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Old 07-30-2020, 10:40 PM   #1401
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Seriously, this bullshit circle jerk mentality is making me actively root against wrestling. I hope it goes even further into the ground so that the people standing around cheering subpar content are left with each other's flaccid dicks in their hands.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:43 PM   #1402
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But even then you'll probably have sycophants like Smeat posting articles going "Well actually...AEW only went out of business because Vince McMahon poisoned the town's water supply and scared people off wrestling forever. It is technically impossible for anyone to be successful and AEW came as close as could possibly be."
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:33 PM   #1403
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The Sheets (Observer Newsletter Edition):

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For a number of reasons, as it turns out, the pandemic was the greatest thing for WWE’s business as they posted the most profitable quarter in their history.

It’s not that they overcome the pain of the pandemic. They outright benefitted from it, with more consumer product sales, higher network numbers and the real difference maker, far lower costs to produce television.

Profits quadrupled in the quarter, blowing away all estimates, due to saving $51.6 million in media costs. The vast majority of those savings was the lower cost of producing television the way they do it now in the Performance Center, no longer running live, and taping multiple shows on successive days as opposed to live Monday, Wednesday and Friday in different parts of the country with far more wrestlers, production people and costs.

For one, taping two weeks had a time for each show, and taping shows on successive days, saved travel costs greatly. Producing a show in a small building greatly cut down on the production budget, not to mention the fewer production people and costs that were already lower were cut almost in half from there by generally taping two shows at a time. Plus there was savings on uplinks by no longer doing any shows actually live, as even when taped the same day, they never actually went live.

The second positive was a huge increase in subscribers to the WWE Network. The number was 195,000 above what would have been normally expected as of 6/30.

There are a number of factors involved here. One is that WrestleMania had so many people subscribing for free as compared to the past few years, that many of them didn’t cancel and stayed on as paying subscribers. Another reason, arguably the most important because ESPN’s PPV numbers for UFC were so much higher than previously, and AEW also set records in PPV, is that with sports bars are closed, and people are no longer getting together in large numbers for PPV parties ...

But it does have to be noted when interest appears at a low point since at least 1996, that network subscriber numbers have increased so strongly over the last three months, and manly the month of June when the free month was dropped and the free tier was launched ...

Another aspect is that streaming has gotten more popular across the board during the pandemic with more people home. Then again, more people are home to watch television, and there is less sports competition, and WWE had struggled badly there.

What’s notable is that the record profits came during a quarter where revenues were not only much lower than last year even with the new television deals, but were slightly down from analysts expectations.

The general expectation was $231 million in revenues and $11.5 million to $12 million in profits. The actual numbers were $223.4 million in revenue and $43.8 million in after-tax profit, basically quadrupling expectations. Last year’s numbers which included both all the live events associated with WrestleMania and the Mania show itself, a full house show schedule, and payment for a Saudi Arabia show, none of which happened this quarter. Last year’s second quarter grossed $268.9 million in revenue and ended with a $10.4 million after-tax profit ...

It also should be noted that it was not the cost-cutting of talent salaries that led to the record profits. All main roster talent, and a number of the furloughed and fired employees, were being paid their regular salaries through 7/17. So the $4 million per month savings in that category will likely lead to $12 million more in added profits next quarter.

The WWE Network on 6/30 had 1,690,000 subscribers, broken down as 1,229,000 in the U.S. and 461,000 outside the U.S. Three months earlier, just days before WrestleMania, the numbers were 1,083,000 in the U.S. and 412,000 outside the U.S., so the gains were 13.5 percent domestically and 11.9 percent outside the U.S. The strongest growth outside the U.S. was in India.

For comparison, during the same three month period in 2019 there was a 0.4 percent decrease in the U.S. and 1.2 percent increase overseas. In 2018, it was a 6.9 percent increase in the U.S. and 8.3 percent increase outside the U.S. in quarter two ...

Based on the current profit margins, the stock price is very low. The only red light regarding a strong increase to the past $60 to $80 per share range is the uncertainty that the huge rights fees, which are totally carrying the company at this point, may not be maintained in the next contract that would start in late 2024. There is a big feeling FOX way overpaid, and USA was forced to overpay because FOX really wanted Raw. WWE has already had to renew a number of international deals, including the previous No. 2 deals in the U.K., at substantially less money.

In addition, the company has noted that profits will be down once they start touring and going back to live weekly television, particularly early on if they have to run arenas with limited capacity.

Unlike in the past, where investors were more bullish on the prospects of 3 million to 4 million network subscribers, and growing from there, which never materialized, there is a realization that only numbers that really matter are rights fees. They’re dropping overseas, and the next round are likely to be determined by ratings in the 18-49 demo primarily, which have dropped badly in recent months. Analysts listened to Vince McMahon’s excuses, such as injuries, or needing to be patient because they have to build new stars, and now the excuse is the pandemic, but many are growing weary of excuses ...

There was also a blame on the declining international rights on countries being affected by COVID, but that’s ridiculous. The U.K. deal was based on declining ratings in recent years and how WWE treated Sky by giving them more of a PPV cut and then not telling them about the network killing PPV until after the deal was signed. Plus, WWE ratings plummeted in the market. Italy was similar. It was not related at all to COVID, but to high costs with low ratings returns and the station willing to give it up.

Riddick said the smaller international deals are because they are challenged by COVID. He also noted that there are no major renewals coming up, which also indicates they aren’t close to a new Middle East deal.

When asked about the purchase of Evolve and, out of left field, the company getting into MMA, Riddick said, “Evolve was a content purchase deal and very straightforward and every small in size in terms of investment. Right now, we are not looking at any MMA opportunities. Hopefully, they will come along. We are actively, we do have investments in certain new technologies in new areas and we are looking for opportunities, but there’s nothing imminent there.”

They also noted that a return to arenas will likely hurt profits because they will likely not be able to sell the same amount of tickets with social distancing.

Virtually all revenue this quarter came from television rights, network subs and PPV, which combined brought in $200.1 million of the $223.4 million in revenues, with the rest coming from consumer products. Last year in the quarter the number was $197.0 million, but that included $50 million in a payment from Saudi Arabia.

Regarding whether the originally scheduled November date in Saudi Arabia will take place, it has not been canceled and nothing is certain, but they are not expecting it ...

Expenses when it came to television, network and PPV were $118.5 million, down from $170.1 million for the same period last year, or a savings in the quarter alone of $51.6 million. That right there is the profit margin and then some. Everything else is almost immaterial.

As far as total revenue, Network plus PPV numbers declined from $51.8 million to $49.4 million. That’s due to a decline in PPV and a slight decline in average subs during the quarter. But the end of the quarter was up from last year so that should be ahead of last year in the next quarter report.

The new deals led to television rights increasing from $69.0 million last year in quarter two to $132.9 million this year. Television advertising and sponsorships fell from $18.9 million to $13.3 million ...

Last year, in a quarter that included WrestleMania, and all the Mania activities, the live event profits were $12.4 million. This year running no shows, due to various deals and money and advertising costs of shows that didn’t happen, the live events division lost $4.5 million.

Profits from consumer products increased from $5.2 million in last year’s second quarter to $7.6 million.

Licensed products, like video games, console games and mobile games saw revenue increase in the quarter from $9.4 million last year to $9.7 million, an increase seemingly having to do with people home more and playing more games. The industry as a whole has grown during the pandemic ...

Merchandise sold through the web site increased from $6.6 million to $12.6 million, both increases being examples of the pandemic helping WWE business.
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Plans for a multi-tiered WWE Network, which had been talked about for years, and which would have included usage of the tape libraries of a number of independent promotions, including wXw, Evolve, ICW and Progress, that has been on-and-off for years, is back off.

Regarding whether that content would be used on the paid tier, those decisions have gone back-and-forth for years and every time the decision has been made to do so, Vince McMahon in the end has changed his mind on it.

At the 7/16 WWE shareholders meeting, when discussing the network, the company announced the free tier, which has the goal of trying to use that tier to convert viewers to becoming paid subscribers, has replaced multi-tiers and higher priced tiers giving more content and benefits in the WWE’s network strategy ...

An obvious question is the return of live events, or even the question of WrestleMania 2021 in Inglewood, CA, and like everything, including a potential closing in Orlando, there are no answers. The reality is things aren’t going back to normal any time soon. A closing in Orlando is very unlikely to happen for the political reasons it opened up in the first place and the government turned a blind eye to all those tapings with no testing for months. WrestleMania is far enough in the future that perhaps there may be a vaccine, but from a timing standpoint, that’s a longshot. Many have speculated on the idea that Florida, even though it’s in bad shape, would welcome a WrestleMania more than California would, and Tampa in a sense is owed one. And ultimately, these decisions do have to be made in the next few months because if they are going to do a stadium event, they need to be able to start promoting it by the end of this year ...

Regarding the 2021 WrestleMania and the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Vince McMahon said, “Again, we, it wouldn’t be fair to mention that now because we’re following the COVID-19 aspect. So many cities are obviously interested in Wrestlemania and many have bid for it, and what have you. This somewhat changes from time to time, again, depending upon the severity of COVID, but we haven’t announced anything yet.”

Regarding a potential shutdown in Orlando, Vince McMahon said, “Let me just say there’s always a `B-plan.’ I don’t want to say right now exactly what that would be, but yes there is a `B-Plan.’”

There are several backup plans in place. The belief is that WWE can’t be shut down in Florida due to Linda McMahon’s Super Pac agreeing to spend $18.5 million for Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in Florida, and Gov. Ron DeSantis being loyal to Trump. That could mean going down with the ship because Trump’s popularity numbers are so bad, but DeSantis won’t be making that decision in August.

But according to one person who knows the situation, McMahon has DeSantis “by the balls.” If for some reason it gets so bad in Florida that there is a complete lockdown, McMahon had a study prepared and now has several different locations as backup. Among them is the television studio at their corporate offices in Stamford, CT, which was the ring they shot the John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt WrestleMania match in. It’s said they can make that setting look similar to the Performance Center, although they wouldn’t have as easy access to contracted wrestlers to be fans if they run outside Florida.

Shooting outdoors on the beach for SummerSlam is another possibility, just for the visual differences, as noted first in PW Insider.

As for a second Saudi Arabia show this year, the situation is the same, it’s completely out of the company’s control. McMahon has said in the past that if the show can’t happen this year, it would be tacked onto the end of the ten year deal. One of the issues with such a show are all the quarantine measures that UFC had to put in place. For UFC, they did it, but also ran four shows there over two weeks and had all kinds of infrastructure in Abu Dhabi put together including a bubble environment. Saudi Arabia may not be able to provide that, and while TV can be taped well ahead of time when a $50 million type of payment for an event is in the equation, it’s far more difficult ...
Vince McMahon was also asked about a physical Hall of Fame.

“Bricks and mortar is something that, generally speaking, we, other than office buildings and office space of course, that we’re not necessarily fond of, but nonetheless, again the interest in that continues to build and it’s still a possibility somewhere down the line.”
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Antonio Inoki, who one can argue that along with Hulk Hogan, would be the biggest pro wrestling star of the last half-century, revealed on 7/26 that he was suffering from a rare incurable heart ailment.

Inoki, 77, was interviewed in Weekly Sincho, talking about his battle with cardiac amyloidosis. Because Inoki was such a cultural icon, as the second biggest pro wrestling star in the history of the country behind Rikidozan, and considered one of the country’s ten biggest sports stars of the 20th century, this has become one of the most talked about topics in Japanese culture since he went public. From a cultural standpoint, Inoki in Japan would be much bigger than any pro wrestler has ever been in the U.S., perhaps LeBron James would be a comparison as he’d not be Muhammad Ali or Michael Jordan, but would probably be bigger than just about anyone else. As far as a wrestler being a cultural icon, probably only Rikidozan and El Santo would be at his level.

The rare disease, that affects between 700 and 750 people in the entire country of Japan, has to do with an abnormal protein buildup on internal organs that interferes with their normal functions and causes heart issues. There are different types of cardiac amyloidosis, but Inoki’s type is believed to be hereditary ...

