Weekend Roundup: War Games Plans, Sami Callihan, Copeland & Ricky Starks, Sonny Kiss Impact Debut & Update, Impact BFG, Indies


  • Pat McAfee announced on Twitter earlier today that he has not signed a new deal with ESPN for their College GameDay show. McAfee statedThis has been brought to my attention more than a few times over the last few days.. I’ve never been friends with a human that reads The Athletic so I’m not 100% sure what style of human these 3100 folks are but.. HUGE Shahtaht to the 30%.. hell yeah. To the 49%, I have some great news.. I have heard you all very loud and clear since the beginning of my stint with GameDay. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I have not resigned a contract with the legendary show. I’m not right for some crowds and the “distinguished” College Football folks are definitely one of those. Excited to enjoy the rest of this year, that’s shaping up to be a GREAT one, and then see what the future holds. It’s been an absolute blast and an honor to be at that desk and to work with the fine folks of that family… it’s also been really fun to work 7 days a week for the last 2 football seasons. Nice reminder that I’m still a fucking DAWG. The dumbest life of all time shall roll on.. Let’s have a great NFL Sunday. Cheers” Prior to his signing with ESPN, McAfee had worked as a color commentator for WWE’s SmackDown brand from 2021 to 2022 and has made several guest appearance since then.
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that Kofi Kingston and Ivar have recently received high praise from WWE officials over their ring work and matches of late. It was also reported that Ivar had impressed many people backstage with his match against Kingston that was originally meant to be a Best 2-out-of-3 Falls match of Viking Raiders vs. New Day prior to Erick suffering an injury. The reason reportedly was due to this being Ivar’s first singles match in over five years and one producer stated that “not only did he not miss a beat, he impressed many backstage.” It was reported that Ivar’s recent performances have led to WWE officials to being open minded to using Ivar more often for singles work.
  • In a recent interview with Denise Salcedo, NXT talent Ilja Dragunov gave his thoughts about the backstage mood within WWE’s NXT brand when they went head-to-head against AEW earlier this month. Dragunov stated “The vibe was very very interesting because everybody felt that there is something historical happening on this day. The people on this brand put so much hard work so we’re like creating the best versions of ourselves every single time on TV, getting the attention of the people. And those icons of the business coming to this iconic show, pushing everything to the next level, I think everybody just gets more hungrier for this because we see what’s possible. We see what we can achieve together. We can reach our fullest potential, and the whole day just being around people, these people with amounts of pure knowledge, it was a historical, inspirational day at work for the entire brand.” (Transcript h/t: F4WOnline.com)
  • In a recent interview with ESPN, boxer Tyson Fury clarified his recent comments about him having a potential career in wrestling after his boxing career is over. Fury stated “WWE’s too hard for me. Boxing is much easier than WWE. It’s very physical and taxing on the body. WWE, getting slammed on the floor and all that sort of stuff. I’d rather move around the ring and dodge punches.
  • In a recent interview with the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani show, Rey Mysterio gave his thoughts about Dragon Lee potentially becoming his own version of Rey Mysterio. Mysterio stated “I’ve been watching Dragon Lee and how he’s been growing. The fact that he’s now brought up to SmackDown and is no longer part of NXT. He has a lot of potential to grow and be his own person. I’ve always said it’s very hard to duplicate someone. You’re never going to find another Undertaker, Kane, Eddie [Eddie Guerrero], Rey. When Dragon Lee makes his mark, and he will, he’s going to become his version of Rey Mysterio.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • As noted before, indie talents Brogan Finlay, Lucky Ali, and Jay Malachi were recently offered contracts by WWE and are scheduled to report to WWE’s Performance Center this January. During a recent event for ACTION Wrestling, Finlay gave a promo to the crowd stating that it was time for him to begin the next chapter of his career implying that he had accepted WWE contract offer.
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that the backstage segment between RAW General Manager Adam Pearce and SmackDown General Manager Nick Aldis during this past Friday’s SmackDown show was meant to reference WWE’s current plans to hold a War Games match at next month’s Survivor Series 2023.
