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Rumor Look Back: Apr. 15 - 21, 2023

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.

April 15, 2023

  • Following up on Freddie Prinze Jr.’s accusation that Seth Rollins went off script when he walked out of the ring on the Raw after WrestleMania, WRKD Wrestling says Seth has “no plans to leave WWE.” Rollins gets to spend a lot of time with his family on the road with WWE and he “isn’t looking to change that.”
  • I guess these rumors don’t technically contradict each other, but I highly down company guy Seth Rollins walked out.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer says there is a meeting coming up soon that involves CM Punk, Tony Khan, Chris Jericho, FTR, and “maybe others.” The idea of the meeting is to “attempt to resolve everything.”
  • I wonder how it went. Probably good, right?
  • WRKD also claims that LA Knight has been “discussed internally as a leading candidate” to win the Money in the Bank ladder match in London in July.
  • He did not. At the time, folks wondered if that was the wrong call, but I think Priest with the case does more for him. LA Knight is getting a title match at Crown Jewel in a couple weeks anyway. If he won the briefcase, this would likely be the title shot he got. So they got a chance to wait and see if his popularity maintained and then went with the title match anyway. I was certainly bummed with Knight didn’t win it, but in the end, he didn’t need it.(0/1)
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that Vince McMahon changed some “promo wordings” on recent episodes of Raw and SmackDown, and that WWE creative is “doing what he wants” when it comes to the “top of the card stuff.”
  • Not any more it sounds like. And hopefully that sticks.
  • On his podcast, Matt Hardy said plans for his brother Jeff’s surprise return on AEW Dynamite this week were put together in just a few days leading up to it.
  • At least this time he didn’t try to get a dance in before saving his brother.
  • Even though Mickie James left her cowboy hat in the middle of the ring when she relinquished the Impact Knockouts championship, Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez has been given the impression that she is not retiring.
  • She is still working. Meanwhile her husband just debuted in WWE as the SmackDown GM, and I bet he’ll be wrestling in the future too. (1/1)
  • Per PW Insider, AEW has surpassed more than 50,000 pre-sale registrations for the All In event at Wembley Stadium in London.
  • They did vey well attendance wise in London.
  • Insider also mentioned that ROH World Tag Team Champion Rey Fenix is banged up and taking time off to recover.
  • Really an evergreen rumor.

April 17, 2023

  • Fightful Select says Cody Rhodes had meetings for potential movie/TV roles while in Los Angeles during WrestleMania week. What’s more, he’s apparently interested in playing Johnny Cage in the next Mortal Kombat movie.
  • The Miz is interested in that role too.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter claims there is no hiring freeze as has been rumored and, in fact, WWE is “still business as usual when it comes to hiring and in talks with new significant performers.”
  • A split rumor. (1/2)
  • WRKD Wrestling is claiming Monday Night Raw this week, barring any changes, will feature The Bloodline and The Judgment Day interacting and deciding to go after each other’s enemies.
  • That is accurate. So this wasn’t rewritten. (1/1)
  • An interesting note from the Observer: Before starting up the ongoing Mysterio family feud, there was apparently “serious thought given to sending Dominik to NXT.”
  • Dominik probably could have used the reps, but they do have him working in NXT as the North American champion, even though he’s a main roster staple. So he’s still getting those reps and some time in that learning environment.
  • Andrew Zarian on the Mat Men Podcast said he heard an announcement of the AEW Saturday show could be coming in mid-May and the show might be starting in June.
  • That’s accurate on both accords. Announced in May and started in June. (2/2)
  • The Observer says AEW plans to book the first singles match between Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland on the Double or Nothing pay-per-view event in late May.
  • I don’t think those dudes ever faced each other one on one after Swerve placed a cinderblock on Lee’s chest and jumped through it. (0/1)

