Its not exactly a clear reference if you have to say words and phrases like it may be, it could be, it might be, it may posssibly be etc. besides the reference/Easter egg was just about Greg Cipes not that old episode, it would way to big of a stretch to say its a reference just because of a small similarity.
I beg to differ, I don't believe im making a mountain out of a mole hill here speculation is just isn't allowed here that rule was here way before I even joined. And sorry to pile on here lol but if we allowed speculation then right now Tiger Claws page would say that he could be Splinters brother and that Casey Jones could've been the kid who owned Leatherhead see what I mean. Also sorry but I can't allow you put that similarity between the episodes, its a very small similarity not really worth mentioning, mostly because there was not enough substance to go off of from the 2012 episode, specially because it was a Greg cipes Easter egg.
Okay now those are two completely different things, speculating that Tiger Claw is Splinter's brother is different from what my "speculation" that's a fan theory. Also the joke itself could've been a reference as it was Michalangelo who thought of becoming human after ingesting retromutagen, like he did in the 1987 show after ingesting retromutagen made by Krang. You have to at least admit, there is a similarity.
Speculation and Fan Theories are pretty much the same thing, one is just like more um let's say bigger than the other. And I believe I did say there is a similarity between them, but a small similarity Mikey made a statement talking about being human once then he turns into Greg cipes momentarily, and that's it.