  • The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported in Sunday’s Daily Update that his sources stated that WWE officials currently do not have any plans for a RAW vs. SmackDown match to be the War Games match for next month’s Survivor Series 2023 event.
  • As noted before, TKO Executive Chairman Vince McMahon was recently removed from WWE’s creative and WWE CCO Paul “Triple H” Levesque” being given full control of it again. This decision was made by Endeavor and TKO CEO Ari Emanuel. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that the general reaction within WWE was one of the decision being positive due to McMahon no longer being around to affect long-term creative plans. Most of the talent reportedly also felt that this was a good decision and are more loyal to Levesque than McMahon. One source close to the situation reportedly stated that Emanuel has a vision for how he can use the worldwide notoriety of McMahon and this does not include him micro-managing WWE’s weekly television shows. Meltzer speculated that should WWE’s business enter another downturn in popularity, the chances of McMahon returning back to creative power in WWE would likely increase.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that WWE officials current plans for top matches either at WrestleMania 40 or at another major show “down the line” are Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes, Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch, Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso, and Charlotte Flair vs. Jade Cargill.
  • WWE reportedly recently signed a deal with Japanese television network ABEMA for the streaming rights to the WWE Network in Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that the WWE Network will be a separate package on ABEMA for $6.50 per month.
  • WWE reportedly drew an attendance of 10,786 (9,800 paid) for their Oct. 13th SmackDown show in Tulsa, OK, 5,650 for their Oct. 14th house show event in Kansas City, MO, 3,565 for their Oct. 15th house show event in Springfield, MO, and 7,554 (6,800 paid) for their Oct. 16th RAW show in Oklahoma City, OK, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 10,312 tickets for their Oct. 23rd RAW show in Dallas, TX, 8,723 tickets for their Oct. 25th house show event in Munich, Germany, 10,181 tickets for their Oct. 27 SmackDown show in Milwaukee, WI, 8,712 tickets for their Oct. 29th house show event in London, England, 5,828 tickets for their Oct. 30th RAW show in Greenville, SC, 7,717 tickets for their Oct. 31st house show event in Glasgow, Scotland, 3,343 tickets for their Nov. 4th house show event in Rochester, NY, 2,927 tickets for their Nov. 5th house show event in Springfield, MA, 6,682 tickets for their Nov. 6th RAW show in Wilkes-Barre, PA, 5,643 tickets for their Nov. 10th SmackDown show in Columbus, OH, 5,867 tickets for their Nov. 13th RAW show in Washington, DC, 3,131 tickets for their Nov. 17th SmackDown show in Evansville, IN, 2,624 tickets for their Nov. 18th house show event in Canton, OH, 2,173 tickets for their Nov. 18th house show event in Tupelo, MS, 2,654 tickets for their Nov. 19th house shwo event in Saginaw, MI, 2,178 tickets for their Nov. 19th house show event in Jonesboro, AR, 6,051 tickets for their Nov. 20th RAW show in Grand Rapids, MI, 12,559 tickets for their Nov. 24th SmackDown show in Chicago, 14,711 tickets for their Nov. 25th Survivor Series 2023 event in Chicago, IL, 1,990 tickets for their Nov. 26th house show event in Peoria, IL, 7,089 tickets for their Nov. 27th RAW show in Nashville, TN, 8,354 tickets for their Dec. 1st SmackDown show in Brooklyn, NY, 3,265 tickets for their Dec. 2nd house show event in Bangor, ME, 4,013 tickets for their Dec. 2nd house show event in Allentown, PA, 2,353 tickets for their Dec. 3rd house show event in Portland, ME, 1,949 tickets for their Dec. 3rd house show event in Newark, DE, 3,259 tickets for their Dec. 14th RAW show in Albany, NY, 5,893 tickets for their Dec. 18th SmackDown show in Providence, RI, 2,059 tickets for their NXT Deadline 2023 event in Bridgeport, CT, 46,113 tickets for their April 6, 2024 WrestleMania 40 Night 1 event in Philadelphia, and 46,093 tickets for their April 7, 2024 WrestleMania 40 Night 2 event in Philadelphia, PA as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.


