Weekend Roundup: Randy Orton WWE Contract Update, CM Punk WWE Return Update, Julia Hart Signed New AEW Deal, AEW 2023 Revenues, Ronda Rousey, Indies


  • This past Friday’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a preliminary viewership of 1,950,000 viewers on FOX, according to Programming Insider.
  • This past Friday’s SmackDown show in Brooklyn, New York featured Kevin Owens suffering a potential hand injury. This injury took place following a spot involving Austin Theory hitting Owens hand on the steel steps and Grayson Waller targeting Owens’ hand throughout their match. Following the show, WWE released a video featuring Owens being attended to by a medical personal and being scheduled to take a MRI test. WWE recently announced that Owens had suffered a fractured 4th and 5th metacarpal in his hand. It is currently not known if this is an actual legitimate injury or just a storyline one.
  • Saturday’s Big 12 Football Championship game between Oklahoma State University and Texas University featured Jade Cargill, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Samantha Irving, Michelle McCool, and WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker among the representatives from WWE who had attended the game. The Undertaker presented Texas quarterback Quinn Evers with a custom-made WWE Championship belt for being named the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player of the game.
  • As noted before, Randy Orton made his official return from injury at last Saturday’s Survivor Series WarGames 2023 event in Rosemont, Illinois. Fightful Select reported that one high level WWE source spoken to stated that they would be surprised if the company did not add injury time to Orton’s current contract due to the very lengthy time he was away. Orton’s contract reportedly is currently believed to expire in Fall 2024 but this date could be extended by as much as 18 months if WWE were to add injury time to cover the period of time Orton missed due to his back injury. This reportedly would put Orton’s expiration date for his current contract to a potential new date of somewhere in 2026. It was reported that sometimes injured talent do not have injury talent added to their contracts due to them working on WWE-related projects during their time away from the ring but this was something that was stated that Orton did not do during his time away.
  • In a recent episode of the Six Feet Under podcast, co-host The Undertaker gave his thoughts about his belief that Dustin Rhodes (former Goldust in WWE) deserves to be inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in the future. The Undertaker stated “Absolutely. 100%. This is a semantics thing at this point. I would imagine at some point, down the road. I think his resume is Hall of Fame worthy. Obviously, we know the one stickler right now and I think at some point that goes away. Then I couldn’t see too much time probably going by that he wouldn’t be induced.” (Transcript h/t: SEScoops.com)
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that WWE RAW brand General Manager Adam Pearce was recently giving a backstage promotion by WWE officials. It was reported that Pearce will now be working as a backstage producer exclusively for WWE’s RAW brand following him previously working as a backstage producer for both RAW and SmackDown.
  • Drew McIntyre recently commented on Twitter about him not being featured among the multiple talent for the official poster for next year’s Royal Rumble event. McIntyre statedAre you starting to understand my frustrations now?” It is currently not known if these comments are related to a recent outburst incident involving McIntyre at last Saturday’s Survivor Series WarGames 2023 event in Rosemont, Illinois.
  • In a recent Instagram stories post, Tegan Nox publicly called out those who have been body shamming her and mocked them for being jealous over not being attractive people themselves.
  • WWE recently announced 21 new live events they have added to their events schedule for the months of February 2024 to April 2024.
  • As noted before, CM Punk made his official return to WWE at last Saturday’s Survivor Series 2023 event in Rosemont, Illinois. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that a deal between Punk and WWE was put together around ten days before the event and was kept as a big secret from almost everyone in the company. WWE officials reportedly were under the belief that it would only be a matter of time before Punk would come back to the company after they had learned that his firing from AEW did not include a non-compete clause for terms. Meltzer reported that TKO Group Executive Chairman Vince McMahon did not have any involvement in the talks nor deal to bring back Punk and instead it was mainly Levesque and WWE CEO Nick Khan who had put everything together. In regards to those who had prior knowledge of Punk’s return plans, Meltzer reported that those close to both Levesque and Punk knew of the plans for his return before anyone else in WWE and were informed to stay quiet. In regards to Endeavor, one source spoken to reportedly confirmed that Endeavor CEO Ari Emanual and other Endeavor officials were kept in the dark regarding the plans for Punk’s return.
