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Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/16/2018

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Another week and a busy weekend is upon us. Aside from the normal daily TV, the Destruction tour of New Japan starts with the official shows, All Japan’s Royal Road Tournament starts, Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix is still going and Hell in a Cell rounds out the weekend. So with all those big events, this should be a good weekend.

Before we get to the Top 5, let’s go over who won last week. For what I think is a first, MLW Fusion Tag Team Chamionship Match: Rey Fenix & Pentagon vs Rey Horus & Drago, wins the week and continues our interesting month.

Speaking of interesting month, WWE put on a tremendous show compared to a mediocre at best New Japan show. So, let’s see what the Top 5 looks like.

 

5. WWE Hell in a Cell Match: Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy

Credit: WWE.com

Well we get one of the Hell in a Cell matches right off the bat, and it’s the one that’ has the crazy guy. So this one should be interesting.

Umm…damn. The match was very deliberately paced as you can anticipate with a Randy Orton match, but the creativity and callbacks were great. The brutality of the match was actually pretty solid given that WWE has scaled down quite a bit.

Hardy was utilizing ladders and chairs, but one of the highlights has to be Orton grabbing a screwdriver from the toolbox. I personally immediately knew where that was going, and it didn’t disappoint. Orton puts the screwdriver through Hardy’s earlobe gauges and starts twisting the screwdriver as a callback to when he first went after Hardy on SmackDown.

Surprisingly, Hardy fired up nicely after that, whipping Orton with his studded belt, a chair and then setting up two ladders and a table. At first I thought he was gonna try the leap frog Swanton he’s done in the past, but Hardy noticed there wasn’t enough clearance in the cage. So he grabs the structure and starts swinging back and forth. Right before he lets go, Orton rolls off the ladder and Hardy crashes through face first.

The referee tries to call a stoppage, Orton demands he count the pinfall. So Orton wins via pinfall and Hardy gets stretchered out. Damn good match though.

Winner: Orton via Pinfall

Rating: **** 

 

4. Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Kagetsu vs Jungle Kyona

Kagetsu has an interestingly subtle promo, basically surmising that Kyona reminds her of herself from before, so she wants to win fair and square. Kyona on the other hand, is her usual energetic and fun self just looking forward to someone breaking the tie for the lead in Red Stars. So, who comes out of this match with the lead?

Well these two definitely didn’t disappoint. They’ve been two of the more consistent Red Stars competitors and we can see why. Most of this match was just very nicely matching each other blow for blow and seeing who’d stop getting up. Of course when it spills to the outside we get a bit of Oedo Tai interference, but Kyona fights back nicely and at some point tosses Kagetsu from the entrance ramp into the waiting arms of the rest of her faction members.

Each woman hit most of their signatures, but they did good to protect certain moves. My personal highlight was when Kyona was trying to Powerbomb Kagetsu, Kagetsu kept fighting back, so Kyona pulled a Kawada and just dropped Kagetsu straight down for the Ganso Bomb. We saw a few submission attempts from both, but as the time counts down Kagetsu gets erratic.

She lands a Michinoku Driver and goes up for the Oedo Coaster (450 Splash), hits her move, but after the 1 count, time runs out. So it’s a good way to protect the champion and her finisher, as well as give an interesting wrinkle to a fairly straight forward tournament so far. Damn good match.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3. Hell in a Cell WWE Championship Match: Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (c)

Hell In A Cell Results AJ Styles Samoa Joe

One of the better storylines coming into the show, so this was definitely one many were looking forward to. Does Styles put his family or his title first?

AJ came out irate and took it to Joe pretty quickly. Samoa Joe eventually got the advantage on the outside, but the whole match was a nice back and forth.

Styles pulled off his Asai DDT and Springboard 450, but Joe kicked out. Joe teased the Muscle Buster again, but Styles managed to slip out and counter it into a Styles Clash attempt, but Joe got away from that. Either way, pacing was solid, the near falls mattered and both men had a legitimate chance of winning…which makes the ending interesting.

