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Rumor Look Back: Jan. 3 - 9, 2022

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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.

January 3, 2022

  • According to the Observer, Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley is indeed the plan going forward, and that’s why the match at Day 1 played out the way it did.
  • That is accurate. Bobby won the title back from Brock at Royal Rumble though with massive interference from Roman Reigns. Bobby then lost it to Brock, but in an Elimination Chamber match that Lashley was taken out due to injury, some of it real but some of it probably worked so he didn’t take the L. (1/1)
  • Having said that, Dave Meltzer also says WWE is still planning to do whatever they had set for Day 1 with Lesnar and Roman Reigns.
  • We don’t know what they had set with these two. They did fight at WrestleMania though, and that was likely the plan.
  • For what it’s worth, Ringside News says nothing that happened at Day 1 changed any WrestleMania plans.
  • Again, we don’t know those Mania plans for sure. But it sure seemed like we were heading to Roman/Lesnar.
  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Andrew Zarian mentioned the original plans for Day 1 called for Big E to retain the WWE championship in the originally scheduled Fatal 4-Way.
  • There’s another rumor later that Rollins was supposed to win. If he were supposed to retain but then Roman’s COVID cost him that, that really sucks. (And that’s not even the butterfly effect game wondering if he wouldn’t have been in the position where he sustained a broken neck if he retained.)
  • According to PW Insider, Sasha Banks was being checked out for an injury after her match at a WWE house show in North Carolina last night.
  • Sasha Banks has since decided to walk out and we have not seen her since.

January 4, 2022

  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Brian Alvarez said the WrestleMania main event is still planned to be Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, and that it won’t be a title vs. title or title unification match.
  • That was the match, but it was unification. Much like Thanos, it feels like this feud was and still is inevitable, and often at the expense of those around it. (I think of a lot of main event guys just getting bulldozed by Lesnar in the Elimination Chamber to set up the Mania match.) Not precisely 50% of the talent, but it feels like when these guys are doing their thing, the spotlight dims on everyone else because creative pays them less mind. (1/2)
  • PW Insider says that even though Lesnar will be referred to as a free agent on television, internally he’s listed on the Raw roster.
  • I guess since he won the title, but he was on SmackDown pretty often too. So still served as a free agent. (0/1)
  • GCW booking a match for their World title, currently held by Jon Moxley, for their Hammerstein Ballroom show on Jan. 23 has led to speculation Mox will return to AEW in the next couple weeks. Dave Meltzer wrote in The Observer’s Daily Update: “IF that match is taking place, there is no way Moxley’s first appearances won’t be on AEW television.”
  • He returned Jan 19 and had his first match back the following Rampage, prior to the GCW show. (1/1)
  • A report from the website Puck (via Fightful) says more than three million Peacock subscribers have watched WWE content on the streaming platform since it became available in March of last year, and more than half of those people signed up for Peacock “because of WWE.”
  • That’s what NBCUniversal wants to hear.
  • Former X-Division Champion Rohit Raju tweeted that he’s a free agent after his Impact contract expired.
  • He’s hasn’t worked for Impact since. He has had a couple matches on AEW Dark.

January 5, 2022

  • Fightful Select says WWE had plenty of plans in place for Jeff Hardy before he was released, including a run in NXT as MSK’s shaman.
  • The Shaman ended up being Riddle. There was also word Jeff was going to be in a program with Roman, which I was looking forward to.
  • PW Insider notes that Drew McIntyre is scheduled to get testing done on his neck sometime this week.
  • He didn’t really miss much time - about a month.
  • They also note that big names who had been missing from backstage at Raw in recent weeks all returned this past Monday, like Bruce Prichard and Michael Hayes.
  • I wonder if this is residual from that COVID outbreak they were dealing with.
  • Andrade has teased Ric Flair signing with AEW but there’s apparently still been no movement in that regard.
  • That still has not happened. Andrade did use a Figure Four on AEW TV recently. (1/1)
  • ITV Studios is working on a new Eddie Guerrero documentary that will release later this year, per PW Insider.
  • Nothing I’m seeing yet. We’ll revisit again in six months.

