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WWE Week in Review: December 3-9, 2018

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Chairshot WWE Week In Review

WWE is coming into the home stretch before TLC and the end of the year! See what happened as we near the start of WrestleMania season.

On RAW, Corbin’s reign of terror continues, but he finds a familiar foe leading a resistance movement. Nattie’s attempt to help Ronda Rousey with the Samoan Sisters runs into a Riott. A big announcement is hinted at for the Women’s Division, giving Sasha and Bayley a chance to show their teamwork skills. Dean Ambrose’s mind games are stepped up, to Rollins’ cost, and an EXTREME legend is forced to take his final bow.

On SmackDown, the war of words in the women’s division comes to blows and shows definite cracks. The New Daniel Bryan turns the tables on Miz. Jeff Hardy takes on Randy Orton, but finds that Samoa Joe isn’t done with him.

On NXT UK, the gameswomanship to decide who will take on Rhea Ripley next takes some surprising turns. Ripley discovers that being champion isn’t easy. The Last Kings of Scotland find that they don’t have the keys to the kingdom just yet. And Jordan Devlin continues to build momentum for himself.

On 205, the war between the Lucha House Party and Maria’sMinions continues, Cedric Alexander FINALLY gets the match he wants, and Ariya Daivari looks to get some traction.

On NXT, the war between the Three Horsewomen and Team Sane gets off to a nasty start. The Forgotten Sons make a statement, and Ciampa’s return to Full Sail ends in a brawl.

So what happened? Let’s find out!

RAW

Baron Corbin and His Cronies: They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Baron Corbin is a prime example of that. The acting GM of Monday Night RAW is drunk on his almost unlimited power, hopeful that he will be rewarded for his toadying by becoming permanent General Manager of RAW. Along the way, he’s managed to find a few lackeys, namely Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, to act as his muscle against the babyfaces.

However, in his rise to the top, Corbin had stepped on a lot of people, including Finn Balor and Elias. Balor would prove to be the biggest thorn in Corbin’s side the whole evening, so if Corbin thinks he’s crushed the resistance, he’s got another thing coming.

Women’s Division: Ronda Rousey and Nattie were supposed to kick off the show by taking on Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka, but before the match could start, Nattie was attacked by the Riott Squad, who wasted no time in taking Nattie to task, and by task, I mean putting her through a table. While that was going on, Jax and Snuka jumped Rousey from behind and left her in the ring. Guess that match will have wait.

Alexa Bliss, who is now in charge of the RAW Women’s Division, decided to give this whole open forum thing another try. Unfortunately, her antics last week hadn’t endeared her to Sasha and Bayley, who were both very vocal about the fact that they didn’t want her in the RAW Women’s Division, and her attempt to drive a wedge between them didn’t help. One thing we did learn is that the long-sought for Women’s Tag Team Titles ARE coming,and Sasha and Bayley want to be the first champions.

However, Mickie James, Dana Brooke, and Alicia Fox came out, eager for another beatdown, but Alexa held them off, saying that if they wanted a fight, they were going to have a match. Dana Brooke tried to get in a shot, but was sent back to the locker room by Bliss.

The match was really good, James and Fox are a really great tag team, but Sasha and Bayley weren’t in the mood to play after two weeks of Bliss’ antics, and put James and Fox away by having better teamwork, much to the seeming approval of Alexa Bliss.

However, that was about the only good moment Bliss was going to have. An enraged Ronda Rousey confronted Bliss over what happened atthe start of the show and demanded to take Jax and Snuka on in a handicap match. Bliss refused, but promised to find her another partner and re-do the match.

In a backstage interview, Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka were asked about restarted match between themselves, Ronda Rousey, and Rousey’s new partner, Ember Moon. Neither woman is particularly worried about it. They’ll put Rousey and Moon away like Nia did Becky Lynch and how Tamina’s been putting away Moon.

The match between Rousey, Moon, Snuka, and Jax started out as 2-1 as the Samoan Sisters got the jump on Rousey before Moon came out, however, Moon came running out and even the odds. After that, the match was pretty good, if a little rough. The improvised team of Rousey and Moon had great teamwork and were able to put the Samoan Sisters away with an armbar on Tamina, but what will be the scene next Sunday at TLC

RAW Tag Team Division: Last week, Bobby Roode and Chad Gable came close to taking the tag team championship from AoP, except for the whole part about Drake Maverick peeing on Roode’s prize robe. This week, Roode and Gable went to Corbin and demanded a rematch. Corbin seemed hip to it, but stated that Roode had to defeat Maverick in order to get the rematch.

