Rumor Roundup (Jan. 14, 2014): Hulk Hogan signs with WWE, TV deal bidding, and more!

Hulkamania about to run wild in WWE once again? - Wikimedia Commons

Today's pro wrestling rumors: Hulk Hogan and WWE reportedly reach a deal, why announcement last week was nixed, lots of details on the bidding for WWE's television package, and more!

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 take 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.

Rumors for the Day:

  • There is a very strong, but not yet verified, rumor making the rounds that Hulk Hogan has reached a deal to officially return to WWE. It is being said that the two sides came to an agreement on Monday or Tuesday of last week, and that an announcement of Hogan's return was set to be made at the WWE Network presentation. (There were even mentions of Hogan still in the teleprompter script that the speakers had to skip over.) However, WWE officials changed their minds at the last second, not wanting to overshadow the announcement of the Network. It is said that an announcement of Hogan's return could come any day now. While the long term plans for Hogan will depend on the level of medical clearance he can get from WWE doctors, it is known that WWE is planning to have him involved with WrestleMania XXX in a major role.
  • The bidding for WWE's package of television programs is expected to be very intense. Reportedly, NBC Universal, who current own the rights, is not happy with the WWE Network announcement and fear that they may be outbid with the television fees expected to double.
    • Disney is expected to be one of the biggest threats to NBC Universal's retention of WWE's television package, with the intent to put WWE's shows on the A&E network. Disney also owns the Lifetime network, and there is some talk that it may become the home for Total Divas should Disney acquire the rights.
    • Another top contender is Viacom, who most notably owns Spike TV, the current home of TNA's Impact program. Viacom has long been a supporter of TNA, enjoying the roughly 1 million viewers in a valuable demographic that pro wrestling provides. By acquiring WWE's television package, Viacom could increase that number exponentially. Viacom winning the rights to WWE's television package would almost certainly sound the death knell for TNA, as they rely heavily on their TV deal to stay afloat.
    • A fourth interested company is said to be 21st Century Fox, with the programming likely to air on FX or the new Fox Sports 1.
    • Overall, it is said that WWE would prefer to remain with NBC Universal, and that it would take an overwhelming offer from one of the other contenders for them to move their television shows away from the USA and SyFy networks. Regardless of which contender wins the rights, WWE stands to make a LOT of money.
  • In a "blink and you'll miss it" moment on last night's Raw, NXT Diva Emma briefly appeared onscreen holding a sign promoting "#Emmatainment". She was then mentioned by name by the commentary crew. Whether this is a prelude to a call up to the main roster or just a one-off shot is not yet known.
  • Prior to last night's Raw, a meeting between Vince McMahon and the roster was scheduled to happen to discuss the WWE Network and how it will affect the talent. Several wrestlers even tweeted about the meeting. However, it was abruptly canceled at the last minute with no explanation given.
  • In some increasingly rare good news for TNA, the company is said to be close to signing the American Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards. The pair had been given an extended tryout at the WWE Performance Center and even appeared on an episode of NXT. However, WWE chose not to sign them and from the sounds of things, they could be making their TNA as soon as this week's live edition of Impact on Thursday.

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 fun with them.

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