2017 has been a weird year for wrestling, and if you believe the rumor mill, it's only going to get weirder. Weird doesn't necessarily mean bad, however - only different. Everything about wrestling has changed in the last few years. All of a sudden, non-WWE wrestling is hot, and while WWE's TV ratings are tanking, though their revenues are quite high. Experts are stopping short of calling this a "boom period", but it's at least a big step up compared to what has been going on since the end of the Attitude Era and Monday Night Wars.
WWE is looking at expanding internationally, and numerous international organizations are looking at expanding into WWE's main territory. For the first time since WCW was in existence, it might be as though they have real competition, and that can only spell good things for wrestling fans. WWE tends to do bold and innovative things when they feel competition creeping in, as they did during the Monday Night Wars.
In many ways, WWE feels that smaller international promotions are their current threat. This is why we've seen WWE buy up all the independent talent in the UK, and elsewhere around the world. Out of all the rumors currently swirling about today's pro wrestling scene, here are eight of the ones we hope are true, and seven we hope aren't.
15 We Hope Is True: Kurt Angle Wrestling Again
Oh we hope it's true, we hope it's damn true!
Kurt Angle has been telling people he plans on wrestling again, but unfortunately this is something that won't be entirely up to him. Angle is 48 years old, and will turn 49 before the end of the year. He's had a plethora of injuries as well, so it's not altogether certain Angle will be given the go-ahead by WWE to get back in the ring.
Angle left WWE in 2006, and has admitted to suffering from addiction problems with painkillers. If WWE put him back in the ring and he suffers a relapse afterwards, it would not look good for them.
14 We Hope Isn't True: Aleister Black Joins 205 Live
If you have been watching NXT lately, you don't need to be told how good Aleister Black is. The guy is an attraction!
His offence is pretty much all perfectly executed kicks followed by periods of sitting stoically cross-legged in the ring. Well, the rumor mill is stating he's been labelled a Cruiserweight by WWE brass, and will be on his way to 205 Live rather than Raw or SD after his NXT stint is over.
13 We Hope Is True: Asuka's Main Roster Debut
In recent years, an NXT Champion is usually required to lose their championship before debuting on the main roster. This creates the odd dynamic where fans of an NXT wrestler will actually hope that wrestler loses so they might get called up to the main roster.
There are signs that Asuka's main roster debut may buck that trend however. Currently the storyline is that Asuka will not return to NXT until a suitable challenger is provided for her. This could lead to Asuka being called up to Raw or SmackDown while she's still undefeated.
12 We Hope Isn't True: Paige Not Returning To WWE
Everyday it seems the rumor mill switches back and forth on whether or not Paige will be returning to WWE once her injury is rehabilitated.
Some are saying all the drama her and Alberto Del Rios have put the company through is enough that WWE will cut ties with her once her injury is healed. Others are saying that because of the movie being made about Paige and her family (that The Rock is producing), WWE is going to keep her around.
11 We Hope Is True: "Broken" Matt Hardy To WWE
Good for Matt Hardy! The 42 year old has been around wrestling his entire life. While most wrestlers signed TNA contracts and coasted, Matt re-invented himself in a truly unique way. Unfortunately, the current owners of GWF/TNA/Impact are claiming ownership of the gimmick.
Matt has hinted recently that a deal to allow him and his family to use the #Broken universe is close to being settled. Strangely, the same sentiment has not been echoed by Jeff Jarrett and the rest of his cronies at the frequently renamed company.
Matt and Jeff Hardy returned to WWE at WrestleMania this year, and although they haven't been using the Broken angle which reinvigorated their careers, they have still been having entertaining matches that fans have loved.
10 We Hope Isn't True: WWE Has Given Up On Bayley
It seems completely implausible that WWE could look at Bayley, hear the crowd reaction to her, and look at how much of her merchandise is being worn by the audience and say "nah, we'll pass on making her a star". Yet, some people are saying exactly that.
Corey Graves even mentioned on WWE Network's Bring it to the Table that he isn't sure if Bayley makes it on the main roster. She's been knocked out of the title picture after losing two straight on PPV to Alexa Bliss, including one match in her hometown. As of this writing she isn't even booked on the next PPV.