  • In regards to CM Punk’s show closing promo at this past Monday’s WWE RAW show, Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason why Punk did not give any shots at AEW nor The Elite was due to him still being under a NDA over issues involving his All Out 2023 brawl and firing from the company.
  • WWE’s Survivor Series WarGames 2023 event on November 25th in Rosemont, Illinois reportedly generated around 8,400 pay-per-view buys from cable PPV providers based on early numbers and data, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that Survivor Series’ PPV buys were up compared to this past October’s Fastlane 2023 event which generated 7,100 buys but down compared to this past November’s Crown Jewel 2023 event which generated 8,700 buys for the same time period following the event.
  • As noted before, Will Ospreay signed an official contract with AEW at their Full Gear 2023 event this past November in Los Angeles, California. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that WWE officials were upset over Ospreay’s decision since they had had wanted him a lot while those in the United Kingdom were expecting that AEW was going to be his destination.
  • WWE reportedly has recently changed their mentality when it comes to signing talent to new deals to stay in the company, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that his sources stated that WWE officials are no longer waiting till near the expiration of a contract to start serious talks with a talent for a potential new deal. Instead, WWE officials reportedly have started to approach their talent trying to get them to sign new deals to stay in the company well ahead of their current contract expiration date. These new offers reportedly are for a substantial increase in pay and much higher than what WWE typically had given for pay raises. Meltzer reported that the reason for the change in approach is due to several within WWE are under the belief that should AEW get a substantial increase with their next television deal, that would give AEW CEO Tony Khan more money available to go after their notable stars to try to lure them away from the company. Meltzer reported that even with increase in funds, WWE would still be able to match and surpass offers made by Khan but they did concede to AEW during the bidding war for Will Ospreay due to monetary reasons and AEW allowing Ospreay to stay in the United Kingdom being a major factor in his decision.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that there were a lot of frustrations by Japanese subscribers to the WWE Network in Japan over recent changes made by ABEMA TV. These changes reportedly involved ABEMA and WWE no longer offering major WWE pay-per-view events as part of a subscription to the WWE Network and instead would now be a separate purchase in order to watch. This new change went into effect with last weekend’s Survivor Series 2023 event. Meltzer reported that ABEMA is currently charging $30 for WWE PPV events that are not included with a WWE Network subscription.
  • WWE reportedly drew an attendance of 15,937 (14,300 paid) for their Nov. 24th SmackDown show in Rosemont, 17,102 (15,300 paid) for their Nov. 25th Survivor Series WarGames 2023 event in Rosemont, IL, 3,096 for their Nov. 26th house show event in Peoria, IL, and 10,521 (9,500 paid) for their Nov. 27th RAW show in Nashville, TN, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. In regards to Survivor Series’ attendance, Dave Meltzer reported that WWE had announced an attendance of 17,138 while WrestleTix listed 17,102 tickets that were distributed for the event.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 4,934 for their Nov. 4th RAW show in Albany, NY, 7,179 tickets for their Dec. 8th SmackDown show in Providence, RI, 2,901 tickets for their Dec. 9th NXT Deadline 2023 event in Bridgeport, CT, 2,728 tickets for their Dec. 9th house show event in Utica, NY, 2,264 tickets for their Dec. 10th house show event in State College, PA, 6,137 tickets for their Dec. 11th RAW show in Cleveland, OH, 4,959 tickets for their Dec. 15th SmackDown show in Green Bay, WI, 3,043 tickets for their Dec. 16th house show event in Moline, IL, 2,699 tickets for their Dec. 17th house show event in Rochester, MN, 4,540 tickets for their Dec. 18th RAW show in Des Moines, IA, 10,126 tickets for their Dec. 26th house show event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY, 3,101tickets for their Dec. 26th house show event in Baltimore, MD, 4,199 tickets for their Dec. 27th house show event in Detroit, MI, 5,903 tickets for their Dec. 27th house show event in Boston, MA, 5,829 tickets for their Dec. 28th house show event in Laval, Canada, 7,820 tickets for their Dec. 28th house show event in Houston, TX, 6,787 tickets for their Dec. 29th house show event in Toronto, Canada, 4,022 tickets for their Dec. 29th house show event in Las Vegas, NV, 8,219 tickets for their Dec. 30th house show event in Inglewood, CA, 7,570 tickets for their Jan. 1, 2024 RAW show in San Diego, CA, 12,848 tickets for their Jan. 5th SmackDown show in Vancouver, Canada, 4,223 tickets for their Jan. 6th house show event in Spokane, WA, 2,922 tickets for their Jan. 7th house show event in Wenatchee, WA, 6,346 tickets for their Jan. 8th RAW show in Portland, OR, 3,641 tickets for their Jan. 12th SmackDown show in Lincoln, NE, 3,069 for their Jan. 13th house show event in Las Cruces, NM, 2,696 tickets for their Jan. 14th house show event in Rio Rancho, NM, 3,151 tickets for their Jan. 15th RAW show in Little Rock, AR, 10,525 tickets for their Jan. 19th SmackDown show in Atlanta, GA, 57,666 tickets for their WrestleMania 40 Night 1 event in Philadelphia, and 57,665 tickets for their WrestleMania 40 night 2 event in Philadelphia, PA as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.


