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Rumor Look Back: May 26 - June 2, 2023

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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 26, 2023

  • With LA Knight among the unbooked talent WWE sent to Saudi Arabia this week, BWE tweeted that the company is considering adding him to the Night of Champions line-up. Rick Boogs was specifically mentioned as an opponent, and Street Profits are also in Jeddah ahead of Saturday’s PLE.
  • LA Knight, who fans loved in Saudi, was not booked on this show. He was just in the audience and acknowledged. The next time he went, he main evented against Roman Reigns. Quite the six months. (0/1)
  • Dominik Mysterio is being considered for the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match, according to WRKD Wrestling. The Twitter account notes that “Many backstage are high on him and how he has grown as a performer over the last year.”
  • He was not in the match. He had a one on one match with Cody Rhodes on that show instead. (0/1)
  • When WWE was decided whether to split the WWE & Universal championships prior to WrestleMania 39, Seth Rollins was being discussed as a potential champion heading into the event.
  • They didn’t, but he was the man they eventually put the World Heavyweight title on when the time came.
  • That from Fightful Select, whose WWE sources also “vehemently denied” previous rumors that Rollins’ work in the next Captain America film concerned higher ups at the company: “The idea that this is anything but a positive is an unrealistic way of thinking.”
  • True. This should have no bearing. It also makes me think about the time when Triple & Stephanie scoffed at the idea of Batista being in the Guardians movie being a big deal? Times have changed.
  • Not only was Mercedes Moné planned to win the NJPW Strong Women’s title before her injury forced an audible, Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that the new belt was created specifically for Moné.
  • That’s all very believable. We don’t know what her future holds as she recovers from injury. It will be covered that it’s possible that she has more dates with New Japan, so she may not be a free agent. But right now, especially with new speculation of a WWE return, and now with CM Punk off the table, her next destination has to be the most buzzed about.
  • Sources told Cassidy Haynes of that “the creative person responsible for writing the storyline for the entire ‘Four Pillars’ World Championship program has been none other than AEW World Champion MJF.”
  • Interesting. I wonder how much creative input he has with his own stories.

May 27, 2023

  • In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer says there is currently a “big internal focus” in WWE to get younger talent on Raw and SmackDown.
  • Maybe that’s the focus, but they’re not there right now. A lot of their top talent are late 30s and older.
  • According to PW Insider, Vince McMahon did not make the trip to Saudi Arabia for WWE Night of Champions even though an office was set up for him there. Triple H will be running the show.
  • Triple H runs them all now.
  • BWE says WWE is discussing the idea of opening Night of Champions with the World Heavyweight Championship tournament final, and closing the show with Roman Reigns’ tag team title match.
  • That’s exactly how it went. (2/2)
  • The Observer mentioned that the injury suffered by Aussie Open’s Mark Davis was a torn meniscus, and there is hope that he can return in four to six weeks. Fightful claims that Tony Khan paid for Mark’s surgery before Aussie Open signed with AEW.
  • That’s good of Tony. Davis wrestled about 7 weeks later - that’s pretty close. (1/1)
  • WRKD Wrestling notes that Chad Gable is “on the list” of wrestlers being considered for the Money in the Bank ladder match on July 1 in London.
  • Chad was not in the match. (0/1)
  • Tegan Nox is slated to return to WWE television after Night of Champions, per BWE.
  • It was in early July, which times out. (1/1)

May 29, 2023

  • Roman Reigns is expected to defend his Undisputed WWE Universal title at both Money in the Bank and SummerSlam, per Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • That’s not the case. It was Bloodline Civil War at Money in the Bank. He did defend it at SummerSlam. (1/2)
  • WWE sources expect Liv Morgan will be out of action until at least the end of the summer, according to Fightful Select.
  • She’s still not back. (1/1)
  • Austin Theory “has a big story coming ahead”, tweets BWE. The account formerly known as Boozer Rasslin says that story might start with “a SummerSlam title loss” before “moving on from there.”
  • I would not say this is accurate. Theory has been used, but there’s no major story for him. (0/1)
  • WRKD Wrestling claims WWE’s current plans call for Damian Priest to be in the Money in the Bank ladder match. That Twitter account mentions that creative thinking of Priest as a “potential main eventer” after his Backlash feud with Bad Bunny, which lines up with past rumors from other sources.
  • He won the thing. (1/1)
  • Per PW Insider, Kofi Kingston was at Night of Champions but he’s not ready to return from injury just yet.
  • He was not back until August.
  • Mercedes Moné’s original contract with New Japan expired on April 27, at which point the WON reports she agreed to a “longer-term deal”. That offer and NJPW’s creation of the Strong Women’s title for her were a result of her “strong drawing power” as evidenced by their sold out San Jose show.
  • We’ll find out where things stand when she is back from injury.

