Backstage Updates – Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar & WWE

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— As noted in the past, WWE has been planning on having Roman Reigns win the Royal Rumble match in January and go on to defeat Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 31. At this point, however, there is beginning to be some skepticism regarding whether or not Reigns is ready for that big of a push.

Despite the fact that Reigns is viewed as someone who needs to work on his promo skills, and as someone who isn’t good enough to carry lengthy main-event singles matches on big shows, WWE is in need of a new top babyface star and the belief is that spot is his regardless.

While WWE has plans on continuing Randy Orton’s babyface turn, he is not a new star. Daniel Bryan is not what WWE wants in a top babyface star, no matter how fans react to him. Additionally, there’s uncertainties with Bryan due to his neck and arm injuries.

This leaves Reigns and Dean Ambrose as the two leading candidates for the top babyface spot. Ambrose is a better in-ring performer and delivers better promos, however he fits less into WWE’s mold of what they view as a top babyface star.

While Ambrose and Reigns both do strong merchandise numbers, including Ambrose’s new hoodie being number one during Thanksgiving week, neither are doing the type of numbers that a top guy traditionally does on a consistent basis.

Despite all of this, the belief is that WWE will stick with their plans for Reigns heading into WrestleMania, as he is still considered the top choice by the top people behind-the-scenes.

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— There continues to be a lot of speculation behind-the-scenes in the pro wrestling industry that Brock Lesnar will be leaving WWE for a UFC return after his current contract with the company expires in March.

The thought process among those in the wrestling business is that UFC has the best shot of signing Lesnar, as WWE may not be in a financial position to offer him the same type of lucrative deal that they’ve had him under for the past three years.

There’s also a thought that Lesnar will simply use leverage from UFC and Bellator interest to drive up his price with WWE.

It’s worth noting that when Lesnar appeared on WWE RAW this past Monday night, he seemed to be considerably smaller than when he was last seen in August and September. If he is planning on a return to MMA, he would need to slim down, as the Heavyweight limit is 265 pounds, and he has been walking around at a much higher weight for the past few years.

If Lesnar does return to MMA, he would be nearly 38 years old and will have been away from the sport for four years. The general belief is that if he ever plans on returning to the fighting world, it would have to be after his current WWE deal expires, because if he re-signs with them, his window of opportunity for an MMA return is pretty much closed.

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