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Rumor Look Back: May 21 - 27, 2021

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. First, let’s knock out a few of the rumors off the long list of outstanding rumors that I have.

March 11, 2019

  • There’s a (probably slight) chance Saudi Arabia will allow women to wrestle at WWE’s shows there this year. That hope is part of why the company hasn’t made plans for a 2019 Evolution event yet, according to Wrestling Observer, as WWE would then hype that the kind of major breakthrough an all women PPV was last year.
  • It did happen with Natalya defeating Lacey Evans on the next show. I was surprised they were able to agree to get Saudi Arabia to allow that. And it continues, with now multiple women’s matches on the shows. (1/1)
  • The Observer also confirmed reports the second Saudi show this year will be in November, and says WWE has cut low attendance European shows to account for their trips to the KSA.
  • So it was actually October 31. This is one of the things I’m always very rigid about even though it’s literally a day off. (0/1)

March 12, 2019

  • PW Insider notes that WWE filed to trademark Tough Enough again, and it could be to revive the show once more.
  • It’s been over two years. If they trademarked it at that time to bring it back, it did not happen. (0/1)

April 9, 2019

  • A third Mae Young Classic is on the way this year, according to Squared Circle Sirens, who say the news was revealed in a German documentary on WWE’s tryouts in the country.
  • This is incorrect. There were only two, which is a shame because I quite enjoyed both of them. (0/1)

OK, now let’s get to this week’s rumors.

May 21, 2021

  • Sports Illustrated states that SummerSlam 2021 will take place in Nevada. F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer mentions that Allegiant Stadium is the leading candidate for the venue.
  • That’s accurate. Allegiant in Las Vegas, Nevada. (2/2)
  • SI also indicates that Money in the Bank 2021 will take place in July, in front of live fans in Texas. WWE believes this event is significantly improved with a live audience, whereas June’s Hell in a Cell 2021 event is better-suited for the ThunderDome. That’s why Hell in a Cell is scheduled first, before live fans return to WWE.
  • That’s accurate regarding Money in the Bank in front of fans. They’re also correct that Hell in a Cell is less enjoyable live given you’re looking through a massive, sometimes red, cage. (1/1)
  • WrestleVotes says the FOX network has “privately pushed for a return to live crowds” in WWE over the last few weeks. They want WWE on the same level as other sports leagues like MLB.
  • That makes sense. They probably felt it could only help in the ratings.
  • Per Meltzer, all eight of the NXT and developmental talents who were released by WWE on Wednesday were told the decision was made due to budget concerns.
  • The’s been the company line for months now.
  • Scotty 2 Hotty was one of the zombies who devoured The Miz at WrestleMania Backlash.
  • Should have done the worm. Scottie recently asked for his release from his NXT producer role.

May 22, 2021

  • The Wrestling Observer says there are ongoing talks of John Cena appearing on the first WWE show back with fans.
  • Since the first live show back with fans was a SmackDown, this is incorrect. He returned at Money in the Bank, the second show back. (0/1)
  • Ringside News says WWE was paid more than $1 million for promoting Army of the Dead with zombies in the match at WrestleMania Backlash.
  • I wonder how much they’re getting from Netflix for the Red Notice promotion. Word has it it’s a very hefty sum. It doesn’t make for the best television (though I found Vince specifically entertaining with the egg, even with the whole thing being dumb), but it gets them paid.
  • Soulja Boy told Hot 97 he’s still hoping to work with WWE but there are no plans for that right now.
  • I don’t remember talk of this at all.
  • WWE is trying to work out a deal with “Speedball” Mike Bailey, per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • If they did, nothing came from it.
  • Chelsea Green is in talks with Impact Wrestling but no deal is done just yet, says the Observer.
  • She ended up there eventually. We don’t know the timing of the negotiation/deal.

May 24, 2021

  • According to Fightful Select, Edge is not injured and his disappearance from television is just some planned time off.
  • Right now, Edge is just coming off about a month off and returning at Raw tomorrow.
  • While PW Insider couldn’t confirm talks of John Cena returning to WWE, they did confirm production on the show he’s working on, Peacemaker, ends on July 6, shortly before WWE is set to hit the road again.
  • I’m looking forward to Peacemaker. I really enjoyed John in Suicide Squad.
  • Insider also says WWE weren’t giving talent any heads up on the announcement of going back out on the road because they wanted to avoid leaks and account for the possibility that plans could change at any moment.
  • That makes sense. WWE can be pretty leaky with so many people there.
  • As for the return of furloughed or fired workers who worked the live events side, they say it remains to be seen if they’ll be brought back.
  • Some agents came back. Maybe to be released again later but they were back.
  • Per the Observer, there’s an episode of Dynamite that will be moved to a Saturday in late June thanks to conflicts with the NBA Playoffs.
  • That’s true. (1/1)

