Why Kofi Kingston Was Removed From TV, Jon Moxley On Going To WWE Being A Huge Mistake, Top Star Has Surgery, Rusev Finished?, Excalibur/Owens Racist Promo Resurfaces, Eric Bischoff Confirmed For Dynamite, No WWE Shows Outside Of Florida Until Next Year?, Who Was Really Behind Eye For An Eye Match

Welcome to the WrestlingNews.com Insider Weekly Newsletter!

This week’s issue, Issue No. 3, includes news from Saturday, July 25, 2020 to Friday, July 31, 2020. Stories were written by Richard Gray and CJ Blaze with final editing done by Richard for clarity. Exclusive behind-the-scenes information was added, with content exclusive to WNC Insider Members.

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WWE News

– WWE filmed the Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy bar fight from on SmackDown from Irish Shannon’s Pub on Church Street in Orlando, Florida. The establishment is currently closed due to Florida restricting sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises. Sheamus’s personal bartender was played by independent wrestler Vinny McParland. He appeared on the July 3rd episode of SmackDown as well. For those that did not see the match, he got involved and tried to help Sheamus. For those wondering, Hardy going over Sheamus is set to be the program blow-off.

– COVID-19 continues to impact WWE, just as it does every other part of the world. Cornell Gunter, who works for WWE’s Content Innovation Lab, announced on social media he tested positive for COVID-19. So far, the only other names associated with WWE to make public they have tested positive include producers Jamie Noble and Adam Pearce and on-air talents Kayla Braxton and Renee Young. As reported in an exclusive Backstage News Update here on WrestlingNews.com Insider, there are friends of Apollo Crews who believe he is positive but that has still not been confirmed. Crews was pulled from last weekend’s The Horror Show at Extreme Rules due to COVID-19 concerns. There have been a total of at least 60 cases in WWE since testing was started. That number includes talent, production and employees. We have more details about frustration regarding COVID-19 in WWE at this link. Earlier this week, Stephanie McMahon went public with the company’s COVID-19 protocol.

WWE.com has named the top ten WWE matches of the year so far from Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and pay-per-views. The list goes as follows: 10) Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher – Fight Pit (NXT 5/27), 9) Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole – Winer Take All (NXT Great American Bash 7/8), 8) Men’s and Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Matches (Money in the Bank 5/10), 7) Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair – NXT Women’s Championship (WrestleMania 36 4/5), 6) Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins – WWE Championship (Money in the Bank 5/10), 5) Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles – Intercontinental Championship (SmackDown 6/12), 4) Men’s Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble 1/26), 3) Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai – NXT Women’s Championship (NXT TakeOver: In Your House 6/7), 2) Edge vs. Randy Orton (Backlash 6/14), 1) Undertaker vs. AJ Styles – Boneyard Match (WrestleMania 36 4/4)

– For those wondering where Riddick Moss has been, the former 24/7 Champion returned to action recently on WWE Main Event and has scored two consecutive wins over Humberto Carrillo. Moss was called up to Monday Night Raw in January, but has sparingly been used since the COVID-19 pandemic forced WWE to move production to Orlando, where Moss resides. On a related note, NXT talent Jessi Kamea worked this week’s Main Event in a losing effort against Bianca Belair. Kamea also worked last week’s episode and went under to Shayna Baszler. Main Event is still being taped at the Performance Center and airs every Wednesday exclusively on Hulu before hitting the WWE Network two weeks later.

– Television icon and WrestleMania VII celebrity guest Regis Philbin has died. He was 88-years-old. Philbin’s family issued the following statement to People: “His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career.” TMZ reports Philbin died early Saturday morning after suffering a heart attack at his home. They have not confirmed that with the family. Philban was best known for co-hosting “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee,” a nationally syndicated morning talk show still in existance today. He first co-hosted alongside Kathie Lee Gifford and later with Kelly Ripa. He left the show in 2011 and was replaced by Michael Strahan. He hosted the popular ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ game show from 1999 through 2002. Philban was involved in several other TV projects and is known by wrestling fans for appearing at WrestleMania VII, where he interviewed The Undertaker and Paul Bearer. He was also on commentary for the show’s main event when Hulk Hogan beat Sgt. Slaughter to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. In 2012, he recorded a segment where he congratulated WWE Raw for making it to 1000 episodes. WWE issued the following statement on passing: “WWE is saddened to learn that legendary entertainment figure Regis Philbin has passed away at age 88. WWE Superstars were frequent guests on Philbin’s morning show, “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” including Ultimate Warrior, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, John Cena and many more. Philbin even battled the massive Yokozuna in an epic tug-of-war on an episode. The TV icon was also a memorable presence at WrestleMania VII where he conducted backstage interviews and provided commentary for the main event showdown between WWE Champion Sgt. Slaughter and Hulk Hogan. Regis also appeared on the historic Raw 1000, sending a classy congratulatory message to WWE. WWE extends its condolences to Philbin’s family, friends and fans.”

– Finn Balor vs. Edge at an NXT TakeOver event? It seems like both WWE Superstars are interested in a dream match that would put them head-to-head. Earlier this week, Edge tweeted this: “Ok @RobertStoneWWE my man! Let’s collab. Get me a match vs @FinnBalor at Takeover, I only want fuschia m&m’s(they don’t make those, so figure it out), ideas on someone to help me cosplay the pic below, crushed velvet furniture on my bus, oh yeah a bus(everyone has em now) etc etc” Balor was asked about it during an interview with Irish Mirror. Here was his response: “I would like to address that situation right now, Edge was saying he wanted to face Finn Balor at Takeover so if we could do it at Takeover Dublin all the better.” “An absolute legend in the ring, but what an absolute gent and a true pro outside the ring. “I’ve always said it to both him and Christian that when they retired, I met them at a couple of media appearances and I said: ‘lads, you two are like how I’d look to transition out of wrestling – to carry yourself with such professionalism’. To see him (Edge) back is fantastic. “Getting the chance to wrestle with him would be even better.” Balor also put over Sheamus, admitting he is a big fan of the Celtic Warrior. You can read the full interview at this link. Edge, who returned in January following an abrupt retirement, is currently out with a torn triceps he suffered at WWE Backlash in a match against Randy Orton. WWE expects him back.

