Weekend Roundup: Veer Mahan, Toxic Attraction, MLW Lawsuit Update, WWE & AEW Ratings, AEW Grand Slam, Impact, Indies

WWE

  • This past Friday’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a preliminary viewership of 2,380,000 viewers on FOX, according to SpoilerTV.
  • WWE reportedly generated an attendance of 8,437 (7,600 paid) for their Sept. 16th SmackDown show in Anaheim, CA, 3,747 for their Sept. 17th house show event in Bakersfield, CA, 3,166 for their Sept. 18th house show event in Oakland, CA, and 7,577 (6,700 paid) for their Sept. 19th RAW show in San Jose, CA, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 10,881 tickets for their Oct. 8th Extreme Rules 2022 event in Philadelphia, PA as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE officials reportedly have recently held talks regarding potential plans to call up Toxic Attraction’s Jayce Jane and Gigi Dolin to their main roster within the near future, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that it is currently not known what type of injury Aliyah recently suffered that WWE briefly mentioned about during a recent SmackDown show. Meltzer reported that while details regarding the nature nor severity of her injury are currently not known, WWE officials are expecting her to return at this Friday’s show based on a recent internal list.
  • WWE’s NXT brand held a house show event on Saturday in Citrus Spring, Florida. This event featured RAW brand talent Veer Mahan making a surprise appearance and reuniting with his former tag team partner Sanga for the return of their Indus Sheer tag team. Indus Sheer defeated Chase U’s Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward at the event. Fightful’s Robert Defelice reported that it is currently not known if this was just a one-night type situation or if Mahan has been demoted back to NXT.
  • This past Friday’s SmackDown show in Salt Lake City, Utah featured an in-ring promo segment by Drew McIntyre that was interrupted by Scarlett Bordeaux and Karrion Kross. During the brawl between Kross and McIntyre, Bordeaux botched a fireball attack at McIntyre resulting in McIntyre’s awkward reaction afterwards. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that the flash paper used for the fireball spot had not been setup properly beforehand which caused the spot to be botched and Kross being told to improv the rest of their segment. In regards to who was responsible for the botched setup, it was reported that WWE had hired an outside company and not their internal props team to create the flash paper prop.
  • During a recent interview with the WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves podcast, Sheamus gave his thoughts about the match he had with Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship at WWE’s Clash at the Castle event earlier this month. Sheamus stated “They say Rome isn’t built in a day and success isn’t overnight, it took me 13 years in my WWE career to earn that moment and it was unbelievable. The reception I got when I went out there, I didn’t know what way it was going to go. Gunther obviously has a cult following from being NXT UK Champion for so many years, so I didn’t know what to expect. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. It’s probably the biggest moment I’ve had to this point in WWE.”
  • During the same interview, Sheamus gave his thoughts about if his goal was to “steal the show” in regards to being the best match at the event. Sheamus stated “Of course! That’s the goal for everybody. if that’s not your goal in this business, then what the hell are you doing here? Me and Drew are best mates, but I was going out there to steal the show. That was the goal from day one, once I knew this match was happening. ‘I’m stealing the show here, there is no doubt about it.’ I went out there against the lad, awesome lad, great wrestler, very aggressive, knows his role, great heel, great opponent. I went out there with no promotion, no mural on the walls, no press conference. I went out there, two weeks for that match we had. The biggest promotion came the SmackDown before. That’s all I needed to blow the roof off a 70,000 seat arena. I don’t need any of this shit. I don’t need a big painting on the wall or press conferences or promotional packages. Give me an arena, 20 minutes in the ring with a formidable opponent, and I’ll give you match of the night every single time. Nobody is going to see the brutality, aggression, and passion I bring in that ring. It’s taken 14 years, but it doesn’t matter how long it’s taken because that moment in Cardiff was the moment of my career, one of the biggest moments of my life. If it’s taken that long, even better, because I know I’ve earned every single cheer and part of that experience.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • During a recent interview with TMZ, Cody Rhodes stated that while he has a goal date in mind, WWE doctors and officials currently do not have a timetable for his return from his torn pectoral injury. Rhodes stated the he believes the reason why WWE has not given him a return timetable date yet is due to “they know I’m stupid and I’d try to test it.”
