- In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin gave his thoughts on Pat McAfee being in his Top 3 for best ever Stunner sells for his sell of the move at last year’s WrestleMania 38 event. Austin stated “Man, top three. Top three. And I gotta say top three because I mean, you know, The Rock is number one, the way he oversold it. Scott Hall and some of the other guys that took it… Pat [McAfee] has a natural feel for the business. Epic performer. Great on the stick. Athletically, you know that that match he had with the Theory was awesome. And then the kicker was not only the sell of a Stunner, but — I don’t know if I threw him out or he ended up out of the ring — to lay there selling, still guzzling the beer. The presence of mind to ad lib and improvise it like, ‘This is a moment,’ without even thinking about it. I think he’s amazing. He’s very entertaining, and as a human being, I like him a whole lot.” (Transcript h/t: CagesideSeats.com)
- In a recent episode of the Busted Open Radio podcast, Stone Cold Steve Austin gave his thoughts on why he felt WWE officials made the right decision to not have Cody Rhodes defeat Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 39. Austin stated “Cody beating Roman would not have gotten Cody over anymore. As a matter of fact, it might have worked against him. The way they had it set up, he showed the belt, his wife and beautiful baby are there he’s holding the baby and it’s a storybook ending and the story is told. Those guys came out there with the outside interference. Like I’ve said before, I love that spike from Solo Sikoa. Sami, Kevin, Jimmy, Jey, it was chaos, it was exciting. They built it up and had a hell of a match. Roman is on fire right now and one of these days it will be time to take the belt from him and put it on somebody else, but you don’t make Cody by taking the belt off the right guy at the wrong time. I completely thought they made the right decision. I really respect the hell out of Cody for what he did walking away from WWE, found himself, went down to AEW and then came back. He gets injured, blows out a pec, competes in the Rumble, gets in the main event with Roman. It was so storybook and would have been so cliche to put the belt on him more so. Has he earned the opportunity to be there? Yeah. Would he have been the right guy, right now, trying to take out Roman Reigns? I just think not. Roman is so fire and so money. Cody is going to be there. To me, it made me respect Cody more when you’re laying there and looking at the lights. That story is going to be completed one of these days, but it ain’t going to be right here. It was for the right reasons and the reason was business. He’ll get it, and when he does, it’ll be a celebration like no other. I’m one of his biggest fans. I see nothing but good things for Cody.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
- Karl Anderson recently announced on Twitter that he is currently working on plans for the return of his Talk N’Shop podcast with Luke Gallows and Rocky Romero within the near future.
- As noted before, Bray Wyatt has been out of action for WWE since this past March due to an undisclosed “physical illness” medical issue. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources confirmed that besides his unknown illness, another reason for Wyatt’s current absence from WWE is due to creative-related issues. Meltzer reported that a key to Wyatt’s potential return involves the status of Alexa Bliss, who also has been out of action since this past January due to skin cancer treatment. Meltzer reported that WWE officials had plans for Wyatt and Bliss to be linked together once Bliss returns to the company. Should Bliss return and not be alongside Wyatt, Meltzer reported that would be an indication that WWE officials gave up on their plans for Wyatt to come back any time soon. Bliss reportedly has been ready to make her return since competing on the recent season of FOX’s The Masked Singer series.
- In a recent telecast for the MoffettNathanson’s Inaugural Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, WWE CEO Nick Khan stated that WWE is currently expecting as a low-end prediction of $397.5 million for RAW and $307.5 million for SmackDown per year for their next television contracts. Khan also stated that financial firm Morgan Stanely is currently expecting as a low end of $477 million for Raw and $369 million for Smackdown per year as their predictions. Khan also stated that he feels it would be a smart decision by Netflix if they were to buy the rights to WWE programming for India due to it would solve their problem of trying to get a foothold in the country and WWE being the second most popular sport property behind Cricket. Khan also stated that WWE is currently working on plans to run more PLEs on holiday weekends. Khan also stated that he currently believes NBC should air RAW as a simulcast on both NBC and USA Network similar to what ABC does for their Monday Night Football games on ABC and ESPN. (Transcript h/t: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)
- WWE reportedly generated an attendance of 10,261 (8,900 paid) for their May 12th SmackDown show in Knoxville, TN, 4,260 for their May 13th house show event in Augusta, GA, 4,011 for their May 14th house show event in North Charleston, SC, and 10,012 (8,700 paid) for their May 15th RAW show in Greensboro, NC, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- WWE reportedly has sold around 8,901 tickets for their May 22nd RAW show in Hershey, PA, 2,454 tickets for their May 28th NXT Battleground event in Lowell, MA, 5,740 tickets for their May 29th RAW show in Albany, NY, 8,613 tickets for their June 2nd SmackDown show in Wilkes-Barre, PA, 3,223 tickets for their June 3rd house show event in White Plains, NY, 3,391 tickets for their June 4th house show event in Manchester, NH, 6,185 tickets for their June 5th RAW show in Hartford, CT, 4,442 tickets for their June 9th SmackDown show in Des Moines, IA, and 4,015 tickets for their June 12th RAW show in Wichita, KS as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that the Top 10 overall merchandise sellers in order for WWE for the past week were Bad Bunny, LWO, Rhea Ripley, Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Matt Riddle, The Usos, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Raquel Rodriguez.
