Rumor Look Back: Sept. 13 – 19, 2021

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.

September 13, 2021

  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter claims FOX went to WWE once word got out that CM Punk could go to AEW and offered to help sign him. Apparently WWE said his money request was too high and FOX offered to chip in to help pay for his services.
  • He was never going back to WWE. But it makes sense that Fox would try to make it happen. They went and got him for Backstage.
  • They also say if Bray Wyatt goes to AEW, there’s talk of debuting him on the Sept. 29 episode of Dynamite in Rochester, New York.
  • He did not show up on that show, but he hasn’t shown up at all. There’s been a lot of rumors about Wyatt and where he’d show up, though those eventually quieted. He announced work on a movie, and that’s probably on-going. Will we see him show up in AEW at one point? I’d still bet on it but the longer it goes, the less confident I’d be making that bet. (I also guess it’s possible he… controls his narrative… but that’d be disappointing.)
  • Sticking with the WON, they say Braun Strowman has had talks with Impact Wrestling and there is mutual interest there.
  • That interest wasn’t enough for a contract. (0/1)
  • Per the Observer, Vince McMahon was willing to let Bryan Danielson work the G1 Climax under the terms of a new WWE contract they were hoping he would sign.
  • That would have been pretty wild.
  • A video package promoting previously unseen footage of multiple WWE documentaries during SmackDown last week led to PW Insider speculation that documentaries could be popping up again on the Network.
  • Does this apply to Peacock? There are surely old docs on there but I’m not sure if they’ve been adding new ones.

September 14, 2021

  • We’ve got out the latest list of WWE banned words, courtesy of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Blood, choke, belt, strap, diva, head shot, trauma, kayfabe, Mofos, house show, DQ, The Anti-Diva, spinal injuries , victim, violence, violent, wrestling, wrestlers, WWF, wifebeater, curb stomp, phrases including the word “push” and “being over,” babyface, heel, job, jobber, card, strangle, kill and murder.
  • Most of those aren’t new, and many make sense. You definitely shouldn’t say “kayfabe.” “Mofos” is dumb in general. Though “wrestling” and “wrestlers” is pretty sad. Pat McAfee said “professional wrestling” last night but he also said “douchebag.”
  • Samoa Joe was included in the original script for last night’s Rawper Fightful Select.
  • Joe never made it back to WWE TV.
  • PW Insider says Austin Theory was backstage at Raw last night, leading to renewed speculation he might return to the main roster soon.
  • He was drafted to Raw in October. (1/1)
  • Johnny Gargano’s WWE contract expires on Dec. 3 of this year, reports Fightful. The company has been aware of Gargano’s status, but the site notes all NXT contracts were reviewed after the issues with Malakai Black’s non-compete and the end dates of Adam Cole & Pete Dunne’s deals.
  • Johnny is not in WWE right now, but he’s not anywhere. He’s just focusing on doing the dad thing.
  • Former ROH World champ PCO informed Ring of Honor he won’t re-sign with the company when his current contract ends on Nov. 30, per The Observer.
  • All of the talent was released in October so of course he didn’t re-sign. But he is ‘repping’ ROH in Impact as one of the invaders. (1/1)

September 15, 2021

  • Big E is now a full time member of the Raw roster going forward, per PW Insider.
  • Yeah, this is true. I almost want to mark it as wrong because it didn’t even last six months before he was back on Friday, but when he was WWE champion, he was on Raw all the time. And that’s not true of all WWE champions. (1/1)
  • Insider notes that Samoa Joe is not expected to be out of action for an extended period of time but it’s unclear when he’ll be coming back.
  • He never came back. Sounds like they used a COVID diagnosis to go a different direction. (0/1)
  • Social media posts have led to speculation The Hurt Business could be reuniting.
  • That happened very briefly. (1/1)
  • As for the NXT 2.0 debut show, Insider says the script was changed “a ton of times” throughout the day leading up to it hitting air on USA Network. They also say Kevin Dunn was at the show and personally overseeing the broadcast.
  • Multiple script changes? Very main roster.
  • Ringside News claims Vince McMahon’s involvement in the show was that he reviewed the script with Ed Koskey.
  • That’s still too much. NXT’s appeal was it was independent of the main roster. I fully understand why they don’t want that any more, but it autonomy was one of the reasons I really liked it.

