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Rumor Look Back: Dec. 18 - 24, 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 19, 2022

  • claims an Edge vs. Finn Balor gimmick match is planned for Royal Rumble and that gimmick could be Hell in a Cell.
  • Edge didn’t face Bálor at Royal Rumble. They had a Cell match at WrestleMania. (0/1)
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that STARDOM initially turned down a deal for Sasha Banks due to thinking it “wasn’t cost effective.”
  • Given STARDOM is owned by the same folks who own New Japan, it seems like it made sense to get get Mercedes under that roof.
  • Fightful Select says Kevin Owens was supposed to be featured during the SmackDown double tapings in Chicago but travel issues forced him to miss out.
  • It’s almost surprising there isn’t more travel issues giving the amount of people coming from all over.
  • They also say rumors of Goldberg signing a new WWE deal aren’t true, and his current deal is up at the end of the year with no matches remaining on it.
  • Looking forward to seeing him on Saturday Night Collision.
  • Though one source told Dave Meltzer that Riddle had not been sent to rehab by WWE and was just “taking time off because of pressure of going through a divorce,” he wrote in the WON that neither WWE or his sources that are “closest” to Riddle have commented, and that talent believe Riddle was sent to rehab. Sean Ross Sapp also tweeted he heard the rehab story was accurate, and has seen things which back it up.
  • We never heard anything official on possible rehab either way. Riddle thanked his fans for sticking by him, but rehab was never mentioned. Given there are competing rumors, we can split them. (1/2)

December 20, 2022

  • In the latest sign WWE is preparing for his return on the road to WrestleMania, Fightful reports Cody Rhodes (or, the site qualifies, “at the very least someone dressed up exactly like him”) was in Los Angeles recently filming a 2K commercial with The Miz. Johnny Gargano, Rey & Dominik Mysterio, Rhea Ripley, Damian Priest & Bianca Belair were also there.
  • Even if he weren’t ready, I think he could still film a video game commercial. Cody ended up returning at the Rumble.
  • According to a tweet from a talent agent based in Japan, Sasha Banks “will be staying in Japan from the middle of this week.“ She’s taking meetings and hopes “to collaborate with Japanese brands.”
  • It really seems like this was a big dream of hers.
  • Regarding the recent rumor of an Edge vs. Finn Balor Hell in a Cell match at Royal Rumble, Xero News said their sources last indicated Edge was scheduled to return at February’s Elimination Chamber event in Montreal.
  • Edge was in the Rumble so he returned before the Montreal show. (0/1)
  • Regarding AEW’s new look for Dynamite and Rampage, Fightful’s Will Washington tweeted that they’ve been working on it for weeks already, including with wrestler “ID shots” being filmed over the weekend of Full Gear.
  • This is indirectly related, but I really dug the Collision set.
  • CJ “Lana” Perry made more money this year with her BrandArmy subscription site than she did during her best financial year in WWE, per Fightful Select.
  • Really sounds there’s money to be made out there that is better than WWE. Mandy Rose could back that up.

December 21, 2022

  • Sean Ross Sapp noted on Twitter that he thinks WWE isn’t done with returns, and then later made sure to note that Eva Marie liked that tweet. The implication seems obvious enough.
  • That implication of Eva’s return did not end up being anything. (0/1)
  • Fightful Select says re-signing Bronson Reed was a priority for Triple H, and there has been interest in as much dating all the way back to mid-August.
  • Bronson has slotted in as an upper midcard heel, which is a good spot for him. I know he was booked a bit stronger in New Japan so we’ll see what his ceiling in WWE is.
  • PW Insider said late last night that they have sources telling them Sasha Banks is en route to Japan and expected to arrive sometime today. They also say she’s expected to make “at least a cameo” at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
  • She debuted at Wrestle Kingdom, attacking Kairi after her match. (1/1)
  • For what it’s worth, Ric Flair told Stephen A. Smith on First Take that WWE is entertaining the idea of having Smith manage someone at WrestleMania 39.
  • Stephen A. was not involved during WrestleMania. (0/1)
  • Rocky Romero told Renee Paquette on The Sessions that New Japan “definitely” has surprises planned for Wrestle Kingdom 17.
  • I guess you could consider Mercedes the big one (that we all kind of knew was coming). (1/1)

