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Rumor Look Back: Dec. 4 - 10, 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.

December 5, 2022

  • PW Insider says William Regal is finalizing a deal with WWE and he will be heading there “after the new year” in what they describe as a “backstage role.”
  • This is accurate. He isn’t allowed on TV at all in WWE this calendar year. (1/1)
  • Meanwhile, Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that it’s expected AEW will have something planned to address his departure on this coming Wednesday night’s episode of Dynamite. He said he’s heard many different stories from multiple people but it appears he has some kind of out.
  • They had an video angle that explained everything the best that they could given what they had to work with. (1/1)
  • Last note on Regal: For what it’s worth, EC3 told Sportskeeda that he heard Regal was instantly regretful of his decision to sign with AEW when he saw there was a “maturity issue” within management.
  • Does EC3 have some special in with William Regal? Know people backstage in AEW that told him this?
  • For what it’s worth, Ric Flair claimed on his To Be The Man podcast that he’s talked to Sasha Banks and she wouldn’t go to AEW, and he expects if she comes back to pro wrestling it will be with WWE.
  • She went to Japan. (0/1)
  • Fightful Select says Scarlett’s in-ring return was listed internally for a dark match after SmackDown this past week but ultimately did not participate. What’s more, Scarlett was apparently never informed of the match and was surprised at the listing.
  • Should probably let someone about their in-ring return in advance. She did work one mixed tag a few months back and has another scheduled for next week.

December 6, 2022

  • Wrestler Observer Newsletter pointed out that WWE has no plans to tape either of their Dec. 26 shows (one is in Columbus, Ohio, the other in Madison Square Garden). The company is deciding between pre-taping for that Monday by doing a marathon show in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 19 or “or doing a Best of 2022 show.”
  • The did a Best Of show, which was the way to go. (1/1)
  • Speculation about a possible WrestleMania 39 feud between Roman Reigns & The Rock was fueled by a scene set in the future on the Dec. 2 episode of Young Rock where fans spotted the Universal title in Dwayne Johnson’s trophy case.
  • That little moment did not lead to a match, even though I’m sure WWE was hoping it would. Young Rock was recently cancelled. (0/1)
  • Asked on Twitter if the situation between AEW & CM Punk is storyline building to his return, Dave Meltzer replied: “It’s definitely not an angle today. Many hope it will become one, but the odds are strong that won’t happen.”
  • I don’t know if it’ll become an angle, but it’ll have to be addressed on air some way or another.
  • Dean “Mojo Rawley” Muhtadi told that after WrestleMania 36, WWE had plans for he & Rob Gronkowski to tag in a match at that year’s SummerSlam 2020. At some point after that Mojo would have turned on Gronk, eventually leading to a No DQ match on a show in Saudi. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) those plans were dashed when Tampa Bay offered Gronk $10 million to come out of retirement.
  • Gronk was a bit of a WWE bust early on so he made the right call to reunite with Tom.
  • Aliyah is cleared to return from her September injury but WWE doesn’t have creative plans for her right now, per the WON.
  • She hasn’t been on TV since this.

December 7, 2022

  • WrestleVotes says NXT will be returning to the road for future Premium Live Events. That should start with Vengeance Day on Feb. 4, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • They do run their PLEs outside of their PC home. (1/1)
  • On the trademark side of things, AEW put in filings for “Reign of Terror” related to MJF for merchandise.
  • They haven’t referred to it as that yet at least.
  • Elsewhere, Sasha Banks filed to trademark her birth name for acting, music, and, most importantly in our case, for pro wrestling as a performer.
  • That’s not the name she uses. She goes by Mercedes Moné. It makes sense to use her real name for non-wrestling ventures though.
  • Matt Riddle’s stretcher job was apparently to write him off television for the time being, says Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Live. It’s unclear why he’s taking time off, however.
  • This was a drug test suspension apparently. He returned after WrestleMania. (1/1)
  • PW Insider says WWE is holding tryouts this week at the Performance Center and Kylie Rae and KC Navarro are among those in attendance.
  • Kylie worked a dark match or two. Right now she’s not working anywhere given she is pregnant (along with a handful of other wrestlers). KC Navarro isn’t in WWE.
  • Wrestling Inc says Cain Velasquez has reached a deal with AAA to do “about five more shows” for the promotion. The agreement is a per date basis as opposed to a full time deal.
  • He hasn’t worked any shows for them since this. (0/1)

