Weekend Roundup: Ashley Massaro Rape Claims NCIS Report Released, WWE-AJPW Partnership Ends, Sting’s Final Match, Ricky Starks & Lance Archer AEW Contracts Update, Kamille, Indies


  • This past Friday’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a preliminary viewership of 2,230,000 viewers on FOX, according to Jed I Goodman.
  • WWE announced one new match for the card of this Tuesday’s NXT Roadblock show at their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. This is a singles match of Shawn Spears vs. mystery opponent.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported in a recent Q&A article that his sources stated that WWE is current expected to start announcing the inductees for this year’s Hall of Fame class as early as this Monday.
  • Monthly Puroresu reported that their sources stated that WWE’s current partnership deals with All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling NOAH are believed to be over. It was reported that the cause of the end of the partnership revolves around issues involving WWE and how the partnership deals were put together. In regards to AJPW, it was reported that many within the company were upset when they found out that their deal was made via a third party and WWE only really did the partnership as a way to get Katsuhiko Nakajima to sign a deal with them. WWE officials reportedly had wanted Nakajima to sign a deal with them for the NXT brand while he was still AJPW’s Triple Crown Champion. It was reported that AJPW President Tsuyoki Fukuda has received a lot of heat within the company due to him being one of the key people who had pushed for this partnership deal despite it being hated by many others in the company. It was also reported that the reason for why several talent and staff had recently left the company was due to them being upset over this deal since they did not want to work or be associated with WWE. It was also reported that the final straw was WWE rejecting AJPW’s request to send any talent for this year’s Champion Carnival tournament and losing interest in continuing the partnership AJPW reportedly had expected more than just Charlie Dempsey for talent swaps between the two companies.
  • In regards to NOAH, Monthly Puroresu reported that similar to AJPW, many within the company were upset over their partnership deal with WWE being made via a third party. It was reported that this partnership deal was also something that was hated by their fans who only saw it as being WWE’s way to poach talent from the company and did not like NOAH working with them.
  • As noted before, former WWE wrestler Ashley Massaro gave an affidavit prior to her passing in 2019 revealing that Massaro claimed that she was raped by a United States military member during an overseas tour WWE held at a military base in Kuwait in 2006 and WWE management covered up this incident. In a recent Freedom of Information request by Wrestling-Online.com, the United States Naval Criminal Service (NCIS) report about their investigations into Massaro’s claims was released in full online. In the report, it was stated that the investigations started in June of 2019 and were closed in January 27, 2020 due to all of the leads had been exhausted and investigators were not able to determine where the alleged crime had taken place. It was stated that Massaro was treated at the Camp Life Support Area in Kuwait but they were unable to determine the exact location of this camp. It was also stated that Massaro was treated by a physician for abdominal and pelvic pain issues and was accompanied by a man described to have “seemed to be acting skittish and strange.” This unidentified man was also described to have been well built and possibly had a mustache. The physician’s assistant who was interviewed by NCIS stated that Massaro appeared to have been drowsy but “she was not falling asleep during conversation or slurring her words” but he could not determine if she was high on drugs due to he had “little experience with people on drugs or alcohol.” This assistant also confirmed claims by Massaro that someone did brief interrupt her pelvic exam to check on her and resumed after she had responded back to this person. The assistant also stated that Massaro did not seem upset nor was she crying and there was nothing that led him to think she had been sexually assaulted. This assistant also stated that he did not see Massaro leave the facility. In the report, it was stated that they had attempted to speak with the Officer in Charge of the clinic where Massaro was treated but this person stated they did not want to be interviewed.
  • WWE reportedly drew an attendance of 6,000 for their Feb. 22nd Elimination Chamber 2024 press event in Perth, 47,921 for their Feb. 24th Elimination Chamber 2024 event at the Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia, and 12,218 for their Feb. 26th RAW show in San Jose, CA, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 11,676 tickets for their March 3rd house show event in Bakersfield, CA, 9,900 tickets for their March 4th RAW show in San Antonio, TX, 12,384 tickets for their March 8th SmackDown show in Dallas, TX, 1,663 tickets for their March 9th house show event in Alexandria, LA, 2,702 tickets for their March 10th house show event in Lafayette, LA, 9,956 tickets for their March 11th RAW show in Houston, TX, 7,174 tickets for their March 15th SmackDown show in Memphis, TN, 3,507 tickets for their March 16th house show event in Augusta, GA, 3,070 tickets for their March 17th house show event in North Charleston, SC, 9,140 tickets for their March 18th RAW show in Raleigh, NC, 8,259 tickets for their March 22nd SmackDown show in Milwaukee, WI, 2,842 tickets for their March 23rd house show event in Springfield, IL, 2,932 tickets for their March 24th house show event in Rockford, IL, 11,827 tickets for their March 25th RAW show event in Chicago, IL, 4,741 tickets for their March 29th SmackDown show in Uncasville, CT, 4,182 tickets for their March 30th house show event in Manchester, NH, 2,341 tickets for their March 31st house show event in Syracuse, NY, 7,798 tickets for their April 1st RAW show in Brooklyn, NY, 15,798 tickets for their April 5th SmackDown show in Philadelphia, 9,000 for their April 6th NXT Stand & Deliver 2024 event in Philadelphia, 56,938 tickets for their April 6th WrestleMania 40 Night 1 event in Philadelphia, 58,346 tickets for their April 7th WrestleMania 40 Night 2 event in Philadelphia, and 15,756 tickets for their April 8th RAW show in Philadelphia, PA as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • This past February’s Elimination Chamber 2024 event reportedly generated around 5,900 pay-per-views based on first week data and estimates, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that this would be the lowest ever PPV buys for a WWE event with an early start time in WWE history.
  • WWE reportedly has generated around 25,400 PPV buys for this past January’s Royal Rumble 2024 event at the Tropicana Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida based on updated late buys purchases, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, Raquel Rodriguez recently revealed that she had competed in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match despite suffering a flare up of her mast cell activation syndrome illness. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that some within WWE had felt that the company had brought Rodriguez back too soon due to their concerns that she would not be able to compete in her scheduled match at the event. Meltzer reported that Rodriguez was not able to participate in rehearsals for the match in Australia due to her illness issues following her trip to the country. Meltzer also reported that Rodriguez’s status for the match had been touch-and-go in regards if she would be able to compete or not. Meltzer also reported that WWE officials had originally planned for Jade Cargill to be in this match before changing their plans and having Rodriguez take her place instead.
  • As noted before, Maxxine Dupri was involved in a heckling incident at a WWE house show event this past February in Oakland, California. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that one WWE talent spoken to stated that the video of the incident put more focus on WWE officials putting out Dupri for matches at live house show events despite her not being ready to do so. This same talent reportedly also stated that this shined a light on Dupri being put on shows without the experience one would expect for house show performers. This same talent reportedly also stated that the fans still have the right to cheer and boo and chant whatever they want as long as they do not cross the line into becoming tasteless with their comments.
  • Rock band Downstait recently teased on Twitter that they will be making a “Kingdom”-related announcement on April 5th.


  • Fightful Select reported that their sources within AEW stated that the recent online rumors about Ricky Starks’ contract with AEW had expired and he is currently a free agent are not true. Those same sources spoken to reportedly stated that Starks’ being a free agent would be “news to the company” considering they would be the first to know about it. It was reported that Starks is still under an active contract with the company for the foreseeable future. Starks last wrestled for AEW at the February 7th Dynamite show in Jacksonville, Florida that featured Sting & Darby Allin defeating Starks & Big Bill for the AEW World Tag Team Championship.
  • In a recent interview with the WrestlePurists podcast, Lance Archer gave his thoughts about how much time he has left on his current contract with AEW. Archer stated “I mean, there could be some renegotiations pretty soon (for my AEW deal) but, everything’s good right now.” Archer also gave his thoughts about being glad to have been able to share the ring with Sting during their time together in AEW. Archer stated “Then fast forward to, you know, not that long ago, we got to do the six-man match against him (Sting) and I tried to have a match with him back in TNA. It didn’t happen. Fast forward to AEW, I didn’t never think it was gonna happen and even though it was just a six-man, I got to have a moment with him on the end of his journey and then now, being a part of the pay-per-view which will be subsequently his last match in the business, it’ll be an honor to be around that, see that and kind of say goodbye to him in the business.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • The Players’ Tribune recently released a new article featuring a collection of voicemails from members of Sting’s family and AEW’s locker room reflecting about their favorite memories of Sting. A video of Sting listening to the voicemails was also released by the Players’ Tribune.
  • In a recent interview with ESPN, Sting gave his thoughts about his career in AEW. Sting stated “I signed a multiyear deal originally just thinking, ‘We’ll see what happens and see how it is and what the atmosphere is like,’ and every step of the way the guys just had just so much love and respect and a willingness to want to play [ball]. And I am just blown away and just grateful as all get out for that, because otherwise none of this would’ve happened. I mean, it’s just impossible.” Sting also gave his thoughts about how this final stretch of his career had brought him closer together with his children. Sting stated “All three of my kids are texting me constantly. All the things that they’re writing to me about what I’m doing and how cool they think it is, and it’s almost like strengthening our relationship even more. This whole thing, it’s very cool. So, I love having them involved. It’s just been a great experience and what a way to end it, you know?
  • In a separate recent interview with PWI-Online.com, Sting gave his thoughts about why he felt it was now time to retire from wrestling. Sting stated “It’s funny, because I was the guy who did not want to get into pro wrestling. I didn’t even know what pro wrestling was when I got started. But I ended up being a pro wrestler, and at the beginning, I was an introvert, the last guy that you’d want to get up there and entertain in front of hordes of people. But it blossomed into what it blossomed into. I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed the fans and cannot thank them enough. But after all of these years, having walked through the curtain thousands of times, I’m still a nervous wreck when I go out there, and it gets pretty overwhelming to try to perform at a high level at my age, even in a short match, even if it’s a six- or eight-man tag. Tony (Khan) was actually trying to get me to stay longer, maybe retire at Wembley. But it gets tougher and tougher every time you go out there, and you have all of these young guys who are ready to play—there’s only so far you can push it. It’s kind of sad, of course, but, at some point, you just have to do it. There’s a part of me that’s sad, but there’s another part of me that’s relieved. It’s bittersweet, but I’m looking forward to it.
  • AEW filed trademark for “AEW: Meat Madness” and “AEW: Match Madness” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on February 28th to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • AEW recently released a new behind-the-scenes video focusing on Will Ospreay’s first official day with the company at this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Hunstville, Alabama.
  • In the same video, Will Ospreay gave his thoughts about his decision to join AEW and the future of his wrestling career. Ospreay stated “It’s been a journey, finding out so many things about myself in Japan and having to grow up. I made so many mistakes, like way too many. I shouldn’t be here. But I’ve been given the blessings by so many people to prove my worth and to work. From being a boy to a man, bruv, it’s crazy how life has turned out. But I’ve been screaming down the lens of every camera in Japan that I’m the best in the world. Pound for pound, no one’s better than me. This is the place where all the elite boys are at, right? It’s time to show everyone that I am the best wrestler in the world. Pound for pound, there’s no one better than me. I’m ready. For my mom, for my dad, for my missus, my stepson, every single person that has been in and around my life, this is for them. From the British independents to New Japan Pro-Wrestling to All Elite Wrestling, all those chapters are closed, but this is a bright new one that’s about to start. Enjoy it, mate. Enjoy it.” Ospreay also gave his thoughts about his appearance at this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show and the promo he gave about being in AEW for full-time now. Ospreay stated “It’s like pure drugs. You can’t get any better high than that. You need to understand, bruv, from Essex, man. Just a small little county outside London. For eight years, man, I applied myself in Japan. That’s all I did. Japan, and the UK indies, I only dipped my toes into America. I believe honestly, it’s an anxiety coming here, it’s something that’s been holding me back. Maybe it’s the fact that I wanted to learn the trade, but maybe I wasn’t mature enough to come here and to feel that. I felt that in there, man. Alabama. I couldn’t even find Alabama. If you showed me a map of America, I couldn’t find where it is. But my name has somehow reached over there. That tells me something, man. That tells me all those years, all the years growing up, I’m ready for this responsibility. I’m ready to take this. I’m ready to go All Elite. I’m ready to be the number one guy here. To do that, I know I got to beat my own teammate. Like I said, I beat Jericho and I beat Kenny. You know who else has done there? Takeshita. There’s no one better. You’re a great teammate, but I need a good rival, mate. Sunday, come bring your A game for me, my friend. Because you’re stepping foot with pound-for-pound the best wrestler on the damn planet. I’m not here to take part, I’m here to take over. This place is mine now.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • In a recent interview with Sportskeeda’s WrestleBinge podcast, QT Marshall gave his thoughts about working with CM Punk during Punk’s time in AEW and Punk not wanting him to work at Collision shows. Marshall stated “I always liked him, you know, backstage. I know there were reports that he kept me off of TV. And we actually talked about it, and like, we agreed. Neither of us wanted me to be Will Hobbs’ manager [laughs]. You know what I mean? Then I also had to work Saturdays and Wednesdays. So when him and I spoke about the idea that he didn’t want me with Will Hobbs, I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s sign me up for that one because I’d rather only work on Wednesdays.’” (Transcript h/t: F4WOnline.com)
  • AEW CEO Tony Khan recently posted a lengthy tribute to Sting on Twitter. Khan statedTomorrow night, Sunday, March 3, the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina will be packed for AEW: Revolution, and fans from around the world will be watching live on pay-per-view to witness the well-deserved sendoff for professional wrestling’s most enduring icon: @Sting. Sting first contacted me about All Elite Wrestling in 2020, expressing interest in a comeback. Seizing the opening, I convinced him to make a surprise return to TNT, 25 years after his first appearance on the network, at AEW Dynamite: Winter Is Coming. Sting in AEW would fit like a glove. The Stinger had kept himself in incredible condition, and for his return to the ring, I recommended a partnership that grew to be a bond far stronger than any wrestling hold. In our early phone conversations about a comeback, I told Sting that I saw a great deal of him in a tremendous young wrestler named Darby Allin, and I thought that they could be a great team, although I never imagined what close friends they’d become outside the ring as well. Sting’s surprise arrival in AEW kicked off a mentor-protégé relationship with Darby Allin, which led to a tag team street fight at AEW: Revolution 2021 against Team Taz, Ricky Starks and Brian Cage, as Sting stepped in the ring again for the first time in years. Sting and Darby continued teaming in exciting matches for years to come on TNT and TBS, leaping off of stages, balconies, and ladders with reckless abandon as they accumulated an undefeated record. Finally, they captured the AEW World Tag Team Championship, and they went to bask in the glory of a victory celebration with Sting’s family, only to have the timeless moment stolen in an abominable attack by AEW’s jealous EVPs, Matthew and Nicholas Jackson, going against everything that the company is meant to represent when they desecrated a legend and hurt Sting’s loved ones. And now, at AEW: Revolution, this Sunday, 3 years after the comeback began, it all comes down to one last grudge match, The Final Showtime: Sting and Darby Allin defending the AEW World Tag Team Championship against Matthew and Nicholas Jackson, the Young Bucks. Before we all gather on Sunday to witness the culmination of one of the greatest runs in wrestling history, the AEW locker room and Sting’s family wanted to share their favorite memories in tribute to The Icon himself. We cannot thank him enough for everything he’s given us over his nearly 40-year career.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the current belief is that AEW’s tributes to Sting during tonight’s Revolution 2024 will not include any footage from his career that is currently owned by WWE. Meltzer reported that this would cover all of Sting’s career in Mid-South Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, and WCW. Meltzer also reported that AEW was able to secure footage from New Japan Pro Wrestling for Sting’s career with them and are likely to have also gotten footage from Pro Wrestling NOAH and Lucha Libre AAA while footage from other promotions is currently not known.
  • As noted before, AEW’s Revolution 2024 event will not be airing in theaters unlike with past AEW pay-per-view events. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that AEW had made the decision for Revolution 2024 and all of their PPV events going forward to no longer air in theaters.
  • AEW reportedly generated around 141,000 pay-per-view buys for this past December’s World’s End event in Uniondale, New York based on current data and estimates, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that World’s End cable television PPV buys were up 7.1% compared to this past November’s Full Gear 2023 event.
  • AEW reportedly drew an attendance of 2,241 for their Feb. 24th Collision show in Springfield, MO and 3,413 for their Feb. 28th Dynamite and Collision shows in Huntsville, AL, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 2,301 tickets for their March 6th Dynamite show in Duluth, 1,718 tickets for their March 7th Collision show in Duluth, GA, 6,682 tickets for their March 13th Dynamite Big Business show at the TD Garden in Boston, MA, 2,443 tickets for their March 16th Collision show in Ottawa, Canada, 3,707 tickets for their March 20th Dynamite show in Toronto, Canada, 2,077 tickets for their March 27th Dynamite show in Quebec City, Canada, 3,206 tickets for their March 30th Collision show in London, Canada, and 1,761 tickets for their April 3rd Dynamite show in Worcester, MA as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, AEW recently postponed their upcoming Dynamite show in Winnipeg, Canada from its originally announced date of April 10th to a new date of May 1st. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that the reason for the changed date is due to recently hired AEW COO Kosha Irby made the decision to reroute some of the dates for upcoming AEW shows since he is now in charge of AEW’s events schedule.
  • In a recent interview with the Insight with Chris Van Vliet podcast, Roderick Strong gave his thoughts about his plans for the future of his wrestling career. Strong stated “It all depends on how I feel (Strong responded when asked if he could wrestle into his 50s), and if I keep doing the things I need to do and obviously, my goal was to improve the stuff that I’m doing. Especially as science continues to improve and more stuff comes out and what’s going to help. Yeah, I mean, I’d love to. I will always be a part of wrestling no matter what. Some aspect of me will be involved for the rest of my life. For sure (as a producer). I’d like to open a little school. I know there’s a lot of them but, like a small, more personalized dojo-style school. Take a crack at that because I feel like that’s something that I’d really love to do and, you know, giving people the best opportunity that I can with what I know and people I know.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • As noted before, this past Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite show in Hunstville, Alabama featured Sting coming down from the rafters as a call back to his Crow Sting character in WCW for his final Dynamite appearance as an active wrestler. In a recent interview with ESPN, Sting gave his thoughts about making his final entrance from the rafters for his in-ring career. Sting stated “You climb and step over that rail, and it’s like, ‘It’s time to let go now,'” Sting said. “I used to say my sphincter muscle gets very tight in those moments. And it does. It can be scary. I had one little pang when I was up there. It was like a 30-second pang when I realized I’m getting ready to do this here again. “We’re having this casual conversation. ‘All right, you ready to go?’ I’m ready. Let’s go.
  • As noted before, Jeff Hardy suffered a broken nose injury during his match against Sammy Guevara at AEW’s Rampage tapings on February 14th in Cedar Park, Texas. In a recent episode of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, co-host Matt Hardy provided an injury update on his brother Jeff. Hardy stated “Obviously, Jeff’s nose, as I said, it was broken, had a couple little breaks in it. He’s getting some tests done on his sinuses to see how his sinuses are doing. It’s not a fast project. These things move slow, but we’re just trying to make sure his health is first and foremost and putting that above everything else. So that’s the main thing kind of to update on the status of him.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • Ring of Honor reportedly has sold around 1,341 tickets for their April 5th Supercard of Honor 2024 event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

TNA, NJPW, Indies, & Misc. Wrestling

  • Revolution Pro Wrestling recently announced that Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre talents Mistico, Stephanie Vaquer, and Hechicero will be making an appearance for the company at their Fantasticamania UK events on May 19th in London, England.
  • CMLL reportedly drew an attendance of around 9,000 for their Feb. 23rd Super Viernes event in Mexico City, Mexico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • TheCubsFan reported that CMLL talent Tabata recently suffered a dislocated elbow injury and is currently expected to be out of action for at least two weeks.
  • TheCubsFan also reported that CMLL will be running two events every Sunday going forward with one of the events to be held as a sponsor show in the afternoon for local businesses allowing employees to attend the show for free and the other to be a general paid event held at night for the public.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Lucha Libre AAA officials have been in recent talks with several ex-WWE talents and former AAA talents for potential appearances for this year’s Triplemania XXXII events in Mexico.
  • As noted before, former WWE and WCW wrestler Virgil, real name Michael Jones, passed away this past Wednesday at the age of 61. Jones’ family recently launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to help assist with Jones’ funeral costs.
  • In a recent episode of the Everybody’s God A Pod podcast, WWE Hall of Famer and co-host “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase reflected about Virgil’s passing and the difficulties they had in their friendship. DiBiase stated “Oh gosh. I was really sad to hear that. Mike Jones is Virgil’s real name, or was Virgil’s real name. And we met in the WWE office when this whole thing with the Million Dollar Man started. Back then, Mike had, I mean oh my gosh, he had this tremendous body and kept himself in shape and eventually that was his role. He was like the bodyguard. I would run my mouth and if somebody wanted to say something, I would back up and say, ‘Virgil, take over.’ [laughs] We did a thing where basically as Virgil, Mike gets tired of all my crap and just says, ‘I’m not doing it anymore.’ So we ended up having a one-off and had a match. And doggone it, Mike was a great guy, nice guy. And like I said, to keep your body in that kind of shape takes a lot of discipline. And he was very good at that. He was much better at doing that than I obviously was, in terms of keeping his body in great shape. But I just wish that he had had more wrestling savvy. I don’t know how to put it any other way, because if he could have really wrestled, we could have had a good run. But basically it was on and it was over pretty quick. Good ol’ Virgil. He didn’t have the charisma, you know. It was probably over before it really started. But, you know, we continued to be friends. I would see him at some of the Comic-Cons from time to time. I told him going forward, I said, ‘If you get booked on any of the Comic-Cons and we end up there together, then please come and sit with me.’ I did that much, but the reason that I stopped doing it was things that Virgil had said to some fans that just, you know, it wasn’t right. But I’m looking back at it from where I am now and I’m going — see, he never would say that to me, he didn’t want anybody to know that he was struggling. Later, I did find out. I can’t remember the guy’s name that was his caretaker, but he was seeing to it that he was taken care of a little bit better. I just don’t know. It’s mind-boggling to me because I don’t know who he was living with or how he was living, but I know that it was not good. It’s just a sad story.” In response to comments from co-host Marcus DeAngelo about DiBiase and Virgil always being friends and being glad Virgil’s legacy being forever cemented in professional wrestling, DiBiase responded stating “Yeah, me too.” (Transcript h/t: F4WOnline.com)
  • Mick Foley announced in a recent video on his YouTube channel that he is currently planning on having one last match for his wrestling career and wanting this to be a deathmatch. Foley stated “One day, when I was really struggling, I realized that what used to be the best motivation for me was another match. I always got in shape with the goal of having another match, another match, another match. Fast forward, my wrestling days are over. I’ve spent, with two small occasions, since 1999, well over 300 pounds. I got down on three different occasions below 300 and then as I saw my weight really get away from me, I thought, maybe I need that same kind of motivation and along the way I can appreciate the lifestyle changes, eating differences, exercise. There is no reason for somebody, at my age and weight, to not be exercising for three straight years. It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing when you’re asked in the airport if you need a wheelchair. It’s embarrassing to be the guy who is bigger than the chair on the airline. It’s something of a paradox that by competing in a death match, I will have a much better life. That day, or night, is going to be tough. It’s going to be tough, but the lessons I learn leading up to that match are lessons I intend to carry forward for the rest of my life. To me, it’s the difference between being a grandfather someday, or can crawl on the ground and play with their grandchildren or a grandfather who sits and watches from the sidelines. I don’t want to be that guy sitting on the sidelines. I know having a wild match involving barbed wire and thumbtacks…we’re going to bring in a bed of nails. These are going to be tools of life for dad.” Foley also gave his thoughts about what he hopes to gain by having one final match for his career. Foley stated “Catharsis. I’m just looking for catharsis. In Japan, the fans are described as being oddly peaceful when they would leave because they had seen something. When it’s done right, it can be a work of abstract art. Some people will just see human beings putting each other into terribly inhuman situations while others will see two human begins working together to create surreal art. I’m hoping when it’s done there will be a sense of peace among the fans and a sense of inner peace for myself, even as my wounds stick to the sheets that night and for a few nights. I’m pretty sure I’m going to come out of that situation in worse shape than I was, but I believe I will pick up habits that are going to lead to a longer, better life.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • Saturday’s Reckoning 2024 event for House of Glory in New York City, New York featured Mike Santana defeating Penta El Zero Miedo to retain the HOG Heavyweight Championship. Following the match, Penta announced that he will be competing in a match against his brother Rey Fenix at HOG’s La Casa De Gloria event on May 5th in New York City.
  • SPARK Joshi Puroresu of America recently announced that Stardom talents Mayu Iwatani and Mina Shirakawa will be making an appearance for the company at their Trailblaze 2024 event on April 7th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Stardom reportedly drew an attendance of 384 for their Feb. 24th event in Gunma and 464 for their Feb. 25th event in Utsunomiya, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly drew an attendance of 3,231 for their Feb. 23rd The New Beginning in Sapporo 2024 event in Sapporo and 5,355 for their Feb. 24th The New Beginning in Sapporo 2024 event in Sapporo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • NJPW reportedly has sold around 5,095 tickets for their April 12th Windy City Riot 2024 event as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH reportedly drew an attendance of 1,115 for their Feb. 23rd Star Navigation 2024 event in Tokyo and Feb. 24th Sunny Voyage 2024 event in Yokohama, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • As noted before, TKO Group revealed in a recent K-10 filing to the SEC that WWE had paid $20 million to Major League Wrestling as part of the terms for their settlement deal for MLW’s antitrust lawsuit against them. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE’s monetary settlement was the second largest ever in company history, only behind the $39 million paid to WWE stockholders over a lawsuit regarding their 10-year deal with Saudi Arabia for events. Meltzer reported that event after deducting lawyers costs from their settlement deal, MLW still would have ended up having the second most profitable year for a wrestling company for 2023, only behind WWE. Meltzer also reported that MLW also would have had the most profitable year for a non-WWE wrestling company since WCW in 1998. Meltzer also reported that another important aspect of this settlement deal is that this might keep WWE from doing exclusive deals in the future in regards to specifically preventing other companies from doing similar deals with no restrictions attached with the same parties involved. Meltzer reported that WWE’s new TV deal for NXT with The CW not being exclusive for wrestling content on the network might have been a big indicator of this going forward.
  • TNA Wrestling reportedly drew an attendance of 750 for their Feb. 23rd No Surrender 2024 event in Westwego and 500 for their Feb. 24th Impact! tapings in Westwego, LA, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that there was a lot of comp tickets for the attendance for both nights shows.
  • In a recent interview with Monopoly Events, Nic Nemeth gave his thoughts about being interested in defending his IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship against Will Ospreay. Nemeth stated “(Will) Ospreay, I go, ‘Oh, he can do anything in the freaking world’ so to have a chance to be able to defend this title and having it mean more… I think the story matters more so I know Ospreay’s freaking awesome. I love that. If there is some story of like, I need to test myself and at that point, I’ve gone around the world and tested myself, I go, I haven’t been in the ring with you. Maybe this is how it goes down. That would be cool as hell. But, first things first, I wanna defend this every possible chance I get against some of the best in the world and let everybody know that not only am I the champ, I’m representing it properly every weekend.” Nemeth also gave his thoughts about being interested in a match with Bryan Danielson now that both of them are no longer in WWE. Nemeth stated “I like that and a really weird thing is I’d like to be back in there with Daniel Bryan too, without WWE saying he has to win and protecting him. I want to go one-on-one with a guy that everybody treats as one of the best of all-time and in the world. I go, you’re not better than me. Not by a long shot, so, I want to fight him one-on-one while everybody watches and goes, oh right, I guess Nic’s pretty good too. No, I’m freaking great at this. I would absolutely love that. I have a long list of some Japanese legends that I wanna get into because I wanna test myself but man, when I come out on the other side of that, I’m looking for Daniel Bryan. I’m going to headbutt him right in the head, knock him down, choke him out, tap him out, you name it. I can’t wait.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • As noted before, Kamille’s contract with the National Wrestling Alliance expired at the end of this past December and has been in deep talks with AEW following WWE dropping their interest for a potential deal. In a recent interview with WrestlingNews.co, Kamille gave her thoughts about her decision to leave the NWA and explore free agency. Kamille stated “I know that I did a wonderful job at NWA as champion but as we’ve talked about before, not a whole bunch of buzz, not a whole bunch of buzz around the NWA. But I knew my time was done there and I just — I had no idea what to expect in free agency. I really didn’t, and so when January 1st hit, yeah, things got crazy and in the best of ways, right?… I was just excited if people were interested and then I found out that lots of people were interested and so I decided to give myself — I like to really, really think about things and weigh out pros and cons and so, I was like, okay, I’m gonna give myself all of January to really make the best decision for not only myself. I’m a married woman, right? I have my family and so, just make the right decision for everything and yeah, then when February came, I said, alright, time to make a decision and as I said in my YouTube video, if you guys watch… I am releasing videos every Wednesday. Honestly, just something fun to do… So as I said in my video, February 1st came and I made the decision that I have made.” Kamille also gave her thoughts about AEW CEO Tony Khan’s recent comments about his interest in signing her to a potential deal and the talks she had with WWE. Kamille stated “‘Never say never’ is great in professional wrestling because, I mean, look at CM Punk, right? Going back to WWE. Literally never say never, and once again, I just appreciate it so much (Tony Khan’s words about her during AEW Revolution media call) that he’s even taking the time out to look at my work, to enjoy my matches, watch my promos, stuff like that. I mean, I had conversations with Shawn Michaels and I had no idea Shawn Michaels had any idea who in the world Kamille was and found out he was a big fan so, I mean, you know, it’s just stuff like that-that blew my mind and it was super humbling and amazing and yeah, to hear Tony have such nice feedback when you asked him the question the other day was just really refreshing because you know, we’ve talked about this before too, there’s times in wrestling where you feel like, I can’t do anything right. All the fans hate ya, and really since January 1st and I know it’ll be a rollercoaster, I know we’ll get back to them hating me at some point but, everything has been super positive. I’ll tell you what though, I try to stay off of Twitter and stuff as much as I can. I really am just using it mostly to promote my YouTube and everything. But, I find it very entertaining to see what the fans are speculating and think and I’m not mad at it in any kind of way because they’re talking and that’s a good thing … No, I’ve never been backstage at NXT. I was backstage at AEW because I was visiting friends and whatnot and no, Shawn Michaels was not face-to-face.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • Sunday’s Gaff Party Dublin event for Over The Top Wrestling featured Trent Seven defeating Sammy D to become the new OTT World Champion.
  • Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling announced that Yuka Sakazaki will be making an appearance for the company at their Grand Princess ’24 event on March 31st in Tokyo, Japan.

Wrestling TV Ratings for Week of Feb. 23 to Feb. 29, 2024

  • WWE Friday Night SmackDown – 2,272,000 viewers, 0.62 rating (prior week – 2,555,000 viewers, 0.75 rating)
  • WWE RAW – 1,738,000 viewers, 0.57 rating (prior week – 1,870,000 viewers, 0.63 rating)
  • WWE NXT – 570,000 viewers, 0.16 rating (prior week – 616,000 viewers, 0.18 rating)
  • AEW Rampage – 364,000 viewers, 0.11 rating (prior week – 300,000 viewers, 0.09 rating)
  • AEW Collision – 385,000 viewers, 0.11 rating (prior week – N/A)
  • AEW Dynamite – 822,000 viewers, 0.29 rating (prior week – 828,000 viewers, 0.29 rating)
  • TNA Wrestling Impact! – 85,000 viewers, 0.02 rating (prior week – N/A)
  • Various – Biography: WWE Legends (A&E) – 377,000 viewers, 0.11 rating (prior week – N/A)
  • Various – WWE Rivals (A&E) – 351,000 viewers, 0.07 rating (prior week – N/A)

Total viewership in terms of overall tally for the week: 6,964,000 viewers, up 795,000 viewers compared to prior week’s 6,169,000.

The viewership and ratings numbers for the Feb. 22nd TNA Impact! show are currently not known.

AEW did not hold a Collision show on Feb. 17th due to Collision being preempted due to TNT’s commitments with the 2024 NBA All-Star Weekend that night.