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Rumor Look Back: Nov. 8 - 14, 2021

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.

November 8, 2021

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer mentioned WWE hasn’t mandated or told everyone they must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • I bet WWE was “strongly encouraging it” but I would be surprised if they had ever required it.
  • As far as recent WWE releases, Meltzer said there were “probably about 10 others” who were discussed about being cut and ultimately weren’t. It’s entirely possible some of those names end up cut soon anyway.
  • They probably were since the releases never stopped.
  • For what it’s worth, Tony Khan told PW Torch there are wrestlers who were recently released by WWE that he’s interested in but he won’t say who they are.
  • Keith Lee was one who showed up. Swerve Strickland too (though he wasn’t released with this batch).
  • PW Insider says Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo will only be known as “Angel” and “Humberto” going forward. That’s in addition to being named Los Lotharios as a team.
  • Accurate. Another set of wrestlers that lost their last name. (1/1)
  • The Observer says Harry Smith was signed to be a big UK star but was then earmarked for the main roster. However, he didn’t get over in his tryout match for them and was let go.
  • His return was such a weird one. Returned in a dark match. Didn’t sniff TV. Released. He came down with COVID at one point, and maybe that played a role, but it was all very weird.

November 9, 2021

  • Regarding a WrestleMania match with Roman Reigns, The Rock told Andrew Freund of Dish Nation, “There is no truth to that right now. Possibly down the road. We’ll see.”
  • I think that’s gotta be the favorite for WrestleMania in Los Angeles next year.
  • In last week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was noted that WWE didn’t start promoting Survivor Series until recently because they felt they needed to “get over new feuds with the new rosters and let the new rosters settle in on television” after Crown Jewel.
  • Survivor Series is always the forgotten of the Big 4.
  • “Probably a half dozen or more” of the talents released by WWE last week were not vaccinated, according to Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer. He speculated the company may not have asked wrestlers to get vaccinated for legal reasons.
  • I understand WWE letting people go when the promotions health guidelines change. But given they’re independent contractors, they should be able to leave WWE when their plans change. Instead they’re sometimes held hostage.
  • During his interview with PW Torch, Tony Khan said that he and “most of the roster in AEW is vaccinated.” To date, he hasn’t talked to any talent about getting a COVID vaccine, but says he might “if we’re gonna go do a show some place where there was a mandate.”
  • I wonder how much “most of” is.
  • There were multiple plans for Mia Yim prior to her release, per Fightful Select. This included “quietly” moving her between Raw and SmackDown. Obviously, all of those plans changed.
  • She just returned in Impact.

November 10, 2021

  • PW Insider notes Finn Bálor missed a live event in Leeds, England last night for precautionary reasons. He has what they describe as “a minor issue” but it’s unknown what that is right now. The crowd was apparently told he was out with an injury.
  • He didn’t miss much time. Was wrestling the next night.
  • The Wrestling Observer notes that with the NXT youth movement, WWE has been looking to release longtime veterans from the brand.
  • That’s been non-stop. (1/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer mentioned that prior to his release, WWE had talked about a major push for both Karrion Kross & Scarlett on the main roster, one that would make him a top star.
  • He really seemed like the type of guy they’d love. But he’s 36 so a victim of the youth movement I guess.
  • For whatever it’s worth, on her “Green With Envy” podcast, Chelsea Green claims she was told “someone at the top of the NXT food chain” called Ring of Honor and told them not to hire her.
  • Dirty if true.
  • Fightful Select says content creators for UpUpDownDown have stopped producing anything because they want Xavier Woods to get a bigger cut financially. The brand could be back up and running if the issue gets resolved.
  • They returned a month later, but then stopped against later. They are back just as of last week, though we don’t know how these issues were resolved.

