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Daily Update: The Wednesday Night War begins


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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: Everything changes next week, Impact moving to AXS

With perhaps the most important week for the U.S. industry in a decade coming up, a double issue this week:

Goes through details of the moves by WWE and AEW, what plans are, advertisers wants, promotion and much more. 

Includes an extensive look at Battle of Los Angeles, New Japan's upcoming big shows and Tokyo Dome plans, what to learn from the NXT ratings and much more.

The lead story talks about WWE's big week, the importance of the different shows, overdoing nostalgia, ticket sales, announcing changes,  205 Live's future, plans for all the shows, what demos to look at, what happened with AEW and ITV, NXT, Smackdown and AEW on the West Coast, replays shows, Smackdown ad rates, as well as a look at Hell in a Cell.

Impact to AXS and what the plans are for specials leading to the regular show. 

The keys in week two's NXT show and the audience change.

Brock Lesnar's future, John Hennigan coming in, CM Punk, former UFC legend talks coming to WWE, Shayna Baszler talks her career, WWE injuries, WWE stock update, most-watched shows on WWE Network for the past week, as well as a look at every WWE & NXT arena event over the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

NJPW coverage of Destruction in Kobe, Tokyo Doe direction, King of Pro Wrestling, the Young Lions Cup and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.

Battle of Los Angeles, Bandido's win, past winners, other PWG alumni, business notes, the good and the bad, the stars of the weekend, the stars of the future, Aramis, Alex Zayne, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings.

Full coverage of the UFC from Mexico City along with business notes.

Full coverage of all the WWE television shows from the past week.

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

Current subscribers click here to read.

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  • The “Wednesday Night War begins” tonight with NXT and AEW going head-to-head. NXT will begin airing live weekly on the USA Network for its full two hours starting tonight. The episode will have “limited commercial interruption” and is listed as having a 15-minute overrun. Here’s what’s been announced for the show: NXT Champion Adam Cole defending against Matt Riddle (will kick off the episode) NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler defending against Candice LeRae NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish defending against The Street Profits Johnny Gargano vs. Shane Thorne Velveteen Dream appearing
  • Triple H appeared on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and responded to a question about CM Punk trying out for WWE’s Backstage studio show on FS1: “Look, I’ve read about that as well. You know -- to be clear -- FOX is doing this show, and it’s their show, and it’s something they’re doing to talk about the WWE Universe and everything going on in it. They have a long list of people they’ve been interviewing and everything. But as far as for us, one of the things I think this company has shown over and over again, is never say never. If the opportunity is right for everybody and it’s right for our fans, then we are willing to put the past behind us and move forward. So -- you know -- I would say, never say never, but that’s also probably a long way from coming true. I don’t know. That’s also a little bit outside of my purview at the moment, but like I said, never say never.”
  • The first episode of WWE’s The Bump premiered on the WWE Network and WWE’s Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages today. The talk show will air live at 10 a.m. Eastern time every Wednesday. Kayla Braxton, Matt Camp, Evan T. Mack, McKenzie Mitchell, Ryan Pappolla, and Dan Vollmayer are hosts for the show.
  • Becky Lynch tweeted about being featured on the SmackDown billboard at FOX Studios: “I left Ireland a broke 17 year old girl with a dream. Now a 32 year old woman, I just drove past my face outside Fox Studios in LA. Tomorrow I'll put my war head back on. But today I'm just proud and happy of what that girl did to get me here.”
  • Hulk Hogan will be appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on FS1 this Friday.
  • Variety has an article on pro wrestling’s big fall push.
  • The WWE Performance Center posted a behind-the-scenes video from NXT’s USA Network premiere.
  • Sasha Banks was the guest on the latest episode of We Have Cool Friends.
  • Charlotte Flair appeared on FOX & Friends and First Things First today.
  • Shannon Moore is guest coaching at the WWE Performance Center this week.
  • Macaulay Culkin narrated a video about how The Rock got the word “smackdown” into the dictionary.
  • Ahead of Friday’s SmackDown on FOX debut, WWE has launched new filters on Facebook and Instagram.

Pro Wrestling

  • Here’s the announced lineup for tonight’s AEW Dynamite premiere: Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz vs. Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks Nyla Rose vs. Riho to determine the inaugural AEW Women's Champion Hangman Page vs. PAC MJF vs. Brandon Cutler An appearance by Jon Moxley Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara
  • Cody tweeted that the attendance for tonight’s show is 14,129 people. It’s taking place at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
  • AEW uploaded their Countdown to Dynamite special that aired on TNT last night.
  • Presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted today: “Congrats to @IAmJericho @CodyRhodes and all of @AEWrestling for launching a new era #ImWithAEW @AEWonTNT creative freedom and the talent owning a piece of the action are very good things.”
  • Square Circle Sirens reported that Karissa Rivera is backstage at tonight’s AEW show. Kevin Smith and Jay Mewes of Jay & Silent Bob fame are also at the event.
  • The LA Times and Vulture have stories on AEW ahead of the Dynamite premiere.
  • TNT, TBS & truTV general manager Brett Weitz told the New York Post about one of the differences between AEW and WWE: “I’d say the one across the street [WWE] is a very mic-heavy league and there are a lot of people grabbing mics and a lot of people talking trash in and out of the ring and there is a lot less wrestling happening. [AEW] is from soup to nuts, from the moment you start to the moment the night is over, it never stops. It never ever stops. It’s really like watching an action movie.”
  • AEW president and CEO Tony Khan was interviewed by Wade Keller of PWTorch.
  • AEW’s Chris Van Vliet interviewed referee Aubrey Edwards.
  • Sports Illustrated reported that Chris Jericho vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi is scheduled for NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14. Jericho’s contract with AEW allows him to have NJPW matches, and NJPW has already started building to him facing Tanahashi.
  • Dave Lagana reflected on the NWA’s journey to this week’s TV tapings.


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