Weekend Roundup: WWE Current Plans for Jey Uso Entrance Crowd Reactions, Jinder Mahal Update, TBS Title Match Set for Stardom Event, Big Bill & Ricky Starks Update, Eddie Kingston Suffered Leg Injury, Afa Anao’i, Indies


  • UFC held a post-show media scrum following Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Nascimento event in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the topics discussed by UFC President Dana White included White’s thoughts about the possibility of UFC fighters making appearances in WWE. White stated “Yeah, I would do anything for Derrick Lewis. I really like Derrick Lewis a lot. Listen, some of the fighters who fight here have always dreamed about doing a WWE match or whatever it is. And yeah, I don’t have a problem with that. I mean, I didn’t have a problem with that when Vince was consistently f–king me for no reason. And now that that’s not the case anymore, I obviously would absolutely do it.” White also gave his thoughts about if he is interested in making a potential in-ring appearance as a special guest referee for WWE in the future. White stated “Me? That I guarantee you, you will not. No, never.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event in St. Louis featured Randy Orton being among those in attendance.
  • Fightful Select’s Corey Brennan reported that his sources stated that WWE officials were very pleased with the reaction Jey Uso received from the crowd at their Backlash 2024 event in Lyon, France. Brennan reported that WWE officials are currently working on plans to heavily push their fans towards mimicking the Lyon crowd for Uso’s entrances at WWE shows in the future. Brennan also reported that WWE officials also currently are working on plans to replicate the great crowd atmosphere from their Backlash 2024 event for their other events in the future as well.
  • As noted before, Jinder Mahal was released from WWE this past April, Fightful Select’s Sean Ross Sapp reported that his sources stated Jinder has received heavy interest from several “top independent companies” once he officially becomes a free agent. Sapp reported that Game Changer Wrestling, Black Label Pro Wrestling and Absolute Intense Wrestling have all shown major interest in wanting to book Jinder for their shows.
  • As noted before, Wendy Choo made her return from injury at the April 30th NXT LVL Up tapings at WWE’s Performance Center. Prior to her return, Choo had been out of action for WWE since March of 2023. Choo recently reflected on Twitter about her recent return to the ring. Choo statedThis crowd was INCREDIBLE! I was holding back my tears behind that big smile. Truly a moment I will never forget. It feels great to be back! 😴♥️
  • In a recent interview with The Ringer’s Wrestling Show podcast, Carmelo Hayes gave his thoughts about the valuable advice Shawn Michaels gave to him about how to stand out in WWE for his career despite his smaller size. Hayes stated “He told me, straight up, ‘You can never take a day off. A lot of these guys can take a day off and they’ll be accepted, but you can never take a day off or phone it in.’ It sucks in a way, but at the same time, I’m open to the challenge because the bar, for some reason, is raised higher because of my size. People are expecting way more. I can’t make mistakes. Not on top of my size, but being perceived as someone who is being pushed to the forefront. I feel a lot of criticism from people off everything I do. I’ve had the microscope on me for a long time. I’m kind of used to it now, but the bar is very higher. One, when you’re a Shawn Michaels guy. Two, when you’re a first round draft pick. Three, being undersized. Four, being of color. There are a lot of things that come into play with that pressure. I’m open to that challenge and looking to prove people wrong. As far as Shawn Michaels goes, he gives me that advice all the time. ‘You have to be better than the rest at everything. You can’t lack. What you lack in size, you have to make up for in every other category.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • In the same interview, Carmelo Hayes gave his thoughts about the botched double springboard spot during his match against Cody Rhodes on the April 26th WWE SmackDown show. Hayes stated “I mean, I think it’s wild that people thought he (Cody Rhodes) was gonna catch me with a Cody Cutter in mid-air. If you see what it was… we both do a springboard move. He’s got the Disaster Kick, he’s got the Cody Cutter, I’ve got a couple of different things. I tried to catch him, he tried to catch me but he wasn’t fast enough to catch me and I ducked underneath and then I came in and I capitalized. I think people romanticized and grandeur-rized what it was… I didn’t even really address it truthfully and I know Cody could care less. But, at the same time it’s like, fans think that they know so much and they’re not in there with us, they don’t know what we’re attempting to do and just sit back and enjoy the show. I’m watching it, I’m like, ‘Oh! He was throwing for a touchdown.’ Whole time, he was just trying to get a completion. It’s never what people think it is so I mean, that was what that was. But, I mean hey, that would’ve been great if he could’ve got me in a Cody Cutter… Not (great) for me. It would’ve been great for Cody.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
