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Rumor Look Back: Dec. 12 - 18, 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 13, 2021

  • Ringside News says Roman Reigns absence from SmackDown this past week was a planned vacation known well ahead of time.
  • My man has many a planned absence nowadays.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer speculated that Braun Strowman showing up at ROH Final Battle was likely a sign that he’ll be doing something with EC3 in Impact or AEW.
  • He didn’t do anything with EC3 in either of those places. But he does work with him in Control Your Narrative. (0/1)
  • Speaking of which, Meltzer also said there are several ROH talents who are likely AEW bound.
  • I guess... all of them? Given TK owns it. (1/1)
  • Triple H is unlikely to ever wrestle again after his recent health issues, per the Observer.
  • This is a never say never business, but I’m going to just grade this now. Given how bad it was, I really think he won’t. (1/1)
  • In their Daily Update it’s noted by the Observer that tickets for Day 1 started moving much faster after the announcement of Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar but it’s still unlikely to sell out.
  • The arena claimed a sell out. They didn’t get to see Reigns vs. Lesnar due to Reigns’s COVID positive though. (0/1)

December 14, 2021

  • On his Twitch stream, Matt Hardy said “Jeff is in the best place,” and isn’t using drugs or alcohol. He’s confident drug tests WWE gave his brother will come back clean, and while he understands the company’s position, says he thinks WWE ”may have jumped the gun” releasing Jeff.
  • Maybe he wasn’t using drugs or alcohol at that moment. But he just got arrested for a DUI. That makes this whole WWE exit and the entire look a bit different. Hopefully Jeff can find what he needs to stay sober this time around.
  • During an appearance on The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast, Brian Meyers said Sandman is sober now: “If you watch him on an indie show or whatever, he’s just kind of making a mess of beers but he’s not consuming.”
  • I hope that’s the case.
  • Writing about WWE talent contracts in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports many no longer have downside guarantees. Salaries are higher than they used to be, but a lot of talent no longer get bonuses for merch sales, house show gates, etc. Deals are different for top talent.
  • That sucks for folks who can really move merch.
  • Deadline noted that number of entertainment industry power players were in attendance at last Friday’s SmackDown in Los Angeles, including CBS Entertainment President of Kelly Kahl, and Apple Head of Development and Programming Matt Cherniss.
  • To talk business?
  • WWE’s filed to trademark “Piper Niven”, which has many speculating Doudrop could be going back to the name she used in NXT UK.
  • She’s still Doudrop. (0/1)

December 15, 2021

  • Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that the reason they didn’t do the RK-Bro-nament finals is because “there’s something up with Montez Ford.” He doesn’t know what exactly but there’s something going on with him.
  • I don’t think we ever got anything more of this. Whatever it was didn’t cost Montez a bunch of time though, so that’s good. He and Angelo Dawkins will challenge the Usos at Money in the Bank.
  • He also says they knew there was an issue by Saturday that he wouldn’t be able to wrestle, and maybe even before then, they were just late to announce anything on it.
  • This must be an injury. He didn’t really miss more than a week or two of time though.
  • Per the Observer, there’s a belief internally that WWE doesn’t have enough big guys.
  • I don’t think that’s a big issue for WWE. I think AEW has less big guys than the E. (Not that they need them, but it doesn’t feel like an issue with WWE.)
  • Scarlett Bordeaux apparently told fans at the K&S WrestleFest virtual signing that there are no plans for her and Karrion Kross to return to Impact Wrestling.
  • That looks to be the case. (1/1)
  • According to Fightful Select, Private Party’s Marq Quen is currently out due to an injury.
  • He was back by the end of this month.

