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8 WrestleMania 34 Nightmares That Could Come True

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WWE Charlotte Asuka

I love wrestling. It’s really very good isn’t it? What I don’t love, and quite often love to hate, is WWE. We find ourselves deep into WrestleMania season and WWE have presented to us one of the most star studded, dream match laden cards in recent memory. The trouble is, you can realistically see almost every match going completely the wrong way. This is WWE after all, a company who rely on the fans to keep them in business yet so often manage to alienate us and treat us as though we don’t matter. Will WWE continue to isolate their fanbase to further line their pockets? Or will they finally wake up and realise that giving us what we desire is best for business? Let’s take a look at some of the potential pitfalls we could see at The Showcase of The Immortals and how likely they are to happen…

Both Battle Royal’s Take Up Main Card Time

The concern here is that with so many matches already penciled in, WWE will try and force us to believe these matches are important enough to take a spot on the main card. WWE have been more than vocal in their attempts to push the Women’s Revolution, and rightly so, but this just raises concern that they will decide to go with the Women’s Battle Royal on the main show.

WWE really put their foot in it by naming this historic, first-ever match after The Fabulous Moolah, a move which was met with much derision and disgust. A quick name change isn’t going to help get them out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves, and the live crowd will likely shit all over this match still. Having it take place on the pre-show would be the correct move with less attention on it and have it serve as a warm up for the fans still turning up.

What if they don’t though? WWE are notoriously stubborn and painfully oblivious to what the fans desire. In an attempt to get as many superstars onto the match card we could well see both Battle Royal’s featured and take up a huge amount of time.

Will It Happen? Battle Royals are by no means bad matches, they just tend to be difficult for fans to get invested in. The fact that previous winners have gone on to achieve very little makes the match itself feel unimportant. The match needs to lead to some sort of opportunity, a title shot at the next PPV for example, rather than a trophy at ringside for the next month or so. WWE also need to look at the limitations for a match like this, throwing a bunch of mid carders and jobbers isn’t what we want to see on The Grandest Stage Of Them All. We certainly don’t want to see it twice…

“Why are you here? You aren’t a wrestler… go away!”

Shane McMahon Out Shane McMahon’s Himself And Robs The Spotlight

Let’s take a second to let it really sink in… Daniel Bryan has been cleared to return to in ring action. Daniel Bryan. Cleared. Return. In ring. DANIEL. BRYAN. This is monumental news that is likely to overshadow everything else on the card… and so it should! The going plan seems to be the pairing of Bryan and Shane vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Storyline wise this makes perfect sense. Bigger picture wise it makes none whatsoever. A return so important should’ve been showcased in a bigger and better match. Bryan v Owens? Bryan v Miz? Bryan v AJ? Nah… let’s use Shane McMahon, an aging, botch machine, ego maniac, glorified stuntman in worse shape than someone twice his age!

I hate Shane. I’ve made no secret of it and will continue to make no secret of it. WWE have known for a long time now that SDLive is slipping in quality, and they must know by now that the main reason is due to Shane’s continued, and unnecessary, on screen presence. He gets booed by live crowds despite his supposed babyface persona. Having him team up with Bryan is a cheap way of getting the fans back on side, and its guaranteed to work. Owens and Zayn should be top guys on the blue brand right now, and while I love them being involved in Bryan’s return it makes my skin crawl that Shane is going to go over them on the biggest night of the year.

My hope here is that Bryan at least gets to wrestle. WWE are likely to give him a reduced role in the main and let Shane the lead until Bryan eventually picks up the win by pinning Owens. He has picked up no ring rust whatsoever during his time away from the squared circle, proven by his retaliation against the heels on SDLive this past week, and we’ve waited so long to see him back that it would be a shame to see him sit out most of the match.

Will It Happen? Of course it will. It simply has to. Bryan is possibly the biggest fan favourite in WWE history, so he will under no circumstances be losing his colossal return. The beatdown that Shane took from Kevin and Sami was far too vicious for him to not gain a measure of revenge, especially considering he is a McMahon.

