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Rumor Look Back: June 4 - 10, 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.

June 4, 2022

  • PW Insider was told that WWE’s current plan for Lacey Evans is to drop the babyface gimmick that was planned for her on Raw. She will be a heel now that she’s been moved back to the SmackDown roster.
  • I’d say she never settled into anything enough to really be anything. She’d amid another repackaging right now. (0/1)
  • Many wrestlers with AEW believe the MJF story has been a work “from the start,” according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter: “Some just played it off like it’s wrestling and whatever, but others weren’t so happy about it.” Dave Meltzer wrote that someone in the latter group “called it a sloppy work that in the long run will benefit nobody.”
  • I think that assessment is fair. Maybe it benefitted MJF but it really didn’t help much. Either it wasn’t a work at first or they were working the locker room, which probably pissed folks off, or it started as more of a shoot issue.
  • The WON notes that Stephanie McMahon isn’t expected to return from her WWE absence anytime soon. The belief is that if she does come back to WWE, it will be in a different role. The people in WWE who have been talking poorly about her job performance are “key high-level people who are the last people” you’d expect to do so.
  • She returned as co-CEO, which is a different role, pretty soon. (1/2)
  • A WWE source told WrestleVotes the lack of SmackDown matches on the Hell in a Cell card is “an indictment on the roster.” The account goes on to say that though the brand split won’t go away, “for all intents and purposes, it’s shot.”
  • I wouldn’t say it’s shot. But that’s partially because Triple H has been rebuilding the midcard on both shows so they don’t have to mix them as much. They do on occasion but not to the point that the split feels useless. (0/1)
  • Andrew Zarian of Mat Men said Warner Bros. Discovery “are very AEW positive... From everything I heard the meeting went great, Tony [Khan]’s relationship is really strong with them. They understand that they are in a very unique position that they have this hot commodity.”
  • I wonder how the eventual re-negotiations go.

June 6, 2022

  • Bryan Danielson missed a scheduled appearance on Sunday due to an undisclosed injury sustained at Double or Nothing that left him unable to travel by air to the event, according to reporting from Fightful Select and Wrestling Observer. The latter’s sources say “it doesn’t appear to be anything serious” and that he should only miss one-to-two weeks.
  • He was out for almost 2 months and missed Forbidden Door. (0/1)
  • AEW knew CM Punk was injured after his six-man tag on Dynamite, but they didn’t know he’d need surgery until shortly before Rampage, per PW Insider.
  • That was a tough break and probably the beginning of the end for Punk. You could argue he’d have gone off no matter what, but I bet his sitting home and stewing on it probably worsened things.
  • In a post-Hell in a Cell promo, Insider says Cody Rhodes “apologized for being hurt,” and “wanted to make sure everyone knew that he made the decision to work the match, and no one made him do it.”
  • I mean he’s going to say it was his decision no matter what. But knowing Cody, I believe it.
  • Scorpio Sky shared he aggravated an injury on Rampage that he hopes isn’t serious, but the Observer says he is scheduled to get an MRI.
  • We haven’t seen Sky in months unfortunately.
  • While there was no real indication he’d show up, fan speculation about Bray Wyatt returning to WWE at Hell in a Cell after his tweets last week led to his name trending on Twitter all weekend and increased demand for tickets to the show on the secondary market.
  • He did finally return after Vince left.

June 7, 2022

  • Stephanie McMahon’s leave of absence from WWE was “executed by her father, Vince McMahon, the organization’s 76-year-old CEO,” according to Business Insider.
  • She who laughs last, laughs loudest.
  • A WWE source told Claire Atkinson, the author of the Business Insider article, that the company wasn’t seeing enough growth in sponsorship and marketing with Stephanie as Chief Brand Officer: “When someone is moved out of a company, it’s usually the result of something not working. We took stronger control of that a few months ago.”
  • But still they felt she was worthy to step in as co-CEO after her father had to resign.
  • Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer disputed the BI report, however. Meltzer reiterated that it was Stephanie’s decision to temporarily step away from WWE. He wrote on f4wonline’s The Board the quotes in Atkinson’s article were evidence “key people in the company... wanted to bury her here. Something happened after she left clearly. The company did a total 180 on her about two weeks after she left.”
  • This splits the rumor. We still don’t know the truth. (1/2)
  • Speaking of reiterating reports, Sean Ross Sapp continued arguing that MJF no showing his Double or Nothing weekend meet & greet was not a work. In his Backstage Report for Fightful Select, Sapp said there was such concern about MJF’s well being people within AEW discussed breaking into his hotel room to check on him. He also said cancelling the meet & greet cost the company $10K.
  • I think the consensus is mainly a work but we really don’t have a firm answer to that.
  • Sapp stated that if anyone other than MJF or Tony Khan claims to 100% know what’s going on, they’re not telling the truth. He added he’s not sure TK knows 100% what’s going on.
  • Sounds like a mess, which isn’t the best result of a work.

