Did WWE talent know which brand they were headed to prior to the 2016 Draft?
The majority of talent didn’t know for sure where they were going until the moves were announced on live television, however, I’d guess that 90% knew where they were going to end up. WWE released some pretty telling advanced advertising material that gave away the majority of the moves. As for talent that was surprised, I heard Cesaro and Jerry Lawler were both surprised even though Lawler’s move was announced the Wednesday after the draft. Cesaro thought he was going to Smackdown and was legitimately upset about the move to Raw, which they’ve turned into part of his storyline. Lawler was and still is disappointed to be moved off the announce team.
Can you give an update on the rumored returns of Carlito, Kurt Angle and Bill Goldberg?
I haven’t heard Carlito’s name in quite some time and am not aware of any immediate interest in WWE re-acquiring his services. Kurt Angle reached out to WWE about a return but then, as we reported in our Members content, they got upset when he did an interview that claimed they reached out to him. Angle’s return was already seen as a long-shot and the incident in June is believed to have made it even more difficult. We addressed Goldberg’s status earlier this week and do not have more information at press time.
When do you see Samoa Joe being called up to the main roster?
We’re expecting Samoa Joe to get called up after WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II later this month. There’s always a chance WWE holds off until next year but I’m currently expecting him up before the end of 2016, barring a last-minute change. Joe was brought in as a veteran leader for the WWE NXT brand but the last I heard, he wants to be called up and they want him up.
Is WWE backed into a creative corner with Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton?
Any time Brock Lesnar is booked in a main event match WWE is backed into a corner; so yes, Orton vs. Lesnar is no different. On one hand, Lesnar needs to be booked dominantly to continue to showcase him as the unstoppable beast but on the other hand, Orton is coming back after a long hiatus. WWE producers will claim that wins and losses don’t matter but I don’t see any easy outcome for the booking of Lesnar vs. Orton [at SummerSlam]. At least Brock Lensar didn’t lose at UFC 200 against Mark Hunt as that would have been even worse than the drug test failures.
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