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Old 04-29-2020, 07:39 PM   #1321
Emperor Smeat
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
WWE is set to air its first-ever virtual roundtable on YouTube tomorrow morning.

It was announced today that WWE's virtual roundtable series will kick off with an episode featuring the company's Scottish champions. It will premiere on YouTube at 10 a.m. Eastern time this Thursday (April 30).

WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Women's Tag Team Champion Nikki Cross, NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray, and NXT UK Tag Team Champions Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) are taking part in the roundtable. They will "discuss what it means to represent Scotland in both WWE and NXT UK, their personal and often entwined journeys to championship glory and what their concurrent reigns could mean for the future of Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole."

The virtual roundtable will be hosted by NXT UK's Andy Shepherd.
Link: https://twitter.com/WWEUK/status/1255497014009384965

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
This weekend's season premiere of Showtime's "Billions" will include an appearance by the Raw Women's Champion.

During this morning's edition of WWE's The Bump, it was confirmed that Lynch will have a role in the drama series' season five premiere. The episode will air on Showtime at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday (May 3).
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Major League Wrestling ("MLW") today announced a new distribution partnership with iNDEMAND to distribute a slate of special events starting this May on pay-per-view via iNDEMAND.

"iNDEMAND is a giant in the sports programming space and the perfect partner as the league continues to build its audience and distribution," said MLW CEO Court Bauer.

Major League Wrestling will present three marquee events in the month of May, including:

May 7th: MLW Battle Riot II. More info
May 14th: MLW Saturday Night Super Fight. More info
May 21st: MLW Opera Cup 2019. More info

All events have a start time of 8:00 pm ET. Additional replays will be available all month.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Television viewership has invariably taken its toll on both WWE and AEW over the past seven weeks of empty arena shows. Raw is hovering at historic lows with this past Monday’s show featuring a third hour that was the least-watched hour in Raw’s modern history.

In studying the live viewership data available for Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and AEW Dynamite, it’s been SmackDown that has held up best until the past two weeks. Over the past seven episodes of SmackDown, the show is only down 5.4% but that has been amplified over the last two weeks where SmackDown has hit its two lowest viewership figures since launching on Fox. If this trend continues, the show will catch up to the loss shown with the other programs.

Over the seven weeks before the empty arena shows, Raw averaged 2,281,000 viewers (2,262,000 if you factor out the night after Royal Rumble) from January 29th until March 9th (which was the final episode in front of fans).

Since the empty arena Raws began on March 16th, they have averaged 1,991,000 viewers, a decline of 13%. The first week inside an empty arena had the novelty factor and was strengthened by the re-airing of the men’s Royal Rumble match and averaged 2.335 million viewers. The decline began the week after and has hovered at the two million viewers, although Raw has fallen under that number the past two episodes.

For SmackDown, they averaged 2,462,000 viewers on Fox from January 31st through March 6th in front of an audience. Over seven empty arena shows, the average is 2,330,000 and falling 5.4%. The past two weeks have shown a great fall with 2.187 and 2.005 million viewers respectively. If they stay at this level of viewership, their percentage drop will fall in line with Raw.

NXT and AEW had the unique circumstance of holding live shows right as the NBA season was being shut down on Wednesday, March 11th along with the news of Rudy Gobert testing positive and U.S. President Donald Trump holding a speech regarding travel restrictions. That night, AEW was hit harder while NXT stayed relatively normal to its typical audience average.

I threw out the March 11th figures for the comparison of both shows.

NXT averaged 745,000 viewers from January 29th until March 4th over six episodes (if you include the March 11th episode their average would only be down by 3,000 viewers). In the six episodes since, they have averaged 642,000 viewers and declined 14%.

AEW averaged 873,000 viewers over their six episodes from January 29th until March 4th. From March 18th until April 22nd, the show has fallen 13% with 758,000 viewers per episode. For the first two empty arena shows, AEW was not hurt at all with its first show doing 932,000 on March 18th and 819,000 on March 25th. The larger drop occurred the next week where it was down to 685,000 viewers.

From this data, it would indicate that wrestling fans have tuned out at a rate of approximately 13%. SmackDown has held up better, but the last two weeks would suggest they will be at the same level of decline as the other shows providing that the 2 million viewership mark is their new normal.

It was reported in the recent issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that DVR viewership is down across the board, as well. Dave Meltzer notes that Raw and SmackDown’s audience typically grew 20% with DVR viewership and has fallen to 16% over the first four weeks since the shutdown. NXT has fallen from 31% to 26% and AEW has dropped from 38% to 32%.
John Pollock had a very interesting article on the impact empty arena shows have had on wrestling tv ratings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, WWE has been working with a limited roster over the last month and a half. Pete Dunne, one-half of the NXT Tag Team Champions with Matt Riddle, has been noticeably absent from NXT television as he's remained in the UK.

While times are tough and not being able to wrestle isn't easy, Dunne has found a positive to the current situation.

“I think it’s a much-needed break in a way,” Dunne told Alex McCarthy of TalkSPORT. “I think for years and years we talked about maybe, is there a way that wrestling could have a kind-of off-season. I think this is a good trial for that for some of us. To be able to be back in England with my family and being able to train a bit differently to how I would if I was on the road and wrestling all the time. I’m just trying to put a positive spin on something that’s hugely negative [coronavirus/lockdown]. But if I was going to [have an off-season], then spending time with the family, training hard, recouping and then coming back better.”

With Dunne being absent from television, Timothy Thatcher stepped up as Riddle's tag team partner last Wednesday on NXT, helping Riddle defeated The Undisputed Era.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Ricochet & Cedric Alexander may have only been teaming up on Raw for just a few weeks, but it appears that they already have a name.

Throughout this week, both wrestlers started tagging themselves on Twitter as #2FlyCrew, seemingly indicating that will be their team name, at least for now.
Link: https://twitter.com/KingRicochet/sta...85738428358656 , https://twitter.com/CedricAlexander/...69350483738624


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Old 04-30-2020, 10:00 PM   #1322
Emperor Smeat
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Wednesday night ratings are in and AEW Dynamite averaged 693,000 viewers for last night's show on TNT, down 5.2 percent from last week.

The good news is that the show averaged a 0.27 rating in the 18-49 demo, which was up eight percent from last week. It's the show's best number in that category since March 25. Dynamite finished 16th for the night on cable in the demo, its best showing since the move to closed set shows.

The numbers weren't so good for NXT, which fell out of the top 50 for the fifth time in the last six weeks, averaging a 0.16 rating in 18-49, down 11 percent from last week.

In total viewers, NXT averaged 637,000 viewers on USA Network, down 4.2 percent. That was the lowest number for NXT since April 1.

Total viewership for both Wednesday night shows combined was 1.33 million, the second lowest total since their cable TV debuts in October. In fact, AEW's premiere episode on TNT did more viewers than that on its own, an indication of how far things have fallen with the closed set shows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
The history of MLW will be spotlighted in an anthology series set to debut in May.

It was announced today that MLW Anthology will premiere on beIN Sports in conjunction with MLW Fusion on Saturday, May 16. The series will "spotlight the biggest rivalries, iconic athletes and championship classics spanning the history of MLW dating back to 2002."

“This is a project we had planned for further down the road but we wanted to surprise fans with some fun and joy during this challenging period,” MLW's Court Bauer said in a press release.

MLW announced last week that they had started the process of digitizing their MLW Underground TV series from 2003-2004. After its initial run from 2002-2004, MLW was revived as a promotion in 2017.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WrestlingInc
WWE is filing to oppose some of the trademarks registered by The Revolt's Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood, formerly known as Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson of The Revival.

The Revolt filed to trademark "No Flips, Just Fists" back on Tuesday, February 18 of this year, for merchandise and general pro wrestling/entertainment use. WWE filed to oppose the trademarks earlier today, just two days after the name was eligible for opposition.

WWE previously filed to trademark "No Flips Just Fists" on Monday, February 24. That is the same as The Revolt's term filed for on February 18, just without the comma.

WWE was granted the standard 90-day extension to prepare their opposition. They now have until Wednesday, August 26 to file that opposition.

WWE filed to be the opposer for another name that The Revolt filed to trademark back on Tuesday, January 7 - "#FTRKO" for merchandise use. WWE filed to oppose that trademark today, just two days after it was published for opposition. They were granted the 90-day extension, and have until August 26 to file that opposition to "#FTRKO" as well.

Finally, WWE filed to oppose the trademark for "Say Yeah" today. The Revolt filed to trademark that name back on Tuesday, February 18, for merchandise and general wrestling/entertainment use. WWE filed to oppose that name today, also just two days after it was filed for opposition. Like the other two trademark filings, they were granted the standard 90-day extension to file that opposition, and have until August 26.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
This Tuesday, 5/5, WWE's will feature the following specials on FS1:

7 PM - Ric Flair's Best WWE Matches - including the 1992 Royal Rumble and Evolution vs. The Rock N' Sock Connection.

8 PM - Edge's Best Wrestlemania Matches - Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show, Edge vs. Undertaker

9 PM - Brock Lesnar's Most Dominant Matches.

10 PM - Roman Reigns' Best Wrestlemania Matches - Reigns vs. Undertaker, Reigns vs. Triple H.

11 PM - WWE Backstage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
On a recent edition of Busted Open Radio, Heath Slater chatted with Bully Ray and David LaGreca. Slater was asked about The Nexus group and how they seemingly fell apart after losing to Team Cena at the 2010 SummerSlam pay-per-view. Slater believes that the group should’ve won at that event and knew at the beginning of the night, they were supposed to win and within a matter of hours, they found out they were losing.

“And then, going through Nexus, my goodness I wish we just could’ve had our hands and a grip on it a little more because it died way too soon and we all know this. Everyone knows it. SummerSlam, we should’ve took over, period. We should’ve won. I mean, me, [Justin] Gabriel and Wade [Barrett] were the last three and then pretty much Daniel [Bryan] and Cena took us all out, and it was just one of those things where as soon as that happened, I mean we shifted from fourth to second gear in a matter of one night, and then it was like, ‘Damn. We worked all this way and this hard for us and the company for this to happen? We couldn’t wait a few more months until Mania so you could have a mega-group and surely just destroy us or whatever?’ But yeah, it surely should not have ended at SummerSlam.

I mean, I knew we were going over and next thing I knew [we] weren’t. So it’s one of those things I’m sure people walked in and out of there, changed Vince’s mind and all that fun stuff. No man, I didn’t [try to change Vince’s mind]. None of us knew. We were winning, and then a matter of, sh*t, a couple matches before, we were not. We were going over… and I still don’t know the whole story, and you’re never gonna know the whole story because they always tell you, ‘Oh I don’t know. Oh that’s what he came up with.’ You can never get the right answer. You can only get the ‘around the bush’ answers so… I don’t know man.”
Jericho and Edge mentioned in the past that Cena was the person responsible for the abrupt changes made to the match's original plans and the finish that was done instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Per SEC filings made on April 29th, WWE Executive Producer Kevin Dunn sold 33,000 shares of his WWE stock which accumulates to almost $1,532,850 worth of Class A stock. WWE Executive Vice President Bradley Blum sold 16,358 shares at $45.32 per share which is almost $741,835 worth of stock.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
As announced by Pro Wrestling NOAH, the current GHC Heavyweight Champion Go Shiozaki underwent surgery for acute appendicitis. Shiozaki was discharged from the hospital following the surgery but to decrease the risk of him getting sick due to the current state of his immune system post-surgery, he’ll miss his TV matches on May 3rd, May 9th and May 10th.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Aubrey Edwards was the focus of the latest AEW Unrestricted podcast with Tony Schiavone. Aubrey revealed that she is working on an AEW rule book and that rule book will be published on the company’s official website. Also, Aubrey voiced her thoughts about the criticism she receives on social media about “taking away from the wrestlers” during matches.

“There’s always going to be people who vocalize what they don’t like. There’s always that really vocal minority. The ones that are behind the keyboards that are like, ‘Oh, I don’t like this.’ It’s fine. You’re allowed to like or not like certain things. Everyone’s different. There’s enough wrestling out there for you, whatever. But the thing that’s really interesting is just how many — it’s a very common occurrence where people just say I take too much attention away from the wrestlers, I’m too distracting. My favorite comment online once was that someone couldn’t watch the match because my lipstick was too distracting. Yeah, I’m like, ‘You’re not paying attention to wrestling. Like what the hell are you doing buddy?’ I think the social media team gets at least one email a week about me and how I’m a distraction and people can’t watch All Elite Wrestling because I’m on the TV.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
AEW Co-Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes joined the Dan Le Betard Show to promote AEW Dynamite. While on the topic of his father Dusty Rhodes, Cody said that WWE has been trying for quite some time to obtain some of the memorabilia that the Runnels family has by way of Dusty.

“We have everything. WWE has been trying to break into our little vault for years, trying to get some of the good stuff. We have a lot of really great stuff from Championship Wrestling from Florida, a lot of Gordon Solie, personal items and really good stuff from dad’s hay day.”

Cody also spoke about the Stardust gimmick and how in the early stages, he pieced the character together with Dusty Rhodes. Cody said he initially wanted a hairless cat to go along with the gimmick.

“When I was doing the Stardust character, I really wanted to have a hairless cat, so my poor dad, he’s trying to produce this promo and I’ve got this hairless cat in there and the makeup and the glitter and he’s watching his son. Just absurd pieces of business.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
IMPACT World Tag Team Champion Josh Alexander revealed that he played the role of “Droz” in the cinematic scenes of Dark Side of Ring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
During the Firefly Fun House match between John Cena and Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 36, Mr. McBossman (a puppet with Vince McMahon's likeness) said the line, "This is such good shit."

That quote became famous in the wrestling world after an interview with Jon Moxley where he recalled Vince McMahon saying certain ideas were "good shit, pal" during Moxley's run as Dean Ambrose in WWE. The line put a smile on many faces during WrestleMania 36, including Jon Moxley's.

"I kind of popped for it, honestly," Moxley told the New York Post. "I thought it was pretty funny. But it’s like, I think I might have popularized that or made it into a pop culture thing, but everybody knows that’s what he says. He’s been saying that for decades. People who were probably doing Vince McMahon impressions have been saying ‘that’s good s–t’ before I even got into wrestling."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
The mystery of Vince McMahon's illegitimate son was solved with a whimper as many were left disappointed when the big reveal turned out to be Hornswoggle. Of course, nothing was at it seemed as Fit Finlay ended up being the father of the little lad.

On the February 18, 2008 edition of WWE Raw, McMahon faced Hornswoggle in a cage match and caught up on disciplinary action he had missed all those years. McMahon and JBL brutally beat Hornswoggle, leading to storyline internal injuries, including bleeding of the brain and spinal trauma.

But it could have been worse.

Former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz was rummaging through his closet when he stumbled upon a pitch by another unnamed writer who thought McMahon could have killed Hornswoggle if things got bad enough.

“Hornswoggle Dilemma: Have Vince say to HS that we’re going for a ride as Vince stuffs HS into a pillow case. Have a camera standing on a bridge and the audience sees Vince throw HS out the window of his limousine and over the bridge railing. HS plummets to his death. I know it’s morbidly and highly unlikely ever to be used, but I think it’s something that a fed up Mr. McMahon could resort to after trying for so long to get rid of him.”

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Old 05-01-2020, 05:29 PM   #1323
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The Sheets (Observer Newsletter Edition):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer Newsletter
The word out of Oklahoma is that Gov. Kevin Stitt is trying to bring in pro wrestling, MMA and boxing as well as a way to generate revenue. The only way to generate revenue from those events is with live attendance and people traveling to shows. The idea seems to be from a political perspective is that there will be far less scrutiny bringing sports that the media won’t care about, and moreso, that have no unions so there won’t be the same level of pressure from the outside on safety standards. The idea is that the states that ope up arenas to fans first will be able to get everyone running to run shows there before the rest of the country opens up. Of course there is a flip side to this as well, because the earlier things are opened up, he riskier they are. And the rush to avoid listening to what doctors and scientists are saying is quest of short-term revenue and dice rolling on the health of not just those involved, but those they would later come in contact with is something to watch from afar.
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Smackdown on 4/24 did its lowest numbers on FOX to date in almost every key category with a 1.24 rating and 2,005,000 viewers (1.34 viewers per home, which was normal levels), a drop of 10.8 percent in homes watching, an 8.3 percent drop in viewers and a 13.7 percent drop in 18-49.

The 18-49 number was an 0.5 rating and 661,000 total viewers.

What makes that number more concerning than the typical weekly ratings drops is that this show had been promoted for a few weeks around the HHH 25th anniversary special, and that the second hour, with the celebration, which included Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon, was the first time Smackdown on FOX ever fell below 2 million viewers.

Smackdown went from finishing first most weeks in 18-49 this season to finishing in last place in the key demo. The only show it beat in Males 18-49, the demo it previously owned, was Dateline. It was also last, as it usually is, in women 18-49 and 50+ ...

Still, last year, on the same Friday, with rerun programming FOX did 2,103,000 viewers and 0.4 in the demo, so they are still okay in that comparison, but then again, it’s with programming that costs very little.
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Just to explain how WWE talent gets paid. When you sign a deal, it is for a guaranteed money figure. Let’s just use Braun Strowman as an example. His guarantee per year is believed to be $1.2 million. But talent is also paid based on percentages from house shows, PPVs, bonuses for the big shows on the network (mostly to the headliners of PPVs, big network shows aren’t bonused for NXT talent) and a percentage of merchandise sales. Generally speaking, for top talent, the latter figure will be higher than the guarantee. For talent not being used, or talent that may have signed over the last year plus when they started increasing guarantees to keep people from leaving to AEW, the guarantee number could be higher. Talent is paid every two weeks. The talent has the choice to get paid based on downside guarantee, meaning, if you’re Strowman, you can get $46,000 every paycheck. If your other figure ends up more, so let’s just say by regular standards he’d have made $1.8 million instead of $1.2 million, at the end of the contract year he would get $600,000. Or you can get paid based on what you would normally make on the old deal. So in his case, the check would vary based on the size of the markets and the merchandise sales. If, for some reason, his total would be less than $1.2 million, at the end of the year, he would get a check for what was due. When talent chooses which one they take, it’s not set for life in the sense they are allowed to change their minds. For people who opted for getting the check based on gate and merchandise every week, this hurt them because there are no live gates, although I’m sure there are per appearance numbers for the tapings. In the sense guys do get paid for the tapings even though the live gate is $0. Keep in mind this is somewhat archaic because this system was created when live gates, PPV revenue and merchandise were the primary revenue streams. Today, the main revenue stream is television money and the talent isn’t getting paid a percentage of that. The second major stream is WWE Network money and no residuals from being on those shows other than those on the PPV are paid on that either. Main roster talent is bonused based when appearing on PPV shows in a manner consistent with what those shows did in the pre-network era. However, guarantees are much higher across the board due to the TV revenue, although they have not increased anywhere close to the percentage TV revenue has increased. Right now it makes no sense to get anything but being paid on your base so one would think everyone would be switching to this. Where The Revival story comes from is those guys were being paid based on the gates and merchandise and because their downside wasn’t that high, had exceeded it when they were taken off the road. Since they had exceeded it, that meant no money at all until the contracts expired. Others in that same boat would be getting something, since they’d be paid if they were used at the TVs and based on merchandise sales each paycheck, but that would be way down now. Aside from the biggest merchandise sellers, and keep in mind merch numbers are going to be cut way way down with no house shows, or if lower guaranteed guys get good spots on PPV shows, we are moving to where most guys are going to be getting exactly their contract amounts. The negative is if somebody does get hot, unless they can get a contract restructured because they are a bigger star (and that is not unheard of, but you’d be surprised at how low guarantees of some super hot talent was when they skyrocketed have been in the past), they are going to be paid based on that contract instead of how in the past they’d be way above based on headlining house shows, PPV shows and increasing merch numbers. And if you look at total merchandise sales between arenas and web site, the drop is $11.4 million to $9.2 million in the first quarter. But with no house shows, that second quarter drop will be from $13.7 million to maybe $6 million, or more than in half
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The reason Zayn wasn’t on Smackdown this past week with Nakamura & Cesaro is that he made the choice not to come which everyone was told they had that option to do. He was originally part of the show
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The most-watched shows on the WWE Network this week are: 1. 25 Years of HHH: The Game Changing Matches; 2. Ride Along with Mandy Rose, Otis, and Street Profits; 3. Stone Cold’s Hell Raising Moments;’ 4. Rey Mysterio’s Best 619s; 5. WrestleMania Day Two; 6. A conversation with HHH and Lemmy; 7. WrestleMania Day One. It’s notable that NXT is no longer even on the list, let alone NXT U.K. and 205 Live
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Florida has become the new haven for the risk takers in sports who are considered essential services in that state ...

For AEW, the 5/6 show will go live. The show that will air on 5/13 will be taped the next day most likely, but it’ll be taped either on 5/6 or 5/7 either way. They will return on 5/20 and then the crew will stay in Jacksonville from 5/20 to 5/27, doing the 5/20 Dynamite, the 5/23 PPV show and the 5/27 Dynamite show. After that, we’ll see what happens. The people who live in Tampa, Orlando and Atlanta, which is a decent amount of people, will likely go home between tapings but the fly-ins are expected to stay from 5/20 to 5/27 in Jacksonville.

For the last tapings, anyone who didn’t want to be there had that option, plus people in hard-hit places were not brought in, as well as older people. For 5/6, they asked people in hard-hit places like New York and the state of Washington in particular to quarantine for two weeks, which most started doing last week. A much larger talent pool will be used going forward to build the PPV show. Those who don’t want to be there don’t have to be, and the talent based outside the U.S. won’t be able to be on these shows, most notably most of the Japanese women (Hikaru Shida and I believe Riho live in Florida) and other international stars like Bea Priestley, Jamie Hayter, Pac and Pentagon Jr.
Quote:
Jim Ross will be returning for the 5/6 show. This one is risky for sure, similar to Jerry Lawler on Raw as both are about the same age (Ross is two years younger) and both have had histories of significant health problems. I think it’s early for this but Ross is essentially going to relocate to Jacksonville at least through 5/27 rather than travel back-and-forth. I just don’t see it as worth the risk. Actually the commentary with Tony Schiavone and Chris Jericho has been hilarious, particularly this week’s show that had all kinds of subtle comedy. Jericho probably won’t be on commentary next week since he’s wrestling and shouldn’t be on the PPV since he should have a match there even though aside from Cody vs. Lance Archer, nothing has really been strongly teased for the PPV

For 5/6, it’s Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy vs. Jericho & Sammy Guevara in a street fight, Jon Moxley vs. Frankie Kazarian in a non-title match and Cody vs. Joey Janela. MJF returns next week. The Young Bucks will be involved by remote but are not at this point scheduled to go to Jacksonville
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Even though Penelope Ford was wearing a different outfit in the Orange Cassidy vs. Jimmy Havoc match and the Dustin Rhodes vs. Kip Sabian match on last week’s show, they were actually taped the same day. What happened is that originally the matches were laid out top where they were considered to be airing on two different shows, and she knew that, so that’s probably why she changed between matches. Tony Khan moved different matches to different shows from the original format. The idea was taping for eight shows if worst came to worst and they weren’t allowed to tape again, and it was laid out as four shows minimum because of the tournament. When she was wearing a different outfit on the same show after all, nobody stressed over it as Tony Khan felt it’s not implausible she would change between matches since there was enough time in between that she was not on camera. The same thing happened ths week as Brandi Rhodes in the Cody vs. Darby Allin match was wearing one outfit, got speared, and came back later in the match selling the injury. Then she was wearing a different outfit during Lance Archer vs. Dustin Rhodes and not selling. What essentially happened at the last taping they taped with the idea of doing a minimum four weeks, a maximum eight weeks, and ended up doing five weeks. The two matches even though she had different outfits on were taped on the same day as well
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Notes from the 4/29 TV show. Cody beat Darby Allin in 20:11 in a semifinal in the TNT tournament. Very good match. Jericho mentioned how Cody beat Austin Watson when both were amateur wrestlers. Austin Watson is Xavier Woods, who was a very good high school wrestler at the same time as Cody. Cody went to Lassiter High and Wood went to Sprayberry High (same school as Buff Bagwell) which are both located in Marietta, GA.
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For 4/29, AEW did 693,000 viewers and a 0.27 in 18-49 while NXT did 637,000 viewers and a 0.16 in 18-49.

AEW was down 5.2 percent into total viewers, but up 7.7 percent in 18-49 viewers with 350,000.

NXT was down 4.2 percent in total viewers, and down 12.0 percent in 18-49 viewers with 206,000.

There isn’t much else to pull from these numbers. In the key demos, AEW dominated, with Male 18-34 having a 56,000 to 32,000 edge; Women 18-34 having a 50,000 to 19,000 edge; Males 35-49 having a 155,000 to 96,000 edge and Women 35-49 having a 89,000 to 59,000 edge.

AEW was 16th in 18-49. During its time period, it trailed shows on MTV, Bravo, VH1, Fox News, The Food Network, The History Channel and Home & Garden TV. NXT was 51st in the demo.

Because NXT wasn’t top 50 we don’t have demo comparisons.
Quote:
For the 4/22 Wednesday night shows, AEW won handily in 18-49 every quarter but NXT did win the first quarter in total viewers coming off their higher lead-in, but lost every other quarter in both ...

AEW opened with 720,000 viewers and 325,000 in 18-49 with a Cody interview plus the beginning of Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin. NXT opened with 728,000 viewers and 253,000 in 18-49 with the Velveteen Dream angle where the Undisputed Era attacked and Keith Lee made the save, plus Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez.

In the second quarter, AEW lost 3,000 viewers but gained 10,000 in 18-49 for Guevara vs. Allin and a Matt Hardy interview. NXT lost 54,000 viewers and 16,000 in 18-49 for the Drake Maverick promo and Maverick vs. Jake Atlas.

In the third quarter, AEW lost 15,000 viewers and 29,000 in 18-49 for Kenny Omega vs. Alan Angels. NXT lost 7,000 viewers and gained 7,000 in 18-49 for a Keith Lee vs. Damien Priest package and the beginning of Kushida vs. Tony Nese.

In the fourth quarter, AEW gained 50,000 viewers and 13,000 in 18-49 the Scorpio Sky video package, a Cody promo and the beginning of Orange Cassidy vs. Jimmy Havoc. NXT gained 18,000 viewers and 24,000 in 18-49 with Kushida vs Tony Nese and a Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher interview.

In the fifth quarter AEW gained 26,000 viewers and 20,000 in 18-49 for Cassidy vs. Havoc, an MJF promo and Wardlow vs. Lee Johnson. It was AEW’s best segment of the show and the peak was the Cassidy match. NXT gained 8,000 viewers but lost 1,000 in 18-49 for The Gargano family dinner and Mia Yim vs. Jessi Kamea.

In the sixth quarter, AEW lost 43,000 viewers and 21,000 in 18-49 for the Brodie Lee recruiting Preston Vance and for Lee vs. Justin Law. NXT gained 14,000 viewers and 21,000 in 18-49 for the Charlotte Flair/Yim confrontation, Chelsea Green bikini photo shoot, a Jack Gallagher package and the beginning of Gallagher vs. El Hijo del Fantasma.

