Professional Wrestling

Jump to 6:00 minutes to start the discussion.

WWE's NXT to Move From USA Network to CW in New Rights Deal I know a lot of people are going to suggest that with this move, they should start doing their weekly show from small venues or arenas. I think they should stay at the performance center, keep a “studio wrestling” feel and make it look and feel different from the big two (RAW and Smackdown) which are at different arenas each week.

Full Gear was an absolutely fantastic PPV with an absolutely dogshit main event. Overall, a solid 9.5/11. Steve-O, Ken Jeong, and other celebrities were featured on camera. Many wrestlers were hurled at other wrestlers (one of my favorite kinds of wrestling), and MJF got hospitalized on the pre-show (this becomes infuriating later). Everything else was pretty much top tier wrestling.

The Patriarchy (Christian Cage, Nick Wayne, and their pet wrestle dino) and Sting and Co. (Darby and Edge Adam Copeland + sex pest) both had fun entrances. Christian made sure to stay away from Copeland as much as possible to let their eventual match simmer. He also pulled a face move by giving Flair a lowblow before noping out from a looming defeat. Everyone made sure to continue making Sting look mint. Cage’s team (and Darby) tried to make sure Darby couldn’t climb Mt. Everest, but he managed to walk away after they secured the win.

Orange Cassidy has come far from the “He’s gonna try!” days of 2021. He’s been stuck on “Try” for the better part of a year and has hopefully put Moxley behind him with this win.

Timeless Toni Storm put away perennial interim/crowdless champion Hikaru Shida with a steel-assisted Sweet Cheek Music. Toni’s washed-up starlet gimmick is over and Shida’s not allowed to have a character (just knock-off 90s X-Men music), so Storm gets the strap.

The ladder match for the tag-team titles delivered more ladder-based violence than necessary. It was great to see the House of Black doing actual wrestling after just looming for far too long.

Julia Hart became AEW’s youngest champion at 22 years of age after making the most of triple-threat rules. She’s come so far from the chipper, blonde cheerleader she was when she was initially misted (and has found a fantastic haberdashery). I’ll miss Statlander squatting the backstage interviewers, but I’m looking forward to Julia’s title run.

Next came a 4-way tag-team ladder match, which meant AEW wasn’t taking the titles from Ricky and Big Bill, they were just going to let LFI, FTR, and HoB do ladder-based violence to each other for a bit.

Bruv? Bruv! Bruv…

Hangman vs Swerve II (Texas Death Match) is an early contender for match of the decade. “Red mist” is usually a metaphor…not here, and it happened in the first five minutes! Any feud trying to build to this level of violence in the future will be hard-pressed to match it. How can you go further than breaking into someone’s house and leaving a “present” in their child’s crib?

Personally, I hope this loss turns Hangman heel because his “friends” in the Elite were too busy bickering backstage to help him when Brian Cage and Prince Nana came out to help Swerve, and Hanger puts them first in line when he gets back to hanging mans.

Omega & Jericho vs the Young Bucks chose a slot on the card to give the audience a bit of respite after the match that came before. The Bucks have said the need a minute IRL, so they wrote themselves off TV for a while and have yielded their spot as #1 contenders to Omega & Jericho.

After building up Jay White for months, he couldn’t even beat a one-legged-man in an ass kicking contest. He had goons send MJF to hospital earlier in the show (“injuring” one of his legs). He had goons interfere in the match. He took advantage of Cole “helping” MJF. And he ate the pin.

tl;dr - great show, but shit main event.

HHH is letting Shinsuke Nakamura be an actual factual anime villain (whoever they hired to do the animation did a great job), and it’s fantastic! Hopefully this means they’re actually going to push him because it’s the best he’s look since he debuted in WWE.

I’m sure anyone in this thread already saw the huge news.

WWE Raw is moving from cable television to Netflix starting in January 2025.

There is so much going on here, much of which we have already discussed several times over. The bell has been ringing for the death of cable TV, but this is the loudest gong yet.

The most interesting aspect of this, unless I am wrong, is that Netflix will have a show that is live every week. The numbers will be interesting, because I can attest to wrestling fans being creatures of habit.

My prediction is that the true number of people watching will go up. Way up. That will be apparent in terms of increased ticket sales, merch sales, buzz, etc.

I also predict that the reported ratings will go down. I believe that Nielsen’s methods greatly overestimate how many people are watching things on linear television and radio. Netflix will be able to track precisely how many people are watching for exactly how many minutes. That true number may disappoint people who were used to the Nielsen ratings numbers.

If I’m wrong and the reported ratings go up, that will be an absolutely huge deal.

I’m also curious how the advertising will play out. I assume those people who have the Netflix with ads will see ads. Will people who pay for ad-free Netflix see no ads, or fewer ads? Will it be available to all Netflix subscribers, or only some at a particular tier?

And the other side of the ads. Will the advertisers be paying more or less than they pay to put ads on linear TV? Will there be the same number of advertising minutes? More ads or less ads? Shorter ads or longer ads? Will the show be the same length if there are less ads, resulting in more content for viewers?

And how will the money flow? Will Netflix take the money and give the WWE a cut? Did Netflix pay them a flat rate for the broadcast rights, and then they get to keep all the ad money for themselves?

There’s a lot going on.

Raw’s coming to Netflix in the US. It looks like it’s going to be the home for everything WWE in other countries, though they haven’t announced how they’re dealing with PPVs. Netflix will probably even get their catalogue of past shows.

This is also a very long-term deal. 10 years with an option to cancel after 5 or renew for another 10 after the first runs out, so WWE’s going to be on Netflix for 5, 10, or 20 years.

The weekly shows are apparently still going to be scripted around ads, so higher tier members will get to see a lot of rest holds.

And The Rock has joined the TKO board of directors and opened the day at the NY Stock Exchange.

Oh, and Okada’s leaving NJPW.

This is very much a boom period for pro wrestling and everyone is better off for it.

On top of being a general sex pest, Vince has been freshly accused of sex trafficking with lots of receipts.

WWE has managed to make people boo The Rock. They’ve been telling a two-year story that leads to Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40 and thought people would be okay with find & replace Cody → Rock. The people have said no. Celebs have said no. Actual news media has picked up on the no.

Time will tell how much negative press Dwayne “member of the board” Johnson is worth to Endeavor.

Goodness gracious, crowds outside of the Lower 48 and and parts of Canada are just better.

Cardiff was on fire two years ago, San Juan and London were on fire last year, Lyon was on fire this weekend, and Glasgow will be on fire this summer. Selfishly, European show times also make for much better Sunday morning viewing for me.

Regular crowds need to watch this and resolve to be better.