  • As noted before, Major League Wrestling filed an antitrust lawsuit earlier this year against WWE claiming that WWE illegally interfered in several of their business deals with television networks and engaged in contract tampering with several of their contracted talent. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that the U.S. District Court, California Northern District (San Jose) cancelled a scheduled court hearing on September 29th based on recent court records. This scheduled hearing reportedly was meant to determine if the court would grant WWE’s motion to dismiss the case or continue to allow the case to proceed forward. Johnson reported that it is currently not known when Judge Edward J. Davila will make his decision regarding the status of this lawsuit.
  • As noted before, tattoo artist Catherine Alexander is currently suing WWE and Take-Two Interactive in regards to allegations of copyright infringement over her tattoos inked for Randy Orton that have been shown in WWE’s video game series. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that presiding Judge Staci M. Yandle recently officially struck down one of the arguments from the defense. Johnson reported that lawyers representing WWE and Take Two had intended to claim that the usage of Orton’s tattoos in video games were “de minimis” or too minor to be considered as a matter of law. This reportedly was the argument that Judge Yandle denied to be allowed to be used for the legal case.
  • As noted before, WWE was planning to remove all of their content from streaming service Hulu starting this past Saturday due to WWE’s deal with Hulu is currently set to expire by the end of this year. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that a recent update on Hulu now lists WWE’s content to be removed starting this Tuesday. Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that SmackDown’s status on the service is currently not expected to be affected due to FOX signed a separate deal with Hulu for their content on the service.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE reportedly generated a paid attendance average of 5,478 per RAW show for this past May and June and 8,500 per RAW show for this past July and August. RAW’s paid attendance for this past July and August was up 24.2% compared to the same period last year. SmackDown reportedly generated a paid attendance average of 5,663 per show for this past May and June and 7,811 per show for this past July and August. SmackDown’s paid attendance for this past July and August was up 8.9% compared to the same period last year. House show events reportedly generated a paid attendance average of 3,364 per show for this past May and June and 3,557 per show for this past July and August. House show events paid attendance for this past July and August was down 46.2% compared to the same period last year. In regards to overall attendance, WWE reportedly averaged a paid attendance of 4,700 per non-PPV show for this past May and June and 5,679 per non-PPV show for this past July and August. WWE’s overall non-PPV paid attendance average for this past July and August was down 17% compared to the same period last year.
  • In regards to viewership, Meltzer reported that NXT averaged around 600,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 632,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. RAW reportedly averaged 1,745,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 1,949,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. SmackDown reportedly averaged 2,031,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 2,094,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. In regards to July and August yearly comparisons, NXT was down 3.9%, RAW was up 7.9%, and SmackDown was down 0.6% compared to the same period last year.
  • In regards to key demographic viewership, Meltzer reported that NXT averaged around 170,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 182,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. RAW reportedly averaged 599,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 680,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. SmackDown reportedly averaged 620,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 643,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. In regards to July and August yearly comparisons, NXT was down 12%, RAW was up 1.6%, and SmackDown was down 11.5% compared to the same period last year.
  • In regards to 18-34 key demographic viewership, Meltzer reported that RAW reportedly averaged 213,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 244,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. SmackDown reportedly averaged 207,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 206,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. In regards to July and August yearly comparisons, RAW was up 9.2% and SmackDown was down 16.2% compared to the same period last year.
  • In regards to 35-49 key demographic viewership, Meltzer reported that RAW reportedly averaged 386,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 436,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. SmackDown reportedly averaged 413,000 viewers per show for this past May and June and 437,000 viewers per show for this past July and August. In regards to July and August yearly comparisons, RAW was down 2.2% and SmackDown was down 9.1% compared to the same period last year.
