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Andrew’s Top Movies, Wrestlers, TV Shows & Matches of 2019

2019 was a big year for numerous mediums of entertainment, and we all do more than just watch wrestling…right? Okay some of us? Well if you like other stuff, you might have an opinion on this!

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Let’s try something a little different, and expand a little bit beyond wrestling matches!

2019 was a big year for numerous mediums of entertainment, and we all do more than just watch wrestling…right? Okay some of us?

Since we all have other interests, I figured I’d apply my opinion to some other non-wrestling forms of entertainment.

Let’s get this started.

Top 10 Movies of 2019:

  1. Jojo Rabbit – Known mostly as “That comedy with the bafoonish Hitler”, this transcended a major hurdle to come to light as a masterwork in cinematography. Acknowledging Germany as more than a bleak land of hatred, the vibrant colors, use of humor to balance the dramatic or emotional moments gives this movie numerous layers to get the viewer invested.  Utilizing child’s perspective on WWII and prejudice, to get across the damage of blind hatred,  allows the message of this movie to move well beyond that of Nazis and Jews.
  2. Parasite – A metaphorical title, but a brilliant movie on class differences out of South Korea. The comedic aspects helps to move a rather dark path the movie follows, with the twist remaining firmly rooted in repercussions and tragic positivity. Every scene plays out intelligently while being aesthetically enjoyable. Unless you have issues with subtitles, this movie is a must watch.
  3. Joker – The most not comic book comic book movie in the history of comic book movies. It’s a gritty psychoanalytical apotheosis of the Joker’s creation. Yes it was very similar to Taxi Driver and  The King of Comedy, but trying to slight a movie for following a mold misses the bigger point. Psychosis is an entertaining roller coaster ride. At points you find yourself sympathizing with a psychopath, and that’s something special right there.
  4. Ford v Ferrari – A title where you may think you need to be a gear head to enjoy, but this is much more than that. A story of determination, friendship and stubbornnes coming together to achieve greatness. The last 15 minutes felt a little rushed/out of place, but that’s nit picking. Christian Bale’s British accent alone, is enough reason to sit and watch this.
  5. Knives Out – An old fashion who dunnit, with great acting, fun twists and character work that makes it easy to allow the movie to take you on the ride without trying to jump ahead. Beautiful looking film, clever dialogue and helps to rinse out any lingering bad tastes in mouths regarding Rian Johnson’s directing.
  6. Shazam! – DC’s first foray at a movie with heart and layers, in the cinematic scope. Takes a hero that isn’t the most household name, and takes you on a trip where you care about Billy and understand his growth. Capping things off with the Shazamily of heroes should lend to easy and fun sequels.
  7. Avengers: Endgame – The culmination of 10 years of Marvel. Nice way to tie up all the storylines even through plot conveniences and the comic crutch of time travel. Seeing how the established Avengers go their own ways, while continuing to establish the new wave is a nice transition with a seemingly fulfilling ending.
  8. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – A convincing trip back to the 60s that showed great character work and acting from Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Margot Robbie felt like nothing more than window dressing, but she’s always an enjoyable addition. Fun and clever for the most part, even through the loose story threads.
  9. Marriage Story – A look at a marriage, almost in reverse. Great acting, great emotional weight in the performances and extremely humanizing. Easy to correlate personal feelings to connect to the characters and the situations. Ending wraps up a little abruptly for my taste, but still fairly well told.
  10. Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker –  Coming off of a generally panned Episode 8 and the lackluster mess  of Solo, this movie intended to please. Though not everyone agrees, the movie hit enough notes for the general audience to appreciate the effort. Answering enough questions, while being fun and feeling firmly rooted in the Star Wars universe, this tied up the Skywalker Saga well enough so we can now explore new avenues.

Top 5 TV Series of 2019:

  1. The Orville (S. 2) – What many expected to be fart jokes and Star Trek parody, turned into a deep cast of characters and a story that pays homage to sci fi classics, while remaining solidly in it’s own world. Seth MacFarlane has detractors and assumed characteristics, but this series shows that he has real range and depth while knowing how to pepper in appropriate amounts of situational humor.
  2. The Passage – Though the series didn’t get renewed, it was a very clever take on a vampire/post apocalyptic outbreak that was all caused by government meddling story. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Saniyya Sidney worked wonderfully together and were a convincing adult/child actor dynamic without feeling forced. Smart and cryptic, watching the dominoes slowly fall into place would’ve lead to a great second season.
  3. Barry (S. 2) – Call it dark humor, call it that off color brand of independent humor, this is an enjoyable show. The tonal shifts between characters and watching as Barry tries to adjust to situations makes this great. Plus the cast definitely helps move the story along and get the viewer invested in the next episode.
  4. Euphoria – Still not quite sure how to classify this show, but it was definitely an intriguing look into drugs, secrets, addiction and having it all compounded with high school drama. Zendaya being in a different role than we’re used to is great for her. Personally I also appreciated the way it portrayed LGBTQ situations in a way that didn’t make the characters stick out more than others. Normalizing their struggles isn’t quite the right way to say it, but the fact that it was more an aspect of the characters that drove their decision making, and not the only thing that makes them look like a fill out the box, caricature of the people they represent, was refreshing to watch.
  5. The Detour (S. 4) – A series focusing on a dysfunctional at best family of shit-shows, has been a smart glance at a smattering of current topics filtered through off kilter dark IFC comedy stylings. If you enjoy the humor, you will probably find this to be a good way to spend some time. Highlight episode of Season 4 was the Japanese Game Show, brilliant stuff.

