Sat. Roundup: Vince McMahon’s WWE Sale Condition, Drew McIntyre, Tony Khan, Thunder Rosa, Kota Ibushi & NJPW, Indies


  • This past Friday’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a preliminary viewership of 2,068,000 viewers on FOX, according to SpoilerTV.
  • As noted before, WWE recently released a new SEC filing detailing their sale to Endeavor and upcoming merger with UFC into a new company. In the filing, it was stated that one of the conditions for WWE Executive Vince McMahon’s approval of the company’s sale to Endeavor was that he gets to stay onboard as its Executive Chairman until death, resignation or incapacity. This portion of the filing stated “During conversations on March 23 and March 24, 2023 … representatives of Latham emphasized … that the governance proposals in the March 23 Endeavor Term Sheet were fundamental to Endeavor’s thesis for pursuing a transaction with WWE in light of, among other things, Endeavor’s belief that Mr. McMahon’s continued leadership as contemplated by the March 23 Endeavor Term Sheet would be critical to the value creation driving Endeavor’s desire to engage in the transaction, and that agreeing to increase WWE’s securityholders’ pro forma equity ownership in the combined company to the 51/49 split that had been proposed by WWE was conditioned upon both changes required by Endeavor to the governance arrangements set forth in the March 23 Endeavor Term Sheet. Latham also reiterated Endeavor’s position that Mr. McMahon provide his written consent to approve the potential transaction with Endeavor promptly following the signing of definitive transaction agreements.
  • WWE reportedly is currently estimated to have generated around 6,700 pay-per-view buys for their Backlash 2023 event earlier this month in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that this would be the lowest ever amount of PPV buys for a WWE event in WWE history. In regards to comparisons, Meltzer reported that this was down 18.3% compared to last year’s WrestleMania Backlash event and down 41.7% compared to this past February’s Elimination Chamber 2023 event. Meltzer reported that two reasons for this year’s event setting an all-time low record was due to the effect NBC’s Peacock has had on WWE PPV buys since the WWE Network moved to the service and issues with one major PPV tracking system.
  • As noted before, Drew McIntyre’s contract with WWE is currently expected to expire by early 2024 but talks between the two sides for a potential new deal had stalled for the foreseeable future. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the chances of McIntyre’s being released from his contract in time for AEW’s upcoming All In event in London, England is basically non-existent. Meltzer reported that while McIntyre’s contract is currently set to expire in early 2024, WWE officials could always end up addling extra time to make up for injury-related abscesses which would push the expiration date later into the year.
  • As noted before, WWE recently held talks with representatives from Australia to gauge interest in holding a PLE in the country in the future. The West Australian reported that their sources stated that WWE officials had visited the city of Perth on May 5th and held talks with the Tourism Western Australia over the idea of holding an event in the city in the future. These talks reportedly were stated to be similar to the talks WWE had with Puerto Rican officials to hold this month’s Backlash 2023 event in the U.S. territory. It was also reported that Optus Stadium in Perth has a max capacity of around 65,000 for events as the likely venue for a potential WWE event.
  • Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that the Top 5 overall merchandise sellers in order for WWE for the past week were Steve Austin, Cody Rhodes, Eddie Guerrero, The LWO, and The Usos. In regards to specific merchandise item sales, the Top 5 in order were Eddie Guerrero LWO, LWO, Bloodline, Rhodes Undeniable, and Austin 3:16.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that based on a recent internal roster list, WWE officials currently view Edge as their top face and Roman Reigns as their top heel stars for their SmackDown brand. SmackDown’s Top 6 face stars in order reportedly currently are Edge, Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, and Santos Escobar. SmackDown’s Top 6 heel stars in order reportedly currently are Reigns, Solo Sikoa, Austin Theory, Karrion Kross, LA Knight, and Grayson Waller.
  • As noted before, a consolidated lawsuit filed by WWE shareholders against WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon was dropped earlier this month. This lawsuit revolved around legal issues involving McMahon’s return to the company’s Board of Directors and alleged history of paying to cover up his past sexual harassment accusations in the company. In a recent filing to the SEC, WWE stated that McMahon had paid around $1.65 million in plaintiff attorney fees related to the lawsuit that had been filed and later dropped against him.
  • The future of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Young Rock television series reportedly is currently in doubt, according to It was reported that Johnson’s Young Rock series was not announced to be among the schedule of shows for NBC’s Fall schedule for this year. It was also reported that NBC officials have yet to make a decision regarding the future of the series on their network and it is among several comedy-based series currently on the bubble of being cancelled. This past third season of the show which aired on Friday nights resulted in poor ratings numbers, especially compared to WWE’s SmackDown series that went head-to-head for competition.
  • WWE recently announced that their upcoming annual investor’s meeting on May 18th will be immediately adjourned after it is convened until a new date of May 31st.
  • This past Thursday’s official NFL 2023-24 schedule releases featured multiple teams having WWE Superstars make guest appearances for their schedule release videos. The Cleveland Browns video featured The Miz, the Tennessee Titans video featured Sheamus, and the Chicago Bears video featured Seth Rollins.


