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    Friday, June 4, 2021

    The Grapevine (6/4/21): More WWE Releases Expected, Brock Lesnar Return Being Hinted, Braun Strowman Note, WWE Experimenting With Making Rings Safer

    Braun Strowman

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

    More releases to be expected from WWE

    WWE is apparently not done releasing employees. There is no word yet on where these releases will be coming from and which rosters or departments will be affected, but as seen from the recent releases which include stars such as Braun Strowman and Aleister Black, they could come from anywhere. NXT UK has been rumored to be targeted for cost-cutting releases as well, but has not occurred yet. (Source: Mat Men Podcast c/o WrestlingNews.co)

    We say: While it doesn't appear Vince McMahon will be selling the company, it is interested in getting its house in order. Let's hope they can concentrate on the creative side, and not just on the financial side.

    WWE hinting at Brock Lesnar return

    Brock Lesnar may be returning to the company sooner or later. His name was mentioned on this week's episode of RAW by Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, and it's being said that the company will usually not mention someone they have no business with. The speculation is that Lesnar will be returning to feud with McIntyre or Lashley, who has been pushing for a match with him since his return to WWE. (Source: Wrestling Observer Live)

    We say: Still speculation at this point, but with live crowds returning next month, it lines up with the previous news of WWE not wanting to use Lesnar in empty arenas.

    Omos's rise played a part in Braun Strowman's release

    In related news, Braun Strowman was apparently released partly due to Omos's call-up to the RAW brand last year. It's already been noted that Strowman's sizable contract was a big part in his surprising release, but Omos being nine inches taller than Strowman and Strowman being considered "two years past his peak" also had something to do with it. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio c/o WrestlingNews.co)

    We say: This part sounds like pure speculation until someone like Bruce Prichard could confirm it on his podcast. It does make sense, though, and we'd have to admit that it was a good cut for WWE as Strowman was really losing momentum with the fans for a while now.

    WWE modifying rings to be safer on the body

    WWE is apparently making modifications to their rings to make it safer for the body. The big change, which is being tested in NXT, is the wood underneath the cushioning and canvas has been replaced with a plastic-like material that is reportedly better at absorbing bumps. There's no timetable yet on when it will be used on main roster shows. (Source: Ringside News)

    We say: If this is true, then it's really great. With their resources and technological advancements on the production side, we can't believe it took decades before WWE thought of making the ring safer. Let's hope it really does reduce injury.

    Photo from WWE

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    Item Reviewed: The Grapevine (6/4/21): More WWE Releases Expected, Brock Lesnar Return Being Hinted, Braun Strowman Note, WWE Experimenting With Making Rings Safer Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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