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Rumor Look Back: Oct. 3 - 9, 2021

Impact Wrestling

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.

October 4, 2021

  • Fightful Select notes that Impact Wrestling is apparently upping its pursuit of Bray Wyatt by having a member of the roster who is familiar with him reach out to do some recruiting.
  • They haven’t landed him yet. No one has. He feels like he could be too big for Impact, but could be their centerpiece if they signed him.
  • They also say Impact has been heavily interested in signing Braun Strowman, who has started teasing making a deal.
  • That didn’t happen either.
  • According to PW Insider, Nia Jax is expected to miss an extended amount of time and that’s why she was written out via an injury caused by Shayna Baszler.
  • She never wrestled for WWE again. She was released a month later. This is a weird one to put a grade to because I don’t think rumor is implying they were going to release her but that she was taking a lot of time off or maybe really hurt.
  • The Wrestling Observer says WWE was happy with the mainstream attention the Joe Gacy character turn has garnered.
  • He’s still running with that gimmick.
  • Per Insider, Ridge Holland and Xia Li were backstage at SmackDown last week for the WWE draft. That’s led to speculation they could be in line for a call up soon.
  • Both have been called up within the last six months, though Xia has been rather underutilized. (2/2)

October 5, 2021

  • A Raw writer fought to get Finn Bálor drafted to Monday nights so he could “be used in [Drew] McIntyre’s role now”, according to a story WrestleVotes heard.
  • He has not been used in the Drew McIntyre role. He loses way too much to be in that role. (0/1)
  • “No one backstage cared” when Edge referred to FTR by their real names during last Friday’s SmackDown, per Ringside News.
  • It was so subtle, that you had to really know to know he was referring to FTR.
  • Many of the draft picks announced on Talking Smack over the weekend found out whether they were switching brands via social media, reports PW Insider. A WWE source defended that by saying the moves won’t take effect for several weeks.
  • It seems there are plenty of instances of talent finding things out the same time we do.
  • When discussing the card for Crown Jewel on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said Goldberg has “a specific deal with the Saudi shows”. Moving his match with Bobby Lashley off the Oct. 21 event to an episode of television would cost Goldberg millions.
  • Goldberg getting paid for this. Bret Hart doesn’t really appreciate that, or Goldberg in general.
  • Insider heard talk WALTER could be used more outside of NXT UK. He’s said to currently be in the United States.
  • That’s the case. In fact he just debuted on SmackDown. Though he’s not WALTER any more. He’s Gunther. (1/1)

October 6, 2021

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that despite recent rumors that AEW EVPs have lost power, the roles of higher ups in the company have remained the same dating back to 2019.
  • Well... not Cody
  • According to PW Insider, WWE considered splitting up The Street Profits in this year’s draft. Montez Ford would have gone to Raw while Angelo Dawkins would have remained on SmackDown. Instead, they split up T-BAR and MACE.
  • That would have been very stupid this early. Also, T-BAR and MACE have pretty much disappeared.
  • Ringside News claims Braun Strowman’s representation reached out to them to say they’ve had talks with WWE since his release and his future plans will be announced soon.
  • He had already Controlled his Narrative by this point. No other future plans were announced that soon. (0/1)
  • RSN also says that while NXT and Raw will be using more profanity on TV, that won’t be the case for SmackDown.
  • This is so subjective. Are they really swearing more on Raw? Is it noticeable enough that it’s different compared to SmackDown? I wouldn’t say so. (0/1)
  • Finally, Ringside notes that WWE has big plans for Austin Theory on Monday Night Raw.
  • I would say this is definitely accurate. He’s being positioned as Vince McMahon’s protege. That’s pretty huge. (1/1)