For weeks, the Lucha House Party has been getting the best of the Revival, and for weeks, the Revival has been complaining about it. Revival keeps wanting to blame the Lucha House rules that allow LHP to compete in 3-2 handicap, but the LHP had already gotten at least one victory over the Revival without the rule.

There’s not much to say about this match. Revival made the same complaint they’ve been making for a month, the match still went under Lucha House Rules, and the Revival lost. Rinse. Repeat.

In 2016, the unlikely team of Heath Slater and Rhyno shocked the WWE Universe by becoming the first SmackDown Tag Team Champions.However, since losing the titles, it’s safe to say that the team has been used mostly for comic relief. The problem is that Corbin doesn’t have much of a sense of humor and tells them that there’s no longer room on RAW for them, one of them has to go. But Corbin offers them a way out: One of them can quit and the other can keep his job. When Slater and Rhyno can’t agree on who should quit,Corbin makes a match between them and the loser will be fired.

This match was really sad. It was clear that neither Slater nor Rhyno wanted to put the other out of a job, but they really didn’t have a choice, Slater’s got kids after all. Thankfully, the match was quick,Slater came out on top, ending the WWE career of the Manbeast, the last OG ECW champion. Thank you, Rhyno.

After that heartbreak, Slater confronted Corbin and got another bombshell, he’s been demoted to referee. So not only did Corbin force Slater to end his best friend’s career, he humiliated him just for the hell of it. Corbin’s going to regret that, I’m sure.

On paper, Bobby Roode’s match with Drake Maverick looked like a cakewalk, especially to Roode, who dominated much of the match, until AoP, and Corbin threw a wrench into the plan.

See, when Corbin made the match, he had no real intention of actually letting Roode and Gable get another chance. How do I know? Because when it looked like Roode was about to win, Corbin employed his usual tactic to be sure he or his cronies would win: He changed the match to a handicap match, AFTER Gable had been beaten down by AoP.

The renewed match wasn’t much to speak of. It started out as 3 on 1 due to Gable recovering from his beatdown, but even when Gable did come out, Glorious Alpha were no match for a 3 on 2 assault. Maverick and AoP would get the win with a Super Collider and two more people joined the resistance.

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins: Even though Ambrose missed last week’s RAW due to being inoculated against just about every disease he could think of, he promised to be at RAW this week and he kept that promise. However, Deans…germ aversion was still in place, he came out in with a SWAT team, a quarantine unit, and a gas mask. What’s with the gas mask? Well, it’s because Houston is a slum, according to Ambrose and the gas mask is to protect him from the germs.

The SWAT Team, who have their own masks, are there to protect Bane Ambrose (seriously, he looked like Bane from the Dark Knight Movies) from a completely unprovoked attack from that crazy Seth Rollins.  Okay, maybe that attack wouldn’t be COMPLETELY unprovoked, because Seth’s a needy little thing who is forever needing Dean for something and just couldn’t stand the truth Dean had to say.

Dean’s feelings are justified though! Seth’s a control freak and anyone who’s lived with a control freak knows what an absolute pain in the ass that can be. Problem is that most wouldn’t have the guts to let that control freak have it. Dean did. He had the strength and the guts to let Seth have it.

Dean points out that the Shield used to be the outsiders,but then Seth and Roman sold out. They sold out to the establishment, and they sold out to the fans. The fans want Rollins? Too bad, life’s not fair. Dean Ambrose is now the moral compass of the WWE.

Turning his attention to TLC, Dean promises that he will win. He will make Rollins lose control because simply TAKING that Intercontinental Championship would way too easy. Rollins will lose his infamous control and that lovely championship will fall into the safe arms of Dean Ambrose.

At this point, Rollins has had enough and heads for the ring, taking out everyone in his path, including the SWAT team Dean hired to protect him. Rollins finally got his hands on his former friend and the fight was on. Rollins was able to the upperhand a few times, but the righteous Ambrose was able to turn it around, with a well-placed shot with his gas mask. Ambrose would add further injuries to insult by hitting TWO Dirty Deeds on Rollins before leaving, still proclaiming his integrity. Will that integrity hold at TLC? Or will Rollins be able to keep his championship?

Drew McIntyre Appreciation Night: One of Corbin’s brainstorms of the evening was to give Drew McIntyre an appreciation segment in the ring, complete with gold metal for his accomplishments.McIntyre wasted no time in taking credit for everything himself and denouncing babyfaces like Finn Balor as unworthy and complaining about lazy and complacent superstars.

However, out comes Dolph Ziggler. It seems that Corbin cut Ziggler out of the footage of McIntyre’s rise to the top, something that Ziggler was very much a part of and the Show Off isn’t happy about this.

