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Rumor Look Back: Apr. 16 - 22, 2022

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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.

April 16, 2022

  • According to WrestlingNews.co, there are still no plans for Roman Reigns to lose the WWE Universal championship anytime soon. If WWE decides to keeps the title on him through WrestleMania 39 next year, the idea will be to promote him as the greatest of all-time.
  • We’ll have to wait for “greatest of all time” but he’s still champ. (1/1)
  • The run of WWE name changes are the result of Vince McMahon recently deciding he doesn’t want newer talent using any part of their real names or names previously established on the indies, per Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • We’ll see if we get the same degree of name changes. The Triple H era gave us this legendary name so we’ll see.
  • A snippet of audio from The Super J-Cast was shared around social media with the theory that Tony Khan’s HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT is an AEW/New Japan show in Chicago on June 23.
  • That’s the announcement and location but the show was the 26th. The 23rd was a Thursday, which is odd that was the initial rumor. AEW loves their huge announcements. Some feel huger than others. (2/3)
  • Fightful reports that ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham has signed an AEW contract. It’s technically an AEW contract, but he will keep wrestling for Ring of Honor.
  • If he did he was released from it soon after.
  • The WON reports GCW owner Brett Lauderdale said on his podcast that the “biggest wrestling company in the world” has expressed interest in their Bloodsport brand. Dave Meltzer noted it would be a weird fit for WWE considering their issues with blood, but speculated it could be something for Peacock’s library.
  • I do not believe anything has come of this. It certainly isn’t in the Peacock library. It looks like there may be rumblings about some type of collaboration soon. I’ll alter this if it is Peacock related. (0/1)

April 18, 2022

  • Recent advertisements have led to talk that WWE sees Cody Rhodes as the top star on the Raw brand, and he’ll be pushed accordingly.
  • I think that is accurate, though an injury didn’t allow it to last long. (1/1)
  • Per Fightful, the Rhea Ripley vs. Naomi match on SmackDown this past week was originally supposed to be Ripley vs. Sasha Banks and it was changed at the last second.
  • This was only a month prior to Banks & Naomi walking out. I wonder if last minute changes like this played a small role.
  • According to Fightful Select, rumors of Indi Hartwell and Dakota Kai getting name changes have no truth to them, at least right now.
  • Dakota was soon released. But eventually rehired. But both still go by these names. (2/2)
  • Ringside News claims the current rollout of Raquel Rodriguez on SmackDown is exactly what WWE had planned, and not rushed as some have speculated.
  • I don’t recall it feeling that rushed.
  • RSN also says Tony Khan’s next HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT could be an AEW/NJPW joint show later this year.
  • That’s the case. For me, Forbidden Door was the beginning of AEW losing some of their creative momentum. They had to balance their main stories, their Forbidden Door stories (which were more of an exhibition), and then soon bring in their ROH stories. Couple that with Punk’s (first) injury, and there was too much to balance. And that may be continuing with the ROH belts. (1/1)

April 19, 2022

  • Alexa Bliss made it known she was willing and able to work WrestleMania, sources told Fightful Select. There were pitches to involve her in the Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair match that were quickly shot down.
  • I wonder if she’s happier now with Triple H in charge or with Wyatt back. Time will tell where her stories lead.
  • The site sources also said, “Bliss was very transparent about frustration that nothing of substance had been booked after being out of action for half a year.” She allegedly voiced those frustrations directly to Vince McMahon.
  • I wonder if he was able to placate her frustrations to some degree.
  • Regarding speculation WWE might be ending the Raw & SmackDown brand split, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer writes, “right now they are not merging rosters.”
  • That’s still the case, though there’s a bit more of a fluidity to it. (1/1)
  • Regarding Tony Khan’s next HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT, Meltzer told Sunday Night’s Main Event his sources did not deny reports of an AEW/New Japan supershow. But since ROH TV aired its last episode on Sinclair channels last weekend, “timing wise” Dave thinks a distribution deal for ROH programming ”makes the most sense of a story.”
  • We still don’t have an answer to ROH distribution. (0/1)
  • Emily Pratt of FanByte reports AAA booked Alberto El Patron for Triplemania XXX: Monterrey on April 30, in what would be El Patron’s first major pro wrestling appearance since he was charged with sexual assault & aggravated kidnapping in May 2020 (the case against him was dismissed last December after a witness failed to appear).
  • If that’s the case, it didn’t happen. This could be a case that they leaked the news to see the reaction, didn’t like it, so never officially went through with it. (0/1)

