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Rumor Look Back: July 2 - 8, 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 2, 2021

  • PW Insider was told that “a few” employees from WWE headquarters were let go on July 1, and the marketing department was affected.
  • No one is safe. It’s literally still happen as more people were released just a few days ago, including William Regal of all people.
  • Andrew Zarian heard that “talent and staff shakeups” will be more common occurrences in WWE because “it’s needed.”
  • No doubt their roster is bloated and there was a necessity to it. But it also seemed like a random slashing without plan or care.
  • While following up on the talent releases from last week, Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer mentioned there is a movement in WWE to bring in “younger and bigger guys.”
  • That’s accurate given the direction of NXT 2.0. (1/1)
  • Meltzer confirmed that Mercedes Martinez suffered a concussion on this week’s NXT, while Fightful says Rebel suffered a dislocated kneecap on Dynamite.
  • Painful week. This last week was another painful week with Fenix dislocating his elbow and Jake Atlas injuring his knee pretty bad. And Sasha Banks sustained a foot injury that will cause her to miss up to two months, including the Rumble.
  • For those who are curious about the whereabouts of Bray Wyatt, it’s worth noting that The Fiend has been advertised for the Aug. 9 episode of Raw.
  • He’s since been released, never making that show. (0/1)

July 3, 2021

  • PW Insider says Zelina Vega is back full time with WWE going forward. They also say she was at SmackDown last week but well hidden enough that it didn’t get out.
  • She is full time and current Women’s tag team champion. (1/1)
  • Wrestling Inc says Vince McMahon’s much publicized visit to the Performance Center led to some unease among talent there but Fightful Select notes most of the wrestlers didn’t even end up seeing him much while he was there.
  • I wonder how many talent he interacted with.
  • Xavier Woods asked for a week off and that’s why WWE did the injury angle in the Hell in a Cell match, says the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Talent should take weeks off here and there. I’ve even thought they should have rotating time off for much of the talent.
  • The expectation is there will be a Raw tag team title match added to Money in the Bank, and a women’s tag title match may also be scheduled for the show.
  • The men had a kickoff show (Usos defeating the Mysterios). The women did not. (1/2)
  • Per the Observer, Karrion Kross, Toni Storm, Shotzi Blackheart, and Odyssey Jones all worked dark matches before SmackDown this week.
  • Half of them are still with WWE, with Kross being released and Storm opting to leave.

July 5, 2021

  • According to PW Insider, WWE executives offered Zelina Vega an apology before making an offer for her to return to the company.
  • I hope that was a firm sticking point for her return.
  • They also say that Aleister Black is not back and while there has been talk within the company that his release was premature they haven’t heard of any ongoing negotiations for a return as of right now.
  • He’s in AEW. (1/1)
  • There has been speculation that WWE could have surprises in store for live events to help encourage fans to buy tickets to shows.
  • I haven’t heard about any real live event surprises. (0/1)
  • Fightful Select says there was hope within WWE that they could sign Moose and he would work NXT or even possibly go straight to the main roster before he ultimately decided to go back to Impact Wrestling.
  • I couldn’t see him going too far in WWE. Plus, at 37, he doesn’t fit the ‘young’ aspect of their new requirements. Then again, Damian Priest is a big guy who is 39 and is getting a nice showcase on Raw. He was signed before the change in signings though.
  • The Lex Luger documentary that was supposed to premiere on July 4 was pushed back because WWE wants to “support it with a stronger lead-in,” says PW Insider.
  • Did that ever debut? I’m not seeing anything about it.

July 6, 2021

  • WWE Sources told Ringside News there are no plans for after the upcoming Draft. The focus is all on Money in the Bank and SummerSlam.
  • Wouldn’t be surprised if it were planned out last minute.
  • Vince McMahon wasn’t initially a fan of the Eva Marie/Doudrop angle, but “loves the end goal” of their story and we should expect to see a lot of it on Raw, per Mike Johnson on PW Insider Elite Audio (via Heel By Nature). Johnson’s sources also say McMahon has been impressed with Piper Niven and loves the Doudrop character.
  • What was even the end goal? An awkward break up? As for Vince liking Niven, we can’t know one way or another. But one of those two have been released and it wasn’t Piper Niven.
  • Several AEW stars told Fightful Select they’ll join Dax Harwood in lobbying the company to sign Chad Gable as soon as he becomes a free agent. Harwood’s tweet about Gable was a joke however. The site reports Gable’s WWE contract still has a lot of time left on it.
  • They’d let him work some more high profile matches that he’d be excellent at. Could see him wrestle against his father.
  • In addition to other nagging injuries they reported on last month, Wrestling Observer also says Kenny Omega’s been working through an athletic hernia. He recently received stem cell treatment and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy, and is “feeling a lot better.“
  • He took time off after dropping the gold to the Hangman.
  • Omega tweeting about El Hijo del Vikingo used some moves associated with Omega during buzz-making AAA performance last weekend, and Kenny tweeted about one. The Observer says there were discussions about making a match between the two pre-COVID, but it will have to happen in Mexico as Vikingo doesn’t have a visa.
  • The pandemic makes plans difficult for promotion in different countries working together.

July 7, 2021

  • For whatever it’s worth, WrestleVotes says a few high level people in WWE are pissed off about the latest Jimmy Uso DUI arrest.
  • They still won the titles pretty soon after.
  • Having said that, Dave Meltzer said there is no actual fallout “at this point” but decisions will be made soon.
  • There was no fallout, at least on screen, at all. (1/1)
  • According to Wrestling Observer Radio, the idea going forward from AEW is to hold loaded Dynamite shows every single week.
  • I would say this is pretty accurate. (1/1)
  • Per Fightful Select, Roderick Strong recently signed a new deal with WWE and they have big plans for him in NXT throughout the rest of the year.
  • He’s the Diamond Mine leader. Does that classify as “big plans”? Your mileage may vary on that one.
  • The Observer says WWE trademarked various spellings for the new Nikki A.S.H. character, including Nikki Ashe, Nikki Aash, and Nikkiash.
  • A lot of work for a character getting minimal TV time 6 months later.

July 8, 2021

  • Despite his release coming just last month, PW Insider reports Aleister/Malakai Black was able to debut on Dynamite last night because of a WWE clerical error. Someone evidently forgot to update his contract from NXT’s 30 day non-compete to the main roster standard of 90 days when he was called up in 2019.
  • I’m sure they were pretty pissed about that.
  • During his appearance on Busted Open yesterday, Tony Khan said he has surprises he’s been saving until AEW got back in front of fans.
  • I wonder what he’s referring to. Punk?
  • A Ringside News source said they think WWE didn’t immediately react to Jimmy Uso’s latest DUI arrest because everyone was focused on yesterday’s Raw taping and it was “something they don’t need to deal with before they address this Friday’s Smackdown.”
  • Maybe things were addressed behind the scenes. I’m sure they were to some degree. But on the screen, nothing really changed.
  • The Fightful Select report on NXT’s plans for Roderick Strong says he and the Diamond Mine playing a big role in the Cruiserweight title scene.
  • That’s accurate in the sense he held the title, but there hasn’t been a cruiserweight division in ages. He recently lost the title to Carmelo Hayes, which is now absorbed into the North American title. So you can also say that role was in destroying the cruiserweight division. (0/1)
  • Ruby Riott, now billing herself online as Ruby Soho, filed to trademark “The Runaway”.
  • She doesn’t really say it, but it is on the back of her jacket.

This week: 6/10 - 60%

Overall: 4,008/7,084 - 56.6%

Have a great week, everyone. Stay safe out there.