WWE Rumor Review: Backstage heat on top star who took a shot at Roman Reigns, plans for AEW star’s heel turn, note on massive Goldberg match

Welcome to another edition of Sportskeeda Wrestling’s WWE Rumor Review, where we look at some of the top rumors from months ago and determine how those stories progressed. This time, the focus shifts to the aftermath of SummerSlam 2021.

The wheels continued turning for WWE after The Biggest Party of the Summer, with rematches from the show planned later in the year. One of them featured Goldberg, who challenged for the world title in August 2021.

Another returning world title challenger, Becky Lynch, turned heel at SummerSlam. There were rumblings that she requested to do so. Meanwhile, there was rumored heat on a big star at the time after he made some unflattering comments about Roman Reigns.

Finally, Vince McMahon’s feelings over former NXT stars were brought to the fore, with quite a few stories emerging throughout the summer. Unfortunately, the two names in focus are no longer with WWE.

So, without further ado, let’s get to this week’s rumor review.

#5 Vince McMahon seemingly ‘deciding against’ Bronson Reed

Vince McMahon did not particularly like his work.
Vince McMahon did not particularly like his work.

The summer of 2021 saw NXT endure a complete revamp, with Vince McMahon and his team taking over the developmental brand. There was a lot of movement from superstars at the time, with the now-former WWE Chairman making the final decision on their futures with the company.

One of the NXT stars he decided to release was Bronson Reed, who seemed primed for a spot on the main roster. However, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, McMahon decided against Reed after watching a few of his matches.

This rumor is most likely true, as the former NXT North American Champion’s release was an indication that his future prospects in WWE wouldn’t have been great. He is currently signed to NJPW under the name Jonah.

#4 The rumored date for Bobby Lashley and Goldberg’s rematch

One of Goldberg's greatest performances.
One of Goldberg’s greatest performances.

Following Bobby Lashley’s victory over Goldberg at SummerSlam 2021, the WWE Hall of Famer vowed revenge on The All-Mighty for injuring his leg. Their rematch was inevitable, although the place was unknown at the time.

WrestleVotes reported a week after their WWE Championship match that Goldberg would face Lashley again at Crown Jewel in October. That is precisely what happened, although the latter lost his title in September as Big E cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on him.

Goldberg defeated Bobby Lashley in an exciting Falls Count Anywhere Match at the Saudi Arabia event, ending their feud on a high.

#3 WWE’s plans for Keith Lee to become a monster heel’

Vince McMahon may not have been too impressed with Bronson Reed’s work, but he seemingly had a great vision for another big man from NXT. Keith Lee may have been a popular babyface on the former black-and-gold brand, but his success there did not translate to the main roster.

This was due to the constant alterations to his style and character on RAW, with McMahon being behind it. WrestlingNews.co then stated that he considered turning Lee into a monster heel.

This rumor was true as The Limitless One slowly became Keith ‘Bearcat’ Lee, moving away from crowd interactions and focusing on his aggression. This could be perceived as a heel turn of sorts. However, before he could get going with the new gimmick, WWE released Lee. He is now a part of All Elite Wrestling.

#2 Becky Lynch’s rumored request to turn heel upon her return

Rumors stated Becky Lynch requested to turn heel.
Rumors stated Becky Lynch requested to turn heel.

Becky Lynch returned to WWE from her maternity leave at SummerSlam, where she defeated Bianca Belair in 26 seconds to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship. This was done to set up her heel turn.

Dave Meltzer noted that Lynch herself requested to turn heel, and WWE granted it. However, that is not the case. Big Time Becks stated otherwise during an appearance on Ryan Satin’s Out of Character podcast, mentioning that she was expecting to return as a babyface.

The six-time Women’s Champion found out about her heel turn shortly before it happened, which pretty much confirms the rumor to be false. Whether or not she requested it, Becky Lynch’s run as a villain has been a success. She helped several babyface stars, especially Bianca Belair, become more popular.

#1 Backstage heat on Riddle following his comments on Roman Reigns

Riddle and Roman Reigns recently feuded over the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, with The Tribal Chief retaining his title in a great match last week on SmackDown. However, there was seemingly a backstage issue between the two last year.

The Original Bro took a shot at Reigns in an interview with Bleacher Report right after SummerSlam, stating that he isn’t a real needle mover. Riddle even claimed he could beat the Samoan in a real fight. Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that he “ruffled some feathers” backstage due to those comments.

Riddle confirmed the rumors of backstage heat while speaking with IB Times. He acknowledged that his words about Roman Reigns “weren’t the most professional things to say.” The former UFC fighter further declared he wouldn’t say it again.

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