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The Good, Bad and Ugly Fastlane 2019

On the way to WrestleMania, does Fastlane end up Good, Bad or Ugly? 

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On the way to WrestleMania, does Fastlane end up Good, Bad or Ugly? 

We are almost onto the Final push.  Right now Fastlane is set up to be a Good night with a ton of action and possibly some major ramifications with a ton of Gold and Storylines at stake before WrestleMania is here. 

Without question tonight will mean a lot; but will it be Good, Bad or Ugly? 

GOOD

KickOff Show- Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev w/ Lana vs. New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods)

After Kofi Kingston got called in about the Championship Match later on, New Day faced off with Nakamura and Rusev.  This is a decent Match with some really Good talent being put together.  Rusev and Nakamura are two potentially top guys in the WWE and paired up hopefully will do something big.  New Day Rocks, this is a fact and both Woods and Big E can do some Great things in the ring.  This went as expected.  Rusev and Nakamura beat down Woods and controlled the match early.  It really is incredible how athletic Rusev is, he moves around like a much smaller guy but also is a pure powerhouse.  Big E got that long awaited painstaking tag and didn’t waste a second wrecking everything in his path and oozing charisma.  Big E went high impact and killed it but got cut off by Nakamura with a flurry of knees.  Things got a little fishy but recovered.  Again Nakamura and Rusev got control on Woods and almost had it won.  However it was a huge “up up down down” for an impressive exciting New Day Victory!    

Opening Match- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship- The Uso’s (C) vs. McMiz

Miz is home and will turn it on.  If he is going to have a successful night, this is the time.  Opening Match and Hometown Pride filled the Cleveland Arena.  Nothing quite feels as great as someone getting hometown love.  Miz is not going to have to “heel” it up at home for a change also.  The crowd was loud and appreciative and it felt Good.  McMiz started off strong in full control everything looking clean and an extremely hot crowd.  Jimmy Uso finally tagged in and took out Shane.  The Heels spent a decent amount of time beating down the Shane O’ Mac.  It was all to set up the big moment for the hero.  The Miz gets the long awaited hot tag.  Miz looked to take it away but with a miscue by the referee missed a huge opportunity.  Again Uso’s looked to take control but The Miz would not quit.  The “Coast to Coast” interception of the massive “Samoan Splash” was insane and blew the roof off.  The Miz got his amazing “frog splash” blocked and rolled up.  The Uso’s retain in a very Good, successful title defense.  Then, it happened.  Shane McMahon brutally attacked The Miz in a “shocking” heel turn.  To do it in a place like Miz’s town that was a Good decision and genius way to get this popping off.  Shane was straight stiff on the “A Lister.”  Even assaulting Miz’s Father at Ringside.  This got a little too much after a while but the overall effect was felt.  Good job all around!

Elias/Elias Part II/Part III

Elias got to sing in the City that Rocks, and got to piss off the Cleveland crowd with insults making fun of Miz and his Dad.  Cheap heat even bringing up Lebron James.  That was that, nothing else even happened. 

More cheap heat, more entertainment.  It really works for him.  He has this fantastic way of getting unreal heat for doing textbook gimmicks.  Good again. 

Breaking it all down and heeling it up again, even pulling Becky Lynch into his act.  Again Elias has the heat and brings it at all times.  Elias then shot himself in the leg because he strangely was uninterrupted.  Elias went on a tirade about how bad OH is.  Even more strange, the South Carolina precious flower, Lacey Evans didher sexy, sophisticated cat walk.  No one complained.  “RKO” outta no-where!  Orton gets Elias, AJ Styles then flattens Orton.  Whatever is to come of this, will be Good!  Point taken.      