In the seventh quarter, AEW lost 32,000 viewers but gained 10,000 in 18-49 for The Bubbly Bunch video and the build to Dustin Rhodes vs. Kip Sabian. NXT lost 8,000 viewers and lost 8,000 in 18-49 for Fantasma vs. Gallagher and the kidnapping attempt during the Fantasma interview.

In the eighth quarter, AEW gained 36,000 viewers and 7,000 in 81-49 for Goldust vs. Gallagher with Goldust’s career at stake, ending at 739,000 viewers and 335,000 in 18-49. NXT lost 2,000 viewers and 3,000 in 18-49 for Dream & Keith Lee (replaced by Dexter Lumis) vs. Roderick Strong & Adam Cole, ending at 653,000 viewers and 228,000 in 18-49.
Quote:
Due to the Corona Virus, the Santino Brothers wrestling school in Bell Gardens, CA has closed due to having to pay rent monthly for a school where there is no way for them to make any income. Among the recent students of the school were Ronda Rousey, Jessamyn Duke, Jake Atlas, Brody King, Douglas James, Heather Monroe (Big Swole in AEW), Eli Everfly and it was also the school Brian Kendrick trained classes at.
Quote:
Some YouTube numbers for different streaming shows have shown AAA’s Lucha Capital in the lead of non-WWE shows, with 258,000 and 264,000 views for the first two shows. The 200th episode of BTE was 243,000. Dark has been 217,000 and 232,000 the last two shows. NWA did 85,000 for Kamille’s first match and 61,000 for the prior week’s Crockett Cup 2019 replay. The Seth Rollins-Drew McIntyre contract signing did 1.1 million views
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:54 PM   #1324
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Last night's Raw set an all-time record low for viewers with an average of 1.68 million, down seven percent from the prior week's record non-holiday low and showing the effects of the empty arena shows is siphoning away viewers at a larger rate each week rather than stabilizing, similar to that of SmackDown on Friday.

This broke the all-time low of 1.78 million set on Christmas Eve of 2018, as well as the non-holiday record of 1.82 million set last week ...

The first hour was the second lowest first hour in history, while hours two and three were the lowest hours two and three. The third hour was the least-watched hour in Raw history ...

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 1.81 million viewers
9 p.m. 1.69 million viewers
10 p.m. 1.55 million viewers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
In the 18-49 demographic, it was down 10% from last week generating a 0.46. To put that in perspective, prior to the empty arena shows, their previous low in the demo for 2020 occurred on January 13th where they did a 0.61 against the LSU vs. Clemson college championship game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Non-medical WWE-themed face masks are now available for pre-order, with 100 percent of the net proceeds being donated to charity.

The face masks were put on sale by WWE Shop today. WWE Shop wrote that the face masks are "comfortable, breathable, and compatible with the CDC's guidance for non-medical face coverings."

Through October 31, all of the net proceeds for the face mask sales will be donated to Americares. The non-profit organization is delivering needed medical supplies to health care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Link: https://shop.wwe.com/face-masks-and-neck-gaiters/

Quote:
Originally Posted by WrestlingInc
As noted, AEW Dynamite topped WWE NXT in viewership once again this past week. Dynamite averaged 693,000 viewers on TNT, topping the 637,000 viewers garnered by NXT on the USA Network by 9%. AEW ranked #16 in the Cable Top 150, while NXT ranked #51 ...

The NXT main event between Damian Priest and NXT North American Champion Keith Lee actually topped the AEW main event between Lance Archer and Dustin Rhodes, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. These were the only two quarters of the show that NXT won, and they were the final two quarters of the show ...

NXT was beaten badly in every quarter-hour segment for the 18-49 key demographic. There was a bigger gap than usual this week as NXT lost a lot of the overall quarter-hour segments, and every one of the quarters in the 18-49 demo.

AEW's quarter-hour segment featuring the Bubbly Bunch segment and the No DQ match with The Best Friends vs. Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc was the strongest quarter in the key 18-49 demographic. The end of the match lost viewers but gained in the 18-49 demographic, which is key.

AEW has dominated the so-called Wednesday Night War and has a streak of quarter-hour wins. There are some people in AEW who believe Orange Cassidy is drawing fans and helping the show out as he appeals to casual viewers who find him funny. There has been a lot of skepticism surrounding Cassidy among fans online, but he's usually over with casual fans and live crowds. It might be early to declare Cassidy a ratings draw, but week after week he's featured in strong quarter-hour segments. Cassidy's match with Havoc on the April 22 edition of Dynamite was the highest-rated segment on the whole show.

NXT had a big gain for the segment between #1 contender Io Shirai and NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair, which also featured Dexter Lumis vs. Shane Thorne. While the brief Flair and Shirai segment did good, the non-title match between Flair and Mia Yim did not. Flair vs. Yim was the low-point of the show with just 170,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic, which was described as dreadful. This quarter-hour segment averaged a total of 589,000 viewers for the low-point in the 18-49 demo, and the second-lowest point of the show overall.

It was noted that one of the main reasons WWE put the NXT Women's Title on Flair was so she could help boost the ratings, and there are people within WWE who are waiting to see if Flair is going to help like they wanted her to. It was noted that last week's title match with Shirai may perform, but the Flair experiment did not work with Yim last week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
WWE seems to be going to great lengths to keep from mentioning Roman Reigns on television.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer previously reported that WWE announcers were told to not mention Reigns after it was announced that Reigns had pulled out of his WrestleMania 36 match against Goldberg. Any mention of Reigns by announcers has been limited at best, but WWE went to a different level on Raw when they scrubbed Reigns from the replay of the top Money in the Bank moments.

Seth Rollins' cash-in at WrestleMania 31 was listed as the top moment and the replay showed Rollins hitting The Stomp on Brock Lesnar, a blank screen, and then Rollins celebrating with the title. Rollins pinned Reigns in the match, though fans wouldn't know it based on the clip.

It's also been noted that Reigns has been edited out of recent Make-A-Wish video packages.

It is unclear why WWE has attempted to keep Reigns and any mention of him quiet following his WrestleMania 36 decision.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Tama Tonga spoke about the differences between how NJPW and WWE and AEW have approached the pandemic: “There is a different sense of unity in Japan. Here in America, the show must go on. Money needs to come in, so the wrestlers are still wrestling. New Japan stopped holding shows. That’s not just for the safety of the fans, but it’s also for the health of the wrestlers. It’s a different culture in Japan, a lot different from ‘the show must go on’ mindset. The majority of our income comes from live shows, which has been cut out, but the company has held onto the staff and reassured us that no one will be let go. The company is more of a family in Japan.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
ACH appeared on the latest episode of Submission Squad Presents: Dollar Menu Midcarders. He discussed his departure from WWE: "I was having the time of my life there. I really was. I enjoyed my time there. I really did. But then when they released that shirt, is when I got angry. I made a lot of comments that I’m not gonna take back, because that’s just how I feel. Now, could I have said them a lot better? Absolutely. I said a lot of things out of anger. If I would’ve said those things a little bit more intelligently, and calmly, and came from a real place and not an angry place … I think it would’ve been ok.”

ACH also said: "It wasn't even a wrestling matter. 'ACH is upset because he wasn't booked right.' This was some serious sh*t. I honestly wish I did things differently. I had people trying to tell me to use 'mental issues,' not as an excuse, but say it was the thing. 'You're depressed right, that's why you're out lashing out.' I was angry. I'm not gonna be like, 'Sorry, mental illness.' That's a serious issue. I'm not gonna say things like that to smooth things over. I had a meltdown in front of the entire world. I broke down in front of the entire world. I said so much stuff and if I was to go back and take it all back...it really sticks to me. I went from working my dream job, providing for myself. I was finally at a space in my life that I worked for to where I was starting to feel comfortable. I've sacrificed a lot of pro wrestling, and I don't expect anything back, but I made a lot of sacrifices. I'm ashamed of myself. I'm embarrassed. This is something that I'll never be able to shake. I know I embarrassed a lot of people. Most importantly, I embarrassed myself. I'm just not used to this type of negativity and attention. Waking up angry for no reason, mad at the world. Truth be told, it's all my fault. I'll take the blame for this. I could have put the phone down and deleted my Twitter app."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
MLW announced that they’ve agreed to a deal with DirectTV for three past events to air on pay-per-view this month. Saturday Night SuperFight will air on May 7, Battle Riot II will air on May 14, and Opera Cup 2019 will air on May 21. It was also announced last week that those shows would be airing as PPVs on those dates through Indemand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Yesterday, findings were released from an audit into the Mississippi Department of Human Services after arrests were made this past February in one of the largest embezzlement scandals ever in the history of that office, a scandal that saw direct connections the DiBiase wrestling family. Former WWE developmental talent Brett DiBiase was among those indicted several months ago as part of the scandal, which saw the former director of the state welfare agency and five others charged in one of the biggest embezzlement scandals in the history of the office.

As PWInsider.com reported at the time, it was alleged that Brett DiBiase was given funds to go to a drug treatment facility in Malibu that was earmarked for Mississippi's welfare programs. According to documents, DiBiase was allegedly given the money as payment for classes that he didn't teach for drug abuse.

The Associated Press later ran a follow-up story on the DiBiase family connection based on a revelation that WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase's non-profit religious organization Heart of David Ministries had reportedly received more than $2.1 million in welfare from the state of Mississippi after his son Brett began working for the State. The organization had received just $5,000 in grants in 2013, but pulled in $271,000 in welfare money, the same year Brett was hired as a senior official at the Mississippi Department of Human Services. DiBiase’s group received as much as $900,000 one year.

Heart of David Ministries spent all $2,126,739 it received from May 2017 through earlier this budget year. DiBiase Sr. was paid $84,517 as president of the organization. Heart of David MInistrires pledged in a 2018 contract to “establish a network of partnerships, services and resources throughout Mississippi communities for faith-based and self activities" but there is no word on how the money was actually used. At the same time it was receiving money from the State of Mississippi, 98% of welfare requests were being turned down by the State. The Ministry is no longer receiving any aid from the State, according to the AP.

The AP article revealed that the Mississippi Community Education Center also paid Brett DiBiase’s brother, former WWE star Ted DiBiase Jr., to provide training to human services employees in late 2018 and early 2019. According to the AP article, a woman who answered the door at the home of Ted DiBiase Sr. in Clinton, MS called the Clarion Ledger (the newspaper which initially broke the news) past reporting “fictitious.” but declined to comment.

Yesterday's findings from the investigation reads as follows ...

The audit’s formal finding is that over $94 million of that grant money has been “questioned,” meaning auditors either saw clear misspending or could not verify the money had been lawfully spent. Examples of questioned spending included:

• MCEC and FRC used TANF money to hire lobbyists with TANF money, which is unallowable, often with no paperwork describing the work the lobbyists were hired to do.

• MCEC awarded contracts to and hired former DHS Director John Davis’s family members, sometimes paying them up front in lump sums.

• MCEC and FRC paid large sums to wrestlers Ted Dibiase, Ted Dibiase, Jr., and Brett Dibiase for work that was not performed, for unreasonable travel costs, or with little proof the programs helped the needy.

• MCEC and FRC used TANF money to fund religious concerts with no proof they benefitted the needy.

• MCEC made multiple donations with TANF money—like donations to the American Heart Association, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, booster clubs, pageants, universities—and provided no proof the donations were used to help the needy. FRC also made unallowable donations.

Among the grantees, MCEC was particularly dependent on TANF funding and engaged in extensive misspending. From 2016 to 2019, MCEC was given over $60 million in grants from DHS, while raising just under $1.6 million from other sources. Examples of questioned spending at MCEC included:

• MCEC paid Victory Sports Foundation TANF money for fitness programs for Mississippi legislators and other elected officials/staffers at no charge.

• MCEC purchased three vehicles with grant funds, each for over $50,000, for Nancy New (Director of MCEC), Zach New, and Jess New. MCEC also paid salaries, cell phone bills, and other costs for a variety of members of the New family.

• MCEC made many unallowable sports-related expenditures—like sponsoring a college baseball tournament—for services that could not be proven to benefit the needy. Some sports-related spending was for services that were not actually performed.

• MCEC transferred over $6 million to a private school and organization owned by Nancy New and also purchased curricula and supplies with TANF funds for the school.

• MCEC paid a speeding ticket for Nancy New with TANF funds.

• MCEC issued a $3,000 check to the bookkeeper of MCEC with a handwritten note saying the payment was actually for John Davis.

• MCEC paid a variety of consultants, including Jess New, for no clear deliverables or where there was no proof the spending met TANF requirements.

• Zach New took a loan out against his MCEC retirement plan and repaid the loan with TANF money.

• MCEC paid for extensive unallowable advertising, like using TANF money to advertise at the NCAA basketball tournament and a college football bowl game. TANF money was also used to purchase tickets to a college football game.

• MCEC paid excessive rent well above market value to a holding company owned by Zach and Nancy New. Sometimes the rent paid for spaces that were not used for TANF-related purposes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
The season premiere of Showtime's Billions, which featured Becky Lynch, brought in 610,000 overnight viewers on Sunday 5/3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
‘Metro’ chatted with Drew McIntyre for an exclusive interview. McIntyre told the publication that he has been giving Heath Slater advice on his next steps following his release from WWE.

“Heath’s already got a game plan he’s forming. I’m giving him advice on what to do. He’s gonna really get to show the world what he’s capable of. There’s no reason why he’s not gonna take over the world, be brought back to WWE and get that opportunity.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
All Elite Wrestling ring announcer Dasha Kuret, formerly Dasha Fuentes will be a part of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s ‘Titan Games’ series on NBC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Otis explains the origin of the Caterpillar move that he's using in WWE.

During an interview with Digital Spy, Otis revealed that he first used the Caterpillar, which is essentially the worm dance move, when he was a child at a dance party. Otis said no girl wanted to dance with him and he made the move in an effort to draw attention towards him.

"It was at a dance party at Elementary School. No girls would dance with me so I had to get the crowd over with my moves. I started shaking my hips and getting going and I waited till everybody was watching – you know, it was a big circle dance, everybody's looking in there and checking you out. And that's when I dropped. Bam! It's a little bit stiffer on the floor than in the ring. And I got love from doing that move, so I just kept doing it. So now every wedding I get sore ribs the day after," Otis said.

Otis also spoke about the time he spoke with Scotty 2 Hotty, who used the worm when he was in WWE, about using the Caterpillar.

"I told (Scotty) this move means a lot to me and I know you're the king of The Worm but I want to continue this and we'll call it The Caterpillar," Otis said.

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Old 05-06-2020, 07:16 PM   #1325
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
While down slightly from last week, Dark Side of the Ring's Herb Abrams episode still drew the third-highest viewership in series history.

The Abrams documentary averaged 246,000 viewers on Vice TV last night, down from the 255,000 that last week's David Schultz episode drew. This season's two-hour premiere on Chris Benoit is the only Dark Side of the Ring documentary that has done better viewership than those two episodes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Next week's episode of WWE Backstage will feature CM Punk's sixth appearance as an analyst.

It was announced on last night's Backstage that Punk will be part of the panel for next Tuesday's episode of the show. It will be Punk's second appearance since the show switched to being done remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Punk's most recent appearance on Backstage was on the April 14 edition of the show.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Cash Wheeler and Dax Hardwood, formerly Dash and Dawson of The Revival, spoke about their departure from the WWE in the latest episode of Talk is Jericho.

They went into detail about their release, with Cash saying they had asked around January of 2019. He said they asked for their release following a match with the Lucha House Party, saying that they were unhappy with the direction tag team wrestling was going with the company. He mentioned specifically the time where Braun Strowman “steamrolled the entire tag team division” and also the time when Strowman won the Raw Tag Team titles with a ten-year old.

Dax felt that those in the company thought they were bluffing when they asked for their release. Jericho asked if WWE promising a more focused tag team division was just a way to keep them on board. Dax agreed with that, saying that he felt deep down they would never focus on teams, pointing out that two singles wrestlers put together as a team had a better chance of getting a push than a consistent team.

The topic then shifted to the final meeting between them and Vince McMahon. Cash said it was difficult to meet with Vince due to the transition to FOX, but one day they were working on putting together a match in the ring when they were called to Vince’s office for a meeting. Cash said that the designs that ended up being leaked were “100% real” and were presented by Vince McMahon himself. Dax noted that most of the time, “the boys” are kayfabed about everything, and was sure whoever had leaked the pictures were part of the creative team.

Cash said he laughed out loud upon seeing the designs in front of everyone at the meeting, which included Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard. It was explained to them that this would be a way to showcase a different side to the team, showcasing their charisma. Cash said that he told them that these “were not good” but would do the characters until their contract expired. Cash noted that this was on a Friday, and by the following Wednesday they were told they were being taken off the road. He also said that the money they were being offered was higher than the $750,000 that was being reported.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Dax Hardwood reveals that he received a text from Bret Hart on the day of their release: “The day we were granted our release, that day I got a text message from Bret Hart, and he told me how proud he was. He asked me to send it to Daniel [Cash Wheeler] which I did. He told me how proud he was of us and how proud he was we stood up for ourselves and stood up for what we believed in because it would’ve been so easy to just sit back and collect the money, and when he sent me that text, I knew beyond any shadow of any kind of doubt that we had done the right thing because the guy who is the king of standing up for himself, I mean he punched Vince in the face. The guy who is the epitome of standing up for what he believes in took five minutes out of his day to text me and tell me how proud he was of us for doing that and that’s when I was like, ‘Oh hell yeah, we’re on the right path now.’”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
This year's Best of the Super Juniors tournament is the latest professional wrestling event to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

NJPW announced tonight that all 19 shows that were scheduled for this year's Best of the Super Juniors tour have been canceled. NJPW wrote that the decision was made in response to the pandemic and in light of the extension of state of emergency measures in Japan.

The Best of the Super Junior tour was set to kick off at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on May 12 and conclude at Tokyo's Ota City General Gymnasium on June 6. Refund information for the canceled shows will be announced soon.

In their statement about the cancellation of the tour, NJPW noted that they will make announcements regarding events that are scheduled for after June 6 upon careful monitoring of the developing situation with the pandemic. NJPW also wrote that they're "continuing to explore the possibility of presenting matches without fans in attendance if staff and wrestler health and safety can be protected to the highest possible standard."
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
PWInsider.com has confirmed the following viewership for WWE's Best of Wrestlemania specials this week last night on FS1:

7 PM - Ric Flair's Best WWE Matches - 157,000 overnight viewers.

8 PM - Edge's Best Wrestlemania Matches - 213,000 overnight viewers.

9 PM - Brock Lesnar's Most Dominant Matches - 255,000 overnight viewers.

10 PM - Roman Reigns' Best Wrestlemania Matches - 198,000 overnight viewers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
WWE Backstage was not listed among the top 150 cable programs on Tuesday night.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Q - Regarding the recent WWE releases, why were most of the releases were male Superstars? Is it because of the Women's Evolution?

A - From what I heard, the main factors for the releases were what the talents cost and did the company think that they could get that value out of the contract. I think it means that the women they have on the roster they see value in, at least at this time.
From PWI's weekly Q&A articles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Tony Khan was on Wednesday’s AEW Unrestricted podcast and discussed the process of running their empty arena shows beginning March 18th, one week after the shutdown period began in the U.S.:

-His favorite empty arena shows have been the first one on March 18th and last week’s episode with the TNT semi-finals

-A friend of is a writer for Jimmy Fallon and saw how they incorporated the writing staff and crew to serve as audience members to react to Fallon and utilized that for the AEW shows with wrestlers in the crowd compared to other wrestling shows that are “cold”

-They had just over ¼ of the roster to tape ahead in Georgia and wanted to tape ahead to be safe

-Khan positioned the TNT Championship as a title on par with the AEW title and was an idea he had and has worked on for a while with Cody for a second title

-The only agents they had were involved in their own matches, so they were limited in that aspect of match layouts ...

-An interesting line was Khan stating they have not let anyone go during this time period and “it’s not the right time for re-organizing or re-structuring for us”

-Aubrey Edwards was the referee for 20 matches within a period of 24 hours and spent 19 days in Jacksonville and Georgia at a hotel

-Chris Jericho offered to do commentary the night before after Khan went over all the ideas he had for the episodes, they didn’t have someone in place to do commentary and it was going to be split between Colt Cabana and Shawn Spears, who would also be wrestling matches

-They continued taping matches after the April 1st show ended and the following day, some matches have not seen the light of day ...

-Khan estimated they would drop 10% in viewership with the empty arena shows, he did not want to rely on airing past pay-per-views ...

-Television is their revenue stream right now and had sold 12,000 tickets for the show in Newark at the Prudential Center, they have lost “millions and millions of dollars in live events”

-He said there will come a day when they do have to let people go “but now is not the time” and said in the big picture they are in good shape and characterized themselves as the second healthiest company in the industry

-They are going to keep people isolated and practice social distancing for these upcoming shows, they will be testing people (he didn’t elaborate on the type of testing)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Fans haven't been allowed in the arena for wrestling since March 11 when AEW and NXT ran their last live shows with an audience. Beginning with the March 13 episode of WWE SmackDown, both AEW and WWE have held shows inside an empty arena ...

Speaking on AEW Unrestricted, AEW President Tony Khan looked back on the sudden change following Dynamite in Salt Lake City ...

AEW ran live shows during the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic as states remained open, but Florida and Georgia issued stay-at-home orders in April that didn't allow for any gatherings related to sporting events.

"I first had an inkling that things were going to be shutdown going into the third show, which is when we taped all these shows. States were starting to shut down and I never considered us or tried to force us to be 'an essential business.' I never tried to stay open against restrictions. When we heard Florida and Georgia were going to shut down, we would shut down too and we needed to tape as much content as we could before the shutdown," said Khan.

On April 9, Florida deemed WWE "essential business" under the guise "employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience -- including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production -- only if the location is closed to the general public."

Technically, AEW could have resumed live shows as well following the order, but the company had already taped weeks of television in Georgia and decided not to take advantage of the memo in Florida.

Khan said things changed rapidly in Georgia as they thought they would have a couple of days to tape everything, but the stay-at-home order came down just before the April 1 show, forcing the company to tape as much content as possible before the order went into effect at midnight on April 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Brian Hughes, who is the chief administrative officer in the city of Jacksonville was on The Luke Thomas Show on Wednesday. Hughes stated that all events running in the city, including pro wrestling, will need to have testing for COVID-19. Hughes added that the city has a surplus of testing with ample hospital space and resources. This would affect UFC & AEW, which are both testing for COVID-19 but would not extend to WWE, which is not running in Jacksonville.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
MLW has announced a distribution deal with Fight Globe, who will be dealing with the distribution of MLW’s content in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, and Mexico.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Vice TV has released the trailer for next week’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring ‘The Last Ride of the Road Warriors’



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Old 05-07-2020, 10:14 PM   #1326
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
At a time when most other pro wrestling shows are down in the ratings, AEW Dynamite and NXT both saw increases last night.

Last night's live episode of Dynamite from Daily's Place in Jacksonville averaged 732,000 viewers on TNT, up 5.6 percent from last week. In the 18-49 demo, the show finished 12th for the night in the cable TV rankings and drew a 0.28 rating, Dynamite's biggest number in that category since March 25. That was up 3.7 percent from last week.

On USA Network, NXT was also up for a loaded up show featuring two title matches and the NXT in-ring debut of Karrion Kross. The episode averaged 663,000 viewers, up 4.1 percent from last week. In 18-49, NXT climbed back into the top 50, finishing 33rd with a 0.18 rating, up 12.5 percent from last Wednesday ...

There have been eight closed set broadcasts for both shows so far, so it's a good time to look at the trends as compared to before the coronavirus pandemic forced the promotions to not allow fans at events.

The eight Dynamite episodes prior to March 18 averaged 859,250 viewers. Since that date, the subsequent eight shows have averaged 745,875 viewers, a drop of 13.2 percent

For NXT, the same eight weeks of shows pre-pandemic averaged 741,750 viewers. Since then, they've averaged 643,875 viewers. The drop was the exact same 13.2 percent.

Looking at the other wrestling shows over that time frame, since there have also been eight weeks of Raw and SmackDown:

Raw averaged 2.290 million viewers for the eight weeks prior to closed set episodes and 1.948 million viewers since then, a drop of 14.9 percent.

SmackDown averaged 2.511 million viewers pre-pandemic and 2.249 million since then, a drop of 10.5 percent. It should be noted that SmackDown had the advantage of having appearances by John Cena and Goldberg before WrestleMania 36, which likely boosted those numbers and fell in the time frame of after the pandemic started.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
A&E and WWE Studios are partnering together for a new series focused on WWE memorabilia.

It was announced today that A&E Network has greenlit a series with the working title "The Quest for Lost WWE Treasures." It will be hosted by Stephanie McMahon and Paul "Triple H" Levesque and will take viewers "on the ultimate hunt to find some of WWE’s most iconic, lost memorabilia."

The series will feature 10 one-hour episodes ...

WWE Studios' Susan Levison and Ben Zierten and A&Es Elaine Frontain Bryant, Dolores Gavin, and Jonathan Partridge are serving as executive producers for "The Quest for Lost WWE Treasures."

It was noted that the new series joins the previously announced greenlight of five "Biography" documentaries that A&E and WWE are partnering together for. Those were announced last year and will be focused on Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, Booker T, Steve Austin, and Shawn Michaels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
WWE will broadcast content related to March 1987's Wrestlemania III Recall this Tuesday 5/12 at 8 PM EST on FS1.

7 PM - Wrestlemania Rewind on Wrestlemania IIII. This is the WWE Network episode from 2014.

8 PM - Three hour Wrestlemania 3 Recall. The March 1987 event featured:
*WWE Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant.
*WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat.
*Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis - Hair vs. Hair Piper Retirement Match.
*The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis vs, The British Bulldogs & Tito Santana.
*Butch Reed vs,. Koko B. Ware.
*Harley Race vs. The Junktyard Dog.
*The Dream Team vs. The Rougeaus.
*The Can-Am Connection vs. Don Muraco & Bob Orton.
*Jake Roberts vs. The Honkytonk Man.
*The Killer Bees vs. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff.
*King Kong Bundy & Little Tokyo & Lord Little Brook vs. Hillbilly Jim & Little Beaver & The Haiti Kid.

11 PM EST - WWE Backstage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
As we reported earlier this week in the Elite section of PWInsider.com, the WWE Money in the Bank Ladder matches are pre-taped but the remainder of this Sunday's MITB PPV will be live from the WWE Performance Center. At one point, the plan was to go back and forth from the taped material to the live content over the course of the show to give the impression of the MITB match competitors "battling" through WWE HQ over the course of the night.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
The Rush’ also has an article up about WWE’s filming of Money In The Bank at their corporate headquarters. WWE was allowed to film the event because media companies provide “essential” services that are exempt from the stay-at-home order that was put in place on March 23rd by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Combat Zone Wrestling announced they are postponing the 2020 Tournament of Death, originally slated for 6/20, for a date TBD:

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, CZW has no choice but to officially postpone Tournament of Death to a later date when it'll be safer for everyone involved.

