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WWE Week in Review November 12-18, 2018

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Chairshot WWE Week In Review




TakeOver: War Games II

NXT Championship Match – Tommaso Ciampa vs Velveteen Dream: Tommaso Ciampa’s reign of terror nearly came to an end at NXT TakeOver against the flamboyant Velveteen Dream. The match had its silly moments, like Ciampa taking Dream’s Hogan-inspired Hollywood headband, and Dream retaliating by grabbing Ciampa’s precious Goldie.

It honestly looked like Dream had Ciampa’s number several times during the match, including elbow drops, double ax handles, and a gorgeous figure four. However, Ciampa battled back from everything Dream could throw at him after a HORRIFYING DDT on the steel band between the two rings. Dream’s dream is over, but Ciampa had to earn every bit of the victory.

2-out-of-3 Falls for the NXT Women’s Championship – Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane: This match was a rematch after Baszler stole the Women’s Title at Evolution with help from her friends.

Sane showed a lot of fight in the first fall, taking it to Baszler from the start. Unfortunately, Baszler’s friends were in the house and they made sure that Baszler got the first fall by submission by keeping Sane from hitting her In-Sane Elbow.

Baszler tried to make the second fall a quick one, but Sane refused to give up. Baszler, extremely over-confident, refused to treat her as a threat, which is always a stupid thing to do. Sane SHOULD have gotten a DQ win here when Baszler’s friends blatantly attacked her while the ref watched and did nothing. Sane would get the pinfall, tying up the match after hitting an In-Sane Elbow.

The third fall is where things gets screwy. Baszler’s friends continue to be a problem, but the ref did nothing about it, even when he saw it with his own eyes. Hoping to help their friend out, Io Shirai and Dakota Kai ran out to even the odds, and Shirai proved that she could do her amazing moonsault while wearing skinny jeans. Unfortunately, Shirai and Kai’s efforts were too little, too late, Baszler would pick up the win after countering an In-Sane Elbow into a backslide and retain her championship.

Johnny Gargano vs Aleister Black: For months, the mystery of who attacked Aleister Black has perplexed the NXT Universe. The mystery deepened when Nikki Cross revealed that the culprit had been ultimate good guy, Johnny Gargano. Why did Gargano do it? Well, the simple answer is that Gargano has gone to the Dark Side, even more alarming is that he A. Doesn’t think he’s the villain and B. Likes the Dark Side. In Gargano’s view, Black was just collateral damage, nothing to get so upset about. Unfortunately, Black didn’t see it that way and the fight was on.

The match was no Duel on Mustafar or Battle of Hogwarts, but it was a hell of a fight. Black and Gargano tore each other apart, each man nearly defeating the other. Ultimately, it would take two nasty Black Masses before Black was able to vanquish Gargano, but he was…kind enough to absolve Gargano of his sins while doing so. I have a feeling this isn’t the end for these two, but I don’t think the rematch could match this.

War Games Match – Undisputed Era vs Ricochet, Pete Dunne, and War Raiders: The issues between the eight men have been brewing for months and it is finally time to put up or shut up, in War Games. Thanks to their assault on Team Ricochet on Wednesday, Undisputed Era was going to have the numbers advantage throughout the match, but anyone’s who’s ever watched the original War Games could tell you that the team that has the numbers advantage, usually doesn’t win.

The match was amazing, as predicted. All eight men tore the house down, which was a hard thing to do after the huge matches preceding them. Some of the highlight included Hanson being speared through a table, a Tower of Doom from the middle rope, and Ricochet’s death-defying moonsault off the top of the War Games structure. Team Ricochet would get the win with Ricochet and Dunne pinning, just to make sure Undisputed Era was dispatched. We’ll see what happens next week, but rest assured, Undisputed Era’s going to be out for blood after this.




Survivor Series

Undisputed Championship vs WWE Championship Match: In 2014, Daniel Bryan was supposed to take on Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. Unfortunately, Bryan’s neck injury forced him to forfeit the title before the match could happen and when Bryan go back, he lost his chance to face Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 to Roman Reigns. So now, four and a half years after it was supposed to take place, and after a shocking heel turn, Daniel Bryan vs Brock Lesnar happened.

The match looked to be a typical Lesnar affair. Lesnar spent most of the first part of the match throwing Bryan around, right on the injured neck. To everyone’s surprise, Bryan refused to give up, fighting back and giving Lesnar everything he had. It even looked like Bryan was going to make Lesnar tap to the Yes/No! Lock, but Lesnar powered out and put Bryan away, sealing RAW’s victory at Survivor Series.

Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair: This match was supposed to be Becky Lynch vs Ronda Rousey, but after being taken out by Nia Jax, Lynch asked her former friend, Charlotte Flair, to take on Ronda Rousey in her stead.

The match was really fantastic, even with no build. Flair and Rousey were evenly matched and the situation with Becky only seemed to add fuel to the fire. When she couldn’t put Rousey away by pinfall and submission, Charlotte decided to finish her off any way she could. She viciously beat Rousey with a Kendo stick, earning herself a disqualification. Flair wasn’t done, however, she threw Rousey into the stairs before horse-collaring her with a steel chair and hitting Natural Selection before the officials were able to get her to leave. The dream match didn’t have a dream ending, but Charlotte definitely left an impression on the Baddest Woman on the Planet.