McIntyre, however, wasn’t about to share the glory with his former friend and eviscerates his former partner. However, Ziggler wasn’t going to stand for McIntyre’s nonsense and lays McIntyre out. Enraged by Ziggler’s actions, Corbin forces Ziggler to face McIntyre one on one.

On paper, this looked like a really one-sided match since McIntyre had a serious height and strength advantage of Ziggler. Ziggler had his famous scrappiness…and some help. Finn Balor would help Ziggler get the win over McIntyre by laying the Scottish Psychopath out, leaving him open to a Ziggler Superkick. Enraged, McIntyre vowed to make Balor pay for his embarrassment.

Elias vs Bobby Lashley: Last week, Lashley was the victim of a 3 or 4 – 1 beatdown at thehands of Corbin, McIntyre, Lashley, and Rush. Elias got on the guitar and was prepared to put his trashing of Lashley to music when Rush interrupts and praises Lashley.

Not happy about the interruption, Elias went after Lashley and a brawl broke out. Elias would get the upperhand, sending Lashley into the TitanTron and then turned his attention to Lio Rush, who ran away, as did Lashley when Elias tried to go El Kabong on him. But Rush, suddenly comes running back, just in time for El Kabong. Why would Rush do something so foolish? Because he was more worried about getting away from Finn Balor than with Elias’ guitar. Looks like the resistance is growing on RAW.

Backstage, a stressed, and pissed, Corbin had an interesting meeting with Jinder Mahal. The Shaman of Shanti just wants to help Corbin find peace through meditation. He also offers to help Corbin deal with his little Balor problem. Corbin agrees and sets the match for later.

Finn Balor vs Jinder Mahal (with the Singhs): Finn Balor had spend Monday night doing everything he could to annoy Baron Corbin and had done a pretty good job of it. Mahal had offered to take care of Balor for Corbin, and to get some measure of revenge for all the humiliating losses Mahal and partner, Alicia Fox, had taken during the Mixed Match Challenge.

Unfortunately, despite Mahal’s best efforts, Balor would pull out the victory with some help from Apollo Crews, who attacked the Singhs. Looks like Balor’s resistance building is getting somewhere, or did Crews have his own reasons for helping out?

However, Balor still had to reckon with Drew McIntyre,who attacked him backstage as Balor was giving an interview and gave him a vicious beating.

SmackDown

WWE Championship: Note to self: NEVER enter a hyperbaric chamber, if what happened to Daniel Bryan is anything to go by. Once upon a month ago, Daniel Bryan was the perennial darling of the WWE Universe, but then he entered a hyperbaric chamber and came out a walking Vegan and Greenpeace stereotype, who had no qualms about screwing over a colleague he claimed to respect just because the colleague mentioned him in a promo.  

Miz got the interesting job of interviewing the new Daniel Bryan and it went about as well as you can expect. Miz didn’t see what was so new about Bryan, but Bryan sets the record straight: He doesn’t give a damn what the fickle fans think or about winning honorably. It’s either win or lose. Which means Miz was right about Bryan all along.

Miz isn’t sure what to make of this and Bryan chides him for never getting to the point. So what about kicking Styles in the balls? People do worse things than that every day to each other and to the planet.

Miz is completely lost, sure he knew all along that Bryan was full of crap, but did he become champion because of what Miz said. Bryan can’t seem to decide what the answer is and it doesn’t matter. Old Daniel Bryan is dead and no one can do anything about that.

However, an enraged AJ Styles would beg to differ. Bryan did the typically heel thing and shoved Miz towards Styles to take the punishment, which he did, but Styles hadn’t taken his eyes off of Bryan. Bryan runs, but Miz gets involved and it’s a three way fist fight until Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale on Styles. Miz is stunned by Bryan’s actions, but time will tell if there will be any repercussions.

WWE United States Championship: Last week, Rusev was supposed to have a match against Nakamura, but Nakamura played dirty and took Rusev out with two Kinshasa kicks before the match started. When asked about this, Rusev didn’t mince words: Nakamura did what he did because he was afraid and knew that Rusev would beat him.

And who wouldn’t be afraid of the muscles Rusev showed off, not to mention that Rusev is hungry for the US Championship, which he held for almost a year in 2014 before losing it to John Cena. Nakamura wants to treat the US Championship like a toy, but for Rusev, it represents honor and tradition, which Nakamura doesn’t have. Nakamura can run, but he can’t hide from the hungry Rusev, who vows to feast on Nakamura on Rusev Day!

