Maybe it’s because everyone in the professional wrestling business seems to love to gossip, but there is never a shortage of pro wrestling rumors out there. Every week, some new report surfaces online regarding what WWE’s top guy really thinks or what Vince McMahon is doing right now. Now, some of these reports are completely outlandish - we don’t think WWE is going to buy New Japan Pro Wrestling anytime soon - while others are still very outlandish, but just plausible enough as to make you think that there might be some truth to them.
You would think that the question surrounding these outlandish rumors would be “which do we believe?” but more often than not it’s actually “Which ones did we totally see coming and which ones do we hope are just wild speculation?” Hey, that’s what happens when you’re talking about an industry where the most outlandish of creative decisions are just another day at the office. From popular performers ready to move on to other pursuits to an entirely new way to look at the Royal Rumble, these are the eight bizarre WWE rumors we hope aren’t true and the seven that wouldn’t surprise us.
15 Hope Isn’t True - Bayley Is Going to Turn Heel
Bayley was one of the biggest “gimmes” that the main roster ever received from NXT. She was a very good performer, had an excellent character, and had captured the attention of both underrepresented demographics and existing fans. She should have been a slam dunk success. Instead, WWE botched her initial booking so badly that most people forget that Bayley is even on the roster. Bayley is still recovering from an injury right now, but when she comes back, there are rumors that WWE is going to book a heel turn for her.
That’s a pretty strange decision given that Bayley is about as pure of a face as there is in WWE. It’s hard to imagine the storyline that could turn Bayle into a heel and even harder to imagine how she would pull that character off.
14 Not Surprised - Dean Ambrose is Going to Turn on the Shield
The recent Shield reunion was a welcome decision, but not an entirely unexpected one. We knew that WWE was going to cash-in on a reunion at some point and figured they were going to do it when all three members were on the same show roster. Where exactly they go with this storyline is anyone’s guess, but the most popular rumor at the moment is that this is all leading to a Dean Ambrose heel run.
We’re honestly just surprised that didn’t happen sooner. Ambrose was one of the best heels in the world prior to his signing with WWE, but he hasn’t really been able to play that role since the early days of The Shield. If everything goes according to plan, we expect Ambrose to be the top heel by WrestleMania.
13 Hope Isn’t True - Charlotte Flair Will Still Dominate the Women’s Division
Look, WWE’s women's division isn’t the best. Despite the company’s renewed focus on women’s wrestling, they haven’t really been able to book the division in a way that gives all of their performers an equal share of the spotlight. Based on recent rumors, you can expect that problem to continue. Reports suggest that WWE plans to give the ball back to Charlotte Flair and will let her run the division for the foreseeable future.
This is quite surprising given that Asuka is expected to debut soon and wrestlers like Sasha Banks are still being underutilized. There are also the rumors that Ronda Rousey and other MMA fighters might be making in-ring debuts soon. All things considered, we can’t help but be a little surprised that WWE is still so high on Charlotte Flair.
12 Not Surprised - Daniel Bryan Will Be Inducted Into the Hall of Fame/Wrestle On the Indies in 2018
Here are a couple of Daniel Bryan rumors for you. As many of you know, Daniel Bryan is itching to get back in the ring as he never quite seemed satisfied with WWE’s suggestion that he will never be able to wrestle again. The latest reports reveal that Daniel Bryan’s current WWE contract is expected to run out sometime in September of 2018. Many believe he will go to the indies at that time as he has been hinting at doing so for some time.
However, new rumors suggest that WWE is also planning on inducting Bryan into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018 as they still believe that his in-ring career with the company is done. They may also believe this move will inspire Bryan to stay with them a little longer.
11 Hope Isn’t True - The Undertaker May Return For More Matches
When The Undertaker lost to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, many felt that it was the last match of his career. It was the main event, Undertaker got what felt like a send-off, and it certainly seemed like a “passing of the torch” type moment. Most importantly, The Undertaker just didn’t look like himself. It was clear that the years had finally caught up with him. Despite that, many current rumors suggest that WWE wants The Undertaker to return for yet another WrestleMania match. His rumored opponent for that match would be Braun Strowman. Now, The Undertaker is in no way obligated to participate in said match, but we’re surprised that WWE is even considering it given that they presented Undertaker’s last match as his final one and Taker is far from his point of peak performance.
10 Not Surprised - WWE Wants to Hold A Women's Royal Rumble Match
A recent rumor circulating from the Triple H creative camp suggests that WWE is preparing to host two Royal Rumble matches next year. The first is the regular Royal Rumble match we all know and love. The second is a similar match that will exclusively feature women wrestlers. At first, it’s kind of hard to imagine how this will work - how many female wrestlers are really on the roster? - but when you factor in the NXT women as well as some potential guest stars, it’s not hard to imagine this happening. The only question is whether or not WWE would run a much smaller match (about 20 wrestlers) in order to fit this match into the Royal Rumble PPV or whether they would just cut out a few non-Rumble matches to make room.
9 Hope Isn't True - The Jinder Mahal Push Isn’t Stopping Anytime Soon
The title reign of Jinder Mahal has been one of the worst parts of WWE’s weekly programming for months now. At first, it was kind of refreshing to see an underdog win the title. Soon, though, it quickly became apparent that WWE had no real long-term plans for Mahal aside from having him win his matches via cheating. Unfortunately, that plan has come at the expense of competitors like Shinsuke Nakamura who have been fed to Mahal for no reason.
Apparently, WWE’s push of Mahal is going to go on as long as WWE believes that they can become more popular in India. The problem now is that their efforts are moving slower than anticipated. That means Mahal could remain champion until 2018, possibly going into WrestleMania.
