When hardcore wrestling fans want to learn more about potential angles, scuffles amongst wrestlers and everything in-between, they would go to various websites and social media platforms to read different dirt sheets and rumor roundups. Sometimes these rumors would be false and started by fans trolling or wrestling journalist misinterpreting things, but there have also been a fair share of rumors that tend to be true.
There were rumors that the WWE was going to take Daniel Bryan out of the main event scene and have him feud with Sheamus at WrestleMania XXX and that rumor was confirmed in Bryan’s documentary. There were rumors that Goldberg was on his way back to the company following the trend of wrestlers like Brock Lesnar and Sting who were featured in video games and those rumors proved true as well. These rumors often help get fans interested or even spread the word amongst fellow wrestling fans. It’s also quite possible that the WWE leaks rumors on purpose to throw fans off from their game. Reports like these are things the WWE wouldn’t mind fans knowing about, but there are some stories the company would rather fans not know at all.
Rumors of ridiculous matches they were planning, stories about potential encounters between employees, and variety of other topics are things that the company just doesn’t want fans to know about. These rumors only serve to hurt the WWE and the perception fans have of them, so it’s more than likely that the company would like the fans to forget about them. With that in mind, this article will look at 15 rumors that the company might want fans to forget about for one reason or another.
15 Daniel Bryan Returning
When The Miz cut that fantastic promo on Talking Smack against Daniel Bryan, many fans thought the WWE was planning some type of long term program between the two. Some even speculated that Bryan would send different opponents to The Miz in the hopes of taking the Intercontinental Championship from him, but others suspected that the WWE might have discussed allowing Bryan to return to the ring in some capacity.
There are several things wrong with this. First, it makes the WWE seem desperate to bring in a former star who might be taking a chance with his life should this return have been legitimate. Second, it basically means that the fans would have been given yet another pointless retirement speech from a wrestler who later changed their mind. Lastly, doing that and possibly bringing him back to work the mid-card is the opposite of what people would want. Bryan’s fans wanted him to be a main eventer throughout his run, so if they were legitimately thinking about allowing him back, the mid-card is not where the fans would want him to go.
14 Vince McMahon Ratings Panics
With ratings reaching new lows, the WWE often cites excuses on why the numbers have declined and continue to do so as time goes on. Triple H made mention of this when people criticized the 50/50 booking style the WWE employs and said “People talk a lot of smack about ratings and things, but they don't understand all of the dynamics of everything we do.” Even Vince McMahon claimed that they don’t live and die by TV ratings because of social media. However, whenever Raw hits record lows, there are always rumors that McMahon is upset or at least worried about the ratings.
There were reports of this issue last year around September indicating that McMahon was freaking out about the numbers. This year, those same reports made their resurgence earlier this month; almost six months from when McMahon made his ratings statement. Now granted this was when the WWE was still averaging three million viewers an episode, so the context might be slightly skewed, but if these reports are true, then not even the chairman himself believes what he’s selling.
13 Ryback Squashing AJ Styles
Knowing the way WWE looks down on former TNA stars, many fans doubted that AJ Styles would be able to do much in the company. In fact, most people expected him to just be a mid-carder for the first year, if not longer, because of where he previously worked and the stigma it has. Thankfully, Styles got a great reaction at the 2016 Royal Rumble that didn’t waver too much when he left the Florida crowd. He’s been booked in high profile feuds ever since and is the current WWE Champion. With all his WWE accomplishments in mind, it’s hard to believe that Vince McMahon was willing to have Styles get squashed by Ryback at one point.
Per Ryback, in a post-WWE interview, he supposedly walked away from a three year, $1.5 million-dollar deal. He also claimed that McMahon had been lying to him about what would happen should he oblige to the deal; even to the point where he was supposedly going to fight AJ Styles at WrestleMania and squash him....
12 WCW/WWE Brand Split
The way the WWE discusses WCW and treats some of their former stars, you would think that the company still harbors some anger towards its long dead rival. To this day, the company fails to properly pay homage to the company by making changes to concepts like Clash of the Champions without any reference to the old WCW event. With all the pettiness that the company exhibits today, it’s hard to believe that the WWE was willing to continue WCW as a separate brand.
Back in the year 2001, when WCW went out of business, the brand split almost happened a year early as the WWE was willing to allow WCW to live on as their other brand. There were going to be separate shows and possibly PPVs with the WCW wrestlers they acquired, but TNN wasn’t willing to take the chance with the WCW brand and it never came to fruition. Blessing or missed opportunity, what do you think?