  • In a recent interview with 92.3 The Fan Cleveland’s The Afternoon Drive on The Fan radio show, The Miz gave his thoughts if WWE officially unveiling of their new WWE World Tag Team Championship was the first time him and R-Truth got to see the new belts for their title reign. The Miz stated “Yes, that was the first time. We did a rehearsal and they put the Intercontinental Title there. I went, ‘that looks like the Intercontinental Title…Oh, that is the Intercontinental Title, they’re not showing it to us. They want our real reaction.’ That was my real reaction on TV when I first saw them.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • WWE reportedly drew a live gate of around $2 million for their May 3rd SmackDown show in Lyon and around $3.2 million for their May 3rd Backlash 2024 event in Lyon, France, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • WWE reportedly drew an attendance of 11,101 for theur May 3rd SmackDown show in Lyon, 11,628 for their May 3rd Backlash 2024 event in Lyon, France, 5,500 for their May 5th house show event in Aix-En-Provence, France, and 9,479 for their May 6th RAW show in Hartford, CT, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE’s ticket sales for their May 6th RAW show ended up being the largest gap they had from reaching sellout status since they went on a hot streak of sellout shows earlier this year. Meltzer reported that WWE was 4,500 tickets shy of reaching sellout status for that show.
  • WWE reportedly has sold around 5,763 tickets for their May 13th RAW show in Greenville, SC, 6,999 tickets for their May 17th SmackDown show in Jacksonville, FL, 7,083 tickets for their May 20th RAW show in Greensboro, NC, 4,775 tickets for their May 27th RAW show in Savannah, GA, 5,729 tickets for their May 31st SmackDown show in Albany, NY, 3,923 tickets for their June 1st house show event in White Plains, NY, 2,722 tickets for their June 2nd house show event in Binghamton, NY, 8,080 tickets for their June 3rd RAW show in Hershey, PA, 6,315 tickets for their June 7th SmackDown show in Louisville, KY, 6,310 tickets for their June 10th RAW show in Toledo, OH, 9,073 tickets for their June 14th SmackDown show in Glasgow, 9,800 tickets for their June 15th Clash at the Castle 2024 event in Glasgow, Scotland, 7,143 tickets for their June 17th RAW show in Corpus Christi, TX, 11,450 for their June 21st SmackDown show in Chicago, IL, and 17,081 tickets for their July 6th Money in the Bank 2024 event in Toronto, Canada as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that WWE’s top merchandise sellers for this past April on their WWEShop in order were Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, WWE, Bray Wyatt, Jey Uso, Roman Reigns, The Rock, Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, and John Cena. In regards to specific merchandise, the top sellers in order reportedly were Jey Uso “Yeet” shirt, Punk “Best in the World” shirt, Punk “Return of Punk” shirt, The Rock “Final Boss” shirt, Rhodes champion shirt, Uso “Yeet” blue shirt, Rhodes “Claim Your Kingdom” shirt, Rhodes entrance hoodie, Reigns “Family Above All” shirt, and Rhodes “Finish the Story” shirt.
  • As noted before, WWE CCO Paul “Triple H” Levesque was involved in an incident during WWE’s Backlash 2024 post-show press conference in Lyon, France. This incident revolved around Levesque lashing out at a reporter after the reporter had asked him a question about Drew Gulak’s release from WWE. Levesque used the occasion to tell the person that he should be citing credible sources as a dig against PWInsider and Fightful, which led to WWE PR reps contacting both PWInsider’s Mike Johnson and Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp apologizing over Levesque’s comments. In a recent interview with the Pollock & Thurston podcast, reporter Lucas Charpiot, person who asked Levesque the question, stated that he had been contacted by an on-site WWE PR rep who told him “That was a dumb thing to do.” Charpiot also revealed that he has received death threats from WWE fans and anti-dirtsheets wrestling fans over his interaction with Levesque at the press conference.


