Proof of John Cena’s newly “reduced” schedule seems to have surfaced, with reports saying that he is going to miss the newly announced PPV “Backlash”, which takes place on September 11th in Richmond, Virginia. However, this may be due to the fact that he is being advertised for WWE’s upcoming event in Shanghai, China – the day before the PPV. This is interesting, seeing as they are trying to build John Cena as one of the main eventers in SmackDown Live; yet he is missing their first branded PPV.
Brock Lesnar is reportedly not going to face any repercussions for his drug test failures at UFC 200. After Randy Orton’s jibe at Brock’s latest controversy, saying that he can end him with one RKO with “no enhancement needed”, everyone is now aware that the WWE are acknowledging the fact that there was a drug test failure. However, he will wrestle at SummerSlam as planned – as a spokesperson has said that Brock Lesnar is exempt from the wellness policy, as it only applies to full-time talents.
News has been confirmed that Cody Rhodes will be appearing at Ring of Honor’s “Final Battle” PPV. It has not been revealed who he will yet face, but the PPV will be held in the Manhattan Centre in December this year. This may squash some early speculation that Cody’s departure from WWE could have been planned, as one of the places he was expected not to be able to work, should he still technically be under contract with WWE, was Ring of Honor.
Shelton Benjamin will be returning to SmackDown. The former IC Title holder and Team Angle member was first signed to WWE’s developmental territory in 2000, when he was called up to join Team Angle in 2003. Since his departure from the WWE, Benjamin has worked for a number of independent promotions, as well as Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he has held the tag team titles twice with Haas. Shelton’s name has appeared alongside other talents who are due to make a return to help bolster the SmackDown Live roster – among these names are Brian Myers and Rhyno. The information was confirmed during SmackDown Live yesterday, but it is not clear exactly when he’ll appear.