January 6, 2022

  • Regarding yesterday’s NXT releases, Fightful Select reports all the talent & staff they spoke to said the cuts were made to remove Triple H’s people. The only person let go who wasn’t hired by Hunter was Allison Danger.
  • There seemed to be a very concerted effort to undo a lot of what Triple H has done. As for Allison Danger, she recently talked about how her sudden firing after only just being hired really ruined her life, at least temporarily.
  • On his Wrestling With Freddie podcast, Freddie Prinze, Jr. said a FOX executive told him WWE wanted the network to “buy the whole product”, but the asking price was too high so FOX licensed SmackDown instead.
  • We’ll see if WWE gets sold in the next 5 years, though I think NBCUniversal would be the favorites if that were to happen. And with the issues for and accusations against Vince pilling up to the point it’s becoming less likely they’ll just pass by, a sale is more possible now than it was a few months ago.
  • PW Insider says the word backstage at Raw was that Sasha Banks suffered a “sprained leg” during her match with Charlotte Flair at Sunday’s house show.
  • She missed a good couple months of action, likely due to whatever the specific injury was. (“Sprained leg” is very broad.)
  • They also noted that Carmella has been working through an undisclosed injury. Talents Insider spoke to praised Carmella for “gutting through and doing as much as she can”.
  • I understand why one would be praised for gutting through an injury, at the same time, that’s also more likely to cause more issues.
  • AJ Francis and Swerve Scott both shot down a report there’s heat between them, with the former Top Dolla saying the Hit Row duo are shooting a music video next week.
  • I don’t think that music video ever happened. (0/1)

January 7, 2022

  • Dave Meltzer wrote on Sports Illustrated that Seth Rollins was going to win the WWE championship from Big E at Day 1, but plans changed when Roman Reigns tested positive for COVID and had to miss the show.
  • Seth and Big E couldn’t both win. While technically, neither of them could have won, I’ll split this. (1/2)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Bryan Alvarez claims that WWE is going to “churn through these guys” on the NXT roster every few months, releasing the ones who they don’t think can headline WrestleMania in the future.
  • It sure feels like that’s the way they’re going. (1/1)
  • Fightful notes that Bron Breakker being scripted to smash through the gold “X” at New Year’s Evil wasn’t well received backstage by several people. It was seen as a symbolic gesture that was “sending a message.”
  • I can imagine anyone who worked through the black & gold NXT which at times found big success and did some great things would be peeved by that.
  • Andrew Zarian heard that WWE plans to return to Saudi Arabia for an event on Saturday, February 19.
  • That would be Elimination Chamber. (1/1)
  • PW Insider confirmed that Matt Striker is done with Impact Wrestling, after Striker tweeted and deleted that he’s disappointed about being finished with the promotion.
  • He hasn’t worked there in awhile. (1/1)

January 8, 2022

  • F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer writes that Drew McIntyre’s neck has been bothering him “for months” and he was on his way to “major surgery” if nothing was done about it. His neck is being examined extensively. WWE hopes McIntyre can avoid surgery and be back in time for WrestleMania 38, but nobody knows how it will turn out.
  • He was at WrestleMania facing Happy Corbin. He was actually back by the Rumble.
  • Sources tell Fightful Select they expect Samoa Joe to return to the ring after his latest WWE release.
  • He returned to ROH/AEW. (1/1)
  • WALTER has moved to the United States and will be a full-time performer on NXT going forward, per Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • He was called up soon after. (1/1)
  • After Kyle O’Reilly referred to himself, Adam Cole & Bobby Fish as “the Paragon of AEW” on recent episodes of Dynamite, the company filed a trademark on the term and a possible logo. That’s led to speculation it will be Undisputed ERA’s name in their new home.
  • I don’t think they’ve referred to them as that really at all. (0/1)
  • Jade Cargill was planned to win AEW’s TBS title from the start, says PW Insider, but there was some discussion about changing that after an October tweet from Big Swole seemed to reveal the outcome.
  • Going with Jade was the correct call.

This week: 10/15 - 67%

Overall: 4,208/7,399 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!