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Rumor Look Back: Apr. 9 - 15, 2022

JJ Williams’ Twitter

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.

April 9, 2022

  • While discussing Tony Khan’s claim that most of the anti-AEW sentiment online comes from an army of bots, Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said Khan really did “commission an actual study” and “they did tell him that they had discovered this.” Alvarez is under the impression there is more to come, because “the study is not complete yet.”
  • I don’t believe any more came of this. I think the understanding was that these supposed WWE bots propped up anti-AEW sentiment from real people. This is an example of TK just not being good at PR. Because it didn’t do anything to help. Folks who are already in his corner aren’t going anywhere. And it’s not going to make folks who don’t care for him or his product change their minds. If anything, it just makes him seem conspiratorial (whether he’s actually right or not).
  • Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey are both scheduled for WrestleMania Backlash next month, but according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter the Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar program is considered over.
  • Ronda won the SmackDown Women’s title at Backlash but Brock was no on the show. Given they worked SummerSlam, Roman/Brock wasn’t over. That may have been due to an Orton injury, but the end result was it continued. (1/3)
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian mentioned that plans for Rousey include “possibly tagging with Shayna Baszler.” He also said that Cody Rhodes will continue his feud with Seth Rollins.
  • Cody did continue to feud with Rollins. Rousey has not yet tagged with Baszler. Shayna has been MIA since her match against Liv, which is odd given how much Triple H used her in NXT. Maybe he removed her from TV to come up with a larger plan for her. (1/2)
  • The WON notes Stone Cold Steve Austin was booked for The KO Show at WrestleMania 38 because Austin worried he wouldn’t be able to deliver a good match. Once he started training he became confident he could, and they scripted it for the interview to turn into a match.
  • That makes sense, though you’d think even if they knew a week before, they’d advertise it as a match to get more people to watch. Maybe they wanted to have an out in case something happened and Austin changed his mind last minute about being ready for something official.
  • Alexa Bliss hasn’t returned to television as her wedding is set for this weekend, per PW Insider.
  • I wonder if she’ll reunite with Wyatt. Rumors are looking like that’s possible.

April 11, 2022

  • PW Insider says WWE is finalizing plans for its return to Saudi Arabia right now, and it’s looking like the end of October or beginning of November.
  • It’s Crown Jewel next month. (1/1)
  • Ringside News claims WWE has yet to even consider any kind of match plans for SummerSlam this year.
  • It’s surprising they wouldn’t have a least a barebones roadmap.
  • They also say Shotzi hasn’t been booked on TV lately because creative just doesn’t have anything for her right now.
  • I think she’ll do better with Triple H in charge. Already seems that way, though the Aliyah injury likely accelerated things.
  • According to Fightful Select, New Japan Pro Wrestling has started securing visas for foreign talent for the first time since the pandemic started in 2020.
  • It was time to start using foreign talent again.
  • On the Wrestling Perspective podcast, Ian Riccaboni said Ring of Honor had a new logo and new merchandise ready for a full rebrand and launch before Tony Khan bought the company.
  • When it was still owned by Sinclair?

April 12, 2022

  • Undertaker is getting a show on WWE Network and Peacock, per WrestleVotes. It’s described as being similar to Broken Skull Sessions, and “should begin airing within the next few months.”
  • He has his one man show, but it’s not on Peacock. (0/1)
  • Brandi Rhodes had several “productive conversations” with “influential WWE names” while backstage for Cody’s debut at WrestleMania, says Fightful Select. She’s focused on her unscripted content, but has been continuing her in-ring training.
  • There’s rumor she has trained at the PC but there’s been no word of her signing.
  • Gunther was told to lose weight before his call-up because “Vince wants slim people on TV,” per Wrestling Observer Radio. Dave Meltzer also said Keith Lee was given the same directive but “didn’t listen, and now [is] somewhere else.”
  • Gunther got really cut. I think he looks less imposing now that he’s thinner, but he’s still a beast and is probably at a healthier weight.
  • In social media posts and comments about Tony Khan’s “army of bots” tweet, Adam Scherr claimed Khan “pays the dirt sheets” and banned AEW talent from working Control Your Narrative shows.
  • Now that he’s back in WWE, Strowman probably isn’t going to talk as much. Not a bad thing.
  • Fightful says there’s been a “feeling out” process between Ember Moon and All Elite Wrestling, but their AEW sources say there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency to sign her.
  • They eventually did. I’ll say I think she’s been misused (or at least underused) - though I think that’s the case with many of the women they’ve signed.