April 18, 2023

  • After Becky Lynch generated some buzz yesterday, Wrestling Observer wrote that her tweet about not being at Raw was “an angle.” Fightful Select said Lynch was slated to be on the show as of last week, and is “dealing with a minor foot injury” that’s gotten worse recently.
  • That Raw After Mania was all over the place. But like her husband, Becky wasn’t going anywhere.
  • While he hadn’t heard about any issues between Becky & WWE, Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp also checked on her contract. It’s one of many expiring in 2024, and Sapp’s sources said Lynch & WWE haven’t opened negotiations yet. The report implies The Man will be looking for a raise when they do, since she’s “made connections within Hollywood, and was slated to appear at the end of a Marvel movie at one point. She’s also repped by CAA, a gigantic agency.”
  • Let’s hope she gets paid. She certainly deserves it.
  • Speaking of people who’ll likely be looking for a raise soon, Drew McIntyre won’t be back on WWE television for at least a couple more weeks due to his undisclosed injury, per Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. Meltzer said McIntyre does also have “a contract issue” and that he & WWE are “still far apart”, but his deal isn’t up “for many months.”
  • Apparently that deal hasn’t come together yet, but McIntyre is still working a world title program.
  • Meltzer also said on WOR that Mercedes Moné & New Japan are “are in negotiations for one more match” after her current deal ends with the IWGP Women’s title defense against Mayu Iwatani at this weekend’s Stardom All Star Queendom event.
  • Moné did work another match, where she unfortunately injured her leg. (1/1)
  • It was also pointed out that Moné wasn’t scheduled to make her Stardom debut last weekend, but she pitched the ambush of Iwatani to build interest in their championship match.
  • It’s a shame her run in Japan got cut short due to injury, but I’m sure she’ll be back.
  • WWE and ESPN are in early talks about partnering on a content deal, per PW Insider Elite. They haven’t discussed a weekly show, and are still working out what projects they could do together. There’s speculation this could be similar to what WWE does with A&E.
  • There’s nothing in that realm right now. (0/1)
  • Jordynne Grace likely became a free agent after Impact Rebellion, as she signed a two year deal in 2021. That’s from Fightful Select, who also notes that Impact would “ideally” like to re-sign Grace, but the fact she’s “become a millionaire outside of pro wrestling via her exclusive content site” may be a factor in her decision.
  • She took a decent amount of time off after this but then recently returned and will be competing at Bound for Glory. We don’t know the contract situation though. Word is she may have re-signed at one point, but we don’t have confirmation. Though given she wasn’t on TV for 5 months after her contract was rumored to run out and there was no word of injury, this is likely accurate. (1/1)

April 19, 2023

  • For whatever it’s worth, Fightful Select notes Vince McMahon was not at Monday Night Raw this week.
  • Folks were worried he’d be there back in creative like he used to.
  • When asked about WB possibly influencing the decision to bring CM Punk back, Dave Meltzer said it’s on Tony Khan but he has to take “many things into account,” with WB being one of those things.
  • CM Punk came back, though he only lasted three months.
  • There is no heat on Seth Rollins and there are “no issues” between him and WWE, says Fightful Select.
  • That’s not surprising.
  • According to WRKD Wrestling, Tyler Bate has been “mentioned internally as a potential call up in the upcoming WWE Draft.”
  • Bate is still in NXT. (0/1)
  • Fightful says WWE reached a deal with its wrestlers and Twitch to allow wrestlers to once again stream there. There are “almost no restrictions” but wrestlers would need to get permission if they want to have any performers from other companies on their streams.
  • We don’t know the ins and outs, but it looks to be true with talent, such as Zelina Vega, returning to Twitch. (1/1)
  • Andrew Zarian of Mat Men Podcast notes that the new AEW Collision show will air from 8 to 10 pm ET on Saturdays.
  • That’s accurate. Tough spot, especially with college football and occasional WWE shows at the same time. (1/1)

