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Rumor Look Back: Nov. 29 - Dec. 4, 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 29, 2021

  • PW Torch says there are wrestlers in AEW looking at their current contract situation after The Young Bucks signed new deals with the company.
  • Obviously, MJF is the most noteworthy person thinking about his contract right now.
  • They also note that Tony Khan was or is hoping to sign Cody Rhodes and Kenny Omega to new contracts next.
  • Well he didn’t get that Cody contract done.
  • There’s at least some speculation that Edge could be starting up a program with Bobby Lashley on Raw tonight.
  • Edge and Bobby have not had a program. And honestly, I’m a fan of both guys, but I have no interest in a program like that. (0/1)
  • The Observer notes that WWE is struggling with ticket sales and have started doing two-for-one and even three-for-one deals.
  • That’s a shame. I mean their product feels stale right now, but of course I wish they were doing better creatively and had more interest. But there’s no financial incentive for them to put on more consistently entertaining shows so it is what it is.
  • For what it’s worth, Top Dolla told Busted Open Radio that despite rumors his rap on Jinder Mahal helped lead to his release from WWE, that is not actually the case and Mahal went to bat for him over it.
  • Swerve Strickland told Jericho that Jinder was cool with the rap but it was something he didn’t get approved with management, so there was some heat.

November 30, 2021

  • Dave Meltzer said on Sunday Night’s Main Event that Triple H’s September cardiac event was “very, very serious.” While he’s been around the business in recent weeks, Meltzer isn’t sure when he’ll be fully back on the job, and speculates it could be in a less stressful position.
  • It was definitely very serious, as Triple H attested to himself. (1/1)
  • The Red Notice tie-in egg storyline from Survivor Series and last week’s Raw was originally “much worse,” according to Fightful Select’s WWE sources. The stakes were even lower than what we got, with one of the pitches involving the 24/7 title. That was shot down by Dwayne Johnson and/or the movie’s representatives, with Vince McMahon’s involvement added as a make good.
  • They really gave a lot of time to it, but as the rumor below attests to, they got paid for it too.
  • Fightful also confirmed the Red Notice deal was worth seven figures to WWE.
  • I mean that’s good money.
  • Back to The Rock, PW Insider says Young Rock season two will cover Johnson’s run in Memphis and his first year in the then-WWF. The NBC sitcom is casting actors to portray Bill Dundee, Jerry Lawler, Tommy Rich, a young Bam Bam Bigelow, Triple H, The Undertaker, Harvey Whippleman, and The Brooklyn Brawler.
  • Season 2 was confirmed, and they do have guys playing some of the classics. (1/1)
  • Via Wrestling Observer, Meltzer also reported Rhodes To The Top has been renewed for a second season on TNT.
  • Maybe it was, but it won’t make air.

December 1, 2021

  • PW Insider notes that Carmella was checked out backstage after a hard hit from Rhea Ripley on Raw this week but she seemed to be fine.
  • It’s a dangerous business.
  • They also say that folks backstage were “thrilled” with the 10-woman tag team match on the show.
  • I don’t specifically remember the much, but 10-person matches in general are probably hard to book.
  • Fightful says there were multiple wrestlers in and out of WWE who didn’t like WWE using fired talent in promos on Raw this week.
  • Understandable definitely. Though in this business, you expect real life stuff to be worked into story pretty quickly.
  • Insider says multiple segments had to be shortened on Raw this week when the contract signing and Edge and Miz segments went long.
  • I’m surprised vets like Edge & Miz would go long super long. But I guess they may have more freedom to not work as tight to a script so that
  • Here’s a fun one — Bryan Alvarez wrote on the F4Wonline message board that there are people in WWE who think Tony Khan buys up tickets for AEW shows.
  • I doubt that’s the case. But wrestlers and those in the biz love their conspiracy theories, such as TK thinking WWE is paying for an army of bots to trash talk AEW on Twitter. (TK swears he has evidence, but until we see it, I think that claim is hogwash too.) Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one - that some fans are super tribal on both sides and express those opinions on Twitter.

