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Rumor Look Back: May 6 - 12, 2022

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.

May 6, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer indicated that WWE gave Damian Priest a new finishing move because he’s not allowed to use the same move as Cody Rhodes.
  • That sounds like something WWE would do. Priest still uses the Reckoning, but I don’t know if it’s his finish. I don’t recall having seen him use a finisher in a match in a bit.
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian said people in WWE were extremely impressed with how W. Morrissey looked on AEW Dynamite this week.
  • Morrissey looks great. I fear putting him in Stokely’s group where he mainly stands and looks angry may be underusing him. I’m also a bit surprised that he didn’t go back to WWE when Triple H took over. I’d would bet he got a phone call.
  • Speaking of Morrissey, Meltzer believes the decision to have Wardlow beat him with only one powerbomb on Dynamite was “political.” It would be humiliating for Impact Wrestling and Morrissey if Wardlow powerbombed him over and over again with ease.
  • I remember some online debate on this. Some, including myself, agreed with this notion - that Wardlow was showing respect by only doing one. But I also understand the idea that WarDog is finishing many guys with five and only gave Morrissey one. I’ve just always though the excess ones was humiliation and not required.
  • While discussing Jeff Hardy looking a little off in his match against Bobby Fish on Dynamite, Meltzer said Jeff has been “hurting for a while.”
  • Jeff has not yet return after his DUI and subsequent rehab.
  • According to Fightful, Authors of Pain are planning a return to pro wrestling.
  • They haven’t actually wrestled, but they did attempt to put on that much maligned wrestling show. It never happened, but I look at trying to put on shady wrestling show as a return in a sense. (1/1)

May 7, 2022

  • Earlier this week, Ringside News said the 2022 WWE Draft is scheduled for September. The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter says a WWE source told them it will be after SummerSlam, either in August or September.
  • We haven’t had a draft yet this year. (0/1)
  • The Bloodline vs. Drew McIntyre & RK-Bro six-man tag match was always the plan for WrestleMania Backlash. WWE never planned to unify the tag titles on this weekend’s show, per the WON. It’s not clear at this point if they’ll ever do the tag title unification match.
  • They eventually unified the titles. But it made sense to stretch it out a bit. It happened on a SmackDown.
  • Regarding advertising Brock Lesnar for Backlash despite knowing he wasn’t going to work the show, the Observer says WWE did that so as to not clue people in to Lesnar losing against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38.
  • I mean that’s understandable but it’s also devious. It was entirely possible he could win and not show up to Backlash. But Roman worked the show so I kind of get it.
  • AEW already has trios championship belts made, according to this week’s Newsletter, it’s just a matter of when they introduce them. Tony Khan doesn’t want to hold a tournament to crown the first champs until Kenny Omega is back.
  • He did wait for Kenny’s return to be a centerpiece of that tournament. Then the Elite were stripped of those titles after the CM Punk incident. (1/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Dave Meltzer indicated that FOX prefers to have exclusivity on the SmackDown roster, so there could be fewer instances of wrestlers crossing over between Raw and SmackDown after Backlash.
  • I feel it’s continued to a decent degree. (0/1)

May 9, 2022

  • Despite his promo Saturday night and the fact WWE expects Roman Reigns to start landing movie roles and need time off as a result, Fightful Select’s sources there say they don’t expect him to leave “any time soon.” He’s heavily featured in creative plans for the foreseeable future.
  • He’s still running strong. (1/1)
  • WWE has set-up something between Reigns and Shinsuke Nakamura, but Ringside News’ sources tell them the match isn’t seen as being stadium show-worthy. It’s just “there for us to use with Roman when we need it.”
  • That hasn’t been something they’ve really gone to. (1/1)
  • In an item about Bray Wyatt’s high asking price, Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes Wyatt “was believed to be the third or fourth highest paid performer on the [WWE] roster with a contract in the $4 million per year range at the time he was cut and was a major merchandise draw.”
  • I wonder the type of deal they brought him back on.
  • Regarding AEW talent on Stardom shows, the WON reports Britt Baker & Thunder Rosa aren’t at the top of the Japanese promotion’s wishlist: “The ones Stardom has the most interest in for big shows are Toni Storm, Jamie Hayter, Hikaru Shida & Tay Conti.”
  • It’s interesting that Stardom wouldn’t want the two considered the top of AEW’s division. Storm & Hayter have worked Stardom prior so there’s familiarity. But it’s slightly telling when they say “Actually, we’d prefer these wrestlers over your biggest stars.”
  • Mia Yim’s weekend appearance for Impact wasn’t a one shot deal. Fightful Select says she’s signed with the company.
  • She worked with them for about six months, though recently returned to WWE. (1/1)

