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Daily Update: BJ Penn, Chris Jericho, WWE writing team shake-up

DAILY UPDATE

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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.

WON NEWSLETTER: September 9, 2019 Observer Newsletter: AEW All Out review, Chris Jericho title saga, more

All Elite Wrestling ran its second PPV show, All Out, which was a mostly hot show before a sold out Sears Center in Chicago.

The event, which had the largest initial ticket demand for any pro wrestling event ever held in North America, a stat, that because it was with a new promotion and made no sense logically t happen, infuriated people beyond reason. The show established a number of things.

First, the company is loaded with talent, many of whom, like Jack Evans and Scorpio Sky, don’t get nearly their due. The show featured arguably the best ladder match in history, a series of car crashes where Pentagon Jr. & Fenix retained the AAA tag titles over The Young Bucks.

This is the last those belts will be talked about on the show, as all concentration will be on the AEW tag team titles which will be decided in a tournament over the first four weeks of television.

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • In their article on the WWE writing team shake-up that Dave Meltzer reported last night, The Wrap wrote: “The SmackDown moves also come amid growing questions about Bischoff’s leadership of the show. The insider cited Bischoff’s decision to hire Stevie Long, a former Sons of Anarchy writer who was found asleep in the writers room by longtime producer Michael P.S. Hayes on his first day on the road with WWE. (Long is still with WWE.) Bischoff declined to comment; Long’s manager was unable to provide a comment from his client by the time of publication. Bischoff and his SmackDown creative team have also come under scrutiny for this summer’s Erick Rowan doppelgänger storyline, in which an unknown attacker drop heavy backstage scaffolding on top of Roman Reigns, injuring the company’s No. 1 star. According to the WWE insider, the storyline was botched so bad that explaining to anyone what it was supposed to be wouldn’t make any sense at all.”
  • As part of WWE’s celebration of the Intercontinental title’s 40th anniversary, Randy Orton, Christian, and The Miz took part in a roundtable discussion about the championship. [Correction: This originally incorrectly identified the roundtable participants]
  • The WWF’s Brawl to End it All and War to Settle the Score events were uploaded to the WWE Network’s Hidden Gems section this morning.
  • Triple H appeared on Superstar Savepoint after Xavier Woods’ UpUpDownDown YouTube channel reached two million subscribers.
  • TalkSport interviewed WALTER prior to NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff last week.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena from Night of Champions 2014.

Pro Wrestling

  • Chris Jericho cut a promo on getting his AEW World title belt back, claiming that he put the fear of God into those who robbed him by starting his “worldwide investigation.” Jericho demanded a thank you from AEW and said anyone who wants to take the title from him is going to have to pry it from his cold dead hands.
  • Pro Wrestling Tees released a “Little Bit of the Bubbly” Jericho T-shirt.
  • Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden has a story on Brandi Rhodes and the battle for inclusion in pro wrestling.
  • Britt Baker’s final match for AIW will be against Mercedes Martinez in Cleveland on September 20.
  • Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Timothy Thatcher and Zachary Wentz vs. Anthony Henry have been added to Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport II in Atlantic City on September 14.
  • Myron Reed & Kotto Brazil will face Gringo Loco & Air Wolf at MLW’s War Chamber tapings in North Richland Hills, Texas this Saturday.
  • Go Shiozaki vs. Alexander Hammerstone from Pro Wrestling NOAH’s N-1 Victory tournament will air on this Saturday’s MLW Fusion episode.

UFC/MMA

  • Dana White said BJ Penn’s career in the UFC is over after the fight Penn got into in Hawaii in August: “It's not even that this was the last straw, it's ... I didn't love him continuing to fight anyway, but when you have the relationship that he and I have and he's getting me on the phone begging me for another fight, begging me for another opportunity, it's hard for me to turn him down. But, after what I saw on that video, BJ needs to ... he needs to focus on his personal life, get himself together before he worries about fighting again."
  • White said Tony Ferguson will get the next lightweight title shot if he’s ready: “Listen, again, if Tony Ferguson’s ready. Tony Ferguson’s been offered opportunities before that he hasn’t taken. If Tony’s ready then yeah [he’s next].”
  • Georges St-Pierre spoke about why he thinks the UFC didn’t book a fight between him and Khabib Nurmagomedov: “It makes sense in a way that my agent explained to me. Maybe (Nurmagomedov) represents a significant investment to the UFC. He’s reached a different type of clientele, maybe in the Middle East, and (has) the Muslim world idolizing him. He’s like an icon. Imagine that they invest a lot of money to promote a big fight between Khabib and I, and I win the fight? I’m out. I’m not interested in signing a fight with Khabib and guaranteeing that I want to go back and fight another contender. This fight for me didn’t need to be for a title, or it could have been at a catchweight. I would have been interested in doing it, but the UFC had other plans for Khabib.”
  • Episode four of Embedded for UFC 242 is now available.
  • The media day faceoffs for UFC 242 took place today.
  • Scott Coker confirmed that Cris Cyborg will get an immediate title shot in Bellator.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Anderson & Zbyszko win WCW Tag Team titles

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