Sat. Roundup: Bloodline Implodes & WWE NoC 2023 Notes, Roman Reigns Milestone, AEW Roster Split Update, Sabu, Impact, Indies


  • Friday’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a preliminary viewership of 2,027,000 viewers on FOX, according to SpoilerTV.
  • Saturday’s WWE Night of Champions 2023 event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia featured Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn retaining their Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship over Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa. The finish to this match featured The Usos interfering following a ref bump spot but accidentally laid off Sikoa with a double superkick after Zayn moved out of the way. Following Reigns berating the Usos for what they did to Sikoa, Jimmy Uso superkicked Reigns twice causing Jey Uso to be conflicted over what happened. In the end, Jey left with his brother Jimmy resulting in Owens hitting a Stunner and Zayn hitting a Helluva Kick on Sikoa for the pinfall victory.
  • Saturday’s Night of Champions 2023 event also featured Trish Stratus defeating Becky Lynch with the help of Zoey Stark. The finish to this match featured Lynch hitting Stratus with a Manhandle Slam causing Stratus to roll out of the ring. Following Lynch getting out of the ring and tossing Stratus back in, Stark made her surprise appearance from under the ring apron. Stark then attacked Lynch while the ref was distracted and sent her back into the ring for Stratus to hit her Stratusfaction and score the pinfall victory. Following the match, Stratus and Stark celebrated Stratus’ win on the ramp.
  • During WWE’s press conference on Friday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, WWE CCO Paul “Triple H” Levesque stated that the ticket sales for today’s Night of Champions 2023 event was the “fastest selling” for a WWE event in the country.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon did not travel to Saudi Arabia for Saturday’s Night of Champions 2023 in Jeddah. WWE officials reportedly had an office set up for him had he made the trip but this was not needed in the end. Johnson reported that WWE CCO Paul “Triple H” Levesque will be the main person in charge of running the event.
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that several talent who were not scheduled to work at Night of Champions 2023 still made the trip with the rest of the roster and WWE’s staff to Saudi Arabia.
  • During Friday’s SmackDown show, WWE announced two Money in the Bank Qualifier matches for next week’s SmackDown show. These are a Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier match of Zelina Vega vs. Lacey Evans and a Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier match of LA Knight vs. Montez Ford.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that WWE officials current long-term plans are for a high profile rematch to take place between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Meltzer stated that next year’s WrestleMania 40 event would be the strongest possibility of when this match could take place.
  • WWE recently announced that they will be holding four new UNDERTAKER 1 deadMAN SHOW events on July 1-4 in the United Kingdom.
  • Roman Reigns announced on Twitter that he reached the milestone of 1,000 days for his current reign as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion as of today. Reigns became the fifth person in WWE history to have a World title reign reach 1,000 consecutive days.
  • In a recent interview with the Mark Andrews: My Love Letter to Wrestling podcast, AJ Styles gave his thoughts about feeling that Impact Wrestling never viewed him as their “top guy” during his time in the company. Styles stated “Well I think ‘the guy’ for IMPACT is what most people saw me but I wasn’t the guy to them. I was just A.J. Styles who had been here but their guy was more of a guy who had been from WWE. I think that’s who they looked to-to do pretty much everything. I don’t think I was ever that guy for them, at least in their eyes. I think in the fans’ eyes, they go, that’s our guy. But as far as the Dixie Carters of the world, they were like, ah, it’s more Kurt (Angle) or Sting. It’s not A.J., you know?” (Transcript h/t:
  • In a recent interview with the WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves podcast, Jinder Mahal gave his thoughts about his recent return to WWE’s NXT brand and getting to work with Veer and Sanga. Mahal stated “It was incredible just being around young energy again, young, motivated superstars (in NXT) and it inspired me. It pushed me in a way, just seeing these young people. They’re full of hopes and dreams and aspirations and everything because kind of, we get a little bit grizzled and ah, like grumpy. It does happen, it does happen so yeah, just felt reinvigorated and then being around The Indus Sher, those two guys are mega, mega stars in my eyes. They can do everything. They have every aspect of the game down from look to persona to Veer’s explosive, powerful moves, Sanga’s just a mountain, just so powerful and calculated. Those two are incredible and excites me just standing ringside and watching those guys or tag teaming with them when the time comes or having those guys have my back when it’s my turn in the ring so yeah, it was incredible and you know what? I learned a lot. I worked with Terry Taylor and Shawn Michaels, all the great coaches there.
