Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk Super News – I’m Oli Davis.
We’ve got a packed show for you today, including AEW’s huge TV confirmation, Daniel Bryan’s ‘career altering’ announcement potentially being leaked and WWE’s latest move to sabotage AEW TV when it launches.
Click the timestamps in the video description below to jump to any of those stories right now!
And make sure to have a Super Click party and give us a subscribe, click the thumbs up button and answer our question of the day down below:
What can AEW do to best compete with WWE in October? Because I’ll be replying to people in the comments FROM OUTTA NOWHERE…
But first, breaking news…
Rob Van Dam likes weed.
You know, the blaze. The reefer. The Mary-Jane. The stinkweed. Dem nuggets. Wacky Baccy. A bit of fun cabbage. Your uncle’s secret broccoli stash. Lime pillows. Dinkie Dow. Some Righteous Bush. Smoochy Poochy. The Devil’s lettuce. Marijuana.
RVD turned up as one of the many WWE Legends cameos on Monday’s Raw Reunion special, randomly appearing alongside Hurricane Helms, Sgt. Slaughter and Kurt Angle to stop Sami Zayn walking out of his match against Rey Mysterio – Raw Reunion.
This was actually one of the more unexpected appearances on the show, as Van Dam is currently under contract with IMPACT Wrestling, most recently fighting Moose at their Slammiversary pay-per-view earlier this month.
Wrestling Inc reached out to IMPACT to see what had gone on here, to which the promotion officially replied:
“RVD appeared on RAW with our blessing. We were approached about it and didn’t see why we would have any problem with it.”
Van Dam’s version of events, however, are a little more hazy – posting to Instagram: a screenshot of himself in WWE with the caption ‘When you get so high that you show up on Raw instead of IMPACT.’
This should be RVD’s new gimmick, just randomly turning up at AEW’s All Out and New Japan’s G1 because he’s stoned out his mind.
And he wasn’t the only one high on something at WWE’s Raw Reunion show…
…because John Cena was high on love. Heart emoji.
According to US Weekly, Cena brought his girlfriend of four months, 29 year old Shay Shariatzadeh, backstage to Monday’s show, and “was introducing people to her by name. He had his arm around her and she was laughing. They looked like a really cute couple.” While HollywoodLife’s sources have confirmed Shay as Cena’s official girlfriend – with John even apparently having met her family. *Gasp* Gossip.
This has, of course, led to the inevitable part of the Internet that becomes obsessed – with the Instagram account Shena.Universe (a catchier portmanteau name than the more awkward Johnraitzadeh) posting numerous rather creepy photos of the couple out in public.
Like this one of Shay walking the street by herself. This one of Shay leaning on a table with no WWE stars in sight. And this one of her sitting alone at a cafe.
While the Raw Reunion special did very little to build either the show’s current roster of stars or that little SummerSlam event in three weeks’ time, the episode did do exactly what is what designed for: pop a relatively large TV rating based on superficial nostalgia pops. Job done.
The episode drew 3.09 million viewers, which is up over half a million viewers from the previous week, and is the highest number Raw has achieved all year.
Unfortunately, this was massively down from the show’s previous special, with last January’s Raw 25th anniversary episode pulling in 4.53 million viewers – suggesting that while this week’s number is impressive in isolation, it was actually a case of the law of diminishing returns.
WWE will be hoping to hold onto Monday’s extra half a million viewers, as All Elite Wrestling have now made their official announcement of when their weekly TV will be going live on TNT…
It’s official – AEW’s TV show will air weekly on Wednesdays between 8 and 10pm Eastern on TNT, starting from Wednesday 2nd October – just two days before SmackDown has its much hyped premiere on Fox on Friday 4th October, which some rumours suggest will be a huge 20th anniversary special, possibly with Rock ‘The Dwayne’ Johnson appearing. The Wednesday to Friday Wrestling Wars begin! It was better when it was just called the Monday Night Wars.
And the 2nd October is also an important date for the man who’ll likely be AEW’s top champion when the weekly TV show debuts – Chris Jericho, who posted on Instagram:
“It’s official…on the exact 29 Year anniversary of my wrestling career, a whole new chapter starts as @allelitewrestling debuts on @tntdrama – with Jericho making his pro wrestling debut in a ten-minute time limit draw against Lance Storm at a Canadian indie show on October 2nd 1990.