Tickets will be refunded. pic.twitter.com/PR5DaKNezh
— CZW Combat Zone Wrestling (@combatzone) May 7, 2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Former two-time WWE Champion AJ Styles competed in the main event of night one of WrestleMania 36 in a Boneyard match with The Undertaker. Styles was “buried alive” in the bout and had not been on WWE programming since the match. This past Monday on RAW, AJ made his return in a gauntlet match to determine the final participant in this year’s men’s Money In The Bank match.

Styles recently spoke about his return during his MIXER stream. He agreed with his chatroom that more could’ve been done with his return. He added that maybe more star power was needed in the match or had the COVID-19 pandemic not been going on and pro wrestling was in the state it was in prior to the pandemic, maybe WWE could’ve held off on bringing him back and switched up his character a bit.

“The return… could’ve been more, okay. I’ve heard people talk about, ‘Well I mean… kinda just wasted it. AJ Styles was buried alive, could’ve came back as a different character in a different mood and a different look, something different about AJ Styles and he came back and he was exactly the same before he got buried.’ I’m with you. Now, I think the circumstances had a lot to do with AJ Styles coming back when he did… but, the circumstances, the match… maybe we needed some more star power in the match. Maybe that’s what that was. I don’t know, I’m not tooting my own horn here, but, I wish we could’ve waited and had times been different, that could’ve been something that we would’ve went [with].”

AJ also talked about several other topics during the stream. He recalled when he was first negotiating with WWE about joining the company. There was a possibility that he wasn’t going to be able to don the name “AJ Styles” and AJ told Paul “Triple H” Levesque that he had no issue with changing his name.

“When I signed, or was looking to sign with WWE, Triple H was like, ‘Hey man, [you] may not be able to keep ‘AJ Styles.’ We may have to give you another name.’ I said, ‘No problem with that. It’s just I have this huge tattoo on my side that says ‘AJ’. But I’m totally cool with whatever you guys wanna do. I don’t care, not a big deal to me.’”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Per Law 360, six firms are vying for lead counsel in the two WWE stockholder lawsuits, in-which the investors claimed that they lost money while WWE hid their “souring relations” with Saudi Arabia in the middle of hosting shows there. The six firms filed a motion in a New York federal court and want to consolidate two class actions that were submitted in March.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
On the premiere episode of Tama Tonga’s ‘Tama’s Island’ podcast, Karl Anderson joined the show and while conversing about Bullet Club, Anderson said that the group were almost named “The Real” before Finn Balor stepped in and declared “Bullet Club” as the group name.

“You know, Gedo actually wanted to call us ‘The Real’, because we used to always [say] in our promos, ‘We’re real shooters’ but making fun of [Tiger] Hattori. I guess we almost became The Real but then Prince Fergie [Finn Balor] ended up saying The Bullet Club and that actually stuck.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Digital Spy released another portion of their interview with Otis. In this portion of the interview, Otis told the story of when he was tackled by security at a WWE house show when he was in fifth grade for trying to reach over the guardrail and slap hands with Trish Stratus.

“It hurt, every bit of it hurt. I was a 200-pound fifth grader – I looked like a man almost. So yeah I made a sacrifice, got speared, but after that spear from the guard we got first row tickets. So it all happened for a reason. I’ve never told Trish that story in person. It’s hard for me to talk to her as a lady I’ve watched for years in the sports-entertainment world.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
The UFC returns to action this coming weekend with UFC 249, which is headlined by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje battling for the vacant UFC Interim Lightweight Title.

This is the first of three straight events for the promotion in a one week span, with UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira taking place on May 13 and UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris happening on May 16.

All three cards are taking place from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida and all three events will see fighters, cornermen and other personnel get tested for the coronavirus.

A report from the Sports Business Journal states that according to UFC COO Lawrence Epstein, a total of 1,200 coronavirus testing kits are available for usage during the week.

“In the early days of this epidemic, the testing capacity had to be focused exclusively on first responders,” Epstein said. “Now with testing capacity expanding, many of these tests that organizations like ours are getting access to don’t impact that testing.”
AEW probably has a similar large stockpile assuming these tests are from the surplus the city of Jacksonville has and not just UFC hoarding tests from everywhere they can find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
WWE is doing a special collaboration with the The King Of Fighters video game series.

Netmarble, the developers of The King Of Fighters All-Star mobile game, announced that it is doing a special event. Graphics on the upcoming collaboration features past and present wrestling stars such as The Rock, The Undertaker, John Cena, Seth Rollins, SmackDown Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston and RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch.

The event is set to go live on May 14. The game can be downloaded on Apple iOS and Android devices.
Link: https://twitter.com/HDKirin/status/1258380893137203200


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Old 05-08-2020, 03:55 PM   #1327
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The Sheets (Observer Newsletter Edition):

Quote:
WWE’s second PPV show during the pandemic, Money in the Bank, takes place as both a live and taped show that will be released on 5/10.

The show is built around another cinematic production, with the idea of two Money in the Bank matches that start at the same time ...

The Money in the Bank match was actually taped the week of 4/13. Apollo Crews’ storyline was always planned for him to qualify but not compete in the match and with Styles returning ...

Crews was giving off heel tendencies on last week’s Raw and it’s been speculated he will be part of a stable headed by MVP that would also include Brendan Vink & Shane Thorne. We’ve been given the impression that is one of several options considered for Crews but it is not necessarily the end direction ...

The build up has been weak at a time when interest in the WWE product is at an all-time low due to the pandemic.

At press time, only four other matches have been announced for the show and many of the feuds being pushed the hardest on television, such as Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville, are being designed for television rather than PPV matches ...

Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair are both not booked for the show, even though Flair appeared heavily in the advertising ... IC champion Sami Zayn had not agreed to return to work at last word. The Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders for the Raw tag titles were not listed at press time and were probably being saved for television, although they almost have to add a few matches. Similarly, Andrade, the U.S. champion is not listed. Smackdown could add a Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus match at the last minute but that was not etched in stone.

They are advertising that Lynch will confront the briefcase winner on Raw on 5/11. That would seem to tease a win from the Raw side, and with Asuka already having had a program with Lynch, would seem to make Baszler and Jax as the favorites.
Quote:
A few quick notes regarding the weekly rating declines over the past two months.

The last week before COVID-19 and the news took over from entertainment would have been the week of 2/28 to 3/4, but because Smackdown had an inflated number that week due to it being a heavily publicized return of John Cena, and AEW had an inflated number coming off the PPV show, we’ll use 2/21 to 2/26 as our last comparison week. We are comparing the declines to this past week, which would be shows 4/29 to 5/4.

Using that model here are the declines:
* Raw dropped 25.1 percent in viewers and 35.2 percent in 18-49
* Dynamite dropped 19.9 percent in viewers and 10.0 percent in 18-49
* NXT dropped 11.2 percent in viewers and 30.4 percent in 18-49
* Smackdown dropped 24.1 percent in viewers and 28.6 percent in 18-49

Now you can make things worse because if you go with the next week, which is the last actual week before news changed everything, this is the declines:
* Raw dropped 25.4 percent in viewers and 37.8 percent in 18-49
* Dynamite dropped 23.5 percent in viewers and 22.9 percent in 18-49
* NXT dropped 11.3 percent in viewers and 30.4 percent in 18-49
* Smackdown dropped 29.8 percent in viewers and 37.5 percent in 18-49

As far as what conclusions one wants to draw from this ...

NXT’s 18-49 drop was huge but overall was not, because the most loyal audience to all shows has been 50 plus, people who are set in their ways and even though that demo watches the news more, it appears that demo is the most loyal to wrestling. NXT, with the oldest overall audience (55), had big losses in the key demo but overall with its oldest audience, in total numbers felt less of a sting than any other show.

AEW, the youngest skewing (42) has held up better in 18-49. That’s probably due in part to being the only show of the promotion for the week, and also due to it being easily the strongest from a creative standpoint. Plus, with wrestlers in the crowd, they do have the better atmosphere than WWE.

Raw and Smackdown (50) are both down substantially by percentage. They also draw the most mainstream fans meaning their audience may not be as loyal overall. Ironically as the two oldest shows, their audience should be the most loyal, particularly Raw which has been on the same night now for more than 27 years.

Even with the big drops, both key shows are still far head of AEW in total viewers and 18-49. Even now, the 18-49 numbers for Raw and Smackdown are still both nearly double that of AEW.
Quote:
Raw on 5/4 followed Smackdown with scary numbers, averaging 1,682,000 viewers, the lowest number in the history of the show, breaking the mark of 1,775,000 set on the Christmas Eve 2018 show ...

The scariest stat is that if you go back exactly one year this week, you have a 39.5 percent drop in teenager viewing, 58.0 percent drop in 18-34 24.5 percent in 35-49 and 12.5 percent in 50 plus. Granted, that isn’t fair, but in these times, they are maintaining the 50 plus creatures of habit not too badly given all the issues with the dead shows.

Raw did 1,807,000 viewers in the first hour, 1,691,000 viewers in the second hour and 1,546,000 viewers in the third hour. The first hour was the second lowest first hour in history behind the Christmas Eve 2018 show. The second and third hours were the lowest for their respective hours in history with the third hour breaking the all-time hourly low of 1,619,000 set the prior week
Quote:
The 5/1 Smackdown show drew numbers that have to now be considered scary, with a 1.24 rating and 1,885,000 viewers (a very low 1.26 viewers per home), not just the lowest figure for the show since going to FOX, but 6.0 percent down from last week’s record low.

Smackdown, even with the benefit of being on a network station, for its two hours is now for the first time did less viewers on FOX than the first two hours of Raw did on USA the previous Monday (but not the following Monday), which is available in about 25 million fewer homes ...

FOX last year on the same night did 2,638,000 viewers and 0.5 in 18-49, so 18-49 was identical but viewers were down 28.5 percent.
Quote:
For AEW vs. NXT on 4/29, AEW dominated every quarter in 18-49, while for overall, AEW won the first six quarters but the last two with Keith Lee vs. Damien Priest for the North American title vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Lance Archer went close for NXT due to the huge advantage in over 50 viewers ...

In the first quarter, AEW opened with 797,000 viewers, the high point for either company, and 354,000 in 18-49 for Cody vs. Darby Allin. NXT opened with 757,000 viewers but only 219,000 in 18-49 for Isaiah Scott vs. El Hijo del Fantasma.

In the second quarter, AEW lost 67,000 viewers but stayed even in 18-49 with Cody vs. Allin’s finish. NXT lost 116,000 viewers and 11,000 in 18-49 for an Isaiah Scott interview, Dominik Dijakovic interview, the attempted kidnapping and Candice LeRae vs. Kacy Catanzaro.

In the third quarter, AEW lost 62,000 viewers and 22,000 in 18-49 with the Scorpio Sky vignette, MJF interview and Wardlow squash win. NXT lost 36,000 viewers and 10,000 in 18-49 for a Damien Priest interview and The Newly Bro game with Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel attacking Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher.

In the fourth quarter, AEW gained 68,000 viewers and 33,000 in 18-49 for the Bubbly Bunch vignette and Best Friends vs. Kip Sabian & Jimmy Havoc. NXT lost 16,000 viewers and 28,000 in 18-49 for an Adam Cole interview and Charlotte Flair vs. Mia Yim. This was the low point in 18-49 for NXT and just under the high point for AEW.

In the fifth quarter, AEW lost 45,000 viewers but gained 1,000 in 18-49 for the ending of Best Friends vs. Havoc & Sabian, the Britt Baker vignette and a Shawn Spears squash. This was AEW’s high point of the night in 18-49. But while they peaked the 18-49, the segment that included Orange Cassidy (in limited amounts) and Penelope Ford lost viewers on the back end. NXT gained 48,000 viewers and 41,000 in 18-49 for the Charlotte Flair/Io Shirai confrontation and Dexter Lumis vs. Shane Thorne.

In the sixth quarter, AEW lost 27,000 viewers and 6,000 in 18-49 for a Marko Stunt promo and Brodie Lee vs. Stunt, as well as the Jon Moxley promo. NXT lost 54,000 viewers and 11,000 in 18-49 for Tony Nese vs. Drake Maverick, the Maverick interview and a Lee promo. This segment was the low point for viewers for NXT with 583,000.

In the seventh quarter, AEW lost 58,000 viewers and 23,000 in 18-49 for the beginning of Dustin Rhodes vs. Lance Archer. NXT gained 47,000 viewers and 14,000 in 18-49 for the for the end of Lee vs. Maverick and the beginning of Lee vs. Priest. NXT won the quarter 630,000 to 606,000, but lost 327,000 to 214,000 in 18-49.

In the main event quarter, AEW gained 42,000 viewers and 16,000 in 18-49 for Rhodes vs. Archer. This ended with AEW with 648,000 viewers and 343,000 in 18-49. NXT gained 22,000 viewers and 12,000 in 18-49 for Lee vs. Priest, which saw their final quarter at 652,000 viewers and 226,000 in 18-49.
Quote:
For 5/6, AEW did 732,000 viewers and a 0.28 in 18-49 while NXT did 663,000 viewers with a 0.18 in 18-49.

If there was a major take, it’s that AEW, with head-to-head opposition by NXT and on an unfamiliar night, actually had more 18-34 male viewers than unopposed Raw on a familiar night did two nights earlier by a small margin, with an 83,000 to 82,000 edge ...

The final quarter, with Jericho & Sammy Guevara vs. Omega & Hardy going against Cole vs. Dream, AEW has an 837,000 to 572,000 edge in viewers, and was more than double in 18-49 with a 399,000 to 188,000 edge.

NXT’s viewer peak was the first quarter off the lead-in but its’ peak in 18-49 was Xia Li vs. Chelsea Green, the second straight time Green has pulled good numbers in that demo. NXT’s low point was the main event, which coincided with AEW’s high point being the main event across the board. AEW’s low point across the board was quarter three with all interviews ...

AEW won seven of eight quarters, only losing the first because NXT had the big lead-in, but dominated in 18-49.

AEW opened with 714,000 viewers and 389,000 in 18-49 for Cody vs. Joey Janela. NXT opened with 732,000 viewers and 239,000 in 18-49 for Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Dijakovic.

In the second quarter, AEW lost 7,000 viewers and 39,000 in 18-49 for the ending of Cody vs. Janela, a women’s video, a Nyla Rosa interview and Rose vs. McKenzie Paige. NXT lost 45,000 viewers and gained 24,000 in 18-49 for the end of Dijakovic vs. Gargano, an Imperium interview and Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher.

In the third quarter, AEW lost 56,000 viewers and 41,000 in 18-49 with promos, and MJF taped promo, a Shawn Spears taped promo and MJF & Spears together on a promo. NXT gained 43,000 viewers and 22,000 in 18-49 for a Tozawa interview, Chelsea Green vs. Xia Li and a Velveteen Dream interview.

In the fourth quarter, AEW gained 89,000 viewers and 39,000 in 18-49 for Jon Moxley vs. Frankie Kazarian. NXT lost 84,000 viewers and 52,000 in 18-49 for Karrion Kross vs. Leon Ruff, a package on Charlotte Flair vs. Io Shirai and a Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher interview.

In the fifth quarter, AEW lost 3,000 viewers and gained 4,000 in 18-49 for the end of Moxley vs. Kazarian, the post-match beatdown of Moxley and a Brandi Rhodes promo. NXT gained 39,000 viewers and 9,000 in 18-49 for Flair vs. Shirai and the post-match.

In the sixth quarter, AEW lost 36,000 viewers and 8,000 in 18-49 for Lance Archer vs. QT Marshall and the angle where Jake Roberts put the snake on Brandi Rhodes. NXT lost 37,000 viewers but only 2,000 in 18-49 for Shirai and Rhea Ripley post-match arguing and Kushida vs. Jake Atlas.

In the seventh quarter, AEW gained 66,000 viewers and 17,000 in 18-49 for Taz with Darby Allin and the beginning of Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara vs. Matt Hardy & Kenny Omega. NXT lost 42,000 viewers and 25,000 in 18-49 for a Finn Balor interview, Cameron Grimes vs. Denzel Dejournette and a Balor interview.

In the final quarter, AEW gained 70,000 viewers and 38,000 in 18-49 for the rest of Jericho & Guevara vs. Hardy & Omega. NXT lost 34,000 viewers and 27,000 in 18-49 for Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream.
Quote:
Another Reigns story got a lot of talk this week. On Raw on 5/4, they were airing Money in the Bank highlights, both wins and cash-ins and one of the ones listed was the WrestleMania in 2015 in Santa Clara where Rollins cashed in during the Reigns vs. Lesnar match. Well, it was edited to where Reigns never existed in the match. What is weirder is that Reigns was the one who was pinned and they showed the shot of Rollins using the curb stomp and went black and then showed him with the belt, giving the idea he pinned Lesnar. There isn’t a rule on erasing Reigns, only that commentators aren’t to mention his name. On 5/5, FS 1 did a one hour special on Reigns and on Smackdown a few weeks ago when they were showing the embarrassing HHH clips, they did show Reigns beating him at WrestleMania. We’re told the reaction by Vince McMahon regarding Reigns and how to handle the situation “changes daily based on which way the wind is blowing,” which is why one day they show him beating HHH on Smackdown, then they edited him off Raw, then they do a Make-a-Wish thing and have no clips of him, then they do an investment conference and Vince McMahon never says his name, and then they have a one hour special on him on FS 1.
Quote:
Owens has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury during the match with Rollins at Mania. As of the weekend he didn’t know if it was a break or a bad sprain but the belief was that it’s not too serious and he would be back in action in a few weeks. That’s the main reason he hasn’t been around but also noted he was given the option not to do the tapings and right now wanted to spend time with his family. He doesn’t know the spot that he got hurt on. From what we’re told nothing hurt at WrestleMania but the day after his ankle was really swollen
Quote:
Regarding the Otis/Rose storyline, and Andrea Listenberger, the writer who was released a few weeks ago and credited with it. A lot, perhaps most of the Otis stuff is from Vince McMahon who likes the character. Others have said that Listenberger’s role was in writing the promos, but was not the driving force in the storyline, but she was said to be a good writer. Others have said that there were people on the Smackdown creative team that could have gone to bat for her when the cuts came. Rose has said that she pitched the general idea of the storyline to Vince McMahon
Quote:
New Japan Pro Wrestling, which has been of the mindset of not doing empty arena shows, is softening that stance and exploring the possibility.

New Japan announced that in a release where they announced being shut down through at least early June, meaning no Best of the Super Juniors tournament, at least as originally scheduled ...

The New Japan web site also no longer lists Dominion, which had been the company’s second biggest show of the year. It was originally scheduled for 6/14 at the Osaka Jo Hall.

There was no word at press time as to the chances, if any, that the Super Junior tournament could take place later in the year. There was no decision made on the subject but the problems regarding doing so would be getting appropriate venues and issues with quarantining foreign stars and how long those restrictions would be in place.
Quote:
The idea of live pro wrestling with fans in Chicago or the state of Illinois looks to be dead for a while. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced this week that large events or conventions in the state won’t be allowed until there is a vaccine or a highly effective treatment is readily available, or new cases are eliminated for a significant period of time. That looks to mean that All Out, which they wanted to make a Labor Day tradition for the Sears Center, may be out this year
Quote:
At the [AEW] tapings this week, they were doing both swab tests upon arrival in Jacksonville and then isolating everyone until the show was to start. They also ordered everyone in the building unless they were on camera to be masked. All of the tests taken as of 5/5 came out negative. AEW was the first company doing actual COVID tests as WWE was only taking the temperature of everyone involved at its tapings last week. That said, the usage of Jim Ross was higher on the risk side as well as Jake Roberts, and there just felt like way too many people backstage during the street fight that weren’t necessary to be there and in that instance they were in close quarters. The stuff with more people in the stands themselves wasn’t that bad when you consider it’s 5,000 seat outdoor building and people were kept a lot more than six feet apart. That was a lot safer than shopping at a grocery store except for those at ringside, and you’re not testing people going into the grocery store. There were wrestlers and staff in the front row at ringside that could have been farther apart
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:56 PM   #1328
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Ratings for the post-Money in the Bank episode of Raw were up 13.7 percent from last week's record low, averaging 1.919 million viewers last night.

It was the highest viewership for the show since April 6, which was the Raw after WrestleMania 36.

Starting late yesterday afternoon, the episode was heavily promoted around a major announcement from Becky Lynch. That turned out to be her announcing that she's pregnant and that women's Money in the Bank winner Asuka is now Raw Women's Champion.

Raw opened with a relatively strong 1.993 million viewers in hour one. It held up pretty well throughout the show, averaging 1.961 million for the second hour and dropping to 1.802 million for the final hour. The first-to-third hour drop of 10 percent is slightly better than the usual audience retention.

Raw averaged a 0.57 in the 18-49 demo, topping all of cable TV. In total viewers, the show finished 18th on cable but was second in non-news programming, behind Celebrity IOU on HGTV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins will welcome their first child this December, according to a People Magazine interview with Lynch. If we do that math, that would mean Lynch likely worked Wrestlemania 36 while pregnant as that was taped in late March, which would be nine months before December. Lynch noted she learned she was pregnant in April, so she wasn't aware yet. Obviously, that's why she hadn't been traveling to WWE TV in Orlando ...

Lynch's farewell promo was taped yesterday at the WWE Performance Center. We are told that Asuka didn't know when she taped Money in the Bank (4/15) that she was actually winning the Raw Women's title as WWE kept all discussion private. There were a number of people who were there at the taping yesterday who legitimately had no idea Lynch was pregnant until the segment was taped.

For those of you who have asked whether Asuka knew Becky was going to make the announcement, we have no confirmation on that either way.

We are told there is absolutely no timetable for Lynch's potential return, at all. Motherhood is the priority right now, as it certainly should be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
People spoke to Becky Lynch about her pregnancy. Lynch said she won’t be making a decision about returning to the ring any time soon: “It's just such a joyous time and then such a sad time too. I loved this and I've given my life to this. I've achieved everything that I want to achieve in this business. I don't know what the next chapter is because I only know what it's like to think for myself when I'm by myself. So I don't know what it'll look like and how my priorities shift and what I'm going to want in the future. So, everything's open."
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
The Money in the Bank Ladder Match was filmed at WWE HQ (aka Titan Tower) on Wednesday 4/15 over the course of a long day and evening in Stamford, CT ...

AJ Styles was always slated for the match, so the theory he was a last minute addition is not correct, since the match was produced before his "surprise" return in the Gauntlet to replace the "injured" Apollo Crews.

They did not actually shoot the MITB match in order and did not actually "fight their way up" the building. There was material shot in the lobby, first floor (Gym), the third floor, the second floor, the fourth floor (Vince McMahon's office), back to another part of the second floor, then another part of the fourth floor before climaxing on the roof of the building.

Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black, despite the impression they had been tossed off the roof of the building, were actually tossed into an area that wasn't lit that had a crash pad set up on top of rows of cardboard boxes, so they didn't have to bump onto the roof of the building.

Since we received quite a few emails asking about this one, yes, The Money in the Bank Conference Room is legitimately a real room in the building. That is the official name of the room and yes, the briefcase with the money that Dana Brooke took down legitimately hangs from the ceiling. It was not a prop set up just for the match.

The scene with AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan putting their chairs back in Vince McMahon's office, we are told, was 100% a reference to the fact that it's well known within the company that if you have a meeting with McMahon, you had better return your chair to where it was before you sat down.

The T-Rex skull in Vince McMahon's office was actually a gift from Triple H from several years ago. Yes, that is always in McMahon's office and at one point, was put on display at Wrestlemania AXXESS.

Kane Prichard, the son of Bruce Prichard, portrayed the janitor in the scene with Asuka.

The room with the wrestling ropes is actually part of the theming outside the elevator doors on the third floor. Each of the floors have a different, unique theme. The first floor has different screens to play off the company's tech department. The second floor has several WWE pinball machines in front of theming designed to look as if you are on a WWE stage looking towards a ring. The fourth floor with where executive offices are situated. There is no real discernable theme outside of the elevator doors on that floor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Former WWE star Zack Ryder has released an episode of "Z True Life Story" that had been rejected by WWE:

The public has never seen this. One of the lost Z! True Long Island Story episodes......(Twitters cuts off the last 40 seconds but you get the idea) Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/SDrWf1HiDv
— Matt Cardona (@TheMattCardona) May 10, 2020
Link: https://twitter.com/TheMattCardona/s...88782988431360

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Several weeks ago, Major League Wrestling teased the idea of Mike Tyson appearing in a MLW ring.

While it would appear at a first glance that this was just MLW attempting to grab some attention for themselves, we are told that there have actually been at least one conversation with Tyson's team about potentially doing something down the line. It should be noted that ICM Partners represent both Tyson and MLW, so that is likely the bridge between the two signs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Rob Gronkowski is back in the NFL, and carrying his WWE 24/7 Title all over the place, and Vince McMahon may be even more responsible for that than you realize.

"I think Vince would do pretty well on this show, the eccentric character that he is. You look at [Axe], and he's unassuming," Becky Lynch told Scott Fishman of TV Insider when asked about how Vince would do on the show "Billions." "Vince is such a larger-than-life character. At the same time, I watched him the other day demonstrate falling off a tower at 74-years-old without a bother, brushing his shoulders off and standing up again."

This led to Fightful Select poking around about what happened during this spot. We're told it was actually at the WrestleMania 36 rehearsals. A nervous Rob Gronkowski was preparing for his 24/7 Title spot, just a couple of weeks before he'd announce a return to the NFL. In order to show him that the spot was safe, Vince McMahon actually did the dive himself. The story was verified by a half dozen people within WWE, as well as some that have since left.

One person in the building said those there caught it and had a reaction of "did that just happen?," and that Vince McMahon said something to the nature of "not so bad, is it?" You may remember that Vince McMahon also did Shawn Michaels' zipline entrance at the WrestleMania 12 rehearsals....though that was way back 24 years ago.

After our original story ran, a WWE name contacted us and said that Gronk was "terrified" of the dive, and that he had the benefit of a dozen of the biggest NXT guys catching him. Even after Vince McMahon did the spot, it took a significant amount of time to convince Gronkowski. The low angle you saw on TV was because production had to make it look better as Gronk bent his knees and practically fell off the platform "like a toddler jumping into the pool for the first time."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
The NWA announced that they’re launching a new show called Carnyland on their YouTube channel at 6:05 p.m. Eastern time next Tuesday. Billy Corgan said it was an idea they had at the very beginning of acquiring the NWA, but further details about it weren’t revealed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Karl Anderson, who has been trying to trademark his name since January 2019, was initially blocked since WWE already were trying to trademark his name and once they completed their registration in August 2019, was given an initial rejection for likelihood of confusion. In response, Anderson noted the following to the USPTO:

"With respect to the cited registration, applicant notes that contractually the WWE has acknowledged that applicant is the owner of the mark but that WWE would file and register the mark in its own name. That is to say, applicant is the legal owner of both the cited registration and the instant application. A heavily-redacted copy of the agreement between the registrant and applicant can be provided, if helpful and requested by the Examining Attorney."

