Weekend Roundup: FOX & WWE Update, Forbidden Door Sales Update, AEW & Discovery, Stardom, Brian Kendrick, Indies


  • During a recent interview with WPRI’s The Rhode Show, Riddle gave his thoughts about his current working relationship and tag team with Randy Orton. Riddle stated “You know, I feel like I am [teaching Randy Orton some things]. I feel like I’ve taught Randy how to enjoy wrestling again. Not that he wasn’t enjoying it and he always has fun but I think I’ve been able to allow him to show a lighter side, you know? A more sensitive side to the WWE universe that they might not have seen over the years even though he’s had a long career, 20 years but a lot of people haven’t seen Randy like they’re seeing him right now and I think he’s enjoying it because I don’t think he ever thought he’d be able to do this kind work like this, you know? Because he’s such a serious character. He’s ‘The Legend Killer’, he’s ‘The Viper’, ‘The Apex Predator’ and to be tag teaming with me who’s kind of a lovable goofball, you know, it’s a big contrast, a big change for Randy and I feel like I’ve taught him to have fun.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • FOX officials reportedly recently has requested to WWE to have exclusivity for their SmackDown brand talents, according to the Wrestling Observer Live. While WWE recently has done some back-and-forth talent cross-overs on RAW and SmackDown shows, Dave Meltzer reported that his sources stated that both FOX and USA Network still want some unique rosters for their brands. Meltzer reported that of the two networks, FOX has been pushing more to have exclusivity for their SmackDown brand talent.
  • WWE reportedly generated an attendance of 4,969 for their April 28th house show event in Newcastle, 7,729 for their April 29th house show event in London, England, 11,752 for their April 30th house show event in Paris, France, 3,817 for their April 30th house show event in Lakeland, FL, 4,000 for their May 1st house show event in Leipzig, Germany, and 4,271 tickets for their May 1st house show event in Fairfax, VA, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 7,214 tickets for their May 8th WrestleMania Backlash 2022 event in Providence, RI, 9,670 tickets for their June 5th Hell in a Cell 2022 event in Chicago, IL, 16,883 tickets for their July 2nd Money in the Bank 2022 event in Las Vegas, NV, and 20,140 tickets for their July 30th SummerSlam event in Nashville, TN as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, this past Monday’s episode of WWE RAW drew 1,581,000 viewers, a 0.38 18-49 key demographic rating, and a #4, #5, and #6 key demographic rankings. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that this past week’s show generated the eighth lowest ever overall viewership and the fourth lowest ever key demographic rating for a RAW show in RAW series history on USA Network.
  • RingsideNews.com reported that their sources stated that WWE officials are currently planning to hold this year’s WWE Draft during the month of September. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources confirmed Ringside News’ report of a potential September date but also stated that WWE officials are also considering a potential August date as well. These same sources stated that WWE is currently undecided on whether to hold this year’s Draft right after this year’s SummerSlam event or in the lead-up to their Clash at the Castle event.
  • As noted before, NXT talent Roderick Strong recently requested and was denied multiple times his release from WWE. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that he received conflicting info from his sources with some stating that reports of Strong asking for his release is not true while others stated that it did indeed happen. Meltzer reported that his sources also stated that Strong still has a few years remaining on his current contract in the company.
  • Rhea Ripley recently revealed on Twitter that she is currently dating AEW talent Buddy Matthews (former Buddy Murphy in WWE).