Inoki said that this past fall he went a little deaf and was hospitalized, and after tests, was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis. He described it as the heart having a bad membrane called amyloid. Due to that, the function of the heart deteriorates, making it difficult to send enough blood for the body to fully function. He said that at times he felt like he was suffocating, but thought it was just the effects of aging.

He said that he was taking ridiculously expensive medicine called Vindaquel to combat the problem. The medicine is not a cure, as there is no cure. But it does slow down the effects of the disease.
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On the 7/25 New Japan Sengoku Lord show, a surprise announcement was made regarding the first pro wrestling show at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, the site of the famous battle of world champions with UWFI world champion Nobuhiko Takada and WCW world champion Vader on December 5, 1993.

The show was announced for 8/29, just five weeks later ...

There are a number of reasons, all related to the pandemic. The first is that doing 30 percent capacity limits paid attendance and live gates greatly, and New Japan’s revenue base is largely ticket sales to live shows and merchandise sold at those shows. Between shutting down for months and now generally drawing about one-third of projections and running fewer shows, the company has taken a huge economic hit this year. In addition, the budget included a huge August event in Madison Square Garden, Wrestle Dynasty, with the idea of running the building once a year, and that show was moved to 2021. There is no word on capacity, but the stadium holds 37,933 for baseball, so capacity depends on staging and seats on the field and being outdoors if they can do more than the 30 percent that they do indoors.

Only three matches have been announced thus far, Evil defending both the IWGP and IC titles against Tetsuya Naito; Hiromu Takahashi defending the IWGP jr. title against Taiji Ishimori and a four-way match to crown the first King of Pro Wrestling champion ...

New Japan already has too many titles to keep up with, although less are in play now. The IWGP and IC titles have merged. The U.S. champion (Jon Moxley) and British champion (Will Ospreay) are out of action. In the case of Moxley, due to the 14 days quarantine going into Japan and AEW commitments, he’s likely not going to be available for a long time. There is no set date for Ospreay’s return but the hope is October for the G-1 Climax tournament. The Never trios titles are around, but not taken seriously. The IWGP jr. tag titles are also not in play, as Yoh, who holds the title with Sho, underwent surgery for a torn ACL and will be out for six months or more. While this can change, as of right now the plans are not to strip them of the titles. So it’s just the main singles title, the junior title, one secondary singles title (Shingo Takagi as Never champion) and the main tag titles.

The KOPW title is an idea of Kazuchika Okada, legitimately. It’s very Americanized, to the point the first champion will be crowned in a four-way match. Historically, the very few times the IWGP title was put up in three-way matches, fans were not particularly positive with the idea.
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AAA: Konnan on his podcast talked about the idea of the drive-in shows. He said that they would be doing stand-alone matches rather than storylines at these shows. He said it would be a way to present unique matches and pairings that you wouldn’t expect to see, similar to Lucha Fighter. He also said that there would be a roof over the ring to protect the ring in case of rain.
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Fantasma, in his role as head of the Box y Lucha commission in Mexico City, held a press conference on 7/22 announcing a distribution of pantry items to wrestlers who are currently out of work, which is basically all of them. He also distributed medicine to those in need. At the press conference, he was asked about AAA and CMLL starting back. He showed a letter from CMLL asking that same subject. CMLL would like to open at 50 percent capacity, which would be about 8,000 seats, which would be more than anyone has opened up in front of and Mexico is in worse shape than the U.S., even if you don’t hear that on the news. Fantasma said AAA presented him an idea three weeks ago, which would be the drive-in show idea. The reality is that in Mexico City, the government looks to be a long way of allowing events like this. Fantasma encouraged wrestlers to see if they could get other jobs until the pandemic ends
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Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Wrestling prevailed to at least a degree in its lawsuit against Anthem Entertainment regarding the usage of the GFW name and the television shows taped in Las Vegas years ago that Impact used as part of its PPV shows. PW Insider reported the jury ruled for Jarrett that Anthem used the term Global Force Wrestling and its logo, and used content owned by GFW without the license to do so, and that Anthem was negligent for deleting the original master tapes. But they also ruled Anthem’s actions were caused by Jarrett breaching his fiduciary duty as owner of GFW and he’s liable to Anthem for certain damages. The amount of damages due both sides was not declared yet by the jury. According to PW Insider, Anthem on 7/29 filed a new motion in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Tennessee requesting that the rulings be nullified and that a mistrial be declared. They asked for a mistrial based on Jarrett’s attorney, Samuel Miller, making a statement in court that Ed Nordholm wasn’t there in court even though Anthem’s attorneys had specifically requested that not be brought up. Nordholm and Scott D’Amore weren’t there because Anthem was taping Impact on 7/21, the day in question and the court had been told neither man could attend the trial on that day. Miller tried to portray Nordholm as the villain and him not being there for part of the trial was brought up with the idea he didn’t care. Jarrett’s side is fighting the attempt to get a mistrial declared. Impact had claimed all the revenue they derived between PPV and DVD sales of the GFW tapes was only $10,000
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AEW: Excalibur was off the 7/29 show with no explanation given. The company hasn’t said anything publicly, or privately about the matter. There was talk but not confirmed that he asked to be off the show because there had been a Twitter furor over him using the “N” word in a PWG angle 17 years ago. This incident was known about. It totally sucked, like bad, at the time, and everyone realized it and regretted it and pretty much apologized for it shortly after the time. I saw it resurface a few weeks ago but didn’t get any traction. Evidently on 7/28 people made enough of a case about it that it became an issue. The story, again, not confirmed, was that he didn’t want to be on the show thinking it would be the focus of the show. As it turns out, it became a much bigger issue because he wasn’t on the show. There is no word if he’ll be back next week. The 8/5 show was being taped on 7/30. He had flown to Florida for this set of tapings but he’d have flown in before the stuff got hot again. According to one person close to the situation, there was a promo involving Human Tornado, who is black and was at the time the top babyface, and heels Excalibur (when he was a wrestler), Disco Machine and Kevin Steen. One person was there and said that Human Tornado had often asked for heels to do racial stuff on him as a babyface and had asked people to use the N word on him. Steen argued against it but Tornado was persistent and talked him into it. We don’t know if Machine or Excalibur argued the point or just agreed to do it. I saw the video of it, and it sucked. There’s an issue because Tony Khan had said that Hulk Hogan, and Linda were not welcome as part of his group for racial remarks in the past. Hulk’s remark was not in an angle and part of a storyline. The fact is WWE didn’t sit Steen out because of this and they were aware of this and it was taken care of long ago. Everyone pretty much apologized after and acknowledged that it was a bad idea. Excalibur has brought it up and said he regretted it multiple times and Steen has publicly at least once in an interview. It was an angle that wasn’t a secret, that everyone knew and figured was taken care of, but the nature of Twitter is such that it became an issue this past week.
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The women’s eight-team tournament will be a blind draw in the sense partners are drawn at random in storyline, like a WCW Battle Bowl type thing. The tournament won’t be on Dynamite, or at least most of it won’t, and will be a YouTube series that will be released every Monday at 7 p.m. starting on 8/3. The teams will be announced on that show. So AEW will now have a Monday and a Tuesday YouTube show, a Monday BTE show and Wednesday’s Dynamite
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As of early in the week, Rey Mysterio and Vince McMahon were still in negotiations for terms of a prospective new deal
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Regarding office people furloughed, the idea many were told that they would be brought back next month but now most have been extended until 8/28. A number are looking to find new jobs at this point, although this is probably the worst time in our lifetimes to be on the job market. The added time to the furloughs in the cases when you look at the profits for the quarter tells quite the story
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Even though he wasn’t on the last two shows, Owens was at the Raw tapings on 7/20. He had been written into the original shows but with all the changes made, they decided not to use him. I think the key was that since they wanted to do injury angles with Black on both shows, the feeling was that Owens would theoretically have to do run-ins to attempt to break those up and they didn’t feel the need to sacrifice him in angles like that
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The most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network were: 1. Daniel Bryan’s best matches; 2. Raw Talk for 7/27; 3. 1997: Dawn of the Attitude; 4. The Horror Show at Extreme Rules; 5. Undertaker’s Last Ride: Tales from the Deadman; 6. WWE Break it Down: Mick Foley; 7. R-Truth Game Show
RAW, SmackDown, & AEW vs. NXT Ratings stuff:
SPOILER: show

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Raw on 7/27 was another disappointing showing, as the third hour, which contained most of the Asuka vs. Sasha Banks match, and all of the Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler match, ended up as the least-watched hour and lowest rated in the key demo in the history of the show.

Overall, on a week where the number should have shown a noticeable increase, it ended up as the second lowest overall number, with 1,616,000 viewers, and tied for the third worst demo number at .48 (618,000 viewers).

The third hour, featuring the two matches advertised a week ahead of time, both advertised ahead of time as title matches, set record lows with 1,463,000 viewers and 0.41 in 18-49. McIntyre vs. Ziggler ended up changed to a non-title match after being pushed for most of the week as a title match. Both numbers broke last week’s record for the lowest hour in show history with hour three, headlined by Randy Orton vs. Big Show, doing 1,504,000 viewers and a 0.42 in 18-49.

The third hour decline, a record level among teenagers and really all but the over-50 audience, was almost surely based on the Asuka vs. Sasha Banks title change finish. Even though most of the audience of the show was over 50, and that audience for the most part stayed until the finish, about 15 percent of the total audience tuned out after the finish of that match.

The look at that breakdown is likely along the lines of the first-to-third hour declines. Those saw were women 18-49 dropping 27.8 percent, men 18-49 dropping 16.2 percent, teenage girls dropping 88.0 percent (this sounds completely ridiculous and there’s never been anything like this level of viewers tuning out of any demo like that on the same show), teenage boys dropping 52.6 percent while over 50's steady the ship by only dropping 7.2 percent.

Raw has now done the three lowest numbers in its history and three of the four lowest 18-49s in its history over the past three weeks.

Even with that, Raw was No. 1 on cable for the night in Males 18-49 and Males 18-34.

It was 19th place overall and No. 4 in 18-49, behind two episodes of 90 Day Fiancé on TLC and one of Below Deck Mediterranean. It was No. 5 in total viewers among non-news programming.

The scary stuff remains the comparisons with last year. For the same week last year, Raw was down 30.3 percent in total viewers, 35.1 percent in 18-49 and 51.9 percent in 18-34.

The first hour did 1,699,000 viewers. The second hour held steady with 1,688,000 viewers before hour three’s 1,463,000.

In the key demos, Raw did 118,000 in males 18-34 (up 34.1 percent from last week), 61,000 in women 18-34 (up 10.9 percent), 291,000 in men 35-49 down 2.3 percent) and 148,000 in women 35-49 (down 5.7 percent).
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Smackdown on 7/24 did a 1.22 rating with 1,924,000 viewers (1.31 viewers per home) and 0.48 (618,000 viewers) in the 18-49 demo.

The slight increase in audience is a good sign because it aired out of prime time in Detroit due to Tigers baseball. In theory an increase over recent weeks would figure to be attributable to the Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus bar fight, but that was not the high point of the show, and it opened stronger than usual.

Overall the rating was down 1.6 percent but that was offset by a solid increase in viewers per home, with total viewers up 0.6 percent and 18-49 up 2.8 percent ...

Smackdown was one of only two first-run shows on network television, with CBS having a one-hour show at 8 p.m. that did 3,488,000 viewers and 0.4 in the demo. Greatest At Home on CBS tied Smackdown in 18-34 at 0.3, and beat it in 25-54 by a 0.7 to 0.6. Smackdown also beat everything on cable in 18-49 and was first in males 18-49, but last in over 50, and had the fewest actual viewers of any network show event though they were almost all reruns.

Last year in the same time slot airing two reruns, FOX averaged 1,358,000 viewers and 0.3 in 18-49.

