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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 5/2/2021

So the article was a few days delayed because covering Wrestling Dontaku and other real life happenings cut into my free time on getting thoughts on virtual paper. But better late than never, right?!



So the article was a few days delayed because covering Wrestling Dontaku and other real life happenings cut into my free time on getting thoughts on virtual paper. But better late than never, right?!

Let’s assess who won last week, shall we? Impact Wrestling Rebellion: X Division Championship: Ace Austin (c) vs TJP vs Josh Alexander; won the week and it’s always nice to see Impact get some love. This week however, we got a lot of great matches…some of which came out of left field a little. But there’s at least one legitimate MOTY contender in this Top 5.

Check it out!

Quick Results:

  1. NOAH the Glory: GHC National Championship: Takashi Sugiura vs Kazuyuki Fujita (c)
    Rating: **** ¾
  2. WWE SmackDown: Universal Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns (c)
    Rating: **** ¼
  3. NOAH the Glory: GHC Jr Tag Team Titles: Stinger (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) (c) vs NOSAWA Rongai & Ikuto Hidaka
    Rating: **** ¼
  4. AJPW Champion Carnival: Kento Miyahara vs Yuma Aoyagi
    Rating: **** ¼
  5. NXT UK: Aoife Valkyrie vs. Meiko Satomura
    Rating: ****


Honorable Mentions:

  • NOAH the Glory: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Keiji Mutoh (c) vs Masa Kitamiya
    Rating: *** ¾
  • Champion Carnival: Shuji Ishikawa vs Kento Miyahara
    Rating: *** ¾
  • NXT: Kushida & MSK vs Legado del Fantasma
    Rating: *** ½
  • Champion Carnival: Shotaro Ashino vs Zeus
    Rating: *** ½
  • Impact Wrestling: X Division Title: Josh Alexander (c) vs Ace Austin
    Rating: *** ½
  • Champion Carnival: Yuma Aoyagi vs Koji Doi
    Rating: *** ½
  • Champion Carnival: Shotaro Ashino vs Suwama
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NOAH the Glory: Kaito Kiyomiya, Yoshiki Inamura & Kinya Okada vs M’s Alliance (Noamichi Marufuji, Masaaki Mochizuki & Masato Tanaka)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • WWE SmackDown: Intercontinental Championship: Big E vs Apollo Crews (c)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NOAH the Glory: Yasutaka Yano, Daisuke Harada & Atsushi Kotoge vs Full Throttle (YO-HEY, Seiki Yoshioka & Hajime Ohara)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • AEW Dynamite: Hangman Page vs Brian Cage
    Rating: ***
  • Champion Carnival: Jake Lee vs Shuji Ishikawa
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Wrestling: Qualifying Match:  Brian Myers vs Matt Cardona
    Rating: ***
  • NXT: Bronson Reed vs Austin Theory
    Rating: ***
  • NOAH the Glory: Kongoh (Katsuhiko Nakajima & Nioh) vs Akitoshi Saito & Junta Miyawaki
    Rating: ***
  • WWE Raw: RK Bro vs Shelton & Cedric
    Rating: ***
  • NOAH the Glory: Kotaro Suzuki vs Yuya Susumu
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Wrestling: Qualifying Match: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
    Rating: ***
  • Champion Carnival: Shinjiro Otani vs Suwama
    Rating: ***
  • Champion Carnival: Jake Lee vs Kohei Sato
    Rating: ***

5. NXT UK: Aoife Valkyrie vs. Meiko Satomura

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Aoife drags Meiko back up, fires up and runs from the corner, but the enziguri misses! Meiko waistlocks for the DANGEROUS SAIDO!! Both women are down and a standing count begins! The count reaches 5 of 10 before Meiko gets to her feet. Meiko KICKS Aoife again, then aims from a corner. Aoife ROCKS Meiko before Scorpio Rising! HEEL KICK!! Aoife hurries to get Meiko in the drop zone then climb up top! MOONSAULT!! Cover, TWO!!! Meiko survives again and Aoife can’t believe it! Aoife fires herself back up and goes back up top. Meiko slowly rises, Aoife takes aim, PEREPETEIA FLOPS!!! Meiko hits a DDT!! And then HANDSPRING AX KICK!

Aoife shakes her head, she’s not done yet! Meiko CLUBS Aoife back down, then HANDSPRING AX KICKS again! Aoife again sits up and glares at Meiko! Meiko KICKS Aoife in the chest! And then, SCORPIO RISING!!! Cover, Meiko wins!!