December 2, 2021

  • Regarding fan speculation Triple H could leave WWE to work with another wrestling company or even start his own, PW Torch’s Wade Keller said a company source told him it wouldn’t happen: “Hunter cannot cash out and just leave without it affecting the family dynamic in a way that was just more negative than something Triple H would do... Hunter is either gonna work in WWE or not but not work against them in the pro wrestling business.”
  • Yeah, Hunter hasn’t gone anywhere. Stephanie has stepped aside though. So there are big changes. (1/1)
  • WWE began talking contract extension with Johnny Gargano in October, per Fightful Select. The company’s been impressed with how he got new stars over with The Way stable.
  • They never got it done. Gargano did great work during his heel run in NXT.
  • The company is also working to re-sign Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly was said to be surprised his contract is up at the end of December, as WWE’s been known to extend wrestlers when they miss time as he did at the start of the pandemic.
  • Also a re-signing they failed on.
  • Dave Meltzer tweeted that despite his being pulled from the Lucha Bros match with FTR on AEW Rampage this Friday, Rey Fenix will be wrestling with Penta El Zero M when they challenge FTR on Saturday at Triplemania Regia.
  • He was able to wrestle that show. (1/1)
  • At a March of Dimes event, Stephanie McMahon said the Netflix documentary series on Vince McMahon would premiere sometime in 2022.
  • Nothing yet, but we’re only half way there.

December 3, 2021

  • PW Insider was told that Maryse’s appearance on Raw was not a one-time deal, and there has been talk of adding Beth Phoenix to the Edge/Miz story at some point.
  • They had a mixed tag eventually. (1/1)
  • While discussing Scotty 2 Hotty’s request to be released and Beth Phoenix’s exit from NXT, Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said there are several people who have been with NXT for a long time that don’t like it there anymore ever since the show was rebranded. As a result, more departures are coming.
  • The departures never ended. That’s tough for those folks there, watching the folks they worked with just get released or leave, being left alone.
  • Alvarez indicated the reason why many people in WWE believe Tony Khan buys up tickets for AEW shows is because they can’t come up with a better explanation for how AEW could possibly outsell WWE in tickets. He emphasized this is a widespread belief in WWE that he has been hearing about for months now from a wide variety of people.
  • It’s probably because AEW puts on a consistently strong product. It also has the new promotion in town sheen, but even then, it’s been years. Like I said earlier, the WWE product is stale and AEW doesn’t.
  • F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer heard that WWE has talked about dropping the NXT Cruiserweight championship and changing the concept of 205 Live.
  • The NXT title eventually merged into the North American title. 205 Live wasn’t as much changed as it was canceled. (1/1)
  • Meltzer also said the real reason why Rey Fenix missed AEW television this week was due to travel difficulties. He’s not injured, and will wrestle against FTR at Triplemania Regia on Saturday (Dec. 4).
  • He did eventually sustain a nasty injury that kept him out some time.

December 4, 2021

  • A report on WWE talent contracts in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter has Brock Lesnar & Roman Reigns as the best paid wrestlers on the roster, with each making more than $5 million per year. Another unnamed talent “is around $4 million” on their guaranteed deals, and “a lot of the top talent is now at $2 million and some at $3 million.”
  • I wonder which wrestler on the active roster would get close to Lesnar & Reigns money. I think Styles gets a notch below that. I’d assume someone like Rollins as well.
  • WrestleVotes claims there was never a plan for Elias’ graveyard vignettes beyond moving him past his music gimmick. An initial attempt at a new character was shot down by Vince McMahon & team for being too similar to Randy Savage, so now he’s “back to square 1”. Following up on this, Ringside News heard Elias was recently spotted backstage with “no beard and cropped hair.”
  • Elias never returned. But Ezekiel, Elias’s younger brother, has an old school look. I don’t know if it’s that similar to Savage.
  • The WON mentions that WALTER has lost weight because “a good looking body is far more important on the main roster,” and there is interest in bringing him to the United States.
  • That’s definitely the case for the main roster, where he is right now. (1/1)
  • WrestlingDVDNetwork.com says WWE DVDs and Blu-rays will no longer be released in the United States and Canada beginning in 2022. The final physical release in those markets will be Survivor Series 2021.
  • I’m surprise people were buying those in general.
  • Per PW Insider, ROH wrestlers Matt Taven and Jonathan Gresham were backstage at AEW Dynamite this week. Former WCW star Glacier was also there.
  • Gresham has been on AEW TV after the ROH acquisition. Taven has not.

This week: 7/8 - 88%

December 2021: 26/38 - 68%

Overall: 4,170/7,342 - 56.8%

Have a great week, everyone!