  • As noted before, Yulisa Leon has been out of action for WWE’s NXT brand since this past August due to a knee injury. Leon recently provided an update on Instagram stating that she underwent knee surgery on Saturday.
  • Drew McIntyre reportedly recently suffered a bout of food poisoning, according to PWInsider. Mike Johnson reported that McIntyre was feeling ill this past Friday but decided to “gut through” the show after receiving IV treatments. Johnson reported that WWE officials pulled McIntyre off of their house show events this weekend in order to give him time off to rest and recover.

AEW & ROH

  • AEW reportedly generated a paid attendance average of 6,545 per non-PPV show for this past May and June and 4,900 per non-PPV show for this past July and August, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that AEW’s paid attendance for this past July and August was down 14% compared to the same period last year.
  • In regards to viewership, Meltzer reported that AEW averaged around 900,000 per show for this past May and June and around 970,000 per show for this past July and August. AEW’s overall viewership per show for this past July and August reportedly was down 7.3% compared to the same period last year.
  • In regards to key demographic viewership, Meltzer reported that AEW averaged around 436,000 key demographic viewers per show for this past May and June and 433,000 key demo viewers per show for this past July and August. AEW’s key demo viewership per show for this past July and August was down 18.5% compared to the same period last year.
  • AEW reportedly averaged around 288,000 35-49 key demo viewers per show for this past May and June and 273,000 35-49 key demo viewers per show for this past July and August. AEW’s 35-49 key demo viewers per show for this past July and August was down 22.8% compared to the same period last year.
  • AEW reportedly averaged around 148,000 18-34 key demo viewers per show for this past May and June and 160,000 18-34 key demo viewers per show for this past July and August. AEW’s 18-34 key demo viewers per show for this past July and August was down 2.2% compared to the same period last year.
  • AEW reportedly generated an attendance of 13,800 (12,600 paid) for their Sept. 21st Dynamite Grand Slam 2022 show in Queens, New York, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that AEW generated a live gate gross revenue of around $1,020,000 for the show, which was up compared to last year’s Dynamite Grand Slam show’s live gate gross of $960,000. Meltzer reported that the main reason for AEW’s live gate increase despite having a lower paid attendance than last year’s show was due to the price increases for tickets for this year’s show. Meltzer also reported that AEW’s Grand Slam 2022 live gate would be the highest for a non-WWE television show in wrestling history without adjusting for inflation. Meltzer reported that when including inflation, the record for the largest ever gate for a wrestling tv show would be $1,654,539 for the January 4, 1999 episode of WCW Nitro that was held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 2,889 tickets for their Oct. 18th Dynamite show in Cincinnati, OH, 1,211 tickets for their Nov. 2nd Dynamite show in Baltimore, MD, 1,842 tickets for their Nov. 9th Dynamite show in Boston, MA, 1,158 tickets for their Nov. 16th Dynamite show in Bridgeport, CT, 6,918 tickets for their Nov. 19th Full Gear 2022 event in Chicago, IL, 3,029 tickets for their Nov. 23rd Dynamite show in Chicago, IL, and 4,271 tickets for their Jan. 4, 2023 Dynamite show in Seattle, WA as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly is currently in talks with streaming service DAZN in regards to a potential new streaming deal for their United Kingdom and other international-based markets, according to Wrestlenomics.
  • AEW reportedly generated a final paid live gate gross revenue of $1,020,000 for their All Out 2022 event on September 4th in Hoffman Estates, IL, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that this was the third largest live gate ever for an AEW pay-per-view event in AEW history, only behind this past May’s Double or Nothing 2022 event and this past June’s Forbidden Door event.
  • As noted before, wrestling legend The Great Muta made a surprise appearance for AEW at their Rampage Grand Slam 2022 show this past Friday (taped this past Wednesday) in Queens, New York. Muta made a surprise appearance helping Sting and Darby defeat House of Black in a No Disqualification match at the show. Following the show, Pro Wrestling NOAH announced that Sting would be making an appearance for the company at their Great Muta Final Bye-Bye event on January 22, 2023 in Yokohama, Japan.