– Lio Rush made his first post-WWE appearance on Saturday at GCW’s Homecoming Part 1 event streaming on Fite. Rush was the handler for the doll Yoshihiko in its match against Joey Janela. Rush eventually unmasked himself and attacked Janela. Rush and Janela have plenty of history dating back to their days in CZW, and they will clash once again this Sunday, July 26, at GCW Homecoming Part 2. Lio Rush was released from WWE on April 15 and became a free agent last Saturday, July 18. Despite teasing that his wrestling days were possibly over, it seems the former NXT Cruiserweight Champion will continue competing on the independent scene for the time being.

– Mark Henry was on Busted Open Radio were he and Bully Ray discussed the incident between Pat McAfee and Adam Cole. For those that missed it or are just now hearing about it, Cole cursed out former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee during an interview featured on The Pat McAfee Show. McAfee went at Cole with a number of different things, including his size. Many, including us, felt like it was a publicity stunt. Henry does not think is. “If you called Dusty Rhodes fat he would assassinate your career, you couldn’t work at a bingo hall in Poughkeepsie when he got through browbeating you,” said Henry. “Pat McAfee has those kinds of abilities. He’ll do it, sleight of tongue, if you will. He’s slick. You can’t just go on with someone that can really go verbally and not expect for what happened to happen.” “Pat started pushing his buttons then. Adam Cole was the heel because he started it. And I love Adam Cole,” said The World’s Strongest man. “He was the one that said, ‘Of all people to try to poke at somebody. You were a punter.’ He was the one that stabbed first. So he’s the heel.” When Bully Ray asked if Cole and McAfee went into business for themselves or if Cole wanted to put down the microphone and punch McAfee in the face, Henry, responded: “Usually the best things come from reality. And I think if it’s not – it will be. It should be but I don’t think it is. This is not a work. This is real shit that’s going to have to be turned into business because it’s too good not to.” “Here we are with all the stuff that happened for a week in pro wrestling. And we’re talking about a verbal disagreement on a show. It was real and that’s why we’re talking about it.” Bully Ray questioned is this type of behavior was acceptable by the WWE. “No, he’s going to be reprimanded,” said Henry.
Bully Ray also looked at how WWE could be upset with McAfee for going at one of their guys in the way they did when the company has always been good to him.

– Ring of Honor wrestler Cheeseburger asked his “wrestler friends” on Twitter the following question: Who was the first “name” you wrestled that was so good you realized how little you truly know and helped you step your game up?Kevin Owens took an opportunity to respond with some interesting insight. “There’s a lot of them but the most memorable one to me isn’t even someone I wrestled,” Owens tweeted. “Back in 2005, I watched @mrbriankendrick’s match at an ROH show I was also on and was so blown away by how good he was that I’m pretty sure I told @SamiZayn I was going to quit wrestling!” In a follow-up tweet, Owens went back even further: “The first one was @facdaniels in 2004. Poor Chris! Then, throughout the years, @StevenCorino, @findevan, @supercima1115, @ringfox1, @LondonFU and @OfficialPWG’s Super Dragon are all guys that made me rethink my entire existence after I had the chance to wrestle them.”

– WWE will blow-off Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler on tomorrow night’s episode of Monday Night Raw. As reported in our initial Raw preview here on WrestlingNews.com, McIntyre will get to pick the stipulation of the bout, which he will announce right before the opening bell. The match will not be for the WWE Championship.

– WWE Raw Executive Director Bruce Prichard gave the opinion that NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis is missing the “it factor” on a recent podcast. This caused Aldis to respond on Twitter. “Hi @bruceprichard, Your ignorant comments about me had me at an all-time low, kind of like your Raw ratings,” Aldis tweeted. “However, there are a few hall-of-famers that seem to have a different opinion. Some of which are even featured below. PS, I’ll be live on @BustedOpenRadio tomorrow AM.” He attached a video that includes an interview with WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race, who praised Aldis and the work he has done for the NWA name.

– John Morrison was squashed by WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman on last week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown. Morrison returned to WWE in January after being gone since 2011. He had big singles wins against Big E and Kofi Kingston and went on to win the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship with The Miz. However, he has been used as little more an enhancement talent in recent months. WWE NXT Superstar Karrion Kross tried to drum up the interest in Morrison, like we saw in the week prior after Naomi was squashed by Mandy Rose. “Hello John. #JohnMorrisonIndubitablyDeservesBetter @TheRealMorrison #Smackdown”

– Is it a work or is it a shoot? Either way, former NXT Champion Adam Cole has issued an apology on Twitter for his actions toward Pat McAfee.

As Richard covered on Thursday, Cole appeared on McAfee’s show and stormed out in a curse-filled rant when McAfee poked fun at Cole’s size. You can check it out in the video player above.

McAfee has been associated with NXT over the last couple years as a panelist. There’s speculation that this was a stunt to set up a potential TakeOver match, but that has not been confirmed.

– With Xavier Woods out with an Achilles injury and still working his way back, WWE plans to give Big E a run in singles competition. This was confirmed on-air during last week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, when Kofi Kingston announced he would be out for six weeks with an “injury.” The reason for Kofi being out remains unknown at press time. Big E has not had a singles run for more than half a decade as WWE has enjoyed immense success from The New Day trio. Vince McMahon has always been high up on E’s charisma, in-ring work and size, so this will definitely be his chance to see how he can get over following one of the most successful factions in recent WWE history. There are no plans to disband New Day at this time, as the plan is to resume the group when Woods is healthy.

– Kofi Kingston is dealing with a legitimate injury, WrestlingNews.com has learned. WWE ran a segment on last week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown with Big E and Kofi Kingston. Kingston was shown coming out of the Doctor/Trainer room where he announced he would be out approximately six weeks due to injury. He sold it like the injury occurred during the Tables Match at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Specifics of Kofi’s injury are not known as of press time. However, we can confirm it is a legitimate injury and is not related to COVID-19. As we reported here on WrestlingNews.com, WWE plans on giving Big E a run in singles. They do not plan to disband the New Day faction and are operating under the plan of bringing the faction back once Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston return to health. We are working on obtaining more information as to the specifics of Kofi Kingston’s injury and will have them when they are available.