  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that Julia Hart recently signed a new full-time contract with AEW. It was reported that Hart was among several AEW talents who have recently been moved over from a per-date type deal to a full-time type deal and did not receive an “#AllElite” graphic treatment by the company on social media. It was also reported that while it is currently not exactly not known when Hart had signed a new full-time deal, this was stated to have had happened “some time ago.”
  • AEW reportedly is currently projected to generate around $170 to $175 million in gross revenue for 2023, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that his sources stated that this amount is much higher than what AEW officials had originally expected to generate for this year based on last year reaching the $100 million mark for the first time in company history. In regards to profit for 2023, Meltzer reported that it is currently not known if AEW will turn a net profit for this year but those within AEW currently feeling that this year has still been a big financial success for the company. Despite the lack of a number, Meltzer speculated that AEW likely would be in line for their profit margin to perform better for 2024 compared to this year based on several factors including more PPV events and more Collisions shows held compared to 2023. Meltzer reported that the key factor to AEW’s financial growth in 2023 was due to them running more PPV events with their All In event at Wembley Stadium generating around $16.5 million in revenue for the company. Meltzer also reported that AEW’s financial growth for 2024 and 2025 will also likely be dependent on how big of an increase they get for their next television deal.
  • As noted before, AEW is currently estimated to have sold and distributed over 33,000 tickets following the official first day sale this past Friday for their upcoming All In 2 event at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW’s All In 2 event is already tracking ahead of what WWE’s Clash in the Castle event did for early ticket sales in 2022. Meltzer also reported that All In 2’s ticket sales for its first day was higher than all but the biggest WWE WrestleMania events, AEW All In, and WWE Survivor Series 1992 in wrestling history.
  • As noted before, QT Marshall announced on Monday that he has officially resigned from AEW and will be departing from the company at the end of the year. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that a lot of AEW talent were caught off guard over Marshall’s announcement of him leaving the company since they were not aware beforehand prior to his announcement. Those spoken to reportedly stated that they were aware that Marshall had been frustrated over his in-ring career’s direction in the company since he wanted to wrestle more and be portrayed as a bigger star. This reportedly was the reason why Marshall made a deal with Lucha Libre AAA in order to work more and have the chance to be a top heel and potential main event level star in their company. In regards to Marshall’s backstage duties in AEW, Meltzer reported that Jimmy Jacobs had recently taken over Marshall’s duty as the main person formatting AEW’s plans and scripts for shows. One person spoken to reportedly stated that had Marshall announced his departure last year, it would have been a much bigger deal within the company but his backstage duties have been diminishing over the past year.
  • In regards to Marshall potentially heading to WWE, Dave Meltzer reported that those spoken to stated that this is a strong possibility due to Marshall being close friends with Cody Rhodes. Those spoken to reportedly also stated that it is very likely that Marshall’s Nightmare Factory could likely become a WWE-affiliated wrestling school in the future but this is something that Marshall is currently not working on for plans.
  • As noted before, former WWE talent Ronda Rousey made her surprise debut for Ring of Honor this past November. Following her ROH appearance, Rousey is currently believed to not be interested in signing a new contract nor focusing on resuming an active career in wrestling. In a recent interview with TMZ, Rousey confirmed that she is currently not interested in signing with AEW and instead is focused on being a full-time mother to her daughter. Rousey stated “No, no, I don’t think so. Just trying to be home with the family, and be a full-time mom.” In regards to the reason why Rousey made her debut for ROH instead of AEW, Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Rousey had informed AEW CEO Tony Khan that she did not want to do any big shows and instead was just doing some local shows for fun. Meltzer speculated that Khan pitched for Rousey to work at their ROH show in Los Angeles last month since it was lower in scale than AEW’s televised shows in the city that weekend.
