Welcome to this week’s edition of WWE/wrestling rumors we hope are true and those we hope aren’t. It’s been a big week, with Vince McMahon’s company building-up to the end of the year.
There’s no pay-per-view in December, as the next one will take place on January 1st, 2022, named Day 1.
This week’s edition features rumors about The Rock’s original plans at Survivor Series and why it was canceled, backstage news on the Becky Lynch-Charlotte Flair match, Vince McMahon being a fan of a released star, bad news about WWE’s last pay-per-view, and more!
#4. Hope is true: WWE’s original plans for The Rock at Survivor Series
Survivor Series 2021 seemed to be centered around The Rock’s 25th anniversary. The only problem was the fact that The Brahma Bull himself never showed up. Although WWE never officially advertised him, many fans felt that the company misled them by mentioning The Great One as much as they did.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE’s original plan was for The Rock to show up at Survivor Series 2021:
”The original idea was that Dwayne Johnson would appear at the show. But like everything in the Dwayne Johnson world, there are projects with timetables and an idea to appear months ago had fallen through due to the filming of the second season of ‘Young Rock,”’ said Meltzer.
Andrew Zarian added more to this report, stating that the plan was, in fact, to have the show centered around The Rock.
He said that the timing was perfect, since they were promoting his new film on Netflix Red Notice, the show Young Rock was renewed by NBC, as well as the second season of the Ruthless Aggression documentary series.
He went on to state that in late September, WWE was forced to change their plans:
“In late-September, the same source told me that Johnson would not be on Survivor Series due to his filming schedule and needing to quarantine for travel. However, there was still a financial obligation to continue with the plan for the movie promotion without Johnson which is what we saw last night. The basic concept stayed the same, minus Johnson himself,” wrote Zarian.
We hope that this is true since it would have made for an incredible moment and been one of the highlights of wrestling in 2021.
#3. Hope isn’t true: The reason why WWE fired Nia Jax and replaced her with a RAW star
Nia Jax is undoubtedly among the top 10 most shocking releases by WWE since 2020. Some could even argue that she is a part of the top five, since she is related to The Rock and is a homegrown superstar.
Her unique look made her an asset to the women’s division, although she has been under scrutiny by fans numerous times for botches in the ring. With that said, the news of her release was unfortunate, and rumors emerged that her unvaccinated status was the reason why the company let her go.
Jax denied these reports herself, and Dave Meltzer revealed on the Wrestling Observer Radio that the former RAW Women’s Champion wanted to extend her break, which is why WWE fired her. Not only this, but he added that Doudrop has now taken her spot on the red brand:
“The Doudrop spot was probably the spot they wanted Nia Jax in. Because if you remember they wanted Nia Jax back by mid-November and when she said no that’s when they fired her and that is when the Doudrop thing started being, you know,” said Meltzer.
We hope this isn’t true because Nia Jax and Doudrop are two completely different superstars. It further highlights Vince McMahon’s promotion’s approach of viewing every star as replaceable.
#3. Hope is true: Vince McMahon was a fan of recently released WWE star from Hit Row
Hit Row seemed to be getting a big push upon their WWE main roster debut, and it all fell apart so quickly. At first, B-Fab, who recently signed a new contract, was abruptly released.
The other three members followed soon after, and they were perhaps the most shocking set of releases in the recent batch. Not only were there reports about creative plans for Hit Row, but there were rumors that Top Dolla (real name AJ Francis) had backstage heat.
AJ Francis hit back at these rumors by stating that he stood up when B-Fab was released. Interestingly enough, Vince McMahon happened to be a fan of Top Dolla, as stated by Dave Meltzer on WOR:
“I know it sounds really weird [to release all of Hit Row when Top Dolla was the only one with heat on him] but here’s the thing, he’s the one that Vince saw as a star. The other guys just came along with the package. Ashante Thee Adonis was just a guy that they put in the group. It’s not like he’s a great wrestler. He’s just a guy, but he got put in the group and that’s what could have made a career for him — because that’s what Xavier Woods was, I mean not to say Xavier Woods isn’t very good now, he is very good,” said Meltzer.
We hope this is true, but it makes WWE’s decision to release Hit Row even more bizarre – especially since Vince McMahon makes the final decisions about who gets cut.
#2. Hope isn’t true: The reason why The Rock’s WWE return was canceled
There’s no denying that WWE’s inability to get The Rock for Survivor Series was a disappointment. There were rumors that the company would begin the slow-burning build to an eventual Roman Reigns vs. The Rock match, but that didn’t happen.
