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Bleacher Report keeps you up to date with the latest news from the WWE Universe.
WWE talent less restricted under Triple H
One of the benefits of having a creative longtime wrestler is giving artists more freedom to try things out for audiences.
According to PW Insider’s Mike Johnson, since Triple H took over as creative helm last month, there’s been a “loosening of freedom” for talent on promos and in the ring.
Johnson noted that the Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre match on SmackDown last week was largely called in the ring, instead of having every spot planned out in advance.
Among the issues with WWE in recent years when Vince McMahon ran the show was how every aspect of the show was scheduled.
There were always good matches on Raw and SmackDown because the roster is so good, but those fights often ended in weak disqualification or when a rookie star won, they would never be showcased.
The language used on TV since Triple H took over has also been a welcome change. McMahon also had some weird quirks where everything had to be a buzzword (WWE Universe instead of fans), or certain terms he would ban (belt/strap) for no apparent reason.
It’s not hard to see that one of the reasons WWE’s ratings have gone up recently, even after curiosity about McMahon’s retirement waned, is because the product feels more loose and natural.
Triple H has proven for years with NXT that he is very good at getting creative for a promotion. He’s transferred that to Raw and SmackDown since taking over as creative lead on July 22.
Bayley pays tribute to Sasha Banks
In her first televised fight since returning from injury, Bayley included a mid-match Easter egg with Aliyah on Raw.
Bayley landed a double knee strike as Aliyah was leaning on the ropes in the corner. The WWE Women’s Triple Crown winner reflected on the moment on Instagram, with clips from her match against Sasha Banks from NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2015.
Monday’s raw date also coincided with the anniversary of that momentous bout seven years ago, which marked Bayley’s first singles championship in WWE.
Cora Jade @CoraJadeWWE
This match played such a huge role in the start of my journey to becoming a professional wrestler. I still watch it from time to time. I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today without @itsBayleyWWE & @SashaBanksWWE. Thank you for inspiring the next generation 🖤 https://t.co/Y0v4UNSAJO
It’s certainly possible that Bayley is just commemorating a historic moment in her career and NXT’s past, but it could also be a way to tease Banks’ return.
Banks and Naomi have not been seen in WWE since they went out during an episode of Raw in May. Both women agreed to return to the promotion, with speculation that they could return to challenge the winners of the tournament for the women’s tag team title.
With Becky Lynch put out of use due to a separated shoulder suffered during her match with Bianca Belair at SummerSlam, the women’s roster could definitely use an infusion of star power.
Big E looks to the future
It’s been nearly six months since Big E broke his neck after landing on his head taking a belly-to-belly suplex from Ridge Holland in a tag match on SmackDown.
The former WWE Champion told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi in July that doctors told him he would make a full recovery, but his future as a wrestler remains uncertain.
If Big E is unable to continue his career in the ring, he has plans to keep him busy. He said in the last episode of Out of Character with Ryan Satin podcast (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of ThirstyForNews.com) that he has his eye on acting and voiceover work:
“I love doing VO [voice over]. I’ve really enjoyed doing VO and have some cool stuff coming up that I can’t really divulge yet, but hopefully in the next few months. I love doing voice work, I always want to do more. I realized, I started wrestling because I like the athletic side, and I felt like I had more to offer athletically. As I got older and started to progress and New Day started to take off I realized that I love to play, I love to entertain, I love to make people laugh, I love to breathe life to the characters. This stuff, I really appreciate. Now I’ve leaned more towards storytelling and I do that in different mediums. That’s what I’d like to do more.”
Big E updated his status on July 4, noting that his C-1 vertebrae are not yet ossifying and that he will wait to get further scans until the first anniversary of his injury.
While that means Big E won’t be back in WWE until March at the earliest, he appears to be in good spirits given the severity of the injury.
As long as Big E is able to regain his full power at some point, it seems likely that he would at least make WWE television appearances from time to time.
The New Day remains one of the company’s most popular acts. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are more than capable of handling the fight if Big E were to move into a managerial role.
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