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Rumor Look Back: July 14 - 20, 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.

July 14, 2023

  • There has been a rumor going around that suggests Ronda Rousey is leaving WWE because she is planning a comeback in UFC. However, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani was told there is “no truth” to the rumor that Rousey is returning to UFC.
  • She did not return to the UFC (of course). There are two rumors here so we’re going to split them since they contradict. (1/2)
  • According to Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer, WWE is planning for World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins to wrestle against Finn Balor at SummerSlam 2023.
  • That was the program. (1/1)
  • Regarding the rumor that Warner Bros. Discovery wants AEW to expand its PPV schedule, Meltzer heard that it’s “been talked about for a while” but not a done deal.
  • We’ll see what the slate looks like in 2024 and if they re-up the deal, what things look like after that.
  • Per Meltzer, Brutus and Julius Creed aren’t being called up to the WWE main roster even though they lost a Loser Leaves Town match in NXT. Meltzer said The Creeds actually returned to NXT on this week’s episode; they were hidden under masks pretending to be part of The Schism during the group’s backstage segment with Ivy Nile.
  • While the Creeds have since been called up, they wrestled a few more months in NXT before that. (1/1)
  • Fightful heard that AEW’s decision to send out a list of banned moves is seen by many in the company as a necessary “tightening of the screws” as the company grows and expands. PW Insider says wrestlers who violate the protocols will be fined.
  • That makes sense for a company continue to grow.

July 15, 2023

  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian “double confirmed” that AEW All In at Wembley Stadium in London will be a pay-per-view event and at least available for purchase on Bleacher Report. Zarian believes there will be “some sort of bundle” for a combo purchase of that event on Aug. 27 as well as the All Out pay-per-view one week later.
  • All In was a PPV event. It could not be bundled with All Out, which left them asking folks to spend $100 in a weekend for AEW shows. They were good shows, but All Out probably wasn’t worth it on the back end. (1/2)
  • In the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer writes that WWE’s decision-makers “don’t see it as a big deal” to beat Sami Zayn because “they always saw Zayn as just a guy, who got over as a fluke.”
  • I don’t know if he got over as a fluke given they crafted a long story to get him over with the Bloodline. Maybe they stumbled upon how well it worked, but it played out to get him more over. I do think there’s merit to the idea that they feel he can takes losses without really being hurt though.
  • Regarding AEW’s list of moves that require approval from above, one AEW wrestler told The Observer that “you won’t see any changes that would be noticeable” because the wrestlers have already been telling the producers about those moves.
  • Makes sense.
  • The Observer also notes that Brian Pillman Jr., whose AEW contract recently expired, was training at the WWE Performance Center on July 13. WWE sources told Fightful that the company had “immediate interest” when Pillman became a free agent, but he currently remains unsigned.
  • He signed with WWE and is working in NXT as Lexis King.
  • PW Insider says Eric Young was spotted at the Detroit airport yesterday afternoon, making it seem more likely that he will be Scott D’Amore’s mystery partner at tonight’s Impact Slammiversary event. In that scenario, it would mean he’s not under contract with WWE.
  • EY was in fact resurrected in TNA. He hinted later he left WWE because he didn’t want to work for Vince when he came back. (1/1)

July 17, 2023

  • WWE will hold a talent tryout in Detroit ahead of SummerSlam, according to PW Insider. Matt Bloom will lead it, and other NXT coaches & staff will be involved as well.
  • I wonder if they found another of note.
  • The Wrestling Observer says the belief is Claudio Castagnoli’s opponent for the ROH title at Death Before Dishonor will be revealed on Wednesday. They also say the belief is Athena will defend the women’s title against Willow Nightingale.
  • That’s the case in both scenarios. (2/2)
  • Mark Briscoe’s injury will cause “major changes” to Ring of Honor’s plans as he was to be “heavily featured” as one of the brand’s stars, per PW Insider.
  • Given his and his brother’s legacy in ROH, it would make sense that he was to be heavily featured. He’s heavily featured on AEW TV now and less so on ROH.
  • Fightful Select notes that Eric Young requested his WWE release and had it granted months ago, which is what allowed him to show up at Impact’s Slammiversary event. He wanted to be released because he didn’t want to work with Vince McMahon.
  • That’s understandable. I bet there were at least a few others who would have liked to followed his lead but didn’t feel comfortable or capable of doing so.
  • Insider says Lio Rush, Subculture, and Jake Something have all signed deals with Impact Wrestling. It’s unclear what the terms are for any of those deals.
  • All of them have worked with Impact to varying degrees.
  • Per Fightful, Ian Riccaboni has signed a multi-year contract with AEW to work Ring of Honor and occasionally fill in for Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness as needed.
  • I liked Collision with him as the main play by play guy when Kevin Kelly was working the G1. (1/1)