– Triple H went on The Pat McAfee Show today to talk up the segment between McAfee and WWE NXT Superstar Adam Cole on the show last week. As CJ reported earlier, Cole issued an apology Monday on Twitter. Hunter essentially confirmed the blow-up as a work (sorry, Mark). Triple H stated Adam was being a “little overly sensitive” and Pat was a professional button pusher who needles people for a living. He said he did not ask for Cole to put out an apology and he is a grown man responsible for his own actions. Triple H then invited McAfee to NXT. He stated they could meet in private but if McAfee wants, they could do something on the show and they will promote him just like they always have. McAfee revealed he does plan to come to Florida soon after he gets married on Saturday.

– WWE officially began the build towards Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam on tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Orton opened the show by cutting a promo on McIntyre. He explained he respects McIntyre for beating Brock Lesnar in quick fashion at WrestleMania but he has something he wants – the WWE Championship. Orton vs. McIntyre for the title had long been rumored to headline SummerSlam but there had been no mention of it on television until tonight. SummerSlam will take place on Sunday, August 23, 2020 at a location still to be determined. You can read our full Raw results at this link.

– The first title match is now official for SummerSlam. WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits will defend the titles against Andrade and Angel Garza w/Zelina Vega. Andrade and Garza beat The Viking Raiders and Cedric Alexander & Ricochet in a No. 1 contender’s match on this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. The finish saw Garza pin Alexander to go over. SummerSlam will take place on Sunday, August 23, 2020 at a location still to be determined.

– Sasha Banks beat Asuka via count out on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw to officially win the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. It was a competitive match that ultimately saw Asuka get distracted by Bayley taking out Kairi Sane in the backstage area. When footage of what Bayley was doing to her best friend aired on the big screen, Asuka gave up on the lengthy title match to help her. Banks was out in the ring but declared the winner.
This will presumably be the way WWE writes Sane off television as this was her final taping with the company.

– Kairi Sane was written off WWE television on tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Sane finished up at the tapings that were held last Monday at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL. She will return to Japan to live with her husband, who she married earlier this year. Sane leaves on good terms and the two sides are open to working together in the future. After the backstage segment with Bayley taking her out aired, Sane tweeted her appreciation for her fans. “I was able to accomplish so much in the last three years, but it wasn’t because of my ability or my strength. It was because of all of the constant, warm support from the fans. I am so thankful I could meet you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Kairi Sane” The segment to write Sane off TV was enough to cost Asuka the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. We have Raw results available at this link.

– Drew McIntyre will defend the WWE Championship against Randy Orton at SummerSlam. McIntyre officially accepted Orton’s challenge prior to facing Dolph Ziggler on this week’s episode of Raw. In his promo, McIntyre told Orton not to underestimate him because that’s what Brock Lesnar did and he got his ass kicked. This was the second match to be made official for SummerSlam on Raw, which will take place on Sunday, August 23, 2020 at a location still to be determined. Below is the updated WWE SummerSlam lineup:

WWE Championship Match
– Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match
– The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza w/Zelina Vega

– According to a new report from talkSPORT, Charlotte Flair underwent successful surgery on Saturday, July 25, to fix a cosmetic issue from a previous operation. The former Women’s Champion took to Twitter earlier this month to address her time off, noting that she picked an option that will likely fix the issue, but will require a longer recovery time. Flair has been off TV since June 22 and is expected to be out of action for several months with a return date currently unknown. WWE is hopeful to have her back in action before the end of the year. TalkSport‘s report also reiterates the rumors that Flair has a potential offer to work a scripted television show on a big network. There’s no word yet on what that show is or if the deal will come to fruition.

– Ric Flair was on the latest episode of Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling podcast. He started the pod by explaining that his wife, Wendy Barlow, is doing better in her diagnosis with coronavirus. It has been three weeks, he has taken her to the hospital twice, once for an IV and the second time to just make sure she was OK. He then talked about his heart surgery last year to have a pacemaker put in. Flair explained he and Wendy remain well isolated from one another in their large home. Book talked about how close he and Flair have gotten over the years. Book said he just hoped they can all get past coronavirus. Last week, The New York Post reported Flair’s wife was diagnosed with the virus and he had it too. Ric denied that and stated while she was positive, he was not infected. He was scheduled to be at the WWE Raw tapings last week in the corner of Randy Orton but was pulled due to concerns regarding COVID-19. It is unknown if there are plans for him to return as Orton’s manager for his SummerSlam match against Drew McIntyre.

– Mick Foley was critical of WWE’s decision to put Bobby Lashley over Mustafa Ali clean on this week’s Raw, one week after his return to the company. “Not crazy about that outcome,” Foley tweeted. “@AliWWE brings SO MUCH to the @WWE table – class act, outstanding wrestler, HUGE potential for international attention. Why make him seem like just another guy? #RAW” Ali was appreciative of the support and replied: “Appreciate the support, Mick. It’s a fight worth fighting.”

– Rey Mysterio can see again. The official WWE website provided a kayfabe update on Mysterio’s condition following the Eye for an Eye match at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules:

“WWE Digital has learned that Rey Mysterio’s vision is improving slowly each day, and that his optic nerve is intact, completely secured and back in its socket. A timeline for Mysterio’s return to the ring is unknown at this time.”

Click here for coverage on dot com.

As for what this means for Mysterio, it is looking increasily likely he has agreed to a new WWE contract and will be returning to television. Otherwise, the Eye for an Eye match would have been used to write him off TV. Another hint Mysterio will be back is the fact that his son, Dominick, got physical with Seth Rollins on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw.

Speaking of which, Rollins posted the following photo of his back after the kendo stick shots on Raw:


– In a kayfabe update posted here on dot com, WWE noted Nia Jax has been “fined an undisclosed amount for inappropriate contact with multiple WWE officials in the aftermath of her match against Shayna Bazler on Monday’s Raw.” Obviously this is a storyline to book her forward following her return on this week’s show. Jax was last seen on the June 15 episode of Raw before returning on Monday. She will continue a program with Sayna Baszler with one undoubtedly being forced to turn babyface. Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler was thrown out by double count out on Raw. The two women went crazy, with officials being caught up in the melee. We have complete Raw results available at this link.