SmackDown Women’s Division: SmackDown started off with the contract signing for the Women’s TLC Match at TLC because we make history on Tuesday nights. Asuka and Charlotte come out, followed by Becky.  

Anyone who has ever watched a contract signing in WWE knows how they go: Everyone insults everyone else and a fight breaks out. Well,this was no different, only this argument, seemed to center around who could beat Ronda Rousey, between Charlotte and Asuka. Becky shut them both up, by pointing out that SHE was the one who took Rousey out with a broken face and a concussion, though Charlotte tried to claim that her beating of Rousey was more impressive because Becky dropped the ball, totally ignoring the fact that Becky had been forced to give up her match, she hadn’t wussed out on it. Finally tired of the posturing, Becky signed the contract and left, but not before pointing out that Charlotte hadn’t been able to beat Rousey and neither Charlotte or Asuka could beat HER.

Before that argument could continue, Sonya Deville, who was still smarting from losing to Asuka last week, and Mandy Rose. As far as they’re concerned, Charlotte and Asuka are completely undeserving of making history. Sonya and Mandy were brought in by Paige, THEY should be the ones making history. Besides, what happens if something…unfortunate should happen to Charlotte and Asuka?

Paige, who had had enough of this, pulls the ever reliable tag team match from the General Manager playbook: Asuka and Charlotte vs Sonya and Mandy.

The match between Asuka, Charlotte, Mandy, and Sonya was actually really good, but there were questions about the solidity of both partnerships. Absolution’s issues are well-known while Charlotte and Asuka have a history and are rivals for the title.

However, the partnership of Deville and Rose proved much stronger than Charlotte and Asuka’s. The Queen and the Empress had a few snafus that turned into an all-out problem when Asuka accidentally hit Charlotte,which Charlotte repaid by ‘accidentally’ hitting Asuka with a big boot, which Asuke then repaid with a deliberate kick to the face, which let Sonya pick up the win, much to the amusement of Becky Lynch, who had been watching the match at ringside. Maybe all the Man has to do is let Charlotte and Asuka beat the hell out of hell out of each other and just take her title and leave.

SmackDown Tag Team Division: The SmackDown tag team championship will be contested in a Triple Threat Match at TLC, so Xavier Woods, Jey Uso, and Cesaro, all accompanied by their respective partners, took each other on in a singles dress rehearsal for TLC.

The match was really great, but Cesaro stole the show by doing a giant swing on Jey Uso WITH Xavier Woods in a fireman’s carry on his shoulders. Unfortunately for Cesaro, that show of strength, which really needs to be seen to be believed, didn’t stop Jey Uso from knocking Cesaro’s head off with a superkick for the pinfall. That’s the second or third win in a row for the Usos, but will they be able to keep that momentum at TLC?

Miz and Shane McMahon:Ever since Crown Jewel, Miz has been trying to schmooze Shane, and ever since Crown Jewel, Shane has tried to gently let Miz down. This week, Shane finally lost his patience after Miz again tried to make their boss/employee more than it was. They aren’t partners, and Shane doesn’t owe Miz anything. Miz is going to do MizTV with Daniel Bryan and that’s that. Miz sulks off, but it remains to be seen if he’ll take the hint.  

Jeff Hardy vs Randy Orton: Last week, Jeff Hardy’s anniversary celebration was interrupted by Samoa Joe’s head games. This week, Hardy took on a familiar foe, Randy Orton. Orton was more interested in threatening and mocking Rey Mysterio, but Orton is an equal opportunity abuser, so he’ll crush Hardy too.

The match was really good, as expected, but just when it seemed Hardy had Orton where he wanted him, Samoa Joe interrupted with a video depicting himself in a bar, mocking Hardy, again for his past issues with substance abuse. The distraction was enough for Orton to get the pinfall via an RKO. Joe mocked Hardy’s defeat, but will Hardy make the sadistic Samoan pay for his deeds?

AJ Styles vs Miz: After all the shenanigans earlier in the evening, it was decided to let Styles and Miz work their issues out in the ring. Bryan was on hand to watch and give his opinion.

If you were expecting an amazing match, you were not disappointed. Styles and Miz had a fantastic back and forth match. However, despite the best efforts of Miz, and some interference by Bryan, Styles would make the Awesome One tap out to the Calf Crusher for the win. However, Bryan wasn’t done and attacked Styles, targeting his leg and everything else, leaving the former champion in a heap. As Bryan left, he chided the booing fans for being fickle, but will Styles be able to stop the new Bryan at TLC?