Top 5 Wrestlers of 2019:

  1. Kazuchika Okada – The most consistent wrestler of the last 7 years. Though it wasn’t a blow away year for him, he makes it all seem easy. After coming off of a nearly 2 year title reign, he still made history by being the first man to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship outside of Japan.
  2. Becky Lynch – She took the momentum she began towards the end of 2018, and held it pretty consistently. Even when saddled with IWC hate, when Seth Rollins was attached to her hip, she still persevered. Being the winner of the first match that women main evented at WrestleMania, as well as main eventing TLC, Becky has been the figurehead of the WWE Women’s Division. Where many others experienced lulls, Becky stayed hot and on top basically all year.
  3. Kento Miyahara – The Ace of All Japan, who is putting the company almost completely on his back to help it return to relevance. Though All Japan’s overall attendance numbers dipped a little, it feels like his name was brought up more on the internet. His matches are always at top quality and he oozes charisma that breaks language barriers. As long as he stays healthy, the future is bright with Kento.
  4. Will Ospreay – So now we get to most of the IWC’s ringwork favorite. Ospreay has gotten better since he decided to bulk up and take a few less stupid risks. As negative as I was on him a few years ago, I can admit his match quality was great and it felt like he was everywhere this year. Since I personally weigh other things aside from purely ringwork (plus I’m not as big of a fan of some of his stuff as others), he wasn’t passing the other 3 on this list, but Ospreay is one of the best of 2019. No doubt about that.
  5. Adam Cole – Somewhere Greg DeMarco is screaming since I only put Cole at 5. Being the top guy of NXT and the leader of one of the best factions all year, he was definitely important to the narrative of 2019 wrestling. To me personally NXT wasn’t exactly great during his feud with Gargano, but I would have to be blind to ignore the last few months during the Survivor Series build. He’s also been integral in the success that NXT has had on USA. So yes, I’m not his number 1 fan (that’s Greg), but I am aware of everything he did to be in the conversation for Top wrestler.

Okay and I suppose since everyone has a Top Match list, I might as well since I decided to do all this other stuff.

We’re a wrestling website right? Okay, so here’s my Top 30 favorite matches. Might not be the highest rated ones, but these are ones I enjoyed the most and stuck with me through the year.

Top 30 Matches of 2019:

  1. Dustin Rhodes vs Cody Rhodes – AEW Double or Nothing
  2. Kento Miyahara vs Jake Lee – AJPW Raising an Army
  3. Momo Watanabe vs Jungle Kyona – Stardom 3.3 Nagoya
  4. Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay – NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals
  5. Naoya Nomura & Jake Lee vs Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi – AJPW Real World Tag League
  6. David Starr vs Jordan Devlin – OTT 5th Anniversary
  7. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kenny Omega – Wrestle Kingdom 13
  8. Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan – WrestleMania 35
  9. Arisa Nakajima vs Nanae Takahashi – SEAdLINNNG Dynamic Show Case
  10. The Revival vs Undisputed Era – NXT TV 11/20
  11. Strong BJ vs Violence Giant – AJPW Dream Power Series
  12. WALTER vs Tyler Bate – NXT UK: Cardiff
  13. Takashi Sugiura vs Kaito Kiyomiya – NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019
  14. YAMATO & KAI vs Eita & Big R Shimizu vs Kaito Ishidia & Naruki Doi – Dragon Gate Kobe World
  15. Halftime Heat – WWE NXT
  16. Minoru Suzuki vs Josh Barnett – GCW Bloodsport
  17. Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr – NJPW Sengoku Lord
  18. KENTA vs Kazuchika Okada – NJPW G1 Climax 29
  19. The Young Bucks vs Lucha Bros – AEW Double or Nothing
  20. Kazuchka Okada vs Minoru Suzuki – NJPW Royal Quest
  21. Momo Watanabe vs Mayu Iwatani – Stardom 5 Star GP
  22. RATEL’S (Harada & Tadasuke) vs Stinger (Suzuki & Kotoge) – NOAH Starting Over Day 5
  23. Rina Yamashita vs Tsukushi – Ice Ribbon New Ice Ribbon 986
  24. Kaito Kiyomiya vs Naomichi Marufuji – NOAH Great Voyage Yokohama
  25. Blue Demon Jr vs Dr Wagner Jr – AAA Triplemania 27
  26. Will Ospreay vs Jay White – NJPW 47th Anniversary
  27. Gail Kim vs Tessa Blanchard – Impact Wrestling Slammiversary
  28. Men’s Elimination Chamber – WWW Elimination Chamber
  29. Kzy vs PAC – Dragon Gate Open the Truth Gate
  30. R-Truth vs Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio vs Andrade – WWE Fastlane

 


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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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