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Rumor Look Back: December 5 - 11, 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.

December 6, 2021

  • People within WWE are operating under the assumption that Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly won’t be with the company after this week, says Fightful Select. It’s been widely reported Gargano signed an extension to work WarGames, and PW Insider now says O’Reilly’s expires this week as well.
  • I can’t speak to the mindset of WWE officials, but neither man ended up re-signing. (At least as of now. Gargano hasn’t landed anywhere yet so could conceivably return to WWE.)
  • Dec. 31 is a Friday, and Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer reports there will not be an episode of SmackDown that night. FOX will air it’s usual New Year’s Eve programming, and knowing they’d be bumped to FS1, WWE opted to run a “taped ‘year in review’ type episode. That night’s previously announced taping in Charlotte, North Carolina is now off the schedule.
  • This is accurate. They didn’t run a real show. (1/1)
  • SmackDown will air on FOX Christmas Eve, but the show will be taped in advance. WWE will film it after the live broadcast on Fri., Dec. 17 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
  • This is accurate. It was pretaped on that date in Rosemont. (2/2)
  • The speculation about Charlotte Flair and Andrade El Idolo was right, according to Bodyslam.net. Multiple sources told Cassidy Haynes the couple have split up.
  • They’re married now. (0/1)
  • WWE postponed their January swing through Western Canada over concern bad weather could cause logistical problems for Royal Rumble, per Meltzer.
  • I’m sure those winters can be harrowing.

December 7, 2021

  • On a Twitch stream Monday afternoon, Matt Hardy said he’s spoken to his brother and that Jeff is “at home and okay”. Matt declined to go into any details about what happened or why his younger brother was reportedly sent home from WWE’s weekend house shows, saying it’s not his story to tell.
  • It sounds like it was all a ploy for Jeff to get his release. Sure they make sure to say it wasn’t intentional, but they have to say that.
  • The Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar main event at Day 1 is intended to be one match in a multi-match series between the two, per Wrestling Observer.
  • That’s accurate, though that match never happened because Reigns got COVID. Instead Brock won the WWE title in a fatal 4-way from Big E. (1/1)
  • Kairi Sane has dropped “WWE” from her Instagram handle, and is referring to herself as a former Superstar on all her social media. She’s also hinted on Twitter that she could return to the ring soon.
  • She wrestled a handful of Stardom matches in March. Sounds like she can return if she wanted though. (1/1)
  • After her return last week, PW Insider says Maryse is officially on the Raw roster and will be appearing regularly for the company going forward.
  • She did at least for the mix tag program with Edge & Beth Phoenix. (1/1)
  • Will Opsreay confirmed he will not be making his previously announced appearance for MLW. New Japan’s relationship with MLW is said to have come to an end in mid-November, with a source telling SEScoops that MLW working with All-Japan Pro Wrestling “didn’t sit well” with New Japan.
  • A lot of moving parts with these partnerships.

December 8, 2021

  • Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that Nick Khan is most likely to replace Vince McMahon in WWE if and when that needs to happen.
  • It sounds like Triple H & Stephanie are slowly (or maybe not slowly) having their power taken away so I certainly wouldn’t be surprised.
  • The Observer speculates that this big Liv Morgan push will indeed result in a title win, even if she isn’t champion for long.
  • Liv has not won the title. (0/1)
  • They also say it’s still expected that Kevin Owens is leaving WWE soon and he’s been added to the title match at Day 1 to take the pin and keep everyone else strong.
  • Kevin re-signed with the company. Kevin did not take the pin. Given he was in the main event of WrestleMania night one with Stone Cold Steve Austin, I think he made the correct choice. (0/2)
  • Per Fightful Select, there were plans in place for “a robust amount of NXT talent” to be included in the WWE 2K22 video game, though it’s unclear what new stars will make the cut.
  • A robust amount of released talent (1/1)
  • MLW has plans to build to a big weekend next year featuring stars from All Japan Pro Wrestling, says PW Insider.
  • A big weekend has not happened, but there’s six months of year left.