In the segments, the Bayley & Sasha Banks stuff with Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss and the Cross vs. Bliss match for the title chance did 2.02 million viewers. The Firefly Fun House, Matt Riddle vs. Tony Nese and Miz & Morrison’s Miz TV with Naomi did 1.85 million viewers. The ending of Miz TV with Lacey Evans, plus Shorty G vs. Lince Dorado vs. Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak for an IC title match did 1.97 million viewers. And Hardy vs. Sheamus in the bar fight did 1.86 million viewers.
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There was a lot of news regarding the 7/22 ratings that wasn’t noted last week ...

The biggest thing is that the last five minutes of the Young Bucks vs. Butcher & Blade falls count anywhere match did 1,018,000 viewers and 502,000 in 18-49. This was the best figure in 18-49 on Wednesday and the highest peak as well. The match itself averaged 912,000 viewers and 459,000 in 18-49. The last quarter of Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole was 922,000 viewers and 355,000 in 18-49, but the overall match from start-to-finish was 887,000 viewers and 339,000 in 18-49.

AEW was near one million viewers briefly during the Darby Allin run-in and again prior to the commercial break in Young Bucks vs. Butcher & Blade, the last five minutes of the match, at 950,000 for the post-match involving The Dark Order, Adam Page, FTR and Kenny Omega and the Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy match started at 650,000 due to a huge turnout during a commercial break, was at about 800,000 most of the match and hit 900,000 right as Sammy Guevara was revealed in the post match.

NXT’s first minute, coming off the strong lead-in, was at about 1 million viewers but the Dexter Lumis vs. Killian Dain match had it down to 600,000 by five minutes in. The show was a little under or over 600,000 most of the way, hitting 700,000 during a few AEW commercial breaks and a high point of 750,000 during Oney Lorcan vs. Timothy Thatcher at the time AEW was in the commercial break before the Jericho match.

The main event final quarter battle saw Jericho & Hager vs. Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy do 799,000 viewers and 393,000 in 18-49 to NXT’s 602,000 viewers and 232,000 in 18-49 for Karrion Kross vs. Dominik Dijakovic ...

AEW opened with 905,000 viewers and 391,000 in 18-49 for Cody vs. Eddie Kingston. The number was almost a straight line steady from Cody coming out first until the end of the match. NXT opened with 633,000 viewers and 199,000 in 18-49 for William Regal and Keith Lee’s interview and Lumis vs. Dain, but it was a huge first few minutes from the lead-in and a collapse.

In the second quarter, AEW lost 94,000 viewers and 15,000 in 18-49 for a Jon Moxley promo and MJF vs. Griff Garrison. NXT lost 31,000 viewers but gained 22,000 in 18-49 for an interview with Strong, Reed and Gargano, a Dakota Kai feature and Breezango vs. Matt Martel & Chase Parker.

In the third quarter, AEW gained 81,000 viewers and 68,000 in 18-49 for the Taz & Cage promo with Darby Allin, Ricky Starks and Moxley running in and a Jericho & Inner Circle promo and the start of Young Bucks vs. Butcher & Blade. NXT gained 30,000 viewers and 12,000 in 18-49 for Aliyah vs. Blackheart.

In the fourth quarter, AEW gained 20,000 viewers and 15,000 in 18-49 for the rest of Young Bucks vs. Butcher & Blade. NXT lost 14,000 viewers and 8,000 in 18-49 for an Isaiah Scott package and the beginning of Gargano vs. Reed vs. Strong.

In the fifth quarter, AEW lost 25,000 viewers and 22,000 in 18-49 for Diamante vs. Ivelisse. NXT gained 33,000 viewers and 3,000 in 18-49 for the rest of Reed vs. Gargano vs. Strong.

In the sixth quarter, AEW lost 81,000 viewers and 33,000 in 18-49 for Adam Page vs. Alan Angels and the post-match, with the post-match growing well. NXT lost 63,000 viewers and 31,000 in 18-49 for Thatcher vs. Lorcan .

In the seventh quarter, AEW lost 57,000 viewers and 38,000 in 18-49 for the rundown of next week and beginning of Jericho & Hager vs. Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy. NXT gained 11,000 viewers and 19,000 in 18-49 for the ending of Lorcan vs. Thatcher and the backstage segment with Robert Stone, Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez.

In the final quarter, AEW with Jericho & Hager vs. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus gained 50,000 viewers and 28,000 in 18-49. NXT with Kross vs. Dijakovic gained 3,000 viewers and 16,000 in 18-49.
Quote:
A few notes on the 7/29 ratings.

The wrestling audience on Friday, Monday and Wednesday, all of which had baseball competition, all did similar numbers in 18-49. Friday was 618,000. Monday was also 618,000. Wednesday was 625,000 ...

In 18-34, Wednesday did a combined 196,000, while Monday did 179,000 and Friday did 175,000. But AEW, which had been only slightly behind Raw and Smackdown the past few weeks in 18-34, did 133,000 so it fell well behind both.

AEW did beat hour three of Raw in overall 18-34. In women 18-34, AEW beat Raw this week by 65,000 to 61,000, even with competition, as it also did last week. But Smackdown won the night with 80,000 ...

The 7/29 numbers saw AEW do 773,000 viewers and a 0.30 in 18-49 (394,000 viewers), putting it in sixth place for the night. NXT did 707,000 viewers and a 0.18 (231,000 viewers), finishing in the No. 28 spot, essentially meaning it had a very old audience ...

AEW was down 8.5 percent in viewers and 3.7 percent in 18-49. AEW’s lead-in, Talladega Nights, was down 28 percent in 18-49 per usual and really that’s probably the complete difference in the 18-49 drop and maybe the overall drop.

It took AEW until quarter three to beat NXT in total viewers due to the huge lead-in difference ...

AEW’s decline was strongly in men over 35, which could mean baseball. Women were way up from last week, particularly teenage girls. Baseball beat AEW handily in males under 35, but AEW beat baseball in women under 35.

AEW beat NXT in every key demo. In men 18-34, AEW did 68,000 viewers (down 4.2 percent) to 39,000 for NXT (up 5.4 percent). In women 18-34, AEW did 65,000 (up 12.1 percent) and NXT did 24,000 (up 41.2 percent). In men 35-49, AEW did 182,000 (down 13.3 percent) and NXT did 103,000 (down 9.6 percent). Those may be baseball drops. In women 35-49, AEW did 79,000 (up 12.9 percent) and NXT did 65,000 (up 27.5 percent).

AEW won every quarter big in 18-49 with the biggest gap in quarter five (Kenny Omega & Adam Page vs. Dark Order on one side, and Keith Lee, Cameron Grimes, Scarlett, Karrion Kross, a main event package and Imperium vs. Ever Rise on the other side) where it more than doubled NXT. In total viewers, because of the lead-in, NXT had a huge first quarter lead and a significant second quarter lead, before AEW turned it around in quarter three during the Cody vs. Warhorse match ...

However, NXT had strong growth for the Finn Balor vs. Dexter Lumis vs. Timothy Thatcher main event, which did 671,000 viewers and 230,000 in 18-49. AEW’s main event of Jon Moxley & Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks did 721,000 viewers and 360,000 in 18-49.

The show opened with AEW at 718,000 viewers and 367,000 in 18-49 for The Inner Circle vs. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus & Best Friends & Orange Cassidy match. NXT with the big lead-in did 853,000 and 247,000 in 18-49 with Io Shirai & Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai & Candice LeRae. This was NXT’s high point for viewers and 18-49, but most of that would have to do with the huge lead-in advantage and not having Dexter Lumis in the match.

In the second quarter, AEW gained 3,000 viewers and lost 9,000 in 18-49 for the ending of the Inner Circle ten man tag and post-match, Jon Moxley interview and beginning of Cody vs. Warhorse. NXT lost 75,000 viewers and gained 1,000 in 18-49 for the Adam Cole/Pat McAfee angel and beginning of Roderick Strong vs. Johnny Gargano.

Quarter three saw AEW gain 84,000 viewers and 48,000 in 18-49 for Cody vs. Warhorse, post-match with the debut of Matt Cardona and an Inner Circle interview. NXT lost 71,000 viewers and 5,000 in 18-49 for Gargano vs,. Strong and the Dakota Kai/Rhea Ripley promo.

Quarter four saw AEW gain 27,000 viewers and 17,000 in 18-49 for the FTR contract signing with Arn Anderson and Adam Page and beginning of Omega & Page vs. Stu Grayson & Evil Uno. NXT lost 3,000 viewers and 8,000 in 18-49 for an Undisputed Era backstage piece, and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Mercedes Martinez.

Quarter five saw AEW gain 46,000 viewers and 32,000 in 18-49 for Omega & Page vs. Dark Order, and the post-match angle with The Young Bucks, FTR, Brodie Lee and others. This was the high point of the night for either side with total viewers and 18-49.

Quarter six saw AEW lost 88,000 viewers and 43,000 in 18-49 for Hikaru Shida vs. Diamante and the Nyla Rose/Vickie Guerrero interview. NXT lost 36,000 viewers and 10,000 in 18-49 for the Imperium/Undisputed Era angle, a Bronson Reed feature, more interviews and the beginning of Isaiah Scott vs. Jake Atlas.

Quarter seven saw AEW lose 70,000 viewers and 30,000 in 18-49 for the MJF interview. NXT lost 51,000 viewers and 32,000 in 18-49 for Scott vs. Atlas and ring intros for the main event.

Quarter eight saw AEW gain 1,000 viewers and but lose 20,000 in 18-49 for Moxley & Allin vs. Cage & Starks. NXT gained 60,000 viewers and 36,000 in 18-49 for Lumis vs. Balor vs. Thatcher.

Spoiler tags used for those who don't want to read ratings related news from the Observer newsletter while those who don't mind or are interested can just click on the tab.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:19 PM   #1404
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Oh wow. you mean the Owens/Excalibur incident actually had context to what happened and why?

Who ever would have guessed?
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:50 PM   #1405
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Originally Posted by Fignuts View Post
Oh wow. you mean the Owens/Excalibur incident actually had context to what happened and why?

Who ever would have guessed?
This is a very weird point to make.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:58 PM   #1406
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The point I'm making is that people get nailed to the cross without any research or investegation. None of the news sites that initially reported about this incident bothered to do the research on what actually happened despite the fact that it's their job to do so.

I'm not saying that what they did was right, but the knowledge that a black talent pestered them into doing it, and that they immediately knew it was a mistake and apologized is a very important detail to omit, especially in today's enviornment and the way people are judged.

The feeling of righteousness has become an addiction for a large portion of society, and it's a fucking cancer on critical thinking.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:33 PM   #1407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fignuts View Post
The point I'm making is that people get nailed to the cross without any research or investegation. None of the news sites that initially reported about this incident bothered to do the research on what actually happened despite the fact that it's their job to do so.

I'm not saying that what they did was right, but the knowledge that a black talent pestered them into doing it, and that they immediately knew it was a mistake and apologized is a very important detail to omit, especially in today's enviornment and the way people are judged.

The feeling of righteousness has become an addiction for a large portion of society, and it's a fucking cancer on critical thinking.
Well, sure, in many cases I'd agree with you. But in this case, it's pretty cut and dry. We have video of them using the word for an angle in PWG. That's really the full context there. I mean, was anyone out there really suggesting that Human Tornado was not expecting to get the word thrown at him? Or that it makes a difference?

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I always assumed it was a co-operative angle that was just tasteless. No excuse for it other than "We were fucking idiots." And they've all said that, so good. But I'm just not getting where this idea of a wider context comes from. Maybe I'm just lost in the semantics.

Not saying this about you, but the righteousness extends both ways. There are plenty of people willing to be like "Ahhhh, seeeeeeee" which is just as annoying.

Owens and Excalibur shouldn't have done that shit. They did. They've said sorry and now realize why it is wrong. They don't need people calling for their heads or defenders.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:13 PM   #1408
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:34 PM   #1409
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The Sheets sponsored by WCW Hardcore Division Appreciation Night:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
The return of Shane McMahon on Monday's WWE Raw led to a stronger second hour than usual and brought viewership up six percent from last week's second lowest number of all time with the show averaging 1.71 million viewers and 0.51 in the 18-49 demo.

