The internet has changed the way we watch wrestling big-time. There was a time when a bad segment prompted nothing but a growl from those in attendance. In the recent times, however, we find a host of internet wrestling fans on message boards and social media such as Twitter and Facebook complaining to death when WWE airs a terrible segment – which is quite often, these days; NJPW, ROH and PWG somehow are immune to criticism, but that’s a topic for a different day.
Additionally, we find a plethora of inside information shared online. Consequently, we see numerous rumours circulating. Some rumours are instantly shot down given the absurdity of those. Some rumours, however, have managed to fool the internet for a significant period of time, with a certain segment of the internet seemingly still believing some of those. The following article looks at 15 such rumours that have managed to fool the internet.
If you think I’ve failed to discuss a more ridiculous rumour, you can mention those in the comments’ section. I’d appreciate your sharing this article with your wrestling-fan friends if you find the article interesting.
Odds are low that we still believe certain – fake – news that Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez have fed us. With Vince McMahon and co. rumoured to be handing out false information to wrestling journalists to alter the perception of WWE Universe, even Enzo Amore’s receiving backstage heat could be a work – you never know. If you have such theories, you can point those out in the comments’ section as well.
15 CM Punk’s $1,000,000 offer
CM Punk hasn’t wrestled since January 2014 and, when the dirt sheets claimed that he’s received a $1,000,000 offer from a British promotion, 5 Star Wrestling to compete in a 128-man tournament, the internet went bananas. The Sun, Daily Mirror and Bleacher Report all carried stories regarding the offer, while Twitter and Facebook salivated at the prospect of seeing the former WWE Champion return to the squared circle, against Rob Van Dam and thpse likes. With AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo all performing for the promotion at various points, many touted the reports to be more than just rumors.
CM Punk, however, dispelled the reports quickly with a disparaging tweet. 5 Star Wrestling cancelled the tournament not long after their initial announcement, unsurprisingly.
14 Death Hoaxes
Much like every other entertainment industry out there, wrestling sees its share of fake death rumours as well. As wrestlers are prone to premature deaths thanks to the nasty bumps and drugs they take, Internet Wrestling Community sometimes end up believing those rumours. A blog titled WWE ran a story in December 2016 that claimed that Big Show died in a car accident only for the former WWE Champion debunk the rumours via social media.
The Rock was also rumored to have passed away in 2011, and it took a Facebook post from him to tell the millions – and millions – of The Rock's fans that he’s alive and ready to bring it 365 days of the year.
John Cena hasn’t been immune to death rumors as well, as he was rumoured to have died after getting into a car accident in mid-2015.
13 AJ Styles vs. Shawn Michaels
AJ Styles wrestled John Cena at the Royal Rumble earlier this year. Of course, the match was iconic, but The Phenomenal One himself was looking to wrestle a bigger wrestling icon before the match was made official. With Shawn Michaels then frequenting Performance Center back then, he had Vince McMahon enquire if he could do a program with the then-WWE Champion. He even had Internet Wrestling Community go haywire when he tweeted a fan-made Royal Rumble poster featuring them both.
The Heartbreak Kid, however, RVSP’d a no, and he revealed in WWE Network show Table for Three that his returning would be a disservice to his wrestling story. He also stated that his returning to the ring would have only hurt his opponent, AJ Styles.
12 Kurt Angle performing at WrestleMania 33
When WWE announced that Kurt Angle would be headlining their Hall of Fame, many news outlets weighed up the possibility of his wrestling his retirement match at WrestleMania. His returning to the ring a day after entering earning the ring that matters the most in the WWE world sounded plausible as he had been wrestling in England, Scotland and America only weeks before his induction became official.
The Olympic Gold Medallist himself sparked rumors when he revealed Lillian Garcia in her podcast Making Their Way To The Ring that he’d love to wrestle his final match against AJ Styles. With The Phenomenal One’s WrestleMania opponent confirmed only in the eleventh hour, many were led to believe that WWE Universe will witness what the TNA faithful had witnessed already. However, thanks to his recurring neck injury, WWE decided to sign him only as an on-screen character.
