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Rumor Look Back: July 1 - 6, 2023

WWE.com

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 1, 2023

  • This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter indicates that WWE is waiting for the Endeavor deal to be finalized before making “major changes,” including implementing “new ideas” for Raw that have been discussed internally.
  • Have there been new ideas? None that we’ve really seen. It’s a good show (which is new compared to when Vince was full time in creative) but I haven’t seen anything I’d say was “new” outside cohesive booking. (0/1)
  • BWE says the Bloodline civil war tag team match (The Usos vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa) will be the main event of today’s Money in the Bank 2023 event, and the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match will open the show.
  • That’s accurate on both accounts. (2/2)
  • According to Fightful Select, there have been discussions in WWE about Logan Paul feuding with the Brawling Brutes after Money in the Bank 2023.
  • He did not. His next feud was Ricochet. (0/1)
  • The site also claims that AEW planned for Bryan Danielson to wrestle more on TV following the Forbidden Door pay-per-view, including his involvement in the upcoming Blood & Guts match. Those creative plans had to be changed due to the injury he suffered at the PPV.
  • Bryan’s last full year wrestling has had its road bumps with injury.
  • Jon Moxley replaced Danielson as Tomohiro Ishii’s opponent on this week’s Dynamite, per WON.
  • Just two bruisers.
  • Regarding WWE’s plan to have more NXT stars show up on the main roster (and vice versa), the Observer mentions that part of the idea behind the strategy is to “make NXT more unpredictable.”
  • That’s fair.
  • AEW has filed to trademark “AEW: Rise to the Top”. The filing suggests the term is related to a downloadable video game.
  • Looks like it. Anyone play it? (1/1)

July 3, 2023

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said the plan right now is still for Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia.
  • We’ll have a few more weeks until we can confirm this... or not. I write the initial outline of these on Monday while watching the beginning of Raw. Rock came out later which made the idea of Cody vs. Reigns at Raw less likely (though I think still greater than 50%).
  • According to the Observer, the current SummerSlam match lineup calls for Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso, Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar, Trish Stratus vs. Becky Lynch, Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair, GUNTHER vs. Drew McIntyre, Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler, and a Logan Paul showcase. As of now, Paul vs. LA Knight is not the plan.
  • Trish and Becky were left off the card. But the rest were correct. (6/7)
  • Fightful Select says there are no creative plans for John Cena beyond his special surprise appearance at Money in the Bank.
  • That specifically didn’t lead to anything but he did come back for a run during the writer’s strike later on. (1/1)
  • While some of Vince McMahon’s ideas are outdated, he gives a lot of good input on WWE Creative, a source told the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. They added, “It’s not the interference itself that is the problem. It’s how and when he does it.”
  • As a sounding board, I’m sure he’d still have value. Changing other plans last minute ain’t it.
  • According to Fightful, Grayson Waller is “set to be cleared” from his injury soon.
  • Waller was back wrestling in a couple weeks. (1/1)
  • The Observer notes that there is talk of taping NXT television outside of Orlando, and doing house show loops outside of Florida.
  • That’s not the case yet. (0/2)
  • They also say folks within WWE are keeping quiet about future plans for The Creeds after their Loser Leaves NXT match airs this Tuesday.
  • The Creeds eventually came up to Raw.

July 4, 2023

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer theorized that WWE had John Cena tease WrestleMania London for two reasons: (1) to make a statement after AEW’s impressive tickets sales for All In, since Meltzer is sure WWE could sell out two nights at Wembley Stadium and break any gate record AEW sets, and (2) to create demand and influence London to pay to bring WrestleMania there, like Cardiff did for Clash at the Castle and Puerto Rico did for Backlash.
  • I don’t know if we’ll ever actually get a Mania outside North America.
  • A “high ranking” person in WWE creative felt “trepidation” about the finish of Money in the Bank’s main event, according to WrestleVotes. The Twitter account added, “A strong argument that Reigns shouldn’t be pinned prior to losing the title was present throughout the process.”
  • I think it worked here to help put Jey Uso over. The Tribal Combat match wasn’t great, but this feud did a lot to make Jey feel like a solo star. The debate of whether Roman should have dropped the title to Cody last year is one that persists, and while I’m not entirely sure my position, I will point to the fact that their matches (which felt bigger because he was the champ) helped make Jey a much bigger star. You could say the same for LA Knight but his was more organic and less an overall plan.
  • Regarding their earlier rumor about Brock Lesnar returning at Money in the Bank, WRKD Wrestling said plans changed prior to the show and with Cena & Drew McIntyre showing up WWE decided to hold Lesnar for Raw.
  • That makes sense. (Or could be some backtracking.)
  • Another rumor killer, this time about talk WWE considered giving Zelina Vega’s Money in the Bank spot to Charlotte Flair: Fightful Select says they checked with their sources and “were told there wasn’t serious consideration to that and that Charlotte’s creative has been planned for a while.”
  • Feels like the Triple H regime isn’t going to just change things last minute for the hell of it. The Rock or CM Punk returning could change his calculus, but otherwise, he seems like a guy who is sticking to his guns regards set plans.
  • Triple H met with some unnamed talents he’s hoping to sign over Money in the Bank weekend, per BWE. That Twitter account says they heard the meeting went well.
  • I wonder if it’s anyone of note.
  • There was speculation online about Jade Cargill’s AEW future when she tweeted about enjoying life “outside of the wrestling bubble” so much that she “might stay” there. After her loss at Double or Nothing, Fightful Select reported plans called for Cargill to return from some time off “with a personality shift”.
  • She returned and lost one more time to put Statlander over further before jumping to WWE. (0/1)

