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Rumor Look Back: Apr. 23 - 29, 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 23, 2022

  • The expectation is that most of the matches on AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door will be AEW vs. New Japan, but the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports the card isn’t “locked in stone” and could feature intra-company matches.
  • One match that makes this truly accurate is pre-show banger Lance Archer vs. Nick Comoroto. Toni Storm vs. Thunder Rosa was another, but that’s because NJPW is a men’s promotion, at least until very recently. There were some tag matches that had NJPW & AEW guys on both sides too. (1/1)
  • Top Flight’s Darius Martin recently suffered a leg injury and is again out of action, per Fightful. He’s expected to miss a lengthy period of time.
  • Unfortunately, this is accurate. He hasn’t wrestled since the injury. (1/1)
  • Daniel Garcia was originally talked about as a potential member of Blackpool Combat Club, but the Observer Newsletter says Chris Jericho “personally picked” him to join the Jericho Appreciation Society.
  • Jericho has recapped this story plenty of times, and it is accurate. (1/1)
  • Also from the WON: Dave Meltzer suggested that Kushida will change his character upon returning to New Japan, writing “He does want to be a different character going back and work with the higher-profile guys.”
  • While he’s out now, when he returned, he was the same Kushida fans remembered. (0/1)
  • When asked by SI about women’s matches at Forbidden Door, New Japan President Takami Ohbari seemed to indicate the June 26 show would only feature AEW and NJPW talent but added, “...the key phrase here is, ‘Never say never.’ Really nothing is off the table, and who knows what the future may hold for AEW and Stardom.”
  • There was no Stardom talent.

April 25, 2022

  • According to Fightful Select, WWE is planning out Asuka’s return, possibly as soon as Monday Night Raw this week.
  • That’s accurate. She feuded with Becky Lynch for a bit. (1/1)
  • They also say Becky Lynch vs. Asuka could be a short term feud upon the latter’s return.
  • Accurate. (1/1)
  • Also from Fightful: Mustafa Ali is tentatively scheduled to return to WWE television on Raw this week.
  • That’s true. He defeated the Miz and then lost a bunch of matches in a row. (1/1)
  • WrestlingNews.co claims we should expect “more turns for several stars in the coming weeks” because Vince McMahon “feels that some of the talent is being miscast right now.”
  • Looking at what was going on at the time, the only alignment changes I saw was Finn Bálor (which felt more like a storyline beat to write Edge out) and Kevin Owens (which happened after Vince left). (0/1)
  • PW Insider notes that WWE sent out a survey asking about the company utilizing a ranking system.
  • I hope they don’t. AEW’s ranking system acts more like a burden than a help. They have to use Dark to pad folks wins to get the championship matches they want. I don’t think the show would be any worse off without them.

April 26, 2022

  • WWE is dropping Tommaso Ciampa’s first name, according to Kevin Raphael of TVA Sports Quebec. He’ll go by Ciampa.
  • That’s correct. He’s been out after surgery, but it looks like he has a full name again on the roster page. (1/1)
  • There’s speculation, based on Dave Meltzer’s discussion of the SmackDown Women’s scene on Wrestling Observer Radio, that Ronda Rousey will win the title at WrestleMania Backlash because WWE wouldn’t book the MMA legend to lose an “I Quit” match, and because babyface Lacey Evans will give Charlotte Flair someone to feud with after losing the belt.
  • Ronda did win, but then Charlotte left so we never got that Evans feud. I’m not losing sleep over that. (1/2)
  • Vince McMahon “sees a young John Cena in Theory” and will “give the kid everything he needs to be successful,” a WWE source told WrestleVotes.
  • We’ll see if Triple H feels the same way.
  • The Eddie Kingston/Daniel Garcia match on Rampage last Friday was heavily edited for time, per Wrestling Observer. The televised version was nine minutes shorter than the live one.
  • I wonder if they just cut out a chunk during the commercial break.
  • Speaking of Rampage and the Observer, Meltzer writes “Rampage will be bounced around the schedule in May due to TNT’s coverage of the NBA and NHL playoffs.” The May 6 show is currently scheduled for 6pm ET/3pm PT. “That’s going to happen every year at this time.”
  • Yeah, there was some different start times. (1/1)

