Rumors remind us to be careful what you wish for


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Welcome to the weekly Rumor Look Back, where we look at the rumors from six months ago and see which played out as originally stated. Let’s jump right to it.

July 22, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer indicated that AEW is hoping to have CM Punk, Kenny Omega, and Bryan Danielson all back from injury in time for All Out.
  • Did they wish this on a monkey’s paw?
  • Speculation about WWE booking Goldberg vs. Matt Riddle intensified after a video of their awkward backstage confrontation from SummerSlam 2019 was posted on WWE’s YouTube channel yesterday.
  • That has not happened. I don’t think Goldberg would cave on that. (0/1)
  • Fightful was told that released NXT wrestler Cole “Two Dimes” Karter is now “under an AEW deal.”
  • I don’t recall an All Elite graphic – he hasn’t had a match since December but worked dark matches.
  • Meltzer mentioned on Twitter that Tony Khan had a conversation with commentator Mauro Ranallo’s management “some time back.” He added that Khan has had no direct contact with commentator Mike Tenay.
  • I find it interesting that Tenay disappeared from wrestling. He was a staple of the announce desk from WCW and then TNA. It’s kind of like Schiavone after WCW until now.
  • Even though Billy Corgan pulled Nick Aldis from the main event of the NWA 74 pay-per-view, PW Insider was told that Aldis is still booked for the card and will get another opponent. However, there is “some truth” to Corgan’s claim that his relationship with Aldis has deteriorated. One source says there is “magma heat” on Aldis for constantly criticizing Corgan’s creative decisions.
  • Given one of Corgan’s most recent decisions was putting the title on Tyrus, maybe Aldis was onto something.

July 23, 2022

  • PW Insider heard that Vince McMahon’s decision to retire from WWE was privately made about seven to ten days ago. The news was revealed late on Friday to limit the “negative fallout” in the media and on WWE’s stock price. There was an all hands on deck virtual “rah rah meeting” before SmackDown where Vince was described as “irreplaceable,” but everyone was reassured the company is in good hands with Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan.
  • Vince immediately regretted it from the sounds of it. Maybe selling Vince as irreplaceable and putting him over on the way out helped his comeback move, though given he owns so many shares, that would have happened no matter what.
  • There was a lot of shock and confusion backstage at SmackDown surrounding Vince’s retirement. However, Insider was told the locker room overall had a “pretty positive reaction,” with hope for a new energy in WWE’s creative process going forward. Younger talent in particular believe a new vision will help WWE connect better with their audience.
  • Rumors of improved morale persisted – though things got shaky when Vince took back over.
  • Brock Lesnar walking out on SmackDown was not a work, even though he returned by the end of the episode. Sean Ross Sapp says the script was “completely re-done without Brock in it” and finished by 7 pm ET. The final segment of the show was written in a way where Lesnar could be added to it if he returned in time.
  • Brock is rather erratic. But he’s still doing plenty of business with WWE.
  • The injury which caused Sami Zayn to wear a sling on television recently is “legit” according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, but it’s not serious and WWE hopes he’ll be able to wrestle in a few weeks.
  • He was wrestling by the middle of August. (1/1)
  • The WON also had good news on Matt Jackson’s injury. The Young Buck is reportedly doing “a lot better” after suffering a stinger on the July 13 episode of Dynamite. Jackson described it as “like bad whiplash.” AEW also hopes he’ll be wrestling again in a few weeks.
  • He was back in early August. (1/1)

July 25, 2022

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted he expects WWE to tone down on the “weird verbiage” with Vince McMahon having retired.
  • I think I’d agree with that. (1/1)
  • Meltzer also said he believes there will be a power grab for creative control within WWE now. Triple H will also likely be more involved but just how much remains to be seen.
  • Triple H ended up in complete creative control (for now). But guys like Bruce Prichard were also probably considered for the lead role.
  • Fightful Select says “multiple top stars” seemed dejected by McMahon’s retirement and they had no idea it was happening. There are other talent who do not believe this is permanent.
  • I wonder who’d be upset outside Lesnar. Maybe Roman would be afraid his spot was at risk? That surely didn’t happen.
  • Part of the reason for Liv Morgan’s recent push is that WWE felt SmackDown needed a “new top tier woman babyface” after Sasha Banks & Naomi’s walkout, per Meltzer.
  • It didn’t stick.
  • Vince McMahon worked closely with Max Dupri on the presentation of his character, says Fightful, and Vince retiring could open the door for Dupri’s return.
  • Dupri did return, and finally morphed to LA Knight, who’s killing it. (1/1)

