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Rumor Look Back: June 17 - 23, 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 17, 2023

  • Regarding CM Punk’s controversial interview with ESPN, Fightful Select indicated that many people in AEW didn’t think it was as bad as the hype suggested it would be.
  • I guess that makes sense given how inflammatory he already was.
  • According to Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez, “There was a lot said in this interview that did not end up in print.” Furthermore, those missing parts made people angry backstage in AEW.
  • I wonder why the juiciest stuff was left out.
  • This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that “AEW was hoping that the comments Punk made about Adam Page would not be part of the article” and “There was an attempt at damage control” before the article was published.
  • That may be why the juiciest stuff was left out.
  • The Observer states that the July 4 episode of NXT will be taped on either June 27 or June 28.
  • It looks like the 28th. That was when Gable Steveson was in the mix. (1/1)
  • “WWE is not going to risk any tampering when it comes to AEW” right now, per WON. This is partially due to the fact that MLW’s lawsuit against WWE “still hasn’t been thrown out.”
  • They settled with MLW. But I still contend that there is no such thing as tampering in this situation. This isn’t the NFL or NBA where they all abide by the same rules. Folks who work at one place get employment inquirements all the time.
  • BWE claims that Taz wants his son HOOK to go to WWE. Triple H and HBK want him too. For what it’s worth, BWE thinks HOOK could be “the first of many” to make the jump.
  • I don’t remember this rumor at all. It would be weird if Taz would prefer his son work for competition. It’d be quite the indictment. Of course, we don’t know if this is true at all. It’s one I have my doubts about.

June 19, 2023

  • Although Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman have still been carrying around the two belts he used to wear before being given the new Undisputed WWE Universal title, BWE says the two belts will eventually stop appearing.
  • That’s the case. It’s only the Undisputed at this point. (1/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer seemed to speculate that Top Dolla has enemies on the creative team based on how Hit Row was booked on SmackDown this week. He did say “he is not very popular with some people” within the company.
  • I think that was evidence by Michael Cole burying him week after week. He has since been released.
  • According to PW Insider, the reaction among those backstage in AEW was really positive when it came to the debut of Collision, and everyone felt they did a good job of making the show look and feel different than Dynamite.
  • At first, I really enjoyed Collision. It did feel like a different show - building its stories differently and paying them off differently. It’s pace was not like it is on Dynamite. It sometimes felt more narratively cohesive. But ever since Punk was fired, it has felt similar to Dynamite which took away from its appeal.
  • Per Dave Meltzer at the Observer, Saraya is away from AEW right now but it’s not clear exactly why.
  • She’s been back and since this rumor, she’s won and lost the title. She doesn’t wrestle much but with her injury history, that’s likely for the better.
  • Rush’s current contract is believed to be a one year deal and could be up soon, says the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • He’s still in AEW, having re-signed. (1/1)
  • Dax Harwood has been involved in creative pitches to Tony Khan lately, says Insider.
  • I would think a lot of the talent would be involved to some degree.

June 20, 2023

  • Vince McMahon called in some changes to the Raw script again this week, at least according to Fightful Select. Nothing was cut, but some of Vince’s changes were described as “drastic”. The opening segment was specifically mentioned as being changed by McMahon.
  • Again, that’s gotta be so frustrating for the writers and talent.
  • While BWE also tweeted about Raw being “a long day” with “a lot of plans changed”, they claimed the changes came from Triple H.
  • I guess Triple H learned to book from Vince so some last minute changes would be something he would do too. But you don’t hear about that nearly as much as when Vince was in charge.
  • CM Punk’s Collision promo last Saturday was “100% off the cuff”, says a PW Insider Elite report. While Punk had a few lines in mind ahead of time, his material wasn’t pre-written and approved.
  • Not something he’ll be able to do in WWE.
  • Within AEW, Fightful Select says a few of their sources thought it was hypocritical of Punk to call anyone else soft but overall everyone felt Punk just got out what he needed to. The Young Bucks in particular were said to take the jabs at them in a light-hearted manner and assured people everything was fine.
  • Everything was not fine for long.
  • Fightful also noted that The Elite pre-taped material for this week’s Dynamite and “there’s a good chance they’re not in the arena”. That would mean CM Punk could appear at the show in Chicago’s Wintrust Arena.
  • They worked one PPV in the same building before the next one when Punk fought Jack Perry.
  • “The belief” among PW Insider’s AEW sources in Chicago last weekend was that Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay will main event Forbidden Door on Sunday.
  • It was actually Danielson vs. Okada. (0/1)
  • Amanda Huber is working in AEW production, per PW Insider. Michael Mansury, the former WWE production exec brought in by Tony Khan last year, is said to have recruited her from the community outreach team.
  • I’m glad she has a home in AEW.