Anderson also tweeted the following update to the "major announcement" he had been teasing on his social media over the last week:

Listen, we had a decision to make in September of 2019..
We clearly made the wrong one.
In 68 days, at midnight @The_BigLG n I will talk about it.
All of it. @TalknShop @azucarRoc #TalkNShopAMania
— Karl Anderson (@MachineGunKA) May 11, 2020
Link: https://twitter.com/MachineGunKA/sta...32440044371969

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
There are discussions underway for additional Ring of Honor TV content to be featured across the Sinclair Broadcast Group and their affiliates. Joe Koff told PWInsider.com last week that an announcement is forthcomong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Yahoo! Japan posted their chat with Masahiro Chono and Chono stated that because of the Coronavirus, Japanese pro wrestling has been hit harder than its ever been since the birth of the sport in Japan. Chono feels that it is too late for a union to be formed, referring to multiple companies in Japan coming together to address the state of the business during a government meeting. Chono feels that the wrestling business may collapse and may never recover and at the end of it all, the only person that may be left is Kazuchika Okada.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp conducted an interview with AEW World Champion Jon Moxley. Moxley told the site about his frustration about his cancelled bout against Josh Barnett that was set for Bloodsport during WrestleMania weekend.

“That’s just one of many matches and many events like [AEW] Blood & Guts, 14,000 tickets in Newark down the drain; Philly, Boston, all down the drain. All these promotions, all these [independents]—it especially sucks for the independent guys [that] just aren’t working right now. That sucks. I mean, WrestleMania had to take place in front of nobody and that’s not ideal for all those guys and girls who wanted to have their big WrestleMania moment, they had to do it in front of nobody. So, everybody got affected by this. Pro wrestling is such a small part of the world even though it dominates my life, there’s much more important things. People are suffering through way worse financial times and stuff. It sucks for everybody.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
With all the time at home, Moxley had the opportunity to watch WrestleMania 36, which also took place in front of no crowd. Don't expect sour grapes about his old place of employment, as he said that he liked the presentation.

"I watched the whole thing," Moxley said. "Both nights. I enjoyed it. I thought it flowed nicely and a lot of people really worked their ass off and put on great performances. I enjoyed the Boneyard Match, I thought that was cool. I thought that was really cool, too, because the Undertaker is a really beloved character. He’s like a comic book character. He’s a beloved character from our childhood. Same as John Wayne or John McClane or any action movie star you can think of, so it was really cool. I think everybody really enjoyed that."
From the same interview Moxley had with Fightful's Sapp.


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Old 05-13-2020, 07:16 PM   #1329
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
WWE has revealed that the major announcement on tonight's NXT will be made by Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
Link: https://twitter.com/WWENXT/status/12...670192128?s=20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Impact Wrestling has unveiled the newest member of its Knockouts division.

It was announced this morning that Tasha Steelz has signed with Impact Wrestling. After appearing for Impact in a battle royal last year, Steelz had her second match for the promotion on last night's Impact. She lost to Kylie Rae.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
NJPW released a video this morning with President & CEO Harold Meij providing a roadmap that will eventually lead to the resumption of shows. You can watch it below:

Meij first detailed why they have not conducted empty arena matches, as other promotions have since the spread of COVID-19. He listed three reasons they have yet to do this: to protect the health and safety of wrestlers and staff, venues being unavailable to use for NJPW events and NJPW’s own corporate social responsibility.

He went on to say that the first step towards resuming shows will be to hold empty arena events. However, Meij said that this will not happen until the following: when Japan lifts its country-wide state of emergency, the number of new infections decline, and when matches can take place in disinfected and safe settings. When events do resume, they will take place both in Japan and in the NJPW Los Angeles dojo.

The next step would be to welcome back fans with added measures. These steps will include extensive health checks on wrestlers and staff, thermographic temperature upon entry, and masks will be compulsory. Venues will be thoroughly disinfected and ventilated, and proper social distancing spacing will be implemented.

Meij ended the message by promising that NJPW won’t be beaten by the disease and urged every pro wrestling fan to come together and overcome this challenge.
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgheBtvAwGU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Details emerged Wednesday on why XFL commissioner Oliver Luck was fired by WWE chairman and league founder Vince McMahon four days before it shut down operations, courtesy of the Sports Business Journal.

McMahon fired Luck for "gross neglect" and Luck filed a lawsuit soon thereafter to reclaim some of money lost by his surprise dismissal. Luck's contract called for a $5 million annual salary and a $2 million bonus.

In pre-trial filings, McMahon's legal team listed "gross neglect of his job during the COVID-19 pandemic", "personal use of a league-assisted cellphone", and the signing of a former NFL receiver with previous legal issues despite McMahon's previous orders to avoid doing so.

Also in the filings, McMahon claimed that Luck left the XFL's Connecticut headquarters for his home in Indiana and "disengaged" from the league's operations.

The suit read, “Put simply, at the very moment when his leadership as CEO was needed most, Luck did not devote substantially all of his business time to the XFL, as required by his contract."

Despite the XFL filing for bankruptcy, McMahon personally guaranteed Luck's contract through his Alpha Entertainment parent LLC, ensuring Luck could sue McMahon rather than go through U.S. bankruptcy court as a creditor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
The former Erick Rowan opened a Pro Wrestling Tees store under the name Erick Redbeard, so that may be the name he will be using post-WWE. He also changed his twitter handle to that name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
In-ring action will return to 205 Live this Friday as the company taped two weeks worth of episodes this week. The show will remain 30 minutes in length.
Bet WWE still won't put any Interim Cruiser tournament matches on 205 Live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
In regard to the buzz about Sting potentially coming to All Elite Wrestling, PWInsider.com has been told by several sources close to Sting that he will not be the person who presents the TNT Championship to the winner of Cody vs. Lance Archer at the AEW Double or Nothing PPV, which is something we have been asked a lot about in the last 24 hours. As I noted a few days ago, Mattel has pulled Sting from future WWE action figure line releases as he is no longer available to them, likely due to the end of his contractual agreements with WWE. WWE did not respond to a request regarding his relationship with the company. Sting has been tweeting of late about AEW, which Cody has responded to. It appears to be Cody smartly trying to get some buzz for the company right now, but that doesn't mean something can't happen later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
In response to WWE announcing he has been stripped of the Intercontinental Championship, Sami Zayn tweeted:

I disagree with this decision and no matter what anyone says, I am still undefeated and therefore still the Intercontinental Champion. -SZ https://t.co/SUFsBFeRDB
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) May 13, 2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
NBA star Enes Kanter today stated that he has a standing offer for a WWE contract and intends to take the company up on it once his NBA career concludes:

Celtics center @EnesKanter told our NBA Insider @ShamsCharania he has been offered WWE deal and plans to accept after career.

Kanter also discussed his public approach with his native Turkey, Russell Westbrook's policy for opponents and more. pic.twitter.com/gOvZhfYGae
— Stadium (@Stadium) May 13, 2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
PROGRESS Wrestling in the UK issued a statement this morning, announcing they were cancelling all of their summer plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
In an interesting note, last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite had 356,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo and 732,000 viewers overall. While they had fewer viewers than the Ladder Match special on Fox, they did top WWE in the demo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
For all the shows tonight, there will be big competition with the finale of ‘Survivor: Winners at War’ airing on CBS at 8 pm Eastern.
That show and UFC's Fight Night show on ESPN's streaming service probably going to do some serious damage to NXT and AEW's numbers tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Much like his enemy Brock Lesnar, Matt Riddle doesn't want the product.

On Monday's WWE Raw, Drew McIntyre announced a "brand-to-brand invitation" that would allow superstars to appear on separate brands. Charlotte Flair will be on Friday's SmackDown while King Corbin will face McIntyre on Monday's Raw.

Speaking to Pro Wrestling Sheet, Matt Riddle was asked if he would like to take advantage of the invitation and appear on Raw or SmackDown.

"Yeah, I would. You know what, I should have been watching the product last night. I had no idea. Yeah, that’s a great idea. I hope I get a call soon and they let me wrestle up there a little bit. That would be fantastic."

When asked about throwing out a challenge of his own, Riddle said, "Definitely. Even in NXT, there’s so many matches I haven’t gotten yet. Same thing on the main roster. There’s so many match-ups with people, so many talented individuals. For me, I feel like the possibilities are endless. I just want an opportunity. I think I’m going to get it. Who knows?! I didn’t even know about this [Brand to Brand Invitational]! That’s a great idea."

Riddle wasn't exactly sure how the brand-to-brand invitation works. WWE hasn't made any kind of official announcement on the rule outside of McIntyre's promo on WWE Raw.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Tessa Blanchard has blurred the lines in wrestling becoming the IMPACT World Champion and proving that women can compete with men. But in AEW and WWE, intergender wrestling is a bit more taboo. WWE has rarely had men and women interact in the ring over the past decade while AEW has done one intergender match (Kenny Omega & Riho vs. Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford), which aired on AEW Dark.

Appearing on Busted Open Radio, AEW Women's Champion Nyla Rose weighed in intergender wrestling in AEW.

"I don't look at it so much as 'the confines.' I think there's power in that. There's power in having a 'women's division.' Representation, showing we can break down barriers and carry a show. There's absolute power in that. I don't see anything wrong in having the separation. [Intergender matches] are something that have always happened, I would love to see more of that on the bigger stage, but that's not my call. Hopefully, down the line, we will see a tide shift," she said.

There has been little to no mention of intergender wrestling on AEW since the Dark match on the Chris Jericho Cruise. When AEW first started, Brandi Rhodes said intergender wouldn't be something fans would see out of the gate, but that AEW would be open-minded to the idea.

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Old 05-14-2020, 09:48 PM   #1330
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Going up against a live UFC card that aired on ESPN+, AEW and NXT ratings both took a hit last night.

This week's AEW Dynamite on TNT had its lowest viewership ever and the lowest rating its done in the key 18-49 demo. The show averaged 654,000 viewers, down 10.7 percent from last week. Dynamite finished 15th in the 18-49 demo with a .23 rating, down 17.9 percent from last week.

NXT on the USA Network averaged 604,000 viewers, down 8.9 percent from last week. In 18-49, the show averaged a 0.15 rating, down 16.7 percent from the previous week and matching NXT's series low. The show finished 46th in the cable TV rankings in that demo last night.

AEW won every demo except people over 50, where NXT had an advantage of 0.32 to 0.26. The strongest demo for AEW was men 18-49, where the show averaged a 0.28 rating to NXT's 0.18.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
In addition to the UFC running a Fight Night card on ESPN+, the networks had significant programming competition. On CBS, the finale of ‘Survivor’ attracted 7.9 million viewers and The Masked Singer did 7.2 million with both shows airing at 8 pm Eastern. Viewership for the UFC card is unknown as it aired exclusively on the streaming platform in the U.S.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Scorpio Sky is the fifth confirmed entrant for the Casino Ladder Match at Double or Nothing.

Sky was announced for the ladder match today, joining Darby Allin, Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy, and Fenix as the wrestlers who have been confirmed for it thus far. The winner will receive a future shot at the AEW World Championship.

AEW revealed the rules for the Casino Ladder Match on last night's episode of Dynamite. Two wrestlers will begin the match, then a new entrant will enter every 90 seconds until all nine possible participants have entered. A chip will be hanging above the ring and can be grabbed at any time, so it's an advantage to enter the match early.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
The current NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis is in the midst of his second reign with the title. He first lost the belt in September of 2018 at The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes’ ALL IN show. A few months after that event, Nick Aldis won back the NWA Worlds Title by defeating Cody Rhodes at the NWA 70th Anniversary show ...

With the atmosphere and the crowd reaction from those inside the Sears Centre on the night of ALL IN, Nick Aldis feels that it is the biggest moment of his 16-year career in pro wrestling. He took pride in saying that the NWA Worlds Title, which is one of the more historic titles in pro wrestling was able to be a focal point on a stacked card ...

Seven months after ALL IN and at the time, what was several months after the announcement of All Elite Wrestling and The Elite (Cody, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega & Hangman Page’s) departure from Ring of Honor, ROH teamed up with New Japan Pro-Wrestling to present G1 Supercard from Madison Square Garden ...

The NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title was supposed to be defended on that show by Nick Aldis. Aldis said that-that moment could’ve been huge for the NWA but believes that because of what happened at ALL IN and the possibility of the NWA Title match outshining other bouts on the card, it was pulled. Aldis said it didn’t matter where he was placed on the card, he just wanted that moment for the organization he represents. He said that the aforementioned sequence of events was the beginning of the end for the initial partnership between ROH and the NWA.

“There was a Ring of Honor Title match at ALL IN and it wasn’t… not particularly memorable, right? Well I’d been told that I would defend the NWA Title at the Madison Square Garden show which would’ve been a huge feather in my cap and then it didn’t happen, and who’s to say why, but to me I always felt like there was this concern that once again, it would eclipse and outshine… and that’s sad because ultimately, it’s their show. They’re still gonna get the credit. Again, if you think about building the business around moments rather than sort of brands and bragging rights and things like that, in the grand scheme of things, it still would’ve been a huge thing for them but…

They could’ve put me on first. I wouldn’t have cared. For us, which would’ve been a huge thing for us to say for the first time since Harley Race, the Ten Pounds Of Gold is gonna be defended at Madison Square Garden, and again because look, before that show, if you didn’t wrestle for WWE, Madison Square Garden was out of the question so it was like, I wrestled at Wembley Arena which is in a lot of ways is like Madison Square Garden to us in Britain, but it’s the Garden, right? And it would’ve been a huge moment and I was disappointed and honestly, there was a part of me at that point when I said, ‘You know, I don’t feel like this relationship — they’re getting a lot from us and we’re not getting a lot from them now,’ and that’s when we kind of decided, ‘Okay, maybe it’s time for us to just go ahead and prove who we are’ and that’s when Powerrr came to be. We gotta make our own thing here.”
From a recent interview Aldis had with Post Wrestling. Felt that tidbit about last year's G1 Supercard event was interesting since he really over estimates NWA's value to ROH and the idea his match at MSG being pulled was due to ROH being petty since it would have outshined the other high profile matches on the card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
WrestleTalk did an interview with Sugar Dunkerton recently. Dunkerton is also known as “Pineapple Pete” as described by Chris Jericho on AEW Dynamite ...

Dunkerton also spoke about his interactions with Chris Jericho. Dunkerton was surprised at how laid back and down to earth Jericho is for someone that has seemingly done it all in wrestling.

“Dude he spoke to me when he saw me which tripped me out because I was like, ‘What is happening right now?’ Like he rolls up and it’s hilarious because Jericho to me is kind of a hilarious kind of guy because this is a guy it’s like — I’ve learned a lot from those two tapings because you got guys on the indies who are barely at that point where they’re really doing anything with their career yet. They’ve done some stuff but they’re not there yet, and they act like, ‘Yo, bow down. Kiss my boots.’ This and that and everything. ‘I’m not doing that,’ this and that, but then you’ve got a guy who’s literally done everything, literally been to every big show that you could do, main-evented and all of that and he’s super down to earth, he’s super funny. It’s no weird stuff when you talk to him so…”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Brodie Lee is challenging Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at Double Or Nothing on May 23rd. To promote the bout, Lee appeared on Busted Open Radio with Mark Henry and David LaGreca. Lee talked about the comparisons between his on-screen character and Vince McMahon and explained that he’s just a fan of mafia movies. Brodie said he has no reason to hate the WWE or Vince McMahon.

“I mean you take it however you want. I happen to be a fan of Mafia movies, so that’s the way the character is portrayed for me. Like I said, I believe that the leadership style, the results speak for themselves. So, you people can take it any way you want, and trust me, I hear ya. I hear everybody, so… but, nothing was intentional. I have no reason to hate WWE, no reason to hate Vince McMahon, nothing like that. You take it how you want.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Chris Van Vliet spoke with Shane “Hurricane” Helms for a one-hour chat. Helms shared that throughout his career as The Hurricane, he always had a difficult time seeing out of his signature mask.

“I couldn’t see for sh*t out of that mask. If you were this close to me trying to shake my hand, I wouldn’t be able to see now. It blocks so much of my downward vision and that’s part of the reason I kind of developed that bent over Hurricane walk, because I couldn’t see for sh*t in that mask. It’s one of the reasons I took out springboards. Like I would do them sometimes on the live events but I was like, ‘I can’t see that rope.’ I can feel it and I hope it’s there but when you do a springboard, you’re not necessarily looking at the rope but through your peripherals, you can kinda see the pads and you know where it’s at. My vision was so obscured, I had to kind of tone down a lot of my stuff.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Jim Cornette and Joey Janela got into another Twitter back and forth after Cornette was informed that Janela said he and Cornette sat down in Chilli’s, had a good time and hashed out their issues. Cornette denied that-that happened but the official Chilli’s Twitter account chimed in and added that it did happen.
Link: https://twitter.com/Chilis/status/12...374608897?s=20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Inside The Ropes pushed out their interview with Lio Rush. Lio spoke about the “backstage heat” that he was said to have in WWE. Lio said that there was a rift financially between himself and WWE because while he was on RAW, he was still making the same money that he was making in NXT.

“It was super exaggerated. I don’t understand where or how the whole backstage heat thing started. It might have happened because I was pretty vocal about a situation that happened overseas with carrying the waters and stuff like that. There were some other stories out there that were completely untrue and didn’t happen. But that’s the one story that I’ve been pretty open about. So yeah I don’t really know where the backstage heat thing ever came from. People were always cordial to me and would come up to me. Nobody ever came and said anything bad or disrespectful and vice versa. As far as the split with me and Bobby, there was some miscommunication and frustration with me and the powers that be financially. That was my biggest thing at the time. I was still making the money I’d been making in NXT at the time and merchandise was getting put out and I felt I’d contributed so much to that as far as the sayings, the mottos, the catchphrases and I just wasn’t getting compensated for that. I wasn’t on the meet and greets with Bobby, which didn’t make sense to me. But everywhere Bobby would go, I had to go because I was his manager. But Bobby was so busy, he was the Intercontinental Champion, he was on every show, every live event, traveling, had to get hotels. Yeah, all of that is great to be used but I’m not making enough money to cover these expenses. I have to do everything that Bobby’s doing but the difference is Bobby’s making this much (points high up) and I’m making this much (points down low). If I’m gonna do this, I basically need more money to survive. You know its not just me out here, I’ve got a wife, I’ve got two kids, so I have other responsibilities I have to take care of. I guess they didn’t like that a 25 year old or whatever age I was at the time, they didn’t like me being so outspoken so they just cut it.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Vice TV released the following trailer for their season finale of Dark Side of the Ring, which will look at Owen Hart ...

10 PM - SEASON FINALE - "The Final Days of Owen Hart." The official synopsis notes that his widow, Martha Hart will appear notin, "In 1999, Owen Hart fell 80 feet to his death in a stunt that went tragically wrong. Bravely reliving his final day, his widow Martha reveals the mistakes that took his life."



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Old 05-15-2020, 04:44 PM   #1331
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The Sheets (Observer Newsletter Edition):

Quote:
Rebecca Quin aka Becky Lynch, the biggest genuine women’s pro wrestling star in the U.S. of the modern era, shocked the wrestling world on 5/11 by announcing she was pregnant.

The announcement was made in the opening segment of Raw that night. It had already gotten out that she would make a major announcement about her future and rumors spread of her being pregnant, and that she would vacate the title to Asuka, who had captured the Money in the Bank briefcase the night before ...

Quin is expecting in December, which would indicate probably February or early March for when she first got pregnant. She said she found out about it in April ...

For the Raw after WrestleMania, which was actually taped before WrestleMania, meaning before she knew she was pregnant, Lynch did an interview that appeared to focus on a return match with Shayna Baszler, who she beat on the show with the idea it was a fluke pin out of nowhere, designed to keep the program alive.

Nia Jax returned and was pushed as a monster at about the same time. Both Jax and Baszler were focused on a match with Lynch on that show.

But on the first Raw new tapings done after WrestleMania, Baszler and Jax instead qualified for the Money in the Bank match and Lynch was not at the taping, which would indicate it being the early part of April when she told the company, and they kept it under wraps for about a month. Money in the Bank was taped on 4/15 so it’s very clear they knew before then. It had seemed weird with Money in the Bank so lacking in star power that Lynch wouldn’t be wrestling on the show.

The actual original booking plan was for Lynch to wrestle Jax in a singles match at the MITB PPV, and to retain the title. Baszler was originally booked to win MITB and be Lynch’s main rival for the title.

As far as the women’s division goes, Asuka, the best worker of the women on the brand, as champion will likely feud with both Baszler and Jax ...

This was the first time in American pro wrestling when a major league promotion world champion vacated her title due to pregnancy.
Quote:
WWE returned to PPV with a show built around a taped mini-movie Money in the Bank match on 5/10.

The Money in the Bank match was a taping done on 4/15 at the WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT, where supposedly the six men and six women would start on the bottom floor and go from floor-to-floor until ending on the roof of the building where there was a ring with a briefcase held up and ladders all around ... it was okay since the 27:10 match still led to a main show that only went two hours and 24 minutes, which was a positive.

There is no internal doctrine right now to keep shows to a shorter length, just a decisio made for this specific show. But since most took it as a positive, that could become the general rule until fans are back ...

The show did 200,000 Google searches which indicates a normal amount of interest for a non-major PPV show. With the record low ratings leading into the show, there was thought that the interest level would be way down. But it was above the weaker shows or the Saudi shows.
Quote:
Smackdown on 5/8 did a 1.33 rating and 2,025,000 viewers (a very low 1.26 viewers per home). But the rating was up 7.3 percent from last week and the total viewers were up 7.4 percent for the go-home show for Money in the Bank.

It’s, by today’s normal, a good sign because the show had hit record lows for FOX last week and this was not only a solid increase, but the first time Smackdown had increased from the prior week in five weeks and stopped a significant weekly erosion which may indicate last week was a bottoming out as opposed to a continuation of big weekly drops ...

FOX on the same week last year did 2,872,000 viewers and a 0.6 in 18-49, so it’s drop of 29.5 percent in viewers and 16.7 percent in the key demo.
Quote:
A few more notes from the 5/6 television shows. AEW’s 1.38 viewers per home was the highest of any pro wrestling show of the past week, meaning more people on average watch the show together.

For AEW, in males 18-34, the high point was Cody vs. Joey Janela and low point was the Jon Moxley beatdown by the Dark Order.

For women 18-34, the high point was Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara vs. Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy. The low point was Cody vs. Janela.

For men 35-49, the high point was Cody vs. Janela. The low point was the promos with MJF, Shawn Spears, etc.

For women 35-49, the high point was Jericho & Guevara vs. Omega & Hardy and the low point was also that MJF, Spears, etc. quarter that was almost all interviews.

For NXT, in males 18-34, the high point was Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Dijakovic and Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher. The low point was the Finn Balor stuff as Cameron Grimes vs. Denzel Dejournette.

For NXT, in women 18-34, the high point was Gargano vs. Dijakovic and Tozawa vs. Gallagher. The low point was the Balor stuff and Grimes vs. Dejournette.

For men 35-49, the high point was Chelsea Green vs. Xia Li and low point was Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream.

For women 35-49 the high point was Gargano vs. Dijakovic and Green vs. Li tied, and the low point was Cole vs. Dream.
Quote:
Both NXT and AEW suffered declines on 5/13, both to near all-time low marks.

The reasons are a few. The obvious is the empty arena format erodes numbers under the best of circumstances, although that’s no different from last week ... UFC also appears to have hurt both shows and really all of cable given AEW was down 17.4 percent in the key demo and was still in the No. 15 spot on cable for the night.

AEW did 654,000 viewers and a 0.23 (294,000 viewers) in 18-49. The show was down 10.7 percent in viewers and 17.4 percent in 18-49. NXT was No. 46 in 18-49, with 604,000 viewers and 0.15 (189,000 viewers) in 18-49. It was down 8.9 percent in viewers and down 20.6 percent in 18-49.

AEW figured to be affected more by UFC competition because it skews younger, like UFC. NXT, which had been doing a 56 year old median viewer age in recent weeks, was going to have less UFC crossover, but it took an even bigger hit in 18-49 than AEW did, which also indicates in the key UFC demo both companies got killed.

It was the lowest number for AEW to date, and third lowest for a regular NXT show to date ...

One key is that NXT pushed hard all day a major announcement by William Regal. The same strategy pushed all day by Raw two days earlier led to a very strong opening quarter, but for Raw it was an announcement by Becky Lynch which led to all kinds of speculation, including what was true. Trying to do the same promotional gimmick two days later will invariably not work, with this being the example. In this case, it was simply the announcement of the next Takeover show.

Another key the decline was UFC related is that the declines for AEW were almost all 18-49 males, as the teenage audience was the same and over 50 had only a small decline. NXT suffered the same major hit in 18-49 males but not in teenage boys at all ...

AEW was No. 8 not including news shows in 18-49 and fifth in its time slot trailing only MTV, Bravo, Home & Garden and The Food Network shows. NXT was No. 13 in its time slot. AEW was second on cable among entertainment shows in Males 18-49 and second in Males 12-34. NXT was fifth among entertainment shows in Males 18-49 and sixth in Males 12-34. So UFC hurt every show in that demo because of how well the wrestling shows even with the record lows did in placing ...

AEW won all eight quarters, and in 18-49 won every quarter by a big margin.

The first quarter with NXT getting the benefit of the bigger lead-in was close. AEW opened with the Cody brawl with Lance Archer and the beginning of Jurassic Express vs. Best Friends, doing 691,000 viewers to start and 284,000 in 18-49. NXT opened with Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher vs. Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner for the tag titles, doing 687,000 total viewers and 208,000 in 18-49.

In the second quarter, AEW lost 38,000 viewers and 5,000 in 18-49 for Best Friends vs. Jurassic Express. NXT lost 51,000 viewers and 14,000 in 18-49 for the Riddle and Thatcher backstage brawl and Tegan Nox vs. Indi Hartwell.

In the third quarter, AEW lost 7,000 viewers but gained 10,000 in 18-49 for Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida vs. Kris Statlander vs. Penelope Ford and the Pineapple Pete interview. NXT lost 31,000 viewers and 13,000 in 18-49 for Tony Nese vs. Jake Atlas and the Undisputed Era video conference.

In the fourth quarter, AEW gained 27,000 viewers and 32,000 in 18-49 for Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy vs. Ortiz & Santana. NXT lost 38,000 viewers and 2,000 in 18-49 for the Karrion Kross & Scarlett video, a Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vignette, an Isaiah Scott promo and the special announcement by HHH, Shawn Michaels and Road Dogg.

In the fifth quarter, AEW lost 24,000 viewers and 9,000 in 18-49 for the end of the Omega & Hardy vs. Santana & Ortiz match, Taz with Darby Allin, the Nyla Rose/Shida angle and MJF vs. Lee Johnson. NXT gained 53,000 viewers and 45,000 in 18-49 for Finn Balor vs. Cameron Grimes and the post-match with Damien Priest.

In the sixth quarter, AEW lost 11,000 viewers and 18,000 in 18-49 for the MJF promo, Chris Jericho vs. Pineapple Pete and the Inner Circle promo destroying Vanguard One. NXT lost 49,000 viewers and 51,000 in 18-49 for Isaiah Scott vs. Jack Gallagher.