Braun Strowman Makes The Bar Look Weak

WWE struck gold with The Bar but look determined to reduce them to dirt. Another wonderful example of how successful the odd couple pairing can be, Cesaro and Sheamus have gone from bitter rivals to arguably the best runs of their respective careers. The due have had nearly two years invested into them, more than most teams get, and have been transformed into RAW’s premier ass-kicking destruction crew. God forbid WWE should buck the trend of great tag teams being split up too early though, as will be proven at WrestleMania when their chemistry and talent are usurped by WWE’s need to push Strowman as an unstoppable monster.

At time of writing, Braun will be taking on both men for the Raw Tag Team Titles, and despite Kurt Angle instructing him to find a partner I would imagine WWE will go with the spectacle of seeing one man demolish an established and strong team. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Strowman and desperately want him to be successful… just not at the expense of RAW’s best tag team. It would cause irreparable damage to the champions if they’re beaten by one man, regardless of how much of a fight they put up, and would make an already weak tag division lose any remaining credibility.

Will It Happen? My gut feeling is telling me yes. It’s very hard to see Strowman not winning this one after the way he has been so strongly built, plus we’ve seen The Bar lose on quite a few occasions recently. Strowman winning would be fun to see and he certainly deserves to hold a title (or two) considering how much he has improved, it’s just a shame that his victory would likely lead to Sheamus and Cesaro will splitting up post WrestleMania. Could it mean Cesaro switches shows and goes after singles gold on SDLive? Hopefully. What does it mean for the RAW Tag Title scene though? A post Mania call up for Authors Of Pain to take the belts back from Strowman would be incredible and shake up the division. Every cloud…

No Follow Up For Asuka’s Big Title Win

WWE may have backed themselves into a corner regarding Asuka. On one hand they could completely shock the world and book Charlotte to win, thus ending Asuka’s incredible undefeated streak, but this would undoubtedly lead to a lot of fan backlash. On the other hand, where can Asuka possibly go if she gains a clean victory over Flair at ‘Mania and becomes the new SmackDown Women’s Champ?

There is simply no better competition than Charlotte on the blue brand. The whole division has frankly been absolute trash for months now and no-one on the roster can hold a candle to Charlotte. Sure, we will get one more month of the rivalry while the obligatory rematch is sorted out, but then what? Carmella is almost certain to cash in at Mania, but I strongly believe it’ll be on the winner of the RAW Women’s Championship match as seeing her take on Asuka sounds… well quite frankly it sounds awful.

Will It Happen? WWE really need to put some serious thought into this with at least a couple of long term plans for Asuka, otherwise her long awaited title victory runs the risk of feeling like it has no substance. Most fans will be pleased to see Asuka’s dominance rewarded with her first main roster championship, but interest and appeal will likely fade away afterwards. An Ember Moon call up from NXT makes the most sense, renewing their fantastic rivalry from 2017, with maybe someone like Becky Lynch thrown into the mix. Her stock has dropped big time within WWE, rather bizarrely, but she is still a red hot fan favourite who has shown her worth many, many times before.

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura Being Lost In Mid Card Hell

Here it is ladies and gentlemen… the ‘dream match’. That term is thrown around a lot these days, unjustly in a lot of cases, but this one could be a real showstopper which is spoken about for years to come. WWE have something really special on their hands here. A long rooted rivalry which started in Japan finally making its way too the mass audiences, between two of the most naturally gifted superstars of this generation.

This could be, and should be, Nakamura’s true arrival to the big leagues. He has flattered to deceive since his main roster call up, largely thanks to WWE’s poor handling of him, but a rivalry with AJ is guaranteed to bring out the best in The King Of Strong Style. The problem is that this match doesn’t feel very important right now, and with only 2 weeks before Mania that’s quite worrying. The rivalry has taken a backseat to the ongoing turmoil between Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan. Bryan’s miraculous return certainly deserves a huge spotlight and fanfare, but not at the expense of the blue brands two ‘top guys’. The sheer amount of screen time for the supposed ‘management’ has really taken away some of the shine from this ultimate showdown, leaving it feeling no more relevant than the United States Championship mess.

Will It Happen? It really comes down to what WWE allow these two to do during the match. If they are left to their own devices and can show us what we all know they’re capable of then this match will steal the entire show, but so far Nakamura has seen his move set restricted and his character development held back. That’s where the real issue with this rivalry lies… the quality of promo has been below par. A great promo can create a great rivalry, and as good as Styles is on the mic he is really struggling to make this feud entertaining against a man who can still barely speak English. At this moment in time I’m actually more interested in Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar purely based on how good the back and forth has been.

