Weekend Roundup: Kurt Angle, Clash at the Castle, Bandido & AEW, Stardom, Kimber Lee & Impact, Real1 MLW Release Update


  • In a recent episode of The Kurt Angle Show podcast, WWE Hall of Famer and co-host Kurt Angle revealed that he will likely be undergoing neck fusion surgery at some point next year. Angle stated “I hope my doctor is not listening to this. The day I got out of the hospital after my surgery, I when and worked out. I was supposed to take six weeks off, but I never stopped working out. I worked out the day of my surgery, the day after that, and the day after that. What I did is, I did a lot of stuff sitting so I wouldn’t affect my back, because they told me I couldn’t carry more than five pounds. Now, I was lifting more than five pounds, and I think that I probably didn’t listen to them in that aspect, but I wasn’t literally carrying it while I was walking. I was sitting while I was lifting. So I did leg presses sitting down. I did my bench press sitting down. I did my military press sitting down. Everything I did was sitting down, so I took care of my back, but I didn’t want to miss my workouts. I’m good, not too bad. I still have pain in my lower back, but I don’t have pain running down my legs anymore. They kicked that, but the pain in my back is still there. It’s unfortunate, but I can deal with this. I couldn’t deal with the pain going down my legs. So, I’m happy with the surgery. The crazy thing is I haven’t been able to really play with them the way I want to because I had my knees replaced and my back surgery. Before that, it was all bothering me. I was really messed up. My neck is messed up. Next is my neck surgery. I’m probably going to have fusion next year. Hopefully, that’ll help my body, and eventually, I’ll be able to play with my kids. My knees — I’ve been able to come out of that pretty good. So once my back heals, I’ll start being able to play with my kids, throw them around the pool, carry them on my back, doing that kind of stuff. I want to be like a real father to my kids.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • In the same episode, Kurt Angle also stated that a documentary film based on his life will be premiering on NBC’s Peacock service this summer. Angle stated “All I know is it’s gonna be in the summer and that’s all I know (documentary that WWE acquired from Angle). I don’t know anything else. That’s what Alex Perry, the producer and director of it told me and hopefully, it’ll be on by June.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • As noted before, this past Monday’s WWE RAW show drew 1,815,000 viewers, a 0.58 key demographic rating, and a #4, #5, & #6 key demographic rankings. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that RAW’s second-to-third hour drop of 337,000 viewers was the seventh largest ever second-to-third hour drop for a RAW show in RAW series history. Meltzer reported that the main reason for this very large drop was due to RAW’s third hour competed directly against the start of the NBA Playoffs 2023 game of Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings, which drew 4,322,000 viewers and a 1.54 key demographic rating.
  • WWE reportedly generated an attendance of 8,080 (7,300 paid) for their April 14th SmackDown show in Lincoln, NE, 6,246 for their April 15th house show event in Rio Rancho, NM, 7,016 for their April 16th house show event in El Paso, TX, and 7,641 (6,900 paid) for their April 17th RAW show in North Little Rock, AR, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 12,345 tickets for their April 24th RAW show in Chicago, IL, 7,531 tickets for their April 27th house show event in Manchester, England, 6,759 tickets for their April 28th SmackDown show in Corpus Christi, TX, 7,006 tickets for their April 28th house show event in Belfast, North Ireland, 2,992 tickets for their April 29th house show event in Beaumont, TX, 11,632 tickets for their April 29th house show event in Paris, France, 2,675 tickets for their April 30th house show event in Bossier City, LA, 9,768 tickets for their May 1st RAW show in Fort Worth, TX, 17,000 tickets for their May 5th SmackDown show in San Juan, 17,390 tickets for their May 6th Backlash 2023 event in San Juan Puerto Rico, 4,204 tickets for their May 8th RAW show in Jacksonville, FL, 7,336 tickets for their May 12th SmackDown show in Knoxville, TN, 2,500 tickets for their May 13th house show event in Augusta, GA, 2,401 tickets for their May 14th house show event in North Charleston, SC, 6,767 tickets for their May 15th RAW show in Greensboro, NC, 6,385 tickets for their May 19th SmackDown show in Columbia, SC, 2,760 tickets for their May 20th house show event in Fayetteville, NC, 3,149 tickets for their May 21st house show event in Hampton, VA, 8,843 tickets for their May 22nd RAW show in Hershey, PA, 2,060 tickets for their May 28th NXT Battleground event in Lowell, MA, and 4,460 tickets for their May 29th RAW show in Albany, NY as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, WWE NIL signees The Cavinder Twins, Hanna and Haley Cavinder, are currently scheduled to begin their training for their wrestling careers in WWE at the Performance Center this Spring. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that WWE officials currently view the Cavinder Twins as being the next Bella Twins in terms of potential future big stars for their Women’s division.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Bianca Belair recently informed WWE officials of her interest in working in a potential program with Charlotte Flair for her RAW Women’s Championship in the future.
