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Rumor Look Back: Aug. 12 - 18, 2022

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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.

August 12, 2022

  • According to Fightful Select, now that Vince McMahon is gone, WWE creative has discussed Bray Wyatt for a potential return to the company. One person indicated that McMahon grew tired of Wyatt being so protective of his gimmick. It was claimed that McMahon didn’t like Bray and said degrading things about his physique.
  • Bray returned. Sounds like Vince was a real dick about him. Given Vince has some control, even though he’s not the lead creative right now, I wonder if that will affect Wyatt if at all. (1/1)
  • PW Insider was told that despite his return to AEW television, CM Punk is still rehabbing his foot injury, and the severity of his injury was never a work. It doesn’t seem likely that Punk will wrestle before All Out on Sept. 4. Punk’s return wasn’t kept a secret backstage; he was “out in full sight” of everyone.
  • Punk did wrestle prior to All Out, losing the title back to Mox in a unification match. It was a bit of a squash, but it was a match. (0/1)
  • Meanwhile, Fightful indicates there was a restricted area backstage, and Punk’s return was kept a secret from “much of the roster” and staff, including some of the people “actively involved” in Dynamite’s show-closing brawl. A title unification match between Punk and Jon Moxley is currently planned for All Out.
  • That’s incorrect. The title unification happened prior. All Out was Punk challenging for the title. (0/1)
  • Insider also mentioned that “just about everyone” believes Kenny Omega will return as the Young Bucks’ partner in the AEW trios title tournament on next week’s Dynamite.
  • That’s accurate. These back to back rumors about the Elite and Punk are something else - if only we knew what was coming. (1/1)
  • It’s expected that Adam Cole will be cleared to compete “relatively soon,” per Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer.
  • It took at least six months for him to return to TV, and we haven’t had word that he’s actually been cleared yet. (0/1)

August 13, 2022

  • According to Fightful, there is internal speculation among WWE talent that this year’s draft will occur right after Clash at the Castle, perhaps as soon as Sept. 9 (SmackDown) and Sept. 12 (Raw). It sounds like any plans to repackage specific wrestlers will wait until after the draft.
  • There hasn’t been a draft in the Triple H era. I’m guessing the shake up the rosters after WrestleMania. (0/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said Top Dolla was released by WWE last year because he was a “heat magnet” backstage. However, Dolla knew not to be a heat magnet with Triple H. Their relationship was never strained, which helped lead to Top Dolla’s return with Hit Row on last night’s SmackDown.
  • I have a suspicion that heat continues, with Michael Cole burying the guy every chace he gets (which I don’t think he’s doing without instruction) and Hit Row never getting out of the blocks, most recently getting beatdown by Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy. Honestly, Hit Row wasn’t the same without Swerve (and I’d argue his current crew isn’t doing as much for him as Hit Row was). Ashante Thee Adonis has potential and Dolla works as the big man, but they needed the established, veteran, charismatic Strickland as the glue as the others grew.
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian said there are “a lot of plans” for Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania 39.
  • He’s going to main event. I assume that was one of the plans? (1/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer indicated that AEW originally planned to book Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Jericho at All Out 2022.
  • Originally planned? That was the match. They just had it earlier first.
  • Playstation Game Size tweeted that THQ Nordic’s release date for AEW: Fight Forever is February 2023.
  • Doesn’t seem that way. (0/1)
  • With many questions lingering about NXT UK’s future, PW Insider says several talents from the brand are scheduled to be in Florida later this month. Gallus and William Regal’s son Charlie Dempsey were mentioned in the report.
  • Gallus are the current NXT tag champions. Dempsey started working matches for them in November.

August 15, 2022

  • Like most of us, Dave Meltzer wrote in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that he believes Sasha Banks & Naomi will make a surprise return after the WWE Women’s Tag Team Tournament.
  • That was definitely not the case. (0/1)
  • The WON also notes that it appears wrestlers will be getting full names again. Angel Garza recently got his name back and they say Humberto Carrillo is likely to get his as well.
  • Angel never got his full name back. Neither did Humberto. (0/2)
  • Ringside News claims there hasn’t been a pitch for Bray Wyatt’s return within WWE creative, just talks that there may be discussions happening.
  • He eventually returned with the White Rabbit teasers.
  • According to WrestleVotes, after his appearance on Monday Night Raw back on July 4, GUNTHER fell out of favor with “those in power at the time” and was going to be buried on TV.
  • It never seemed that way but maybe it was coming. He’s certainly not buried in the Triple H era. He’s booked like a stud and earning that booking.
  • Even though AEW & the NWA haven’t worked together since 2021 and Tony Khan grumbled about not getting enough credit for NWA’s all women’s show Empowerrr, Fightful Select reports the two companies are still on good terms.
  • I don’t believe they’ve really shared talent but this may still be true.