  • Taz recently gave his thoughts on Twitter about the long rumors of AEW talent not being willing to get advice from veteran talents in the company. Taz statedMy 2 cents. I been in AEW from almost the beginning of it starting. I have had MANY wrestlers in their 20’s & 30’s (1 in their 40’s) ask me for advice regarding their matches, as recent as yesterday! Also, the respect I’ve been shown at every show from the younger talent has always been awesome. One more thing, just because a current wrestler might not approach a veteran/legendary wrestler does not mean that wrestler is disrespectful, it doesn’t mean that that wrestler doesn’t want to get better. It could be that they are intimidated, or they want to show that they can stand on their own 2 feet. That was me when I was younger.
  • In a recent interview with the New York Post, AEW CEO Tony Khan gave his thoughts about his current plans to make AEW running events at Wembley Stadium a yearly tradition for the company. Khan stated “I want to go back and build and have that tradition of doing the biggest stadium show of the year in Europe and having people from all over the world travel to London for that show.” Khan also gave his thoughts about the potential for AEW’s upcoming Worlds End event becoming an annual event for the company in New York. Khan stated “I think looking at the calendar and the time it’s certainly an intriguing possibility for a major event in the Northeast and could be specifically New York. Certainly on Long Island, we have seen great results for the inaugural World’s End.
  • While responding to a fan on Twitter, Chris Jericho recently stated that he had wished that he had a match with CM Punk in AEW. The fan stated “I’m really sad that @AEW didn’t give me the one match i wanted. I wanted to see the best in the world at what he does @IAmJericho and the best in the world @CMPunk one more time.” Jericho responded statingI did too …
  • In a recent interview with CBS Sports’ Maggie & Perloff radio show, Bryan Danielson gave his thoughts about the future of his wrestling career after he retires from full-time wrestling. Danielson stated “I could picture myself out there, and when I say this is kind of my last — this is my last year as a full-time wrestler. I can’t envision ever stopping, and I think Ric Flair sees it the same way. It’s such an incredible experience to go out there and do it. I’m getting to the point where my body’s breaking down a little bit. I can’t do it full-time at the level that I would like to, but I would still like to get out there every once in a while and just do it. It’s one of my life’s passions, you know what I mean? It makes me feel alive. So, yeah, I mean, I could see myself out there at 74, just being like, “Ahhh! Come on!”” Danielson also provided an update on his recovery from an broken orbital bone injury. Danielson stated “I’m going to have to talk to the doctors tomorrow. The benefit of wearing the eye patch is that, so the bones are completely healed, but the benefit of wearing the eye patch is I still have like a little bit of double vision in the thing, and wearing the eye patch — like, if I take the eye patch off, I tend to get a little bit dizzy because of the motion of the eye. So the eye patch stops me from getting dizzy, but they may want me to wear a protective mask. So I don’t know. We’ll see tomorrow [Saturday]. I’m going to see myself…Yeah, it may end up being a face mask with eye patch on top of the face mask [laughing]. You know, when you see the NBA players, when they have the face mask, they get hit it a lot with the elbows, you know, as they’re blocking out and all that kind of stuff…I might just have to take a Sharpie over my eye [laughing].” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • AEW reportedly drew an attendance of 3,533 for their Nov. 25th Collision & Rampage shows in Pittsburgh, PA and 4,648 for their Nov. 29th Dynamite show in Minneapolis, MN, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 2,353 tickets for their Dec. 5th Collision show in Montreal, 4,091 tickets for their Dec. 6th Dynamite show in Montreal, Canada, 1,801 tickets for their Dec. 13th Dynamite show in Arlington, TX, 1,738 tickets for their Dec. 16th Collision show in Garland, TX, 3,215 tickets for their Dec. 20th Dynamite show in Oklahoma City, OK, 2,177 tickets for their Dec. 23rd Collision show in San Antonio, TX, 2,264 tickets for their Dec. 27th Dynamite show in Orlando, FL, 6,492 tickets for their Dec. 30th Worlds End event in Uniondale, NY, 3,293 tickets for their Jan. 3, 2024 Dynamite show in Newark, NJ, 2,033 tickets for their Jan. 6th Collision show in Charlotte, NC, 1,609 tickets for their Jan. 10th Dynamite show in Jacksonville, FL, 1,480 tickets for their Jan. 13th Collision show in Norfolk, VA, and 1,377 tickets for their Jan. 17th Dynamite show in North Charleston, SC as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Ring of Honor reportedly has sold around 932 tickets for their Dec. 15th Final Battle 2023 event in Garland, TX as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW recently uploaded a nearly three-hour video chronicling the history between Billie Starkz and Athena in Ring of Honor ahead of their match for the ROH Women’s World Championship at ROH’s Final Battle 2023 event on December 15th.