– Kairi Sane has received quite the send-off from WWE. Sane, who finished up with WWE on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, was written off TV after being beat up by Bayley. This caused Asuka to leave her Raw Women’s Championship match and get counted out in the process. After the segment aired she released a statement on social media. WWE followed that with this statement: Kairi Sane bids farewell to the WWE Universe Following Monday Night Raw, Kairi Sane took to Twitter to thank her fellow Superstars, WWE staff and the WWE Universe for their support as she prepares to leave WWE. Sane joined WWE in 2017, winning the inaugural Mae Young Classic. Along with the hearts of the WWE Universe, she would go on to capture the NXT Women’s Championship and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship alongside Asuka. Sane’s fellow Superstars responded in kind on social media. WWE sends its best wishes to Kairi Sane as she sets sail on her next voyage!” Sane will return to Japan to be with her husband who she married earlier this year. While she is leaving WWE, it is said she will remain in the ‘WWE family’ with the two sides open to working together again. On Wednesday, Triple H weighed in on the love: “A truly unique young woman with the ability to capture hearts, minds (and pirate ships!!!) Proud of @KairiSaneWWE’s growth as a performer and her time spent with #WWENXT and @WWE,” Triple H tweeted.

– Next week’s WWE NXT will feature the official debut of NXT UK star Ridge Holland. The former Luke Menzies will compete in a TakeOver triple threat qualifier against Damian Priest and Oney Lorcan.

– Additionally, Dakota Kai and Rhea Ripley will clash in a number one contender’s match, while Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly will challenge Imperium for the NXT Tag Team Championship.

– Dexter Lumis joins Bronson Reed in the North American Championship Ladder Match at TakeOver XXX. Three spots remain open.

– Karrion Kross vs. NXT Champion Keith Lee looks to be in the works for TakeOver, but William Regal announced Kross will have to earn his opportunity.

– Former WWE Superstar Rusev, who now goes by Miro, stated during a Twitch Q&A he is finished wrestling and is no longer a wrestler. Miro explained he’s a professional Twitcher, YouTuber and content creator. Miro, whose real name is Miroslav Barnyashev, is officially a free agent following his WWE release in April and has strong interest from All Elite Wrestling. It is also believed he has an opportunity with New Japan Pro Wrestling. During an interview with ESPN, Cody Rhodes mentioned Miro as an AEW target. He also mentioned Matt Cardona (f/k/a Zack Ryder) who debuted for AEW on this week’s Dynamite. WWE recently reached out to some released talent about returning. While it is unknown if Miro was one of these workers, he recently spoke about having a nice text conversation with Vince McMahon. Miro, 35, worked for WWE from 2010-2020. He has not had a match since February, with his last documented bout being a tag team match with Humberto Carillo vs. Bobby Lashley and Angel Garza on the Feb. 17, 2020 episode of Raw. Miro and Humberto went under in the match.

PWInsider is reporting that former EVOLVE star Leon Ruff has signed a contract with WWE NXT. Ruff has been used on Raw, SmackDown, NXT, 205 Live, and Main Event as an enhancement talent in recent months at the Performance Center against the likes of Tommaso Ciampa, Sheamus, Aleister Black, Karrion Kross, and more. Ruff is just the first name to join NXT after WWE acquired EVOLVE. He’s also the real-life boyfriend of WWE referee Aja Smith.

– There is a rumor making rounds on social media that WWE has added an additional pay-per-view to their schedule.
According to the @WrestleVotes account on Twitter, which has broke stories in the past, WWE will hold their Payback pay-per-view one week after SummerSlam on Sunday, August 30, 2020. No further details were available at press time.

– Vince McMahon took questions from investors during a conference call held on Thursday after WWE released their second quarter earnings.

While the majority of these calls are to discuss aspects that influence the company’s stock price (i.e. business details more useful for stockholders and analysts most of you could not care less about), there were some things fans might find of note.

  • Vince addressed the soft ratings situation. Vince explained a live audience is an integral part of their product. However, he admitted they can have more compelling storylines and characters.
  • McMahon has not decided for sure on another event in Saudi Arabia this year but with the COVID-19 pandemic, he does not believe it will happen.
  • The initial reaction to the free tier of the WWE Network has been great and the company is working to convert free users to paid subscribers.
  • Vince was asked why AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT have “bounced back” better than Raw and SmackDown during the situation with COVID-19. The same caller asked about the firing of Paul Heyman and whether or not Triple H can help on Raw and/or SmackDown. Vince explained AEW and NXT adapted better ratings wise because they are new. However, Raw and SmackDown are trying to appeal to youth more now. McMahon never directly answered the Heyman question, explaining Triple H is helping with all shows.

– Matt Camp reported on the following WWE NXT injuries in this week’s NXT Injury Report:

  • Cameron Grimes suffered a jaw contusion his encounter with NXT Champion Keith Lee. Grimes has challenged Lee to a bout for next week.
  • Finn Balor worked the Triple Threat main event with a calf muscle tear. The injury occurred during training but he was cleared prior to his bout on this week’s show. It is unknown if he came out of the match with any kind of setback.
  • Dexter Lumis suffered an ankle injury in the main event. He is slated to undergo more tests.

– AJ Styles beat Gran Metalik in a WWE Intercontinental Championship match on this week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown. The match was booked to make it look like Metalik had a chance with Lince Dorado in his corner. There were some good near falls and a lot of fun spots. Ultimately, Styles hit the Calf Crusher to win the match in just over 14 minutes. Many fans on social media noticed WWE is now piping in crowd noise to help reactions from the wrestlers already at ringside. We have complete WWE Friday Night SmackDown results available here at WrestlingNews.com.

– WWE Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles predicted on his Twitch channel that WWE will continue to run shows at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida until 2021. Styles added he does not know what is going on with SummerSlam. He hopes they can run shows outside of the PC but based on everything and how it is going, he would be surprised if they did. WWE has been running all of their main roster shows at the Performance Center since March. Vince McMahon is working to find a different location for next month’s SummerSlam pay-per-view to give it a “special” feel, which we will have more on shortly here at WrestlingNews.com.

