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 weirdest 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.
Is No News Good News for TNA?:
For the first time in a while, the word on the dirt screens regarding TNA is at least assuming it will be around through the summer.
- Perhaps the most notable news is the recirculating rumor that hometown "hero" Bully Ray was turned face so he could be featured in a major run on the TNA shows being taped in NYC during August. While this is something that's been discussed before, whenever a rumor like this comes back around, it usually means that not only is it serious but something the company is actively looking to hype among a certain segment of the fandom (i.e., people who read internet rumors and NEWZ.) This is also just as much about mentioning out loud that the company thinks it will still be rolling at that point in the year after what's been a rocky few months as letting some fans in on their plans.
- The same can be said regarding the murmuring around signing future talent. Word backstage is that TNA is very close to finalizing a lot of contracts with a ton of new faces. Even if this is just speculation, it seems to indicate that morale -- or at least the overall feeling regarding the future -- is improving.
- And while the circumstances behind him being kept off air are typical of what could best be described as a "problematic work attitude" that's caused issues for years, the return of Austin Aries at the most recent TV tapings is a positive for the company going forward. This is especially true following the departure of performers like Chris Sabin, Chris Daniels and Frank Kazarian left TNA mostly devoid of smarm. Hopefully he can refrain from sexually harassing his co-workers on camera until at least the tapings in NYC.
- Though, even with what seems like positive news, it's important to remember that the entire company is hitching itself to Eric Young as champion largely because of his newfound potential fame as the host of Discovery Channel's Off the Hook: Extreme Catches and its spiritual sequel No Limits a fact made even more clear by the EXTREME description for Young in the most recent press release for the show:
IMPACT Wrestling superstar, self-avowed adrenaline junkie, and recently crowned TNA World Heavyweight Champion, "Showtime" Eric Young has spent the last two summers crisscrossing the country in search of the oddest and craziest fishing techniques for his Animal Planet series, OFF THE HOOK: EXTREME CATCHES.
Whether he'll be referring to himself from now on exclusively by the full title IMPACT Wrestling superstar, self-avowed adrenaline junkie, and recently crowned TNA World Heavyweight Champion, "Showtime" Eric Young remains unclear. What also remains unclear is how long this will last -- the show premieres at the end of May -- and whether or not this may actually be worth it given TNA's serious trouble gaining any traction outside of its (very) gradually shrinking audience.
Random Rumors and NEWZ:
- Curtis Axel is the leader in the Best New Name clubhouse with WWE's recent push to have Superstars brand their own finishers, with The Axehole. Although competition is relatively thin right now --Rosa Mendes's Rosa's Thorn submission the only other notable entry -- given Axel's use of the rare double last name-based pun/gimmick he will inevitably abandon combination it may be the best name we hear for a long long time.
- Rey Mysterio is back in Stamford at WWE HQ, likely to sign his new contract. This is following a somewhat lengthy absence to recover from several maladies, vacationing in Hawai'i and possibly/allegedly helping his wife following the birth of their most recent child. Also likely keeping him on the sidelines was the intense mental trauma he must have went through after being booed during the Royal Rumble match so vociferously that they felt the need to talk about it on the Daniel Bryan: Road to WrestleMania documentary.
- Finally, for those kept up at night worrying over such things, former Total Diva Jo Jo is still with the company following her departure from the show. She's currently training at the developmental center, where we at the Rumor Round-Up like to assume she keeps a shrine room for Eva Marie and/or Summer Rae not unlike Ray Finkle's "Dan Marino room" from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
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. If you just get too angry, check out the best #InternetWrestlingWriting of the last week from Cageside Seats and everywhere else. That should make you feel much better.