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Rumor Look Back: Sept. 20 - 26, 2021

WWE on Fox’s Twitter

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.

September 20, 2021

  • Ringside News claims WWE isn’t making any plans for Brock Lesnar vs. Gable Steveson at this time.
  • I mean dude hasn’t even walked through the door yet. That will come at WrestleMania this year. I suppose he can do something with Brock after that match, but I can’t imagine he’s going to sniff the main event of WrestleMania Sunday. I can’t imagine he’ll have an immediate impact, but Angle did from amateur wrestling so it is possible.
  • The Wrestling Observer notes that MVP had knee surgery this week and he’ll be out of action for a while.
  • MVP denied that he had knee surgery at the time of this rumor. (It was a few days later.) He hasn’t wrestled yet but has been on TV. (0/1)
  • According to Lucha Libre Online, there are two US wrestling promotions interested in Alberto El Patron once his legal issues are all cleared up.
  • Dana White and UFC were interested. No US promotions took a flier on him, though we don’t know whether or not any interest was there.
  • Per Fightful Select, both Christopher Daniels and Alex Zayne were at recent Impact Wrestling tapings.
  • Maybe a little scouting for CD, who works in talent relations for AEW?
  • Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that he’s heard Josh Alexander is going to be getting the next big push in Impact Wrestling.
  • He won the title very briefly at Bound for Glory. That’s pretty significant. He lost it to Moose right away but then they built him back up. (1/1)

September 21, 2021

  • PW Insider points out WWE has removed Ric Flair from their opening video packages. Multiple people noticed the company has removed his merchandise from WWEShop.com.
  • Ric Flair vows never to return to WWE... until he needs that payday I’m sure.
  • If last night’s Raw with Roman Reigns pops a big ratings number, WresteVotes heard it “would open the box to showcasing main superstars on both brands.”
  • I wouldn’t say the rating was that great. It was the second best rating in three weeks time.
  • Following up on reports she’s been backstage at recent SmackDowns, Wrestling Inc’s Raj Giri says Sasha Banks is medically cleared, but WWE creative is still “coming up with something for her.”
  • She would be back very soon. So she was cleared. (1/1)
  • According to Wrestling Observer, Ricky Starks misspoke and he won’t be a permanent replacement for Mark Henry on Rampage. The plan is to rotate commentators, but the Observer doesn’t have details on how the rotation will work.
  • He’s permanent (unless he’s wrestling). There hasn’t been anyone else who has rotated in when he’s not there. (0/1)
  • Both The Observer and Fightful Select say AEW Full Gear will be in Minneapolis on Nov. 13.
  • That’s accurate - date and locale. (2/2)

September 22, 2021

  • In an interview with Barstool Rasslin’, Daniel Bryan said he told Kevin Dunn he wouldn’t use the “YES” chant in AEW.
  • And he did not.
  • PW Insider says FOX will air a King of the Ring special the weekend of Oct. 1 and it will act as a preview for the return of the King of the Ring tournament.
  • I don’t remember it at all, but apparently they did and it did pretty well. (1/1)
  • Fightful Select says Vince McMahon sent ideas to NXT for its future and those included potentially using stronger language and changing the gear women’s wrestlers wear, though it’s unclear what that means.
  • The show is definitely more sexualized.
  • Despite others refuting as much, including Alexa Bliss herself, both Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez have said there was a mass exodus during the Bliss/Charlotte Flair segment on Raw this week, with anywhere from 700 to 1500 fans leaving the show.
  • Oh I remember this ridiculousness.
  • Following up on the Observer saying Sami Callihan broke his ankle, PW Insider says he also broke his tibia and fibula and he’ll be out until mid-2022 at the earliest.
  • Ouch.

