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Rumor Look Back: Mar. 10 - 16, 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.

March 10, 2023

  • According to WRKD Wrestling, WWE’s current plan is for Trish Stratus to turn heel and feud with Becky Lynch through SummerSlam.
  • That’s pretty much exactly how it went. The program sputtered a couple times but ended strong. (1/1)
  • Dave Meltzer says if WWE is successful in legalizing bets on scripted matches, “The creative team will no longer be allowed to know finishes ahead of time to the major matches.” Not surprisingly, the general reaction he’s hearing from people is that this is a dumb and bad idea.
  • Nothing has come of that. Because it is a dumb and bad idea. There’s already prop bets on WWE folks can do with Draft Kings, but I believe those are pool style prop bets and they probably have limits and the money evens out. But a writer could easily throw a big chunk of money on an upset win if they were able to and knew the finish. It was all a bad idea.
  • Meltzer speculated that WWE might be interested in doing this in order to drive up the company’s sale price.
  • They sold for $9 billion.
  • That could be a moot point, because the Colorado Division of Gaming already told CNBC that it is not considering the idea of legalized gambling on scripted wrestling matches.
  • To my knowledge, this never came close to getting off the ground.
  • Fightful Select indicates that the primary reason Tony Khan decided to change the name of the AEW All-Atlantic championship to the AEW International championship is because Warner Bros. Discovery asked him for a big idea to help promote Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Khan had a new championship belt made months ago, with this plan in mind.
  • How did this tie into that movie in any way?
  • In general, it sounds like whenever cross-promotional opportunities like this arise for AEW, they want to make sure to accompany it with something newsworthy.
  • OK, that makes sense. It’s not specifically about the movie. He just wants to get more eyes on the product for those cross promotions. What better way to do that than a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT.
  • Per Fightful, the “beginning of the end” of Sarray’s time with WWE happened when her top supporters backstage were released by the company in early 2022, including William Regal. It was generally understood that the creative ideas pitched for her were “outright bad.” She hasn’t been seen at the Performance Center in a very long time, and people who asked about her did not receive any answers.
  • She’s been working in Japan since her release.
  • When Bryan Danielson was negotiating with WWE and AEW in 2021, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter says Vince McMahon told him he could work New Japan’s G1 Climax, but Tony Khan wouldn’t agree to let him work the grueling, weeks-long tournament. Meltzer thinks it’s possible that “Vince McMahon had no idea what G1 was at the time.”
  • That would be pretty hilarious if Vince was like sure and then went to Hunter “Hey, what’s this G1 thing?”

March 11, 2023

  • According to PW Insider, the belief is that Ronda Rousey is “dealing with a hairline fracture of her arm.” There have been no internal discussions about Ronda potentially missing WrestleMania.
  • That was the injury, which happened in a silly way. She did not miss WrestleMania. (2/2)
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that John Cena will be available for more WWE television appearances during the build to WrestleMania than previously believed. John tweeted on Monday that his Ricky Stanicky shoot in Australia wrapped on Mar. 4. Cena has already started filming his next movie, Grand Death Lotto, for what it’s worth.
  • Cena didn’t do any more to build that match. (0/1)
  • While it doesn’t seem like Kofi Kingston will need surgery for the ankle injury he sustained on SmackDown last week, the WON heard he’ll be out for five weeks. That means he won’t be recovered in time for a match at WrestleMania.
  • He missed almost six months. (0/1)
  • Insider claims that The Great Muta will be inducted into this year’s WWE Hall of Fame.
  • He was part of the class. (1/1)
  • Xero News heard that some other names being discussed for the WWE HOF include Batista, William Regal, Michelle McCool, Lex Luger, Demolition, IRS, and Lilian Garcia.
  • What a whiff. (0/7)
  • It’s not clear when it would take place, but The Observer says WWE is in talks to run a “major stadium show” in Western Australia. Perth is the likely location for this event.
  • Nothing has been mentioned in that regard yet.

March 13, 2023

  • Fightful Select says GUNTHER’s plans at WrestleMania 39 have been set dating all the way back to December of last year.
  • The triple threat? Doesn’t feel like something that had been in the works that long but maybe they felt it didn’t need much of a build.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter mentions that WWE’s “working idea” is to keep this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony shorter than in past years.
  • That they did with only five inductees. (1/1)
  • The Observer says “the idea Vince [McMahon] has no involvement at all” in WWE creative is likely not true.
  • Likely.
  • Andrew Zarian said on the “Mat Men” podcast that Forbidden Door 2 is “definitely happening” and it will likely be on June 25.
  • That’s accurate on both accounts. (2/2)
  • Fightful notes the recent TNT championship victories for Darby Allin, Wardlow, and Powerhouse Hobbs were all planned out months ahead of time.
  • I wonder how long AEW plans their stories and I wonder how that compares to WWE. Though I wonder how WWE now compared to WWE prior to Triple H running creative differs when it comes to real long term plans.