11 Superstar Shake-Up reports
When WWE announced the Superstar Shake-Up, many stated that it’s was too soon to shake things up, but WWE proceeded to complete their unofficial draft nine months after 2016 WWE Draft. Shortly after Vince McMahon’s announcement, Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer stated that Roman Reigns would move to SmackDown Live, with AJ Styles heading the other way. The veteran journalist backtracked the following day; however, Internet Wrestling Community was clearly unwilling to come to terms with the update, as many wrestling fans kept questioning how WWE could AJ Styles leave the house he had built. Thankfully, WWE pulled out of the move, as they instead elected to move other big names such as Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Jinder Mahal.
10 The Elites' spending $26,000
The Elites — comprising of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks — have often been accused of killing kayfabe in the ring. Outside the ring, though, they've managed to work Internet Wrestling Community big-time. Their tweets about Being The Elite are usually in kayfabe, but unsuspecting fans often are tricked into thinking they're not being worked. WWE's filing lawsuit to stop them from using their logo on their videos is a good case in point, but no tweet garnered more reaction than Cody Rhodes' recent tweet that stated that The Bucks had spent $26,000 on their recent YouTube video.
The more informed fans debunked the claim; however, a sizeable number of fans did take the tweet seriously and continue to do so despite being told that they're being worked. The Bucks are really smart or, conversely, some wrestling fans are really gullible.
9 Kevin Sullivan Behind The Benoit Deaths
A great deal of wrestling fans never really bought this rumur, but there's still a less vociferous demographic that seems to believe that Chris Benoit is innocent. Their theory suggests that Kevin Sullivan, Nancy Benoit's ex-husband, was the mastermind behind the incident, and they allege that the former WCW booker's jealousy — in the back of seeing Woman leaving him to marry his protégé — was the reason why he used his religious cult to complete the ritual that saw the Benoits being sacrificed and The Rabid Wolverine being framed as the murderer.
A good number of fans are lobbying for his matches to be reinstated on WWE Network, but claiming he's not to blame for the deaths of his wife and child is downright stupid.
8 Montreal Screwjob Being A Work
Here’s the only rumor on the list from the ‘90s. A good number of people seem to believe Montreal Screwjob was a work. How non-WWE cameras that made a documentary on the incident were rolling backstage, how the incident benefitted everyone involved, how Vince McMahon sold Bret Hart’s punch as if he was in a wrestling ring and why he was ringside when he had no reason to be are a few questions that question the legitimacy of it’s being a shoot.
Many notable wrestlers, including Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Paul Bearer and Road Dogg have all claimed in shoot interviews that it was all a work. Sean Waltman told in an interview that The Hitman’s so committed to the business that he wouldn’t even let his wife know about his direct involvement in the most infamous segment in wrestling history.
These all added fuel to the fire, but there is just no way this could have all been a work, considering the trajectory of The Hitman's career afterwards.
7 Rusev And Lana Recently Requesting Their Releases
Rumors of departure often break the internet, as the WWE shills are excellent at the art of planting rumours of departure. Recently, Rusev and Lana were rumoured to have submitted a request to release them, and given their career trajectories, it’s easy to believe those rumours. The couple themselves played along as they posted cryptic messages on Twitter. However, this isn’t a recent trend, as WWE has got the internet talking about Daniel Bryan’s leaving WWE to wrestle in the indies again, Brock Lesnar’s departure, The Colons requesting a release and The Undertaker’s retirement – and return.
Given how prominent dirt sheets and Dave Meltzer have become, WWE won’t stop capitalizing on rumurs of departure. However, the fans now seem to know which rumors to believe or shoot down.
6 WWE’s bringing Broken Brilliance back
When The Hardy Boyz returned to WWE at WrestleMania, many expected them to bring with them Broken Brilliance. No major outlet carried stories of the Hardys being broken in WWE; however, Interent Wrestling Community tricked them into believing that they’d get to witness Matt Hardy’s excellence in the WWE ring. Five months into their return, we’ve had glimpses of Broken Matt and Brother Nero, but it seems as though the WWE Universe’s chances of witnessing the reincarnation of The Broken Hardys is slim.
