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Official Chairshot Ratings & Review: WrestleMania 34 (NXT Takeover NOLA ratings)

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WrestleMania 34

Another article that’s a little later than I usually do, but long weekends and a day job means I need to sleep. So if you listened to Pod Is War, then you’d know my general disdain for the build to WrestleMania 34 and lack of faith in this one being positively memorable. Now the next logical step is for me to say, LET’S FIND OUT! But wait, wait, let’s summarize NXT Takeover NOLA, since that was generally received well.

NXT Takeover: NOLA

NA Championship 6 Man Ladder Match: Adam Cole vs Killian Dain vs Lars Sullivan vs Ricochet vs Velveteen Dream vs EC3
Winner: Adam Cole
Rating: *** 1/4

NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon (c) vs Shayna Baszler
Winner: Shayna Baszler
Rating: *** 1/2

NXT Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne vs Author of Pain vs Undisputed Era (c)
Winner: Undisputed Era
Rating: ***

NXT Championship: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas (c) vs Aleister Black
Winner: Aleister Black
Rating: **** 1/2

Unsanctioned Match: Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa
Winner: Johnny Gargano
Rating: *****

So there we go, it was a damn good Takeover, not the best ever, but damn good. Now, we can get to the point of getting to WrestleMania 34.

Humongous Wonder #8’s Royal Battle

It’s a battle royal for a trophy that hasn’t matter since it became a thing.

I mean, what’s to describe. Midcarders and jobbers got eliminated, then it comes down to Matt Hardy, Mojo and Corbin. Wyatt appears and helps Hardy eliminate the other two, they embrace, pose in the middle of the ring, and that’s that. The EXPEDITION for Gold, is off to a WONDERFUL start.

Winner: Matt Hardy

Rating: ** 1/2

Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali

The stalwart of the Pre-Show, Cruiserweight matches!

Now all of us who watched the 205 Live tournament, have noticed that the in-ring work has gone up. However, the characters are still cookie cutter and not focused upon, so the stories aren’t tangible. That being said, this match was a good match, but nothing surprising, except for Cedric nearly losing his balance and dying twice.

Not the best match of the tournament, and being the second match on the Pre-Show, it wasn’t even supported by a decent crowd. Cedric wins, and now hopefully they can learn how to balance characters to appeal to casual fans, while keeping decent work rate.

Winner: Cedric

Rating: ***

Inaugural Women’s Battle Royal

Same as the men’s, literally no one cared.

It seemed like the crowd eventually work up when Sasha and Bayley had their moment, but then Naomi apparently not getting eliminated and then sliding in at the end, killed things. The crowd popped hard for Bayley and then we got swerved. This was the beginning of a common theme in Mania this year.

Winner: Naomi

Rating: **

Intercontinental Title Triple Threat: Seth Rollins vs The Miz (c) vs Finn Balor

This match opened the main show, and it was what everyone expected. We had a lot of action, Miz showed a lot of guts by telling the Miztourage to go to the back and fight his own fight. Miz really was the star of this match, he had a lot of old school heel moments and scouted both men well, resulting in countering an Enzugiri by Finn Balor, into a Dragon Screw over the top rope.

Seth and Finn had the big flashy spots, break ups, springboards and Seth even pulled off a double Blackout (since we don’t call it the other thing). Thanks to the afore mentioned spot, Seth was in perfect position to hit one more Blackout on The Miz, and pick up the pinfall victory. So Seth is now a Grand Slam Champion, the last on The Shield to get it, but hey they’re handing those out like free water ice on the first day of Spring. So I guess we’re supposed to care, right?

Winner: Seth Rollins

Rating: ****

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Asuka vs Charlotte Flair (c)

Well it’s the prestige of the Flair name versus the mystique of the streak.

In a hard hitting match, that had a lot of back and forth, it did mostly live up to the hype. Charlotte is spotty with her match quality, and Asuka occasionally just out ranks the opponent too much, so the dynamic looks awkward. This was even, and the Figure 8 is still a legitimate finishing maneuver.

Our owner Greg Demarco went lone wolf on the Charlotte train, and good on him. I didn’t want them to break the streak yet, but there really isn’t another woman who could reasonably do it.

Winner: Charlotte

Rating: *** 1/2

United States Championship: Rusev vs Jinder Mahal vs Randy Orton (c) vs Bobby Roode

This match had a long build since Jinder had wins over Roode and Orton, but Rusev getting added was random.

We saw a match that was, well odd. There was a lot of pairing off, not a lot of team work, and then a finisher spamming party. So Jinder was the last one to hit a finisher, so he picks up the win over Rusev. So we have a NEW America hating foreign heel, US Champ (somewhere Greg Demarco rejoices).

A little surprised that Rusev didn’t get the win, purely, to placate the crowd. But Jinder will be a good champion, even if it’s possibly short lived.

Winner: Jinder Mahal

Rating: ** 1/2

Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs Stephanie McMahon & Triple H

This match had most people’s curiosity since Ronda wasn’t really impressive these past few weeks.