In the seventh quarter, AEW lost 1,000 viewers and 8,000 in 18-49 for hyping next week and Double or Nothing and the main event ring intros. NXT gained 4,000 viewers and 4,000 in 18-49 for Kayden Carter vs. Aliyah and the Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae vignette.

In the final quarter, AEW gained 7,000 viewers and 13,000 in 18-49 for Brodie Lee vs. Christopher Daniels and the post-match brawl involving the Dark Order and Jon Moxley. NXT lost 5,000 viewers and 3,000 in 18-49 for Riddle vs. Thatcher.
Quote:
SummerSlam and all the usual things that go with it look very unlikely for Boston in late August. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that they don’t envision a point this summer where it makes sense to have large crowds gathered in the city. He said that all parades and festivals in the city would not take place until 9/7 at the earliest ...

Regarding rumors of SummerSlam being moved to September, Vince McMahon is determined to have a live crowd for this year’s SummerSlam. Right now it is scheduled for August but if waiting until September is the only way to have the show in front of a live crowd, the thought is he would make that move but it is not a move decided on and he hasn’t outright committed to it. Vince is the person who will make the call and he changes his mind constantly, sometimes brilliant and often in almost complete denial of what is going on in the world and right now he sees the pandemic as something inconvenient because it gets in the way of his vision of what the product is supposed to be and his plans
Quote:
They officially announced as IC title tournament on Smackdown. Even though nobody can say it publicly for obvious reasons, there is a lot of unhappiness that Zayn exercised the option that they gave everyone regarding not wrestling if you don’t want to right now. I mean, the IC title doesn’t mean much and we’re long past the period of taking titles too seriously and they can do whatever they want. The tournament will start on the 5/15 Smackdown show

It should be noted that I know of several people in the company who are not comfortable at all about working right now but were not about to take WWE up on the offer for job security reasons, and this was before all the firings. There are still people not working who live in the U.S. but they are very few. It’s also notable with AEW that Tony Khan said roughly the same thing, and evidently his employees believed him at the time. The promise that you can take the time off and it won’t hurt you or your position is hard to take seriously. The only person who publicly said he wouldn’t wrestle in a pandemic was Lio Rush as he was then fired. Now, granted, my belief is he was fired because he complained about pay and went into a depression about money and how he was being used months earlier. And those guys were the first guys let go.
Quote:
This is the situation with Mysterio. They shot an angle on Raw this week where Rollins took out his eye. Mysterio’s contract is coming due and at least as of a week ago he had not signed a new deal. I don’t expect him to leave but it’s not a lock that he won’t. One of the key things to him is the future of his son. There is the idea not to do anything to upset WWE because it could negatively affect his son’s career. He also has a very high contract with WWE because they very badly didn’t want him working for New Japan, which he had just started doing. He signed before there was an AEW, but after the new TV deals were made so they knew they had all the money they’d ever need to sign people they wanted and Mysterio got a great deal, and was able to negotiate an 18 month out which the feeling was would make it perfect timing to be a free agent. But it’s not perfect timing now. The word is that WWE is not giving any raises right now, so the guys who signed in the last year or so, after AEW started, and got the big offers based on them wanting to own everyone marketable looks to be a lot more limited. One would have to think there is interest in Mysterio in AEW, especially since they booked him in the main event of All In (which WWE badly wanted him off of but he refused at the time to pull out of that commitment) ... So the Rollins thing when Rollins took out his eye is either to give him an angle with Rollins if he stays, or it’s following the Matt Hardy playbook if he leaves
Quote:
Rachael Ellering, 27, who wrestled as Rachael Evers (after Lance Storm’s real last name since Storm was her trainer) is now a free agent. I believe her release was around the same time as the other releases but the name never got out but her 30-day non-compete should be over or just about over and she put up a video that seemed to tease being a free agent. It’s been confirmed she’s no longer with the company. A few months ago she spoke to the company about having issues with the medical team and medical procedures. She was rehabbing after reconstructive knee surgery. Her complaints were not received well and a few weeks ago she was given two options, both of which essentially were that she was getting released. She chose one of them and was then released. There was a time when she was interested in leaving but this was a company decision
Quote:
The situation with Sting is this. He was originally set for being a character in Mattel’s Legend Series 7 line and then removed. When this came out on The Major Wrestling Figure podcast, Mattel wrote in response, “Due to circumstances out of our control Sting needed to be removed from Legends Series 7. We’ll look to include this figure in a future wave if he becomes available to us again.” The reason for this is that Sting no longer has a merchandising contract with WWE. This has coupled with Sting starting to tweet AEW things. That also would indicate no longer being under contract with WWE. Cody tweeted something like he heard something. As far as AEW goes, this is what I can say. I’ve asked and gotten no response to the question and if there was nothing going on the odds are I’d be told there was nothing going on
Quote:
President Harold Meij of New Japan Pro Wrestling gave a YouTube update in English on the company’s current and future plans, and said that at some point they would be doing empty arena matches.

He said that due to the success of the two-day WrestleKingdom events on 1/4 and 1/5 at the Tokyo Dome, that the company has been financially okay so far, even though saying that they have incurred significant financial losses from the decisions they’ve made to not run any events.

Meij thanked the New Japan fan base for their continued support during these challenging times, noting in particular that New Japan Word numbers have not fallen significantly in the two plus months where the company hasn’t presented any new live shows, and that online merchandise sales have been extremely successful.

He said that there was no sensible option but to not run shows at this time, but that these decisions were not taken lightly, and recognize they have disappointed fans, wrestlers and staff, and noted how painful these decisions have been ...

He also noted that the company has come up with a lot of new merchandise and their new global web site has allowed them to ship their merchandise to 33 countries worldwide.
Quote:
AEW’s Double or Nothing key matches for 5/23 in Jacksonville have been announced, with the biggest news being the involvement of Mike Tyson, who will present the TNT championship belt to the winner of the Cody vs. Lance Archer tournament final ...

Tyson is interesting because obviously it’s mainstream publicity play. Tyson attended last year’s Double or Nothing show. He was backstage and didn’t stay for the entire show. He was also a guest in September at a Jaguars game. Reports were that they got him for a good deal, but under any circumstances, Tyson doesn’t come cheap. The idea is getting mainstream publicity for the title, the winner and the company.

Tyson, when he was in his mainstream culture prime in 1998, was a key factor in turning the tables in a wrestling war that WCW was dominating. Doing an angle with Steve Austin propelled Austin to going from being a major wrestling star to someone known outside of the wrestling world. He refereed the Austin WWF title win over Shawn Michaels. He pulled in $3.5 million from that appearance which is still believed to be the biggest one-night payday anyone in pro wrestling history has ever received ...

But still, Tyson remains big in the culture, remembered as a better boxer than he really was, and he was the biggest drawing card in sports during his heyday. He also had a controversial past, growing up a hoodlum and serving time for a rape conviction. But his modern image has been remade as this fun-loving cool guy who was the baddest man and hardest hitter on the planet. A recent video of him throwing punches, still bringing the heat, went viral in recent days and has led to recent talk of him perhaps boxing once again at 53.

There is the question of adding a high cost for Tyson on a show with no live gate and a question regarding how the PPV will do ...

AEW did break even in April, actually making a very small profit. With television not being taped every week, it has reduced costs, although the reduction of costs is not enough to offset the loss of the live gates from what would have been five Wednesday night shows, but the reduction does partially offset that. The company turned a very small profit between the money from TNT for television, online merchandise money and costs being down by doing all the taping over two days in Decatur, GA. This was done with paying everyone on staff and the talent, and the production crew was paid the same as they would have for weekly shows even though the shows were done in two days rather than five days. And there were cost savings by doing two shows where everyone was flown in and out once, as opposed to paying for everyone for five trips to various locations. But they would have likely had a very big month. They were expecting good houses in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia and Houston, particularly since St. Louis and Houston are strong traditional wrestling markets and this would have been AEW’s first time in both cities. That, along with Rochester and Newark, which were figured to be two high grossing events, Newark perhaps setting the company’s all-time record, and this period was hoped to be where they start making back the losses of the first year, but with a pandemic, that period is going to have to wait.

The show will be at Daily’s Place except for the Stadium Stampede match, which will air live from TIAA Field, with the match taking place all over the empty football stadium. The idea is similar to a famous Minoru Suzuki match at the empty Tokyo Dome a few years ago. The football field is adjacent to Daily’s Place as in the street fight with Matt Hardy & Omega vs. Jericho & Guevara on 5/13, they went backstage and you could see the football field, done on purpose because of what it was to build ...

The entire show is expected to be nine matches. From television this past week, the most notable tease was Wardlow vs. Luchasaurus, and they are clearly building something in that direction at some point, whether now or later.
Quote:
At last week’s Lucha Fighter press conference, announcer Jesus Zuniga said that the AAA ownership would be deciding on the big show plan on 5/30. He said that TripleMania could take place with no fans. The problem is the main revenue stream for TripleMania is the live gate. In addition, like last year, AAA was hoping to get the top AEW stars to attend and Kenny Omega is their world champion. That would seem very unlikely at this point
Quote:
The planned [UFC] show on 5/23 has been canceled. After the 5/16 show, the plan for the next show is 5/30. They are hopeful of 5/30 being in Las Vegas but that depends on if the commission approves it. If not it’ll be somewhere else. AEW tries to avoid Saturday’s with UFC shows for its PPVs but the way things have been, that is going to be more difficult since UFC shows aren’t planned out months in advance during this period. But it looked like they were head-to-head and now AEW has the night unopposed
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:31 PM   #1332
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Raw dropped from last week's number boosted by the Becky Lynch pregnancy announcement, falling eight percent from last week and averaging 1.76 million viewers.

It was the second lowest viewer number in the modern history of the show, trailing only the episode two weeks ago that did 1.68 million viewers ...

The show was down 30 percent from the same week last year, and last year had competition from the NBA playoffs. It was down 42 percent from last year in the 18-49 demo ...

The third hour was the second least watched hour in the history of Raw television, beating only the 1.62 million mark of hour three two weeks ago.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 1.82 million viewers
9 p.m. 1.81 million viewers
10 p.m. 1.64 million viewers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
With the debut of the Owen Hart episode of Dark Side of The Ring series hours away and discussion about his controversial and tragic death expected to be revived on social media afterward, his widow, Martha, has been doing interviews of late to tell her side of the story and to bring attention to the episode.

While her stance on what happened and her opinion of the company hasn't changed throughout the years, Jerry McDevitt, outside legal council of WWE, wanted to have their side represented, and did just that with statements given to CBS Sports following the release of a Hart interview they did Monday.

McDevitt, who led the WWE legal team in the case, said that how Hart talks about the lawsuit is inaccurate and that her lawyer was trying to go about things the wrong way:

"What she did whenever this happened is, she hired a lawyer in Kansas City who we caught essentially trying to fix the judicial selection process to get a judge that was more to their liking. We caught them and went all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court. The Missouri Supreme Court said, 'No, no, no. We're not going to let that happen.' They essentially appointed an independent judge to come in from outside of Kansas City to oversee the proceedings. We were basically trying to find out what happened that night. Martha was not even remotely interested in finding out what happened that night; she just wanted to used it as a vehicle to beat up a business that she didn't like that her husband was in, the wrestling business."

In her book "Broken Harts", Hart didn't speak favorably of McDevitt and said that WWE's lawyers were claiming Kansas City police weren't being impartial in an effort to get the case heard before a different judge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated has an interview with Martha Hart. In this interview, Martha spoke about WWE’s negligence when it came to the harness they used on the night of Owen’s death. WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt responded to the article:

“The manufacturer of the quick release device, if there is anybody directly responsible for Owen’s death, it would have been the manufacturer for that device.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
The Undertaker responded to a tweet about the right wing T-shirts he’s worn on his Last Ride documentary: “Everyone knows WWE is A political !! It’s all about the flag!”
Link: https://twitter.com/undertaker/statu...880932357?s=20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
CZW issued a statement about sexist PPV names like “Hair Pulling Catfights,” “Top Heavy & Tough,” “Hot & Sweaty,” and “All Assets Revealed” being used for specials of past content featuring women’s wrestlers: “Two years ago, CZW entered into a licensing agreement with a national media distributor to license CZW and WSU footage. That company has the right to utilize the footage without limitation. They have repackaged and renamed shows as it is their right to do so. Our athletes, regardless of gender, are just that, athletes, whom we are proud of and appreciate. We stand behind the ring action in all our footage.”

Jordynne Grace then responded to CZW’s statement: “Just so everyone is aware, there are many women already speaking to lawyers about this, as releases were not signed to authorize licensing footage for profit and distribution.”

Kimber Lee also responded to CZW: “And I’m certain I NEVER signed an agreement giving you the right to sell my intellectual property.... nor did ANY of the women you’re blatantly disrespecting. Or how you told us all you wouldn’t book us if you wouldn’t f**k us. It’s about time the harassment gets exposed.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Tony Khan clarified how the TNT Championship will be worked into AEW’s weekly top-five roster rankings: “Good question. It’ll be a similar format, but going forward we’ll have the 2 male singles champions ranked at the top above the Top 5.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
On Busted Open Radio yesterday, Ricky Starks said his contract with the NWA has expired and he’s no longer with the promotion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Nikki and Brie Bella were guests on the Sunday Night’s Main Event podcast. While speaking to Nikki, she shared that WWE and John Cena had editorial rights to alter anything in her book and Nikki said that there were a few stories that WWE removed from the book.

“I mean, of course. Definitely writing it, did that stuff cross my mind? It did and there was never anything bad I wanted to say about John. John and I had a beautiful relationship. Did we have troubles? Yes. Will anyone ever know about them? No, and this is something at least my therapist and I know about and I get through and I have gotten through, but overall, we did have such a beautiful relationship. I mean WWE also had editing rights and took out a few stories as well, and I respect that. I understand I’m not a private person and some people like to be private, but even with the stuff that was edited with John, there was nothing crazy bad. I just wish I was able to talk more about why I ended up where I ended up. I still feel like people will always wonder that, and I think it’s because we put our relationship out there on reality TV for five to six years and so, I wanted to tell that story.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Will Cooling has an article on the Torch site looking at the finances of Progress Wrestling that are open to the public through the Companies House governmental agency in the UK. In Cooling’s research, it shows that under Progress’ real name (JJG Partners), the company paid out a dividend of £273,000 to owners Jon Briley, Glen Joseph, and Jim Smallman (the latter ended his role as a director in July 2019 and had his shares bought out. Smallman ended his role with the company by the end of the year to work exclusively with NXT UK). Cooling adds that the dividend payout was £155,000 in 2017/18. During the pandemic, the group has been running fundraisers and launched a Twitch channel to raise funds for workers.
Link: https://www.pwtorch.com/site/2020/05...-events-pause/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Although the NXT UK brand hasn't been putting on new shows in recent weeks, the wrestlers aren't staying put and sitting at home doing nothing.

According to Gary Cassidy of Sportskeeda, the wrestlers from the UK brand have been working with WWE doing some online seminars. The seminars, which have been called "Skull Sessions," saw NXT UK superstars doing online calls with the likes of William Regal and Robby Brookside and doing match analysis sessions.

As far as when NXT UK shows return, there's no set date yet, but Cassidy reports that there is a plan for programming to resume as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, wrestling companies across the world have postponed or canceled shows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
When Goldust first debuted in 1995, the word often used to describe him was "bizarre." Well, this is bizarre.

While discussing the 1995 Survivor Series, Jim Ross imparted some wisdom concerning the early days of the Goldust character and an envelope-pushing element that was left on the cutting room floor of WWE creative.

Marlena would make her debut at the 1996 Royal Rumble alongside her husband at the time, Goldust. Goldust for the groundbreaking for the mid-90s as he portrayed a very androgynous character. According to Jim Ross, an element of this androgyny, specifically pitched by Vince McMahon was to be a prosthetic penis worn by the Marlena character to throw the audience off even more.

“Goldust was created to be polarizing. You know, it was very polarizing and when we put and is even going to be more so, Vince was all in this, the Attitude Era coming along with the sexual characters, this androgynous guy,” Jim began. “Was he really androgynous? Was he gay? Was he straight? Was he bisexual? We had no idea. But it was a very unique presentation to the point, and I told this to Terri Runnels one time and she was appalled, probably appalled at me. I'm not sure. But Vince had an idea to have to give her a prosthetic penis to wear under her attire. Something that was never [to be] talked about. Nobody said anything. It was never focused on. It was just there. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and that never made air and it never even happened. She wasn't aware of it. There was a thought at one time about really going... 'Well we're going to go all the way, let's go all the way.' No, let's don't If we go all the way, we're gonna step off of a cliff here. I don't want to fall off a cliff. We don't need to be falling off cliffs here. Let's get close to the edge, but not quite step over it.”

While they never went in this direction with the character, only 2 years later Goldust was walked out on a leash on TV by Luna Vachon with a ball gag in his mouth, during the thick of WWE’s Attitude Era.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Taynara Conti was waiting for an opportunity that never came in WWE.

Conti was signed by WWE in October 2016 and competed in both Mae Young Classics before making various appearances on NXT television. However, Conti never made the impact she was hoping to have, leading to her reportedly walking out on NXT in February 2020 over a disagreement. She returned shortly after, but was part of the April 15 cuts.

"I need to get better and think about my future and feel that I'm useful," Conti told Ring The Belle. "In the last couple of months, I was not feeling that anymore. I was trying to have conversations, asking for opportunities. I never asked for something big. I never asked for a TakeOver match or title shot. I was in the same spot for a long time, doing 3-4 minute matches to put someone else over and I was not able to show what I was able to do. Give me a 10 minute, 50/50 match, and I can show more about my character and what I do in the ring. A two-minute match, I can't do much. If the match is for someone else, I need to make them look good. At first, okay, that was my time to put people over. It's okay, I don't mind. But at some point, I was like, 'I have been doing the same thing for a long time. It's time to get better and show them more about me.' I would never do a promo and that was frustrating for me. 'You guys keep saying I'm good and will be a star.' All the feedback was amazing. I pitched like 100 different gimmicks. And they were like, 'No, keep doing what you're doing.' I tried to change my hair, my gimmick, and they were like, 'No, don't change, the opportunity is coming.' The opportunity never came. So, I was not happy."

She continued, "I asked them, 'What about me?' 'Well, there's people coming with more experience.' In my mind, I was like, 'If you keep signing people with more experience and you don't use me, why sign people that don't come from pro wrestling? Am I wasting my time here?' That was my feeling. I was like, 'What if I go wrestle outside and come back and have experience.' It just wasn't working. It was comfortable to have money every week, but I'm 24, I'm not scared of work. I wasn't happy anymore."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Both AEW and NXT will be going opposite NASCAR races on Wednesday, as well as on 5/27 and 6/10. The first NASCAR race back over the weekend had 6.3 million viewers, so this could be major competition even though the NASCAR audience is traditionally older than the wrestling audience, unlike UFC which skews younger than wrestling. The race Wednesday is from Darlington at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Following the success of ‘The Last Dance’, ESPN will be airing a never-before-seen cinematic presentation of Game 6 between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz from the 1998 finals this Wednesday night at 9 pm Eastern that will go against AEW Dynamite and NXT. When the game aired in 1998 on NBC, it did almost 36 million viewers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
PWInsider.com has been told that Bret Hart was not interviewed specifically for the Owen Hart episode. He was interviewed for season one of the series and it is certainly possible material from that interview could be featured in the Owen episode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Pro Wrestling Tees, Martha Hart, and Dark Side of the Ring have partnered together to release the first official Owen Hart T-shirts in over 20 years.

Two Owen Hart T-shirts were released on Pro Wrestling Tees tonight. The shirts are sold by Owen's wife Martha, with all profits going to the Owen Hart Foundation.



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Old 05-20-2020, 07:42 PM   #1333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
On today's edition of WWE's The Bump, it was announced that there will be a special NXT Takeover: In Your House episode of the show on Sunday June 7th.

They also announced that the Ric Flair "WWE 24" subtitled "The Final Farewell" will air June 7th on demand and premiering officially on the live stream after Takeover: In Your House.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Q - Facebook has a lot of postings about Vince selling WWE to Fox sports. Is this just a wild rumor? If he did, would he be able to start another wrestling company down the road?

A - We were not able to confirm the rumor, which also mentioned ESPN sports as a co-owner (which I don’t ever see happening, it would be one or the other). But if Vince sells, I don’t see any corporation not requiring him to sign a do not compete clause. In fact, I would think they would want him to stay on, much like Dana White did with the UFC.
From PWI's weekly Q&A articles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Ring of Honor announced the following:

Ring of Honor continues to present new, fun and entertaining content to fans, with the debut of “First Match in ROH.” The debut episode features Matt Taven from 2010 in a tag match vs. The All Night Express.
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_HBLLbqeNk

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
The WWE Network has added carosuels celebrating Shad Gaspard's career with the company.

They also have sections for The IIconics, Randy Savage (as today is the ninth anniversary of his passing) and In Your House as well.
Quote:
On 5/15, WWE applied for several trademarks for "DEF REBEL".
Based on the filing, seems to be something musical related.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
David Bixenspan spoke with Martha Hart for the Daily Beast prior to the airing of Tuesday’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring. Bixenspan has done thorough reporting on this story including obtaining a copy of the police report from the Kansas City Police Department. In speaking with Hart, she responded to Jerry McDevitt’s comments earlier this week specifically stating that Martha “not even remotely interested in finding out what happened that night; she just wanted to use it as a vehicle to beat up a business that she didn’t like that her husband was in, the wrestling business.” Hart’s response to the Daily Beast was:

In response to Jerry McDevitt’s recent comments I want to make it very clear, if there was one person on this planet who wanted to get to the bottom of what happened to my husband Owen it was me!,” she wrote. “The defense on the other hand was doing everything in their power to muddy the waters (as they try to continue to do) in an effort to detract from the case because they didn’t have one. I read every single affidavit taken, sat through endless face-to-face depositions, and spent over a year of my life dissecting every solitary fact of this case. To insinuate for one second that I of all people did not care about the truth behind Owen’s death, but instead was more interested in a ridiculous vendetta against the wrestling business, is beyond the pale.

Jerry McDevitt’s comments are absolutely absurd, reckless, and pathetic. I am not surprised that the WWE would trot out Mr. McDevitt to do damage control. After all, the events surrounding Owen’s death and the aftermath that followed are extremely disturbing and do not reflect well on their company.

In several interviews including the one with Bixenspan, Martha mentions Bret’s support when she filed the wrongful death lawsuit but added he was hoping to secure the rights to his WWF footage and wanted that included in the settlement agreement, which did not occur. Bret issued a brief statement to Tony Maglio of The Wrap indicating there was more to it than seeking footage but did not wish to engage in a public war of words:

While I am not interested in engaging in any more media mudslinging between Martha and myself especially in light of a global pandemic, I will say that our fallout is multifaceted. To say that it only involved being able to access and use my WWE footage and photos for future projects would merely be an oversimplification and inaccurate. I will not comment any further on the matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) spent two hours speaking with Bill Simmons for his podcast on The Ringer promoting the documentary. During the discussion, the Survivor Series 1997 came up with his take on the entire issue between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels and how he could have been used as the go-between the avoid the screw job:

I was pissed. I was pissed about the whole thing because I was like, I could have possibly been used to get what we needed. Take Shawn out of this, let me do it and then I’ll do business on the other side and I think Bret probably would have went for that. I mean there was such disdain at that time between the two of them and Bret was leaving but I was just like, if you had come to me with this too, and it’s his company and he did what he thought what was best, but I was like ‘I think I could’ve helped this whole thing out’. I’m going to do business, but it happened, and I was really pissed. The next day, we were supposed to show up by Noon for a TV day and I think I rolled it around 5 the next day because I didn’t know because I was so pissed about the whole thing and the way it went down. I had to really gather myself because I was, my intentions when I got there was like ‘I’m going off on somebody about this’.

Calaway spoke about his numerous surgeries including the need to address an issue with the right knee currently. On his hip surgeries, he said the reason his career continued was because of something called the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System, which he had in 2011 for the left hip and 2017 on the right hip. If he had the traditional hip replacement surgery where they cut out the femur off and insert a metal prosthesis and that would have ended his career. He noted that after facing the prospect of the regular hip replacement in 2011, he concluded his career was over and cut off his hair before learning of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing option that extended his career and returned at WrestleMania 28 in April 2012 for the Hell in a Cell match with Triple H.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Stardom announced Wednesday that Arisa Hoshiki is retiring due to head and neck issues. Hoshiki, 24, was the promotion’s Wonder of Stardom champion, which they stated was vacated as a result of this news. Hoshiki was part of Stardom’s original roster when it launched in 2011. She took a hiatus before in 2012 and competed in Shoot Boxing with two fights in 2014 against Maki Goto and Akari Nakamura. In 2018, she returned to Stardom as part of the STARS group. In April 2019, she won the annual Cinderella tournament defeating Saki Kashima, Natsuko Tora, and Konami in the open-night tournament. This led to her winning the Wonder of Stardom title on May 16, 2019, from Momo Watanabe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) passed away on this date in 2011 at the age of 58. Savage was driving with his wife and suffered a heart attack while behind the wheel in Seminole, Florida. It was a major mainstream story when he died due to his cultural connection from the exposure with the WWF throughout the ’80s on NBC and being one of the industry’s most recognizable characters during a major popular peak.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
In Canada, Crave is currently offering a free 30-day free trial that includes all the episodes from both seasons of Dark Side of the Ring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Figghtful
Tuesday's season finale of Dark Side of the Ring focused on the final days of Owen Hart and brought to light some added information.

In the documentary, Martha Hart showed viewers the clip that was supposed to hold Owen for the stunt, revealing that it took just six pounds of pressure for the clip to release before giving an example of how easy it was to release the clip ...

David Bixenspan acquired an investigative file from the Kansas City Police Department, which features a 1999 interview with rigger Bobby Talbert, who was hired by WWE to set-up the stunt. In the interview, Talbert reveals that Max Mini was supposed to be attached to Owen, but they later decided against performing that stunt. Talbert stated he had done a similar stunt for WCW where two people were attached together and lowered from the rafters and to the ring.

According to Martha in her book, Talbert claimed the stunt they asked Owen to perform was similar to Sting's stunt. But Ellis Edwards, who was the stunt coordinator for WCW, disputed that claim.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
The Undertaker's storied WrestleMania career peaked at WrestleMania 25 against Shawn Michaels when the two men had arguably the greatest WrestleMania match of all-time.

Both The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels have had classic matches throughout their WWE tenure, but WrestleMania 25 is at the top of the top for most fans. Including The Undertaker.

"In-ring, probably the four matches -- the two I had with Shawn and the two I had with Triple H. What we do more than anything else is tell stories. Wrestling is about telling stories. It's a violent, physical way of doing it, but that's the essence of what we do, done right. I'll put the first WrestleMania match with Shawn up against any and say 'show me something that's better than that as far as storytelling and execution.' Follow that up with Shawn's last match. That's some pressure. That's somebody that I feel, personally, and I think most people do, as one of the greatest in-ring, out-of-ring performers ever," Undertaker told Ariel Helwani on Helwani's MMA Show when asked about his favorite WWE matches.
Link: https://twitter.com/davidbix/status/1263157748893650944

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
It's unlike that Owen Hart will ever go into the WWE Hall of Fame as long as his wife Martha Hart is alive. Martha has been adamant about not wanting WWE to honor Owen as she holds them responsible for his death in 1999.