  • Saturday’s AEW Collision show in Vancouver, Canada featured a fan running into the ring and being quickly tackled by security following Daniel Garcia’s match against KM.
  • AEW announced one new match for the card of their May 18th AEW Rampage show in Portland, Oregon. This new match announced was a singles match of RUSH vs. mystery opponent.
  • AEW also announced one new match for the card of their May 18th AEW Collision show in Portland. This new match announces was a singles match of Will Ospreay vs. Shane Taylor.
  • AEW announced that Willow Nightingale will be defending her TBS Championship against Stardom talent Tam Nakano at Stardom’s Flashing Champions event on May 18th in Yokohama, Japan. Stardom confirmed that Nightingale’s appearance for the company and this match would be taking place at their upcoming event.
  • In a recent interview with Sportskeeda’s WrestleBinge podcast, Billy Gunn gave his thoughts about working with Tony Khan in AEW. Gunn stated “Easy. It’s easy. [Trolls only say what they do] because they don’t work for him. You know how it is, everybody has an opinion out there which means absolutely nothing. Until you’ve walked in my shoes. Don’t tell me how to walk in them.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • In a recent Twitch stream, Kenny Omega gave his thoughts about his first match against Christian Cage and his Iron Man match against PAC being two matches he considers to be underrated from his AEW career. Omega stated “Underrated match I’ve had in AEW? There’s two that come to mind right away. My first match against Christian and the Iron Man Match against PAC. People just forget this shit. If you even try to compare that to what a lot of stuff that’s like now, just fucking give it a shot, and if you try to tell me that other stuff is better or like, ‘Whoa! That was way back when. That’s old and not as good…’ You shut the fuck up. You get out of town. You don’t know shit about shit.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • In a recent interview with KLAX ABC 31, Bryan Danielson gave his thoughts about his current plans following his retirement from full-time wrestling. Danielson stated “Yeah, I mean, it’ll be fun to experiment with it. There’s so many avenues that you can take in this life. There’s so many interesting fun things to do, right? One of the things that I’m really putting a priority on is how can I be of service, right? How can I be of service to my community? How can I be of service within my children’s school system, and that sort of thing and so those are the things that I’m really excited to focus on when I’m done doing this.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
  • AEW CEO Tony Khan announced on Twitter that Saturday’s AEW Collision and Rampage shows on TBS was the first time since 2001 that TBS had aired a wrestling show on a Saturday on their network. Khan statedTonight is the first Saturday Night pro wrestling show on @TBSNetwork since 2001! AEW has a great live crowd there tonight in Vancouver! Don’t miss a great live @AEW show tonight on TBS a 3 hour block #AEWCollision followed by #AEWRampage 8pm ET/7pm CT right after TBBT tonight!
  • Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that AEW officials currently do not have any creative plans for Big Bill and Ricky Starks to reunite as a tag team. Those spoken to reportedly stated that AEW officials had made the decision to split the team as far back as this past December following Darby Allin & Sting defeating them to become the new AEW World Tag Team Champions at the time. It was reported that both Starks and Bill were both ready to move on to “different projects” for their careers in the company and there was no ill will towards each other. It was reported that Starks and Bill had just felt that they had run their course as a tag team and it was time to move on into new directions.
  • Fightful Select also reported that their sources stated that AEW officials currently have solid creative plans in place for the top programs in the company for much of the remainder of this year barring any potential injuries issues.
  • AEW reportedly drew an attendance of 4,572 for their May 8th Dynamite show in Edmonton, Canada, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • AEW reportedly has sold around 2,830 tickets for their May 15th Dynamite show in Everett, WA, 2,229 tickets for their May 16th Collision and Rampage shows in Portland, OR, 1,572 tickets for their May 22nd Dynamite show in Bakersfield, CA, 1,921 tickets for their May 25th Collision show in Las Vegas, 5,774 tickets for their May 26th Double or Nothing 2024 event in Las Vegas, NV, 4,478 tickets for their May 29th Dynamite show in Los Angeles, CA, 1,526 tickets for their May 30th Collision show in Palm Desert, CA, 1,889 tickets for their June 5th Dynamite show in Loveland, CO, 931 tickets for their June 8th Collision show in Council Bluffs, IA, 1,537 tickets for their June 15th Collision show in Youngstown, OH, and 6,554 tickets for their Forbidden Door 2024 event at the UBS Arena in Long Island, NY, as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that AEW’s top merchandise sellers for this past April on their AEWShop in order were AEW, Will Ospreay, Sting, Swerve Strickland, Mercedes Mone, ROH, Adam Copeland, The Briscoes, Kazuchika Okada, and Prince Nana. In regards to specific merchandise, the top sellers in order reportedly were All In London Blu-Ray, Ospreay “Bruv” shirt, WrestleDream Blu-Ray, Ospreay “Billy Goat” shirt, ROH Supercard of Honor DVD, Strickland “Whose House” shirt, Toni Storm vs Juri Street Fighter shirt, Ospreay “The Feeling” shirt, Mone “Mone Talks” shirt, and Jack Perry “Scapegoat” shirt.
  • Sports Business Journal reported that NBC Universal is still the frontrunner to get the final media rights contract with the NBA for the leagues current set of upcoming new television contracts with ESPN and Amazon. It was reported that one major reason behind Warner Bros Discovery likely losing out on their NBA deal was due to WBD CEO David Zaslav made the decision to do the waiting game instead of trying to secure a new TV deal with the NBA during WBD’s exclusivity window which led to NBC jumping right in with a $2.5 billion offer. Zaslav’s plan reportedly was to go after the lesser paying “C” tier deal which backfired after NBC’s offer for NBA’s “C” tier deal was for more money than the higher “B” tier deal that Amazon got for $1.8 billion. It was also reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently informed WBD that they need to increase their offer by around an additional $300 million in order to make up for the lack of cable network exposure that NBA games could get if they went with NBC for the final media rights package. One source spoken to described the situation as being “There’s no mystery to this. It’s pretty blatant what’s happening. David Zaslav realizes he has to have this and doesn’t want to pay more than $2.5B. And Adam’s saying, honestly, it’s not matched at $2.5. And [Zaslav] goes, ‘Yes, it is,’ and they’re going back and forth.’ And so that’s where we are. How do you let [WBD] down? Is there a way? Or does Zaslav come up with more money? Because then it doesn’t have to be matching because David’s paid more. And that’s where we are. Adam’s trying to be nice to David right now until David backs off his dogs. He’s trying to help David save face.’”