Perhaps that’s not too bad, especially since Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar seems to be the direction for WrestleMania 38 at the AT&T Stadium. WWE will then perhaps look to book a Reigns vs. The Rock main event for WrestleMania 39 in Hollywood.
Ultimately, it’s hard to say if The Brahma Bull will ever return to the company from retirement. He hasn’t appeared on WWE TV for years, and his busy filming schedule always conflicts with a potential return to the ring.
According to Dave Meltzer on WOR, The Great One wasn’t in the United States at the time of Survivor Series, and quarantine restrictions meant that there was no chance of him appearing in the first place:
“Dwayne is out of the country, and he can’t come back. They are like, doing a movie, and he can’t go back and forth because of quarantine. There was no way he would be at the show tonight,” reported Dave Meltzer.
We hope this isn’t true, but given that The Rock didn’t appear, it seemed to be out of WWE’s hands.
#2. Hope is true: Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair’s co-operation before WWE Survivor Series
WWE chose Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair as the Survivor Series 2021 opening match despite rumors that it was originally planned for the main event. Plans seemed to change, but what didn’t was the fact that the two top women delivered another instant classic.
They seem unable to have a bad match against each other, and a lot of the hype around it was due to the reports of the real-life confrontation between Lynch and Flair on SmackDown in late October.
While there seemed to have been some legitimate tension at the time, the two superstars completely played off it in interviews to build more heat to their bout. In the end, it worked, and they had an incredible match.
Dave Meltzer revealed on WOR that the two champions reportedly practiced the bout beforehand:
“They were a 100% cooperative. You know what’s funny, because last night in Syracuse, you know they were, I don’t know what it was, but somebody sent me a video from Syracuse. I don’t know how they got it, but it was them, you know, like, working their match out, like before anyone, when no one was there. So, it’s like this whole match was practiced. You know, it was a great match. I don’t have anything against practicing a match, you know, I mean, and people who get mad about it, that’s a different generation, and it’s like, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how the fans watch the match,” revealed Dave Meltzer.
We hope this is true because this fully cements that their supposed real-life rivalry backstage was blown out of proportion.
#1. Hope isn’t true: Huge lack of interest in WWE Survivor Series 2021?
Survivor Series 2021 was far from the best WWE pay-per-view of 2021. There were several “B-level pay-per-views” that turned out to be better. The event itself is only a “Big Four” pay-per-view by name, as many fans consider Money in the Bank to be a far more important show.
Looking at the past decade, it’s hard to disagree. The entire prestige of Survivor Series has worn down, and the “battle of the brands” concept seems to be outdated, with Becky Lynch admitting that herself.
Be that as it may, it is one of the oldest pay-per-views historically, and the effort put into the build-up signaled WWE’s lack of interest in hyping the show up.
According to Dave Meltzer of WON, there was a significant lack of interest from fans towards Survivor Series 2021. Sportskeeda Wrestling’s Phillipa Marie wrote:
“The show saw just 200,000 Google searches when compared to AEW All Out’s 500,000. As one of the company’s big four, this number of searches is expected by name alone, so this shows just how little fans were interested in last weekend’s event.“
We hope this isn’t true, but perhaps it could be a wake-up call to the promotion to reinvent Survivor Series as a concept. With that said, RAW and SmackDown broadcast deals serve as a much bigger source of revenue than pay-per-views.
#1. Hope is true: WWE getting paid “insane” money for the egg storyline?
WWE’s promotion of Red Notice, The Rock’s latest Netflix film is the reason why Vince McMahon and the egg storyline took place at Survivor Series. It seemed to serve as an additional way to boost RAW ratings by advertising Mr. McMahon in one of his rarer on-screen appearances.
This past Monday, before the episode of the red brand, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reported what was set to happen with the storyline:
“Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reports that one of the plans that afternoon involved Austin Theory in what was described as “him getting some sort of opportunity out of the angle.” If you haven’t enjoyed this storyline so far, take solace in the fact that the original pitch for it was “much worse” than what we ended up getting.”
Ultimately, he got his report right and Austin Theory earned a WWE title opportunity against Big E despite being the culprit who stole the egg. Sean Ross Sapp added that the company was getting paid “insane” money to promote the egg as a part of the storyline at Survivor Series and RAW.
We hope this is true, as it was a clever use of the tie-up and gave a big rub to Austin Theory despite him not capturing the WWE title.