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Rumor Look Back: July 16 - 22, 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!

July 16, 2021

  • According to PW Insider, Becky Lynch is scheduled to be at Money in the Bank this weekend. Whether or not she will appear on camera is unknown.
  • She did not appear on camera.
  • Insider also says the WALTER injury is legitimate, and not a work.
  • He’s GUNTHER now. GUNTHER. No last name.
  • Earlier this month, Chris Jericho filed to trademark “God of War”.
  • I wondered how this worked at the time given the very popular God of War video game series. But maybe he could trademark it for limited use? There is an AEW shirt with the phrase on it.
  • WWE has finally lifted the freeze on raises and promotions for its employees, per Insider.
  • Oh how nice of them.
  • WrestleVotes says the WWE crew is “juiced up with excitement” for the return of live fans this weekend.
  • I can imagine. Working without a crowd must have been brutal.

July 17, 2021

  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a backup idea WWE has discussed for WrestleMania in 2022 is The Rock & Jimmy or Jey Uso vs. Roman Reigns & Jimmy or Jey Uso in a tag team match. This would be if Rock can’t do a straight singles match due to his movie career.
  • I really don’t think either of those are happening this year. I don’t think the Rock is going to be there at all.
  • Ringside News claims WWE has yet to figure out winners for Money in the Bank, for each match on the card.
  • The briefcase winners ended up being Big E and Nikki A.S.H. Both of them have won and since lost their respective championships. Money in the Bank was the next day. They should really know by this point, shouldn’t they? Or should we read this to mean everything except the briefcase winners?
  • They also say that potential surprises need to be factored in, as multiple surprises are expected for the show.
  • John Cena showed up, but that was the only surprise I see (and much like Pat McAfee I didn’t even see him). (0/1)
  • The Observer notes we can expect the new wrestlers on Raw and SmackDown from NXT to be pushed hard right away because Vince McMahon thinks the main roster needs new faces to help sell tickets.
  • I think more of them have been released than pushed. (0/1)
  • NXT wrestlers Aaliyah, Xia Li, Austin Theory, and Odyssey Jones were all at SmackDown this week working dark matches, per PW Insider.
  • Theory, Li, and Aaliyah are on the main roster to varying degrees of spotlight.

July 19, 2021

  • WWE didn’t stall Money in the Bank while there were issues with the Peacock stream last night because they weren’t aware of them, per PW Insider. The problem wasn’t with the feed from Fort Worth and never happened on the international WWE Network stream. It seems Peacock switched to the international feed to fix the problem.
  • That was really bad.
  • Dave Meltzer speculated on Observer Radio that Baron Corbin’s crowdfunding gimmick stems in part from a belief backstage at WWE that wrestlers having GoFundMe pages “cheapens wrestling”.
  • Yeah, that seems like a belief that’d be held in the E.
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported Impact is expected to making a major play for Buddy Murphy. On Observer Radio, Meltzer noted that AEW is also interested in signing Murphy.
  • Murphy is still a free agent. He’s done some work with New Japan and will be doing some dates with MLW. We don’t know if the other promotions have made a play for him and he declined or if they weren’t as interested as this rumor implies.
  • Aiden English will start with Impact as The Drama King at their next TV tapings, according to Fightful Select. He’s expected to get a “solid push” in the upcoming mixed tag tournament.
  • He started soon and does go by Drama King at times. Solid push is more subjective. (2/2)
  • Sean Ross Sapp also says there will be “a lot more NWA/Impact” after Mickie James & Thunder Rosa showed up at Slammiversary.
  • According to our man Manolo, it was Impact getting Melina for a bit and NWA getting some women for their all-women PPV. But doesn’t sound like a ton. (0/1)

July 20, 2021

  • WWE Shop released new merchandise for Braun Strowman yesterday. There are no reports he’s re-signed after his June release, but that’s the obvious speculation.
  • They had not re-signed him. Just... released more merch? (0/1)
  • Scarlett was not at Raw yesterday with Karrion Kross, per PW Insider. The site also says her name is not on the internal roster with his.
  • She never made it to the main roster before the duo was released.
  • As has become pretty obvious the past couple days, a source told WrestlingNews.co Vince McMahon is a big fan of the Nikki ASH gimmick. The superhero character is seen as a big potential merchandise mover, and a way for Nikki to do a lot of community outreach with kids.
  • She won the title. She didn’t have a long reign though. Then she had a tag title run with Rhea Ripley. She’s since turned heel on Ripley. We can use this to speculate how Vince sees her. She could be booked better of course. But they’re also continually finding a spot for her, which is more than many others get.
  • PW Insider was the first to report that Naomi has been moved to the SmackDown brand.
  • That’s where she is. (1/1)
  • For what it’s worth, WrestleVotes’ sources say “WWE feels like they can absolutely keep the energy & momentum created so far this past weekend and carry it all the way thru to SummerSlam.”
  • I think that’s fair. They’ve lost it since, but I think their rumored early feeling was right.

July 21, 2021

  • According to PW Insider, there is still no timetable for Bray Wyatt’s return to WWE. They say he’s “being held off for a specific reason” but the belief is it’s not a creative thing.
  • He never made it back and has since been released.
  • Fightful Select says there was a lot of frustration backstage at NXT over the decision to have Karrion Kross lose his first match on Monday Night Raw.
  • Just one of many examples of the coordination issues between the main roster and NXT. It’s not gong to be an issue now that the same people run all the shows.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer speculated that it was Vince McMahon sending a message of some sort but it’s unclear what that message is.
  • Maybe a message that he’s the one in charge? I also still think some of this was punishment for not beating AEW on Wednesday night.
  • PW Insider notes that Rhea Ripley is a babyface now and it’s been made clear internally in WWE that she should be treated as such moving forward.
  • She’s been booked as such. (1/1)
  • Insider also says Keith Lee is officially back on the Raw roster and fully cleared to return to full time performing.
  • He returned to Raw days before this rumor so of course he was cleared to return. Then they tweaked his name to Bearcat Lee. Then they released him.

July 22, 2021

  • Daniel Bryan is “‘locked in’ and has 100% already signed a contract with AEW,” according to Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam.net.
  • I don’t know if the deal was done at this time but he ended up with AEW. (1/1)
  • Bryan asked for and received less dates for comparable money, the ability to work in Japan, and creative input on his character, per Haynes. There are also said to be tentative plans in place for his AEW debut.
  • Ended up debuting at All Out.
  • Regarding the CM Punk/AEW report, Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer says talks have been happening between the two sides for a while but he doesn’t know where they stand.
  • Punk debuted prior to Bryan.
  • Per Jon Alba’s sources, NXT “is officially viewed internally as “developmental,” rather than the third brand as Paul Levesque’s team has promoted over the past few years.”
  • That looks to be the way they’re viewing it with the rebrand. Apparently they’re not happy with how it’s doing though so they still want it to also draw viewers.
  • In addition to bumping NXT to SyFy for two weeks, Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian says USA’s Olympics coverage will cause Raw to air at the same time on the East and West Coasts next week (meaning 5 pm PT instead of its usual prime time slot).
  • I don’t see something official on that (maybe someone on the left coast may be able to tell on their cable) but can check when those shows happen.

This week: 5/9 - 56%

Overall: 4,024/7,109 - 56.6%

Have a great week, everyone!