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Rumor Look Back: Dec. 25, 2022 - Jan. 1, 2023

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 26, 2022

  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that plans at one point called for John Cena to face Austin Theory at next April’s WrestleMania 39, but that was under Vince McMahon and plans may have changed.
  • They did not change.
  • The Observer says New Japan Pro Wrestling could change their mind but as of right now they are working with the idea that Sasha Banks’ appearance at Wrestle Kingdom 17 will not be announced ahead of time and will instead be kept as a surprise.
  • That’s how it went down. Enough new people knew that it was happening that they’d tune in to watch. (1/1)
  • There has been talk of Kairi Sane possibly returning for a spot in the women’s Royal Rumble next month and the WON says that as of this past weekend there hasn’t been any contact between WWE and Stardom. They do say that could come later, however.
  • That did not happen. I’d love to see Kairi back in WWE (admittedly as someone who doesn’t watch Stardom). (0/1)
  • Per PW Insider, WWE is considering Pretty Deadly for a call up to the main roster from NXT. It sounds like they could be working some house shows in January.
  • They got called up in the Draft. That was a while away, but since this doesn’t specify how soon, we’ll count it. (1/1)
  • According to Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer, “everybody just freaked” in AEW when Rick Ross said “motherfucker” on Dynamite.
  • I’m sure they worried about how TBS would feel about it.

December 27, 2022

  • Discussing the legends WWE hopes to have at WrestleMania 39 on Wrestling Observer Radio last week, Dave Meltzer said he’s heard “[John] Cena is a ‘probable’, and Dwayne [Johnson] is a ‘possible’,” while “[Steve] Austin is probably the surest of the three... it’s just a question of how he feels, and he’s gonna do what he feels like doing.”
  • The surest of the three didn’t show up. Only Cena made an appearance. Since this implies if anyone shows, it’s Austin, I’m going to mark it incorrect. (0/1)
  • Which is probably why‘s sources tell them the current plans for WrestleMania’s main events depend on The Rock. Night one is pencilled in as a WWE championship match pitting Seth Rollins against either Cody Rhodes or Drew McIntyre. Night two would then be Roman Reigns against The Rock, or Rhodes if Johnson can’t free up his schedule.
  • Were they assuming that they would have somehow split the titles by this point? That’s a weird assumption this far along.
  • And that tells us WWE wants to get back to Raw and SmackDown each having their own top title in 2023, but the site says, “It’s not clear yet how the company will split the WWE Championship and Universal Championship”.
  • They never split them but instead they introduced a new one. But there are now two top titles. (1/1)
  • WWE‘s next Saudi Arabia show will take place in May 2023, per Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • That would be Night of Champions. (1/1)
  • On the Grapsody podcast, Tony Khan claimed Ring of Honor’s Honor Club streaming service has reached its highest number of subscribers ever since the announcement a weekly ROH show will stream there in the new year, even though right now the only content on the service is archival.
  • I think they should find a way to allow everyone to watch if they wanted without having to pay for Honor Club.
  • Tony Khan also confirmed he never shopped ROH TV to anyone other than Warner Bros Discovery. The Observer Newsletter reported that last week, with Meltzer speculating Khan wanted to remain loyal to AEW’s television partners ahead of upcoming negotiations over Dynamite & Rampage rights.
  • That makes sense

December 28, 2022

  • Bryan Alvarez mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE has told talent to start traveling as early as yesterday to ensure they make it to Friday Night SmackDown this week.
  • That’s got to be frustrating having travel issues mess up creative plans.
  • The US Sun claims WWE had planned to have Tyson Fury work both Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 39 next year but that’s looking less likely as he’s apparently banned from entering the U.S. due to “links to alleged Irish mob boss Daniel Kinahan emerged.”
  • Well that took a turn.
  • Fightful Select notes that there are talent in AAA who think FTR will be losing their tag team titles soon.
  • It was the next night. (1/1)
  • Cain Velasquez told Konnan on his “Keepin It 100” podcast that he’s talked to Daniel Cormier about a match in AAA.
  • That has not happened. Cormier has not worked a professional wrestling match, though he did referee the Fight Pit match between Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle.
  • There’s a belief that Santino Marella may be Impact Wrestling bound based on recent trademark filings.
  • That’s the case. (1/1)