  • Saturday’s AEW Collision show in Memphis, Tennessee featured two new matches officially announced for this Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first is an AEW Women’s World Championship match of Ruby Soho vs. Hikaru Shida (c). The second is a tag team match of Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli) vs. Orange Cassidy & Kazuchika Okada.
  • Former Impact Wrestling talent Sami Callihan reportedly was in attendance backstage at Saturday’s AEW Collision show in Memphis, according to the Wrestling Observer.
  • In a recent video post on his YouTube channel, former AEW talent Fuego del Sol praised Chris Jericho for helping him get a contract with AEW and the helpful advice he gave for his career. Del Sol stated “Oh man, do I have some stories about this guy. We’re talking about Le Champion, The Ocho, Chris Jericho. Let me tell you a story about Chris. The night before I signed, he was in the production call with the production crew and I was told that he emphasized that none of the crew should tell me that I was going to get signed the next day. They had already decided they were going to give me a contract on the first-ever episode of Rampage. On the phone call, he emphasized, ‘No one should tell this guy, if we want to get a genuine moment and big reaction out of Feugo Del Sol, you just keep this a secret.’ Afterward, he spoke to me and told me how much I earned it. Without his approval, his stamp of approval, I don’t think I’m in AEW. He saw the reactions I was getting, he always made time for me. At any point, if I feel like I needed to run ideas by him or get advice, he was always there. It’s crazy to see the longevity of this man, how good he is in the ring to this day, how he constantly reinvents himself, and comes up with ideas to keep himself relevant. One of the GOATs. Big shoutout to Chris Jericho.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • The October 14th AEW Collision show was notable for an opening promo segment involving Adam Copeland and Ricky Starks that involved both taking shots at each other. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that there was no backstage heat between Copeland and Starks over the segment and instead was simply just Copeland trying to give back to Starks for his off the cuff insults and Starks not being bothered with the content of Copeland’s insults since he has heard it before for his career. Those close to the situation reportedly stated that should Copeland and Starks be involved in another in-ring promo segment, it likely will be a similar back-and-forth promo battle and there are no concerns of it escalating into something unprofessional between the two. It was reported that Copeland has been receiving great reviews from talent and staff since his arrival in AEW although one person spoken to stated that Copeland could have gone without using the “vanilla midget” line for his insults to Starks.
  • In a recent interview with the Notsam Wrestling podcast, AEW producer Pat Buck gave his thoughts about the differences in the backstage mood when it comes to making production mistakes between WWE and AEW. In regards to WWE, Buck stated “There’s things that I carry over to AEW where I’m like… I’m not gonna use the word “traumatized” but I’m like, I can never have that happen. For example, in the ThunderDome, you would never — and most of the time, you should avoid this too — you shouldn’t have a manager on the hard cam side of the ring. You’re just getting the back of their head. The ThunderDome, that was extreme no-no.I remember one time in particular, maybe it was [Baron] Corbin versus Buddy Murphy and The Mysterios were involved. I remember when we had Dom, before Dom was Dom, and Aalyah and Rey’s wife. I don’t think his wife was out there but Rey was out there, Aalyah was out there and so was Dom and we wanted to have Aalyah involved in a spot and you know, Baron Corbin does the tribute to Bossman type thing. He slides out from the post, wraps around, goes back in the ring into one of his moves. So we did a thing where he slides out and Aalyah’s kind of just standing there and the creative that night was get all of the Mysterios involved to kind of rattle Corbin. Like, Dom’s involved, Rey’s involved and they’re rattling him and I think Buddy defeats him. So, Corbin slides out and here is Aalyah in his face, just kind of standing there but the spot was near hard cam. Like by that post and they can’t get her face and you would have thought I lit the ring on fire and did something atrocious and I went — on something so minute, you still know she’s there, you’re still getting the Corbin going, ‘Hey! What are you doing?’ But we didn’t get her face and then we continued. That’s all it was…I didn’t sleep that night because of how, ‘Pat, you messed up. You can’t let that happen again. What the heck?’” In regards to AEW, Buck stated “So when I come to AEW now and I’m like, I get these moments like, ‘Tell the manager don’t go there’ and they’re like, ‘Yo, chill. It’s fine. It’s fine. We still know there’s a manager there…’ And it’s not a right or wrong. It’s just kind of embedded. I can never say belts ever again. It’s always title, it’s always championship. But I do love that about AEW. I don’t have to panic about those things.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • Fozzy recently announced that they will be holding a new concert tour from October 19th to November 6th. In regards to Chris Jericho’s availability for AEW, Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that none of the dates for concerts for Fozzy’s current tour includes Wednesdays meaning that Jericho would be available to work for Dynamite shows. Jericho reportedly would not be able to work for Collision shows due to Fozzy having concerts on Saturdays during their current tour.