April 20, 2022

  • According to Fightful Select, there has been discussion within WWE of bringing back FTR when their deals with AEW come up. That said, AEW told them those deals don’t come up for quite some time.
  • Yeah, that may be a long time. Some folks supposedly signed five year deals when they didn’t think WWE was an option or didn’t want it to be an option. Now that those things have changed in Stamford, feelings may have also changed, but they’re locked into deals. Given this rumor was prior to Triple H taking over, I have a hard time believing FTR had any desire to come back to a Vince McMahon run WWE. Maybe they’d be more interested now.
  • Photos have emerged showing Io Shirai wearing a walking boot and using crutches, leading to speculation she was injured during her match at NXT Stand & Deliver.
  • I mean a walking boot usually means something is injured.
  • Per Wrestling Observer Radio, Kushida leaving wasn’t a secret within WWE and the beatdown from Von Wagner represented his write off.
  • I think a lot of things may have changed for Kushida, who apparently didn’t want to work a cruiserweight division and then ended up holding that title. Then when 2.0 came around, he really didn’t have a place.
  • What’s more, Dave Meltzer says “the main roster people were never interested in him being brought up.”
  • He certainly doesn’t seem like the type of wrestler Vince would like.
  • The Observer says Kota Ibushi is about 70-80-percent read to return to wrestling and the hope is that he’ll be back in time for the G1 Climax in July.
  • He did not work the G1, though that could have been as much due to the major issues he had with New Japan than an injury. He hasn’t worked anywhere since October 2021. (0/1)

April 21, 2022

  • In response to a a question about why Windham Rotunda/Bray Wyatt hasn’t signed with AEW or returned to WWE, Dave Meltzer tweeted ”His asking price is very high.”
  • I guess WWE met it. That or that’s where he wanted to come back if he ever wrestled again so didn’t ask for as much.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio Meltzer discussed plans for the Raw Women’s title scene, saying Sonya Deville is being used because WWE doesn’t want to return to Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair so soon after WrestleMania 38.
  • That makes sense. That was the SummerSlam match.
  • He also speculated that Deville’s challenge is happening on Raw so the newly heel Rhea Ripley can enter a program with Belair sooner.
  • Ripley didn’t enter that program due to injury, though I think running that match was too soon anyway given Ripley just turned heel. (0/1)
  • According to Fightful Select’s 4/20 reporting, WWE is no longer fining talent who test positive for marijuana under their Wellness Program.
  • Bro...
  • WWE won’t tape an episode of SmackDown while on their upcoming tour of the UK and Europe, says Fightful. Instead, they’ll tape the April 29 edition in Albany, New York after the live broadcast of this Friday’s show.
  • They did not tape any European shows this year. (1/1)

April 22, 2022

  • A source told Ringside News that rumors of John Cena returning to WWE in late June are not true. However, Cena “is always on call” for a WWE return in an emergency situation.
  • Cena came back for his anniversary celebration, which was only a few months ago but feels like years ago. This was when folks were speculating on whether Cena made it clear he didn’t want to be on TV with Vince - though given he went to his birthday after he stepped down, probably not. (0/1)
  • According to the New York Post, SmackDown commentator Pat McAfee is in talks with Amazon for a role in their coverage of Thursday Night Football. There are also discussions about airing The Pat McAFee Show on Prime Video.
  • Pat did not have any deal with Amazon. He is missing Friday Night SmackDown because he’s part of the College Game Day crew though. (0/2)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer heard that Kenny Omega most likely won’t be back in AEW in time for the Double or Nothing pay-per-view (PPV) in late May.
  • Kenny did not return until August, when he eventually won the Trios titles only having them stripped after getting into a melee alongside the Bucks against CM Punk where he was bitten by Ace Steel. Wild times, man. (1/1)
  • Because the AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door PPV event is scheduled for June in Chicago, Meltzer speculated it might make the most sense for AEW to forego their tradition of scheduling All Out in Chicago, and instead book it as a stadium show in Toronto.
  • It was still in Chicago, so Punk could hit up Mindy’s before burning it all down. (0/1)
  • WWE has filed for a trademark on the ring name Tiger Turan.
  • Looks like that was someone named Amir Jordan, who has been released from WWE.

This week: 10/20 - 50%

Overall: 4,343/7,640 - 56.8%

Have a great week, everyone!

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