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Rumor Look Back: May 5 - 11, 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.

May 5, 2023

  • BoozerRasslin mentioned that “JD for JD is being discussed heavily.” A lot of people are interpreting this to mean that JD McDonagh might become a new member of The Judgment Day now that he has been called up to Raw in the WWE Draft.
  • Technically he’s not in the Judgment Day. He hasn’t earned that yet. But given he’s a huge part of their story, this is accurate. (1/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Bryan Alvarez said the controversial Britt Baker black eye shirt was AEW’s top selling t-shirt this past weekend.
  • I completely forgot about that mini controversy.
  • Per Fightful Select, WWE’s original plan for Backlash was a tag team match with Bad Bunny and Rey Mysterio teaming up to fight Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio. However, plans changed after WWE and Bunny decided that he is capable of having a good singles match with Priest.
  • It was a fun match. Priest, who wasn’t on WrestleMania, got a nice push after this.
  • The site also indicates that Tama Tonga has not been under contract with NJPW for a while even though he is still wrestling for the promotion. WWE was interested in signing him at one point, but he might be a victim of a current hiring freeze.
  • Tonga looks to still be in New Japan.
  • During WWE’s recent investors call, CEO Nick Khan said the company received “a 7-figure subsidy” for bringing Backlash to Puerto Rico. According to Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston, the exact figure is close to 1.5 million dollars.
  • I wonder if they’ll be back next year.
  • It sounds like May 17 (a Wednesday) is the most likely date for AEW’s official announcement of a new Saturday show named AEW Collision, because that’s the date for the Warner Bros. Discovery upfronts.
  • That was the date. No Punk at that point though. (1/1)

May 6, 2023

  • In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer claims that “Rampage will turn into what Dark and Dark Elevation were” after AEW Collision begins airing on Saturday nights. That means Rampage will “showcase younger talent.”
  • I wouldn’t say that’s the case more than it was before. (0/1)
  • The WON also says Dynamite and Rampage will be taped together on Wednesdays, with Collision and ROH being taped together on Saturdays.
  • This is correct. It’s not 100% of the time but it’s mostly how it goes. (1/1)
  • Matt Cardona is done at Impact right now, per Fightful Select. He had been working on a handshake deal for the past two years and hoped to continue doing so, but the company wanted to put pen to paper. There are no hard feelings and both sides are willing to work together in the future, but Impact is trying to get away from verbal agreements and Cardona isn’t interested in inking a deal.
  • He didn’t work again with them after this outside a battle royal in September. (1/1)
  • Meltzer says before NXT wrestler Sol Ruca was badly injured, the plan was to push her in a babyface tag team with Dani Palmer. They were going to win the NXT tag titles within a few months.
  • That a shame for everyone involved.
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said he “heard rumors” that AEW has sold 65,000 tickets thus far for All In at London’s Wembley Stadium on August 27.
  • They did very well selling this show.
  • While discussing IYO SKY’s lack of promo time in WWE, Freddie Prinze Jr. said on his podcast that WWE once told Drew McIntyre (very early in his career) that he needed to lose his Scottish accent.
  • She had a little more time on SmackDown in that segment on Friday, but it was still very brief and with other folks.
  • The Observer also notes that AEW wrestler Komander “has been doing a worked injury spot on some of his indie dates of late.” It sounds like he was advised to focus more on preserving his body now that he’s under contract and making good money.
  • That indie style isn’t the easiest on the body, no doubt.