11 Racism Within The WWE
The WWE promotes itself as a company that is inclusive and tolerant. This is a far cry from their earlier days as the company often tried to offend different groups of people with their gimmicks and characters, but now they seem to make a strong effort to promote equality; some examples include their congratulations of Darren Young for coming out while actively competing, acknowledging various ethnic celebration months, and giving the women in the company main event slots. The company does their best to seem inclusive, but rumors of racism throughout the company are the blemish that doesn’t seem to be going away.
There have been confirmed racism from employees like Michael Hayes, but then there are rumors from wrestlers like Alberto Del Rio and JTG. These rumors confirm the idea that the WWE is mostly doing these inclusive things as PR to hide some of their flaws.
There haven’t been any rumors or stories lately and hopefully it stays that way.
10 Stone Cold Return Rumors
It’s without a doubt that Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the biggest wrestling stars of all-time and someone almost every wrestling fan liked at some point. His run at the top of the company lasted through the Attitude Era and into the Ruthless Aggression Era, where he wrestled his last match against The Rock. Since that time, Austin makes appearances every so often and gives the occasional stunner, but fans have been clamoring to see him get back in the ring.
This started primarily with the Twitter battles between Austin and CM Punk, where Punk would call him out for a match and Austin would drop subtle hints that only got the fans all wired up and excited. The Austin-Punk teasing would continue until Punk left the company in 2014.
The rumors of a return also popped up following an interview with Paul Heyman who asked Austin what it would take for him to wrestle Brock Lesnar. The rumors and questions got so rampant that even Austin had to come out and formally say nothing was in the works. Trust and believe if the WWE could get their biggest star to return and wrestle, it would’ve been done by now.
9 John Cena Challenging WWE Creative
Though not as prevalent as he was three years ago, John Cena is still the poster boy for the WWE. He does a lot as an ambassador for the company like roles in various interviews and press conferences, still is the highest merchandise seller the company has, and is the measuring stick for the company and what they want their top stars to be. Cena is a staunch supporter of the company and has gone on record several times on how much he loves working there and rarely has ever been heard criticizing the company. However, Cena might have criticized the company and the chairman at one point a few years ago.
2012 was when the WWE was doing a lot of G-rated antics in the PG era and the fans were not interested in it. The ratings were declining at an alarming rate and it was rumored that a Superstar was blasting both creative and Vince McMahon for their direction; that wrestler was rumored to be Cena. If it were CM Punk or Randy Orton in the rumor, then it would’ve been more of the same, but Cena calling them out gives the situation in 2012 much more weight to it.
8 Shawn Michaels Not Wanting To Put Over Stone Cold
WrestleMania XIV was an extremely important show because it featured a passing of the torch main event where Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Shawn Michaels. This unfortunately was the last time HBK would wrestle for four years, but it was a major moment that allowed Stone Cold Steve Austin to rise to the top and become one of the biggest stars in the company’s history. Seeing how important that victory was for Austin, it’s hard to believe Shawn Michaels was possibly thinking about not putting him over.
It’s well-known that HBK played the game when it came to politics backstage, as he managed to change many potential matches to protect himself and his position. However, there were rumors circulating that he wasn’t gonna put Austin over; something that would’ve ultimately killed the show. The rumor got so bad that The Undertaker threatened to beat him up if he didn’t. HBK claims that he was just messing with people back then, but knowing how he was back then, there’s a chance he was strongly considering this.
7 JBL Hazing Wrestlers
Though they no longer promote it as strongly as they used to, the WWE anti-bullying campaign was a major thing they were trying to push, especially in this new PG climate. The anti-bullying campaign, otherwise known as Be a Star, saw many different wrestlers, regardless of their character being good or bad, speaking on the topic of bullying in a series of speeches that broke character. This is one of many public relations moves by the company to move away from their violent history. However, the irony came when JBL would plug these events on commentary because of his rumored past of hazing wrestlers.
From Blue Meanie and The Miz to Mark Henry, JBL has been notorious for hazing wrestlers. Whether he wanted to freak out those he felt didn’t belonged or was just being a jerk, JBL gave a lot of people hell.
6 Braun Strowman vs. The Undertaker
Since the breakup of The Wyatt Family and the beginning of the brand split, Raw has been slowly, but surely building up Braun Strowman as an unstoppable monster who is only going to go further and further up the card. His highest profile match to date since the brand split was his feud with Sin Cara and he now has his sights set on Sami Zayn. However, the WWE almost made the mistake of pushing Strowman way too fast.