WWE Raw Tag Team Championships Match- The Revival (C) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Roode and Gable

So much potential here, this looks to be a damn Good match.  As expected Black and Ricochet started off hot but Ricochet got isolated by the Champs.  Even getting beat up, Ricochet puts up a fight and makes it look Good.  Aleister Black shined and put in some amazing work with Roode and Gable.  Ricochet almost stole it with a “shooting star press” after Wilder hit a sick splash on Gable.  The action then went all over and ended with a disgusting “hurricanrana” by Ricochet to Dawson to the outside spilling everyone down on the outside.  Again it was anyone’s game, until The Revival hit a “shatter machine” for the Victory, retaining the Tag Team Championships!  Then all hell broke loose everyone beating the hell out of each other.  Ricochet and Aleister Black are the last men standing, but it was Revival who wins this Good Match. 

Fatal 4-Way- United States Championship Match- Samoa Joe (C) vs. R-Truth vs Andrade w/ Zelina Vega vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio is a dynamo and a major part of some of the very best of Professional Wrestling history.  Andrade has already made a huge name for himself and rightfully so, as he and his always fabulous Zelina Vega have become quite the treat for the audience.  It comes as no surprise that this was an airshow.  We saw precision and cut throat high flying insanity.  Samoa Joe the Champ fit right in with the high flyers quite nicely.  This was one crazy, action packed match.  It took a certain amount of cooperation to take out Joe but it was always short lived as this was an every man for himself, non-stop battle.  Samoa Joe took some hits but dominated a large part of the title defense.  Although any of these guys would be an awesome U.S. Champ, it was Samoa Joe who locked a “Coquina Clutch” on Mysterio for the Win!  Samoa Joe and the crew kicked major ass in this one dominating the show!  Samoa Joe retains!  Fantastic Match!    

WWE Championship Match- Daniel Bryan (C) w/ Rowan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Kofi Kingston Mustafa Ali

Yes!  Kofi gets his moment!  This is what we all wanted!  Only he isn’t.  Mustafa Ali disappointingly made his way out to a stunned crowd.  This is a joke really.  However this match has some major talent and could be incredible.  K.O. and Ali had some great chemistry and of course this was action packed.  Unfortunately the shot in the gut regarding Kofi Kingston stung and took away from the match.  It really does suck that he isn’t working this match too.  This was high risk, Ali especially took some serious bumps.  Like all of the matches this could have gone to any of the three competitors.  So much back and forth and jocking for position.  We saw a Spanish fly off the top and a sick number of other crazy spots.  Ali missed his “054” K.O. had the match won but got broken up.  K.O had a couple of close calls and could taste the Championship!  Ali later hit a “450” on the Champ on the apron, but Rowan saved Bryan.  Rowan then took advantage but was neutralized.  Surprisingly in this no-DQ Rowan took an incredibly long time to get involved.  It was between Bryan and Ali and Daniel Bryan out did him.  Daniel Bryan retains!  Good, solid match.  Not perfect but Good.      

Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (Lynch Gets spot on WM 35 Match)

A hobbling Becky Lynch came out to an appreciative ravenous crowd.  She is a one legged “Man” in a “Lass Kicking” contest.  The constant loud trash talking was a bit much but very “Flair-like” of Charlotte.  Flair looked Great in there just twisting and punishing Lynch. They have worked each other so many times and know each other so well.  The trend continued with Flair pouncing and Lynch hitting little spurts of hope.  Lynch got Flair in the Disarmer but was turned into a “figure 8.”  Rousey ran in and attacked Beck Lynch, causing Charlotte to be disqualified. Becky Lynch Wins and will be at WrestleMania!  Great writing! 

Main Event- The Shield vs. Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre

Michael Cole mentioned it, Ambrose is leaving and this may be one of his final Shield moments in history.  This should be a huge, physical, red hot match.  The Heel crew beat down the Shield Brothers and The Shield gave it right back to them.  It was back and forth lots of power moves and lots of action.  Main Event, slower, bigger pace.  Roman Reigns “The Big Dog” front and center.  McIntyre and Reigns were especially entertaining as a precursor to bigger things to come down the road.  Bobby Lashley also just demands attention as he is a beast with major authority.  Even Corbin held his own.  Ambrose desperately needed to make the tag.  In came “The Big Dog!”  Reigns cleaned house, the crowd was hot, and it all clicked.  The action was all over the place, and the wooden basketball court made for a great landscape.  The Shield would not be denied no matter how much punishment it takes.  “Shield Bomb” for McIntyre through the announce table.  The Shield savored the moment.  Corbin was next, dismantled by the Hounds.  Seth Rollins straight dropping F-Bombs that had to be blocked.  Another “Shield Powerbomb”  Shield Wins! 

