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Rumor Look Back: July 28 - Aug. 3, 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 28, 2023

  • NJPW sources told Fightful Select that AEW’s current plan is for Will Ospreay to have a match against Chris Jericho at All In on Aug. 27 at London’s Wembley Stadium.
  • That was the match, with Ospreay getting the W. (1/1)
  • The site also heard that the reason Dexter Lumis hasn’t been on WWE television in recent weeks is because creative has nothing for him.
  • Seems like they still don’t.
  • PW Insider reports that Scott Garland (aka former WWE star Scotty 2 Hotty) was working backstage as a producer at this week’s AEW Dynamite taping. He is trying out for the position and is expected to be around for at least a few weeks.
  • He’s wrestled for them too.
  • Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez believes AEW is putting “some makeup” on Don Callis to make his gnarly scar look even more pronounced.
  • This is wrestling so they should do that. It’s a business of exaggeration.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter claims that even though SmackDown on FOX is the highest rated show on Friday nights, “its ads are still priced 30 percent lower than those on CBS, NBC and ABC on shows that draw far less.”
  • Sponsors don’t feel the wrestling audience is worth it.
  • Even though Odyssey Jones was drafted to the Raw roster, BWE says he should be debuting on SmackDown soon.
  • He hasn’t sniffed a match on TV. He’s worked SmackDown dark matches, but I don’t consider that a ‘debut.’ (0/1)

July 29, 2023

  • According to Fightful Select, people close to Vince McMahon said his spinal surgery last week was a “major, life altering operation.”
  • Seems like his entire life will be altered as his past catches up to him.
  • The site also says Triple H was not at WWE Raw this week. Bruce Prichard ran the show, but Triple H is expected back very soon.
  • We’ll see what Bruce Prichard’s future holds after Ronda’s tweet. (And I guess Triple H’s future in general.)
  • WRKD Wrestling indicates the injury Rey Mysterio suffered against Santos Escobar on last night’s SmackDown is a work, and not legitimate. UPDATE: Multiple outlets now report Mysterio was legitimately injured and WWE’s plans changes as a result. More here.
  • Well these conflict. (1/2)
  • WWE management is “so high” on NXT’s Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams, per BWE. The Twitter account says, “the plan is to strap ’em all to the moon” regardless of whether Hayes retains the NXT title at Great American Bash on Sunday.
  • I look forward to these guys being on the main roster full time. Trick’s first appearance on SmackDown had the crowd loving him real quick. That reaction seemed to surprise management. And while I love Trick, it surprised me because most of the main crowd doesn’t watch NXT and wouldn’t know the chant. This was a more tuned in crowd. And it came off great.
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that the WWE tag team titles won’t be defended at SummerSlam because Kevin Owens is taking time off to heal a broken rib.
  • There were a handful of folks left off the card that you’d think would normally be at SummerSlam. As for Kevin, he is often working through something, such as the broken foot he apparently wrestled with at Royal Rumble.
  • Jamie Hayter’s injury will prevent her from competing in a match at AEW: All In London at Wembley Stadium, per Fightful. In fact, her injury seems to be worse than originally believed, to the point where it’s “unexpected” she will return to the ring in 2023.
  • She has not made it back yet. (1/1)
  • The Observer also mentions that AEW wrestler Santana is “training for his return.”
  • He was back for All In.

July 31, 2023

  • Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that he was told Rey Mysterio is “fine” and he doesn’t think he suffered a concussion.
  • I think this injury may have changed how they approached the US title. I figured Santos Escobar was going to cleanly beat Rey and then go on to win the belt. But he fact he won due to Mysterio injury (so not the definitely torch passing win) it felt like they pushed it off. In fact Rey won the title after they did an Escobar injury angle, and I figured then Santos would beat him for it - maybe as a heel. However then they moved the belt to Logan Paul and Santos never got to run with it.

I also felt that LA Knight’s surging popularity at this time detracted in general from the LWO plot lines in directly. In fact he was in the US title tournament and lost and I think that killed some of the vibe because fans were so into him at the time.

  • More on the Rey injury: He was feeling dizzy after a spot, although it wasn’t the dive to the outside like many speculated. Actually, that was the spot they did to create a stoppage point.
  • Rey didn’t much time after this and it wasn’t long until he won the US title.
  • On the injury front, the Wrestling Observer notes that while there’s currently no timeframe for Liv Morgan’s return, the injury angle from Raw was done to cover for a potentially lengthy absence should she need surgery.
  • She returned last week in the Rumble. So about 6 months. (1/1)
  • For what it’s worth, Meltzer also said that WWE is keeping quiet on The Rock possibly showing up at SummerSlam, as has been speculated by many after Grayson Waller’s recent antics.
  • He did not show up at SummerSlam.
  • A few months ago WWE believed they had a “good shot” at signing Kenny Omega, but that’s “gone cold” and they now believe Omega will re-sign with AEW along with The Young Bucks & Hangman Page, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • I wonder how close the Elite was to actually signing a WWE contract. Feels like it was likely never close, but at the same time, they said some were pushing for it.
  • Fightful Select notes that Richard Holliday was backstage at AEW Collision this past weekend but it’s unclear if he was meeting to discuss a deal.
  • He didn’t sign with them.

