For many fans, reading about rumors -- and trawling the sites that traffic in them -- has become as popular as watching the matches themselves. In this daily column, we take a look at the biggest rumors and stories being churned out by those pro wrestling "news" sites.
Important reminders: Rumors are "rumors" and not "news" for a reason, folks. That which has not been confirmed as legitimate news or fact will be made clear. Also, don't let these things ruin your day. It gets better.
Monday nights are Raw:
- The Usos will be defending their tag team championship titles against Rybaxel on Raw next week. It's not expected to result in a title change but rather a smoz finish that leads to a rematch at Extreme Rules next Sunday. We know you're all super excited about Curtis Axel back in the title hunt.
- Daniel Bryan is scheduled for Raw next Monday and apparently it's his decision. WWE officials were comfortable with him taking it off and coming back for the Kane match at Extreme Rules, hence the beating he took this past Monday night, but he's insisting on working. This is just me talking, and far be it from me to speculate on his mindset, but I can't help but wonder where his head is. Could he be thinking he has to work considering they put the title on him and he already missed one Raw to go on his honeymoon? His match at Extreme Rules is third down the card. I just wonder if he's putting pressure on himself to perform. It seems as though WWE isn't, at least.
- Stephanie McMahon will be "apologizing" to Bryan in a segment booked for the show. More opportunity for her to impress with her mock upset.
- Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam in the finals of the Intercontinental title number one contender tournament is set for Raw, and it's expected Barrett will win before going on to Extreme Rules to take the strap off Big E. For whatever reason, the word around the water cooler is WWE isn't as high on the artist formerly known as Langston, at least not anywhere near as high as they once were. It's too bad, too, because he's great everywhere except on TV, and that's only because he hasn't really been given the chance to show his personality.
- Finally, Ric Flair is returning next week to rejoin his former comrades in Evolution.
Other Rumors and News:
- Look, I hate this constant stream of rumors surrounding CM Punk but they just won't quit. They can't seem to. It's only going to get worse next month too because WWE is heading to Chicago for the Payback event on June 1, and the latest word is WWE is already trying to figure out a course of action, including possibly bringing him back at that very event. Speaking as the guy who runs this site (and writes this column each Saturday), I wish I could pass this off as nonsense, even just being a rumor, but the way the situation has been handled lends itself to at least forcing a consideration that it could be something. No one is talking and Punk is still featured in enough places that it's clear he isn't being treated like a guy who is done and never coming back. We'll see.
- WWE teased a Sting vs. Undertaker match in an article over at the company website yesterday. Apparently that was done to drive interest to the website on a slower news day as opposed to getting fans primed for a match-up sometime down the road. That's not to say it can't happen -- interest in the article was indeed high -- but it wasn't originally intended that way. Personally, I wouldn't mind if Undertaker never wrestled again considering how beat up he was after WrestleMania 30. Then again, Sting is a safe worker who probably won't injure him. It's a tough one.
- On the television rights fronts for both WWE and TNA, with fall line-ups being finalized the assumption is WWE will stick with NBCU, so Raw will continue to air on USA, SmackDown on SyFy, and Total Divas on E! channel. That would almost surely mean Spike TV cutting a new deal with TNA.
- Speaking of TNA, this past Thursday night's episode of Impact, the lead-in to the Sacrifice pay-per-view (PPV) this weekend, did a 0.9 rating and an average of 1.08 million viewers. That's up from last week against stronger competition than usual with both the NBA and NHL Playoffs in their respective first rounds.
- The top three matches for the NXT Takeover special on the WWE Network on May 29 will be: Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd for the men's title, Natalya vs. Charlotte for the women's title, and Tyler Breeze vs. Sami Zayn.
- Nancy Grace apparently wants to make nice with the pro wrestling fan base after the heavy backlash following her segment with Diamond Dallas Page following Ultimate Warrior's death. Who knows if that's the case or not but as it pertains to this website, I'm done reading the comments and seeing people calling her vulgar names that make our female readers uncomfortable. No one should be cruising the comments and getting uncomfortable. Maybe you think these awful thoughts, but that doesn't mean you have to spew them and make others uncomfortable and no, it doesn't matter if you think they shouldn't feel that way. You don't get to decide that. Be nice. It's that simple. Disagree with what she did and attack that, don't attack the person.
- To end this on a better note, Jake Roberts appears to be one surgery away from being declared cancer free. YES chant for "The Snake".
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.