December 29, 2022

  • In response to a recent listener question about dating wrestlers, the frequent co-host of Freddie Prinze’s podcast Jeff Dye talked about his ex Becky Lynch and the disintegration of Lynch & Charlotte Flair’s friendship. Dye claims Flair took feuding with Lynch personally: “I would listen to [Becky] be like, ‘I can’t believe Charlotte’s actually getting mad at me.’”
  • While I don’t know how much I put stock into what an ex has to say, even though they may be correct, I think it this is a rumor that’s been floated elsewhere.
  • Dye also said, “Charlotte had a difficult time that Becky was starting to become the face of the female wrestling thing.”
  • That certainly a believable reason for them to fracture. Is it the case? Who knows.
  • Sasha Banks stirred the internet pot again when she tweeted, “One of my biggest dreams came true today” early Wednesday morning (U.S. time; Banks is already in Japan in advance of her reported New Japan debut next week).
  • She would debut in Japan in days.
  • It didn’t happen, but Fightful Select said there was a lot of internal discussion at AEW about having Wardlow win the TNT title from Samoa Joe on last night’s Dynamite.
  • Wardlow has held this title three times, even though one of the reigns was only three days.
  • Sources also told Fightful we should be getting some WWE 2K announcements in January. Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston pointed out months ago that Take-Two Interactive listed WWE 2K23 as releasing before the end of March on their summer earnings report.
  • There was an announcement in January and then they did release in March. If you’re curious how it was and didn’t play it, you can read our review. (1/1)
  • With Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff trading shots via their respective podcasts on lately, Tony Schiavone weighed in to say he thinks they’re probably working: “... you got to keep in mind that both Bischoff and Flair are full of shit.”
  • Great insight from Schiavone.

December 30, 2022

  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer indicated “we’re months away” from Tony Khan having to make a decision about CM Punk’s future with AEW.
  • He eventually decided to bring him back to anchor the Saturday night show.
  • WrestleVotes heard that WWE hopes the Dragon Lee signing will be “the start of ‘standout’ talent agreeing to terms” with the promotion. More specifically, Triple H expects to sign “other high quality names” in early 2023.
  • I wouldn’t say any other “high quality names” have been signed this year. (0/1)
  • According to Xero News, whenever the next WWE Draft happens, there has been some talk of making sure the SmackDown roster has lots of stables so that The Bloodline has other factions to feud with. The Judgment Day is one such group that would move over to SmackDown in this scenario.
  • They brought the OC over and still have the Brawling Brutes. But at the same time, the Bloodline is breaking apart. So I’m no sure how to read that. It really feels like Roman and the Bloodline were to feud with AJ and the Good Bros. when the draft’s tea leaves were read. But it feels like the natural story of the Bloodline has head to the break up. Not that Roman can’t feud with Styles alone but the faction feud wouldn’t really be a big play.
  • Meltzer mentioned that WWE’s decision to fire Mandy Rose is unlikely to affect Toxic Attraction’s trajectory in the company, because WWE always planned to call Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne up to the main roster without Mandy.
  • Toxic Attraction is still in NXT. They’re feuding with each other.
  • There were no serious injuries in the Falls Count Anywhere match between The Elite and Death Triangle on this week’s AEW Dynamite, per Meltzer, even though “everyone is hurting” following the match.
  • Alway a good thing to walk away from a match with no legit injuries.

December 31, 2022

  • According to, John Cena vs. Logan Paul is currently planned for WrestleMania 39.
  • It was Cena vs. Theory & Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul. (0/1)
  • The site also confirmed that a potential match between Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 39 is no longer happening. They don’t know who Lynch will be in the ring with, but the current plan is for Rousey to defend the SmackDown women’s title against Rhea Ripley.
  • While Becky vs. Ronda didn’t happen, by Mania, Ronda lost the title to Charlotte who defended it against Ripley. Rousey worked a 4 team tag match where they could protect an injury. (1/2)
  • This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter says Triple H has made a decision on who Roman Reigns will face at WrestleMania 39 if Dwayne Johnson’s schedule doesn’t work out. Dave Meltzer’s sources don’t know who it is, but say there aren’t multiple choices being considered. Reigns will compete against either The Rock or the backup choice. Meltzer speculates that Cody Rhodes is “the betting line favorite” for that other spot.
  • It was Cody. (1/1)
  • Per PW Insider, AJ Styles’ house show injury is “100% legitimate.” It appears to be an ankle injury, but that has yet to be confirmed.
  • That was a legit injury. It cost AJ over four months. (1/1)
  • The Observer says now that Mandy Rose is gone, Dragon Lee’s new deal makes him the highest paid member of the NXT roster. More specifically, “It’s a three-year deal and does call for pay increases with each year, but the hope and certainly the feeling he was given is he would have a main roster contract and be brought up in 2024.”
  • Dragon Lee most recently failed in a challenge for NXT’s Heritage Cup.

This week: 10/15 - 67%

December 2022: 33/60 - 55%

2022 Overall: 415/700 - 59.3%

Overall: 4,614/8,084 - 57.1%

Have a great week, everyone!

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