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Rumor Look Back: June 10 - 16, 2023

@FinnBalor

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 10, 2023

  • According to this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE wants to add a stipulation to the third match between Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. A bullrope match is one of the ideas being discussed.
  • They did not add a stip. (0/1)
  • Fightful Select indicates that AEW’s Bullet Club Gold faction will be getting at least one new member very soon.
  • The Ass Boys joined. (1/1)
  • Per WON, “the success of the Monday Night Football Manning-casts” is where WWE CEO Nick Khan got the idea of doing the Raw sidecast on Twitch.
  • It’s a multi-year deal so that’s still going on, though I have no idea how many people tune into them.
  • The Observer also mentions that the launch of AEW Collision could mean the end of AEW house shows. No more house shows are listed on the company’s schedule of events.
  • House shows are no longer something they run. (1/1)
  • Fightful claims that Stardom and AEW have had conversations about Stardom talent appearing at Forbidden Door on June 25. One idea is for Toni Storm to wrestle against someone on the Stardom roster. Stardom has their own show in Japan that weekend, but they’re discussing ways to make it work.
  • It was against Willow Nightingale, who is not a Stardom talent. There was no Stardom talent on the show. A later rumor disputes this further. (0/1)

June 12, 2023

  • According to Fightful Select, WWE wants to portray the women’s championship on the same level as the WWE Universal championship, and that’s why the title Asuka is holding looks so much like the one Roman Reigns is holding.
  • The women’s belts and the men’s belts look very similar.
  • They also say Rhea Ripley is indeed expected to receive a new title with a new name. This was all done to in part to clear up the situation with the titles following the Draft.
  • That’s the case. (1/1)
  • BWE claims there are a “few returns in the coming months” at WWE as well as a “couple of title updates” and “talent repackaging.”
  • What a vague rumor. I’d say definite no to any further title updates. John Cena returned but were there multiple notable returns. Gargano returned in October, which is technically in the coming months. Talent repackaging is super vague but there’s no overt changes to a specific character. If you want to count heel turns/face turns, which is just something that happens in the business, I guess? But I’m looking more for a character change here. (1/3)
  • Fightful says they asked WWE about Elias possibly signing a new deal and never heard back. The last word going around was his contract expired in late 2022.
  • Elias is no longer with WWE. He’s back to drifting, though could show up anywhere very soon.
  • Bryan Danielson “has become more important of late” in AEW’s creative process, says the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. “It was said when Khan is booking ideas and he’s in the room with him, he pushes Khan to think harder and improves his thinking, like he adds more enthusiasm to Khan.”
  • He’s also fining folks for getting out of line on Twitter. (That very likely isn’t true, but I’ve enjoyed the memes.)
  • The Observer says Stardom informed them they won’t have any talent at Forbidden Door this year and that they were not contacted by AEW at any point for the show.
  • While we don’t know if anyone was contacted, there wasn’t Stardom talent. (1/1)

June 13, 2023

  • WWE is hoping to have Drew McIntyre back by Money in the Bank, according to PW Insider Elite. But with his contract negotiations seemingly at a stand still, “the belief is that until McIntyre and WWE come to an agreement on how he will be used going forward, he won’t be back.” McIntyre believes he’s proven his worth and wants to ensure he’s used in meaningful storylines.
  • Drew returned in July and faced Gunther. Currently, he’s probably the top heel on Raw and doing his best work.
  • Vince McMahon was not on-site at Raw last night, per Fightful Select. That reinforces the idea that Vince and several WWE executives were at last week’s show due to how close Raw was to corporate headquarters, and not because McMahon is returning to the road.
  • The rumors at this time was that Vince called in to adjust creative but wasn’t on site often.
  • That said, Vince again called in changes to last night’s Raw. Fightful says, “word got around to talent shortly before the program”. The changes were mostly things like timing and match order, but McMahon also “adjusts the aftermath of certain matches”.
  • Again, gotta be really frustrating for the folks who think everything is set and then - bam! - here’s Vince.
  • Most talent still tell Fightful they prefer it when McMahon make his changes remotely, and the site says they’ll likely stop reporting that this is going on as its obviously become the norm.
  • Remotely had to be better than from afar because it’s harder to micromanage when you’re not actually there.
  • One more from Fightful Select, which makes sense given how Maxxine Dupri has been teamed up with Chad Gable & Otis on Raw recently: Maximum Male Models’ “Mansoor and Mace may be repackaged”. Vince McMahon was high on the gimmick initially, “but didn’t want them to be ‘flamboyant.’” Triple H encouraged the duo to ignore that note, but since McMahon’s return they haven’t been used much.
  • They never got to the repackage stage before being released. (0/1)
  • Regarding the latest report on WWE’s media right negotiations, WrestleVotes claims there’s “big time interest from WWE in a Disney partnership.” Other partners are “enticing”, but WWE sees a Disney deal as “a win win”.
  • We’re still waiting on a Raw deal. We’ll see who wins that one.

