2022 WWE Draft Date Rumors; Big E Injury Update, New WWE Video Game in Development
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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
WWE Draft Reportedly Scheduled for August or September
WWE reportedly has plans in place for the 2022 WWE draft to take place during the late summer months.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc’s Marc Middleton), there has been talk of holding the draft in August during the aftermath of SummerSlam on July 30.
The August date may not be set in stone, though, as H Jenkins of Ringside News reported that there is a plan to hold the draft in September.
On Sept. 3, WWE is holding a stadium show called Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales, so holding the draft in September would likely make that pay-per-view the final big event with the current Raw and SmackDown rosters.
The 2021 WWE draft was held in October, so whether WWE does the 2022 draft in August or September, it will have waited about a year in between drafts.
In recent months, there has been some speculation regarding whether WWE intends to continue the brand split moving forward.
The biggest reason for the confusion is the fact that Roman Reigns beat Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 38 to retain the Universal Championship and win the WWE Championship, giving WWE one undisputed world champion.
Not having separate world titles was viewed as a sign that WWE could be looking to make a change, but WWE hasn’t given any clear indication that the brand split is in jeopardy of ending.
If a 2022 WWE draft is held, it would likely signal that WWE is committed to the brand split moving forward.
Big E Provides Neck Injury Update
Former WWE champion Big E gave an update on his health Friday after suffering a broken neck in March.
Big E took to Twitter to say that while his C1 vertebra is not healing as quickly as desired, he remains hopeful he will be able to avoid fusion surgery:
During a match pitting Big E and Kofi Kingston against Sheamus and Ridge Holland on the March 11 episode of SmackDown, Big E took an overhead belly-to-belly suplex from Holland outside the ring on the floor.
Big E never got fully rotated and landed on his head, causing the neck injury. Big E was stretchered away during a scary scene.
At the time, Big E provided some positive updates, noting that he could move his extremities and wasn’t expected to need surgery despite fracturing his C1 and C6 vertebrae:
Big E has since received an outpouring of support from those in the wrestling business, as well as fans across the world.
All signs had been pointing toward a complete New Day reunion for a match against Sheamus, Holland and Butch at WrestleMania 38, but with Big E out, it was just Kofi and Xavier Woods against Sheamus and Holland instead.
No timetable has been provided for Big E’s potential return to the ring, but there is no doubt that he will have a ton of people on his side if and when he makes a comeback.
WWE Working on RPG Video Game
WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon announced Thursday that WWE is developing a new role-playing video game.
According to Bhupen Dange of ThirstyForNews.com, the announcement was made as part of WWE’s first-quarter earnings call for 2022.
Over the past several years, WWE has primarily been focused on the WWE 2K series in the video game space, which aims to be as true to life as possible.
There was no WWE 2K21 because of significant bug issues with WWE 2K20, but the return of the franchise with WWE 2K22 has largely received positive reviews.
An RPG would be well outside WWE’s usual wheelhouse, but it could go a long way toward drawing an even bigger audience toward WWE’s video game offerings, especially due to the popularity of RPG franchises like Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft and others.
Role-playing games allow the players to make choices that impact the path of the game, giving an even greater feeling of influence and control than what is found in a typical video game.
McMahon provided no additional information regarding the WWE RPG game in terms of when it will be released or whether it will be available on consoles.
Regardless, the mere mention of a WWE RPG game is an exciting prospect for wrestling fans and gamers alike.
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