December 8, 2022

  • CM Punk stirred up speculation about his future plans when he posted pictures from his WWE run to his Instagram Story.
  • He even visited them backstage but he ended up returning to AEW. I wonder if the WWE antics worked in his negotiations with AEW.
  • Miro has “been completely healthy”, “wanting to actively compete”, and “is eager to return to the ring,” per Fightful Select’s AEW sources. He’s hasn’t had a match since All Out because “creative simply hasn’t been presented for him.”
  • He’ll be on Collision with CM Punk.
  • Sources told SEScoops that reports the AEW roster wasn’t interested in learning from William Regal are “completely inaccurate.” They said Regal and other vets don’t hold formal training sessions, but when they’re watching matches or working with someone in the ring, others will join them, especially younger talent: “A lot of people took advantage of it.”
  • I’m sure at least some young wrestlers would try to get knowledge from someone like Regal.
  • Ex-ROH wrestlers Vincent and Dutch are taking part in a WWE tryout being held this week at the Performance Center, according to PW Insider. The pair have been rumored for inclusion in Bray Wyatt’s storyline.
  • They ended back in ROH.
  • NXT will be live next Tuesday, but PW Insider reports they’ll tape the remainder of their 2022 episodes on Weds., Dec. 14.
  • Looks like the rest of episodes for December were not live. (1/1)

December 9, 2022

  • According to Fightful Select, several AEW performers are excited about the possibility of Sasha Banks joining AEW given the report that NJPW is bringing her into next month’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 event.
  • She has not worked any AEW shows. Though maybe Forbidden Door was in the cards prior to her injury.
  • An AEW source told Fightful that having Banks as the anchor of the women’s division could significantly increase AEW’s viewership and ratings.
  • I think it probably would.
  • PW Insider was told that Matt Riddle has been pulled from WWE’s live events this weekend.
  • Again, due to his suspension.
  • Insider also mentioned that Drew McIntyre won’t be at tonight’s SmackDown taping, nor will he be on the road with WWE this weekend. The announcement that he has been medically disqualified from competing is not a work.
  • Currently, McIntyre is MIA - sounds like a combination of injury and contract negotiation.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said Veer Mahaan is not cleared to compete at NXT Deadline due to a minor injury. It sounds like he has an injury that most wrestlers would work through, but WWE is being extra cautious because they don’t want him to miss the upcoming India show in January. There’s way more money at stake for that show compared to NXT Deadline.
  • Veer is back on the main roster as part of Indus Sher.
  • Triple H recently met with Bad Bunny, adding more fuel to the rumor that WWE is planning to bring Bunny in for an angle on the road to WrestleMania 39.
  • He didn’t have a “road to” angle. He did have a moment at WrestleMania which led to his big Backlash match. (0/1)
  • PW Insider heard that the reason why William Regal’s final AEW television appearance was pre-taped is because “he had a trip to Great Britain already planned and would not be back in time to do another live appearance.”
  • For what it’s worth, I thought the write off was solid.
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez said that Darby Allin is “alive, and apparently not seriously injured” after all the brutal bumps he took against Samoa Joe on this week’s AEW Dynamite.
  • Always a concern given Darby.

December 10, 2022

  • In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer writes that there has been talk in WWE of having Roman Reigns wrestle on both nights of WrestleMania 39, with The Rock and Cody Rhodes as his opponents. It’s just talk for now, but WWE will need to finalize plans by mid-January.
  • He only worked night two. This was never going to work because it would lessen the impact of both matches and very possibly the night one finish would choreograph the night two finish. (0/1)
  • Per WON, WWE’s creative team is working on ideas for the return of Charlotte Flair.
  • She came back and immediately won the title from Ronda Rousey. She may do that with Asuka soon. (1/1)
  • The Observer also mentions that E! is “looking for legitimate wrestling couples” for a new reality show. This project might affect WWE’s decision on future signings. Matt Cardona & Chelsea Green have been mentioned in discussions for the new show, even though they are not currently signed with WWE.
  • Matt did not sign, even though Chelsea did.
  • On Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez noted that AEW Rampage’s Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita match was extremely well-received backstage. Mox apparently bled so much that “it took them 10 minutes to clean the steel steps after the match.”
  • My man must have been in heaven.
  • Meltzer adds that Moxley and Renee Paquette were both “really sick” this week. That’s why she missed AEW’s TV taping. But Moxley still went because “he knew he was supposed to be there” for the angles involving William Regal and Blackpool Combat Club.
  • Wrestling sick must be pretty awful.
  • A botched Frankensteiner spot in the Austin Theory vs. Mustafa Ali match on the Dec. 5 Raw happened because Theory did not hold onto Ali the proper way, Fightful Select reports. The issue was discussed backstage and the United States champ was apologetic, but there’s no heat on him from Ali or anyone else. It was viewed as an accident that could happen to anyone.
  • Probably a fluke moment - we haven’t heard other things about Theory being too green/sloppy.
  • Meltzer claims that “TBS was thrilled” with AEW Dynamite’s lower viewership numbers this week.
  • Even on bad nights, it’s still probably cheap and easy programming that usually holds strong against competition.

This week: 7/12 - 58%

Overall: 4,592/8,045 - 57.1%

Have a great week, everyone!

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