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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 10/18/2020

Welcome back to the Japanese tournament Top 5! Or well..okay Top 5 matches but full disclosure, it’s all G1. Take your pick!



Okay so with the G1 Climax now over, this is probably the last totally dominated week by Japan. Mostly since I have no intention of following BOSJ or Tag League as closely, but if we get a slow week…you never know.

Last week, the best match did actually win, Champion Carnival Finals: Kento vs Zeus, had the most votes at the end of the day. So it’s nice to see it be in contention, even if All Japan isn’t the powerhouse it used to be.

Now let’s get on to this week’s G1 list!

Quick Top 5:

  1. G1 Climax Day 17: Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii
    Rating: **** 1/2
  2. G1 Climax Day 18: EVIL vs SANADA
    Rating: **** 1/4
  3. G1 Climax Day 15: Jay White vs. Minoru Suzuki
    Rating: **** 1/4
  4. G1 Climax Day 17: Kota Ibushi vs. Taichi
    Rating: **** 1/4
  5. G1 Climax Final Day: G1 Climax 30 Finals: SANADA vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: ****
  6. G1 Climax Day 15: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii
    Rating: ****
  7. G1 Climax Day 16: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs SANADA
    Rating: ****

Honorable Mentions:

  1. G1 Climax Day 15: Shingo Takagi vs. Taichi
    Rating: *** 3/4
  2. AJPW Raising an Army: Triple Crown Championship SUWAMA (c) vs Zeus
    Rating: *** 3/4
  3. G1 Climax Day 18: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: *** 3/4
  4. G1 Climax Day 17: Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay
    Rating: *** 3/4
  5. G1 Climax Day 18: Tetsuya Naito vs KENTA
    Rating: *** 3/4
  6. G1 Climax Day 16: EVIL vs Hirooki Goto
    Rating: *** 1/2
  7. G1 Climax Day 17: Minoru Suzuki vs. Shingo Takagi
    Rating: *** 1/2
  8. G1 Climax Final Day: Great-O-Khan & Will Ospreay w/Bea Priestley vs Kazuchika Okada & SHO
    Rating: *** 1/2
  9. NJPW Strong Ep. 11: PJ Black vs Alex Zayne
    Rating: *** 1/4
  10. G1 Climax Day 16: KENTA vs YOSHI-HASHI
    Rating: *** 1/4
  11. G1 Climax Day 15: Kota Ibushi vs. Yujiro Takahashi
    Rating: *** 1/4
  12. AJPW Raising an Army: Izanagi, Shigehiro Irie & Bodyguard vs Kento Miyahara, Rising HAYATO & Yuma Aoyagi
    Rating: *** 1/4
  13. G1 Climax Final Day: LIJ (Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi) vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  14. NJPW Strong Ep. 11: Hikuleo vs TJP
    Rating: *** 1/4
  15. G1 Climax Day 18: Hirooki Goto vs Juice Robinson
    Rating: *** 1/4
  16. IMPACT!: Kimber Lee w/Deonna Purrazzo vs Kylie Rae
    Rating: *** 1/4
  17. G1 Climax Final Day: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson & Master Wato w/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Gedo, KENTA & Jay White)
    Rating: ***
  18. G1 Climax Day 16: Juice Robinson vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: ***
  19. G1 Climax Day 18: Toru Yano vs YOSHI-HASHI
    Rating: ***
  20. G1 Climax Day 17: Jeff Cobb vs. Yujiro Takahashi
    Rating: ***
  21. IMPACT!: NoDQ Match: Madman Fulton w/Ace Austin vs Doc Gallows w/Karl Anderson
    Rating: ***
  22. G1 Climax Day 15: Will Ospreay vs. Jeff Cobb
    Rating: ***
  23. G1 Climax Day 16: Toru Yano vs Tetsuya Naito
    Rating: ***
  24. G1 Climax Final Day: Darkness Club (EVIL w/Dick Togo & Yujiro Takahashi) vs LIJ (Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI)
    Rating: ***


