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Rumor Look Back: Feb. 15 - 21, 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.

February 15, 2021

  • Plans originally called for Roman Reigns to defend the Universal title in an Elimination Chamber match at next Sunday’s PPV, per Wrestling Observer Radio.
  • The Tribal Chief is above all that.
  • A source told Ringside News it was Reigns’ call to shift to the current plan, “They weren’t getting him in that chamber. No chance.”
  • It didn’t make sense for his character. The way he took advantage of a worn out Bryan was a much better play. I also appreciate that Roman has that type of autonomy over his character. More people in WWE should.
  • According to PW Insider, whatever was planned for Sammy Guevara at Impact before he was pulled over creative differences would have been a “short storyline”.
  • Doesn’t seem like there was any long lingering issue from that. Maybe there are still some hurt feelings, but that didn’t really hurt anything. Sammy is still booked very well as Jericho helps him become a big babyface. The partnership with Impact is still very strong. Looking back six months later, it sure seems like this didn’t cause any harm.
  • On his post-TakeOver media call, Triple H said the NXT Women’s title match at Vengeance Day had more time allotted to it than was used. Because some things didn’t go as planned like the announce table collapsing while prepping to use it in a spot, the performers had to improvise and didn’t go as long.
  • I remember that match not feeling as strong as it should have been.
  • Joining Taya Valkyrie in the next Performance Center class will be indie wrestler Blake Christian, who has recently been working with Impact, and Harlem Bravado, formerly of Evolve.
  • Looks like they’re both in WWE. (2/2)

February 16, 2021

  • WWE is handing out “violations” to talent for social media posts that mention any third party business, person, brand or charity, reports Wrestling Inc.
  • They really clamped down.
  • “Violations” start with a warning before proceeding to fines and suspensions. WWE is citing a clause in talent contracts which grants them exclusive use of signee’s likenesses to claim ownership of talent Twitter and Instagram accounts.
  • They really stretch that independent contractor definition.
  • This has predictably not gone over well in the locker room, but Inc says WWE’s telling talent who complain the company could retract “the current ‘flexibility’ allowed in social media.”
  • There was a rumor we looked at last week concerning poor morale in the locker room. This couldn’t help matters.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said he heard from one person in Impact who said that the creative Sammy Guevara turned down “was something he should’ve turned down”.
  • I remember hearing that he may have done something with Decay, which didn’t seem to fit his character.
  • PW Insider says the New Japan/Impact crossover arrangement was in the works before AEW and New Japan’s agreement was in place.
  • The Forbidden Door is wide open.

February 17, 2021

  • Dave Meltzer mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio that there’s something going on with Keith Lee and he may get removed from the U.S. title match at Elimination Chamber.
  • He was not at Elimination Chamber. We recently learned that he was suffering from scary COVID after effects.
  • For that matter, Meltzer says none of the matches under the top three are certain at this point.
  • Some shows are in more flux than others.
  • PW Insider notes that MVP legitimately suffered a leg injury on Raw this week and he’s already traveled to Alabama to get looked at.
  • He still uses the cane. Probably longer than he needs to as a heel is wont to do.
  • Wrestling Inc says WWE learned of Lacey Evans’ pregnancy during the day and rewrote Raw for later in the evening.
  • They should be used to last minute rewrites at this point.
  • According to talkSPORT, Millie McKenzie has signed with WWE to be a part of the NXT UK brand.
  • Looks like that’s where she works her craft. (1/1)

February 18, 2021

  • Fans on Twitter were concerned after Kyle O’Reilly was taken away from ringside on a stretcher after NXT went off the air last night, but FOX’s Ryan Satin reports it was a work and O’Reilly was just selling the attack by Adam Cole that closed the show.
  • This was that time folks thought he was having a seizure, I believe.
  • Damian Priest has made a great impression backstage on the main roster, per Fightful Select. He “extremely well liked” and source told the site at Royal Rumble & the next night’s Raw Priest “did everything they could have expected from him after being thrown into the deep end.”
  • He’s been booked well overall. Not great but pretty good. I wonder if it was better if it would have been if he randomly teamed up with Kevin Owens a couple months prior before that idea was nixed.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that NXT stars (aside from Finn Balor and probably Adam Cole) make in the range of $100 - $150K per year. New signees start at $50 - 60K.
  • That’s not horrible, but $50-60K isn’t a lot. The way I see it, if they can fully live off their salary somewhat comfortably, it is OK. Unlike some minor league baseball franchises who’s players need to get side jobs.
  • Also from WOR, Meltzer confirms Bo Dallas is still on the WWE roster but there are no plans to use him: “He’s still got a job. No idea what or why or anything. It’s a big mystery.”
  • He was eventually released. So it was true he was on the roster with no plans. (1/1)
  • Another Observer Radio item - AXS TV wanted New Japan back on their network, but NJPW felt the Roku Channel was the better strategic play.
  • That famed Roku channel.

February 19, 2021

  • When asked about Tessa Blanchard possibly signing with AEW, Tony Schiavone said, “I don’t think that’s happening, at least not anytime soon.”
  • That has not happened soon. (1/1)
  • According to Ringside News, Vince McMahon “still doesn’t get” Keith Lee, including his promos.
  • That wasn’t the reason he was out at this time, but still could be true.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that McMahon sees nothing in Andrade and Aleister Black.
  • Probably accurate since neither of them work there any more.
  • Per Meltzer, the advertised match on NXT between Karrion Kross and Santos Escobar couldn’t happen this week due to “a medical reason.”
  • That feud was alright.
  • HeelByNature mentions that WWE actually trademarked the name “LA Night”, even though Eli Drake’s new name in the promotion is “LA Knight.”
  • Maybe someone will have the name LA Night as well.

February 20, 2021

  • WrestleVotes says a source told them the latest WrestleMania card has Edge vs. Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks, Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt, and a Bad Bunny tag team match set for the show.
  • The Roman match was a triple that but the rest are correct. (3/4)
  • They also say the WWE championship match is currently open, as is everything else on the card. But none of it is set in stone just yet.
  • It was Drew McIntyre challenging Bobby Lashley, who hadn’t won the title at the time of this rumor.
  • Fightful notes a pilot was taped for a new show called “NXT Evolve,” though it’s unclear what, if anything, will come of it.
  • Nothing will be coming of it.
  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Kairi Sane was recently unable to get permission from WWE to wrestle for Stardom on its Mar. 3 show in Tokyo.
  • That’s too bad. If she wants to wrestle again, I hope she does.
  • There have been talks of New Japan Pro Wrestling returning to AXS TV, per the Observer.
  • That has not happened. (0/1)

This week: 8/10 - 80%

Overall: 3,845/6,836 - 56.2%

Have a great week, everyone!