The first hour was slightly ahead of last week (1.71 million to 1.70 million last week), likely due to the last day hype of the McMahon addition and the promised debut of a new stable. The key was that the second hour not only didn't decline, but it grew greatly to 1.82 million viewers before the show experienced a third hour drop to 1.61 million ...

Raw was No. 4 in 18-49, trailing 90 Day Fiance, NBA on ESPN, and Below Deck: Mediterranean. The show was No. 22 for the night overall and No. 4 among non-news shows ...

Raw was down 31% from the same week last year overall, 37% in 18-49 and 51% in 18-34.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
The three-hour show averaged 1,715,000 viewers on the USA Network and a 0.51 in the 18-49 demographic. Viewership increased by 6% and the demo rating improved by 6.25% and were their best figures in those categories since June.

The show started with 1,710,000 viewers and increased by 6.6% in the second hour to 1,824,000 viewers, which is the highest hour of Raw since the opening hour of the June 29th show. In the third hour, viewership dropped by 11.7% but that was heavily skewed by the over 50 audience turning off the show.

In the key demos, the largest increase this week was among females 12-34 that were up by 60% from last week followed by males 12-34 improving by 26% and females 18-49 increasing by 25%. The only demo that fell was a minor drop with males 18-49 falling 3% this week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
WWE Network News is reporting that the new show "WWE Timeline" debuting this Sunday on WWE Network will focus on the rivalry between The Miz and Daniel Bryan. It will be available on both the free and paid versions of the streaming service.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Ariane Andrew and Matt Dillon welcomed Naomi onto their ‘Sippin The Tea’ show on YouTube. To kick off the conversation, Ariane Andrew spoke about her stint with All Elite Wrestling and competing in their Women’s Tag Team Cup. Ariane clarified that she is not with AEW and is still a free agent.

“So since we are spilling tea, I’m gonna keep it 1,000 percent so everyone can hear it right here, right now. I am not with AEW. That was just a little something, something. A little something, something.

I’m a free agent. As excited a people were, people were like, ‘So what does that mean? There’s no Funkadactyl reunion?’ And the thing is, I can’t say anything — not that I can’t say anything but it’s like I don’t wanna spill the tea but I’m spilling the tea right here, right now that it’s not official so there’s still a door. Hello Vince, are you listening? Funkadactyl reunion.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
ESPN has a feature story up about the recent purchase of the XFL by Dany Garcia, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and their backer, RedBird Capital Partners. Garcia spoke to ESPN for the article and recalled reaching out to Johnson when the news of the XFL going out of business became public.

“I told DJ, ‘We have something really important to do. We want to do this.’ It was so natural. There was a moment in Dwayne’s life when football was going to be his [career]. I’m a professional athlete myself. We do sports. We do entertainment. If you look at our résumés, everything points to this moment and opportunity for us, to work with these athletes and to build this brand.”

It’s noted in the article that Oliver Luck, who’s currently suing former XFL owner Vince McMahon for wrongful termination, will not be a part of the forthcoming version of the league.

Regarding a 2021 season, the XFL built a bubble plan for their eight teams to either be used during the COVID-19 pandemic or as a cost-cutting measure and that bubble plan is a part of the intellectual property that’ll transition over to Garcia, Johnson and the group that now owns the XFL.

Dany Garcia was also heavily involved in Dwayne Johnson’s contract negotiations while he was with the WWE full-time and she knew Vince and Linda McMahon “very well”. The unsecured creditors filed an objection to the sale of the XFL because of the feeling that the sale might not have maximized the value of the league. The committee also expressed concerns about the relationship between Johnson, Garcia and McMahon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Lance Storm was a guest on the ‘Sitting Ringside with David Penzer’ podcast and Storm told the story of when he was informed that WCW talents were supposed to get involved in the match between Vince and Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 17. According to what Storm was told, they were scheduled to do more than just appear on camera from the press box but due to Shawn Stasiak doing a radio interview and tipping off that WCW talents were being brought to Mania, their initial plans were scrapped and Vince McMahon was not pleased that their appearances had been leaked.

“That first WrestleMania, the Mania 17 where we all sat in the luxury box or whatever and we’re there to support Shane O’Mac. From what I was told, again, it was second-hand but I was told we were originally going to be involved in the match but Shawn Stasiak stooged off that we were gonna be there in a internet interview that he did on the Friday, because we all got called less than a week before. ‘Hey, we’re gonna bring you into WrestleMania.’ We’re like, ‘Mhm, cool!’ And it was Johnny Ace that called me. He was always the liaison guy and he didn’t specifically say, ‘Hey don’t tell anybody, kayfabe this.’ But it’s not my first rodeo. Unless they tell you to promote it, you shut your damn mouth so I’m like, ‘Cool’ and kept it quiet. Well, Shawn Stasiak did an internet radio interview and said, ‘Oh yeah, we’re all being brought into WrestleMania. We’re gonna be at Mania 17’ and I was told Vince [McMahon] lost his sh*t and wanted to just cancel us all and not bring any of us there but tickets were booked, planes were booked, all that stuff and apparently, someone managed to calm him down and still bring us in but we were just sitting in the box, they’re having nothing to do with this and were sort of shunned and I think that was step one of, ‘Man, we’re in trouble.’”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
When asked about the whereabouts of Austin Theory, Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline noted that Theory’s situation is a “unannounced suspension of sorts”.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Extreme Rules didn't happen the way Kevin Dunn wanted.

The WWE executive was particularly unhappy with a couple of spots in the Asuka vs. Sasha Banks Raw Women's Championship match, according to backstage sources within WWE. As reported on Fightful Select recently, we detailed what upset Dunn:

Extreme Rules was high quality for WWE, but not everything went so smoothly, we're told. During the Sasha Banks and Asuka match, there were some production snafus that set Kevin Dunn off. We weren't told of specific instances, but Dunn was upset that cameras were catching Bayley in spots where they weren't supposed to. When asking around, we were told it wasn't significant, but enough to get Dunn to shout at people over it for not protecting talent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Stock had a big drop from the $48 range to $44.17 Monday. The drop was based on uncertainty with the ratings which has never been an issue before, but now is a big issue because analysts have brought it up.
As of Tuesday's after hours trading, WWE Stocks were at $44.31

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
You may have noticed that before his Great American Bash double title victory, a of Keith Lee celebrating with both titles emerged. It was posted Instagram by Indus Sher's Saurav Gurjar. This past week, Fightful Select learned more about how the situation was handled.

Fightful has learned that at the last set of WWE NXT tapings, a backstage meeting was held and Indus Sher's Saurav Gurjar apologized for spoiling the results of the title-for-title match before it happened. Gurjar posted a picture of Keith Lee celebrating in the ring with both title belts with confetti falling a week before the title switch aired. We're told there's no significant heat on him, and there's no punishment expected to be handed down, though he and his partner have not been mentioned on TV since. Indus Sher is a personal favorite of Matt Bloom, who has been a big proponent for them in the past.

There was disbelief in Gurjar among those in the company that we spoke to, with most of it being a "why did he think it would be okay to post anything from the tapings, much less that?" type of reaction. He was said to have apologized to Lee directly for spoiling a huge moment for the star.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
It was announced over the weekend that the Shoney's restaurant in Acworth, Georgia owned by former WCW World Champion Scott Steiner has closed. It opened in 2016 and shut down due to COVID-19 and will not be re-opening. The restaurant featured a display case featuring items from Steiner's career, including his Michigan University jacket, action figures, PPV posters and photos.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
While Major League Wrestling has been militant about not running show due to COVID-19 (MLW HQ is located in New Rochelle, the same city where COVID-19 first hit New York, so a lot of staff dealt with the issues firsthand), we are told they are reconsidering the stance after watching UFC, The NBA and boxing on DAZN have handled the situation. If those entities don't have massive flareups (see Major League Baseball and WWE), the more likely MLW will return to live events. Currently, nothing is on the books until December at the 2300 Arena, but the company has been willing to wait as long as 18 months before running. It's a situation that could change by the moment, just like the rest of this horrible ongoing pandemic ...

Speaking of BeIN, John Duff, who was head of acquisitions and perhaps MLW's biggest advocate at BeIN, left in March to head up programming at MAVTV. We are told by MLW sources the departure will not have any bearing on their relationship with the Network. Duff and Dan Teitscheid, the President of MAVTV, went to UCLA together and previously worked together at Viacom.

MLW had been scheduled to film content with the Von Erichs in Hawaii this past week but had to delay due to concern about Hurricane Douglas hitting the Island. Of course, MLW HQ is scheduled to be hit with a Tropical Storm tomorrow thanks to Isaias as well ...

There's been talk of bringing in Canadian talent Michael Richard Blais, who won the first-ever Reid Flair Memorial Scholarship at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Legends Fanfest in North Carolina. Blais was originally trained by TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd) and has popped up on Raw and 205 Live in the past.

We are told July was the third strongest MLW merchandise sales month in the company's history. The number one selling piece of merchandise was the LA Park Face Mask. MLW has seen an increase in online merch sales across the board since COVID-19.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
As reported last week by PWInsider.com, the trial in the lawsuit brought by Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Entertainment lawsuit against Impact Wrestling parent company Anthem Wrestling was ruled a mistrial on 7/30.

PWInsider.com has acquired a copy of the official order of the mistrial signed by United States District Court of The Middle District of Tennessee Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr.

ORDER In a July 30, 2020 ruling from the bench, the Court declared a mistrial in this case and a new trial was ordered in accordance with Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because cumulative errors by both the Court and counsel resulted in neither party receiving a fair trial.

This included, but was not limited to:

(1) the Court’s failure to instruct on comparative negligence;

(2) the identity of the wrong entity in the verdict form on the counterfeiting claim;

(3) improper comments by Defendant’s counsel in opening statements; and

(4) improper statements by Plaintiffs’ counsel in closing arguments, all of which were discussed in detail in the Court’s oral ruling.

Accordingly, the jury is hereby DISCHARGED, and the Clerk shall note on the docket that a MISTRIAL has been declared.

A status conference will be held on September 11, 2020 at 9:00 a.m to set a new trial date.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
TNT has announced that three episodes of AEW Dynamite will be affected by the network’s NBA coverage. The Wednesday, August 19th edition of Dynamite will now air on Saturday, August 22nd at 6 pm Eastern, which is the same night as NXT TakeOver on the WWE Network. The following week’s episode will air on Thursday, August 27th at 8 pm Eastern and the September 16th edition of Dynamite airs on Thursday, September 17th at 8 pm. TSN in Canada has not confirmed how this will impact their airings of the show but we should know later this week.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter adds that the August 26th episode of AEW Dynamite will air later that night on TNT and then be replayed in prime time the following night.

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Old 08-04-2020, 10:54 PM   #1410
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AEW is probably going to get fucked hard by that rescheduling. Awful timing for them heading into All Out and coming out of it. WWE with an unopposed NXT should see about a 300k increase. This would be a good time to use a star and implement a hot angle.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:10 PM   #1411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightfyl
The latest chapter in the rivalry between Adam Cole and Pat McAfee will play out tonight on NXT.

WWE announced that McAfee will appear on NXT to address the situation between the two and hopes to clear the air with the former NXT Champion.

Back in late July, Cole was a guest on "The Pat McAfee Show" and things got heated between the two men. Cole and McAfee took verbal jabs at each other, trying to discredit the respective career of the other man. Cole finally snapped when called short, getting out of his chair to confront McAfee, drop a couple of F-bombs, and shove McAfee's co-host. Cole has since then apologized for his actions ...

Previously announced for NXT is a triple threat match between Oney Lorcan, Ridge Holland and Damian Priest where the winner advances to the NXT North American Title Ladder Match at TakeOver XXX. In addition, NXT announced Keith Lee vs. Cameron Grimes and Bronson Reed vs. Shane Thorne as well as Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs. Undisputed ERA (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish) for the NXT Tag Team titles and Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai where the winner becomes the No. 1 contender to the NXT Women's title.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Eric Young has officially signed an exclusive contract with Impact Wrestling.

In an interview with Sportskeeda, Young confirmed the news.

