Rob takes a look at the near comedic nature of the AEW television deal and the internet’s treatment of it.
This past Thursday brought out a lot of chatter on Twitter about AEW and their very unclear prospects at landing a TV deal. We’ve been hearing for some time now that they have multiple bidders offering good money and that it’s a matter of picking which one. We’ve also heard that Warner Media appeared to have decided to go in with them and that an announcement of some kind should be coming soon. But now a new rumor surfaced, that they might have to pay for the TV themselves.
Checked back in with an AEW/Turner negotiations source. Person still believes any hefty rights fee is “highly unlikely." A "time-buy" could also just be worked out via adjusted ad rev split. Lots of ways to account for TV money, as we know. (Complex) negotiations continue.
— Tony Maglio (@TonyMaglio) April 19, 2019
Which brought on the jokes from a lot of different people and in turn brought out the ‘you guys are a bunch of WWE stans, why do you want AEW to fail?’ responses from some supporters of AEW. So yes, Thursday night on Wrestling Twitter became the clusterf@# that most nights tend to be. Now before I go any further, let me put out a little disclaimer here.
I am not anti-AEW. I got no quarrel with any of the people there. I’m not a fan of some of them as performers but it’s nothing personal. At least from what I’ve seen Cody in particular has been nothing but gracious towards his former employers and co-workers, and has shot down many an attempt by fans to goad him into bashing WWE and/or Vince McMahon. I don’t know him personally but he seems like a good dude all around, and I respect the hell out of him for not just leaving WWE but leaving with a plan to accomplish what he did not there and not going on and on about his push or lack thereof. I do however take issue with the constant bombardment on my Twitter feed from overzealous fans predicting that AEW is going to take down the WWE, the constant rumors about this WWE wrestler or that one being unhappy why they could/should go to AEW, and with Dave Meltzer’s state run media treatment towards them. Dave has always loved those guys but since the run up to All In he’s become co-opted by The Elite and has spun everything they do as successful and a big deal. He’s already declared that they are the number two company even though they haven’t run a show yet.
So yeah, when something pops up that runs contrary to all the bragging and boasting that the worst AEW fans have been doing….yeah, there are gonna be some jokes fired off. That doesn’t mean we want it to fail, ok? To be honest most of the people I’ve talked to are curious but not necessarily interested in it at all, and would be perfectly fine leaving it to exist and not saying a word one way or the other. As for myself, I’m more interested in the operational side than whatever kind of content they’re ultimately going to be producing. Quite frankly I’m not that pressed to see more wrestling than what I already watch, and that’s not where their success is going to come from anywhere. The thing that rarely gets talked about re: WWE is that how they’ve run their office vs all of their former and current would be competitors has been the real difference maker and not the quality of their wrestling. There are plenty of guys and gals who can get in a ring and put on a good match but there aren’t as many people who can competently run a wrestling company. But anyhow…..
Does this thing have any credibility? We don’t know of course, but consider that virtually every other wrestling company outside of WWE is in a less than prime spot as far as television. Even if the Turner folks don’t hate wrestling like they did 20 years ago there hasn’t been much demand shown for anything that’s not WWE, which has 35 years of branding and trust built up working to it’s advantage. AEW or any other start up company is walking into a network environment that, while it may be friendlier than before, still isn’t looking to do any favors to a wrestling company that may not even out rate some of the reruns that they carry. While them having to pay or maybe just not getting any rights fees may not be what happens, I’m willing to bet they don’t get some huge amount of money. Why? Take off your fan hat and look at things objectively. What kind of audience they’ll bring in is purely speculation at this point – just how many people fit into the pool that might be interested but will actually tune in to watch? That’s the real question, and we don’t know yet. So far they’ve only announced special events, one offs that are easier to sell because they’re rare. But when it’s the middle of July and you’re running the third week in a row of matches between the same people to further an angle, are there enough people willing to do that for a company they’re not already invested in? That’s the key, in my opinion. Can you get enough people in the tent who will stay with you through that?
