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Bleacher Report - The open source sports network

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    In the aftermath of the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view, Monday's WWE Raw moved forward on two key stories.

    A mystery marched closer to its conclusion. And the events of the night advanced the process to name Brock Lesnar's SummerSlam opponent.

    Raw general manager Kurt Angle's scandal is set to come to light. Whatever he and announcer Corey Graves have been whispering about will soon be public. Angle promised a resolution next week.

    As for who will face The Beast Incarnate, Samoa Joe has a shot as does Roman Reigns. A wounded monster may make his mark on that situation as well.

    The latest Raw also stirred up questions about what Seth Rollins will be up to in the coming weeks and The Hardy Boyz are due for a transformation. The following is a look at all those questions after the red brand's trip to Houston.

        

    What Is Angle's Secret?

    The mystery is finally going to be solved.

    For weeks, Angle has received text messages that have caused him to panic. He and Graves are the only folks who know what those are all about. That will change come next Monday.

    Angle said he would reveal what's going on during the next Raw.

    What will he tell the world? Will all this mystery lead to a climax worth the wait?

    A number of clues emerged on the latest Raw. Angle mentioned on Monday that his career can be destroyed because of this situation. He spoke to someone over the phone and told them he was proud of him.  

    Jason Solomon of PWMania has an interesting theory as to what Angle will say:

    That's one of just a few options that make sense. He could also possibly open up about a secret relationship with Stephanie McMahon and dig up old wounds with Triple H.

    WWE doesn't have a great history of these kinds of moments feeling climactic or logical, so whatever happens, fans should keep their expectations low.

        

    Are The Hardy Boyz About to Become "Broken?"

    More and more, it looks like Matt and Jeff Hardy are on the verge of reverting to the "broken" versions of themselves they played on Impact Wrestling.

    Their recent losses could be a catalyst for the change. After coming up short in the Iron Man match at Great Balls of Fire, the brothers fell to Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson on Monday night.

    Before that, their declaration that they aren't going away saw them show flashes of their old characters. Words like "obsolete" and "proclamation" are pulled directly from their broken lexicon.

    It's not clear where things stand with The Hardys' legal battle, but WWE has to feel confident a resolution is coming if it's teasing fans like this.

        

    What's Ahead for Rollins? 

    Rollins looks to be stepping into two stories at once.

    He is still battling Wyatt, looking to prove the cult leader to be a fraud. And after Monday night, he's got issues with The Miz, too.

    The Miz insulted The Kingslayer on the latest Raw, and Rollins soon came in to fight him and Miztourage off. Rollins made sure to make it clear that he didn't enter that fray to help Dean Ambrose but to silence The Miz instead.

    Ambrose said he doesn't yet trust Rollins after The Shield's famous breakup in 2014.

    Still, one has to wonder if there is something brewing here. Prowrestling.net columnist Jason Powell begged the question:"So we're a step closer to The Shield vs. The Miz and his Miztourage?"

    That seems like quite the waste of the return of The Shield, though.

    The safer bet is that Rollins will eventually slide into the Intercontinental Championship picture. The question then becomes: Will he take Wyatt with him? And will that push Ambrose out of the title scene?

    Whatever WWE has planned, it has to lead to Ambrose and The Miz ending their feud in a hurry. That narrative has more than worn out its welcome.

    It wouldn't be a bad idea to go with Rollins vs. The Miz, too, considering how lackluster Rollins vs. Wyatt has been.

        

    Who Will Face Lesnar at SummerSlam?

    Weeks ago, Reigns said he would face the winner of Joe vs. Lesnar at the SummerSlam for the Universal Championship. Turns out, things won't be as simple as that.

    Joe dominated Lesnar for much of their bout at Great Balls of Fire. He feels he deserves another crack.

    Braun Strowman defeated Reigns in an Ambulance match at the PPV, giving him a right to demand the No. 1 contender's spot.

    On Monday, both Reigns and Joe stated their cases. Strowman was held up somewhere recovering from Reigns' savage post-match beatdown.

    Angle decided to clear things by having Reigns and Joe battle next week for the right to face Lesnar at SummerSlam.