"Yeah, I am on an exclusive contract with IMPACT,” he was quoted as saying. “ I'm very excited about that!"

"I do have a lot of gas left in the tank,” he added. “ It's just a question of how much longer I want to do it."

Young was released by WWE in April as part of wide-ranging cuts due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He made his return to Impact at Slammiversary, taking part in a five way match for the Impact World title ...

Young was previously part of Impact Wrestling from 2004 to 2016 before signing with the WWE.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
AEW officially announced 'Heels' on Wednesday, a paid online subscription service geared toward female wrestling fans.

For $49/year, members "receive access to a variety of features including virtual meet-and-greets, video conference discussions with industry experts, exclusive AEW talent Q&A sessions, customized merchandise, special promotions, themed parties and more. The secure space enables AEW Heels members to connect, learn and thrive together through shared passions for women’s wrestling."

Originally scheduled to launch on May 22nd, the service did a soft launch earlier this year with two video conferences designed for women.

In the press release, they announced an event this Friday which will include a Q&A with referee, podcaster and front office worker Aubrey Edwards, a social media strategy session with Brandi Rhodes, and a session on respect and empowerment in the workplace with Keisha-Ann Gray, partner at the Proskauer law firm.

Rhodes, AEW's chief branding officer, is heading up the initiative.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
In a move that is surprising some in the sports media industry, Nick Khan has been hired as WWE's new president and chief revenue officer, announced by the company Wednesday morning.

The 45-year-old Khan was the co-head of the TV division of CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and was the driving force behind negotiating WWE's new TV deals in 2018. He reportedly is leaving the company on good terms.

While at CAA, Khan also negotiated deals for a slew of big name sports broadcasters and talking heads in addition to organizations like Top Rank Boxing and college sports' Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Khan will report directly to Vince McMahon and is taking over the roles Michelle Wilson and George Barrios held before they parted ways with WWE earlier this year.
WWE stocks rose to $45.26 by the end of Wednesday's regular trading hours but fell to $44.69 during after hours trading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
The hiring of Nick Khan is a huge story for WWE and sends a strong message by getting Khan from CAA as its news president and chief revenue officer. The greatest concern for a WWE shareholder is the fear of the television rights bubble bursting and therefore, the added concern over viewership declining even though the company less than one year into their five-year pacts with NBC Universal and Fox. To offset that, they have hired a major power broker when it comes to negotiating sports rights and will be in-house for the next set. On the surface, it would represent massive savings for WWE to cut out CAA and send Khan out as the chief negotiator on its behalf (assuming WWE negotiates on their own without CAA for the next round). I would suspect this can quell concerns of shareholders of falling numbers knowing Khan is a huge hire for this specific task, but nothing is a guarantee when we are looking down the road at the landscape of 2023-24. The news of Khan’s hiring was met with a 2% increase in the WWE stock price that closed at $45.26 on Wednesday. In terms of long-term stability and possibilities, this is one of the most important hires for WWE and was a massive story within the television industry on Wednesday.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
After making a television appearance with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19, Hiroshi Tanahashi has undergone testing and been cleared to resume wrestling.

NJPW wrote that Tanahashi made the TV appearance on August 1 but adequate countermeasures were put in place and Tanahashi wasn't in close contact with the person who tested positive. NJPW's full statement is available below:

" On August 1, Hiroshi Tanahashi made a television appearance with another cast member who has since tested positive for COVID-19.

Adequate countermeasures were put in place during production of the program, and Tanahashi did not come into close contact with the infected party.

As a precaution, Tanahashi has since undertaken antigen, antibody and PCR testing, with all tests returning negative.

Tanahashi is in good health and will be able to compete on this week’s Summer Struggle events in Korakuen Hall."

Tanahashi is teaming with Kota Ibushi & Master Wato in NJPW's tournament for the vacant NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team titles. They're facing Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru in a first round match at Friday's Summer Struggle event.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Q - We see Scott Steiner pop up from time to time here and there. But, What is Rick Steiner up to these days?

A - He is selling Real Estate in the Atlanta, GA area. You can check out his website by clicking here.
From PWI's weekly Q&A articles. Link for those interested: https://ricksteiner.atlcommunities.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Jerry Lawler will be celebrating his 50th wrestling anniversary next month.

Official Announcement : Jerry “The King” Lawler’s 50th Anniversary Wrestling show has been set for Saturday September 26th at The Ball Park of Jackson in Jackson, Tn. 7:00 pm bell time. We have been cleared for 25% capacity with an additional 200 on field seats at home plate . pic.twitter.com/2pb6jDctLX
— Chris Styles (@TheFutureChris) August 3, 2020

Jerry’s opponent will be named later this month. Special guest will be WWE Hall of Famer , the legendary KANE ! Already set to appear are The Rock n Roll Express, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, Dr. Tom Prichard, “Superstar” Bill Dundee , Downtown Bruno and Jerry Calhoun. And MORE
— Chris Styles (@TheFutureChris) August 3, 2020

Also just added to the @JerryLawler 50th anniversary show none other than @LexLuger yall September 26 is shaping up to be a big one!!!
— Chris Styles (@TheFutureChris) August 4, 2020

Sergeant Slaughter says he is on his way to Jackson, Tn on Sept. 26th to help the King celebrate !!!! This is turning into the Who’s Who of Wrestling epic event. And the King deserves an incredible night. Come see Sarge live at the Stadium. I'm telling yall we aren't slowin down pic.twitter.com/GFygJ8j7XF
— Chris Styles (@TheFutureChris) August 4, 2020

USA Wrestling is proud to announce that LEX LUGER will be appearing at the LAWLER 50th Anniversary Show in Jackson, Tenn. on Sept. 26th at the Jackson Baseball Stadium. Better get your tickets now!!! pic.twitter.com/79AQE4vCxe
— Chris Styles (@TheFutureChris) August 4, 2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
One of the bright spots of Disney’s earnings report from Tuesday was the health of its streaming platforms. During the quarter, ESPN+ increased by 7.9 million subscribers to 8.5 million. You would have to attribute a lot of that growth to the UFC being one of the few sports properties running over the past few months, which included the huge UFC 249 event from May with Justin Gaethje vs. Tony Ferguson and last month’s UFC 251 card with Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal and two other title fights. Disney’s other streaming services also saw increases led by Disney+ that added 24 million subscribers this past quarter with 50 million subscribers total. Hulu added 3.4 million subscribers leading to a total of 101.5 million between the three services.
Felt that was an interesting article especially when comparing it to WWE and their struggles to grow their WWE Network sub base to levels they still haven't hit all these years later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
WWE ended up taping only one episode of SmackDown on Tuesday at the Performance Center after the original plans called for two episodes to be taped. The call was made Monday to scrap the taping of the second episode, which would be the show airing on August 14th. I was told they are still finalizing the schedule for when they will be taping their next shows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Scott Steiner's restaurant recently announced that it is being closed, but Steiner wrote on social media that he is looking to open a sports bar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Booker T was not a fan of TNA moving away from the six-sided ring.

Longtime TNA/IMPACT fans certainly remember the company having a six-sided ring when TNA Impact premiered in June 2004. It was done to give the promotion a unique presentation compared to what most wrestling fans were used to, and while there were flaws with it, it certainly stood out.

The six-sided ring was done away with in January 2010 upon the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.

Speaking on his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T recalled the change and why it was such a mistake.

"I had left the week before Hogan came in. Honestly, what I thought, when they changed to the four-sided ring and I heard it was being debated, I didn't agree with it. I believed in the identity that TNA had built that was different, different than any other wrestling company ever produced. Having the six-sided ring was different. Did I like the six-sided ring? Not really. It wasn't my cup of tea. (It was) hard and a lot of guys used it better to do their tricks off of. I knew I wasn't going to be taking many bumps and I knew I wasn't going to be jumping off the top rope. I was good with the situation. I'm thinking about the future, not the past, and the identity this company had built and when they went away from the six-sided ring because of Hogan coming in, me personally, Hogan should've been thinking about the same thing. [He's] not going to take any bumps or do anything off the top rope, so it shouldn't matter if these young kids want to go around and do all this stuff. We need them to do that. Moving away from the six-sided ring was the bullet in the head that put TNA out of the question as being something different and new," he said.

The six-sided ring returned in June 2014, but was gone again in January 2018. TNA/IMPACT still uses the traditional four-sided ring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
When the AEW rankings came out earlier this morning, it officially had AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida at 20 career AEW wins. This makes Shida the first woman ever to get 20 wins in an AEW ring, joining Trent, Scorpio Sky, Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Frankie Kazarian, Cody and Hangman Page to also win 20 AEW matches. The two women closest to the 20-win mark are Nyla Rose at 14 wins and Britt Baker at 13 wins.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Finn Balor's alternate persona "The Demon" hasn't been seen since Super ShowDown 2019 and Finn doesn't want to talk about it, until he had to talk about it.

During the SummerSlam 1992 watch party on Fox Sports 1, Balor joked that he didn't want to talk about paint during the Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior match, which of course led to Balor and Renee Young talking about paint.

During the discussion, Balor recalled the original idea for wanting to paint his body and how it grew from there.

"The paint was was a weird idea, it was supposed to be a once-off. I had been working babyface for like six and a half years in Japan and they asked me if I wanted to turn heel. I thought, 'Okay, I'll take everything away that they recognize from me as a babyface. [Jushin Thunder] Liger had already worn the bodysuit and I didn't want to change my body too much so I thought, 'Why not cover my body in black paint?' The idea was that the babyface would be wrestling against this shadow in the ring. That was where the concept came from. The more I played with it, I found a really good painter in Tokyo and we came up with my first Demon character. It was supposed to be a once-off and I'll never forget, I told Karl Anderson a month before it happened, 'I'm going to cover myself in paint for Tokyo Dome' and he said, 'You're gonna look stupid. Everyone is gonna laugh at you. The paint is gonna go everywhere and you'll look like an idiot.' I always remember that one," he said.

Balor has brought out 'The Demon' multiple times in WWE, but it's been over a year since his last appearance.

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Old 08-06-2020, 09:17 PM   #1412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Coming on a night where they faced competition in the form of three of the four major sports, AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT ratings were both up from last week.

Last night's Dynamite was up 16.6 percent in total viewers, averaging 901,000 viewers. NXT was also up 6.5 percent, averaging 753,000 viewers ...

In the 18-49 demo, AEW averaged a 0.36 rating, up 20 percent from last week. Dynamite finished fifth overall on cable behind two NBA games, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and Real Housewives ...

NXT saw an 11.1% increase in the 18-49 demo from last week, averaging a 0.20 rating. NXT finished 27th overall on cable for the night.

The combined 18-49 number of 0.56 beat all three hours of Raw on Monday.

The story in the other demo categories was similar to most weeks in that NXT won the 50+ category with a 0.39 to 0.33 advantage, the exact same numbers as last week. AEW won every other demo and doubled or nearly doubled NXT in almost every category, particularly in the younger demos.

AEW's strongest category was men 18-49, where Dynamite averaged a 0.45 rating, tied for third on cable for the night. It's notable that AEW averaged a 0.29 rating in people 18-34. That beat Raw this week by itself, which averaged a 0.28 in that category.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
AEW’s viewership average was its highest since March 18th, which was the first empty arena show after the shutdown and their sixth-highest number of the year. In the 18-49 demo, it was their best performance since February 5th, which did the same rating. This week’s demo number is tied for AEW’s second-best performance of the year with the episodes airing on January 1st, January 8th, and Feb. 5th ...

For NXT, they did see increases in all their demos as well as overall viewership, which averaged 753,000 and was up 6.5% this week. It was their best numbers in those categories since the second Great American Bash show on July 8th that was headlined by the Double Tite Match between Adam Cole and Keith Lee ...