  • In a recent interview with WrestleTalk, Claudio Castagnoli gave his thoughts about the current state of ROH. Castagnoli stated “I think it was better when I was the champion [laughs]. No, I give him credit. Even if I don’t really respect him, he’s been a fighting champion. He has all this passion for Ring of Honor because of the Ring of Honor he idolizes, with Xavier and Homicide, those were his idols, and he is trying to live up to that legacy. It’s still a great place for younger talent to show off what they got, to prove themselves, and that’s the fun for me. Back when I was champion, when it was just the Orlando tapings, it was on the Soundstage, which I kind of prefer because it had a different, distinct look to it. I would like, maybe in the future, for Ring of Honor almost to go back to its own look, which I feel helps. But even now, the way it is, it’s fun because you see different talent in Ring of Honor, you see new talent in Ring of Honor. You see talent from Ring of Honor kind of moving slowly towards Rampage and Dynamite. So I think it’s a lot of fun for people who really love wrestling and want to go deeper into who’s going to be the next big thing, or who’s gonna pop up next. It’s kind of what Ring of Honor has always been, which is a proving ground for people who want to step up and explode onto the scene.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)

Impact, NJPW, Indies, & Misc. Wrestling

  • Sunday’s RevPro Live in London 80 event for Revolution Pro Wrestling in London, England featured Will Ospreay making a surprise appearance for the company. Ospreay gave a promo to the live crowd discussing his upcoming match against Gabe Kidd at RevPro’s Uprising event on December 16th in London.
  • House of Glory recently announced that Josh Alexander will be making his official debut for the company at their Brace For Impact event on January 6, 2024 in Queens, New York.
  • In a recent interview with PWInsider, Josh Alexander gave his thoughts about Impact rebranding themselves as TNA Wrestling starting in 2024. Alexander stated “Selfishly, I’m super excited, super happy about it because not only, is TNA back, being what it once was and the proper way it always was, the best in ring talents in the world that you may not have heard of a place where, people can come from other companies and reinvent themselves like it’s always been, but we’re finally under those three letters again, TNA.  I get to be a part of it, the one thing that inspired me to step foot in the ring in the very first place is back, and, it’s just,  everything was very exciting before, I’d always work hard before, but now there’s a little extra oomph added in there because of those three letters, man, it’s hard for me to explain, but I get goosebumps just talking about it, I’m so excited for January 13th. I never thought I could be a pro wrestler because when I watch TV, I’d see like a six, six, 300 pounds of muscle Bautista and be like I’m not that guy.  I can’t be that guy. But then I tuned into TNA and I remember the very first time, I’ve talked about it many times. I saw AJ Styles, Low Ki, Samoa Joe, all these guys, and I realized that wrestlers came in all shapes and sizes and it was possible to do this with athleticism and presentation rather than just being a muscle bound dude that…It seemed like an impossible feat for me to become. So it definitely just gave me a little push in the right direction knowing that I could just even attempt this, and it introduced me to names in pro wrestling that, introduced me to companies like Ring of Honor and independent wrestling to even find out that even existed.  So it just opened a complete door for me to walk through to discover a different type of pro wrestling that I ever knew existed.