June 8, 2022

  • PW Insider notes that Edge is going to be working as a babyface going forward.
  • That’s the case. I always felt his sudden boot from the Judgement Day was too sudden, but what they’ve been doing since has been rather entertaining. (1/1)
  • Speaking of Edge, Fightful Select says there was talk in WWE of The Judgment Day going more “supernatural” and he was apparently opposed to it.
  • That surprises me a bit given his history in the Brood and bringing back that persona a bit. But if they’re talking people appearing when the lights go out and that type of supernatural trope, I agree with him. They’re better as a badass bunch of goths than some Undertaker-Lite BS.
  • They also say there was talk of adding Finn Bálor to the stable well before it actually happened on Raw this week.
  • It sounds like Edge has wanted to work with him for a while now.
  • The Miz could be appearing on a future episode of “Broken Skull Sessions” with Stone Cold Steve Austin, per Insider, who say there was talk of it backstage at Raw this week.
  • It doesn’t look like that’s been an episode. Would be interesting though. (0/1)
  • According to Fightful Select, Io Shirai is out with an injury and while it’s unclear what that injury is or how long she’ll be out, there are no creative plans for her.
  • She eventually got called up to the main roster (after Triple H took over). She didn’t return to NXT in any capacity prior to that.

June 9, 2022

  • In their latest MJF report, Fightful Select says Tony Khan met with MJF at the Rampage in Las Vegas the night before the no-showed meet & greet, but no word on what they talked about or how it went. They also note MJF stayed in Los Angeles after his promo last week, but didn’t attend AEW’s party with Warner Discovery execs and wasn’t at Rampage in Ontario, California.
  • We’ll hear the truth eventually, but probably not soon.
  • His staying in L.A. is pertinent because MJF has been telling people he wants to explore his options in Hollywood since March. He claims to have recorded a voice role for an upcoming animated project, and Fightful’s sources heard he had meetings later last week about other potential acting opportunities.
  • MJF is in the new Von Erich’s movie.
  • Rush told Lucha Libre Online he’s only a per appearance deal with AEW. He and Tony Khan are still in talks about a contract.
  • They eventually signed him to a full deal.
  • Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez have been moved to the NXT roster, per PW Insider.
  • Crews is definitely there fully time. Azeez has since worked one NXT house show total since this, but he wouldn’t work that if he weren’t NXT. (2/2)
  • Speaking of NXT, on the Observer’s Bryan & Vinnie Show, Bryan Alvarez hinted at more releases there soon: “Every six months they evaluate you and if you aren’t getting better you’re done for — and apparently they made some evaluations, including some names you would know. So we may get some changes coming to NXT 2.0.”
  • The big UK release was in August, but that felt different than just cutting the folks they didn’t think weren’t working. That was reorganizing the system. (0/1)

June 10, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said Bray Wyatt was released by WWE last year for “things that I probably shouldn’t talk about” because it could open “a can of worms.” He added that at one point, Bray was the third or fourth highest paid star on the roster.
  • Way to be vague, Dave.
  • Meltzer was told that a singles match between Hangman Page and Kazuchika Okada was not planned for Forbidden Door on June 26. He thinks the most likely case is it will be a three way match that also includes Adam Cole.
  • It was actually a fatal 4-way with Switchblade in the last spot. (1/2)
  • WWE sources told PW Insider that Charlotte Flair is not scheduled to be at tonight’s episode of SmackDown. Her husband Andrade returned to AEW Dynamite earlier this week, which led to speculation that Flair was also ready to return to wrestling following their recent wedding and honeymoon.
  • Charlotte hasn’t been back since losing the title to Ronda. (1/1)
  • During an interview with Liam Stewart of Inside the Ropes, Davey Boy Smith Jr. said that prior to his WWE release last year, he heard they planned to debut him on SmackDown using “The Stampede Stud” as his ring name.
  • Interesting.
  • Pat McAfee verbally accepted Dana White’s offer to be in Paris, France on Sept. 3 for a UFC event, which could mean he will miss WWE Clash at the Castle on the same date in Cardiff, Wales.
  • Pat was not in Cardiff. (1/1)

This week: 8/16 - 50%

Overall: 4,398/7,730 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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