It was a rare week where no key demo decreased on either program.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer
Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee is now official for NXT TakeOver XXX after McAfee posted a video accepting the challenge that was issued to him. The show is taking place on Saturday, August 22.
The fact this actually got made as an official Takeover match is crazy. Feud itself has been somewhat dumb but to actually waste a spot on a TakeOver card is another thing. Road Dogg really wasn't joking when he mentioned a while ago that NXT was going to start leaning a lot more into WWE booking mentality for the brand and storylines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Triple H announced that Metallica’s “Moth Into Flame” is an official theme song of NXT TakeOver XXX: “#NXTTakeOver: XXX will be our biggest event yet…so we had to make it as LOUD as possible. A special thank you to @Metallica for this #NXTLoud theme. ‘Moth Into Flame’ gets even LOUDER on S&M2, out August 28th. #WeAreNXT”
Link: https://twitter.com/TripleH/status/1291090843995123713

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Eric Bischoff is not officially All Elite.

Bischoff made a surprise appearance on Wednesday's AEW Dynamite as the moderator for the debate between Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy. It was his first appearance on TNT wrestling since 2000 when he was a regular on WCW Nitro.

Mike Johnson at PWInsider reported Bischoff's appearance was a one-off. Bill Pritchard of WrestleZone talked to Bischoff and asked if any future plans with AEW were discussed. Bischoff said, “No. It was a cameo and it made sense in that particular scene between Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho."
Quote:
Originally Posted by PWI
Q - Could the hooded new group in WWE be formerly released wrestlers?

A - That would actually be a hell of a story, but I haven't heard that to be the case. They could easily just have everyone under hoodies until the reveal so it would be very easy to have others in their place before the reveal.
From PWI's weekly Q&A articles about who might be members of WWE's new mysterious faction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
Xavier Woods guest appeared on The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast. Woods spoke about his gaming feud with Kenny Omega and stated that he still wants to do an inter-promotional wrestling match with Omega.

“Kenny Omega has been on my YouTube show before and so have the Young Bucks. We have been able to do a Street Fighter Tournament together with a wrestling spin on it of course with the contract signing and cutting promos on each other beforehand. Using video games as a conduit we have been able to do something no one else has been able to do. That rivalry is still going strong today and I’m pretty sure it will never end. I would love to do some sort of inter-promotional match with him one day. The goal is to destroy boundaries. Do things that we aren’t supposed to be doing because people would really enjoy it. Given the right circumstances, I do think it could happen, but we’ll see.”

Xavier Woods recounted some of his experiences with Vince McMahon and mentioned how McMahon was laughing uncontrollably backstage when he first saw Woods with the trombone. Once New Day got to the backstage area, McMahon told Woods to always carry the trombone with him.

“I decided why don’t I bring out the trombone to the ring with me. I may never get another chance to bring it out onto TV with me. Kofi and Big E are having a match and I’m on the floor, as per usual (laughs). So I have the trombone and I’m thinking to myself what would make the guys laugh. I just started randomly playing the trombone during the match and during the commercial break the cameraman walked up to me. He said Vince is dying laughing in the back, he loves the trombone, keep playing it. Vince had tears in his eyes and he was screaming laughing, he loved it that much. When we got to the back he said, ‘Forever, forever, you will always be bringing out the trombone to the ring with you.'”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Post Wrestling
D-Von Dudley welcomed Kofi Kingston onto the Table Talk podcast. Kofi was asked about the public viewing him as the first African-American WWE Champion and not Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Kofi feels that it’s “silly” that people don’t associate that accolade with Johnson because he’s half-Samoan.

“And I agree with you too man. I think it’s sometimes kinda silly that people try to not count The Rock in that category because regardless of what you look like, you are what you are, you know what I’m saying? He’s black, whether he’s half-black or full black, he’s black so, but I definitely take a lot of pride in that sentiment like you said. I think for a long time, people of color, especially African Americans have been waiting for someone who looks exactly like them to hold that championship title and I mention it all the time but on Twitter and social media, the moment that happened, I got so many different messages and people in tears. There’s a video of actually Shad [Gaspard] and MVP crying.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Figghtful
Anyone who has seen The Rock's animated hit "Moana" knows just how catchy those songs are. "You're Welcome" was listed in the Top 5 of Spotify's most listened to Disney songs in the car.

And Daniel Bryan, like most parents out there who have had to endure the song endlessly after one viewing of "Moana," is TIRED OF HEARING IT!

Taking to social media, Bryan gave his reason as to why he wants a match with The Rock. Not because it would do big business at the box office or elevate Bryan's career to new heights. Nope, it's all because he's sick of that friggin' song.

Always one to put talent over, The Rock is ready to do the job for Bryan.
Link: https://twitter.com/WWEDanielBryan/s...76874136903681 , https://twitter.com/TheRock/status/1291444518215192577

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Vickie Guerrero is officially All Elite.

Speaking with Simon Hannig of Daily DDT, Vickie confirmed that she officially signed her AEW contract this week. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Vickie made cameo appearances in Inner Circle segments during 2020 but took on a more prominent on-screen role at AEW Fight for the Fallen when she was announced as the manager for Nyla Rosa.

When asked about joining AEW instead of going back to WWE, Vickie said, "No hesitation, put it that way. I retired from WWE in 2014. My focus was not to return to them. We just had a lot of just difference of opinions and things going on. If it wasn’t going to be for AEW, I don’t think I would be anywhere else, but when AEW presented that there was some opportunity, I gave 100%, just my whole being. I said, 'I’m here for you and I can’t wait to be a team player with the company.'"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
Kazuchika Okada has an idea of what his first stipulation for the KOPW Title tournament will be.

During today's NJPW Summer Struggle show, Okada revealed that he is in the tournament as well as Yujiro Takahashi. Okada cut a quick promo on Takahashi and made his first proposal for their first round match which is Okada facing Takahashi in a 3 vs. 1 handicap match, except it is Okada who would be at a disadvantage.
Link: https://twitter.com/njpwglobal/statu...28412095660032

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fightful
On Monday, AEW began its Women's Tag Team Tournament: The Deadly Draw. The concept behind the tournament is similar to WCW's Lethal Lottery where teams are randomly drawn for the tournament.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Brandi Rhodes, discussed the tournament and how it will help spotlight the women in the division.

“I see people saying they want more for the women in AEW, and that’s where my idea for the Tag Team Cup Tournament came from,” said Rhodes. “I don’t book the women’s division, but I help out wherever I can, and I’m really excited for this tournament. I hope people take their cues from the women involved, because we’re really excited about this. This exists on its own, with no restraints. I think people are going to be charmed by it, both by the production and the talent. Very quickly, it’s become a labor of love, with graphics, travel, filming pre-tapes, every detail. People are working really hard to create new content. It’s not tacked onto Dark or Dynamite, this is the start of something great for the women’s division.”

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Old Yesterday, 01:29 PM   #1413
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The Sheets (Observer Newsletter Edition):

Quote:
WWE announced on 8/5 that Nick Khan, the man who negotiated the company’s current television deals with FOX and NBC Universal for Raw, Smackdown and NXT, has been named new company President and Chief Revenue Officer.

Essentially he takes the position formerly held by George Barrios, and is basically the replacement for both Barrios and Michelle Wilson, who were fired in January, leading to a huge drop in the WWE stock price due to investor uncertainty. Khan signed a lucrative five-year deal which is valued at approximately $35.5 million if profits each year reach their target amount and he remains with the company for that duration. He also receives a full benefits package. Khan’s deal includes relocating to Stamford by the end of this month and working in the company offices, reporting directly, and only, to Vince McMahon.

Khan was the Co-Head of Television at the Creative Arts Agency (CAA), which took over WWE’s television negotiations for its Raw and Smackdown deals after the split between WWE and Endeavor over the conflict of interest of the same group at the same time negotiating both UFC and WWE deals with the feeling they were in competition ...

Khan was also involved in a later deal to get NXT onto the USA Network, which was key, because the show without the big lead-in provided would have done far worse on FS 1 as was originally talked with. Even though WWE drew far more eyeballs, historically pro wrestling eyeballs were not considered valuable for television with the belief it draws from lower-income audiences. But CAA and WWE leveraged a bidding war between NBC Universal and Fox, first for Raw, and then for Smackdown, which led to the company increasing its rights fees by 260 percent for its two major franchise shows ...

It would make sense that one of Khan’s early moves would be to attempt to sell network property, whether it be the PPVs, or that and more content, to a larger streaming company and get similar level guaranteed money. Vince McMahon had attempted to do that earlier in the year and predicted a deal before WrestleMania, but talks fell apart due to money tightening from the big players due to the pandemic. With his experience, he would no doubt become the key person in the company involved in negotiations in around 2022, for the Raw & Smackdown deals that expire in October 2024, as well as the NXT deal, which is believed to expire in October 2021 ...

There are a number of other key aspects of this deal, but with his contacts with not only the major players in cable and streaming, as well as the sports business media, Khan is a key hire for the next round of contract negotiations as far as being within the company as opposed to outside the company, which can make them and in other ways save them significant amounts of money ...

Khan was a huge part of the FOX deal, which is the key deal because USA is not going to give up on WWE even though they were on board with a short-term decline as an 18-month rebuilding phase which was then dropped last month, and instead the declines continued at a stronger rate. He also has a good relationship with USA Network, which was strong on Paul Heyman ...

The company made a second hire this past week, as James Kimball, who had been the operations head of the UFC Performance Institute, overseeing both the Shanghai, China and Las Vegas training facilities, is moving to Stamford, CT to take a senior business operations role in WWE according to Marc Raimondi of ESPN. Dr. Duncan French, who had been the performance head of the Performance Institutes, will take over as the operational head.
Quote:
WWE is just over two weeks away from its weekend of SummerSlam and Takeover and three weeks from Backlash. AEW is also four weeks away from its second All Out show.

SummerSlam, the traditional No. 3 show of the year in the U.S., currently has no announced location even though it is three weeks away. Originally set for Boston, and then Orlando, the latest word is that it will be in Atlantic City. Vince McMahon had wanted it outside of Orlando to have a different look. He strongly wanted it before fans but it’s not clear whether that will be the case. If there are no fans, there is no imminent need to announce a location.

The other three shows at this point are from Florida ...

NXT Takeover the night before, which usually is built up with more straight-forward angles, will be headlined by Keith Lee vs. Karrion Kross for the NXT title and Io Shirai vs. Dakota Kai for the women’s title ...

Pat McAfee vs. Adam Cole is happening in some form as an attempt to get mainstream sports attention. McAfee was a former All-Pro punter with the Indianapolis Colts but he’s been a WWE Network pregame show character for quite a while, along with being a streaming talk show host. Depending on how it’s done, this will be a real test for Cole having to carry a guy in his first match. But the guy is a legit athlete and he’s 33 years old, so even though he had his football injuries, he’s by no means old. This is all about getting the brand publicity outside of pro wrestling circles and it’ll be a challenge to see just how good Cole really is.
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Regarding the note from last week about furloughed employees being told they were not being brought back in August, this has led to a lot of significant unhappiness. They furloughed about 240 full-time non-wrestlers in mid-April, so while the wrestlers were not figured into the large profits for the quarter because they were still being paid through mid-July, there was the savings of some money in quarter two of employee cuts in that $51.6 million in savings. The producers and others in live events pretty much knew they were done until those shows returned. Most of the others expected to be back at the start of July. A few of those people were brought back, but it’s a small number. The basic argument is that the furloughs made sense in April due to the unforeseen prospects of the future, because if they missed providing new television for weeks, which was possible had it not been for Gov. DeSantis in Florida, the contracts that carry the company could have been in jeopardy. Plus, Vince at first was terribly fearful if they didn’t air shows live they could cancel the deals. But by July, that fear was gone. FOX & NBC Universal weren’t opting out, nor demanding the shows be live, and WWE has a place to tape with no fear of being booted out, or limited fear because nobody can 100 percent see a future that nobody really knows. The argument is that by July, they knew they were setting profit records and then to extend the furloughs twice since then is the thing employees were really upset about. Right now the date is 8/28 so they’d come back in September, but nobody knows how many will be back or if it’ll be extended another month. And of course, it’s the worst time ever for the job market. And there may be the feeling that they just set record profits with lower costs and that maybe they don’t need all those people after all. But the unhappiness is that management already knew the quarter two records and seven days before the investment call they extended the furloughs another month
For some perspective, WWE employees around 1000 people although not entirely sure if that actually includes wrestlers or not. Either way, a huge chunk of the company got impacted by those furloughs and releases.