October 7, 2021

  • WWE is aware their events in Saudi Arabia are seen as “a very big house show with no longer-term repercussions,” says Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian. They want to change that with this year’s Crown Jewel, so expect the show to impact television storylines.
  • Crown Jewel was indeed more impactful. So was Elimination Chamber this spring. (1/1)
  • Based on Jeff Hardy’s promo on Monday’s Raw and an interview with the NC Culture State podcast where he talked about the character, there’s a lot of speculation Hardy could use his Willow gimmick on SmackDown.
  • He did not use that character on SmackDown, though he wasn’t there for long. Will we see Willow on AEW TV? Honestly, I hope not. The crazy characters worked in Impact at the time they did, but they don’t really fit what AEW is doing. Matt couldn’t seem to make Broken Matt work even as he debuted with him. (0/1)
  • Drew McIntyre rekindled talk of a match with boxing champ Tyson Fury in a recent interview with Sportskeeda. The belief is that could anchor a proposed UK PPV.
  • We’ll wait a little bit longer on this but no hint of this yet.
  • Probably take a few extra grains of salt with this one, but Johnny Gargano removed references to NXT from his Twitter account and replaced them with “pro wrestler”. His contract is said to expire this December.
  • He’s not wrestling for anyone right now. I don’t know if this rumor is implying he was going to go somewhere else (he hasn’t yet) or just leave NXT as his contract expires (he did).
  • According to PW Insider, Kenny Doane (formerly known as Kenny Dykstra of The Spirit Squad) is coaching at the WWE Performance Center.
  • I remember when they brought him back for Dolph Ziggler’s feud with the Miz. And Kenny no showed his day job (and was fired) thinking he’d have a longer WWE run but it was like a week long.

October 8, 2021

  • PW Insider notes AJ Lee hasn’t shown any interest in wrestling again. Her new role with WOW is less likely to interrupt her Hollywood projects than a more time-consuming position in WWE or AEW would.
  • She has not returned to the ring.
  • Ringside News was told that Braun Strowman “keeps trying to get his job back” with WWE, but they currently have no interest in signing him.
  • That sounds kind of sad.
  • Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston stated the median age of viewers for this week’s episode of NXT 2.0 was 62 years old. A source told Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian “the demo numbers are disappointing but we are hopeful this is just a bump in the road.” NXT’s goal is to attract younger viewers who are more in tune with current trends and pop culture.
  • Their hopefulness did not really pay off.
  • The AEW wrestlers watching the monitors were initially concerned PAC suffered an injury on the nasty-looking Deadeye bump through the table during the Casino Ladder match on Dynamite, per Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez. However, he’s been given the impression that PAC is “alright” and not “badly injured.”
  • He did not miss any real time after that one. (1/1)
  • Insider confirmed Gran Metalik recently asked for his WWE release, adding that both he and Lince Dorado have been spotted at television tapings waiting to speak with higher ups about their unhappiness with how they are booked.
  • Metalik did as for his release. Both have since been. (1/1)

October 9, 2021

  • Dave Meltzer wrote in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Alberto Del Rio has been telling people he’s returning to WWE “when his legal situation regarding the alleged assault on an ex-girlfriend in San Antonio is cleared up.” For what it’s worth, Meltzer doesn’t believe Del Rio’s claim, saying he’d be shocked if WWE brought him back.
  • ADR was full of shit. Meltz was right. (1/2)
  • A source told Fightful Select WWE’s performance on Peacock has been “exceptional”, with more people watching WWE PPV events than ever before. Within WWE, there has been criticism the Peacock platform isn’t as well-developed as the stand-alone Network was.
  • Peacock still sucks.
  • Fightful also learned MLW had a deal with FOX’s streaming platform Tubi, but when WWE found out about the deal, a planned August announcement was called off. The future of MLW on Tubi is now in question.
  • This accusation ended up resulting in litigation between MLW & WWE.
  • On Busted Open, Mark Henry said he was concerned about the table bump PAC took in the ladder match on Wednesday’s Dynamite because PAC suffered a concussion a month and a half ago.
  • He ended up being OK (at least in the short term).
  • One of the reasons Davey Boy Smith Jr. hasn’t been used since WWE announced his signing is because he caught COVID. The Observer says he’s better, and was backstage at last Friday’s SmackDown draft show.
  • He has since been released.

This week: 8/13 - 62%

Overall: 4,116/7,257 - 56.7%

Have a great week, everyone!