In interviews leading up to the season finale of Dark Side of the Ring, which focused on the life and death of Owen Hart, Martha called the WWE Hall of Fame, "a fake entity" and "an event they hold to make money."

On Dark Side of the Ring, Owen's 28-year-old son Oje stood by his mom's side when it comes to his dad going into the WWE Hall of Fame.

"I would never let WWE put his name on a piece of silver and say that 'they got that,"' said Oje. "We have built a foundation that helps put people in homes, that helps single moms like my mom was, that lets kids go to school. This was all done in his namesake. This has all got Owen Hart written all over it. This is how communities, people, society remembers him. That's how we want it to be done. Yeah, he was a wrestler, but he was bigger than that. That was just part of who he was."

Oje is referring to the Owen Hart Foundation, which was set up in Owen's name to assist communities.

Oje has not spoken much, if it all, over the years about his father's passing or given his stance on Owen's legacy in WWE. During his 2018 Hall of Fame speech, Mark Henry referenced Oje in a plea to Martha to let Owen into the WWE Hall of Fame.

“Martha. This is not from the company. This is not from other wrestlers. This is from his other brother. He needs to be here. I’d love to be able to look down one day and see Oje able to be among us. It’s his birthright," said Henry in his speech.

It doesn't sound like Oje wants the privilege of standing next to Mark Henry in a Hall of Fame that doesn't physically exist.

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Old 05-21-2020, 09:43 PM   #1334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Going against live sports competition on cable TV for the first time since the start of closed set shows didn't hurt the ratings for AEW Dynamite on TNT last night.

Last night's Double or Nothing go-home episode of Dynamite averaged 701,000 viewers, up seven percent from last week. That's despite NASCAR on FS1 averaging 2.087 million viewers airing directly opposite Dynamite.

The news wasn't as good for NXT on the USA Network. Last night's NXT was down two percent from last week, averaging 592,000 viewers. The combined viewership of 1.293 million viewers for Dynamite and NXT was the third lowest since the start of the Wednesday Night Wars.

In the 18-49 demo, AEW finished the highest they have on the cable TV rankings since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Dynamite drew a 0.26 rating in the demo, up 13 percent from last week. The show finished seventh on cable TV in that demo.

NXT fell out of the top 50 rankings in the demo with a 0.13 rating, down 13 percent. This was the lowest number NXT has done in that demo since debuting on the USA Network, although the overall viewership was only the fifth lowest. Last night's NXT finished 53rd in the cable rankings for that category.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
NXT fell 2% with 592,000 viewers on the USA Network and outside of the top fifty cable programs, which means we don’t have a breakdown of all the key demos. The show did a 0.13 in the 18-49 demo, which was below this week’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring covering Owen Hart on Vice TV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
AEW VP and challenger for the inaugural TNT Championship Cody Rhodes spoke to the media for 45 minutes Thursday afternoon, talking up Saturday's Double or Nothing show and other questions about the company.

You can listen to the free audio by clicking below.

Of note, Rhodes wasn't asked about any of the injuries suffered on last night's Dynamite. However, he did discuss a few items of note over the 45-minute stretch:
  • He said 90% of what fans will see at Double or Nothing is what was creatively planned prior to the pandemic.
  • Per Tony Khan, Cody said the TNT champion won't be in top 5 rankings for the World title. They don't know how the new title is going to work, so they aren't committing to it being a midcard title or anything like that. He claimed to have not even seen the belt yet.
  • He said their plan is to stay in Jacksonville, FL, for the time being as traveling to different locations right now can add to the risk. He is very excited to work again in front of fans, however.
  • Their COVID-19 testing is done away from Daily's Place and wrestlers and staff are tested in separate areas. Even with a positive test, that wouldn't shut down production.
  • He said they met Mike Tyson last year in Las Vegas and having someone with an element of prestige to present the belt was the final touch for Saturday's show.
  • He said over the next two weeks, he expects some reschedule dates announcements for previously postponed shows. He's remaining optimistic despite what some experts think about arena shows.
The stuff about their mindset for positive coronavirus test results is a bit worrying especially considering some of the people that were brought in for the newest tapings. Audio link: https://media001.f4wonline.com/free/cody52120.mp3

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Siliana Gaspard, Shad Gaspard's wife, issued the following statement via her social media:

Aryeh, myself and the Gaspard and Chittick families would like to take this time to thank everyone for their prayers and support, as we mourn the terrible loss of our beloved Shad.

Shad was our whole world and we were his. There are not enough words to describe what he means to all of us. He was our heart, our soul, our protector, our warrior. He was a bright force of nature, who brught joy to many through his joyous and gracious nature. .

The outpouring of love from Shad’s friends, colleagues and fans has meant more to us than you can even imagine. .

We’d like to once again thank the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their efforts.

Shad was and will always be our real life super hero.

I love you more, my love ??

-Proudly,

Siliana Gaspard
Link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAdFYTgDv6a/

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
5/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP PURCHASES RING OF HONOR ...

2011 - Sinclair Broadcasting announced that they had purchased Ring of Honor from Cary Silkin during a meeting with the ROH locker room prior to ROH's Supercard of Honor in Chicago, IL.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Today, on Maria Menounos' daytime show Better Together w/ Maria Menounos Brie and Nikki Bella, former WWE superstars and co-leads of TOTAL BELLS on E!, opened up John Cena's editorial hand in their new memoir, the real reason Nikki left him, and why Brie is still healing from her turbulent upbringing.

NIKKI REVEALS WHAT JOHN CENA CUT FROM THE MEMOIR!

"With John though, there wasn't even anything bad written...It was more beautiful things that were taken out.

LATER, she continued: "There was one sex story that I understood. It was great for him! I was kinda like, don't you want high fives on that!?...We were wild, and he was strong...so it was a great story" ...

NIKKI LEFT JOHN CENA SO HE WOULDN'T REGRET HAVING KIDS WITH HER IN THE FUTURE

"Overall, we did have such an incredible relationship, it was just two people that wanted two different lives. We were trying so hard to make it one. And, it was like, even in the end when he was willing to give me kids, I could just tell, it's not what we wanted. And that's really, like, you know, what pushed me in the end, was like, if I'm going to force someone to be a father...what if he looks at you down the road and just regrets everything, and then you have this child and you've built this life. Is that what you want? And I remember thinking: it's not what I want. And, it was like, even in the end when he was willing to give me kids, I could just tell, it's not what we wanted. And that's really, like, you know, what pushed me in the end, was like, if I'm going to force someone to be a father...what if he looks at you down the road and just regrets everything, and then you have this child and you've built this life. Is that what you want? And I remember thinking: it's not what I want."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Rhea Ripley guest appeared on Flash Morgan Webster’s ‘Wrestling Friends’ podcast. During their conversation, Rhea revealed that she was never supposed to win the NXT Women’s Championship from Shayna Baszler and plans changed when she made her initial appearance on NXT TV to kick off the program with Shayna. Once the powers that be backstage heard the reaction that Rhea got, they decided to do a DQ finish in their first match so the program could continue.

“So Shayna had pretty much gone through everyone in NXT, so I pretty much finished with NXT UK, handed it off to Piper [Niven] and I was coming into NXT to do that promo. So we were supposed to do a match later because everything was pre-recorded at that time, so we were supposed to do a match later on that night [for] a couple weeks after and I was supposed to tap out. That’s what was supposed to happen. It was supposed to be a one-off thing, I tap out, that’s it. So I went out, and as soon as my music hit, the whole Full Sail just erupted so loud. Like it was extremely loud. It was extremely loud! It doesn’t even sound that loud when you watch it back, but if you were there in person, it was insane and then I went into the ring, cut my promo the best that I have, and people popped so loud for that. Shayna left, I left, I came back and everyone backstage was just like, ‘Oh my God, that was really good.’ So anyways, Shayna and I, we go to get changed into our gear. Sara [Amato] comes running into the room, and Sara’s just like, ‘Guys, change of plans. Rhea got too much of a pop, we need to change the ending,’ and I was like, ‘Well, okay… like what are we gonna do?’ Shayna’s like, ‘We’ve been trying to tell you this for weeks. Every time we’re on a road loop, Rhea gets the biggest pop out of anyone’ and Sara’s like, ‘Yep! We believe you now. We need to change the ending.’

Legit, I was like, ‘Oh my God, so what’s happening?’ And they’re like, ‘So we’re gonna need to do a DQ so we can continue this some other time.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, cool. That’s cool with me, whatever.’” Rhea laughed. “So that’s why I hit her with the chair so we could continue it.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Britt Baker was the latest AEW talent to appear on the AEW Unrestricted podcast with Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards. Britt spoke about Tony Khan allowing her to attend NXT shows to support Adam Cole but how that wasn’t reciprocated on the other side. Britt shared that WWE cleared Adam Cole to attend AEW’s New Year’s show in Jacksonville and Cole was present at the show.

“As we all know, I was in the crowd at TakeOver when he won the title for the first time, which, he’s — this is also annoying but he originally was told he can’t come to our shows. For ALL IN actually, he had a plane ticket booked, and then they told him, ‘You can’t go.’ So he still came to be supportful. He just watched it on his phone in the hotel and went to the after party afterwards but he wasn’t allowed to go, and then recently they’ve changed their tune and he was able to come to our New Year’s show and it’s great for him too because this is his family. The Young Bucks and Adam Cole go way back. They have been together long before Adam Cole and Britt Baker were together." ...

Earlier in the podcast, Baker expressed her feelings about her profession becoming a running joke amongst wrestling fans. She said that she is hurt by it because it’s something she worked hard to achieve, only for it to be turned into a meme of sorts.

“And it was kind of heartbreaking to me that the fans kind of turned on, ‘Oh, she’s a dentist?’ And it became a joke and it was like a mockery, and that is crushing when you literally spent blood, sweat and tears and worked your ass off to become a dentist and a professional wrestler and it’s just a meme or something to joke about, that really sucked and that’s something I was beating myself up over so much because I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, now what!?’ That’s my thing. That’s what I worked so hard to do. That’s why I announce myself as Doctor Britt Baker, D.M.D. which by the way is redundant. You don’t need the ‘doctor’ and the ‘D.M.D.’ but I was like, ‘It’s professional wrestling. We have to do it big.’ So that was really hard for me at first. The joking, ‘Oh she’s a dentist, she’s a dentist’ and because for me, it’s not a joke. Those were the hardest years of my life. That’s the biggest accomplishment I will ever have and then it was actually Kenny [Omega] who, we were just training in the ring one day and he said, ‘How do you feel about becoming a heel?’ And I’m, ‘Sure, I’m up for anything. With that being said, I have zero experience at being a heel.’”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated conducted an interview with Brodie Lee. Lee feels that for a great portion of his run in WWE, self-doubt hindered him a lot because of the lack of opportunities although his co-workers would tell him how good he is.

“Self-doubt played a huge role in my life for a long time in WWE. It makes you doubt who you are and what you are. I knew that I was a great professional wrestler and I knew I was one of the better ones in the locker room, and I had co-workers telling me that. But that wasn’t the decision that was made. I knew I was better than that, and that’s why I needed to get out of that environment.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
While speaking with Wrestling Inc., Matt Hardy said that during he and Jeff Hardy’s time in TNA Wrestling, there was an inter-promotional match being planned with The Young Bucks who were in Ring of Honor at the time. Hardy says the match was going to happen but Jeff Jarrett prevented it from happening.

“I stayed in contact with The Bucks the whole time since Ring of Honor. We actually had something set up in TNA/IMPACT with them where we were gonna do an inter-promotional angle. We were gonna go to the Hardy Compound and do The Hardys vs. The Young Bucks. We had a whole angle planned out but the thing that brought that crashing down was Jeff Jarrett. He was coming back into power under Anthem and Jeff was in a bad place in his life at the time. Fortunately, he’s turned things around and is doing great but then he was in a bad place and things fell apart.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
JTG, Shad Gaspard's partner in Cryme Tyme, posted the following tribute to Gaspard, showcasing the memorial for Gaspard in California:

pic.twitter.com/hn7cZe8o8t
— JTG (@Jtg1284) May 21, 2020



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Old 05-22-2020, 05:25 PM   #1335
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The Sheets (Observer Newsletter Edition):

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Dr. Martha Hart, in promoting the Vice special with an interview with CBS Sports, brought up the question of Owen Hart in the WWE Hall of Fame, a position she’s held from the start and doesn’t look to change her mind on.

She had steadfast been of the belief that she would stand in the way of any attempt to WWE to profit off the death of her husband ...

I’ve brought up some hypothetical situations that will never happen, to her, extreme scenarios and she made it clear that she will never make a business deal with WWE under any circumstances. And as the Vice show made clear, her son is as resolute as she is on this subject ...

Jerry McDevitt, who was the WWF and McMahon’s attorney in the case, contacted CBS Sports after the interview and said Dr. Hart’s version was not accurate ...

“She talked about how $18 million settlement, she didn't really want to do that, she wanted justice. Again, that's just not true. There was court-ordered mediation. We went to the mediation, and her lawyers were demanding $35 million and some admission of punitive damages. Vince told her right there, 'Look, Martha, I feel so bad for what happened. I feel responsible because this happened on my watch. I want to take care of you and your family, I loved Owen.' He was almost crying. We offered $17 million to take care of her. How many times does a CEO walk in a room and say he feels responsible? 'I'm not going to argue, I just feel responsible for what happened.' They turned it down; they wanted to go to court for their $35 million. Fine, we'll go and litigate. The next day, I get a call from her Canadian lawyer, saying they didn't want to do it because they knew what they were facing with the other things I talked about. They said, 'If you could put a little more money in. If you can go to $18 million we'll settle right now.' That's how the settlement went down." ...

While there is a common belief that the case cost WWF $18 million, in reality, the only costs to WWF directly when all was said and done were the legal bills. Much of the negotiated settlement was covered by company insurance as opposed to the company. The remainder the WWF was able to get when it sued Lewmar, Ltd., the company that manufactured the snap shackle.

Lewmar Ltd. settled out of court with WWE for $9 million after WWE went to the Missouri Supreme Court to argue that Martha Hart should have never allowed Lewmar out of the lawsuit without pursuing a settlement from their insurance company. Hart said that she did not find them at fault because the snap shackle was made for sailboat’s, not people ...

The $18 million settlement was compromised of $10 million to Martha Hart, which she used to form the Owen Hart Foundation, which helped get lower income families into homes in the Calgary area and was also used to help people in the city who did not have the financial means to do so to attend college. Oje and Athena received $3 million each and Stu and Helen Hart received $1 million each.
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For the 5/13 show, for AEW, the show averaged 1.32 viewers per home, a lower number than usual.

The high quarter among Men both 18-34 and 35-49 was the Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy vs. Ortiz & Santana. For Women both 18-34 and 35-49, the high quarter was the Cody-Lance Archer brawl and the beginning of Best Friends vs. Jurassic Express.

For NXT, in Males 18-34 and 35-49, the high point was Finn Balor vs. Cameron Grimes and in Women 18-34 it was Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher vs. Imperium. In Women 35-49, it was Balor vs. Grimes.
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The 5/20 head-to-head battle saw AEW do 701,000 viewers and a 0.26 in 18-49 (337,000 viewers) while NXT did 592,000 viewers and 0.13 (172,000 viewers) in 18-49.

For AEW, it was No. 7 for the night in 18-49. It was up 7.8 percent overall and 14.6 percent in 18-49, which seems to confirm what was suspected that last week’s decline was due to going head-to-head with UFC.

Still, some expected it to worsen or do the same since NASCAR from Darlington head-to-head did 2,087,000 viewers and 0.34 in 18-49. But all indications are even with those numbers, there is more AEW/UFC crossover than AEW/NASCAR crossover.

NXT actually dropped 2.0 percent overall and 9.0 percent in 18-49, which may indicate the opposite in the sense maybe NASCAR hurt more than UFC. It was the lowest 18-49 number in the history of a regular NXT show, and second lowest overall number (the record low is 590,000 for a regular show) ...

Besides NASCAR, both shows also went against Game 6: The Movie, built around the finals of the 1998 NBA championships and Michael Jordan. That show did 608,000 viewers on ESPN and a 0.29 in 18-49 ...

So the key is both companies were way down in males 18-34 even though it went head-to-head with UFC last week. But AEW had huge gains in both male and female 35-49. Other notable points is that in 18-34, NXT had more males than females only by a 23,000 to 22,000 range, while AEW had 38,000 men and 48,000 women in that age group, a women’s edge completely unheard of for the promotion. AEW doubled NXT in women 18-34and women 35-49 ...

In the quarters, AEW won every quarter, and huge in the key demo. The only thing close was the first quarter, where NXT has the benefit of the much-stronger lead-in.

AEW opened with 706,000 viewers and 331,000 in 18-49 for a Brodie Lee promo and Jon Moxley vs. 10. NXT had 701,000 viewers and 198,000 in 18-49 for the Karrion Kross & Scarlett ring entrance and Kross vs. Liam Gray.

In the second quarter, AEW lost 31,000 viewers and 20,000 in 18-49 for MJF vs. Marko Stunt. NXT lost 82,000 viewers but only 10,000 in 18-49 and El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Akira Tozawa.

In the third quarrier, AEW gained 41,000 viewers and 37,000 in 18-49 for the Jake Roberts/Arn Anderson interview. This was also the second highest 18-49 number of the night with 348,000 viewers. NXT lost 9,000 viewers and 4,000 in 18-49 the a Shotzi Blackheart vignette, Mia Yim vs. Santana Garrett post-match with Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae and Keith Lee and a Cameron Grimes promo.

In the fourth quarter, AEW lost 37,000 viewers and 16,000 in 18-49 for a Darby Allin vignette, a Pac vignette and the start of Orange Cassidy vs. Rey Fenix. NXT lot 32,000 viewers and 16,000 in 18-49 for Roderick Strong vs Dexter Lumis.

In the fifth quarter, AEW gained 13,000 viewers and 7,000 in 18-49 for the ending and post-match of Fenix vs. Cassidy and beginning of Kris Statlander & Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker & Nyla Rose. NXT gained 0 viewer and lost 1,000 in 18-49 for the ending and post-match of Strong vs. Lumis, and Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Ever Rise. This was the first quarter of the show where AEW doubled NXT in 18-49.

In the sixth quarter, AEW gained 47,000 viewers but lost 1,000 in 18-49 for most of the Statlander & Shida vs. Baker & Rose match and a Moxley interview. NXT lost 55,000 viewers and 17,000 in 18-49 for Kushida vs. Drake Maverick. This was the highest total viewer number of the show, with 739,000, for AEW. It was the lowest, at 527,000, for NXT. AEW also won the demo battle 338,000 to 150,000.

In the seventh quarter, AEW lost 57,000 viewers but only 4,000 in 18-49 for a Shawn Spears vignette, promoting next week’s show and the PPV and the beginning of Hardy vs. Guevara. NXT gained 34,000 viewers and 15,000 in 18-49 for the ending of Kushida vs. Maverick and a Damien Priest promo. AEW had another quarter more than doubling NXT in 18-49.

In the final quarter, AEW gained 40,000 viewers and 30,000 in 18-49 for Hardy vs. Guevara and the post-match with the Inner Circle vs. Elite & Hardy. It also was the high point of the night for either group in 18-49. NT gained 15,000 overall but lost 10,000 in 18-49 for Shirai vs. Ripley and the post-match with Charlotte Flair.
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The final episode of the second season of Dark Side of the Ring, on the death of Owen Hart, as was expected, did the all-time biggest audience in the history of the station with 349,000 viewers, breaking the record of 320,000 for the episode on Chris Benoit that started the season.

It was the first show in the history of Vice to crack the top 50 for the day in 18-49, finishing No. 31 for the day and No. 9 in the time slot with a 0.18 rating in the demo. It beat NXT by a significant margin in 18-49. The audience was up 32.2 percent from last week’s show on the Road Warriors, and the demo number was up 50.0 percent.

The show did its strongest numbers in 35-49 with it doing a 0.31 with males in that demo.
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Smackdown on 5/15 did a 1.30 rating and 2,042,000 viewers (1.30 viewers per home), up 0.8 percent from the prior week, with the same 0.5 in the 18-49 demo the show has been doing the past several weeks, but 695,000 in that demo was up 2.2 percent from last week.

The key to the difference seems to be the lack of competition, as CBS ran special shows on the Coronavirus that didn’t do well. FOX tied NBC for second in the demo with ABC first. Overall, Smackdown was the least-watched prime time show although one of the Coronavirus specials on CBS did only 2,369,000 viewers. FOX did win in 18-34, tied CBS for third among the four networks in Women 18-49 and tied ABC for first in Men 18-49 while finishing last in over 50.

Last year at this time, FOX had rerun programming which averaged 1,460,000 viewers and 0.4 in the 18-49 demo, so the network was up 39.9 percent in viewers, one of the few times it beat the year before in that regard, and up 25.0 percent in 18-49.
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The situation with SummerSlam in Boston continues to not look promising. As noted, Vince wants SummerSlam with fans this year, and there will likely be states that will open up for at least limited seating. Marty Walsh, the Mayor of Boston this past week said, “There will be no fans in Fenway Park in July; there will be no fans in Fenway Park in August–we won’t even be near a situation where there’s herd immunity and there certainly won’t be a vaccine” (by then). If they aren’t going to allow fans at outdoor events, they aren’t going to let large numbers at indoor events either
Quote:
Michael Mansury, the Vice President of Global Television Production, who was believed to be the heir apparent of Kevin Dunn, has left the company. This happened back in April. Mansury directed a number of episodes of Raw and Smackdown if Dunn didn’t attend the show. One person close to the situation compared his plight with David Sahadi, who works for Impact now. Everyone that is seen as a potential successor to Dunn has their life made difficult and they get constantly criticized to Vince McMahon, who would then hear people talk negatively about the person in the spot. Mansury had also reportedly gotten impatient regarding upward mobility. Mansury had been in the company for 11 years and one person told us they were shocked because they thought he was a lifer. He got his current title four years ago and directed a ton of television shows and some PPV shows
Quote:
Certain strategies have led to speculation that Vince McMahon will attempt to buy the intellectual property of the XFL in bankruptcy court and then resurrect the league.

Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic first wrote the story on 5/19, based on the fact those involved with the bankruptcy are attempting to refund the $3.5 million in money owed fans for tickets for the remainder of this season and season tickets that were sold for next season ...

Other creditors who are owed money want the $3.5 million as part of the debt with whatever money could be left by selling assets going to the creditors. Another aspect of the story is that McMahon himself is also listed as a creditor because he loaned the XFL money for the last few payrolls and is still paying XFL President Jeffrey Pollack and some office workers basically to facilitate the closing of the league.

The idea being floated is that McMahon would purchase the assets of the league, the key being intellectual property and some contracts he would want to keep, at a fire sale price, while allowing him to get out of paying up to $50 million in bills still owed from the launch of the league.

Axios had reported that the XFL itself was launching a Hail Mary to find a new financial backer after the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing with Houlihan Lokey managing the process and letters of intent being due on 6/12 and formal bidding among those interested for the assets taking place on 7/6.

The league was owned 80 percent by McMahon and 20 percent by WWE, which came out at bankruptcy and also called into question many statements, including at conference calls, where McMahon claimed the WWE would not be involved with the XFL and it was his solo venture. The WWE was actually given the ownership rights and did not put money into the league, in a deal that McMahon essentially made with himself so he would own the league name and other intellectual property rights that WWE owned from the first version of the league.

Unsecured debtors expressed concern in recent court filings that moves they had learned make them believe the bankruptcy could have been a “cutthroat finance ploy by McMahon to ride out the pandemic and resultant economic turmoil without paying the costs of operating the league...(and then acquiring the rights to the league again) at a fire-sale price.”

The story noted that Pollack has contacted the stadiums in both Seattle and St. Louis, two cities where they drew well, about reinstating the league’s lease agreements. The XFL owed money all over both of those markets and one of the biggest debts listed in the bankruptcy was to the stadium in St. Louis.

While some look at this like it was a plan, it was a bad plan because McMahon, while perhaps saving some money, pretty much ruined his name in football when stiffing Oliver Luck, and many of the coaches who were well respected in that world. There perhaps could have been the idea to get out of the huge salary he paid Luck and some of the higher-priced coaches on multi-year contracts and start up with a lower budget. The original marketing idea was to build teams around well-know coaches, who got big contracts, and star quarterbacks.

Perhaps it was also a way to get out of his television deals which paid no money, with the idea that with the ratings the league did at first, there was value in those shows. But that’s tough right now because with the state of the television economy, nobody is looking at adding new costs and XFL ratings were declining significantly by the week ...

The feeling is that getting players, even after so many were also stiffed, won’t be a problem because there are tons of players coming out of college every year who still want to play football and won’t make NFL teams. In addition, the Canadian Football League is also facing great economic hardships right now related to the pandemic and the economy.

But getting quality people working in administrations, promotions, coaching and other facets of running a league will become far more difficult. Host cities and stadiums will almost surely want money up front or be ambivalent about working with the league. The league will be seen, rightly so, as something with no stability and being headed by someone who can’t be trusted given the stiffing of the coaches and the publicity around the Luck firing.
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AEW’s first PPV show since the Pandemic, the 5/23 Double or Nothing II show that was originally scheduled for the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, will take place with no fans at Dailey’s Place in Jacksonville.

Currently it is listed as a nine-match show, although at press time one would think the Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander match is in question ...