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation recently celebrated the 40-year anniversary of their partnership with WWE.
  • A 2022 Panini Prizm WWE Back Prizm trading card featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reportedly recently broke the record for highest ever auction sale for a wrestling-based trading card, according to the Wrestling Observer. Dave Meltzer reported that this auction took place this past Thursday for PWCC marketplace and the card was sold for $126,000. Meltzer reported that the reason for the record setting sale price was due to this being a one-of-a-kind card because Panini had only printed one card featuring The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin in the entire set.
  • The BBC reported that WWE’s Clash at the Castle event this past September in Cardiff, Wales generated around £21.8 million ($27.12 million) for the Welsh economy.
  • WWE recently announced that this week is the 60th anniversary of the debut of their WWE Championship. WWE also announced that they will be holding a week long “WWE Championship Week” celebration in honor of this anniversary on all of their social media accounts starting today.
  • Comcast announced in an official press release that NBCU CEO Jeff Shell has stepped down from the company following the completion of their internal investigation into the allegations of Shell committing inappropriate conduct with a female employee. The press release stated “PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Comcast today announced that the Company and Jeff Shell, Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal, have mutually agreed that Mr. Shell will depart effective immediately following the Company’s investigation led by outside counsel into a complaint of inappropriate conduct. Mr. Shell said, “Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret. I’m truly sorry I let my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues down, they are the most talented people in the business and the opportunity to work with them the last 19 years has been a privilege.” Prior to his departure, Shell had been a big supporter of NBC’s deal with WWE for their Peacock service.


  • AEW filed a trademark for “AEW WrestleDream” for merchandise-related purposes on April 19th to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • AEW reportedly generated an attendance of 5,500 (5,000 paid) for their April 19th Dynamite show in Pittsburgh, PA, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 3,569 tickets for their April 26th Dynamite show in Sunrise, FL, 3,296 tickets for their May 3rd Dynamite show in Baltimore, MD, 5,019 tickets for their May 10th Dynamite show in Detroit, MI, 1,247 tickets for their May 12th house show event in Corbin, KY, 1,378 tickets for their May 13th house show event in Salem, VA, 3,267 for their May 17th Dynamite show in Austin, TX, 4,205 for their May 24th Dynamite show in Las Vegas, 6,725 tickets for their May 28th Double or Nothing 2023 event in Las Vegas, NV, 2,763 tickets for their May 31st Dynamite show in San Diego, CA, 1,672 tickets for their June 7th Dynamite show in Colorado Springs, CO, 2,206 tickets for their June 14th Dynamite show in Washington, D.C., 12,873 tickets for their June 25th Forbidden Door 2 event in Toronto, Canada, 3,200 tickets for their June 28th Dynamite show in Hamilton, Canada, 4,760 for their July 5th Dynamite show in Edmonton, Canada, 1,245 for their July 8th event in Regina, Canada, 2,249 tickets for their July 12th Dynamite in Saskatoon, Canada, and 3,305 tickets for their July 15th house show event in Calgary, Canada as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg is currently working on plans to hold a wrestling retirement tour in the future. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that while AEW CEO Tony Khan likely would be very interested in bringing in Goldberg for an AEW show, the chances of it happening would be low due to Goldberg’s likely high asking price based on what he was paid during his recent run in WWE.
  • As noted before, Matt Jackson suffered a torn biceps injury this past March and was expected to be out of action for AEW for around six to eight weeks. Despite his injury, Jackson made an appearance and was involved in a brawl segment with The Elite and Blackpool Combat Club at this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Jackson had been receiving PRP and stem cell treatments for his torn biceps injury and doctors were impressed over the speed of his recovery. In regards to PRP treatment, Meltzer reported that “Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints.”
  • Saturday’s Rampage show in Pittsburgh featured AEW announcing that Bandido will be making his return to the company at this Wednesday’s Dynamite show in Sunrise, Florida. Bandido had been away from AEW for the past several months due to visa-related issues. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that Bandido had received his new work visa this past week allowing him to resume his work for AEW and in the United States.