  • During a recent interview with El Brunch de WWE, Charlotte Flair stated that she would not be against the idea of WWE unifying their RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships within the near future. Flair stated “Absolutely [I’d be up for unifying the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Titles]. Yeah, but I don’t feel like I need the Raw or SmackDown Title to be the queen of both divisions [Flair laughed].” Flair also stated that the next goal of her career is to break her father Ric’s record for most World title reigns. Flair stated “I think it’s just continuing the legacy, beating my dad’s record. I’m a 13-time champion, so I’m getting close to 16-time. I think that’s probably next.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • As noted before, Liv Morgan recently pleaded with people on Twitter to stop impersonating her and scamming her fans out of money. Becky Lynch also recently warned her fans on Twitter to block and report anyone who contacts them pretending to be her on Twitter for trying to scam them out of money. Lynch stated “It should go without saying, but I, or any other WWE superstar, Would not ever message any fan looking for money or gift cards. Please, if anyone ever messages you, pretending to be me, asking for money, or anything else, immediately block and report. The amount of times I have heard of this happening is sickening.
  • Gaming-based cable television network G4 reportedly is currently working on plans to revive their gaming competition television series Arena with Xavier Woods as the host, according to PWInsider.


  • As noted before, Stu Grayson’s contract with AEW expired at the end of this past April and was removed from AEW’s official roster page. Grayson’s tag team partner and Dark Order member Evil Uno recently reflected on Twitter about his former tag team partner’s departure from the company. Uno stated “Stu Grayson is one of the best performers in the world. Whatever he does next, Evil Uno knows he will continue to be one of the best. #SSBForever
  • As noted before, Bret Hart recently signed a merchandise deal with WWE. Prior to his signing, AEW was rumored to have been interested in Hart making an appearance for their upcoming Owen Hart Cup tournament and potentially become FTR’s new manager. During a recent interview with Lucha Libre Online, Hart gave his thoughts about the idea of him working for AEW in the future but for now, he currently enjoys his time at home. Hart stated “Well, I’m happily retired. I’m a home guy now. There’s not a lot I can do in wrestling. People say, ‘What would you do in AEW?’ What would I do? Referee? Manage? Be a Chairman? I don’t want to be remembered that way. I want to be remembered as a wrestler. I’d be happy to help a lot of them, and I know a lot of them. I talk to a lot of them, sometimes by text or on the phone and people call me up. I always got advice and I can always pinpoint little things that can make a difference in a guy’s match or something that he’s doing. But I’m a guy that likes being home, so they’re going to have to call me on the phone. I wish I could go do stuff more easily, but I’m getting a little older now and it’s getting harder for me to keep flying around and doing stuff, so I got to pick my days that I can do stuff. There’s a lot of things I would love to be part of with AEW and what they’re doing. I know they got some great wrestlers there and I have a lot of respect for the organization and all that, but right now I’m happy at home.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • During a recent interview with The Jobber Tears podcast, Kaun confirmed that the reports of him recently signing a contract with AEW and Ring of Honor are true. Kaun stated “It’s interesting, right? [Being on this current journey without Shane Taylor Promotions] This is a business, so after my time [in ROH came to an end], it was like what’s next in store for me? And I took the opportunity with AEW. I look at that as a step up and then you go there and you find out you’re [a part] of Ring of Honor and it’s like, oh that’s cool… it’s different though. I think for me… I have a contract, so, I’m excited.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • As noted before, ticket sales for AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s upcoming Forbidden Door joint event next month reached sold out status within 40 minutes of officially going on sale. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that one source spoken to in the tickets industry stated that a major reason for the very quick ticket sales success was due to the lack of competition from sporting and concert events going on sale around the same time as AEW & NJPW’s sale for their event that morning. Meltzer reported that of the 11,200 tickets initially sold, around 3,747 of those sales came from ticket brokers, which is a higher than usual percentage for a wrestling show. Many ticket brokers reportedly had not purchased an AEW event before and the stigma of wrestling events not selling well on the secondary market did not play a factor for the intital sale of AEW & NJPW’s event. In terms of waiting list, Meltzer reported that a little over 20,000 were waiting to purchase tickets online and would be the highest for a wrestling event’s waiting list since All Out in 2019. Meltzer reported that WWE is currently expected to surpass this number once sales for their Clash at the Castle event officially goes on sale based on current waiting list numbers from WWE. In regards to the backstage reaction, Meltzer reported that those spoken to in AEW were very surprised from the results of their first day sales since they had expected lower numbers as the official reason why they did not put that many tickets on sale at first.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that there is no new details regarding Stardom and AEW working together any time soon. Meltzer reported that Stardom is currently the most interested towards booking Toni Storm, Jamie Hayter, Hikaru Shida, and Tay Conti for a future show. Meltzer also reported that Stardom is also considering the idea of a potential working partnership with WWE if it were to be possible. Meltzer speculated that the major road block would involve WWE preferring to only want their style of wrestling being taught and likely would not send over their own younger talent for excursions in Japan.
