Ah, wrestling rumors. Due to the...uh, unique nature of wrestling news reporting, they spread like wildfire on the internet more easily than they might in "real sports" or more traditional/mainstream forms of entertainment.
Let's take a look at what stories have picked up steam this week and see how they've panned out.
Rumor: Batista (well, Dave Bautista, if you want to be formal since he's not wrestling) is negotiating with his buddy Triple H to set up a return to WWE after an absence of over three years.
Status: Debunked. Not only did none of the more established wrestling reporters with better track records pick this up, but Bautista tweeted this:
Holy shit!! Im in negotiations with HHH to go back to the WWE! Apparently Im asking for a short term contract! I hope I asked for big money!— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 15, 2013
Please let me know when Im going back! And what I said to HHH. Id like to know. I feel left out! #rumors— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 15, 2013
Not that it wouldn't be nice...just don't want anyone to buy into bullshit rumors. I haven't talked to Hunter. And Im tied down for awhile— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 15, 2013
As that last tweet alluded to, he's in the middle of filming comic book adaptation "Guardians of the Galaxy" for Marvel/Disney. He plays villain Drax the Destroyer. I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that I'm pretty sure a big budget Disney superhero movie takes precedence over WWE.
Rumor: Vince McMahon “doesn’t see money” in Daniel Bryan because he’s small or weird or something.
Status: Debunked a couple weeks ago but now being discussed again because the rumors have been worked into a storyline.
This all started when Shawn Michaels said the following in an interview:
"I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with the man in charge and we were talking about a certain individual and he goes, 'I just don't see money in him.' And I said, 'You said the same thing about me.' He said, 'I did not.' I said, 'Yes you did!' (laughs) I said, 'And it's okay. It's just one of those things.'
I wasn't your prototypical - heck, I wasn't anybody's prototypical main event guy, and I knew that. So, you just do your absolute best. Yes, I was very scared and very worried, which had a lot to do with how bad I handled stuff. I spent a great deal of my career waiting for the other shoe to drop, because it was a very real view of me and my ability and talent. I'm a firm believer that talent does rise to the top, but you have to be patient. So, I spent a great deal of time worried, intimidated, and concerned that with each passing storyline, it might be the last one."
With Michaels being Bryan’s original trainer and a strong supporter of him, everyone immediately speculated he was the subject of the conversation with Vince McMahon. The “I wasn’t anyone’s prototypical main event guy” line seemingly suggested size was an issue since Michaels was small by WWE standards when he started in the company in 1988. Well, Michaels responded to tweets asking about the rumors, saying none of this was the case.
RT:"@BScott12492: Who exactly was the guy in question during you & Vince's convo?"–I would have said if I thought relevant. Not DB tho.— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) June 28, 2013
@yourboymikeyp. No, the guy is actually 6'3 250, ironically, y'all miss the same point he did. Amusing since everyone's knocking him.— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) June 28, 2013
That was that...until Monday. On this week’s edition of Raw, a backstage segment saw Triple H and Stephanie McMahon warn Brad Maddox that Vince would not be happy with him letting John Cena choose his SummerSlam opponent because he wasn’t a fan of who they expected Cena to pick. Since everyone expected Cena to pick Bryan and he did, in fact, actually pick Bryan, they were clearly addressing the rumors. The question now is if it’ll be an ongoing storyline or if it was just a nod to hardcore fans.
"Oh, THAT WWE.com..."
For our last story, I wouldn't normally classify this as a rumor, but, well...you'll see.
Rumor: The word is that Randy Orton suffered a neck injury at the SmackDown/Main Event tapings last night.
Status: I'm not sure even Randy Orton knows.
Last night, WWE.com reported that Orton suffered a neck injury while wrestling Alberto Del Rio earlier in the night at the SmackDown taping in Providence, RI. Basically any website that picked up the story made it clear that the source was WWE.com. Still, Orton tweeted this:
Hey, remember when I said don't listen to the net? I'm fine. Del Rio's kicks are hard as hell, and I caught one to the neck, part of the job— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) July 17, 2013
So either Orton is injured and didn't realize WWE had made it public, it's a storyline that he wasn't told about or he saw one website that somehow editorialized an injury and made him so angry he decided to deny it. Your guess is as good as mine.