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Rumor Look Back: May 12 - 18, 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 12, 2023

  • Fightful Select confirmed that the surprise return of Miro and Thunder Rosa on this week’s episode of Dynamite is related to the launch of the new AEW Collision TV show next month.
  • That’s the case. They’re on that show (even though Rosa hasn’t returned yet). (1/1)
  • However, Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer heard that Rosa is still “hurting a lot” and “her back is not better.” He didn’t get the impression that she will be medically cleared in time for the premiere of Collision.
  • That’s also the case. (1/1)
  • Regarding rumors of AEW President Tony Khan landing a one billion dollar TV deal over five years with Warner Bros. Discovery, Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez mentioned that Khan is keeping everything close to the vest. “Nobody in AEW knows anything. Tony’s not telling anybody anything about anything, to the best of my knowledge.”
  • I don’t think that was the case anyway. We’d know by now.
  • The Rock told CNBC that he “connected with Vince [McMahon] the other day,” but he did not elaborate on what they spoke about.
  • Who knows.
  • According to Meltzer, NJPW star Will Ospreay is already booked for AEW’s All In event at London’s Wembley Stadium in August.
  • He faced Chris Jericho. (1/1)
  • Per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, AEW plans to put Kyle O’Reilly with his old Undisputed Era teammates Adam Cole and Roderick Strong when he comes back from neck fusion surgery, but there’s currently no timetable for his return.
  • This may never come to pass. Now Cole is out for awhile.
  • The Observer also notes that The Acclaimed’s AEW merchandise sales have recently declined, dropping them out of the company’s best sellers list after a long run near the top.
  • I always wonder if there’s a point folks are just not going to want to buy someone’s merch any more because they have enough.

May 12, 2023 Special SmackDown Edition

  • As you’d expect given the fact Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns will be on tonight’s show, there’s a Bloodline story planned. WRKD Wrestling says Reigns will continue to lose trust in The Usos, and decide to “take matters into his own hands at Night of Champions.”
  • While the “there will be a Bloodline story” part wouldn’t be graded on its own (because of course if Roman is advertised, there’s going to be Bloodline stuff), Roman did take matters in his hand by announced he’d be teaming with Solo against Sami & KO. (1/1)
  • WRKD’s rival Twitter-er Boozer Rasslin’ indicated that Reigns & Solo Sikoa will be facing Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, possibly at that premium live event in Saudi Arabia, and that Jey Uso won’t be happy about it. No mention of if that will be for KO & Sami’s Tag belts whenever it happens, but we presume so.
  • It was a title shot. (1/1)
  • Fan favorite LA Knight will find a tag partner tonight, per Boozer.
  • LA Knight wasn’t on the show at all. (0/1)
  • Multiple drafted NXT wrestlers will make their debuts tonight, according to WRKD. Boozer mentions Pretty Deadly will appear, so that’s one...
  • It was Pretty Deadline & Cameron Grimes. (2/2)
  • Another could be Grayson Waller, as Boozer says he’ll invite whoever wins the World Heavyweight championship at NoC to be his guest on the first main roster edition of “The Grayson Waller Effect”.
  • That’s the case. (1/1)
  • It’s only mentioned as a pitch, so it’s not clear if it will happen at all let alone tonight, but PW Insider Elite says the idea of turning Asuka heel so she and Raw Women’s champ Bianca Belair can have a WrestleMania rematch in Saudi Arabia has been discussed.
  • She turned heel and won the title. (1/1)
  • Also not clear if this means he would lose one of the two tournament matches tonight or the final at Night of Champions, but Boozer had disappointing news for Edge fans or anyone rooting for him based on the promo he released yesterday, tweeting, “Don’t want to disappoint all the Edge Heads but it’s not him.”
  • He did not win his match. (1/1)

