Connect with us


Cook’s WrestleMania 38 Gambling Picks



Wrestling’s biggest weekend HAS ARRIVED! That’s right, it’s WrestleMania Weekend, and it promises to be the most stupendous weekend of all our lives. We’ve got two nights of WWE WrestleMania action with plenty of opportunities to make your pocketbook stupendous, so let’s hook it up!

Odds subject to change and provided by BetOnline.

Drew McIntyre (-1000) vs. Happy Corbin (+500)

Is it just me? Am I the only one that remembers the the last time Corbin was a decided underdog at WrestleMania? (To be honest, maybe it wasn’t the most recent time, these recent WMs all tend to flow together for me.) I remember when Corbin was booked against Kurt Angle in the Olympic Hero’s retirement match. Everybody thought Angle would win on the way out, mostly because they didn’t think Corbin deserved the rub of winning Angle’s final match. These people probably also don’t think that Corbin deserves to beat Drew McIntyre. Which is probably true. One of these men could be a world title challenger after WrestleMania and it ain’t Happy Corbin.

I’m not saying to put your money on ol’ Happy…I am saying that the odds could be a bit closer. Corbin could easily shock the world again, especially with Madcap Moss running around at ringside. Drew McIntyre should win, but Corbin’s chances of victory are more than you might think.

Mystery Opponent (-450) vs. Seth Rollins (+275)

So everybody believes that Cody Rhodes will be the mystery opponent. Some might argue they should have gone ahead and debuted Cody already, but I disagree. To me, the idea of Cody Rhodes is worth more than actually having Cody Rhodes. Ever since Cody left AEW, it seems like everybody remembered how much they liked him! It’s quite odd how much interest he generates now versus how much people thought of his AEW work & reality show. Not that I’m blaming anybody. Heck, I haven’t been this interested in Cody Rhodes since the first Full Gear show. I get where people are coming from here.

Should Cody be the mystery opponent, one assumes he would win on his first night. It’s tempting to think that Vince McMahon would want to blame Cody for leaving and find some polka dots for him to wear while losing to everybody under the sun. It’s more likely that WWE brass realizes that AEW talent with loyalty to Cody will be watching what he does there. Should Cody fare well, there will be people in AEW that see WWE as a potential greener pasture, in more ways than just the color of money.

There is the fun speculation about the mystery opponent actually being Shane McMahon, or a scenario where Shane is the first mystery and someone else (Cody) is the second. In the first scenario, Rollins would be a smart pick. In the second, I’m not sure how the oddsmakers would handle it. Would it be based off what the first opponent does? Tough to say. The more I think about it I’m leaning towards this darn thing being a push and nobody winning. Which is just as well, as I generally wouldn’t recommend betting on matches with mystery opponents anyway.

Logan Paul & The Miz (-120) vs. Dominik & Rey Mysterio (-120)

WrestleMania is not for people like me. I’m an old man that has never had any interest in the Pauls and their YouTube antics, and there’s really nothing they can do to change that. It isn’t a personal dislike or anything like that, I’m just not into that culture. They’re not trying to get people like me to buy in anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. All that matters for the purposes of this exercise is if Logan Paul can draw a good number of his fans to watch WrestleMania, and maybe get them to stick around for other shows. Will it work? Beats the heck out of me!

If nothing else, Logan Paul is in good hands here, as Rey will do his best to make him look good. The Miz will do his thing and get heat, and Dominik will try to stay out of the way. This should be some good ol’ fashioned sports entertainment where the Mysterios get the duke. Unless Paul & Miz are going to form a regular tag team, there’s no reason for them to win here.

Sheamus & Ridge Holland (-200) vs. The New Day (+150)

Apparently this was going to be a six-man tag also involving Big E & BUTCH, but E’s injury changed those plans. I’m a bit surprised that Sheamus & Holland are favored, but they are much bigger than Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods. They’re also from across the pond, so I can see the BetOnline crowd throwing a ton of money on their hometown boys.

Me, I’d go with Xavier & Kofi avenging their fallen comrade. Why not give New Day fans a feel-good moment here?

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Usos (-220) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs (+155)

I’m surprised this is as close as it is, but then again, our challengers are a long-time Japanese favorite and an Internet meme come to life. So I can kind of see it. What I can’t see is the Usos losing the tag titles here, as the Bloodline has had a dominant year and look like they’ll keep it going.

