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Rumor Look Back: Feb. 21 - 27, 2022

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.

February 21, 2022

  • According to PW Insider, Brock Lesnar went off script in the Elimination Chamber when he broke through his pod to enter the match. That wasn’t planned.
  • That’s something that would throw off the flow, wouldn’t it? Then again, the pod that opened was Lashley’s empty pod (he left due to injury) so they probably just had some filler planned before Brock entered and destroyed everyone.
  • They also say there was a point where Undertaker was going to make an appearance at Elimination Chamber but that was changed and he didn’t make the trip. Kurt Angle was also briefly planned for it before his talks with WWE fell through.
  • I’m sure that paycheck was hefty, but that’s some trip to make. Especially with the one time with the travel issues.
  • Cody Rhodes was spotted in Florida over the weekend and there’s a lot of speculation that he’ll be at the WWE Performance Center to prepare for his return imminently.
  • He didn’t return until WrestleMania. I think rumors were that he didn’t sign until later.
  • Fightful Select says they were told the Usos vs. Viking Raiders match at Elimination Chamber wasn’t cut for time and is planned for a future episode of SmackDown.
  • It happened on a March 4 SmackDown. (1/1)
  • Per Insider, there’s talk of a stadium show being planned for Great Britain during Labor Day weekend.
  • That would be Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales. (1/1)

February 22, 2022

  • PW Insider reports that James Curtin (fka Drake Maverick, fka Rockstar Spud) has been working as a member of the Raw creative team for the last 3-4 weeks. Curtin was released from WWE talent contract last November, and had his post-firing video praised by John Cena.
  • That was eventually confirmed. (1/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said the “massive” news Tony Khan teased last week probably isn’t a free agent signing, “but more like a business deal.”
  • It was that he bought Ring of Honor, which is definitely more like a business deal. (1/1)
  • WWE officials were “blown away” by the reaction Lita received at Elimination Chamber, per Insider.
  • I don’t know why they should be surprised that a legend like Lita got a big reaction.
  • While Cody Rhodes did have his supporters in the AEW locker room, Wrestling Observer Newsletter says “a lot of the talent quietly were celebrating” Rhodes’ exit: “the ‘hero treatment’ given to him by some in the company after he left is a great public story but not the real story.”
  • I could see him being a divisive type of guy. Though AEW is not lacking for drama without Cody.
  • Kenny Omega told WOR he still needs surgery for his umbilical hernia, and he won’t be able to return until 6-8 weeks after that happens.
  • He only just returned.

February 23, 2022

  • According to Wrestling Observer Radio, WWE is going to finish up the Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins tag team thing they have going before getting to the Stone Cold Steve Austin program for WrestleMania 38.
  • It didn’t really have a hard ending, but it wasn’t going on by the time Mania rolled around. (1/1)
  • They also say the crossover storylines between Raw and NXT are expected to be the norm going forward, with wrestlers from both appearing on both shows.
  • I don’t think this is accurate. We didn’t see NXT guys on WWE TV for that much longer. I recall Bron Breakker getting some time on TV, but it never because much of a thing. (0/1)
  • PW Insider says there isn’t currently a plan to air the upcoming MSG show on Mar. 5 as a special event on Peacock but cameras will be there filming.
  • That did not air. (1/1)
  • They also say the Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop match on Raw this week received rave reviews backstage.
  • They have some good chemistry.
  • Finally, it was noted WWE made major changes to the card on Raw just before going on the air this week.
  • Very surprising.

