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The Grapevine (11/11/19): The Saudi Silence


Welcome to the Grapevine! This section of Smark Henry is where we round up all the founded and unfounded rumors abound the pro wrestling scene that you may have missed over the week. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt!

Here's what happened after WWE managed to get home from Saudi Arabia:
  • WWE reiterates their mechanical issues statement in a meeting with the roster backstage. Vince McMahon held a roster meeting backstage at RAW last Monday, repeating the story that the plane they were on had mechanical issues, and opened the floor to any questions from the wrestlers. Everyone reportedly stayed quiet.

    On related notes, a rumor about Seth Rollins giving a speech to the locker room was apparently not true after Rollins shot it down on Twitter, and there is apparently some heat on Karl Anderson for tweets he made about who would be a locker room leader, as well as an exchange he and his wife made about not going back to Saudi Arabia. (Source: WON)
We say: It's definitely tough to discern with stories backstage are true or not. Samoa Joe did say that sources from within the industry may have their own agendas. But one thing can't be denied: running shows in Saudi Arabia is still not a good idea, after everything that's happened. And Hot Asian Wife is right—that money just isn't worth it. We hope more wrestlers can stand their ground next time around; then again, getting left behind no matter the reason will probably make that easy.
  • WWE apparently had big plans for Shayna Baszler in 2020 before NXT went live on the USA Network. The company was reportedly grooming her to be a big star on the main roster, but the big change threw those plans out the window as she will likely stay on NXT to help the brand. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio)
We say: That sounds about right—we can't imagine an NXT without Shayna Baszler, and we kind of doubt how serious those plans to groom her are. But she does deserve it, and we'll give her until 2021 to make it to RAW or SmackDown.
  • Sin Cara's female partner Carolina is no longer on RAW. The plan was apparently to put her on the brand as a counterpart to Zelina Vega while she and Andrade were feuding with Sin Cara, and with that program finished, Carolina will be going back to NXT. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio)
We say: That's probably for the best as Sin Cara's featured spot won't likely be too regular, but we doubt fans really like the idea of introducing someone new only for them to disappear quickly. It seems, more than anything, that the idea of Sin Cara having a female counterpart wasn't really thought through.

Let us know what you think of this week's news in the comments!

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