One of the big matches rumored for WrestleMania 32 was the bout between John Cena and The Undertaker, but Cena would suffer a shoulder injury that kept him out of action past WrestleMania. Rumors then began to circulate that the match that was likely to occur as a replacement was Strowman fighting The Undertaker. This would have been a major fiasco as Strowman was way too green in the ring to have a match against such a legendary figure. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and a Hell in a Cell match with Shane McMahon was rightfully booked instead.
5 Goldberg Having Another Match
The return of Goldberg to the WWE was highly welcomed by most wrestling fans last week. He answered the challenge laid out by Paul Heyman for a match against Brock Lesnar during Monday Night Raw. In this segment, Goldberg cut a fantastic promo and finished the angle by saying “Lesnar, not only does this mean that you’re next, but more importantly, it means Brock Lesnar, you’re last!” This could possibly imply Goldberg’s intention to retire completely from wrestling once his match against Lesnar comes to fruition. However, there are rumors that the WWE wants Goldberg to wrestle at WrestleMania.
This comes as interesting news and a bit contradictory to the promo he cut on Raw, but more importantly it has big implications on the outcome of his matches. If he does have another match, then this could spoil the finish of Lesnar and Goldberg at Survivor Series because it’s unlikely that he will lose there and at WrestleMania. This is one of the newest rumors, so only time will tell what happens.
4 John Cena Heel Turn In 2011
When the anti-Cena crowd started to become more and more audible, the WWE addressed it by calling John Cena a polarizing figure and he addressed the situation by saying “fans pay their money and can cheer or boo who they want.” It seemed like the WWE was going to have John Cena as a face for the rest of his career. However, the company was strongly considering the possibility of turning Cena heel in 2011.
It would've made a lot of sense to have had it done around that time. After all, CM Punk rose in popularity by calling out Cena’s childish character and The Rock criticized Cena for the same things. John even went as far as to buy different wrestling gear, but the heel turn has remained a rumor until this day. If the turn did occur, it would’ve made for some great TV and could’ve made the dynamic between Cena and Punk that much more interesting.
3 The AJ Styles-Shawn Michaels Rumor
The 2017 edition of the Royal Rumble will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas; a stadium that holds over 60,000 seats. With the interest in the current product being low, the WWE have been attempting to book some big time matches for the PPV. Speculation for big matches has been running wild, as even Triple H and Seth Rollins, a match which most fans had pegged for WrestleMania, may happen at the Rumble first. However, the biggest of these matches rumored is the potential encounter between AJ Styles and Shawn Michaels, a true once in a lifetime encounter.
There have been rumors of a potential HBK return for a while, like in 2014 when people were wondering if he would have a match against Daniel Bryan, but this one would be a much bigger match especially with it being in HBK’s hometown. Shawn has stayed true to his retirement following his match with The Undertaker and the odds of him breaking that are slim to none. If Michaels doesn’t wish to return, then the rumors circulating would only get fans hyped up for a match that won’t be happening.
2 Justin Bieber SummerSlam Match
The damage the WWE has done to Bray Wyatt has been ridiculous. He had all the momentum in the world heading into WrestleMania in 2014, but his run was crushed when he lost to John Cena on multiple occasions. He then lost to Chris Jericho at Battleground, but then secured a win at SummerSlam. Sadly, the win he got against Jericho could have been changed to an even greater disaster for the leader of the Wyatt family.
Justin Bieber was in talks with the WWE in 2014 and fans didn’t understand what for. Well, a year later and the rumored match for Bieber was a tag team match that would feature himself partnering with The Big Show and John Cena against The Wyatt Family. The Wyatt Family have already been treated like jokes at nearly every turn, but a possible loss to a guest celebrity on top of another Cena defeat might have had a devastating effect on The Wyatts.
1 Randy Savage And Stephanie McMahon
At some point during the career of Macho Man Randy Savage, Vince McMahon seemingly had a severe falling out with him to the point where Vince reportedly never wanted him to come back to the WWE, nor be put in the WWE Hall of Fame. Many fans claim they don’t understand how this happened, but if this rumor is to be believed, then it makes perfect sense.
There is a very popularized rumor that Savage allegedly had some type of relationship with Stephanie McMahon when she was only 17. This is rumor is more than likely just something born from the response Savage had to Triple H calling him a dinosaur and fans not understanding why Savage stayed away for the rest of his life, but if any of it is true, it would tarnish the memories fans have of Savage severely.
Of every supposed rumor and speculation made about the WWE, this would be one of the worst in history.
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