Kurt and Trips started things off, with Kurt looking better than Survivor Series, but still very slow and old. This was all just leading up to Ronda getting the hot tag, and wow, she came out like a house on fire.

Ronda started off too hyped, but fell into rhythm nicely. This was her coming out party and she was amazing. Throwing hands with Triple H, breaking up a pin attempt and getting across the point that she’ll use a cross armbreaker as her finish.

Easily the most entertaining match, maybe it wasn’t technically amazing, but it was fun, exciting and the high point of the show.

Winner: Ronda & Kurt

Rating: *** 1/2

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Bludgeon Bros vs The Usos (c) vs New Day

The Usos finally get on the main card, but can they stop the sledgehammer wielding behemoths?

This match began the downward spiral of disappointing matches. If we were still in the PPV age, I would’ve said this one had time cut from it. Weird spots, Luke Harper chillin on the turnbuckle for a few minutes to unveil a new Super Powerbomb finish.

And in less than 7 minutes, we have new champions, who dispatched of the two top teams from 2017.

Winner: Bludgeon Bros

Rating: ** 3/4

Undertaker vs John Cena

Elias came out as a distraction for Cena making it seem like it wouldn’t happen. Then when Cena was about to leave, the lights go out, the hat and coat appear and then disappear in the middle of the ring…and the gong hits.

This match was supposed to showcase Undertaker’s new hip. His hair was the correct length, he pulled off and Old School, a leg drop, sat up mid 5 Knuckle Shuffle for a fun gif and wins after 1 Tombstone.

I guess this match was the physical embodiment of “be careful what you wish for”, since Cena got squashed.

Winner: Undertaker

Rating: **

Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

I have no Earthly clue what this match was to be fair.

Daniel was picked off early by the heels before the bell, so he languished on the outside for 10 minutes while a sick, freshly off of surgery, not even wrestler, took out 2 main event players. Yes it can be argued that Zayn hasn’t really reached that height, but we’ve got a nearly 50 year old man taking on two full time wrestlers.

Then, Bryan makes a big save and it’s Shane’s turn to play dead for a while. Cheap pops,and Daniel getting his stuff in was academic, but Daniel and Shane win, so now we’re gonna have weeks of Owens and Zayn pulling a Heath Slater.

Winner: Shane & Daniel

Rating: ** 3/4

WWE Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles

Now most fans should’ve tempered their expectations, but of course they didn’t. So welcome to another match that failed to really deliver.

The match was good from a technical and story telling standpoint since you knew something was wrong with Shinsuke, since he wasn’t his usual playful self. But in a match that was paced too slowly, never really grabbed an already tired crowd’s attention, this really suffered.

AJ Styles winning is perfectly fine, even though many wanted to see Shinsuke win. The only saving grace to all of this, is we got a well executed Nakamura heel turn. Anyone who liked Shinsuke in New Japan knows he began as a badass heel, and CHAOS was actually a heel stable before Nakamura went more eccentric.

Winner: AJ Styles

Rating: ***

Raw Women’s Title: Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss

This match, was…what we expected it to be.

Alexa ran around, tried to take some short cuts, failed and Nia killed her and did some damage to Mickie James as well. Hooray, Nia wins, in probably the only ‘being bullied’ angle that absolutely no one cared about.

Winner: Nia

Rating: **

Raw Tag Team Championship: Braun & Nicholas vs The Bar

Braun literally walks through the crowd and chooses a child. I had flashbacks to the Power Rangers Turbo movie…and that was crap too.

Braun has single-handedly ruined the legitimacy of every current tag team. He beats The Bar by himself, the kid is technically the youngest champion in WWE history (sorry Rene Dupree).

So yes, I personally hated this, it took too long to find the kid and this is just a slap in the face to the story telling that it’s supposed to be even a little realistic. I’m gonna need to find Cornette’s reaction.

Winner: Braun & Nicholas

Rating: *

WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns

This match was really the only one they put effort into over the last few weeks. They also had a solid match at WrestleMania 31, so things were looking up.

Oh ya, but swerves and underwhelming is the name of this show. What was this match? 10 Suplexes, no real tension, no real intrigue, Roman just kicks out of 5 F5s or something like that.

This was what you decided to close a bloated 7 hour event with? I mean seriously, Goldberg vs Lesnar from ‘Mania 20 was a better match.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Rating: * 1/4

WrestleMania 34, the show that peaked halfway through and ended so poorly that any of the good is immediately forgotten because of how bad, the bad truly was. Advantageously I became Trivia Champion at the Annual WrestleMania Party I go to. It came down to a last minute answer to force a Triple Threat lightning round. Triple Threat lightning rounds are stressful, let me tell you.

Yes I just expounded on a Trivia game, because that was overall more memorable and enjoyable than this show. Somehow, you take a bunch of high work rate wrestlers and still manage to screw it up. And people wonder why I drink…


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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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Opinion

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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WWE Logo Metalic

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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