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F4W NEWSLETTER: Looking at three stories from a historic week Joseph Currier looks back at a huge week for pro wrestling.
The most important week in recent pro wrestling history reached strong heights before ending with an embarrassing low.
The Wednesday Night War began, with AEW Dynamite debuting on TNT opposite a stacked episode of NXT on USA. SmackDown made its move to FOX two days later and featured an appearance by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a WWE Championship change, and the debut of Cain Velasquez. Sunday's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view looked like it was only going to be a footnote, but the main event made the show memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Here's a look at three stories that defined the week:
1. AEW wins first night of Wednesday night ratings war
Pro wrestling returned to TNT last Wednesday as the premiere of AEW Dynamite averaged 1.409 million viewers. That topped the 891,000 viewers that NXT averaged. In the 18-49 demo, AEW posted a 0.68 rating -- second for the night on cable and more than double what NXT did.
Smackdown on FOX, the ratings, what they mean, how this relates to Raw, the Velasquez vs. Lesnar and Fury vs. Strowman matches is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer.
This week's Observer also covers:
How FOX did with the competition, how FOX did compared to last season's premieres, how the show did in Canada, note on how the kickoff show did, match-by-match and how the ratings changed, who drew big and who didn't, the usage of legends, the story behind Velasquez's negotiations, the end of Kingston's reign, plus match-by-match coverage.
What went wrong with Hell in a Cell, the disaster of a main event, the reactions by fans, Vince McMahon's reactions to those reactions, how the match order hurt the show, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.
Wednesday night war with ratings, where both sides lost viewers the most, the fall from the first week on TNT, the average viewer age for AEW and NXT and how different the makeup is, how every segment on both shows did.
What segments were strong set with what age groups, and how teenage viewership both shows differs greatly.
Smackdown draft, 205 Live going forward, the plans for Saudi Arabia, why the cruiserweight distinction in NXT makes no sense anymore, new WWE signings, Mae Young Classic, WWE injuries, Goldberg and Matt Riddle situation, Hulk Hogan wants a match with Vince McMahon, former Miss America contestant signs with WWE, U.K. star moves to Florida, remake of "Badstreet USA," value of WWE stock, most-watched shows on WWE Network over the past week, plus notes on every live event by the WWE main roster and NXT this past week with business notes, results and highlights.
Jeff Hardy's recent arrest and a look back at his other issues over the years.
A full report on the UFC show from Australia, the record crowd, business notes, and a look at Israel Adesanya.
The situation with Dragon Lee going forward as well as where WWE and AEW may fit in, his being pulled from the New Japan tour as well as a look at this year's Junior heavyweight tag team tournament that starts this coming week.
A full report on the debut of NWA Power, the new Internet television show Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana have put out, glory days of Georgia Championship Wrestling and its ratings, a look at Nick Aldis as NWA champion, business notes and economic realities regarding the company as well as what kind of Youtube numbers the different shows are doing.
Full 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 and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.
Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week.
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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE
Additional notes by Joseph Currier
- A special preview of WWE Backstage will air tonight following the Astros-Yankees ALCS game on Fox Sports 1. Triple H will be on the show to announce a trade between Raw and SmackDown. Renee Young and Booker T will be joined by Paige and Christian. Shawn Michaels and Sting will also be on the show to break down their favorite match.
- On Twitter, Eric Bischoff commented on Bruce Prichard replacing him as the executive director of SmackDown: “Bruce is a great producer, good friend and I am certain he is going to thrive in his position. He’s going to be working with a great team of the most dedicated and hard working people I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know.” WWE has confirmed that Bischoff is no longer with the company.
- Cain Velasquez on Ariel Helwani’s show mentioned that WWE is allowing him to work one more AAA date.
- Maria Kanellis on Instagram noted that she has not asked for release and attempted to clear up misconceptions about her and Mike’s situation: “1. Family first. 2. I love and support my husband. 3. I make no apologies for either of my pregnancies. 4. Mike never went to rehab nor did WWE pay for it. 5. Mikes addiction was from about September 2013-July 2017. 6. We debuted in June 2017. 7. He never took time off. 8. I have not asked for my release. 9. You can unfollow me at anytime if you don’t like what I stand for. 10. Suck it. P.S. Have a nice day!”
- Roman Reigns spoke to Forbes about how fans reacted to the finish of Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend at Hell in a Cell: “I think you should express your opinions, but it doesn’t hurt anybody if you have a shred of respect. Have a little respect for the performers who were out there killing themselves for you. I didn’t like the Hell in a Cell finish either, but I wasn’t about to cuss some guys out who got hit in the head over and over. Bray Wyatt put his health on the line to entertain some fans to the best of his ability. I didn’t like it, but I respect Bray’s effort and willingness to go out there and do what you have to do. So, if you can, just a little bit of respect.
- Tommaso Ciampa tweeted about returning to the ring against Angel Garza on tomorrow’s episode of NXT: “I had neck surgery on March 7th. At the time, I was told that my estimated return date was March 7th, 2020. Tomorrow, I have my first match back. That’s 142 days ahead of protocol. Good luck, Garza.”
- WWE posted an AOP video with them reacting to not being picked in the WWE Draft. In the promo, AOP said they’re going to take their frustrations out on somebody sooner than later.
- Newshub in New Zealand has an interview with the IIconics.
- Here is The Fiend's entrance in WWE 2K20.
- WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather from WrestleMania XXIV.
- Stardom apologized on Twitter for trying to bring Giulia to their promotion while still being under contract to Ice Ribbon.
- A Road to Power Struggle event that was due to take place on October 18 at Nagano Sports Park Gymnasium has been cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
- SoCalUncensored.com reported that Tyler Bateman has signed with ROH.
- An MRI confirmed that Mark Davis of Aussie Open suffered a ruptured MCL and torn ACL.
- AEW’s website is now showing wins and losses records on their roster page.
- AEW uploaded The Lucha Bros, Jack Evans & Angelico vs. Private Party & Best Friends from AEW Dark with Spanish commentary from Alex Abrahantes and Dasha Kuret (formerly Dasha Fuentes in WWE).
- Jim Crockett will be appearing at Starrcast IV this November.
- NJPW posted a documentary showing SHO and YOH visiting Will Ospreay’s family in the United Kingdom.
- Alex Greenfeld, who was a TV producer with MLW, is no longer with the company.
- This week’s MLW Fusion episode is now available on YouTube. The show is from MLW’s co-promoted tapings with The Crash in Tijuana.
- Georges St-Pierre is still interested in fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov, saying he’d do it if everything was contractually alligned.
- Cub Swanson on Twitter said he broke his left hand this past weekend and is probably not fighting again until next year.
- The California State Athletic Commission has passed a rule where a fight will be cancelled if a competitor is 15% above contracted weight.
- The latest episode of The Diaries of A Street Fighter, Jorge Masvidal’s YouTube series, is now available.
- Eryk Anders wants to be on the next Washington, D.C. card.
Daily Pro Wrestling History: Jerry Lawler wins Southern title from Bill Dundee
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