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:
- Make sure you're caught up on all of the latest CM Punk departure news. Yesterday was absolutely crazy trying to keep up with it all and it's hard to tell what will come out next, so stay tuned. One interesting bit of news is that Punk dealt with an undisclosed medical issue last year from September through November, unrelated to the general wear and tear he normally deals with. He dropped weight and reported feeling exhausted more than usual. He underwent blood tests and MRIs, but the cause was never found. Though he started feeling better, it was said that he was still not back to 100% as of this past weekend. An illness like this could very well have contributed to Punk's burnout and desire to leave WWE.
- There is a story going around that Punk was checked out for a concussion at Raw and that was part of the issue with his leaving. He did not have a concussion and that was not the issue.
- It's also now being said that Batista himself was not a problem for Punk and there are no issues between them. Batista winning the Royal Rumble wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back either, but there is the feeling that a returning guy who hasn't been busting his ass and killing himself for the company for years main eventing WrestleMania isn't okay because it affects those who have been. The feeling isn't as strong for Batista as it was last year for Rock, though.
- Speaking of Punk's departure, one person who potentially stands to gain quite a bit is Daniel Bryan. Before the news of Punk leaving came out, there were some rumors that WWE was considering adding Daniel Bryan to the long-rumored Batista/Randy Orton WWE World Heavyweight title match at WrestleMania XXX. Bryan likely wouldn't have been winning the match, however, as a Royal Rumble victory and title reign were promised to Batista when he signed with the company. Now it is looking more likely that Bryan takes Punk's place in a match at WrestleMania XXX against Triple H, a spot many feel was a better fit for Bryan anyway. That said, WWE is reportedly trying to entice Punk into returning and these plans could change once again if Vince McMahon is able to sweet-talk one of his top stars into coming back.
- It is currently being said that WWE will be naming Hulk Hogan the "host" of WrestleMania XXX. Ever since it was revealed that WWE doctors would not clear Hogan to do anything physical in the ring, hosting the event has been rumored to be Hogan's most likely role at the event. Also, it is being said that the most likely date to announce Hogan's return will be on the Feb. 24 edition of Raw, to help promote the WWE Network launching that night.
- Another sign that Sting will soon be signing with WWE (if he hasn't already) is that the WWE merchandising team is working on potential designs for Sting t-shirts. It has also been revealed that WWE's interest in pushing the name "A Man Called Sting" is because WWE already owns the trademark to that name, as WCW previously trademarked the name and WWE owns all WCW intellectual property.
- Despite the event taking place in his home state of Minnesota, it is being said that Brock Lesnar will not be working at next month's Elimination Chamber pay per view. Royal Rumble was the final match in his contract before WrestleMania XXX and WWE will not be paying him the "premium" price to add another date. In fact, don't be surprised if you don't see him until the Raw before the Network launch.
- WWE has applied to trademark "Smackdown" as a television series in the event they should move it away from Friday nights as part of a new TV deal. (It's current official title is "WWE Friday Night Smackdown," hence the potential need for a new trademark.) It is being said that WWE is open to moving Smackdown to Tuesdays as a live show if it would mean getting more money from a potential television partner. Right now, going live on Thursday or Friday is not an option due to a number of logistical challenges.
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.