  • Mahal also gave his thoughts about the future of his wrestling career. Mahal stated “Yeah, definitely some day (I would like to transition into that mentor/behind the scenes role). When my in-ring career is over, definitely. I would love to mentor future superstars in a way and it would keep me active. I love being out there, I love being a part of WWE, I love traveling. I’m addicted to the lifestyle in a way. I love it. I love going to random gyms in all these different cities, I love being on the road, I love the overseas tours, being on the bus with everybody. It’s like family, the comradery we have with everybody in the back from the crew guys to the superstars in the locker room, everybody. Even the catering department, I’m such good friends with so no, it’s incredible. I would love to be a manager of some sort or maybe even I’ll work backstage as a producer. I think I would really enjoy that, just helping out, even off-camera. But I think I still have a long time left still in the ring, I can still perform at a high level, I stay in shape. At any time, this suit can come off and The Maharaja is ready, in shape and able at all times to still even challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. The Maharaja’s always ready.” (Transcript h/t:


  • AEW recently uploaded an extended cut version of their Countdown to Double or Nothing 2023 special that aired on Friday on TNT.
  • In a recent interview with Paste Magazine, Jungle Boy Jack Perry gave his thoughts about the progression and growth of his career over the past four years. Perry stated “I mean, I felt good overall. It’s been interesting for me, kind of since the beginning, in one way or another, I’ve kind of always been tied to either one other person or multiple people. For a while it was Luchasaurus and Marko [Stunt], as like a team, and then, even in going into this long feud with Christian I was pretty much tied to him all the time. And it kind of feels like for me, this is like starting over. This is my first time, sort of, on my own. Or I don’t necessarily have someone there with me at all times. And as you said, it’s like the first main event of a pay-per-view that I’ve ever done. So it’s exciting. And it feels kind of new. And like, I feel like four years in I’m kind of getting ready to start over completely.
  • As noted before, AEW is currently working on plans for a roster split for their Dynamite and Collision brands as part of their plans for the debut of their new Collision weekly series. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that AEW officials have gone back-and-forth regarding their plans for a potential roster split to be done for their Dynamite and Collision brands. Those spoken to reportedly stated that it is unlikely that AEW officials will make an official decision prior to the launch of Collision and might not settle on a decision until some time afterwards depending on various factors. Meltzer reported that the only plans that currently have been decided upon are that certain people will be kept apart from each other on different brands due to lingering backstage-related issues.
  • As noted before, AEW CEO Tony Khan stated in a Double or Nothing 2023 media call this past Thursday that AEW’s deal with Warner Bros Discovery for AEW Collision is not a new television deal but instead an addition to their current existing television deal. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that AEW and WBD are currently in talks regarding the option year for their current television contract. Meltzer reported that should this option year be picked up, it will result in a somewhat significant increase in the amount of money AEW would be paid for their programming on WBD-owned networks. Meltzer reported that no other details regarding this new TV deal for Collision is currently known.
  • AEW CEO Tony Khan also stated during this past Thursday’s Double or Nothing 2023 media call that Stardom talent potentially being involved in AEW and NJPW’s upcoming Forbidden Door II event is one of the idea currently being considered for the event. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that there are currently no plans for Stardom to actually be involved with the upcoming event. Meltzer reported that Stardom will be holding a pay-per-view event on June 25th that would make it hard for the company to send one of their top stars due to schedule and travel-related issues.
  • Post Wrestling’s John Pollock reported that a representative from TSN recently spoken to stated that there was “no news to share at the moment” regarding the broadcast status of AEW’s upcoming Collision series in Canada.