September 16, 2021

  • The decision to move the WWE title match to Raw was made “shortly after” last week’s episode, per Ringside News. Big E’s cash-in was decided on or after the Madison Square Garden SmackDown.
  • It was a good moment. And I liked his match with Drew in Saudi. But it was all downhill from there.
  • A source told Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian WWE will continue pushing the NXT 2.0 name because “they want people to know this is a whole new NXT.”
  • Vince McMahon loves his branding. (1/1)
  • WWE has already talked about eventually doing “a passing-of-the-torch type moment at a WrestleMania” between Brock Lesnar & Gable Steveson, according to Wrestling Observer.
  • That’s not going to happen for a while.
  • Adam Cole told TV Insider, “I personally have never heard anything regarding” WWE’s reported plan to use him as a manager. Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp said he heard from several other sources that they’d never heard that pitch among the ones discussed backstage either.
  • Did he dispute this later? I don’t think he did, and can’t find anything specifically, but vaguely remember something.
  • Candice LeRae’s contract with WWE runs into 2022, a little longer than her husband Johnny Gargano’s, says Fightful Select. No time has been added for her pregnancy, as she still plans to work for as long as she possibly can.
  • They can add time now, I believe.

September 17, 2021

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said Shawn Michaels was the person “running the show” for NXT 2.0 this week, and Triple H “probably won’t be back for a while.” Vince McMahon wasn’t there. Vince was involved in the creative of the show, but he wasn’t “the key guy.”
  • I don’t know if Triple H is involved even now.
  • Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian said there is pressure on WWE from the networks to treat Raw and SmackDown as equal shows. Big E winning the WWE championship was originally planned for his move to Raw During the upcoming draft, but it was moved up in order to give Raw something equally big after SmackDown had such a huge show at MSG. It was not a response to AEW Dynamite beating Raw in the key demo rating.
  • WWE is too reactionary at times. Not that following the first plan would mean his reign would have been better. Heck, maybe just shorter.
  • That being said, Zarian heard from people at the networks that if the trend continues of AEW closing the gap on Raw‘s television numbers, “then we have a big problem.”
  • That sounds like a threat.
  • Per Meltzer, Tamina was supposed to beat Nikki ASH on this week’s Rawbut the referee botched the finish.
  • Oof.
  • PW Insider notes the morale backstage at AEW is “very high” right now heading into next week’s loaded Grand Salam shows in New York City.
  • They often have a lot to be proud of.

September 18, 2021

  • Triple H is doing well after his recent heart surgery, says Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Talent have been told they can call The Game to wish him well, but they’re not to talk WWE business if they do.
  • Eventual word is things were more serious than initially we thought.
  • According to Fightful, one reason why so many NXT contracts are coming up is because there wasn’t much incentive for top NXT stars to sign long-term with WWE two years ago when the company was offering new deals. The money being offered to NXT talent was “nowhere near” the main roster deals.
  • That makes sense.
  • According to PW Insider, Rosario Dawson’s appearance on this week’s Dynamite was “a Cody Rhodes deal.” It was such a closely guarded secret that very few people outside of “the most inner circle” in AEW knew about it.
  • Cody Rhodes often had his own thing going on in AEW.
  • The WON also says the reason Chavo Guerrero was written off AEW television is because he’s the wrestling coordinator for Young Rock, which is now filming its second season. Once filming wraps, Chavo is expected back in AEW.
  • He has had some comments about AEW ghosting him, as did some others.
  • Stephen Amell said on Instagram he’ll be at AEW’s Grand Slam show next week in Queens. Speculation obviously is that he’ll get involved with Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black.
  • He did not get involved in that match. (0/1)

This week: 5/8 – 63%

Overall: 4,095/7,221 – 56.7%

Have a great week, everyone!

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