  • As noted before, Discovery and WarnerMedia are currently in the process of cutting back on the amount of scripted programming for their TNT and TBS networks as part of a cost-saving measure from Discovery’s purchase of WarnerMedia. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that one high level WarnerMedia executive spoken to stated that the chances of Discovery canceling AEW programming are still very low and it would take someone who really hates wrestling regardless of ratings numbers to be put in charge of TNT and TBS to make that a possibility. This same source also stated that WarnerMedia’s current plan is to heavily feature AEW in their upcoming up-fronts to help boost the value of their TNT and TBS networks to new advertisers. In regards to potential television rights increases, Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston currently estimates that AEW could end up getting around $135 million per year for their next contract while Meltzer speculated that AEW might end up with around $90 million per year for their max increase. Meltzer also reported that some AEW talents have been interested in joining WWE once their contracts expire in order to make WWE “main roster” type money. Those same talents were also recently told by their friends in the company to hold off on making a decision until 2024 to see whether or not AEW could match those monetary amounts once their new television contracts officially kick in.
  • AEW reportedly generated an attendance of 4,535 (4,300 paid) for their May 4th AEW Dynamite show in Baltimore, MD, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 6,861 tickets for their May 11th Dynamite show in Long Island, NY, 3,763 tickets for their May 18th Dynamite show in Houston, TX, 4,420 for their May 25th Dynamite show in Las Vegas, 4,485 for their May 27th Rampage show in Las Vegas, 13,226 for their Double or Nothing 2022 event in Las Vegas, NV, 13,426 for their June 1st Dynamite show in Inglewood, 7,316 for their June 3rd Rampage show in Ontario, CA, 3,725 for their June 8th Dynamite show in Independence, 3,368 for their June 15th Dynamite show in St. Louis, MO, 3,825 for their June 22nd Dynamite show in Milwaukee, WI, 9,074 for their June 29th Dynamite show in Detroit, MI, and 2,551 for their July 6th Dynamite show in Rochester, NY as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly suffered a power failure issue prior to the start of this past Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite in Baltimore, Maryland, according to the Wrestling Observer Radio. Dave Meltzer reported that AEW had lost power in the venue during the middle of their tapings for this week’s episode of AEW Dark Elevation. Two matches reportedly were affected and the venue’s power issues managed to be resolved prior to the end of the tapings and start of AEW’s Dynamite show that night. Meltzer stated “The entrance and the announcing place all of a sudden went dark. So, they did the match, Max Caster won, and then they did another match that they announced which was Skye Blue and Nyla Rose and they just said, ‘This match is only for you fans in the arena, it will never air.’ Because they couldn’t tape it because they had the power failure, or whatever it was. Luckily, they got the thing fixed by eight o’clock and there was no problem with Dynamite.” (Transcript h/t: F4WOnline.com)
  • During a recent interview with the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Samoa Joe stated that besides being an active wrestler, he also wants to continue working as a scout to help AEW. Joe stated “Yeah, when [I was with] WWE [I was] heavily involved in the scouting department, and right now, I kind of keep those eyes open and keep those eyes out there for a different purpose. Obviously, you want to have some of the best up-and-comers coming into your company and if I can help facilitate that for AEW, I’d be more than happy to. I’ve learned to appreciate it and like it because of men like William Regal, who, at the height of their careers, took time to give me advice, and not just show me a path. It wasn’t, ‘Hey, I’ll put in a word for you, I’ll do this.’ He was like, ‘No, here’s the path. If you choose to follow it, you can find success,’ and it’s just something that’s kind of missing in the industry as a whole. You know, there’s just not a lot of guys who have that experience kind of going back and having honest discussions with dudes about what the industry is like, what this business really is, breaking down the numbers and not just being grandiose and bragging about how you’re awesome, and ‘This is how much you did and this and this…’ Every empire is built with a plan. The problem is, we don’t talk about the plan enough. We just talk about the empire. I’d like to change that. Anytime I can offer a word of advice to somebody young and up-and-coming who wants to put themselves in the best possible position to succeed, which I think is vitally important to anybody in our industry is putting yourself in a position to be successful, not just waiting for something to break or happen, is a big asset bank of our knowledge which isn’t shared enough and I’d like to see that happen more.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • During a recent interview with the Punch-Out podcast, Swerve Strickland gave his thoughts on why he decided to sign with AEW over other promotions following his release from WWE. Strickland stated “Production. It [AEW] was just the biggest production that we could have, that you could have and it was all at your disposal. I’ve always been a fan of New Japan, but there’s things that — as far as great matches, I can have great matches in New Japan all day but for me and my podcast and my music and branching off into acting and bringing crossover appeal, there’s not much you can really do in New Japan as far as that. Ring of Honor, it was announced that they were having their final [farewell] soon so there’s no growth with that as well for me. IMPACT Wrestling is doing it very well, but I don’t see the great big picture appeal with IMPACT, because I just look at it as I don’t just wanna have good matches or whatever. To me, that’s the given, you should be able to have good matches at this point. In my career, I should be able to have good matches wherever I go, you know? But I’m always looking for the how big can I really make it? I always wanna take it to the max, like once again, I was talking about my podcast career, it’s like, I’ve dipped the toe in. Now I’m like fully engulfed into this media thing. Now I feel like, what’s the next level of that? How much further can I go? With the music career, how much further and deeper can I go? It was just like making an album or two with my friend in the studio. Now it’s like, okay, now we can get big features, big music videos, bring the production up and then, oh, at the GRAMMYs, how can I maximize all these things? What’s a promotion that I can truly maximize all these things [in]? And AEW and Tony Khan, having a conversation with him before signing with AEW, that fully solidified it for me because he understands the vision and my purpose and the best way to utilize all these tools that he has at his disposal for me to utilize as a star and an employee.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)

Indies & Misc. Wrestling

  • New Japan Pro Wrestling talent Jay White and his fiance Savanna announced on Instagram that they recently got married.
  • NJPW reportedly generated a paid attendance of 8,162 for their Wrestling Dontaku 2022 event on May 1st in Fukuoka, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • NJPW reportedly has sold around 1,655 tickets for their May 14th Capital Collision event in Washington, DC as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • During last weekend’s Wrestling Dontaku 2022 event, NJPW announced the full field for this year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that the reason for KUSHIDA’s omission is due to him not wanting to be classified as a junior heavyweight talent for his return to the company.
  • Major League Wrestling recently announced that the Blue Meanie will be making an appearance for the company at their Kings of Colosseum 2022 event on May 13th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Two trademarks for “WES Wrestling Entertainment Series” and “Wrestling Entertainment Series” were filed by Gzim Selmani, former Rezar in WWE, on May 3rd to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Lucha Libre AAA reportedly generated a paid attendance of 13,637 for their Triplemania XXX: Monterrey event on April 30th in Monterrey, Mexico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Stardom reportedly generated a paid attendance of 2,017 for their April 29th Cinderella Tournament 2022 Finals in Tokyo and 1,156 for their May 5th Fukuoka Goddess Festival event in Fukuoka, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre reportedly is currently working on plans to hold a World Grand Prix tournament at some point this year, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer that is a Mexico vs. The World type tournament.
