Undoubtedly the single greatest change from professional wrestling in its heyday of the 1980's to the modern era of professional wrestling is the presence of the internet. With a wealth of information readily available, it has become increasingly harder to WWE officials to keep company business under wraps.
There are hundreds of websites dedicated to circulating potential wrestling rumors, and it is surprising to me how accurate many of these sites can be. Since these rumors are constantly changing to encompass new developments, I thought it would be useful to list 8 WWE Rumors That We Hope Are True (and 7 That We Don't).
Encompassing the latest and greatest of all rumors currently circulating about the WWE, this list provides a good picture of what the WWE will look like for the remainder of the year. While many of these rumors (if true) should be cause for excitement, just as many of them will leave diehard WWE fans with a sense of impending doom. Whatever side you fall on, it will be interesting to see how many of these rumors actually manifest in the coming months. As you get towards the top of this list, you will see how drastic the implications of some of these rumors may be.
15 Good - Split Up Of The Hardy Boys
Perhaps the biggest moment of WrestleMania 33 was when the Hardy Boys made their triumphant return to WWE, winning the Raw Tag Titles in the ladder match that they helped pioneer. While the Hardy's have been more than adequate since their return to WWE, those who saw the pair's groundbreaking rivalry in TNA know that their talents are being wasted in the tag division. As such, it will be very good for WWE if recent rumors of the Hardy Boys breakup are true. According to some sources, the nature of how the Hardy's lost their tag gold at WWE's Extreme Rules was scripted as to allow the brothers to break up, and eventually feud with each other. This would allow Jeff to be given a significantly singles push and would also shine a light on Matt Hardy's "broken" character that was so popular in TNA.
14 Bad - Summer Rae Return
Usually when a WWE superstar makes their return from injury, it is a cause for celebration. For some superstars, however, the landscape changes so much in the course of their injury that they find themselves returning to an entirely different environment. Such is the case with WWE Superstar, Summer Rae. While Summer is not a complete novice in the ring (she has been with the company since 2011), she is certainly not on par with the performers currently dominating the Women's Division. Despite this, Summer has shown to be the favorite of WWE executives in the past, so it is possible that she could be given some important storylines upon her return. My worry is that due to her "star looks", Summer will be given an opportunity which would be better served by another performer in what is becoming an increasingly stacked division.
13 Good - John Cena Returns July 4th
I think now that John Cena is not being constantly shoved down fans throats every week in the main event, there has started to reemerge an appreciation for the 16x World Champion's immense talent. Therefore, his scheduled return to the WWE on July 4th is good news for every wrestling fan, and especially those who watch WWE's Friday Night Smackdown. An underrated aspect of the "Superstar Shakeup" was that the blue brand lost two of its best talkers in Bray Wyatt and The Miz. Cena's return should help fill this void, as his ability to hype matches is almost unparalleled in the modern WWE (no offense to Paul Heyman). July 4th can't come soon enough for the rabid members of the Cenation.
12 Bad - John Cena Vs. Jinder Mahal
While Cena returning to the WWE may be a good thing for the product, the rumor of who his first opponent would be certainly will not. In Cena's absence, WWE Superstar Jinder Mahal has become one of the top heels on Smackdown Live. Therefore, it has been hinted that the young superstar will be pitted against "the face that runs the place" upon his return. The problem with this is that I can already tell you the storyline that will be utilized if these two face off. If a Mahal-Cena match is scheduled, I can all but guarantee that the narrative will be the angry foreigner versus the American hero. We have seen this storyline play out countless times before, and to utilize it here would be a disservice to both Cena and Mahal.
11 Good - Undertaker Retirement
Throughout his career the Undertaker has been a unique superstar. Therefore, it is unsurprising that he wouldn't go the traditional retirement route that men like Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair have gone. Despite all the appearances of his retirement after his loss to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33, there have been conflicting rumors whether the dead man is actually going to hang up his boots. As legendary as the Undertaker was, it would be best for both the WWE and his legacy if he decided to call it quits. The breakdown of Taker's body has been evident in recent years, and two recent losses at WrestleMania have all but eliminated the majesty of "the streak". I expect that we will continue to see rumors of this topic all the way up to WrestleMania 34.
10 Bad - Return Of The Authority
An interesting storyline which has infiltrated the WWE in recent weeks is the Kurt Angle mystery text he received on Monday Night Raw. According to rumors, that scene will be used to set up the return of both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. These two were, of course, the principle members of the "Authority" stable, so it is reasonable to conclude that they will reprise these roles upon their return. This is terrible news for WWE programming. For almost two years the authority storyline dominated WWE TV time, leaving little room for the enhancement of other talents. This current WWE roster is already loaded as it is, so giving up multiple hours of programming each week to the Authority would inherently leave some talented members of the roster out in the cold.
9 Good - How To Not Get Hacked
For whatever reason, WWE Divas have recently been the target of several cyber attacks. From these attacks, the hackers have gained access to (and subsequently published) several non-PG pictures of the women of WWE. Rumor has it that WWE officials have responded to this string of attacks by forcing the talent to undergo training sessions on how to avoid being hacked. According to sources, the majority of these sessions is dedicated to lecturing on the dangers of sending scandalous photos through text or other online platforms. Whether this will be effective in limiting the amount of leaked photos remains to be seen, but at least the WWE is being proactive about a problem which has seemed to dominate wrestling headlines for the past year.
