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Rumor Look Back: May 19 - 25, 2023

TBS’s AEW Dynamite Los Angeles Debut After Party Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery

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 19, 2023

  • According to WRKD Wrestling, WWE is considering the idea of booking Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa vs. The Usos at Money in the Bank on July 1 in London.
  • Bloodline Civil War! (1/1)
  • Better Wrestling Experience claims that WWE will push the idea that Night of Champions features a triple main event.
  • Claire mentioned they talked about it in the live blog of that show. I don’t know how hard they pushed it, but they sure considered it such. (1/1)
  • BWE also says few decisions have “been locked down” by WWE regarding Night of Champions. However, AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship is currently planned to be the final match of the night.
  • It was the Bloodline match. (0/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer mentioned that AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter’s current injury is a work.
  • It doesn’t seem that way. She had one more match to drop the title and we haven’t seen her since. (0/1)
  • Meltzer is under the impression that CM Punk specifically wanted Andrade on the roster for AEW Collision. Collision is meant to be “the Punk show,” so the roster includes wrestlers who have a favorable opinion of Punk, such as Powerhouse Hobbs and FTR.
  • It definitely seemed to be his show. He even would bar folks from the show. (I’m going to note now that this is usually written and scheduled well before Saturday night at 11, which is around the time CM Punk returned to WWE. That’s something I think is shocking. This Look Back talks a bunch about his second AEW exit, which felt more inevitable than anything.)
  • Finally, Dave notes that AEW World Champion MJF is the wrestler who replaced Punk on the official poster for AEW Collision. All of the other wrestlers remained the same from the original poster.
  • MJF isn’t on Collision too often.
  • On The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, Matt said a Willow cameo was originally planned for the Firm Deletion match, but time constraints and weather prevented it from happening.
  • Willow was wild.
  • Per PW Insider, WWE is taping two episodes of SmackDown tonight.
  • They always need to pretape before they go to Saudi. (1/1)

May 20, 2023

  • According to PW Insider, the current problem between AEW and CM Punk is not a work. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement over Ace Steel’s status for Collision, AEW will look to move the premiere episode of the show out of Chicago’s United Center and into another venue.
  • This always felt bound to fail. Punk held up negotiations to get his buddy Ace Steel hired. As we mentioned, he was banning folks like Christopher Daniels (who has a HR type job) from Collision. No one seemed to learn their lesson from the first time around - especially Tony Khan when it came to taking charge of these personalities. And it ended like you’d guess. With Punk fighting Jack Perry, acting threatening (supposedly) towards Tony Khan, and getting terminated. OK, you probably would not have guessed those specific details but the general idea.
  • F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer indicated that AEW “has had contact with Daily’s Place” in Jacksonville, Florida, as a potential backup location for that Collision premiere. The situation needs to be resolved by next Wednesday when Tony Khan will announce the location on Dynamite.
  • I guess if there was no Punk, there’d be no running Chicago.
  • This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that Drew McIntyre’s pending return to WWE is “more a creative issue” that he and WWE have to come to an agreement on. As far as his contract status is concerned, a new deal has not been reached. However, WWE can add injury time to the end of his deal, which they usually do when they think a star might leave.
  • We don’t know how contract situation, but I am absolutely loving what Drew is doing right now creatively. Just top notch stuff that hopefully should lead to a world title run.
  • WrestleVotes claims that Bray Wyatt is still on WWE’s payroll. He’s listed in WWE’s internal groupings among other “unassigned” wrestlers like Gable Steveson, R-Truth, Logan Paul, and Tommaso Ciampa.
  • Why wouldn’t he have been on their payroll unless he was released?
  • Fightful Select says June 27 will be the release date for the AEW: Fight Forever video game. An announcement should be coming next week to make it official.
  • It was actually June 29. (0/1)
  • Sources also told the site that Bryan Danielson will be “contributing in creative” for AEW Collision. Insider confirmed this item and noted that Bryan has been unofficially “giving suggestions and ideas” for a while now.
  • He’s the man Tony Khan would have running things if he couldn’t.
  • Per WON, Seth Rollins will also miss next week’s episode of Raw due to filming the Captain America movie.
  • He was represented in a sit down interview. (1/1)
  • WRKD Wrestling clarified that WWE’s “hesitancy” to put the new World Heavyweight Championship on Rollins over his role in Captain America “isn’t an immediate fear.” It’s more related to a future scenario where he and Becky Lynch “further pursue Hollywood.”
  • This is really Rollins first foray into any acting, right?