  • In a recent interview with the Maggie and Perloff podcast, AEW CEO Tony Khan gave a no comment type answer when asked if CM Punk will be making his official return at AEW’s upcoming show on June 21st in Chicago, Illinois. Khan stated “I can’t comment on that, but I do think it’s very exciting is running a lot of big events. Chicago has been one of the best cities for AEW for a long time and I’m very excited to be back there. It’s a home city to me, personally, growing up in Illinois and spending most of my life there until my dad got involved in the NFL. It’ll be great to be back in Chicago for AEW.” Khan also gave a no comment type answer when asked what lessons he learned as an executive following the infamous All Out 2022 backstage brawl incident. Khan stated “I can’t really comment. I haven’t talked about that particular situation since it happened, specifically. In the time since, AEW has continued to hit new heights and grow and I have a lot of respect for all the people you just said as professional wrestlers and we have a great company going right now. With a big announcement coming next week, we’ve been able to sustain and continue to develop as a wrestling company.” (Transcript h/t:
  • In a recent interview with the Sports Guys Talk Wrestling podcast, Mark Henry gave his thoughts on why he feels that Jamie Hayyer is the “cream of the crop” in AEW’s Women’s division. Henry stated “I feel like Jamie Hayter is the cream of the crop, and I can’t wait to see her completely get her shine and the other women standing up with her to allow AEW’s women’s division to have somebody to fight against a tyranny–which is what I feel like the other women have formed a group of people that just want to dominate the women’s division and make them subservient. Not a fan of that. So I guess I’m on the side of Jamie Hayter and the rest of the women at AEW, but nonetheless, they’re gonna make them earn it.” Henry also praised Willow Nightingale for her work ethic in AEW. Henry stated “Yeah, you start smiling right away. It’s like seeing puppies play. She’s just so fun-loving, man, and just a good human being and wants to be great. [She] is doing everything in her power to be great. She’ll walk up and just ask you questions. Just, ‘I was thinking about doing this. I don’t know. Historically, do you know if this will work?; She’s that kid.” (Transcript h/t:
  • As noted before, this past Wednesday’s All Access season finale show drew 336,000 viewers, a 0.12 key demographic rating, and a #21 key demographic ranking on TBS. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the main reason for the large increases in overall viewership (up 9.1%) and key demographic viewership (up 33.3%) compared to last week’s show was due to the larger than usual lead-in viewership from AEW’s Dynamite show that night. AEW’s final quarter for this week’s Dynamite show averaged 937,000 viewers compared to 692,000 for last week’s show’s final quarter hour.
  • This past Thursday’s official NFL 2023-24 schedule release video by the Jacksonville Jaguars featured an appearance by team owner and AEW co-owner Shad Khan
  • As noted before, AEW recently hired former Fightful personality Will Washington to be their new Director of Wrestling Administration. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reports of Washington being the #2 guy on AEW’s creative team is not true. Meltzer reported that AEW’s current creative team makeup has AEW CEO Tony Khan as the head booker who comes up with creative outlines for shows. Following Khan down the ladder reportedly are QT Marshall and Sonjay Dutt who are co-assistants to Khan in the creative team. Meltzer reported that following Dutt and Marshall would be Pat Buck, Jerry Lynn, Christopher Daniels, Dean Malenko, and Washington to round out the rest of AEW’s current creative team. Meltzer also reported that AEW’s top talent also have some input on the booking of their creative plans.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that this past March’s Revolution 2023 event is currently estimated to have generated around 145,000 pay-per-view buys. Meltzer reported that AEW’s event had seen an increase of 14.8% in traditional cable PPV buys nine days after the event giving the split of 34.4% for cable PPV buys and 65.6% in streaming PPV buys. Meltzer reported that the late PPV buys for Revolution 2023 were the highest ever for an AEW show in AEW history.
  • AEW officials reportedly are currently working on plans for a “special match” to take place at their upcoming July 19th Dynamite and Rampage shows at the TD Garden for their debut shows in the venue, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer reported that his sources stated that this was the reason why AEW officials decided to hold their upcoming events at a larger arena in Boston than the Agganis Arena.
  • As noted before, Thunder Rosa made her surprise return to AEW at this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Detroit, Michigan. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Rosa’s back injury is far worse than originally believed and AEW officials currently do not have a timetable for a potential in-ring return.
  • Chris Jericho filed trademarks for “Fozzyfest” and “Fozzfest” for merchandise-related purposes on May 8th to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW officials currently plans for their Saturday tapings schedule is to tape both their upcoming new Collision series and Ring of Honor’s ROH TV series on the same night starting on June 17th.

Indies & Misc. Wrestling

  • In a recent interview with Dark Puroresu Flowsion, Kota Ibushi stated that he currently has an offer on the table from New Japan Pro Wrestling for a potential return to the company. Ibushi also stated that he has resolved his issues and bad blood with a lot of people in NJPW. Ibushi stated “Kota Ibushi brought up to me that there is a offer from NJPW that is in place. Do not rule out a return. He has resolved his issues with a good chunk of people from the promotion.
