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Rumor Look Back: April 15 - 21, 2017

Welcome to the weekly Rumor Look Back, where we look at the rumors from six months ago and see which played out as originally predicted. Let’s get right to it.

April 15, 2017

  • Brock Lesnar will be working more pay-per-view shows this year, especially if WWE decides to keep him champion until WrestleMania 34.
  • He worked 5 in 2016. He’s worked 5 in 2017. However, he looks like he’ll have a match at Survivor Series. So it’ll likely be just one more, but more nonetheless. (1/1)
  • The New Day may not debut on SmackDown Live until Kofi Kingston is ready to return from injury.
  • They waited for a little while. (1/1)
  • Jim Ross will work about 40 dates for WWE throughout the year, though it's still unclear what those dates will be. It is expected he'll commentate some pay-per-view shows.
  • If they mean he was on TV 40 times, that’s wrong. He worked the Mae Young Classic, the match at Mania, and Tyler Bate/Pete Dunne at TakeOver. And he really didn’t commentate any full PPVs. Just the one match at TakeOver. (0/2)
  • According to the Observer, there are plans for a slow build to an Authors of Pain vs. Heavy Machinery feud.
  • That match happened, but it wasn’t any slow build or really a feud at all. (0/1)

April 17, 2017

  • Finn Bálor's status is still unclear but there are no reports that he's been cleared from his concussion just yet.
  • He was back on Raw the next week.
  • According to the Observer, it's possible WWE holds off on having Roman Reigns wrestle at Payback.
  • He was in the main event with Braun Strowman. (0/1)
  • Braun Strowman will challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal title at some point in the next few months, likely before SummerSlam.
  • The match happened, though it was after SummerSlam at No Mercy. (1/2)
  • The only effect of the recent bad press on JBL is that he's expected to play a straight babyface commentator on television going forward, at least until these stories start to die off.
  • I don’t know if he was a straight babyface as he was still a big fan of Mahal. But there was no punishment otherwise. (1/2)
  • The Observer is saying it looks likely Katsuyori Shibata will likely never be cleared to wrestle again.
  • It’s certainly likely that he’ll never wrestle again, but nothing’s official yet.

April 18, 2017

  • Expect Braun Strowman’s Payback match with Roman Reigns to add a stipulation next week, so Strowman can keep his momentum into a Brock Lesnar program and Roman can lose without taking a pin.
  • It was a regular singles match which Braun won. (0/1)
  • The winner of tonight’s World title #1 contender match may only be a stop gap as SmackDown bides its time until Backlash.
  • Nope. That was the match that Jinder Mahal won and his first match with Randy was at Backlash, where he won the title. (0/1)
  • Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura are likely to enter the blue brand main event title picture this Summer.
  • Corbin did not. But Nakamura did have his feud with WWE title feud Mahal. (1/2)
  • Alberto El Patron has officially signed with Impact Wrestling after working on a “gentleman’s agreement” for the last taping, says PWInsider.
  • And they lived happily ever after...
  • Shelton Benjamin confirmed he’s not under contract with WWE, as his shoulder injury was discovered as part of the signing process.
  • He still finally made his way back to WWE. He and Chad Gable are #1 contenders for the Usos tag titles.

April 19, 2017

  • The idea with the Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt match isn't to promote the idea of a title change as a selling point but the "House of Horrors" stipulation.
  • That’s true. In fact, the title wasn’t even on the line. (0/1)
  • The stipulation the Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns match is likely to get is an Ambulance match.
  • Not for Payback though they did have an ambulance match later. That was in July at Balls though. (0/1)
  • The Observer notes that WWE is really high on Baron Corbin, perhaps even more so than Braun Strowman, and he is supposed to be a top star on the SmackDown side by the end of the year.
  • Nope. He is US champion though. (0/1)
  • Sportskeeda and PW Torch are reporting Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis have signed with WWE and will be working on the SmackDown brand.
  • That’s true. Unfortunately, after being featured for a few weeks, it all fizzled out. Maria is pregnant currently. I don’t know if that had a bearing on the pair being featured less or if WWE just wasn’t feeling it. (2/2)

April 20, 2017

  • Unsurprisingly, Jinder Mahal’s push appears to coincide with WWE’s expansion plans for India. They launched WWE Shop there earlier this week, and announced the hiring of a new executive to run all initiatives and operations in the country.
  • It sure looks that way.
  • According to Sportskeeda, the Bollywood Boyz - who were renamed the Singh Brothers on SmackDown - will be affiliated with Mahal full-time going forward.
  • That’s true. They’re instrumental in all his title victories. (1/1)
  • Fans in attendance report Ember Moon may have suffered an injury at last night’s NXT taping when she was knocked from the top rope and landed shoulder-first on the guard rail. She didn’t participate any further in the match she was in, and was said to be crying as trainers helped her to the back.
  • This was a pretty nasty fall. She missed the next TakeOver.
  • AAA Vice President Dorian Roldan said in an interview with Medio Tiempo that wrestlers under contract to that company who’ve appeared on Lucha Underground could appear on Impact in the future.
  • It seems to have gone that way, with Texano, El Hijo de Fantasma, Drago, Johnny Impact, and Taya are all on Impact. (I’m not sure if Johnny and Taya are part of the talent share or if they were able to strike their own deal.)

April 21, 2017

  • The belief is that a Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles feud over the WWE title is still the plan for SmackDown and everything now is just a holdover to get them there.
  • This was an incorrect belief. (0/1)
  • The Observer notes there are no plans for Paige within WWE even when she is recovered from neck surgery.
  • We’ll fine out. More recent rumors refute that but she hasn’t returned yet. (I’m not sure if she’s been cleared yet though.)
  • A big reason WWE wants to use the "Broken" gimmick for the Hardys is because they think they can move a lot of merchandise with it.
  • I don’t think we’ll ever know how much merch they can move with that gimmick.
  • WWE may not be bringing Shelton Benjamin back after all, so he's been taking dates with independent promotions now that he's healthy enough to wrestle again.
  • He ended up making his return. (0/1)
  • Josh Matthews looks to be sticking around in TNA in some capacity.
  • He’s still an announcer. (1/1)

This week: 9/23 - 39%

Overall: 1,798/3,292 - 54.6%

Have a great week, everyone!

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