  • Saturday’s Rampage show also featured a promo segment involving The Hardys, HOOK, and Isiah Kassidy. During his portion of the promo, Jeff Hardy gave his thoughts about his recent return to AEW and wanting to “end my career in AEW on an extremely high note.”
  • In a recent interview with 13WHAM ABC Rochester, Britt Baker revealed that she was initially informed by AEW officials about a concept for a potential new behind-the-scenes AEW television show that later became All Access prior to their signing of her boyfriend Adam Cole in 2021. Baker stated “They (AEW) approached me originally and talked about how I’m a dentist and a wrestler and if I would be willing to have that filmed as a docuseries and at first, I was kind of taken aback because for me, it’s just my life and it’s not that interesting so I was like, ‘Are you sure? You wanna make this on a show?…’ Adam (Cole) was not with AEW yet so he wasn’t even an option to be part of this so then when he finally did sign with All Elite Wrestling, they were so excited. They said, ‘Oh my gosh, will he be a part of this? Will he let us in his life?…’ And I said, ‘I don’t think he’s gonna do it. I think that’s a big no’ and he surprised me, he surprised all of us when he said, ‘Yes. Of course, I would love to’ and right before we started filming, he had the second head injury and I thought, oh boy, that’s a wrap and again, he surprised me when he said, ‘No, I wanna film this. I want everybody to see what I’m going through and what this sport, what this world is.’” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • In a recent interview with Dark Puroresu Flowsion, Kota Ibushi gave his thoughts on what would be his main goal in AEW if he were to sign a contract with the company in the future. Ibushi stated “I want to share my knowledge with them as much as I can in AEW. The reason is to spread wrestling. To make it more major. I will give my all to wrestling.”
  • As noted before, AEW and Warner Bros Discovery are currently working on plans to launch a new third weekly AEW wrestling television show within the near future. Fightful Select reported that while AEW talent might become less available for the indies once this new show debuts, they have not heard of anything regarding AEW officials reducing the amount of indie dates allowed for their talent due to the company’s upcoming expanded weekly schedule.

Indies & Misc. Wrestling

  • As noted before, ESPN has been in recent talks with both WWE and an unknown wrestling promotion for potential wrestling-related programming on their network. In regards to the unknown promotion, Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources confirmed PWInsider’s report about ESPN holding talks with this company but speculated that this likely was for a show on ESPN’s ESPN+ streaming service and not on their actual network. Meltzer reported that the reason for this belief is due to this promotion has an active television deal elsewhere. Meltzer also reported that the talks between this promotion and ESPN were in the very early stage.
  • Trinity Fatu, former Naomi in WWE, reportedly abandoned her trademark filing for “Trinity Starr” on April 15th, according to PWInsider.
  • Trinty Fatu reportedly was in attendance backstage at Game Changer Wrestling’s Scene of the Crime event on Saturday in Orlando, Florida, according to Fightful Select.
  • Lucha Libre AAA reportedly generated an attendance of around 14,000 for their April 16th Triplemania XXXI: Monterrey event in Monterrey, Mexico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly generated a paid attendance of 2,179 for their April 15th Capital Collision 2023 event in Washington, D.C., 977 for their April 16th Collision in Philadelphia 2023 event in Philadelphia, PA, and 712 for their April 20th Road to Wrestling Dontaku 2023 event in Nara, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Stardom reportedly generated a paid attendance of 1,013 for their April 14th event in Tokyo and 1,049 for their April 15th Cinderella Tournament 2023 Finals event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • In a recent interview withProresu-TODAY, Bushiroad President Katsuhiko Harada stated that the company is currently planning for Stardom wrestlers to work at NJPW’s events in the United States and is currently hopeful of Stardom being able to run their own events in the US by 2024 or 2025. Harada stated “For the past three years, we have intentionally not worked on pre-Corona (ventures) and other projects in the midst of a difficult economic environment due to the weak yen, inflation, etc. We have not invited many wrestlers from overseas. We did not invite many wrestlers from abroad. However, now that those circumstances have calmed down, we are starting to make some moves. NJPW STRONG of New Japan Pro-Wrestling America, a group organization of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, is based in Los Angeles, and we would like to send STARDOM wrestlers to their shows as well. If the American wrestling fans become more aware of us, we would like to have our own show next year or the following year. I think it is necessary to expand globally in the near future while consolidating our domestic operations.” Harada also stated that around half of all the viewers for Stardom’s events on their Stardom World streaming service come from international subscribers to the service. Harada stated ” I think that about half of the viewers (on STARDOM World) are from overseas now. However, we are facing a number of issues… We are providing the service on our own. We are not in charge of the technology and operation of the broadcasting station, but we provide the service on our own, so we cannot deny that our infrastructure and quality are not up to par. That’s right (we could lose fans if they tune in to see a foreigner with a big name and the server goes down). It costs a lot to provide everything on our own. I think that many other subscription services are also raising their prices, and STARDOM World is facing a dilemma between the desire to raise the quality and the desire to improve the quality of the service.” (English translation via PostWrestling.com)
