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Rumor Look Back: Feb. 22 - 28, 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. First, let’s knock out some outstanding rumors.

March 4, 2020

  • According to PW Insider, WWE is already getting ready for its next trip to Saudi Arabia. there was apparently talk of doing a show in August but it’s looking more likely to be October or November.
  • This was when we were all still lying to ourselves about how long things were going to be different. They still haven’t returned to Saudi Arabia. They’re back this October though. (0/1)

April 8, 2020

  • Per WrestleVotes, the expectation is the next time we see Undertaker he will be working the hybrid BikerTaker character we saw in the Boneyard match.
  • The next time we saw him, he was doing his farewell address in full on Dead Man persona in front of the ThunderDome. (0/1)

April 13, 2020

  • PW Insider speculates that Brock Lesnar will be off WWE television until things are back to how they used to be before everything shut down.
  • That’s accurate. He returned at SummerSlam just the other week. He did not work the ThunderDome era at all. Which we all knew was the case. In that sense, Brock is predictable. He’s showing up when it makes the most sense and when it’s the most profitable. He’s not going to diminish his value by performing in front of no one - and this was when there wasn’t even the ThunderDome. (1/1)
  • Dave Meltzer said that he expects Ronda Rousey to work WrestleMania 37 in Los Angeles next year but she’s not expected back anytime soon.
  • She was not back “any time soon,” but she did not work the last WrestleMania. I’m sure her pregnancy played a small role in that. (1/2)

OK, now onto this week’s rumors:

February 22, 2021

  • Wrestling Observer says WWE was still “in the process of figuring out the card” for Elimination Chamber until late Sunday afternoon “due to all the changes” like Keith Lee’s status and Lacey Evans’ pregnancy.
  • Sometimes, it’s Vince just changing his mind. But these changes were more understandable.
  • The Murphy/Aalyah Mysterio romance angle from SmackDown has been dropped, writes Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter: “There’s no backstory or behind-the-scenes story on it. I guess they had no idea where to take it and thus dropped it.”
  • Maybe that’s for the better. The former Murphy himself didn’t like it, though I don’t think his feelings on the matter played much of a factor in this decision.
  • Brian Kendrick has started working as a producer on SmackDown, according to Ringside News.
  • He’s got a smart mind for the business. He once said on UpUpDownDown he “doesn’t believe in outer space,” but he’s a smart wrestling mind.
  • The former Lars Sullivan is training in boxing and plans to try bare-knuckle fighting, per the Observer.
  • I guess we’ll see if that ever happens. Rumors as of June are that he’s still planning on this, but we’ll see if it ever comes to anything.
  • In a tweet requesting privacy, Nightmare Family member Aaron Solow announced that he and WWE’s Bayley have amicably called off their engagement.
  • Must be tough to have a relationship where both people are on the road but not on the road together. Seems very easy to grow apart that way.

February 23, 2021

  • According to a WrestleVotes source, current plans call for Bobby Lashley to be involved in WrestleMania 37’s WWE title match. Miz is not currently in the plans for that match.
  • That is the case. It was Lashley defending against Drew McIntyre. (1/1)
  • Despite speculation based on reports Black Taurus replaced him in Impact’s plans, according to Fightful Select Impact was never going to have Sammy Guevara join Rosemary’s Decay stable.
  • I mean that makes sense. Maybe he’d do something Decay adjacent but he was never going to be joining. I still wonder what the full creative that was pitched to him was.
  • HeelByNature reports WWE was denied trademarks on Dominik Mysterio, Kay Lee Ray, Chelsea Green, A-Kid and others because the applications did not include the performer’s consent.
  • I wonder where that all ended up.
  • Fastlane will stream on both WWE Network and Peacock in the U.S., per Wrestling Observer. The ad shown during Elimination Chamber was not referring to domestic and international carriers. The plan is for WrestleMania to be the first PPV exclusively available on Peacock in the States.
  • That’s the case. Peacock was still iffy for me for SummerSlam. (1/1)
  • Vice will air a Dark Side of the Ring: Confidential special on March 9, ahead of the third season premiere, says PW Insider. It will feature Conrad Thompson interviewing the show’s creators along with a recap of the first two seasons, and a preview of the new one. The site also confirmed season three will have 14 episodes, including one focused on Dynamite Kid.
  • The Dark Side of the Ring: Confidential show did happen like mentioned. The 14 episodes was already announced. Dynamite did have an episode devoted to him. (2/2)

February 24, 2021

  • Per PW Insider, Drew McIntyre was backstage at Monday Night Raw the decision was just made not to use him this week.
  • I wonder why.
  • They also say that Asuka did indeed lose a tooth when Shayna Baszler kicked her in the face during Raw this week but it’s unclear if she suffered other injuries.
  • Ouch.
  • The early speculation after Raw is that RETRIBUTION may indeed be heading for a split sooner rather than later.
  • They’ve been split for a bit now. (1/1)
  • For what it’s worth, Melina told WrestleTalk that she didn’t sign with WWE recently because she has a bad knee.
  • She’s working for NWA & Impact lately.
  • Sportskeeda claims Ric Flair asked WWE to be used on television and that’s part of why he’s been back.
  • He’s since asked for his release. I wonder if he’ll show up, cutting an unscripted promo on AEW soon.

