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Rumor Look Back: Aug. 6 - 12, 2021

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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!

August 6, 2021

  • Sports Illustrated says Bray Wyatt was off WWE television since WrestleMania 37 due to “an undisclosed physical ailment” that wasn’t related to concussions. He was medically cleared on Thursday, July 29, and then released two days later.
  • That’s one shoot interview we haven’t gotten yet. And it’s the one I’m most interested in. I have a feeling we never will.
  • According to Fightful, the end of Pete Dunne’s NXT contract is coming up soon, and they’ve heard the circumstances are “similar to that of Adam Cole’s.”
  • Contract stuff is often speculation because it is never commented on. But the follow up rumor is that he re-signed with WWE. In general, that’s a bit surprising since I don’t see a great spot for him in the current iteration of NXT and in the overall WWE.
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian recently mentioned that WWE “does have their eye on a lot of these guys” who signed with AEW in 2019 and whose contracts are up soon.
  • We talking about Marco Stunt here? Of all the names reportedly coming off the books in AEW, Brian Cage is the only one I think WWE would take a look at.
  • PW Insider claims that former NXT UK Women’s champion Kay Lee Ray was “seen at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando this week.”
  • She eventually transitioned to NXT prime.
  • There is speculation that when Excalibur joins the commentary team for AEW Rampage, he’ll be leaving the Dynamite commentary team for good.
  • That’s not the case. He works both shows. (0/1)

August 7, 2021

  • PW Insider says there has been a lot of talk in WWE of making major changes to NXT, including “a new logo, new lighting, a focus on younger talents, and a different format to the TV shows.” That could be part of the thinking behind the recent NXT talent releases.
  • That’s accurate. I honestly don’t watch NXT any more. It used to be my favorite wrestling show and not I don’t even bother tuning in. (1/1)
  • They also say there are no more releases planned at this time.
  • I’m just going to say no because these never stop. (0/1)
  • According to Fightful Select, Adam Cole was to attend SmackDown this week for a “high level meeting” with Vince McMahon. He is apparently in high demand at WWE right now.
  • I wonder if this was the meeting where they talked about changing his name or cutting his hair or making him a manager.
  • AJ Styles & Omos vs. Riddle & Randy Orton was likely planned for SummerSlam but Orton is still out and his reason for being gone has been kept secret, per the Observer.
  • Orton and his mysterious absences.
  • says former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese was backstage for AEW Dynamite last week, as was former Impact Wrestling champion Kiera Hogan.
  • Both are signed with AEW but only one was the hottest free agent when they signed.

August 9, 2021

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said Triple H and Shawn Michaels didn’t have anything to do with the recent NXT releases and it was all Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard, and John Laurinaitis.
  • That’s a no doubter. Triple H’s guys have all been fired. Of course it’s not him making the call. I don’t know if he’s even involved with NXT yet after his health scare.
  • Further, he said they felt the wrestlers in NXT were too small and/or too old and they’re looking to change that moving forward, likely to match the original vision of NXT, which was a true developmental promotion.
  • I suppose that’s accurate. (1/1)
  • As for Adam Cole, Meltzer said he’s an exception and writers on the main roster have been told to come up with ideas for him. So if he re-signs, he’s likely headed for Raw or SmackDown.
  • He did not re-sign.
  • Fightful Select says they have had women on the NXT roster reach out to say they’re concerned about their future booking and who they may have to work with since John Laurinaitis was put back in his talent relations role.
  • I mentioned I haven’t been following NXT like I used to, but it seems like it isn’t the spot where you can see some of the best women’s wrestling like it once was. With such turnover, that’s not surprising.
  • They also say there has been a noticeable shift in the talent the company is bringing in and that’s led to concern overall and a big hit to morale overall.
  • More morale talk.

August 10, 2021

  • Becky Lynch is scheduled to be in Las Vegas and backstage at SummerSlam according to PW Insider, but there still aren’t plans to bring her back full-time until the fall.
  • She was brought back full-time that night. (0/1)
  • Jon Alba tweeted that a video of “Mick Foley and Steve Austin talking about how awesome The Fiend is” was shown during Raw at Orlando’s Amalie Arena last night. While there’s no reported connection, Alba’s tweet combined with last night’s other Bray Wyatt news caused a lot of speculation online.
  • It’s just one hand not knowing what the other is doing.
  • Perception among high-ranking USA Network representatives about reported NXT changes is that they’ll be negative, says Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian. He quoted one rep as saying, “Personally I’m disappointed with how this is going.”
  • Personally, I’m disappointed too.
  • NXT wrestlers Aliyah, Dakota Kai, Odyssey Jones and Austin Theory wrestled on last night’s Main Event taping before Raw. PW Insider says Xia Li and Riddick Moss were also backstage at the show in Orlando.
  • Aliyah, Xia, and Riddick are on the main roster. Riddick is doing pretty well for himself with the Madcap gimmick alongside Happy Corbin.
  • There’s nothing to Toni Storm not appearing on the last two SmackDown episodes, per Ringside News. She was at last Friday’s show in Tampa, “they simply didn’t use her.”
  • She’s since been released (at her own request).

August 11, 2021

  • Fightful Select notes that they have multiple sources telling them that CM Punk has done plenty of pro wrestling training and has received glowing reviews from those he’s trained with.
  • His matches have been good.
  • PW Insider recently indicated that WWE still hopes to re-sign Daniel Bryan but, obviously, AEW could be getting in the way of that.
  • AEW did get in the way of that.
  • Ringside News claims they have a source who claimed there is not a huge push within WWE to keep Adam Cole.
  • I love Cole, but he never had a chance with his size in WWE.
  • Current betting odds indicate a Big E cash in at SummerSlam is unlikely.
  • That’s accurate. It was in September instead. (1/1)
  • Ringside also says AEW has suspended Max Caster for two months over his recent controversial freestyle and also claim he has to enter sensitivity training and pass that course before he can return. More on the Caster/AEW situation here.
  • I wonder how much of this reaction was to quell the fan reaction as opposed to AEW actually being upset about it.

August 12, 2021

  • Triple H was still in charge of NXT on Tuesday night, per PW Insider. The site also noted that Pat Buck has taken on Drake Wuertz’s old job booking local & independent wrestlers for WWE shows, and Molly Holly is still working as a main roster producer on a trial basis.
  • Trips would leave soon because of his heart procedure.
  • According to a report from Fightful Select, WWE’s decision to not sign Wheeler Yuta, who’s currently working in AEW, shocked several NXT talents and was seen as a clear sign the company’s hiring practices were changing.
  • Yeah, he doesn’t fit their new mold. He’s slowly starting to show what he can do in AEW, though his roll is still the trainee of the Best Friends stable.
  • WrestleVotes tweeted that tensions were “running high to say the least” backstage before this week’s NXT.
  • A lot of people were likely worried that they were on their way out with all the new changes.
  • Ember Moon was pulled from her announced match on this week’s NXT because she wasn’t medically cleared, but a source to PW Insider whatever the issue is was “not serious.”
  • She’s since been released.
  • A source close to Max Caster told us that rumors AEW suspended Caster without pay are “absolutely” not true.
  • Yeah, I buy that. I bet he was paid but held off TV.

This week: 3/6 - 50%

Overall: 4,046/7,151 - 56.6%

Have a great week, everyone!

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