November 11, 2021

  • The Mysterios breakup and feud will be happening soon, according to one of Andrew Zarian’s WWE sources.
  • Nothing yet. (0/1)
  • A source on the creative team told Ringside News, B-Fab was released because Hit Row “was deemed to be just fine without her.”
  • The rest of Hit Row were released themselves very soon after.
  • PW Insider was told there was a “Capital letters LONG” production meeting Monday afternoon before Raw. Vince McMahon attended that, but left before the start of the show. Bruce Prichard wasn’t there either, so John Laurinaitis was in charge backstage.
  • I wonder how Johnny Ace running Raw is different than Vince or Bruce.
  • Whatever the “minor injury” concern was that led to Finn Bálor being pulled from Tuesday’s Leeds house show must have been precautionary, as Wrestling Observer reports he was back in action on Wednesday in Manchester. Balor worked most of a tag match where he teamed with Cesaro against WALTER & Sheamus.
  • Must have been something minor.
  • Chloe Christmas, a former independent wrestler now refereeing in WWE Developmental, last week changed her social media accounts to indicate her official WWE name would be “Paige”. This drew negative reactions, including from currently retired WWE Superstar Paige. Christmas now appears to be going by “Blair Baldwin”.
  • She was recently released. She worked as a referee though don’t know if she ever was referred to by name.

November 12, 2021

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer indicated that every wrestler in WWE is underpaid because only about 8% of WWE’s total revenue is paid to the wrestlers. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar are the only wrestlers making five million dollars per year, and a couple others make north of three million dollars per year. Vince McMahon thinks many of the wrestlers are overpaid.
  • Of course management thinks the workers make too much.
  • Bryan Danielson loves McMahon. Meltzer said Danielson has compiled a book over the years of “all the things that he’s learned by and from Vince McMahon.”
  • What a wild relationship that must be between such different dudes.
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian was told the word “TakeOver” is gone and won’t be used for NXT’s future special events like WarGames because the brand is now in a different era. Another person told Zarian that if NXT goes back to sharing large venues with the main roster for those special events, such as Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the “TakeOver” name will return.
  • The word has been phased out. We’ll see if it comes back for a big venue. They were at American Airlines Arena during WrestleMania weekend, which didn’t sell too well, but we’ll see if they do something like Brooklyn after they feel 2.0 is more where they want it. (1/1)
  • After reiterating that WWE specifically released four of the 18 wrestlers last week due to their unvaccinated status, Zarian adds that two others were already on the border of being fired, and their unvaccinated status is what pushed them over the line. Some other wrestlers were released by choice because they wanted out of their WWE contracts.
  • How could you want out of such a great working environment?
  • Per Meltzer, the original plan for Cody Rhodes at Full Gear 2021 was supposed to be a four way match with PAC, Andrade El Idolo, and Malakai Black. AEW changed plans and instead booked a tag team match with those same four wrestlers.
  • It’s wild that Cody is back in WWE.

November 13, 2021

  • Stephanie McMahon’s branding team was particularly hard hit in last week’s WWE budget cuts, per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It’s expected the branding department will merge with marketing soon.
  • Everything feels turbulent in WWE.
  • According to F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer, nobody in WWE was told their job was in danger if they did not get vaccinated. However, one unvaccinated top star was told they are less valuable to the company since they won’t be able to travel and perform overseas.
  • It makes sense that it would limit their opportunities with unknown vaccination mandates at this time.
  • Per Meltzer, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik requested their release from WWE after they were booked to lose on Main Event in September against the makeshift team of Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo. WWE had no plans for Garza and Carrillo at the time, and Dorado taking the fall in the match was viewed as a punishment. Garza and Carrillo were impressive in the match and it led to the decision to stick with them as a regular team going forward.
  • I can see a team just getting fed up with being booked like shit and wanting out.
  • Nick Jackson did suffer a heel injury when he was thrown off the stage by Luchasaurus on last week’s Dynamite, but WON says it’s just a bruise and he’ll be fine for Full Gear.
  • Nick worked that show. (1/1)
  • This week’s Newsletter also says AAA is interested in a number of recently released WWE and Ring of Honor talents, like Taya Valkyrie, Karrion Kross & Scarlett, Flamita, Rey Horus, and Rush.
  • Some of them like Taya, Flamita, and Rey Horus they have. Kross, Scarlett, & Rush (due to injury), they haven’t. But we can’t gleam interest.

This week: 4/5 - 80%

Overall: 4,148/7,312 - 56.7%

Have a great week, everyone!

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