June 14, 2023

  • BWE claims the Chad Gable vs. Erik match was cut short on Raw this week to make room for a backstage segment with Finn Balor chatting with JD McDonagh, and it was a Triple H call after Vince McMahon made the call to take it out previously.
  • Triple H likes to get a lot of storytelling in backstage.
  • They also say there will be a total of seven matches on the Money in the Bank card.
  • That is accurate. (1/1)
  • Early odds from BetOnline has LA Knight favored to win the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match but Damian Priest is also a dark horse contender.
  • Priest won, though Knight was close. (0/1)
  • Johnny Gargano is teasing a return on Monday Night Raw next week, and word persists that Tommaso Ciampa is planned to join up with The Way.
  • Ciampa never really joined The Way, who really isn’t a thing right now in general. DIY does their thing and Candice and Indie do theirs. They certainly don’t use that name. (0/1)
  • PW Insider speculates WWE is done doing matches on the Kickoff show for Premium Live Events.
  • They did one at Saudi recently so not completely. But there aren’t many. (0/1)
  • Also from Insider: Cathy Corino, known widely as Allison Danger, has been spotted back at the WWE Performance Center and the belief is she’s working as a guest coach.
  • It’s good to get different views in the coaching room.
  • Per WrestleVotes, Samantha Irvin will be singing the National Anthem prior to the Red Sox vs. Yankees game at Fenway Park on Sunday Night Baseball this coming weekend.
  • She did sing the anthem at that game. She’s got a great voice. (1/1)

June 15, 2023

  • Sources told Sports Illustrated that WWE’s introduced new titles for Roman Reigns, Asuka & Rhea Ripley because Triple H “wanted to freshen up all the titles and present a new look”.
  • I think it’s long past time they just issue one set of tag titles instead of having the men carry around two given there haven’t been two sets of champs for over a year now. I don’t know why they haven’t done that yet.
  • WWE’s discussing having “two NXT titles involved in SummerSlam or during SummerSlam week”, per BWE.
  • There were no main roster NXT title bouts. (0/1)
  • That account also tweeted that we should expect to see WWE continue to move talent around “until they balance every brand”. BWE specifically says a few NXT wrestlers will be moving to Raw & SmackDown, but “[Ilja] Dragunov, Bron [Breakker] and more will have their time before moving.”
  • This feels overall accurate in describing the way they incorporate NXT into the overall promotion. (1/1)
  • Not surprising given how Damage CTRL’s story been playing out on screen over the past several months, but SI also says they’ve about behind-the-scenes discussions about turning IYO SKY face and having her feud with Bayley.
  • I think it will end up being the opposite.
  • AEW and The Elite quartet of Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks & Hangman Page haven’t agreed on new contracts yet but the sides have been close for several months, according to Fightful Select. The site adds, “Those we spoke with in AEW were confident they’d retain the Elite, despite CM Punk returning to the company.”
  • They’re in AEW now. CM Punk is not there. Imagine they signed with WWE because of the CM Punk stuff and then Punk ended up there anyway. (1/1)
  • WWE sources told Fightful the company “absolutely have interest in all four”, but it’s not believed they’ll have a chance to even negotiate with The Elite. That’s because while its not clear exactly when each man’s AEW deal is up due to variables like injury time and option years, WWE is “nowhere near being legally allowed to talk to any of them.”
  • Apparently there were some of them who definitely were considering that as an option.

June 16, 2023

  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said CM Punk’s controversial interview with ESPN will be released today. Alvarez added that Punk’s interview was “the talk of the locker room” at this week’s AEW Dynamite taping.
  • That it was. It was pretty much his side of the story or as much as he could say given lawyers and NDAs.
  • Alvarez also said, “If you think that perhaps all of the strife and divisiveness in the locker room has been cleared up after that interview, well, it’s not.”
  • Sounds like it never was.
  • Even though Roman Reigns was presented with a new WWE Universal championship belt two weeks ago, sources told Sports Illustrated that WWE is still considering the idea of having Paul Heyman carry around Roman’s previous two belts.
  • He did for a couple months before they stopped completely. (1/1)
  • Carlito apparently called independent wrestling promoter Devon Nicholson and canceled his booking for a July 15 show because he claims to have signed with WWE. Fightful was told that Carlito pulled himself out of “multiple upcoming indie dates,” not just this one.
  • He did sign but they didn’t bring him back on TV for a little while.
  • According to BWE, IYO SKY is a “top contender” to win the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, but some other ideas are “on the table” and could begin on tonight’s SmackDown.
  • She was the winner. (1/1)
  • As far as the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match is concerned, BWE claims that LA Knight and Damian Priest are the two favorites to win it, but the decision likely won’t be made until the day of the show.
  • Priest was the favorite. (1/1)

This week: 12/21 - 57%

Overall: 4,882/8,522 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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