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Rumor Look Back: Nov. 30 - Dec. 5, 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.

November 30, 2020

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that Braun Strowman’s knee injury is legit, and it’s not likely that he’ll be in the WWE championship match on Dec. 20 at TLC 2020.
  • He was not in that match. The TLC WWE championship match had Drew McIntyre, Miz, & AJ Styles. Strowman was shockingly released this week. This round of rumors has mention of a few of the released wrestlers and there was no indication that this was coming for any of them. (1/1)
  • According to Meltzer, one reason why SmackDown hasn’t been announcing many segments ahead of time in recent weeks is because Vince McMahon arrives at the building late, and nobody knows what to do until he gets there.
  • It still was a consistently solid program weekly.
  • Ringside News was told that four matches are approved for TLC right now: Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens, Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso, and Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka & Lana.
  • Two of these are correct - Roman vs. KO & Wyatt vs. Orton. Bryan and Uso weren’t on the card at all. And Lana wasn’t on the card but instead replaced by Charlotte. Speaking of Lana, she too has just been released. (2/4)
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter mentions that the term “codebreaker” is currently banned from WWE commentary.
  • How often would they use that term? No one uses the move regularly. Ricochet used a modified one which I think had a different name, but that’s all I can think about.
  • WWE producer D-Von Dudley revealed on his podcast that he’s off from work dealing with health issues. PW Insider notes that he has not been at the last few weeks of television tapings.
  • Looks like he’s doing well based on his Twitter.

December 1, 2020

  • “All indications are that Jeff Hardy was fine” after his head hit the ring steps during the swanton bomb that ended his match with Elias last night, tweeted Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp.
  • Jeff has wrestled since this but just been on Main Event lately. He should go to AEW and feud with Sting about who gets to mentor Darby Allin before it turns into a My Two Dads situation.
  • The script for Raw was only completed 25 minutes before the show went on the air, per Fightful Select.
  • Talk about a high stress situation.
  • The site’s sources say Raw has gone through “some considerable changes” the last two weeks and some of those were “well beyond WWE’s control.”
  • Meaning the network has made some changes?
  • The woman who accused Alberto Rodriguez (aka Del Rio/El Patron) of assaulting her & threatening her son earlier this year retracted her story in an Instagram post. Rodriguez was indicted on charges stemming from the case in October; as of Monday night there’s been no reporting which indicates those charges have been dropped.
  • The trial is still set for this summer.
  • WWE recently filed trademarks for the Friendship Frog character that debuted in Firefly Fun House last week, according to PW Insider.
  • We haven’t seen Wyatt since the one Fun House post his WrestleMania loss.

December 2, 2020

  • WWE is hoping to have a decision on having fans at Royal Rumble by Jan. 7, per WrestleVotes, but odds are 50/50 right now.
  • They did not have fans. It was a standard ThunderDome show.
  • The Royal Rumble pay-per-view, by the way, is currently looking like it will happen on Jan. 31.
  • That was the date. (1/1)
  • According to PW Insider, Bruce Prichard has gained a lot of power in WWE, to the point that all creative goes through both Prichard and Vince McMahon. This has led to some heat on Prichard among talents.
  • Prichard is on both shows - SmackDown is often good and Raw is often rough so I don’t know what kind of effect he has. I’m also not sure why that’d get heat with talent. Maybe they don’t want another buffer before getting an idea to Vince.
  • They also say there was considerable pushback against the opening segment from Raw this week featuring Randy Orton, Alexa Bliss, and Bray Wyatt, but it was a Vince McMahon vision and he wanted it.
  • This was when Randy claimed he had figured out Bliss is Wyatt’s newest weakness. It was fine.
  • Per Insider, Dabba-Kato and Arturo Ruas, who were being used on Raw Underground before it went away, have been at Raw recently but aren’t being used because it’s felt they need more seasoning before becoming TV regulars.
  • Dabba is now Commander Azeez. Ruas is unfortunately injured.

December 3, 2020

  • Nobody backstage that Fightful Select spoke to knew Sting was even in the building before his AEW debut last night.
  • Best way to make sure the surprise isn’t spoiled. Of course TNT wasn’t happy that it was a surprise at all.
  • Liv Morgan’s recent WWE Network documentary surprised some backstage, according to Fightful Select, because it depicted the company in a somewhat negative light by showing the stop/start booking Liv received over the past couple years.
  • That stop/start booking hasn’t changed. Recently just took a loss to Carmella after her partner Ruby Riott was released.
  • A “top NXT Superstar” recently tested positive for COVID-19, per another Fightful Select report. They say the wrestler was not booked for WarGames this Sunday, however.
  • NXT had a continual problem with COVID.
  • Braun Strowman did not get surgery on his injured knee, says Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live. It’s speculated he won’t miss much time since he’s just rehabbing the injury.
  • He was out for 2 months. (0/1)
  • One last Fightful Select scoop: WWE almost re-did the Mickie James/Trish Stratus obsessed fan storyline with Chelsea Green as the fan and James in the role Stratus played the first time around in 2005 - 2006.
  • That was one of the many ideas that was floated.

December 4, 2020

  • The Observer notes that Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss are babyface and Randy Orton, being such a great heel, will help complete their turn.
  • I dunno about that. But I don’t know about much about this feud.
  • Per Fightful, Vince McMahon has been insistent on doing Tribute to the Troops this year even with an altered format.
  • That’s not surprising. They’re pretty consistent with that.
  • Ringside News says the show will tape on Friday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, ensuring a long day for wrestlers working that show and SmackDown this week.
  • A double duty day for many.
  • They also say there is currently no timetable for the return of Mandy Rose, who isn’t factored into any plans right now.
  • She was back within a few weeks.
  • Sonjay Dutt is now working full time for NXT, according to PW Insider.
  • I always get a kick of how many former TNA talent are working at WWE in some capacity.

December 5, 2020

  • The “balance of power is shifting” tweet from AEW’s Tony Khan is now being credited as referring to the series of events that have since played out in Pac’s return, Sting showing up, and the angle with Kenny Omega going to Impact Wrestling, per the Observer.
  • PAC wasn’t a big shift since he already worked there, but Sting and the Impact deal were big.
  • They also note that Sting and the promotional war were ideas to “jump start business going into the new year.”
  • Makes sense.
  • The Street Profits vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, Sami Zayn vs. Big E, and Bobby Lashley vs. Riddle are all possible matchups for TLC.
  • None of those matches were on the show. (0/3)
  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there was a new Covid-19 positive in NXT that was never revealed publicly.
  • Again and again with these NXT COVID stories.
  • Per the Observer, AEW won’t be pursuing Tessa Blanchard.
  • We don’t know if they pursued her or not. But as of this moment, she hasn’t signed with anyone that we know of.

This week: 4/10 - 40%

November 2020: 38/62 - 61%

Overall: 3,763/6,695 - 56.2%

Have a great week, everyone!