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Rumor Look Back: Nov. 1 - 7, 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.

November 1, 2021

  • Bryan Danielson was so professional on his way out of WWE, Fightful Select’s heard that many within the company didn’t think he was actually leaving. WWE hopes he will return down the road.
  • That Bryan Danielson - such a nice guy. I don’t think that return will happen as an active competitor. I could see him doing an appearance or two after retiring though.
  • For what it’s worth, Tony Schiavone said on his Ask Tony Live! Show that he thinks AEW will have a streaming service by the end of 2022.
  • We’ll have to wait and see. The changes with the Discovery merger could have an effect on their future. But if AEW comes forward with enough content to put on a library, which the ROH purchase was likely meant to do, they surely can end up somewhere.
  • Per PW Insider, Sheamus will be returning to the ring this week after surgery on his nose last month.
  • Sheamus didn’t return for a couple weeks. Ridge Holland talked him up the weeks prior. (0/1)
  • On her vlog, Thunder Rosa revealed she was recently sidelined by a concussion.
  • Damn. It’s a dangerous biz.
  • According to Fightful, New Japan Pro Wrestling has made a big play for former NXT star Bronson Reed.
  • JONAH (the former Bronson Reed) has done some work with them but more with Impact.

November 2, 2021

  • “There was significance in Drew McIntyre using the Kimura (Brock Lesnar’s submission move) on Mustafa Ali on SmackDown,” says Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer.
  • He hasn’t had a feud with Lesnar since so not any real significance (0/1)
  • AEW is planning a TNT special for Sat., Jan. 8, 2022, sources tell Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian. With “Clash of the Champions” unavailable due to WWE trademark, the company is said to be considering calling it “Battle of the Belts”.
  • Battle of the Belts it was. The date was correct woo. (2/2)
  • A report from Fightful Select says WWE has been teaching NXT talent the production side of the business, something that used to rely on Full Sail to do that has now been brought in-house. An example would be the importance of holding facial expressions to give camera operators time to catch them.
  • Those are good skills to know.
  • NXT production teams have also been getting tips from Raw and SmackDown staff in recent months.
  • It makes sense given they’re trying to use NXT as a springboard to the main roster. In that sense, the more continuity the better.
  • Per WWE Network News, Jeff Hardy will be Steve Austin’s guest on the next Broken Skull Sessions. That episode is scheduled to debut on Peacock & WWE Network on Thanksgiving day (Thurs., Nov. 25).
  • That happened. (1/1)

November 3, 2021

  • Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that AJ Styles is currently out due to a “non-injury medical issue.” It’s unclear what exactly it is but that’s why he’s been missing from television.
  • That sounds like a heavy euphemism for COVID but it could include plenty of other ailments.
  • As for others missing from the show, it’s not clear why but PW Insider says Bobby Lashley and Karrion Kross also weren’t even in the building at Raw this week.
  • Kross was soon released. Lashley is still rollin’ with them though.
  • Ringside News claims they were told Bray Wyatt was hard to get along with backstage before his release from WWE.
  • Once again, this sounds like WWE spin. This isn’t something we heard about him ever prior to his release. Not that it isn’t true, but I’m suspicious.
  • They also say he isn’t likely to take any independent bookings, so it’s either Impact or AEW for him.
  • He hasn’t been in a wrestling ring at all. Probably focusing on his movie project.
  • No Way, Taylor Wilde, TJP, Tommy Dreamer, and Petey Williams were removed from the Impact Wrestling roster page but PW Insider says sources from in the company informed them it should not be taken as an indication they are being released.
  • This is a tough one because none of these people worked a match for Impact since this rumor. Tommy Dreamer still has a backstage role with them, though hew as suspended still at this time. I’m going to mark this overall as incorrect though since none of the folks worked another match for them. (0/1)

