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Rumor Look Back: Feb. 13 - 19, 2023

Tony Khan on Twitter

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.

February 13, 2023

  • For what it’s worth, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that “Paul Heyman is a key part of all creative when it comes to Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey.”
  • The Ronda stuff was never quite the hit, but sometimes it felt like she was booked similar to Lesnar - like the time she paid a fine with a duffle bag full of money. But unlike Brock, she never had the same allure. Maybe because of how their exits from UFC differed, with Brock losing but due to injury and Ronda getting badly beaten twice. Or maybe it’s because Brock was a professional wrestler who understood the business more than Ronda and was better at it.
  • Fightful Select’s sources tell them WWE’s been planning a Brock Lesnar/Bobby Lashley match for Elimination Chamber since last November.
  • It really should have been a WrestleMania match. Lashley didn’t even get on that card!
  • There are screenshots going around purporting to show Jose G Sanz, who makes boots for wrestlers, saying he’s been contacted by Randy Orton to make him boots for his return.
  • Randy hasn’t had a chance to wear any boots.
  • The Observer mentions Austin Theory taping a show that will air in March where he is holding the U.S. championship. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s retaining the title at Elimination Chamber “but it is something.”
  • This is all very vague. Theory was on WWE Wheel of Fortune but so were other members of the roster. He wasn’t on any scripted television show.
  • Per Fightful, the internal reception to Chelsea Green’s work since her return to WWE has been positive.
  • She’s always been great with characters. Her Laurel Van Ness arch in Impact was some primo stuff.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said Eddie Kingston is dealing with an injury but it’s not one he should miss much time for.
  • He missed about 3 more weeks - so not too much time. Eddie was living the good life in Japan. He just returned to AEW to set up an All In match. (1/1)

February 14, 2023

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said he heard The Usos are both cleared to work Elimination Chamber in Montreal this weekend. In the past, Jimmy Uso’s been unable to travel to Canada due to his DUI arrests. Meltzer did add the caveat his being told that could be “a swerve, or a storyline.”
  • Both Usos were part of the main event match between Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn. (1/1)
  • AAA’s Konnan met with AEW officials last month, per Meltzer in last week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. He was trying smooth things over between the two companies, as AEW wasn’t happy with how AAA helped WWE put over their new signee Dragon Lee after Lee & Dralistico beat FTR in December.
  • It’s all politics.
  • One reason AAA wants to smooth things over is so they can bring in Kenny Omega for a match against Mega champion Hijo del Vikingo for a TripleMania show.
  • Vikingo recently suffered an injury at Triplemania XXXI. Word has it he is OK but has also been pulled from some dates.
  • A report on’s new Premium pay site claims that people in WWE “who would know” believe Matt Cardona’s return to the company is “imminent”.
  • He has not returned to WWE. (0/1)
  • Regarding the report Triple H told D-Von Dudley WWE would fire him if he worked an indie’s ECW tribute show, Dudley told Wrestling News Premium’s Steve Fall that he never spoke to Triple H “directly during that, but no, he did not threaten to fire me.” Beyond that, D-Von said he couldn’t go into any more detail.
  • D-Von did soon leave WWE after that incident (prior to this rumor).
  • The exact terms aren’t known, but Fightful Select says Austin & Colten Gunn have signed new multi-year deals with AEW.
  • The Bang Bang Gang, which include Billy’s boys, are a Saturday night Collision staple.

February 15, 2023

  • Dave Meltzer responded to a fan on Twitter claiming Sami Zayn won’t win the WWE Universal title because he can’t perform in Saudi Arabia by saying no matter what decision has been made “this has nothing to do with it.”
  • Sami worked Saudi this year (thought that may have been able to come together last minute).
  • WRKD Wrestling claims Trish Stratus is coming back to WWE soon for a “lengthy program” in what will be an unexpected role.
  • She returned to eventually work heel against Becky Lynch. It’s been a bit of a bumpy program, some of that being booking & timing but others being it just doesn’t feel like a hot program you’d like in a feud between two stars of different era. (1/1)
  • WWE had a lot of props for a Valentine’s themed segment backstage at Monday Night Raw this week, says Fightful Select, but they obviously didn’t end up going ahead with it.
  • No Valentine’s Day street fight this year.
  • WrestleVotes says there are five different movie trailer videos WWE is doing for its “WrestleMania Goes Hollywood” promotion: Miz & Maryse in Top Gun, The Judgment Day in Stranger Things, The Brawling Brutes & Drew McIntyre in 40 Year Old Virgin, Becky Lynch & Seth Rollins in Batman & Joker, and The Bloodline in Goodfellas.
  • These all happened. (5/5)
  • PW Insider says Titan Publishing is producing a new book on The Undertaker.
  • I don’t see anything more on this. But it could be early in the works.

