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October 3, 2022 Observer Newsletter: Hurricane Ian forces changes, WWE's White Rabbit experiment

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Hurricane Ian in Florida, which has led to mass evacuations, is the major story in wrestling this week, as it is in the country, because so much of the major league talent in wrestling lives in the state.

Tony Khan had sent both a corporate email and a Twitter post to alert everyone from the area that coming to the 9/28 tapings in Philadelphia was voluntary.

“For everyone in AEW, in case you missed our email, anyone worried about Hurricane Ian affecting your travel or home or your family, it’s voluntary to come to TV this week. Anyone affected by the hurricane can take care of business at home and we hope to see you all next week.”

The 9/28 Dynamite show and Rampage tapings had to be rewritten due to talent not being there although every advertised segment took place. Less was advertised ahead of time than usual because Khan was aware of the potential problems for several days ahead of time. The only names that appeared obviously missing were Jake Hager and Swerve Strickland, both of whom were confirmed as two of the people not there due to the hurricane hitting where they live badly and them needing to stay home. Strickland wasn’t with Keith Lee in a confrontation with The Acclaimed to build a tag team title rematch, and Hager wasn’t with the Jericho Appreciation Society. In a trivia note, it was Hager who came up with the idea of the JAS coming out in all purple suits in the celebration. There were several others not there including Samoa Joe, and the plans to start a Joe & Wardlow vs. Lee & Strickland program had to be put on hold.

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