November 4, 2021

  • Long time Senior Vice President, Creative Services Stan Stanski exited WWE yesterday ahead of today’s earnings report, reports PW Insider. A source told the site the end of Stanski’s 15 years with the company was “the ultimate proof no one is safe” and “yet another reminder this isn’t the same company it was a year ago.”
  • Every one is on the chopping block now.
  • WWE sources told Fightful Select that Vince McMahon had grown to dislike Bray Wyatt by the time of his release, as McMahon didn’t like how outspoken Wyatt had become about creative.
  • Much like the Charlotte rumors from last week, these all seem hyperbolic. But there’s a lot of smoke here too. Maybe there are certain people, even if it was a small number, who did not get along with Windham, and they were being very vocal around this time.
  • That said, considering they’re coming from “WWE sources” just as Wyatt’s non-compete expires, there is some skepticism about the recent stream of rumors about Bray being difficult to work with.
  • The other side of the coin.
  • Kyle O’Reilly’s WWE contract is set to expire next month, according to PW Insider.
  • He confirmed it expired in December. (1/1)
  • The angle on this week’s NXT where Zoey Stark was attacked by Toxic Attraction was done to cover for a real injury Stark is dealing with, per Post Wrestling. It’s not confirmed what the injury is or how long she’ll be out.
  • She tore her ACL. (1/1)

November 5, 2021

  • According to Fightful, John Laurinaitis, WWE’s head of Talent Relations, sent a company-wide email citing budget cuts as the reason why WWE fired 18 wrestlers last night.
  • That’s always the reason they give, and most of the time, it’s probably accurate. It’s going to be awhile to learn if their current strategy of releasing a bunch of folks and focusing on younger talent (many former college athletes). I have my doubts that it will change anything, but time will tell.
  • One source told Andrew Zarian that potentially four of the wrestlers were released because they are not vaccinated from COVID-19. The New York Post specifically heard that’s one of the reasons why Nia Jax was fired.
  • Nia says she her vaccination status was never mentioned upon her release. Though then talking with Renee Paquette on her podcast, it was something that was mentioned to her prior.
  • In the aftermath of all the roster cuts, PW Insider says WWE has canceled some Performance Center training classes that were originally scheduled for today.
  • Because they weren’t worth it until consolidating classes? Or did they think people would be too distracted with the news?
  • Fightful mentioned that WWE also fired several office employees this week.
  • No one is safe.
  • F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer indicated AEW’s initial plan in the World Title Eliminator Tournament was for Jon Moxley to undergo a personality change and defeat Orange Cassidy. Fightful claims Miro wasn’t originally scheduled for Dynamite this week, and he arrived at the venue shortly before show time to replace Moxley. There’s no timetable for when Moxley will return to the promotion now that he’s in rehab.
  • Moxley returned in January. The heel turn didn’t happen.

November 6, 2021

  • While established names would get regular deals, WWE is discussing new 60-day trial contracts when signing talent, per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Bryan Alvarez said on The Bryan & Vinny Show that they don’t want people to be in NXT for years any more: “It’s gonna be every six months they are going to evaluate you and if you’re not getting better, you’re out of there.”
  • That kind of goes along with the recent reports.
  • The Observer says “virtually all the veteran wrestlers” not being used on television were under consideration to be released this week. WWE is concerned about the age of the roster and isn’t interested in hiring any women who are over 25 years old.
  • It’s a real shift in their practices, but that makes for a messy time to transition from one to another.
  • In John Laurinaitis’ internal emails announcing Thursday’s roster cuts, Fightful Select says Oney Lorcan’s gimmick name was misspelled “Oney Lorkan”.
  • A little insult to injury the way out.
  • B-Fab was listed as an NXT talent in Laurinaitis’ emails, despite being moved to SmackDown in last month’s draft. Wrestling Observer also says she was believed to have just signed a new deal last week, making her release even more puzzling.
  • The rest of Hit Row wouldn’t be far behind the releases.
  • Outgoing WWE CFO Kristina Salen was fired, per Dave Meltzer. Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston heard from several sources she was not well liked, and was contributing to employees in the finance department wanting to quit WWE
  • I don’t know enough about her to have any opinion on this.

This week: 5/8 - 63%

Overall: 4,144/7,307 - 56.7%

Have a great week, everyone!

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