9 We Hope Is True: New Japan Pro Wrestling to the USA
Over the holiday weekend in early July, New Japan Pro Wrestling performed two sold out shows at the Long Beach Convention Center in Los Angeles. Announcing legend, Jim Ross, called the action alongside former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Josh Barnett.
The shows were so successful, that NJPW has announced plans to open an office and wrestling school in LA. NJPW also stated they're looking into venues to hold a big show in New Orleans over WrestleMania weekend. This would be fantastic for wrestling fans, more Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada and all the great wrestlers from the overseas promotion.
8 We Hope Isn't True: Enzo To 205 Live
Triple H is very high on Enzo, as are many fans. The problem is, WWE sees Big Cass as a giant star, and Enzo as just pure comedy. Hence, why WWE broke the tag team up. Many fans of the team are upset they were broken up before they had the chance to win the Tag Team Titles, or are upset that their run as a team was so short-lived on the main roster.
7 We Hope Is True: WWE Looking Into Tour Of India
WWE sure is going all-in on their expansion into the Indian market. In addition to putting the WWE Championship on Jinder Mahal, there are rumors WWE is looking at doing a live event tour of India. If they're going to go that far to increase the revenue they earn in the country, perhaps a Network special from the country is not far off either.
While the Great Khali achieved Superstar status in India, there is no guarantee Jinder Mahal will. One thing we do know however, is that Jinder and the Singh Brothers are quite popular in Canada, as judged by the reactions they received during live events in Vancouver. Jinder is from Calgary, so that doesn't hurt his popularity in Canada either.
6 We Hope Aren't True: Vince Really Likes "The Drifter" Gimmick
Nothing against Elias Samson, but does anyone enjoy his drifter gimmick? Well, if you listen to the rumor mill, it sounds as though Vince McMahon does! That only means we'll have more in-ring segments of Elias Samson singing about how much he hates the town he's in.
In fact, Elias Samson seems to be entering into a program with Finn Balor, the first ever Universal Champion. Are we going to see Elias Samson feuding with other main event Superstars?
5 We Hope Is True: John Cena's Reduced Schedule
Nothing against John Cena as a person obviously, but he has been the top babyface in WWE for over a decade. That's longer than anybody has been in that role for before, and arguably longer than anyone should be. It's time for John Cena's schedule to be reduced to a few PPVs a year at most. In a few more years, lets wind it down to just WrestleMania.
4 We Hope Isn't True: Hulk Hogan Returns
It's not as though we hope Hulk Hogan doesn't ever return to WWE, but it feels as though it could use another year or so. The rumor mill has him returning to WWE sooner rather than later however. According to the most recent speculation, Hogan is the one delaying his return.
3 We Hope Is True: CM Punk To The Independents
CM Punk has said he'll never return to the WWE, but he's hinted at being open to returning to pro wrestling. Punk is a big fan of The Young Bucks, who currently perform in ROH, NJPW and PWG. There is nothing stopping Punk from doing the same thing.
2 We Hope Isn't True: Daniel Bryan Leaving WWE to Wrestle
According to the rumor mill, Daniel Bryan is seriously considering returning to wrestling one his WWE contract expires next year. While WWE's doctors will not clear him to perform in their company, other doctors are willing to clear him to return inside of the ring elsewhere. Once his WWE contract expires, there is nothing stopping him from returning to wrestling outside the company. It's just not entirely sure if his fans want the same thing.
1 We Hope Is True: Ronda Rousey to WWE
Stephanie McMahon and WWE have made no secret that they want to bring Ronda Rousey into the company. This has led many fans to ask, "what's the hold up?"
Ronda has been very quiet in 2017, and one has to wonder why that is? Could it be that she is secretly preparing for a career in sports entertainment? Possibly training in private to see if she really has what it takes to do what the women in WWE can? WWE is an obvious next move for Ronda, and as Stephanie has expressed, they're waiting on her with open arms.
The issue might be that Rousey would not want to come in unless she can perform at the same level as the other women. Rousey is the kind of person that has to be the best at what she does, so don't expect her to show up in WWE until she is certain she can have at least a halfway decent match. If Rousey does end up in WWE, expect it to be just the boost the Women's Division needs to be able to main event bigger shows, such as WrestleMania.
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