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Daily Update: SmackDown notes, Hardy, AEW Comic Con angle


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Looking at SmackDown's move to FOX Joseph Currier looks ahead to SmackDown's FOX premiere and what the move will mean. Plus, Bryan Rose's Japan notes and Vinny V's TV reviews. 

While much of the focus has been on the AEW vs. NXT Wednesday Night War, WWE main roster television materially changes this week with SmackDown's FOX premiere.

The magnitude of WWE airing live on network television every week has been apparent since news of the FOX move broke, but it didn't fully set in until FOX started promoting the show. WWE personalities have been featured on FOX's most valuable sports properties, with them appearing on NFL, college football, and MLB coverage. The promotion WWE would get on FOX was said to be one of the selling points of the deal, and FOX has already been as great of a partner as WWE could have hoped for. The promotional opportunities that FOX affords have the potential to make a real difference for WWE. Not every appearance will go perfectly (FOX's Mark Schlereth saying Rey Mysterio was "like Nacho Libre" was pretty lame), but wrestlers being positioned as on the same level as other professional sports stars in FOX's portfolio is gigantic for WWE.

WWE is also officially being given its own studio show on FS1. Renee Young and Booker T will host WWE Backstage, which premieres at 11 p.m. Eastern time/8 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday, November 5. There will also be a preview show after game three of Major League Baseball's American League Championship Series on October 15. Young and Booker T will "weigh in on the biggest stories in WWE, and are joined by a rotating cast of guests and personalities, including current and former WWE Superstars." The show is a FOX production, and it was reported last week that CM Punk has tried out for it.

WWE and FOX have worked in unison to make SmackDown's FOX premiere as big as it could possibly be. Brock Lesnar will have his first match on either Raw or SmackDown since 2004 as he challenges for Kofi Kingston's WWE Championship. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will also make his first televised WWE appearance in over three years.

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WON NEWSLETTER: October 7, 2019 Observer Newsletter: First battle in the Wednesday Night War

The Wednesday night war has started, and there's no more detailed rundown than in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer.

We've got every aspect of the business covered, including:

How every match on both shows did when it comes to viewers, head-to-head, and how different demos fared. 

What things WWE tried that worked, what didn't work, and what failed. 

The money demo, baseball competition, analyze where NXT gained and lost and what it says about AEW and competition, who had the advantage when it came to replays, was it a TNT nostalgia wrestling rating, average age for WWE and AEW shows, what audiences AEW beats WWE shows in, what AEW's success under 35 showed, comments from key people about the ratings,  and we also look at Canada ratings, the UK deal and what time slot is actually the key one for AEW in the UK.


Different tricks both companies took, who did the best job of hype, what comes next week and the non-wrestling aspects of the show.

Match-by-match coverage for both shows with star ratings.

Turmoil in CMLL, the departure of Rush and Dragon Lee, how Lee found out, the future of Mistico, Rush talks his future, as does Dragon Lee, the changes in CMLL that led to this, and all kinds of new policies that changes the world's oldest wrestling promotion. 

C.M. Punk, noting his lawsuit with Colt Cabana being settled, his screen test for a new WWE show, the latest on if he will wrestle, while Cody talks his thoughts about Punk in AEW.

Cain Velasquez in pro wrestling.  We look at the Forum card being postponed, WWE's meeting with him, what angles on Raw this week related to him, update on who has signed the most key guys of late and why Velasquez's situation is so unique.

Smackdown premier on FOX and ticket interest, Hell in a Cell, the next Saudi Arabia show, Steve Austin, Ric Flair's title reigns, update on a WWE Hall of Famer who may get cleared, Fourth generation McMahon may become a wrestler, how much Cena affected business, Dana White exchanges words with Matt Riddle, Braun Strowman's new deal, Upcoming Evolve bouts with WWE stars, WWE market value declines and why, most-watched shows on the WWE Network plus a look at all the WWE & NXT arena events of the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

Coverage of CMLL's biggest show of the year, the anniversary card, with match-by-match coverage and star ratings.

Coverage of ROH Death Before Dishonor, with match-by-match coverage, business notes, star ratings PPV numbers and more on Matt Taven's new landmark ROH deal.

Coverage on this past weekend's UFC show in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The death of Rick Bogner, look at his days as Big Tytan in Japan, the story behind the fake Razor Ramon in WWF, why his career ended, who got him into WWF but some of the guys he started out with talk about him.

