Even without Vince, some things in WWE will never change



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 29, 2022

  • Even though Seth Rollins vs. Matt Riddle was pulled from tomorrow night’s SummerSlam card, Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said he’s under the impression that Rollins will have a match on the show.
  • Rollins did not wrestle on the show. He and Riddle had a brawl instead. (0/1)
  • PW Insider notes that Edge and Beth Phoenix were both originally set to appear at this week’s Raw in Madison Square Garden, but plans changed after Vince McMahon resigned from WWE. Edge and Beth were also originally booked for SummerSlam weekend, but it’s unknown if that is still happening.
  • I wonder how Vince resigning affected Edge & Beth working MSG. Edge returned at SummerSlam instead.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer indicated that WWE’s top priority after Vince McMahon’s resignation is to maintain a perception of stability in the business world. Brock Lesnar walking out of SmackDown right after Vince’s departure was pretty much the worst case scenario in that regard, so WWE made sure to get him back in the fold. Brock returned to SmackDown by 8:30 pm ET.
  • WWE moved along without issue without Vince. I wonder if the fact it wasn’t burning down without him pissed him off, causing him to storm his way back in. Though if I had to guess, he was always going to come back.
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian said that WWE’s sports entertainment corporate philosophy “resonates in every corner of that company” and isn’t just a Vince McMahon thing. Many people there do not believe that WWE is a wrestling promotion.
  • Yeah, that has to be engrained in there by now. Vince could actually go away and never come back and there are going to be aspects of his vision that would remain for years. The sports entertainment lingo and the general presentation is in the DNA of that company.
  • According to Wrestlenomics, all WWE employees were notified last Friday night that they are prohibited from buying or selling any company stock.
  • I’m guessing there’s some legal reason?

July 30, 2022

  • Now that Triple H is in charge of WWE creative, it’s believed the NXT product “will revert back somewhat” to his previous vision of it. That comes from this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also notes the door is more open to wrestlers who “weren’t as big or as good looking as [Vince] McMahon wanted.”
  • This is very subjective. It looks the same and there aren’t a bunch of established talent like there was before. But certain talent was deemphasized, such as Nikita Lyons. I talked to the folks who work NXT and they felt this was too vague to assign a yes/no answer to.
  • WON also mentioned that Brock Lesnar “seemed very happy” when he returned to SmackDown last Friday after walking out, which indicates he was pleased with whatever WWE offered him to come back. It’s not clear if Lesnar was actually upset about Vince McMahon’s resignation or if it was a “brilliant business” move made by Brock after “reading the situation.”
  • I think Brock is always business first. I do think he trusts Vince, and he likely doesn’t trust many people. But clearly he’s fine to keep making money with them.
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said that even though Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly have been announced for next week’s AEW Dynamite, neither wrestler is cleared to compete.
  • Cole only just returned and O’Reilly still isn’t back. (1/1)
  • Alvarez also claims that Dolph Ziggler is the “most likely” opponent for Seth Rollins at tonight’s SummerSlam event.
  • There was no match for Seth. (0/1)
  • Johnny Gargano’s appearance on Impact Wrestling this week was done “as a favor,” per Sean Ross Sapp. Gargano is not in active talks with the promotion.
  • He ended up signing with Triple H. (1/1)
  • PW Insider heard that during Jonathan Gresham’s heated argument with Tony Khan, Gresham brought up his PWI 500 ranking as evidence he should be booked better.
  • I do wonder if that’s true. It’s an insane argument if it is.

August 1, 2022

  • Bryan Alvarez mentioned on Twitter that Ronda Rousey vs. Liv Morgan had “a lot of time cut” from their match at SummerSlam due to The Miz and Logan Paul going long earlier in the night.
  • I don’t recall that match feeling like it was short changed. But it was all really about the controversial finish.
  • PW Insider says Vince McMahon’s name has been removed from everywhere backstage at WWE shows.
  • I wonder it’s started to creep back in, even though he apparently hasn’t shown up to TV.
  • Becky Lynch turning babyface at SummerSlam was a Triple H call, as PW Torch says Vince McMahon had no plans to turn her before he resigned.
  • She was still pretty over and getting cheers, though played heel pretty well against Bianca. She said Triple H discussed it pretty soon after.
  • According to Fightful Select, there was a pitch for the new Bayley, IYO SKY, Dakota Kai stable “quite a while ago” but Vince McMahon rejected it.
  • I’m sure he did.
  • Fightful also notes that they couldn’t confirm IYO SKY signed a new contract with WWE but got word that it “appears so.”
  • It’s tough to know the specifics of contract statuses unless one of the two parties actively talks about it.