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
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We’ll see what happens. Network upfronts are coming soon and then all will be revealed. The TV deal, should they get one, is an important building block in any success they have. TV rights don’t just get you exposure they often pay the bills. The NFL has been dining out on TV rights fees so much that attendance at games is an afterthought now. A good timeslot where they have a chance to draw a good number will be the difference between them doing well or going down the tubes in short order. But this whole thing is also a referendum on Dave Meltzer, as he has been doing a full Baghdad Bob routine and insisting that they have multiple big money offers and it’s just a matter of choosing which one. Dave sounds like a full on shill at this point and has been straight up cheerleading them the whole time. And look it’s fine to be a fan/shill for someone, but you just got to admit it and not play objective reporter. Dave is All In (pun intended) on AEW, to the point where he’s venturing into crazy talk land to boost them up. We’ll find out soon enough just how this thing plays out, and then we can go back from pretending to be TV experts to pretending we know how to book wrestling shows.
Chris King: What Should Daniel Bryan Save Next?
Tag Team Wrestling… The WWE Championship… Kofi Kingston’s LEgacy… The Planet… What should Daniel Bryan save next???
Tag Team Wrestling… The WWE Championship… Kofi Kingston’s Legacy… The Planet… What should Daniel Bryan save next???
The ‘Submission Specialist’ Daniel Bryan has done it all in WWE–4-Time WWE Champion, a former United States and Intercontinental Champion and alongside the monstrous Rowan a 2-Time WWE Tag Team Champion. At Extreme Rules, the self-proclaimed ‘Planet’s Champions’ lost their titles to The New Day in a triple-threat-match. In a post-match backstage interview, a delusional Bryan paced back-and-forth saying “Daniel Bryan needs to go somewhere he’s never been before, I know what I need to do!”
On last week’s SmackDown Live it appeared we were about to find out what the future holds for ‘The New’ Daniel Bryan, but thanks to New Day’s antics the former tag team champion just stormed off the stage. In my estimation, there are only three brands that Bryan can jump to, 205 Live, NXT UK and my number one choice NXT.
Daniel Bryan Goes To NXT UK
Bryan has not had any run-ins with any of the superstars of NXT UK since it’s inception in 2018. That doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way, in recent months we’ve seen current NXT and 205 Live superstars jump to the UK brand such as ‘The Knockout Artist’ Kassius Ohno, Mike Kanellis and even current Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak who was a participant in the 2018 United Kingdom Tournament.
If you thought Tyler Bate/Pete Dunne II was EPIC, you ain’t seen nothing yet. There are a plethora of dream matches that Bryan could have such as, Mark Andrews, Travis Banks, Flash Morgan Webster and my top two would be Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. If Bryan changes back to a babyface he could mix it up with Jordan Devlin and perhaps even the monstrous current NXT UK Champion WALTER.
As I’m writing this I’m contemplating changing this to my number one pick. Just the excitement and buzz surrounding Bryan’s debut on the UK brand would be more than enough of a reason to start watching this highly-entertaining weekly show. Then having a one-on-one match with any of those high caliber superstars on an NXT UK: TakeOver event would be the cherry on top!
Daniel Bryan Goes To WWE 205 Live
On December 11, 2018, Bryan then-WWE Champion went toe-to-toe with one of the most versatile cruiserweights from 205 Live Mustafa Ali, and both incredibly gifted superstars tore the house down! There’s also a massive amount of reason to believe, that Ali’s SmackDown Live debut was orchestrated by the egocentric Bryan himself.
— ALI / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) December 12, 2018
If ‘The Submission Specialist’ decides to venture over to the purple brand, he would have an array of high-flyers and other technical specialists to mix it up with. From the young up-and-coming Lucha libre sensation Humberto Carrillo, Akira Tozawa, his real-life friend The Brian Kendrick and last but certainly not least the current WWE Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak. The list goes on and on.
In the past few years, it’s been proven that heel vs. heel matches can work on some occasions. I personally would love to watch the Bryan and Gulak battle it out for the Cruiserweight Championship, and find out which submission is most dangerous Dragon Sleeper vs. Heel Hook? That would be a five star EPIC Match!
With Bryan’s popularity with the WWE Universe (whether he’s a heel or babyface) and his exceptional in-ring prowess, he could be the remedy for 205 Live to not only bring in more viewership but prevent it from being canceled altogether. Bryan could overthrow Gulak and reign supreme as the greatest Cruiserweight Champion we’ve ever seen!
