Rumor Look Back: May 29 – June 5, 2020 (www.cagesideseats.com)

Kyle Decker

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 get right to it!

May 29, 2020

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer mentioned that AJ Styles was traded to SmackDown because WWE couldn’t limit him to only four appearances on the blue brand, which is the rule for brand-to-brand invitations.
  • They box themselves in with these rules and then half the times end up ignoring them.
  • Meltzer also indicated that even though WWE brought in 30+ people to serve as audience members on Raw this week, they were all given temperature checks, rather than COVID-19 tests.
  • That was the case before the first WWE outbreak. It was rather irresponsible.
  • Chris Jericho told Comicbook.com that the Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing took 12 hours to shoot.
  • He talked about it on his podcast as well. It was an all night affair.
  • According to PW Insider, Marq Quen’s injury on this week’s Dynamite was a work.
  • That was an odd one if I recall it correctly.
  • Jim Ross told Bryan Alvarez that AEW was planning to run live events (in addition to Dynamite) in order to help talent improve their skills, but it didn’t happen due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • I wonder how they’d do that? Maybe two a week and then Dynamite? They have plenty of talent that could use the experience and seasoning. If they do develop a deeper relationship with Impact, some of that AEW talent who needs that extra work could benefit from working there for a little bit.

May 30, 2020

  • According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Mike Tyson in AEW is a long term thing with Chris Jericho and he’s being paid a lot of money for it with the thought that it’s worth the gamble.
  • As of now, it was a one-off thing. Maybe they’ll come back to it now that Tyson had his fight, but it was never picked back up. (0/1)
  • Despite multiple recent appearances on WWE television, there’s no word on Kurt Angle signing a new deal with the company.
  • He’s still a free agent. (1/1)
  • Per PW Insider, Ric Flair and WWE came to terms over the rights to trademarks for “The Man” the latter had been using for Becky Lynch. The belief is that it was part of his re-signing with the company recently.
  • I think that was all just Ric Flair trying to find a negotiating chip.
  • WrestleTalk says Dominik Dijakovic will be one of the NXT wrestlers getting called up to the WWE main roster soon.
  • He was part of RETRIBUTION, so within six months. (1/1)
  • The Observer says Christopher DeJoseph was let go by WWE. He was “one of the lead writers for SmackDown.”
  • Apparently he wasn’t very professional.

June 1, 2020

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said Dominik Dijakovic will be called up to the Monday Night Raw brand.
  • I guess this is true since that’s where RETRIBUTION and T-Bar showed up. But I also think these rumors are thinking it’ll be Dijakovic as Dijakovic. (1/1)
  • The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says that Nia Jax vs. Kairi Sane was taped for Raw this week and the latter suffered an injury that may be edited out. Sane is okay, however, and there’s apparently no heat on Jax for what happened.
  • I think this was when Jax pushed Kairi into the ringsteps and she hit too hard.
  • According to PW Insider, over the past few days WWE informed some executives and company officials that they will have their pay reduced in response to the pandemic.
  • Using the pandemic as an excuse not to pay people as much. Vintage WWE!
  • Piggybacking on that, the Observer says producers and referees will be getting a 20-percent pay cut as well.
  • Sigh….
  • SEScoops says Chris DeJoseph was fired by WWE for inappropriate remarks during a meeting. Vince McMahon was apparently “irate” about it.
  • I feel this could be one of those things where Vince can be inappropriate or immature but if you do the same thing at a time he’s not in the mood, he’s all angry. I don’t think we got the details on what type of comments DeJoseph made.

June 2, 2020

  • In their tweet moments before WWE announced the free Network tier, WrestleVotes insinuated that multiple paid tiers were coming when they wrote “the options of pricing are all still reasonable.”
  • We’ve never gotten those multiple paid tiers. (0/1)
  • Kurt Angle told CBR.com that he turned down an offer to manage Matt Riddle on SmackDown.
  • I think someone like Angle is so big that he’d be too distracting as a manager.
  • Regarding Angle, someone within WWE told WrestlingNews.co that “if they [WWE] haven’t signed him already then they will make an offer to him soon. Vince doesn’t want to lose him to AEW.”
  • I don’t know if there’s been any offer, though I believe one was rumored later on. Kurt also hasn’t showed up in AEW either though.
  • Sources told Fightful that AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan’s match for the Intercontinental title (airing Fri., June 12 but filmed last Tuesday) “was ‘unbelievable’ and legitimately pumped up a very tired NXT PC crowd that was there to cheer”.
  • It was a good match.
  • That site also heard Adam Cole & Velveteen Dream’s TakeOver match was filmed outdoors at night with cars surrounding the area and their headlights used. PC talent used for the crowd were unhappy because rain delayed a shoot that was supposed to start at 7 until after midnight.
  • That was the set up of the match. It wasn’t that good. (1/1)

