The rumor mill in professional wrestling is always hot, but it has reached a new level this year. WWE making a few changes has altered the business drastically. With Raw and SmackDown being separate shows with unique rosters, the company shook its very foundation in a big way.
NXT continues to be a major factor. The WWE Network adds a different aspect to the promotion with PPVs being billed under a new light. WrestleMania continues to thrive and grow as a huge event around the globe. Next year’s Royal Rumble event will need to fill a stadium with 60,000+ fans in Texas. All of these factors have led to a major spike in the rumor mill.
Wrestling rumors usually follow the motto of “if there’s smoke, there’s fire.” A lot of them aren't accurate, but there’s at least some truth in discovering a future report. Most of the rumors actually do turn out to be true. Wrestling is unlike any other form of entertainment. The information and gossip gets spread around easily with it catching on quickly. Today’s WWE landscape has led to a great deal of rumors. We’ll look at them here and delve into the popular stories or theories of interest floating around. These are the fifteen current WWE rumors you need to know about.
13 Buying TNA
TNA's unfortunate luck has led to the WWE having a new story on the rumor mill. TNA is in terrible shape with poor financial decisions having them looking to sell. Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan are now at odds in the courtroom trying to battle over ownership of the company. Regardless of who owns TNA, it is more than likely they’ll have to sell it or let it fade away shortly.
WWE was rumored to be involved in the discussion to purchase the company for the purposes of owning their library. A.J. Styles, Kurt Angle, Sting and many other noteworthy names in the WWE landscape have a plethora of content in TNA. You have to believe WWE will eventually own the library of TNA sooner or later. The only question is if the rumors of it happening soon will come true.
12 Vin Diesel vs. The Rock
A rumor in the Hollywood world has transitioned into a wrestling story. The Rock has done the wrestling business proud by becoming the highest paid actor and arguably the biggest name in Hollywood. One of his most high profile roles is being a member of the Fast and the Furious franchise, where the Rock happened to enter a personal feud with co-star Vin Diesel.
Instagram posts saw Rock call out Diesel for being an unprofessional jerk on set. The hot rumor going around is that the two are working the world. That’s right. The blockbuster franchise is currently seeing a feud be planned for a future wrestling match. WrestleMania often features celebrities and attractions making the show a must-watch for fans all over the world. The potential of a Vin Diesel versus Rock match could attract new viewers. This is one of the more interesting rumors going around today.
11 Goldberg Hall of Fame
Bill Goldberg's return to the WWE has been met with a positive response and Goldberg’s inclusion in the new WWE 2K17 video game has added extra excitement to this year’s game. The presence of Goldberg led to fans chanting for him at SummerSlam in hopes of him being the next opponent for Brock Lesnar. This dream came true with the match being booked for Survivor Series.
Fans loving Goldberg back in the WWE make it perfect timing for him to enter the WWE Hall of Fame next year. Rumors suggest Goldberg will be the top star that the class is built around. We know he has only shown interest in one more match for his wife and son to get the opportunity to see him wrestle live once. Once that match takes places against Lesnar, it's likely he will accept the HOF spot like the rumors indicate.
10 AJ Styles vs. Shawn Michaels
Interesting photo..... is it not? pic.twitter.com/MKgF4XoAF1— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) October 20, 2016
AJ Styles brought some excitement to the wrestling world when he tweeted out this photograph recently. The Royal Rumble will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Alamodome holds a capacity of 72,000 seats and WWE is hoping to sell at least 60,000 tickets. For a non-WrestleMania event to do that well, an attraction match is likely needed.
Shawn Michaels returning for one more match as the hometown hero in Texas is a hot rumor that's starting to gain momentum. Styles tweeting out the photo of him and Michaels facing off with a Royal Rumble logo slapped to it gave us hope of the dream match actually taking place. A match between Michaels and Styles would be an instant classic and potential five-star match. Michaels appeared to be in peak condition at WrestleMania 32 and we’re all desperate for one more match.