NXT UK

Episode 14

The Scottish Kings vs Everyone: The Sinister Scots have been running roughshod over the NXT UK locker room, and they have no intention of stopping, especially since NXT UK Champion, Pete Dunne isn’t there that night.

Joe Coffey takes the mic and discusses the words that have been thrown around about himself, his brother, and their new friend: Ruthless, devious,underhanded, and those are probably the ones that can be repeated on TV. However, all those words are 100% accurate and they don’t care if fans don’t like it, they RUN NXT UK. All three men are gallus, or bold, which sounds better than gallous, or chicken and this is their kingdom, not the proponents of British Strong Style.

However, they’re interrupted by Travis Banks, who was taken out by the Gallous Kings a few weeks ago. Joe mocks Travis, but the Kiwi Buzzsaw is mad as hell and done listening to the Coffeys, and bum rushes the ring. But when it looks like Banks was in serious danger of getting his ass kicked, Moustache Mountain runs into make the save and sends Gallus running.

NXT UK Women’sDivision: We get another look at Isla Dawn, who came VERY close to taking Toni Storm out of the NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament.

Backstage, Johnny Saint announces that with so much going on, he needs some help, and introduces Sid Scala as his assistant GM. However,this doesn’t impress new champion Rhea Ripley, who isn’t happy about not getting the attention she feels owed as NXT UK Women’s Champion.

When Scala tries to assure her that he and Mr. Saint are working to find her the best competition, Ripley treats the statement with contemp tthat would’ve gotten her knocked on her ass if she’d been a man or Scala had been a woman. Ripley might not think much of Saint’s ‘hired help’ but will she be impressed with her opponent?

Isla Dawn took on Nina Samuels in a great match up. Isla seems to have learned something from her match with Toni Storm, because she kept her eyes on the prize, putting away the Pink Devil with a suplex. She wove a spell this week, but will she have the same result with Ripley?

A week after her devastating loss to Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm discussed the loss and her injury. It seems Toni hurt her back during the match and will be missing some ring time, but Storm vows to come back and look out Rhea Ripley when she does.

Backstage, Fabian Aichner is in the house because the talent in NXT UK is some of the best in the business, and that’s what he wants when he goes up against Mark Andrew.

Last week, Jordan Devlin came within a breath of becoming NXT UK Champion. Devlin’s quite proud of last week’s match and claims that Dunne showed fear and is quite confident of another shot. This week, though, he’s going up against Flash Morgan Webster, but he’s not worried. He’s the Ace,Webster’s the Joker, Ace trumps everything. He’ll take care of Webster and reshuffle his deck of cards for another opponent.

Fabian Aichner vs Mark Andrews: At first glance, this seems like such a mismatch of styles and appearances. Aichner is all muscle and size, Andrews is smaller, but quicker.However, this was an amazing match. Aichner might a bigger guy, but he could move around and kept up with Andrews. However, Andrews’ refusal to stay down finally pissed off Aichner who finally snapped and beat the snot out of Andrews, taking home a pinfall victory with a really cool spinning sit-out powerbomb, much to everyone’s surprise. Aichner definitely made an impact in NXT UK, but will Andrews be his only victim?

Eddie Dennis vs Tucker:Ever since his debut, Eddie Dennis has destroyed every opponent he’s come across. This week, his victim…er, student is Tucker.

The match was quick. Tucker got in a few offensive moves,but the Headmaster from Hell wasn’t impressed and punished Tucker with a brutal beatdown, putting poor Tucker away with a Ruler’s Edge and a Next Stop Driver for the pinfall. The reign of terror continues, but is ti getting the attention of whoever Dennis is mad at?

Jordan Devlin vs Flash Morgan Webster: Since his debut, Jordan Devlin has been talking a lot of smack, and backing it up, but will the Irish Ace regret dismissing Flash Morgan Webster as a joker?

The match was really good. Webster has a lot of fight and a lot of moves, but Devlin is a whole other level, and he knows it. If the fans were hoping Webster would make Devlin eat all the smack he was talking, they were sorely disappointed when Devlin put Webster away with a driver for the pinfall. If I was Pete Dunne, I wouldn’t be counting my blessings over beatingJordan Devlin just yet.

Episode 15

NXT UK Women’s Division: Last episode, Isla Dawn bounced back from her devastating loss in the Women’s Championship Tournament with a fantastic victory over Nina Samuels. Dawn attributes her victory to her Wiccan faith of good, truth and spirit,which the Goddess embodies, and which will, hopefully, guide her to the NXT UK Women’s Championship.

However, Rhea Ripley scoffs at Dawn’s proclamation. She wants worthy competition and the White Witch isn’t it. However, Ripley does have an opponent tonight and she wants Isla Dawn to check that match out very closely.

