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Rumor Look Back: May 13 - 19, 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.

May 13, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer mentioned that AEW will be doing a Blood & Guts match soon. He speculated it might feature Jericho Appreciation Society against Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Santana, Eddie Kingston, and Ortiz.
  • They ran this match in June. The lineup was right (outside the addition of Cesaro and adding Sammy Guevara to the JAS). (2/2)
  • While discussing Roman Reigns’ part-time schedule, Meltzer said the success of WrestleMania 38 night one helped convince WWE that they don’t necessarily need the top men’s titles to be heavily featured. WWE also doesn’t feel an urgency to book the champion on PPV events like Hell in a Cell because the Peacock money is guaranteed regardless of the card.
  • Despite those things being true, the shows definitely suffer without the top champ. That’s especially true for Raw, which has 3 hours to fill.
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez heard from multiple well-connected people in Japan that Kota Ibushi has “burned his bridges” not only with NJPW, but also with the entire pro wrestling industry in Japan.
  • Ibushi hasn’t worked anywhere since October 2021, though there was an injury issue he was working through at one point as well.
  • Regarding Leyla Hirsch’s knee injury from last month on AEW Dark, PW Insider indicated “the belief among talents is that she tore her ACL and/or MCL.”
  • That’s unfortunately accurate. (1/1)
  • Chris Jericho recently filed for trademarks on the terms “The Wizard” and “The Watch.”
  • I wonder if the Watch was the name for a stable of his that never happened.

May 14, 2022

  • Despite the line from Cody Rhodes’ promo for Money in the Bank, Wrestling Observer Newsletter says Vince McMahon has a plan for what the top matches at WrestleMania 39 will be, and those don’t include the briefcase winners.
  • I’m sure those plans likely changed. (Well, not Rock vs. Reigns which it sounds like Triple H would want if the Rock could do it.)
  • The Observer says Drew McIntyre won’t be Roman Reigns’ opponent for his next title defense at Money in the Bank, as WWE is saving that match for Clash at the Castle.
  • There was no title defense at Money in the Bank. (1/1)
  • Regarding a pair of recent NXT departures, Dave Meltzer writes in the WON that people in WWE believe Malcolm Bivens will sign with AEW when his non-compete expires, and that “there are people in power at AEW” who want Tony Khan to sign Candice LeRae.
  • Bivens did sign with AEW. Candice joined her husband Johnny Gargano in Triple H’s WWE. (1/1)
  • With Forbidden Door in Chicago and Tony Khan saying in recent interviews he’s open to having All Out somewhere else, Cultaholic is speculating AEW’s Labor Day weekend event could be held in Toronto.
  • It was in Chicago, near Mindy’s. (0/1)
  • Sports Gamers Online’s latest update on AEW’s console game says “movesets in general will be limited ‘akin to an early 2000s wrestling game’ while customization options for wrestlers will leave people wishing they had more.” The developers are staying positive and focusing on gameplay: “If the game is fun, no one will care about the other stuff.”
  • The game is on pre-sale, but no date for the release yet. They released another trailer for it recently.

May 16, 2022

  • Regarding Roman Reigns’ new contract with WWE, Wrestling Observer Live’s Andrew Zarian was told, “This is not like a Lesnar deal...he’s still full time. He’s just not gonna do smaller house shows, and he may take time off every now and then.”
  • It’s definitely not a Lesnar deal, but I think he had more time off than we expected. This is a tough one because Reigns really stretches the meaning of “full time.” I’m going to say yes because he’s around enough, but this is a subjective one. (1/1)
  • Per Fightful, there haven’t been any formal contract negotiations between MJF and AEW.
  • He returned at All Out, though if he actually re-negotiated prior is not known for sure. (In story, he did not.)
  • According to, there have been pitches made in WWE to overhaul the presentation of Madcap Moss. This includes removing his comedy elements, as well as giving him new ring gear and entrance music.
  • They kept it as is, though he turned babyface against Corbin. (0/1)
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says WWE is once again talking about splitting Rey & Dominik Mysterio. It’s also noted that Rey “has of late gotten more stem cell treatments for injuries.”
  • They finally split at Clash in the Castle. I’ve quite enjoyed heel Dom. He’s such a little shit. (1/1)
  • Sean Ross Sapp’s AEW sources said they were “under the impression” Hikaru Shida knew she’d been pulled from the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament before the announcement on Rampage & her subsequent tweets.
  • That was a bit of a miscommunication between AEW & Shida - the type of thing not too uncommon for AEW.

