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Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE SmackDown (7/10/21)

SmackDown had a debut as well as intrigue about how they were handling a certain real life issue. Check out to see what made Bodeen’s short list!

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WWE would have their final episode of SmackDown inside the ThunderDome this week, as they get ready to return to the road and live crowds starting from next week. While some parts of SmackDown didn’t hit right, the final SmackDown from the Thunderdome was a great showing and was a solid way for the blue brand to go out. So as he start to get ready for live crowds to return next week for the first time since WrestleMania let’s take a look at the top 5 moments from SmackDown this week.

5. Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin go head to head once again  

Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin would once again get a chance to go one on one this week as both men faced each other for a spot in the Money In The Bank match this Sunday with Big E watching from ringside, joining the commentary team. Corbin would try to get the early advantage over his recent rival, attacking Shinsuke as he was making his entrance with Rick Boogs separating Corbin before Corbin to do any real damage. Corbin dominated early in the match, holding down The King Of Strong Style but a kick and a sliding knee from Shinsuke would turn the tides, giving Shinsuke a two count.

During the match, Big E and Pat Mcafee made several jokes about Baron Corbin’s hairline with Corbin getting a sense of revenge by slamming Nakamura with a brainbuster on the announce table in front of Mcafee and Big E, despite some fightback from Shinsuke, Baron hit Deep Six on Shinsuke but would only get a close 2 call. A furious Corbin tried to hit Shinsuke with ground and pound strikes, with Shinsuke reversing the strikes with a triangle choke as Corbin was just able to put his foot on the bottom rope, forcing Shinsuke to break the hold, however, it would just delay the inevitable and Shinsuke was able to hit Corbin with the Kinshasa, shortly after with the pinfall victory, putting The King Of Strong Style in the Money In The Bank match this Sunday.

This was a solid match between the two with Corbin and Shinsuke working extremely well together once again, despite the fact they have had multiple matches on SmackDown. Shinsuke’s recent small push has been great to see and hopefully, it will lead to more success in the future. Shinsuke’s recent pairing with Rick Boogs has also been great to see as both men have great chemistry and charisma working together. Corbin’s recent series of losses and back luck has also been a fun story to watch and it would be great to see if WWE has a long term plan for this. A special shoutout also has to be given to Big E and Pat Mcafee on commentary as their high level of energy and fun was great to see with both men bouncing well of each other.

4. Shotzi and Nox shock the Women’s Tag Team Champions, Natalya and Tamina 

Fans would be treated to a surprise debut on SmackDown this week as Shotzi and Nox made their SmackDown debut, taking on the Woman’s Tag Team Champions, Natalya and Tamina in a non-title match. Before the match, Natalya and Tamina cut a promo on their mystery challengers with Shotzi’s theme cutting the champion’s off as Nox and Shotzi made their entrance in Shotzi’s trademark tank, shooting a rocket at the tag team champion, nearly hitting Tamina’s face in the process.

Natalya would hold her own against Shotzi and Nox in the early section of the match, but Shotzi and Nox would use the numbers game against Natalya, hitting several double team moves on her. Shotzi finished things off with a cannonball, forcing Tamina to make the save and break up the pin as Natalya was able to tag Tamina in the match with Tamina turning the tides, taking out Nox and Shotzi with Natalya tagging herself in and launching Shotzi into a superkick from Tamina. Just as things seemed to be in hand for Natalya and Tamina, Nox came in and took out Tamina, allowing Shotzi to recover and take out Natalya with a clothesline with Shotzi following it up with a Ball Pit senton for the pin to get a huge non-title win with both women celebrating their massive win as the Champions look disappointed from the floor.

While it is disappointing that WWE has removed Shotzi’s last name and Nox’s first name it is still great to see both women making an appearance on SmackDown. Both women are extremely talented and Shotzi has great charisma and will be fun to watch as she has shown to be a great interaction with live crowds. It will be interesting to see how this affects NXT as Nox recently made her return to confront Candice LeRae after being out for months with a knee injury. It will also be interesting to see how this new partnership affects Shotzi’s current partnership with Ember Moon and what will happen to Moon in NXT, now that she no longer has her tag team partner by her side.

3. Jey Uso returns as the bloodline are back together  

SmackDown would open this week with a segment that would make Dom Toretto proud as Roman Reigns, brought back Jey Uso, reuniting the Bloodline once again. After a video package that showed Edge attacking Jimmy Uso with Roman Reigns being nowhere to be found. Roman would make his entrance with Paul Heyman, telling Jimmy Uso to wait to the locker room for Reigns later in the night. After his entrance, Roman would get on the mic and address his win over Edge and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 37, Roman would then talk about family with Jimmy Uso’s theme music cutting off The Tribal Chief with Jimmy Uso calling out Roman for not being in Jimmy’s corner last week, stating that Reigns was on vacation.

