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Rumor Look Back: Jan. 24 - 30, 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 24, 2022

  • Sportskeeda notes there’s growing speculation that Paige could be making a return to WWE as a surprise entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble.
  • She did not. WWE eventually let her legends contract expire. You’ll find a theme of these rumors getting you excited for things that didn’t happen, and then WWE delivered a pretty underwhelming show. The women’s match was solid but that men’s Rumble was rough. (0/1)
  • Per Fightful Select, The IIconics were offered a spot in the women’s Royal Rumble match by WWE and said no.
  • I would have loved to see them. But good for them if they didn’t like how things ended in WWE and weren’t feeling returning.
  • According to PW Insider, both Bron Breakker and Gunther are being brought to St. Louis for the Royal Rumble event, though it’s unknown if they’ll be used in the Rumble match.
  • Neither were in the match.
  • claims Austin Theory is set to get a lot of shine in the Royal Rumble match.
  • He was the competitor in the ring for the second longest amount of time, so that’s pretty impressive. (1/1)
  • Ringside News says the slashing of staff in NXT hasn’t really affected the way things operate there.’
  • Just less people to do that work, which is always great for those left behind.

January 25, 2022

  • Regarding the Ronda Rousey Royal Rumble story, Fightful Select says Rousey is back in training and it’s a matter of “when and not if” she will return.
  • She returned at the Rumble and won. (1/1)
  • While it’s not clear if Ronda will be an official entrant in the Rumble match or just get involved some other way, it doesn’t look to be a one-off appearance. Wrestling Observer says “she is definitely on the books for WrestleMania.”
  • She lost to Charlotte at WrestleMania. (1/1)
  • Roderick Strong & LA Knight worked a dark match before last Friday’s SmackDown and taped matches for Main Event before yesterday’s Raw. That’s brought the usual talk their time in NXT could be coming to an end.
  • LA Knight came up eventually as Max Dupri (as a manager). Not Roddy though. (1/2)
  • In reports on talent that could be leaving AEW soon on expiring contracts, Fightful noted Lio Rush hadn’t been seen backstage since early December. PW Insider said Brian Cage has been around at tapings despite not having a match since October.
  • Cage is still around but Lio left.
  • Last weekend’s Impact tapings saw “a lot of pivots and rewrites” due to COVID issues that a source told Insider were the “worst they had seen”.
  • COVID continues to burden wrestling planning at times.

January 26, 2022

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said the impression he has is the plan is Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey for WrestleMania 38.
  • That was not the plan. It was Becky vs. Bianca Belair and Ronda vs. Charlotte Flair. (0/1)
  • WrestleVotes notes that Johnny Knoxville’s Royal Rumble appearance is a one-and-done situation, so he won’t be doing anything with the company after this coming Saturday night.
  • He had a WrestleMania match. One that a lot of fans really loved. (0/1)
  • However, they also say that WWE has plans for another big celebrity for WrestleMania but it’s unclear who that is just yet.
  • This is probably Logan Paul, who also worked WrestleMania. (1/1)
  • According to PW Insider, Xavier Woods is expected to return to the road at SmackDown this week after being off for a few weeks due to injury. It’s unclear if he’s cleared to wrestle but at the very least he’s going to be back.
  • He did not return on this show. (0/1)
  • Per the Observer, there’s talk of NXT 2.0 doing house shows here soon.
  • They’ve returned to their Florida loop. Remember the time Finn Bálor jumped through the ceiling working that loop? (1/1)

January 27, 2022

  • Asuka has been discussed as a potential entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble match, per Fightful Select. Their story says “several talent” believe Asuka will return Saturday.
  • She did not. (0/1)
  • Fightful also says Kairi Sane’s name has been pitched backstage as a possible Rumble entrant.
  • Another individual that did not return for the Rumble. (0/1)
  • Dakota Kai & Io Shirai are scheduled to be at SmackDown this Friday, says PW Insider. There’s speculation they could be entering the Rumble.
  • Neither of them were in the Rumble. (0/2)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer mentioned that men and women from NXT will be on hand this weekend as alternates in case any planned participants are unavailable.
  • That makes sense.
  • Frankie Kazarian has re-signed with AEW, reports PW Insider.
  • He hasn’t done too much on AEW TV, but he did have a program with Scorpio Sky.

