Original Plans for Dean Ambrose & WWE PPVs, Gauntlet Match News
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Dean Amrbose was enjoying a nice run with the Raw Tag Team Championships while also being reunited with his Shield partners, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Unfortunately, Ambrose suffered an injury a few months ago that will continue to keep him out of action for several more months and also cause him to miss WrestleMania. The timing of the injury could not have been any worse because it sounds like WWE had huge plans for "The Lunatic Fringe." According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, plans originally called for Dean Ambrose to turn heel after WrestleMania and then challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. As a result, it looks like Seth Rollins will challenge Reigns for the title instead as long as Reigns defeats Brock Lesnar to win the title at WrestleMania.
WWE recently made the announcement that all of their pay-per-views will no longer be brand-exclusive after WrestleMania this year. This means that the upcoming Fastlane show in March (which is exclusive to Smackdown) will be the final brand-exclusive pay-per-view for the company. In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was reported that WWE was hoping to produce 20 different pay-per-views each year in order to provide more content on the WWE Network. After realizing that the number of pay-per-views did not improve subscription numbers very much, the company decided to reduce the number of shows. WWE recently decided that they will be going back to their previous 12 pay-per-views per year model.
Monday Night Raw took a bit of a departure from its usual format this week by featuring a 7-man gauntlet match that ran for over half of the show. In addition to setting a record as one of the longest matches ever, the rating for the show and reaction from the fans has been mostly positive thus far. So who was it behind the scenes who decided to make this drastic change from the usual Raw format? According to PWinsider, it was none other that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon himself who decided to feature the match from this past Monday night. The suggestion from McMahon apparently came "out of nowhere" since he is usually opposed to featuring such matches on his shows.