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Daily Update: SmackDown ratings, Big E, AEW notes

Fast national numbers for Friday's SmackDown, Big E discusses his WWE title reign, and more.

Daily Update

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Saturday News Update

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WWE

  • Last night’s SmackDown averaged 2.14 million viewers in the fast national ratings, up from the 1.98 million viewers the show averaged in the fast nationals last week. The first hour of last night’s show averaged 2.125 million viewers. The second hour, which was headlined by the SmackDown in-ring debut of Ronda Rousey, averaged 2.154 million. The rating in the 18-49 demo for both hours was a 0.5.
  • In an interview with Z100’s Josh Martinez, Big E spoke about his WWE title reign: “I wish it would have lasted longer, I wish we would have had the opportunity to do some more dynamic things and you know, I don’t think it -- it’s difficult to really latch onto a new champion when they have -- within their first month, they have multiple losses on TV but again, we can go down this path. Look man, I [genuinely appreciate] all the people who support me and who want better for me. I also want better for myself and I guess I’ll just leave it there.”
  • Finn Balor was the guest on the latest episode of WWE After the Bell. Balor discussed NXT 2.0 and how he felt NXT stopped preparing wrestlers for the main roster before the rebrand:
    • There’s a lot of guys that came into NXT that weren’t given the full NXT experience, right? I feel I was very fortunate that I was in Japan for a long time. I moved to NXT, I got retrained in a very different WWE style and then moved onto Raw and to SmackDown. After I had moved, NXT had kind of developed its own style of wrestling and kind of changed and it wasn’t really preparing people for Raw or SmackDown. It was just putting people on NXT and then they were just kind of wrestling, they’re saying independent style or Japanese style or European style on NXT and then they were getting pulled onto Raw or SmackDown but they hadn’t been given these key nuggets of information by people like Matt Bloom or Terry Taylor at the Performance Center that -- you know, Triple H or Road Dogg. They were kind of explaining to me that you need to make stuff mean more. My indie mind [would’ve] been like, ‘Hey, give them explosions, give them bombs. Give them action movies.’ But, if every match is an action movie, who wins the Oscar? The drama, you know? So like, the drama is obviously way better than the blockbuster Hollywood action movie.
    • And definitely I feel like a lot of guys were hindered by the success of NXT in the fact that it changed its style and then stopped preparing people for Raw and SmackDown and maybe that was the difference between maybe me, Shinsuke [Nakamura], Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, that we were in that first kind of wave of NXT guys that were actually being prepared for Raw or SmackDown and they were really tinkering with our style and I was really compromising my style -- going back to that word earlier -- and then the next generation that came in were kind of just like, ‘Ah, just go do your thing man. That’s what we wanna see’ and they weren’t maybe as criticized as much, picked apart as much and I feel like a lot of guys suffered because of that because they weren’t given the same knowledge that we were given.
  • Becky Lynch shared updated photos of the marks on her body that she received from being repeatedly hit with Bianca Belair’s braid on this Monday’s Raw.
  • On Twitter, Asuka commented on rumors that she’s been cleared to return to the ring. Asuka indicated that she isn’t fully healed yet.
  • Ricochet, Sasha Banks & Naomi, and The Usos were interviewed on Talking Smack this week.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Batista vs. Umaga from WrestleMania XXIV, a Brock Lesnar-Goldberg segment from the November 14, 2016 episode of Raw, and Becky Lynch vs. Sonya Deville from the June 26, 2018 episode of SmackDown.

Other Wrestling

  • I previewed AEW Revolution for Sports Illustrated and gave predictions for each match.
  • AEW’s full Countdown to Revolution special that aired on TNT last night will premiere on the AEW YouTube channel at 7 p.m. Eastern time today.
  • AEW has Road to Revolution videos with RJ City speaking with Ricky Starks, Orange Cassidy, Paul Wight, Kris Statlander, and Danhausen.
  • On last night’s Rampage, a promo aired with CM Punk responding to MJF’s attack immediately after it took place on Dynamite.
  • Sports Illustrated asked Chris Jericho if he was surprised that Cody Rhodes left AEW:
    • Is it surprising at first? Sure. But it’s wrestling, man. It happens all the time. The only reason why this was such a big one is because it’s the first AEW guy who left, and obviously Cody had a huge part in this company. But now there’s Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Adam Cole and Keith Lee with us. The more of those guys we bring in, the less spotlight is necessary to be shown on Cody Rhodes. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why he left. I really don’t know. No one knows except for Tony Khan and Cody Rhodes. But he wasn’t happy in AEW, so he’s going to WWE, or be a stay-at-home dad, or do TV shows or whatever it is he’ll do.
    • I honestly think, in a few years, he’ll look back and think, ‘I had it pretty good in AEW. Maybe I should have stuck around.’ But you can’t think that way. Guys come and go all the time. That’s the business. Look at WWE -- Hulk Hogan left, Bret Hart left, Steve Austin left, The Rock left, John Cena left, Shawn Michaels left. It’s Saturday Night Live. Adam Sandler left. Eddie Murphy left. Will Ferrell left. What do we do? You build new stars and move forward. Good luck to Cody, and good luck to us. That’s the nature of the beast.
  • Jericho has filed a trademark for the term “Sports Entertainer.”
  • AEW’s Shawn Dean welcomed the birth of his son Gabriel Shawn Dean today: “Your mom and I are blessed and so in love already...future face of the revolution indeed so it’s only right you were born on this weekend…welcome Gabriel Shawn Dean #Salute. Oh…And Gabe is born on the same day his dad was announced as #AllElite on 3/5/2021!! That’s a trivia question as @RefAubrey would say”
  • Chris Van Vliet interviewed Powerhouse Hobbs.
  • In memory of the late Brodie Lee, AEW is releasing an action figure set with Lee and his son -1. Amanda Huber thanked everyone involved for making it: “Words can’t express how much this moment has meant to my family. Thank you @Jazwares & @RingsideC & @AEW for making this kid’s dream come true.”
  • Chavo Guerrero spoke to Wrestling Inc about being removed from the roster page on AEW’s website.
  • Anthony Mayweather vs. Jax Dane for the NWA National Championship and Tyrus vs. Rodney Mack for the NWA Television Championship have been added to this year’s NWA Crockett Cup event. Both matches will take place on night two of the Crockett Cup (Sunday, March 20).
  • Yuji Nagata vs. Davey Richards is set for West Coast Pro’s Game Related show in South San Francisco on Friday, April 15.
  • Defy Wrestling uploaded SW3RVE vs. Nick Wayne to their YouTube channel.