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Rumor Look Back: June 3 - 9, 2023

All Elite Wrestling

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.

June 3, 2023

  • According to Fightful Select, in the immediate aftermath of CM Punk’s tirade at the All Out 2022 media scrum, several AEW wrestlers said they would leave the company if Punk was allowed back. However, things backstage have “cooled off” since then. It doesn’t sound like anyone is planning to walk out due to his upcoming return.
  • And no one did. And no one did after his second outburst that got him fired. And no one walked out of WWE upon his arrival. (Well Drew McIntyre kind of did but I don’t think that was Punk related.)
  • The site goes on to add Jay White’s name to the list of wrestlers who could be early opponents for Punk after he returns to AEW for the launch of Collision.
  • We never got to that at all. (0/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said AEW wasn’t hurt by WWE’s decision to book NXT Battleground head-to-head against Double or Nothing. It appears that “NXT viewership was significantly down from the previous two NXT specials.” In other words, WWE’s strategy backfired.
  • That makes sense. The AEW PPVs are bigger and, in general, AEW has a wider audience than NXT.
  • PW Insider Elite claims that “Carlito was spotted in Orlando” this week. The site heard “he was in town for WWE,” but it’s not clear for what purpose.
  • Carlito returned to WWE, but much later in the year than this.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that AEW had less time to prepare for this year’s Anarchy in the Arena match due to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas hosting an NHL playoff game the night before. The WON also says “a lot of ideas” for the match were “shut down” by the venue “because of things that happened in last year’s match.”
  • That’s tough. Jericho has talked about those matches and a lot goes into them.
  • The Young Bucks’ Matt Jackson had to get a Nevada State Fire Performers license in order to do the exploding superkick spot in Anarchy in the Arena, per WON.
  • It also makes sense.
  • The Observer also mentioned that WWE is discussing Sept. 9 as the date for “the first major show in years in India.”
  • It was announced for that date for sure. I’m not seeing results one way or another though. I don’t think it was cancelled (though a previous one postponed).

June 5, 2023

  • BWE claims Cody Rhodes wanted to do a Dog Collar match against Brock Lesnar but it was rejected.
  • Cody had a dog collar match against Brodie Lee so he clearly likes them. That was Brodie’s last ever match.
  • BWE also claims there have been discussions of AJ Styles being “more aggressive and determined” but it’s not confirmed.
  • At this point, I’d just take discussions for him to be on TV.
  • For what it’s worth, Drew McIntyre “completed the process to become a naturalized American citizen” during his time off, says PW Insider. No update on negotiations with WWE, however.
  • I wonder if he also still has his UK citizenship. He works in American and his wife is American so it makes sense he would get his citizenship.
  • Also from Insider: there were many backstage at AEW praising Jamie Hayter for working through her back injury en route to losing the women’s title to Toni Storm at Double or Nothing.
  • That type of grittiness is always appreciated by the folks in the back.
  • Speaking of that show, PPV buys for Double or Nothing are “virtually identical” to how this year’s Revolution was tracking in the week after the show, says the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. If that trend holds, the estimate is for 130,000 to 135,000. That would be a drop from last year.
  • I believe overall they are doing OK with their PPV numbers.
  • On his “What Happened When” podcast, Tony Schiavone said his AEW contract is up in April of next year.
  • I bet he’ll continue working with them. He seems to be having a great time.

June 6, 2023

  • PW Insider reported that Vince McMahon & “a LOT of other WWE office execs” were backstage at Raw last night. The site points out that wasn’t surprising given how close the show in Hartford, Connecticut was to WWE headquarters.
  • I’m sure talent was thrilled.
  • A third match between Brock Lesnar & Cody Rhodes is set for SummerSlam in Detroit, per Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer.
  • That’s the case. Cody won the rubbermatch and Brock showed him respect at the end. (1/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez said he heard Lesnar/Rhodes III will have a stipulation that “allegedly we have not seen in a while”. Alvarez took that to mean it won’t be Hell in a Cell. Another recent rumor would rule out a dog collar match.
  • There was no stipulation at all. (0/1)
  • Andrade was originally planned to return to AEW television on the May 10 Dynamite along with Miro & Thunder Rosa, according to Fightful Select. Andrade was going to be shown walking into Tony Khan’s office as part of a tease for the Collision announcement, “however, we’re told that he didn’t want to do that segment, but weren’t told why.”
  • That’s odd.
  • Meltzer said on WOR that Bryan Danielson is a “very key part” of AEW creative at this time.
  • That’s what we’ve heard.
  • Sgt. Slaughter & his daughter Kelly have been going back & forth on Twitter with Lacey Evans’ about gimmick infringement since Evans debuted a new military look on SmackDown last Friday. That prompted WrestleVotes to tweet: “back in January WWE asked Sarge to appear in the Lacey return vignettes, where he would ‘teach’ & pass down the Cobra Clutch. Slaughter adamantly denied any involvement.”
  • I thought Sarge was pretty ridiculous for this. Lacey has since left the company.