May 8, 2023

  • WRKD Wrestling says there is already hope backstage within WWE to use Bad Bunny at SummerSlam. Everyone loved the Street Fight at Backlash.
  • Bad Bunny hasn’t been on TV since Backlash. (0/1)
  • They also say Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes is “far from over” and we won’t have to wait long to see what comes next there.
  • It was a three part series. (1/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that Nashville is getting WrestleMania in 2027 with the opening of the new stadium there.
  • That’s a long ways away.
  • There are teases, from the likes of WRKD and BoozerRasslin, that The Way reunion could be starting up on Raw this week.
  • That reunion did not happen. (0/1)
  • PW Insider says Brian Kendrick worked as a Producer alongside Jamie Noble for the Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest match at Backlash, his first time doing so since a tryout at Survivor Series last year.
  • This was a year removed from when he lost out on an AEW spot because of some past antisemitic conspiracy theory comments.
  • Cameron Grimes is expected to get a push now that he’s on the main roster, with Triple H having high hopes for him, says WRKD Wrestling.
  • We’ve yet to see that. (0/1)

May 8, 2023 Raw Tournament edition

  • The two World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Triple Threat matches tonight will be Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Bálor vs. The Miz and Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Damian Priest, per both Boozer & PW Insider Elite.
  • Those were the matches. (2/2)
  • Rhodes will open the show with his segment leading into the first Triple Threat, says Boozer.
  • The other Triple threat opened. (0/1)
  • Insider also points out that free agent Brock Lesnar “is not currently scheduled for TV this week.” UPDATE: Insider now says Lesnar is now slated for tonight’s show.
  • He was at the show. (1/2)
  • Becky Lynch will be “available for Raw”, according to the once-again-locked Boozer Rasslin’ Twitter account.
  • She was on the show. (1/1)
  • It’s possible Lynch is who WRKD Wrestling is referring to when they tweeted that preliminary plans for tonight include the “return of a big time superstar”, but that’s also prompted speculation about other big names who’ve been off television longer than Becky.
  • No one out longer than Lynch returned on this show. (0/1)
  • Boozer & WRKD also seem to be talking about the same thing when it comes to The Way, with the former indicating we could see the Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell & Dexter Lumis team from NXT back together, and the latter teasing “a family reunion”.
  • Gargano wasn’t on Raw for a long period of time after this, but those four were on Raw together. I don’t think it’s The Way without theory but if that’s what they want to consider them, sure I guess? But it was this episode only. (1/1)
  • Hartwell won’t be alone in getting a spotlight, if WRKD is right when they say tonight’s show will be “the start of highlighting those drafted from NXT.”
  • That’s not the case. (0/1)
  • As for why the emphasize on making tonight a big deal, WRKD tweets that Triple H is “looking to have people talking about the first post-draft WWE Raw in a major way.”
  • It was a good episode, but nothing that sticks out six months later.
  • Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer notes that the Tournament matches tonight and on Friday’s SmackDown were booked “to combat the hit the shows would normally take in the ratings this week due to the NBA & NHL playoffs, especially since Warriors vs. Lakers is doing record viewership for this early in the playoffs.”
  • Sports are often kryptonite for wrestling events.

May 9, 2023

  • After previously saying WWE wanted Alexa Bliss back for Night of Champions, BoozerRasslin now says “there’s still doubt” about her availability for Saudi Arabia. The Twitter account claims Bliss will be back on television after that May 27 PLE.
  • No Bliss in awhile due her pregnancy. (0/1)
  • Damian Priest has been getting “a ton of praise” from WWE management for his recent work up to and including his San Juan Street Fight at Backlash. That from PW Insider Elite, which also said one source told them Priest “has to be seen as one of the top level players in the company going forward.”
  • He’s booked well, though he still feels a step below the top guys. If he won the title right now with his briefcase, it would feel like a step down. He’s a supporting character in the Judgment Day stuff.
  • Insider also reported company officials were very happy with Omos’ match at Backlash, calling it one of the best he’s had.
  • I agree. Omos has had a string of good matches prior to disappearing from TV.
  • The blood in Backlash’s main event was planned and not accidental, per Fightful Select, Wrestling Observer, and PW Insider. It seems to be something Brock Lesnar has permission to do, and not a change in WWE policy.
  • The rules seem to apply to Lesnar less.
  • WWE’s had discussions with “reps in Australia” about holding a premium live event there, according to Fightful Select.
  • That would be the Elimination Chamber early next year. (1/1)
  • While WWE & Steve Corino’s son Colby reportedly did agree on terms of a deal for him to start with the company, Cassidy Haynes of says that deal wasn’t signed before WWE’s hiring freeze went into effect and Colby Corino is again a free agent.
  • There’s also word that past issues of his played into this.
  • During a virtual signing with Captain’s Corner, Ricky Steamboat said AEW offered him a job as a road agent but he turned it down: “No reflection on them, great company and everything. And don’t get me wrong, the pay was going to be great but I’m at a point in my life where I’m trying to get off the road.”
  • I don’t blame Ricky for that at all.

