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:
- Prior to last night's Raw main event match, Daniel Bryan (who was supposedly given the night off by Triple H) and Kane (who was supposed to be on administrative leave) battled in the ring. WWE has been teasing a feud between the former tag team champions for a few weeks now, but with Daniel Bryan thought to be booked up at the next two pay-per-views (Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania XXX,) it hasn't seemed as though there would be time for it. Now, it is apparently at least being discussed that Bryan could be pulled from the titular Elimination Chamber match and placed into a match with Kane. Most fans would likely consider this an obvious downgrade for Bryan, but the match would be used to set up a WrestleMania XXX bout against Triple H, if that is indeed the plan. If things do not go that route, it likely means that Bryan will instead be inserted into the WWE world heavyweight title match along with Batista and Randy Orton. (Of course, as we mentioned yesterday, THAT would hinge on WWE officials figuring out what to do with the Shield, as they do not want two triple-threat matches on the same show.) At any rate, once we know for sure what match Bryan will participate in at Elimination Chamber, it will likely clue us into WWE's WrestleMania plans for him.
- If WWE were to pull Bryan from that Elimination Chamber main event match, who would replace him? Well, the current rumor is that it would be none other than Rob Van Dam. According to multiple (as of this writing, unverified) reports, Van Dam was backstage at last night's Raw. The current plan appears to be for Van Dam to return in the very near future and work through WrestleMania XXX.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin was also backstage at Raw last night, but as a guest only. He was said to be recording his podcast there, on which Zeb Coulter was a guest.
- Along with Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker, another big name has been confirmed for the Feb. 24 edition of Raw: Brock Lesnar. It makes complete sense that Lesnar be present to kick off his long-rumored feud with Undertaker. WWE is going all out to make that show, which is essentially a de facto "kickoff" show for the WWE Network, as big of deal as possible. Another name being rumored for a planned appearance on that show is Shawn Michaels. Whether his presence will be part of a story or if he'll simply be there to help sell the WWE Network is not known.
- It is common knowledge now that WWE's television contracts will soon be up and they will soon be negotiating with a variety of companies ranging from Disney, Viacom, Fox, and NBC Universal (who currently holds the rights) for the right to WWE's package of television shows. One interesting note that came our recently is that WWE would strongly prefer to move SmackDown away from Friday nights, where it currently resides on NBC Universal's SyFy Channel. WWE has already applied for the copyright to SmackDown as a standalone television program (they currently own it as "Friday Night SmackDown). Whether that means taking SmackDown live on Tuesdays, as has been rumored, or still taped but shown on a different night (likely Thursday), WWE has made it clear to its negotiating partners that they would like to move SmackDown away from the night often considered in the TV business as the "death slot."
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.