- WWE recently announced several new dates and locations for their current Road to SummerSlam 2023 tour schedule of events in the United States.
- The Financial Times reported that financial firm The Raine Group is currently set to receive $65.5 million and both JPMorgan and Moelis are currently set to receive $25 million each for their roles in helping broker WWE’s sale deal with Endeavor once it becomes official.
- In a recent episode of the LightShed Partners podcast, media analysts and co-hosts Brandon Ross and Rich Greenfield stated that the reason why WWE’s stocks suffered an abrupt drop in price this past Wednesday was likely due to fears over FOX being unwilling to pay what investors are expecting for the next SmackDown television deal. Ross stated that Endeavor executives are currently worried that FOX might not be willing to pay the 1.75x increase for rights to retain SmackDown that many analysts are expecting WWE to receive for their next television deal. (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
- The Canadian Walk of Fame recently announced that they will be holding an official ceremony on May 26th to unveil their 2020 and 2021 inductees into their Walk of Fame. Among those being inducted includes WWE Hall of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart.
- In a recent interview with The Today Show, John Cena stated that his WrestleMania 39 entrance featuring several Make-A-Wish children on the stage was WWE’s idea for his match against Austin Theory at the event. Cena stated “The hope of fulfilling gratitude. Any good, warm thing that makes you feel great. This year, at WrestleMania, we got to give 15 or 20 Make-A-Wish kids a WrestleMania entrance in front of 80,000 people. Normally, the entrance is something you do by yourself, but WWE had the idea to give the Make-A-Wish kids the moment and the perspective that very few get to see. I was all on board, and it was great.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
AEW & ROH
- AEW recently announced that they will be holding a fan meet & greet event on May 27th in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of their festivities for their Double or Nothing 2023 weekend in the city.
- AEW filed a new trademark for their AEW logo for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on May 16th to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- As noted before, Danhausen has been out of action for AEW since this past March due to a torn pectoral injury. In a recent virtual fan signing event for K&S WrestleFest, Danhausen gave some details regarding how he ended up suffering a torn pectoral injury during his Four-way match for the AEW World Tag Team Championship at AEW’s Revolution 2023 event. Danhausen stated “We could, I suppose (Danhausen responded to the idea of tagging with Billy Gunn). My other dad, Billy Gaz, and Taz… Yeah, those guys (Austin & Colten Gunn), destroyed Danhausen. Hit me with their finishing move, tore my pec. No! (that’s not nice of them). Devastating finishing maneuver. Took me out of action.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
- AEW reportedly generated an attendance of 1,872 for their May 12th House Rules house show event in Corbin, KY, 2,132 for their May 13th House Rules house show event in Salem, VA, and 4,600 (4,100 paid) for their May 17th Dynamite show in Austin, TX, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- AEW reportedly has sold around 4,428 tickets for their May 24th Dynamite show in Las Vegas and 7,330 tickets for their May 28th Double or Nothing 2023 event in Las Vegas, NV as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Will Ospreay’s status for AEW’s upcoming All In event this August in London, England is currently not known. Meltzer reported that Ospreay’s recent booking for a big match against NJPW’s Shingo Takagi at Revolution Pro Wrestling’s event on August 26th led to the recent rumors and speculation that he will not be working at AEW’s show. Meltzer reported that the basis of this rumor revolves around the idea that Ospreay would not have taken a booking for a big match at RevPro’s show if he had been planned to work in a big match at AEW’s All In show. Meltzer reported that the only known details regarding Ospreay’s current status is that he has been hopeful of being able to work at the event and AEW CEO Tony Khan had no prior knowledge of Ospreay taking a booking for RevPro until it was announced.