The onsale ticket date and pricing will be announced on Monday for those wanting to attend the debut show in the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Washington DC not being Washington state, as Luke and I incorrectly said on yesterday’s special video covering the breaking news. Washington DC is, of course, in New York.
The AEW team hit the mainstream media to promote the news, with the new promotion being profiled by TV Guide – which described the company as “revolutionary” and “paradigm shifting”, and how “AEW is for hardcore wrestling fans”. Cody shared some pictures from the photoshoot from the feature on Twitter, as did Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks looking su-su-super sharp.
Cody was also at the Television Critics Association summer press tour when the announcement was made, where he spoke about AEW’s “more bloody content” being saved for big pay-per-view events rather than on the weekly TNT show, and that “The thing we have to do is not focus on WWE. The thing we’re providing is very different. WWE coins themselves ‘sports entertainment.’ We coin ourselves ‘pro wrestling.’ I don’t think the shows will look or sound like one another.”
Eric Goldman, who was at the press event, tweeted: “The final title of the weekly @AEWonTNT series will probably be announced in the next week or so. #AEW #TCA19”
The current expectation is for it to be called Wednesday Night Dynamite, a name which AEW have already trademarked.
Goldman also tweeted how the new company will put their performers’ health first, like when they do unprotected chair shots to the head…
#AEW is usually only asking their wrestlers to perform one night a week. “Well being is very important to us” says @TheBrandiRhodes , saying that they want their performers to be able to spend more time at home and be healthy. #TCA19
AEW might not be focusing on what WWE is doing in an attempt to define themselves as something new and different, but WWE appears to be very much focused on AEW – as the potential leak of Daniel Bryan’s career-altering announcement might reveal.
Ever since WWE signed their 5 year, $1 billion deal to move SmackDown to Fox, there’s been talk of them making other shows for the network. A WWE studio show like Talking Smack rumoured to be called After the Bell, for instance. And, ultimately, getting WWE’s third wrestling brand NXT onto the mainstream broadcaster.
These rumblings got louder two weeks ago when Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez said NXT airing on Fox’s FS1 channel was “probably gonna happen” in a move to directly counter AEW. Then last weekend, Meltzer added the plan was “absolutely” to use main roster talent on the FS1 NXT show to pull even more viewers away from AEW – main roster talent that was already potentially teased on Monday’s Raw Reunion when AJ Styles threatened to find Shawn Michaels in NXT. Or maybe I’m reading too much into that because I want it to happen more than anything.
NXT already airs weekly on the WWE Network on Wednesdays. But apparently even if AEW decided on a different day of the week, WWE was prepared to move NXT to directly oppose them, as the very reliable Sean Ross Sapp revealed after yesterday’s TNT announcement:
“WWE was telling some on a need to know basis that NXT would be going up against AEW on “whatever night they aired.” AEW was already aware it was going to happen, but NXT will remain on Wednesdays it seems”
CageSideSeats’ rumor section – so take it with a pinch of salt as this is just a rumor for now – claims there has been talk of integrating NXT with 205 Live to make it even more competitive against AEW. And going by another rumour, that might include new 205 Live star Daniel Bryan.
Yes, you heard me right, Daniel Bryan on 205 Live. He’s currently listed as weighing 210lbs, so… maybe skip a few cactus burritos.
Last week WWE promoted a ‘career-altering’ announcement from Daniel Bryan to be made on SmackDown Live – just days after him and Rowan lost their tag team titles to the New Day at Extreme Rules. It was a very emotionally charged choice of wording, given its connotations to Bryan’s early retirement due to multiple concussions several years ago. But Bryan never made an announcement on that show. And then he was completely missing from this week’s episode too – where his wife Brie Bella’s Instagram showed that the two have been hiking around Washington. So what is going on with Daniel Bryan?
According to CageSideSeats’ rumor section again – so another shot of salt please! – “There’s been some word making the rounds that Daniel Bryan could move to 205 Live, and that could have to do with his announcement that keeps getting teased.” This makes a lot more sense if the idea is to merge 205 Live with NXT, having Bryan as one of the lead figures on the FS1 version of the show to directly compete against AEW.
Hopefully this war will all work out for the best, like how the YouTube channels WrestleTalk and ScreenStalker became best friends after a bitter invasion angle – Subscribe to ScreenStalker segway!
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