July 5, 2023

  • Drew McIntyre’s return at Money in the Bank happened after he and WWE came to an agreement on a “strong storyline”, per PW Insider. There’s been no change in his contract status, and the site says the two sides haven’t even begun talking about a new deal “partially because there’s so much time left” before his current one expires early next year.
  • His story right now is incredible, though after another loss to Seth Rollins last Monday, I’m not sure where it goes. He’s a guy who I thought could very well win that title from Seth, but if that was ever in the plans, it feels like Punks return messed that up.
  • Dave Meltzer confirmed Insider’s report about McIntyre’s contract status on Wrestling Observer Radio, and added that with the time Drew’s taken off WWE could extend his current deal through WrestleMania 40 or close to it.
  • Endeavor is locking a bunch of folks up currently. I’m sure Drew will be one of them.
  • On her Instagram, Ronda Rousey claimed the women’s tag team championship match at Money in the Bank, where Shayna Baszler turned on her and Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez won the titles back, had its time cut three times.
  • That’s gotta be frustrating when that happens.
  • According to WOR’s Meltzer, WWE filmed Logan Paul & Ricochet brawling backstage at Money in the Bank because they didn’t think their table spot in the ladder match went well enough to really spread online and be used as the basis for their planned SummerSlam feud.
  • Yeah, unfortunately that spot during the ladder match didn’t look great.
  • More on Charlotte Flair’s creative that was mentioned in yesterday’s Roundup, Fightful Select’s report says Flair’s program with Bianca Belair & Asuka was planned before Charlotte returned: “We’re told that the idea was to re-establish Asuka, and have her involved with two top talent chasing her for the title, instead of the other way around to add more intrigue and suspense to the reign.”
  • Asuka has had some valleys in her booking but has also been booked very well under both Vince & Hunter.
  • AEW Battle of the Belts VII is on TNT’s schedule for July 15 immediately after Collision.
  • These shows feel very skippable.
  • Fightful claims Tyler Breeze is still under a deal to WWE through UpUpDownDown, and apparently it includes language that restricts him from appearing on any AEW programming.
  • That UpUpDownDown deal is rather detailed if that’s the case.

July 6, 2023

  • Triple H was not at Raw this past Monday, reports Fightful Select. While his absence did catch some backstage by surprise, it’s believed to have just been a planned day off. He’s expected back for SmackDown. Fightful says Bruce Pritchard ran Raw in Trips’ absence, as is standard procedure.
  • Triple H is still the guy.
  • Vince McMahon wasn’t present for Monday’s show or Money in the Bank, by the way.
  • Vince didn’t travel to the UK.
  • The “higher ups” who were at Raw “were very happy with the gritty nature of the Natalya vs. Rhea Ripley match,” according to Fightful. Ripley was said to have had her mouth busted open.
  • Natalya has her role as veteran gate keeper, and she’s really good at it.
  • While talking about his recent health issue on Grillin’ JR, Jim Ross revealed he doesn’t have much time left on his AEW contract, but said he’s not worried about what happens when it does as he just wants to enjoy helping younger talents for however long he’s there.
  • I wonder if they’ll re-sign him.
  • Diamante has been bumped up to a full-time contract with AEW, per Fightful Select. However, the site’s sources tell them she isn’t on an “All Elite graphic level deal”.
  • Is that an official level of contract? Part time, full time, full time with graphic?
  • PW Insider says another wrestler, Trench of Swerve Strickland’s short-lived Mogul Affiliates, exited AEW recently when his contract expired.
  • Mogul Affiliates was a bust and luckily, Swerve’s crew was significantly upgraded.

This week: 11/17 - 65%

Overall: 4,910/8,567 - 57.3%

Have a great week, everyone!

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