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I can’t confirm pen to paper, but Rey Mysterio is staying, as was always the betting line outcome of this, but it’s as close to official without confirmation of it being official, and obviously Dominik is a big part of that deal. AEW made an offer that equaled the WWE’s per-match offer, but the WWE offer was higher because it was for more dates. We don’t have a time frame past this new deal would be considerably longer than the previous (18 months) deal but not the five-years or longer deals that WWE has tried to get everyone on
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There were all kinds of issues on 8/3 and 8/4 with the tapings for the 8/3 and 8/10 Raw shows and 8/7 Smackdown show. It’s always chaotic day of the show, but this was said to be an overly chaotic week due to the 7/27 show doing so poorly in the ratings even with a hotshot show and Vince being grilled by investors about ratings as well as negative articles on the ratings not in the wrestling world but outside the world where that has been largely, particularly the financial and entertainment world. Vince McMahon during the week came up with Shane’s return and what that would entail and an angle with Orton and Ric Flair and he wouldn’t commit to any other outside ideas. As of the morning of the show, that was all he had approved of and a show was written but not with him approving of any other elements. There was a meeting during the day before the investment call on 7/30 described as brutal as Vince approved nothing. They had another meeting on 7/31 which lasted four hours. He did talk forever about how much he loves Bayley and her new persona and that he sees Peyton Royce and Bianca Belair as singles stars. After Raw on 8/4, with Smackdown the next day in chaos due to Vince blowing up the scripted show and the loss of some people at the last minute expected to appear on the show, the decision was made to only tape one week of Smackdown on 8/4, instead of two. The original plan was to tape NXT on 8/12 for both 8/12 and 8/19, and that is still on. Since key people in production will be there, the 8/14 Smackdown show will be taped on 8/13, the next day. The 8/17 Raw show, scheduled to be taped a few hours earlier that day along with the 8/21 Smackdown show, was moved to being taped on 8/13 with the Smackdown show to save on costs. However that still leaves the 8/21 Smackdown show, and officially no decision was made about that show at press time. Right now, aside from Takeover on 8/22 and the upcoming PPV dates, there is nothing scheduled and everything is to be determined. The logic would be the 8/21 show to be taped on its own the day before, since the production team is already working the next day in Florida and it makes no sense to bring them in twice. But those in the company, talent, producers, production people, writers and others have not been told of any television taping dates after 8/13
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So this is the situation with the draft, which at last word is expected for October with two dates (a Smackdown and a Raw date) being talked about. It was scheduled for October, but then talked about for August because they know they need to make changes. Then it was brought up that doing it in early August would mess up the angles for SummerSlam. So then it was September. Last week the idea was late August, but then with the second PPV show on 8/30, they figured to wait until after that. So then it was moved to October which is where it is this week, but can easily change, like everything does
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Regarding the story about NXT adding new writers , there have been three people who were on the regular writing team who were moved to writing NXT when it moved to television in September. They’ve added two others, one who had been a former writer brought back to the company and the other someone on the writing team who was working for the company moved to NXT. Although nobody will say it, there is a lot of unhappiness about losing in the ratings every week. The unhappiness shouldn’t be losing as much as the complete inability to draw those under 50. NXT has always had writers but they were people who were on the main roster writing team who would also help write NXT. Since going on television, NXT was given three exclusive writers and now that number has been upped to five
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NEW JAPAN: For the 8/29 Jingu Stadium show, it looks like they are going with 30 percent capacity, which would be around 10,000 tickets with about 2,000 priced at $188 and the other 8,000 at $103.50 so in theory they can do the million dollar gate that they were hoping for out of Madison Square Garden. What we were told is that the number of tickets being sold is not public but it would be about the same as the Yakult Swallows games are being set up for. That could end up being 50 percent capacity or 18,000, but I don’t know that they have the card that would draw that many people and at this point still only have two matches announced and we’re a few weeks away. They do have the deal where most fans haven’t been able to get into shows, since the Tokyo shows have been held at 482 paid at Korakuen Hall, so most fans aren’t being able to get tickets, and this show would be the first most would be able to attend in Tokyo in months, so that could help attendance
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Harold Meij did an interview with Weekly Toyo Kazai. The subject was talking about the pandemic and how it affected the business. He noted that 50 percent of New Japan revenue is live ticket sales and that merchandise at the events is a large percentage as well ...

Regarding New Japan World numbers, he said they did drop to 90,000 during the months of not running shows, which did hold up better than you’d think with months of no new events. They are now back around 100,000, broken down as about 60,000 in Japan (few subscription streaming services do big business in Japan as compared to other countries) and 40,000 outside Japan. They’ve peaked at 120,000 to 125,000 during Wrestle Kingdom or G-1 season, as well as during last year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament ...

He noted that only 20 percent of New Japan’s revenue comes from a combination of New Japan World and TV rights fees. Right now WWE’s revenue is 90 percent those two categories so they could continue with minimal economic damage, and actually ended up being far more profitable during the pandemic. Meij noted that 60 percent or more of revenue coming from television rights fees is the norm in the international sports world.
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Regarding Excalibur, he will be back. Nobody has officially said anything but we were told he was flying to Jacksonville for next week’s television and unless things change would be back on the first show taped that airs on 8/12. His name hasn’t been mentioned on either Dynamite or Dark and Taz was in his spot on both shows
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While not getting a lot of pub, they [AEW] have cut back on extras that were being brought in weekly. Pineapple Pete was the biggest name not brought back
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The most-watched shows on the WWE Network for the past week were: 1. Greatest Stars of the 90s; 2. Day of Extreme Rules with Bayley and Banks; 3. Extreme Rules; 4. Best of Saturday Night’s Main Event; 5. Raw Talk for 8/3; 6. Double Champions of the last decade; 7. Raw from 6/29. It’s a bad thing when a month old Raw show is beating NXT, 205 Live and NXT U.K
To be fair to NXT UK, WWE's been mostly running "Best Of" episodes for the brand ever since they stopped tapings.

WWE Ratings, AEW vs. NXT Ratings, Impact Ratings, & Coronavirus Impact on Ratings stuff:
SPOILER: show

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Raw on 8/3 was in a sense a ratings bright spot but also a question mark regarding where it was yet another hotshot that will result in more damage down the line.

Even going against the NBA, Raw increased 6.1 percent overall and 6.8 percent in 18-49 from last week’s low marks and averaged 1,715,000 viewers and 0.51 (660,000 viewers) in 18-49.

The number was still the sixth lowest of all-time, but was also the best the show has done overall in five weeks.

The increase was a combination of last-day hype of the return of Shane McMahon and the debut of a new group, and during the show, of the anticipation of both and hype of Raw Underground, a Fight Club like presentation.

The second hour did strongly. It was the most-watched hour of the show in five weeks, with major growth over hour one ...

The first hour did 1,710,000 viewers. The second hour increased to 1,824,000 viewers while hour three declined to 1,610,000 viewers.

But each demo told a different story. Women 18-49 grew 22.2 percent in our two before falling 9.1 percent in hour three. Men 18-49 grew 10.2 percent in hour two and then fell 4.6 percent in hour three. Teenage girls grew 17.8 percent in hour two and then grew another 21.6 percent in hour three. Teenage boys grew 17.4 percent in hour two and another 22.8 percent in hour three. Over 50 stayed the same in hour two but fell 15.3 percent in hour three.

For a comparison, last week’s show fell 88.0 percent after hour two with teenage girls, 52.6 percent after hour two with teenage boys and 7.2 percent after hour two with those over 50
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Smackdown on 7/31 did a 1.18 rating, 1,894,000 viewers (1.33 viewers per home) and a 0.50 (644,000 viewers) 18-49 rating.

Viewers were down 1.6 percent going against NBA action, the rating was down 3.3 percent but 18-49 was up 4.2 percent, so it’s an overall plus. It was the third lowest number of viewers since Smackdown went on FOX, barely ahead of 5/1 and well ahead of 7/3, which was the record low due to the holiday weekend. But the 18-49 number was well up from the last several weeks. With the lower viewing number but higher 18-49 number, the median viewer age dropped to 55.3 years old.

Smackdown was last place in viewers among network programming which was almost all reruns, but it was the only show to hit 0.5 in 18-49 among networks shows with a number of 0.4s. However it was third for the night, as even with the advantage of being in 34 percent more homes, both NBA games beat Smackdown in 18-49 ...

The segments were 1.90 million for A.J. Styles vs. Gran Metalik, 1.84 million for clips of Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus, Hardy and King Corbin interviews, Corbin vs. Drew Gulak and the Matt Riddle-Chad Gable angle. It was 1.95 million for Big E vs. Miz and Naomi vs. Lacey Evans as the high point of the show. And it did 1.87 million for the Mandy Rose-Sonya Deville angle and Bayley vs. Nikki Cross ...

FOX on the same week last year with rerun programming did 1,514,000 viewers and 0.3 in 18-49.
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There was a major turning point this past week, as for the first time, even with head-to-head competition from both NXT and an NBA game with LeBron James, AEW won the week in both the overall 18-34 demo for the first time and in 18-34 women for the second time ...

AEW had 201,000 18-34 viewers as compared to 200,000 for Raw and 183,000 for Smackdown. Smackdown has the huge advantage of being on FOX and should blow away the field, but doesn’t.

It was close with men, but both WWE shows were still ahead, with Smackdown at 118,000, Raw had 110,000 and AEW at 108,000. With women, AEW had the edge with 83,000 to 80,000 for Raw and 61,000 for Smackdown ...

For 8/5, AEW did its beat overall number since 3/18 and best 18-49 number since 2/5, for a loaded up show where every key star had a segment. But NXT did well with, even with stronger competition with the NBA, it did its best numbers four weeks.

AEW did 901,000 viewers and a 0.36 in 18-49 (461,000 viewers), good for fifth place in the key demo on the night, trailing two NBA games, Tucker Carlson and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills ...

NXT did 753,000 viewers and 0.20 in 18-49 (255,000 viewers). It was 27th for the night in 18-49 ...

The NBA actually skews younger than AEW. Right now of major sports, AEW has the third youngest age skew behind soccer and the NBA ...

AEW won every key demo, and huge with the young ones. In Males 18-34, AEW nearly tripled NXT. AEW had 108,000 viewers (up 58.8 percent form last week) while NXT had 39,000 (identical to last week). In women 18-34, AEW had 83,000 viewers (up 27.7 percent from last week) and NXT had 36,000 (up 50.0 percent from last week), so AEW doubled there a well. In men 35-49 AEW had 183,000 viewers (up 0.5 percent from last week) and NXT had 121,000 (up 17.5 percent from last week0. In women 35-49, AEW had 87,000 (up 10.1 percent from last week) and NXT had 59,000 (down 9.2 percent from last week).

In the main event battle, AEW did 863,000 viewers and 450,000 in 18-49 for the Jon Moxley vs. Darby Allin title match. NXT had 713,000 viewers and 249,000 in 18-49 for Imperium vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly, which was really a segment built around the Adam Cole-Pat McAfee angle.

The night featured the most successful segments since the early weeks of the pandemic, with the Young Bucks & FTR & Kenny Omega & Adam Page vs. Dark Order match averaging 943,000 viewers, besting the Young Bucks vs. Butcher & Blade that did 912,000. Six of the eight quarters on the show beat the 887,000 mark for the Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole double title match that had been the pandemic high point until recent weeks.

In 18-49, the Chris Jericho/Orange Cassidy debate did 487,000 as the peak, and there were five of eight AEW quarters that beat the 459,000 18-49 number of Young Bucks vs. Butcher & Blade from two weeks earlier that was the previous top Wednesday mark since April.

The first quarter saw AEW do 943,000 viewers and 460,000 in 18-49 for the 12 man tag match. NXT, with its big lead-in edge, did 820,000 viewers and 232,000 in 18-49 for Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley. This was both group’s total audience peak.