  • Besides Josh Alexander, PWInsider also recently interviewed several other Impact Wrestling talents for their thoughts about the upcoming return of TNA Wrestling. Among those interviewed included Frankie Kazarian who stated “It’ really cool. It’s got the more quality personally and [Scott D’Amore] told me what was going on. Sometime before we shot [the TNA return vignette], they were very clandestine about it.  This has been in the works for the better part of the year, and I had questions, and he answered all those questions.  At the end of that conversation, if I wasn’t on board already, I was 100 percent on board. It’s cool, especially for me, because I’ve, I was in the original TNA and the rebranding and all the stuff that’s, happening and becoming Impact Wrestling and all that.  A lot of times, especially in the most recent years, we’ve run from our past and we are now embracing it.  There are a lot of fans, there are a lot of wrestlers that grew up not wanting to be just wrestlers, but wanted to be  TNA wrestlers or wanted to be X-Division wrestlers or wanting to be Knockouts.  We’re not running from that anymore. We’re going to embrace our past and make it part of our future.  I was very psyched and, being part of filming that was incredible. The production that Eric Tompkins put into it was incredible, much like all of his work, and just being in the ring and watching the video and hearing the rumble and the xxplosion when they announced that and just seeing all the positivity that’s been you know That is the feedback on that.  It’s really cool to be a part of I think we have a lot of equity as a company right now, and it’s very fulfilling and very cool. I think what we need is more eyeballs on us.   This year has been the most consistently great in ring content out of any organization out there, especially our big pay per views, we always deliver on that, and it’s just gonna be more of that. It’s gonna be, I don’t want to dismiss what Impact was because we’re putting a button on that particular nam.   Impact Wrestling this year has been amazing, and, everybody, the excitement level  has really just it’s contagious, and everybody in that locker room is so ready for January to be here, for us to, really show the world, we still have something to prove, we want, we want people  know what TNA is all about more so now than ever.  I think we do want to recreate that excitement that we had in the early days in the asylum. And when we first moved to Orlando, when we first got on FOX Sports and we first got on Spike TV, it seemed like back then it was constantly something new was happening and something exciting.  I think we were really trying to get back to that.  I think we got a good start with the buzz that we’ve received from this announcement and again, the equity I think we have in the industry right now is at an all time high.
  • In a recent interview with the Battleground Podcast, Chris Sabin gave his thoughts about if he is currently interested in challenging his tag team partner Alex Shelley for Shelley’s Impact World Championship at some point. Sabin stated “I’m 1,000% happy being the X Division champion. For a long time, I thought Alex Shelley deserved to be a World Champion in some sort of major promotion and I’m happy to see him finally accomplish that. He’s having a good run and I want him to continue that. He’s not just my partner, he’s one of my best friends. So I want him to succeed and there’s no reason for me to go after him. I’m happy being the X-Division Champion. I want him to enjoy his run on top.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • As noted before, Mercedes Mone has been out of action for New Japan Pro Wrestling and Stardom since this past May due to an ankle injury. Mone recently posted a video revealing that she has recovered enough to resume training for her in-ring return in the future. In regards to Mone’s current contract with NJPW and Stardom, Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletetr that the current belief is that Mone does not have any more dates remaining on her contract. Meltzer reported that his sources stated that NJPW officials had recently dropped their plans for a potential match between Giulia and Mone for the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship. Meltzer also reported that while NJPW officials currently do not have any plans at the moment for this match, Bushiroad officials are still very interested for this match to take place if possible. Meltzer reported that one major obstacle involves the status of Giulia who has been rumored to be potentially leaving Stardom for WWE or even AEW once her current contract expires in early 2024. In regards to Mone, Meltzer speculated that her situation is very similar to Will Ospreay with the final decision to be heavily motivated by money. Meltzer reported that if Mone were to go to AEW, that would still open the possibility of being able to work for Bushiroad for select events, which would not be the case if she were to return to WWE.