    Is this how Reigns carves a path to The Beast Incarnate? Have Joe's tremendous showings of late earned him a rematch, one he'll secure next Monday? And what of Strowman?

    It's easy to imagine this becoming a Triple Threat or Fatal 4-Way match to involve all these hosses.

    WWE has quite the enviable position here. It has a number of money matches to choose from. Or it could simply cram all the options together for a single four-way explosion.

    Read more Kurt Angle news on BleacherReport.com


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    Kurt Angle's return to WWE is about to step up a notch next week.

    Fans remain hopeful that the Hall of Famer is set for an in-ring return at some point, and what happens on next Monday's edition of Raw could confirm whether that is set to be the case.

    Angle has been part of a mysterious storyline with Corey Graves for a number of weeks now, and in the closing stages of this week's Raw, he revealed that he would tell the world the apparent secret he has been trying to hide for some time.

    Furthermore, Angle telling the mystery caller on the phone that he loved them set tongues wagging about who his love interest could be.

    From familiar faces of the past to new arrivals in WWE, here's a look at some options for the identity of the mystery person.

    Begin Slideshow


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    Controversy ran wild this past week. Usually, summer storylines in pro wrestling are only wild on camera, but this week offered plenty of drama outside the ring.

     

    Alberto Del Rio and Paige Continue Hall of Fame Careers in Controversy 

    While their wrestling careers are destined to be studies in underachievement, Alberto El Patron and Paige continue to kill it in scandals outside of the ring. In the latest bit of drama from the radioactive couple, El Patron was detained at Orlando International Airport after an alleged domestic dispute stemming from an argument with Paige, who is still under contract with WWE.

    A witness told TMZ the two were embroiled in a heated argument, which reportedly included competing allegations of cocaine use per Chris Bucher of Heavy.com.

    In light of yet another scandal featuring El Patron, it's unfathomable how this man continues to receive elusive opportunities with pro wrestling companies. At 40 years of age, El Patron has proven to be fool's gold during two different stints with WWE where he quickly flamed out. Each WWE stint ended with an ugly divorce—he still rips his former employer every chance he gets as reported by Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc—and he was a proven public relations disaster well before his latest incident.

    GFW recently rebranded in order to distance itself from the negative image associated with TNA/Impact Wrestling, and this is the guy they made world champion. This is where I'm supposed to say "new ownership, same ineptitude," but Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantel were part of a previous regime with this company, so it's just same ownership, new ineptitude.

    However, they may have turned over a new leaf after suspending El Patron following the airport dispute, per TMZ

     

    Mae Young Classic Kicks Off

    The Mae Young Classic is underway as WWE looks to knock it out of the park with a summer tournament for the second-straight year after the Cruiserweight Classic. As was revealed on The Ross Report (h/t Wrestling Inc), WWE Hall of FamerMadusa (aka AlundraBlayze) is set to join Jim Ross and Lita at the announce desk.

    Celebrity pop-ins include Bayley and one Ronda Rousey, per Triple H's twitter (h/t Wrestling Inc), who was there to support fellow MMA fighter Shayna Baszler as she competed in a first-round match.

    Also of note: The debut of Candice LeRae, wife of NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano, per PWInsider (h/t Wrestling Inc).

    Expectations are decidedly high for this showcase given the success of the women's division in NXT, in addition to the quality of previous tournaments like the CWC and the hotly contested bracket for the UK Championship earlier this year.

     

    Roman Reigns Turns Heel...Then Babyface, Again

    WWE fans and media quickly shifted into "pro wrestling is real and I'm a lawyer" mode as they threw around terms like "vehicular manslaughter" to decide Roman Reigns' actions at Great Balls of Fire.

    To be honest, it was quite puzzling for Reigns, who is typically booked as a babyface, to go as far as to commandeer an ambulance with Strowman inside of it, crash the vehicle and flee the scene of a crime. Many felt this was the beginning of a rare double-turn as Strowman walked off on his own power.

    Reigns returned the following night and all but brushed off his actions as a tribute to the Attitude Era. He wasn't even punished by Kurt Angle, who likely has enough on his mind (see below). This incident was further proof of something Tripe H has said from the start: Roman Reigns doesn't need to turn heel because he is the biggest heel and babyface in the promotion in his current incarnation.  

