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Daily Update: Anthem/AXS fallout, Triple H, The Rock

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F4W NEWSLETTER: Chris Jericho becomes first AEW World Champion Joseph Currier gives his thoughts on AEW choosing Jericho as their inaugural champion. Plus, Vinny's TV reviews. 

When AEW debuts on TNT on October 2, they'll be doing so with Chris Jericho as their champion.

Saturday's All Out pay-per-view ended with Jericho defeating Hangman Page to become the inaugural AEW World Champion. After Jericho kicked out of the Dead Eye, Page hit a Buckshot Lariat and went for the Dead Eye again. The finish saw Jericho reverse the move and then connect with his Judas Effect elbow strike to win the title.

The match was very good, but it fell short of being the epic main event you'd want to crown your first World Champion with. The dynamic just didn't work quite as well as AEW wanted. The fans would ideally have been desperate for Page to defeat Jericho and become champion. But people weren't all that interested in booing Jericho -- and Page didn't have the momentum that he needed going into the match. The way Page won his way into getting the title shot was probably a misstep. It's understandable that AEW wants to create their own unique match concepts and give them meaning, but Jericho defeating Kenny Omega at Double or Nothing felt like a far bigger deal than Page earning his spot in the title match through winning the Casino Battle Royale. While Page got wins at Fyter Fest and Fight for the Fallen, they weren't against big enough opponents and they weren't strong enough victories for people to see him as being one of the top two wrestlers in the company.

Jericho was an obvious choice to become AEW's first World Champion. He's an easily recognizable star that lapsed and casual fans will already be familiar with. There will inevitably be criticism over a new company choosing a 48-year-old wrestler as their initial champion, but AEW isn't at any risk of being seen as a nostalgia promotion. It's fine to have one wrestler in their late 40s in a top spot. Signing Jericho and pushing him heavily is a no-brainer for any start-up company. Jericho is still wrestling at a high level, helps bring credibility to the promotion for those who aren't already fans of The Elite, and has protected his image by only working in main event-level matches with great opponents since departing WWE.

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WON NEWSLETTER: AEW All Out review, Chris Jericho title saga, more

A full review of AEW All Out, and the saga of Chris Jericho's stolen belt are the lead topics of discussion in this week's double issue Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 

We have complete coverage of All Out from a live perspective, as well as the television version of the show. We talk about what worked, what might not have, and what we can learn about match order when laying out a card. We have the latest on the business of the show, including preliminary pay-per-view numbers. 

We have coverage of AEW and WWE running the same markets, and have notes and numbers on how each promotion is doing in selling tickets there. We also have all the details on the Chris Jericho AEW title story. 

NJPW Royal Quest is covered as well in the new issue. We have star ratings for the matches, as well as business notes for the show. 

The upcoming WWE Clash of Champions show is covered in detail. We have a preliminary card for the show.

We also cover the WWE writing team shake-up that took place this week. 

NXT U.K. TakeOver: Cardiff is covered in detail as well, with everything from match reports and star ratings, to attendance and what we can learn from the show. 

We have a story on Cris Cyborg signing with Bellator, and talk about potential opponents for her. 

The new issue also has a history piece covering Harley Race's St. Louis wrestling history. A lot can be learned from the piece, thanks to the late Larry Matysik's Wrestling at the Chase Record book.

We also have Ryan Frederick's coverage of the 8/31 UFC event in Shenzhen, China. 

The passing of Australian wrestling legend, Norman Frederic Charles Lowndes, known as Sir Norman Frederich Charles III, is covered as well. We have notes on his life and career. 

We look at AEW's hype show that aired on TNT, and break down the viewership for the show, and what can be learned from it. 

We also have news and notes on all of the top wrestling and MMA promotions in the world. 

We have full coverage of all the WWE television shows from the past week.

As always, we have in-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows,the key demos for the WWE shows and what can be learned from them.

We also have the results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week.