May 13, 2023

  • Bray Wyatt’s WWE return is “up to management and him,” tweeted Boozer Rasslin.
  • And unfortunately, his health, which ended up failing him.
  • Per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, AEW’s deal with Warner Bros Discovery for Collision “would have happened with or without [CM] Punk,” but WBD definitely wanted him for the new show.
  • They had him for a couple months. Without him, the numbers have struggled, though we don’t know if they would have been stronger with him on them.
  • Regarding efforts to mend fences between Punk and others backstage, Dave Meltzer writes that “they are no closer to any resolutions than they have been, but things are more reasonable.” He reiterated that there are a number of open legal issues, and those are keeping people from speaking publicly about the situation or contacting the other side.
  • I wonder if there are more legal issues now.
  • Someone (not Punk) is said to want to apologize, but can’t due to the ban on communicating with the other side. Someone else on the non-Punk side told Meltzer they believe multiple apologies are in order, and “that Punk should be the first but not the only one.”
  • I have a feeling there were no apologies.
  • On his PW Torch podcast, Wade Keller talked about how some WWE wrestlers are “at least happy” Vince McMahon is “back contributing to creative.” Keller said some of that is probably “purely based on self-interest” as they believe McMahon will push them more than Triple H would.
  • Triple H has his favorites like Vince has his.
  • Continuing that discussion, Keller said, “One person I asked said they think that Vince McMahon is more focused on building strong babyfaces and Paul Levesque [Triple H] has more of a focus, and an interest, in building heels.”
  • In NXT, it was true the Triple H had long standing villains as champions (Shayna Baszler, Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Cole). While he has long title reigns in WWE, some are with babyface champions like Seth Rollins. Jey Uso and LA Knight (though he wasn’t really a plan) have emerged as strong babyfaces in this era. And the Roman Reign heel train was already underway. And honestly, Vince wasn’t building up anyone in the last 5 years of his booking.
  • Trinity will be with Impact for the next few months, per Fightful Select. The site notes that she has commitments with the company into the summer. No word on if she’ll extend beyond those, though.
  • She is still with them. (1/1)
  • NBC’s recently announced schedule for the fall season doesn’t include Young Rock. A network spokesman told Deadline “decisions are yet to be made” on Dwayne Johnson’s semi-autobiographical show and a pair of other sitcoms that are on the bubble for renewal.
  • It was canceled.

May 15, 2023

  • PW Insider claims an internal depth chart within WWE has Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Shotzi, Zelina Vega, Mia Yim, and Aliyah as the top six babyfaces on the SmackDown women’s roster while Asuka, Bayley, Lacey Evans, Scarlett, B-Fab, and Tamina are the top six heels.
  • Those alignments are unchanged for those still around. Aliyah and Lacey are no longer with the company. I’m not sure the status of Tamina.
  • Boozer Rasslin says there will be “a lot of revamped themes” in WWE in the next few months featuring new songs and artists.
  • Asuka got one. Eventually Gargano too. And I don’t like the new ones better at all. (1/1)
  • More from Boozer: There are apparently “big plans” for the world heavyweight championship, with “a story that will catapult the title to its original status.”
  • I don’t know about any of that. (0/1)
  • The reason WWE went live on social media in the minutes prior to SmackDown this past week was “to serve as an active reminder that the show was starting,” per Fightful Select.
  • They really wanted folks to tune into this one.
  • Matt Jackson was cleared to return from his torn biceps injury this week, “a few weeks ahead of schedule” says the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • That’s good.

May 16, 2023

  • While the site didn’t say it’s why Raw, NXT and SmackDown were barely mentioned during NBCUniversal and FOX’s upfronts yesterday, PW Insider Elite did report that the networks’ exclusive negotiating window for WWE’s next rights deals either have or are about to expire. People within WWE believe that means the company’s about to open the process up so anyone can bid to become their shows’ next home.
  • NBCUniversal picked up SmackDown. Fox is out of the game. NXT is going to the CW. We don’t know about Raw yet.
  • Another Insider Elite report noted that “Bray Wyatt is not currently listed in any fashion internally on the WWE roster.” Fightful Select says that’s because he’s still dealing with the illness he’s been sidelined with for months.
  • Unfortunately this illness ended up costing him his life.
  • Fightful was able to confirm both Wyatt and Bo Dallas, who portrays Uncle Howdy and whose creative is on hold with Bray out, are still with the company. Their sources have also heard Wyatt wants to and is hopeful about returning, but there’s no word on his status.
  • I wonder if Dallas is still technically with them.
  • The Liv Morgan injury mentioned on Raw last night is legitimate, per Fightful Select. She was hurt in her & Raquel Rodriguez’s Tag title defense against Damage CTRL on SmackDown, but Fightful’s sources hadn’t heard specifically when it happened in that match, or how severe it is.
  • She’s missed a good deal of time. (1/1)
  • In response to fans who were upset about LA Knight’s booking of late and his SmackDown segment getting bumped to the post-show, Boozer Rasslin said a Knight push is still “in the books 100%” and the popular star is “in good hands” creatively.
  • Yeah, he’s getting pushed. He’s the focus of much of SmackDown. (1/1)
  • Several WWE talents “have been given more flexibility in their promos in recent weeks,” according to Fightful Select. The site’s sources pointed to Karrion Kross and Shinsuke Nakamura’s program as an example.
  • I don’t think memorizing scripts really benefits anyone.
  • The talks WWE was rumored to be having Australian officials are about bringing a premium live event to Perth, reports Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The Sporting News adds the event would likely happen between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania next year.
  • That’s the case. Elimination Chamber in February. (1/1)