8 Bad - No Timetable For Daniel Bryan's Return
From a not so wholesome entry to one that is incredibly wholesome, Daniel Bryan has been noticeably absent from WWE TV since the birth of his daughter Birdie. While I have doubts about the effect a general manager can have on the overall product, I will admit that I have missed Bryan since his absence. Bryan serves as the voice of reason on a hectic Smackdown Live, and he is the perfect opposite to the fiery Shane McMahon. According to rumors, there is currently no timetable for Bryan's return. Worse than that, sources claim that there is no plans to appoint another Gm in his absence. This seems to be a waste on the part of WWE Creative, as an interim manager should give them a ready-made storyline, which could have major implications for the future of WWE.
7 Good - Maria To WWE
It is an important tenet in any entertainment industry that you can never have too much talent. WWE certainly adheres to this rule, as they have been continuously scouting and signing new talents, despite an already uber-talented superstar roster. One such talent which has been rumored to be on her way to WWE is Maria Kanellis. One could argue that Maria isn't a big enough star to supplant the female talent that WWE already has (Charlotte, Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, etc.), but she could be an important contributor to the WWE in other ways. Maria is notoriously savvy about the wrestling industry, so she could easily be paired with a young male superstar as a way to lessen his transition into the WWE.
6 Bad - Mike Bennett To WWE
Speaking of incoming superstars, Maria's real life husband, Mike Bennett, has also been rumored to be a future addition to Smackdown Live. As opposed to Maria, however, I don't really see a place for Bennett on the current roster. While he was a consistent contributor during his time with TNA, I think it's fair to say that he wasn't lighting the world on fire. In fact, during his time with TNA, the only title that Bennett held was a single TNA X Division Championship. This certainly doesn't seem like the kind of high-profile signing who could come in and instantly contribute to the blue brand. It is also important to note that Bennett is already 32, a fairly advanced age for a professional wrestler.
5 Good - Enzo And Cass Split
Of all the rumors on this list, this is the one I was most unsure about where to place. Anyone who watched Enzo and Cass in NXT realize the incredible potential this tag-team possesses. Those who have seen the pair languish this past year in WWE, however, likely recognize the need for a change. According to recent rumors, those seeking a change may be rewarded, as it has been hinted that the pair will go their separate ways. Following backstage attacks on both men in recent weeks, it has been rumored that either Cass or Enzo will be behind the others attack. This would, of course, lead to a split, ending the partnership of one of the most popular tag teams in recent WWE history.
4 Bad - Wyatt Divorce Rumors
Not all the rumors on this list are related to the business side of the WWE. The WWE rumor getting the most air time this past week was easily the rumored demise of Bray Wyatt's marriage. According to sources close to Wyatt, the young superstar has been having an affair with WWE announcer Jo Jo. This rumor was surprising to many, as Wyatt has been faithfully married to his wife, Samantha Rotunda, for almost 12 years. Credibility was given to this rumor this past Monday, however, as Wyatt and Jo Jo arrived to Raw together and are seemingly now an item. This rumor lands on the "we hope it isn't true" side of our list not only out of concern for Bray's wife and kids but also out of fear that this personal conflict will interfere with the on-screen performance of one of WWE's most entertaining characters.
3 Good - Emma Storyline
A friend of mine once tweeted that Emma is the Supernatural of the WWE. Alluding to the long-running show, my friend was trying to illustrate that while Emma may not have the large fanbase that other female wrestlers have, those who do keep tabs on her are continuously reminded of why she's their favorite wrestler. While I'm not the huge Emma fiend that my cohort is, I was excited when I heard the rumor that she was scheduled to be given a storyline by WWE Creative. Despite all her time with the WWE, I had a hard time thinking of a single legitimate storyline that she was ever given. If this rumor turns out to be true, expect this unappreciated diva to knock whatever storyline she's given out of the park.
2 Bad - Reigns And Lesnar
Sigh. Throwing out the legitimate concerns many fans have about Reigns' status as "the guy" in WWE, it seriously grinds my gears that WWE feels the need to set in stone the main event for WrestleMania a full year in advance. What if Reigns is terrible for the next year (I actually like Reigns, but I do get irked from the superstar treatment he often receives)? What if someone like Finn Balor or AJ Styles is absolutely incredible from now until WrestleMania (entirely possible)? By allegedly planning their main event so far in advance, WWE is doing nothing but handcuffing themselves to what could be a lackluster ending to WrestleMania. Not only this, but with the high likelihood that this information would get leaked, WWE has essentially stolen all the excitement of looking forward to WrestleMania. It's like knowing who's going to win the Super Bowl before the NFL season even starts.
1 Good - Rousey To WWE
Of all the rumors currently swirling about the WWE, the one which has the most potential to change the course of the company is the rumored negotiations between WWE and former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey. Ronda's flirtation with the WWE began when she appeared at WrestleMania 31, and her recent losses in the UFC make it more likely that she will try her hand at pro wrestling. All these rumors were recently augmented, as Rousey followed a significant number of company and Superstar Twitter accounts. Whether all this hype will amount to a full term deal or merely another guest appearance (or potentially nothing), this is easily the most important WWE rumor currently in circulation. Any guesses on who Rousey's first opponent would be?