June 21, 2023

  • BWE hints there may be a big return happening at Money in the Bank.
  • John Cena was on the show but it didn’t serve as a long term return. That said, it’s big and it was a return so we’ll count it. (1/1)
  • Fightful Select says they were told by WWE sources that the company is being strategic about its Premium Live Event announcements, and doing so in such a way that each one gets its own moment. Pat McAfee announcing Fastlane in Indianapolis is an example of this.
  • That makes sense.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that it’s still expected that Tommaso Ciampa will join up with Johnny Gargano and The Way.
  • Gargano ended up being off TV for awhile. He did return months later to reunite with Ciampa, but not in the way these rumors are suggesting. (0/1)
  • LA Knight and IYO SKY are still favored to win the Money in the Bank ladder matches, per BetOnline. BWE said adding Logan Paul to the match was a way to help add intrigue and help counter expectations for Knight’s win.
  • Sky won but Knight did not. (1/2)
  • The Observer says Kenny Omega isn’t going to appear live on Dynamite or Collision this week, but he could appear via pre-tape.
  • He wasn’t on either show, even via pre-tape. (1/1)

June 22, 2023

  • During an appearance on the POST x Wrestlenomics podcast, Dave Meltzer said the “divisiveness” within AEW is “at a pretty bad point again” after CM Punk’s ESPN interview & return promo. “Both sides” apparently blame the other for not sticking with an agreement to keep their issues in-house.
  • It’s probably better with Punk gone, but the lack of guardrails very well may remain.
  • Meltzer mentioned that “one of the top guys” who was told he’d only have to “deal with Punk” at PPVs was on Dynamite last night along with Punk.
  • This has been said before, but it comes down the lack of leadership. Tony Khan never put his foot down in a way that folks would listen to him and get on the same page. And that allowed all this to fester and then blow up.
  • KENTA’s rumored Forbidden Door match with CM Punk is off after “KENTA expressed to NJPW and AEW” that he wasn’t doing the match, per Fightful Select.
  • KENTA wasn’t on the show at all. We don’t know if the match was ever really on though.
  • Also from beyond Fightful’s paywall: Jeff Hardy will be taking time off from AEW for the next few weeks, as he’s unable to travel to Canada due to some of his past legal issues.
  • Hardy isn’t on TV much at all. He didn’t wrestle on any of the Canada shows. We don’t know if those legal issues still prevent that, but he wasn’t there. (1/1)
  • There have been “ongoing” talks within WWE about signing “a certain tag team” from New Japan and promoting someone from developmental to “join a certain group,” according to BWE.
  • JD McDonough could be the developmental talent joining a group but they haven’t signed a NJPW tag team. (1/2)
  • Sony had Mercedes Moné “circled” for an unspecified role in Bad Bunny’s planned Spider-Man universe film El Muerto, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s a moot point right now though, as the movie has been taken off the studio’s schedule while the writers are on strike.
  • Strikes are off so we can keep an eye back out for Mercedes.

June 23, 2023

  • According to Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer, the first 30 minutes of this week’s Raw were “totally changed” by Vince McMahon. More specifically, the Seth Rollins open challenge was originally going to happen, but it was changed late.
  • Vince doing this all the time before he was ousted didn’t allow any stories to take hold and was in part why Raw was overall unwatchable for years.
  • Some people backstage told Meltzer that “the 30 minutes that Vince put in, it was better than the 30 minutes that [were] taken out.”
  • That’s not impossible. He’s not the worst booker in the world, though I stand by the idea he was pretty bad in his last decade.
  • Fightful Select says the original plan was for Tommaso Ciampa to return to Raw and answer Seth’s open challenge. The match between Rollins and Ciampa was going to get a lot of time and have a non-finish.
  • That never happened.
  • Meltzer claims that AEW’s plan is for Jungle Boy to turn heel.
  • He did turn heel. (1/1)
  • Per PW Insider, people backstage in AEW believe that John Hennigan (fka John Morrison) has signed with the promotion and will use the ring name Johnny Television or Johnny TV.
  • He is with the company and uses that name. He never got the “is All Elite” graphic but he he pretty much works for them only, outside some MLW shows some other AEW talent will do as well. (2/2)
  • Insider heard from sources at Warner Bros. Discovery that the company is “thrilled” with the numbers for the premiere episode of AEW Collision, featuring the return of CM Punk.
  • They never held up.
  • Finally, Insider mentioned that Carlito’s official return to WWE is planned for the July 7 episode of SmackDown at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
  • He did not return there. (0/1)

This week: 11/16 - 69%

Overall: 4,893/8,538 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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