Roman Reigns Given The Daniel Bryan Treatment

Here we go again folks! It’s the Roman Reigns show! Another WrestleMania and another main event for ‘The Big Dog’. While the build up to this match has been great, don’t let WWE try and fool you by making out that Reigns is cutting shoot promos here. It’s just another way to try and convince us that Reigns is worthy of being the top guy and poster boy worthy of our adulation. We aren’t stupid Vince. We know these promos are heavily scripted and rehearsed. Roman made it very clear he can’t cut a good promo during his embarrassing exchanges with John Cena last year.

Reigns is 100% winning this match. It was decided a full year ago, if not even further back. The worry here is that WWE will treat this as a huge deal, as if we wanted to see it and will be overjoyed when it happens. Reigns isn’t the worst wrestler in the world, he’s just not what the majority of fans want to see as their champion.

Will It Happen? Absolutely guaranteed I’m afraid. WWE clearly hasn’t learned their lesson with Reigns despite growing fan discontent. He will stand tall on April 8th as the all conquering, untouchable, Vince McMahon Wet Dream Machine and we have no choice than to suck it up and take it. I fully expect a ticker tape laden celebration to really kick us in the teeth. WWE truly believe they can convert us to viewing Reigns in the same way we do Daniel Bryan. Its bordering on psychotic. Somebody fetch Vince a large dose of Valium…

Undertaker Struggling Through Yet Another WrestleMania Match

Call me an old romantic, but I remember a time when The Undertaker was a king among men. A master of his craft. A regular 5 Star main eventer. A focal point of the Attitude Era… what the hell happened? This living legend has been reduced to a hollow shell of his former self through WWE’s insistence to not let him retire peacefully. Last year this enduring icon, who has given so much of his life to the company and Mania itself looked like a broken down, frail old man as he struggled his way through the main event with Roman Reigns.

It’s unrealistic at this stage of his career to expect Taker to keep up with the younger talent and put in match of the year performances. He isn’t aging as you would expect one to do so, and despite seeing him every year he always seems to have become 5 years older in that short space of time. If you have any respect for the man who so many believe to be the greatest of all time, you should be ashamed for wishing him to enter into a situation where he is forced to push himself beyond his limitations and end up looking like a fool.

Will It Happen? Let’s be honest, we all know John Cena will be doing almost all of the work here. Big Match John has his doubters but over the last two years he has pulled off some terrific performances and will be expected to make Taker look good in this bout. If WWE are clever, which so rarely happens anymore, they’ll let this be a short match so Taker can look strong and pick up a convincing and entertaining win. If they expect an epic encounter that can go the distance, like they expected when he faced Roman, then this could be once again very difficult to watch. There’s no way of avoiding it. Taker lost it years ago. Let it go, and let him go.

The Authority Beating Ronda Rousey And Kurt Angle

We all know how the finish to this match should go down, and it’s exactly what every fan wants to see. Rousey and Angle should pick up the victory, Rousey’s first inside of a WWE ring, by locking in a double submission, a Rousey armbar and Kurt’s ankle lock, on Stephanie and HHH to have the pair tap out in unison.

This is WWE though, and they’re well known for not always playing by the rules in terms of giving the fans what they want. With this in mind, would anyone honestly be shocked to see HHH pin Angle to pick up the win for two of the world’s biggest ego maniacs? I can certainly see Rousey getting in lots of offence to please the fans, most likely on both Steph AND Hunter, but a cheap distraction and dirty heel finish would certainly be befitting of the power couple and help them to stamp their Authority (pun intended, so what… sue me!) on the

The fans would hate it. It would make no sense. It would be a strange way to round off all the Rousey hype and build. It would frankly be ridiculous. Therefore, it’s going to happen. Fuck you WWE!

Will it Happen? WWE have a habit of making shock, last minute decisions without taking the fans opinions or feelings into consideration. But HHH has turned a corner in recent years where he is all about putting the talent over, evident from his amazing NXT product, and would likely rather put Rousey over than himself. WWE make silly mistakes sometimes, but they’re not stupid. Taking a loss here would be a humongous anti-climax considering the months of mainstream coverage which WWE have received. The last thing they would want to risk is losing the potentially colossal amount of income generated from a Rousey victory.

