- Two more title matches official for WWE Clash of Champions
- Cesaro issues open challenge at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff
- NXT UK TakeOver Cardiff live results: WALTER vs. Tyler Bate
- NJPW Royal Quest live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki
- VIDEO: The Countdown to AEW All Out
- UFC on ESPN+ 15 live results: Jessica Andrade vs. Weili Zhang
- Impact Wrestling results: Elgin vs. Rhino, Tenille Dashwood debuts
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.
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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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE
- Two title changes took place at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff today. Kay Lee Ray defeated Toni Storm to win the NXT UK Women’s Championship, while Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster defeated Zack Gibson & James Drake and Mark Coffey & Wolfgang in a triple threat match to win the NXT UK Tag Team titles.
- Storm tweeted after losing her title: “Thank you everyone.”
- Triple H did a post-TakeOver Q&A with Radzi Chinyanganya.
- Vince McMahon’s Twitter account responded to the “Are you watching, Vince McMahon?” chants at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff: “I heard you, Cardiff. I’m watching and you are loud! #NXTUKTakeOver”
- Triple H spoke to Alex McCarthy of TalkSport about WWE not being interested in Enzo Amore & Big Cass returning to the company.
- WWE has hired Dara Frank as the senior director of their podcast network, which they’re launching with Endeavor Streaming. Frank had been working at Viacom.
- Becky Lynch posted a tweet about Ric Flair trying to trademark “The Man." Lynch wrote: “I am The Man.”
- Renee Young was interviewed by Alicia Atout.
- Two title changes also took place at NJPW’s Royal Quest show in London today. In the semi-main event, Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Zack Sabre Jr. to win Revolution Pro Wrestling’s British Heavyweight Championship. KENTA also defeated Tomohiro Ishii to win the NEVER Openweight title. It appeared that KENTA got knocked out at one point during his match against Ishii.
- Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles challenged El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori to an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team title match after defeating them in non-title action at Royal Quest.
- AEW uploaded the opening video for tonight’s All Out PPV.
- During his Starrcast panel today, CM Punk said that he won’t be at All Out and will be hanging out with his wife instead.
- Punk spoke about whether or not he’d be open to talking to WWE: “I wouldn't not talk to [WWE]. I'm over [what happened when I left]. I've been over it for a very long time. It's in the past. I'm 40 years old and I try to be as zen and as wise as I can be. My life has taught me a lot of times that I would be confrontational when there was no need to be confrontational. I'll have a conversation with anybody, but I'm not calling them. But if they're like, 'Oh hey.' I'll talk to you and see what you have to say. But it better be good."
- Allie has been officially confirmed for the Casino Battle Royale on the All Out pre-show.
- In an interview with Hollywood Life, Chris Jericho claimed that he hasn’t heard of anyone in NXT: “There is no war for me at all because there is not one guy on that show that I have ever heard of before and that is not being snobby -- it’s just that I don’t watch NXT. So, if you want to watch NXT, that is fine. If you want to watch AEW, that is fine as well. But, it is certainly not a war on our part, because we have been doing great on our own -- selling out shows and selling 10,000 tickets in five minutes without any type of war or competition.”
- NJ.com has a story on Joey Janela ahead of All Out.
- The following matches have been added to ROH’s Global Wars Espectacular tour with CMLL: Dearborn, Michigan (September 6): Bandido vs. Jay Briscoe, Dalton Castle & Joe Hendry vs. Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham Villa Park, Illinois (September 7): Kenny King vs. Dalton Castle vs. Marty Scurll vs. Colt Cabana, LifeBlood (Bandido, Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams) vs. Villain Enterprises (PCO, Brody King & Flip Gordon) Milwaukee, Wisconsin (September 8): Rush & Jeff Cobb vs. Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia, Caristico, Volador Jr. & Stuka Jr. vs. Rey Bucanero, Okumura & Hechicero
- The press conference for CMLL’s 86th Aniversario will take place on Wednesday. The show is being held on September 27.
- CMLL uploaded last night’s show, which featured their 2019 Grand Prix.
- Impact Wrestling posted video of Tenille Dashwood’s debut from last night’s episode. Dashwood confronted Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie and laid out John E. Bravo after Valkyrie’s match against Big Mami.
- Valkyrie defending her Knockouts title against Rosemary has been announced for Victory Road in Enid, Oklahoma on September 14. The event will air live on Impact Plus.
- A video aired on last night’s Impact hyping the arrival of Johnny Swinger.
- Zhang Weili defeated Jessica Andrade in 42 seconds this morning to win the UFC women’s strawweight title. Weili is the first Chinese champion in UFC history.
- Weili wants to fight on a UFC PPV in China: “Yes, I would like to get on a pay-per-view event, but I also want a pay-per-view event to hold in China. This is my wish. If Dana wants me to fight in the U.S. it will be fine, but please get all my corners a visa because last time my corners didn’t come. Several corners could not come because of a visa issue.”
- Dana White said that no one wanted to face Weili going into this fight: “Weili told me tonight that she wants to fight as much as possible, which I love. And I can tell you this going into this fight with Jessica Andrade, nobody wanted to fight Weili Zhang. Nobody wanted to fight her. Now she’s the champion, so if you want a shot at that belt, you have to fight her.”
- Khabib Nurmagomedov hopes Daniel Cormier returns for another fight against Stipe Miocic: “I really want him to fight with Stipe Miocic rematch and finish his career. This is what I want. I don’t know about his plan but honestly I want him to fight maybe February or March, fight with him last fight and then finish.”
- Cris Cyborg said she has no regrets about leaving the UFC.
Daily Pro Wrestling History: Verne Gagne wins AWA title from Dr. X
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