  • In a recent interview with Proresu-Today, Sareee (former Sarray in WWE) gave her thoughts about being interested in challenging and winning NJPW’s IWGP Women’s Championship at some point in the future. Sareee stated “Yes, it is a newly created belt, but it is developing quickly (she said about the IWGP Women’s Title). It is already the third generation (there are three champions), so I am wondering when we will go here. I would love to have my name engraved on it.” Sareee also gave her thoughts about why she wanted her return match in Japan to take place at an indies event. Sareee stated “Not at all (did it take courage to run an independent show). I wanted to do an independent show. I wanted to hold a show that I liked, the way I wanted it to be. It is my first show in Japan in a long time, so I wanted to have a show that I liked without anyone interfering, so I was absolutely determined to have a self-organized event.” (English translation via
  • ROH and indies talent Tony Deppen announced on Twitter that he recently suffered a broken arm injury during his match against Zack Sabre Jr. at Game Changer Wrestling’s Fight Night Brooklyn event this past Thursday in Brooklyn, New York. Deppen also stated that he will be undergoing surgery within the next one to two weeks and is currently expected to be out of action for at least the next two to three months afterwards.
  • The Dallas Morning News reported that the Kevin Von Erich and the rest of the Von Erich Family are currently in the process of moving from their home in Kauai, Hawaii to a new ranch home in Dallas, Texas. This will be the first time in twenty years that Von Erich will be moving back to Texas.
  • Major League Wrestling talents Ross & Marshall Von Erich are currently expected to officially leave the company once their contracts expire next month, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that Ross and Marshall had not been used by MLW since last year and this departure decision had been made well in advance by Ross and Marshall. Ross and Marshall reportedly will also be moving with their father from their home in Hawaii to a new ranch home in Dallas.
  • Friday’s New Blood 8 event for Stardom in Tokyo, Japan featured Rina defeating Ami Sohrei to be crowned the new Future of Stardom Champion.
  • VICE TV recently announced that the debut episode of the fourth season of their Dark Side of the Ring series will be focusing on Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch.
  • Impact Wrestling recently announced a new match for the card of their Under Siege 2023 event on May 26th in London, Ontario, Canada. This is an Impact World Tag Team Championship of Subculture (Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews) vs. ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c).
  • STARZ recently announced that CM Punk will be making his return and former wrestler AJ Mendez (former AJ Lee in WWE) will be making appearances for season 2 of their Heels wrestling drama television series.
  • Revolution Pro Wrestling recently announced a new match for the card of their 11th Anniversary event on August 26th in London, England. This is a singles match of Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi.
  • In a recent interview with Fox News, National Wrestling Alliance talent Trevor Murdoch gave his reasons on why he loves working in the NWA. Murdoch stated “I always, as a wrestler, have always wanted the company that had a boss that just trusted me. To give me opportunities, to let me fail. Billy (Corgan) and the NWA have done that. They have given me the opportunities to go out there, and I tell them what I can do and what I’m gonna do in these matches. And they go, ‘OK, go do it.’ And they give me opportunities to prove that I’m a good wrestler. That I’m willing to go out there and put on a hell of a show and entertain these folks. Whereas, when I’ve worked for other companies, I haven’t gotten those opportunities. The other situation too is, like, they talk to me. They ask guys’ advice. They treat me like I’m a part of the team. And when you treat me like that, I become the most loyal individual you’ll ever have. I’ll take a bullet for you. If I know that you’re willing to be there for me, to work hard for me and give me every opportunity, then I return that in loyalty. That’s where I’m at with the NWA, and I’ll probably most likely end my career here.” Murdoch also gave his thoughts about what would be his favorite moment from his NWA career. Murdoch stated “Here in the NWA, I don’t have any major, like, favorite moment. The whole thing to me is favorable,” he told Fox News Digital. “I’m getting into the ring with like-minded individuals that, I may get crucified, they’re not a bunch of f—ing p—ies. I don’t know how to explain it. I apologize for my language, but I’ve hit some of these guys really hard, and they didn’t come back complaining and whining. They wanted more. And that’s the type of wrestling that I want to deliver to the people. That hard-nosed, bring them to the woodshed, just knock the crap out of each other, old-school pro wrestling. NWA is definitely a different slice of pro wrestling. We take pro wrestling and bring it back to its original form, and that’s two opponents going in there and beating the hell out of each other,” he said. “Whereas, with a lot of wrestling you watch today, it’s very acrobatic. And those guys are great athletes. Wonderful, great, great athletes. But you lose a certain sense of believability when you take a big bump and get right back up, and you’re running around like you were never affected. When you watch an NWA match, first and foremost, you can look at the opponents and know that they’re adults and that they got some experience in life and that they’ve been somewhere. And then most likely those two adults are going to go in there and beat the hell out of each other. And who don’t like watching that?