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.
- Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton & Luke Harper are expected to follow New Day’s lead and defend their SmackDown tag titles under the Freebird Rule.
- That they did. (1/1)
- Peter Rosenberg’s guest spot on the TLC Kickoff is part of a push to bring “name” fans onto WWE Network. Sam Roberts is the next personality they hope to bring on.
- They brought in Roberts next. That’s it though. It’s Roberts and Rosenberg alternating pre-shows. (1/1)
- Another possibility is ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman, who responded to a fan asking if he would return to hosting pre-show panels by saying he and WWE “ARE working on it”.
- This did not happen. (0/1)
- This will likely be on pay-per-view (PPV) Kickoffs only, as the Raw and SmackDown pre-shows are reportedly on the chopping block.
- I never watched the pre-shows, but looking on the Network, they seem to be a thing of the past. (1/1)
- Undertaker was backstage at Raw in Austin last night, and it’s likely he’ll not only be at SmackDown in Houston tonight, but will appear on the show for the first time since the Survivor Series ‘go home’ show last month.
- He didn’t show up on this episode. In fact, he didn’t show up on any episode of SmackDown again. (0/1)
- AJ Styles was pulled from the Dec. 5 house show in Tyler, Texas as a precaution following his ankle injury at TLC, but he’s still expected to work his match against James Ellsworth on tonight’s SmackDown broadcast.
- They pushed the match for a couple weeks. (0/1)
- Jerry Lawler’s only contract with WWE right now is a Legends deal. He’ll continue to work special events like the Hall of Fame ceremony, but won’t be on an announcer or pre-show host going forward, per 411mania.
- He’s not an announcer full time (though he did call the Royal Rumble match). He does work some panels from time to time, such as Raw Talk and some pre-shows. (1/2)
- WWE has discussed the possibility of making NXT a live broadcast, per Wrestling Observer Radio. A lot of logistics would have to be worked out, obviously, but the move could happen in 2017.
- This has not happened. But it’s still 2017 still so I’ll sit on it. I doubt it though.
- There are plans to use NXT women, specifically Liv Morgan, for WWE’s post-Christmas house shows.
- Liv did appear on some main roster shows around that time. (1/1)
- Wrestling Observer confirmed that, like Jerry Lawler, Lita has been moved off regular WWE programming. She does have a Legends deal and can be used for special events, but won’t be used for episodic or event pre-shows.
- While we see Lawler sparingly on panel shows, Lita isn’t there at all. (1/1)
- There’s word going around that Samoa Joe is main roster bound, with Royal Rumble being the latest he’ll show up.
- He is on the main roster. (And number one contender to face Brock! Who would have thought that six months ago?) But he showed up the night after the Rumble. (1/2)
- Expect Baron Corbin to move into SmackDown’s title picture in the first half of 2017.
- That did not happen. It was AJ/Cena. Then Cena lost it to Wyatt. (Baron Corbin was in the Elimination Chamber match for the title as well but I wouldn’t count as “in the title picture”.) Then Wyatt feuded with Orton and now Orton’s feuding with Mahal. (0/1)
- Lana is scheduled to wrestle in tag matches at a couple NXT Florida house shows this weekend, reportedly to work on fundamentals for occasional spots and bumps - not because she’s going to pushed as a wrestler.
- She has a title match again Naomi next week. That’s “pushed as a wrestler” enough for me.
- SmackDown’s top two men’s feuds heading into 2017 will be John Cena chasing his 16th World title reign against AJ Styles and Miz vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental title, per Wrestling Observer.
- AJ and Cena fought at the Royal Rumble, where Cena won #16. Miz and Ambrose were in an intercontinental title program. (2/2)
- High on WWE’s list of potential talent acquisitions as the company’s in "signing mode"? Ring of Honor’s Adam Cole, whose contract is up in April.
- We should find out pretty soon. Keep an eye on that TakeOver: Brooklyn crowd and who the camera shows watching the show.
- AJ Styles is off house shows this weekend while he rests and rehabs his ankle. It’s not clear if he’ll be cleared by Tuesday, although he will be on the show in some capacity, and it’s not expected to be much longer before he is back in action.
- He wrestled pretty soon. (1/1)
- Dave Meltzer believes NXT TakeOver: San Antonio’s Women’s title match will be Asuka vs. either Peyton Royce or Billie Kay.
- That was a fatal four way between Kay, Royce, Asuka, and Nikki Cross. (0/1)
This week: 10/17 - 59%
Overall: 1,539/2,842 - 54.2%
Have a great week, everyone!