Though it may be difficult for even the most cynical anti-WWE fan to admit, there is a fair chance that WWE will make the right call and let Rousey have her moment on the biggest night of the year.

Fingers crossed…


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Opinion

Greg DeMarco’s 2024 WWE Royal Rumble Reaction

It’s the Royal Rumble! A favorite of many fans, the Rumble kicks off the Road To WrestleMania. Greg DeMarco is here with his live reactions to the event!

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WWE Royal Rumble 2024 Results

It’s the Royal Rumble! A favorite of many fans, the Rumble kicks off the Road To WrestleMania. Greg DeMarco is here with his live reactions to the event!

The WWE Royal Rumble is upon us, and while the Men’s Royal Rumble Match isn’t for the World Heavyweight Championship like I suggested, it’s still the most anticipated event of the year.

Why? The Unknown.

That’s right–in this age of the internet (usually incorrectly) telling us everything it possibly can about what is going to happen in the world of wrestling, the Royal Rumble stands out because despite what we’re told (or, more importantly, what we choose to listen to), the event is always full of fun and surprises.


Check out Steven Mitchell’s 2024 WWE Royal Rumble Results & Review!


Women’s Royal Rumble Match

  • They really are driving home the “main event WrestleMania” point this year–strengthens my thought that women will main event Night 1. Triple H would catch a ton of heat if he keeps women out for the third straight year.
  • NAOMI! Good to see her back, and the emotional response she had.
  • Love Michael Cole calling out Naomi’s time in TNA, and recognizing her as a former Knockouts Champion.
  • Entering #3 doesn’t bode well for Bayley. I honestly don’t think she is gonna win.
  • JORDYNNE GRACE! I saw the reports earlier today. This is a much bigger deal than Mickie James, because Mickie was a returning legend.
  • “TNA HAS A WEAPON!” So glad to have Pat McAfee on the call.
  • Honestly, Jordynne Grace belongs in WWE.

  • Asuka comes in, and they sell the surprise of Bayley. STORYTELLING, people!
  • Something tells me when we get Kairi Sane in there, The Kabuki Warriors will eliminate Bayley.
  • Ivy Nile enters, and I immediately want to see her go toe-to-toe with Jordynne Grace.
  • What if they pulled some crazy sh*t and had Jordynne Grace win???
  • Just step through the ropes next time, Bianca.
  • When I first saw the C4 clock, I thought I would get tired of it But I am already used to it.
  • Here’s Kairi Sane, time to set the plan into motion!
  • This crowd does not appear to like Tegan Nox.
  • Welp, there goes my idea o Asuka and Kairi eliminating Bayley.
  • That was a hell of a way for Jordynne Grace to go out.

  • I think Michael Cole secretly loves to call a Meteora.
  • There’s a reason Maxxine Dupri doesn’t wrestle much.
  • That tandem Code Red was very Young Buckish. And that’s not a compliment.
  • Hair,…gear…this might be the messiest Royal Rumble yet.
  • Ah, here comes the winner, Becky Lynch (I am calling Becky eliminates Bayley to win her second Royal Rumble).
  • LOVE the scoreboard of time in the Rumble for selected wrestlers.

  • R-TRUTH?!?! (Funny story, it was Truth’s spot that Nia Jax took in 2019.)
  • If you push Mia Yim, she’ll take it further than you could imagine.
  • “How is everybody the most athletic person on Earth?” – Pat McAfee
  • Surprising that Roxanne Perez, at #27, is the first NXT entrant. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Tiffany Stratton of Blair Davenport since we only have 3 more to come.
  • Amazing reaction for Jade Cargill. Give her time, she’s definitely going to be a huge star.
  • JUST GIVE HER TIME.
  • Seriously, Nia Jax had to help Jade eliminate her–A LOT.

  • Greg Was Wrong: It is indeed Tiffy Time in the Royal Rumble.
  • Back to Jade–she is insanely over.
  • I know it won’t be, but this should be Tiffany Stratton’s official main roster call-up.
  • Liv Morgan returns at #30, and good for Liv. She nearly went wire-to-wire last year.
  • Liv Morgan: “Thank you!” Pat McAfee: “No problem.”
  • Tiffany Stratton eliminating Roxanne Perez is, to me, an invitation for a match with them on Raw this Monday.
  • Still love the scoreboard as Naomi passes an hour.
  • The camera is catching a lot of in-ring communications right now.
  • And Jade Cargill eliminates my pick to win. Bye Becky.
  • Jade Cargill in the final three of the Royal Rumble (with Liv Morgan and Bayley) is huge for her.
  • Hell of a debut for Jade Cargill.
  • And a huge win for Bayley.