September 23, 2021

  • AEW could debut a secondary women’s title soon, according to what Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian is hearing.
  • That would be the TBS title that Jade Cargill has a stranglehold on. (1/1)
  • Gran Metalik has requested his release from WWE, per Mas Lucha.
  • He was eventually released and thanked Vince McMahon for granting it, implying he requested it. (1/1)
  • TLC is scheduled for Sun., Dec. 19, says PW Insider. A host city & venue haven’t been confirmed yet.
  • The show never happened. They went with Day One instead. (0/1)
  • Fightful Select says plans changed as this week’s NXT went from script to screen, such as a backstage segment featuring several new female recruits that was pulled.
  • Feels very Raw.
  • In the latest sign WWE’s moving on from Triple H’s global territories plan, the company’s Japanese website is being shut down on Fri., Sept. 24. This comes a couple weeks after Japanese website Gamebiz reported that WWE was dissolving their Japan division.
  • Triple H’s global domination never happened.

September 24, 2021

  • Despite it not being 90 days since his WWE release, there is a lot of speculation that Bray Wyatt will debut for AEW next week in Rochester, New York, which is Brodie Lee’s hometown.
  • He did not. He hasn’t debuted anywhere yet. No one has challenged the WWE non-compete yet. There were folks wondering if Jeff Hardy would, be he did not. (0/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said the decision to main event this week’s Raw with the Roman Reigns triple threat match was made at noon on Monday. Vince McMahon heard great things about how the match was received on the weekend house shows, so he made a late change to Raw in order to maximize ratings.
  • That makes sense.
  • Meltzer also indicated that WWE doesn’t see Cameron Grimes as a main roster guy.
  • We’ll see if he ever gets called up. Or never called up.
  • Many people who attended AEW’s “Grand Slam” event in New York City described the situation regarding food and concessions as a disaster. Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian said the staff at Arthur Ashe stadium were “extremely unprepared” for such a large audience, with a few of them telling him they had no idea it would be a sell out.
  • That’s always disappointing. No one wants to wait forever to eat. That happened to me when I went to Audi Field in DC for the first XFL game. That was the longest wait in a concession line I’ve been in.
  • Following a recent claim from Adam Cole that people in NXT were interested in signing Britt Baker a few months ago if she was available, Fightful mentioned WWE never entered into formal contract talks with her, thereby avoiding any tampering issues. Baker has since signed an extension with AEW.
  • Britt helped carry their women’s division for awhile.

September 25, 2021

  • According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the Raw commentary team was not allowed to say the city name “Raleigh” during this week’s broadcast even though that’s where the show emanated from in North Carolina. WWE thinks Raleigh “doesn’t sound prestigious enough,” so it is now the latest entry on WWE’s list of banned words.
  • What a weird one.
  • It looks like WWE has removed all of their social media and YouTube posts related to Joe Gacy. There is speculation this was done because his controversial new gimmick on NXT 2.0 is being described in certain media outlets as an attack on the “woke left.”
  • The gimmick went forward either way.
  • This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter mentions AEW wrestler Brian Cage is out of action right now due to an issue with his knee following a recent stem cell procedure. The Observer also notes Jake Roberts is dealing with “undisclosed health issues.”
  • Apparently Cage’s contract was re-upped.
  • Fightful was told that as recently as July, there was a strained relationship between WWE and the FOX network. This was partially due to SmackDown viewership falling below the network’s expectations. WWE has been trying to appease the network since then, including booking the Staples Center in Los Angeles for an episode of SmackDown (instead of Raw) in December.
  • I think this was eventually disputed.
  • PW Insider says they’ve confirmed the following new names for NXT talents: Joseph Fatu is now Sefa Fatu, Jennifer Michell Cantu Iglesias will go by Yulisa Leon, Jessica Woynilko becomes Tiffany Stratton, and Sanjana George is now Vish Kenya.
  • I’ve opted to leave George off because she hasn’t debuted from what I can tell so there could be name changes until then. Fatu wrestles as Solo Sikoa. Leon and Stratton are correct. (2/3)

This week: 9/14 - 64%

Overall: 4,104/7,235 - 56.7%

Have a great week, everyone.