     

    Austin Aries: The Greatest Man Ever Released? 

    Austin Aries was released from his WWE contract last week per WWE.com, shaking up the entire WWE Universe. Aries was a top star in the floundering cruiserweight division but was reportedly unhappy with his spot and his bad attitude backstage allegedly led to some tension per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc).

    Aries spent his final months with the promotion losing multiple matches to Neville, failing to capture the Cruiserweight Championship.

    Aries now stands to return to the indies where he will figure to be a hot commodity after benefiting from national exposure on the WWE stage. Being outspoken backstage in WWE seems to be a matter of size and hierarchy. Sometimes speaking up is seen as a sign of strength and passion. Other times, it results in a trip to the WWE dog house and being released.

     

    Kurt's Angle to be Solved on Raw 

    This coming Monday, Kurt Angle is set to reveal a scandal that threatens to split up his family, so let's all hope this is the one controversy that doesn't involve Paige or Alberto El Patron.

    After telling a mystery person "I love you" as Raw went off the air, wrestling fans immediately began to speculate who this individual was. Former TNA President Dixie Carter and Stephanie McMahon quickly rose to the top of the list as potential suitors.

    Corey Graves is a key part of this mystery storyline involving a series of texts, so I'm going to go out on a limb to guess that Angle's secret lover very well may be Graves himself.

     

    AJ Styles Shocks Madison Square Garden, Wins United States Championship

    AJ Styles won the United States Championship last week in a rare title change at a house show. This event occurred in Madison Square Garden, which is no stranger to iconic WWE moments and even major house show title changes, as was the case when Diesel defeated Bob Backlund in 1995.

    WWE should look into doing more title switches at live events, as it would add incentive to attend when there is an "anything can happen" feel to them. Next time WWE wants to do a big angle or title switch, doing so anywhere other than one of the most famous arenas in the country would be even more spontaneous.

    Why can't Brock Lesnar drop the Universal Championship to Samoa Joe one night in Topeka, Kansas? 

     

    Alfred Konuwa is a Featured Columnist and on-air host for Bleacher Report and ForbesLike him on Facebook.

    Read more Kurt Angle news on BleacherReport.com


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    The wait for answers will end on Monday's WWE Raw.

    The latest episode will see Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns face off to decide who faces Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. And the ongoing mystery surrounding Raw general manager Kurt Angle will come to a close. 

    The red brand is set to visit Nashville's Bridgestone Arena as the build toward the Aug. 20 SummerSlam pay-per-view.

    Monday's show should provide some clarity on the intercontinental, tag team and Raw women's title scenes. Contenders will continue to move into position.

    But while there is no promise of resolution with those stories, Raw is promising to clear up two major issues. Lesnar's next challenger will emerge from Raw. And fans will finally find out what's been going on with Angle and his secret text messages.

    Backstage news, storyline analysis and the Raw preview on WWE.com provide a peek at what's ahead. Read on for a look at the show before Raw kicks off on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.

            

    News, Potential Spoilers

    Fans hoping for a Joe vs. Lesnar rematch may be disappointed on Monday night.

    It appears the WWE has a different bout in mind. Dave Meltzer mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Nick Paglino of Wrestle Zone) that Reigns vs. Lesnar is the plan for SummerSlam.

    And it's unclear when fans should expect The Hardy Boyz to revert to the "broken" characters they played while working for the promotion now known as Global Force Wrestling.

    The battle between the brothers and the company over the rights to that concept continues. Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustratedprovided an update on the situation.

    "It was nearly settled within the past month, according to sources close to the negotiation," Barrasso wrote. Anthem, though, apparently wanted a big chunk of merchandise revenue. 

    Considering how much Matt and Jeff Hardy have been dropping lingo associated with their "broken" selves into their recent promos, The Hardys appear to be confident they will come out on top eventually.

    John Cena could show up in Nashville to join The Hardys, Reigns and the rest of the red brand's roster as a surprise guest. The former world champ is a free agent, as his recent schedule reminded us. 

    As noted on PWInsider.com, Cena worked a Raw house show on Sunday in Lexington, Kentucky.

             

    Raw Streaks

    Sasha Banks continues to look very much like a contender.