Daniel Bryan Goes To NXT
Before we go any further I know Bryan played an integral role in NXT from 2010-2011 as a ‘rookie’, with his WWE ‘pro’ The Miz making his life a living hell the whole time. The fact remains though that Bryan has never wrestled on a TakeOver event. Let’s make it happen.
In my dream scenario I could realistically see the egocentric Bryan interfering in Johnny Gargano/Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, costing the beloved NXT favorite his last chance at regaining the NXT Championship and working a lengthy program with Gargano. Gargano vs. Bryan would be a masterpiece, both are dazzling to watch and could easily produce Match of the Year caliber contests. Its the perfect dream match where Gargano can face the man that he paralleled his career after.
Or perhaps Bryan has his gaze on the North American Championship and wants to ‘Save the planet’ from The Velveteen Dream. Bryan would be a terrific foe for the 23-year-old. Who would be more perfect for Dream to learn from, than the seasoned veteran Bryan who can truly show Dream how to hold any crowd in the palm of his hands.
Or what if Bryan challenges ‘The Original Bro’ of NXT Matt Riddle. Both competitors are technician specialists, and with Riddle’s dangerous stiff strikes vs. Bryan’s unlimited arsenal of submissions they would put on a wrestling clinic. If WWE is looking to produce a 15-Minute sellout ala AEW, announcing Bryan vs. literally anyone in NXT could make it a reality. Not to mention if Bryan turns babyface, the possibilities are endless for him to work with.
Bryan has several options to choose from for his future in WWE, with a plethora of fantastic opponents to mix it up with. Another wild concept to consider, is what if Bryan leaves WWE altogether and signs with AEW? That’s just a fantasy but stranger things have happened in the world of professional wrestling. We the WWE Universe get the honor and privilege of witnessing magic whatever the decision is. So, where do you want Bryan to head to next?
Tiffany’s Takes: Monday Night RAW (7-22-2019)
“Ah, the family reunion, where we meet relatives we haven’t seen or spoken to since the last reunion and air out the drama that can’t wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Tiffany MC takes you on a journey into WWE Raw Reunion in this edition of Tiffany’s Takes!
Ah, the family reunion, where we meet relatives we haven’t seen or spoken to since the last reunion and air out the drama that can’t wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas. How did WWE’s version of this unsung summer ritual go?
I’m not a John Cena fan, or not much of one, not like I used to be, but there’s no denying that the man gets the crowd on its feet. Of course my feelings of nostalgia died the minute he started doing one of his twenty minute promos (YAWN!). I’m always down for a rap off between the Doctor of Thuganomics and the Usos though. Also, loved seeing Rikishi again, rare guy that could make any gimmick work. Not thrilled about Revival interrupting the dancing. Have to have Rikishi and the Usos dancing, but D-Von Dudley and Revival works for me.
For all the criticism of Hulk Hogan, the man still gets a pop, and it was great to see him with Jimmy Hart again, even if Jimmy is as annoying as ever. Where did Cena go? I get Rikishi and D-Von not wrestling, but did Cena fly the coop or something? Good match, but we didn’t get a stinkface!
Loved seeing Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Santino Marella,and Torrie Wilson, but of course Drew McIntyre had to ruin the fun because that’s what unhappy people do.
R-Truth survived Comic-Con, I see. I hope the moderators were told ahead of time about this, so it didn’t seem too weird, but it it Comic-Con, so who knows? I will give Drake Maverick all the props in the world for being man enough to be seen in that costume. If we get Carmella vs Renee Michelle out of this, I’m game. Also, GODFATHER, no ladies since this is PG and the MeToo Era.
So, Drew McIntyre was so incensed by Cedric Alexander’s surprise win yesterday, he wanted another go. The match never got going since McIntyre attacked before Alexander got in the ring, so he couldn’t even even up the score. But at least he thinks he got his balls back or whatever.
Ew, who invited the Boogeyman? At least Pat Patterson is here to save us and take off with the 24/7 belt.
Christian is here! Wish Edge was too, but we’ll take what we can get! We also have Lilian Garcia as ring announcer for the murder of the Major Bros by the Viking Raiders! RIP Major Bros.