  • As noted before, MJF stated in a recent interview with The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani show that as part of the terms for his return to the AEW, he is now making a “stupid, absurd amount of money” and did not need to sign a contract extension to receive the pay raise. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that MJF is currently believed to now be earning more than $1 million per year in AEW after his recent pay raise.
  • Following this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite Grand Slam 2022 show in Queens, New York, AEW CEO Tony Khan congratulated referee Paul Turner on Twitter for reaching the milestone of officiating 100 main event matches during his career in the company. Khan also stated that he would like AEW referees to start tightening up their enforcement of the rules for AEW matches going forward.
  • During a recent interview with News 12, AEW CEO Tony Khan gave his thoughts on what he considers to be the “crown jewel” market in the wrestling industry. Khan stated “We’re running a lot of great shows around the Northeast. It’s so many great wrestling markets in one geographic region. I’ll say it: (it’s) the crown jewel of wrestling markets — the real crown jewel of wrestling markets, not some BS overseas in Saudi Arabia. The real crown jewel — New York City — is where you want to be.” (Transcript h/t: F4WOnline.com)

Indies & Misc. Wrestling

  • Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre reportedly had an attendance of 16,000 for their Sept. 16th 89th Anniversary event in Mexico City, Mexico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • CMLL recently announced that longtime talent Starman passed away this past Friday at the age of 47. Starman’s career spanned from 1994 to 2022 and had worked primarily for CMLL from 1996 to 2021.
  • Mascara Dorada reportedly recently informed CMLL officials that he will be returning to the company once he is able to legally leave the United States after his green card paperwork is completed, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer reported that Dorada does not have any plans of moving out of his home in the United States but issues with his green card status is the reason why he is currently unable to work in Mexico.
  • All Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly had a paid attendance of 4,780 for their Sept. 18th 50th Anniversary event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Dragon Gate reportedly had a paid attendance of 1,790 for their Sept. 19th Dangerous Gate 2022 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, Konan stated in a recent episode of his Keeping It 100 podcast that Lucha Libre AAA was unable to book Kenny Omega for their upcoming Triplemania XXX: Mexico City event next month due to Omega’s current suspension from AEW. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that AAA officials never had Omega officially booked for their upcoming event prior to his suspension but he was one of two people they were planning as potential opponents for El Hijo del Vikingo and his AAA Mega title match. AAA officials also left the match to be decided by a fan poll but felt very confident that either Omega or Rey Fenix would have been the most voted person, which was the case for Fenix. In regards to Omega’s current suspension, Meltzer reported that Omega not being available for AAA’s upcoming event does not mean that he will remain suspended by AEW until mid-October.
  • Stardom reportedly generated a paid attendance of 526 for their Sept. 17th 5STAR Grand Prix 2022 event in Osaka, 551 for their Sept. 18th 5STAR Grand Prix 2022 event in Osaka, and 466 for their Sept. 19th 5STAR Grand Prix 2022 event in Nagoya, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly has sold around 500 tickets for their Oct. 27th The Night Before Rumble on 44th Street: A Halloween Special in New York City and 1,000 tickets for their Oct. 28th Rumble on 44th Street event in New York City, New York as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • NJPW announced that they had pulled KUSHIDA from the card of their Burning Spirit 2022 event earlier today in Hyogo, Japan due to him still suffering from hand, foot, and mouth disease.
  • The National Wrestling Alliance recently announced two new matches for the card of their Hard Times III event on November 12th in New Orleans, Louisiana. This will be a NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat match of Tyrus vs. Matt Cardona vs. Trevor Murdoch (c) and a NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship match of Kerry Morton vs. Homicide (c).
