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Daily Update: Batista, Lanny Poffo, Tony Ferguson

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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: September 2, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Changes in the wrestling landscape in the coming weeks

Questions regarding NXT vs. AEW's upcoming showdown that will determine the wrestling landscape is the lead topic of discussion in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 

We raise fourteen questions regarding the Wednesday Night War, and discuss what the answers will tell us about the global pro wrestling scene, as well as when we might have those answers. 

We also break down what Google searches over the last 90 days in the United States can tell us about the upcoming Wednesday Night War, as well as what oddsmakers think about who will win in the ratings. 

Along those lines, we also look at the AEW ticket sales information for their fourth and fifth weeks of television, and talk about what they might indicate. 

Also in the new issue, we have full coverage of the Super-J Cup, including star ratings from the San Francisco show of the tour. 

The issue also features an update on the upcoming Clash of Champions show, including an updated card, and a look at how the show is doing on the secondary ticket market. 

We also have a historical piece covering Harley Race's key years on top, 1977-1981.

Dragon Gate's Dangerous Gate show is also covered in the issue. 

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

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by Bryan Rose and Joseph Currier

WWE

  • SmackDown tonight takes place Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. The last two quarterfinal matches in the King of the Ring tournament will take place, as Elias will face Ali and Chad Gable will take on Andrade. WWE is also pushing once gain that Daniel Bryan is looking for an apology from Roman Reigns after being blamed for his recent incidents.
  • On 205 Live, Humberto Carrillo will face Lince Dorado. Tony Nese vs Mike Kanellis is also set.
  • Batista will be a playable character in the upcoming Xbox One game Gears 5 starting September 15 following WWE Clash of Champions.
  • Actor Lin-Manuel Miranda attended the NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff event this past weekend and had praise for Cesaro’s performance.
  • TalkSport has a 24-minute interview with Triple H.
  • Elias spoke to CBS Local Sports, saying that he is not anywhere close to accomplishing his goals.
  • WWE put out a By The Numbers video on the Intercontinental title, which turned 40 on September 1.
  • Asuka has started her own YouTube channel.

Pro Wrestling

  • ROH announced that Lanny Poffo will appear as a special guest at Glory By Honor in New Orleans on October 12.
  • Triple Crown champion Kento Miyahara said that the 10th defense of his title will soon be realized by the end of the year. He currently has seven defenses. A tenth title defense would tie him with Toshiaki Kawada as having the most Triple Crown title defenses.
  • Brandi Rhodes posted a video of the AEW Women’s title up close.
  • This week’s MLW Fusion episode has been uploaded to YouTube. Jacob Fatu defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Tom Lawlor in the main event.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the NWA’s television tapings that take place on September 30 and October 1.
  • Trenesha Sims, who worked as Rhaka Khan in Impact Wrestling back in 2008-9, is currently listed as one of El Paso’s Texas most wanted fugitives. She is charged with interference with child custody.

UFC/MMA

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Ted DiBiase and Stan Hansen win AJPW Unified Tag Team Titles

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