  • NJPW reportedly drew a paid attendance of 610 for their Nov. 24th World Tag League 2023 event in Yamanashi, 888 for their Nov. 26th World Tag League 2023 event in Fukushima, 960 for their Nov. 28th World Tag League 2023 event in Nagoya, and 510 for their Nov. 29th World Tag League 2023 event in Shizuoka, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Stardom reportedly drew a paid attendance of 301 for their Nov. 25th event in Sayama, 523 for their Nov. 26th event in Fukushima, and 1,137 for their Nov. 28th event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Bushiroad CEO Takaaki Kidani was involved in a recent incident with Japanese Congresswoman Ayaka Shiomura based on news reports from Japan. This incident reportedly revolved around Shiomura being constantly harassed online by bullies and trolls and she recently wrote a response comparing her haters to pro wrestlers as bullies. Many within the wrestling industry in Japan reportedly felt that she was insulting their business despite her comments were not exactly clear what she was talking about. Kidani reportedly responded to Shiomura on Twitter demanding that she delete her post, which Shiomura did and apologized to Kidani over her comments. Besides Kidani, Stardom and NJPW also issued a joint statement condoning her comments about professional wrestling. Meltzer reported that this ended up giving Shiomura’s harassers a new excuse to continue their online bullying towards her which reach the point that it both increased and she had received a death threat over it. Meltzer also reported that many people, including fans of Stardom and NJPW, were upset over NJPW and Stardom issuing a statement against Shiomura. This reportedly led to sexist claims being made against both companies since many male Japanese politicians have said negative things about wrestling over the years and neither company did anything about it unlike with Shiomura.
  • All Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly drew a paid attendance of 815 for their Nov. 26th Real World Tag League 2023 event in Shonan and 1,039 for their Nov. 29th Real World Tag League 2023 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • DDT Pro Wrestling announced that Yuya Koroku had recently suffered a torn triceps injury and as a result, he will be out of action for the company for the foreseeable future.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that as of December 1st, notable television networks who currently carry either MMA or wrestling saw a decline of around 4-5% in general compared to December of 2022 in regards to their nationwide homes coverage based on Nieslen’s updated data. TBS reportedly is currently in around 71,142,000 homes (down 4.3%), USA Network is in around 71,059,000 homes (down 5.6%), TNT is in around 71,037,000 homes (down 5.6%), FS1 is in around 70,404,000 homes (down 4.5%), ESPN is in around 70,234,000 homes (down 5.4%), ESPN2 is in around 70,233,000 homes (down 5.4%), and BeIN Sports is in around 8,970,000 homes (down 18.3%).
  • Major League Wrestling announced one new match for the card of their MLW Fusion tapings on December 7th in New York City, New York. This is a Three-way match of Tiara James vs Zayda vs. Notorious Mimi.
  • As noted before, Veda Scott recently denied that she will be working for MLW nor joining their company team. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that MLW officials currently do not have any plans to bring in Scott nor has she signed an official contract with the company.
  • As noted before, AEW recently filed a trademark for “East West Express” which is the tag team name of Nick Wayne and Jordan Oliver in Game Changer Wrestling and the indies. Fightful Select reported that their sources within GCW stated that Oliver was not aware that AEW had filed a trademark for his tag team name.
  • As noted before, the Grizzled Young Veterans left WWE this past October following the expiration of their contracts. Metro held a recent interview with GYV’s Zack Gibson and James Drake about their current plans for their career following their departure from WWE. Gibson stated “Without giving too much away, all of them are on the radar. We’re literally just enjoying exploring our options” in regards to Impact/TNA, NJPW, and ROH being potential options for their next home. Gibson also gave his thoughts about a potential return to WWE in the future. Gibson stated “If this is the end, at least we go out doing what we enjoy doing. But if it works out, we get to circle right back to where we were at before in the first place. Why don’t you just see where we fly first, and then we’ll land somewhere when we’re ready to land.

Wrestling TV Ratings for Week of Nov. 24 to Nov. 30, 2023

  • WWE Friday Night SmackDown – 789,000 viewers, 0.24 rating (prior week – 2,230,000 viewers, 0.62 rating)
  • WWE RAW – 1,884,000 viewers, 0.65 rating (prior week – 1,459,000 viewers, 0.49 rating)
  • WWE NXT – 659,000 viewers, 0.18 rating (prior week – 622,000 viewers, 0.19 rating)
  • AEW Rampage – 264,000 viewers, 0.08 rating (prior week – 280,000 viewers, 0.09 rating)
  • AEW Collision – 317,000 viewers, 0.09 rating (prior week – 270,000 viewers, 0.08 rating)
  • AEW Dynamite – 858,000 viewers, 0.29 rating (prior week – 845,000 viewers, 0.26 rating)

Total viewership in terms of overall tally for the week: 4,771,000 viewers (down 935,000 viewers compared to prior week’s 5,706,000 viewers)