April 13, 2022

  • For whatever it’s worth, PW Insider claims Cody Rhodes is listed internally as the number two babyface on Monday Night Raw behind Bobby Lashley with AJ Styles at number three.
  • Who knows where he was on the list. I’d actually say they could have seen him as their #1 babyface. It felt like they were leaning on him to fill the void of not having a champion. They even had a “Countdown to Cody” they used a couple times.
  • The list for the top heels on the red brand: Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Edge & Damian Priest.
  • Only six months later KO and Edge are babyfaces. Edge was going to happen no matter what, but KO was a Triple H move. If Vince were around, it’s possible KO would still be feuding with Ezekiel, who has seemingly retired due to injury.
  • It’s expected to be all hands on deck for WWE at Money in the Bank this year, with all the big stars working the show. Local advertisements seem to indicate as much as well.
  • They didn’t sell enough tickets and had to downsize. Roman was not on the show. (0/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said Nash Carter getting fired by WWE was not well received by the NXT locker room.
  • The entire situation was messy. Wes Lee’s wife came to his defense saying he was living with them throughout all this. But that of course isn’t proof that the abuse allegations weren’t true. It all seemed very ugly.
  • Per Fightful Select, Wendy Choo signed an extension with WWE last year just before changing her character to what we see now.
  • She did more with this character than Mei Ying.

April 14, 2022

  • Rey Mysterio missed Raw this week due to a “medical issue”, per Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer. He could be back “in a week or two.”
  • Looks like he didn’t wrestle for about a month. (0/1)
  • As WWE continues building up a title unification match with The Usos, Wrestling Observer notes RK-Bro are advertised for the next two episodes of SmackDown.
  • They took a while to build to the unification.
  • AEW currently lists September 2022 as the tentative date for release of its video game, says Fightful Select.
  • That hasn’t come out yet. (0/1)
  • WWE’s upcoming UK PPV had more than 59,000 people pre-register for tickets in the first 24 hours, reports Alex McCarthy. That’s a new company record, surpassing any WrestleMania.
  • That crowd was hot for that show.
  • Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows’ Impact contract expires in July, according to PW Insider. The duo recently teased testing the free agent waters in an interview with WhatCulture.
  • They’re back in WWE.

April 15, 2022

  • PW Insider reports that Pat Buck, who quit his job as a producer for WWE right after WrestleMania 38, is already working as a producer for AEW.
  • It was a quick turnaround.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer speculates that Tony Khan’s HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT next week could be related to either a broadcast deal for Ring of Honor, or a streaming deal for AEW.
  • It was neither. It was the announcement for Forbidden Door. Either of Meltzer’s speculations would have been bigger. (0/1)
  • Insider notes that WWE internally lists the top women’s babyfaces on Raw as Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Rhea Ripley. The top women’s heels on Raw are internally listed as Becky Lynch, Carmella, and Zelina Vega.
  • A lot changed in six months. Ripley is a heel. Becky Lynch left with injury as a babyface. Vega is on SmackDown with Legada Del Fantasma. Carmella is out injured.
  • AOP told The Sessions host Renee Paquette that prior to their WWE release, they rejected a creative idea that they were not comfortable doing.
  • I wonder what it was. Since then, they hosted a show that was a huge flop that had some shady dealings.
  • Fightful mentioned that before WWE settled on the new name of Ludwig Kaiser for Marcel Barthel, they were initially going to choose the name Ludwig Klaus.
  • Get this. Ludwig Klaus was another Nazi! At least they googled prior to making that mistake again.

This week: 3/11 - 27%

Overall: 4,333/7,620 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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