9 Raiding ROH roster
Ring of Honor has developed many of the current stars in the WWE. Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and numerous others made their name in ROH. The current ROH roster is rather talented, but not as widely adored like prior eras. Still, the WWE is desperately trying to fill three rosters with credible talents for Raw, SmackDown and NXT.
2017 will see many ROH contacts expire within the first few months of the year. Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, Jay Lethal and The Young Bucks are all scheduled to become free agents early in the year unless they reach an agreement before 2016 ends. Adam Cole’s contract is also ending shortly after WrestleMania weekend. WWE are rumored to have interest in many names we listed and the ROH roster may very well be raided big time by WWE in 2017.
8 Brock Vs. Shane McMahon Street Fight At WrestleMania
One of the matches currently rumored to be a top attraction bout for WrestleMania 33 would pit Brock Lesnar against Shane McMahon. SummerSlam ended with Lesnar destroying Randy Orton and the SmackDown General Manager Shane-O-Mac coming out to protect his talent. Lesnar hit the F5 on McMahon as well and there’s clearly more to that story.
Shane excels in matches that have hardcore stipulations and Brock is most celebrated for his violence, so the Street Fight stipulation would make complete sense. The online reception to this rumor reported by Dave Meltzer has been mixed. Some love the idea of the weapon-heavy match, but others are holding out hope for another opponent for Lesnar. Regardless, it's more than likely this rumor will play out as Shane is yet to get any revenge on Brock.
7 New Stable Coming To SmackDown
The brand split is giving the SmackDown roster a chance to experiment with different concepts. A rumor has been circulating for about a month now about a new stable coming to fruition. Shelton Benjamin lost his WWE contract due to an injury sidelining him, but he’s expected to make a comeback in the near future if he can prove he's healthy.
The rumor out there is about a new faction coming to the brand, featuring many of the “shoot” wrestlers with amateur backgrounds uniting. Benjamin, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and American Alpha are the names included. They would need Benjamin to have a noteworthy role in the group, so it likely wouldn’t happen until he is healthy. WWE desperately needs a couple of new factions and this one has potential. Even the likes of the great Kurt Angle has been linked to the group.
6 Seth Rollins Vs. Triple H
One rumor that seems pretty likely would see Seth Rollins square off with Triple H. The dream match has been rumored since late 2015, but Rollins suffering a serious injury put it off for a little while. Triple H finally turned on Rollins a few months after his return from injury to help Kevin Owens win the WWE Universal Championship. We have yet to see Triple H on WWE television since then and that’s clearly for a reason.
The match between Rollins and Triple H is likely to take place at a big show. Many are speculating Survivor Series or Royal Rumble, but it has all the makings of a WrestleMania match. Both Triple H and Rollins won't have a bigger match on the table for the biggest show of the year. It could be the match that truly sends Rollins to the top of the WWE as the face of the company as opposed to Roman Reigns flopping in the same scenario last year.
5 Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura Getting Called Up
NXT’s influence has been felt this year with the brand split. Many new stars were called up for the draft. Kevin Owens and Finn Balor both won the WWE Universal Championship. Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch have all made history winning Women's Championships on their respective shows. However, there are still two specific talents in NXT more than ready to get their call-up to the main roster.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe are absolute stars carrying the NXT brand right now. Both names are involved in rumors for main roster runs in the near future and Joe is definitely on the latter end of his NXT tenure, as both Raw and SmackDown could use a legitimate bad-ass heel. Some rumors state he’s the next man to get called up before the year ends. Nakamura is expected to follow shortly after. We can only hope he’s there in time for WrestleMania 33.
6. Finn Balor Winning Royal Rumble Match
A heartbreaking injury to Finn Balor forced him to relinquish the WWE Universal Championship just one night after winning it. Balor is expected to be out for quite some time with the earliest return possibility coming around WrestleMania season. If he’s healthy enough, rumors indicate he’ll be the favorite to win the Royal Rumble match and get his title shot at WrestleMania 33.
