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Daily Update: AXS cancels MMA, WWE/FOX, AB5


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Bayley turns heel, WWE continues to focus on HorsewomenJoseph Currier looks at how WWE has addressed the women's division post-WM problems. Plus, Bryan Rose's notes on Japan, and Vinny's TV reviews. 

Bayley going through a long-anticipated character change was the latest step in WWE refocusing on the Four Horsewomen.

Bayley & Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross main evented last Monday's episode of Raw. Sasha Banks ran in and caused a disqualification by attacking Lynch. Banks struck Lynch with a steel chair until Bayley took it away from her. But instead of playing peacemaker between her friends, Bayley smiled and pummeled Lynch with the chair herself.

After beginning her heel turn and reuniting with Banks, Bayley cut a promo explaining her actions the next night on SmackDown. The crowd alternated between cheering and booing her. Bayley told the fans that their reaction was confusing. Instead of going full bore with the heel turn, Bayley spoke about her friendship with Banks and called Banks the one person who has always had her back. Bayley disingenuously talked about being a hero and a role model. She said she was trying to show kids what it means to be loyal and noted that she couldn't turn her back on Banks just because things got rough. Bayley said that SmackDown deserves a champion that gets the same kind of recognition as Lynch.

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WON NEWSLETTER: Anthem buys AXS TV plus tons of news

In a move that has great ramifications in pro wrestling, Anthem Sport and Entertainment has purchased a majority interest in AXS TV and HDNet Movies and will begin running the two channels.

The deal also includes purchasing the AXS TV library of concerts, pro wrestling and MMA content, which would include U.S. broadcast rights to old ROH, many years of New Japan, WOW, and some defunct MMA promotions as well as countless smaller MMA shows.

Mark Cuban, who founded the stations, and AEG, his partners, will continue to own a minority interest. Part of the purchase team included Anthem, headed by Leonard Asper, and entertainer Steve Harvey, who will enter into a strategic content development agreement.

The company will continue operating from studios in Los Angeles and Denver, as well as use Anthem studios in Toronto, Nashville and Europe. The office in Dallas was closed down.

While not stated in the sales press release, as noted over the months this day has been in play, that if it was to go through, that Impact would move from The Pursuit Channel, where it has been dying on the vine, and move to AXS.

The deal actually first started with an attempt by Anthem to get Impact on AXS when they got word in the latter stages of 2018 that they weren’t going to be renewed by Pop TV. AXS turned down the initial deal, since Impact did not have a good reputation in the wrestling world at the time and AXS had its own wrestling franchise with New Japan.

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Just as TNT will be airing a preview show of AEW before its 10/2 debut (current issue covers that), FOX will be airing a one hour special called Smackdown's Greatest Hits on 9/27 at 8 p.m. the Friday night before the debut.

The first casualty of the Anthem purchase of AXS is the Friday night MMA programming, which, for a long time, was the most popular show on the station.  Much of the crew has been let go. Today Ron Kruk, who has been a commentator with the station and with its entire MMA division since 2004, said that tomorrow night he will call his last event for AXS TV.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a fantastic story on former college football star/pro wrestling superstar Jumping Joe Savoldi, who popularized the sport in the U.S. by utilizing football moves in pro wrestling (yes, the old-timers said it was fake and would kill he business). His story is amazing.

Tickets for the Royal Rumble, which will be at Minute Maid Stadium in Houston, will go on sale on 9/20. They will be available at or be calling 800-352-0212.  There are travel packages already available at

Scott Coker announced today that double champion Patricio Pitbull Freire will be entering into the Rizin lightweight tournament in Japan. It's an eight-man tournament with Hiroto Uesaki, Damien Brown, Johnny Case, Freire, Roberto Satoshi Souza, Tatsuya Kawajiri,Tofio Musayev and Luiz Gustavo. 


  • A story on AB 5 and WWE,
  • There will be a Sasha Banks special on the WWE Network debuting right after the finish of Clash of Champions.
  • Muscle & Fitness has a story on Shayna Baszler.
  • A story on WWE author Brian Shields getting into the Hall of Fame (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • Kambi has come out with the star ratings predictions for Sunday.  You can't bet on over, under or the same: Drew Gulak vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lince Dorado *** Shinsuke Nakamura vs. The Miz **1/2 Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode **3/4 Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks ***1/2 Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan ***1/4 Big E & Xavier Woods vs. Revival ***1/4 Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair ***1/4 A.J. Styles vs. Cedric Alexander ***3/4 Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman ***1/2 Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton **3/4 Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville**


  • Thiago Alves has pulled out of the 9/28 show in Copenhagen, Denmark due to a health issue.  Gunner Nelson, who he was scheduled to face, is looking for a new opponent on the show.
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik has been added to 11/2 in Madison Square Garden.



