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Daily DeMarco: WWE Crash TV vs UFC Style For 2019?

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WWE Crash TV

Greg DeMarco is back to take a look potential changes in WWE television for 2019! Will we see more of a UFC style, a return to Crash TV…or both?

I was recently chatting with Andrew Balaz, and the word “interesting” seems to describe the outlook for 2019, with changes afoot for nearly every major wrestling promotion. One of the overlooked stories headed into 2019 is the move of WWE Smackdown to FOX–possibly because it doesn’t happen until October.

Well the last two weeks of television for WWE have been interesting to say the least. WWE attempted to establish the fans at “The Authority” but in reality it was more of the same–a return to the McMahons all over our television screens. In my opinion, advertising a “shake up” with the return of Vince McMahon was a mistake. Simply advertising his appearance would have been enough, setting the table for a shift only had fans setting too high of an expectation. It was really setting themselves up to fail.

After the recent two weeks of Raw, Rip Rogers (fantastic follow on Twitter, by the way), shared his opinion of how the product could be better:

As much as I respect Rip, I can’t help but disagree. The formula he’s referring to was replaced over 20 years ago because it wasn’t working back then. What replaced it? Crash TV. and Crash TV changed the wrestling business, winning the Monday Night Wars for WWE and shifting how we watch wrestling on a weekly basis.

Raw and Smackdown this week seemed to invite a little more of that old element into their style, and after two weeks it was paying dividends. Many will tell you that the drop in ratings is damning to the product, but the last Christmas Eve Raw was in 2012, and the way we watch television is very different than it was 6 years ago. You simply can’t make a good comparison between the two ratings numbers.

Critically, Raw and Smackdown were better received during the holiday week, with fans enjoying the in-ring product along with the backstage elements that were unexpected and welcomed (such as Santa Vince announcing the coming Women’s Tag Team Championships and non-Santa Vince seemingly challenging AJ Styles to embrace the hate). To me, I saw more of Crash TV in this week’s product than in recent years, and it’s working.

On the flip side, you have WWE Smackdown headed to FOX, and many expect the product to be more athletic and competitive in nature. That makes sense, given the history FOX has with UFC, a deal that changed the fortunes of the world’s largest MMA organization for good.

Fans want a different product, and one thing Rip Rogers has right is that you can infuse some of what worked in the past into today’s offerings. I wouldn’t infuse what he’s saying, but I would borrow from wrestling’s most successful era. A fast moving product that reminds you that “anything can happen” will keep viewers tuned in, and keep people talking.

With an influx of Crash TV, and a move for Smackdown to FOX, I think we could see two very distinct shows by the end of 2019. Raw’s Crash TV vs. Smackdown’s UFC style (focused on building match-ups and athletes) could offer fans with a reason to focus on both shows, and enjoy the differences.

(Note: A return to Crash TV is not a push for an Attitude Era style program. That ship has sailed, but the manner in which the Attitude Era was presented–Crash TV–can have value today.)

We may be having a very different conversation at the end of 2019, comparison the very different styles of Raw and Smackdown for WWE. I hope we do, because it’ll be evidence of a necessary shift for WWE, one I personally would enjoy.

Good Reads On The Chairshot

We had a great planning meeting for 2019 on Thursday night, and I am excited for the goals The Chairshot has for the coming 12 months. At the end of the day, it’s all about you–the reader–and we want to give you the best experience possible. As always, hit me up with any feedback or ideas you may have!

One of my goals? 250 editions of The Daily DeMarco in 2019. That’s right around 5 per week, and will include my ROH coverage as well as my weekly NXT ratings. Let’s have some fun this year!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Levin: Television Deal Gives AEW A Chance To Push WWE Around

With the news of Tuesday Night Dynamite on TNT, it should shake things up. How much potential lies in this AEW deal? 

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With the news of Tuesday Night Dynamite on TNT, it should shake things up. How much potential lies in this AEW deal?

I don’t know if it is competition yet, but the fact AEW has a television deal with WarnerMedia to air live matches in a weekly primetime format on TNT should make things interesting.

I’m not expecting the return of the Monday Night Wars or for Tony Khan to shout from Stone Mountain that he is in the “wrasslin business” as Ted Turner once did to the deaf ears of Vince McMahon. This isn’t the same kind of confrontation between two middle-aged men with egos bigger than the state of Florida.