July 18, 2023

  • Back in January, prior to Bray Wyatt’s illness, Fightful Select reports WWE had plans to use Eric Young in “a new-style version of the Wyatt Family” with Bray and Bo Dallas (as Uncle Howdy) that would start after WrestleMania. Prior to her pregnancy, there were pitches to involve Alexa Bliss in the group as well.
  • Someone mentioned last week in the comments that these rumors are sad to read and I certainly wouldn’t argue that.
  • While it apparently never got past the pitch stage, Fightful’s report also mentions that Paul Heyman suggested having Young and Mike Bennett teamed with Wyatt prior to their releases in 2020: “It ended up getting pitched more than once, including an idea for Mike Bennett to perform as Sister Abigail.”
  • That would be an idea they’d give Mike Bennett given his WWE character.
  • PW Insider reported that Nick Aldis & Zicky Dice wrapped up with Impact over Slammiversary weekend and are now free agents. “Numerous WWE sources” told PW Insider Elite there’s “high interest” in signing Aldis, and that the company’s discussed using the former NWA Worlds champion as a producer.
  • He’s an on-air authority figure. He’s been a producer too - I’m not sure if he still is doing that as well as an on-air character. (1/1)
  • Mercedes Moné attended Slammiversary to support Trinity as she won the Knockouts title, and Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer said she was still in a walking boot and using crutches as she recovers from a presumed surgery on her injured ankle. Meltzer added that Moné “has been quiet about everything”, and reiterated that there’s still no word on a timetable for her return.
  • We still don’t know where she’ll end up.
  • Bayley was seen limping when she left the arena in Maryland where she suffered an injury on Sunday night, but she was not using crutches. Fightful’s WWE sources say that’s being taken as a good sign, but they’ll “likely need to wait for any swelling to go down before finding out what was wrong”.
  • Bayley missed about a month of wrestling matches from here to mid August but no significant time. And even during that time, she was on TV and somewhat active.
  • Regarding Don Callis’ status after he was mistakenly tackled during an angle at AAA Triplemania, WOR’s Meltzer said Callis “got hurt but he’s okay” and he’s still expected to be in Boston for Dynamite’s Blood & Guts match on Wednesday.
  • That’s that old school heat.

July 19, 2023

  • WRKD Wrestling says that while no stipulation was announced for Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes at SummerSlam, one will be added to the match.
  • There was no stipulation for the rubber match. (0/1)
  • There’s speculation Liv Morgan is injured again, as she was spotted wearing a sling following Monday Night Raw this week.
  • Morgan has been out for awhile with injury. (1/1)
  • According to WrestleVotes, “there is a feeling of optimism” within WWE regarding Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green as new women’s tag team champions. They could be in for a “substantial run as champions” to “stabilize” the titles.
  • Unfortunately, Sonya sustained an injury so they never got the run together. Chelsea held the titles with Piper Niven for a while though. (0/1)
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said WWE is “high on” Bronco Nima and Lucien Price.
  • They’ve gotten their time on TV so far.
  • Tony Khan said on a media call for the ROH Death Before Dishonor there have been changes to the card, which include the TV championship match, for issues “you wouldn’t believe.”
  • Said match was Samoa Joe against Dalton Castle.

July 20, 2023

  • WWE sees The Judgment Day’s storyline as “the successor” to The Bloodline “in terms of fan interest and longevity”, according to WRKD Wrestling. The Twitter account points to the ratings success of their segments as a reason Judgment Day “will continue to be a center point of shows moving forward”.
  • They’re still going strong, even adding members!
  • AEW held a talent meeting prior to last Saturday’s Collision, per Fightful Select. CM Punk led the meeting, which focused on how Collision has and can continue to differentiate itself from Dynamite: “They went over what was and wasn’t good for Collision, such as finishes, shenanigans and the like.”
  • I did like the direction Collision had at this time because it really felt different from Dynamite. It still does to some degree but when I tune in, there are often a lot of one sided matches.
  • The meeting seems to have only been for members of the Collision roster. Fightful says word of the meeting “didn’t make its way to talent who weren’t there or are typically featured on Dynamite more than Collision.”
  • That makes sense.
  • On Impaulsive, Logan Paul mentioned that LA Knight was the other person he “potentially” could have faced at SummerSlam before WWE settled on the Ricochet match.
  • That may be a WrestleMania match.
  • In addition to the recently revealed Karmen Petrovic and Izzi Dame, other names WWE’s trademarked recently include Trey Bearhill, Kiyah Saint, Tyriek Igwe, and Tyson Dupont.
  • These names all belong to folks wrestling in NXT or NXT: Level Up.

This week: 10/14 - 71%

Overall: 4,935/8,606 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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