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Rumor Look Back: June 11 - 17, 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.

June 11, 2022

  • This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that even though Bobby Lashley “was ordered to grab a replica belt from a planted fan at ringside” after his victory at Hell in a Cell, there is no plan for a title match between Lashley and Roman Reigns. Lashley will instead be feuding with United States Champion Theory.
  • That’s the case. Lashley has not received a world title match. (1/1)
  • F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer believes the chances of Stephanie McMahon returning to WWE have “greatly diminished” after WWE publicly buried her with a planted story about her poor job performance following her leave of absence.
  • She returned as co-CEO after her father was forced to resign. Hopefully his plan to come back doesn’t come to fruition, but I wonder what would happen to the current power structure. (0/1)
  • According to Fightful, Adam Cole has been dealing with “a series of injuries” for longer than most people realize. This includes a labrum injury he suffered during his feud with Hangman Page.
  • Unfortunately, Cole has been missing from TV for awhile and the word is it is concussion related.
  • Gunther has impressed “people of influence” within WWE due to his willingness to “play ball” by moving to the United States, changing his name, and getting in better shape, per Fightful Select.
  • The most recent rumor was that right before Vince left, he was really souring on Gunther. I still don’t know how much I believe it. He continued to be booked well on SmackDown, though things can change quickly if Vince changes his mind. Either way, he’s thriving now.
  • After SEScoops reported WWE will be “heavily involved” in a new project that Dark Side of the Ring’s Evan Husney & Jason Eisener are working on for Vice, Sean Ross Sapp tweeted that the creators told him the report had “inaccuracies” and an official announcement would be coming soon.
  • I believe that’s the Tales from the Territories show, but I’m not sure how involved WWE is.

June 13, 2022

  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says there’s been talk of John Cena vs. Theory at SummerSlam.
  • John Cena did not work SummerSlam. (0/1)
  • Ringside News claims they were told the creative team felt like Bray Wyatt’s character was killing all the top babyfaces he was working with.
  • Something Seth Rollins would agree with. And those are legit arguments. But’s also on the creative team to figure that out (though I’m sure they were severely handicapped by Vince’s whims).
  • Fightful Select notes MJF wasn’t backstage at AEW Dynamite this week but he was a big topic of discussion among everyone backstage.
  • He was a big topic of discussion everywhere at this time.
  • Though it seemed Tony D’Angelo may have suffered an injury during a house show match this weekend, the Wrestling Observer says it’s either storyline or not serious.
  • He did not miss any real time from this. There was an injury in September that did cost him a few months. (1/1)
  • There’s also some speculation that Xia Li may be hurt after video surfaced of her being helped to the back after her match on SmackDown this past week.
  • She didn’t miss any real time either. She was recently a mystery attacker of Tegan Nox on SmackDown. (1/1)

June 14, 2022

  • Andrade tweeted yesterday that he couldn’t work with New Japan. He “thanked” rival lucha libre promotions AAA & CMLL for that. Luchablog later confirmed this meant Andrade couldn’t wrestle at Forbidden Door, and that it’s due to NJPW and CMLL’s partnership. He was set for the June 26 PPV at one point, but was pulled from that booking.
  • Konnan later claimed it was a CMLL issue and not an AAA issue. But of course he would even if it weren’t.
  • Lucha Bros are under contract to AAA just like Andrade, and Rey Fenix & Penta Oscuro are also off Forbidden Door.
  • It’s a shame they couldn’t work something out.
  • Jeff Hardy’s status for AAA’s Triplemania show this weekend is obviously up in the air after his most recent DUI arrest. An easy solution would be to have AAA Tag champs FTR replace the Hardys on the card, but Wrestling Observer points out that may create issues for them working Forbidden Door in light of the CMLL situation.
  • That match was turned into a triple threat. FTR was not part of it.
  • The AEW roster is under the impression All Out will take place in its usual spot this year, NOW Arena (fka Sears Centre). That’s per Fightful Select, which also notes the date hasn’t been confirmed, but its also expected to remain on Labor Day weekend.
  • Accurate on both accounts. That’s the yearly spot. (2/2)
  • Chris Van Vliet asked Chris Hemsworth about the Hulk Hogan biopic he’s slated to star in for director Todd Phillips, and the Thor actor didn’t sound optimistic, noting how busy he & Phillips are: “Uhh, maybe... there’s a lot of different things that need to come together for this to happen.”
  • We haven’t heard about that in awhile. It’s possible it’s still in the works but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen.