5t. G1 Climax Day 16: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs SANADA

From My Results:

Tanahashi hits the desperation Aces High, and then catches SANADA on his way back into the ring with a few Dragon Screws and we start ramping up the match. Great pacing allowed each moment to mean something even if it wasn’t overly flashy. Tanahashi fighting through age and injuries, against someone trained from the same school as him (Muto instead of Fujinami, but still Dragon), they had a lot of mirrored moments. Tanahashi goes for the High Fly Flow, SANADA gets his knees up. SANADA had Skull End in for a while, then goes for the Moonsault Press, but Tanahashi gets his knees up. Dragon Screws, Dragon Sleepers, lots of counter moves and attempting to take sudden advantage of moments. Locomotion counters, SANADA rolls through a Dragon Sleeper, Tana backflips out of it, then when SANADA tries to backflip, Tana just plants him with a slam, and follows that with Sling Blade. Tana goes to the top rope, SANADA stands, Aces High, but SANADA goes full Randy Orton and catches him with the Ace Crusher!

Moonsault on the back, then the Moonsault hits flush and SANADA beats The Ace! SANADA is still very much alive in the tournament!

Winner: SANADA via Moonsault


5t. G1 Climax Day 15: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii

From Mathew’s Review:

Okada gets off the turnbuckle and hits Ishii with the Reverse Neckbreaker. Okada tries to hit a Dropkick as Ishii pushed his legs out of the way to forearm him as Okada replies with a kick before running the ropes, Ishii catching him with a Powerslam. Okada quickly got up and hits Ishii with a forearm, leading them both to hit each other as Ishii hits a German Suplex into the corner. Okada hits the Tombstone and applies the Money Clip, trying to choke Ishii out but Ishii gets to the ropes to break the hold. Okada tries to hit a Tombstone again but Ishii gets over Okada to hit a German Suplex. Okada attempts a Rolling Lariat as Ishii hits his arm and attempts a Lariat but Okada ducks, trying to hit a Dropkick as he missed and Ishii goes for a Sliding Lariat but Okada dodges to apply the Money Clip again! Ishii fights out of the hold to get a Reverse Armbar in before turning it into an Armbreaker as Okada’s foot was on the ropes. Ishii hits a Sliding Lariat as Okada kicked out at two and he picks him up to go for the Vertical Drop as Okada reversed it into a Spinning Tombstone and the two go down! Okada hits the Dropkick but Ishii gets back up to charge at Okada, being caught with an Uppercut and a Rolling Lariat. Okada gets the Money Clip in again and the ref goes to check up on him but Ishii stands up, Okada trying to go for that Orton Backbreaker as Ishii landed on his feet, hitting Okada with a headbutt! Ishii hits Okada with a Lariat and gets him up for the Vertical Drop but Okada hits his head with his knee to land on his feet, applying for the Money Clip but Ishii hits a Codebreaker. Okada attempts a short arm Lariat but Ishii would get behind him to go for a Backslide but Okada lands on his feet to hit the short arm Lariat! Okada hits the Dropkick again and quickly goes to the Money Clip once more. Ishii stands on his feet but Okada hits the Orton Backbreaker this time to get him down, still holding onto the Money Clip as Ishii is knocked out, giving Okada the victory to stay alive!

Winner: Okada via Money Clip


5t. G1 Climax Final Day: G1 Climax 30 Finals: SANADA vs Kota Ibushi

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Ibushi sits Sanada up with the wristlocks, KAMIGO- NO! POP-UP CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives but Sanada is after him! Sanada has Ibushi in a drop zone, MOONSAULT to the back! Sanada keeps going, MOONSAULT to KNEES! Ibushi saves himself from Sanada’s Ace trumping combo! Fans are thunderous again as both men are down! Sanada goes to a corner and Ibushi stands. Ibushi fires up, hobbles but runs, into an elbow! Sanada QUEBRADA, but Ibushi blocks and goes up the ropes to get the dragon sleeper on Sanada! Then gut wrench, but Sanada slips out to dragon sleeper again! Fans fire up as Sanada drops back, but Ibushi rolls back to gut wrench again! Ibushi shifts Sanada around and tucks him in, BASTARD DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Sanada survives and Ibushi is shocked!

