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Rumor Look Back: Jan. 11 - 17, 2021

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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.

January 11, 2021

  • There’s at least some speculation that Adam Pearce won’t end up being Roman Reigns’ opponent at Royal Rumble after all, and Kevin Owens will get that spot.
  • That’s accurate. (2/2)
  • Kurt Angle said on his Facebook that he couldn’t make WWE Legends Night because of a prior commitment he couldn’t get out of.
  • That commitment was not being at Raw.
  • WrestleMania 24 was taken off the WWE Network recently and the speculation is that it has to do with music rights and will be restored shortly.
  • Music rights can be an issue.
  • Per Wrestling Inc, Dalton Castle is a free agent right now. Ring of Honor has apparently offered him a good deal but he’s exploring his options.
  • Castle is still in ROH. Now that Tyler Breeze is a free agent, I’d like to see a Breeze/Castle match up given their similar characters and the fact they’re both really good in the ring. That’s something that would get me to tune into Ring of Honor show.
  • SI says Rush and Dragon Lee are expected to sign new deals with Ring of Honor within the next week.
  • They’re both in ROH currently. Rush just lost the ROH title. Dragon Lee won the TV title. A lot of titles changed hands at the Best in the World. (1/1)

January 12, 2021

  • A SmackDown wrestler was pulled from last Friday’s episode after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a Ringside News report later confirmed by Wrestling Observer.
  • Never good. I wonder the percentage of wrestlers who have opted to get the vaccine.
  • No surprise given yesterday’s COVID news, but PW Insider says WWE was way behind scripting Raw. At shortly after 7 p.m. Eastern they were still finishing the script for the first hour.
  • A very common story. In fact, it should be news when they aren’t re-writing the show hours before.
  • On a recent edition of his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross mentioned he’d heard WWE is looking to do more romance angles. This could help explain the pairing of Ric Flair & Lacey Evans.
  • I don’t think they really have done really much of any. The Aalyah Mysterio/Murphy kiss was prior. There’s Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis in NXT, but that’s all I can think of. Remind me of any I may have missed below. (0/1)
  • WWE plans to use big-name Raw and SmackDown stars on the Superstar Spectacle special event for the Indian market later this month. Sportskeeda says Drew McIntyre, AJ Styles, Charlotte Flair, The New Day, Bayley, and Rey Mysterio are names being considered for the taping, which will probably take place in Florida.
  • Yeah, most of WWE’s big stars were part of this event. (1/1)
  • Regarding talk of Jay White leaving New Japan and possibly joining WWE, Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio he thinks it’s probably an angle. Meltzer says when The Young Bucks checked with White before starting AEW, he told them he’d just signed a seven year contract with New Japan.
  • I don’t know if it was an angle, but he didn’t leave New Japan.

January 13, 2021

  • According to PW Insider, the jaw injury Kofi Kingston is dealing with right now is a legitimate issue.
  • He didn’t wrestle for most of January. (1/1)
  • The Observer says the top rope breaking during the Keith Lee spot on Raw was planned, and it was just a big moment before a commercial break.
  • That was a solid spot .
  • Per Wrestling Observer Radio, Ric Flair is back as a full time performer, though it’s unclear how long that will last.
  • It was only a month before we learned Lacey Evans was pregnant so we don’t know how long he’d have been a major player.
  • WrestleVotes notes that WWE believes the stress of trying to remove the ThunderDome setup for one night of fans at Royal Rumble is too much to make happen.
  • That make sense. It was really weird to have the Rumble with no fans though. Not that they really should have given the vaccine was not widely available at that time.
  • WWE initially planned to tape the Superstar Spectacle event over a few days at the Performance Center in Orlando but now it will be taped in one day, on Jan. 21, per PW Insider.
  • It ended up in front of the ThunderDome.

January 14, 2021

  • Last fall, Fightful Select says all the members of RETRIBUTION except for Mustafa Ali were offered new three year contracts worth $250k per year. This is “significantly lower” than past deals offered to acts moving to the main roster.
  • RETRIBUTION isn’t a thing any more.
  • Offers have gone down due to the pandemic, and some talent have been told they might be able to re-negotiate later. It’s not known whether RETRIBUTION was told the same thing, or whether they signed the deals.
  • WWE was making good money but still using the pandemic to lowball talent. Not surprising.
  • Some recent call-ups are still making the same money on Raw or SmackDown that they were making in NXT, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio. That will likely be the case until their contracts are up or some form of touring resumes, whichever comes first.
  • Anything to pay talent less.
  • WWE passed on signing ROH World champ RUSH because his asking price was too high, per Wrestling Inc.
  • Wonder how he would have fared in the E. I’m pretty certain he wouldn’t have been world champion.
  • On her Twitch channel, Lita said Vince McMahon threatened to fire her if she didn’t take part in Edge’s “Live Sex Celebration” on Raw in 2006. She, Edge, John Cena & others apparently all tried to talk Vince out of segment, but he liked the idea too much to give it up.
  • Everyone in the segment tried to talk Vince out of it but he was still like “Nah.” Interesting that we just had Buddy Murphy talking about his discomfort when it came to kissing Aalyah on air.

January 15, 2021

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said that despite what Drew McIntyre said on Raw about having no symptoms of COVID-19, he’s actually had mild symptoms.
  • I don’t see the need to sugar coat it. Especially since they were mild symptoms. Why not just tell the truth? It feels like an attempt to play down the virus, which is an overall dangerous habit. Not that this one incident is in a vacuum is a big deal.
  • Meltzer is aware of at least four WWE wrestlers who have or had COVID as part of the current outbreak: McIntyre, a SmackDown star, an NXT star, and a “big star” who just returned from COVID. At least one of these four wrestlers is a woman, and McIntyre is the only one from Raw.
  • These reports always lead to a few guessing games.
  • Fightful says there are many frustrated people at the WWE Performance Center right now due to inadequate COVID protocols, such as only being tested once per week.
  • It really sounds like the PC handled COVID prevention very poorly.
  • F4WOnline’s Bryan Alvarez mentioned that he doesn’t think Riddle has signed a new contract with WWE yet.
  • I wonder if he has by now. Especially given how featured he is.
  • In an interview with talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy, NXT wrestler Ridge Holland said that he’s hoping to return from his devastating leg injuries in about six to nine months.
  • Fingers crossed. It’s been about six but let’s see.

January 16, 2021

  • Fightful says WrestleMania 37 is now being listed as moved from Mar. 28 to April 11, 2021.
  • That was one of the two dates. (1/1)
  • PW Insider notes that the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view will now be held on Feb. 21, a week earlier than WWE originally planned for.
  • Also true. (1/1)
  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Randy Orton announcing himself for the Royal Rumble was a red herring and there still looks to be a plan to do Orton vs. Bray Wyatt in a gimmick match.
  • That gimmick match did not happen at the Rumble (or at all really). (0/1)
  • Trademark filings seem to indicate Matt Cardona could be bringing back his “True Hollywood Story” video series.
  • That’s not the case. (0/1)
  • For what it’s worth, Sonny Kiss has said he is not injured.
  • That’s good.

This week: 7/10 - 70%

Overall: 3,802/6,766 - 56.2%

Have a great week, everyone!