Weekend Roundup: NXT TakeOver 36, Nick Khan on NXT Changes, Bray Wyatt & AEW, CM Punk, Tessa Blanchard, Indies


  • WWE recently announced a new match for the card of tonight’s NXT TakeOver 36 event. This will be a pre-show match of Ridge Holland vs. Trey Baxter.
  • WWE announced that Saturday’s SummerSlam 2021 event at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada set a new all-time company record for the largest indoor attendance in SummerSlam history at 51,326. WrestleTix reported on Twitter that the real attendance is currently estimated to be around 45,690.
  • WWE announced that next year’s Money in the Bank event will be taking place during the weekend of July 4th at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • WWE also announced that their next event in Saudi Arabia will be called Crown Jewel 2021 and will be taking place this October. While no official date nor location was announced, the event is currently rumored to be taking place on October 21st in Riyadh.
  • 2K Games announced that their upcoming WWE 2K22 game is currently scheduled to be released in March of 2022.
  • As noted before, WWE President Nick Khan made comments last week mentioning that the company is “open for business” in regards to recent rumors of a possible sale within the near future. During a recent interview with BT Sport, Khan clarified his recent comments stating “when I say we’re ‘open for business,’ that means if someone credible calls on anything, NFT, trading cards, international rights; we take the call. We’re inherently salespeople. We’re not like, ‘We don’t want to talk to this company because they think they’re X.’ If you call and want to pitch us something and you’re a credible company, we’re going to hear the pitch. We’re an entrepreneurial company that Vince and others built over the last 35 years or so and we always want to stay fresh and entrepreneurial in our minds. When I say ‘open for business,’ if someone calls and are credible and asking, ‘Are you guys for sale?’ What is your offer? What are you thinking? We’re not trying to sell it. That’s not our intent. There are no internal meetings about selling this company. The internal meeting is about growing it and the ability that we think we collectively have to tremendously grow what the value of the company is now. People call all the time about all different things, but we’re not in any active conversations about (selling).” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • Khan also confirmed recent reports of major changes being in the works for WWE’s NXT brand. Khan stated “We are doing a complete revamp on NXT, led by Triple H/Paul Levesque, who is really one of the architects of the original NXT. We want our system to be an easy system where people who want to be superstars, they know how to get to us, and we can get to them. In terms of an NXT rebrand, look for it in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to have a whole new look. It’s going to have a whole new feel, and we believe because a lot of the ‘Indie wrestlers’ if you will, have come through our system and are in our system with SmackDown and Raw now, we don’t want to just keep doing that same thing, we want to look elsewhere for great young talent.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • WWE reportedly generated an attendance of 7,100 for their August 13th SmackDown show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 7,524 for their August 14th house show event in Charlotte, North Carolina, 6,175 for their August 15th house show event in Columbia, South Carolina, 7,900 for their August 16th RAW show in San Antonio, Texas, and 180 for their August 17th NXT show in Orlando, Florida, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 4,413 tickets for their August 27th SmackDown show in North Little Rock, Arkansas, around 9,489 tickets for their September 10th SmackDown show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, and around 6,257 tickets for their September 26th Extreme Rules 2021 event in Columbus, Ohio as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • During an interview held with BT Sports this past Thursday, Roman Reigns gave his thoughts on WWE part-timer talents coming back to the company and taking up main event spots. While responding to a question about CM Punk’s past criticisms about this issue, Reigns stated “when it comes down to it, CM Punk was not as good or as over as John Cena, he was not as good or as over or moved the needle like The Rock. It just was what it was. From a full-time performer, I understand the frustration and wanting more. But like I said before, you’ve gotta take it … If more eyeballs are being brought to our product, a guy like John Cena, who’s starring in multiple movies this summer, has earned the right where he’s at that portion of his career where he is a part-time performer, I’m not gonna complain,” said Reigns. “I’m just gonna capitalize on him being here and everything that he brings.” (Transcript h/t: F4WOnline.com)
  • Following Reigns’ interview, Mick Foley responded on Twitter about Reigns’ claims of Punk not being as over as a big star in WWE. Foley stated “CM PUNK WAS DAMN GOOD, AND DAMN OVER. With one interview he changed the course of the wrestling business. He had great matches with a wide variety of opponents on a nightly basis. When/if he returns to wrestling, he will once again be damn good and damn over.”
  • WWE recently announced that they have signed a multi-year partnership deal with MLB to sell custom team-inspired replica WWE Championship belts. The company announced that these new MLB style belts will be available for sale starting in 2022.
  • WWE also recently announced that they have partnered with sports memorabilia auction company Goldin Auctions to hold auctions on famous WWE-themed memorabilia and items from the company’s history.
  • Fightful Select reported that based on their sources within WWE, St. Louis is currently the front runner to be the host city for next year’s Royal Rumble event.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that WWE recently reached a settlement deal over multiple lawsuits that had been filed against them by WWE investors regarding issues with the company’s deals in Saudi Arabia. The financial amount was not revealed but the terms of the settlement included WWE not being required to make any public admission of guilt and the company covering all of the legal fees for all of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuits.


