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Rumor Look Back: July 21 - 27, 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 21, 2023

  • Unlike the 2021 and 2022 AEW Blood and Guts matches, there were no major injuries during this year’s bout, per Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer.
  • Always great news.
  • Meltzer says WWE is “very, very leery because of the MLW lawsuit” and therefore “not aggressively trying to steal talent” from other wrestling companies.
  • While I still contend it’s not illegal to reach out to talent who are working for other companies given tampering isn’t a thing when there’s no collective agreement. But there’s probably more issue trying to aggressively get them to break their contracts.
  • PW Insider was told WWE is “absolutely thrilled” with The Judgment Day appearing on NXT due to the positive ratings results, and there are plans for the group to remain a fixture on the show for at least the next month.
  • Dom Mysterio (not Nick) won the North American title so was down there often. And they did help to bump ratings when they were there. (1/1)
  • According to Fightful Select, at one point Samoa Joe was planning to take time off from AEW and ROH in order to promote Twisted Metal, and he wasn’t going to be available for tonight’s Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view event. However, Joe’s media obligations were canceled due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. As a result, he became available for the ROH PPV, and plans were changed last week in order to get him on the card.
  • Joe, who rules, is now the AEW world heavyweight champion. Also, Twisted Metal was a blast.
  • Regarding the two out of three falls match between FTR and Bullet Club Gold on AEW Collision, Meltzer said Juice Robinson took both of Bullet Club’s falls in the match because “they’re protecting Jay [White] for bigger things.”
  • Jay White soon had a title program with MJF. (1/1)
  • WRKD Wrestling claims that WWE’s plans for JD McDonagh with The Judgment Day “have been halted for the time being.”
  • They were picked back up. JD is a fun addition - kind of the loser of the group.

July 22, 2023

  • According to BWE, WWE is strongly considering a “baby face Latino champ” right now.
  • I guess this could be Rey Mysterio winning the US title. (1/1)
  • BWE also says that LA Knight’s “new push” will begin after SummerSlam.
  • That’s accurate. He won that Slim Jim battle royal and eventually got a world title shot in Saudi Arabia and against lats night. (1/1)
  • This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter states there is no hiring freeze in WWE. However, even though WWE has discussed signing Brian Pillman Jr., it’s seen as “less likely” to happen until after the Endeavor deal is officially finalized.
  • I’m seeing he may have been signed right before. But I don’t think we have an official announcement.
  • The Observer says RUSH has also been “talked about a lot in WWE given his contract situation,” but the belief is he has “a very strong AEW offer to stay.”
  • RUSH is still with AEW, though currently out injured.
  • Free agent Nick Aldis “is said to be interested in both AEW and WWE,” per WON.
  • He signed with WWE. He’s the current SmackDown General Manager.
  • Undertaker will be in Detroit during SummerSlam weekend, PW Insider has confirmed. WWE & Taker don’t currently have any of his 1 DeadMAN SHOWs planned in Detroit that weekend.
  • He could have just been hanging out.
  • The Observer notes that due to long travel times in Canada and other delays, “very little was planned out” for the 58 minute match between FTR and Bullet Club Gold on AEW Collision. The wrestlers “felt they were not prepared to do an hour match” and “there was an attempt to get the match moved back.”
  • That was a great match.

July 24, 2023

  • For what it’s worth, BWE claims Bray Wyatt’s return to WWE is “very near.” They claim “he’s been around a few times” and “plans are there for his return.” Apparently the discussion for the return is SummerSlam.
  • This is very sad - his health never allowed him. (0/1)
  • PW Torch says Vince McMahon has grown into a fan of LA Knight. They also echo recent talk of a big push coming for him soon.
  • I believe it. There was rumor that Vince changed an episode of SmackDown and Knight went from a triple threat match advertised to beating Rey Mysterio one on one. If that was a Vince change, it was beneficial for LA. And that push did come. (1/1)
  • More on Knight: In response to word going around that he has issues backstage, BWE said that’s not true and “he’s one of the most reliable talents.”
  • He’s said himself he’s a quiet guy and that has turned folks off in the past. So I believe it’s possible he’s not beloved by everyone. But there’s been no word of Lana heat or anything.
  • PW Insider says COVID-19 precautions led to some talent not being used on SmackDown but the card wasn’t changed around too much. Notably, a planned Iyo Sky vs. Zelina Vega match was changed to Sky vs. Charlotte Flair.
  • COVID will still rear it’s ugly head and alter some plans from time to time.
  • NXT’s recent ratings surge led to some there “pushing for the idea of doing numbers that beat Dynamite,” according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • They went for that when they went head to head and NXT loaded the show with Cena & the Undertaker.