May 17, 2023

  • Andrew Zarian of Mat Men Podcast notes CM Punk’s return is expected to be announced in the coming days.
  • It was officially announced on May 31. (0/1)
  • WRKD Wrestling claims “there is hesitancy when it comes to putting the new title” on Seth Rollins due to his possibly getting more film roles. This coming on the back of news that he has been filming Captain America: New World Order.
  • That didn’t stop them.
  • Per Fightful Select, there are plans to extend the Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus feud beyond Night of Champions.
  • That went all the way past SummerSlam. (1/1)
  • According to Better Wrestling Experience (who asked to be credited as such instead of BoozerRasslin), says there is no decision just yet on who is winning the world heavyweight championship at Night of Champions but “Seth Rollins is the number one guy for Triple H.”
  • It was Rollins.
  • BWE also says Damian Priest, LA Knight, Bobby Lashley, Matt Riddle, Cody Rhodes, GUNTHER, Finn Balor, Chad Gable, and Edge are all names in the mix for the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match this year.
  • Only LA Knight & Priest made it from this list. (2/9)
  • Last from BWE: DIY is looking at a “big push” after Night of Champions.
  • They only just reunited a few weeks ago. (0/1)

May 18, 2023

  • Another Fightful Select report on CM Punk & AEW said Punk was told this week that AEW would re-hire Ace Steel to work directly with him, but Steel would not be allowed at television tapings. Sean Ross Sapp wrote that he hadn’t heard how Punk reacted, “outside of him not being in agreement with it.”
  • This was possibly part of the hold up for that Punk/Collision announcement.
  • Sapp didn’t hear that this was why Punk wasn’t part of the Collision announcement, but did hear about plans for AEW camera crew to film at CM Punk’s home on Wednesday. He couldn’t confirm whether or not that filming happened.
  • We never saw any footage.
  • An earlier Fightful report on Collision said AEW’s current plans were to implement “a firm brand split, with some rare exceptions.” The exceptions would mostly be for titleholders. Sapp tweeted that talent were told today they’ll be told soon what brand they’re on.
  • There was kind of a brand split early on, but I’d never call it firm. It was firmer early on than it is now (which isn’t really existent at all). (0/1)
  • Contradicting that was a PW Insider Elite story claiming their sources told them AEW’s was “not a hard Raw vs. Smackdown split and was never ever discussed as one internally”, with wrestlers appearances on Dynamite or Collision “dictated by storylines”.
  • This is more like it. (1/1)
  • Insider also said that there were never plans for Warner Bros Discovery to announce a new or extended media rights contract with AEW yesterday.
  • We never heard about these rights.
  • In their story on a listing of AEW: Fight Forever achievements briefly showing up in the Xbox Store earlier this week, Insider Gaming said they’ve heard but couldn’t confirm “an end-of-June release date” for the long awaited console game.
  • It was June 29. (1/1)
  • WWE plans to hold an NXT PLE on Sat., Aug. 12, per PW Insider.
  • Heatwave was August 22 but I don’t see anything on August 12. (0/1)

This week: 20/33 - 61%

Overall: 4,843/8,459 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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