Fans are thunderous again, maybe even electric! Ibushi gets up, gets the wrists, and roars as he sits Sanada up. Sanada dodges Kamigoye to backslide! TWO!! Ibushi still has wrists, Sanada resists the pull, and they’re in a deadlock until Sanada gets a leg! Victory roll, TWO! Sanada O’Conner rolls Ibushi to a JAPAN CLUTCH! TWO!?!?! That was 2.999!! Fans are now passing electric as Ibushi manages to stand! Sanada runs in, tilt-o-whirls a la Destino to get the dragon sleeper! Ibushi drops but Sanada drags him up. Ibushi shifts, scoops but Sanada slips out, Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES him again! Sanada stays up, Ibushi V-TRIGGERS! KENNY!! Ibushi has the wrists, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! Sanada pushes it to 2.999999!! Ibushi shakes that off to sit Sanada back up, KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!!

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye


2t. G1 Climax Day 17: Kota Ibushi vs. Taichi

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Fans are fired up as both men are down again, clutching their battered legs! Red Shoes starts a standing count as the two writhe. The count is at 7 of 20, Ibushi and Taichi flounder up. Taichi and Ibushi talk smack, head for the same corner, and it’s Ibushi who kicks first. Taichi kicks again, but Ibushi eggs him on! Taichi kicks more and more, but Ibushi kicks back. They clinch while trading kicks! Ibushi kicks harder but Taichi kicks back! The kicking continues, and fans rally up as both men stay up. Taichi KICKS and KICKS, and KICKS! Ibushi drops to his knees and fans fire up with Taichi! Taichi aims, but Ibushi blocks the buzzsaw! Ibushi KICKS the leg again!

Ibushi fires up as Taichi writhes! Fans rally with “I-BU-SHI!” claps as Ibushi aims, to BUZZSAW! But that’s not all! Ibushi sits Taichi up with the wristlocks, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye


2t. G1 Climax Day 15: Jay White vs. Minoru Suzuki

From Mathew’s Review:

The two slap each other until Jay would kick him in the gut and hits a DDT. Jay attempts the Sleeper Suplex but Suzuki grabs his arm to wring it, Jay trying to fight him off as Suzuki slaps and hits his body until Jay fell down, rolling to the outside of the ring again. It looked like Jay was walking away but Suzuki makes him go back into the ring and once Suzuki came back in, Jay attempts the Blade Runner but Suzuki reversed it into the Rear-Naked Choke. He attempts the Gotch Style Piledriver but Jay sweeps his legs to make him lay on his back and hits a Dragon Screw on one of his legs. Gedo tries to crawl into the ring but Suzuki was focused on him, leading to Jay to hit a chop block on his bad leg again. Jay goes for the Blade Runner but Suzuki wraps his legs around his neck, bringing him down for a Cross Armbreaker! Jay was struggling but he would stand up but Suzuki held on, bringing him down to the mat again. Gedo was distracting the ref again and Suzuki had enough as he would walk up to Gedo to punch him in the face after pulling him down by his beard. Suzuki was going for the Gotch Style Piledriver but Jay tries to reverse it into the Blade Runner as Suzuki pulled his hair, making him let go as he hits Jay with a forearm. Suzuki choked Jay out again as he tries the Gotch Style Piledriver on more time but Gedo grabbed the referee’s leg to distract him, leading to Jay hitting a low blow to Suzuki! Jay finally hits the Blade Runner to get the victory!