February 24, 2022

  • During a filmed meet-and-greet in Louisville, Kentucky last weekend, Jeff Hardy can be heard telling YouTuber Jared Myers, “I’m going to AEW.” Post Wrestling followed up with Myers, who confirmed Hardy said he’s signing with AEW when his WWE non-compete expires.
  • That’s accurate. (1/1)
  • A “tenured member of the creative team” told Ringside News that WWE has a “working plan” for the WrestleMania 38 card. The source stressed that nothing is “locked in” because “Vince can change it at any second.”
  • I bet there are at least some writers who are happy that there will be less last minute script changes now that Vince is gone. (At least we assume.)
  • Madcap Moss passed a series of medical tests following the nasty bump he took during his match with Drew McIntyre at last Saturday’s Elimination Chamber, per Fightful. PW Insider reports he’s fully cleared to return to action.
  • That was an ugly spot. He apologized for it backstage given the fact it was on him taking the move than Drew giving it.
  • TNT is “exploring options” for what to do with Rhodes To The Top season two footage they already shot now that Cody has left AEW is expected to sign with WWE, according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • I don’t think they’ve found anything.
  • Following news that, after WrestleMania, WWE Saturday night house shows would use the Saturday Night’s Main Event brand, Insider and others have pointed out untelevised Sunday night shows being advertised with the name Sunday Stunner.
  • They were already advertised as such, so not a rumor, but it’s a name they use.

February 25, 2022

  • Many people in WWE reacted with “disappointment and dismay” at the news that Cesaro is gone from the company, per Fightful. He’s among the most well-regarded people on the roster.
  • He’s doing well for himself in AEW/ROH. There are a handful of guys who were released and went to AEW that I think would get a great shot in WWE right now such as Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee. But I think Cesaro absolutely made the right decision. AEW is perfect for him.
  • One reason why WWE didn’t push him recently is because there was “no indication he was going to re-sign.” WWE offered him a new contract, but it was rejected. Some sources said Cesaro wasn’t happy with his booking. The door is still open for him to re-sign with WWE.
  • He had a pretty good run in WWE outside winning a top championship.
  • F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer said Rey Fenix needs three more weeks before he’s ready to return from his gruesome injury. That timetable means he will likely miss the AEW Revolution pay-per-view on March 6.
  • He did wrestle again until end of April. So he missed Revolution but more time than the timetable hinted at. (1/2)
  • According to Fightful, Brian Cage told people close to him that AEW picked up the option year on his contract. Cage was expecting his contract to expire, so AEW’s decision surprised him.
  • With the purchase of ROH, that makes sense, though his faction with Tully is no more since Tully isn’t there anymore.
  • During an interview with PW Insider, Impact World Champion Moose indicated he is currently working through a torn labrum and will eventually need time off to properly heal.
  • Ouch.

February 26, 2022

  • According to Post Wrestling, Pat McAfee is “set for something” at WrestleMania 38 involving Vince McMahon. One source said it will “most likely” be billed as an official match on the card.
  • So it was something that had to do with Vince with him picking Theory. They did have a match but it wasn’t billed prior. (1/2)
  • In an update on Cody Rhodes, Fightful Select says WWE talent expect Rhodes to sign with the company, but haven’t heard anything from management. Wrestlers are also careful to say “if” when talking about his return.
  • He eventually did.
  • AJ Styles’ new WWE contract puts him among the company’s highest paid stars, according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It’s said Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Ronda Rousey and Randy Orton make the most money, and Styles is now in a group just behind them including Edge, Goldberg, and The Miz. AJ’s deal is for more than Kevin Owens re-signed for.
  • That’s good money.
  • Per the WON, Elimination Chamber was so short because it aired on a local broadcast channel in Saudi Arabia and had a 2:50 time restriction. Past shows have aired on a pay channel where time was flexible.
  • Interesting.
  • This week’s WON also mentions that NXT Stand & Deliver is planned for American Airlines Center in Dallas, which will already be set up for WWE. Seeing as the event is being held the afternoon before WrestleMania, WWE is hoping to sell 5,000 tickets.
  • That’s where it was. I don’t know if it sold well, but I recall Stephanie McMahon encouraging people to go to the show on Twitter an hour prior so probably didn’t sell too well. (1/1)

This week: 10/13 - 77%

Overall: 4,275/7,515 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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