May 17, 2022

  • Naomi was originally scheduled to win Raw’s Six Pack Challenge before she & Sasha Banks walked out last night, per Fightful Select.
  • They have yet to return.
  • WrestleVotes says WWE’s statement on Banks & Naomi “is just the baseline of the details. The tension leading up to the walkout was palpable all day, with both superstars upset at something that transpired.” UPDATE: Much more on this here.
  • It sounded like the treatment of the tag titles was a big point of contention.
  • A report from Fightful says Ricky Steamboat is expected to wrestle Ric Flair in a tag match at the Ric Flair’s Last Match event at Starrcast SummerSlam weekend.
  • That did not happen. It was Flair & Andrade vs. Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett. (0/1)
  • It does appear the match is the one Wrestling Observer reported on last week, and Steamboat is the planned partner for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express against Flair & FTR. But Fightful notes Tony Khan signing off on FTR’s inclusion is “far from a done deal.”
  • That did not happen either. (0/1)
  • The Observer also recently updated the Kota Ibushi/New Japan situation: Ibushi has not been fired, but while NJPW haven’t given up on the relationship, they’re very unhappy with the publicity.
  • I wonder when/if we’ll see him wrestle again. That was a very messy situation. If he’s healthy and wants to wrestle again, he’ll have to make nice with New Japan and continue with them or find a way to get released from his contract. And then there’s his injury. At age 40, it’s not a guarantee he’s stepping between the ropes given those things.

May 18, 2022

  • PW Torch says that behind-the-scenes there wasn’t a lot of instant sympathy for Sasha Banks & Naomi over the decision they made with the belief apparently being “where did that come from and how did they get themselves so worked up over this?”
  • I remember hearing this. It’s not surprising to imagine some folks, maybe those lower on the card, didn’t think their grievances were at the level of some others. But we don’t really know the full story.
  • For that matter, the Wrestling Observer indicated there’s a lot of heat on them backstage now.
  • I wonder if that’s accurate or it’s being fed by folks who aren’t on their side.
  • WrestleVotes says there were ideas pitched to do a collapsing ring angle for the Omos vs. Bobby Lashley match on Raw this week but that was squashed in the days leading up to the match.
  • I love that trope, but they have to put multiple years in between it.
  • Ringside News claims Harland was planned to be the fourth member of The Judgment Day before he was fired by WWE.
  • I wonder if he was too green for a main roster stable.
  • They also claim the language in the Cody Rhodes Money in the Bank promo has been a “major source of confusion” for WWE writers and producers.
  • Cody was not in the match.

May 19, 2022

  • Talking to SEScoops about Sasha Banks & Naomi walking out of Raw, Naomi’s former tag partner Ariane “Cameron” Andrew said: “My girl Naomi, she wouldn’t do this and I feel like she wouldn’t do this unless she had someone manipulating and telling her how to do this.” Andrew also pitched a Funkadactyls reunion in the interview.
  • Cameron has angled for a return a few times, so I have to think that much of what she said is working towards that goal.
  • Responding to a rumor Banks & Naomi had been pulled from WWE live events, Sasha’s husband & WWE costume designer Sarath Ton tweeted: “The bullshit being spewed is next level.”
  • I mean if they walked out, wouldn’t they not be working those live events anyway?
  • Two of the belts Tony Khan recently hinted at will be awarded to the winners of the men’s & women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament at Double Or Nothing, says Voices of Wrestling.
  • I already forgot about the Owen Hart tournament. (1/1)
  • An AEW source told VOW the backstage atmosphere is “chaotic” and lacks structure. Complaints include not knowing angles or finishes until close to showtime, and redundant match set-up angles & finishes.
  • They do have redundancies that an overarching coordinator would help address.
  • Clash at the Castle was not the instant sellout some expected based on pre-sale interest. Dave Meltzer speculated it was due to high ticket prices for WWE’s first UK PPV in decades.
  • That was a hot crowd.

This week: 8/12 - 67%

Overall: 4,377/7,691 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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