August 16, 2022

  • A Fightful report states that Triple H plans to stay aggressive when it comes to talent acquisition, as he wants to add depth to the roster. Several wrestlers formerly with the company have been discussed as potential returns, and a “feeling out process” has begun.
  • That’s the case. The roster was definitely lacking depth and Triple H put some work in to fill the ranks. (1/1)
  • On a PW Torch VIP Audio show, Wade Keller confirmed Fightful’s report that Bray Wyatt will likely be back in WWE soon.
  • He returned. (1/1)
  • Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE wants to sign “a big Japanese guy,” and speculated that AEW & DDT’s Konosuke Takeshita would fit what they’re looking for and could be a potential target. However, Takeshita told Cultaholic, “To be honest, now I’m not interested in WWE. My next goal is more fights in AEW I hope.”
  • Takeshita is All Elite.
  • WWE is “ecstatic” with early ticket sale figures for WrestleMania 39, according to PW Insider. WrestleTix reports there are nearly 49,000 tickets out for each night of the two night event.
  • Should be a big event.
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter ran down the contract expiration dates of several of AEW’s original stars. Kenny Omega signed a four year deal that is set to end in February 2023, but the company can add injury time to extend that. The Young Bucks and Hangman Page signed three year contracts with two year options and could be free agents at the end of next year.
  • Word has it WWE may be interested. I don’t think any of those dudes are leaving AEW. But then again, I didn’t think Cody would either...

August 17, 2022

  • According to Fightful Select, someone within WWE reached out to wrestler who is currently under contract to AEW to inquire about coming over. Said wrestler reported this contact to higher ups within AEW and apparently said they weren’t interested.
  • That’ll happen. I suspect it’s happened both ways.
  • Fightful also noted there has been a lot of talk of big changes to NXT, with NXT UK talent coming in.
  • Looks like NXT UK talent slowly trickled in. Alba Frye was already there and Tyler Bate came in the night prior to this rumor. But folks like Gallas and Ilja Dragunov came through to bolster the roster. (1/1)
  • PW Insider says Brandi Rhodes worked a match at the WWE Performance Center this past Friday. She is not listed on any WWE roster internally, however.
  • Brandi is not involved with WWE right now.
  • There’s at least some speculation Shotzi could be getting her tank back, as she was posting possible hints about as much on her Instagram.
  • Shotzi did get her tank back. (1/1)
  • For what it’s worth, DDP claimed on his podcast that Conrad Thompson approached him about doing a Last Match like Ric Flair did and he said he refused.
  • DDP is a big worker so I always take what he says with a grain of salt. But I understand turning this down if true.

August 18, 2022

  • Sources tell Cassidy Haynes of that Johnny Gargano is open to returning to WWE now that Triple H is in charge of creative.
  • That’s where he landed. (1/1)
  • Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that there are currently plans for AEW wrestlers to appear at New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom show in the Tokyo Dome next January.
  • Looks like FTR and Kenny were involved. (1/1)
  • Mark Henry said on Busted Open that rumors of Top Dolla being hard to work with during his first WWE run were the result of talents who were worried about losing their spot “putting out negative propaganda,” and because “people can’t take a powerful black dude telling them the right thing to do.” Henry said Triple H recognized all that and “stopped the bleeding” before bringing Hit Row back to WWE.
  • Again, it doesn’t look like Dolla’s standing is strong right now.
  • There’s speculation from and elsewhere that Pete Dunne could be returning to his Bruiserweight gimmick after he recently changed his Twitter handle to Pete “BUTCH” Dunne, and tweeted this tease about Clash at the Castle.
  • He’s still Butch. (0/1)
  • Deonna Purrazzo is currently negotiating with Impact about her future with the company, per Fightful Select. Impact believes her current contract has an option for 2023, “but it isn’t clear cut.”
  • She’s still with Impact.

This week: 9/18 - 50%

Overall: 4,456/7,826 - 56.9%

Have a great week, everyone!

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