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Rumor Roundup (Jan. 15, 2024): Royal Rumble winners, WWE returns, New Japan exodus, more!


Speculating on the rumors surrounding pro wrestling is a favored pastime of many fans, perhaps second only to actually watching the matches. In this daily column, we take a look at the latest rumors being churned out by the pro wrestling rumor mill.

Important reminder: Rumors are just that — rumors. None of this has been confirmed as fact, it’s just circulating around the pro wrestling rumor mill. We track rumor accuracy in a weekly feature called Rumor Look Back you can find here. Remember, take it all with a grain of salt.

Rumors for the Day:

  • CM Punk has made a big jump and is now the favorite to win the men’s Royal Rumble match at outlets like Bet Online. The Rock and LA Knight opened as favorites, but are now fourth and sixth, respectively.
  • Women’s Rumble odds haven’t been as volatile, but Becky Lynch has moved into the favorite spot (handicappers initially had Nia Jax & Raquel Rodriguez with the best odds of winning).
  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, both Sheamus and Xavier Woods are “expected back over the next few weeks.”
  • PW Insider says Sonya Deville has been at the Performance Center recently training to get ready for her return to WWE.
  • Following up on the story of Tama Tonga leaving NJPW, The Observer says “several other foreigners are looking at doing that as well” because of “the huge discrepancy in pay between New Japan with WWE and AEW.”
  • Gable Steveson is scheduled to continue working SmackDown dark matches, says Insider, but isn’t currently part of WWE’s plans for this year’s Royal Rumble match.
  • Last one from Insider: People within WWE are closely monitoring Kevin Patrick’s performance as lead announcer on SmackDown without Michael Cole. It’s believed Patrick needs to make a strong showing to solidify his position on the show.

If you have heard of any interesting rumors that you’d like to add, feel free to post them in the comments section below. Just remember they are rumors and not confirmed as fact, so please take them as such. And check our weekly Rumor Look Back here to keep track of how often rumors turn out to be correct.

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