June 15, 2022

  • WrestleVotes claims there was an understanding in creative that the decision to unify the titles was so Roman Reigns would appear on both Raw and SmackDown more regularly. That has not been the case so far.
  • It most certainly has not.
  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez mentioned a discussion within AEW of firing Jeff Hardy after his recent DUI arrest but cooler heads prevailed and the decision was made to ask if he would get professional help. Will Washington of Fightful, meanwhile, says he was told AEW wanted to wait until they got in touch with Jeff Hardy before issuing any statement on the matter.
  • Firing him would have looked bad, but what if he refused rehab like he did in WWE? Would they have taken the same course of action?
  • Cody Rhodes entire surgery was filmed by WWE, says Wrestling Observer Radio, presumably for a feature that will release at some point in the future.
  • It’s probably meant as part of some Peacock documentary about his return, but I’d appreciate if it’s just the gritty details of surgery to repair a torn pectoral.
  • Fightful says Jake Atlas isn’t expected back in AEW after his arrest for domestic violence in May. They also say he was on a per appearance deal.
  • Jake Atlas hasn’t worked anywhere since that. (1/1)
  • According to PW Insider, Ken Patera is releasing an autobiography and “is in the final stages” of it.
  • Doesn’t look like it released this year.

June 16, 2022

  • He didn’t know if she requested it or if it was initiated by the company, but Wrestling Inc’s Raj Giri said he heard WWE has released Sasha Banks. Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp said he couldn’t confirm that with his sources, but didn’t rule out the possibility Giri’s were correct.
  • It’s sounding more like Raj Giri was correct given new information - or at least that they came to terms last summer. Sounds like Sasha is headed to Japan.
  • WWE sent an internal message to employees regarding yesterday’s report on Vince McMahon’s alleged NDAs with female employees, according to Brandon Thurston. It stated the company is taking the matter seriously and cooperating fully with the independent investigation.
  • The beginning of the end for Vince. This is one of three major stories from this year represented in these rumors. Obviously the biggest (and this is prior to the Punk stuff obviously), but this was a pretty wild year. The Sasha one, just mentioned above, is one that is still a talking point. The third (the MJF one) isn’t directly a thing now but it did lead to his championship reign.
  • The SmackDown team have been told McMahon will be at Friday’s taping and it will be “business as usual,” per PW Insider. The site says that as of last night, John Laurinaitis’ status with WWE is “unchanged.”
  • I don’t know if we can speak to the behind the scenes aspect of “business as usual.” He appeared on the show to try to pop a rating! And it worked! Johnny Ace was eventually fired. (1/1)
  • AEW was planning a Tag title run for The Hardys as recently as two weeks ago, reports Fightful Select. Their Double or Nothing match altered those plans.
  • I’m sure they were going to go to that well. Now I wonder if they ever will, if Jeff comes back.
  • It was also noted that there’s been concern for Jeff Hardy in the locker room, but also frustration after word went around he’d been spotted intoxicated in public during the PPV weekend.
  • Both would be understandable reactions.

June 17, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer has spoken to many people “in big business” who believe that Vince McMahon won’t survive as CEO of WWE due to the scandalous allegations made against him and John Laurinaitis in the Wall Street Journal’s reporting this week.
  • He did not. I thought he may be be able to pull it off somehow (mainly because it’s Vince and he seemed like the type of guy who just gets away with things), but he did not. (1/1)
  • Meltzer says WWE talent “didn’t know anything at all” about the allegations. “This all hit them at the same time it hit us...they’re all asking the same questions that we’re all asking.” Meltzer speculated the most likely case is that someone on the WWE Board of Directors leaked the story to the WSJ.
  • Someone on the board must have wanted Vince out for other reasons.
  • An anonymous female WWE talent sent Fightful Select a message about Laurinaitis: “I’d rather get all my shit sent to me in a trash bag when I get fired than have to deal with him, and neither are good options.”
  • Laurinaitis sounds like a real creep.
  • Meltzer described Vince’s relationship with Linda McMahon in the following manner: “Technically they’re married. They haven’t been together in a long long time though.”
  • I mean that is what it is. If they want a political marriage, I’m not going to judge. There’s plenty about the McMahons I can judge but their personal arrangement isn’t one.
  • Most legal analyses of Vince McMahon’s upcoming trial versus former XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck don’t expect it will go well for McMahon, per Meltzer.
  • They settled. Vince probably didn’t want to deal with what was coming. We don’t know the terms.

This week: 8/10 - 80%

Overall: 4,406/7,740 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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