Seth Rollins vs Shinsuke Nakamura: This has been another long-awaited dream match for the WWE Universe and for the two men involved. Unfortunately, the ongoing issues with Dean Ambrose had left Seth almost no time to fully plan how he was going to deal with Nakamura, who was not happy to find out that he wasn’t priority #1 in Seth’s mind.

The match was easily the highlight of the night. Despite Rollins’ lack of preparation, he quickly sussed out how to deal with the Rockstar and vice versa. Highlights included Rollins kicking out of Kinshasa kick and three suicide dives, finally putting Nakamura away with a Curb Stomp.

However, Rollins’ good times weren’t destined to last. While giving a post-match interview to Charly Caruso, Rollins had a bombshell dropped on him: He would be defending his Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose at TLC in December, a significant show, since TLC was the show where the Shield had their first match as a unit. Rollins was stunned by the news, but recovered quickly.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy vs Mustafa Ali: Buddy Murphy ended Cedric Alexander’s historic championship reign at Super Show Down in September, but now he faced a very familiar foe. Mustafa Ali has fought back against illness and bad luck to get back into the title picture.

The match was fantastic. Murphy and Ali had a great rivalry earlier in the year, but the managed to keep the story fresh. However, despite Ali’s heart and stamina, Murphy’s nickname of the Juggernaut was more than just a moniker. He put Ali away with a thunderous Murphy’s Law to retain the title. Ali came up short this time, but it would be safe to say this feud isn’t over yet.

Team RAW Men vs Team SmackDown Men: The build to Survivor Series has been rushed and took several unexpected twists, but it came down to the best of the RAW men vs the best of the SmackDown men, which included Shane McMahon. To add further stakes to the match, Strowman’s chance to face Brock Lesnar and get his hands on Baron Corbin was on the line, and he made sure his teammates knew it.

Strowman needn’t have worried. The RAW men tore apart the SmackDown team, though SmackDown didn’t make it easy for them, especially Shane who pulled out every stop to try and lead his team to victory, but ended up being sacrificed by Miz to Strowman. Strowman, McIntyre, and Lashley would be the last men standing on Team RAW.

Corbin, who seemed to have more guts than brains, attacked Strowman, seeming to forget that Strowman was promised a chance to get his hands on Corbin if he lead RAW to victory. I have a feeling that Strowman will make Corbin regret that hasty decision.

Team RAW Women vs Team SmackDown Women: Before the show got underway, both teams were hit by shakeups. Ruby Riott and Nattie were supposed to be on Team RAW, but when it was shown that they couldn’t get along, both were kicked off the team and Alexa, reluctantly, put Sasha and Bayley on the team.

As for SmackDown, Captain Naomi had a slightly easier time of it. Since Charlotte was going to be facing Ronda Rousey, there was an open spot on the team. Fortunately, there was an eager candidate just waiting to be called into action: R-Truth. A bemused Naomi had to break it to Truth that since he wasn’t a woman, he couldn’t be on the team, but Mandy Rose, who had made a lot of enemies when she was left off the team for Charlotte could be on the team.

The match was good. Nia had nuclear heat for what she did to Becky Lynch, but didn’t care, and it’s not a good look for WWE. This match was a fight on both sides, and everyone looked good, but it would come down to Nia and Sasha vs Asuka. Now, the smart thing would be for Nia and Sasha to work together to put Asuka away, but Nia and Alexa Bliss had other ideas. When it looked like Sasha was going to put Asuka away, Nia pushed her off the top turnbuckle, leaving Sasha at the mercy of Asuka, who was, in turn, defeated by Nia. It all seemed to be part of the plan to embarrass Sasha by Alexa Bliss, but I have a feeling that Bliss and Jax are going to be sorry for this.

Traditional 10 vs 10 Survivor Series Match – Team RAW vs Team SmackDown: This was the match without much build, mostly because the teams were going to going to consist of most of the tag team divisions of both shows and it would, mysteriously, be ignored in terms of the RAW vs SmackDown score.

That was a shame, because this was a really good match, eventually. Team SmackDown was introduced by New Day, for some reason. Team RAW did a really lame team Glorious entrance. The match had some surprising highlights, like Dawson of the Revival doing a suicide dive and the Usos making several tributes to Roman Reigns, including a Superman Splash to seal the victory over the Revival. It would be SmackDown’s only victory of the night, though WWE chose to ignore it.

Authors of Pain (with Drake Maverick) vs The Bar (with Big Show): This was another match that didn’t get much build, mainly because a lot of people thought it would be The Bar vs Ambrose and Rollins.

The match was okay, AoP aren’t the greatest in the ring, but the Bar was able to work them through a decent match, especially since they had Big Show to keep Drake Maverick in line.

Unfortunately, Drake Maverick proved that there was no low to which he would not stoop to help his guys win. When Big Show choked him, Maverick peed his pants. Yes, I’m serious. He peed his pants like a toddler who forgot to tell his mommy that he had to go potty. Big Show and the Bar were so stunned by this that it allowed AoP to hit a devastating powerbomb neckbreaker and rack up another victory for RAW. Though I’m sure Maverick is going to get the life ribbed out of him for this one.

That’s it for this week’s Week in Review. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday, if you celebrate it. Have fun, be safe, and be good to each other!




What did you think of the week in WWE? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!


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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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