  • This past Friday’s AEW Rampage show featured a Best-2-out-of-3 match between Rocky Romero and CMLL’s Mistico. Mistico’s appearance was part of a potential new working relationship between AEW and CMLL. Mistico recently thanked AEW and Tony Khan on Twitter for the opportunity to make his official debut in AEW. Mistico statedMy debut in @AEW thank you sir @TonyKhan 🙏🏽 and to all my beautiful people from Houston for the great welcome and support, I love you 3 million🙏🏽 🏾🤗
  • AEW reportedly drew an attendance of 3,923 tickets for their Oct. 14th Collision show in Toledo, OH and 4,600 (4,000 paid) for their Oct. 18th Dynamite show in Rosenberg, TX, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 3,811 tickets for their Oct. 25th Dynamite show in Philadelphia, PA, 2,602 tickets for their Oct. 28th Collision show in Uncasville, CT, 2,239 tickets for their Nov. 1st Dynamite show in Louisville, KY, 1,845 tickets for their Nov. 4th Collision show in Wichita, KS, 2,601 tickets for their Nov. 8th Dynamite show in Portland, OR, 1,788 tickets for their Nov. 10th Collision show in Oakland, CA, 2,023 tickets for their Nov. 15th Dynamite show in Ontario, CA, 3,073 tickets for their Nov. 17th Collision show in Los Angeles, 8,701 tickets for their Nov. 18th Full Gear 2023 event in Los Angeles, CA, 1,984 tickets for their Nov. 22nd Dynamite show in Chicago, IL, 1,875 tickets for their Nov. 25th Collision show in Pittsburgh, PA, 2,464 tickets for their Nov. 29th Dynamite show in Minneapolis, MN, 2,022 tickets for their Dec. 5th Collision show in Montreal, and 3,720 tickets for their Dec. 6th Dynamite show in Montreal, Canada as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW’s announcement of Mistico’s appearance and official AEW debut for this past Wednesday’s Dynamite show ended up helping move over 2,000 tickets for their show.
  • In a recent interview with The A2theK Wrestling Show podcast, Leila Grey gave her thoughts about her current work in Ohio Valley Wrestling due to AEW lacking a developmental system. Grey stated “That’s (OVW) my developmental, that’s the reason why I’m there. AEW doesn’t have an NXT or anything like that. So, I love that I’m allowed to still be at OVW and keep growing and elevating and developing.” Grey also gave her thoughts OVW talent Hollyhood Haley J being someone from OVW that she would like to see get signed by AEW in the future. Grey stated “Absolutely, absolutely (I’d like to see ‘Hollyhood’ Haley J in AEW). That’s what I’m loving about this Netflix show that more people are becoming familiar with OVW and yeah, Haley is such an important pillar of the company, specifically the women’s division. She’s a very important part of OVW. She’s super talented, has this huge personality as you guys saw on the show so yeah, she’s definitely somebody that I would like to see at AEW. I definitely believe in her and her work. I know she can do it, she’s entertaining, she’s funny as hell. She’s a good time to be around and me and her, we do have good chemistry and I’ve enjoyed working with her. I’m glad we got to be dance partners during the whole filming of Netflix because we were able to do some really cool stuff together. So, she’s got it man, she’s got it.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • In a recent interview with the Hall of Fame with Booker T & Brad Gilmore podcast, Mark Henry gave his thoughts about why CM Punk’s tenure in AEW did not work out in the end and the idea that Punk was not willing to go down to a younger wrestler’s level to help elevate them. Henry stated “I disagree. I saw him try to uplift the younger talent. AEW’s not a small pool. AEW is, any time you can go to an arena and sell 80,000-plus tickets, you’re not little. I feel like Punk is a lot like some of the people in sports that I know. The people in sports, they hate the fact that college football and college students are getting paid money now. It’s an old-school mentality. The old-school mentality rubs young people the wrong way. Young people call you a boomer, or they say you’re old, or outdated. Some people are stuck in their ways. Punk is stuck in his way, and that’s not a knock. I like conviction. I like somebody that can stand to their guns, and they can debate with you on the fact that, you know what, this is why sometimes being an old will save your life. Because I knew better. I experienced it. I went through the fire. I feel like Punk’s delivery of some of that conviction fell on deaf ears.