Weekend Roundup: CM Punk Injury Update, More on The Rock & WrestleMania 40, AEW Morale Update, El Hijo del Vikingo Suffer Knee Injury, Velveteen Dream, Steve McMichael Update, Indies


  • As noted before, CM Punk has been out of action for WWE since this past January due to a torn triceps injury. In a recent interview with TNT Sports at Saturday’s UFC 298 event in Anaheim, California, CM Punk provided an update on his injury recovery. Punk stated “I’m a clumsy idiot and I tore my left triceps about two years ago so the right one was jealous. I’m like an old car, I’m like a 72 Nova, you know what I mean? We have to change some parts every now and again. Once we fix up all the parts, the engine is still strong, we’ll still be good to go. We’re thinking maybe six to eight months but I’m not really in a rush to get back to compete, I’m in a rush to get healthy, I’m in a rush to get better and the sooner I do that the better I’ll be when I come back.” (Transcript h/t: F4WOnline.com)
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that the first four episodes of the upcoming new season of WWE Legends Biography on A&E will be in order Randy Orton, Diamond Dallas Page, Davey Boy Smith, and Roman Reigns. The first four episodes of the upcoming new season of WWE Rivals n the network reportedly will be in order Triple H vs. The Rock, John Cena vs. Randy Orton, Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz, and Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz.
  • As noted before, indie wrestler Brogan Finaly signed a NXT developmental deal with WWE this past December. This past Friday’s NXT house show event in Tampa, Florida featured Finlay making his official WWE in-ring debut. Finlay competed in a singles match against Charlie Dempsey, which was won by Dempsey. Following the show, Finlay reflected on Twitter about his official WWE debut. Finlay statedI’m not gonna try and make my people proud anymore, IM GOING TO. Welcome to my era Buckle up.
  • As noted before, WWE launched their new WWE Experience indoor theme park in Riyadah, Saudi Arabia. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that Natalya, Braun Strowman, and Jinder Mahal were seen in Saudi Arabia for the opening weekend of WWE Experience.
  • As noted before, Byron Saxton is currently filling in for NXT commentator Booker T due to Booker T being away from WWE due to a medical procedure he underwent earlier this month. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that Saxton has received praise for taking up Booker T’s role in NXT commentary while Booker T is away.
  • Bayley recently reflected on Twitter about this past Friday being the fifth anniversary of the official debut of WWE’s Women’s Tag Team Championship and being grateful for her time with Sasha Banks as champions. Bayley statedAnd we fought for them for over 6 years. For our division and more opportunity. Grateful for my time with you.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast and Paramount recently held talks regarding the idea of potentially forming a partnership and merging their Peacock and Paramount+ streaming services into a new service. Peacock is the current streaming home of WWE’s WWE Network service.
  • As noted before, former WWE employee Janel Grant filed a lawsuit this past January against Vince McMahon accusing McMahon of committing sex trafficking and sexual abuse towards her during her time in the company. McMahon officially resigned from TKO Group and WWE on January 26th over the fallout from this lawsuit. In a recent fan signing event for K&S WrestleFest, former WWE and Impact/TNA Wrestling referee Earl Hebner gave his thoughts about the recent McMahon allegations stating “The only thing I can say is, I hope justice is served. Between Vince and John, they are in a heap of trouble. I think Johnny is trying to jump ship on Vince now. They’re both in this thing together. Vince knows what he was doing, Johnny knew about what he was doing, or Johnny knew what he was doing. That’s all I can say. I can say more and really bury them, but I’m just going to wait and let justice be served. My next book, I’m going to bring everything to that. You’re thinking the next book is going to be a jury book. I’m going to let it all out. [Allegations] go back as far as 88 (1988) because that’s when I worked there. The BS was going on then, and it’s still going on now, probably.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • In a recent episode of the Busted Open Radio podcast, Natalya gave her thoughts about her being approached to write a book about her life and wrestling career. Natayla stated “I’ve actually just been approached about writing a book. I was so impressed with the way Becky Lynch handled herself as far her book and how she talked about it and just talking to Becky backstage. She’s really excited about her book and I think it’s an honest look at her life, her career, her legacy. She still has so much more life left to live, obviously, but to write a book at a young age, we’ve done a lot of living. Becky and I met over 20 years ago in Vancouver for a show called SuperGirls. We kind of started our wrestling careers at the same time. When I look back at all the living we’ve done and the roads we’ve traveled, I think Becky’s book is going to be incredible. Yes, I was approached to write a book. I’m exploring those options as far as doing it. I definitely will be writing a book. My greatest inspirations are the people I work with like Becky Lynch. I love Bret’s [Bret Hart] book, I thought Bret’s book was beautiful. He took ten years to write it. I said to Bret, ‘Your book is so special and so powerful,’ because when Bret was traveling up and down WWE, he would talk into a tape recorder and he recorded everything in his career every night after his matches. I said to him, ‘To have the insight to do that to me is really cool.’ I’m inspired to grow in 2024 and I’m really looking forward to doing that and surprising you guys with some really cool things.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • As noted before, WWE held a WrestleMania 40 Kickoff press event earlier this month in Las Vegas, Nevada to officially announce Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship for the main event of WrestleMania 40. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that WWE CCO Paul “Triple H” Levesque was the person who made the decision to go ahead with the storyline of Rhodes giving up his WrestleMania match against Reigns in favor of The Rock at the February 2nd SmackDown show. Those spoken to reportedly stated that Levesque’s idea was that if Rhodes endorsed The Rock, then this would avoid the potential backlash to The Rock and WWE from fans over this decision, which ended up not being the case. Meltzer reported that The Rock and Brian Gewirtz made the decision that if The Rock was going to be booed because of the fans overwhelming backlash, then it would be the best for him to turn heel and join forces with Reigns for the storyline against Rhodes and Seth Rollins. Levesque reportedly also had originally planned for an injury angle to take place at the February 2nd SamckDown show that would have involved The Bloodline taking out Rhodes in order to lead to the announcement of The Rock vs. Reigns for WrestleMania 40 while Rhodes would return afterwards and win the title off of Reigns. This plan reportedly was dropped following CM Punk suffering an injury shelving the original plans WWE had for Punk and Rollins at WrestleMania 40.
  • In regards to the backstage situation over this storyline, Meltzer reported that those spoken to stated that The Rock and Gewirtz were pushing for certain things to be done for the Rhodes vs. Reigns storyline that those within WWE Creative had different ideas about. Meltzer also reported that those same sources stated that Levesque was scrambling to keep Rhodes at all times for the plans for the main event of WrestleMania 40. Meltzer reported that due to WWE trying to do a work power struggle storyline between The Rock and Levesque, the behind-the-scenes stuff his sources had told him have to be taken with a grain of salt for truthiness. Meltzer also reported that there has been a lot more stuff taking place behind-the-scenes regarding why WWE’s plans for the main event for WrestleMania 40 had been handled poorly that are not able to be revealed for the time being due to sensitivity issues. Meltzer reported that The Rock made the decision last weekend that it would be the best for him to pull out of his singles match against Reigns and give it back to Rhodes. The Rock reportedly also was the person who pitched the idea of a potential tag team match of him & Reigns vs. Rollins & Rhodes for Night 1 of WrestleMania 40.
  • WWE reportedly drew an attendance of 13,168 for their Feb. 9th SmackDown show in Charlotte, NC and 10,508 for their Feb. 12th RAW show in Lexington, KY, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 10,699 tickets for their Feb. 19th RAW show in Anaheim, CA, 45,232 tickets for their Feb. 24th Elimination Chamber 2024 event in Burswood, Australia, 9,281 tickets for their Feb. 26th RAW show in San Jose, CA, 10,605 tickets for their March 1st SmackDown show in Glendale, AZ, 3,023 tickets for their March 2nd house show event in Palm Desert, CA, 3,180 tickets for their March 3rd house show event in Bakersfield, CA, 9,013 tickets for their March 4th RAW show in San Antonio, TX, 9,224 tickets for their March 8th SmackDown show in Dallas, TX, 1,776 tickets for their March 9th house show event in Alexandria, LA, 3,299 tickets for their March 10th house show event in Lafayette, LA, 5,020 tickets for their Match 15th SmackDown show in Memphis, TN, 2,964 tickets for their March 16th house show event in Augusta, GA, 2,549 tickets for their March 17th house show event in North Charleston, SC, 8,665 tickets for their Match 18th RAW show in Raleigh, NC, 7,130 tickets for their March 22nd SmackDown show in Milwaukee, WI, 56,255 tickets for their April 6th WrestleMania 40 Night 1 show in Philadelphia, and 57,308 tickets for their April 7th WrestleMania 40 Night 2 show in Philadelphia, PA as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, WWE senior writer Jennifer Pepperman departed from the company this past week. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources confirmed that it was Pepperman’s decision to leave the company and the only other details known is that she simply just wanted a change for her writing career. Meltzer reported that Pepperman had also been close supporter of Mercedes Mone.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources within UFC stated that many UFC talents were not happy with Seth Rollins over recent comments he made about Ronda Rousey claiming that she couldn’t handle the schedule nor could most MMA fighters.
