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Rumor Look Back: July 23 - 29, 2021

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 23, 2021

  • A source told Ringside News that CM Punk returning to pro wrestling with AEW is “a done deal” and the only thing left to do is sign the contract in person.
  • He returned on August 20. It was probably the moment of the year. (1/1)
  • Fightful was told that Ring of Honor reached out to Punk in January 2020, and the impression they got was that storylines and opponents were more important to him than the money.
  • They were too small time for him to go there at this point. Hell, they had to temporarily close up shop at the end of the year.
  • Andrew Zarian said The Rock is expected to show up at Survivor Series this year, which is tentatively scheduled to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The idea is to build to a WrestleMania 38 main event of The Rock vs. Roman Reigns.
  • The Rock did not show up. But his egg did. (0/1)
  • Wrestling Inc claims that WWE is planning a Queen of the Ring tournament for the main roster this year, and it will air on Peacock.
  • They had one (dubbed the “Queens Crown”) but it wasn’t a Peacock exclusive. The finals were on Peacock because Crown Jewel was on Peacock, but it the tournament itself was not a Peacock exclusive. (1/2)
  • According to, Karrion Kross’ segment at the NXT taping this week was taken over by “Hardy” chants, and so they had to “reshoot the entire segment.”
  • The beginning of the end. It wasn’t hard to see that he wasn’t going to get a shot by the way they rolled him out.

July 24, 2021

  • Ringside News now claims that CM Punk actually signed a contract with AEW as of yesterday morning.
  • Such a big moment for AEW.
  • On his Keepin’ It 100 podcast, Konnan said he asked Tony Khan about Daniel Bryan coming to AEW and Khan played coy while smiling about it. Konnan said he asked because he wants to use Bryan in AAA.
  • Another big acquisition for AEW.
  • Per the Observer, WWE has interest in bringing Braun Strowman back to the company, “especially after recent AEW signings.”
  • That did not happen.
  • According to PW Insider, Canyon Ceman is reportedly gone from WWE.
  • A slow, methodical dismantling of Triple H’s NXT.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says that in addition to Impact Wrestling, AEW is interested in signing Buddy Murphy.
  • That has not materialized yet.

July 26, 2021

  • PW Insider notes that Jeff Hardy was planned to wrestle Karrion Kross on Monday Night Raw this week before he was pulled from the road due to testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Both men are already gone from WWE.
  • Speaking of Kross, Andrew Zarian of Mat Men Podcast said he was told WWE has a clear direction for him and the loss to Hardy was just the start of it and it was leading into something.
  • Even if they did, it certainly didn’t play out that way. Another L for the “wait and see” crowd. (0/1)
  • Fightful Select says wrestlers were able to get out of mandatory training at the Performance Center if they had a personal reason, and numerous wrestlers were not in attendance.
  • I wonder if this is the set of mandatory training sessions where Bayley got injured. If so, she should have made up a personal reason.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says Andrade was originally meant to close Slammiversary to confront Kenny Omega but that fell through when Andrade couldn’t come to terms with Impact.
  • Interesting.
  • Richard Holliday didn’t end up wrestling at MLW Battle Riot III because they shot an angle earlier in the night where he was busted open hardway and the company wanted to play it safe and send him to the hospital to check him for a concussion, per Insider.
  • Playing it safe is always the way to go.

July 27, 2021

  • Tony Khan and AEW’s EVPs took a private jet to Chicago on Sunday to film promotional footage, according to’s Cassidy Haynes. It’s not clear what they were filming, but the report mentions plans to turn Chicago into their #2 market, “when not if” they’ll debut CM Punk in his hometown, and a future show at the 20,000+ seat United Center as possibilities.
  • He debuted in Chicago at the United Center for Rampage. (1/1)
  • Regarding Punk, Haynes says Punk is “100%” for Chicago, but it could be the Sept. 1 Dynamite, the Sept. 3 Rampage, or All Out on Sept. 5.
  • It was the Aug. 20 Rampage. (1/2)
  • After Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted the AEW/Punk could lead to WWE becoming interested in bringing him back, Ringside News says they “were explicitly told that: ‘WWE has no interest in doing business with Punk.’”
  • Those bridges are very burned.
  • Barring COVID restrictions, Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian heard from a source WWE is planning its return to Saudi Arabia for October 21.
  • That’s the case. (1/1)
  • For the first time in several weeks there were no NXT stars at Raw last night for dark matches or the Main Event taping, per PW Insider.
  • Probably part of the changing landscape.

July 28, 2021

  • Becky Lynch won’t be returning anytime soon, claims Ringside News. She at least won’t be back before the next draft.
  • It was before the Draft at SummerSlam. (0/1)
  • Andrew Zarian says WWE will be doing a Queen of the Ring tournament and it’s currently slated to start the Oct. 10 episode of SmackDown.
  • There was not an episode of SmackDown on Oct. 10, but that’s a typo on our part. The original tweet had Oct. 8 and that is when it debuted. (2/2)
  • According to Fightful Select, Karrion Kross was originally supposed to lose to Jeff Hardy for a second week in a row before plans were changed due to Hardy testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Kross was already dead in the water.
  • claims AEW is very worried about future shows being cancelled due to possible restrictions related to increasing COVID cases and have started conversations on what to do if that happens again.
  • That did not end up happening.
  • Some have noticed Drake Maverick revived his YouTube channel, with PW Insider speculating that he could be preparing for a post-WWE future.
  • He was eventually released... again. His noncompete will go into February. Then I wonder where he’ll show up.

July 29, 2021

  • Fightful reported WWE recently laid off employees in departments like marketing and consumer products. They haven’t heard of any talent being released in this round of budget cuts.
  • No one is safe.
  • The finals of WWE’s upcoming Queen of the Ring tournament are planned for the Oct. 21 Saudi Arabia show, according to Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian.
  • That’s accurate. (1/1)
  • As of two months ago AEW wrestlers hadn’t heard much about CM Punk coming in, even thought the company’s been interested in bringing him since last year, per Fightful Select. Punk’s been a hot topic among talent lately, specifically among those who don’t know him and want to know what he’s like to work with.
  • He’s probably a bit of a legend to some of those younger guys.
  • When talking about SummerSlam’s Raw Women’s title match, Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp mentioned that “a lot of people were expecting Becky [Lynch] to be back, but word is she might be heading to a different brand.”
  • She returned on the SmackDown side. (1/1)
  • Cash Wheeler was cut on the arm when it hit the metal between the turnbuckle and the post during the FTR/Santana & Ortiz match on Dynamite last night. PW Insider called it “a completely freak thing” and said he’s okay, but it’s not yet clear if he’ll miss time.
  • That was nasty.

This week: 9/14 - 64%

Overall: 4,033/7,123 - 56.6%

Have a great week, everyone!

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