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    Monday, March 23, 2020

    The Grapevine (3/23/20): TapingMania

    Welcome to the Grapevine! This section of Smark Henry is where we round up all the founded and unfounded rumors abound the pro wrestling scene that you may have missed over the week. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt!

    Here's what we know about how WrestleMania is going down:

    • WrestleMania 36 and a bunch of other shows are being taped in the WWE Performance Center this week. The tapings, which started last Saturday, will reportedly run through Thursday, consisting of RAW, SmackDown, NXT, and WrestleMania itself. It's also rumored that other WrestleMania content will be taped in other locations, but the exact places and dates aren't confirmed. (Source: PWInsider)
    We say: It's a good move to get things out of the way and have everyone rest next week. Let's hope the storylines and programming take a break after WrestleMania so that the talent get a little offseason while doing their part in flattening the curve.
    • Sasha Banks and WWE SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley were supposed to feud at WrestleMania, but plans were scrapped due to lack of time. Instead, Bayley will defend her title in a Six Pack Challenge at the taped WrestleMania against Banks, Lacey Evans, Naomi, Tamina, and Dana Brooke. This will apparently be the match kicking off their feud. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio)
    We say: Glad to see the creative team is still agile enough to know when something isn't going to work, but at the same time, it's a travesty that what should've been a high-profile feud for the show did not get attention. Even if there is a coronavirus shutdown, that's a lot of money left on the table for these two.
    • Other plans for WrestleMania have not been finalized. Many other championship matches are not finalized, and will likely be set in stone this week after the tapings. So far, only eight matches have been announced: both world championship matches, Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women's Championship, The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles, Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins, Shayna Baszler vs. Becky Lynch for the RAW Women's Championship, and Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena. There is also no final schedule for each of the show's two nights. (Source: WON)
    We say: Honestly, adding too much to this card would be overkill. That won't happen as they're sure to add the remaining angles, but right now it's perfect as it is. We might even need three nights for everything going on.
    • CM Punk has not been contacted for a WrestleMania return. This follows a reference Punk made in a tweet about someone from the company "begging" him to come back for a match; this could have been Seth Rollins, who had been publicly asking for a match recently. (Source: Wrestling Inc)
    We say: We think it's probably time to let these die, even though no one should ever say never. Punk is so far removed from in-ring competition at this point that it's a waste of energy to ever think he'd be wrestling again. Let it go.

    Let us know what you think of today's news in the comments!

    Photo from WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Grapevine (3/23/20): TapingMania Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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