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Rumor Look Back: Aug. 19 - 25, 2022

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 19, 2022

  • Fightful Select says they had sources claiming to them that CM Punk has “often verbally expressed his displeasure” and some thought it’s been bad enough recently that he might end up quitting. Apparently one veteran claimed to have heard of threats of his leaving being levied.
  • He didn’t quit but he decided to make a huge power play to burn it all down where the consequence is likely never working there again. So it could be considered a form of quitting, but he’s still employed. This look back will remind us that the seeds for the Punk blowup were not out of nowhere. Drama in AEW was well documented the month prior.
  • On top of that, they also say the decision to do the Punk vs. Jon Moxley title match next week on Dynamite was “a late decision.”
  • It was an interesting call. Punk lost the title to Moxley in a match where the story was his bad leg gave out.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Bryan Alvarez said the big NXT event scheduled for Sept. 4, Worlds Collide, will be an NXT vs. NXT UK show.
  • Overall, this is accurate (with a couple main roster talents sprinkled in). (1/1)
  • Meanwhile, Dave Meltzer said on WOR that going forward WWE is going to have cities bid for its biggest events — like Royal Rumble and SummerSlam — like they do with WrestleMania each year. That’s why Cardiff got Clash at the Castle.
  • While I don’t think the other events will bring in the type of crowd Mania will, shows like the Royal Rumble and SummerSlam likely bring folks in from out of town.
  • PW Insider says WWE has lifted the embargo on staff trading company stock and they are now free to do so however they choose.
  • I hope for their sake that many of them bought up because when Vince came back to sell the company, the value jumped.

August 20, 2022

  • The current plan for All Out is still to have CM Punk face Jon Moxley in a title unification match, according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter. There doesn’t seem to be a backup plan.
  • That’s not technically correct because the unification match happened on Dynamite and then Punk challenged Moxley at All Out. Mox lost, but soon after the Brawl Out fallout, he was champion again. (0/1)
  • After Adam Page’s “worker’s rights” promo to CM Punk, Voices of Wrestling’s Joe Lanza says there was a blow-up that led to a closed door meeting with Tony Khan. Punk reportedly told people after the meeting that he would never job to Hangman Page. It’s not known if that’s still Punk’s stance.
  • Punk sure dragged Page in his press conference promo, saying he’s never accomplished anything in this business even though he definitely had.
  • Regarding reports Punk almost didn’t show up to Dynamite this week, Wade Keller said on a PWTorch VIPAudio show: “I can report that Tony Khan went into Punk’s locker room and spent a decent amount of time with him one on one [Wednesday] afternoon. I can also report that Punk did not seem agitated or distracted or not his usual self right before Dynamite started.”
  • I think Punk felt he had TK in his pocket and that Khan would side with him after the presser. He did not. While I think Khan made the correct decision choosing the Elite, I think the on-air product misses CM Punk.
  • While reiterating that the Punk/Page beef is not a work (or didn’t start as one), Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said the AEW locker room is divided by the issue. Some are furious with Punk because Page is well liked. Others think Page started it and are mad at him.
  • This all stems from the word that Punk had Colt Cabana banished to the ROH roster - something he vehemently denied. That’s what Hangman was referencing.
  • Per WrestleVotes, WWE loved how things went with Nashville as the host city for SummerSlam 2022. Nashville is on the list of potential host cities for SummerSlam 2023, and a choice should be made by early next year.
  • It’s in Detroit.
  • Talent within New Japan do not believe Kota Ibushi will be back with the company, per the WON.
  • Sounds that way. (1/1)

August 22, 2022

  • PW Insider recently noted that another way wrestlers in WWE will have freedom since Triple H took over is with interviews with media. They’ll apparently be able to “be themselves and speak more.”
  • I still think there’s interview styles they teach. But maybe talent doesn’t feel as worried they’re going to say something that gets them in hot water.
  • Bryan Alvarez claimed on Wrestling Observer Live that one of the reasons WWE wants a TV-14 rating is so they don’t have to edit out fans chanting certain things.
  • They’ve had to edit out some “Fuck you, Roman” chants on Fox. Though I don’t know if that’d be bleeped out on PG-14 rating. “Holy shit” chants, which also need to be edited, would probably be OK.
  • Insider’s sources tell them “the door is open” to bring back some of the recently released NXT UK talents when NXT Europe relaunches next year.
  • There isn’t an NXT Europe just yet.
  • According to Fightful, Angelo Parker and Matt Menard have signed contract extensions with AEW.
  • Nipples are going to be hard on Dynamite for years to come.
  • Tenille Dashwood seemed to confirm she’s a free agent after folks noticed she had been removed from the Impact Wrestling roster page. Insider says her contract expired.
  • She’s back in WWE. (1/1)