February 16, 2023

  • In contrast to past ‘Mania builds when Vince McMahon ran creative, Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE hasn’t deviated from their plan for WrestleMania 39 over the past month or so.
  • Triple H seems to be pretty set not to deviate unless he needs to. I overall respect not changing the plan, though there are times you need to pivot.
  • AEW held a meeting with the women’s roster prior to last week’s Dynamite, per Fightful Select. Its aim was to ease tensions ahead of Thunder Rosa’s return to the company, and featured Rosa “making amends” for some of the issues she had with co-workers prior to her injury. Management thought it was productive, and hopes it serves as a “clean slate”.
  • Luckily, AEW has been drama free ever since.
  • Something similar would likely need to happen if CM Punk were to return to AEW when he’s cleared in the coming months, but Meltzer said on WOR “there’s been no mending of fences” between Punk and The Elite, “At all.”
  • It sounds like nothing like that happened involving the players who need it to happen. Which really needs to and Tony Khan should be the adult in the room and get them together to figure out a plan that isn’t “We’ll draw a line across the arena and you can leave your side of the line.” Get them all in the room and make it know they don’t have to like each other but they need to do whatever it takes to put all the drama behind them. It’s better than barring their head of talent relations from the arena.
  • Regarding recent WWE teases Dax Harwood’s posted on social media, Meltzer wrote in an Observer Daily Update that he “wouldn’t take it as anything more than him trying to get people talking at this stage.“ FTR’s AEW contracts are up in April.
  • FTR ended up re-signing.
  • Cody Rhodes told Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg he plans to list every independent promotion he worked for during his time away from WWE on the weight belt he wears at WrestleMania.
  • Cody was not lying or working here. He did adorn his weight belt, which he gave to Brody Lee’s son, with the names of those promotions.
  • For what it’s worth, Ric Flair said on his To Be The Man podcast that FOX and Netflix are considering a “Real Housewives of Wrestling”-type show featuring his wife Wendy, Kim Orton, Giovanna Angle & Catalina Hager.
  • There’s nothing of that in the works I know of. Sounds like Ric just be talking. (0/1)

February 17, 2023

  • There has been some fan speculation that Cody Rhodes was guaranteed a championship win at WrestleMania when he signed with WWE last year. Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer shot down this idea, stating that WWE made no such commitment to Rhodes.
  • WWE doesn’t make those type of commitments. (And he didn’t even with the title.)
  • Meltzer said Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes will be the main event of night two of WrestleMania 39 on Sunday, Apr. 2; the match will not take place on night one (Apr. 1) of the event.
  • That’s accurate. (1/1)
  • He also mentioned that The Elite vs. House of Black is definitely planned for the AEW Revolution pay-per-view event on March 5.
  • That is accurate. The House won (and are still Trios champs). (1/1)
  • Per Fightful, AEW’s Chris Jericho has filed to trademark the phrase “JERI-SHOW”, which is a former team name he used with Big Show in WWE.
  • He hasn’t done anything with it.
  • On talk of WWE holding a PLE in Puerto Rico, Damian Priest told Evan Mack on the Kick Rocks Wrestling Podcast: “We’ve had some conversations about it. I’ll just keep it at that. Stay tuned.”
  • They ended up running Backlash there. It was a super hot crowd. Priest worked a match with Bad Bunny.
  • On his To Be The Man podcast, Ric Flair said Andrade has been “training like hell” during his absence from AEW.
  • Andrade is also part of the Saturday night crew.

February 18, 2023

  • According to, AEW star Kenny Omega is the “much bigger” name than Jay White who WWE is interested in signing.
  • I agree that Kenny Omega is much bigger than Jay White. Both of those guys signed deals with AEW very recently.
  • Fightful Select mentions that Kenny is on good terms with WWE, and there are several people in the company who believe signing him is possible. Omega’s AEW contract was rumored to be expiring around this time.
  • I would have been very curious to see Kenny in WWE but that was not to be.
  • Fightful notes that Tony Khan believes he can add time to Kenny’s AEW contract because Omega missed about nine months due to injury last year. Wording to that effect is in Omega’s contract, but it sounds like Khan has not made that decision yet. It’s also not clear if there are other legal hurdles involved if Khan does try to pursue that option.
  • Given they recently re-signed it’s possible he did add them?
  • Per Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE’s original plan for the main event of Elimination Chamber was for Sami Zayn to lose & Jey Uso to turn on him, which would set up Zayn & Kevin Owens challenging the Usos for the tag titles at WrestleMania 39. However, Dave Meltzer says Zayn has proven to be “an actual numbers mover,” so it’s at least possible they’ve changed plans based on Sami’s popularity.
  • That didn’t really happen that way anyway. Sami lost but Jey was still conflicted at this time.
  • Regarding WWE’s creative plans for Zayn, Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that “Vince [McMahon] does have input into this one. He definitely does.”
  • I think Vince really likes Sami. But I don’t think he or Triple H had any plan to have him beat Roman at Elimination Chamber.
  • Trish Stratus was originally booked for last Monday’s Raw, according to the WON. She would have likely been there to build toward the rumored Damage CTRL vs. Becky Lynch, Lita & Trish match, but Dakota Kai’s injury put those plans on hold. Meltzer writes that “the Stratus angle isn’t dead.”
  • She did return so it was not dead. (1/1)
  • PW Insider claims that Logan Paul vs. Seth Rollins is “100% set in stone” for WrestleMania 39.
  • Yeah, that seemed pretty obvious (though not official) at the time. (1/1)
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez heard that WWE is planning a main roster call-up for the loser of Bron Breakker vs. Carmelo Hayes, which is probably happening at Stand & Deliver during WrestleMania weekend.
  • Neither of those men have been called up. (0/1)
  • Giant Freakin Robot has learned that Ronda Rousey is “in talks” to play the role of Thundra in Marvel’s Captain America: New World Order.
  • Unlike Seth Freakin’, I don’t think we’ve seen anything more about this.

This week: 12/15 - 80%

Overall: 4,694/8,211 - 57.2%

Have a great week, everyone!

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