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Rumor Look Back: June 24 - 30, 2023

WWE

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 24, 2023

  • According to WRKD Wrestling, plans for last night’s episode of SmackDown “changed throughout the day, leaving many frustrated.” One of those changes removed the originally planned LA Knight three-way match from the card and replaced it with Knight vs. Rey Mysterio.
  • This is when I started thinking that Vince’s thoughts on LA had changed. Knight beat Mysterio on this show. He had a handful of tights, but it’s a heel win over a Hall of Famer. Better than the triple threat match that was booked prior. Even though Triple H is the last word now, it seems that the Megastar won over the Chairman eventually.
  • Sean Ross Sapp followed up by saying “Smackdown got Vinced tonight. A lot of changes.”
  • It’s got to be good for that writing crew that there aren’t all these last minute changes anymore. At least we don’t hear about them like we used to.
  • This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that CM Punk’s shot at the Young Bucks during his return promo on AEW Collision was not “known ahead of time by both sides.”
  • That bad blood never ceased it seems. It’s been said plenty before, but that falls on Tony Khan’s shoulders just as much as anyone else for allowing that situation to persist.
  • There has been some speculation that Punk’s “counterfeit bucks” line was the start of an angle, but WON says “no angle was agreed to” at the time Punk delivered the line.
  • Maybe Punk was planting the seeds on his own. Maybe he was just going for reaction. We’ll never know, especially given the NDA.
  • The Observer says WWE plans to continue using “more major stars” on NXT to increase the show’s ratings, just like what happened with Seth Rollins this week. Ronda Rousey has been talked about as one of these major stars, which could possibly involve defending the tag titles with Shayna Baszler.
  • They continue to integrate main roster talent into NXT, though Ronda & Shayna were not part of this. (1/2)
  • Logan Paul was always planned for the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match and his inclusion is not a recent change, according to PW Insider.
  • The fact it was presented that way is a good booking tool to make it seem like he’s entitled while other’s have to work for things. It makes people hate him more.
  • Insider hasn’t heard about definitive plans for the winner of the men’s ladder match, but “there are certainly people pushing for it to be the LA Knight breakthrough moment.”
  • Knights breakthrough moment was the SummerSlam battle royal win I guess. He’s definitely broken through though.
  • Fightful Select says Bryan Danielson is “banged up.” His only match since end of his feud with MJF was Double or Nothing’s Anarchy in the Arena. The site says “there were some spots limited” in that bout due to whatever Danielson is dealing with.
  • Danielson is often banged up.

June 26, 2023

  • BWE is now saying a “big meeting” in WWE is taking place at some point today about creative, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series plans.
  • Letting folks know the overall roadmap, maybe.
  • They also say NXT is being pushed strong right now and we could once again see a three brand Survivor Series card.
  • That was not the case. There was no brand warfare at all (thankfully), and NXT was not part of the show. (0/1)
  • Another from BWE: Carmelo Hayes could have his Raw debut match tonight against a “big main event talent.”
  • It wasn’t a full time Raw debut since he was still NXT champion, but he had a match with Finn Bálor. (1/1)
  • For what It’s worth, Kurt Angle said on his “Kurt Angle Show” podcast that Randy Orton is recovered from back surgery and he thinks he’s “gonna come back pretty damn soon.”
  • He returned at Survivor Series, which is pretty soon. Looks like the Gold Medalist was correct on this one. (1/1)
  • PW Insider warns that anything can change at any time, “especially with Vince McMahon back around”, but “on the women’s end, we have consistently heard without fail that IYO SKY has been and remains the frontrunner for the briefcase this year.”
  • She was the winner and is still champion. (1/1)
  • Also from Insider: “WWE sources indicate there are many in the company who believe Drew McIntyre will be back “in the mix” by the UK tour and Money in the Bank.”
  • He returned at Money in the Bank to set up a match with Gunther. (1/1)
  • The Wrestling Observer says FTR is “not part of the equation” when it comes to any issues with CM Punk and people being kept apart in AEW. They note that FTR “actually went out of their way of late to clear the air and have no working issues with each other.”
  • Given they signed long term deals, it’s good they don’t have any working issues with others.