Did I just spoil my main event pick? Whoops.

WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch (+300) vs. Bianca Belair (-500)

If Becky’s new do is any indication, Bianca has truly missed her calling as a hairdresser. I’m sure being Raw Women’s Champion would pay better, but the lives she could have changed with some scissors…I mean, Brutus Beefcake couldn’t do something half that good!

In all seriousness, this would seem to be the part of our story where Bianca Belair gets revenge for the whole 30 second loss at SummerSlam thing. One could argue that Becky Lynch has a good chance at victory due to Bianca getting the last laugh on the go-home show…but look at her hair! Obviously Big Time Becks got the upper hand on that issue.

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Charlotte Flair (+425) vs. Ronda Rousey (-800)

This sort of feud is where basic wrestling storytelling has its drawbacks. Both Charlotte Flair & Ronda Rousey are great athletes. A wrestling match featuring them should be a good piece of business and get a good number of stars. There’s one big issue that becomes apparent when you try to have them do a feud on wrestling television: Neither Charlotte nor Ronda are particularly likeable, at least not to the majority of WWE’s fanbase.

See, in real sports this doesn’t really matter. You put the two best athletes out there, have them go at it and people tune in. Real sports doesn’t fill months of television with them trying to have a feud and have one of them be the protagonist & one of them be the antagonist. Take UFC, where Ronda came from. Both Jorge Masvidal & Colby Covington were clearly heels, but nobody cared. People still wanted to see them beat the crap out of each other.

Maybe people still feel the same way about Charlotte or Ronda. Alls I know for sure is that Ronda Rousey is winning this thing.

What Will Happen First:
Stone Cold Stunners Kevin Owens (-800) vs. Kevin Owens Stunners Stone Cold (+450)

I mean, you gotta be able to bet on something for this segment, I suppose. Seems like the easiest pick of the night…until you consider the fact that the Stunner is one of the safer moves in KO’s moveset for Austin to take. Could there be a chance for Owens to get some temporary satisfaction?

Nah. I see Owens hitting the kick to the gut, but Austin blocks that Stunner stuff.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
RK-Bro (-150) vs. Street Profits (+150) vs. Alpha Academy (+400)

Randy Orton is having a lot of fun teaming with Riddle, and I’m happy for him. It doesn’t seem like anybody is looking to turn anytime soon, and the RK-Bro act is pretty popular with the WWE Universe. I’d keep riding it until it’s a little less popular.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Zelina Vega & Carmella (+500) vs. Naomi & Sasha Banks (-200) vs. Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley (+185) vs. Shayna Baszler & Natalya (+750)

There’s a lot going on here. We’ve got tag team champions in Zelina & Carmella that get pretty decent heat, at least from the Internet. Naomi/Sasha & Liv/Rhea seem equally beloved, while Shayna & Natalya are there to hold things together. Which won’t be easy to do in a fatal four-way tag team match. Naomi & Sasha are the favorites, and giving them this kind of win on a big show seems like a nice thing to do. Only problem: Have you seen Sasha’s WrestleMania record? She’s 0-6. One more loss will tie her with Goldust for the worst WrestleMania record of all time.

That seems like reason enough to give Sasha (and Naomi) the win, but if you’re looking elsewhere? I’d stick with the champions retaining and losing at another date. Not often you’ll get defending champions at this price, so Zelina & Carmella would be a good pick if you’re looking to make some money.

Singles Match
Johnny Knoxville (-300) vs. Sami Zayn (+200)

WrestleMania is not for people like me. I’m an old man that has never had any interest in Johnny Knoxville and his Jackass antics, and there’s really nothing he can do to change that. It isn’t a personal dislike or anything like that, I’m just not into that culture. They’re not trying to get people like me to buy in anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. All that matters for the purposes of this exercise is if Johnny Knoxville can draw a good number of his fans to watch WrestleMania, and maybe get them to stick around for other shows. Will it work? Beats the heck out of me!

I get the idea of having the Jackass guy win, and it’s not like Sami’s heat is going to get hurt by such a loss. We’re past the point where things like that actually matter. However, it’s not like Johnny Knoxville needs a win, and Sami Zayn gloating about beating him would make for some good entertainment. I might throw a buck or two on Sami.