April 20, 2023

  • Several backstage segments featuring the women’s roster were cut from Monday’s Raw, according to PW Insider Elite. They were pulled late in the day, and at least one had already been filmed. The changes made some in the women’s locker room “very unhappy”.
  • Understandably so. It looks like with Vince completely out again, more women’s have been featured on Raw. It may be more correlation and not causation, but it’s not ridiculous to speculate that Vince having no creative control occurring around the time women like Tegan Nox are on TV more are related.
  • Perhaps related, a Fightful Select report on Monday’s show noted that there was “a Damage CTRL backstage segment that didn’t run.”
  • Goes along with the last rumor.
  • Tangentially related at best, but Mercedes Moné posted on her Instagram Story earlier this week that she’s “definitely moving to Japan” and indicated she was going to start Japanese language school.
  • It feels like really immersing herself in their culture is something she had wanted to do.
  • Goldberg was in Los Angeles during WrestleMania week, and Insider Elite says while there he “met with at least one international promoter” about his retirement tour idea.
  • We haven’t seen Bill in awhile. We’ve heard some recent takes though.
  • Inquiring with their sources about the LWO’s booking, PW Insider was told the group are being used to build Judgement Day up before they face Rey Mysterio & Bad Bunny at Backlash.
  • That wasn’t a Backlash match. Bunny had a one on one with Damian Priest instead. (0/1)
  • That report also says that even though the LWO’s Zelina Vega “has been backstage at recent TVs and not even used to appear as part of the group”, WWE is still planning to have Vega challenge SmackDown Women’s champ Rhea Ripley in Puerto Rico.
  • That was the match and a real special moment for Vega. (1/1)
  • Another Fightful Select scoop: Hangman Page & AEW are “in the process of working towards a potential new contract.” Negotiations started “fairly recently”, and it was pointed out that Page has the same representation as Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks.
  • We don’t know the timing of negotiations. The deal with all of the Elite got done in the summer.
  • Kota Ibushi gave the following statement to Dark Puroresu Flowsion about his future: “Recently, Kenny [Omega] and I have been talking about things other than games. For example, are your knees okay? Or is your shoulder okay? Also I hope to be in contact with Tony [Khan] soon.”
  • Kota has a contract, albeit a flexible one, with AEW.

April 21, 2023

  • While discussing WWE’s upcoming media rights negotiations on the SI Media podcast, James Andrew Miller indicated there are people at Warner Bros. Discovery who are interested in getting a piece of the WWE pie. This could cause a big problem for AEW, because their TV shows currently air on Warner Bros. Discovery networks.
  • NBC Universal jumped on SmackDown, though the Raw rights are still up in the air. I doubt it’ll be Warner though.
  • In that scenario where Warner Bros. Discovery buys the rights to WWE Raw, the show would probably be moved off Monday nights.
  • I guess that’s still an option, but again, I doubt it.
  • PW Insider mentioned that Vince McMahon’s return to WWE has increased paranoia backstage of wrestlers who he previously fired and were only brought back because of Triple H. Many of those wrestlers are worried about their WWE status. The ‘walking on eggshells’ vibe backstage has gained momentum since Vince’s return.
  • Understandably a worrisome time.
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez claims that WWE wrestlers are “all very happy” and “thrilled” with the company’s new Twitch policy.
  • It was lame when they took it away.
  • WrestleVotes heard that WWE and USA Network are working on a joint show “where kids will compete with Superstars in a trivia challenge.” The current name of the show is WWE Tall vs Small.
  • There’s been nothing about that yet.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said WWE wants NXT’s Von Wagner to be a WrestleMania main event star, but the main problem is that he has no charisma.
  • Wagner is still in NXT. Also, it’s tough to build a star who lacks charisma. To be fair, I don’t watch NXT so I don’t know if that assessment is accurate.
  • According to Fightful Select, MLW star Alexander Hammerstone was legitimately injured during the War Chamber match. A significant portion of the planned match had to be cut out or changed, including the finish and the aftermath, when Hammerstone left early due to injury.
  • That’s a tough situation for all involved

This week: 10/16 - 63%

Overall: 4,796/8,375 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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