– Seth Rollins revealed some interesting details about the Eye for an Eye match at WWE’s The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. Speaking during an interview with Talk Sport, Rollins revealed Vince McMahon had next to nothing to do with the actual match. It was actually planned out by himself, Rey Mysterio and producer Jamie Noble. “A lot of the time, Vince says ‘here’s what we want to do’ and he gives us the ball and let us figure out how to take it to the end zone,” said Rollins. “Again, when the idea was presented to me, I was aghast. I thought it was ridiculous and a bit of a joke. But the more I thought about it and the more it came to pass I was like ‘OK, this will be different.’ And it can be good and we don’t have to scoff at everything right out of the gate – I don’t want to be that person. “Vince wasn’t as hands on as people think that he was. If I’m going to break the fourth wall here, so to speak, it was really 99.9% myself, Rey Mysterio and Jamie Noble.” Rollins explained McMahon did have the final call on what the last shot was going to look like. “At the end of the day, you had Vince who made the final call on what the last shot was going to look like and that’s pretty much it. “There was a couple of versions of what that final shot would look like and we went with the one that we thought made the most sense. It was a joint-decision on everybody’s behalf. “So at the end of the day, it was a product that I was pretty proud of. It was the first time I’d been able to be out there in the ring with a legend like Rey Mysterio for an extended period of time and, like I said, we had a really good wrestling match with a provocative finish and I was not upset about it one bit.” Mysterio remains off WWE television with the storyline being he is healing up from “losing his eye” during the match, with WWE’s latest kayfabe update being optimistic he will regain his vision. In reality, he has been working for WWE without a contract and is believed to be getting close to signing a new one. Rollins has continued the program with Dominick Mysterio, as seen on last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Click here for all of Rollins’ comments to Talk Sport.

– There was a backstage segment on tonight’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown where Sonya Deville attacked Mandy Rose. Rose was putting on lipstick when Deville showed up and began attacking her. Deville smeared lipstick on Rose’s face and kicked her in the head. Then, Deville took scissors and started cutting Rose’s hair. She went for some electric clippers but Adam Pearce, a producer returned, and chased her off with three referees.

– “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt ended this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown by applying the Mandible Claw on Alexa Bliss. The spot happened after Bayley successfully defended the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss. The lights went out and when they came back on, they were tinted red. The Fiend was standing in the ring behind Bliss, who had been in the ring consoling Nikki Cross after her loss. He circled her, got down his knees and went face-to-face with her. Wyatt held his hand up to a terrified Bliss and then applied the Mandible Claw to end the show. Bliss was utilized in the Swamp Fight at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules where she lured Braun Strowman into Wyatt’s trap. If you missed the way she was utilized, you can watch that video at this link. It is widely expected that “The Fiend” will challenge Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship next month at SummerSlam.

– Bayley beat Nikki Cross on this week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown to retain the WWE Women’s SmackDown Championship. The finish saw Bayley slam Cross’s face into the mat and pin her in just over 10 minutes. Today marks 295 days that Bayley has held the title.

AEW News

– Former WCW star Glenn Gilbertti, a/k/a Disco Inferno, asked on social media if Cody Rhodes’ character on AEW television was a heel and then he made reference to his TNT title defenses against independent talent. “Is Cody Rhodes a heel? This is like the old school angle where you have a list of worthy contenders and they are just a bunch of indy workers that don’t even work for the company. #warhorse,” Gilbertti tweeted. Cody beat Eddie Kingston to retain on last week’s Dynamite and is set to defend against Warhorse next Wednesday night. Rhodes responded to the tweet, with this: “I’m neither. I’m a competitor & a reigning champion. Tired old tropes are even more insulting to the viewer considering I’ve been on their TV since I was 20. It ain’t black and white, it hasn’t been in forever. Circumstances of the match dictate who we cheer for, beautiful thing.”

– This week’s episode of AEW Dynamite did strong viewership numbers, with The Young Bucks vs. The Butcher & The Blade drawing more than one million viewers. AEW President & CEO Tony Khan confirmed on Twitter that from 8:55pm ET to 9pm ET, the final five minutes of the Falls Count Anywhere Match, the show drew 1,018,000 viewers total and 502,000 in the key 18-49 year old demographic. We have results from this week’s AEW Dynamite online at this link.

– Word making rounds throughout the AEW locker room is that the promotion’s momentum was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic in a major way. The feeling is if Dynamite scheduled for Rochester, NY on March 18 and the special “Blood & Guts” show took place on March 25 in Newark, NJ as planned, AEW Dynamite would be doing “big time numbers right now.” Jon Alba of Spectrum Sports 360 reporting: “Talked to a few in #AEW about this, and they all say the same thing: If the Rochester and Newark (Blood & Guts) shows went off as planned, #AEWDynamite would be doing big time numbers right now. Felt like a lot of the momentum was stalled. Show was excellent this week.”

– The Rhodes Wrestling Academy is set to open in January 2021 outside of Austin, Texas. Dustin Rhodes will be launching the school that will be for new young prospects. It will not be associated with AEW or anyone else. Rhodes wrote on the school’s Twitter account it is a project he has “dreamt about for a long time.”

– Chris Jericho did another Saturday Night Special last night on YouTube. One of his fans watching commented for him to please come back to WWE. “It’s not going to happen,” Jericho explained. “I’m really enjoying being in AEW and I loved my time with WWE. I love Vince McMahon. I learned a lot, had a lot of fun but listen, you can’t stay in the same place forever. You become stagnant. If you do and I think you need to push yourself to do something new and the fact that AEW was live without a net when I first showed up and all of us have done such a great job of promoting this brand and promoting this company. Like I said, the demigod thing is real. Of course it’s not me, even though I’ve never been beaten in the demo for my segment this week. The friggin Young Bucks did over a million viewers. And not only that, The Butcher and The Blade, how about that?” Jericho, whose WWE career spanned 15 years, departed the company for good in 2018. The following year, he made a surprise appearance at a media event organized by All Elite Wrestling and signed a three-year performer’s contract with the promotion. Of course he went on to become the inaugural AEW World Champion after beating Adam Page.

