The wrestling world seemingly was focused outside of the squared circle this past Saturday night, as former WWE Superstar CM Punk stepped into the octagon for his second career fight at UFC 225 in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
Of course we all know by now that Punk fell by unanimous decision to Mike Jackson after toughing it through the full three rounds, whether that’s bad news for his wrestling fans or not is up for debate. There’s more news coming out of UFC 225 that is certainly bad however.
The Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire has a new report about a court appearance for the controversial Conor McGregor stemming from his tirade in the Barclays Center parking garage in April (which you can check out here). However, Pugmire also notes in the report that UFC has struggled with pay-per-view buys, stating that an “industry official” revealed that early estimates for UFC 225 are at less than 150,000.
EA’s Take: Let’s start with whether I buy or sell those numbers and right now, I have no reason to not believe it. Pay-per-view numbers overall for all walks of entertainment are generally down. UFC has had a real lack of star power of late though, which is clearly why someone the skill level of CM Punk is even on the main card of a PPV. That’s the only reason he’s there, name value, which is fine. Clearly it didn’t help much here, but I can say personally I couldn’t even tell you what the main event was and if you’re relying on a guy who got his ass handed to him in his only career fight for support, you’re porked. Unless you’re a die-hard MMA fan, you aren’t paying attention to this. If Ronda Rousey’s on the card, I’m aware of it. Same goes for Conor McGregor, Brock Lesnar. These are polarizing figures that the sport no longer has, at least for the time being.
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Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle: News Involving Ashley Massaro, Ric Flair, NXT, and More! (5/17/19)
News involving Ashley Massaro, Ric Flair, NXT Tag Titles, and More!
News here! News involving Ashley Massaro, Ric Flair, NXT Tag Titles, and More!
Ric Flair Medical Scare?
TMZ Sports broke news Thursday morning that Ric Flair suffered a medical emergency that they quoted as being “very serious.” Later in the day, Conrad Thompson would refute that report and stated that Flair had a planned procedure, but wouldn’t elaborate on any further details. TMZ Sports would post and update from Flair’s wife, Wendy Barlow, and she said:
“Due to ongoing health complications, Ric was taken to the hospital and is expected to undergo a procedure tomorrow morning, after which he expects to fully recovery.”
It’s hard to believe everything you read when it comes to wrestling, so that’s why you should be reading the Chairshot everyday. We sort through the bullshit so you don’t have to. On that note, hopefully things are ok with the Nature Boy. Reading news on Flair like this makes me a little nervous, especially with the medical scare he had in 2017. But it looks like even death itself taps out to the Figure Four.
Alexa Bliss Pulled From Money In The Bank
WWE Tweeted this morning that Alexa Bliss has been pulled from the Money In The Bank ladder match, and has been replaced by Nikki Cross. The reason given by WWE is that Alexa has not been medically cleared to compete. Dave Meltzer is reporting that the reason is indeed injury related, and possibly due to Alexa’s concussion history.
If the company was worried about her concussion history and her participating in a ladder match, why did they attempt to put her in it in the first place?
NXT Tag Titles Vacated
WWE has announced that the NXT Tag Team Championships have been vacated. This shouldn’t be a surprise with the Viking Raiders being called up to the main roster. WWE’s storyline reasoning is due to the controversial ending of the title match between The Viking Raiders and The Street Profits that aired on Wednesday’s episode of NXT. This show was taped on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, from Winter Park, FL at the Full Sail University. William Regal will address the situation on next week’s episode of NXT.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) May 16, 2019
I’m not really shocked that the Viking Raiders were stripped of the titles. The real question is who the next team is that will be crowned champions? Could the Undisputed Era regain the titles?
Kurt Angle On AEW
Kurt Angle is one of the handful of wrestlers who is no stranger to leaving WWE, and re-vitalizing his career with another promotion. So, rightfully, Angle would be someone to ask on thoughts of AEW competing with WWE. Angle spoke with Wrestling Inc on Thursday, and gave some of his thoughts on AEW.
“I want the fans to be excited about it. I’m gonna tell you this though, and I don’t wanna come around in five years and say ‘I told you so.’ Listen, WWE is the No. 1 brand and will always be No. 1…There’s no way in heck anybody’s gonna catch up to them. If this company… I’m not daring them, I’m just saying it’s not bad to be No. 2. If you’re gonna set out to be No. 1, then you’re gonna spend a lot of F’n money,”
WWE will always be around in some way, shape, or form. WCW Monday Nitro wasn’t going to catch WWE. Paul Heyman famously said that Nitro would be dead in 3 months. While the odds will be stacked against AEW, never say never.
Ashley Massaro Passes Away At 39
In a bit of shocking news, former WWE Diva, Ashley Massaro, has passed away at 39 according to TMZ sports. Massaro was transported from her home in Suffolk County, NY to a nearby hospital where she died early Thursday morning.
WOW. Only 39 years old, 3 years older than myself. Thoughts and prayers to her family in this difficult time
DeMarco’s WWE Smackdown YouTube Performance Report (5/14/19)
Did the blue brand deliver on YouTube? Well…Roman did!
Greg DeMarco’s look at the WWE Smackdown YouTube performance for the May 14th broadcast!
As we all know, social media and other outlets have become a huge means of drawing in interaction and viewers for WWE. Most people will point to television ratings like they did during the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990’s, however that can be skewed with so many various means of watching today that do not include cable television. As such, YouTube has joined social media as a metric as important to WWE as television ratings (if not more). The weekly WWE Smackdown YouTube Performance Report is a look into that success metric.
As you’ve become accustomed to, here is this week’s WWE Smackdown YouTube Performance Report, compiled overnight Wednesday night (a few hours more than 24 hours after Smackdown went off the air), for the 5/14/19 edition of WWE Smackdown:
- Roman Reigns & The Usos vs. Shane McMahon, Elias, Daniel Bryan & Erick Rowan – 1.203 million views
- Shane McMahon & Elias attack Roman Reigns & The Miz – 1.057 million views
- Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn attack Kofi Kingston – 601k views
- Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair history/feud video package – 384k views
- Finn Balor vs. Andrade vs. Ali vs. Randy Orton – 369k views
- Asuka & Kairi Sane vs. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville – 310k views
- Shane McMahon makes the handicap match – 111k views
- Lacey Evans promo for Money In The Bank – 82k views
- Ms. Money In The Bank promo – 56k views
- Aleister Black promo – 53k views
Ratings analysis appears after the ad – buy a shirt!
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Greg DeMarco’s WWE Smackdown YouTube Ratings Analysis
No numbers comparison as I wasn’t able to compile last week’s videos. Roman Reigns delivered big time this week, with two videos both over a million views. Those were the only two videos to cross 1 million.
The overall views were down, much like Raw on YouTube this week. But Raw’s TV ranking improved, and it was not opposed by the NBA. That said, if you’re WWE you have to be happy with the performance of Kevin Owens and Kofi Kingston.
My favorite video…The IIconics on commentary!
What did the YouTube results for this week tell you?