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Rumor Look Back: Dec. 26, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022

WWE.com

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 27, 2021

  • According to PW Insider, WWE had to scramble to fill Holiday Tour main event matches that were advertised but called off late.
  • This was due to the COVID outbreak we covered a bunch of rumors regarding last week.
  • Ringside News notes the Raw brand has been hit hardest by the COVID outbreak in WWE and NXT stars are being used to help fill the gaps.
  • This was the last true outbreak it feels like. Or at least since then, folks wouldn’t miss much time.
  • Betting odds currently suggestion there won’t be any title changes at Day 1.
  • Brock Lesnar won the WWE title from Big E in a fatal 5-way. That was the only one. Tough to know if Big E would have won if they didn’t change the matches. There are some rumors suggesting so, but we’ll never know. (0/1)
  • For what it’s worth, Matt Hardy told The Drive with Josh Graham that the Hardy Boyz will end their careers together as a tag team.
  • That would make sense.
  • Tay Conti claims the rumors of her breaking up Sammy Guevara’s engagement were false and that’s why she took a break from social media.
  • We don’t know what happened. But in general it was a bad look, which is why it’s part of the reason the Sammy face run stopped suddenly.

December 28, 2021

  • After noting earlier in the day that WWE producers have been particularly “hit hard” with COVID and that Monday’s Raw would have roughly half its normal dozen in that role, PW Insider reported that Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard, Kevin Dunn, Michael Hayes, and Adam Pearce were not at the show. John Laurinaitis and Ed Koskey were said to have run the taping.
  • I wonder if Vince called in like he’s been rumored to do.
  • The site also says Omos was in Detroit earlier in the day on Monday, but multiple sources confirmed he left and flew home before the taping.
  • I can’t imagine how rough it is for Omos to fly given his height. Is he buying two seats?
  • WWE has ended twice weekly COVID tests for NXT and weekly tests for the main roster, per Fightful Select. Sean Ross Sapp says this hasn’t sat well with talent.
  • Do the talent want more or less? (I can imagine there were some that wanted more and some that wanted less.)
  • Charlotte Flair posted pictures with Andrade on her Instagram for Christmas, seeming to indicate the couple is either back together or never broke up.
  • They’re husband and wife now. (1/1)
  • After a quote from PW Torch’s Wade Keller made the rounds which indicated Cody Rhodes didn’t interact backstage with others on the AEW roster, several wrestlers like Pres10 Vance and Fuego del Sol tweeted to refute the rumor and support Rhodes.
  • I’m sure there were guys he talked to. A decent amount of people said he was very approachable. But I can also envision he had a specific group of people he spent a lot of time with. (That group not being the Elite.)

December 29, 2021

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that a big angle is expected for Day 1 involving Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman that has huge implications for WrestleMania this year.
  • Given Roman wasn’t on the show due to COVID, if this was true, it wasn’t able to come to pass.
  • PW Insider notes that going forward, AJ Styles is a babyface and Omos will be working heel, despite how their breakup played out.
  • That’s accurate. (1/1)
  • Per Fightful Select WWE didn’t have any big plans in place creatively for Veer Mahaan when vignettes started airing hyping his coming to Raw but they are now aware of what those videos have turned into.
  • He’s getting a pretty good push now that he’s finally on TV. He was coming for awhile though.
  • Although there was some belief that Grayson Waller and Eric Bischoff were last minute additions to Raw to help make up for missing stars, PW Insider says that is not the case and they were always set for the show.
  • Grayson Waller did not become a regular.
  • The Wrestling Observer speculates there will be some big angles on the New Year’s Smash episode of AEW Dynamite.
  • Looking at the live blog, none of these happenings feel like ‘big angles.’ (0/1)