TNA, NJPW, Indies, & Misc. Wrestling

  • As noted before, WWE Hall of Famer Afa The Wild Samoan, real name Afa Anoa’i, has been dealing with heart-related issues since this past January after he had suffered two heart attacks. World Xtreme Wrestling provided an update earlier today on Facebook statingOn Thursday, our beloved patriarch Afa the Wild Samoan had a successful TAVR procedure to replace his aortic valve. Yesterday afternoon he was discharged from the hospital! We’re all so grateful that this final hurdle has been passed! Now he has more back rehabilitation to do, but our Pops kicked out again and is one of the strongest human beings in the world! Thank you all for your prayers and concern!
  • Sunday’s Champion Carnival 2024 Finals event for All Japan Pro Wrestling in Yokohama, Japan featured Kento Miyahara defeating Jun Saito to be crowned the winner of this year’s Champion Carnival tournament. Following his victory, Miyahara issued a challenge to Yuma Anzai for his AJPW Triple Crown Champion Heavyweight Championship at AJPW’s May 29th event in Tokyo.
  • AJPW reportedly drew a paid attendance of 793 for their May 4th Champion Carnival 2024 event in Sanjo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Saturday’s Resurgence 2024 event for New Japan Pro Wrestling in Ontario, California featured HENARE making his on-screen return from injury. Prior to the start of the NEVER Openweight Championship match, a video aired on the big screen revealing HENARE making his surprise return and issuing a challenge to whoever was the NEVER Openweight Champion after the event for a future title match. Prior to his on-screen return, HENARE had been absent from NJPW since this past February due to a head injury.
  • Saturday’s NJPW Resurgence 2024 event in Ontario, California also featured Eddie Kingston being involved in a potential injury scare situation following his No Ropes, Last Man Standing match against Gabe Kidd for the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship. Near the end of the match, Kingston was suplexed off the apron and instead of going through the table on the outside with Kidd, his legs crashed hard onto the barricade creating a whiplash effect. Following the match, Kingston was seen receiving medical attention for a long period of time and a stretcher had been brought out but was not needed in the end. Fightful Select’s Sean Ross Sapp reported that his sources confirmed that Kingston had suffered a legitimate injury at NJPW’s Resurgence 2024. Sapp reported that the severity of Kingston’s injury is currently not known. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported in Sunday’s Daily Update that his sources stated AEW officials are currently hopeful that Kingston did not suffer a serious injury. Meltzer reported that Kingston’s current health status for the Anarchy in the Arena match at AEW’s upcoming Double or Nothing 2024 event is currently not known.
  • NJPW reportedly drew a paid attendance of 2,440 for their May 3rd Wrestling Dontaku 2024 Night 1 event in Fukuoka and 4,238 for their May 4th Wrestling Dontaku 2024 Night 2 event in Fukuoka, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • In a recent interview with Fightful, NJPW talent and official Rocky Romero gave his thoughts about AEW talent Jack Perry’s current work in NJPW and the process that led to him working for the company. Romero stated “I had conversations with Jack, the Bucks, and Tony, obviously. It all in agreeance that it would be the right decision for Jack to come to New Japan. I think a lot of people wanted to see where Jack was going to be, what kind of reaction he was going to get. It was a great opportunity to have Jack in Japan, he’s a phenomenal talent. I like the role he was in with HOUSE OF TORTURE. Obviously, being heels, it’s easy for Jack to be a heel, he’s great at it, and that opened the door for when he comes back because people were excited for him to come back to AEW. The week that the footage aired was the same week as Windy City Riot, which pushed the promotional aspect for Windy City Riot over the top. The heat for him in Chicago was nuts. It was one of the coolest moments we’ve ever had in New Japan of America. Overall, I was really happy and I thought it was a win for both companies, and a big win for Jack. It’s good to have him back on the New Japan side.
  • Saturday’s Azteca Lucha event for Major League Wrestling in Chicago, Illinois featured two new champions crowned. The first championship to change hands was CozyMAX (Satoshi Kojima & Okumura) defeating Second Gear Crew (Matthew Justice & 1 Called Manders) to become the new MLW World Tag Team Champions. The second championship to change hands was Bad Dude Tito defeating Rickey Shane Page to become the new MLW National Openweight Champion.
  • As noted before, Women of Wrestling talents The Tonga Twins, Kona & Kaoz recently left the company over issues they claimed were caused by WOW management. The Tonga Twins’ claims were recently disputed by current and former WOW talents who claimed that the real reason for the Tonga Twins departure was due to them bullying and purposely injuring talent. The Tonga Twins’ Kona recently responded on Twitter to the accusations against them statingIf you know us then you know NOTHING BUT LOVE ALWAYS !! The real gone ride the fake gone divide !!! #tongatwins who’s a bully???” As part of her response, Kona also posted a video showing them giving a speech to the WOW locker room and asking “who’s a bully?”
  • WOW talent Vickie Lynn McCoy announced on Twitter that she has also recently left the company and defended the Tonga Twins stating that the real issue in the company is with WOW management. McCoy statedI wanted everyone to know I am no longer with WOW Speaking up = Released. Especially after what happened to the @tongatwins, I can no longer be silent. But NOW….. #fuckwow Exploitation does not = empowerment.
  • PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that WWE Hall of Famer and wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler was inducted into the Indiana Sports Hall of Fame in a special ceremony held this past Friday in Evansville, Indiana.
  • TNA Wrestling reportedly drew an attendance of 450 for their May 3rd Under Siege 2024 event in Albany and 300 for their May 4th Impact! tapings in Albany, New York, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling reportedly drew a paid attendance of 756 for their May 6th Yes! Wonderland 2024 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • DDT Pro Wrestling reportedly drew a paid attendance of 1, 025 for their May 5th King of DDT 2024 20th Anniversary event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Stardom reportedly drew a paid attendance of 461 for their May 3rd event in Yamaguchi and 382 for their May 4th event in Kumamoto, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre reportedly drew an attendance of over 10,000 for their May 3rd Super Viernes event in Mexico City, Mexico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH reportedly drew a paid attendance of 3,512 for their May 4th Wrestle Magic 2024 event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
  • United Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly drew a paid attendance of 4,583 for their May 6th All Together event in Tokyo, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Wrestling TV Ratings for Week of May 3 to May 9, 2024

  • WWE Friday Night SmackDown – 2,148,000 viewers, 0.60 rating (prior week – 2,143,000 viewers, 0.58 rating)
  • WWE RAW – 1,619,000 viewers, 0.53 rating (prior week – 1,683,000 viewers, 0.55 rating)
  • WWE NXT – 659,000 viewers, 0.19 rating (prior week – 564,000 viewers, 0.14 rating)
  • AEW Rampage – N/A (prior week – 431,000 viewers, 0.09 rating)
  • AEW Collision – N/A (prior week – 621,000 viewers, 0.21 rating)
  • AEW Dynamite – 711,000 viewers, 0.24 rating (prior week – 703,000 viewers, 0.24 rating)
  • TNA Wrestling Impact! – N/A (prior week – 88,000 viewers, 0.02 rating)
  • Various – WWE Most Wanted Treasures – 299,000 viewers, 0.10 rating (prior week – 236,000 viewers, 0.06 rating)
  • Various – WWE Rivals (A&E) – 271,000 viewers, 0.08 rating (prior week – 283,000 viewers, 0.07 rating)
  • Various – Dark Side of the Ring (VICE) – 111,000 viewers, 0.03 rating (prior week – 89,000 viewers, 0.02 rating)

Total wrestling television viewership for the week: 5,818,000 viewers, down 1,316,000 viewers compared to the prior week’s 7,134,000 viewers.

The viewership and ratings numbers for the May 9th TNA Impact! show is currently not known.

AEW did not air an AEW Rampage show this past week due to that week’s show had aired on May 1st instead due to preemption-related reasons over TNT’s commitments with the 2024 NBA and NHL Playoffs on their network.

AEW did not air an AEW Collision show on May 4th due to Collision taking that week off due to preemption-related reasons over TNT’s commitments with the 2024 NBA and NHL Playoffs on their network.