The fans seem unwilling to give up on their dreams of watching the Hardys at their best in WWE production quality, as they now seem to believe that WWE has invented the Woken gimmick that is similar to their Broken gimmick. Given how wonderful the Broken Brilliance gimmick was, the fans can be forgiven for keeping the hope alive.
5 Vince McMahon Had Moles In WCW
This is a rumor that fans neither believe nor doubt, given how eccentric an individual Vince McMahon is and how rocky a ship WCW was. WCW definitely had its upper hand during Monday Night Wars’ peak, but it was the people who jumped ship – from WWE – that ensured WCW didn’t last long.
For instance, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were the names that both sowed the seeds for NWO – the stable that kept WCW at the top – and ensured their politics got in the way of the company’s growth. However, the biggest claim that many seem to believe, including Goldberg, is Vince Russo’s being The Evil Genius’ plant in WCW.
Given how the company crumbled after his gaining booking powers, it’s pretty easy to believe those rumors. Whether the fans that believed it are fooled or the ones that squashed were mistaken will remain one of wrestling’s biggest mysteries.
4 Alexa Bliss and Big E leaks
The Fappening 2.0 more or less startled the wrestling world, when hackers leaked private content of numerous wrestlers, including Paige, Victoria, Fandango and Charlotte Flair. Alongside those pictures and videos, we found alleged naked pictorials of Big E and Alexa Bliss. The Fappening faithful did their deeds without verifying if they’re fantasizing about the WWE stars. The trip proceeded to claim that the leaks were fake, with Big E debunking the rumor in an archetypal Big E way. He tweeted, “For disseminating this nonexistent nonsense, I pray the inside of your thighs chafe bloody every day of your existence.”
The Raw Women’s Champion also dismissed the leaks, labelling them bogus. Summer Rae branded her leaks fake, but the Internet Wrestling Community was unready to buy her side of the story.
3 Shelton Benjamin’s 2016 return
Shelton Benjamin’s returning to WWE was more than just a rumor. Many credible news outlets reported in June 2016 that he was in talks with WWE over a return. WWE themselves announced via YouTube that he was, indeed, returning in July 2016. Those who had watched The Gold Standard in his first WWE run lost their mind over his scheduled return, with many enthusiastic fans even predicting an Intercontinental Championship feud with then-SmackDown Live’s The Miz.
However, a rotator cuff tear meant he spent more than a year on the injury table. He returned recently, forming a tag team with Chad Gable, but he’s failed to make the impact he’d have made had he returned last year. Aged 42, he likely won’t be lifting any major title, but he looks acrobatic enough to challenge for The New Day’s titles or AJ Styles’ United States Championship.
2 Vince McMahon’s buying Newcastle United
Newcastle United is an English football club whose owner was reportedly looking to flog the club in mid-2014, and Vince McMahon was rumored to be readying a bid to take over the club. Given how cash-rich Premier League is, it wasn't difficult to fathom why the American billionaire was looking to branch out. Even highly trustworthy British news outlets such as Independent and The Guardian ran stories linking him with a takeover.
With Mike Ashley, the Newcastle owner, drawing the ire of the fans over his stingy nature, the Magpies' fans were desperate to see The Evil Genius pump money into the club that hasn't made big-money transfers in a really long time. However, the Sports Direct boss ended up staying with the club, as Vinnie Mac decided upon focussing on the professional wrestling instead.
1 Kenny Omega at the Royal Rumble
This year’s Royal Rumble saw many big names such as Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns and James Ellsworth take part, but WWE had booked no surprise entrant for the 30-man bout. However, that didn't stop WWE's resident prankster John Cena from teasing a Kenny Omega appearance. He uploaded three images to Instagram, when decoded, read Kenny Omega a few days before the PPV. Given how big a prankster the NJPW United States Heavyweight Champion himself is, he played along, working the fans big-time in the process. With his NJPW contact then set to expire, many hardcore wrestling fans were keen on seeing the hottest indie wrestler moving to WWE, but their hopes were crushed as he ended up watching the show from Yokohama with The Young Bucks and signing an extension with the Japanese promotion. Hell will break loose on the day he finally jumps ship, though.