June 7, 2023

  • There’s some disagreement among outlets about exactly how much Vince McMahon is changing things or hanging around backstage at WWE, and where he’s doing that hanging around. For what it’s worth, BWE claims he’s usually there and didn’t change all that much this week.
  • He’s not there backstage any more.
  • Braun Strowman has been released from the hospital following his surgery, says PW Insider, and he’s expected to be out for a very long time. There was a lot of sympathy for him at Raw this week because he’s so well liked, they also say.
  • He’s still out and it will probably be a while before we see him again. Neck surgeries are obviously no joke. He supplied us an update last week. (1/1)
  • Insider also says there was a lot of praise internally for Damian Priest and Kayden Carter & Katana Chance for their work on Monday Night Raw this week.
  • Priest has the Money in the Bank briefcase. Carter & Chance have been seeing a little more time on TV.
  • Per Fightful Select, there have been plans in place for Baron Corbin and Mustafa Ali to work in NXT for some time now, and “several NXT talent specifically requested to work with” Ali.
  • Ali was eventually released. Corbin just challenged for the NXT title.
  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, AEW is “getting more aggressive in trying to get the contracts of the Young Bucks & Kenny Omega completed.”
  • They sealed the deal in the summer.
  • Santana will be ready to return from injury soon, says the Observer. It’s not clear where AEW will use him, given his unhappiness with his role and falling out with Ortiz prior to getting hurt.
  • He returned in August to work All In and then had a feud with Ortiz. (1/1)

June 8, 2023

  • “Multiple sources” told Sports Illustrated that Tony Khan & Mercedes Moné had “significant discussions” about her working Forbidden Door prior to her getting hurt. While Moné’s injury obviously rules out an appearance at that show, the talks are believed to be a good sign Mercedes will show up in AEW at some point.
  • Nothing yet (outside sitting in the stands of All In). We’ll have to wait and see. There’s speculation she may return to WWE.
  • While the announcement of CM Punk has helped move tickets for the Chicago premiere, per Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer AEW Collision ticket sales elsewhere have been “bad”. He specifically mentioned there being less than 2,000 sold for the Toronto show, and only 700 for Hamilton, Ontario.
  • Punk did help move those tickets earlier on.
  • In their reporting on what did turn out to be announced as the main event of the Collision premiere, Fightful Select noted that “sources familiar with the situation have said that Switchblade Jay White has been ‘very laid back’ about his early creative”.
  • Maybe just a chill dude? Though he was reportedly not happy about his creative during the MJF feud so not that laid back.
  • On June 1, Jeff Jarrett filed for a trademark on the word “heat” for goods & services related to wrestling/entertainment.
  • I don’t know if he actually had that approved.
  • Seamstress Sandra Gray is retiring, per Fightful. Gray worked for WCW & WWE (where she could sometimes be seen on Total Divas) before Brandi Rhodes brought her to AEW, and was highly thought of everywhere she went. PW Insider says Gray will still do some work from home, where Fightful adds she’ll continue to make Cody Rhodes’ gear.
  • Cody has talked her up big time.

June 9, 2023

  • According to Fightful Select, the current plan is for KENTA to work the Forbidden Door pay-per-view (PPV) on June 25, and a dream match with CM Punk has been discussed.
  • KENTA did not work that show. (0/1)
  • Fightful heard that AEW contacted NJPW in January about booking Mercedes Moné for the Forbidden Door PPV. Furthermore, AEW talent was under the impression that she would work the event, with Saraya rumored to be her potential opponent.
  • That was prior to the injury. That would have boosted some PPV buys.
  • WRKD Wrestling says WWE CEO Nick Khan wants to “solidify NXT as a major third brand,” and there will be multiple “tie-ins in the near future.” Not only will Bron Breakker challenge Seth Rollins for the world heavyweight championship, but NXT tag teams will be “getting mixed in with main roster matches.”
  • That’s certainly the case overall with talent working Raw and NXT and with Dominik Mysterio holding the North American title. (1/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer claims that AEW’s long term plan is for Konosuke Takeshita to be “one of the biggest babyfaces in the company.”
  • Probably a long ways away from that given he’s a heel currently.
  • Following up on the Adam Cole / MJF promo segment on this week’s Dynamite, Meltzer mentioned that Cole was never told about WWE’s plan for him to be a manager on the main roster until well after the fact. The reason why he signed with AEW is because their offer was “significantly better than the WWE offer. AEW really wanted him, and Vince [McMahon] didn’t see it in him.”
  • I wonder if Triple H was in charge of creative at that time like he is currently, if Adam Cole would be on Raw every week. Would Triple H, who definitely saw a lot in Cole in his NXT run, have matched Tony’s offer? If he did, would Cole had stayed with WWE? Or was the idea of wrestling with his friends and working with his wife going to be too much either way? We’ll never know.
  • Seth Rollins told Mark Andrews: My Love Letter to Wrestling that he thinks Drew McIntyre is on the injured list right now.
  • McIntyre is back and doing the best work of his career.

This week: 4/7 - 57%

Overall: 4,870/8,501 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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