May 10, 2023

  • WRKD Wrestling notes that WWE’s production team felt they were in a “no win scenario” with the Monday Night Raw crowd this week, considering Jacksonville wasn’t as hot as Puerto Rico this past weekend, and their only choice was to pipe in crowd noise or “broadcast the silent crowd on TV.”
  • I wish they’d just drop all piped in noise. The crowds seem hot enough that they don’t need it.
  • They also say there are big plans for The Way, who just reunited on Raw, and that could include Tommaso Ciampa.
  • Gargano was barely on TV for six months and only just returned to reform DIY. But not as a The Way unit. (0/1)
  • More from WRKD: Mace and Mansoor of Maximum Male Models “have gotten a positive response backstage” during house shows and there’s hope their character work will “pick up steam with the live crowds.”
  • They’ve since been released.
  • Savio Vega told Cultaholic that it was largely Damian Priest’s idea to bring him in for his big cameo at Backlash.
  • That’s fun.
  • Double or Nothing is expected to have at least 10 matches, says the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • 10 main show matches and one kickoff match. AEW doesn’t subscribe to the “leave fans wanting more” method of booking their big shows. (1/1)

May 11, 2023

  • While there was a lot of talk online yesterday that AEW’s new deal with Warner Bros Discovery will be for $1 billion over five years, both Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez and Fightful Select’s Sean Ross Sapp said they couldn’t get confirmation on those or any other figures.
  • We don’t know anything about whatever deal was made.
  • In fact, Sapp’s sources indicated there may not even be a new “all-encompassing deal” covering all AEW progamming at this point, saying “the planned upcoming announcement” is just for the new Saturday show, Collision.
  • I think this is likely more accurate since we never got more details about a new deal overhaul.
  • Regarding Collision, Fightful says with its arrival Rampage “will become more resembling what WWF Heat once was.” With AEW’s Friday night show focusing on the mid and undercard, “many indie talent will be more likely to get opportunities on Ring of Honor programming.”
  • I think this is more like it, though it’s not booked that much different than prior. (1/1)
  • While appearing on the Haus of Wrestling podcast, promoter, trainer & agent Rick Bassman said he’s had discussions about a show in Jerusalem this September “that would involve potentially both Goldberg and Sting.” That could be a retirement show for one or both of the legends, but Bassman added, “I would not be surprised to see Bill end up back at WWE for something massive.”
  • No word on Bill G yet.
  • Bassman also said he was backstage at WWE Backlash last weekend. Vince McMahon was not there, and “it was far and away the most relaxed I’ve ever seen that company backstage.”
  • Again, most rumors make it seem like that guy was just a toxic presence.
  • Though there were “tentative plans” for Bron Breakker to be brought to the main roster in the WWE Draft, WRKD Wrestling tweeted that company officials have been so impressed with his heel work they wanted to keep him in NXT so he could “better cultivate his character.” Those “tentative plans” now have him being promoted after SummerSlam.
  • Bron is still in NXT. Not up in the draft. Not up after SummerSlam. (0/1)

This week: 13/24 - 54%

Overall: 4,823/8,426 - 57.2%

Have a great week, everyone.

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