– JTG re-posted a Photoshopped promotional poster showing him versus Cody for the TNT Championship on AEW Dynamite. The former WWE star tagged Cody on Twitter with the following comment: “Interesting… @CodyRhodes don’t you love Fan Art ?” The tweet did not draw a response from Cody but drew several replies from fans. Reactions were mixed, with some tagging Tony Khan to make it happen, with others stating they did not want to see JTG in AEW only to go under to Cody. AEW is currently bringing in independent talent to challenge Cody for the TNT title. He beat Eddie Kingston via submission on last week’s Dynamite and is set to defend against Warhorse on Wednesday’s episode.
JTG of course is best known for being one-half of the WWE tag team Cryme Tyme with the late Shad Gaspard. They worked the independent circuit together after their run in WWE with their last documented match being on February 15, 2020 for Santino Marella’s Battle Arts promotion in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Gaspard died tragically in May.

– AEW Superstar Kris Statlander announced on Twitter she will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair her torn ACL.
Statlander suffered the injury on the June 10, 2020 episode of AEW Dynamite. “Tomorrow is surgery day and I’m either going to spend my night watching #AEWDark or sleeping,” Statlander wrote. “Luckily I’ll be entertained Wednesday as well on my first day of recovery knowing #AEWDynamite is LIVE Wednesday at 8/7c pn TNT. Who’s watching with me?” Statlander is out indefinitely.

– AEW’s TNT Championship was introduced at Double or Nothing in May with an incomplete design due to the coronavirus pandemic delaying plans. Despite this, Cody has brought the title to Dynamite every week for an open challenge. When asked on Twitter when the title’s design will be completed, Cody revealed Wednesday, August 12 as the finish date. He also noted that the side plates look “very elegant.” Cody will defend the TNT Championship against independent standout Warhorse on this week’s Dynamite. We’ll have complete coverage here at WrestlingNews.com.

– Kris Statlander underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ACL in her right knee. As reported here on WrestlingNews.com, Statlander suffered the injury on the June 10, 2020 episode of AEW Dynamite. “Tomorrow is surgery day and I’m either going to spend my night watching #AEWDark or sleeping,” Statlander tweeted prior to undergoing surgery. “Luckily I’ll be entertained Wednesday as well on my first day of recovery knowing #AEWDynamite is LIVE Wednesday at 8/7c pn TNT. Who’s watching with me?”

– AEW World Champion Jon Moxley was a guest on SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio where he discussed the madness of WWE’s scripted promos. Moxley, who was formerly known as Dean Ambrose in WWE, is on record several times about his discontent for being micromanaged in WWE. He signed a WWE developmental contract in 2011 and was called up to the main roster at Survivor Series 2012 alongside Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in a faction known as The Shield.
Moxley explained that he always heard the phrase “scripted promo” and thought they were being given suggestions. However, he stated the writers gave him the scripts and instructed him to memorize them. He recalled after that, he knew he had made a terrible mistake. Moxley referred to Vince McMahon as a “74-year-old madman” who would write stuff that would make him look stupid. He is relieved that he will never be in that situation again. Moxley signed with AEW in 2019. One of the upstart promotion’s hallmarks is the fact there are no scripted promos. An initiative has been made to allow talent creative freedom to get over. Chris Jericho in particular has thrived under this style. Moxley, while now AEW’s top guy, is the real-life husband of Renee Young, who still works for WWE.

– There continues to be a lot of buzz about All Elite Wrestling adding another series that could potentially air on TNT or just another hour of TV in general. As things currently stand, AEW does Dynamite each week on TNT and AEW Dark on YouTube. Tony Khan himself is on record as the saying they have talked with TNT about another program. On Monday, Cody Rhodes was asked about another AEW program or a third hour being added to Dynamite during an interview with ESPN. “I think probably in four to six weeks I’ll have a firmer answer on that. That’s still very much the case. The format of that show might be different,” revealed Cody. “It might rely on the production we have in place already, it might not. I know we’ve got all kinds of different plans converging on what we want. The goal of what the third hour would be is to showcase a different crop of talent from AEW. It’s very hard when you have this much talent and you only have a single weekly show. It’s hard to keep people in the mix. As a wrestler, it’s even hard to train for. The only way to train for wrestling is still wrestling. It’s been an adjustment, even without the pandemic.” You can read the complete interview at this link.

– All Elite Wrestling updated their official talent rankings prior to this week’s episode of Dynamite on TNT. Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood, known collectively as FTR, were noticeably absent. “Hello? Anyone there,” Wheeler tweeted. “As I’ve told your attorney, you each need to sign your contracts before we can rank you in the top 5,” Tony Khan tweeted in response. FTR claimed during an appearance on Jim Cornette’s podcast last month they were on a handshake deal with AEW and not under a long-term contract. “Mr. Kahn dropping personal information on twitter. We’ll make our decision today,” Dax tweeted. “We told you what we want. Check off the checklist and we’re ready,” Wheeler added.

– Warhorse will make his debut with All Elite Wrestling on tonight’s episode of Dynamite in a match against Cody for the TNT Championship. Warhorse, the character of 27-year-old Jake Parnell, is the reigning IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion. Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated spoke to him prior to his match against Cody. “I’ll be head banging like nobody’s business on TNT,” said Parnell. “People are going to see independent wrestling is alive and well. That’s the most important part of this match to me. Indie wrestling is going to rise to the occasion.” Warhorse credits his fans on social media for getting him the title defense against Cody. “None of this happens without my fans,” said Parnell. “People kept getting louder and louder, and they kept blowing up Cody about the match. Them getting riled up and fired up got me on television.” It is unknown if Warhorse will carry the IWTV title belt to the ring but he wants a chance to cut a promo on Dynamite.
“I’ll be looking for a mic as soon as I walk in the building,” said Parnell. “My personality, that is how I have a connection with the fans. And I’ve got a lot to say.” Click here to read the complete interview with Sports Illustrated.

– Matt Cardona is #AllElite. The former Zack Ryder made his AEW Dynamite debut tonight. The Dark Order attacked Cody after his TNT Champion defense, which lead to Cardona making the save. Cody and Cardona are real-life friends, which fueled speculation that the self-proclaimed Internet Champion would land in AEW following his WWE release in April. We have complete Dynamite coverage at this link.

– Ariane Andrew, formerly known as Cameron in WWE, will compete in AEW’s Deadly Draw women’s tag team tournament.

Andrew appeared backstage on this week’s Dynamite to make it known that she has Nyla Rose’s back despite the company announcing that teams will be drawn at random this Monday on AEW’s YouTube channel. Brandi Rhodes & Allie were previously announced to compete as a team.