Well, Ripley’s choice of opponent, which she hand-picked, was interesting. Her name was Candy Floss (Cotton Candy, for the Americans in the crowd) and her hair and personality was as bright and cheery as her name. Despite the crowd giving her fair warning about what was about to happen, Miss Floss seemed quite excited about the opportunity she was getting.

To everyone’s surprise, including mine and Ripley’s, Candy Floss turned out to NOT be a total pushover, she gave Ripley quite a fight, but Ripley’s size and power advantage to be unstoppable and put Candy away with the Riptide.

Ripley seemed surprised by the fight she got, and seemed to want to congratulate her opponent, but beat her down and threw her out of the ring. Maybe she should re-think her stance on the NXT UK Women’s division.

Joseph Conners vs Dan Moloney: Last week, Conners destroyed former partner, Saxon Huxley, but how will he fare against the other Birmingham Bruiser?

The match was quick but ugly. Conners and Moloney are pretty rough and tumble guys and beat the living hell out of each other. However, Conners had righteousness on his side, at least in his own mind and managed to put Moloney with Don’t Look Down. Pete Dunne better clear his calendar.

Mustache Mountain vs Gallus: Since the first episode of NXT UK, there have been issues between the Last Kings of Scotland and the proponents of British Strong Style, lead by Mustache Mountain and Pete Dunne.

This week, as Seven and Bate were arriving for work, the Gallous ones were waiting and taunting them. However, before anything more interesting than squawking could happen, the GM and his assistant showed up and made the Gallous Boys leave, but Joe Coffey will face Travis Banks later.

Mike Hitchman vs Dave Mastiff: This was a battle of the super heavyweights. Mastiff is undefeated in NXT UK, but can he beat the equally huge Wild Boar?

Both guys were in a surprisingly jolly mood as they get started, but that didn’t last long. This wasn’t a pretty match to watch, but both guys beat the tar out of each other, but seemed to be having fun doing it, but Mastiff would pull out the win with his devastating cannonball. Mastiff is rolling and I’m curious to see who will be able to stop him.

Backstage, Mastiff was still feeling pretty jolly, he praises Hitchman’s skills, Mastiff was just a little better. However, lurkingin the shadow was Eddie Dennis, who has also been on a roll lately. That collision would be interesting. What do you say, Mr. GM?

Tyson T-Bone vs El Ligero: The King of the Travelers fell short in his attempt to beat DaveMastiff, but will he have better luck against the Leeds Luchador?

This was definitely a clash of styles, but it worked really well. T-Bone and Ligero went back and forth, nearly getting themselves counted out. However, Ligero’s pluck turned out to be the deciding factor in this match as the Luchador would put T-Bone away with a springboard splash.

Ligero won this round, but where does he stand in NXT UK.

Travis Banks vs Wolfgang (with the Coffey Brothers: Before the match, Assistant GM, Sid Scala, made a change in the match up. Trent Seven and Joe Coffey will have a match NEXT week, plus there’s going to be an announcement that a lot of people in NXT UK are going to want to hear.

It was clear from the start that Wolfgang wasn’t taking Banks seriously, a decision he came to regret when Banks proved harder to beat than expected.

It looked like the other Gallous Brothers were going to help Wolfgang steal the victory he couldn’t seem to get on his own when Moustache Mountain appeared and took both Coffeys down. In the end, Banks would get the win with a small assist by Seven, using the Gallous Brothers’ own tricks against them, but we all know the Last Kings aren’t going to take that lying down.

205 Live

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: After getting pinned fair and square by Cedric Alexander in last week’s amazing main event, you’d think that Buddy Murphy would have more respect for the former champ, especially since that victory impressed Maverick enough to finally give Alexander his rematch, but he’s not. Alexander needed Ali to beat Murphy last week and Ali was a tougher opponent. However, he offers Alexander a chance to prove himself worthy of Murphy’s respect before their match: They’ll each have a singles match next week and Maverick can pick their opponents. Who will be the lucky contenders?

Maverick might not have to look very far to find someone to take on Murphy. Noam Dar isn’t happy about how Murphy helped his ‘daft’ friend, Tony Nese beat Dar a few weeks ago and he’s more than happy to let Murphy know to his face.

At the end of the show, Maverick had made his decision. Murphy WILL face Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander will face Tony Nese. Nese wasn’t bothered, he sent Alexander on his losing streak and will do it again, but will the renewed fire in Alexander burn Nese?