BAD

WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship- Asuka (C) vs. Mandy Rose

Most don’t think that Mandy has a shot here and they are probably correct.  Asuka seemed to play around with Mandy early on like always with precise offense.  Sonya Deville did her part trying to help her friend and gave her an advantage at the least.  This was not a Good match however.  Mandy was not at her best, or maybe unfortunately she was?  This was not Good unless it was Asuka who is Great.  BotchaMania filled the air with this one too many times.  In the most anti-climatic of fashions, Mandy slipped on the apron due to Sonya Deville, Asuka capitalized and got the Win!  Asuka retains with a brutal kick to the head.  To add to the ugliness Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville now have obvious public heat.  Gross!    

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship- Bayley and Sasha Banks (C) vs. Tamina Snuka and Nia Jax

Nice to see Beth Phoenix getting some more time.  Sasha Banks and Bayley are awesome, it is just a shame that they aren’t feuding with Kairi and Io instead of these two.  Tamina and Nia are pretty Bad sometimes and are certainly hurting the show more than helping.  Frequent tags, the Challengers kept everyone’s favorite “hugger” down.  Jax and Snuka clicked and kept control.  Of course we had a botch as they started doing too much.  Nia Jax caught her and fell awkward but moving right on.  Bayley and Banks looked outstanding at times especially Bayley.  This wasn’t all Good though, it was rough as is the calling card of Tamina and Jax.  Although nothing unforgivable this wasn’t Good, Bayley gets a sick pin.  Boss N Hug Retain!  Then get jumped and beat down by the Challengers.  Sore losers and all the after action looked better than the match.  A shame.  This could and should have been better.  Hopefully we can get someone going for the titles.  Please Wrestling Gods!  Yes we saw Beth Phoenix get involved and it was okay, but hopefully it will be against Jax and not Tamina.  Natalya for the “save” but was also just smashed down by the large duo.  No Good still, only Bad.

UGLY

Handicap Match- The Bar vs. Kofi Kingston

This was a shocking moment and Kofi Kingston is living in a Pro Wrestling nightmare.  The Bar wrestling at the same time virtually ready to kill Kofi Kingston.  This was of course a McMahon heel twist but still so weird.  Kofi made it all come together and looked Good.  No one could Win this match against The Bar, it isn’t possible, this was just a punishment.  This mugging was over the top and senseless.  Repetitive beating and Kofi was done.  The Bar Wins!  Woods and Big E just had enough and ran in but Rusev and Nakamura made short work of them also.

FINAL

Good- 8

Bad- 2

Ugly- 1

Overall

With little to no mud on their face, WWE had a GOOD show here.  We saw a very talented roster shine and do what they do best.  This wasn’t a perfect show but it was damn Good.

WrestleMania is the next Big One, well after NXT Takeover of course.  Let us not forget that the best time of year to be a wrestling fan is right now!  Get those shirts out, the parties planned and troll away!  Tis the season!  Catch you after Raw for more Good, Bad and Ugly only on thechairshot.com


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Opinion

Greg DeMarco’s 2024 WWE Royal Rumble Reaction

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

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WWE Royal Rumble 2024 Results

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

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

Why? The Unknown.

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


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


Women’s Royal Rumble Match

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

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

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

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

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

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


Overall thoughts on the 2024 WWE Royal Rumble

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

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

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


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WWE Raw Heads To Netflix: What Does It Mean?

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

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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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