June 27, 2023

  • Speaking about the WWE creative team’s frustration with Vince McMahon’s recent script changes on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said, “They’re trying to figure out a way to have him not do this”, but “even if you’re Paul Levesque, you can’t say anything to Vince because you’re fucked if you say anything to Vince.”
  • Somehow, Triple H won this one, becoming the sole head of creative.
  • Meltzer speculated that Triple H “has to be one of” those who are frustrated, while BWE specifically mentioned Trips & Nick Khan as being among those who “didn’t appreciate” the changes made to last week’s SmackDown because they felt it “looked bad all over.”
  • I’m very curious Nick Khan’s thoughts on Vince. I doubt we’ll ever know. He’ll certainly never tell us. The man only talks in business speak.
  • McMahon’s fingerprints were on last night’s Raw, per PW Insider. Some of the site’s sources believe Vince’s influence will grow as the Endeavor deal is finalized.
  • Vince’s influence actually has since wained after the deal finalized. It could be because Ari just likes things streamlined. A more conspiracy-ish take is that they told him what he wanted to hear as they made the sale and then decided to do whatever they wanted. (0/1)
  • CM Punk & The Elite were in the building at the same time during Forbidden Door Sunday night, per Bryan Alvarez on WOR. They were given separate locker rooms that were “as far apart as they could possibly situate them”, and didn’t interact.
  • Tony Khan’s solution for these folks were the old sitcom trope of drawing a line down a room and you’re not allowed to cross to the other side.
  • Regarding the dangerous Tiger Driver ‘91 Kenny Omega took from Will Ospreay at Forbidden Door, Alvarez said that “word is that Kenny is ok, but I don’t know if he’s been checked out.”
  • Kenny’s bump card has to be filling up.
  • Fightful Select’s report on the match also mentioned concerns about its “risky” spots, but noted that Kenny was telling people he was okay backstage afterwards when he & Ospreay were greeted with a standing ovation and “heavy praise from their peers.”
  • Ospreay has taken some nasty bumps in his days too.

June 28, 2023

  • WRKD Wrestling is now saying that Randy Orton could return “possibly even as soon as this weekend’s Money in the Bank.”
  • It wasn’t that soon. (0/1)
  • WrestleVotes claims there are “two very drastic finishes in play for the Bloodline matchup” at Money in the Bank but “creative seems split on the decision.” What’s more, The Usos and Solo Sikoa did a run through at a closed location to go over the match recently.
  • It felt like the Usos winning with Jey pinning Roman was the obvious finish in order to set up SummerSlam. Was Roman winning really a possibility?
  • Fightful Select notes Judgment Day is beloved backstage at WWE and everyone is incredibly happy with the progress of the group as a whole.
  • They’re still running strong, though at the same time, often teasing a breakup.
  • They also said the goal for Dominik Mysterio is to make him a “well rounded wrestler” and that means having him work with a variety of opponents with different styles.
  • Having him work in NXT also helped get him more reps.
  • BWE claims Carmelo Hayes got applause at the Gorilla position for his work on Monday Night Raw this week, which included a good match with Finn Balor.
  • I think he’ll be a star on the main roster.
  • Per Fightful, AEW may have tentative plans made all the way through All Out.
  • AEW was heating up around this time, but then it seemed to fall off some, and I think a rash of injuries was a big factor.

June 29, 2023

  • LA Knight and Damian Priest are the favorites to win the Money in the Bank match this weekend, tweets WRKD Wrestling. But the account adds that “there have been internal pitches to give the win to Logan Paul.”
  • It was Priest. Paul eventually became a champion by defeating Rey Mysterio to win the US championship.
  • Triple H isn’t a fan of that idea however, according to rival Twitter-er BWE. That account notes there have been “a few discussions” about Paul feuding with Knight.
  • That may be a WrestleMania program but we don’t know yet.
  • While WWE had hoped to have Drew McIntyre back this weekend for Money in the Bank, PW Insider Elite reports nothing’s been “set in stone” for him in plans for Raw and “there wasn’t any buzz internally about McIntyre being included in the London PPV.”
  • He was included - though it could have come together last minute.
  • Bill Apter provided an update on Jerry Lawler’s recovery from a stroke earlier this year, saying it’s still hard for The King to finish sentences but “he’s much better than when I talked to him about three weeks ago.”
  • King seems to be recovering well, though still not 100%.
  • QTV’s Harley Cameron has a full-time deal with AEW, according to Fightful Select.
  • She’s on the roster page, even though she doesn’t wrestle with them often. She’s on TV in other ways though.

June 30, 2023

  • WRKD Wrestling says Brock Lesnar is “expected to appear at Money in the Bank” and he’ll do so in order to shoot an angle to get to a rubber match with Cody Rhodes at SummerSlam.
  • He did not show up on the show. (0/1)
  • BWE claims Austin Theory vs. Sheamus could be in the plans post-Money in the Bank and lead right on into SummerSlam.
  • They had one match for the title soon after the PPV but it didn’t go further than that. (1/2)
  • Gable Steveson is “picking things up” at the WWE Performance Center and is “gonna be better than a lot of people originally thought”, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
  • He is still working for NXT at some house shows, but not often. Most recent is last month so maybe we’ll see him on TV again. Either way, he doesn’t feel like the big, anticipated signing he once was.
  • Fightful Select notes Bryan Danielson has been working in creative for AEW on the first couple weeks of Collision, and he’s been “very valuable” in his role working with talent on their creative direction.
  • Danielson has a fantastic mind for the business.
  • Per Observer Radio’s Bryan Alvarez, Adam Cole became sick and began vomiting after flying into Toronto from a Comic Con appearance last weekend. Britt Baker experienced similar symptoms this week, leading to her Dynamite match being postponed.
  • Damn.
  • On a recent Haus of Wrestling, Konnan “guaranteed” he’s going to bring a lucha libre show to a major U.S. network within the next two years.
  • I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

This week: 6/12 - 50%

June 2023: 41/64 - 64%

Overall: 4,899/8,550 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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