December 9, 2021

  • Some signs the reports of their break-up were greatly exaggerated: Wrestling Inc’s Raj Giri tweeted “word I’ve gotten is that Charlotte Flair and Andrade are still very much together,” and Andrade posted a selfie seemingly to Charlotte and commented “F…. Fake News”
  • Given they just married... (1/1)
  • Day 1 is “a Nick Khan idea” that WWE hopes to make an annual New Year’s Day PPV, per Wrestling Observer Radio. Speculation is they’ll continue to load up the card to make it a success and ensure that happens.
  • We’ll find out in about 6 months.
  • Regardless of what happens with her husband Johnny Gargano, Fightful Select says WWE hasn’t discussed Candice LeRae’s contract situation because it isn’t up until next spring and they typically prefer to wait until closer to the expiration to date to open negotiations. The site also says the possibility of freezing her contract for the time she’s missed while pregnant hasn’t been addressed internally.
  • They did not freeze her contract. Her contract ran out this spring. Like her husband, she’s yet to show up anywhere.
  • According to PW Insider, former WWE writer and current executive with Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions Brian Gewirtz is working on a book about his time with WWE that’s due out next summer. Gewirtz was full time with WWE from 1999-2012, and worked as a consultant for three years after that.
  • This is accurate. (1/1)
  • Speaking of former WWE writers, on his Wrestling With Freddie podcast, Freddie Prinze Jr. said that before Awesome Kong left WWE the plan was to do a Kong vs. Beth Phoenix match at WrestleMania.
  • That would be have been good.

December 10, 2021

  • While discussing Jeff Hardy’s release from WWE, Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian said he heard the last couple of weeks “have been rough for him.”
  • That’s very vague. Maybe just burned out? That’s how he tells it. This is all still a very odd situation and even with the Hardys’ explanation, I’m still not sure what to believe.
  • A source told Ringside News that prior to Hardy’s release, Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns were “on board” with the idea of a match between Reigns and Hardy at either Royal Rumble 2022 or the next Saudi Arabia show.
  • That seemed like the way they were heading. That could have been a good feud.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer says that even without a deal in place, people in NXT expect both Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly will be back in WWE after taking some time off.
  • We still don’t know about Johnny but KOR is All Elite. (0/1)
  • According to PW Insider, this week’s steel cage match on Raw between Big E and Kevin Owens was originally scheduled to main event the show, with Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan taking place in hour two. The change to put Lynch and Morgan in the main event was made after it was pointed out that Trish Stratus vs. Lita headlined Raw on the same date in 2004.
  • Looking back, that cage match was non-title. A women’s title match should usually close the show.
  • Insider also says Jerry Lawler’s new contract with WWE is for two years, and lasts until January 2024.
  • He’ll be on plenty of pre-show panels in our future.

December 11, 2021

  • Jeff Hardy has a standard 90 day non-compete after his release from WWE, per Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer also writes Hardy was “fully aware” WWE would “take action” when he refused rehab.
  • I still don’t think we know the full story to be honest. We’ve heard Jeff’s side plenty, and that may be pretty accurate. But I’m curious about it from WWE’s perspective.
  • A source told the WON that Kyle O’Reilly leaving NXT was a “no-brainer.” Basically the only role for him in WWE is as a coach, and it’s believed AEW will make him a comparable offer to wrestle. He’s also guaranteed a spot in New Japan if he wants it as that company’s Chairman Takaaki Kidani is a big fan.
  • He went to AEW very soon after his contract ran out. (1/1)
  • According to PW Insider, Johnny Gargano and O’Reilly have both been removed from WWE’s internal roster.
  • That makes sense.
  • Chris Jericho, who was hospitalized while on tour with Fozzy in the UK, sent a message to Meltzer saying he feels good, it’s not related to COVID, and the doctors just wanted to observe him overnight.
  • According to Jericho, this was the reason he worked on getting back in shape.
  • Sources at the UBS Arena in New York confirmed that AEW’s audience at the venue this week was about twice the size of WWE Raw’s crowd last week, per Insider.
  • We mentioned it here last week: AEW is just the hotter product.

This week: 10/15 - 67%

Overall: 4,180/7,357 - 56.8%

Have a great week, everyone!