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Daily Update: NXT notes, Kenny Omega, Dana White

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F4W NEWSLETTER: The Fiend challenging for Universal title at HIAC Joseph Currier looks at how quickly Wyatt's Fiend character has been elevated to the title picture. Plus, Bryan Rose's notes on Japan, and Vinny's TV reviews. 

With an upcoming Universal title shot at Hell in a Cell, WWE seems poised to elevate Bray Wyatt's Fiend character to the absolute top of the company.

Sunday's Clash of Champions pay-per-view ended with an angle to kickstart The Fiend's program against Seth Rollins. After Rollins retained the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman in the main event, The Fiend appeared and attacked Rollins as he was celebrating on the stage. The lights went out during the celebration, with The Fiend then hitting Sister Abigail on Rollins and putting him in the Mandible Claw.

The next night on Raw also included an angle with The Fiend. At the start of the show, it was confirmed that Rollins will defend his Universal title against The Fiend inside of Hell in a Cell at next month's PPV. In the main event segment, The Fiend put Kane in the Mandible Claw after Kane made an appearance in Knoxville, Tennessee and saved Rollins from Robert Roode, Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson. The Fiend then taunted a terrified Rollins, and the show ended with a distorted version of the Firefly Fun House theme song and intro video.

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WON NEWSLETTER: NXT debut on USA, Clash of Champions reviewed

NXT debuted on the USA Network on 9/18 as the third straight night of pro wrestling that week on the station.

The first show consisted of two dark matches, a one-hour show on USA followed by another 51 minutes on the WWE Network.

You got a lot of hard work, an emphasis on in-ring and building matches for the future. There was less time for interviews, and much higher quality of wrestling than on Raw or Smackdown. Indeed, if it wasn’t a WWE product, the push of no B.S., had any other company said it, would be taken as a knock on the WWE main brands themselves.

NXT in uncharted water. There was one hour special a few years ago on USA that did 841,000 viewers. This debut was far more heavily promoted, but also comes at a time that WWE itself has run off a substantial percentage of its audience since that show a few years ago. Paul Levesque was very careful not to make a prediction or give a number, and really, if the first week does 750,000 or 2 million, it’s either a nice or disappointing start, but it’s the direction in ten weeks or more, with competition, that counts. The last time WWE had a third television brand, ECW, it started with more than three million viewers and the number fell quickly.

In presentation, there were some similarities to ECW, trying to present itself using terms like unapologetic. There was a wild brawl at the end of the second hour. But they pushed the wrestling and refrained from breaking tables. It was very organized and it was not about a blow out show, but more about building, with some stuff for next week and even more for the week after, when it goes head-to-head with AEW’s debut.

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • WWE Network sent out an email last night apologizing for the technical issues some experienced at the start of the second hour of NXT: “You may have experienced a technical issue with WWE Network earlier this evening. The matter has been resolved, and you can now access the Network and watch tonight’s episode of NXT on demand. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
  • WWE uploaded video of Triple H’s post-show appearance and speech to the crowd from last night.
  • Angel Garza defeated Raul Mendoza and Damian Priest defeated Kona Reeves in dark matches before the NXT on USA Network premiere. Reeves got busted open when he was accidentally struck in the face by Priest during their match. Reeves tweeted that he didn’t suffer any breaks or fractures.
  • Australian wrestler Indi Hartwell was backstage at last night’s NXT episode. Squared Circle Sirens reported earlier this month that Hartwell has signed with WWE.
  • Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Joaquin Wilde (formerly known as DJZ) will undergo surgery for a broken eye socket that he suffered in July. Their report stated that doctors held off on surgery to see if the injury would heal on its own, and Wilde will only likely miss a few more weeks after having surgery.
  • A man was arrested at Monday’s Raw in Knoxville for taking a Snapchat video of an officer urinating in a restroom.
  • The episode of FOX’s “25 Words or Less” game show that’s airing tomorrow will feature Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods facing Ali & Apollo Crews. Kingston & Big E vs. Crews & Ali will be on the September 27 episode, Becky Lynch & Seth Rollins vs. Big E & Woods will be on October 2, Lynch & Rollins vs. Crews & Ali will be on October 4, and Lynch & Rollins vs. Kingston & Big E will be on October 11.
  • To promote the 2020 Royal Rumble, Booker T and Matt Hardy appeared at last night’s Houston Astros game.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt’s Hell in a Cell match from Hell in a Cell 2015.

Pro Wrestling

  • Kenny Omega told Sportskeeda’s Dropkick Diskussions about the “war” between AEW and NXT: “You can call it a war if you want. It’s like, to me it’s like we’re in a completely different kind of business. I mean what they’re doing is different from what we’re doing. And it’s weird because it’s hard to say you’re going to war with people that I call my friends. And yet, we are going to war. And yet, when I sit back and look at the grand picture, it’s like I’m going to war with these dudes that, if we were on the same show together, the same show, the same promotion…Let’s pretend there were no borders. Let’s pretend there were no promotions. Let’s just pretend there’s one big promotion. If these guys were on the same show as me, they’d be in the dark match. They’d be in the opening match of my main event match. You gonna call that a war, you gonna call that competition? Go ahead. Okay, maybe it’s fun for you to do. That’s cool. But we’re different planets. And you’re going to see that right away when you see 10,000 plus arenas sold out. You’re going to see smiles on fans’ faces. And you’re going to see real stars, not developmental talent. But real stars appearing on your television sets, every week.”
  • NXT’s Dominik Dijakovic then responded to Omega: “Hey @KennyOmegamanX remember when my match with @RealKeithLee embarrassed yours on your PWG homecoming weekend of BOLA 2017? Tune in this Wednesday to NXT TV on USA at 8pm so two developmental guys can show a real star how it’s done, again.”
  • Omega responded with a gif that said “He knows too much” when someone called him the “Best Bait Machine” for his comments.
  • Along with the name being confirmed today, the poster for AEW Dynamite was released. Cody also tweeted out another Dynamite poster with him and Dustin Rhodes.
  • Chris Jericho appeared in a video with Ryan Niemiller on last night’s America’s Got Talent finale.
  • MLW has announced that Timothy Thatcher will be in action at their Blood & Thunder TV tapings in Orlando on November 9.
  • NJPW’s English-language website has an article with Jushin Thunder Liger and Togi Makabe discussing Liger’s upcoming retirement.
  • Robbie Eagles is the first entrant announced for this year’s Revolution Pro Wrestling British J-Cup. It’s taking place at York Hall in London on November 24.

UFC/MMA

  • Dana White told Barstool Sports that the UFC is going to book a third fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier after Miocic recovers from their last matchup. Cormier has yet to publicly announce whether or not he’s going to continue fighting or retire.
  • During a Twitter Q&A, White said Conor McGregor will fight early next year if he doesn’t fight at UFC 245 in Las Vegas on December 14.
  • While appearing on The Hall of Fame with Booker T and Brad Gilmore, Jorge Masvidal said he wants to challenge the “baddest motherf*cker” in WWE after his fight with Nate Diaz: “I want you to tell me who the baddest motherf*cker is over at the WWE, and that’s what’s next after this fight. God willing, I get my hand raised on November 2, God allows me to get this victory, I want to go over and challenge the baddest mother f’er in WWE, because I know there are some bad mother f’ers over there.”

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Rick Rude wins WCW International title


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