- In a recent interview with Fightful, Will Ospreay gave his thoughts about the rumors of him potentially being involved at AEW’s upcoming All In event in London. Ospreay stated “Oh, mate. Don’t ask me, I stay in Essex. Go to South End, bruv. There’s a little adventure island down there, lovely pier. I’d stay away from London. I say all the time, I fucking hate London. I can’t be bothered with it. Nah, fuck it off. Go Essex.” Ospreay also gave his thoughts about the rumors of him being booked for AEW’s event. Ospreay stated “I would love to know who said this. Because I didn’t even fucking know. So this is all fucking news to me. It’s fucking insane, isn’t it? But I feel like our country, we’re like the hotbed for Europe, personally. Because we get so many flights from even really shitty airlines like Stansted, Ryanair. We can go to every bit of Europe and you can come to England for like thirty quid. For Europeans, it’s an easy place to get to. I feel like England’s been starving for a real good pay-per-view quality. In reality we should have gotten a WrestleMania. We should have. Do you know what I mean? We should have. But it’s nice that they’re gonna give us a Money in the Bank. I think that’s cute ” Ospreay also gave his thoughts about AEW holding their upcoming event at Wembley Stadium. Ospreay stated “It’s just mad that AEW’s gone, ‘Fuck it, we’ll do a stadium.’ Even I was like, ‘That’s a big fucking ask.’ But my God, if the rumors are true, 66,000 have been sold. That’s insane. But I’m not surprised either because we’ve been starving for a good quality wrestling spectacular over here. If the rumors are true, and I’m apparently a part of it, I can’t tell you how grateful I am. I really do mean it. I wrestled at Wembley Arena in Impact. Fucking Mark Andrews got knocked out. So I had to look after his ass. But it’s a fucking stadium, do you know what I mean? It’s fucking crazy … So it’s so sick that they’re doing that. I love the concept of the All In. I got a message from Cody ages ago, he said like, ‘Why didn’t you do All In?’ I was like, ‘Because you didn’t fucking ask me.’ He’s like, ‘I thought I did.’ I’m like, ‘No, you cunt. You didn’t ask me.’ ‘I’m so sorry.’ It says everything. All In is like gambling. It’s about just going for it. 31 years ago we had British Bulldog and Bret Hart in Wembley and no one would ever think we would bring wrestling back there. Tony Khan’s a madman going for it.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
- Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that FTR were the top seller for merchandise this past week for both AEW and Pro Wrestling Tees for their Living Legends shirt.
- PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that AEW’s recent elimination of their Dark Elevation and Dark series has helped make tapings easier to work for talent, help keep crowds hot longer for shows, helped reduce the overall hardship for AEW’s production crew for weekly shows, and allowed more focus to be put towards Dynamite and Rampage.
- AEW talent reportedly were very pleased with AEW’s recent set of house show events in Kentucky and Virginia, according to PWInsider. Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that talent had felt that it was some of the most fun they have had performing recently and there was a completely different vibe that lacking the same type of pressure compared to AEW’s television tapings.
