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Rumor Look Back: Mar. 18 - 24, 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.

March 18, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said, “I’m sure AEW wants Bret Hart.” Given the recent teases that Bret might join AEW to manage FTR, as well as the upcoming Owen Hart Cup tournaments, Meltzer noted that Hart won’t come in as a heel.
  • Bret didn’t come in at all. (0/1)
  • A source told WrestleVotes there will be a WWE pay-per-view (PPV) event in the United Kingdom on Sat., Sept. 3, at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. AEW’s All Out PPV will take place that same weekend.
  • That was Clash at the Castle. It was a banger of a show.(1/1)
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian has been told by WWE writers that the job “beats the creativity out of you.” Some of them “have lost total confidence in themselves as a writer” despite previous experience working on top tier television shows.
  • Recent rumor is things are much better under Triple H. I’m happy for the writers. They were probably very talented people who never had much of a chance to see a vision through. Now they have a likely more stable environment to attempt to accomplish that.
  • Based on an exchange Zarian had with someone at USA network about low NXT ratings, it sounds like the network is fine with NXT bringing in 620 to 650 thousand viewers each week.
  • I wonder what NXT does when they need to renew their deal. Is USA willing to re-up?
  • Billy Gunn mentioned to Wrestling Inc’s Nick Hausman that with Tony Khan’s permission, he recently filmed content for a future A&E documentary on D-Generation X.
  • TK has been pretty lenient with things like that.

March 19, 2022

  • CM Punk is returning for the second season of Stephen Amell’s Heels, which is filming over the next several weeks. Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that, and noted it could be why Punk wasn’t on this week’s AEW television shows.
  • How did folks feel about that show? I don’t have Starz so never checked it out.
  • Brock Lesnar didn’t blade at Madison Square Garden a couple weeks back, per the WON. Word is Lesnar was busted open the hard way during his beatdown at the hands of The Bloodline.
  • I think Brock loves some hard way juice.
  • A Fightful Select report on the AEW console game says that wrestlers are working with developers on a story mode. Kenny Omega understands how important a great first release could be and is determined to make sure the game is a success.
  • They have a lot of money tied into their games, so there’s a lot riding on this.
  • AEW’s upcoming Double or Nothing PPV isn’t quite sold out yet, but the Newsletter notes that with 12,939 tickets sold for Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena so far, it already has a gate of $1,145,000. That makes it the highest grossing North American non-WWE pro wrestling show in history.
  • That’s impressive.
  • NXT Stand & Deliver was set up for 5,059 fans. The WON says early ticket sales indicate WWE will easily pass that number, and probably open more seats. WrestleMania 38 still has more than 20,000 tickets outstanding for both nights. WWE will definitely move more of those, but sellouts seem highly unlikely.
  • All I’m finding shows they only sold about 3,700 tickets. (0/1)

March 21, 2022

  • There’s now a rumor going around via r/SquaredCircle that the Stone Cold Steve Austin appearance on “The KO Show” will headline WrestleMania Saturday on April 2.
  • That’s accurate. (1/1)
  • Sean Ross Sapp said he talked to some top talent in WWE recently who are very excited at the prospect of Cody Rhodes being brought back to the company.
  • Cody felt big when he showed up. His torn pec obviously derailed his run, but he should be hot coming back.
  • Speaking of Cody, Dave Meltzer mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio that he’s pretty sure Rhodes won’t have to give up his outside gigs, like hosting Go Big Show, by signing with WWE.
  • Have they had another season?
  • Fightful Select says there was originally a plan on SmackDown this past week to have Ridge Holland do a promo addressing breaking Big E’s neck but that was changed at the last minute to his winning a singles match with Kofi Kingston.
  • Probably for the better.
  • The Observer notes the AEW/DDT partnership won’t have any impact on the relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • AEW definitely is still working with NJPW. (1/1)

March 22, 2022

  • On Sunday Night’s Main Event, Dave Meltzer said he heard from a first-hand source that Steve Austin is in “fantastic shape” and “might take his shirt off” when he confronts Kevin Owens at WrestleMania. Meltzer expects Stone Cold to “go seven minutes or something and have a brawl all over the place.”
  • Yes! I remember thinking about this rumor when he kept his shirt on throughout the match. (1/2)
  • Meltzer also said WrestleMania will likely continue to be a two-night event moving forward.
  • That’s the case, and the right way to go. (1/1)
  • Gable Steveson will be “on the Raw brand as a regular very, very soon — and with a push,” per Wrestling Observer Radio.
  • Not at all. In fact, rumors are they are very cold on him right now. (0/1)
  • After WrestleVotes tweeted that Omos would be getting a singles match at WrestleMania, Fightful Select reported that WWE’s plan as of last weekend was for Omos to face Bobby Lashley. That plan could change if Lashley isn’t cleared from his shoulder injury, however.
  • That was the match. Lashley won. (2/2)
  • PW Insider’s latest update on Bayley says she’s expected back “within the next month or so,” but reiterates it probably won’t be until after WrestleMania.
  • It was almost 6 months. (0/1)

March 23, 2022

  • There’s talk that the Raw After WrestleMania will be booked like it has in years past, with big surprises and returns on the show.
  • It was a standard Raw. They haven’t been the must-see shows for awhile. (0/1)
  • PW Insider says the USA Network will broadcast a two hour Kickoff show for WrestleMania Saturday on April 2 from 6-8 pm ET. It’s unclear if they’ll be doing the same for Sunday.
  • Our live stream post does not mention USA Network. (0/1)
  • They also make clear that Bianca Belair’s injury is only storyline and she missed Raw this week to sell it.
  • She never missed more time so this was likely accurate, though they’re likely always banged up.
  • Fightful Select notes there were plans to do FTR vs. The Briscoes for quite some time, with those talks really getting going back in January. Everyone apparently worked hard to make sure the match could eventually happen.
  • It’s a shame it couldn’t happen on AEW TV.
  • B-Fab told The Angle Podcast she’s open to returning to WWE but there doesn’t appear to be any plan for that at this time.
  • She did return. It just took the unthinkable of Vince resigning.

March 24, 2022

  • After reddit user Pepsiguy2 shared a nixed storyline for WWE 2K22’s MyCareer mode where Dana Brooke joined Bray Wyatt to become “The Shiend” and feud with Alexa Bliss, a rumor started that angle was supposed to play out on television, too. Wyatt tweeted to refute that, saying it was only for the video game.
  • That sounds pretty bad.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said WWE’s talked about not having Cody Rhodes debut until WrestleMania: “Every impression I have is that he’s doing the Hardys thing where you show up on the day of the show.”
  • That’s what they did. It was a pretty cool moment. (1/1)
  • On her Mar. 20 Facebook gaming stream, Ronda Rousey said she’s been “sick and not feeling good,” and also said she’s been dealing with a mouth injury: “I tore my labial frenulum apparently, which is that little piece of skin that connects your lip to your jaw or whatever, my top jaw.”
  • I assume that’s rather uncomfortable.
  • Ethan Page signed a contract extension with AEW late last year, according to Fightful Select. The report doesn’t specify the length of Page’s new deal, but says it ensures he’ll be with AEW “for years to come.”
  • He’s probably one of their more underutilized talent, though now part of Stokely Hathaway’s Firm.
  • It’s not clear why, but during a virtual signing for The Asylum Wrestling Store Torrie Wilson said she was told she couldn’t mention Sable’s name during her 2019 WWE Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
  • Weird.

This week: 8/15 - 53%

Overall: 4,313/7,581 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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