8 Not Surprised - WWE Still Has No Idea What the Sister Abigail Story is About
We probably shouldn’t be surprised by this, but it’s a little shocking nonetheless. Recently, WWE seemingly concluded Bray Wyatt’s Sister Abigail storyline by suggesting that Bray himself is Abigail. Well...we think that’s what happened. Truth be told, it’s a little hard to tell what WWE was trying to say with that utterly weird sequence of events. Apparently, they’re also not entirely sure what’s going on. Reports from the WWE’s writer room suggest that the Sister Abigail storyline is still a work in progress and is subject to changes on a week-to-week basis.
Part of the problem may stem from an earlier desire to have Paige return as Sister Abigail which may or may not have been scrapped entirely. At this point, don't’ be surprised if the entire angle is just dropped.
7 Hope Isn’t True - WWE Has No Plans For Finn Balor (and Balor Isn’t Happy)
Bray Wyatt is in a bad spot right now with the whole Sister Abigail thing, but he’s practically the next Hulk Hogan compared to the spot Finn Balor is in. Ever since he was injured after winning the Universal Championship, Balor has been treated as a second-class star by WWE. He’s yet to have a meaningful feud. The problem now is that nobody at WWE seems to know what to do about Balor.
Reports indicate that WWE has him put on the backburner for the foreseeable future until a spot opens up. Balor, meanwhile, has publicly been asking to be put into a feud with Brock Lesnar even though his Bray Wyatt feud isn’t over. It seems that nobody is happy with Balor’s current spot on the roster.
6 Not Surprised - Brock Lesnar Has One Foot Out The Door
Brock Lesnar is currently the highest paid superstar on the WWE roster. That’s always an especially interesting fact to consider when you realize that Lesnar works - on average - about 6-8 matches a year. Despite his jaw-dropping paycheck and spot atop the roster, rumor has it that Lesnar just isn’t feeling his WWE run anymore. It’s not that Lesnar hates WWE or the business; it’s that he’s just ready to move on.
Dana White has supposedly been in contact with Lesnar about when Lesnar’s WWE contract is up - White stated that it ends next year - and all signs point to Lesnar preparing for his departure from the company around that time. There’s a chance he stays, but it's far more likely that he finishes his time in WWE in the near future.
5 Hope Isn’t True - WWE is Going to Dramatic Lengths to Hide Poor Attendance
This is an interesting rumor that might just be closer to fact. Recently, there have been quite a few shots from WWE live events (mostly SmackDown shows and house shows) that reveal WWE’s slumping attendance figures. In some cases, the arenas they run these shows in are only half-full. In the past, this has led to techniques like moving some of the crowd over to the side with the hard camera. The problem has been so bad recently, however, that WWE has supposedly had to find more creative solutions. In fact, it’s even been suggested that Shinsuke Nakamura has been told to not do his usual crowd interactions because it’s hard for WWE to shoot them in a way that doesn’t reveal how few people are at the shows.
4 Not Surprised - WWE is Coming After Popular Indie Promotions and Wrestlers
Vince McMahon doesn’t like competition. Even though competition has historically made WWE better from a creative perspective, McMahon will just never be happy until WWE is the undisputed ruler of the sports entertainment world. Recently, WWE has seemingly been going hard after popular indie promotions. For instance, EVOLVE - a pretty popular indie promotion that does work with WWE - has gotten in some hot water recently when it was revealed that their head booker had sent e-mails to employees dictating how WWE wanted them to perform.
Elsewhere, WWE has even legally threatened popular tag team The Young Bucks for using WWE and WCW trademarks. The funny thing is that The Young Bucks have been doing that for years. Why WWE has such a renewed interest in targeting these acts is anyone’s guess.
3 Hope Isn’t True - WWE Fired One of Their Best Writers For Taking A Picture With Invading Bullet Club Members
We honestly just hope that this one isn’t true even though all signs point to it being true. Not too long ago, WWE fired a former indie wrestler turned WWE writer named Jimmy Jacobs (real name Christopher Scoville). Not long after, it was widely rumored that he was fired for taking a picture with The Young Bucks and other indie stars when they did an “invasion” of an episode of Raw. Shortly after that, another writer stepped forth and said that Jacobs was one of the most well-liked guys on staff and maybe WWE’s best writer.
That WWE would just let him go because he took a picture with his friends is downright disturbing. Somehow, though, it seems like exactly the kind of thing that Vince McMahon would do.
2 Not Surprised - The Cruiserweights are Unhappy
You may have heard that Neville isn’t happy with his situation in WWE. Some reports suggest that he’s actively trying to find a way to leave the company. His exact reasons haven’t been revealed, but most believe that Neville realizes that he’s never going to be treated like a top star and can probably make as much money on the indies where he will be treated as a top star. Apparently, he’s not the only cruiserweight that thinks this. Many of the indie wrestlers WWE brought in during the cruiserweight tournament and have since kept around for 205 Live are reportedly dismayed that WWE is focusing more on guys like Kalisto and Enzo even though their performances were part of the reason 205 Live exists in the first place.
1 Hope Isn’t True - Massive Roster Cuts Are Coming
Have you wondered why WWE has done things like get rid of almost all live-show pyro in recent months? Well, apparently it has something to do with the company’s unenviable financial reports. Now, to be clear, WWE isn’t broke. Actually, they reportedly did quite well in the last fiscal year. However, changes in the company’s business model have supposedly forced them to make some adjustments to where money is spent. Now, some people believe that the next wave of firings could be a big one. While specific names aren’t being dropped quite yet, some are concerned that WWE’s indie talent hiring wave may have bit into their bottom line quite a bit. As such, don’t be too surprised if the next “Future Endeavors” announcement includes veterans being carefully pushed out the door and seemingly well-liked low-to-mid card guys.