  • As noted before, VICE TV recently denied rumors that they cancelled their Dark Side of the Ring series. The rumors originated from a recent issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the basis for his initial report was from VICE TV’s schedule release for the remainder of this year that did not feature Dark Side of the Ring and sources spoken to who stated that there had not been any recent talks within VICE regarding episodes being taped this year for a potential fourth season.
  • Pro Wrestling Guerilla reportedly generated an attendance of 600 for their Delivering the Goods event on May 1st in Los Angeles, California, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Game Changer Wrestling recently announced that Will Ospreay will be making his official debut for the company at their I Never Liked You event on June 19th in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Xtreme Pro Wrestling recently announced that Steph De Lander, former Persia Pirotta in WWE, will be making an appearance for the company at their Beautiful Disaster event on June 25th in Pomona, California.
  • As noted before, Brian Kendrick was pulled from an AEW Dynamite show this past February due to several past controversial statements made by him regarding the Holocaust and other conspiracy theories being made public at the time. During a recent episode of the Duke Loves Rasslin podcast, Kendrick gave his thoughts about his controversial comments regarding the Holocaust and apologized again for the insensitive comments he had made. Kendrick stated “Back then, I was trying to create some sort of buzz and I didn’t care who I offended. When it gets thrown back in your face, one, it’s embarrassing, two, you’re forced to reflect on it. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being so cold-hearted and trying to profit off of tragedy. I suppose that’s what it was. I was trying to gain off of other’s tragedies but making conspiracies and creating a buzz for myself to gain bookings. It was a terrible idea. Even if it hadn’t affected anybody, it’s horribly embarrassing. I am sorry for anybody…to people I hurt, for making light of stuff that happened to them or their family. I hope you accept that .” Kendrick also gave his thoughts on the lessons he learned from his past incident. Kendrick stated “A friend of mine recommended Survivor Mitzvah. I recommend that too. Seems to be an honest charity where the money goes directly to. My actions, as far as hoping to be kinder, if it’s a question of understanding the tragedies of the past, the truth is, I understood all that long ago, prior to these statements. Years ago, as part of WWE, Beth Phoenix and I went to Dachau. As a teenager, I went to the holocaust museum with my grandfather. I know these things. It hasn’t dawned on me that these tragedies might have happened, it’s stuff I knew. What I was doing was, trying to profit off of that and trying to become a villain who would make light of such tragedy. It’s a disgusting thing to do and I did it … I did lose my job. I fought hard for a few months to get my release from the WWE in hopes to go wrestle, that’s what I want to do. I wanted to wrestle. I managed to get my release and get an opportunity with AEW. I had a contract and they didn’t that, at this time, it was not the right time to keep me employed. Things need to get figured out. I understand. It’s the way it is. Luckily, I haven’t lost many friends. I’ve had a lot of friends reach out. Some friends reaching out really made me cry and touched me. I understand the humor in it too. ‘Cry me a river, this guy loses his job, the guy who goofed on the holocaust.’ I understand the cosmic humor in all of it. Jokes on me. These weren’t videos that were under a hot mic. I knew what I was saying and what I was trying to do was trying to offend. The truth is, at a certain point, you have to start taking life seriously and pissing people off and offending them are two different things. It’s one thing to piss them off. It’s another thing to offend them. I don’t want to offend anybody, but ten years ago, I didn’t give a shit … This has been a big lesson in hubris and humility. Anybody who goes through this same experience, saying some horrible things, having to come back at the right time to affect you, I think they’ll figure out that the little bits of kindness that you receive become so special and you really start to lose any judgment towards other people. If somebody were to say something, you know not to take them seriously, their actions, you can look at them. once you’ve made these kinds of mistakes and are forced to dwell on them, you can forgive people pre-emptively. Any advice I would give is, try to do that without having to go through this.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)