December 22, 2022

  • While it was originally reported Edge signed a three year contract to return to WWE for five matches and 25 additional appearances per year, Fightful Select claims that was either incorrect or has been amended since Edge has 22 matches since the 2020 Royal Rumble.
  • Edge has hinted that he’s finishing up soon, though I think he’s still got some juice as a part timer left.
  • The Hall of Famer is still on limited dates, though, which is why Edge has only appeared a handful of times since being kicked out of The Judgement Day. It’s unclear how much time or how many dates are left on his current contract.
  • He worked pretty often in the build to WrestleMania which made sense.
  • Adam Cole is “doing much better”, tweeted Dave Meltzer, but AEW is being cautious with his recovery from a June concussion and doesn’t have a timetable for his return.
  • Adam Cole returned about a month later.
  • Since John Cena’s match was announced last week, Meltzer said on Wrestling Oberver Radio that WWE’s sold 4,000 tickets for next Friday’s SmackDown: “If you’re wondering, ‘Is anyone a draw?’ It’s like, well, he is.”
  • Yeah, Cena still moves the needle.
  • PW Insider continues to make like a local news show tracking Santa on Christmas Eve (or @ElonJet, if you prefer) when it comes to Sasha Banks. The site now reports she’s in Japan ahead of her reported appearance at Wrestle Kingdom 17 in two weeks.
  • Minute to minute updates it seems.
  • Battleground Championship Wrestling posted an update on the situation with D-Von Dudley, WWE & their Tribute to the Extreme show last weekend: “After having several conversations today I now know that everything that went down with D-Von was a misunderstanding. The WWE did not intentionally pull D-Von to hurt our show.”
  • Later reports were that Triple H threatened to fire D-Von if he took that booking. D-Von was gone from WWE in January anyway. Should have done the show.

December 23, 2022

  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, “every top act has multiple different things under discussion right now” as far as WWE’s WrestleMania 39 event is concerned.
  • There were more intertwining stories at the time so this makes sense. WrestleMania was a very good show.
  • Per PW Insider, Drew McIntyre has been removed from WWE’s local advertising for its holiday tour show on Dec. 26 at Madison Square Garden, indicating that his return from injury is taking longer than originally expected.
  • He was back in time for the Rumble. But he’s been out since WrestleMania for a possible injury (and contract negotiation).
  • WrestleVotes was told that WWE’s upcoming live event in India “has been postponed for unspecified reasons.”
  • That ended up being the case. (1/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer mentioned that AEW will probably introduce new championship belts next year.
  • They rebranded the All-Atlantic title to the International title. But this title mentions plural titles, implying a general new look for some belts. (0/1)
  • WWE officials are said to be very happy with the new initiative to have NXT talent work with main roster wrestlers on Main Event, per Fightful Select. It’s not only seen as having a positive impact on the developmental process, but has also created more buzz for the NXT performers and Main Event as a show.
  • I couldn’t even tell you how to watch Main Event.
  • Fightful notes that AEW has filed to trademark the terms “WrestleBowl” and “Wrestling Bowl.”
  • They haven’t done anything with them.

December 24, 2022

  • John Cena is planning on wrestling at WrestleMania 39, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, but his Hollywood commitments will limit the number of appearances he can make on television leading up to the show.
  • That is accurate. He showed up one to completely bury Theory before doing the job to him on night two. (2/2)
  • Commenting on F4WOnline’s The Board, Dave Meltzer claimed that WWE changed its Wellness Policy so that talent isn’t necessarily fired after failing a third drug test: “It’s because a couple of key people have had two suspensions and we’re in a wrestling war. Plus somebody with two could intentionally fail a third to get out of their contract.”
  • While a very rigid policy may not be the best each time, altering it because you don’t want to lose talent to the other company isn’t great.
  • The Observer provided the following tidbit about William Regal’s AEW contract: “Regal did have an opt out on 2/24 but Tony Khan had an opt out on 12/22.” In other words, Regal could have opted out of the contract two months from now if he wanted to.
  • I’m not sure if this was true. That would have been a very short contract.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer mentioned that Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland “had chances to go back” to WWE, but “they didn’t even entertain it.”
  • Neither man is really thriving in AEW but maybe with the second show, they can get more time.
  • The decision to postpone WWE’s planned show in India was made by their television partner in the country, says the WON. Sony Six wants to finalize its merger with another Indian TV network, Zee, before going forward with the show. The merger is expected to be complete by April.
  • They have not made it there yet.
  • WWE opted not to have a new episode of Raw for Dec. 26 so they could give production staff additional time off, per Fightful Select.
  • That’s good.
  • According to sources at the North Pole, Vince McMahon asked Santa Claus for the Christmas gift of being put back in charge of WWE. One elf close to the situation said Claus is “a big fan of flippy shit” and won’t agree to do it.
  • Clearly this is incorrect. Vince is back in charge and it’s clearly Santa’s doing. This is the most incorrect rumor ever. (0/1)

This week: 6/12 - 50%

Overall: 4,604/8,069 - 57.1%

Have a great week, everyone!

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