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WWE Rumors on Vince McMahon Creative, SmackDown Roster; Johnny Gargano Injury Update

Tyler Conway

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW.

Some Wrestlers Happy With Vince McMahon's Return to Creative

Fans were apoplectic. So was seemingly most of the locker room. But Vince McMahon's return to having input in WWE's creative decisions was reportedly welcomed by some in the locker room.

Wade Keller of PW Torch said some in the locker room are "at least happy" about McMahon's return.

Of course, this makes a ton of sense from a purely logical standpoint. McMahon books differently than Triple H. Those in the locker room who were more likely to see a push with McMahon leading the charge are happy about his return, whereas those who are more Triple H-styled wrestlers were likely disappointed.

"One person I asked said they think that Vince McMahon is more focused on building strong babyfaces and Paul Levesque [Triple H] has more of a focus, and an interest, in building heels," Keller said.

McMahon's fingerprints were all over the Raw after WrestleMania, but it appears his chaotic last-minute booking calls have been at a minimum in the time period since. The WWE executive chairman has committed to staying out of the weeds in creative and being more of a big-picture decision-maker moving forward.

Grayson Waller Seen as Top Heel on SmackDown

While Grayson Waller is yet to make his presence felt since joining the SmackDown roster, WWE apparently has big plans for him moving forward.

PW Insider reported Waller is slated to be among the top heels on the SmackDown brand, listed behind only Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, Austin Theory, Karrion Kross and LA Knight. Given the way Knight has been over with crowds of late, it would not be a surprise to see him become a babyface sooner than later, allowing Waller to move up the depth chart one step further.

Waller has not wrestled on WWE television since losing to Carmelo Hayes at the Spring Breakin' NXT event. His in-ring action has largely been limited throughout 2023 with WWE seemingly unsure how to move forward with his story creatively.

Waller seems like a heel who could perform well on the main roster despite never holding a championship in developmental. His story could wind up being similar to Baron Corbin, who was an upper mid-carder in NXT before reaching the main roster and thriving for years as a heel.

Waller's cocky heel shtick should help him quickly become reviled by audiences in the way creative hopes.

Johnny Gargano Cleared to Return

Johnny Gargano should be finding his way (pun intended) back into a ring on WWE television soon.

Gargano was back in the squared circle over the weekend at WWE house shows, marking the first time in six weeks he's seen action. He worked against Gunther in both matches, which could be a precursor to a program with the Intercontinental champion. It's unlikely Gargano unseats Gunther for the title, but any healthy version of him in the ring is a good sign.

Garagano has spent most of 2023 dealing with nagging injuries and has competed only seven times this year in televised matches.

The former NXT champion's main-roster run has been a disappointment to this point, with most of his storylines either stalling or getting interrupted due to injury. Recent backstage segments have hinted at a return to The Way faction that performed well late in Gargano's initial NXT run.

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