December 16, 2021

  • WWE is interested in signing MJF when his AEW contract expires. Andrew Zarian’s sources at FOX and USA say MJF’s program with CM Punk has caught the eye of even non-wrestling people at the networks, and their asking WWE about him raised WWE’s interest.
  • That has become fodder of MJF’s worked shoot story in AEW.
  • Zarian also confirmed that MJF’s frequent mentions of his AEW contract expiration date are a shoot, and his current deal is up in 2024.
  • That continues to be the word, though it’s tough to truly confirm these things.
  • In a Fightful Q & A, Sean Ross Sapp said that Kevin Owens does not have a “No Cut” clause in his new WWE contract.
  • I don’t know if anyone has that clause. If they existed, the type of talent who had it (i.e. Roman) would never need to use it.
  • Brody King has signed with AEW, per Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam.net.
  • He’s part of the House of Black. (1/1)
  • Based on her social media, it appears indie wrestler Tesha Price has signed with WWE and will go by Fallon Henley. Price has made many appearances on AEW Dark this year in addition to a handful of NXT ones.
  • That’s the case. (1/1)

December 17, 2021

  • F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer believes that Kevin Owens actually re-signed with WWE a couple weeks ago. Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian said AEW made him “a very nice offer,” but WWE countered it.
  • We don’t know the exact timing, but he did re-sign. (This rumor was after it was announced.) While worry was that he’d likely be misused, he got to main event one night of WrestleMania last year with Stone Cold Steve Austin in a match, which probably makes the contract completely worth it.
  • There’s some speculation that Owens re-signing with WWE makes it more likely Sami Zayn will also re-sign with them, and that Zayn’s increased television time of late is part of WWE’s strategy to keep him.
  • Zayn did re-sign. And he continues to be wildly entertaining on TV. Honestly, I’m glad he stayed in WWE. AEW feels so crowded now and Zayn has worked himself into a position he’s always on TV in a prominent spot. Same for Owens. In fact, both men can claim the most consistently entertaining part of their respective shows. That’s impressive. (1/1)
  • Zarian spoke to someone in WWE who is under the impression it’s a “done deal” that one of Johnny Gargano or Kyle O’Reilly is joining AEW.
  • KOR did. We don’t know yet what Johnny’s future holds. (1/1)
  • While discussing the lack of surprise appearances at Winter is Coming, Zarian mentioned that “debuts are happening” and “people are showing up” in AEW over “the next couple weeks.”
  • Their debuts seem pretty steady. Keith Lee. Swerve Strickland. Toni Storm. William Regal. (1/1)
  • Former WWE wrestler Viktor from The Ascension told the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast that WWE forbid him from mentioning his training in the Hart Family Dungeon. He recalls that William Regal referenced the Hart Dungeon once in NXT, and he was also told to quit saying it.
  • That’s weird.

December 18, 2021

  • Windham Rotunda/Bray Wyatt is focused on his movie and isn’t in a rush to return to pro wrestling, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Since he had a contract similar to the one Kevin Owens just signed, “unless he was living incredibly large, he shouldn’t have financial issues forcing him back until he feels like it.”
  • We’re still waiting on Windham, who said recently he’s ready to return.
  • Dave Meltzer writes he isn’t sure if Windham will eventually sign with AEW or Impact: “At one point he was apart on money from both promotions.”
  • If he was getting paid as one of the top acts in WWE, he’s likely not looking to take a pay cut.
  • The WON also notes that while they haven’t confirmed it with company officials, word backstage is that Sami Zayn has already re-signed with WWE.
  • We don’t know the timing. But he eventually did.
  • Fightful says there have been several ideas put forth this year regarding the return of Sonya Deville as an active competitor. For example, WWE actually had graphics made showing Deville as a participant in July’s Money in the Bank ladder match.
  • They brought her back as part of a corrupt authority story targeting Bianca Belair.
  • While discussing streaming services, Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian mentioned that AEW is working on “some sort of archive” where you can “go back and watch everything.”
  • We’re not there yet. If they nail a streaming deal, that will likely be included, as will as Ring of Honor’s vast library.

This week: 8/11 - 73%

Overall: 4,188/7,368 - 56.8%

Have a great week, everyone!

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