BS Meter on Luke Harper and the Biggest WWE Rumors of Last 3 Months
WWE is notoriously fickle. When an entire storyline can change on the whim of a single individual, CEO Vince McMahon, it's difficult for the creative team to know what will happen in the future, let alone plan for it.
When the wrestling community receives rumors and dirt sheet speculation, it should all be taken with a pinch of salt. Plans can change, though that excuse doesn't cover all manner of inaccuracy.
But there's also the distinct possibility that these reporters are being worked like the rest of us; WWE may only leak what it wants them to know. What better way to control information than to become a part of its flow?
Here's our BS Meter (1 being completely true, 10 being complete BS) on the biggest WWE rumors of the past three months.
Sasha Banks at a Stalemate?
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio in April (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), WWE was at a stalemate with Sasha Banks, and the company was willing to let her sit out her contract rather than release her.
Banks made a highly publicized return on August 12, beating up Natalya and turning heel in the process. She also has a WWE Chronicle special on WWE Network, documenting her return and inner turmoil. And although these specials are presented as the truth, it's possible they are simply another layer of subterfuge.
The Boss did take time off and was almost certainly angry at the company after WrestleMania 35. But it appears the conjecture about her jumping ship was overplayed or that WWE deliberately fed into it so that her return would have more impact.
She was training for an in-ring return in Japan in July, so at some point, the ice thawed. According to Brad Shepard for ProSportaExtra.com, there was also a conflict mediation between Alexa Bliss and Banks in late June/early July, which could have helped to move along the conversation.
BS Meter: 6
No Interest in Luke Harper?
Luke Harper made his surprise return at Clash of Champions on Sunday, helping Erick Rowan in his fight against Roman Reigns. And one of the reasons why Harper's appearance was such a shock is because of the dirt sheet rumors surrounding him.
According to Meltzer (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), Vince McMahon didn't see anything in Harper and had no plans to use him on television. This report was from September 12, which means that either Meltzer was fed bad intel or that the plans to use Harper were kept extremely under wraps.
Meltzer has since reported that's exactly what happened. In a recent Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Alex McCarthy of TalkSport), Meltzer said that Harper only got the call two days before Clash of Champions.
Still, this is a pretty high-profile blunder for Meltzer, who has long been considered a reliable source of information for gossip in WWE. This was not backstage politicking; this was McMahon's overall attitude and approach to a performer. Like booking plans, that's not something that changes overnight.
BS Meter: 9
Lacey Evans Push?
There were multiple rumors, beginning in February and lasting until June, that Lacey Evans was due for a massive push in the company. As recently as July, Shepard reported that Evans was destined for big things and that McMahon was extremely high on her.
But the Sassy Southern Belle is keeping a low profile. What happened?
First, it's not inaccurate that Lacey received a massive push. She became the top contender for the Raw women's title, and she fought for that title in one-on-one competition and with Baron Corbin in a Winner Takes All match on PPV. But it is true that she has not followed through on that push by winning a career-defining match.
It's probably for the best, though. As talented as Evans is, she was much too green for the spotlight she was given. She needs a lot more polish and practice to be a main event fixture; raw athleticism is no longer enough to cut it in the women's division.
BS Meter: 4
A 4 Horsewomen Reunion?
Bayley recently turned heel, allying herself with a recently returning Sasha Banks. But according to Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats, there are long-term plans in place for a Four Horsewomen reunion down the road.
This is almost certainly true, although a corroborating source is hardly necessary. WWE is in the nostalgia business; it's inevitable that these four women will eventually recreate the Curtain Call moment from the first NXT Takeover: Brooklyn to pop the fans.
And what if Shayna Baszler moves up the card or Ronda Rousey makes a return? There could be a bigger, more pressing existential threat for the women to band against.
BS Meter: 2