Reigns responded calmly, telling Jimmy that  if anyone earned a vacation, it’s him, but he doesn’t take them. He was busy doing what Jimmy couldn’t do as the Uso’s theme hit once again as Jey Uso made his return to SmackDown. Jey would grab the mic telling Jimmy he was ready to join his brother once again and chase the SmackDown Tag Team Titles with Reigns stating that he wanted this all along for his family. All three men would embrace each other in the ring as The Universal Champion looked proud.

This was a great segment to open SmackDown this week. While long promo segments can kill a show before it even starts, with Monday Night RAW usually being the biggest of this, SmackDown’s opening promos with Roman Reigns and The Usos are exciting to see every week. Not only do they do a great job in setting up matches or segments for later in the night, but each segment also adds a little more to the story between Reigns and his family as Roman’s time as Universal Champion continues to become better with each passing appearance. Hopefully, the return of live crowds can add to this and really establish Roman as one of the best heels in recent wrestling history.

2. Edge sends a huge message to Roman Reigns   

After Roman reunited his family earlier in the show Edge would call out The Universal Champion with The Rated-R-Superstar talking about his actions last week when he attacked Jimmy Uso and put him in a Crossface with the steel chair leg. Before Roman, would come out he would tell Jimmy and Jey Uso to stay behind in the locker room with as the Universal Champion slowly walked to the ring, making Edge wait. After Roman made his entrance, The Usos theme music would play as Reigns looked disappointed. Reigns would tell his family to stay back as he entered the ring, with Edge and Roman locking eyes before eventually attacked each other.

Before any man could get the upper hand, Rey and Dominik Mysterio would attack the Usos on the apron with steel chairs as chaos unfolded. The Usos would superkick Rey as Edge got the upper hand in the ring over Roman. The Uso would try to double team Edge, but the Mysterios would come back in the ring to save Edge with Dominik Mysterio hitting a double 619 on Jimmy and Jey with Edge finishing things with a spear on Jey as Roman retreated to the stage The Rated-R-Superstar would bring out his unhinged side as he once again grabbed a steel chair and ripped the leg off and applied a Crossface on Jey Uso as Roman had no choice but to watch his cousin get destroyed by Edge. Edge would continue his assault on Jimmy and Jey Uso, screaming out to Roman ahead of their match at Money In The Bank, with the final episode of SmackDown ending with Roman Reigns walking away from his family while they were being destroyed by an unhinged Edge.

This was an amazing segment and a great way to finish the show. Despite having to fill in 15 minutes the segment was great to watch from start to finish, with Roman’s slow walk to the ring helping build tension ahead of his confrontation with Edge, with Roman also looking strong, telling his cousins to stay back so he can fight Edge one-on-one. Rey and Dominik Mysterio coming out to save Edge was a nice way to set up a feud with the Mysterios and The Usos with both teams having the ability to put on a classic tag team match if they face the Mysterios at Money In The Bank this Sunday.

1, Seth Rollins goes to war with Cesaro for a spot in the Money In The Bank match. 

Seth Rollins and Cesaro would once again go to war this week, with both men putting on another amazing match as they continue to bring out the best in each other as they tried to compete with the last vacant spot in the Money In the Bank match this Sunday, with Kevin Owens looking on, joining the commentary team. Both men would go back and forth throughout the early part of the match as they tried to look for an opening with Cesaro getting the first bit of momentum hitting Rollins with a crossbody for a close 2 count and continuing to stay on him, forcing Rollins out of the ring.

Both men would go back and forth throughout the match, trading counters and strikes with neither man able to get the upper hand for too long. However, things would go downhill for the Swiss Superman after Rollins sent him face-first into an exposed turnbuckle causing Cesaro to bleed. Despite his best attempts to get back into the match, including escaping a count-out after Rollins hit a DDT on the steel ramp, Cesaro would lose to Rollins after Rollins reversed the sharpshooter to hit The Stomp on a bloody Cesaro, qualifying Rollins for the Money In The Bank match this Sunday.

This was an amazing match as both men once again delivered and put on an amazing final match for SmackDown inside the Thunderdome. Despite losing, Cesaro looked strong in the match, pushing Rollins to his limits and fighting through his injury from the exposed turnbuckle. Hopefully, WWE, continue to see the value of The Swiss Superman and don’t suddenly drop his recent push as his match with Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania Backlash proved that he was main event material, especially now that he has worked on his promo skills and can cut solid promos.

These were my top 5 moments from SmackDown this week. What were your top 5 moments from the blue brand this week and how excited are you to see the return of live crowds starting next week? Let us know in the comments section down below


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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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