Speculating on the rumors surrounding pro wrestling is a favored pastime of many fans, perhaps second only to actually watching the matches. In this daily column, we will be taking a look at the latest rumors being churned out by the pro wrestling rumor mill.
Important reminder: Rumors are just that -- rumors. None of this has been confirmed as legitimate news or fact; so remember to take it all with a grain of salt.
Blast from the Past - What if Paul Heyman went to TNA?
Wednesdays are often the slowest day of the week for a rumors column. Without getting into SmackDown spoilers (CSS already has you covered,) there aren't usually many rumors being churned out. So, today, we are going to look at a "what if" scenario from years ago.
First, let us rewind back to the summer of 2010. The original Nexus was at the height of its power in WWE. TNA was in the midst of its much maligned "Immortal" storyline. And Paul Heyman was in the middle of his six-year hiatus from WWE.
As rumor has it, TNA President Dixie Carter approached Heyman, the architect of the original ECW's success in the mid-late 1990s, hoping to lure him to TNA. Stories vary wildly on just how close she was to succeeding. Even Heyman himself can't seem to keep a consistent story. In various interviews with the parties involved, as well as backstage rumors from the time, the story ranges anywhere from Heyman rebuffing TNA outright to a deal being on the table, only for Carter to panic at the last second and pull the deal after hearing some of Heyman's more extreme ideas.
So what were those ideas? First, Heyman reportedly wanted "total control" over the TNA product. He wanted the ability to take the company public within two years of being on the job, the first major step in turning it into a viable competitor in the pro wrestling marketplace dominated completely by WWE. Additionally, Heyman wanted no part of the backstage politicking always involved in pro wrestling. There would be no wrestlers dictating terms to him. He would have complete creative control over storylines and characters.
Additionally, he wanted to gut the roster of everyone over the age of 40 (namely, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Sting,) save maybe one for name value; having him wrestle sparingly and mostly be used to put over newer stars. Heyman also wanted to raid the independent circuit of younger talent; getting them signed to developmental deals before WWE could do so.
Finally, Heyman wanted to sign Bryan Danielson (WWE's own Daniel Bryan,) after his firing by WWE. Danielson would be built as an unstoppable submission machine, set to dominate TNA until he could have an eventual showdown with Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle.
As with most pro wrestling rumors, it is hard to tell how close this one ever was to actually happening. If the side of the story where a deal was actually on the table is to be believed, Dixie Carter supposedly pulled the deal at the last minute, not wanting to release the veteran stars who helped to build TNA.
Obviously, this will remain one of the biggest "what ifs..." in pro wrestling lore. Instead, Heyman returned to WWE in May of 2012 with a returning Brock Lesnar while TNA continues to exist only in the periphery of the American pro wrestling scene.
Other Rumors for the Day:
- The Undertaker received the "SuperStar Spotlight" on WWE.com's home page yesterday. What, if anything, this means is open to interpretation.
- Speaking of the Undertaker, if he does not end up with a match at WrestleMania 29, do not expect to see him on television during the build up to the event. This approach is similar to how Brock Lesnar was not scheduled to work on the episodes of Raw immediately before and after Elimination Chamber. Since he was not going to appear at the event, he was not going to be used on the "go home" or "fallout" shows of the event. If this does end up being the case, it is possible that we will not be seeing Undertaker on any WWE events for the entirety of 2013.
- A couple of injury updates: First, R-Truth is back in action after suffering a severe gash to his knee at December's Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view event. He was kept out of action for an extended period for precautionary reasons, as the type of injury he suffered was especially susceptible to staph infection. Second, Santino Marella had a "procedure" on his injured neck yesterday. He was injured at a house show in January, making only a brief appearance in the titular match at Royal Rumble. No word on how long he may be out.
If you have heard of any interesting rumors that you'd like to add, feel free to post them in the comments section below. Please remember, these are merely rumors. Try not to take them too seriously, just have some fun with them.