January 28, 2022

  • According to Ringside News, both Shane McMahon and Bad Bunny will be in the men’s Royal Rumble match on Saturday night. PW Insider notes that Melina, Cameron, and Aksana will be in the women’s Royal Rumble match.
  • That’s true for Shane and Bunny. Same for Melina & Cameron but not for Aksana. (4/5)
  • Per Fightful, Kurt Angle is scheduled to be in St. Louis this weekend, which is the site of Royal Rumble 2022. It’s unclear if that means he will be one of the surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble, or if this could even lead to a longer-term return to WWE television for the Hall of Fame star.
  • It didn’t lead to either. He may have been there but isn’t doing business with WWE. (0/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer indicated the original goal was for Kenny Omega to return to AEW in March, but that timetable is now up in the air. He also said Omega battled COVID earlier in January.
  • It’s late July and he’s still not back. Word is very soon though.
  • Meltzer said the Raw weigh-in segment between Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley was a work. Vince McMahon decided they had to stick to the exact weights that the ring announcers use for Lesnar and Lashley when they wrestle.
  • That’s a very specific thing for Vince to want to line up. I appreciate that attention to detail, but I’d appreciate it more of they didn’t outwardly ignore a ton of other details.
  • WWE television says Veer is still coming, but multiple sources in WWE Creative told PW Insider that Veer won’t be popping up at Royal Rumble this weekend.
  • Veer took a while to come. (1/1)

January 29, 2022

  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter states that Ronda Rousey is under contract with WWE. It might be a brand new deal, but it’s also possible that WWE simply froze her original three year contract after she left with more than a year and a half remaining on it.
  • We don’t know the details of the contract.
  • PW Insider says Kaitlyn and WWE Hall of Fame star Ivory are in St. Louis, which is the site of tonight’s Royal Rumble event. At least one source said Kaitlyn is expected to be a surprise entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble match.
  • Kaitlyn was not. Ivory was (and was fantastic). (1/2)
  • The WON claims there has been talk of having more main roster stars appear on NXT 2.0 in order to help ratings. It was also noted that the company is very high on LA Knight and he will be called up to the main roster in the spring, perhaps right after WrestleMania 38.
  • LA Knight was called up later than this. They haven’t used a ton of main roster talent, but Apollo Crews is down there now, and Ziggler did win the title. (1/2)
  • According to F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer, WWE has considered the idea of signing independent wrestlers to non-exclusive six week contracts to work with some of the younger talent in NXT.
  • I don’t think they’ve done this, but do not know if it’s something more behind the scenes.
  • Meltzer also mentioned that the FOX network likes the idea of having surprise cameos on SmackDown (like Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff recently). There is talk of bringing in more outside talent for surprise cameos on WWE programming to create buzz over who might show up next.
  • It never really got to that point. They did bring back Jarrett to work Nashville, which makes sense, but that’s really it. (0/1)

January 30, 2022 (Special Royal Rumble Edition)

  • Paige is cleared and will be in the women’s Rumble.
  • She was not. (0/1)
  • Compared to last year’s matches where plans were locked in, this year’s creative process has been more drawn out, with Vince McMahon changing many elements like entry order and who will be involved at the end of the Rumbles.
  • That was likely the last time Vince had his hands involved with the Rumble.
  • Having wrestlers who are working other matches on the show has been discussed. That includes Brock Lesnar.
  • This is accurate - Brock worked both his match with Lashley and the Rumble. (1/1)
  • There was a push during the week for Randy Orton to go far in the men’s match, since the show is in his hometown. Having Riddle last until late with him has also been discussed.
  • Orton drew #29 and lasted only two minutes. Riddle was around with him during that time. (1/2)
  • Whatever changes may happen, Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns is “all but set in stone” for WrestleMania 38.
  • That was the match. (1/1)
  • Kairi Sane is not believed to be in town for Royal Rumble.
  • She was not there. (1/1)
  • Asuka, Bayley & Lacey Evans are reportedly not in St. Louis.
  • None of them were in the Rumble. (3/3)
  • Jillian Hall was among the wrestlers who worked last night’s rehearsal.
  • If she was, she wasn’t in the match itself. (0/1)
  • There was internal talk as late as this week of having no Kickoff matches for Royal Rumble.
  • This is accurate. (1/1)

This week: 21/38 - 55%

Overall: 4,245/7,467 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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