March 14, 2023

  • Fightful Select heard from WWE sources that Bray Wyatt is missing from WWE television due to a “physical issue,” and a timeline for his return is unknown. The site has not been able to confirm rumors that Wyatt walked out over creative disagreements.
  • Unfortunately, the absence was due COVID and an exacerbated heart issue. We don’t know anything about creative issues. (1/1)
  • Per Fightful, WWE sources still believe that Steve Austin is open to returning for another match if the money and situation both make sense. It sounds like he was not offered enough money to agree to work a match against Brock Lesnar.
  • Do we want to see Brock vs. this version of Steve Austin anyway?
  • The site also heard that WWE has pitched Stone Cold a match against LA Knight. It’s not clear if Austin has accepted or declined the match, or if he is still considering the idea.
  • LA Knight would have just been the guy to take a quick and easy L to Austin after a couple of fun mic segments. Would be an entire different story now given the ascension of LA Knight. Not that LA Knight would win. But they wouldn’t put him in the position to do a quick job to Austin.
  • Wrestling Observer Radio’s Bryan Alvarez was given the impression that Wardlow’s car theft story is a shoot, and AEW then decided to turn it into a work afterwards.
  • That’s shitty for Wardlow. Having anything stolen from you can feel violating.
  • The Undertaker told BT Sports’ Ariel Helwani that at one point, Vince McMahon wanted Vladimir Kozlov to end his undefeated streak at WrestleMania.
  • That would have been something. (Something bad.)

March 15, 2023

  • Recently, there was a rumor that WWE plans for the Hall of Fame to be a much shorter ceremony this year. Now, Fightful Select notes the current plan is to have this year’s class be “way smaller than in previous years.”
  • That’s the case. (1/1)
  • For whatever it’s worth, PW Insider says once his segment with Omos was done on Monday Night Raw this week, Brock Lesnar went straight to a car that drove him to a private plane to fly back home.
  • As LA Knight once said, “Do you just hang around after you’re done working?”
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that state regulators aren’t currently receptive to the idea of legalized betting on WWE. It still could happen but it doesn’t look good right now.
  • It was always a bad idea.
  • Meltzer also speculates that Ric Flair will be announcing The Great Muta for the WWE Hall of Fame on “The Bump” this week. He also said Flair asked to be the one who inducts him. As for Konnan inducting Rey Mysterio, Meltzer says that will only happen if Konnan is not under contract to MLW because of the ongoing lawsuit.
  • That was the announcement. If Flair did asked to induct Muta, his wish was granted. Konnan was the man who inducted Rey. (1/1)
  • Per PW Insider, Drew McIntyre was incredibly ill all last week and nearly replaced in the Fatal 5-Way match on Friday Night SmackDown. He was only cleared when he showed up to the arena that day. They go on to say that “McIntyre, who worked all the live events post-Smackdown, has received a lot of respect for how hard he has worked for the company, even when under the weather or working banged up over the last year. He’s very much a locker room leader in that regard.”
  • McIntyre is one of those guys who seems like he will show up to work unless he’s actively dying.
  • Per Meltzer on WOR, LA Knight getting a big reaction at Madison Square Garden recently helped him a lot. Whether that means he’s going to receive some kind of push soon will remain to be seen.
  • The reactions only got bigger. The next time he was in the Garden, the crowd was nuts for him. Now those reactions are commonplace for the Megastar.

March 16, 2023

  • Sports Illustrated is the latest to chime in on Vince McMahon’s visit to Raw last week and what it means. Multiple sources told SI’s Justin Barrasso that McMahon “purposely stayed out of the way”, not wearing a headset in gorilla and never getting involved in Triple H’s conversations with wrestlers.
  • I still find a passive Vince McMahon hard to believe.
  • Vince was not at this week’s Raw, but Barrasso speculates his “laidback approach” could be part of a long-term strategy with still-unclear goals: “the only certainty from my perspective is that it will serve as a prelude to McMahon going to WrestleMania and being back on-site for WWE’s signature event.”
  • We’ll see if anything changes now that the sale has gone through.
  • Directors John Requa & Glenn Ficarra told /Film that their Vince McMahon biopic Pandemonium, which at one point seemed to have WWE Studios’ blessing and was courting Bradley Cooper to play McMahon, is dead. Requa told the site, “Vince killed it... So, yeah, we are on a very long list of people who got f***ed over by Vince.”
  • Must have been too honest.
  • A non-Vince item from Barrasso’s latest for SI: “the prevailing belief internally” is that Gunther needs another year before he should beat “a star the caliber of [Brock] Lesnar.”
  • I don’t think we’re far off.
  • Jon Moxley was “not happy” AEW “made him” pull out of his scheduled indie appearance in Ireland to work this weekend’s house show, per Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez.
  • I can understand being peeved about having to cancel a trip to Ireland to work in Troy, Ohio. (No offense to the fine folks of Troy.)
  • Kind of a random one, but LA Knight responded to a year-old tweet that claimed he and Becky Lynch used to date with, “Because we didn’t. We were friends. You’re jumping to bullsh*t conclusions. Let me squash that before you guys take this anywhere.”
  • Are we to believe Becky was able to resist the undeniable kavorka?

This week: 10/19 - 53%

Overall: 4,735/8,271 - 57.2%

Have a great week, everyone!

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