Winner of the 2024 Women’s Royal Rumble Match: Bayley (eliminating Liv Morgan to win)

Fatal 4-Way Match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Randy Orton vs AJ Styles vs. LA Knight vs. Roman Reigns (champion, with Paul Heyman)

  • Glad to see AJ Styles got his tights back. Pants AJ Styles (but still with the football gloves) was not working. Not just bring the beard back to your face Allen–the think beard also ain’t working.

  • Pat McAfee campaigning for Roman Reigns to be given at least a 26% chance is amazing.
  • Say what you want about LA Knight, he’s a damn star and totally belongs in this match.
  • Roman completely sandbagged Randy on the table drop. I don’t think it was on purpose, but he definitely didn’t jump.
  • Roman Reigns is very much like Gunther in that he does the simple things SO WELL, like a jumping clothesline. That’s how you do it.
  • Yes, I compared Roman Reigns to Gunther. Don’t @ me, I’m right.

  • RKO City, Bitch.
  • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here’s Solo! (At some point, Solo will get tired of saving Roman’s ass.)
  • Solo ’bout to go through that barricade.
  • Solo indeed went through that barricade.

  • Yes, we had the Solo interference mid-match, but honestly in the end Roman won that clean.

Winner, #ANDSTILL your Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns

WWE United States Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Logan Paul (champion)

  • Kevin Owens wearing Zubaz shorts in the Performance Center fight makes me very happy.
  • Logan Paul talking about a full time run, and now he’s putting on size.
  • Logan’s headband didn’t list very long.
  • I honestly hate it when modern-day wrestlers bust out a crotch chop.
  • If you were watching the Royal Rumble and didn’t know who Logan Paul was, you’d just assume he was a pro wrestler. That says everything you need to know about how good he is at this.
  • ANOTHER crotch chop. Now we’re at 2 too many.

  • Cue the “Better Buckshot Than Hangman” tweets. But they might be right.
  • I love the idea of a Logan Paul, Austin Theory, and Grayson Waller stable.
  • C’mon, there’s NO WAY Ryan Tran could see the knucks on Kevin Owens’ hand given his placement. It’s the little things.
  • Finish here tells me we’ll see KO vs. Logan Paul again. I’d guess on TV, if not in Australia.

Winner by disqualification, #ANDSTILL WWE United States Champion: Logan Paul

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

  • Jey Uso coming at #1 was expected thanks to the internet reports. But I still think Jimmy should be #1 and Jey #2, for the reaction shots on Jimmy.
  • Grayson Waller talking himself to the ring is perfect.
  • “No Yeet!” Grayson is a brilliant performer. I’d make a Roddy Piper comparison here, but y’all would get at mad at me.
  • Good to have Andrade back in WWE. Great reaction for him when the mask came off.

  • SmackDown superstar Carmelo Hayes! I really really really hope Trick is also in this match, just for the chants.
  • Melo pointed to the sign, C’mon, man.
  • Do you send Andrade to Smackdown, or do you send him to Raw and let him do his own thing?
  • Oh goody, Karrion Kross is here. Yay.
  • (Yes, that’s sarcasm you read.)
  • Dominik Mysterio is so good. Give him time, he’s going to be a huge star.