May 10, 2022

  • For some reason, WWE added shots of a 2012 crowd reacting to John Cena’s return as the Dr. of Thuganomics to WrestleMania Backlash’s video package on the Madcap Moss/Happy Corbin feud. Brock Lesnar Guy was featured in the old clip, and tweeted about the odd edit.
  • That’s pretty funny.
  • Molly Holly produced Ronda Rousey & Charlotte Flair’s match at WrestleMania Backlash, and positive reviews for that has led to people pointing out the positive impact the Hall of Famer’s had on the women’s division since being hired last year.
  • Always good to have strong producers.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that even if Tony Khan wanted to do the Owen Hart Tournaments with a round robin format similar to New Japan’s G1 Climax, AEW never had the TV time necessary to do that and build other matches for PPV.
  • Yeah, that format would be unwieldy for weekly TV.
  • Bryan Danielson wants to wrestle for Seattle-based independent Defy, but Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that AEW wants Danielson’s first appearance in his home market to be when they debut there — even though they don’t currently have any West Coast date planned after their Southern California shows in early June.
  • I understand AEW’s thinking to some degree, but given they’re rarely over there, it may be a very long time until he gets to.
  • Mia Yim’s contract with Impact is only for six months, per Fightful Select. Both sides are open to extending the deal if all goes well.
  • That times out accurately. (1/1)

May 11, 2022

  • PW Insider says there’s been talk of adding a fourth member to The Judgment Day.
  • This was prior to Finn Bálor, who more replaced Edge as member #3. But we’ll count it. (1/1)
  • For what It’s worth, Sean Ross Sapp noted he had WWE sources who said Roman Reigns was factored into plans before word of his not being advertised for two months came out.
  • Roman Reigns was around and even worked a few house shows here and there, but he was definitely not on TV often.
  • Piggybacking on that, Andrew Zarian says he has someone at WWE telling him Reigns isn’t actually expected to take time off from TV, he’ll just miss smaller house shows.
  • He was off some certainly. (0/1)
  • Based on feedback, it looks like WWE may be looking into doing another season of “WWE Evil,” as surveys have been sent out for more episodes.
  • Nothing of that yet.
  • Corey Graves told WrestleTalk he’s got some interest in a different role in WWE than just doing commentary.
  • He has been cleared but is still one of their commentary anchors. I don’t know if they’ll ever use him in another way because of the fact he’s so important on commentary. But I’m sure he wants to get into the ring, even if it’s just for one program. Honestly, it probably should be just one program given his commentary duties and the fact he’s 38 already. IBut ’m sure he’ll want to end his in-ring career on his own terms.

May 12, 2022

  • While WWE still plans to do an Usos vs. RK-Bro match, Wrestling Observer Radio says “as of right now” they don’t plan to unify the Raw and SmackDown Tag titles.
  • They unified them. (0/1)
  • There’s speculation, from and elsewhere, that WWE’s returning to their plan to split Randy Orton & Riddle.
  • That never got to happen. Maybe it would have if Randy didn’t get hurt, but it never did. (0/1)
  • Several promoters tell Fightful Select they’ve reached out to Cesaro with offers to do everything from autograph signings to matches, but none have been accepted so far. Some told the site the former WWE Superstar’s priced himself out of the independent market.
  • I’m all for wrestlers pricing themselves so they only get the gigs they want. Claudio is in AEW now.
  • Dave Meltzer wrote on F4WOnline’s The Board, “AEW will be getting a big push at the upfronts.” Warner Bros Discovery promoting AEW’s shows to advertisers would be a good sign the newly merged company is planning to stay in the wrestling business.
  • That did not happen. (0/1)
  • But if you’re looking to worry about AEW’s television future, Deadline reports Brett Weitz is out as General Manager of TNT, TBS & truTV. Weitz had a hand in launching Rampage & Battle of the Belts while running the so-called TNets.
  • The big question is what happens when the TV deal is up.

This week: 7/13 - 54%

Overall: 4,369/7,679 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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