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • In a recent interview with The Messenger, Chris Jericho gave his thoughts about AEW CEO Tony Khan being very active on social media during the days leading to and after AEW and WWE’s NXT went head-to-head against each other on October 10th. Jericho stated “I learned years ago that bosses are going to be bosses, and billionaires are going to be billionaires. I’ve been working for billionaires for 25 years. At this point, you can’t control Tony Khan. He’s going to do what he wants to do and God bless him. He created this company. He runs this company. He also grew up in the social media era. I’m not going to tell him, ‘Take your phone away,’ because he’s my boss. Say what you want. Whatever. I think it’d be worse if I said that stuff because I’m not the boss, you know? Tony Khan owns AEW. He can do what he wants. I’m not going to tell him no.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that both ESPN and Warner Bros Discovery are currently not interested in paying the gigantic increase that the NBA is currently seeking for their next television deal. It was reported that ESPN and WBD are currently paying a combined $2.6 billion for their current TV deal with the NBA. It was reported that if both ESPN and WBD were to sign a smaller new rights deal for the NBA, this could open the door for Amazon and Apple to enter and potentially secure a streaming deal. It was reported “Amazon and others have indicated they would find it even more appealing if the NBA could package national TV rights with local-market rights—so they can show people in Indiana the games of the hometown Pacers, for example, and the same in other cities around the country, according to people familiar with the discussions.” In regards to AEW, Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW’s next television deal with WBD is very much tied into what happens with WBD’s current TV deal with the NBA. Meltzer reported that should WBD end up overpaying to keep their NBA rights deal, then this would lead to less money available from WBD for AEW’s next tv deal and if WBD were to lose the NBA rights deal, then this would free up a lot more potential money for AEW’s next tv deal.

Impact, NJPW, Indies, & Misc. Wrestling

  • Saturday’s Bound For Glory 2023 event for Impact Wrestling in Ciecro, Illinois featured former AEW talent Sonny Kiss making a surprise appearance and official debut for Impact. Kiss was one of the surprise competitors for the 20-Person Call Your Shot Gauntlet match at the event. In regards to Kiss’ future with Impact, PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that Kiss is currently scheduled to be used on a regular basis going forward but it is currently not known if she is signed to an actual contract or not.
  • Saturday’s Impact’s Bound For Glory 2023 event also featured Matt Cardona making his surprise return to the company. Cardona was also one of the surprise competitors for the 20-Person Call Your Shot Gauntlet match. In regards to Cardona’s status with Impact, Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that this was only a one-night type deal and Cardona has not signed a new contract with the company.
  • Saturday’s Impact’s Bound For Glory 2023 event also featured ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) defeating The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz & Trey Miguel) to be crowned the new Impact World Tag Team Champions.
  • Saturday’s Impact’s Bound For Glory 2023 event also featured one new match officially announced for the card of their Hard To Kill 2024 event on January 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is an Impact Knockouts World Championship match of Jordynne Grace vs. Trinity (c). This match was setup following Grace winning the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match and gave a post-match promo stating that she has cashed in her shot for the Impact Knockouts World title.
