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AEW missed a big opportunity with FTR

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AEW missed a big opportunity with FTR
Dax Harwood’s Twitter

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 15, 2022

  • Regarding the ongoing story about WWE Raw possibly losing its PG television rating, Sean Ross Sapp claims “there were mixed signals given internally” about the decision at the USA Network. For what it’s worth, Fightful has not heard about a change of direction for WWE’s programming.
  • They never changed the rating.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Bryan Alvarez said the Young Bucks’ Matt Jackson suffered a stinger around three to five minutes into the main event tag team championship match on Dynamite. He was hurt on a “basic vertical suplex” from Powerhouse Hobbs and Keith Lee.
  • Ouch.
  • PW Insider has confirmed that WWE is giving new ring names to the Grizzled Young Veterans in NXT. James Drake will now be Jagger Reid, and Zack Gibson will now be Rip Fowler.
  • That’s the case. They’re part of the Schism faction. (1/1)
  • The Observer’s Dave Meltzer mentioned that WWE always planned for Lacey Evans to turn heel, it was just a matter of deciding the right time for the move.
  • They never really committed to one thing or another. She has another repackage heading our way!
  • Meltzer also noted that it could be “tough for WWE to use” top prospect AJ Ferrari, because he is now the subject of a sexual assault investigation that caused his removal from the Oklahoma State wrestling team. Ferrari has generally been regarded as WWE’s second best prospect in their NIL program, with Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson ranking number one.
  • Sexual assault allegations never stopped WWE before. Gable Steveson, who was mentioned as their top prospect has allegations that he won’t be charged for. Riddle has a slew of them. And of course, you know, their majority owner who bulldozed his way back has allegations against him.

July 16, 2022

  • Triple H “has not been doing anything direct with NXT,” according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. When Triple H visited the Performance Center last month and said he’s back, he apparently just meant that he’s back working his WWE office job. Triple H has not been at the Tuesday night tapings; NXT is still being run by Shawn Michaels.
  • NXT is Shawn’s baby.
  • The Observer says that FTR vs. Young Bucks for all of the tag belts was never the plan. That was partly because AEW doesn’t control the booking of the AAA and IWGP titles, and partly because of another “major angle” planned for The Bucks.
  • What angle is that? I wouldn’t say they had a major angle – unless you include the real life angle of their fight with CM Punk . (Certainly not one that would have been better than paying off the FTR belt collector angle.) It feels like a missed opportunity not ending the story with AEW titles on FTR’s shoulders as they were collecting them around the globe. They were white hot babyfaces. It would have been massive if they won the titles from the heel Bucks at this time. (0/1)
  • During an interview on the True Geordie Podcast, Chris Jericho mentioned that AEW wrestler Santana will be out eight months after suffering a gruesome knee injury at Blood & Guts.
  • Unfortunately, we’re still waiting on him.
  • Io Shirai has been training at the Performance Center again, and the WON now says her goal in coming to WWE was to reach the main roster, so she’d likely stay if offered a main roster deal.
  • She is a main roster talent in WWE now. (1/1)
  • While signing autographs at K & S WrestleFest, Billy Gunn was asked about the possibility of Road Dogg coming to AEW. He responded by saying, “We’re trying to get him here.”
  • That did not happen. Dogg didn’t help his case.

July 18, 2022

  • According to PW Insider, Bayley is scheduled to be in Nashville for SummerSlam later this month.
  • That was her big return. (1/1)
  • Sticking with Insider, they say WSJ, who have been all over the Vince McMahon hush money story, are still pursuing more and have been trying to get in touch with former WWE performers.
  • It caused a brief resignation but he’s back reasserting his power.
  • They also say other mainstream media outlets are working on stories, notably Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
  • That never amounted to anything. (0/1)
  • Fightful Select says there are no plans to stop using Ortiz with Santana out injured for the next nine months or so.
  • This is a tough one because technically, he’s correct. But he’s not been on TV much at all, mainly wrestling on YouTube shows. I’ll mark it as correct, but he certainly hasn’t been featured like he was prior. (1/1)
  • Kurt Angle mentioned on his podcast on AdFreeShows that WWE has purchased the rights to his documentary and it will air on Peacock next year.
  • I guess we’ll need to wait and see.