On television they were strongly pushing the idea that Tyson was going to deck somebody. Roberts cut a promo on it. This actually reminded me of something nearly 35 years ago when Mid South Wrestling brought Muhammad Ali to the Superdome as a manager for The Snowman (Eddie Lee Crawford) and the booked post-match included Ali decking Roberts. Ali threw the punch and Roberts didn’t go down with Roberts (who was someone who never got along well with owner Bill Watts and if anyone knows both of them it would be obvious why) complaining that he had to stay and work there while Ali wasn’t coming back.
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The U.S. and Canadian borders will be closed for at least one more month for non-essential travel, so all wrestlers living in Canada who work for an American company will not be allowed to perform in this country for that period. I can’t answer why, but that rule does not seem to apply to Brock Lesnar, who performed for WWE on a few shows while the borders were shut
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Court Bauer on Twitter said that, “The deal I’ve been hinting at is done! Cannot wait to share this one with our fans, locker room and crew. It fortifies our future.” The deal should be announced at any time and is believed to be a streaming deal with a major carrier
Quote:
In what would be considered bad news, the AEW audience aged in the second quarter of 2020 (since 4/1). This is only for live and same day (until midnight on Wednesday) via DVR viewing. AEW is still the youngest audience watching wrestling but not by nearly as much, with it averaging 48 years old as the median viewer, with 69 percent male. Raw is the second youngest, averaging 51 with 64 percent male. Smackdown averages 54 with 60 percent male, while NXT averages 56 with 64 percent male. AEW averages more viewers watching together live than any of the other wrestling shows. We didn’t know if that was friends watching together or family, but when the pandemic started and people started isolating more aside from their families, the numbers for most shows didn’t change much (Smackdown on Friday did drop noticeably some weeks during the pandemic) so it’s mostly families watching together. The key to all these numbers is the pandemic was already in play, so all of these shows dropped their 20 percent or more but the younger audience, even though home more, dropped more, probably because they were watching more cable news when home. Raw is the one that kept its audience at a similar level as it was 49-50 last year, while Smackdown has aged from 50 to 54, NXT is slightly older and AEW aged the most as it was starting out at 39 and then stabilized at around 42 before the pandemic changed everything with shows in empty arenas

Regarding DVR viewership, since the pandemic, it’s gone down significantly. The 5/6 AEW show, the last we have a listing for, did 204,000 additional viewers via DVR while NXT did 140,000. Both figures are way below pre-pandemic numbers
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The travel ban leaving Mexico has been extended to 6/18. The people that affects is anyone from AAA, although AEW hasn’t brought in any AAA talent in a long time, as well as their own two guys living in Mexico, Pentagon Jr. and Jack Evans
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UFC: There is no show this week but they will return on 5/30 and evidently there is the belief the show will be okay to take place. Dana White texted the Las Vegas Review Journal just after midnight on 5/19 to say the show is on at the Apex Arena, on the UFC’s headquarters in Las Vegas. The Nevada State Athletic Commission will meet on 5/27 regarding allowing live events with no fans in the state. If approved, that looks to be the home for U.S. shows at least until they can open up shows with fans in attendance. White had said that if they couldn’t run in Las Vegas they would base in Arizona, which had given them the word that they were open for business and was encouraging all professional sports ...

There was a fourth COVID-19 positive over the last week in Jacksonville. Calvin Kattar in an interview with MMA Fighting said, “My coach, Carlos Neto, he actually tested positive for the antibody in the beginning. We didn’t know until weigh-in day that he was actually going to be able to corner with us. So that was a quick scare. We were nervous. And especially, if the fight was going to happen. The last time we got the plug pulled by ESPN. You never know when they’re going to pull the plug, and when you see one (positive test result), you don’t want it to multiply.” What we were told is that Neto tested positive in the antibodies test but negative in two swab tests and since the swab tests are considered more accurate, UFC didn’t send him home and he was able to work the corner. Kattar defeated Jeremy Stephens on the 5/9 show
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:31 PM   #1336
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The Sheets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Last night Dwayne Johnson's "Titan Games"two hour second season premiere received 0. 7 in the 18 to 49 demographic with 3.42 million viewers, which was a little down from the first season premiere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Triple H responded to a question from TMZ about whether or not we’re going to see Ronda Rousey back in WWE: “I think Ronda's in a place in her personal life where she's figuring some things out. But, the thing with Ronda is you never know what she is saying. Is she attacking the business really or is she attacking the business because she knows that's what will light up the fans that love the business?" Triple H called Rousey one of the greatest performers ever for WWE and said they still have a great relationship with her and would love to have her back when she’s ready.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Apollo Crews tweeted about his United States title win on last night’s Raw: “The grind never stops!!! And it won’t stop now!! Here’s where the hard work really begins! Thanks to anyone who has supported me since day 1! Let’s make this the first of many!! #AndNew #unitedstateschampion #WWERaw @usa_network @WWE”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
STARDOM founder Rossy Ogawa chatted with Sanspo.com about Hana Kimura’s death and talked about how the ‘Terrace House’ series brought a great deal of negative attention to the 22-year old. Rossy said that with the blessing of Hana’s family, STARDOM as a whole are considering taking legal action against cyberbullying.

“I discussed this matter of slander with Chigusa Nagayo (of Marvelous Women Pro Wrestling). We can’t judge it on our own, but in consultation with her bereaved family, STARDOM is considering taking legal action against malicious cyber-bullying.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Lilian Garcia welcomed JTG onto her Chasing Glory podcast to discuss the passing of JTG’s longtime friend, Shad Gaspard. To open the discussion, JTG recalled how he received the news of Shad’s disappearance and after searching for hours on end, JTG began to accept what happened but he still held out hope.

“Siliana [Gaspard] called me Sunday night. I was getting ready to go to bed and she called me from Shad’s phone. When Shad calls me, I pick up on the first, second ring. We speak to each other every day. We text and we spoke to each other every day. But [his number] called me that evening and it was his wife and his wife told me that Shad was missing… the first thing I thought it was a prank because we always prank each other. That’s Shad and I’s relationship. We roasted each other, we pulled pranks on each other and that’s the first thing that came to mind but for some reason the tone in her voice, I’m like, ‘Either this is real or she’s a good actress.’ But I said I’m gonna go along with it. Jumped in the shower, brushed my teeth and I rushed over there and then we were on the beach with flashlights looking for Shad. I was there a little past midnight, and that day I think I accepted it. I had to accept it. I was waiting for a big bear hug from behind like, ‘Ah! Got cha,’ but a part of me is still waiting for that big bear hug from behind.”

JTG further expressed his feelings about Shad’s passing and said he has never dealt with losing somebody that he was that close with.

“I’ve been on this planet for 35 years. I’ve never lost somebody this close to me where you engage with them every day, where you share the most intimate stories with them and I’ve lost family, I’ve lost distant uncles and grandparents. But you know they’re older and it’s like, I don’t want them to be here and suffer, so when they transition you’re like, ‘Okay, they’re at peace.’ I’ve lost co-workers. We’ve lost a lot of co-workers but it never really hit home like this.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Two-time WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair joined The Wrestling Inc. Daily Podcast. Last week, Flair shared a photo of the new WWE contract he signed and he spoke about re-signing during the interview. Flair said he wasn’t going to go anywhere else but did recall a conversation he had with AEW President Tony Khan in-which Khan said that he would never bring Flair into AEW out of respect for Flair’s relationship with WWE.

“Well it’s not for life, no, but I hope they keep renewing me. You know, I’m obviously never gonna go anywhere else, so if they didn’t renew me, I gotta be honest with you and I thought about this answer so I’ll answer before you ask it, but Tony Khan was at my — when Hunter immortalized me with the statue. Tony was there and Tony had told me when I’ve seen him that he wouldn’t even ask me to come to work there, because he knows how tight I am with them.

Our friendship is one thing, but he respects my loyalty to the company. It’s like when we make a joke about it when we did — he said, ‘I won’t even ask you.’ That’s how much respect he has for me and my relationship with the company which speaks volumes to what kind of guy Tony is.”
Flair also probably signed the new deal since he didn't want to cause any issues for Charlotte considering the level of pettiness WWE can be at times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Former WWE talent Rusev hosted a Twitch stream recently and he shared his thoughts about AEW’s Double Or Nothing event and stated that he enjoyed the show.

“But speaking of wrestling though, last night was fun. I work out every now and again, and I set my phone or whatever and I watched a little of AEW. I don’t know if it’s legal to say. Is it legal to say? I’m looking at my lawyer. Is it legal to say? ‘Yeah, yeah. You can talk about it. Don’t worry about it,’” Rusev said sarcastically as he played the role of his ‘lawyer’. “Okay, so I guess I can talk about it. It was fun man. It was fun watching, especially that main event.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Lewis Nicholls has an extensive interview with former two-time WWE Tag Team Champion Rico Constantino. Towards the end of the interview, names were pitched to Rico and he would go on to share his thoughts about those names. Booker T was brought up and here’s what Rico had to say about Booker T:

“Booker T, I’m really mixed with that. When I had my full face paint instead of the lines, it was told to me that Booker T was complaining because the sparkles were coming off my face and then getting in his hair and his girlfriend at the time… was saying he was going to strip joints. Accusing him of going to strip joints after he wrestled me. So they asked me to tone down the makeup so it went from the full face to the lines to just the stuff over the eyes. So I had to tone down. That’s my memory of Booker T" ...

Rico also reflected on the ‘ceremony’ segment with Billy, Chuck and Eric Bischoff from 2002. Rico said that the entire day, Vince McMahon was catering to the “minister” who Bischoff was dressed as and the ‘minister’ was introducing himself to everybody. Rico said that there were very few people who were clued in but the majority of those backstage thought the minister was who he appeared to be.

“Me personally, I feel like if that was on live or on RAW, that would have been the best kayfabe event in the history of wrestling, even better than the double Hebners with the Hulk Hogan thing. The reason why I say that is only a handful of people actually knew that the minister was Eric Bischoff and that was the people in the inner circle. Vince came to the arena in his limousine as he usually does, but he brought the minister, and he took him out of the limousine. He was already in makeup and everything, shaking and Vince catered to him the whole day. Now on a TV taping day, TV starts about 6:30, 7 o’clock, where whatever brand you tape Heat and go into RAW or tape Velocity, go right into SmackDown. So we’re there, at noon and everybody sees this old minister. Vince caters to him in the catering room, goes and gets him a plate of food and is walking him around introducing him to everybody, puts him in the green room and everybody thinks this is the actual minister for the ‘commitment ceremony’ of Billy and Chuck. So the only people that know about it is me, Billy, Chuck, Stephanie, Rosey, Jamal [Umaga], Eric, Vince, the agent for the show which Stephanie was basically the agent for everything. That’s all that knew.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by WrestlingInc
WWE officials are reportedly working on plans to resume regular live event touring.

It remains to be seen when WWE will be allowed to move forward with regular touring, but @Wrestlevotes reports that internally the company is slowly rebuilding their live event schedule.

It was noted that still nothing is expected to happen with fans attending events before July at least, but things are apparently happening behind-the-scenes so that the company will be ready when they are given permission to resume touring amid the coronavirus pandemic. There have been discussions about ticket sales for arena events moving forward, with social distancing guidelines remaining in place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has lifted the state of emergency in Tokyo, Hokkaido, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama. In a statement, Abe said that hospitalizations have fallen to approximately 2,000 from the coronavirus compared to over 10,000 during the peak. It comes the same day that Japanese baseball has stated it will open its season on June 19th while excluding fans from attending games. The teams will be able to practice beginning next Tuesday on June 2nd. The Super J Cast crew posted a photo indicating the dates that pro sports can move forward with empty arena shows able to begin June 19th, 50% capacity with a limit of 5,000 fans is being targeted for July 10th, and 50% of the maximum capacity of a venue on August 1st.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
The promotion [MLW] began work on a new TV pilot over the weekend. There has been talk of a talk show featuring personalities from the company as well as a project centered around Alicia Atout in recent weeks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
On day two of the WWE tapings, Fightful Select learned that an injury went down about an hour into the Raw portion of the tapings. In a match with Nia Jax and Kairi Sane, Kairi sustained a cut to her head outside of the ring.

The spot occurred outside near the stairs when Kairi was thrown and her head hit the corner of the stairs, opening her up. The match was paused and medical came out to take care of Kairi Sane, sealing the wound and bandaging her up. We were told that Kairi indicated that she was fine, and insisted on finishing up the match.

WWE would resume the match, which will have to be edited. Pretty quickly, Nia and Kairi Sane went to the finish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
The lawsuit between Jeff Jarrett/GFW and IMPACT/Anthem could finally be coming to an end.

Mike Johnson at PWInsider reports that Jarrett and Anthem are set to go to trial on June 30. The trial will begin at 9 a.m. local time. The trial is expected to last up to a week with the court noting the "trial date is realistic notwithstanding COVID-19, and the parties shall anticipate going forward on that date."

The lawsuit between Jarrett and Anthem revolves around the usage, and deleted, of the GFW Amped tapes. Jarrett and GWE hit IMPACT and Anthem with a lawsuit in August 2018, suing over copyright infringement pertaining to their use of Jarrett's name and likeness along with their use of GFW Amped content.

There reportedly was an attempt to resolve the lawsuit with the two parties entering mediation last month. Jarrett attended the mediation in person while Anthem Wrestling President Ed Nordholm appeared via teleconference as he is in Canada and unable to enter the United States. However, discussions to reach a settlement failed, leading to the upcoming trial.

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Old 05-27-2020, 07:16 PM   #1337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Raw on Monday, the first show with a semblance of a crowd in more than two months, still did the second lowest number in modern show history averaging 1.74 million viewers over the three hours, down one percent from the previous second lowest mark set last week.

The first-to-third hour drop was seven percent, which is lower than usual. It's a combination of a better show to keep the existing viewers and the fact that the Memorial Day Raw often starts out lower and a lot of people tune in later due to the holiday ...

The audience was down 21 percent from the same show last year overall and 29 percent down in 18-49 ...

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 1.81 million viewers
9 p.m. 1.73 million viewers
10 p.m. 1.67 million viewers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Fightful Select reported that NXT will have a live crowd on Wednesday with Performance Center talent being scattered as the audience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
MLW National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone's MLW re-signing announcement led to the promotion's website breaking its record for visits in a one day period ...

The promotion is working on several new signings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Coming out this past weekend’s tragedy involving Hana Kimura, the ‘Terrace House’ reality series she was a part of has said it will not air any new episodes of the current season. Production has already been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic but on Wednesday they stated that the current season is canceled. It has not been made official that the series is completely done:

Regarding “TERRACE HOUSE TOKYO 2019-2020”, we have decided to cancel the production. We take this issue very seriously and would like to continue to earnestly respond to it.

A Twitter account that follows the series is reporting that the series has not been canceled outright and thus far, it is the current season that has been canceled:

Terrace House Tokyo 2019 – 2020 has been cancelled. No new episodes will be released or produced. There’s speculation that this means Terrace House in general has been cancelled, but at this time, it’s only been announced that it’s the current season which has cancelled and won’t be continuing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
WarnerMedia launched its HBO Max streaming platform on Wednesday with several ads running of AEW talent promoting the service. The platform is available for $14.99 per month in the U.S. with over 10,000 hours of content at launch. The idea is that HBO Max will replace HBO Now, which is an existing service with 8 million subscribers that features only HBO content – HBO Max includes content from all WarnerMedia properties including HBO. The price point of HBO Max has been debated as they have priced themselves above the industry leaders in Netflix and Disney+.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelByNature.com
Deonna Purrazzo appeared in a vignette during Tuesday’s edition of Impact Wrestling on AXS televison.

According to Fightful Select (subscription required), Purrazzo has not signed a deal with Impact Wrestling, and is working on a per-show basis at the moment.

She is scheduled to work at the up-coming television tapings in Nashville to see how things work out.

Purrazzo was among the recent WWE releases, and was on a non-compete clause until May 22 according to the report.

It was initially thought she was free to work elsewhere on May 15, but WWE decided to extend that date "be be safe."
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelByNature.com
WWE will be using a new name for for digital music releases as soon as next week.

As first revealed by Arenataping, WWE will use the name ‘Def Rebel’ for synchronization of music production made by DJDTP.

DJDTP was hired by WWE last year, and has produced over 40 entrance themes for the company.

When looking at WWE’s upload of Seth Rollins latest theme on Youtube, the name ‘Def Rebel’ is shown as the artist.

The group is also responsible for Karrion Kross’ theme, titled ‘Dead Silent’
For some reference, this group also did Io Shiari's heel NXT theme that hasn't been officially released yet due to some behind-the-scenes legal issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
WWE made a change to its production on Monday's Raw when they had NXT superstars as part of the live audience for the show. The superstars were behind plexiglass and helped create a more natural environment than the empty arena shows WWE had been producing over the last two months.

Tommaso Ciampa wasn't part of the empty arena crowd on Monday, but he weighed in on the change in an interview with Chuck Carroll of CBS New York.

"I was visiting my brother in North Carolina and driving home, so I didn’t see it. The plexiglass sounds a lot like NHL to me. I don’t know. I just feel like there’s no rights and wrongs. It doesn’t feel like there’s any right or wrong to anything. Everybody’s just trying. We’re just trying to give the best product we can give while abiding by guidelines, and keeping people safe and healthy, and giving people the next thing in entertainment. So I don’t know what’s right or wrong."

He continued, "You know, cinematic sounds really cool. Too much cinematic seems bad. It’s crazy to me. It’s just like, they don’t have really long matches. It’s just, there’s so many directions, and there’s just, at the end of the day, it’s exactly what wrestling is. It’s flavors and ice cream and opinions. And I think some people are going to be like, ‘oh yeah, this is great.’ And other people that are going to be like, ‘oh no, I don’t like this because I saw Shotzi [Blackheart], and she shouldn’t be there.’"

AEW first had wrestlers as members of the crowd to help differentiate themselves from WWE. The idea, which Tony Khan admitted he took from Jimmy Fallon, worked. Ciampa believes it can work in WWE, but there needs to be a change as far as who is actually part of the crowd.

"Having people who are on NXT, if I’m being completely honest with you, I don’t think that sounds like a good idea. I wouldn’t expect to see people from Raw or SmackDown in the NXT crowd come Wednesday night. And I don’t think you should see any NXT talent in the crowd come Monday night or Friday night. It doesn’t seem right. [Performance Center] guys, people who are students trying to figure this out? Sure. That makes perfect sense to me. You want to put them through the COVID test and all that, and give them that experience? That’s great. But people who we’re trying to build as Superstars, maybe we just keep them in front of the camera," he said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
During an interview with Steve Austin in 2014, Vince McMahon implored WWE superstars to "grab the brass ring" and go for the top spot. McMahon's comments were sparked by what he believed to be a lack of ambition in WWE.

In 2011, Zack Ryder tried grabbing the brass ring by creating his own YouTube show as a way to get himself over. The show worked as crowds began rallying behind Ryder despite him not being featured much on television. But Ryder's push quickly faded and so did the notion that the "brass ring" was attainable.

"Every year, as long as I was in WWE, the Raw after Mania we had this BS company....everyone there at TV meeting where they say, 'The brass ring is there, it's yours, it's a fresh year. Who is gonna get it?' Ever since Long Island Iced Z, they don't even bother with that meeting anymore because they know it's not true. Even if you grab the brass ring, you're gonna get your hand smacked. If they don't want you to have it, you're not going to have it," said Curt Hawkins on Talk Is Jericho.

Chris Jericho weighed in on WWE not wanting Ryder to get over by saying, "There is a strange resentment where, if Vince doesn't think of it, it's not valid or real. The same thing happened with Daniel Bryan when he first came in. He got over because he knows how to get over, but they resisted it for so long until they didn't have a choice. I feel the same thing happened with Zack Ryder."

Ryder seemed to be in line for a big push as he was working with John Cena and Kane. But his push ended in a wheelchair, off the stage, on WWE Raw.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Since the Wednesday Night Wars have started between NXT and AEW, NXT has seen an increase in main roster talent joining the brand including big names like Finn Balor and Charlotte Flair, who is currently the NXT Women's Champion.

During The Arn Show, Arn Anderson discussed why NXT feels to some that it has lost its coolness and swag with the debut of AEW. Anderson credits the returning stars from the main roster as the reason NXT feels different.

"Well do you think that some of the guys from the main roster that were bumped back down so that you have more star power on that show," Anderson said. "This is in the front offices mind, 'Okay, we'll take some of these proven talents and bump them back down to make that a more competitive brand with those people', but when they come back down they bring their Raw or Smackdown style with them. So it's not NXT or NXT style matches.

"Now it's guys from Raw or Smackdown that are bringing their style of work back down with them so that show dynamic changes. [The fans] are seeing a lot of stuff they see on Monday or Friday and now it's on NXT so it's not a pure NXT show."

Anderson also talked about his first thoughts about NXT when it originally started up and became a developmental brand. He noted what he enjoyed so much about it as a platform to teach talent the fundamentals of wrestling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Five years after their classic in Brooklyn, Bayley and Sasha Banks were reportedly set to meet in Boston.

According to Louis Dangoor of WrestleTalk, Sasha Banks vs. Bayley was originally planned for SummerSlam 2020. However, WWE now wants to extend the feud as they reportedly see more potential in drawing it out rather than rushing it.

The report goes on to say that part of the decision to delay the match has to do with the venue. SummerSlam was originally slated to take place in Boston, where Banks is billed from, but those plans are now up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WrestleTalk ends the report by noting that Banks vs. Bayley at SummerSlam isn't off the table, but WWE is "considering other options" at the moment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
The Bump featured a tremendous tribute for the late Shad Gaspard on today’s episode. It featured comments and memories from MVP, New Day, Tyson Kidd, Natalya, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin, Jeff Hardy, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, referee John Cone, and John Morrison.



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The Chris Jericho Cruise Is Returning Next Year
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Ratings: The Rock’s Titan Games Premiere, AEW Countdown Special
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:31 PM   #1338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Coming off the well-received and apparently commercially successful Double or Nothing pay-per-view, last night's AEW Dynamite on TNT averaged 827,000 viewers, up 18 percent from last week. That's the highest viewership total for the show since March 18, which was the first week of closed set episodes.

In the 18-49 demo, Dynamite finished fourth on cable with a 0.32 rating, up 23.1 percent from last week. That was AEW's best number in that category since March 25, and the fourth place finish was the highest for AEW since before the coronavirus pandemic began, with news shows now starting to get back to normal viewership after a couple months of dominating the ratings.

On the USA Network, NXT was also up significantly. Last night's NXT averaged 731,000 viewers, up 23.5 percent from last week. That's the biggest audience for the show in over three months. In 18-49, NXT was up 46.2 percent, averaging a 0.19 rating, tying the show's highest mark in the demo since March 25. NXT finished 24th on cable in that category after being outside the top 50 in most recent weeks.

The combined audience of 1.558 million viewers for Dynamite and NXT was the highest since March 4, two weeks before the start of closed set shows.

The postponement of the NASCAR event that was scheduled to air opposite both shows on FOX likely contributed to the rise in viewership, along with decreased viewing of the news networks as things slowly start to get back to normal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
The annual Champion Carnival tournament may still happen this year.

All Japan Pro Wrestling announced in a press conference this morning that they plan on running their annual Champion Carnival tournament in September. The tournament, which was originally supposed to run on April 6 through May 5, was canceled just days before the start of the tour. AJPW President Takeki Fukada hoped in a press conference announcing the cancelation that he hoped to run the tournament later this year ...

The news comes as Japan has lifted its state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent days, most notably in Tokyo. Most promotions will be able to hold events with no fans in attendance starting on June 19.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
With the season now over, Vice TV is touting the ratings success of Dark Side of the Ring season two.

Dark Side of the Ring is the highest rated series in Vice TV history, and last week's season two finale on Owen Hart is also the highest rated show in the history of the station. Variety wrote today that season two averaged 485,000 total viewers and 288,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo through May 19 in Nielsen live-plus-three data, which includes the same-day ratings and three days of DVR and on-demand viewing.

That total viewers number is up 52 percent from season one, while the 18-49 number is up 73 percent from the first season.

In the live-plus-three data, the Owen Hart documentary drew 626,000 viewers and did 390,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo.

“We are absolutely ecstatic with the success of Dark Side of the Ring,” Vice TV executive vice president and general manager Morgan Hertzan said. "Audiences respond to our courageous compelling storytelling, and this series has proven to be heavyweight in the television landscape. I am very proud to partner with the incredible creatives at Vice Studios, and tag team executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisener who have so skillfully crafted this show. It is in every way the no holds barred type of programming that you can expect to see on Vice TV. Looking forward to the next KO!”
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Bray Wyatt tweeted the following:

Hyrie Von Rotunda pic.twitter.com/1pzQ2j4P1o
— Bray Wyatt (@WWEBrayWyatt) May 28, 2020

Hyrie is the second child for Bray and WWE ring announcer Jojo Offerman. The family had chosen to keep the pregnancy private, but for those who had asked, this is why Offerman had not returned to her on-air duties for WWE.
Link: https://twitter.com/WWEBrayWyatt/sta...44794855825410

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Playing off of the hype for Edge and Randy Orton at Backlash being the "Greatest Wrestling Match Ever", WWE Shop has a new line of "Greatest Match" graphic tees showcasing legendary matchups throughout history.
Link: https://shop.wwe.com/great-matches-t-shirts/ Out of all the shirts available, only one I'd disagree with is last year's Mania Women's Triple Threat match since it wasn't that good although not entirely the wrestlers fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Former ROH World Champion PCO joined the Ringsiders Wrestling podcast and revealed that Ring of Honor was planning on running the Montreal Bell Centre in Quebec which holds 20,000 people.

“Yeah, it’s funny that you mentioned that because the plan — the first match where I was supposed to go against Nick Aldis for the NWA World Title in Montreal, in Canada. But, something happened — Ring of Honor didn’t want it to happen — kinda didn’t want it to happen or it didn’t happen or I don’t know. We lost our relationship at one point with NWA, and when Marty [Scurll] signed and then Marty’s a good friend of Nick…

That would be awesome to get a title match with Nick. Also, when I was the champ, I had done so many talk shows back home where Ring of Honor was not known that much, and we were about to sell out like 20,000 tickets. For me, it was gonna be the next ALL IN. It was gonna be title [defenses], Montreal Bell Centre in a sold-out arena and anyways, stars weren’t aligned like that but maybe it could happen with the NWA Title. Maybe it’s gonna happen — it might happen in Atlanta first, Georgia. It might happen. I don’t know.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Comicbook.com’s Brandon Davis did an Instagram Live interview with Chris Jericho and Jericho revealed that the Stadium Stampede match at AEW’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view took 12 hours to film.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Two weeks ago, Jim Cornette took to his podcast and made negative comments about Becky Lynch announcing that she and Seth Rollins are expecting a child and she’ll be taking time away from wrestling to be a mother. Cornette expressed that he felt it was the wrong time because of where Becky Lynch is career-wise. Seth Rollins would react to Cornette’s comments on WWE’s After The Bell podcast and said that he was hurt by Cornette’s words and felt disrespected that Cornette would speak of his fiancée like that. On a recent edition of Jim Cornette’s podcast, he spoke about Seth Rollins’ appearance on After The Bell and here’s what Cornette had to say:

“Honestly, I feel bad that I hurt Seth Rollins’ feelings. I seriously, legitimately — this is not part of a bit. I feel bad that I hurt his feelings. I wouldn’t have felt bad if I would’ve made him mad, because people in the wrestling business get mad all the time, right? And I figured he might get mad because when I was criticizing the timing of the incident, he had a hand in the timing so I thought he might be a little mad about that, and you know, people get mad all the time. Blah, blah, blah. But when he said I actually hurt his feelings, that made me feel bad because I did not believe that I said anything that should’ve hurt Seth Rollins’ feelings, and the bone of contention where I hurt his feelings was that I said bad things about his wife and obviously that would tend to hurt one’s feelings but, and I want you to help me here Mr. Don’t Agree With Me Either [Brian Last], let’s go back and did I say anything bad about Becky Lynch as a talent or as a person? I said she was the biggest female wrestling star in the world and maybe the biggest in the world because there ain’t a lot of big male stars these days. That’s not bad. I said she was a female Stone Cold that put her f*cking — she was a huge box office draw and the most important member of the women’s division. I never said anything about her looks. I think she’s a very attractive young lady. I did paint a less than rosy picture about the physical effects of pregnancy but I have heard these things and never having been pregnant myself, from all the pregnant women I’ve ever heard talk about being pregnant have said these things happen. Did I quote any side effects of pregnancy that do not exist? I do not believe I did. But I didn’t say anything bad about Becky Lynch as a person. I put her over as a talent and I was talking about the astonishing timing of the situation, and I don’t know whether that Seth had heard the actual show or whether he just read the text of it that everybody was clipping and putting on their little play websites where they play wrestling reporter, which was a little harsher than the overall tone of the piece.