February 25, 2021

  • WWE talents Fightful Select spoke to did not know Big Show was leaving the company. Higher-ups learned earlier this month he would no longer be working with WWE in any capacity.
  • Sounded like they took for granted he’d return, and he decided otherwise.
  • The AEW roster was similarly in the dark, with most learning Paul Wight signed when it was announced Wednesday morning.
  • He’s going to have his first match soon, against QT Marshall at All Out. Surely it’s the most anticipated match.
  • It’s believed the post-match angle between Charlotte Flair and Asuka from Monday’s Raw is setting up a feud between the two for WrestleMania 37, but may not have come off as planned because of Asuka losing a tooth during their loss to Nia Jax & Shayna Bazler.
  • That WrestleMania match did not happen, though could be because Charlotte contracted COVID and missed Mania. (0/1)
  • Another good sign for Damian Priest: on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer confirmed that WWE officials “like him” and that “he’s gonna be protected for sure until WrestleMania and probably after.” Meltzer did add the usual caveat about Vince McMahon changing his mind and giving up on Priest, “but for right now, he’s in a good spot and he’s doing well.”
  • He’s still doing well. He had the Bad Bunny team. Now he’s US champion. (1/1)
  • On AdFreeShows’ Monday Mailbag podcast, Mike Chioda said John Cena “had a little bit of a problem doing the job” for The Rock at WrestleMania 28.
  • I believe there may have been some real animosity regarding Rock coming back as a part timer, something they mentioned later was completely behind them. But this is wrestling and that may have all been part of the work. This was clearly a plan for Rock to win one and then Cena to get the win the next year, winning the title off him. I don’t know why Cena would have a big problem with that.

February 26, 2021

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that WWE and Big Show were “far apart on money,” which opened the door for his surprise signing with AEW.
  • Big Show is worth so much more to AEW, that has a young roster. He’d be coming in to do legends bits a couple times a year for WWE. Paul Wight wanted more than that at this stage of his career.
  • While discussing Kacy Catanzaro’s injury angle on NXT, Meltzer surmised that she is “really hurt.”
  • She didn’t miss much time. Looks like there was a month gap.
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez was told that the Young Bucks’ father wanted to legitimately cut himself open for this week’s angle where he was beat up by Chris Jericho on Dynamite, but fake blood was used instead.
  • He wanted to blade for his boys but they talked him out of it.
  • On Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast, The Miz claimed that on the afternoon of Elimination Chamber, WWE creative had yet to tell him that he was winning the WWE championship.
  • That tracks with other stories about folks finding out the finish of championship matches late.
  • During an interview on The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast, Carlito denied the rumor that he was offered a trial as a backstage producer in WWE.
  • So I could give that other rumor a retroactive (0/1) because it was wrong. But wrestlers are notorious liars given it is part of the job. So the question is how much to do we believe Carlito? Do we treat his world like a rumor in itself because he is a wrestler or as the truth? This is always something I’m grappling with. Weigh in below.

February 27, 2021

  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that The Miz is still earmarked for a match with Bad Bunny at WrestleMania 37, so he’ll be losing the WWE championship sooner rather than later.
  • He lost it within a matter of weeks. (1/1)
  • They also say John Morrison is dealing with a knee injury coming out of Raw.
  • That’s likely why they originally billed the WrestleMania match as just Miz vs. Bad Bunny. But both Priest and Morrison were good to go.
  • Tony Khan mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio that he was waiting for Zelina Vega’s non-compete clause to run out before engaging in any talks about signing with AEW.
  • She ended up returning to WWE. I don’t think there’s any word about a discussion between her and TK, but you’d have to assume they at least had a conversation.
  • Bobby Stevenson, a standout amateur wrestler from Minnesota, will be starting with WWE soon, says the Observer.
  • It looks like that’s the case. It’s possible his Olympic gold medal winning brother will join him. (1/1)
  • The WON notes that New Japan Pro Wrestling is still in talks with multiple stations in the U.S., with AXS being among them.
  • Nothing has come of that.

This week: 8/9 - 89%

February 2021: 27/37 - 73%

Overall: 3,855/6,850 - 56.3%

Have a great week, everyone!