Brian Kendrick (with Akira Tozawa) vs Drew Gulak (with Jack Gallagher: Once upon a few month sago, Kendrick and Gulak were partners in crime against Cedric Alexander, then Gulak claimed Kendrick had gone soft and turned on him. Now, these former friends are about to try and settle this thing once and for all.

The match was great and very fast moving, with both guys going back and forth. Unfortunately, Kendrick was denied a pinfall victory whenGallagher attacked him to save Gulak from getting pinned. Kendrick found himself being double-teamed when Tozawa runs in, but also falls victim to theParty of Gulak, but I doubt a hollow victory will suffice, especially after this.

Ariya Daivari vsClay Roberts: Daivari made his return last week, seeming to join forces with Hideo Itami, showing Itami the respect Itami seemed to think he was owed.

This match was quick. Daivari might respect Itami, but he didn’t respect his opponent. He made quick work of Roberts, who put up a fight,but was finally put away with a clothesline, after Daivari pulled him out of the pin several times before ref stopped the match. We’ll have to see if Daivari’s nastiness will be enough to impress Itami.

Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander: There have been rumors that Cedric Alexander was going to turn on his long-time friend, Mustafa Ali, especially after Ali became #1 Contender before Survivor Series. However, last week’s match showed no animosity between the two friends as they worked together to put away the Body Guys.

What do the two men in question have to say? Ali is humble. He’s glad that Alexander is getting his rematch and Ali hopes he wins,but Ali also warns that whoever the Cruiserweight Champion is, they need to look out because the Heart of 205 still beats and he still wants that championship.

Cedric Alexander is excited about FINALLY getting his rematch. He’s not worried about Murphy’s comments about himself and Ali, that’s grade-school stuff. He is a go for that little challenge and will take out whomever Maverick finds for him.  

Tornado Tag Match –Lucha House Party vs TJP and Mike Kanellis (with Maria Kanellis): This neverending feud keep plugging away, but Maria’s Minions have an advantage this week: Gran Metalik is NOT in the house due to becoming a father, so it’s Kalisto and Lince Dorado vs TJP and Mike Kanellis in the Tornado Match.

The match was good, the antics about the Lucha toys wasn’t, as Maria destroyed Penelope the Pinata, much to the fury of the Texas crowd. However, despite all the antics, Maria’s Minions couldn’t put away the Lucha House Party, even on an even playing field. In fact, LHP used the Minions’ tricks against them, using their pinatas as weapons to neutralize Maria and Mike and hitting the Salida Del Sol on TJP, on the pinatas with a shooting star press to seal the deal.

LHP, and the fans, celebrate their victory and the return of the stolen masks. Pinatas for everyone! Feliz Natividad!  

NXT

NXT Championship: For the first time since defeating Velveteen Dream at TakeOver, Tommaso Ciampa returned to Full Sail, with Goldy in tow.

Ciampa was quite proud of himself and his work. He’d killed Velveteen Dream, ruined Black’s legend, and ended Gargano’s fairy tale.Yet, the fans still don’t accept him, but he doesn’t care. He’s going to makehis time with Goldy the kind of reign they’ll be talking about in the years to come.

However, Aleister Black has plenty to say about that. Ciampa may have beaten him for the title, but he had plenty of help and, by the way, Black has never gotten his rematch. Gargano’s been absolved of his sins,but Ciampa hasn’t and Aleister wants his rematch at TakeOver.

Gargano comes out and says that they aren’t done because Gargano hasn’t said they’re done. Ciampa approves of this and even makes a suggestion: They did a great job of tearing each other apart at TakeOver, but they forgot the steel cage! Gargano agrees and offers Black a steel cage match. Black’s tired of this whole conversation and says that he’ll fight Gargano anywhere,including a parking lot, which Gargano laughs at, reminding Black of how that went.

Tired of the BS, Black goes to hit Gargano with Black Mass,but Gargano gets away, but Ciampa, who didn’t have the good sense to run away instead of laughing heard the Mass instead. So the war continues in a Steel Cage, but who will emerge the winner?

NXT North AmericanChampionship: NXT Media caught up with Ricochet and he told them that he’s looking for opponents for his North American Championship and hoped that William Regal could help him with that little problem.

NXT Women’s Division: William Regal announced that NXT will be having a mini-tournament to decide who will qualify for a fatal four way match to determine a #1 Contender for Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship. Or, at least, there will be matches to determine three of those ladies, Bianca Belair gets a bye because she’s undefeated, but how will she fair when there’s three other ladiesto beat.

Shayna Baszler may be NXT Women’s Champion, but she had plenty of help along the way, namely Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, and stomped on a lot of toes, namely Kairi Sane, Dakota Kai, and Io Shirai.