But I didn’t say that and I’ve actually in the past said Seth Rollins is an amazing worker and one of the best in-ring talents and looks like a superstar and I’ve taken issue with how they present him. They’ve managed to make him boring with his Monday Night Messiah thing. But the overall bigger picture was, I didn’t say anything bad about Becky Lynch besides the fact that she had gone and got pregnant at a time when she has attained a spot that few have ever attained and that all aspire to in the business and is making a sh*t ton of money. So that’s the worst thing I said about Becky Lynch. Did I miss anything Brian?”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Enes Kanter appeared on The No-Sports Report Podcast with Jensen Karp and during their conversation, Kanter revealed that he was told not to watch All Elite Wrestling if he wanted to get into WWE.

“I watched a little of AEW, but like they said, ‘Hey, if you ever want to get on WWE, do not mess with it.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, sure. I’m not! (laughs)”
WWE threatening to pull a contract offer simply over someone's wrestling viewing habits is like next level pettiness by WWE. Also fear of AEW that WWE never really had with TNA/Impact outside of the brief Monday Night Wars Part Deux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated chatted with former 8-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi. When Tanahashi was asked about wrestling continuing on during the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated that it is a “black eye” on the business that might remain even after the pandemic is over.

“There isn’t a governing body for Japanese pro wrestling. As such, we can’t necessarily enforce cancellations. That’s been the responsibility of each company. But to run events in the middle of a pandemic presents the wrong image of professional wrestling to society and would deal a black eye to the industry that might still remain even after the pandemic ends.

I thought it was important for us to come together, understand exactly what’s happening and do what’s right, even if that means returning to action after other pro sports.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
BallerStatus.com spoke with R-Truth about Truth’s career in music and pro wrestling. Truth shared that Roman Reigns has been an Executive Producer of his music and has been helping him with funding.

“Actually man, me and Roman, we were riding together a lot. He would dictate and critique all my music and he was actually one of my Executive Producers helping me fund a lot of stuff so it’s like, he has his hands in with my music.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
On May 25, ROH announced the re-signing of Flip Gordon.

Gordon has become one of the top names in ROH over the past couple of years, aligning himself alongside Marty Scurll, Brody King, and PCO in Villain Enterprises. Gordon is the current number one contender to the ROH World Title and was scheduled to receive his title shot at Supercard of Honor as part of WrestleMania week.

Appearing on Busted Open Radio, Gordon discussed his decision to remain with ROH.

"There was interest from AEW and WWE, a few others as well, but Ring of Honor offered me the best deal. I also believed that's where I wanted to be because I still have a lot of time to grow. I've only been doing this for five years and I have a lot of goals in Ring of Honor, so why would I want to leave?"

Gordon went on to call the deal "life-changing" and note that he is looking forward to getting back in the ring whenever ROH runs shows again. He said his ultimate goal is the ROH World Title.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic affecting the wrestling world, AEW had planned to run live events.

In an interview on Wrestling Observer Live, Jim Ross was asked about whether or not AEW needs live events to help develop some of the younger talent on AEW's roster. Ross agrees that touring would help some of the wrestlers improve as he doesn't think working one night of the week on Dynamite is enough to get better.

“Absolutely and I think that’s the plan. There were some live events penciled into the schedule until the virus. You can’t get better working one night of the week. It doesn’t matter who you are. There are some minor exceptions. Chris Jericho doesn’t need to work three or four days of the week to be grateful. He can be great working on Wednesday nights. But a lot of guys need to continue to work under the supervision of the coaches in AEW to continue to learn the fundamentals, primarily slowing down, using psychology and selling. [Just] because you’ve been in the business for 10 years doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a 10-year veteran. It could mean you’ve had the same experience 10 times. Getting house shows is important for development talent and for revenue going forward, but who the hell knows when is that going to be? It won’t be any time soon apparently,” Ross said.

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Old 05-29-2020, 10:02 AM   #1339
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XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)XL got the bus to Rep Town and repped it up real bad at the rep shop (100,000+)
Bray popping those kids out in quick order. Also, surprised Cornette has never been pregnant, he’s certainly looked like he was at points.
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:43 PM   #1340
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The Sheets (Observer Newsletter Edition):

Quote:
WWE started using NXT wrestlers as fans on the 5/25 tapings.

It made for a far improved atmosphere at the shows. The delay in doing so after AEW’s atmosphere had been noted universally as being superior likely came because the company didn’t want to come across as copying AEW. This is the same reason why it took them weeks to move the position of the hard camera to facing the entrance ramp instead of to the side facing empty stands.

They had to stand up and cheer for just under seven hours of television, a Raw and a Smackdown, as well as Main Event and 205 Live. We were told the actual process of all the taping lasted for about 12 hours on 5/25 and a similar length on 5/26. A number of talents noted losing their voices on the first day from making so much noise for so long, not to mention the obvious exhaustion from such a process. Talent was allowed to sit down between matches and it kind of makes no sense why chairs weren’t provided given how much time was being spent taping.

At ringside they had plexiglass walls which may become the new norm going forward with the idea of keeping fans from touching wrestlers ...

Although it was hinted on the air that they were testing all talent for COVID-19, there was no testing done at all again at the tapings this past week past temperature readings and asking people if they didn’t feel well.

I know of people in the company who were shocked given UFC finding multiple people who passed the temperature checks but later tested positive and that AEW had already done multiple tapings where everyone was tested.
Quote:
Most of the key details had already emerged regarding the backstory of the death of Owen Hart, between Dr. Martha Hart’s 2002 Book “Broken Hearts” and her recent media appearances including Dark Side of the Ring and a 90 minute interview with me on our web site.

But David Bixenspan and Fanbyte.com went through a number of new details and also emphasized what had already been reported when going through a detailed Kansas City Police Department investigation report on Hart’s death.

The gist of the report from the death scene itself was as follows:

Upon arrival (police) contact was made with Jim Vinzant, who is a "Rigger" with Local #31 of the Teamsters, who stated he is responsible for the "rigging" of the cables for shows at Kansas City, Missouri, owned facilities ...

He stated that Bobby Talbert (spelled Tolbert in the report) and the victim were also present when the rigging was assembled. He stated that he and James Williams assembled the "span sets and bridals" in the ceiling, however had no affiliation with the actual harness that the victim was wearing. He stated that the harness was a product of the World Wrestling Federation ...

Jim Vinzant stated that he did not think that the victim seemed very experienced with the stunt and that he (Jim Vinzant) would not have had the victim perform the stunt with the harness system that was used because it had minimal safety. He stated that he left the Arena at 1500 hours, and returned at 1700 hours ...

Joe Branam was the rigger for the first stunt. He was contacted for the job a second time but WWF turned him down because he had asked for more money.

The WWF then contacted Bobby Talbert. Branam then had his wife contact WWF to say he would agree to do it for whatever they wanted to pay him. WWF did not get back to him. Branam had turned down doing stunts previously WWF wanted him to rig because he felt they were dangerous.

The key is the quick release Snap Shackle made by Lewmar had no back up if it failed, and that the snap shackle only needed six pounds of pressure to open.

Interviews with other stuntmen talked about how in situations like this you would have a secondary line. What was noted was the vest Hart was wearing was inappropriately restrictive of breathing.

Talbert said he was referred to WWF by Barry Brazell, who was the main rigger for Sting’s repelling from the ceiling. Steve Taylor of WWF, at the time the Vice President of Event Operations, had called Brazell ...

Taylor said that the company has had other people do things like this in the past but WWF felt they were executed too slow for television. Talbert told Taylor he had performed the same stunts with Sting in WCW. But the deposition of Ellis Edwards, who handled stunts for WCW, sad that Talbert assisted Brazell three times only and was not Sting’s rigger or WCW’s rigger.

Taylor called Talbert the week of the show in Kansas City with the idea of what they wanted. The original idea was that Owen Hart and Max Mini (a tiny mini wrestler who was working for WWF at the time) would come down together. The belief was that Max Mini (also known as Mascarita Sagrada Jr., Tzuki and Mini Rey Misterio) refused to do it. Mini was let go by WWF in mid-July, less than two months after turning down the stunt. He did return to the company for three matches in 2006 ...

The key is that over 20 years, even though much of the basic information was known, there was this belief that the same crew who did Sting’s stunt did the Owen Hart stunt and it was the same stunt. While it was a tragic accident, people were able in some cases to go with the idea it was a safe stunt given how many times Sting did it, that unfortunately went wrong.

The reality is there was no back-up wire that Sting had, and it was done differently because Vince McMahon felt it was too slow for television because of those split seconds on WCW television where Sting would unhook himself while all the heels just had to stand there and wait. So, even after being told multiple times that there was a reason for that and otherwise it wouldn’t be safe, WWF kept looking for someone who would do it in a different manner. While Talbert, who still works in the stunt industry, had worked on Sting a few times, he was not the main person and it was a different crew. The week after the incident WWF hinted that perhaps it was Hart’s fault in some way, that he panicked and did something wrong, when that was not the case
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Smackdown on 5/22 held steady with the previous week doing a 1.31 rating and 2,044,000 viewers (a lower than usual 1.29 viewers per home) and an 0.5 in 18-49 (707,000 viewers). The 5/15 show did a 1.30 rating 2,042,000 viewers and an 0.5 in 18-49 (695,000 viewers).

So 18-49 was up 1.7 percent and everything else was almost identical.

However, this would be a more disappointing showing because ABC, CBS and NBC all ran rerun programming and first-run Smackdown still finished last with total viewers. It did win in 18-49 because in a weird coincidence, every other rerun show on the other three networks did 0.4. Smackdown was expected to dominate the summer months in 18-49, rather than squeak by.

Last year over the same week, FOX ran rerun shows that did 1,708,000 viewers but the same 0.5 in 18-49, so live Smackdown in the key demo did the same as reruns last year that essentially cost them nothing new to produce.
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For 5/20, as far as the different demos were concerned, in Males 18-34, the high point for AEW was the beginning of Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara. The low point was MJF vs. Marko Stunt.

For NXT in Males 18-34, the high point was Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley and low point was Kushida vs. Drake Maverick.

For Women 18-34, for AEW the high point was the Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson face-off and the low point was MJF vs. Marko Stunt. Quarter hours always teach you something. For example here, you’d think it would be one of the young guys that would be most appealing to women and here it is Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson, two older overweight guys in their 60s who happen to be great on the mic. I remember in the WCW Nitro days where Dusty Rhodes (in his rare appearances) and Ric Flair, who were older guys, would just kill it with teenage girls while Buff Bagwell, who you would think would, made no difference.

For NXT in Women 18-34, the high point was El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Akira Tozawa. The low point was Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Ever Rise.

For AEW in Males 18-49, the high point was Hardy vs. Guevara and low point was MJF vs. Marko Stunt.

For NXT in Males 18-49, the high point was Fantasma vs. Tozawa and love point was Kushida vs. Maverick.

For Women 18-49, for AEW the high point was the Roberts/Anderson quarter and low point was MJF vs. Stunt.

For NXT in Women 18-49, the high point was Karrion Kross vs. Liam Gray (which has more to do with the lead-in show than what was on the show) and low point was Shirai vs. Ripley.
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Both AEW and NXT had major viewership increases on 5/27. The AEW increase was expected, as they got the usual post-PPV boost, plus had advertised Mike Tyson for the show, even though the show had no marquee matches. The NXT increase was a surprise, as it appeared aside from Timothy Thatcher vs. Matt Riddle in a unique cage match with Kurt Angle as referee, it didn’t appear going in to be much different from previous weeks shows.

AEW did 827,000 viewers and a 0.32 (413,000 viewers) in 18-49, and was fourth in the demo, partially because younger viewers have stopped watching the news in the kind of numbers they were doing until recently. Plus, AEW had no competition from NASCAR or a Michael Jordan Game Sis movie on ESPN that hurt last week ...

Similarly, NXT which was No. 53 in the demo last week with a record low of 0.13, increased to 731,000 viewers and 0.19 (251,000 viewers) in 18-49. It was in the No. 24 spot in the key demo, and 15th with males 18-49 ...

AEW won seven of eight quarters, with one close. AEW opened at 863,000 viewers dn 398,000 in 18-49 for Young Bucks & Matt Hardy vs. Private Party & Joey Janela. NXT opened at 771,000 viewers and 252,000 in 18-49 for Drake Maverick vs. Kushida vs. Jake Atlas.

In the second quarter, AEW lost 26,000 viewers and 15,000 in 18-49 for the end of the six-man tag, The former Revival debut and Brian Cage vs. Lee Johnson with Jon Moxley and Taz doing interviews. NXT gained 13,000 viewers and 18,000 in 18-49 for Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae doing a promo, Gargano vs. Adrian Alanis and the Keith Lee and Mia Yim promo with Gargano & LeRae out.

In the third quarter, AEW lost 60,000 viewers but only 2,000 in 18-49 for promos by Britt Baker and Chris Jericho. NXT lost 44,000 viewers and 11,000 in 18-49 for Shotzi Blackheart vs. Reina Gonzalez. The AEW margin was 777,000 to 740,000 during this quarter.

In the fourth quarter, AEW gained 67,000 viewers and 54,000 in 18-49 for Hikaru Shida vs. Christi Jaynes and the beginning of a Cody interview. NXT gained 5,000 viewers but lost 1,000 in 18-49 for the ending of Blackheart vs. Gonzalez a Finn Balor promo and the introductions for the women’s tag match.

The fifth quarter saw NXT take the quarter. AEW lost 55,000 viewers and 24,000 in 18-49 for the end of the Cody promo and mostly Kip Sabian & Jimmy Havoc vs. Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky. NXT gained 68,000 viewers and 14,000 in 18-49 for Charlotte Flair & Chelsea Green vs. Io Shirai & Rhea Ripley. NXT had 813,000 viewers and 272,000 in 18-49 compared with AEW’s 789,000 viewers and 411,000 in 18-49.

In the sixth quarter, AEW gained 27,000 viewers and 6,000 in 18-49 for the ending of the Sabian & Havoc vs. Kazarian & Sky match, the MJF promo, Battle Royal intros and the beginning of the Battle Royal. NXT lost 141,000 viewers and 41,000 in 18-49 the Adam Cole/William Regal vignette and an Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vignette. Vignettes are always going to lose but often they are necessary for building characters.

In the seventh quarter, AEW gained 53,000 viewers and 25,000 in18-49 for the Battle Royal and highlights of Stadium Stampede. This was the peak part of the show in both total viewers with 869,000 and 18-49 with 442,000. NXT lost 28,000 viewers and 2,000 in 18-49 for Tommaso Ciampa vs. Leon Ruff, promos from Ciampa and Karrion Kross and the beginning of Riddle vs. Thatcher.

In the eighth quarter, AEW lost 47,000 viewers and 2,000 in 18-49 for the Inner Circle celebration and Mike Tyson angle. I’m amazed the Tyson angle lost viewers from the Battle Royal and Stadium Stampede highlights. NXT gained 34,000 viewers and 10,000 in 18-49 for the Riddle vs. Thatcher match.
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We have not heard anything regarding Angle and a new deal. It was noted to us that Angle is still being paid through mid-July like the rest of the people on main roster contracts that were released. The company will use that talent if they have a idea for them, such as Maverick in the tournament (and it would make no sense to let him go after his recent push) and had planned to use Sarah Logan at one point
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Originally Posted by Observer
A rare case of something at a taped show getting out took place due to an injury to Sane at the 5/27 tapings for the 6/1 Raw show. There was yet another Jax vs. Sane match for Sane to put over Jax like a monster as the set-up woman for the Asuka match. During the match, Jax whipped Sane into the ring steps. She went to take the steps with her side but she clipped the steps with the top of her head and was busted open and was out and they had to stop the match. Not sure if this will be edited on television or not. It turned into an outcry on social media against Jax, and in fairness, Jax has hurt several people in the past with her sloppiness, plus many fans are protective of Sane who has been injured a few times of late including a concussion in a match that continued while it was clear she was hurt. But in this case it appears to be, since I haven’t seen it, an unfair rush to judgment. I’ve heard from a number of people, including one person who is very much not a fan of Jax as a worker. All know the track record, and not one blamed her in this instance. It was described to me as Sane being in control of her bump but she may have slipped and clipped her head according to one person or tried to make it look so good that in doing so clipped her head. We do know there was no internal blaming of Jax for this one. Sane was cleaned up and said to be okay, although being out is never a good thing with her history
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The death of Hana Kimura this past week is a complicated story about reality shows, the worst aspects of social media and cyber bullying, and likely with the unique aspects of the time we are living in.

The end result was the suicide death of a 22-year-old woman who had high-level stage presence and a unique look, and was likely to explode in 2020 had this been a normal year, as the most marketable and biggest star in Japanese women’s wrestling.

The story has far wider implications in so many different ways than most pro wrestling stories. Its repercussions, besides her own death, include the possibility of the end of a popular worldwide television show, and even more, talk in Japan about enacting new legislation that would make cyber bullying a more serious crime. While obviously a huge news story in Japan, it garnered a lot of mainstream attention in the U.S. due to the popularity of the television reality show “Terrace House" ...

On 5/22, the day of her death, Terrace House and Hana Kimura was the most searched topic in the U.S. on the Internet, with more than 500,000 searches, just ahead of Joe Biden

Kimura was suffering from bad depression for some time even as her wrestling career was on its ascent. She had mutilated her arms and cut her wrists in the past.

The turning point was an incident on the reality show where people wanting to be celebrities are put together with both scripted and unscripted scenarios to attempt to create relationships and relationship dramas ...

It should be noted that Kimura went through a lot of bullying when she was growing up. Her mother, Kyoko Kimura, was a woman pro wrestler who competed a lot in death match style. Hana Kimura was of mixed ethnicity. Her father, who split from her mother and her when she was one, was Indonesian, so she was half-Japanese and half-Indonesian. This gave her unique features, but while growing up in school she was taunted over being different ...

“Obviously Hana is very beautiful,” said one person close to her to us regarding the show. “But on the show, she is like twice the size of the other girls. And on the show, and in real life, she is very self-conscious because she has huge muscular shoulders compared to the other girls. And Terrace House fans also bullied her about that kind of stuff. It seems silly, because she is a very pretty girl, but it just goes to show that anyone can have self-confidence issues. You’d think from the looks of it, this girl would have it all. Very obviously she’s the one being pushed to lead her company" ...

But the actual storyline came later, in a show taped during the week of 1/19 to 1/25, and aired on 3/31.

Kimura had put her wrestling costume that she had been using of late in the washing machine. Kai put his own clothes in the washing machine. He then came back and threw his clothes and her wrestling costume in the dryer, which shrank it and ruined it.

When she found out, she started yelling at him, saying this was the ring costume she wore on 1/4 at the Tokyo Dome on the biggest match of her life and the costume had so many memories for hear and it was like her life. She yelled at Kai and basically slapped his hat off his head because at first he wasn’t apologetic ...

She was bombarded with hate over social media. Whether no more filming of episodes (the show had continue on Fuji television with the final episode on 5/19 before this week’s episode and the rest of the season was canceled but new footage had not been shot in a few months), plus her regular routine of wrestling was shut down and taken away. It may have taken away a means to cope with the depression, and things got much worse.

It should be noted that all the negative messages, including her getting messages daily saying she should die, came from Terrace House viewers and not from the wrestling fan side. But a tiny but hurtful percentage of wrestling fans are no different which why this touched such a nerve in wrestling, particularly among women performers. She was constantly being told if her costume meant so much to her, why did she leave it in the washing machine ...

Others were negative to her about leaving her gear in the washer and that she shouldn’t have been so rude. It got to the point where Kimura disabled all comments on her Instagram because she was getting so much hate. In a later episode, Kai left the house and tried to make up with her by paying her the costs of making a new outfit. When he left the house, everyone gave him a goodbye hug except her, which also villainized her since to a lot of the women viewers, he was a popular character ...

It was told to us from someone close to her that they knew the negative social media response was bothering Kimura and that in recent weeks it had gotten worse.

However, nobody had any sign her depression reached the level it did ...

It seemed to be a cocktail of many things. The bullying from childhood leading to insecurity. Her wanting to become a mainstream star to make women’s wrestling popular again like it was more than 25 years earlier. A television show that emphasized her weaknesses on screen. Perhaps the pressures of knowing that she was chosen to be the person whose would the focal point of a company aggressively trying to bring back to glory days of the past under new ownership, and trying to live up to that status while perceiving she wasn’t coming across well on the television show.

Late at night on the morning of 5/23 in Japan (5/22 in the U.S.), Kimura posted images of her arm that she had self-mutilated, which was covered by her ring costume when she had wrestled. She was there with her pet kitten, and basically did a farewell note on both Twitter and Instagram ...

This drew a ton of immediate attention throughout the U.S. pro wrestling community with people obviously panicking and questioning what was going on. In Japan, where everyone was asleep, people in that community were not at first aware of it.

Kaori Housako (Kairi Sane) had either seen the posts herself or been alerted immediately. She called up Stardom founder and CEO Rossy Ogawa, and I believe Jungle Kyona. It was Kyona who rushed to the apartment that Kimura lived alone in, but it was too late.

Sponichi News in Japan reported that at around 4 a.m., which would be 3 p.m. on 5/22 Eastern time, some fire engines and an ambulance rushed into her apartment. Her death was believed to be a suicide due to the ingestion of hydrogen sulfide. The Koto Police Department’s Metropolitan department acknowledged a hydrogen sulfide fatality at 4 a.m., but further details were not released at the request of the family.

According to police sources in the Japanese media, Kimura was found on her bed with a plastic bag covering her head. A container of what was believed to have been hydrogen sulfide was found nearby. Several different suicide notes were found in the room.

There was a piece of paper attached to the door that read, “Toxic gas being generated,” according to Kyodo News ...

The kitten, named Karage, which means fried chicken ball, because Kimura thought he looked like a fried chicken ball, was being taken care of in the Stardom wrestlers dormitory ...

In addition, “Terrace House,” canceled the remainder of this season and there is some question whether the show will ever return ...

After Kimura’s death, numerous people who had harassed her on social media began deleting their accounts, while media reports
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With the 5/23 AEW Double or Nothing shows, we’ve learned that the current conditions may be negative for television ratings, but in no way are they negative for PPVs.

Two weeks after UFC did a shockingly high number for UFC 249, AEW followed suit with what, at least at this point, looks to be the most-purchased PPV show in company history.

Streaming numbers from B/R Live in the U.S. and FITE for international markets both ended up more than 10 percent up from the 2/29 Revolution show and may end up closer to 15 percent up, which was tracking to be the second highest number in company history, behind only the first Double or Nothing show, at about 100,000 to 110,000 buys. The cable buys for Revolution are still only estimated until final numbers are to come in at some point in the next few week ...

If cable holds up similarly, that would indicate 115,000 to 120,000 buys, which would equal to or slightly beat the final numbers of the first Double or Nothing ... There’s also the aspect that streaming buys as a general rule over the past year are increasing at a higher level than cable buys, which are decreasing. So streaming buys both in the U.S. and overseas being the biggest in company history does not necessarily mean cable numbers will follow suit ...

There was the argument, which proved to be false, that with so many ordering WrestleMania for free and disposable income being down for so many who have lost their jobs, that people couldn’t justify a $50 purchase for a show.

Historically, every time this argument goes into play, it always ends up being wrong. There is a price point that becomes a negative, but $50 for AEW and $65 for UFC are clearly below that threshold at this point with the current economy and the current marketplace. There are always arguments that differ from this point, but the consumer behavior always seems to trump those arguments. The reality is that if you have a show with a low price but people aren’t interested, they aren’t buying. If you have a show people want to see, they will find a way to see it. There is a price point too high, but that depends more on the value of the product than the price point. People have proven in gigantic numbers a willingness to pay $100 for a singular event if the names involved are big enough. UFC has constantly increased the price of its shows and that has never had a bearing on the number of buyers.

The numbers are how many people really want to see it either themselves or as part of a social gathering. And with social gatherings likely down, that probably, surprisingly to most, is likely the biggest difference maker of all ...

Replay buys were said to be slightly ahead of the pace of the last show. Replay buys are often based on word of mouth, but word of mouth has been strong after almost every AEW PPV show ...

From a general interest standpoint, the show did 100,000 Google searches, which were half of what WWE did with Money in the Bank. It was in the No. 10 spot for the day, and was the same as what the Revolution show did. AEW, with a stronger harder core fan base, seems to convert its audience to PPV and live event buyers at a much stronger rate than WWE
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Contrary to the speculation of those who had unsecured debts in the XFL bankruptcy case, Vince McMahon said that he is not going to restart the XFL.

McMahon is looking for a buyer to take over the league in bankruptcy court.

Speculation from debtors last week had seen the actions McMahon took and felt it was a way for him to get away from the money losses suffered thus far and then restart next year with a clean slate. Others felt that McMahon did so much damage do his reputation within the football world that, other than players, who it was conceded he would be able to get, that anyone of any value in coaching or management would steer clear of the league because of how many high profile people and buildings were stiffed on money.

McMahon did admit in the filing that he was considering putting in a bid to buy it back, but had changed his mind.

This appears to be strategic in the sense of wanting it out there that they were looking for someone to buy it and if Vince was interested, others would. But the strategy changed with the idea that people were scared away by the idea Vince might do it. Or they could simply have been scared away with the idea of the amount of money it would take at a time when the economy is questionable ...

McMahon’s filing claimed that he put up at least $200 million for the league. But that doesn’t add up with the prior filings that listed the amount of money the company lost being declaring bankruptcy at less than $50 million.

McMahon believed the stories this past week chased away people interested.

There have been 20 potential purchasers that have signed non-disclosure agreements to gain access to confidential filings regarding the economics of the business. Another six have at least inquired about interest and getting that information.
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On 5/27, due to the losses from the Pandemic, Bushiroad announced that the directors of Bushiroad and their group companies would have pay cut from 15 percent to 95 percent, depending on the person, for the five month period covering May through September, and then would return to the regular compensation. Every company in the group will have to cut expenses notably in advertising, promotion and through all facets. Employee salaries and bonuses will also be cut. New Japan Pro Wrestling will start running live events as soon as they are able to allow fans to attend shows, if not do empty arena shows first. You can see the difference in mentalities in that the people at the top took cuts, and some large cuts, but on the flip side, nobody in Bushiroad companies lost their jobs
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Cage was signed in January but couldn’t debut for months due to his torn biceps and when they figured out the timing the goal was for him to be a mystery debut in Las Vegas. The plan was to always put him with Taz but they had to delay Taz’s start as a manager until now. This would seem to build a Cage vs. Darby Allin program since the idea is Taz’s first recruit was going to be Allin until Allin blew him off although there’s been no follow up on that yet

* Smeat's note: Taking next week off as a break except for Friday and might do the same for the week after. Just been too busy with other stuff and getting a bit burned out again with doing sheet reports.
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