  • In a recent interview with Deadline, The CW President Dennis Miller gave his thoughts about his network’s recent television deal with WWE for their NXT brand. Miller stated “We feel really good about having grabbed that before the big folks stepped up and wrote monster checks. It was some validation of the value of the franchise there. The ratings on NXT have continued to grow as we watch them before they come to the network. So, I think on that level, great.” He noted Netflix is so “ubiquitous” in the US, their promotion of WWE could help The CW.


  • Saturday’s English Premiere League game of Aston Villa vs. Fullham F.C. at Craven Cottage in Fullham, England featured Tony Khan, Orange Cassidy, and Darby Allin among those in attendance. Following Aston Villa’s victory, the official Twitter account of the team trolled Fulham with a Prince Nana dancing gif.
  • In a recent interview with Digital Spy, Darby Allin gave his thoughts about his controversial promo at this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show that referenced former EVP Cody Rhodes in a very positive light compared to the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. Allin stated “That’s easy because he’s the reason I’m in AEW. You think back to my debut, I wrestled him at Fighter Fest and we went a 20-minute Broadway draw. For him to take a chance on me that early… I was relatively super unknown still, I was never really the guy on the independent scene. He did that. You’ve got to give respect where respect is due. I feel very strongly on paying homage to how I got here because I never thought I was going to get here. I begged people for jobs, I wasn’t part of the little ‘California crew.’ I had to sit by and watch all these press conferences and have all these people that had no business being on national television get on national television. Meanwhile I knew exactly what I was capable of doing if I was given the opportunity. Fast forward all these years later and now look at me. My biggest problem is when people try to ignore the history of things as if something never happened. I’m like, we’re not stupid, come on.
  • As noted before, AEW recently removed and later restored Yuka Sakazaki’s profile on their official roster page. Fightful Select reported that it is still currently not known why Sakazaki’s profile was removed for a period of time but AEW officials did have plans for Sakazaki to make appearances in non-wrestling roles while she was recovering from a neck injury.
  • Fightful Select also reported that their sources stated that the reason why Nick Comoroto has been absent from AEW programming since this past October is not due to any injury-related issue and instead simply due to AEW officials not having any creative plans for him.
  • Britt Baker has been noticeably absent from AEW programming since this past September. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Baker has been training very hard for her return to the ring. Meltzer reported that Baker has yet to be medically cleared for an in-ring return but the current expectations is that she will be soon.
  • As noted before, RUSH has been out of action for AEW since this past December due to a torn hamstring injury and was recently medically cleared for an in-ring return. RUSH recently provided an update on Twitter clarifying some misconceptions and rumors regarding his injury situation. RUSH statedI was injured as confirmed by AEW doctors. Now I am recovered, I had a visa with someone else and now in the process of getting my visa through AEW. Stop posting bullshit for fucking likes. I don’t ever lie about injuries.
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that Stu Grayson is still under a contract with AEW despite him being noticeably absent from both AEW and Ring of Honor since this past August. It was reported that the reason for his current lengthy absence is currently not known.
  • A recent episode of Fightful’s In The Weeds podcast featured The Mat Men Pro Wrestling’s Andrew Zarian as one of the guests. On the topic of Rob Van Dam’s upcoming appearance for AEW at their April 20th Collision show, Zarian hinted that his sources had told him that AEW officials are currently planning to hold a potential pay-per-view event on April 21st.
