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Rumor Look Back: Dec. 27, 2020 - Jan. 3, 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.

December 28, 2020

  • For whatever it’s worth, Ryback recently claimed he heard Vince McMahon’s “health isn’t great these days.”
  • I don’t think it’s worth much.
  • Fightful Select notes that Charlotte Flair wasn’t originally planned to be involved in the Lana/Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler/Asuka storyline. The decision to change plans came just after Survivor Series.
  • There was a legit injury to Lana that changed things, I believe. But it also may have been the plan. Charlotte is often being inserted in stories where she doesn’t belong.
  • WWE has filed for a trademark for “The Hardy Bros,” leading to speculation Jeff Hardy and Matt Riddle will be teaming for a while.
  • That wasn’t a real thing. Instead, it’s the wildly entertaining RK-Bro. I really don’t think Jeff & Matt would have worked as a team. They’re too similar. Riddle works better with a straight man to play off of, in this case Randy. (0/1)
  • WWE Network News says Bayley will be the next guest on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions.
  • She was the next guest. Austin is a big Bayley fan. (1/1)
  • Riho is done with Stardom now, says the Observer, because they wanted talent to be exclusive and she is still on a deal with AEW.
  • That’s still the word. She hasn’t worked any Stardom matches since this - only AEW. (1/1)

December 29, 2020

  • There’s “no heat” on Pat McAfee, per Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio. He thinks NXT isn’t using McAfee because they don’t want to rely on him, “it’s better in smaller doses.”
  • This would be the best way to use a talent like McAfee in NXT. Now he’s calling SmackDown every week, which is another good use of the man.
  • In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was reported “WWE has been making overtures now toward some of the top level Impact talent to find out when contracts expire.”
  • This may or may not be true. No one has made their way to WWE from Impact that I can think of.
  • According to Fightful, a number of the contract extensions Impact talent signed in early 2019 were completed months before they were publicly announced, so there could be more free agents next month than expected.
  • I can’t think of a lot of people who jumped ship from Impact to either fed. Ethan Page is the only name that comes to mind.
  • WWE was going to hold off on a Bobby Lashley/Riddle United States title match until Royal Rumble, but Fightful Select claims the company’s discussed doing it before the Jan. 31 PPV.
  • A random change.
  • The Observer also says that while AEW did trademark the name, “Elevation” is not the name they’ll use for their second show on TNT.
  • That’s the name of their second AEW Dark. (1/1)

December 30, 2020

  • PW Insider says they were told WWE filmed material with wrestlers at Raw this week for a tribute to Jon Huber (aka Brodie Lee/Luke Harper).
  • There were videos of different Raw & SmackDown talent remembering Jon - all released on social media. (1/1)
  • Fightful says WWE has a video package for him but it’s unclear when exactly it will air.
  • They never aired a true video package. (0/1)
  • The newest odds have Bianca Belair favored to win the women’s Royal Rumble matches. Big E is still the favorite to win the men’s match.
  • It was Bianca and Edge. Big E would be a good choice to win this year. (1/2)
  • Ringside News claims WWE has plans for “another crazy gimmick match” between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt at Royal Rumble.
  • They didn’t fight again until WrestleMania. (0/1)
  • Nick Aldis told Konnan on his podcast NWA picked up an option on his contract and he will be staying with the promotion.
  • He’s still with them.

December 31, 2020

  • On the Dynamite post-show, Tony Schiavone said AEW is re-designing the TNT title, and Darby Allin will carry the new look belt. The version given to Brodie Lee Jr. last night is his for life. No one else will ever hold that design.
  • The new design is very similar.
  • An update on Riddle’s WWE contract status from Fightful Select says he was not impressed by the company’s first offer, but after being presented with revised terms, sources say he did sign a multi-year deal last week.
  • They’re pushing him pretty hard. He’s pretty much the star of Monday Night Raw right now.
  • Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp tweeted that WWE and AEW “both acquired some photos and materials featuring Jon Huber/Brodie Lee and his early career.” We saw some in the show-closing video on Dynamite. It’s believed WWE will use them in the tribute they filmed material for at Raw this week.
  • There was no tribute video that was aired on WWE TV, which I found very disappointing. (0/1)
  • Eve Torres will appear on Monday’s Raw for Legends Night, according to Wrestling Inc. Teddy Long told the site he believes he’ll be on the show.
  • Doesn’t look like she was there. (0/1)
  • WWE recently filed trademark claims on the names Nash Carter, Wes Lee, Shi Zui, Shi Gun & Tian Sha.
  • Shi Zui and Shi Gun aren’t names that have popped up. Maybe there were possible names for Boa & Xia Li under the influence of Tian Sha? The rest of the names are in use.

January 1, 2021

  • According to PW Insider, WWE was showing AEW respect by letting them pay tribute to Brodie Lee first.
  • That may have been true. But they never really paid tribute outside a brief graphic to open Raw & SmackDown.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer says that Chris Jericho was not supposed to say the name Erick Rowan on commentary during the big man’s surprise appearance on Dynamite because WWE owns that intellectual property. That’s why Excalibur interjected with “Redbeard!” every time Jericho said “Rowan.”
  • I remember Excalibur shouting “Redbeard” every time. Jericho didn’t get the hint though. It was an emotional moment though so I get it.
  • Former WWE referee Mike Chioda told AdFreeShows that even before the global pandemic, there was talk within WWE of cutting down their domestic house show schedule to one weekend per month. Live events were much more profitable overseas than within the United States.
  • I’m curious what it’s going to be coming out of this.
  • TalkSPORT revealed that Ben Carter will make his NXT UK debut on Jan. 7, 2021.
  • That looks right. (1/1)
  • Tyson Kidd mentioned on The Dropkick Podcast that he’s trying to convince Davey Boy Smith Jr. to return to WWE.
  • That hasn’t happened. At least not yet.

January 2, 2021

  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says the tentative plan for Randy Orton and The Fiend is to have a Firefly Fun House match at Royal Rumble 2021.
  • That did not happen. (0/1)
  • The Observer also notes that Erick Rowan is not signed to an AEW contract. His appearance on this week’s Dynamite was a one time deal.
  • Yes, it was only a one time thing. It was a very emotional moment. (1/1)
  • Fightful explains that at least half a dozen WWE performers have balked at recent new contract offers. It is assumed that the dollar amounts in these contracts are lower than expected due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • It’s good that there are options out there, even though AEW isn’t going to be an option for everyone.
  • Per the Observer, Stardom’s plans for their big show on Mar. 3 in Budokan Hall included bringing in Kairi Sane, but her attempts to gain WWE’s approval for this appearance “got nowhere.”
  • They never got anything done. Io Shirai sent a video though.
  • Another tidbit about Stardom mentions that AEW did not allow Riho to lose there during her recent work with the promotion, and that’s related to why she was not involved in any key programs.
  • That’s what happens when you’re beholden to two companies.

This week: 7/14 - 50%

December 2020: 27/53 - 51%

2020 total: 410/717 - 57.2%

Overall: 3,790/6,746 - 56.2%

Have a great week, everyone! Enjoy the 4th.