The following article is part of our premium news section. If you're interested in this news and you're not a premium subscriber, why not give it a try? We put out breaking premium news and backstage news on a frequent basis that we can 100% confirm. If you ARE a premium member, welcome back! Thanks for helping us do what we do!
Thomas Fenton Reports:
• Thomas Fenton reported back in December that there would be a strong NXT presence in the Royal Rumble and upwards to 30% of the field. Plans have changed moving into the weekend show, while there will still be an NXT presence on the show it is now looking to be a little lighter. 18 wrestlers have been announced for the men's Royal Rumble going into this week's edition of Smackdown and NXT, 2-3 more will likely be announced on Smackdown and then there is, of course, spots open for surprises which would set the field closer to 25 on the men's Royal Rumble match. The women's Rumble match will likely feature more NXT talent as the main roster is not that deep.
• For those wondering how and why the strap match stipulation was put into the Universal title match between The Fiend Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan, the working idea is that if WWE pulls the trigger on Bryan and capitalizes on the new Yes movement that the Fiend can lose the title without being pinned and could move into a program with Kane before Wrestlemania. WWE is still very very high on the Fiend but some feel not only does he not need the title, but that they can not miss lighting in a bottle with Daniel Bryan again.
• Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy winning the tag team titles on Raw was a last-minute change and was done to get Murphy more legitimacy in the group.
• Killer Kross is expected to begin with WWE in April and it could likely happen over the WrestleMania weekend events.
• Jeff Cobb is currently working without a long term deal to anyone, Jeff Cobb was highly sought after by WWE towards the beginning of the year. With all of Ring of Honor's restructuring, it's unlikely he stays with them long term, how it's much more of a possibility now than it was a few months ago.
• One of the storylines to look into is The Revival one, typically if talent was expiring and expected to leave they would not introduce real-life situations into the story unless it was a swerve. This is something to keep an eye on as their original deals would be coming due in the next 60 days.
• Brodie Lee, formerly Luke Harper, will also play a factor in the talent that will be re-emerging for a new company. His original WWE no-compete expires just before Mania season.