a Fatal 4 Way is in the works. Bayley vs. Charlotte in a singles match has been expected but the Fatal 4 Way is the current proposed match.
The WrestleMania 33 card is not finalized but the key locked-in matches remain – Big Show vs. Shaquille O’Neal, Triple H vs. Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg, which The Observer speculates will be the main event.
With less than 100 days until WrestleMania 33, The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that WWE officials have locked in just three matches – Big Show vs. Shaquille O’Neal, Triple H vs. Seth Rollins and Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar.
While a potential match with John Cena vs. The Undertaker was somewhat acknowledged on this week’s SmackDown, Vince McMahon has not decided on that match but it is possible. Another probable is a multi-person match for the RAW Women’s Title.
Regarding The Undertaker’s match, the likely opponent is Cena but current WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns is also being considered with the feeling that Reigns is the future and Cena vs. Taker doesn’t build for the future, and this could be Taker’s last WrestleMania match. If Cena wins the WWE Title from AJ Styles or Reigns wins the Universal Title from Kevin Owens at the Royal Rumble, it looks like Taker could be in line for a title shot in Orlando.
Taker has not been announced for the Royal Rumble main event next month but potential WrestleMania scenarios would make him a favorite. Braun Strowman is another favorite to win the Rumble, indicating a win by Reigns over Owens at the Rumble to set up Braun vs. Reigns at WrestleMania. The storyline between Owens and Chris Jericho has been brewing for months and it’s believed they will face off at WrestleMania but that hasn’t been confirmed.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter via WrestlingINC