    Banks and Bayley teamed up on the latest Raw to take down Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax. Per CageMatch.net, that marked her fourth straight win overall. And The Boss hasn't lost since dropping a bout on Raw to Alicia Fox in May.

    Another date with Raw women's champ Bliss is likely on the horizon.

    Noam Dar, meanwhile, is as far away from tasting gold as one can get. His slump rolled on last week.

    Dar was on the losing team in a tag bout on last Monday's Raw and fell to Cedric Alexander on 205 Live the next night. That brought him to six consecutive losses overall, per CageMatch.net. Dar has also lost all 14 of his matches on Raw.

    In the cruiserweight division's food chain, Neville remains the apex predator, and Dar resides on the very bottom.

              

    Marching Toward SummerSlam

    Dean Ambrose is set to kick off Monday's Raw, per the show's preview on WWE.com.

    He will have plenty on his mind, as his feud with The Miz grew more complicated last week. The intercontinental champ's insults drew out Seth Rollins and The Kingslayer fought The Miz's minions off Ambrose. Rollins, though, was clear that he wasn't out there to aid his former stablemate.

    Will we see teases of a reunion of The Shield? Will Rollins slide his way into the IC title picture alongside The Lunatic Fringe? 

    Ambrose's opening interview should start the process of answering those questions. 

    The Revival will have some answering to do itself. The team of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder took advantage of the beat-up Hardy Boyz last Monday and attacked them after their match.

    The Hardys are sure to respond in some fashion in Nashville, likely moving forward with the former champs' next feud. 

    While it seemed certain Bayley was spiraling well outside the Raw women's title picture, a win in a tag team bout last Monday may have her back in the mix. The Raw preview on WWE.com teased that possibility when it asked: "Is the beloved Superstar inching toward a championship opportunity after pinning the titleholder?"

    More and more, it's looking like Bliss is in line to face multiple challengers at SummerSlam.

    Her issues with Banks remain unresolved. The WWE is teasing that Bayley isn't done chasing gold. And Jax has a tenuous alliance with Bliss that feels ready to implode at any minute.

    Monday's Raw also promises to venture into soap opera territory with the Raw GM at the center.

    For weeks, Angle has been receiving text messages that have left him unsettled. He and announcer Corey Graves have discussed how to deal with this secret situation. Last Monday, Angle invited the sender of those texts to come to Raw so they could come clean about whatever's been going on.

    The WWE.com preview stated: "The Raw GM will make the revelation alongside a loved one, whose identity has yet to be disclosed."

    Anything from a scandalous love affair to an illegitimate child could be in play here.

    Things are sure to get more serious when Joe and Reigns collide in their Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's match. The Destroyer nearly toppled Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire last Sunday. Reigns nearly murdered Braun Strowman on PPV when he crashed an ambulance into a truck.

    Now those two Samoan badasses want a crack at Lesnar and need only one victory to get it.

    The No. 1 contender will be decided in what should be quite the physical bout. Unless, of course, Strowman shows up with bad intentions and creates some chaos along the way.

    Read more Kurt Angle news on BleacherReport.com


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    Raw general manager Kurt Angle finally revealed on Monday night the secret he had been keeping for weeks, announcing Jason Jordan is his son. 

    WWE showed father and son embracing on Raw:

    Jordan celebrated the news on Twitter:

    Jordan's tag team partner Chad Gable was as surprised as anybody:

    Last week, Angle teased that Monday's announcement had the potential to cost him his family and his career, and at the end of Raw, he told an unidentified caller that he loved them.

    Many had speculated Angle was in a relationship with Raw commissioner Stephanie McMahon. The two had previous history, and a storyline affair with McMahon was the kind of reveal that would carry significant ramifications for Angle.

    Instead, the secret was much more benign. 

    As Bleacher Report's Mike Chiari argued, moving Jordan to Raw and announcing him to be Angle's son brings an abrupt end to American Alpha:

    At this point, American Alpha may have been in an irredeemable state of mediocrity. Since making the jump from NXT, Jordan and Gable had a forgettable run as the SmackDown Live tag team champions and did little else. Rather than making them a new version of the Steiner Brothers, WWE allowed American Alpha to fade into obscurity.

