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The Grapevine (11/17/15): Don't Panic, The Build-up Is Organic



Good morning, everyone! Welcome to the Grapevine, where we round up the (technically unconfirmed) rumors from the wild world of pro wrestling that you may have missed over the evening.

We didn't put out a Grapevine yesterday because there wasn't much news over the weekend, but now the wire is blowing up:



  • The WWE apparently did not panic when Seth Rollins was injured. They may have panicked about what to do in the short-term, but the long-term plans were reportedly not affected badly. Word is Roman Reigns was and is still set to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series, with Rollins challenging for the rematch at TLC in December and Reigns heading into WrestleMania as the champion. They apparently had three to four main event matches "set in stone" already, which Rollins's injury did not affect. That implies that if, say, Rollins vs. Triple H was happening, it was likely not in a main event position. (Source: PWInsider)

We say: Ouch. There's not much to say about Reigns winning the title as most have already accepted, if not embraced this foregone conclusion; the bigger story is how Rollins seems to be viewed by the company. If it's true that he wasn't penciled in for a main event spot at WrestleMania, does that mean that the Seth Experiment this year was a failure? If so, then none of that is on Seth at all. (Also, we really don't believe Vince wasn't panicking backstage.)


  • The WWE is still in talks with WWN for some sort of talent exchange system. Triple H wants NXT to become a full-time touring brand in 2017, which everyone already knows, so they're reportedly looking to have Performance Center wrestlers who need some more seasoning get bookings in WWN shows while the rest of the roster goes on tour. WWN would become a WWE "territory" in Florida, with the company helping out with some costs. (Source: Daily Wrestling News)

We say: If Triple H turns NXT into its own brand, this will definitely solve the minor identity crisis the Yellow Show has now: is it still developmental, or is it now a show for indy stars to shine and wrestlers to actually wrestle? Signing WWN to this agreement would make them the real developmental league now, reverting back to the days of late-2010s Florida Championship Wrestling. We certainly don't mind this at all if it means deserving indy stars get a bigger chance to shine.




  • Could Mexican star La Sombra be signing with the WWE? The company has been interested in signing the talented luchador, as well as other lucha stars. La Sombra could sign with NJPW (where he competes occasionally) or with WWE, which he says is his "ultimate dream." La Sombra, however, has denied signing with the WWE twice recently. (Source: WrestlingInc, The Lucha Report)

We say: At this point, if we were La Sombra, we'd just stick to NJPW. Yes, being in the WWE is a dream for most wrestlers, but if the treatment of the Lucha Dragons is any indication, that dream's going to get popped real quick. Hell, even Alberto del Rio, the Latino savior, isn't getting a fair shake right now.


  • Billy Gunn did not, technically, fail the WWE's Wellness Policy. Meaning to say he did not get tested by WWE and get fired as a result of the mandated drug tests. Coaches and staff are not required to go through drug tests. Instead, the powerlifting competitions he was doing sanctioned him after finding PEDs in his system, and the WWE was apparently forced to let him go to maintain the image of the company and the developmental system. The company had no idea at all that he was participating in powerlifting competitions or that he was suspended from them back in July. WWE is already considering two people to replace him at the Performance Center. (Source: PWInsider)

We say: Honestly, this is dumb. Billy was dumb enough to get caught, and now he's suffering the consequences. This does, however, open up the coaching position down at Orlando to someone even better.

What do you think? What are your other predictions for the WrestleMania upper card? Which indy stars do you want to see signed to NXT? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Photo from WWE

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