  • Saturday’s Impact’s Bound For Glory 2023 event was notable for the Impact Knockouts World Tag Team Championship match being abruptly pulled from the card. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that this match was taped prior to the start of the pre-show and event due to Impact officials wanted to give their Hall of Fame ceremony the entire time for their pre-show.
  • Impact officials reportedly had plans at one point for Ace Steel to be one of the mystery competitors for the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match at Saturday’s Bound For Glory 2023 event, according to PWInsider. Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that Impact officials dropped this plan due to them not wanting to tease that CM Punk could end up making an appearance at the event and not being able to follow through with it.
  • Impact announced one new match for the card of their Turning Point 2023 event on October 27th in Newcastle, England. This is an Impact Knockouts World Championship match of Deonna Purrazzo vs. Trinity (c).
  • Impact also announced two new matches for the card of their UK Invasion Tour event on October 26th in Glasgow, Scotland. The first is a singles match of Gisele Shaw vs. Jordynne Grace. The second is a singles match of Rhino vs. Eddie Edwards.
  • CM Punk was in attendance at Saturday’s hockey game of Las Vegas Golden Knights vs. Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago. In a video package that aired, Punk was seen as the narrator hyping up the Blackhawks home opener and season. Punk had been rumored to potentially make a surprise appearance at Impact’s Bound For Glory 2023 event due to it taking place near Punk’s hometown.
  • In a recent interview with New Japan Pro Wrestling’s official website, Yuya Uemura gave his thoughts about his recent time in the United States. Uemura stated “I learned just how much they loved wrestling. They love it enough to work a day job and then wrestle all weekend, or they love it enough to be married to the business even if it means they don’t keep up romantic relationships. There’s tons of people like that. it made me feel that I should put more energy into just living in the American wrestling space, and using that time as best I could. Up to that point in time, I was always with people, always had meals prepared. This was the first time I really properly lived on my own, but Sumie Sakai stayed with me a bit at the start, and Ikemen Jiro helped out too.” Uemura also gave his thoughts about the future of his career as a member of Just Five Guys in NJPW. Uemura stated “Just Five Guys still doesn’t have a fixed character to it as a group. When I questioned whether I could do what I wanted there, they were like “Whatever you want to do.” It was definitely easy to transition. I don’t want to feel tied down right now, and compared to the other factions, J5G doesn’t have as much of a name. So it’s easier for us to make that name ourselves, and we can bring more status to the group as we move up.
  • NJPW reportedly drew an attendance of 3,191 for their Oct. 14th Royal Quest III event in London, England, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • In a recent interview with The Kurt Angle Show podcast, National Wrestling Alliance owner Billy Corgan gave his thoughts about NWA’s current place in the wrestling industry. Corgan stated “It’s not that hard. We inside the bubble can fight about all this stuff, talk about this stuff, but the general public, more people have turned off professional wrestling in the last ten years than the previous 50 combined. Dave Meltzer will probably run a stat to tell me that I’m wrong. All I’m saying is wrestling deserves to be a mainstream part of the culture. What has happened, and I believe this is at the root of the WME acquisition of WWE. They are going to bring wrestling back to the mainstream. It’s not a bad thing. Little kids, who don’t know anything about the smart mark stuff, need to be able to just go to a show. Let’s not lose the childish innocence of sometimes seeing a good house show match between two great workers who tell a good story might be the difference of that kid becoming a lifelong wrestling fan. Here I am, 45 years later, talking about Jerry Blackwell. Something stuck with me. Let’s not lose sight of that vibe in the business. Everybody in the business is valuable. Right now, Al Snow is getting over with OVW and ‘Wrestlers’ on Netflix. Great. We want more people working, we want more people getting over. If the NWA is part of that rising tide, great. That’s why you won’t see me cutting any promos about WWE like a lot of other people do for cheap heat. You can read the math there the way you want it. WWE has never done anything but treat me right. WWE, as a business, welcomes the NWA in the wrestling ecosystem. If WWE wanted to mess with me, you think they couldn’t? Why is WWE cool with the NWA? Because we’re trying to run a business the right way, we’re being respectful and we understand we’re the Little Engine That Could. You don’t think Billy Corgan cutting a promo on Vince McMahon wouldn’t get me a bunch of free clickbait? You don’t see me running that business. Let’s have some perspective here.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • As noted before, the NWA recently signed a new television deal with The CW. In terms of national reach, Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that The CW was ranked #25 out of 159 cable stations with an average prime time overall viewership of around 574,000 viewers for shows in 2022. The CW reportedly was ranked #29 with an average prime time key demographic rating of 0.10 for shows. In regards to the status of NWA’s future on YouTube, Meltzer reported that those spoken to speculated that this could become the new home for NWA’s new affiliated promotions such as Exodus Wrestling. Meltzer reported that NWA officials are currently in talks with two other indie promotions to become official NWA affiliates.
