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Rumor Look Back: Dec. 20 - 26, 2020

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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 get right to it.

December 21, 2020

  • On the Wrestling Observer Board, Dave Meltzer said his sources told him the rumor about USA’s reaction to Raw’s ratings isn’t true. The network is disappointed and does suggest ideas, but have not pushed for dark, adult content.
  • I wonder how active they are in pitching ideas. The 24/7 title was apparently USA Network’s idea.
  • TLC’s Firefly Inferno match was pre-taped on Sunday afternoon, per WrestleVotes. It was not originally scheduled to be the main event.
  • It made sense to be in the closing spot because it was so different than the rest of the show. Plus how does someone follow a man being burned alive?
  • A Heel By Nature report indicated AEW recently filed to trademark ‘AEW Elevation’ and ‘AEW Dark’, leading to speculation by that site and others that Elevation will be the name of the company’s new third hour on a WarnerMedia property.
  • The new third hour is Rampage. Elevation is just another Dark. (0/1)
  • Impact will tape with Kenny Omega this week in Florida, says PW Insider. The material will be used in episodes leading up to his match at Hard To Kill on Jan. 16, 2021.
  • This partnership is still going strong. Kenny is still their champion.
  • Lucha Bros deals with AEW expired on August 31, but according to WrestleZone Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix extended them for another year on that date.
  • We don’t know the specifics of their contract. They are still there, but we don’t know when the last contracts ended.

December 22, 2020

  • The move to send guys like Keith Lee and Otis for more training is because Vince McMahon wants more “monsters”, says Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio. “Historically whenever WWE business is bad, Vince blames smaller guys on top, but right now, his thought process is he doesn’t have big guys who can work at that level.”
  • Otis is more monster than he had been as of right now. But Lee is nowhere to be seen. And Strowman has been released. But Vince does have newer big men in Omos and Commander Azeez. They’re not main event guys though. Omos is in a tag team. So it Otis. Azeez is Apollo’s heavy. With Strowman gone, they don’t have main event monsters.
  • TLC’s Firefly Inferno match was stopped during filming on occasion as WWE did retakes of dangerous spots, according to
  • This was not a match they could do live in one shot. Like when Randy Orton set the Fiend on fire.
  • WWE’s is talking about launching a lucha libre series that would essentially be NXT Mexico, says Wrestling Inc. This would be in addition to the NXT India and the TV show Triple H put a team together for that would fill the role of the pre-pandemic Florida house show circuit.
  • We’ll see if that ever happens. Starting to think no given all the talent cuts taking place.
  • Meltzer said on Observer Radio that AEW will be running their shows out of Daily’s Place in Jacksonville for a while yet, “until the world changes essentially.”
  • That’s pretty accurate. On the road very soon though. (1/1)
  • Mance Warner confirmed to Wrestling Inc that he did ask for his release from MLW.
  • I think he’s still with them technically, but hasn’t done anything with them lately. He’s working indie shows but if it’s still under contract, that would probably mean he can’t do any work for AEW, Impact, or WWE if that is his desire.

December 23, 2020

  • Braun Strowman is expected to be back sooner rather than later, per the Observer.
  • Looks like Jan. 26. So not that soon. As mentioned before, the big man has since been released, likely the most shocking release in the last month plus. (0/1)
  • It’s looking more and more like Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan is happening at Royal Rumble.
  • That did not happen at the Rumble. (0/1)
  • During a recent interview, Jey Uso said his brother, Jimmy, will be returning in January or February.
  • Jimmy just returned last month. (0/1)
  • For whatever it’s worth, Trish Stratus told the Women’s Wrestling Talk podcast that she’s had talks about working in NXT as a coach helping developmental talent in some capacity.
  • That’d be another good coach for the up and coming wrestlers.
  • Speculation has the Kenny Omega, Don Callis, Good Brothers group being known as “Super Elite.”
  • I don’t think they’ve ever used that. (0/1)

December 24, 2020

  • Ronda Rousey told Digital Spy she worked her last WWE run while the bottom vertebrae in her back was “actually broken in half.”
  • Ouch.
  • Both WWE and Keith Lee filed trademark claims on “Keith Lee”. Heel By Nature reports WWE was told their August claim would be rejected if they didn’t provide Lee’s consent by Dec. 31. Lee filed his claim last week.
  • I wonder if this is something that has any bearing on his current status. It’s actually just came back up in the rumors just this week. So this is something that’s been brewing for six months.
  • In last week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer speculated that Lars Sullivan was removed from SmackDown’s plans because WWE wants to push him as an unbeatable heel and the show already has one of those in Roman Reigns.
  • He was eventually released.
  • AJ Styles didn’t know ahead of time that Impact was going to use Swoggle as “The Wee-nomenal One”, according to Fightful. The site’s sources say he thought it was great though, and the bit was a big hit in the WWE locker room.
  • Swoggle has friends in the WWE locker room. And that seems like something AJ would enjoy.
  • On the ROH Strong podcast, former Ring of Honor owner Cary Silkin said he got “rinky-dink offers” from CM Punk and Jeff Jarrett for the promotion before he sold it to Sinclair Broadcasting in 2011.
  • Interesting.

December 25, 2020

  • According to Fightful, Mercedes Martinez asked to be removed from RETRIBUTION and return to NXT, and there is no significant heat on her for doing so.
  • That’s good.
  • Candice LeRae told PW Insider that she doesn’t actually have a broken arm; she suffered a deep tissue injury.
  • A broken arm would probably take much longer to heal up.
  • Fightful mentions that Liv Morgan has been praised backstage for going above and beyond, and for how passionate she is about improving.
  • They still haven’t given her a sustained push. But maybe she’ll win the Money in the Bank briefcase this year.
  • Post Wrestling was told that content for the upcoming NXT India project will be shot on Jan. 22, and it’s listed as “India Special.”
  • That was likely just how it was referred to in-house as an easy way to refer to it.
  • Sources say that Vince McMahon ordered Santa Claus to ditch his first name and change his entrance music while delivering Christmas presents this year. Claus is expected to contact Andrew Yang about this issue next week.
  • Much like the rest of the roster, Yang let Claus down. Santa is now working Main Event.

December 26, 2020

  • Daniel Bryan told BT Sport that he will be a part-time wrestler when he signs his next contract, which is coming up soon.
  • We’ll find out eventually, wherever he signs. He’s been out since losing the title match to Roman on SmackDown.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that Pat McAfee will be off TV “for a while,” maybe as far out as spring and it was a WWE call.
  • McAfee is back, but as a commentator on SmackDown. Maybe WWE had this in mind for a bit so asked he stop his character work on NXT. (1/1)
  • They also say NXT is being written with a long term vision in mind with rare changes, unlike Raw and SmackDown which change often leading into the show.
  • You can tell this by just watching the show. They tease little things that turn into bigger angles over time.
  • The Observer says the Slammy Awards this year were determined by a legitimate fan vote, at least for the major categories.
  • Did only babyfaces win? That’s what usually happens when it is a fan vote.
  • There’s talk that Rush and Dragon Lee have re-signed with Ring of Honor.
  • They did. (1/1)

This week: 3/8 - 38%

Overall: 3,783/6,732 - 56.2%

Have a good week, everyone!