Coverage of all the WWE television shows from the past week, 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.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to or by going to directing funds to

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


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  • The SmackDown on FOX premiere peaked at 4,217,000 viewers from 8:00 to 8:15 p.m. Eastern time, which was the start of the show and the segment with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Becky Lynch, and Baron Corbin.
  • After losing the WWE Championship to Brock Lesnar on SmackDown, Kofi Kingston tweeted out a message today thanking the fans for their support: “Once again, I’m so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love I’ve seen on here over the last 24 hours. As a WWE Superstar, one always hopes to experience moments in this industry that have a real and positive impact on people’s lives. Judging by all of these messages, I’d say that mission’s been accomplished. And again, without all of you and your support, none of this happens, so thank you all for letting me live out my childhood dream to the fullest. I am forever indebted to you. I’m not sure what comes next, but I will always be so proud and honored to have been your champion…”
  • Daniel Bryan wrote about Kingston’s WWE title reign coming to an end: “#ThankYouKofi for giving me one my favorite career moments. Sad to see his reign end the way it did. I lost my first WHC in 18 seconds, and came away more determined (and angry!) because of it. I’m sure @TrueKofi will do the same. Respect... Always. BUT #StillMadYouBeatMe”
  • Stephanie McMahon thanked everyone who made last night’s SmackDown on FOX debut possible: “Nights like last night don’t happen without every single person who touches our business. From anyone who’s ever stepped foot inside the squared circle - Superstars, refs, and ring announcers alike; to every fan who’s ever watched a match; to those who set up and tear down the sets, chairs and the rings, drive the trucks, make the gear, do the makeup, cook the food, secure the pathways, produce the talent, write the shows, hold the lights, mics, and cameras, shoot the pictures, create the music, design the artwork, call the matches, edit the footage, capture the data, post the content, clean the arenas, direct the traffic, tell the stories and so many more...thank you everyone for making last night and every night possible. @wwe @foxtv #WWEUniverse #SmackDownOnFox”
  • Daniel Cormier posted a video reacting to Cain Velasquez’s WWE debut.
  • MMA Junkie reported that Velasquez has informed the UFC of his intention to withdraw from the USADA testing pool.
  • In response to a comment on Instagram about why he wasn’t on SmackDown, The Undertaker wrote: “I was told I wasn’t needed…”
  • WWE posted videos where DJ Marshmello won the 24/7 title from Carmella before losing it back to her.
  • After their angle at the end of Monday’s Raw, Bobby Lashley and Lana appeared together on the blue carpet at the Staples Center last night.
  • In a blue carpet interview with Pro Wrestling Sheet, Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross said they haven’t been told if the Women’s Tag Team titles will still be defended on both brands after the WWE Draft.
  • Matt Hardy wrote about Jeff Hardy’s arrest for driving while impaired: “Since so many have asked me about my brother tonight-I love my brother & want him to be happy & healthy. I’ve expressed that to him as much as I can. Jeff has to make his decisions about his life. I have to focus on my 2 boys & soon to arrive son. I can only control MY actions.”
  • Edge denied a report that he’s been medically cleared to return.
  • After WWE teased that he would be appearing for an open microphone segment on the show, boxing star Tyson Fury cut a promo accepting the invitation to Monday’s Raw. Fury told Braun Strowman that he’ll get these hands if he doesn’t behave himself.
  • Kevin Owens reflected on visiting American Legion Post #308 (PWG’s former home) while in Los Angeles for SmackDown.
  • Owens won his ladder match against Shane McMahon last night, with Shane being “fired” as a stipulation of it.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Owens and Shane's falls count anywhere Hell in a Cell match from 2017.
  • Cesaro, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Chad Gable, Zelina Vega, Tyler Breeze, Tamina, and X-Pac and his 12360 podcast co-host Denise Salcedo are advertised to appear on tomorrow’s Hell in a Cell edition of Watch Along with Cathy Kelley, Evan Mack, and Matt Camp.

Pro Wrestling

  • AEW did an angle where Cody Rhodes attacked Chris Jericho during the promotion’s panel at New York Comic Con.
  • Entertainment Weekly and BUILD interviewed members of the AEW roster at Comic Con.
  • Complex has an interview with Jericho.
  • Matt Jackson noted that matches on AEW’s dark match YouTube show will count toward wrestlers’ win-loss records: “Yes. Everything counts.”
  • Rush & Jeff Cobb vs. Marty Scurll & Flip Gordon, Jay Lethal vs. Mark Briscoe, and Jonathan Gresham vs. Jay Briscoe have been added to ROH’s Honor United show in London on October 25. Rush & Cobb vs. PCO & Brody King and Matt Taven vs. Joe Hendry have also been announced for the Honor United tour stop in Newport, Wales on October 26.
  • Timothy Thatcher defeated Bobby Gunns today to become the wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion.


  • The UFC uploaded the weigh-ins and final episode of Embedded for tonight’s PPV. It’s taking place at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia and is being headlined by Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya for the undisputed middleweight title.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: First Hell in a Cell match