  • In a recent interview with The Breakfast Club, Ric Flair gave his thoughts on why he considers himself to be the greatest of all-time in wrestling. Flair stated “Because I am [laughs]. I’m not on my Mount Rushmore. I think it’s better to have somebody else put you there. My amount Rushmore in terms of importance to the business is Stone Cold, Hulk, obviously, Undertaker, and I think Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels is the greatest performer of all time in our business. I can do a little of everything. That doesn’t make me the best. I’m just being me [laughs]. I never say stuff like that. I consider myself to be lucky to be considered one of the best.” Flair also gave his thoughts on why Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would not be on his Mount Rushmore of Wrestling. Flair stated “He would be, except he didn’t stay long enough. I think part of the Mount Rushmore is longevity. It’s hard to be really good, and The Rock was great. But he took off. He’s on my Mount Rushmore for interview skills and everything else, and I remain very close to him.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • In the same interview, Flair also revealed that the most he ever made in a year during his wrestling career was $800,000. Flair stated “For a full year, the most I ever made? $800,000. I make twice that with Ryan Fiterman. I just gotta go hang out with him while he drinks tequila. That was in one year. It was [$500,000] for the most before that.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Flip Gordon is currently advertised to be having his final indie event in Connecticut for Fight Life Wrestling on November 8th. Meltzer reported that it is currently not known if this means that Gordon will be heading to WWE or AEW within the near future.
  • Stardom reportedly drew an attendance of 273 for their Oct. 14th event in Saitama, 812 for their Oct. 15th Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League 2023 event in Tokyo, and 687 for their Oct. 19th Goddess of Stardom Tag League 2023 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • DEFY Wrestling recently announced one new match for the card of their Pantheon event on November 18th in Seattle, Washington. This is a DEFY Championship match of Joey Janela vs. KENTA (c).
  • Sunday’s God Bless DDT 2023 event for DDT Pro Wrestling in Tokyo, Japan featured former NXT talent Ikemen Jiro making his surprise return to the company. In a promo, Jiro stated that he will be now known under the ring name of Kuroshio TOKYO Japan and will be competing at DDT Pro’s Ultimate Party 2023 event on November 12th in Tokyo.

Wrestling TV Ratings for Week of Oct. 13 to Oct. 19, 2023

  • WWE Friday Night SmackDown – 2,417,000 viewers, 0.62 rating (prior week – 2,319,000 viewers, 0.64 rating)
  • WWE RAW – 1,483,000 viewers, 0.44 rating (prior week – 1,557,000 viewers, 0.43 rating)
  • WWE NXT – 798,000 viewers, 0.23 rating (prior week – 921,000 viewers, 0.30 rating)
  • AEW Rampage – 407,000 viewers, 0.14 rating (prior week – 365,000 viewers, 0.12 rating)
  • AEW Collision – 504,000 viewers, 0.14 rating (prior week – 353,000 viewers, 0.09 rating)
  • AEW Dynamite – 901,000 viewers, 0.31 rating (prior week – 609,000 viewers, 0.26 rating)
  • Impact Wrestling Impact! – 77,000 viewers, 0.01 rating (prior week – 97,000 viewers, 0.01 rating)

Total viewership in terms of overall tally for the week: 6,587,000 viewers (up 366,000 viewers compared to prior week’s 6,221,000 viewers)