  • The Royal Rumble was a great place for the Apple Spot.
  • Here comes Bob Lashley–please just eliminate Karrion Kross.
  • Lashley wearing the WrestleMania white gear more than 2 months early.
  • Austin Theory still gets his concussion effect entrance, despite it being the Rumble.
  • What if–hear me out now–Finn Balor wins the Royal Rumble to get the shot at Seth Rollins, and Priest uses his briefcase to make that match a triple threat at ‘Mania?
  • I know he didn’t, but it sure looked like Jimmy was swerving while he drives in that interaction with Gunther.
  • Kofi did tell us the Rumble Magic wasn’t happening anymore.
  • Give me Ivar vs Gunther!
  • Bron Breakker is a star. It’s inevitable.
  • Of course Omos would be in the Rumble. Good to see MVP on my TV as well.
  • “I didn’t know humans came that big!” – Pat McAfee
  • I half think Pat McAfee didn’t know he was entering the Rumble.
  • Nice moment for Bron Breakker eliminating Omos. WrestleMania match?
  • R-Truth trying to get Dominik (Tom or Nick?) Mysterio to tag him in is brilliant.
  • DOM MADE THE TAG!!!
  • “And now R-Truth is the legal man.” – thank you Michael Cole.
  • Michael Cole delivers multiple TNA references tonight, along with a Dolph Ziggler reference. God Bless Michael Cole.
  • Imagine for a second that this was CM Punk’s actual WWE return.
  • The reaction to Drew McIntyre’s entrance is a reminder that they don’t actually need him.
  • Sami Zayn enters at #30, also known as “Not The Rock.”

  • In the ring, Drew McIntyre is amazing. Just keep the microphone away from him. (And stop the damn counting!)
  • And there goes my choice for the Men’s Rumble!
  • Love having both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in the press boxes watching to see who wins.
  • Punk kinda looks like Chris Jericho in there. Seriously.
  • Between Punk and Cody, Cody is the right choice. I really don’t want to watch Punk right now–he needs to hit the cardio, and hard. Given Seth Rollins’ injury and Punk’s conditioning, WWE would be smart to make the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 40 a multi-man match.

Winner of the 2024 Men’s Royal Rumble: Cody Rhodes


Overall thoughts on the 2024 WWE Royal Rumble

For at least the second straight year, the Men’s Royal Rumble Match was kinda disappointing. Not the result–that’s fine. But the match itself. It just wasn’t nearly as exciting as the Women’s. Of the four matches, I would place it 4th in terms of enjoyment.

Great moments for both Bayley and Cody Rhodes. Logan Paul continually shows that he deserves to be considered a pro wrestler, not a celebrity who is wrestling. Pat McAfee is a joy on commentary. Jordynne Grace is a WWE Superstar, regardless of what company she is signed to. Bron Breakker is a star.CM Punk is very out of shape. Cody Rhodes is about to become THE guy, and he deserves it.

Overall I give the event a thumbs up, but they have to do something about the Men’s Royal Rumble Match moving forward.


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WWE Raw Heads To Netflix: What Does It Mean?

Monumental news drops as WWE RAW is moving to Netflix. Is it truly a game changing move? Greg DeMarco analyzes this shift for the TV wrestling business.

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Monumental news drops as WWE RAW is moving to Netflix. Is it truly a game changing move? Greg DeMarco analyzes this shift for the TV wrestling business.

Being a wee little kid in the 80s, I am “lucky enough” to remember having 3 TV channels, and my dad explaining what an 8-track is, how shocked I was when I say a laser disc for the first time, when I bought a 6 CD changer, installed my own car stereo, and all the way up to the fact that I have now been watching WWE pay-per-view/premium live events on the WWE Network and Peacock for 10 years. Hell, in the same month (February 2014) I signed up for the WWE Network, cut the cord to drop cable and got Sling TV. I have since moved onto YouTube TV which is highly recommended.

Over the last two years the NFL has put Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, simulcast to various streaming services, and less than 2 weeks ago put a playoff game exclusively on streaming when a Wildcard Weekend showdown between the Chiefs and Dolphins was only shown on Peacock.

And now it’s fully permeated into pro wrestling.

WWE and AEW are both in the midst of a very important time on the business side, with all of their TV rights up for grabs. The first domino fell when SmackDown On FOX became SmackDown on USA Network, and soon after we learned that WWE NXT was moving to broadcast television and joining The CW (which is also rebranding, but just to CW).

The AEW suite of programming that includes Collision, Rampage, and their most successful show Dynamite is up for renewal with Warner Bros/Discovery, and Tony Khan has been optimistic about the relationship and potentially an increase in rights fees.

That brings us to Tuesday morning, and the likely groundbreaking WWE announcement that Raw is moving to Netflix, starting in January 2025. Triple H tweeted that they’re changing the game, and TKO President and COO Mark Shapiro (who knows a thing or two about shifts in media consumption) used the word “transformative” in his statement, and I really think he couldn’t be more right.

