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Samoa Joe's WWE Future, Plans For Austin & Rock At WM32, Big Summer Returns, Reintroducing Lesnar & Tons Of Backstage News

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- Following a match at Monday’s WWE Superstars taping, reports are beginning to circulate that Samoa Joe has been rewarded with a full-time WWE contract. We’re told this isn’t a situation where a deal was put together in the last few days. While it’s completely true Joe was signed to a “hybrid” type deal that was more or less a short-term tryout, there was an option for WWE to take full control of his services. The plan all along was to allow for Joe to finish up independent commitments, which is still going to happen. Ring of Honor still expects him to work their June 20 TV taping in New York City (teaming with AJ Styles against Kazarian & Christopher Daniels) but it’s not believed he can participate in a match filmed for the show on Destination America because it’s national television.

- Steve Austin is in excellent shape as we’re told he’s been hitting the weights hard for over a year now. The seeds planted in Monday’s podcast interview with Paul Heyman for a match against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32 were very intentional. Austin will have to be physically cleared by WWE’s medical team by the end of the summer for such a match to take place but if he wants to work and gets that clearance, this could really happen. The next step will be deciding what to do with Austin and that also means figuring out what’s going to happen with The Rock. We all know Vince McMahon covets Brock vs. Rock, which would mean Austin would need a different opponent. A possible bout with Triple H has come up. However, WWE is clearly leaving their options open for their biggest show of the year and are hoping to have Austin or Rock or both to set the attendance record at AT&T Stadium.

- Titus O’Neil underwent ImPACT concussion testing after Elimination Chamber but was obviously cleared and able to work Raw.

- Regarding Bray Wyatt’s loss [and no wins since 5/18 Raw], we’re told the mentality is if they’re going to turn him babyface, it doesn’t matter how much he loses.

- Both Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar are expected back in the next 30 days.

- The plan a couple months ago for Brock Lesnar was to bring him back at Money in the Bank and destroy what was left of the guys and take the briefcase himself. Now, there is an interesting situation with the feeling the fans are going to turn Brock babyface when he comes back. A decision that has to be made will be whether they go with the babyface turn or wait until after Wrestlemania 32 next year.

- Since WWE has decided to go the direction of Dean Ambrose playing the SCSA role of 1998, it doesn’t look as though The Shield will be brought back. However, we’re expecting a top guy to turn heel and quickly because they are too “babyface-heavy” with John Cena, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and potentially Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho as babyfaces. Boy, do things change and change often.

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