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ROMAN REIGNS, WRESTLEMANIA, DEAN'S TURN, WHO WAS & WASN'T BACKSTAGE AT TV THIS WEEK AND MORE NEWS

By Mike Johnson on 2018-10-24 09:27:00

We have gotten a number of emails about the Roman Reigns announcement that he is battling leukemia and when people within the company knew.  I have been avoiding writing about this because I feel like its ghoulish to even discuss this, but we keep getting emails, so to address it once and for all, 99% of those in the company had no idea what Roman was going to announce before he walked out on Raw.   As far as those who knew before the announcement Monday,  we are told that only the most upper-tier members of WWE management (that's how it was described to me, so it probably means talent relations and the McMahon family's inner circle) and those who are part of Reigns' family knew that he was ill.  The announcers were not clued in before the announcement.  My gut feeling on why it was kept quiet from everyone was that WWE, out of respect for Roman and everything that he's done for the company, wanted to allow Reigns to be able to tell everyone himself however he wanted.  We wish Roman and the entire Anoa'i family the best.

With Roman Reigns' health issues, all early plans for Wrestlemania 35's main event picture are now out the window we are told.

Vince McMahon was not at the TV tapings this week.

The Dean Ambrose turn on Raw was something that was planned for the future, so the company decided to pull the trigger and go for it.  It was not a creative plan made at the last second because of the Reigns situation.  The turn was coming, but it was moved up.  

The Elias turn was something the company saw as likely down the line.  I get the impression that turn taking place on Raw, however, was indeed a ripple effect of the Roman situation.

Paige was backstage at Smackdown last night but not used for an on camera role as Shane McMahon was there.  Shane is scheduled to be back on TV on a pretty regular basis going forward, we are told.  The company loves Paige in her role as GM.

Alexa Bliss was held off TV this week as the belief is she suffered either a concussion or a broken nose (we have heard both stories) over the weekend in Hartford, CT and the company wanted to make sure she was OK for this Sunday's Evolution PPV.  We have not heard anything regarding whether she has been cleared or not for that show.  

ROH's Cary Silkin was visiting at the Smackdown taping.

There are plans for Trish Stratus and Lita to return after this weekend's Evolution PPV, at least for major events like The Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, currently.

When Madusa wrestles in the Battle Royal this weekend, it will be her first match since 2000 in WCW.

The Bellas will be doing a lot of promotional work to push Evolution in the NYC area this week, including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

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