August 2, 2022

  • Regarding yesterday’s report that Sasha Banks & Naomi are returning to WWE, Dave Meltzer wrote in Wrestling Observer’s Daily Update, “I don’t know that it’s signed yet but it is moving in that direction and internally they do expect it to happen.”
  • It did not happen. (0/1)
  • Despite the angle that played out after her match at SummerSlam, PW Insider says Ronda Rousey is still listed internally at WWE as SmackDown’s top female babyface.
  • She turned heel pretty soon.
  • Pretty obvious, especially after his win last night, but Fightful Select reports Tommaso Ciampa is likely to be a big beneficiary of Triple H taking over WWE creative.
  • He’s unfortunately hurt currently.
  • Brock Lesnar’s tractor spot at SummerSlam where he lifted the ring was “far rougher and harder than anyone had planned,” per Insider. That despite the fact WWE did at least one rehearsal on Friday with someone for the production team driving the tractor.
  • I can imagine that’s a tough spot.
  • Bobby Lashley told Fightful a “bare knuckle boxing company rep” approached him about fighting Mike Tyson. Though negotiations are in early stages, Lashley said he’s interested.
  • I don’t think we’ll be seeing that.

August 3, 2022

  • PW Insider says one of the big changes that has happened recently within WWE has been the loosening of restrictions around wrestlers promos. They’re being allowed to improvise more.
  • In general, that makes for better promos, though some folks may do better being tightly scripted.
  • That apparently includes matches, as they were also told the Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus match on SmackDown last week had much of it called in the ring instead of pre-planned.
  • I don’t know if matches were more rehearsed under Vince.
  • Fightful Select notes that, not surprisingly, there is a lot of optimism within WWE and even outside of it surrounding Triple H now running Creative. Morale is high right now.
  • Unfortunately, Vince’s return has shaken that high morale, even though he’s not back on creative. At least yet.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said Ronda Rousey is booked for the Clash at the Castle PPV, so her suspension won’t last for very long.
  • She was not at that show. (0/1)
  • A recent AEW trademark filing for “All Elite Women” has led to speculation that a new show will be created for women on the roster.
  • There’s been nothing about a women’s show (0/1)

August 4, 2022

  • Following up on the MJF situation, Fightful Select reports no one from AEW or “anyone in wrestling” they’ve reached out to “admitted to hearing from him since” since his promo on the June 1 Dynamite. AEW talent and staff also say “they’ve not overheard Tony Khan speak about MJF whatsoever.”
  • I wonder if that’s a work and he was in contact with folks, or if he’s playing this one method.
  • The site did hear MJF was filming something with the cast of Impractical Jokers last week in New Jersey, but can’t confirm if it was for that show on TruTV (another WarnersDiscovery channel like TNT & TBS) or for a separate project.
  • I don’t know if he’s been on an episode of Impractical Jokers. I can’t find a clip if he was.
  • Dave Meltzer wrote in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW can add injury time to wrestler contracts like WWE has in the past: “Their contracts do allow for that and it has happened.”
  • In general, the amount of control these companies have under independent contractors is not right.
  • On The Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T said he turned down an offer for Harlem Heat to have their “Last Match” at Starrcast next year.
  • He was in the Rumble briefly, but Stevie Ray hasn’t wrestled in years.
  • Wrestling Romance alert! Tenille Dashwood revealed on Instagram that she’s dating WWE wrestler Madcap Moss.
  • They’ve even played that up on WWE TV a bit.

This week: 2/7 – 29%

July 2022: 26/43 – 60%

Overall: 4,443/7,799 – 57.0%

Have a great week, everyone!

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