This week, Dakota Kai took on the Queen of Spades in one-on-one action, or it was supposed to be one-on-one. Baszler had her posse in tow, while Kai came out alone. Duke and Shafir didn’t get involved, but Kai took a heck of a beating, including getting her arm seriously injured by Baszler, but Kai kept fighting, but she finally fell to Baszler’s feared submission hold.

That should’ve been the end of it, but Baszler wasn’t done. She, and her friends, attacked the fallen Kai, but Kai has friends to and Io Shirai ran to the rescue. Shirai took out all three so-called Horsewomen,but Shayna almost got a free trip around the world, courtesy of a furious, one-armed, Dakota Kai, but Duke and Shafir saved Baszler at the last minute. Baszler may have won the match, but it’s clear she’s picked the wrong women to piss off.

NXT Tag Team Division: Heavy Machinery are looking for gold. They weren’t ready the last time they got a title shot, but a lot has changed since then. Dozer even took on the Champion! Undisputed Era better look out because Heavy Machinery is coming.

The Forgotten Sons have been waging their own little war for respect against a system they feel has wronged them and they’re also looking to get their hands on Undisputed Era’s lovely gold belts. This week,they took on familiar foes, Raul Mendoza and Humberto Carrillo.

Much like the last time these two teams met, Forgotten Sons won, despite Mendoza and Carrillo could throw at them. Mendoza and Carrillo put in a great effort, but Forgotten Sons were just a little bit better.  Better luck next time, amigos.

Undisputed Era had some things to say about EC3’s comments last week. Fish is insulted by 3’s dismissal of him as another guy. Undisputed Era are sharks and they destroy anyone who challenges them, just ask the War Raiders.As far as UE is concerned, there’s no one even remotely worthy of challenging them,but Heavy Machinery has been undefeated since June, but they’ll fail against the Undisputed Era, just like EC3 will.

Which brings us to War Raiders. We all knew that everyone involved in the War Games Match took a hell of a beating, but the Raiders took more of an asskicking than most. Hanson, who really shined in the match has broken ribs, a ruptured spleen (OUCH) and several torn ligaments, however, he will be back and god help anyone in his way.

Matt Riddle vs Punishment Martinez: Matt Riddle, for reasons that totally baffle me, has been making quite a splash in NXT. This week, he took on ROH veteran Punishment Martinez, who looks as scary as his name implies.

Despite my skepticism, this was actually a really good match. Riddle and Martinez really mixed it up and showed promise as a future feud, but Riddle would walk away with the submission victory. Or, he would have, if he hadn’t been sucker punched by Kassius Ohno, who was looking for some revenge after what happened at TakeOver. Guess that shiny toy isn’t safe from Ohno just yet.

Tiffany’s Takes

RAW: RAW was another mess this week. It wasn’t as bad as last week, but the year-end doldrums are definitely being felt.

I’m not a fan of Dean’s germaphobe quirk, but I LOVED the promo.

I have a feeling Slater being a ref is going to be a deciding factor at TLC.

Thank you, Rhyno.

Cannot wait for the Nattie/Ruby Riott Tables match.

I get that WWE is trying to make a Shield type group with Balor/Elias/Strowman and/or Ziggler, but the Shield was special and can’t be replicated.

SmackDown: The Women’s match this week was really great and keeps Deville in the title conversation.

Miz’s face-ish turn isn’t working for me. He’s too obnoxious to be a good babyface.

The ‘New’ Daniel Bryan is basically everything people hate about Vegans and environmentalists.

Cesaro’s strength is not of this earth!

I find it interesting that people are up in arms about RAW using Roman’s health issues in a storyline, but say nothing about SmackDown using Jeff Hardy’s substance abuse issues.

NXT UK: I’ll be so glad when NXT UK is back to one episode a week.

Jordan Devlin is going to be a star in the UK wrestling scene.

Loved the Isla Dawn/Nina Samuels match.

I hope Candy Floss sticks around.

I hope they introduce the Tag Titles soon because all these teams needs something to work towards.

205 Live: Alexander is FINALLY getting his rematch!!!

I hope the LHP/Kanellis/TJP feud is over.

NXT: Hope Hanson gets well soon, sounds like he was beat all to hell in that War Games match.

Loving the build of the feud between the Three Horsewomen and Team Sane.

Am intrigued by the Gargano/Black steel cage match.

Well, that’s it for Week in Review! Next week, we’ll have TLC results to discuss and hopefully some new storyline directions! Have a great week an be good to each other!

Let us know what you think 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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