May 25, 2021

  • Rick Boogs is just one of several call-ups from NXT and NXT UK we’ll be seeing on Raw and SmackDown in the coming weeks, per Fightful Select.
  • Shotzi Blackheart and the since been released Tegan Nox debuted about a month later. Boogs is doing pretty well for himself alongside Shinsuke Nakamura. Shotzi is doing well too. It was pretty dumb releasing Tegan. (1/1)
  • Sources tell Ringside News that WWE’s card for Hell in a Cell “has not only not been booked,” at this point “what has been booked is already changing drastically.”
  • We hear these rumors so often, that I can’t imagine they’re false.
  • According to Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian, Ted DiBiase is bringing the Million Dollar belt back for his NXT storyline with Cameron Grimes. It’s not confirmed how or how long it will be used on TV.
  • That’s true. It was used for the LA Knight/Cameron Grimes feud. In the end, Grimes gave the belt back to Ted Dibiasi. Then they rebooted the entire show so who knows if there were longer plans. (1/1)
  • Mitch Metcalf of Showbuzz Daily indicates there’s a chance the ratings site won’t return from its recent technical issues. Dave Meltzer writes that would be a huge blow to the business, since “all wrestling companies, TV companies, sports stations, etc. looked to that site for numbers.”
  • It’s back, thank goodness. (0/1)
  • The WON reports Rey Fenix is missing Double or Nothing due to injuries suffered during a booking in Mexico.
  • The style that man works, he’s bound to get banged up pretty often.

May 26, 2021

  • For whatever it’s worth, Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Podcast noted that John Cena’s apology to the people of China for calling Taiwan a country is “NOT going over well at WWE right now.”
  • Oh I remember the John Cena international incident.
  • According to Dave Meltzer, the decision to let Adnan Virk go was made by the company, despite the wording in the official release stating it was “mutually agreed” upon.
  • They really didn’t have a choice. They didn’t put him in a position to succeed, he didn’t succeed, and they let him go. I’m surprised Jimmy Smith did so well off the bat give how the Adnan stuff went down.
  • Despite the way she’s been booked on Raw, WWE still sees Rhea Ripley as a babyface, says Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Live.
  • During that Charlotte feud, who the F knows. They booked her as one after that whole thing ended.
  • Fightful Select says AEW is planning a “unique live experience” for the Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing.
  • The match ended in the ring but I think otherwise, they just watched it on the big screen. (0/1)
  • Deadline notes that WWE Studios had its film, TV, and social media departments hit with layoffs.
  • Everyone in WWE got laid off this year.

May 27, 2021

  • Regarding Adnan Virk’s time on Raw, Fightful Select’s sources told them both sides “were very aware that the situation wasn’t working out, and it appeared they knew it early on.” WWE was going to make a move either way, but was happy they worked out an amicable split.
  • This isn’t surprising. There’s no way Virk didn’t know how it was going.
  • At a company-wide meeting held after this week’s layoffs, PW Insider reports WWE corporate employees were told they’ll return to working in the Stamford offices in July.
  • Wonder how many still have their jobs after all these layoffs.
  • Not clear if this is the same meeting or if it was separate one, but WrestleVotes tweeted that “WWE hosted an internal conference today with most of the ‘power players’ including Nick Khan.” It was ”a ‘reassurance meeting’ after many people got laid off and afterwards, current employees feel no more assured of anything.”
  • Why should they?
  • Jimmy Jacobs told TWC Show, “I think that Vince [McMahon] will never, ever, ever hire another independent wrestler to be on the writing team again after I got fired so, so it goes.”
  • Jimmy Jacobs is pretty good with the creative side of things.
  • Will Ospreay and New Japan disagreed about how to treat Ospreay’s neck injury, per Voices of Wrestling. The company wanted him to remain in Japan; he wanted to return to the United Kingdom. The site says the original plan was for Ospreay to drop the IWGP World Heavyweight title to Kazuchika Okada before taking time off to heal up, but the COVID outbreak made that impossible.
  • Tough situation.

This week: 6/9 - 67%

Overall: 3,952/7,004 - 56.4%

Have a great week, everyone!

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