April 27, 2022

  • Ringside News claims WWE doesn’t actually have any interest in bringing FTR back, as has been talked about recently.
  • I can’t imagine Vince’s regime would. I think if they become free agents, Triple H would make a play. I think the word is they have at least another year on their contract, taking us to next summer. That’s not that long if it’s true. In that time, if they don’t get another AEW tag title match, maybe they opt to walk. It would be interesting if they returned to WWE given they seems so done with it when they left. But it’s different leadership now.
  • According to Fightful Select, Mustafa Ali was originally scheduled to lose to The Miz in his return on Raw but that obviously changed.
  • He lost all the rest of the matches in this feud.
  • They also say WWE hasn’t frozen his deal like they could have, there are no indications they will, and it’s scheduled to come up in mid-2024.
  • That’s still a ways away. But maybe he’ll be happier with a different head of creative.
  • Although he hasn’t appeared on WWE television just yet, Fightful says LA Knight has officially been called up and he’s done in NXT.
  • He didn’t have any NXT matches after this. He debuted on the main roster as Max Dupri, then there was rumor he was on his way out, but then after Triple H took over, he returned to TV and transitioned back to LA Knight. (1/1)
  • Emily Pratt of FanByte says Alberto El Patron has been pulled from a scheduled appearance at AAA TripleMania and his replacement will be a wrestler from the American independent scene.
  • That or he was never booked for the show. (1/1)

April 28, 2022

  • Tony Khan found out about Nick Khan’s efforts to establish a working relationship between WWE & NJPW through “through his trusted contacts in New Japan” who told him “that working with AEW was their priority,” per a new report from Sports Illustrated.
  • I wonder what a WWE partnership with NJPW would have looked like.
  • That reports says New Japan officials not only knew about but encouraged Tony Khan’s promo on Nick Khan from last May where he referred to the WWE President as “some con man from Connecticut.”
  • Their base eats it up, others think it’s bush league, and in the end, it doesn’t mater.
  • WWE wants to run more stadium shows in 2023, according to Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian. Nick Khan wants to make stadiums “the new norm... when it comes to Premium Live Events.”
  • We’ll wait and see. I don’t think it will be a monthly norm. The interest likely wouldn’t be there.
  • On a recent episode of his Grillin JR podcast, Jim Ross said he’ll be working with The Rock’s Seven Bucks Productions on a project that will, “go back and look at the territories.” A few weeks ago on the same pod, JR said he’d no longer be working with Dark Side of The Ring due to being “misrepresented a time or two in the edit” of that series.
  • I’d be frustrated if I thought I was misrepresented in a documentary. We’ll see what this project he’s referring to it.
  • Dave Meltzer tweeted that last night’s Dynamite was “heavily rewritten due to [Hangman Adam] Page getting COVID.”
  • COVID is notorious for throwing off wrestling shows.

April 29, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer noted “there’s a few WWE people” who were out due to COVID over the last couple weeks.
  • This happened fairly often in the last few years.
  • Following up on Ember Moon’s story about NXT women being told to dress sexier for television, Fightful indicates these meetings were held under the guise of “fashion consulting.” One talent said it was implied they should also dress sexier backstage. Several roster members were not happy with the meeting and blamed it on John Laurinaitis gaining power following Triple H’s health scare.
  • Johnny Ace was the attempted fall guy for all of Vince’s discretions. Hopefully the culture changes a bit since he’s gone.
  • Meltzer said there was originally going to be a “big angle” this week setting up Hangman Page vs. CM Punk at AEW Double or Nothing, but it was scrapped when Page tested positive for COVID. In general, Meltzer said Rampage had to be rewritten more than Dynamite this week.
  • This program led to the infamous promo that caused Punk to burn a massive bridge.
  • While discussing AEW’s uncertain future and a potential sale, Meltzer mentioned the company was valued at approximately 400 million dollars one year ago, and it’s “way up from that now.”
  • That’s good.
  • A source told Ringside News the general consensus in WWE is that Ryback is nuts and too risky to bring back to the promotion.
  • Seems like a reasonable assessment.

This week: 11/14 - 79%

Overall: 4,354/7,654 - 58.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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