- In a recent interview with The Corner Podcast, Saraya stated that she had wanted to begin her AEW career as a heel instead of as a face. Saraya stated “It’s easier to get people to hate you than love you. People always wanna find a reason to talk some sh*t on you and now you’re gonna give it to them and you’re not gonna be offended because you’re like, hey, I’m playing a character. I’m supposed to be an asshole. So, with the being the heel, I wanted to do it straight out of the gate but Tony (Khan) and everyone was saying, ‘You can’t because you’re now coming back. Career-ending injury, you’re finally back in the ring again so people are gonna cheer you.’ But at the same time with these promos with Britt (Baker), Britt was saying some things that were really accurate and you can’t help but be on her side. She was just like, ‘I am the pillar.’ She was. She was the first ever signing. ‘I am the one that created this women’s division.’ She was. She’s the one who built the women’s division. She was there when they had to do all the COVID shows and stuff like that. She was running the ship, she was killing it. So everything she’s saying, you can’t disagree with her and then you have me coming in from a different company being like, ‘You don’t know what it’s like to be a star. Everyone should be cheering for me’ and I look like the asshole so I’m just like, ‘Let me be a heel.’ Let me tell you as well, AEW fans love their homegrown talents. They do not take too kindly to some people coming in, you know what I mean? And I’m just like, people are harsh. People are really harsh. So I’m just like, well why don’t we just make this a thing? I don’t care. I’d love to be heel, I love being heel. I feel like I thrive when I’m in my heel role. I can be more creative, I love to talk sh*t. You can see on social media, I love to talk sh*t. Yeah, I get a little too carried away (she laughed).” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
- In a recent interview with the Talk Is Jericho podcast, AEW Vice President of Live Events and Touring Rafael Morffi stated that the company had considered plans at one point for their Full Gear 2019 event to take place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City, New York. Morffi stated “It was a venue, a venue being an Arthur Ashe Stadium, it’s something that we embraced, took over and something we were gonna do right in our infancy. We were, we were. We were gonna have that pay-per-view (AEW Full Gear 2019) on your birthday. We thought about it, Arthur Ashe. But Arthur Ashe, similar to Safeco (Field), where you had that match with Shawn (Michaels) at WrestleMania 19, it’s open-aired even though it has a roof and we were concerned about the conditions, big show in New York, right in the first month of our existence. Let’s play it safe and we were right because if you remember, in Baltimore where we did have the pay-per-view, Full Gear, it was 20 degrees that night in the northeast. I mean, I remember because it was your birthday. So, we had a conversation with Arthur Ashe Stadium and great dialogue, great people, Danny Zausner there, Chris Dudley, great folks. We nurtured that and we were gonna have a show soon after the pandemic date. It was gonna be sometime in 2020. Obviously we didn’t have it. I’m amazed that we were able to keep it under wraps and surprise everyone.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
- In a recent interview with Forbes, WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin gave his praise of CM Punk and the friendship they have together. Austin stated “Man, I just sent Punk a message last night. I didn’t know he had torn his triceps. I haven’t been following anything. I don’t know what’s going on with that. Me and Phil trade messages every here and there. We rarely talk, probably once or twice a year. I love the guy, and I don’t even know if I mentored him because Punk’s probably a lot smarter than I am. Great promo guy, great worker, he’s got his own thing going, and we’re just friends. I think I remember there’s a picture of myself and him from Chicago, my favorite town to work in, my favorite building. I guess he had come down to where we were all hanging out. Maybe he looked up to me back in the day, but I don’t know if I so much mentored him because I think he paid his own dues. He learned it the way he did, and he got over on his own merits. The fact that maybe I could have been somewhat of an influence would be flattering if that were the case. But he’s made his own career.“
Indies & Misc. Wrestling
- Revolution Pro Wrestling reportedly has sold around 1,800 (presale) for their August 26th 11 Year Anniversary Show in London, England as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that while amount of tickets currently sold is not anywhere close to the capacity for the host venue Copper Box Arena which holds around 6,500, it is the most tickets RevPro has ever sold for an event in company history.
- In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Hiroshi Tanahashi revealed that he is fully healed from his recent rib injury and gave his thoughts about his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship #! Contender tournament match against Will Ospreay at tonight’s Resurgence 2023 event for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Tanahashi stated “The last thing I have to do is get my power and speed back, but I am going into Long Beach at 100%. Will Ospreay is one-of-a-kind. There’s never been anyone like him, and there never will be. Ospreay has amazing speed and athletic ability, but it’s his power that worries me most. His raw strength is off the charts.“
- NJPW reportedly generated a paid attendance of 1,401 for their May 12th Best of the Super Juniors 2023 event in Tokyo, 702 for their May 13th Best of the Super Juniors 2023 event in Nagano, 1,599 for their May 14th Best of the Super Juniors 2023 event in Nagoya, 762 for their May 16th Best of the Super Juniors 2023 event in Akita, 1,075 for their May 17th Best of the Super Juniors 2023 event in Sendai, and 1,004 for their May 18th Best of the Super Juniors 2023 event in Iwate, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- In a recent interview with the Wrestling Observer Live, Rocky Romero gave his thoughts on NJPW having plans to introduce a Women’s division for their NJPW Strong brand after Mercedes Mone dropped the IWGP Women’s Championship. Romero stated “You know, since New Japan STRONG started, there’s always been a plan for a women’s division. So, when we stopped taping STRONG and doing the taping style shows, it was like, well when are we going to pull the trigger? And with Mercedes (Moné) coming up short and losing the IWGP Women’s Championship, it was like, well, now would be probably a great time. So, definitely want to have participation from all our different partners so obviously, Stephanie Vaquer who Mercedes is wrestling in the first round from CMLL, who’s an amazing talent. People don’t really know her in the States yet, but I think after this match with Mercedes, she’ll definitely be a name that people will be looking out for. Having Momo Kohgo, who’s a young upstart in STARDOM. Not too much experience but, recently her work with Mercedes in STARDOM has been kind of noteworthy and they’ve kind of taken a liking to each other it seems like so, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to also have some new blood in there, and finally, yeah, Willow Nightingale, she’s a star in ROH, she’s a star in AEW. Another wrestler that, you know, obviously this is a huge opportunity for her, a huge chance and yeah, we’ll see who ends up in the final but, I think all four women bring something different to the table and it’s super, super exciting to see and I just saw a picture of the belt the other day and the belt looks really, really amazing so I think people are gonna really dig it.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
- Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre recently announced that they will be holding celebrations this June and July in honor of Atlantis’ 40th anniversary of his wrestling career at their events.