Winner: Jay via Blade Runner


2t. G1 Climax Day 18: EVIL vs SANADA

From My Results:

After the double paradise, the familiarity of the two starts coming through more in the match. Each has counters for counters, when EVIL tries his misdirection; SANADA anticipates it and does his own misdirection leading to his Springboard Missile Dropkick. SANADA hits the Magic Screw, a Tiger Suplex Hold, and it’s all only for 2. But once SANADA goes for the Moonsault, EVIL moves out of the way, and starts to mount his comeback.

EVIL utilizes the exposed turnbuckles from earlier to weaken SANADA, hits a big Superplex and locks in the Scorpion Deathlock, dead in the center it looks grim for SANADA but he barely gets to the ropes and receives a Darkness Falls for his trouble. SANADA fights all the way back to hitting consecutive Moonsaults, and we all know that means victory; BUT FUCKING DICK TOGO!

Togo pulls out Red Shoes, slides in the ring, and then Hiromu has had enough and tries to help. The Darkness Club duo dispatch of Hiromu and try to set up the perfect spot for EVIL, but SANADA manages a Roll-Up, and EVIL kicks out. Togo interferes with the garrote again, and Hiromu this time hits a nice Superkick, stunning Togo, EVIL charges SANADA, SANADA moves so Togo is sent flying and then Japanese Leg Clutch on EVIL for the WIN!

Winner: SANADA wins via Japanese Leg Clutch


1. G1 Climax Day 17: Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii

From Mathew’s Results:

Ishii would get Jay up Fisherman style and makes him land on his knee, hurting himself in the process. Ishii would now apply a submission of his own as he goes for the Ankle Lock to try and make Jay tap out but Jay tries his best to crawl away, causing Ishii to drag him in the middle and locks it in tight when he repositioned himself. Jay grabbed the referee to keep him busy as Gedo gets in the ring to break it up but Ishii grabbed him as Gedo dragged the ref between them, Jay pushing Ishii into them to make Red Shoes go down. Gedo kicks Ishii in the leg and goes for another but Ishii grabs his leg, hitting him with a forearm before going for the Vertical Drop but Jay kicked his leg. Gedo pushed Ishii into Jay as he goes for the Blade Runner but Ishii reversed it, pushing him into Gedo and hits a German Suplex right after! Ishii hits a Sliding Lariat to Jay but he kicked out at two. Ishii goes for the Vertical Drop but Jay gets behind him to hit a low blow, and hits a Regalplex but Ishii kicked out at two also. Jay goes to pick Ishii up but Ishii hits a headbutt to Jay to knock him down! Ishii tries to go for the Lariat again but Jay ducked and hits a Half Nelson Suplex before going for the Blade Runner as Ishii reversed it to attempt the Vertical Drop as Jay got behind him, both turning it around back and forth until Ishii gets him up for the Vertical Drop but turned it into a Stunner instead! Gedo comes in the ring to try and help but Ishii hits a Lariat onto Gedo, turning around to hit a Lariat to Jay as well! Ishii is fired up and hits the Vertical Drop Brainbuster onto Jay and he gets the victory over Jay! Because Ishii has defeated Jay, that means Kota Ibushi is the winner of A Block and will advance to the finals this Sunday! There goes my pick to win it all but still a great match.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster



Another week where I definitely have no qualms with any match on the list, though admittedly the G1 Finals was the weakest of the three major round robin tournaments; it’s not like it was offensive.

I’m torn between the Jay/Ishii match and the Ibushi/Taichi match. My love for the Holy Emperor is a bit higher than that of the Switchblade. But I do enjoy the fact that Jay White still has a very good chance at ruining Ibushi’s life by taking the briefcase from him. So, I think my excitement for Jay possibly making history by being the first to take the briefcase, puts the Ishii match over a little in my mind.

There we go, thought process in tow, Tomohiro Ishii versus Jay White is my pick for the week. They’re all solid choices though. Which is your favorite?


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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!



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.
  • 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.
  • “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.



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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