  • All Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly generated a paid attendance of 935 for their April 15th Champion Carnival 2023 event in Nagoya and 479 for their April 16th Champion Carnival 2023 event in Hamamatsu, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH reportedly generated a paid attendance of 1,277 for their April 16th Green Journey in Sendai 2023 event in Sendai, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Kinya Okada and Yasutaka Yano’s future in NOAH reportedly are currently in doubt, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that Okada and Yano had been scheduled to work at NOAH’s Green Journey in Sendai 2023 event this past Sunday but neither of them were at the event. This reportedly was the reason for Kenoh’s promo segment on the show due to him needing to kill some time due to their abscesses. Meltzer reported that Akitoshi Saito’s appearance at the event and wrestling in casual clothes was something that was not originally planned for the event but related to this unknown issue.
  • In a recent interview with the Piers Austin podcast, Kimber Lee stated that she is still under contract with Impact Wrestling despite not working for the company since January of 2022. Lee stated “I mean technically, technically, I’m still signed right now (to IMPACT Wrestling). I was never released from my contract, technically. They’re just not using me because I’m a per appearance contract. So, they’re just letting it run out. So that’s why I said, ‘No, I’m still signed technically.’ I don’t remember the particular circumstances of why I was holding onto it so long at that point. There was a lot going on in my life.” Lee also stated that the reason why she has not wrestled since this past October is not due to her being retired and instead due to her dealing with personal-related issues. Lee stated “Right now, it’s taken a backseat for the last couple of months (her wrestling career) but I certainly want to come out and have at least one more big push, see what I can do. Australia is somewhere I have never been that is on my list. So I would love to go there. I wanna tour Europe again, I wanna go back to Japan. There’s stuff I still wanna do, I’m not done. I’m certainly not done but I just needed that time to find myself again… I was going through a lot of stuff in personal life and then that shoot job life, I was going through a lot there too because I had started in vet med and I thought that was gonna be the thing I would do after wrestling and then that turned out to be a whole sh*t show of itself and so, now I’ve actually — I’m getting ready to release the first episode of a YouTube series I’ve started because I’m now living kind of out in the middle of nowhere in a camper on two acres of land and homesteading because it’s the cheapest option for me right now. It’s kind of the thing I needed to get away from all the things that have me plugged in. I wanted to get away from cities. I get to go outside every night and see a full sky of stars, it’s beautiful. There’s so many critters around me. It’s been great for the last, about, three weeks I’ve been here now, and I’m doing a YouTube series about it and doing my laundry outside and having a clothesline and you have to turn the water on if you wanna — there’s just some things that are different but it’s been cool so I’m excited to share that and I’m also focusing on just some different things, there’s different things coming so, you’ll see (she laughed).” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that D’Lo Brown recently worked as a backstage producer for Impact Wrestling but it is currently not known if this was for a tryout or him being hired for the role. Johnson reported that indie wrestler and former Impact talent Cheerleader Melissa also recently worked as a backstage producer as part of a tryout for the company.
  • As noted before, Major League released Real1, former Enzo Amore in WWE and nZo in the indies, from the company earlier this month due to backstage creative-related issues. In a recent interview with the WhatCulture Wrestling podcast, Real1 gave his thoughts about his recent release from MLW. Real1 stated “I had a storyline going on MLW, if you’re aware, and I got written off TV there. My own accord. Nobody told me to do it. But if I have to put somebody over on my way out the door, he better be somebody. He better a badass, and he better be able to kick some people’s asses, so that guy was Microman. Microman is the smallest pro wrestler in the world, but he’s also the biggest star in MLW, so I felt like it was the right thing to do. It was a stretcher job, I left on my back. That was probably the last you’re gonna see of me in MLW for the time being.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)