May 22, 2023

  • Seth Rollins is currently heavily favored to win the world heavyweight championship at Night of Champions, via BetOnline.
  • The odds were correct. (1/1)
  • According to BWE, WWE has plans to turn Bianca Belair & Street Profits heel, likely sometime this summer.
  • The Profits are heel, but Bianca is still a babyface. (1/2)
  • Fightful Select notes there are “several people backstage” at WWE who have “high hopes” for Cameron Grimes on the main roster.
  • He hasn’t really gotten going yet.
  • PW Insider says there is a belief that the “leveling up of the AEW International Championship months ago was in part to raise the profile of the title so it can be used regularly on Collision.”
  • I think there are too many men’s singles titles in AEW, and that’s not even counting the ROH stuff. With the world title, TBS title, and International title, it’s just a lot. And there isn’t an obvious order to the two lower titles like there was back in the day when WWE had the Intercontinental and European championship and the Euro title was definitely below the IC. They’ve been doing good things with each of those titles to their credit. They should consider keeping one title on Dynamite & one on Collision like WWE treats the IC & US titles so the issue of hierarchy isn’t a factor.
  • They also say that Andrade was backstage at Dynamite recently preparing for his return, so his acting like he didn’t know better on Twitter was indeed just an act.
  • Andrade will work on Twitter.

May 23, 2023

  • PW Torch’s Wade Keller writes that he is “consistently told by multiple people in AEW” that most of the company’s “top wrestlers who regularly appear on Dynamite would be relieved if [CM] Punk and AEW parted ways.”
  • I mean given that would include the Elite & Jericho - yeah, of course.
  • In a recent Twitter Spaces session, Wrestling Inc founder Raj Giri claimed AEW sent a legal document to Punk over the weekend, and if Punk doesn’t comply with its (unspecified) contents the promotion will file a lawsuit against him.
  • This was messy before he even came back.
  • Early ticket sales for Collision shows have been slow, says Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer. Meltzer attributes that to lack of buzz as “the names that were announced and everything like that, it’s not enough.”
  • This was before Punk was announced.
  • Prior to her injury forcing an audible, both Wrestling Observer and PW Insider say Mercedes Moné was booked to beat Willow Nightingale and win the new NJPW Strong Women’s title.
  • That makes sense.
  • Meltzer also said on Observer Radio that Moné signed a new deal with New Japan & Stardom’s parent company Bushiroad, but he wasn’t sure how many dates it covers.
  • It could be a little time until we find out.
  • WWE’s new World Heavyweight title will be considered a continuation of the belt introduced in 2002 for Triple H, according to BWE. Either Seth Rollins or AJ Styles will be listed in the company’s official records after Randy Orton, who held the WWE & WHC belts when they were unified in 2013.
  • Their website treats it as a new title. (0/1)

May 24, 2023

  • According to Fightful Select, the documents AEW sent to CM Punk were for contractual purposes to cover an issues that may arise upon their working relationship moving forward. It would appear, then, that his return is still moving ahead at this time.
  • Issues like him getting into a fight with Jack Perry and intimidating Tony Khan? Was that specifically listed in there?
  • WRKD Wrestling claims “discussions have taken place” already for the Raw main event at WrestleMania 40 to be Cody Rhodes vs. GUNTHER.
  • I doubt that since I bet Cody will be facing Roman. But we’ll see.
  • For what it’s worth, Fightful Select notes the Triple H/Cody Rhodes segment on Raw this week “was being relayed as someone big putting over Cody” before the show.
  • This is when Cody wrestled with a “broken arm.”
  • They also say that there were plenty of changes made to the Monday Night Raw script this week, and “one talent speculated it was due to Vince McMahon.”
  • If there’s any word of late script changes, no matter what the circumstances, people are going to understandably wonder if it’s Vince related.
  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez mentioned that WWE has kicked around the idea of making SmackDown a three hour show “for years.”
  • Keep kicking it.

May 25, 2023

  • F4WOnline’s Dave Meltzer confirmed that CM Punk will return to AEW for the premiere episode of Collision on June 17.
  • That’s the case. (1/1)
  • Meltzer claims multiple issues were resolved during a final meeting between Punk and AEW President Tony Khan. This includes “an agreement that nobody will speak publicly” about the backstage fight between Punk, Ace Steel, and The Elite at All Out 2022.
  • Does that include any subsequent fights?
  • Ace Steel “will be working from home as part of the arrangement,” per Meltzer.
  • The fact that Punk held the show hostage for Ace Steel is wild.
  • A source told WrestleVotes there will be “a minor batch of releases” in WWE by July 1.
  • There’s nothing obvious that I’m finding. Maybe something very minor that they would not have announced, such as folks who were folks really lower on the chain in development.
  • WRKD Wrestling says Cody Rhodes is “expected” to compete in the Money in the Bank ladder match on July 1 in London, England.
  • He did not. He faced Dominik Mysterio on that show. (0/1)
  • PWTorch heard from several AEW wrestlers who are concerned about a potential increase in travel days now that Collision has been added to the schedule.
  • It’s another show so yeah, there will be more traveling if you happen to work both shows.

This week: 7/13 - 54%

Overall: 4,850/8,472 - 57.2%

Have a great week, everyone!

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