Joe goes to try and sink in the Coquina Clutch, Styles floats over for a pin and the referee counts the pinfall for Styles. Joe argues that Styles tapped, we didn’t see it until a different camera angle proves that Joe was right. Styles has a moment in the ring where he sees the replay, but still holds up the title anyway. So this just makes the story deeper of what AJ cares about more. Because right now…it looks like the title matters more.

Winner: Styles via Pinfall

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

AJPW Royal Road Tournament: Kento Miyahara vs Yoshitatsu
Winner: Miyahara via Shutdown German Suplex Hold
Rating: ****
WWE Hell in a Cell Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins
Winner: Ziggler via Claymore
Rating: ****
205 Live: Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher vs Akira Tozawa & Cedric Alexander
Winner: Gulak via Gu-Lock
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima: YOSHI-HASHI, Kazuchika Okada & Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma
Winner: Tanahashi via Roll Up
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Hell in a Cell Raw Women’s Title Match: Ronda Rousey (c) vs Alexa Bliss
Winner: Ronda via Arm Bar
Rating: *** 1/2
Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Utami Hayashishita vs Jungle Kyona
Winner: Time Limit Draw
Rating: *** 1/2
205 Live: Buddy Murphy vs Gran Metallik
Winner: Buddy Murphy via Murphy’s Law
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Hell in a Cell: The Miz & Maryse vs Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan
Winner: Maryse via Dirty Pin
Rating: *** 1/4
AJPW Royal Road Tournament: Yuma Aoyagi vs Ryoji Sai
Winner: Sai via
Rating: *** 1/4
Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Natsuko Tora vs Tam Nakano
Winner: Natsuko via Splash
Rating: ***

 

2. NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Tomohiro Ishii

Ishii was the first man to beat Kenny Omega in the G1 this year, and that had the champ go on an odd slide. So with only one defense against Cody under his belt, Omega still has a lot to prove as a champion. Does Omega get dethroned fairly quickly or do we get Omega defending like most people think?

Well this match was…fine. Sadly that’s all I’ve really got as a general description. Nothing about this match went over the top as special. The biggest moment was a partially missed Double Footstomp from Omega to Ishii ricocheting off the announce table, cause, Japanese tables don’t break. Which is something he’s done in the past, so really, even the biggest spot wasn’t different.

I feel part of the problem was that no one had faith in Ishii winning the match. It took 90% of the match for the crowd to kinda support Ishii’s near falls and close offense, and it still didn’t sound too convincing. So yeah, a basic Omega match and a basic Ishii match is really what we got here. They’ve had a better matches in the past, including their G1 match and US Title Tournament match.

Also it can’t be ignored, whoever they have doing commentary with Kevin Kelly, was awful. Cliche, generic and worthless commentary.

Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel

Rating: **** 1/4

 

1. WWE Hell in a Cell SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair (c) vs Becky Lynch

Well the best friends split because one feels like they are always in the shadow. We’ve seen this story before, but it should be interesting to see how this one plays out. Does Becky prove that she’s really the best?

Am I watching a WWE show? I mean, the main card opener was great, and this match was fantastic. Becky came in with a very specific strategy to leave Charlotte with one arm, but Charlotte played the face in peril nicely. The action stayed mostly in the ring save for some apron exchanges, but still, wow.

Charlotte misses her Moonsault, Becky tries to take advantage of it with the Disarm-Her, but Charlotte powers through. Becky even tries an Arm Bar, which Charlotte powers out of, but the whole thing was entertaining. Just when we think that Charlotte has Becky dead to rights, Becky rolls through the Spear with Charlotte and picks up the flash pinfall.

Becky got the belt, the IWC rejoices…until they don’t.

Winner: Becky via Spear Counter in Pinfall

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Thoughts:

Well damn, WWE knocked down a Japanese match into an Honorable Mention! The world is ending! RUN AWAY!

Okay seriously though, Hell in a Cell was damn good, and the show put out some quality matches for the week. So my pick for the week will be, SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair (c) vs Becky Lynch, all hail our new Irish champion. Now let’s get to hoping the rest of the Destruction main shows are better or the Royal Road Tournament picks up as it continues.

Until next week, Always Use Your Head.


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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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