    Jordan will at least have a new direction, while Gable can go his own way on SmackDown as well.

    It will be interesting to see how much Angle will use his position to elevate Jordan on Raw. Jordan has the in-ring ability and charisma to be a star in WWE. Becoming an entitled heel who can do whatever he wants without consequence because his dad is the GM would be a great way to lift his profile in the eyes of the WWE universe.

    Read more Kurt Angle news on BleacherReport.com


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    On Monday's episode of Raw, general manager Kurt Angle revealed the secret the company has been teasing for weeks when he announced Jason Jordan was actually his love child from a previous relationship.

    While the reaction from the WWE Universe to this storyline has been mixed, there is no questioning the raw talent Jordan possesses and the lessons a legend like Angle can provide him in and out of the ring over the coming months.

    Moving forward, Jordan should be at Angle's side all the time. Every time Angle is making decisions behind the scenes as the GM of Raw, Jordan should be looking over his shoulder.

    When Jordan hits the ring for his matches, Angle should also be at ringside providing moral support as a father trying to make up for lost time. Angle would be trying to be a good dad to a son he never knew he had, but it should become a conflict of interest.

    Other wrestlers watching the GM constantly pulling for Jordan would start to get jealous of his opportunities and success, and they would start to complain and use his newfound relationship against him.

    The problem would become even worse when Jordan eventually starts taking advantage of the situation by cheating to win and not taking his job as seriously as he should. By leaning on Angle to give him elite matchups, cover for his mistakes and do the hard work for him, the rift between Angle and Jordan could begin.

    After weeks of Angle dealing with the backlash from other WWE Superstars and being used by Jordan, the former American Alpha member should reveal that he made up the whole story about Kurt being his father as a way to ensure his spot as one of the top stars on Raw.

    In addition to tearing Angle's heart out by announcing that the fatherhood story was all a big lie, Jordan can also reveal that the mastermind behind the whole deception was Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, who were both dead set on driving Angle out of the GM spot.

    As a result of the long-term storyline, Angle would first square off against Jordan in a marquee matchup. Win or lose, Jordan stepping into the ring with Angle would be a major accomplishment for the up-and-coming Superstar.

    After dispatching Jordan, Angle could then shift his attention to WrestleMania and the bigger problem, Triple H.

    While there are certainly better storylines for Angle other than announcing Jordan as a love child, this is an interesting program from WWE Creative, and it has the potential to be something memorable for wrestling fans.

         

    For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).

    Read more Kurt Angle news on BleacherReport.com


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    A shocker was the talk of Monday's WWE Raw.

    A long-running mystery arrived at its soap-opera-esque conclusion when Raw general manager Kurt Angle announced Jason Jordan is his illegitimate son. The reveal will change the rising star's career forever. And Raw suddenly has quite the story to play with.

    Elsewhere on the show, a number of rivalries moved forward as SummerSlam draws nearer.

    Big Cass beat down a defiant Enzo Amore. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins continued to tease revisiting their partnership.

    And in the night's main event, Braun Strowman bulldozed his way into the contest that was supposed to determine who will face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam.

    Which of these moments clicked? What storylines didn't make much progress?

    Read on for a breakdown of the latest Raw, from Ambrose wielding a steel chair to The Monster Among Men clobbering Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns.

    Begin Slideshow


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    Just 24 hours after one of the bright athletic stars in WWE was revealed to be the storyline illegitimate son of Kurt Angle, it was a future Hall of Famer and all-time great who stole headlines and dominated the rumor mill.

    Rey Mysterio, a two-time world champion who was one of the dominant forces in WWE during the 2000s, is eyeing a potential return to WWE. Currently negotiating with the company as well as another prominent promotion, he could be on his way back to performing for a worldwide audience.

    Jason Jordan, the aforementioned young star suddenly in the midst of the highest-profile storyline he has ever appeared in, was also the subject of rumors as details on his program with the Raw general manager leaked online.

    The recently taped Mae Young Classic women's tournament rounds out this week's rumors with a bit of infuriating speculation.

    Begin Slideshow


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    Crystalizing SummerSlam plans and a storyline straight out of a soap opera left fans curious after the latest WWE Raw.