The following rules have been made official for the Deadly Draw:

  • Tournament is a random draw
  • All competitors must draw a color
  • Match colors will become a team
  • Selections are final and cannot be appealed

– MJF has begun his quest for an AEW World Championship match at All Out. He cut a fiery promo on this week’s Dynamite (results here) to make it known that he’s campaigning for the bout since he’s undefeated in singles competition and ranked number one. Before MJF receives his title shot, Jon Moxley will put the AEW World Championship on the line against Darby Allin next week after they successfully teamed up against Brian Cage and Ricky Starks.

– Excalibur was noticeably missing from commentary on this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, which aired live on TNT.
The announce team was comprised of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Taz. It was not mentioned on the broadcast why Taz filled in for him. Earlier in July, Shiavone missed Dynamite due to his COVID-19 test results being delayed. However, his absence was addressed on the broadcast, unlike the situation this week with Excalibur.

– Excalibur traveled to last night’s AEW Dynamite in Jacksonville, Florida but was held off the show. There is still no reason as to why he was replaced by Taz and his absence was not acknowledged on the broadcast. Many fans have pointed to a video trending Twitter that shows Excalibur and WWE superstar Kevin Owens using racial slurs at a Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show in the 2000s. The video has been in circulation for years but picked up steam recently. In the video, Excalibur asks Super Dragon if he feels comfortable replacing them with the men in the ring, who he describes with racial slurs. Owens gets on the mic and emphasizes one of the slurs used to Human Tornado. Owens’ line was actually one used by Steve Austin in The Longest Yard, where Austin played a racist police officer. So far, none of the parties have commented on the video. There have also not been any statements from WWE or AEW.

– Eddie Kingston is All Elite. AEW announced on Friday they have officially signed Kingston following his debut on last Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite where he lost to Cody Rhodes in a TNT Championship Match. Kingston also cut a promo that was well received. Kingston, 38, is well known on the United States independent scene, working for promotions such as ROH, PWG, and CZW. He also appeared on NWA Powerrr.

– Seven matches have been announced for next week’s episode of AEW Dark.

AEW Dark premieres every Tuesday on the official All Elite Wrestling YouTube channel. Announced bouts are as follows:

  • FTR vs. Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison
  • Jack Evans vs. QT Marshall
  • The Butcher & The Blade vs. Private Party
  • Scorpio Sky vs. Will Hobbs
  • The Initiative vs. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela
  • Gunn Club vs. Aaron Solow & Serpentico
  • Abadon vs. KiLynn King

– Eric Bischoff is set to appear on next week’s episode of AEW Dynamite. The news was reported on Reddit by user SpaceForce1, who has provided spoilers from taped episodes of Dynamite in the past. Bischoff is set to appear in a segment with Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy, apparently as the advertised special guest moderator in an announced debate segment. Bischoff was last involved in mainstream professional wrestling as the Executive Director of WWE SmackDown. It was a position he held from June-October of last year. Bischoff was hired to be the Executive Director of WWE SmackDown in June 2019, but was released from the job just a few months later on October 15. As previously reported here at WrestlingNews.com, several items have been announced for next week’s Dynamite: Matt Cardona will make his AEW in-ring debut when he teams with TNT Champion Cody to face Dark Order’s Alex Reynolds & John Silver. A twelve-man tag team match will go down as The Young Bucks, FTR, Kenny Omega, and Hangman Page take on six members of The Dark Order including Brodie Lee and Colt Cabana. After successfully teaming up together, Jon Moxley will put his AEW World Championship on the line against Darby Allin. Additionally, Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy will have a Super Wednesday Debate before they rematch in two weeks.


– Tomoaki Honma and Yota Tsuji were pulled from New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Sengoku Lord show after filming a television show with another cast member who tested positive for COVID-19. They filmed the show on July 17 and the cast member tested positive on July 24. Neither Honma nor Tsuji were in close contact with the infected party. However, they were pulled from Sengoku Lord out of an abundance of caution. NJPW released the following statement: “On July 17, Tomoaki Honma and Yota Tsuji recorded a television show with another cast member who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, July 24. Both are in good health and were not in close contact with the infected party. They will not be appearing on Sengoku Lord out of an abundance of caution. We apologize to fans who were looking forward to seeing Tsuji and Honma wrestle, and appreciate your understanding. The following change has been made to tonight’s card: 2nd Match: Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima, & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Yota Tsuji, & Gabriel Kidd | Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima, & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, & Gabriel Kidd”

– New Japan Pro Wrestling will hold a series of shows at Jingu Stadium called the Summer Struggle. The Summer Struggle tour will begin tomorrow at Korakuen Hall and will run through August 16. NJPW confirmed the series during intermission at Saturday’s Sengoku Lord show. Fans will be in attendance at the shows but the stadium will feature a socially distanced crowd, less than the nearly 38,000 capacity. The promotion is also launching a new series called NJPW Strong which will stream on NJPW World beginning August 7 at 10 PM ET.

– New Japan Pro Wrestling began their Summer Struggle tour today at Korakuen Hall.

Sunday’s show was headlined by Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi versus EVIL, Dick Togo and Taiji Ishimori. We should have complete results online soon.

Below are the announced matches for night two. The show will begin tomorrow morning at 5:30 AM ET:

  • Tetsuya Naito, SANADA and Hiromu Takahashi vs. EVIL, Dick Togo and Taiji Ishimori
  • Kazuchika Okada and SHO vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Gedo
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Master Wato vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru and DOUKI
  • Yuji Nagata and Yuya Uemura vs. Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado
  • YOSHI-HASHI and Toru Yano vs. Shingo Takagi and BUSHI
  • Ryusuke Taguchi, Satoshi Kojima and Togi Makabe vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto and Gabriel Kidd

– New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the creation of the KOPW 2020 title during a press conference on Tuesday. The title won’t have a physical championship belt, but will instead be a trophy presented to whoever is the champion at the end of the year.