Per the New York Post, “The new wrestling company and WarnerMedia announced the agreement Wednesday morning. TNT will air live AEW matches weekly in prime time starting in the fall, as well as streaming them on B/R Live and on pay-per-view. AEW will be presented to advertisers during the WarnerMedia Upfront at the Madison Square Garden Theater on Wednesday.”

If this is the kind of entrance Khan and his performers want to make, then I am all for it. Pro wrestling is moving the needle a bit from the monopoly of the McMahons with NJPW, ROH and the NWA grabbing the attention of fans – away from the stale and pungent feel of what WWE has offered ahead of the Money in the Bank PPV. If anything, there is an injection of adrenaline in a business that has been on life support in some circumstances since the last day WCW was in operation and Billionaire Ted gave in to the struggles of trying to get it right on a weekly basis.

Per Joseph Staszewski,” The deal marks the first time wrestling will appear on TNT since the final “WCW Monday Nitro” on March 26, 2001, and officially puts AEW in competition with WWE for prime-time television ratings.”

My son wasn’t two yet and I was on my first wife at the time.

Now comes the fun of seeing what Khan, who is a huge wrestling fan and part owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars will do with top-level talent (Cody, Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, The Young Guns and Britt Baker to name a few) at his disposal.

If the branding and storylines follow that of the old NWA with a splash of WCW from the early 1990s mixed in, then Khan and his venture have a chance to rock the wrestling boat. No one is going to knock McMahon off his lofty perch. But the programming and promotion can offer hardened fans a chance to see their old favorites weekly.

What AEW did by making the announcement in grand style is deliver a message to WWE, which signifies this is an upstart that isn’t afraid to ruffle some feathers. It was the right time with the right company backing them.

It’s time to see if the McMahon old guard is as solid as it once was or can the little engine that could make a dent in a business monopolized for too long.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Greg DeMarco

Greg DeMarco’s Three Stars Of The Night: WWE Smackdown (5/14/19)

They had Kayla Braxton interview Lars Sullivan. Really.

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Kayla Braxton WWE Smackdown

WWE Smackdown is in London this week, and it’s the go home SD Live for Money In The Bank. Who stood out?

WWE Money In The Bank is on the horizon, and the WWE Smackdown side takes it home in dramatic fashion. Who delivered big performances this week?

The Third Star for WWE Raw: Andrade

Andrade is the man. Seriously, he’s taken tranquilo to the main shows in WWE, and it shows in such a good way. I still wish he was on Raw where he’d be given more opportunity, but he still makes the most out of each moment. Despite the “tranquilo” attitude I referred to, every thing he does actually has far more intensity than almost anyone else not named Brock Lesnar, Drew McIntyre, or Roman Reigns. Traditional thinking means a win here won’t lead to a Money In The Bank briefcase retrieval, but if I was booking the show he’d leave Money In The Bank with the WWE Championship.


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The Second Star: Kayla Braxton

These assholes had Kayla Braxton, a mixed-race female, interview Lars Sullivan? LARS SULLIVAN? I don’t know what idiot made that decision, but they need some special training of their own. Kayla, of course, handled it like the true professional she is. But I’m biased, because I love Kayla Braxton.


Must Listen:
Greg DeMarco Show: Who Should Win and Who Will Win at Money In The Bank


The First Star for WWE Smackdown: Kevin Owens

I am so glad Kevin Owens didn’t stay babyface for long. He’s more than a natural heel–he’s a spectacular heel. He told the truth to Kofi (“reality begins…reality ends this Sunday”) and it worked. He answered Kofi’s babyface challenge, but walked away multiple times, which was long enough to make Sami Zayn’s attack unpredictable. He’s fat, looks dirty, and wrestles in a t-shirt. But he’s so good while doing it. Kevin Owens is the heel we all need, in an era where it’s hard to be a true heel.


Who are your Three Stars of WWE Raw?
Comment on social media @ChairshotGreg, @theCHAIRSHOTcom,
and use the hashtag #UseYourHead!


In hockey, a game’s “Three Stars Of The Night” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:

“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.

Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.

The NHL keeps track of its own Three Stars Of The Night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”

In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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