Winner: Meiko via Scorpio Rising


2t. AJPW Champion Carnival: Kento Miyahara vs Yuma Aoyagi

From Mathew’s Review:

The two are now back into the ring as Yuma tries to apply the End Game onto Kento, giving Yuma a hard time to not lock it in fully as he grabbed the ropes. Yuma climbed to the top rope as it looked like he was going for an Elbow Drop but Kento quickly gets up to fight him on the top, leading to Kento to hit a Superplex as they both go down! Kento hits Yuma with a Blackout on the back of the head but didn’t fully get a chance to hit a German Suplex, so he hits another Blackout instead. Kento calls for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold but Yuma headbutts him with the back of his head, hitting a German Suplex but Kento got up to hit a German Suplex as well and the two are down! The two get up and start beating each other with stiff forearms until Yuma got Kento down on the mat, still hitting the forearms but Kento fights back with forearms as well! Yuma finally won that exchange and picks him up for the Rockstar Butser but Kento found life in himself, reversing it into a Brainbuster! Kento went for a Blackout but Yuma catches his leg, hitting him with a spin kick. Yuma went for the Rockstar Buster again but Kento fought off and hits the Blackout! Yuma isn’t moving as the referee starts to count but Kento forced him up, going for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Yuma reversed it into the End Game! Yuma has it locked in fully this time as Kento is fading, so Yuma lets go to pin him as Kento barely kicked out! Kento ducked the spin kick to hit the Blackout and as he went for another, Yuma reversed it into the European Clutch as Kento kicked out at two again! Kento hits the Blackout and tries to get the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, Yuma struggling as hard as he could but fails to do so as Kento hits the move to get the win. Yuma’s chances of win are now gone as Kento is tied with three others. One day, Yuma will beat Kento and it will be a great moment but today is not that day.

Winner: Kento via Shutdown Suplex Hold


2t. NOAH the Glory: GHC Jr Tag Team Titles: Stinger (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) (c) vs NOSAWA Rongai & Ikuto Hidaka

From My Results:

HAYATA was on the receiving end of all that, eventually making a comeback on Hidaka, and Ogawa takes the hot tag and shows more fire than we usually see out of the veteran Rat Boy. Relentless Hip Tosses, Powerslams, and power, causes Ogawa to fall over in exhaustion after taking on both challengers for a little comedy.

HAYATA comes back in and keeps the pressure up, but NOSAWA and Hidaka prove themselves to be resilient. Numerous pinfall breakups, La Magistral from NOSAWA as a callback to how he beat Ogawa in a singles match, Shining Wizard as a mock/homage to Muto from NOSAWA, but all for near falls. Just crazy action that everything felt very high risk with great break ups.

Hidaka laced HAYATA in a Grapevine Ankle Lock to give NOSAWA full access to the victory, but as he goes for La Magistral again, Ogawa turns the tables and gets a Head and Leg capture to barely retain! Great match!

Winner: Ogawa via Head and Leg Cradle


2t. WWE SmackDown: Universal Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns (c)

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Heyman is panicking again as Bryan shifts around, to the YES LOCK!! Roman endures again, the hands blind him for only a moment, and Roman sees ropes! Roman claws his way over, reaches out, but Bryan gets that arm to shift Roman around! YES LOCK AGAIN!! Roman is stuck in the center of the ring!! Roman fights to get free from underneath! Roman starts to ground ‘n’ pound Bryan with big forearms and elbows! Roman high stacks to get the dead lift for a POWERBOMB! Roman glares, and throws even more forearms down on Bryan now! He lets off to get Bryan back up, for another POWERBOMB!!

Roman backs off for just a moment, but gets Bryan back up, into the facelock! Bryan fights off the Guillotine?! Bryan still has power, but Roman shifts to a GUILLOTINE with the left!! Bryan is stuck in the body scissors now! Bryan flails, reaches, but he’s fading! Roman squeezes tighter, Bryan is OUT!! Roman wins!!

Winner: Roman via Guillotine


1. NOAH the Glory: GHC National Championship: Takashi Sugiura vs Kazuyuki Fujita (c)

From My Results:

Fujita manages to knock Sugiura down long enough to pull him outside and run him into the guardrails as he comes back in to apply a Single Leg Boston Crab. Sugiura gets to the ropes, fires up and drives Fujita into the corner to start peppering in Elbows. Fujita absorbs them, meets Sugiura in the corner with a Lariat which has him slump down, so Fujita goes to town with strikes. German Suplexes from Fujita, Fujita goes for a Soccer Ball Kick, but Sugiura picks the ankle and locks in an Ankle Lock for a hot minute. Fujita is stuck for a while, but gets to the ropes, but the damage is visible. Sugiura found a way to take a little of the power base away and Fujita is too stubborn to stop his offense.

The strike exchanges became insane. Fujita lands 2 Soccer Ball Kicks, goes for a third but gets caught in an Olympic Slam. Then we get an open hand slap exchange of glory. Fujita showed a lot in the gas tank and put a lot of great effort into this match, for anyone that questions his motivations at times, this was an amazing Strong Style bout.

Sugiura managed to barely edge out Fujita after three more Olympic Slams. Fujita gets stretchered out to get over the violence and physicality.

Winner: Sugiura via Olympic Slam



The Meiko match was unexpected, Roman and Daniel tend to put on quality matches, but this was above what usually gets delivered on TV and NOAH is just hard to beat the last few years. Let’s not completely overlook AJPW since as much as I’m not sold on Yuma, he’s done well to make use of the push he’s being given.

My choice is pretty obvious this week. As much as I love the Samoan Sex Machine, NOAH’s Killing Machine getting the National title back in a grueling strong style, bright red violent sex of a match. So Kazuyuki Fujita vs Takashi Sugiura, is where my vote goes for this final April pool installment.

That means the Will Ospreay vs Shingo Takagi match will be in the first week qualifying for May! That’s a little hint, since we all know that match was HAWT.

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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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