July 19, 2022

  • While it’s not confirmed he’ll appear on the show, Fightful Select says WWE is bringing Edge in to New York for next Monday’s Raw at Madison Square Garden.
  • It doesn’t look like he was on that show. (0/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reported Ric Flair suffered a foot injury recently, but it’s not bad enough to keep him out of his “Last Match” on July 31.
  • Maybe it would have been better if it would have.
  • According to PW Insider, Gallows & Anderson are no longer under contract to Impact after last Saturday’s taping and are “100% free and clear” to sign with anyone. Their immediate focus will be on working New Japan, but will work Impact dates when possible.
  • This was accurate for a couple months until they signed with WWE. (1/1)
  • Tony Khan is “very excited about” the new Trust Busters group that debuted at last weekend’s Dark tapings, per Meltzer on WOR. Ariya Daivari plays a character whose trust fund just came in, and he uses his money to hire Parker Boudreaux and Slim J. It’s not clear if the group will be used in AEW or ROH going forward.
  • That team was rarely on TV. Parker is now part of Swerve’s Mogul Affiliates stable.
  • On his podcast, Kurt Angle confirmed rumors that both his Ruthless Aggression era program with Booker T & Sharmell and the recent angle where Jason Jordan was revealed as his son were “ribs” Vince McMahon turned into storylines after McMahon “caught wind” Angle “dated a couple of African-American women” in the past.
  • Vince is a child.

July 20, 2022

  • Fightful Select notes that Kenny Omega is nearing a return and will likely be back very soon.
  • He returned about a month later. (1/1)
  • What’s more, they say there are tentative plans for Omega to team up with The Young Bucks for a match at All Out in September.
  • That’s the case. They fought CM Punk and Ace Steel in an anything goes locker room match. Oh and won the Trios titles on the PPV. (1/1)
  • According to WrestleVotes, there are some in WWE who “really don’t like the SummerSlam card.”
  • It ended up being a really good show.
  • In a recent Twitter Space Q&A, Daniel Cormier claimed WWE has called him to do something with NXT stars The Creed Brothers but he hasn’t been able to make it work.
  • One day, Cormier will do some more with WWE. He refereed a Riddle/Rollins Fit Pit in a feud that had a play on one of Cormier’s from UFC.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said the injury Rey Fenix suffered on Rampage isn’t serious and he shouldn’t miss any time.
  • Looks like he didn’t miss time. (1/1)

July 21, 2022

  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez said of Edge’s impending return to WWE: “I think the’ve already got Rated-R Superstar merch so I’m pretty sure that he’s returning as the Rated-R Superstar. Now what that means as a babyface [or as] a heel I don’t know.”
  • Yeah, he came back as his former persona and as a babyface. (1/1)
  • For what it’s worth, despite speculation WWE could use Cora Jade’s actions on Tuesday as a way to phase out the belts, the company still lists the NXT Women’s Tag championship on their website with Roxanne Perez and “Vacant” as the current titleholders.
  • They are still in play.
  • Andrew Zarian pointed out SummerSlam was listed with a TV-14 rating on Peacock yesterday afternoon. As of this writing, its been switched back to TV-PG.
  • WWE doesn’t need to be TV-14 to be good. It just has to be… good.
  • Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics notes that as of Tuesday (July 19) WWE Shop is officially being operated by Fanatics. A deal between the two companies was announced earlier this year,
  • Fanatics has their hands in a lot of different companies.
  • WWE recently filed trademarks for several names, most of them already in use on television: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Kayla Braxton, Ryan Tran, Jessika Carr, Megan Morant, Mike Rome, Gunther, Mr. Stone, and Maxxine Dupri.
  • Were some of these names not under trademark or were they renewing a bunch?

This week: 9/12 – 75%

Overall: 4,436/7,784 – 57.0%

Have a great week, everyone!

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