August 23, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer says Gigi Dolin suffered a concussion in Toxic Attraction’s match last Friday on SmackDown. Prior to the injury, plans called for Dolin & Jacy Jayne to be on last night’s Raw to build to their next tournament match.
  • That’s too bad that they didn’t get their chance to perform for the main roster. I wonder if they would have moved all of Toxic Attraction to the main roster before Mandy was released instead of feuding the remaining members.
  • In response to popular speculation Nikkita Lyons was pulled from last week’s SmackDown because she wasn’t in compliance with Canadian vaccine requirements, Lyons tweeted “it didn’t have anything to do with the vaccine.” She’s considering explaining the situation further on her social media.
  • It was still very possibly the vaccine. She’s unfortunately hurt now.
  • After Dave Meltzer tweeted that “another former key NXT person” might be returning to WWE along with Brian “Road Dogg” James, Fightful Select reported the company’s interested in bringing back Ryan Katz. The former NXT writer/producer was released in January, and has been doing a podcast with James.
  • That’s accurate. (1/1)
  • Fightful says the Good Brothers extended their Impact contracts through August so they can work this month’s tapings, but Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows will be free agents after an already scheduled two week run with New Japan in September.
  • They also returned to WWE, though are on TV less with AJ Styles injured. (1/1)
  • Canadian indie promoter Graeme Keam posted a Facebook video accusing No Way Jose of switching the destination on a plane ticket he sent him as part of a booking so the ex-WWE wrestler (real name Levis Valenzuela ) could try out for AEW last weekend instead. After the video went viral, Keam updated it to say, “The money was returned.”
  • That’s an odd one.

August 24, 2022

  • Fightful Select says that while some wrestlers expected it to happen soon, there are no immediate plans to do another WWE Draft and, in fact, it looks more likely we won’t get another one until after WrestleMania 39 next year.
  • We have no word on a new draft. (1/1)
  • For what it’s worth, Konnan claimed on his “Keepin it 100” podcast that many in AEW told him they are “pissed about their booking.”
  • There are folks who I can see being upset for being under used. In influx of Ring of Honor talent didn’t help, leaving even less spots for the AEW talent who was there prior.
  • According to PW Insider, one of the departments who has benefitted most from Vince McMahon’s exit and the new regime of Stephanie McMahon, Nick Khan, and Triple H taking over is the production team. They even say some who had been planning to leave the company have since reconsidered and will be staying.
  • I wonder if those folks regret staying given Vince has returned.
  • Mustafa Ali told a fan on Twitter that at one point there was a plan for him to come out to the “Real American” theme Hulk Hogan long used as his entrance theme.
  • That would have been something. I have a hard time believing it. Even though they could use it without his permission, they’d likely ask Hogan to sign off on it, which I have a hard time believing he would. It’s also possible that was an idea that was thrown around that didn’t get very far.
  • On a recent episode of his “Something to Wrestle With” podcast, Bruce Prichard said that, despite rumors he would be running NXT at one point, he “never wrote a single NXT show.”
  • Interesting. He involvement was more to make sure the main roster and their developmental brand were on the same page earlier on. So it’s possible he was just signing off on ideas.

August 25, 2022

  • According to Fightful Select, Jon Moxley supported moving his unification match with CM Punk from All Out to last night’s Dynamite, with one source even claiming Mox pitched the idea. Punk was said to “eventually” agreed to it.
  • It was a solid angle.
  • That report also indicated that AEW’s All Out plans have changed multiple times.
  • Given the flux of the title matches, that sounds accurate.
  • On his Wrestling With Freddie podcast, Freddie Prinze, Jr. discussed rumors about CM Punk’s reputation at AEW, saying he’s heard, “... not everyone backstage loves CM Punk and it’s not just because of Colt Cabana. It’s because of the way they feel he’s behaved since he’s got there behind the curtain... A lot of people don’t feel like Punk shows anyone... the type of dignity that one would expect at work... That’s what I’ve been told as the kind of stuff that is going on. Hangman Page said a lot of real stuff.”
  • He certainly fractured that locker room. Of course, he had his supporters too, such as Dax Harwood. In fact, Dax’s plea they work something out found him a little heat. Likely more related to the fact their contracts are expiring soon as opposed to that, they haven’t been on TV at all later.
  • In a tweet he deleted due to mistaking the venue for Survivor Series, Dave Meltzer pointed to how well tickets were selling for that show as evidence “WWE is hot” right now.
  • It’s still hot. I wonder if WWE being hot contributes to some folks, including myself, feeling that AEW is in a bit of a rut. With AEW selling themselves as the alternative to WWE, does it hurt when the product they’re the alternative to is doing well? While I firmly believe that there’s room for all the promotions to put on a hot product, I do think it hurts to be slumping when the competition is has some exciting angles.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer mentioned that Triple H is a big proponent of Theory, and the young star remains a big part of WWE plans even with Vince McMahon gone: They like the guy. Good size, good look, very good athlete, just needs ring work.”
  • Triple H put a lot of work into Theory in NXT too. And Theory is doing well under Triple H’s regime. (1/1)

This week: 7/8 - 86%

Overall: 4,463/7,834 - 57.0%

Have a great week, everyone!

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