Singles Match
Pat McAfee (-180) vs. Austin Theory (+140)

WrestleMania is not for people like me. I’m an old man that has never had much interest in McAfee and his podcast antics, and there’s really nothing he can do to change that. It isn’t a personal dislike or anything like that, I’m just not into that culture. They’re not trying to get people like me to buy in anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. All that matters for the purposes of this exercise is if Pat McAfee can draw a good number of his fans to watch WrestleMania, and maybe get them to stick around for other shows. Will it work? Beats the heck out of me!

Yes, I’ve basically used the same paragraph for three matches now. That’s WrestleMania. WWE’s best way to appeal to a more mainstream audience in 2022 is to get celebrities that are more mainstream. We as a species can’t agree on much these days, but most of us share an unhealthy level of interest in celebrities and their exploits. You saw how crazy people went over the Will Smith/Chris Rock thing at the Oscars. Of course, the difference is that the Oscars can make people believe it’s real, while pro wrestling lost that ability a long time ago.

In fairness to McAfee, he isn’t the typical celebrity wrestler. He has shown some athletic ability, and there’s no doubt that he cares about the wrestling business. It’s not just a paycheck for him. He’s not my cup of tea as an announcer or as a podcast host, but that’s ok. I have more faith in McAfee putting on an acceptable wrestling match, and not being carried to one like the others will be. The others got put in good hands, Austin Theory might be a good hand too but he’s never been in this kind of a situation.

That being said, Austin Theory has a lot of people with big names backing him up. Odds are good that he’ll be a pretty big deal in WWE. I’d give him the win here without a second thought.

Singles Match
AJ Styles (-200) vs. Edge (+150)

Us old heads can remember a time where these guys were on top of (somewhat) competing companies. Edge was a multiple time world champion in WWE during the 2000s while AJ Styles was the top wrestler in TNA/Impact for most of the decade. So while I never remember thinking to myself about how amazing an AJ Styles vs. Edge match would be, I’m sure plenty of people out there did, and are having the time of their lives heading into Sunday.

Still not sure what this new Edge character is supposed to be, but it seems like he’s having fun. Good for him. The match seems like a coin flip to me, and I tend to lean towards wrestlers that have been with WWE for longer periods of time. In this case, that’s Edge.

Singles Match
Omos (-170) vs. Bobby Lashley (+130)

I must be missing something here. This seems like the perfect opportunity to end that Omos winning streak, doesn’t it? Lashley is something of a monster himself, so a loss for Omos isn’t going to drastically change anybody’s opinion of the big guy. After losing, Omos gets mad and beats Lashley up, then you have something going forward.

Bobby Lashley‘s the pick from where I sit. I assume I’m missing something.

Champion vs. Champion
Roman Reigns (-350) vs. Brock Lesnar (+225)

I pause at the idea of Reigns vs. Lesnar III being the biggest WrestleMania match of all time. I will say that this is the biggest WrestleMania match they could do right now. There aren’t any bigger stars on WWE’s roster right now, and there aren’t any more believable stars either. There’s also quite a bit of intrigue too, as Roman is the clear favorite but it’s not like one can ever truly count out Brock Lesnar.

I see a similarity between the Reigns/Lesnar series & the Austin/Rock series. Rock lost to Austin at WrestleMania twice, but still kept moving up the ladder of stardom. Eventually, the one thing Rock hadn’t done was beat Austin at WrestleMania, and he finally did it on the third attempt. Reigns’ third attempt at beating Lesnar at WrestleMania happens on Sunday, and this feels like the time for it to happen.

I don’t know if it really counts as “passing the torch” anymore, but Roman Reigns will be winning a WrestleMania event for the 15th time this Sunday. I might be off on that number by a few, but you know what I mean.


Enjoy WrestleMania, and good luck if you decide to put some money on it! Just make sure to give me my cut.

Powered by RedCircle

Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!


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.

Powered by RedCircle

Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
Continue Reading


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!

Powered by RedCircle

Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
Continue Reading



Sports Entertainment

Buy A Chairshot T-Shirt!

Chairshot Radio Network


WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :