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Daily Update: SmackDown, Impact, UFC notes

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F4W NEWSLETTER:  NXT moving to USA Network Joseph Currier looks at the implications of NXT going head-to-head with AEW. Plus, Vinny's TV reviews and live NJPW report.

The early stages of the modern-day pro wrestling war between WWE and AEW picked up last week as NXT’s move to the USA Network was officially announced.

The move will begin on Wednesday, September 18, meaning that NXT on USA will get a two-week head start before AEW premieres on TNT on October 2. NXT will become a two-hour show and will be live on USA Network, with NXT and AEW going head-to-head and airing from 8-10 p.m. Eastern time.

After debuting on USA, the NXT episodes will be made available on demand on the WWE Network every Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern. TakeOver events will continue to stream live exclusively on WWE Network.

Full Sail University will also remain the home venue of NXT, with WWE announcing NXT TV dates at Full Sail through the remainder of the year.

“The move to USA Network provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with NBCUniversal and further build the NXT brand,” Vince McMahon said in a press release. “Over the long term, our goal is to develop a following that can be monetized to the same level as our flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown.”

"Can’t describe this announcement in any other word than PROUD,” Paul “Triple H” Levesque tweeted. “Proud of everyone involved from day one. Proud you’ve let your voice be heard and carried the banner of this brand. Proud you’ve loudly & clearly said #WeAreNXT. And I’m proud to say, we’re just getting started."

WWE has denied that NXT going to USA is a response to AEW, with a WWE spokesman telling Deadspin that “It isn’t called counter-programming if you continue to air a series on the same day/time as it has been on for nearly five years.” Though it may be spin, the statement has enough truth to it that WWE doesn’t look completely ridiculous. NXT (in its one-hour taped format on the WWE Network) has long been a Wednesday night show, but it’s hard to believe that WWE wouldn’t have counter-programmed AEW regardless of what night it aired on.

It’s a smart business move for WWE to give AEW competition on Wednesday nights. It’s been estimated that USA is paying WWE $30-50 million per year, though the length of the deal isn’t known. When TNA would face any competition from WWE, the ratings for Impact would decrease. AEW is going to need to put on a must-see show that has a broad coalition of viewers. They have a significant core fanbase made up of those who are already invested in The Elite, but they have to go beyond that and draw casual fans, lapsed fans, people who are dissatisfied with WWE, and others who like WWE but are willing to try out a new product. The most important thing for the future of AEW is that they build their audience and make as much money as possible on their second TV deal. Having to go against NXT is inevitably going to cannibalize some of their viewership. The only question is how big of a hit AEW is going to take.


WON NEWSLETTER: August 26, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Birth of the Wednesday Night War Details on NXT and AEW competing on Wednesday nights, plus tons of news.

The birth of the Wednesday Night War is the top story in the new edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 

We discuss how the NXT to USA deal came about, when NXT wrestlers were told, how this impacts the WWE/Fox relationship, and what this means for the NXT brand, going forward. 

We have details on the finances of the NXT to USA deal, and we break down the head-to-head aspect of NXT vs. AEW. We also have comments from a major television executive who gives his perspective on the deal, as well as the potential for audience burnout. 

A story on the latest AEW TV taping sellouts is also featured in the new issue. We also have notes on the secondary ticket market demand for all of the AEW shows. 

An obituary for Eddie Marlin is also in the new issue, with a ton of details on his life. 

Also in this issue, Ryan Frederick covers this past weekend's UFC show, and we have detailed TV ratings and business notes on the show. 

We also wrap up our G1 coverage with a detailed breakdown of each individual's star ratings for the tournament. 

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 Bryan Rose and Joseph Currier

WWE

  • More matches from the King of the Ring tournament will take place tonight on SmackDown, which will emanate from the Raising Cane’s River Center Arena in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Ali will face Buddy Murphy, while Chad Gable will take on Shelton Benjamin. Those are the final two matches in the first round. WWE is also hyping that Rowan and Daniel Bryan are demanding an apology from Roman Reigns tonight after they revealed the “real culprit” in the attacks on Reigns. They revealed the supposed attacker to be someone who looks like Rowan.
  • Dave Meltzer notes that Vince McMahon had been tearing up the script for tonight’s SmackDown and that it will be a show heavily influenced by McMahon. 
  • Kalisto is facing Ariya Daivari on 205 Live tonight.
  • Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch were not on Raw due to a vacation. The segment involving Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman was taped last week.
  • WWE is advertising an appearance by Rey Mysterio for next week’s Raw. It will be the first time Mysterio has appeared since the segment where Dominick talked him out of retiring last week.
  • Last night’s episode of Straight Up Steve Austin averaged 987,000 viewers on the USA Network. The rating in the 18-49 demo was a 0.39.
  • The Straight Up Steve Austin episode with Becky Lynch as the guest will premiere next Monday.
  • Tonight’s Miz & Mrs. is being billed as the season one finale.
  • Stephanie McMahon was on BBC’s Sportshour podcast talking about “her quest to change the media coverage of women’s sport.”
  • Daniel Bryan talked to Superluchas about the ongoing Amazon rainforest fires.

Pro Wrestling

  • PWInsider reported that Impact Wrestling will be covering hotel costs on the road for their roster starting with next week’s TV tapings in Las Vegas.
  • Kiera Hogan will take part in the Chicago Wolves’ Pride Night on October 20 at the Odeum Expo.
  • Here is a trailer for the horror movie Girl on the Third Floor, starring CM Punk.
  • Antonio Inoki announced that his wife, Tazuko Tada, passed away this morning.
  • LA Park & El Hijo de LA Park vs. luchadores Septimo Dragon & Magnus has been added to MLW’s War Chamber tapings in North Richland Hills, Texas on September 7.
  • This week’s MLW Fusion episode is now available on YouTube. Teddy Hart vs. MJF for the Middleweight title headlined the show.
  • Arn Anderson, along with Conrad Thompson, will be launching a podcast called The Arn Show in September.

UFC/MMA

  • Brett Okamoto is reporting that Darren Till will move up to middleweight to fight Kelvin Gastelum on November 2.
  • Okamoto also reported that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is planning an MMA return in 2020 as a heavyweight.
  • Henry Cejudo is calling out Dominick Cruz.
  • Bellator averaged 285k viewers for their latest show on the Paramount Network.
  • Duda Santana vs. Leah Letson is set for Ultimate Fight Night in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 16.
  • Lyman Good will fight Chance Rencountre at UFC 244 in New York on November 2.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Shane Douglas declares himself ECW Champion


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