This scenario would be perfect. Balor needs a rematch whenever he returns as an unbeaten champion. WWE desperately needs him for the WrestleMania card. The Demon character would gain a great deal of credibility if he won the Rumble, considering he won the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam and now potentially winning the Royal Rumble match in the only two match appearances with the face paint on the main roster would bolster him even further into the upper-echelon. Balor facing off against Kevin Owens would especially make for a great title match.
4 The Hardys Returning
Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy are still adding moments to their legendary careers in TNA right now. Both of the popular brothers have reinvented themselves to the point of being as relevant as anyone in the industry today. WWE needs more veteran talent that can still perform at a high level. Triple H is rumored to have strong interest in bringing Matt back to the company, specifically due to his brilliance with the “Broken” character.
Jeff is even more valuable as one of the most popular stars in WWE history. The Hardys will both be free agents in early 2017 and that may be even sooner if TNA goes out of business. WWE’s reported hopes for bringing Matt and Jeff back would be great signings. Everyone would benefit from having the brothers in the WWE for the final runs of their careers.
4. Shaq Wrestling Big Show At WM 33
One rumor started at WrestleMania 32 and is still going strong today. Shaquille O’Neal squared off with Big Show in this year’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The fans enjoyed the surprise element of a mainstream celebrity mixing it up with a WWE wrestler. Shaq went on the record following the event, saying he wanted to have a one-on-one match at WrestleMania 33 with Show.
Big Show's career is winding down with likely one more WrestleMania match left in him. It coming against a name like Shaq would be a great way to make a boat load of money. The casual sports fan would check out the show to see the basketball icon wrestle a match. Show would fit in better in a spectacle rather than a straight wrestling match. The rumor of it taking place at Mania makes complete sense.
3 Sasha Banks Heel Turn
Sasha Banks is currently the face of the women’s revolution movement and she's absolutely thriving in the WWE. Charlotte and Becky Lynch have both been superb in their roles, but Banks has been established as the biggest star among the fans. The frequent “we want Sasha” chants when she wasn’t on television proved the WWE fanbase is attached to the young superstar.
That may change with many variables in play. Bayley has the potential to surpass Banks and she will have to for the best possible story. Rumors are out there that Bayley versus Banks is the plan for one of the Women’s Title matches at WrestleMania 33. This would suggest Banks reverting back to her old heel character, which is what she’s most comfortable with. Bayley is the one woman that can get fans to root for her over Banks in a huge match.
2 Conor McGregor Debuting
Conor McGregor trashing the wrestling industry was one of the most controversial stories of the year. The UFC fighter is arguably the biggest star in the sport, but has made comments calling out various WWE Superstars to enter the platform. McGregor stated he could beat any of the pretend wrestlers working for the WWE, leading many of the performers spoke out against him.
Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles were three of the more vocal names wanting to test McGregor’s challenge. The business acumen of McGregor is his strong suit and he absolutely made those statements to set up another potential revenue stream. McGregor’s promos and character work would make him a perfect fit for the WWE. Many rumors this year have implied he’s WWE bound at some point. The guessing game of when is the tough part to figure out, with the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania 33 being an actual possibility.
1 John Cena Retiring The Undertaker
There are two strong rumors surrounding The Undertaker. One suggests he’s finally ready to retire after the many years of wear and tear on his body. The other is Undertaker wrestling John Cena in the main event of WrestleMania 33. All reports heading into WrestleMania 32 stated Undertaker was scheduled to face Cena, but John suffering an injury forced The Deadman to face Shane McMahon instead.
Both of the current rumors means The Undertaker could very well wrestle his last match against Cena on the biggest stage. There’s no better final opponent for The Deadman than Cena. The two have not faced off in years and have yet to have a match at WrestleMania. It's the biggest possible match on the table. If these rumors come true, WrestleMania 33 will be a special show and a huge success.