Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk News, I am Chopper Pete Quinnell. Luke is in Japan, and Oli and Laurie are recovering from their Crown Jewel live reaction stream last night, so I’m here for the news today. Damn you Crown Jewel for messing up our schedule *shakes fist*
Speaking of Crown Jewel, and it seems it may have had a much larger impact on future shows than anticipated, and not just because The Fiend won the Universal Championship. As reported by Dave Meltzer and PWInsider, it seems there’s been some issues with the flights leaving Saudi Arabia, and a plane holding most of the WWE wrestlers and crew has been grounded and delayed for hours.
The reported reason for this is because of a mechanical fault with the fuel line of the plane, forcing the WWE talent to be stuck sitting on the plane, waiting for the fix.
WWE have reportedly been able to rush out some talent onto other chartered flights, but most remain on this flight waiting for a fix. At the time of recording, it could still be several more hours before they end up taking off from Saudi Arabia.
This, of course, throws SmackDown into potential chaos, as whatever plans they had for the show, including new Universal Champion Bray Wyatt appearing on MizTV and a SmackDown Tag Team Title match between The New Day and The Revival, may have to be called off depending on which talent made it on the other flights, and which stars are still stranded.
Damn you Crown Jewel! *shakes fist*
But enough about real-life intriguing stories, let’s talk about numbers!
WWE held their Q3 conference call last night, which was attended by WWE Co-President George Barrios instead of Vince McMahon, due to McMahon being in Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel. Damn you Crown Jewel! *shakes fist*
During that call, it was revealed that WWE had missed all their projections in revenue, and displayed losses in live attendance revenue and merchandise. What a fun call that must have been.
This had a major effect on WWE’s stock price, which closed the day at just over $56, dangerously close to their 52-week low of $53.25. This was a drop of $10.40, or 15%. Okay, I’m sorry, I said I’d save you from the figures, but I promise we’re done now.
With these failures to meet projections and a continued drop in ratings, it’ll be interesting to see what measures WWE takes to combat these constant declines, if any. They can’t avoid their shareholders forever, and at some point, some major action is going to need to be employed.
Something else that might need some major action is the “war” between AEW and NXT, which we can now actually say is legitimate competition, as WWE said so on this Q3 conference call. Being asked about AEW and whether they seem them as competition on the call, Co-President Barrios said:
“The live content ecosystem is competitive. So whether you’re talking about the NFL, which kind of stands alone on that next tier of us, the NBA, [Major League] Baseball, NASCAR, and then you start kind of moving down and you get to the third or fourth tier. So everybody is a competitor to some degree…So they’re a competitor, like there’s a lot of competition for eyeballs, and we take them seriously. And our expectation is that we win.”
Needless to say, his answer was a little deflective, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens if and when WWE start making changes to get more eyes on NXT.
But first let’s talk about those AEW and NXT ratings! The ratings for this week’s episodes of AEW and NXT are in, and once again, both shows declined in ratings, with AEW coming out on top. It’s worth noting for these ratings, both shows were up against an epic Game 7 in the World Series, or so I’m told.
AEW Dynamite drew 789,000 viewers, a 21% drop from last week, while NXT drew 580,000 viewers, a 17% drop from last week. While both shows are declining quite rapidly, AEW continues to drop faster than NXT, with the gap between them getting closer each week.
Hopefully though, next week will be the week we see the first ratings increases for both shows, as there won’t be a World Series Game 7 to worry about, which I hear is a big deal. As we head into December after both AEW Full Gear and NXT Takeover War Games, it will be curious to see how those shows impact the ratings, if at all.
But it might be a little more than just Takeover that AEW might need to worry about, as it was officially announced during Crown Jewel last night, that NXT will be joining Raw and SmackDown in brand warfare at this year’s Survivor Series. Damn you Crown Jewel…wait.
This means that NXT Takeover War Games will take place the night before Survivor Series, and then the same talent will have to compete at Survivor Series the next day.
While this seems like a fun idea, as we could get something like Brock Lesnar vs The Fiend vs Adam Cole as the three brand’s top respective champions, although…I think Brock and Bray are on the same brand now…one has to wonder about the impact this might cause to the Takeover show.
Considering there very well may be two War Games matches taking place at this year’s event, I won’t say any more than that as I’d be heading into spoiler territory, will this affect the quality of those matches? Will they hold back on doing some of the top high spots for fear of not being able to wrestle at Survivor Series the next day?
Regardless, this is a fantastic way to showcase your third brand, which will hopefully lead to a nice ratings bump for them following the show on November 24. This feels like the first proper warning shot from WWE to truly showcase NXT and get more eyes on it as a threat to AEW, and I’m all for it.
Crown Jewel was last night, and if you didn’t catch it, you can see the review (in about 4 minutes) by pressing the video to the right, and press the video below that to find out more about the real reason Lacey Evans & Natalya were picked for the first women’s match in Saudi Arabia! A special thank you to our pledgehammers on Patreon, some of whom you can see scrolling below me right now! I’ve been Chopper Pete Quinnell, and that, was wrestling.