  • ROH Final Battle tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m.
  • Innovate Wrestlnig on 9/28 in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditorium.
  • Wrestling & Respect on 10/5 in Lima, OH at the Bradfield Community Center
  • Vampiro is taking bookings for wrestling matches, autograph signings, photos ops, one men talk shows and seminars through Bill Behrens at
  • KSW welterweight champion Roberto Soldic (16-3) now faces Poland's Michael Peitrzak (8-3) in a non-title fight at 176 pounds after his title challengers, Patrik Kinel, pulled out of Saturday's show at SSE Wembley in London due to an injury.
  • Limitless will be part of the Olympia Weekend Expo in Las Vegas on 9/13 and 9/14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Scheduled as guests are:
  • Tomorrow:10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Cryme Tyme, David Loiseau 12:30 p.m.. to 1:30 p.m. - Cody Garbrandt Noon to 2 p.m. - Ken Shamrock Noon to 2 p.m. - Nick Diaz 1-3 p.m. - Chuck Liddell 2-4 p.m. - Francis Ngannou 3:30-4:30 p.m. - Bill Goldberg
  • Saturday:10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Cryme Tyme, David Loiseau Noon to 2 p.m. - Anthony Pettis 1-3 p.m. - Chuck Liddell 1:30-3:30 p.m. - Anderson Silva 2:30-3:30 p.m. - Georges St-Pierre
  • Superstars of Wrestling fan fest on 10/19 in Rome, GA at the Forum River Center with Road Warrior Animal, Stan Hansen, Tanaka, Bob Orton, J.J. Dillon, Barry Windham, Jimmy Hart, Molly Holly, Disco Inferno Tony Atlas, Missy Hyatt and Raven.
  • IWA Mid South has the annual Ted  Petty Invitational tournament tonight and tomorrow night at 1416 Spring St. in Jeffersonville, IN.  Among those appearing are Fed Yehi, Shane Mercer, Jason Kincaid, Monsta Mack, Anthony Henry, Joey Ryan and Kongo Kong.
  • Premier Championship Wrestling on Saturday in Cleveland at Turners Hall with Wardlow in action.
  • Valor Bare Knuckle on PPV on 9/21 from New Town, ND promoted by Ken Shamrock has announced these PPV fights: Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Mighty Mo in first round of a one-night heavyweight tournament Jack May vs Mark Godbeer in the tournament Ishe Smith vs. Estevan Payan Mike Richman vs. J.C. Llamas
  • Pro Wrestling Soul tomorrow at Wimbledon, South London at Merton Arts Space has a one-night women's tournament with Millie McKenzie,Chakara, Charli Evans, Danni Luna, Bobbi Tyler, Mercedes Blaze, Kanji and Talia Martins.
  • CWE on 10/25 in Winnipeg at Rookie's Sports Bar has a show as well as a seminar with Vampiro at 2 p.m. 
  • Shine on 9/21 at Club LaBoom in Woodside, NY with Allysin Kay vs. Shotzi Blackheart, Gabby Gilbert & Luscious Latasha vs. Aja Perera & Big Swole, Mercedes Martinez vs. Ivelisse and the debut of Kris Statlander.
  • Northeast Wrestling tomorrow night in  Waterbury, CT at the PAL with Joey Janela vs. Pentagon Jr. as the main event, plus Private Party, Rey Fenix, Darby Allin, Enzo & Cass appearing.
  • Progress has a big show Sunday from the Alexandra Palace in London with: Pete Dunne vs. ? Tyler Bate & Trent Seven vs. Keith Lee & Matt Riddle Jordynne Grace vs. Meiko Satomura for the women's tile Zack Gibson & James Drake vs. Aussie Open for tag tiles Walter vs. David Starr for Progress title 30 man Rumble
  • Combate Americas on 10/11 in Tucson, AZ on Univision.
  • A story on MLW returning to Orlando in November with a TV taping on 11/9.
  • AAW documentary on the Jim Lyman Memorial tournament.
  • A story on Bob Backlund at age 70 (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Sting wins WCW title at Fall Brawl 1999