WWE reportedly dropped a hint regarding Brock Lesnar’s next opponent on Friday night’s episode of SmackDown.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Michael Perry of Ringside News), Drew McIntyre using the Kimura Lock to beat Mustafa Ali on SmackDown was done for a reason.
Lesnar has occasionally used the Kimura to beat opponents in the past, and McIntyre employing the maneuver could mean a rekindling of their rivalry is in order.
McIntyre beat Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 36 last year for the WWE Championship, although it always seemed likely WWE would go back to the rivalry at some point given how everything went down.
WrestleMania 36 was staged with no fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning McIntyre didn’t get his big moment in front of the WWE Universe.
Moving McIntyre from Raw to SmackDown in the WWE Draft seemed to be a calculated move on WWE’s part, as he is unquestionably the top babyface on the brand with Universal champion Roman Reigns running things on the heel side.
Reigns beat Lesnar at Crown Jewel to retain the Universal title thanks to help from The Usos, and it seems like there is plenty of meat left on the bone when it comes to their feud as well.
Lesnar is in the midst of a storyline suspension, however, after attacking referees and WWE official Adam Pearce a couple of weeks ago.
The expectation is that Lesnar will target Reigns when he returns, but going after McIntyre instead could be a fun swerve that fans would be excited to see.
AJ Styles has been noticeably absent from Raw since he and Omos lost their Raw Tag Team Championship match against RK-Bro at Crown Jewel.
According to Meltzer (h/t Perry), the reason for Styles’ absence is that he is dealing with a “non-injury medical issue.”
Styles and Omos were supposed to challenge for the Raw tag team titles a couple of weeks ago; however, a Triple Threat tag team match between The Street Profits, The Dirty Dawgs and Alpha Academy was held instead.
The Dirty Dawgs won the match, but Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode went on to lose to Randy Orton and Riddle later in the night.
On Monday, The Dirty Dawgs beat The Street Profits with RK-Bro on commentary after Omos showed up and provided a distraction.
Omos took out The Street Profits and Riddle all by himself, but officials broke things up before he was able to get his hands on Orton.
Styles and Omos have been an effective tag team, but it is clear WWE has some major plans for Omos as a singles wrestler moving forward. There is also plenty of value in moving a multi-time world champion like Styles back into the singles ranks as well.
Whenever Styles is cleared to return, running a breakup angle and having he and Omos go their separate ways could be the best possible move for Raw in terms of maximizing star power.
WWE has not held an NXT TakeOver event since August, but the wait may soon be over.
According to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, Dec. 5 is the planned date for the next TakeOver, although it isn’t yet known if the TakeOver branding will remain in place.
NXT was rebranded as NXT 2.0 in September, and there has been a notable increase in focus on younger, less-experienced Superstars since then.
Bron Breakker, Gigi Dolan, Jacy Jayne and Carmelo Hayes are just a few of those wrestlers who have noticeably been on the rise over the past couple of months.
Veterans have remained sprinkled in as well with Tommaso Ciampa holding the NXT Championship.
Ciampa beat Breakker to retain the title on last week’s Halloween Havoc edition of NXT, which may have been a way of delaying Breakker’s title win until TakeOver in December.
The last TakeOver, which was NXT TakeOver 36, saw Samoa Joe beat Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship in the main event and played host to Adam Cole’s final WWE match before he signed with AEW.
The next TakeOver figures to have a drastically different look, but it could still prove to be a highly entertaining show, especially if it takes place at a larger venue with a big crowd in attendance.