But what does it all mean?

Wrestling Remains A Strong Media Product

I have been claiming this for over a year now. As many online will cite a decline in TV viewership for both WWE and AEW, the TV product has been a strong value to networks. Even in dropping SmackDown, FOX themselves said they didn’t pump enough resources into the show, and that the advertising return wasn’t what they wanted. That doesn’t mean the product (TV value, we’re not talking about creative here) isn’t strong. It’s so strong that USA Network picked up SmackDown for $280 million per year, giving WWE an increase over the FOX deal. CW is paying $20-$25 million annually for NXT, and now Netflix is paying $500 million for RAW.

Why? Because wrestling isn’t just a strong media product, it’s consistent. And that is key.

Look at this quote from Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria:

“Raw is the best of sports entertainment, blending great characters and storytelling with live action 52 weeks a year and we’re thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE.”

Now cross reference that with a comment from CW President Dennis Miller from back when the CW/NXT deal was announced:

“We are thrilled to welcome the WWE brand into the CW Sports portfolio as they play an integral role in our mission to bring live sporting events to the network year-round.”

What do those statements have in common? The year-round, 52-week nature of wrestling programming. It’s an unbeatable value for networks. It’s cheaper than a deal with a major sports league, and it’s not finite. Wrestling joins news, talk, and sports talk as the only year-round programming available to networks. And WWE and AEW have shows that essentially always land in the Top 5 after you factor out live sports. You can’t beat it.

What Does This Mean for Netflix?

Don’t get it twisted, this is also a huge leap for Netflix. Prior to the WWE Raw deal, Netflix has only experimented with live events, streaming the live Chris Rock “Selective Outrage” special, and showing The Netflix Cup live (a golf event featuring athletes from their F1 series “Drive To Survive” and their golf series “Full Swing).

WWE is the perfect partner for Netflix as it gets into live programming. It’s sports entertainment: sports like programming (which Netflix has done) that focuses on storytelling (which Netflix has obviously done). And no one does it better than WWE. It’s essentially plug-and-play for Netflix, the perfect solution for their live programming aspirations.

The perfect solution that they were willing to pay $5 billion for.

What Does This Mean for AEW?

The biggest risk to an AEW renewal with Warner Bros Discovery was WBD picking up WWE Raw–and that risk has been eliminated by Netflix. Don’t discount that fact–Netflix did Tony Khan a huge favor by throwing $500 million per at WWE. The path is clear for AEW to remain on the Turner networks.

But at what price?

I know I usually write as if I have all the answers, but I have zero idea either way on this one. WBD no longer has any other options if it wants to keep wrestling (except for TNA, who recently expressed a desire to be on a bigger network), and AEW (at least, Dynamite) is a weekly Top 5 program for them on Wednesdays, on cable.

On the other hand, AEW doesn’t exactly have another network begging for their services. The reason WWE could get a yearly increase for Raw, SmackDown, and NXT is because it was truly a bidding war. Unless Tony Khan gets another network involved, any threat of walking away from a deal doesn’t really hold water.

So if I were a betting man (and who would ever bet on this) I would expect an announcement of a renewal for AEW and WBD relatively soon. We may not know the terms of the deal, I will take a shot in the dark and say that AEW gets a small increase (not the “nearly double” that had been reported last year).

Regardless of the increase (or not), given AEW’s recent attendance challenges, this likely renewal would have to be viewed as a win for the company.


Personally, this is simply an amazing time to be a fan. We’ve seen WWE go from one live TV show per week with Monday Night Raw, through the Monday Night Wars, the addition of SmackDown and later NXT, to being this global juggernaut that is commanding half-a-billion dollars per year for Raw. I also think this makes Raw the flagship once again. All of this comes after Vince McMahon is largely out of power, Triple H has taken over creative (and holds a pretty good success rate so far), and the company was sold to Endeavor, and merged with the UFC as a business entity under the TKO banner.

If you know me, you know I am a huge follower of the business side of the wrestling business. I often care less about WHAT wrestling companies do, but HOW they do it. I have always gravitated towards that, since middle school. And for the past near 24 months, I have been like a kid in a candy store.

The Peacock deal for the WWE Network runs out in 2026, right? The fun never stops!


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