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

by Joseph Currier and Bryan Rose

WWE

  • WWE is back at Madison Square Garden for tonight’s SmackDown. The Undertaker will appear on the show, and we’ll see how WWE handles Elias being pulled from his King of the Ring semifinal match against Chad Gable. Elias is out of the match due to an ankle injury.
  • Drew Gulak & Tony Nese vs. Humberto Carrillo & Lince Dorado is set for tonight’s 205 Live. Brian Kendrick & Akira Tozawa facing Jack Gallagher and a partner was also set up for the episode last week.
  • Steve Austin tweeted about his appearance on Raw at Madison Square Garden: “I had the time of my life! What a blast. Thanks to everybody @TheGarden The Fans and @WWE and everybody who watched at home. There is NOTHING like being in a ring and having fun. Great seeing the present and future superstars!”
  • Howard Finkel was backstage at Raw last night.
  • NXT referee Eddie Orengo started working full time on the main roster last night. He’ll be a ref on the Raw brand.
  • Becky Lynch told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi about Ric Flair trying to trademark “The Man”: “All I can say about Ric is, I like Ric. He's been a good friend to me over the years. We'll see what happens with that."
  • Lynch and Seth Rollins are on the cover of the Muscle & Fitness magazine issue that will be released on newsstands this Friday.
  • Triple H spoke to Yahoo Sports about AEW going against NXT and being an alternative to WWE: “If you talk about the upstart, what they’re going out and saying is that they’re an alternative. We were that alternative five years ago. We opened the door for being an alternative, we opened the door to show people that it can be done on a bigger level and on a different basis. As far as being the alternative, great, go put on the best show you can put out, and we’ll put out the best one we can put out.”
  • WWE and 2K announced today that for every retweet of this Twitter post, WWE 2K will donate $2 (up to $500,000)  to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 
  • The Verge has an article on the WWE Network’s redesign and switch from Disney Streaming Services to Endeavor Streaming.

Pro Wrestling

  • Anthem Sports & Entertainment has already made moves in the last 24 hours regarding AXS. PWInsider reported this afternoon that AXS’ Dallas office has been shut down. Adam Swift, who was behind getting wrestling on the network dating back to the ROH on HDNet days, has been let go as well as Cindy Ronzoni, who handled PR.
  • Anthem CEO Leonard Asper spoke to Multichannel News about Anthem acquiring AXS TV.
  • In an interview with the Sporting News, Killer Kross addressed his issue with Impact.
  • Moose vs. former UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar has been added to the Victory Road Impact Plus special in Enid, Oklahoma this Saturday.
  • Kazushi Sakuraba, who hasn’t wrestled since 2017, is returning to pro wrestling, this time for Pro Wrestling NOAH. He will team with Hajme Ohara and NOSAWA to take on Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki and Chris Ridgeway on September 16.
  • A GoFundMe has launched for Brian Knobbs, who is currently suffering from a serious infection in his knee.
  • Jeff Cobb will challenge for the ROH World title at ROH’s Honor United show in Bolton, England on October 27. He’ll face the winner of Matt Taven vs. Rush from Death Before Dishonor.
  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Alex Shelley is official for ROH Glory By Honor in New Orleans on October 12.
  • This week’s MLW Fusion episode is now available on YouTube.

UFC/MMA

  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted that -- if he’s able to make it to UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on April 2 -- he’ll put the BMF title around Jorge Masvidal’s waist if Masvidal defeats Nate Diaz: “Doing all I can to make this fight. If I can and you win, I’ll put the belt around your waist at MSG - consider it done. Already shaping up to be one of the biggest and most electrifying fights in @ufc history. Can’t wait.”
  • Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till will officially be the semi-main event of UFC 244.
  • Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. Vicente Luque has been added to UFC 244.
  • Jon Jones hinted on Twitter that a big fight announcement is coming soon.
  • Dustin Poirier on Twitter wrote that a fight against Conor McGregor makes the most sense for him.
  • Edson Barbosa has expressed interest in overturning his loss from this past weekend.
  • Sergey Khandozhko is out of this weekend’s UFC event in Vancouver. Tristan Connelly will face Michel Pereira instead.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Midnight Express win NWA Tag Team titles


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