May 30, 2023

  • It’s not as bad as when he’s there in person, but Fightful Select reports Vince McMahon is still calling in changes for WWE shows. These often come in later, and “with heavy alterations.”
  • Folks in creative and on the roster must have breathed a heavy sigh when Vince was removed from this degree of creative involvement.
  • While MJF came out of Double or Nothing banged up and wore a cast at the media scrum, PW Insider heard “the belief is” that he’s “OK and didn’t break anything”. The site says the AEW World champ isn’t expected to miss any time.
  • Unfortunately, MJF is now dealing with a rotator cuff injury.
  • Insider’s sources also tell them it’s believed Jade Cargill will be taking some time off from AEW. She remains under contract, and Kris Statlander’s TBS title win was “planned long in advance”.
  • Probably too long in advance. It’s possible Tony waited until Statlander was healthy from a long absence which essentially kept Jade in a holding pattern. Jade wrestled once more but then has moved on to WWE.
  • Jamie Hayter is dealing with a legitimate back issue, per Insider. She also received a lot of praise backstage for “gutting through” the injury to drop the AEW Women’s championship to Toni Storm.
  • She’s been out ever since.
  • Regarding a roster split, Fightful’s AEW sources told them wrestlers weren’t given much in the way of specifics over Double or Nothing weekend. But talent were told “that Collision may start as a soft brand split, then develop into a harder one”
  • It kind of worked the opposite, but that’s because it was a harder one with Punk.
  • Some NXT talents wrapped up at Battleground and we should “expect the call ups to come in gradually soon”, according to BWE.
  • There haven’t been many call ups outside who was in the draft. Unless this rumor is taking into account those? That’s not entirely clear.
  • Jordynne Grace is officially a free agent, per Fightful. She plans to take some time off to work on non-wrestling projects, but told the site “I’ll be back somewhere at some point.”
  • She eventually returned to Impact after some time away.

May 31, 2023

  • According to PW Insider, Braun Strowman is currently out with an “unspecified injury” and he is “not expected back anytime in the near future.”
  • He had neck fusion surgery in the summer and is (of course) still out recovering. (1/1)
  • They also say AJ Styles being on Monday Night Raw this week was a late addition to the show from none other than Vince McMahon. The rest of the show, however, was largely the same as originally planned.
  • We haven’t seen Styles much lately. Maybe he was a guy Vince was more focused on getting on TV?
  • Lastly from Insider, there was backstage praise for both the Tiffany Stratton vs. Lyra Valkyria and Ilja Dragunov vs. Dijak matches from NXT Battleground this past weekend.
  • Valkyria and Dragunov are current companions in NXT.
  • WRKD Wrestling echoed that while also saying there is still talk of calling Dragunov up to the main roster after SummerSlam as the fourth member of Imperium.
  • Dragunov is the top men’s champ in NXT. (0/1)
  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there is a list of wrestlers in AEW — Bandido, Vikingo, Rush, Komander, Penta, Fenix, Andrade, Dralistico, and maybe others — who likely won’t be allowed on the card at Forbidden Door due to New Japan’s “strong ties” to CMLL. “The rules are different if you are Mexican.”
  • The politics here can be messy.
  • WWE’s talked about signing former MLW star Richard Holliday “because of the story of his beating cancer”, per the Observer. There’s also continued talk of signing New Japan’s Tama Tonga.
  • Neither person has been signed to WWE.

June 1, 2023

  • WWE wasn’t “overly fond” of the Uncle Howdy character or the Pitch Black match and have pushed for Bray Wyatt to bring The Fiend back, according to UK site Fight Fans. Their source claims talks between the two sides have been on and off since Royal Rumble but there’s “no movement currently on The Fiend making a return.”
  • We never got a real chance to see where the Howdy character was headed.
  • Which might be because ”all of the mask molds were destroyed last year.” That’s what Jason Baker, the man who designed The Fiend and other Wyatt characters, tweeted in response to another site’s coverage of the Fight Fans story.
  • I wonder if we would have seen the Fiend again if he was able to come back.
  • Zoey Stark won’t be a “proxy” for Trish Stratus on Raw, as PW Insider Elite reports Stratus will be a regular on Monday nights going forward.
  • Trish was on Raw a lot during her program with Becky. (1/1)
  • New Japan officials are “under the impression” that Mercedes Moné suffered “a severe sprain without a break” at Resurgence, per Fightful Select. Their sources close to Moné say there’s still fear of a break, and NJPW doesn’t seem to have anything “imminent” planned for her right now due to the injury.
  • Six months later and she hasn’t been inside any televised ring.
  • Fightful’s report also says Mercedes made the call to end the match and change the finish to Willow Nightingale winning the NJPW Strong Women’s title when she realized she was injured.
  • She must have known it was really bad.
  • Leyla Hirsch is getting ready to return to AEW, according to Fightful Select. She’s said to have resumed in-ring training in late February.
  • She returned at the end of June. (1/1)

June 2, 2023

  • Fightful Select indicates that Roman Reigns’ 1000 day celebration on tonight’s SmackDown might include the unveiling of a new WWE Universal championship, based on internal memos within WWE.
  • That’s the case. (1/1)
  • In an update on Braun Strowman’s injury situation, PW Insider notes that he was spotted in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this week. There’s a belief that surgery might be necessary.
  • He underwent a neck fusion surgery. (1/1)
  • According to BWE, IYO SKY is a “strong candidate” for the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, while LA Knight is still a “top candidate” for the men’s match.
  • Both were in it. Iyo won while Knight was close but not quite. (2/2)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer claims that AEW would have added the new Collision show to its weekly lineup even if Tony Khan never intended to bring CM Punk back.
  • It’s not doing well with ratings, but Warner could still be happy with its performance in a tough time slot.
  • Sources told WrestleVotes that YouTube star Logan Paul is expected to be booked on both Money in the Bank and SummerSlam.
  • He was in the MITB ladder match and then faced Ricochet at SummerSlam. (2/2)
  • As of a few weeks ago, Moose’s contract with Impact Wrestling was set to expire in June, per Fightful Select.
  • If that’s the case, he re-signed because he’s still working with them.

This week: 16/22 - 73%

May 2023: 50/89 - 56%

Overall: 4,866/8,494 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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