WWE: Alberto Del Rio Return Rumor Debunked, WWE Future Sale Likelihood Rumor, More News

Alberto Del Rio Potential WWE Return Rumor Debunked

Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that the recent rumors of WWE considering the idea of bringing back Alberto Del Rio, also known as Alberto Del Patron, to the company are not true.

One high level WWE source stated that WWE officials “never had any serious conversations or pitches to bring Del Rio back” even during Vince McMahon’s ownership era and several key people within WWE’s management “haven’t been keen on him [Del Rio] since well before his WWE exit [in 2016].”

The rumors originated over a recent interview Del Rio had with WrestlingNews.co where Del Rio stated that he has yet to have any talks with Paul “Triple H” Levesque over a potential return to WWE. Del Rio also stated that he did have talks with former WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis over the idea in recent years.

Sports Business Journal Predicts NBC Outbids FOX for SmackDown & Becomes Future Owner of WWE

In a recent 2023 sports media predictions article, Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand stated that he currently believes that NBC Universal will be a major player in WWE’s negotiations for a new television contract for their SmackDown series.

Ourand speculated that NBC likely will end up outbidding FOX for the rights to SmackDown in 2024 and also speculated that this likely would be part of their larger plan to potentially outright purchase WWE in the future.

“The WWE’s TV deals expire at the end of 2024, but it will start to negotiate new deals in April, right around when ‘WrestleMania’ is in L.A. By the end of the year, the group will have a deal in place with NBCU that keeps ‘Raw’ and ‘NXT’ on USA and moves ‘SmackDown’ from Fox to one of NBC’s channels. The real significance of this deal comes in two years the two negotiate their Peacock deal. The deals for ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown’ will lay the groundwork for NBCU to buy WWE outright.”

WWE News & Notes

A recent episode of ESPN’s First Take show featured Ric Flair as the guest. During the show, Flair brought up the idea of co-host Stephen A. Smith working as a manger in WWE. Smith stated that he would be interested in the idea but only under the conditions that he gets to be a “trouble-making bad guy manager” and nobody could touch him in regards to him taking actual bumps.

During a recent virtual fan signing event for K&S WrestleFest, WWE Hall of Famer Molly Holly revealed that WWE has yet to contact her for a potential appearance in next year’s Women’s Royal Rumble match. Holly stated that she had previously informed WWE’s creative team that if they do have plans for her to be involved in next year’s match, she would need advance notice in order for her to have enough time to get back into ring shape “because that hurts to go from not doing it for a long time and then getting thrown in there.” (Transcript h/t: WrestlingInc.com)

As noted before, Drew McIntyre has been out of action for WWE since suffering a ruptured eardrum injury at WWE’s Survivor Series WarGames event. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that WWE officials recently pulled McIntyre off of the card for their December 26th house show event at Madison Square Garden due to their current expectation that McIntyre would not be medically cleared in time for the event. WWE officials reportedly also currently do not have a timetable in place for McIntyre’s return from injury.