  • Major League Wrestling recently announced that Dragon Gate talent Shun Skywalker will be making an appearance for the company at their Fightland 2022 event on October 30th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • DEFY Wrestling recently announced that Ultimo Dragon will be making an appearance for the company at their Kingdom Come 2022 event on October 29th in Seattle, Washington.
  • During a recent interview with the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, Lou D’Angeli gave his thoughts about his recent hiring by Impact Wrestling for an executive role in the company. D’Angeli stated “So, I have this new job back in the wrestling business which is one of the reasons I delayed speaking with you but I recently came on full-time with IMPACT Wrestling and Anthem & Entertainment. I had been consulting for IMPACT since February and mostly on the live event marketing stuff but we had a lot of conversations and as things kind of progressed, a really good opportunity presented itself for me to be their V.P. of Marketing for IMPACT. Also working with the Invicta MMA business as well which I’m really excited about and then obviously, there are other platforms; Gravitas [Ventures] and FITE and AXS TV and whatnot are all things I’m sure I’ll be involved in. They’re not within my purview per se, but there’s a lot of opportunities there across promotionally and things like that frankly I think are great opportunities for IMPACT, also for Invicta but it’s a good family of companies all together that really kind of can feed off each other so I saw a lot of opportunity there. Coming from WWE, ECW, Cirque du Soleil and whatnot, there’s always been multiple things you can market within these companies and I found a lot of synergies in the past and I think the same thing is going to be here. So pretty exciting time. Scott [D’Amore] and I have a very close relationship so far and I anticipate that just getting better as we go. We’ll feed off each other a lot. He has great marketing ideas and very supportive of some of the things I’m trying to do as well so, I see nothing but positivity as we go and onward.
  • During the same interview, D’Angeli also explained his new duties as Impact’s Vice President of Marketing. D’Angeli stated “From the IMPACT side, it’s everything to promote the live events as well as the brand, as well as tune in pay-per-view, merchandise, digital, P.R, social, it’s a large scope. With Invicta [Fighting Championships], similar, just not as far along yet but also with IMPACT too, it’s like how we use our talent, how we use our talent assets like social media, what can we do more for live events. For instance, I just started having local promo shot again like the old house show promos like, ‘Hey, I’m coming to Las Vegas’ and blah, blah, blah, blah and those are just easy things that don’t sound complex but they have a good effect and in the past — it’s a very, very small team and not everybody can be doing everything, right? And I think things like that, start using the best people we have to promote us and that’s the talent and when we’re going into cities, you’ll probably see from watching the show, we don’t have all our matches — the way the storylines run, the TV runs, you might not be getting matches until like a couple days before the show but that doesn’t mean we can’t be telling people these guys are gonna be there and that’s kind of the goal with some of the stuff. If Masha’s gonna be in Las Vegas and we know she’s gonna have a match, we probably know who it’s against but we can’t say it yet, it’s still letting people know and I think that’s a lot of the stuff. The talent reach is enormous. There was something I did — or we did, sorry — like a month-and-a-half ago, pushing some match announcements out for one of the shows and within six, seven talent alone, you’re hitting two million people because so many of them have big followers so look, it’s a lot of that stuff. It’s maximizing opportunities, growing the business, seeing what else we can do to get eyes on the brand and brand partnerships, extremely easy to work with which I think is a plus so a lot of that’s come to fruition… We just did something at Comic Con in San Diego, you know? Had a red carpet event, had Scott [D’Amore], Rosemary, Gisele [Shaw] there, did a bunch of content. Like those are the types of things that I want to be doing and bringing those partnerships along. They’re all the partnerships I’ve had in the past with different companies but, no better place than now and here.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • Former Ring of Honor talent and booker Delirious reportedly worked as a backstage producer for Impact Wrestling at their television tapings on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee, according to PWInsider. Mike Johnson reported that it is currently not known if Delirious has been officially hired by the company.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that Bobby Fish is not currently signed to an official deal with Impact Wrestling. Fish made his official debut for Impact at their Victory Road 2022 event this past Friday.