August 1, 2023

  • WWE decided over the weekend to move the long-planned Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus match off the SummerSlam card, per a Fightful Select report. Moving it to Payback was considered before it was announced for the Aug. 14 Raw.
  • They did have a match at Payback as well that was very good.
  • After LuFisto’s criticism of the AEW women’s locker room led to speculation she was talking about Britt Baker, Fightful Select confirmed with LuFisto that Baker was not the wrestler she was referring to in her tweets.
  • Ah, I remember this brief thing.
  • That confirmation came along with a Fightful Q&A podcast in which Sean Ross Sapp said he “constantly” hears about “trash talking within [the AEW women’s] locker room”. Sapp also heard that LuFisto was supposed to do more with AEW, but “a not-so-good situation” that he believes ”emerged from a ton of miscommunication” contributed to those plans never materializing.
  • That sucks for LuFisto if she had further opportunity and it got taken away or she rubbed people the wrong way and lost it that way.
  • While there’s no official update on her status, Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer has heard Jade Cargill is “considering not coming back” to AEW.
  • She went to WWE. (1/1)
  • All In will be available in the U.S. as a $50 PPV on Comcast and DirecTV, according to Wrestlenomics and Wrestling Observer.
  • That’s correct. (1/1)
  • The Observer adds that while plans could change, no one at the PPV companies knows anything about a discounted price for purchasing All In and All Out together.
  • Plans never did change.
  • Following up on The Young Bucks giving WWE permission to use BTE footage in Peacock’s Cody Rhodes documentary, Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that Rhodes & The Bucks “actually talk more now than even before.”
  • Cody did the 2 Sweet symbol (and the Kenny gun symbol) before pointing at the WrestleMania sign after winning his second Rumble.

August 2, 2023

  • Fightful Select says Randy Orton does indeed intend to return to wrestling and he’s been lifting — and got huge from it — but he hasn’t taken any bumps or done any in-ring training like that. What’s more, there have been no creative discussions for him just yet or if there have, like for a SummerSlam return, it’s been kept quiet.
  • He returned for Survivor Series.
  • They also say Liv Morgan, Zoey Stark, Baron Corbin, Titus O’Neil and Maxxine Dupri are all scheduled to be in Detroit for SummerSlam this weekend.
  • Just to chill?
  • PW Torch notes that Jeremy Borash and Paul Heyman were responsible for putting together the outstanding video packages on Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler on Monday Night Raw this week.
  • I’ll always enjoy me some Jeremy Borash after watching in TNA for years.
  • According to WrestleVotes, Kid Rock will be featured in the cold open for SummerSlam this year.
  • That he was, which makes sense they were in Detriot. (1/1)
  • WWE originally planned to have Rhea Ripley squash Zelina Vega at Backlash earlier this year, per Fightful. Vega’s prominent role on SmackDown since, which included a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match, is said to be due to her performance in Puerto Rico and the reaction she received there.
  • Performing in Puerto Rico was a special moment for her.
  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that Ilja Dragunov isn’t going to the main roster anytime soon.
  • He’s still in NXT. (1/1)
  • Meltzer also speculated on WOR that Matt Riddle’s loss to Ludwig Kaiser on Raw this week was indicative of WWE being unwilling to push him right now, possibly due to his personal issues outside of the ring.
  • He was eventually released.
  • Thunder Rosa is training regularly in preparation for a return to the ring, says the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • She just recently started wrestling again.

August 3, 2023

  • WWE executives are “extremely high” on LA Knight, according to PW Insider. The site’s sources tell them the way Knight’s been used on television is “all by plan”, as the company is just waiting for the right time to pull the trigger. Until then he’s being “specifically used in a way that wouldn’t waste his appearances.”
  • Knight is a featured player now.
  • Reacting to that, WRKD Wrestling tweeted “there are parties worried that the company won’t strike while the iron is hot and momentum will fade, as they’ve done with some in the past.”
  • That was a big worry with Cody and he kept it going, though we’ll see how it stands up to the idea he’s giving up his WrestleMania spot. And it’s been about a year since Knight started getting hot and he’s still going too.
  • In a report on The Elite’s new AEW contracts, Fightful says they’ve heard there’s “movement” toward an FTR vs. Young Bucks rematch but “have not heard about the potential of a CM Punk-Elite feud being broached.”
  • That happened at All In but not with CM. (1/1)
  • Based on the current odds from Bet Online, no titles are currently favored to change hands at SummerSlam.
  • The women’s title changed hands twice, with Belair winning it from Asuka and Iyo Sky cashing in. (0/1)
  • Nate Diaz told ESPN that he walked away from a proposed boxing match with Logan Paul because “WWE came in and then they wanted to take over the whole thing”.
  • In what sense?
  • While they haven’t been able to confirm why, PW Insider did confirm that the NWA’s Kamille replaced Charlotte Flair in the upcoming Mildred Burke biopic. AEW’s Toni Storm also replaced Liv Morgan in the cast.
  • That’s curious. Though I suppose maybe Liv’s injury played a part.

This week: 9/12 - 75%

July 2023: 50/74 - 68%

Overall: 4,954/8,630 - 57.4%

Have a great week, everyone!

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