July 25, 2023

  • Kevin Owens is legitimately injured, according to WRKD Wrestling. The Twitter account says WWE used the injury to advance his & Sami Zayn’s angle with The Judgment Day on Raw last night. WRKD tweeted that it’s unclear how long he’ll be out. UPDATE: More on this here.
  • He missed about a month.
  • WWE does have plans for LA Knight at SummerSlam, per BWE. That Twitter account says that right now those plans consist of a segment/angle, but “could switch to a match”.
  • It was the Slim Jim battle royal (1/1)
  • As of last week, Wrestling Observer said WWE’s plans called for Austin Theory’s next U.S. title match to happen on SmackDown, not SummerSlam. Plans could always change, but the SummerSlam card is currently considered full with nine matches.
  • Austin Theory did not defend at SummerSlam. (1/1)
  • Orange Cassidy has been working as an agent/producer for AEW, per Fightful Select.
  • You’d think if this were the case, more folks would wrestle with their hands in their pockets.
  • In reaction to Fightful’s report on Cassidy, podcaster & author Brian Solomon tweeted that Bret Hart offered to agent for AEW but was told the company only wanted to bring him in as a manager.
  • We don’t know enough details about this to judge, but it was still framed in a way for folks to say “How could they now want to listen to one of the best of all time?”
  • While “there’s been a lot of speculation about the 2024 WWE Royal Rumble coming to Orlando,” PW Insider Elite notes that there’s been a lot of internal discussion about the event happened at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • It was in the Trop and not Orlando. (1/2)
  • Meanwhile, Fightful Select says Minneapolis is being heavily discussed as a location for WrestleMania 41.
  • Still waiting to hear about this.

July 26, 2023

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said tickets for SummerSlam have “really started to pick up” after the announcement of the Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso “Tribal Combat” title match on SmackDown last Friday night.
  • Trial Combat was probably the weakest of Roman’s recent matches.
  • PW Insider says “the word making the rounds” is that Liv Morgan has a separated shoulder but they couldn’t fully confirm that.
  • She definitely busted her shoulder. (1/1)
  • According to WRKD Wrestling, there are currently ideas being pitched right now for Grayson Waller to be involved in a segment with a “WWE Legend” during SummerSlam weekend, though it’s cautioned that “nothing is set in stone.”
  • That did not happen. Maybe that was an idea since apparently Undertaker was in town. (0/1)
  • WWE changed around a few segments during Monday Night Raw this week, per Fightful Select. It was just a matter of rearranging when those segments happened, like the fact that Cody Rhodes promo was originally supposed to go on after the Sami Zayn vs. Dominik Mysterio match.
  • The flow of the show is important.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, when going over Eric Young requesting his release from WWE after Vince McMahon’s return to power, said “there were other had expressed to us misgivings about that, some serious, but none who were going to quit their jobs over it.”
  • EY was the only one who did. He spoke about it later. And he referred to it recently when Vince’s heinous accusations came out, causing him to resign. While I don’t fault wrestlers who didn’t just leave when Vince returned, likely breaching a contract, especially since the wrestlers didn’t know the details of what was going on. But EY knew that Vince was rotten and was in the position to leave and he did. That’s very commendable.
  • Also from the WON: Former Stardom & reigning NJPW Strong Women’s champion Giulia is scheduled to wrestle on New Japan’s Aug. 19 show in Philadelphia, and “it’s possible she’ll be on an AEW show that week“ if Tony Khan can work out a deal with Stardom & New Japan owners Bushiroad like they did for Utami Hayashishita’s recent appearance in ROH.
  • Word has it Giulia has signed with WWE.

July 27, 2023

  • A Sports Illustrated report on last Wednesday’s Blood & Guts match said “a busy day” made it difficult to get everyone together to plan things out, and contributed to the match running long. There was supposed to be 10 minutes of television time after the finish, during which time the BCC/Elite handshake & Kenny Omega’s promo would have aired.
  • That’s a shame. They really need to better keeping time for these big events. No company is perfect with that. But if there was plans to show the handshake, they should have figured out how to make that work.
  • A “big moment” for Hangman Page was also cut from Blood & Guts due to time issues, but outside of what happened after Dynamite went off the air “all of the other key points were hit”.
  • That’s unfortunate for Hangman but it does happen.
  • Some not terribly surprising items from SI’s report: the bed of nails was Jon Moxley’s idea, and Bryan Danielson hopes he’ll get another chance to wrestle Kota Ibushi.
  • With Ibushi’s current injury, I don’t know if that match will happen.
  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the upcoming Cody Rhodes documentary on Peacock will feature footage from Being The Elite as The Young Bucks granted WWE permission to use it. That material will cover the original All In and Rhodes signing with AEW. There is no footage of Cody in AEW.
  • I didn’t watch this but from what I’ve seen, it looks accurate. (1/1)
  • Though he wasn’t sure of the term on RUSH’s new contract, Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio he believes it’s longer than the one year deal AEW & RUSH did in 2022 because “AEW is trying to sign people for multi-years”.
  • That makes sense with WWE trying to scoop up folks who may not be happy.
  • Speaking of AEW contracts, Fightful Select says Dustin Rhodes’ doesn’t end until September 2024.
  • They’ve wisely used Dustin in AEW.
  • After a report he was arrested earlier this month for DUI & speeding surfaced, Buff Bagwell tweeted that “had to spend time in jail for a DUI but this was from the original offense years ago”, and that he was recently sanctioned for failing to properly document an out of state trip. The former WCW wrestler has been living with Diamond Dallas Page, and says he’ll celebrate 11 months of sobriety today.
  • DDP’s Accountability Crib has seen its share of former wrestlers go through there. Don’t forget to do this tomorrow.

This week: 10/12 - 83%

Overall: 4,945/8,618 - 57.4%

Have a great week, everyone!

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