- DDT Pro Wrestling recently announced that Matt Cardona will be making his official debut for the company at their Wrestle Peter Pan 2023 event on June 23rd in Tokyo, Japan. It was also announced that Cardona will be competing in a DDT Universal Championship match against champion Tetsuya Endo at the event.
- DDT also recently announced a new match for the card of their Wrestle Peter Pan 2023 event on June 23rd in Tokyo. This is a singles match of Daisuke Sasaki vs. El Desperado.
- In a recent interview with the Wrestling Observer Radio, Lucha Libre AAA head booker Konnan provided more details regarding AAA’s failed talks with Univision for a television deal in the United States. Konnan stated that the main reason was due to AAA having no track record for television ratings in the U.S., it meant that the company was unable to get a viable deal that would make financial sense for them. Konnan also stated that AAA officials are currently working on plans for a potential reality series for the company and use that as a way to open the door for a television deal for a regular wrestling TV show in the U.S. in the future. Konnan also stated that AAA is currently working with some billionaires who love AAA’s vision for their company and want to upgrade their production and get them ready for the U.S. market, which he revealed were the same people who produced the “Drive to Survive” reality series.
- In the same interview, Konnan also stated that Taya Valkyrie will still be able to work at AAA shows due to them repairing their working relationship with AEW but she will not be able to work as often as in the past. (Transcript h/t: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)
- Saturday’s television tapings for AAA in Morelia, Mexico featured Arez & Komander defeating Rey Horus & Octagon Jr and Jack Evans & Myzteziz in a Triple Threat match to be crowned the new AAA World Tag Team Champions. This match was to crown new champions following Los Hermanos Lee (Dragon Lee & Dralistico) immediately vacating the titles they won at this past December’s Noche de Campeones 2022 event.
- Stardom reportedly generated a paid attendance of 407 for their May 12th New Blood 8 event in Tokyo, 353 for their May 13th event in Chiba, and 1,509 for their May 14th Last Jumbo Princess event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Pro Wrestling NOAH reportedly generated a paid attendance of 935 for their May 14th Star Navigation 2023 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- In a recent interview with the HausOfWrestling.com, indies wrestler and former AEW talent Joey Janela gave his thoughts about working for WWE being one of the goals for the future of his career. Janela stated “I have goals right now, and one of them is the WWE. I’ve talked to people about it, and stuff, but not now, not anytime soon. I’m still 33. I’ve always said over the last five years, I can see myself signing to WWE when I’m 36. I don’t know why. 36? I don’t know. But I still have goals in Japan. I have goals. I’m having fun. I don’t have to deal with any politics. I don’t have to deal with people giving me shit for what I say on the internet. So, we’ll see, but WWE is always the goal. If WWE is not the goal for you, and you’re in the wrestling business, I don’t know what’s wrong with you because the dream is to wrestle at WrestleMania, and it should be the dream for everyone.“
- As noted before, wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer “Superstar” Billy Graham, real name Eldridge Wayne Coleman, passed away this past Wednesday at the age of 79. Funeral services for the late Graham were announced to be taking place on June 1st at the Full Life Church in Chandler, Arizona. It was also announced that Graham’s funeral will stream live for those unable to attend on the church’s official website.
- VICE TV reportedly recently signed a deal with Women of Wrestling to air their WOW TV series on the network, according to PWInsider.