The second quarter saw AEW do 943,000 viewers and 479,000 in18-49 for the ending of the 12 man, a Moxley interview and the beginning of Ortiz & Santana vs. Best Friends. NXT did 777,000 viewers and 252,000 in 18-49 for the ending of Kai vs. Ripley and post-match, and Bronson Reed vs. Shane Thorne.

The third quarter saw AEW do 885,000 viewers and 451,000 in 18-49 for most of Best Friends vs. Ortiz & Santana. NXT did 771,000 viewers and 263,000 in 18-49 for the kidnapping of Fandango, a Robert Stone interview and the beginning of Damien Priest vs. Oney Lorcan vs. Ridge Holland.

The fourth quarter saw AEW do 919,000 viewers and 460,000 in 18-49 for the MJF interview, Matt Hardy interview and angle with Sammy Guevara and Ortiz & Santana messing up Sue’s minivan. NXT did 756,000 viewers and 285,000 in 18-49 for the bulk of the Priest vs. Lorcan vs. Holland three-way which was the 18-49 peak of the night for NXT.

The fifth quarter saw AEW do 915,000 viewers and 471,000 in 18-49 for Cody & Matt Cardona vs. John Silver & Alex Reynolds. NXT did 759,000 viewers and 263,000 in 18-49 for Keith Lee vs. Cameron Grimes.

The sixth quarter saw AEW do 918,000 viewers and 487,000 in 18-49 for the Jericho/Cassidy debate with Eric Bischoff. NXT did 700,000 viewers and 242,000 in 18-49 for the Lee/Karrion Kross confrontation and the Santos Escobar guys beating up Tyler Breeze & Fandango.

The seventh quarter saw AEW do 825,000 viewers and 427,000 in 18-49 for the post-debate, Britt Baker’s interview and Reba vs. Big Swole. NXT did 730,000 viewers and 255,000 in18-49for the Pat McAfee stuff and Indi Hartwell vs. Tegan Nox.
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IMPACT: We have monthly average television ratings for the Thursday night prime time show for this year. January averaged 169,000 viewers and 49,000 in 18-49 (0.04 in the demo). February averaged 181,000 viewers and 54,000 in 18-49 (0.04). March averaged 161,000 viewers and 36,000 in 18-49 (0.03). April averaged 144,000 and 27,000 in 18-49 (0.02). May averaged 153,000 and 34,000 in 18-49 (0.03). June averaged 141,000 and 32,000 in 18-49 (0.02). July averaged 153,000 and 44,000 in 18-49 (0.03). The key takes is that Impact draws a much older audience than any other wrestling show. Impact is also the most-watched show on the station. We don’t have the median but you can get a glimpse of the age by looking at the percentage of viewers of a show that are 18-49. Impact was 28.8 percent in July. For the week of 7/27 to 8/2, Raw was 38.2 percent, AEW was 51.0 percent, NXT was 32.7 percent and Smackdown was 34.0 percent. So Impact is skewing far older than even NXT and Smackdown, and those shows are in the 55-57 range as the age of the median viewer
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There are a few things to look at regarding how television viewing has changed during the pandemic, looking at WWE, NXT, AEW and Impact.

What we are doing here is comparing July, which means that the stronger numbers that both Raw and AEW did as compared to July are not factored in. But the overall 12-17 and 18-34 trend, huge drops for Raw and Smackdown, and staying even and lesser drops respectively for AEW, had been building all month to where the lines would intersect.

Right now, AEW, with competition, is very close and sometimes even ahead of both Raw and Smackdown, without competition, under the age of 35 ...

Raw for July was down 36.2 percent from the prior year, by far the largest year-to-year drop in the history of the show. Now, some, if not much of this is the pandemic, and we’ve never had a year where Raw had no crowd. The previous record drop was between April 2018 to April 2019, which was down 25 percent. The April drop was 21 percent from the prior year. The May drop was 23 percent. And the June drop was 24 percent. Paul Heyman’s removal came in early June, and then they had the two good weeks when they brought back Ric Flair, Big Show and Christian before that gimmick ran its course and things fell harder than ever.

Even scarier is that in the history of Raw, there was never a 30 percent drop year-to-year for any show in history over the same week the prior year that can’t be explained by either a holiday or a special episode.

But over the past six weeks, the drop from the year before has exceeded 30 percent in five of those weeks. So we can say that even though WWE has added an audience making the atmosphere better, the audience has declined from the complete empty arena shows, and that goes for Smackdown as well ...

First, we looked at the month of February, which was when things were going usual even though there were certainly hints of problems. Really, nobody was taking it seriously until early March and then, in a hurry, the world changed. Everything stopped production except WWE, AEW and Impact Wrestling ...

We’ll start with Raw. Raw averaged 2,288,000 viewers in February and 1,623,000 in July, a decline of 29.1 percent. In 18-49, the average went from 0.74 to 0.48, a decline of 35.1 percent ...

As expected, the largest audience, over 50, remained the most loyal, but that is still a scary drop over a five-month period ...

We don’t have the same level of details for Smackdown as far as different groups, but we do have the key numbers.

Smackdown in February averaged 2,542,000 viewers and 0.75 in 18-49. In July it averaged 1,878,000 viewers and a 0.46 in 18-49. So the total viewers during the period were down 26.1 percent and 18-49 dropped 38.7 percent, so while the audience decline was slightly less than Raw, in the key demo the drop was worse, which also speaks to the audience of Smackdown aging more over the period.

NXT in February averaged 760,000 viewers in February and 701,000 in July, a drop of 7.8 percent, which on the surface sounds good and it is far less than any other show dropped. In 18-49, the drop was from 0.24 to 0.18, or 25.0 percent, which is still less then Raw or Smackdown but when there is a big difference between the total audience drop and the 18-49 drop, it tells you that the audience has aged significantly during the period.

Breaking it down more, in 12-17 the drop was from 0.11 to 0.08, or 27.3 percent. In 18-34, the drop was from 0.15 to 0.09, or 40.0 percent. In 35-49, the drop was 0.32 to 0.28, or 12.5 percent. And in 50+, the audience was 0.37 both before and after the pandemic. So this didn’t hurt NXT with its older audience at all, but it dropped strongly under 35 ...

AEW in February averaged 876,000 viewers and 774,000 in July, a drop of 11.6 percent, which is more of a drop than NXT. But AEW held up with younger viewers better, falling from a 0.30 in 18-49 to 0.28, a drop of 6.7 percent. When the demo drop is less than overall, that means the audience is getting younger.

Among 12-17, AEW actually increased from 0.12 in February to 0.14 in July, an increase of 16.7 percent. In 18-34, the drop was from 0.20 in February to 0.17 in July, or 15.0 percent. In 35-49, the drop was 0.44 in February to 0.42 in July, or a 4.5 percent drop. In 50+, the drop was big, from 0.36 to 0.29, or 19.4 percent ...

Impact went from 181,000 viewers in February to 153,000, a 15.5 percent drop. The 18-49 number went from 54,000 to 44,000, a drop of 18.5 percent, meaning the show is slightly aging. The 18-34 decline was only 5.9 percent but the 35-49 decline was 24.3 percent ...

The average total audience drop, and remember that this is heavily skewed toward those over 50 since with the exception of AEW, every show’s mean is over 50 and Impact is over 60 and NXT is creeping up to it, would be 18.0 percent. Based on that, NXT and AEW have done the best, Impact is under the average and Raw & Smackdown have declined by far the worst ...

In 18-49, the average drop was 24.9 percent. That’s really quite bad for such a short period of time, even with the circumstances. Raw and Smackdown have done poorly. NXT is at the average. AEW has done the best and Impact has kept its audience the second best. Even though all companies declined, a drop of only 6.7 percent under the circumstances does indicate that to 18-49s, AEW is doing a great job of appealing to that audience under bad circumstances ...

In 18-34, which is probably the most important audience when it comes to looking at the future because they are adults, but still not as much set in their ways, meaning open to newer products and not avoiding change, the average decline is 23.2 percent. NXT is under the average, while AEW and Impact have performed spectacularly with only minor declines. Raw in particular has gotten destroyed. A key also is this is the audience most likely to attend live shows and buy merchandise. It’s also the date crowd. It’s the audience that makes the new trends and that live arena business covets.

In 35-49, an older audience more set in their ways, likely more skewed to what they’ve watched for a long time and with greater brand affiliation, already established their favorite sports team, harder to sway, the decline is 17.5 percent not including Smackdown. Raw and Smackdown should by all rights fare the best here and Raw fares the worst. NXT has declined less than average and AEW has only declined 4.5 percent. Impact has fallen more than average.

In 50+, we only have Raw, NXT and AEW to look at and the average decline is 12.7 percent. In this case, an age group that Raw and Smackdown should fare the best in, Raw is still well above average in its decline. But AEW fared the worst. This demo is most important because it is going to sway the overall number the most, since by far the most wrestling fans watching television are over 50. But as far as future growth, it’s the least important, and not important to advertisers or the television stations.

The key to all this, and what we do have complete information on, is that the pandemic is likely the cause of 18 percent audience loss overall and 25 percent in 18-49. Those are very significant drops so any dismissal of the pandemic as a key reason for declines is ignoring the elephant in the room.

Still, it’s not the disaster it could be. The key is that both overall, and more in 18-49, Raw and Smackdown are getting killed as far beyond pandemic levels. Anything above those average numbers is on the product losing appeal, and with Raw and Smackdown, that is very significant.

NXT has done great with the over 50 audience in keeping it. The show has done well with over 35 and not well at all with under 35. And keep in mind that the start point, in February, the show wasn’t doing well under 35 and now has gotten significantly worse. NXT is holding its younger female audience much better than its male audience. Really, all shows are, but Raw’s declines in women 12-49 are still in the 34.7 to 37.3 percent range while NXT is 18.0 and 3.8.

AEW has done great as far as maintaining under 50. In every demo it greatly beats the other shows other than Impact actually has held up the best in 18-34. But the real feather in its cap is women 12-49, where it has maintained and even grown while the other products have declined. While still not at the level of Raw and Smackdown, they have gained significantly among teens and if this trend continues, will be the top show among teens at some point. A 54.2 percent increase in teenage girls watching during this pandemic speaks volumes.
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Old Today, 03:30 PM   #1414
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Most of the under 50 crowd would watch NXT on the Network or on delay. How is that so hard for people to understand? Well, Meltzer probably understands it, but it doesn't make a good story. Also, lol @ "nobody will say it." So it's just made up. Cool.
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Old Today, 04:01 PM   #1415
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Meltzer is such a turd.

"While I can't name names since it was off the record, I can confirm WWE doesn't like it when AEW beats NXT in the ratings."

1. He has no sources, nobody in WWE talks to him.
2. No shit Dave, no shit.
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Old Today, 04:26 PM   #1416
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Well, no shit, but it also completely ignores that NXT has succeeded in its mission to cap AEW and split that hardcore audience. NXT are also still fighting AEW with one hand tied behind their back using nothing but limited resources found largely on site and they're obviously being patient and still putting their content up on the WWE Network the next day.

It was obvious AEW was going to beat NXT out the gate. That's why NXT debuted earlier. Is it annoying that the new car smell on AEW is lasting this long? Sure. And it's probably frustrating that when NXT does turn the tides, the hardcore fans snap back to give AEW another edge. But they're very obviously being patient with that. It just isn't cool to say and you get called a WWE cocksucker for pointing out the obvious long-term strategy of waiting them out.
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Old Today, 04:30 PM   #1417
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Sometimes people confuse Meltzer's opinions as him stating facts -- but remember when he said that Vince McMahon was definitely getting involved in NXT. That was obviously bullshit (history has born that out), but it was also unreasonable (I'm sure Vince's Wednesdays were already busy). It would have also been counterproductive. It also missed the point of what NXT is supposed to be (monetized developmental, boutique product, audition for Triple H). It was also either a straight-up lie or something he heard from AEW that he reported as fact because it helps the narrative.

You cannot trust Meltzer on the AEW/NXT "war." I don't believe he's on the take, but his reporting on it is just not balanced.
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