  • AEW reportedly drew an attendance of 2,473 for their Feb. 10th Collision show in Henderson, NV and 3,246 for their Feb. 14th Dynamite show in Cedar Park, TX, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 2,300 tickets for their Feb. 21st Dynamite show in Tulsa, OK, 1,620 tickets for their Feb. 24th Collision show in Springfield, MA, 1,988 tickets for their Feb. 28th Dynamite show in Huntsville, AL, 15,870 tickets for their March 3rd Revolution 2024 event in Greensboro, NC, 1,952 tickets for their March 6th Dynamite show in Duluth, 1,406 tickets for their Match 7th Collision show in Duluth, GA, 5,823 tickets for their March 13th Dynamite Big Business show at the TD Garden in Boston, MA, 2,337 tickets for their March 16th Collision show in Ottawa, Canada, and 3,200 tickets for their March 20th Dynamite show in Toronto, Canada as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that College Football’s new television deal with ESPN for the College Football Playoffs being for less money per year than expected could be a potential bad sign for AEW’s chances at getting a major increase for their upcoming new television deal. Meltzer reported that while the CFP’s deal rose from $685 million per year to now $1.3 billion per year starting with the 2026-27 season, the actual increase for playoff games was much lower than had been expected. Meltzer reported that the prior deal was around $97.9 million per playoff game while the new deal will be $118 million per game, which is much lower than the $181 million per game that the CFP had been seeking for a new deal. Meltzer also reported that another potential bad sign for AEW is the current expectations for UFC’s new television deal was recently downgraded by analysts from its prior $600 million per year expectations to now around $480 million per year for its current expectations. Meltzer reported that the weakening of the sports television rights market this year ended up coming at a very bad time for both AEW and WWE since both would have very likely been able to get bigger paying deals had their current television contracts expired last year and not this year.
  • In several interviews with the press during last weekend’s Super Bowl LVIII weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, AEW CEO Tony Khan confirmed that this year’s Forbidden Door event will include Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and this year’s Double or Nothing event will be taking place in Las Vegas.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources confirmed that Kazuchika Okada is currently expected to be heading to AEW soon and also confirmed that Okada has not signed an official contract as of this past Thursday.
  • As noted before, AEW recently hired New Japan Pro Wrestling talent and official Rocky Romero to a front office job in the company. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Romero’s primarily backstage duties in AEW will be as a coach and help handle international business partnerships.
  • As noted before, QT Marshall will be returning to AEW but with some changes in regards to him returning to his prior Vice President role but not as an in-ring talent for the company. Dave Meltzer reported that besides his prior duties, Marshall’s main role will be as the head of AEW’s talent development and training.
  • As noted before, Kota Ibushi suffered injuries to both of his ankles at Pro Wrestling NOAH’s The New Year 2024 event and underwent surgery this past January. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Ibushi is currently expected to be out of action for at least the next six to twelve months.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that while AEW talent spoken to have stated that the morale within the company has been the best it has been in a long while, there are still notable issues causing some frustrations within AEW’s locker room. Meltzer reported that this mainly revolves around AEW’s large roster and not havign enough time to properly use everyone leading to some being frustrated over people just happy to not show their stuff and perform just because they are making good money. Meltzer also reported that some talent have been upset over AEW CEO Tony Khan always painting a positive picture and treating as if everything is fine about the company due to increased revenues and ratings-related stuff while those talent feel that the company’s popularity has been declining and major changes need to be made. Those same talent also feel upset over the smaller crowds for shows since the start of this year.
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that Chris Jericho is currently scheduled to be off of AEW programming for the next several weeks due to him being involved in a new overseas Fozzy tour.
  • As noted before, AEW will be debuting a new stage set for AEW Dynamite next month. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that this new stage will feature some familiar aspects from AEW’s current and past stages.
  • Mike Santana recently announced on Twitter that he reached the milestone of one year of sobriety this past Friday. Santana statedA year ago today, was the day I hit my rock bottom. The day that I realized it was time to turn around and face those demons that I’ve ran from for years. The day that I made the decision to change or I was going to lose my life, my family, my career and everything I worked so hard to build. It was the day that I decided to finally take care of myself after years of just taking care of others. I checked myself into rehab. And I can tell you here and now, that it was truly the greatest/hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life. I learned more about myself in those 30 days than in my lifetime. I learned to finally let go of the pain and trauma I carried around for so long. It taught me to genuinely love myself. To live and not just exist. Along with so many other great things. I also say that my injury was God’s greatest gift to me. Because that time is what gave me and made me who I am today. I can go on and on about my sobriety journey because it’s been exactly that. And maybe one day I’ll open up more about it. But I just want to take the time to appreciate this accomplishment. I actually struggled a bit with sharing this with the world, as it was something I dealt with in private and away from everyone. But if I can help give strength and hope to someone else with my story and journey, then so be it. We’re taught that what helps us is giving away the gift that was so freely given to us. So that’s what I’ll do whenever I can. I want to say thank you to God and my father for continuing to guide me. My amazing family for sticking by me and always seeing the light that I carried inside, even thru all the darkness. And all those who offered their support during those dark times. Much love to you all. #ADayAtATime #Recovery #Thankful
  • Ring of Honor’s ROH TV tapings last weekend in Hensderon, Nevada featured former ROH talent Kenny King making a return appearance for the company. This was King’s first appearance and match in ROH since December of 2021.

TNA, NJPW, Indies, & Misc. Wrestling

  • Sunday’s High Stakes 2024 event for Revolution Pro Wrestling in London, England featured Orange Cassidy making a surprise appearance for the company. Cassidy was revealed to be an unannounced surprise competitor in an advertised Six-Way Scramble match during it into a Seven-Way Scramble at the event and also put his AEW International Championship on the line. This match was won by Cassidy to retain his AEW International title.
  • Sunday’s RevPro’s High Stakes 2024 event also featured Michael Oku defeating Will Ospreay to retain his RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship. This event was notable for also featuring Ospreay’s final match for RevPro. Among those in attendance at the event was AEW CEO Tony Khan.
  • Mas Lucha reported that El Hijo del Vikingo suffered a potential serious right knee injury at Saturday’s event for Alianza Universal De Lucha Libre (AULL) in Ciudad de México, Mexico. It was reported that AULL officials were concerned that Vikingo might have ruptured a tendon. The injury took place early into a Trios match between Vikingo, Psycho Clown & Wotam and Fresero Jr., Trauma I, & Demonio Infernal resulting in Vikingo landing awkwardly on the mat and twisted his knee. Vikingo yelled out in pain resulting in the match being called off and him being attended to by ringside doctors.
  • Saturday’s It Was All A Dream event for The Dynasty in Albany, New York featured former WWE NXT talent Velveteen Dream, real name Patrick Clark, making a surprise appearance for the company. During the opening match at the event, Clark came out interrupting the match and issued an open challenge that was accepted by indie wrestler American Muscle Alec Odin. This was Clark’s first match since December of 2020. Following the event The Dynasty promotion responded on Twitter to the online criticisms and backlash towards the company over their booking of Clark. The Dynasty statedLast night, we did what most others wouldn’t. We took a risk on a person, & gave them an opportunity for a 2nd chance. A 2nd chance to fulfill their DREAM. We stand by that decision. Thank you to the PACKED house for last night’s event! #WearetheDynasty
  • As noted before, former WCW wrestler and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Steve “Mongo” McMichael was hospitalized this past Thursday in Chicago, Illinois due to urinary tract infection and potential pneumonia. McMichael’s family recently provided an update stating that McMichael is currently dealing with MRSA infection and will be undergoing a blood transfusion. In a statement to WGNnews’ Jarrett Payton, McMichael’s family statedUpdate on Steve McMichael: Steve is currently getting a blood transfusion and has MRSA. We are asking for your prayers to get Steve through this difficult time. Steve, his family and close friends believe in the power of prayer. Thank you. -The McMichael Family#Bears
  • Josh Barnett recently announced one new match for the card of Game Changer Wrestling’s Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X event on April 4th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is a singles match of Nic Nemeth vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey.
  • In a recent interview with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Nic Nemeth gave his thoughts about his decision to leave WWE. Nemeth stated “I started realizing, OK I’m a mainstay here, I’m needed. But I got to a point where I was ready to go. I’d asked the company a few different times whether I was ready to go, and they told me I was signed, and they weren’t letting me go. So I started asking them, ‘Hey, can I start doing this, can I start something else’. So I was prepared to be done and to start exploring other avenues.” Nemeth also praised Matt Cardona will helping him transition to a post-WWE wrestling career. Nemeth stated “I don’t know the independent scene. I didn’t wrestle on the independents, I don’t have a dad or a mom in the business, didn’t have a legacy in the business, didn’t have a friend in it. Nobody was there to vouch for me. I was a collegiate amateur wrestler before WWE, and I was a fan. So I didn’t know the world outside (WWE) and if there was no Internet, things would be very different, but thankfully we’re all connected now. My friend Matt Cardona has been all over the world these last two years and he was telling me ‘Oh, I went here and did this, and here’s what’s happening there,’ giving me a lay of the land on different countries and different promotions. I spent the last six, eight months, a year, saying ‘I’m going to be in the best shape of my life when all this goes down,’ and when it finally got to the point where I asked (WWE) enough and they gave me my release, then it became ‘OK, well you asked for this for the last five years, you’d better deliver.’ So, OK, I’ve got this, I’m doing this, I have insurance ready, I’ve been training in the ring, watching different things, and I’m ready to go. So let’s go.
