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Rumor Look Back: July 17 - 23, 2020


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

July 17, 2020

  • On the Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross mentioned that one reason why so many pushes are suddenly stopped in WWE is because Vince McMahon is often influenced by the last person he talks to, so all it takes is for someone with an agenda to get his ear and change his mind.
  • That seems like a poor way of doing things.
  • Apollo Crews told Newsweek that Paul Heyman was “one of the main reasons” for his current push on Raw.
  • It’s not surprising given his push on SmackDown is tied into the Roman Reigns storyline alongside Paul Heyman.
  • MMA star Henry Cejudo told Adam’s Apple that he has been “in contact” with AEW about a “potential big pay-per-view.” Cejudo appeared on Dynamite alongside Mike Tyson in late May.
  • That has not led to anywhere yet.
  • Bayley’s fiancé, independent wrestler Aaron Solow, was spotted in the audience at AEW’s Fight for the Fallen.
  • Cool.
  • Fightful says that before he left NWA, Ricky Starks turned down their contract offer for $1,000 per month.
  • AEW is the right career move with way more opportunity and spotlight.

July 18, 2020

  • Brock Lesnar is not currently scheduled for SummerSlam, per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • He did not work that show, and has not been seen since WrestleMania.
  • The current expectation is there will be no title changes at Extreme Rules.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro won the SmackDown tag titles from the New Day. (0/1)
  • According to the Observer, Randy Orton vs. Big Show is being done on Raw instead of Extreme Rules because of record low ratings recently.
  • Those PC ratings were rough. Not that they’re much better now.
  • Speaking of Orton, they also say he’s likely headlining SummerSlam challenging Drew McIntyre for the WWE title.
  • For me, headlining implies that’s the main event, and Fiend vs. Strowman was the headliner. (0/1)
  • Fightful says Kayla Braxton endeared herself to the WWE locker room with the way she handled her positive COVID-19 test.
  • I wonder in what sense. Like she wasn’t angry about the working conditions that led to it?

July 20, 2020

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer claimed that wrestlers complaining about the post-Crown Jewel travel issues factored into their being released in April: “Another thing was the guys who had given the company bad publicity over Saudi Arabia, which was Rusev and Karl Anderson and Joe Hennig.”
  • Seems petty but also, very WWE. Rusev landed in AEW and Anderson is in Impact. I haven’t heard anything about Joe Hennig.
  • Before Impact released her, Wrestling Inc says Anderson & Luke Gallows were going to debut at Slammiversary by attacking Tessa Blanchard.
  • That would have been an interesting debut. Set them up as monster heels from the start.
  • On his Saturday Night Special livestream, Chris Jericho says the plan for Anderson & Gallows in AEW was to have them in the Inner Circle.
  • They would have been an interesting fit, but I like that they chose more unknown guys (and Jake Hager) for the Inner Circle to give them exposure.
  • New Knockouts champ Deonna Purrazzo is working without a contract for Impact, per Fightful.
  • She’s the champion now, signing a longterm contract last October.
  • At various points this year, Fightful reports Shayna Baszler was pencilled in by WWE to win the Royal Rumble, the Raw Women’s title at WrestleMania 36, and Money in the Bank. Then in each case, “plans changed.”
  • That sucks for Shayna.

July 21, 2020

  • PW Insider says WWE did film a version Extreme Rules Eye For An Eye match that used “prosthetic make-up” to show Rey Mysterio’s eye popping out, but Vince McMahon hated it so it wasn’t used.
  • They went more subtle, but it was still super lame.
  • Ric Flair was spotted making a Starbucks run in Georgia without a mask, which has caused a stir since The New York Post reports Flair tested positive for COVID last Wednesday. The Nature Boy denies that, but confirmed his wife Wendy has the virus. He says they live on different floors of their house. Flair was not on Monday’s Raw.
  • I would not be surprised if the Nature Boy didn’t take the virus as seriously as he should just because that dude probably thinks he’s invincible at times.
  • A source told Vince McMahon is “not sweating” WWE’s recent TV numbers. USA & Fox allegedly are happy, and Vince thinks audiences will climb back over two million when fans can attend tapings, which he believes will happen in September. McMahon is “doing what he can by putting on PPV matches on Raw and SmackDown” though.
  • It didn’t happen in September. We’ll see how ratings respond to fans returning. SmackDown’s ratings aren’t too far off from when they had fans. These rumors are all pre-ThunderDome, which did make the product much more aesthetically appealing.
  • Dave Meltzer & Bryan Alvarez speculated on Wrestling Observer Radio the reason the finish to Asuka vs. Sasha Banks at Extreme Rules was changed was so the rematch could happen on Raw to hopefully pop a number.
  • Those ratings are always on their mind.
  • Impact has discussed a TNA spin-off series, according to PW Insider. AXS TV is said to be high on the idea.
  • There is not a spin off series. (0/1)

July 22, 2020

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer indicated there was originally a plan for Ron Simmons to make a new Nation of Domination on Raw this week. That changed for this week, but apparently it could still happen.
  • There is no new Nation. The Hurt Business has been its own thing. (0/1)
  • He also said there were plans for Natalya to injure Kairi Sane as her write off from television but that was changed to Shayna Baszler.
  • The final write off was the Golden Role Models.
  • It’s unclear, however, if the plan is for Asuka vs. Baszler at SummerSlam as of right now but at one point it was.
  • It ended up being Asuka facing both Bayley and Sasha Banks separately.
  • The Observer also says it looks like the angle setting up Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton could be going down next week.
  • The show went off the air with McIntyre taking an RKO OUTTA NOWHERE. (1/1)
  • According to WrestleVotes, Evolve and wXw will be on the WWE Network before the end of the year.
  • It looks like both promotions are on the Network. (2/2)

July 23, 2020

  • Rey Mysterio met with WWE yesterday for discussions PW Insider Elite says involved major developments in their contract negotiations. Rey is said to be sticking to his request for a pay raise.
  • Rey deserves a raise. You don’t lowball a legend.
  • Vince McMahon didn’t like the Eye For An Eye match, but was a big fan of Extreme Rules Swamp Fight between Bray Wyatt & Braun Strowman according to Sportskeeda’s Tom Colohue.
  • I was disappointed with the Swamp Fight.
  • While Monday was her last day, Fightful reports Kairi Sane did tape material for next week’s Raw.
  • This was the final angle when Bayley attacked Kairi to allow Sasha win the Raw Women’s title via countout (which was the stipulation). (1/1)
  • They also say WWE is still pitching ideas to keep Sane in the company and away from working for competitors. They include serving as a trainer or brand ambassador in Japan.
  • It sounds like she is still is representing them in some capacity but it’s not entirely clear.
  • Stephanie McMahon said in an interview with AdAge that she thinks WWE will have fans back in attendance at shows “sooner than later.”
  • Sounds like WrestleMania will be the earliest. (0/1)

This week: 4/9 - 44%

Overall: 3,623/6,446 - 56.2%

Have a good week, everyone. Stay safe out there.

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