The following information was posted on NJPW’s website:

After teasing a ‘controversial idea’ backstage since Sengoku Lord in Nagoya, Kazuchika Okada held a special press conference today to announce the KOPW 2020 title. Unlike any other championship in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, this will not have a championship belt, and instead be reset at the end of each year. Here are the details:

The provisional KOPW 2020 will be decided across two nights, on August 26 in Korakuen Hall, and on August 29 at Summer Struggle in Jingu Stadium.

Eight wrestlers will wrestle in four singles matches on August 26.

Each wrestler will bring their own desired match rules to the first round. Okada suggested that ‘there are all kinds of rules. Two out of three falls, ladder, steel cage matches, it could be anything’. 

Fans will vote on which wrestler’s rules the singles matches will be contested under. 

The winners of those singles matches will advance to a four way match on August 29 under ‘regular’ four way rules. The winner of that match will be provisional KOPW2020. 

The KOPW title can be defended until the end of the year, with stipulations to be voted on by fans. The winner of the last KOPW2020 title match of the year will be presented with the KOPW trophy, and the process begins anew in 2021!

Okada stated that this would provide action that is ‘completely different from what we’ve expected from IWGP titles, and from NJPW’ but represented a completely fresh approach. Don’t miss a second of KOPW2020 in NJPW!

Other matches confirmed for Summer Struggle on August 29 include IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Champion EVIL vs. Tetsuya Naito, plus IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi vs. Taiji Ishimori.

– Yota Tsuji and Tomoaki Honma were removed from New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Sengoku Lord after being exposed to an individual who was positive for the coronavirus. NJPW issued a press release, noting that both Tsuji and Honma were tested for coronavirus and are negative.

As a result of the negative tests, both wrestlers have been cleared to return to competition for Wednesday’s non-televised event in Hamamatsu. The official release is below:

“On July 25, Yota Tsuji and Tomoaki Honma were both pulled from the Sengoku Lord in Nagoya as a precautionary measure.

Since then, both wrestlers have undertaken PCR testing and are confirmed negative for Coronavirus. They are both cleared to return to competition from Wednesday July 29’s non-televised event in Hamamatsu.

Honma, Tsuji and NJPW thank you for your support.”

– New Japan Pro Wrestling announced on Tuesday that IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi has suffered a shoulder injury and will be out of action for a short amount of time.

Takahashi is still slated to defend his title against Taiji Ishimori on August 29 at Summer Struggle. However, the following match changes have been announced, per NJPW’s website:

– Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI vs EVIL & Taiji Ishimori will take place at Summer Struggle Night 3 at Act City Hamamatsu in Match 6

– Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI vs EVIL & Taiji Ishimori will take place at Summer Struggle Night 4 at Korakuen Hall in Match 5

Ratings News

– This week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown garnered an average of 1.971 million viewers on FOX. Hour one did 1.985 million viewers, while the second hour ticked down slightly at 1.956 million viewers. SmackDown was No. 1 in the 18-49 demographic with a 0.5 rating. The audience is up from the 1.912 million viewers the show did in the final numbers from last week. We’ll have the final number on Monday. We have SmackDown results available at this link and backstage news from the bar fight available at this link.

– Last Tuesday’s episode of Impact Wrestling did 163,000 viewers on AXS TV, according to a report by PWTorch.com. It was the first episode of Impact since Slammiversary and saw the return of EC3, The Good Brothers, a tag team title change and more. Viewership was up from the 156,000 viewers the show did the week prior and the 135,000 viewers the week before that. This week’s show did a 0.05 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic. Impact ranked #103 on cable on Tuesday.

– WWE Friday Night SmackDown did an average viewing audience of 1.924 million viewers on FOX. This was adjusted down from the overnight number, which was 1.971 million viewers. Last week’s show was up from the 1.912 million viewers the show did in the week prior. SmackDown helped FOX finish first in the in the men 18-49 demographic and adults 18-49 demographics. They shared first place with several shows for the women 18-49 demographic.

– This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 1.617 million viewers on the USA Network. This was down from the 1.628 million viewers the show did last week. Hour one did 1.699 million viewers, hour two did 1.688 million viewers and hour three did 1.463 million viewers. The three hours finished third (hour one – 0.52 rating), fourth (hour two – 0.50 rating) and seventh (hour three – 0.41 rating) in the 18-49 demographic for Monday’s cable ratings. There continues to be an effort to get the show back over two million viewers but WWE will have to try again next week.

– This week’s episode of AEW Dynamite did 773,000 viewers on TNT. The show ranked No. 6 in the 18-49 demographic with a 0.3 rating. Viewership was down from the 845,000 viewers the series did last week. WWE NXT over on the USA Network did 707,000 viewers on the USA Network, up from the 615,000 viewers they did in the week prior. NXT finished No. 28 in the 18-49 demographic of Top 50 original cable telecasts with a 0.17 rating.

Impact Wrestling News

– Heath Slater will compete in his first Impact Wrestling match next Tuesday when he challenges Moose for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Next week’s show will also feature Eddie Edwards defending the Impact World Championship in an open challenge, TJP & Fallah Bahh vs. Chris Bey & Rohit Raju, an appearance from Rich Swann, and a sit-down interview with Motor City Machine Guns. We have complete results from this week’s Impact at this link.

– A mistrial was declared in the lawsuit pitting Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Wrestling against Anthem Wrestling. United States District Court Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr. declared a mistrial on Friday, granting a motion filed by Anthem’s legal team. There were a number of factors that caused Anthem to request the mistrial. They alleged Jarrett’s attorney had prejudiced the jury after stating that Ed Nordholm was not present for court proceedings on July 20th, as well as by bringing up numbers regarding liabilities in closing arguments despite the court stressing that they were to be left for the discussion about potential damages. The judge ruled the GFW Amped! tapes are to be preserved and there will be a conference call next month to arrange a new trial. The verdict where the jury found Anthem liable has been vacated and the jury has been dismissed.

– Did All Elite Wrestling bite from Impact Wrestling in MJF’s ‘State of the Industry’ address that aired on this week’s episode of Dynamite on TNT? Impact tweeted a video of a segment from 2015 featuring EC3’s #EC3ForChamp promo. “Is the #EC3ForChamp campaign part of the past @therealec3 wants to destroy,” Impact tweeted. Replies to the video accused AEW of copying Impact for the segment that aired this week. You can watch highlights of MJF’s ‘State of the Industry’ address embedded in the player above.


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