  • NJPW reportedly drew a paid attendance of 657 for their Feb. 9th Road to The New Beginning 2024 event in Koga, 963 for their Feb. 12th Fantasticamania 2024 event in Osaka, 831 for their Feb. 13th Fantasicamania 2024 event in Towa, and 743 for their Feb. 14th Fantasticamania 2024 event in Takamatsu, Japan, according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Eastern Lariat reported that the Inoki Genki Factory (IGF) recently published a legal letter they sent to All Japan Pro Wrestling and Katsuhiko Nakajima demanding that they cease using the late Antonio Inoki’s name and likeness in the company over their issues with Nakajima’s current character invoking Inoki. It was stated that if AJPW and Nakajima continue to use the Inoki name and character, then they will pursue a lawsuit against both and demand monetary damages.
  • Major League Wrestling recently announced that they will be holding this year’s Battle Riot VI event on June 1st at the Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Saturday’s Burning Crush television special for MLW featured AJ Francis, former Top Dolla in WWE, making his official debut in the company. During the show, a video promo aired featuring Francis issuing a challenge to Alex Kane for a future match.
  • MLW announced one new match for the card of their Intimidation Games 2024 event on February 29th in New York City, New York. This is a singles match of Matt Riddle vs. Bad Dude Tito.
  • Stardom recently released a trailer for Mayu Iwatani’s upcoming biopic titled Runaway Wrestler.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason for the double countout finish for the World of Stardom title match between Maya Yukihi and Giulia at Stardom’s Triangle Derby 2023 event in March 4, 2023 was less due to political-related issues between Stardom and Ice Ribbon over Yukihi’s status as an Ice Ribbon champion and instead more due to Yuhiki had refused to lose to Giulia. Meltzer reported that the double countount finish was the only finish that both sides were willing to agree to and Stardom officials had originally planned for this to setup for a future rematch that ended up not happening. The reason for Yukihi’s refusal to lose to Giulia reportedly dates back to the serious heat both have towards each other since their days together in Ice Ribbon.
  • Stardom reportedly drew a paid attendance of 690 for their Feb. 14th Stardom in Korakuen 2024 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Booker T recently announced on Facebook that his Reality of Wrestling promotion will be launching a new reality completion contest called ROW Games: The Search for the Ultimate Athlete that will take place over the course of six upcoming ROW television shows.
  • As noted before, TNA Wrestling President Scott D’Amore’s contract was terminated by Anthem Entertainment earlier this month and Anthony Cicione was named as TNA’s new President going forward. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that several sources spoken to disputed reports of TNA had plans to hold a Braun For Glory themed show for their Bound For Glory 2021 event had Braun Strowman signed with the company as not being accurate. Meltzer reported that the source of that report was someone who was very close to the situation and knew most of the details of D’Amore’s firing before the stories about his firing was made public. Meltzer also reported that his sources confirmed that Anthem’s firing of D’Amore came down to financial-related issues over their unwillingness to spend more money that was being asked by D’Amore for TNA. Anthem officials reportedly also felt that unifying TNA with their other Anthem brands would mean more in the long term for them than keeping TNA as a separate identity in the company. Meltzer also reported that those spoken to also stated that Anthem’s promised upgrades to TNA’s Nashville production studio have yet to be made.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH reportedly drew a paid attendance of 1,212 for their Feb. 15th Limit Break.1 ~ Starting Over ~ event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Kurt Angle announced that his The Kurt Angle Show podcast series has recently concluded and no new episodes will be releases.

Wrestling TV Ratings for Week of Feb. 9 to Feb. 15, 2024

  • WWE Friday Night SmackDown – 2,578,000 viewers, 0.75 rating (prior week – 2,469,000 viewers, 0.74 rating)
  • WWE RAW – 1,747,000 viewers, 0.56 rating (prior week – 1,890,000 viewers, 0.58 rating)
  • WWE NXT – 650,000 viewers, 0.17 rating (prior week – 650,000 viewers, 0.19 rating)
  • AEW Rampage – 456,000 viewers, 0.12 rating (prior week – 314,000 viewers, 0.10 rating)
  • AEW Collision – 491,000 viewers, 0.15 rating (prior week – 404,000 viewers, 0.12 rating)
  • AEW Dynamite – 811,000 viewers, 0.30 rating (prior week – 805,000 viewers, 0.28 rating)
  • TNA Wrestling Impact! – 86,000 viewers, 0.02 rating (prior week – N/A)

Total viewership in terms of overall tally for the week: 6,819,000 viewers, up 281,000 viewers compared to prior week’s 6,538,000.

The viewership and ratings numbers for the Feb. 8th TNA Impact! show are currently not known.