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Rumor Look Back: March 12 - 18, 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 jump right to it.

March 12, 2021

  • WrestleVotes heard that the card for WrestleMania 37 is “not close” to being finalized and mostly “back to square one.”
  • This could have to do with adding Bryan into the Universal title picture and maybe figuring out exactly what they wanted to do with Lashley & McIntyre.
  • However, Ringside News learned that Vince McMahon did finalize the card for WrestleMania this week, but it’s on a “need to know basis.”
  • OK, so two contradicting rumors. (1/2)
  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez said he heard months ago that Raquel González is probably the woman who will defeat Io Shirai for the NXT women’s championship.
  • This is what happened. The writing was on the wall at this point. She’s been solid, but I don’t think she’s been the force that Rhea Ripley or Io Shirai was. (1/1)
  • Fightful says that WWE will soon be bringing in several international talents to the Performance Center who have been signed but unable to travel to the USA during the global pandemic.
  • The pandemic likely slowed a lot of plans to work with their international talent.
  • HeelByNature explains that WWE is having trouble trademarking the name “Dean Ambrose” without the performer’s written consent.
  • Not that Moxley would care, but I also don’t see him dying to help them get that trademark for the character.

March 13, 2021

  • Per the Observer, Andrade had his request to be released by WWE denied.
  • They eventually accepted. I wonder if it was because they value Charlotte highly and did not want to risk fracturing that relationship. Or maybe it was the start of the their new approach to talent releases which started after Nick Khan was hired. Either way, it was not long until he walked out on Dynamite, where he goes through managers like Hogwarts goes through Defense of the Dark Arts teachers.
  • For whatever it’s worth, PW Insider says sources told them that he looked absolutely miserable when he was seen at Raw this past Monday night.
  • That’s not surprising if he wanted out so badly.
  • The Observer says WWE is hoping to run WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at 75-percent capacity on both nights, which would be about 45,000 fans in attendance on each night.
  • It was closer to 35%. (0/1)
  • WWE is apparently making backup plans for Charlotte Flair for WrestleMania just in case Asuka can’t get cleared from her concussion in time.
  • Charlotte Flair was the one who needed a backup plan, with COVID keeping her off the show.
  • Revolution did the best PPV numbers in the history of AEW, per the WON.
  • I’m sure All Out 2021 holds that record now.

March 15, 2021

  • There’s no expectation that Brock Lesnar will return for WrestleMania 37, even though fans will be in attendance.
  • He did not return until SummerSlam. (1/1)
  • PW Insider notes that WrestleMania 37 tickets are being sold via seating pods of up to six people and pods must be purchased in their entirety.
  • That’s the only way to have done it at that time.
  • Per the Observer, Bad Bunny hasn’t been on WWE television to get ready for the Grammys. He should be back sooner rather than later.
  • He was back to promote his WrestleMania match. (1/1)
  • They also say Fastlane may have been done as a way to test out the move to Peacock and figure out any issues with it before WrestleMania 37.
  • There are still some issues.
  • Per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, AEW Revolution did roughly 125,000 buys on PPV.
  • They keep growing their audience.

March 16, 2021

  • Sports reporter Jon Alba confirmed an earlier Ringside News report that WWE will move Raw and SmackDown to the University of South Florida’s Yuengling Center when the Tampa Bay Rays baseball season starts and they’re forced to leave Tropicana Field. It’s not known if they’ll replicate the ThunderDome set-up at the 10K seat venue, or start allowing fans.
  • The locale was accurate. It was still the ThunderDome. RIP Dome. We don’t miss you. (1/1)
  • Wrestling Observer reports the NXT COVID outbreak was detected because people were starting to get sick on Friday, so WWE tested immediately rather than wait until the usual Tuesday pre-show test date.
  • Checking at the time of signs would be the only smart move.
  • WWE is planning internally for NXT’s move to Tuesdays. PW Insider says their April production calendar has the post-WrestleMania episode set for Tues., April 13.
  • That’s correct. (1/1)
  • April 7’s Hall of Fame ceremony will air live from ThunderDome, says Insider: “The current plan is to have as many of the inductees as possible be live on stage in Tampa with some of the roster and invited guests present.”
  • That was also correct. (1/1)
  • Andrade was not at Raw yesterday, per PW Insider. He had his release request denied last week.
  • He’s in AEW now.

March 17, 2021

  • The heavy speculation going around is that Bray Wyatt will finally make his return at Fastlane this coming Sunday night.
  • That is correct. It was the debut of extra crispy Fiend. (1/1)
  • For whatever it’s worth, on Wrestling Observer Radio it was said that Bobby Lashley was told he would get a Brock Lesnar match upon his return in 2018 and it just never happened.
  • That still hasn’t happened. Given Lesnar has a future date with Reigns and Lashley is no longer champion, it may just not.
  • Per Fightful, WWE talent weren’t surprised about the WrestleMania 37 ticket on sale date being moved because they weren’t informed of any comp tickets beforehand like usual. The situation continues to be a mess.
  • It was a whole different thing than folks were used to.
  • They also say that Vince McMahon has softened his stance on cardboard cutouts being used to fill out the stadium at the show.
  • They ended up using them. (1/1)
  • Paul Heyman mentioned Jimmy Uso returning to WWE recently and the word is he’s poised to come back to television any day now.
  • He returned a couple months later. So longer than implied. (0/1)

March 18, 2021

  • Charly Caruso has not been on-screen for WWE lately because of the dreaded backstage heat. Fightful Select reports she was late to several Raw interview tapings, specifically mentioning ones with Randy Orton & Sheamus. When Vince McMahon found out, he “took exception” and the decision was made to remove her from television.
  • She was done very soon after this. I don’t know if there was any heat.
  • The recent hiring of Kevin Patrick was in part to replace Caruso. Some in the locker room think her contract is almost up, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
  • Given she soon left, I’ll say the contract was likely up and it wasn’t a release. (1/1)
  • Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon has disappeared from WWE’s promotion for Fastlane, and speculation is the match won’t be happening at Sunday’s PPV.
  • That match was a Mania match, if you can believe that - given one man was released and another isn’t on TV at all. Then again, Shane does wrestle often at WrestleMania so maybe it is easily believed. (1/1)
  • During his interview on Talk Is Jericho, Paul Wight said we came close to getting a John Cena, Big Show & Justin Bieber vs. The Wyatts match at SummerSlam one year, but it fell through when WWE only offered to promote Bieber’s current album rather than pay him. “Bieber was on-board, he was excited,” according to Wight, but a WWE decision-maker said, ”‘I just don’t see how Justin Bieber’s going to relate to our audience.’”
  • This is a pretty crazy story.
  • Impact has a streaming special, Hardcore Justice, set to go head-to-head with night one of WrestleMania 37. Post Wrestling’s John Pollock says “other options are being discussed, so it’s possible the start time could change.”
  • It ended up an afternoon show. (1/1)

This week: 12/15 - 80%

Overall: 3,884/6,887 - 56.4%

Have a great week, everyone!

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