  • Dave Meltzer reported in a recent episode of the Wrestling Observer Radio that his sources within AEW stated that Bray Wyatt is currently expected to sign a contract with the company. Meltzer stated that the talks between the two sides are at around the same stage they were for Malakai Black when he was in talks for a deal with the company.
  • Dave Meltzer also reported in Saturday’s Daily Update that CM Punk’s name generated over 500,000 searches on Google this past Friday and was the fourth most searched term for that night.
  • Tony Khan stated during this past Friday’s AEW Rampage post-show media scrum that Daniel Garcia is currently working under an agreement style deal with the company. Khan stated “Daniel Garcia’s doing awesome. He’s done tremendous work recently for us and has been involved in some really important matches. It’s great to have a fresh young heel who can come in and immediately get thrown into the fire and succeed and really come through for us in these situations. So he is under an agreement, and I think he can do a lot more things and really shine for us in the future and stay with us for a long time, hopefully. So Daniel Garcia is doing great work and he had a great match with Moxley tonight in the main event match of the show.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • AEW reportedly generated an attendance of 5,550 for their August 13th AEW Rampage show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and 4,750 for their August 18th AEW Dynamite show in Houston, Texas, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 3,738 tickets for their August 25th Dynamite show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, around 5,132 tickets for their September 1st Dynamite show in Chicago, around 5,178 tickets for their September 3rd Rampage show in Chicago, Illinois, and around 8,000 for their September 8th Dynamite show in Cincinnati, Ohio as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • In regards to other upcoming notable events, AEW has sold around 9,500 tickets for their September 5th All Out 2021 event in Chicago, Illinois and around 17,148 tickets for their September 22nd Grand Slam Dynamite show in New York City, New York as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • During a recent interview with Bleacher Report, Malakai Black discussed his thoughts on wanting to help elevate AEW’s younger talent and the amount of creative freedom he has in the company. Black stated “I had a plan, and I think the only place in my head where this plan would come to fulfillment is AEW. The company is young, fresh, and exciting. It brings an edge that professional wrestling has sorely needed. This character that I have clearly has a kind of edge to it that I could only portray in AEW. My agent communicated my thoughts to Tony Khan and he loved it. We had a quick conversation and then a long two- or three-day period where we were communicating a lot. The rest is history and the impact has been seen.My creative input is almost 100 percent. I will send my ideas to Tony [Khan], and he will either give his thoughts on it or sign off on it. The locker room itself is absolutely great. It’s a group of people who will fight tooth and nail to get things done. There is a huge amount of talent in that locker room. I feel that after 21 years of being in this business, I can help that new generation and younger kids who will inherit this business and help them discover themselves. I can ask them the questions that will allow them to start the thinking process to make themselves better.”
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW officials recently dropped their plans for Jon Moxley to face off against NJPW’s Hiroshi Tanahashi at their All Out 2021 event on September 5th in Chicago. Meltzer reported that the reason for the plans being scrapped was due to a minor political issue between AEW and NJPW officials that caused the potential match to be delayed until a later date. Meltzer speculated that the match likely would have been for Tanahashi’s IWGP United States Heavyweight title and NJPW officials likely did not want Tanahashi to lose the belt that soon from his title win at Resurgence earlier this month. Tanahasi is currently scheduled to be defending his title at NJPW’s Wrestle Grand Slam 2021 event on September 4th in Saitama, Japan.
  • Wrestling merchandise retailer Pro Wrestling Tees announced that CM Punk’s debut in AEW managed to set a new company record for most shirts sold within a 24 hour time period.

Other Wrestling

  • Ring of Honor recently announced a new match for the card of their Death Before Dishonor 2021 event on September 12th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This will be a singles match featuring two mystery competitors who will be making their official debuts for the company at the event.
  • Fightful Select reported that the National Wrestling Alliance has been in recent talks with Tessa Blanchard in regards to a potential contract with the company.
  • Lucha Libre AAA reportedly generated an attendance of around 5,000 for their Triplemania XXIX event on August 14th in Mexico City, Mexico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that another reason why AAA owner Dorian Roldan decided against reverting back to his original plans of Andrade beating Omega for the Mega Championship at Triplemania XXIX was due to Andrade had not agreed to a return date with the company at the time. In regards to Ric Flair’s involvement at the event, Meltzer reported that Flair had made a secret agreement with AAA officials to make a surprise appearance at the event as Andrade’s manager for his match. Meltzer also reported that the current belief is that Flair’s release from WWE did not included a non-compete clause as part of its terms.
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly generated a paid attendance of 2,240 for their August 14th Resurgence event in Los Angeles, California, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. NJPW also generated a paid attendance of 921 for their August 14th Summer Struggle 2021 event in Nagano, 506 for their August 15th Summer Struggle 2021 event in Fujisan, 380 for their August 16th Summer Struggle 2021 event in Tokyo, and 428 for their August 17th Summer Struggle 2021 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • NJPW reportedly has sold around less than 150 tickets for their September 25th and 26th NJPW Strong tapings in Garland, Texas, around 623 tickets for their November 13th Battle in the Valley event in San Jose, and around 389 tickets for their November 15th NJPW Strong tapings in Riverside, California as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • NJPW and Stardom parent company Bushiroad recently released their 2021 fiscal year report that revealed the company. In regards to wrestling-related finances, Bushiroad generated $41.7 million in revenues for the fiscal year, which was down 9.7% compared to last year’s revenues. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason for the drop was due to the loss of shows and live merchandise sales over the course of the past year caused by the coronavirus pandemic in Japan. In regards to New Japan World subscriptions, it was revealed to have remained stable at around 100,000 subscribers.
  • Major League Wrestling recently announced that they have rescheduled their MLW Fusion tapings in Dallas, Texas from its originally scheduled September 11th date to a new date of March 31, 2022. The official reason given was due to coronavirus pandemic related issues in the state.
  • Northeast Wrestling reportedly generated an attendance of over 1,500 for their Wrestlefest 25 event on August 14th in Poughkeepsie, New York, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Game Changer Wrestling recently announced that Jimmy Jacobs will be making an appearance for the company at their Emo Fight event on September 23rd in New York City, New York.
  • Fightful Select reported that several promotions are currently interested in signing former WWE tag team The IIconics to potential contracts. It was reported that two of the promotions interested were Impact Wrestling and a new unknown wrestling company that has yet to launch.