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Rumor Look Back: May 27 - June 3, 2022

AEW Dynamite

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 27, 2022

  • A WWE source told Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian that the brand split is not ending, but the current plan is to have wrestlers cross over between Raw and SmackDown “depending on storylines.”
  • This sounds like an accurate description of how WWE is operating. (1/1)
  • Someone high up in WWE expressed doubt to Zarian about Stephanie McMahon’s ability to fulfill her obligations in certain aspects of her executive job, particularly when it comes to advertising and sponsorship.
  • This was part of the burial on her way out. I’m not sure the reason behind it.
  • Pioneer Press reports that Raw draft pick Gable Steveson is considering wrestling one more year in college before joining WWE full time.
  • This didn’t end up being the case. He had to take care of a cardiac issue and is now training full time. (0/1)
  • Following up on the news of Sting missing Double or Nothing, Fightful mentioned that AEW is considering an angle on tonight’s Rampage that will set up a singles match between Darby Allin and Kyle O’Reilly for the pay-per-view on Sunday.
  • That was a match on the card. Kyle won, which I found a bit surprising given how high they are on Darby. O’Reilly has been out with a neck injury lately. (1/1)
  • According to ESPN, YouTube star Jake Paul is trying to book former NBA player Glen “Big Baby” Davis in a boxing fight in August against “a former heavyweight WWE star.”
  • He did not succeed.

May 28, 2022

  • Sasha Banks and Naomi’s indefinite suspensions are without pay, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. With their merchandise also pulled from WWE Shop, the pair won’t earn much, if anything, until the situation is resolved. This was done to “send a message to the locker room,” according to people close to the situation.
  • Even with a new regime, they haven’t gotten something done to bring them back.
  • WWE’s Money in the Bank plans are said to be ‘up in the air’ after the July 2 show was moved to a smaller venue and several big names were removed from advertising.
  • Roman wasn’t on the card any longer. I wonder what the plan for him was.
  • Even though MACE and Mansoor were aligned with Max Dupri in dark segments as part of his male modeling agency, was told that Vince McMahon has changed his mind about them. MACE and Mansoor will no longer be part of Dupri’s stable.
  • They were part of the Maximum Male Models stable. (0/1)
  • The Observer Newsletter reports Colt Cabana recently re-signed with AEW. It’s a move the Young Bucks pushed for. Cabana is “earmarked for the ROH group if and when that starts,” a move that could be due to his heat with CM Punk.
  • This is an inconsequential tidbit that certainly didn’t lead to one of the biggest stories in pro wrestling this year.
  • Jeff Jarrett is back in the WWE fold, per PW Insider. Their sources say he starts next week as a “high level executive” and will essentially be “taking over live events.”
  • That’s his job in AEW now. But that was his job in WWE for a bit. (1/1)

May 30, 2022

  • Fightful Select says there was at least one talent who was told MJF was trying to leave Las Vegas before Double or Nothing before word broke of the flight booking. Others weren’t aware of any issue until news of said flight booking got out.
  • This was the beginning of the larger work, though we don’t know if it started that way. I don’t know if there was any real benefit to the work. It detracted from what they were doing with MJF/Wardlow at the PPV. Then he cut a good promo but he was gone so long that there was no heat from it by the time he came back. Perhaps his feud with CM Punk that didn’t happen was supposed to be based around him walking out like CM Punk did, but since we didn’t get that, it felt all for naught.
  • More on MJF from Fightful: the exact date of his contract coming up is Jan. 1, 2024, and he has felt like he’s outperformed the contract he has, which has led to all the tension of late.
  • It’s not clear if he signed an extension before coming back at All Out. Nothing definitive has been reported. In story, he has not, but even if they did work something out, they would still use the story that he did not.
  • Andrew Zarian claimed on the “We’re Live, PAL” show that there were questions internally within WWE regarding Stephanie McMahon’s abilities as an executive before she took her leave of absence.
  • They weren’t that concerned since they made her co-CEO after Vince left.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Bryan Alvarez said Tony Khan’s tweet about Money in the Bank moving locations had people in WWE “furious.”
  • This man loves to poke the bear. And AEW’s more core set of fans eat it up so why not.
  • Alvarez also said the attitude within AEW has largely changed in the sense that more and more wrestlers are willing to make the jump to WWE after seeing how Cody Rhodes has been handled.
  • It was wise to make Cody seem like a big deal when he came back as something for other eventual AEW free agents to think about.

May 31, 2022

  • MJF didn’t leave Las Vegas after he left Double or Nothing and has a meeting planned with Tony Khan, per Fightful Select. Though they reiterated this didn’t start out as a work, when the site asked their AEW sources if this aspect of the story was real or storyline, “no follow up answer was provided, which was a first throughout this situation.”
  • I think the consensus that more was work than first thought but there were some real aspects to it. MJF is the champ now so good for him. Again, I’m not sure what the angle pulled off - some buzz definitely but it didn’t materialize to a hot TV angle. (Though that TV angle was ironically upstaged by CM Punk/Elite drama like the Wardlow payoff was upstaged by this angle.)
  • Khan reportedly told members of the roster he’s “willing to pay MJF like a top talent,” but “MJF’s frustration didn’t subside.” Fightful also says “MJF told numerous people backstage he knew that the situation would likely come to a head and be discussed come Double or Nothing week.”
  • I wonder what kind of money MJF is making right now as champ.
  • Some members of the AEW roster are upset with MJF, according to PW Insider. Their sources think there was “some sort of agreement” reached to get through Double or Nothing.
  • I suppose I can see folks think this is detracting from the overall PPV and his feud with Wardlow.
  • While Tony Khan didn’t announce a date for Grand Slam when he confirmed it would be back in Arthur Ashe Stadium this year, Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio it will be in mid-September. He also said Khan wants the show “to be an annual tradition as the biggest TV of the year.”
  • It was back in September. (1/1)
  • William Regal told talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy he was planning to sign Daniel Garcia, Ricky Starks and Wheeler Yuta to NXT before WWE “changed directive”.
  • They are all doing very well for themselves in AEW.

June 1, 2022

  • Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that the women’s tag team title tournament is “dead.” WWE apparently had four teams planned for it and then it never got signed off on and its status is completely up in the air now.
  • Yeah, it didn’t happen until Triple H took over. (1/1)
  • Recent tweets from Windham Rotunda (the former Bray Wyatt) have led to speculation he may be making a return to pro wrestling soon.
  • Also something that needed a regime change in WWE to happen. (0/1)
  • For what it’s worth, PW Insider has word that MJF was spotted at LAX and is in the area ahead of AEW’s shows in California this week. They don’t have word on if he will appear, however.
  • He cut that promo on Dynamite that got him work suspended.
  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez said Adam Cole is hurt and that’s why he was pulled from a planned 10-man tag on Dynamite this week.
  • Unfortunately, Cole has been out for awhile and it sounds a bit worrisome.
  • Lacey Evans wasn’t at Monday Night Raw as advertised this week because she was sent to the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race on Sunday, says Insider.
  • Lacey hasn’t found a place in the current landscape. The most recent SmackDown hinted at yet another rework.

June 2, 2022

  • There’s been little to no communication between WWE and Sasha Banks & Naomi since their suspension, according to Fightful Select. The site did confirm the company cancelled all travel plans they had for the pair.
  • I’m sure both sides were icy while Vince was still there.
  • Members of the AEW roster mentioned by PWTorch who were making “four to five times more than” MJF included Christian Cage, Mark Henry, Malakai Black, Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, CM Punk and “a few more.”
  • Some of those guys deserve more - Bryan, Punk, and maybe Cole. The others I can see him being peeved about.
  • One of Wade Keller’s WWE sources also said that Vince McMahon is so high on MJF that even if his recent issues with AEW are real, they wouldn’t stop McMahon “from making him a lucrative offer.”
  • Would Triple H do the same? I bet he would.
  • Jeff Hardy’s injury issues not only caused him to be pulled from Dynamite’s ten man tag, Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said he was “a mess” going into his match at Double or Nothing too. He’s been “beat up” since wrestling Darby Allin.
  • The man is in his 40s and works a style that sure can create injuries to mount.
  • Chelsea Green, Tenille Dashwood, Steve Maclin & Matthew Rehwoldt joined Deonna Purrazzo in saying they would not make Wrestling Entertainment Series new date after AOP’s new promotion postponed their initial debut.
  • The event never happened.

June 3, 2022

  • WhatCulture has learned that Thunder Rosa is “very frustrated” with her lack of television time in AEW. Her unhappiness was amplified this week on Dynamite when she was the only AEW champion not featured on the show. It was like her match with Serena Deeb at Double or Nothing never happened. Rosa was said to be “upset and confused” by the situation.
  • Not terribly surprising given how that division is often booked (though with some intermittent improvement over time). Rosa recently had to relinquish her title.
  • Meanwhile, PW Insider heard that Thunder Rosa wasn’t feeling well backstage at Dynamite this week and the AEW doctor sent her home.
  • So was she sick or just not used?
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer says WWE’s upcoming tag team title match of The Usos vs. Matt Riddle and Shinsuke Nakamura is not currently planned for this weekend at Hell in a Cell. The idea is for the match to take place at Money in the Bank in July. That also means the originally planned match of Roman Reigns vs. Riddle at Money in the Bank is unlikely to happen.
  • Riddle & Nak vs. the Usos didn’t happen at either show. Riddle vs. Reigns did not happen at MITB. That title match didn’t feel PPV worthy but maybe they could have gotten it there. (2/3)
  • Bellator MMA fighter Valerie Loureda impressed at a recent tryout. WWE is hoping to have her signed and at the Performance Center by mid-July, says Fightful Select.
  • She has been signed and has worked some house shows.
  • WWE wrestler Dolph Ziggler was backstage at AEW Dynamite this week in Los Angeles, per Fightful.
  • Could have been visiting his brother who works there. Dolph was on a few episodes of Raw after Triple H took over.

This week: 7/11 - 64%

May 2022: 29/50 - 58%

Overall: 4,390/7,714 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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