Top RAW Rumors: Brock Lesnar, Samoa Joe’s release, hint at major return (18th April)
Welcome to another edition of the top RAW backstage rumors that could have a major impact on the red brand. The RAW after Wrestlemania has left a lot of questions in the minds of the fans. But it also indicated that many of the programs we saw at WrestleMania 37 will likely be continued.
Last week, it was reported that the reason behind Sheamus missing RAW was due to injury issues. RAW had a lot of last-minute changes such as the Riddle vs Bobby Lashley match because a lot of the talent was ‘banged up’ after WrestleMania 37.
So without further ado, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the biggest stories impacting Monday Night RAW:
#5 Reason why former RAW announcer Samoa Joe got released
One of the most shocking names to be featured in the list of recently released superstars was that of former RAW commentator Samoa Joe. Joe is a former US Champion in WWE and was an active part of the roster before injury issues led to him taking up announcing duties.
Fightful Select reported that Joe had been vocal about wanting to return to in-ring action. However, WWE did not clear him to wrestle and Vince McMahon was reportedly keen to keep him on as an announcer.
It was also reported by Dave Meltzer that WWE did not see much in the former RAW Superstar as an in-ring competitor and decided to let him go:
“It becomes an interesting strategy because Joe, in particular, if he is in good shape, because he’s a star to the AEW fan base and can talk, could be a valuable acquisition. But perhaps WWE believes with his age and injuries, he wouldn’t be, similar to not competing to keep Jay Reso (Christian Cage).”
The report also suggested that while Joe heading to AEW would be something fans will love, Tony Khan’s company will have to be careful not to splurge as even they have a limited budget.
#4 RAW Superstar Bobby Lashley being protected for match against Brock Lesnar
RAW Superstar Bobby Lashley defeated Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 37 in what many thought was an upset victory. Not only did The All-Mighty beat McIntyre, but he also did so in dominating fashion.
The rumors had suggested that McIntyre would be getting his crowning moment at WrestleMania 37 by becoming a 3-time WWE Champion. However, that did not happen.
PWTorch’s Wade Keller has stated that the possible reason behind McIntyre’s loss is not a sign of WWE’s lack of confidence in him but merely a way to build Lashley for a match against Brock Lesnar down the road:
”I have to think that finish was part of building Lashley for a match with Brock Lesnar more than it was any kind of no-confidence vote in McIntyre.”
#3 Chelsea Green was supposed to be RAW Superstar’s on-screen protege
Chelsea Green spoke to Fightful after her release from WWE. She talked about her call-up and what the original plan for her had been on RAW. She revealed that she was set to become Charlotte Flair’s protege:
“I was going to be partnered with her or I was going to be her protege. And then, is that the right word? protege? Yeah! And then I kind of heard rumblings of that in the weeks after that I was going to be, I don’t want to say the next Charlotte, but coming up behind her, with her as my mentor, which is amazing.”
Though Green was very happy to hear about the plans, she didn’t hear much about them afterwards. There were a lot of storyline ideas that were pitched for her but none of them saw the light of day.
#2 WWE wanted former RAW Superstar to become the next Goldberg
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has revealed that former RAW Superstar Mojo Rawley was originally set to become the next Goldberg.
Unfortunately for Rawley, his WWE career never took off and even though the company tried to push him now and then, he failed to connect with the crowd. Rawley was eventually released by the company this past week:
“He was highly touted as a future superstar when signed in 2012. The first idea I heard for him was to make him into a Bill Goldberg powerhouse. But then that idea changed, and it was constant changes and all downhill.”
#1 RAW Superstar Keith Lee return update
Former NXT Champion and RAW Superstar Keith Lee has been out of action since February 2021. The Limitless One was originally set to become the new US Champion at the Elimination Chamber PPV. However, he had to drop out of the show for unknown reasons and hasn’t been seen since.
In a new tweet by the former NXT North American Champion, the RAW Superstar has vowed to ‘fight to return’ and assured fans that he will make his return to RAW:
“I miss you guys, as well as all the others that expressed this sentiment… whether in dm’s, tweets, or comments. I miss you all. But do not fret. I will fight like no other to return…and when I do, we got a LOT of ground to cover. 💜 #Leegion”
The reason behind Lee’s prolonged absence from WWE is still unknown. We hope that he returns to RAW soon and continues his path of dominance.