    Kurt Angle revealed that former NXT champ Jason Jordan is his illegitimate son. That announcement cleared up a mystery that has slowly unfolded on Raw for weeks, but now new questions emerge. 

    Will this be a major boost for Jordan's career? Will WWE's dive into the melodramatic work here?

    Elsewhere on Monday's show, Nia Jax's place in the Raw Women's Championship hierarchy is yet to be determined. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose continue to tease a reconciliation. And a match that was supposed to decide Brock Lesnar's SummerSlam opponent ended in chaos.

    What's next for these narratives? Read on for a look at the biggest unknowns lingering after the red brand's trip to Nashville.  

          

    How Does Jax Fit Into Women's Title Picture? 

    Bayley pinned Raw women's champ Alexa Bliss for the second week in a row. Her buddy Sasha Banks helped keep Jax away to clear the path for that result.

    After the bout, Bayley asked Raw general manager Angle for a title shot against Bliss. Banks wanted a crack at the champ, too. Angle obliged, setting up a No. 1 Contender's match for next Monday.

    What of Jax, though?

    She's been lingering around the title scene for months. Her alliance with Bliss is based on the promise of a shot at the championship. And WWE has booked her to be a dominant force.

    Could WWE be heading toward a Fatal 4-Way match to include Jax? The Universal Championship bout already heading in that direction makes that less likely.

    Chances are, Jax will be a bodyguard and ally for the moment and have to wait in line for her turn at Bliss.

           

    Is a Shield Reunion in the Works?

    For the second consecutive week, Ambrose and Rollins fought on the same side.

    Their alliance remains a tenuous one, though. The Lunatic Fringe is having issues trusting the man who broke up The Shield. Even so, the two men paired up to fight off The Miz and his Miztourage.

    Ambrose and Rollins' interaction to kick off Raw teased the possibility of them getting back together. As Wrestling Inc noted, the opening segment was a means to test the crowd's response to The Shield possibly reuniting:

    We will see those two as partners for at least one more bout. Angle announced that The Kingslayer and Ambrose will battle The Miz, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel next week.

    Is this the start of The Shield 2.0? Will they try to recapture the magic the faction had until its implosion in 2014?

    The odd man out is Roman Reigns, however.

    WWE has insisted on pushing him as a headliner and its new top babyface. He is chasing the Universal Championship and has been in WrestleMania's main event three times running. He's a solo act WWE has invested heavily in.

    Reigns may be too busy with his own tales to start banging heads alongside Rollins and Ambrose again.

         

    Is a Fatal 4-Way Match Inevitable?

    Reigns and Samoa Joe bashed each other in Raw's main event in the hopes of naming a No. 1 contender for the Universal Championship. Braun Strowman stormed in and made sure that didn't happen.

    There was no winner on Monday night. Unless you count Strowman, the man who battered both Joe and Reigns until they were motionless on the mat.

    That no-contest and Strowman's involvement points to all three men eventually challenging Lesnar at SummerSlam on August 20.

    Strowman has a case that he should be Lesnar's foe as he beat Reigns at Great Balls of Fire. Reigns has long demanded that opportunity, though, and retiring Undertaker should afford him something big. As for Joe, he nearly had Lesnar beat in their first clash. 

    It's easy to see all this leading to Joe, Reigns and Strowman all colliding with Lesnar.

    The merging of their narratives points to this. As does the fact that going this route would allow WWE to save Reigns vs. Lesnar II for WrestleMania.

            

    How will Jordan-Angle Story Play Out?

    We finally know what Angle's mysterious text messages were all about. He told the world on Monday that Jordan is his son.

    The storyline isn't everyone's favorite flavor of ice cream, so to speak, but that won't matter soon.

    WWE is moving along with Jordan as a solo act. And he'll have Angle as a kayfabe father moving forward. 

    Will this be his ticket to success? Will the wackiness of how this came about hurt Jordan's potential?

    ProWrestling.net columnist Will Pruett is among those high on the possibilities for this storyline:

    Jordan will get a number of opportunities to make this work. As much as WWE built this up, it will hesitate to junk the story too soon.

    The move to Raw alone will give Jordan at the very least a short-term spark.