December 30, 2021

  • When asked if there were outside circumstances which contributed to Toni Storm’s exit from WWE, people close to Toni Storm told Fightful Select that she’s doing “fine”.
  • She is now with AEW.
  • The site also said people backstage were “blindsided” by the situation. One source noted to Fightful that it’s difficult for the company to turn down release requests after they’ve let so many people go this year claiming the need to cut budget.
  • They still refused to release Ali.
  • Discussing Omos’ absence from Monday’s Raw, Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said he heard the AJ Styles/Omos match at Sunday’s Madison Square Garden house show was “absolutely horrible” and questioned if maybe WWE pulled him from television to avoid putting “a horrible rematch on TV”.
  • It is not easy to have a horrible match with AJ Styles. You have to be impressively bad if that’s the case.
  • While revealing that he recently tested positive for COVID, Jake Roberts tweeted that Tony Khan kept him off AEW shows as a precaution due to his being “high risk” and “to keep everyone safe.” Roberts believes he got contracted COVID from his family or on a shopping trip.
  • Smart not to have him come to the arena, especially if he’s not really being used.
  • Superstar Billy Graham claims he’s “signed a 5 year Nostalgia Contract with the WWE.”
  • I wonder what that is. His health isn’t great and he’ll need a partial amputation so hopefully this contract helps him out.

December 31, 2021

  • Regarding Toni Storm’s WWE release, a source told Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam.net that “Toni didn’t exactly request her release… she just up and quit.” She apparently paid out of her own pocket to fly herself home. One woman on the main roster said, “It’s f*cking wild. She’s just gone. Didn’t really tell anyone.”
  • I mean good for her. If they can fire you at any time, you should be able to leave at any time. You shouldn’t need permission to leave if they don’t need permission to release you.
  • WWE’s Bruce Prichard is out with a health issue and is sick, but it’s not COVID, per F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer.
  • He’s apparently got more responsibility now that John Laurinaitis is on a leave of absence.
  • Ringside News heard that Vince McMahon didn’t like Von Wagner as Adam Pearce’s bodyguard, so that’s why he’s back in NXT and no longer appearing on SmackDown.
  • Makes sense.
  • According to Fightful, the reason why Miro has only wrestled twice since losing the TNT championship in September is because he’s dealing with a hamstring injury. He wasn’t originally supposed to wrestle in those two matches in November, but ended up filling in for Jon Moxley in the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament.
  • Miro missed some time, I believe due to a combination of injury and working on a TV show.
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian said WWE’s recent attendance for the holiday house show at Madison Square Garden was “shockingly low”, and ranked among the five worst attendance figures ever for WWE in that venue. It’s largely being attributed to a saturated wrestling market in New York City, spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, and a cold WWE product.
  • Yeah, those factors would all lead to a poor turnout.

January 1, 2022

  • Because Drew McIntyre has been working house show main events with The New Day against Roman Reigns & The Usos, there’s a lot of speculation that McIntyre vs. Reigns for the Universal title is the plan for Royal Rumble.
  • It was not. They went with Rollins vs. Reigns. (0/1)
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Toni Storm was not originally scheduled to work the WWE live event in Washington, DC the night before she quit the company. She was told at 8 AM the morning of the show of the change in plans. Burnout has been cited as a factor in Storm’s decision to request her release.
  • Working a ton in an environment you don’t like will lead to burnout and fast. If you wake home and feel defeating going to work, it’s time for a change.
  • WrestleVotes says multiple ideas like “different rope colors, mat colors, camera angles etc” were pitched to change the look of Day 1, but all were rejected.
  • It would be nice if they tried new things.
  • AEW is still testing unvaccinated wrestlers for COVID on a weekly basis, according to the WON.
  • Makes sense. Kind of what they did in football (until last year’s big outbreak when they just stopped testing the asymptomatic) and baseball in 2021.
  • Per Fightful, Tommy Dreamer is “back in the fold” at Impact Wrestling. He was suspended in September after his inappropriate comments aired on Dark Side of the Ring. There was initially heat on Dreamer at Impact for those comments, but certain people in the company now believe the “punishment fit the offense.”
  • While I think his comments were very ignorant and rather stupid, the comments alone did not seem like a fireable offense. A three month suspension felt like more than enough.

This week: 2/5 - 40%

December 2021: 33/46 - 72%

2021: 399/606 - 65.8%

Overall: 4,198/7,384 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone! Enjoy the long weekend!