June 3, 2020

  • Fightful says Rob Gronkowski had heat within WWE for not wanting to do the dive spot at WrestleMania 36 and holding up filming while Vince McMahon had to convince him to do it.
  • I think anybody who comes in from somewhere else and immediately gets a spotlight is going to have heat no matter what.
  • The Observer notes that he was done with WWE when he signed with Tampa Bay because he won’t be able to wrestle matches while under contract with them.
  • I could see him getting more heat from bailing soon after signing.
  • According to PW Insider, MVP is no longer working as a producer for WWE and is instead back to performing full-time.
  • I don’t know if he does any producing work, but he is a full-time on-air talent. (1/1)
  • Bryan Alvarez noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that someone in WWE told him Nia Jax needed to be fired after the spot on Raw where Kairi Sane was injured being thrown into the steel steps.
  • I wonder if that one person represented more people or if that was one extreme opinion.
  • Impact is now teasing several released WWE stars signing with the company and appearing at Slammiversary. It’s expected at least some of them are actually coming.
  • A few of them showed up – Eric Young, EC3, and the Good Brothers. Young was world champ at one point (lost to Rich Swann) and the Good Brothers are tag champs. (1/1)

June 4, 2020

  • Some WWE talent released in April have received offers to re-sign with the company, but according to Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Live only for a “fraction” of what they were making before.
  • Only Drake Maverick has come back, and that was in NXT. I don’t know if others turned down offers or those offers weren’t made.
  • If wrestlers are deciding between an offer from Impact to appear at Slammiversary or returning to WWE on the new deals, Alvarez believes “a fair number” will go Impact.
  • If those offers from WWE were made, that may be the case. But we don’t know that.
  • WWE used a public announce system to tell the talent in the crowd at Raw and SmackDown to be more energetic, says Wrestling Inc: “One source described it as a parent talking down to a child.”
  • Being a PC wrestler in the crowd in that time was probably terrible.
  • Malcolm Bivens’ Indus Sher team were supposed to feud with Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne for the NXT Tag titles, but Fightful reports they were pulled from TV when it became clear Riddle would have to drop the belts. WWE officials didn’t think Indus Sher was ready for that spot.
  • Then one of the guys on the team spoiled the finish to the Great American Bash and they haven’t been seen since.
  • New Japan and Stardom’s parent company Bushiroad says they plan to resume live events and that the wrestlers will receive antibody tests, but they didn’t provide a schedule for the return of wrestling to Japan.
  • I don’t know if antibody tests are as helpful as antigen tests. It just tests past exposure, not current exposure.

June 5, 2020

  • On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that he expects Brock Lesnar will be booked for SummerSlam, even if there are no fans in attendance.
  • Brock was not part of that show. (0/1)
  • Wrestling Inc confirmed that there are discussions about bringing Io Shirai and Velveteen Dream up to the main roster from NXT.
  • Neither have come to the main roster. Io is still champion. They try to bring Dream back to NXT, fans don’t care for it, and then he disappears again. (0/2)
  • They also mentioned that Adam Cole’s WWE contract is up in August, and he has yet to sign a new deal.
  • If that were the case, and I believe a later rumor may dispute that, he re-signed.
  • Meltzer indicated that Rob Gronkowski’s WWE contract called for him to work three events – WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and a show in Saudi Arabia late in 2020. Those latter two appearances won’t happen now that he is gone from WWE and back in the NFL.
  • I wonder if he would have actually wrestled any of those dates.
  • The second night of AEW’s Fyter Fest will be taped on July 2, and air on July 8. AEW has already written all of their shows through Fyter Fest. The matches on that card will be treated like pay-per-view matches, in terms of length and presentation.
  • I don’t remember these shows being too special, but I believe they were more match heavy like PPVs. (1/1)

This week: 7/12 – 58%

May 2020: 30/63 – 48%

Overall: 3,562/6,347 – 56.1%

Have a good week, everyone. Stay safe out there.