    WWE also wisely left the door wide-open for an American Alpha reunion. Former tag team partner Chad Gable explained on SmackDown that they aren't as much broken up as they are looking for new opportunities on their own. 

    Read more Kurt Angle news on BleacherReport.com


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    Thanks to a change of brands and a father-son reunion, American Alpha is no more. Jason Jordan is set to go it alone on WWE Raw; Chad Gable is now a solo act on SmackDown.

    Monday's Raw saw the brand's manager Kurt Angle reveal that Jordan is actually his long-lost son. 

    With that came the (perhaps temporary) split of the former SmackDown tag team champs, a move to Raw for Jordan and a chance for each member of American Alpha to prove themselves as individual stars. But is Jordan or Gable the safer bet to tear it up on their own?

    Jordan has the advantage from a physical standpoint, but Gable has the edge performance-wise.

    Looking at their physical gifts, charisma, ring work and mic skills, we determine which half of American Alpha will be most successful.

     

    The Case for Jordan

    Jordan is bigger than Gable, a good seven inches taller and about 40 pounds heavier to be exact. 

    He's a well-built, good looking guy. He has a magazine-cover smile and has more of a prototypical WWE frame than his old partner.

    In the ring, he's strong and quick. He's been a part of some great matches alongside Gable. And when he starts firing off suplexes, he can get the crowd going in a big way.

    Few stars are as fun to watch when charging in after a hot tag.

    He emotes well, too. When American Alpha won the NXT Tag Team Championship, he was believably overcome with joy. His emotion shines through on his face.

    Jordan has the advantage of being hailed as Angle's son. Being associated with a star of that caliber has to give him a boost.

    After the Raw GM told the world his secret, it was far easier to imagine Jordan climbing up the ladder. Pairing him with Angle in this melodramatic story is a sign of how much the company thinks of him. It's reminiscent of WCW billing Big Show as Andre the Giant's son.

    ProWrestling.net columnist Will Pruett was among those left feeling optimistic after the reveal:

    Steve Austin sees good things ahead for Angle's storyline son, too. On The Steve Austin Show, Stone Cold said of Jordan(link contains NSFW language): "Could possibly have a bright future ahead of him and if it is done off the back of this angle, more power to the kid."

    But is his future brighter than Gable's?

     

    The Case for Gable

    Gable is the better in-ring performer of the two.

    He's quicker and crisper in the ring. And while Jordan is no slouch from a technical standpoint, Gable beats him in that department. We're talking about a bonafide Olympian here.

    And Gable's recent solo outings point to how skilled he is between the ropes.

    He flourished in a recent clash with AJ Styles on SmackDown. The two athletes put on a show filled with smooth counters and plenty of electricity.

    Gable vs. Styles would be a better PPV match than Jordan vs. The Phenomenal One. And that's the case with a number of potential matchups.

    When American Alpha was still together, Gable was often the star of their interviews. He led the way as the more charismatic one. Gable was generally funnier, too.

    Jordan has some catching up to do on all those fronts.

     

    The Verdict

    Jordan will get the bigger push now, but Gable will eventually outpace him.

    It's not surprising WWE is more interested in pushing Jordan thanks to his looks and size. Gable will have to convince the company to value him over time. And with all the great action he's capable of producing in the ring, that's bound to happen. 

    As former WCW valet Missy Hyatt said back in February, though, WWE will have to play up his strengths:

    Gable is a more complete performer and he's on a show that has embraced non-typical stars from Heath Slater to Breezango. He'll get his chances to shine and suplex after suplex, he will make the most of it.

    A United States Championship run is likely on its way for Gable. As is a handful of classic matches, a career-changing feud with someone like Rusev and an increasingly strong connection with the crowd.

    Jordan has plenty of potential. His old partner, though, just has a higher ceiling.

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    WWE's biggest angle of the summer turned out to be just another Angle. As in Jason Angle, or to be exact, Jason Jordan, as your newest member of Raw. 

          

    Jason Jordan—You Are the Angle!

    The pro wrestling world was shocked, and ultimately underwhelmed, with news of Jason Jordan being the big reveal for Kurt Angle's months-long mystery scandal.

    Jordan was announced as Angle's son in the beginning of Raw's final hour, thwarting more popular fan theories of Angle being involved in an affair with Stephanie McMahon or Dixie Carter.

