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Rumor Look Back: April 30 - May 5, 2022

Look who is coming back to Raw. It's Vince McMahon (right) and he's got a bone to pick with John Laurinaitis (left).
Look who is coming back to Raw. It’s Vince McMahon (right) and he’s got a bone to pick with John Laurinaitis (left).

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 30, 2022

  • According to Fightful, John Laurinaitis sent out an email citing budget cuts as the reason for yesterday’s NXT releases. In the case of Parker Boudreaux, however, it sounds like NXT coaches felt he wasn’t progressing enough in the ring.
  • Park is in AEW as part of the Trustbusters faction (which is mainly represented on Dark). Johnny has been released too - definitely not because of budge cuts.
  • One NXT official was upset about the lack of notice given on these releases, especially with some of the cuts potentially affecting ongoing storylines.
  • I can imagine that would be extremely frustrating to have a plan and then it all gets blown up out of nowhere.
  • Sammy Guevara was injured doing a 630 off the ladder in the main event of this week’s Dynamite, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Guevara told others that he will be okay, but the severity of his injury is unknown.
  • It looks like he didn’t wrestle for about a month.
  • WON notes that Robert Stone’s name has been officially changed to “Mr. Stone.” Ciampa and Stone both lost their first names this week due to Vince McMahon’s new rule that talent cannot use any part of their real names.
  • Triple H is relaxing this rule a little bit. Ciampa was changed (but then the Tommaso returned). Robbie E is still “Mr. Stone” on WWE’s roster page. (2/2)
  • NXT’s schedule calls for an In Your House show on the USA network in June and a live event on Peacock in July, but nothing is currently planned for SummerSlam weekend.
  • The In Your House happened. In July, there was Great American Bash, but that was also on USA and not Peacock. There was nothing SummerSlam weekend. (2/3)

May 2, 2022

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer mentioned there may be more releases coming from WWE in the near future.
  • It looks like there were no mass releases prior to Vince’s resignation. A couple contracts expired (Saraya & Candice LeRae). And Two Dimes was released for I believe some type of disciplinary reason. The next one set was in August for the NXT/UK realignment. (0/1)
  • The expectation, with betting odds following in line, is that Ronda Rousey is planned to win the SmackDown women’s title at WrestleMania Backlash.
  • That’s correct. (1/1)
  • Per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Bret Hart’s current deal with WWE is a merchandise deal and wouldn’t prevent him from working in AEW as previously believed.
  • If that’s the case, he hasn’t opted to.
  • Fightful Select says at one point Malcolm Bivens was pitched as a possible manager for Omos before MVP was chosen for that role.
  • It’s a shame Bivens/Hathaway didn’t get a chance to manage on the main roster in WWE. But he’s working out in AEW.
  • According to the WON, there have “at least been talks” of moving NXT TV back to Full Sail University.
  • That has not happened yet. (0/1)

May 3, 2022

  • WWE is saving Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre “for quote ‘a bigger show than this one’ because this one [WrestleMania Backlash] is whatever,” per Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer. There are three stadium shows on the WWE schedule this summer.
  • They did this match in Cardiff. (1/1)
  • On another edition of WOR, Meltzer reported that Dakota Kai’s release came after WWE determined she didn’t fit their vision for women’s wrestling: “The decision had been made after several tryouts that they didn’t see Dakota Kai as main roster material.”
  • That vision has changed now that Vince as gone. Dakota is on both Raw and SmackDown as women’s champion alongside Io Sky and Bayley.
  • Stu Grayson was removed from the AEW roster page, and Wrestling Observer notes “when people are removed, they are basically gone.” The site also says “word going around is that his contract expired and the two sides didn’t come to terms on a new deal.”
  • He returned for a one off but otherwise, he was finished.
  • After Dark Side of the Ring wasn’t listed on VICE TV’s 2022-2023 programming slate, rumors went around the show was cancelled. However, VICE tweeted they are “as committed as ever” to the show & franchise.
  • We haven’t gotten a new season, but that doesn’t mean it’s officially been canceled.
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter says Dark Side creators Evan Husney & Jason Eisener are working on the Dwayne Johnson produced series Jim Ross recently mentioned. That project covering pro wrestling’s territories is also for VICE.
  • That’s accurate. (1/1)

May 4, 2022

  • Ringside News claims that WWE releases are being kept quiet and even creative hasn’t been let in on them until they happen.
  • Again, that’s gotta be super frustrating.
  • PW Insider says Sheamus not being used on the European tour over the weekend was to give Butch more ring time, and not related to any kind of injury issue.
  • Sheamus doesn’t need to work every single night anyway. He’s beat up from his years of working and his neck isn’t the best. So more nights off is OK.
  • Fightful Select says San Antonio is the front runner for the Royal Rumble 2023 event.
  • That’s where it’ll be. (1/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said the use of “non-title” on Raw this week was a mistake because that’s a banned term in WWE.
  • Non-title matches in general should be banned. (OK, that’s a bit much, but I do dislike the “Beat the champ to get a title shot” that is done both in WWE & AEW.)
  • Per Fightful, WWE originally planned Tommaso Ciampa vs. Finn Balor for Main Event this week and then changed it. It’s unclear why.
  • Bálor is much higher in the pecking order right now.

May 5, 2022

  • After Brandon Thurston’s spoke on recent episodes of Wrestlenomics Radio about his belief WarnerMedia has a minority ownership stake in AEW, Dave Meltzer replied to a user on F4W’s The Board that he also believes that’s the case: “Put it this way, I’ve directly asked and it wasn’t denied.”
  • Interesting.
  • AEW’s console game is “way over budget” and required extra investment, according to Sports Gamers Online’s reporting. Their sources claim the relationship between Kenny Omega and Yukes isn’t good, and Fight Forever may be a “one and done” arrangement between AEW and the developer.
  • This game better be good since there’s a decent amount riding on it.
  • Tessa Blanchard may be on the outs at WOW, per Fightful Select. Talents were allegedly upset when Blanchard “tore apart” another wrestler in a promo; classes were cancelled and Tessa is no longer leading training. One source said they thought Blanchard was gone from the company, but that couldn’t be confirmed.
  • Tessa was once the hottest women’s star out there and now she’s persona non grata everywhere she goes.
  • WWE wants to run an NXT Stand & Deliver event along with one of their summer stadium shows, says WrestleVotes. Clash at the Castle is said to be WWE’s preference, but Votes thinks SummerSlam is more likely.
  • They didn’t run one near either show. (0/1)
  • And now for something completely different... Rhea Ripley seems to have confirmed on Twitter that she’s in a relationship with Buddy Matthews.
  • And Dominick Mysterio apparently...

This week: 8/12 - 67%

April 2022: 36/62 - 58%

Overall: 4,362/7,666 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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