  • As noted before, ECW legend Sabu made a surprise appearance at this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sabu is also currently scheduled to be the special enforcer for the Chris Jericho vs. Adam Cole Unsanctioned match at Sunday’s Double or Nothing 2023 event in the city. Following his appearance, Sabu and AEW received online backlash over past racist and homophobic comments made by Sabu. Besides Sabu not apologizing for his past comments in an interview with Pro Wrestling Sheet in 2016, Sabu had also made derogatory comments against AEW’s Taz, Renee Paquette, and Jim Ross in recent years.
  • As noted before, Jamie Hayter was pulled from the May 24th AEW Dynamite show in Austin, Texas due to her not being medically cleared from a storyline injury at the hands of The Outcasts that was later revealed to be a cover for a legitimate injury. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that Hayter has been dealing with multiple injuries over the past month but she is currently planned to work at AEW’s Double or Nothing 2023 event this Sunday.
  • In a recent episode of the Grillin JR podcast, co-host Jim Ross stated that he currently wants to be part of AEW’s new Collision series even if it means he has to give up watching college football live on Saturdays. Ross stated “I don’t know a lot about the show. I don’t know who’s the broadcast team is. It’s all been kind of kept close to the vest, shall we say. Saturday night’s a challenging night for television. It just is. Doesn’t mean people don’t watch TV on Saturday, they do, and I believe that they will if there’s a reason. I don’t know what the roster’s gonna look like. We’ll see what happens. But I’m excited to find out who’s gonna be… I hope to broadcast that show, even though it’ll kill my football on Saturday nights. So we’ll figure that out. That’s not a big deal. That’s the great thing about streaming and all those things. I can watch my ball game, I just may not be able to watch it live.” (Transcript h/t:
  • As noted before, Darby Allin is currently planning to climb Mount Everest at some point next year. In a recent interview with the Drinks With Johnny podcast, Allin stated that he will be writing his will next month to decide who will get his assets in case he should not survive his climb of Mt. Everest next year. Allin stated “We wanna most likely document the whole thing (climbing Mount Everest). Like Discovery, some type of team like Discovery. (We’ve got) connections at Warner and stuff. It’d be really cool to, but I wanna summit it and then sometime next month, I gotta make my will. So if I die on that mountain, somebody will win this guy right here (Allin held up his dog). Gotta make the will and then just gotta see where all the dogs are gonna go and the house would go. For whatever reason, if there’s a huge ass avalanche.” Allin also gave his reasons why he decided to want to climb Mount Everest next year. Allin stated “I’ve been doing a lot of meditating and a big part of climbing Mount Everest is to prove to myself I’m capable of something so insane, because it’s just, you know, I don’t know. My day-to-day life, like doing crazy sh*t, I’ve said in promos before, I like to do the crazy sh*t because it breaks down the barriers in my head. I feel like I get stronger, you know? Become like the final boss of what Darby Allin is. I jump my house, I get bigger, boom. I jump off a waterfall, I get bigger and mentally, I’m breaking down things in my head. I’m like, f*ck yeah dude. Let’s go, let’s do it so, that’s why I love the crazy sh*t and that’s why I love AEW so much because there’s no company in the world that’s gonna let me skate with Tony Hawk or jump my house with Travis Pastrana. So I take full advantage of the creative freedom for sure. I feel like out of all the wrestlers in AEW, I take the most advantage of what we can do outside the ring.” (Transcript h/t:
  • In a recent episode of the Oh … You Didn’t Know podcast, co-host and current WWE Senior Vice President of Live Events Brian “Road Dogg” James gave his thoughts about his attempt to join AEW following his release from WWE in January of 2022. James stated “Again, time, then you gotta have the talent. They got great talent over there, we got great talent here. It’s obvious because they’ve been back and forth to one another. I think it’s awesome to have competition. I think they’re doing great. I think their doing great makes us do great, too. I think it’s a good time to be in the business. Three Ts, time, talent, and then the team, the leadership team. Look, that’s where I will get a little confrontational and opinionated. I think we got a great leadership team in place, and I think the right people are in the right spots to make the right things happen. I don’t know that I could say the same for the others, and yet I have no idea how the other is run. I want to be very clear on that. I’ve only heard from individuals. I have no idea, I’ve never experienced it. He wouldn’t have me, I asked. I asked him to take me to prom, and he wouldn’t take me.” (Transcript h/t:
  • In a recent interview with MuscleManMalcom, Mark Briscoe gave his thoughts about the current era of Ring of Honor under Tony Khan’s ownership. Briscoe stated “Ring of Honor is one of the most resilient entities on the plane. Started out in 2002 in the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, and that was the original iteration of Ring of Honor. From there, Sinclair broadcasting ended up buying it, and that was the previous iteration. Now, we’re in the Tony Khan era. This is the most exciting era yet because of the potential we have, with the eyes on the product. The machine behind Ring of Honor. We have a hell of a machine behind Ring of Honor. The machine behind Ring of Honor right now has more horsepower than any machine that’s ever been behind Ring of Honor. The current iteration, the current Tony Khan regime, is nothing but [thumbs up].” (Transcript h/t:

Indies & Misc. Wrestling

  • As noted before, Mercedes Mone recently signed a contract extension with Bushiroad for New Japan Pro Wrestling and Stardom. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Mone had agreed to a longer-term deal with Bushiroad for NJPW after he original deal had expired on April 27th. Meltzer reported that NJPW made the decision to have a new Women’s Championship created for the company and had planned for Mone to be its first champion due to Mone signing a contract extension. Meltzer reported that the reason why NJPW made this decision was due to Mone’s strong drawing power for the company for their Battle in the Valley 2023 event this past February.
  • NJPW talent Chase Owens recently announced on Twitter that he will be taking a break from wrestling due to him recent suffering a knee injury. Owens stated “18 years I’ve been wrestling consecutively without having to take time off. That unfortunately ends this week as I have had a injury to my knee and my physical therapist told me to take some time off to properly heal to avoid surgery. See ya guys soon!
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the World Boxing Council and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre have been in talks regarding a potential partnership deal that would involving WBC events taking place at CMLL owned arenas in Mexico.
  • Wrestler and former MMA fighter Cain Velasquez recently requested to the court for his attempted murder trial to be delayed from its currently scheduled date of August 2nd to a later date, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, Women of Wrestling recently signed a deal with VICE TV to air their WOW TV series on the network. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WOW is facing the same restriction as Major League Wrestling in regards to VICE TV being required to black out their airings of WOW TV for their channel on Peacock due to WWE’s exclusivity deal with the service.
  • In regards to WOW TV’s viewership on VICE TV for its Tuesday midnight timeslot on the network, Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WOW TV has averaged between 9,000 to 26,000 viewers for their shows on the network so far.
  • In a recent interview with Post Wrestling, WWE Hall of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart gave his thoughts about his induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame and receiving his star during this year’s ceremony on Friday in Toronto. Hart stated “I just want to say how special it was for me to be a wrestling hero or a TV hero for so many Canadians across the country. I’ve had such a great journey and such a great ride and I’m really proud of my career. I’ve always been especially proud of being from Canada and spreading my name and the goodwill of Canada across the world. I’d like to think that I showed everybody that Canadians can be the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.” Hart also gave his thoughts about wresting being often overlooked for recognition and his belief that his induction could be one step towards removing that stigma. Hart stated “I don’t think we ever got credit for being great actors, we never got credit for being great athletes. And we’re both. We’re great storytellers, we’re great actors, we’re great athletes. We’re amazing artists. And I think me being on the Walk of Fame is hopefully a start for guys like Edge and other guys to be on the Walk of Fame. [Or] Trish Stratus, another great Canadian wrestler. It doesn’t just start or end with Bret Hart.
  • Impact Wrestling recently announced that this year’s Victory Road event will be taking place on September 8th in White Plains, New York
  • Impact also recently announced that they will be holding television tapings for their 1000th episode of Impact! on September 9th in White Plains, New York.
  • Impact also recently announced a new match for the card of their Against All Odds 2023, which takes place on June 9th in Columbus, Ohio, This will be an Impact World Championship match of Alex Shelley vs. Steve Maclin (c).
  • House of Glory recently announced that Carlito will be making an appearance for the company at their Plata O Plomo event on June 16th in Jamaica, New York.