    Jordan is a talented athlete being put in a prime position in WWE's deepest of deep ends—the Raw main event scene. Some fans pined for Chad Gable to assume this role, but Gable is more polished as someone who can wrestle, cut promos and connect with the WWE Universe. Being paired with Kurt Angle is much more of a benefit to the less polished Jordan, who otherwise has far more potential as a WWE main eventer.

    An opportunity as a main event singles star is quite rare for African-Americans in WWE, and one Jordan must take very seriously. Talents like the increasingly stale Bray Wyatt, The Miz and Dean Ambrose are gifted with several opportunities to thrive despite multiple previous failures and misfires. Think of how cold Wyatt is right now. That man entered WrestleMania as WWE champion—where he was arguably colder.

    Where do you think Big E's singles career would be if he competed in a House of Horrors match?

    Black WWE Superstars typically get one shot to succeed in this role, as was the case with Kofi Kingston's 2009 push and Shelton Benjamin's brief ascension in 2004.

    The ongoing success of SmackDown women's champion Naomi is a sign of encouragement for Jordan as WWE, which has awarded its prestigious Money in the Bank contract to 19 Caucasians in 20 matches, continues to diversify its main event scene.

         

    Talking Smack-lash

    Straight out of the "jumping to conclusions" Hall of Fame, wrestling fans and media freaked out when it was revealed that cult favorite show Talking Smack was canceled.

    Fans and media immediately sharpened their knives for Vince McMahon, with familiar and repetitive criticisms that the old man is "out of touch" and he doesn't listen to fans.

    Message boards lit up with outrage. Mainstream news did not.

    That's because as more information continued to leak, it was later revealed that Talking Smack's Tuesday night broadcast had extremely low viewership and far than its pay-per-view counterpart, which was not canceled. That's right, McMahon opted to move forward with the higher rated version of Talking Smack. Pretty generous move from someone who "hates" the show.

    Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t YouTube) noted Talking Smack very likely received lower viewership than 205 Live, which he estimated brings in just 600,000 viewers.

    Meltzer later reported (h/t Wrestling Inc) that a WWE source confirmed McMahon doesn't hate Talking Smack, but rather canceled a version that was less viewed by the WWE audience.

          

    The Beast Released?

    Brock Lesnar may be up to his old tricks as his WWE contract comes due. Earlier this week, the sometimes reliable @TalkMMA account (h/t Wrestling Inc) broke a story that Lesnar had re-entered the United States Anti-Doping Agency drug-testing pool and was interested in once again competing in UFC.

    Lesnar was suspended from UFC last year after failing a USADA drug test and received a one-year suspension.

    Reports of a Lesnar UFC comeback were quickly denied by UFC vice president Jeff Novitzky, who told MMAjunkie:

    "(Lesnar) is not currently enrolled in the USADA testing pool, nor has there been any inquiry on his part to do so."

    Lesnar made similar overtures toward UFC the last time his contract was nearing its end by showing up at UFC 184. He re-signed with WWE shortly after. According to Forbes, Lesnar made $12 million in 2016. The fact that he later ended up competing in an Octagon, however, adds legitimacy to any threats that he could leave WWE for UFC and could prove to be a major bargaining chip to stay. 

           

    Angry Emma

    If there's one thing WWE frowns upon, it's WWE Superstars speaking out against the company on their own accord.

    This shows individuality, and if WWE Superstars are not wasting their time honoring frivolous unwritten rules—like whatever got Enzo kicked off that bus per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc)—they'll have time to eventually ask the more serious questions like "why am I being paid as an independent contractor if WWE can veto outside appearances?" or "why don't I have health insurance?"

    Emma recently seemed to break WWE's cardinal rule when she publicly complained about not being used on Raw as she celebrated five years with the company.

    As always, there is a chance that this is either an angle or it can be worked into an angle on WWE television. But if Emma is going into business for herself, expect WWE to use this as a vehicle for Emma to get squashed by Nia Jax as she was a few weeks ago during the Raw women's gauntlet. 

           

    Alfred Konuwa is a Featured Columnist and on-air host for Bleacher Report and ForbesLike him on Facebook.

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