July 26, 2022

  • Sources told The Wall Street Journal’s Ted Mann & Joe Palazzolo Vince McMahon chose to resign last Friday after SEC and federal prosecutors launched investigations into his hush money payments.
  • Those investigations are still on going I believe.
  • The upcoming HBO Real Sports’ story on McMahon is said to be “damning”, according to Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez.
  • That never happened. (0/1)
  • USA Network seems excited about Triple H taking over main roster creative, with a source there telling Fightful Select that it “is an exciting change.“
  • The product has been improved, or at least more consistent. I think it’s been better.
  • On a recent PWTorchVIP.com audio show, Wade Keller said that Paul Heyman “is someone to watch” in WWE’s new power structure. Heyman is apparently trusted by Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon’s relationship with the former ECW boss is much better than when she ran creative in the aughts: “There’s a chemistry and a dynamic between them that’s very positive.”
  • My understanding is he isn’t really involved with creative. Though Sami feels he needs to earn his approval.
  • Keller also says Stephanie McMahon has a good reputation with the women’s roster, and there’s optimism they’ll get more TV time and better presentation with her in charge. Some even think Sasha Banks & Naomi could return with Vince gone.
  • Sasha and Naomi haven’t returned. Stephanie has since retired, very possibly against her will. (0/1)

July 27, 2022

  • Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio said this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw was largely written and approved before Vince McMahon resigned from WWE, and there weren’t many changes made to it.
  • In general, it took some time for Triple H to start enacting his vision.
  • According to WrestleVotes, Triple H wants to make a big splash at SummerSlam, what with it being his first major show running things, but he won’t do it just to do it.
  • That was a very good show, but they didn’t do anything out of control for shock’s sake.
  • Along those same lines, Ringside News claims SummerSlam is “locked in” but “there are a few changes happening.”
  • I wonder what those changes were. Obviously the Damage CTRL stuff wasn’t on Vince’s script.
  • Fightful Select says they talked to former NXT talent and free agents who said Triple H being in his new position of power changes things. A former talent would have likely signed to stay, and a “top free agent” apparently said this “greatly increases the possibility” that they will go back to WWE.
  • I wonder who that top free agent. Maybe Wyatt, but I don’t see him as a guy who talks to wrestling outlets.
  • Per Meltzer, the reason Raw opened hot with a big brawl between Logan Paul and The Miz was because WWE wanted to avoid Paul getting booed.
  • Paul is a natural bad guy.

July 28, 2022

  • According to Wrestlenomics, NXT will hold their next premium live event on Sun., Sept. 4, the same day as AEW All Out.
  • It was at 4 pm so not directly competing. But same day. (1/1)
  • A source told The Hard Way’s Leslie Lee III that WWE Executive Producer Kevin Dunn didn’t think Becky Lynch was “attractive enough” to be a champion in the company.
  • An all time stupid take from a man who is probably blind.
  • While he didn’t name any particular wrestler, Freddy Prinze Jr. said on the latest episode of his podcast that when he was on the WWE creative team, “You could pitch for like 20 minutes and Kevin [Dunn] would be like ‘Well I don’t think she’s pretty,’ and all of a sudden six weeks of story would just be gone… ‘Our champ has to be pretty.’”
  • Dunn is still with WWE.
  • Paul Heyman joined Triple H at the WWE talent tryouts in Nashville yesterday, fueling speculation he will have a larger role at the company after Vince McMahon’s departure.
  • I don’t know what his role is right now. He’s a good mind to have around either way.
  • Ric Flair told Chris Van Vliet that he and Conrad Thompson had plans to include more AEW talent on the Ric Flair’s Last Match card, but “it all became a little political with Tony [Khan].”
  • There’s always politics in wrestling.

This week: 5/8 – 63%

Overall: 4,441/7,792 – 57.0%

Have a great week, everyone!

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