So the swanky RAW reunion was going on with Mike Kanellis chatting it up with Eve Torres and Eric Bischoff before Maria interrupted. I am HATING the Pregzilla thing, seriously, they’re making her into every person’s nightmare of a pregnant woman. Hello, Ron Simmons, with or without the megaphone.
So, the Club plotting Seth Rollins’ destruction, I do wish the Shield was here because that would’ve been so epic, but Jon Moxley is having the time of his life in Japan and we want him to be happy.
Gerald Brisco struck again and got tricked by Kelly Kelly, so there’s that.
So, we’re getting a reboot of an old feud between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns, which answers the question of who Reigns is facing at SummerSlam. God help them if Samoa Joe spouts on about Roman ‘faking’ his cancer. The match was great, so I’m eager to see this at SummerSlam.
Seth Rollins started off his ‘Take the Title Back’ campaign with a stop at MizTV with a hilarious Brock Lesnar impersonation. Not as good as Cena’s but it wasn’t awful. I did enjoy watching him and Heyman promo off each other. This also interesting because it was the first MizTV to not end with someone, usually Miz, getting their ass kicked.
Everyone’s got that one relative that loves to stir up trouble at every reunion, and it looked like Sami Zayn played that role. LOVED Kurt Angle putting his GM hat on and making a match.
It’s been so long since I’ve seen Candice Michelle or Melina, those two were so great in their prime and Candice won her first championship in…a VERY long time by becoming the 24/7 champ, just to be beaten by…Madusa, I think? Good luck, knocking her out.
Jonathon Coachman is back in time to call Sami Zayn vs Rey Mysterio for us! I’ve said before that Mysterio’s most recent run in WWE hasn’t impressed me due to all his injury issues, but this was a good match, even got a spot for Rob Van Damm, Sgt. Slaughter, who still looks like he could hurt you, and Hurrican Helms, who isn’t quite as scary, and Kurt Angle.
Of course, the Nature Boy Ric Flair had to make his appearance, even though he’s not looking like he’s in the best health these days, it was good to see him again.
I still haven’t figured out what the Street Profits are doing on RAW.
Alundra Blayze made her…triumphant return to RAW by selling the 24/7 Championship to Ted DiBiase.
Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler made his return to the show he called for nearly twenty years to call the rematch of Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles. This match was definitely the highlight of the night, in my opinion. It really looked like the Club was going to cause Rollins some misery, until he was saved by…DX? I’m not sure who was more shocked, Rollins or the Club. I think we would’ve all loved to have seen a Shield reunion, but Jon Moxley is having the time of his life in Japan, so Rollins getting an assist from DX will have to work. We didn’t get the six man tag, but the odds were evened up. The match ending in a DQ doesn’t really bother me since we got DX and the NWO in action…or was it the Kliq? Oh, who cares, it was cool and it happened. I literally turned into a teenage girl again squealing over Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman (Yeah, I had a crush on 1-2-3 Kid, mullet and all). Also, kudos for mentioning Chyna and Billy Gunn and for Seth marking out.
Mick Foley and Mark Henry are always joys to watch. Not a fan of Mick being attacked since he really isn’t in shape to fight back.
Well Moment of Bliss didn’t go quite the way I thought it would. I thought Alexa Bliss would find a way to shoehorn herself into the title picture, but she seemed happy to stir the pot between Becky Lynch and Nattie. I love how the Lynch/Nattie feud and seeing what the belt means to Lynch. Still curious to see what’s in store for Bliss and Nikki Cross, but that brawl was fun.
Our long nightmare is over, R-Truth is 24/7 Champions again. I said in the past that I had some reservations about the 24/7 Championship and things like this are why I had reservations, but the way this was handled was really fun and actually kept the Truth vs Maverick storyline going, not sure what happened to Renee Michelle.
Strowman crushed a jobber, so that happened.
Ah, time for everyone at the reunion to gather around and remind themselves that for all the drama, they still share a gene pool…or an employment history, in RAW’s case. However, is it me or does Ric Flair NOT look that good? That said, I loved seeing all the legends of RAW turn up for a beer bash with Stone Cold Steve Austin playing the relative that shows up just for the fuck of it and drinks beer all night. Great way to end a fun episode!
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