Welcome to WrestlingNews.com’s “Weekend Pages” update featuring WWE, AEW, and Impact Wrestling news bits from the last week.
– WWE viewership continues to be a talking point during the pandemic era. Raw ratings have hit all-time lows, while SmackDown continues to slip on FOX. NXT has been praised recently for beating Dynamite’s viewership for three weeks in a row. In fact, Keith Lee beating Adam Cole to become double NXT Champion reportedly drew 992,000 viewers over Dynamite’s Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy with 675,000.
– Raw viewership ticked downward with 1.687 million viewers compared to 1.735 million viewers the week prior. SmackDown’s overnight viewership actually went up to 1.905 million viewers despite the negative reviews online. The July 2nd episode drew 1.776 million.
– Fightful Select recently reported that Matt Riddle’s debut segment on SmackDown from a few weeks ago was coordinated by John Laurinaitis. Additionally, Renee Young, AJ Styles, and Daniel Bryan read their lines off of paper from the table in front of them. The segment was said to have a number of laughs from Styles and Riddle letting their personalities show off-script. WWE is able to pull off less-rehearsed segments these days with pre-taped episodes in front of other talent.
– As if there was any doubt, Vince McMahon is said to be a huge fan of Otis, hence his recent push on WWE TV. Both Otis and Tucker have reportedly made good impressions in the locker room.
– Naomi noted on Instagram that their work in the karaoke segment on SmackDown was an attempt to make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t.
– Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus in a Bar Fight will happen soon, although WWE has not officially announced it on dot com for Extreme Rules. If the match is added to the card, it will likely be the third “cinematic match” in addition to the Wyatt/Strowman Swamp Fight and the Rollins/Mysterio Eye for an Eye match where CGI will reportedly be used to demonstrate someone losing an eye.
– A new WWE 24 documentary is in the works for WWE Champion Drew McIntyre.
– This week’s Main Event saw Titus O’Neil beat Akira Tozawa, while Bianca Belair beat Peyton Royce. It has been reported by various outlets that Shayna Baszler recently taped a match for Main Event, but it has yet to air if that is the case.
– Raw Tag Team Champion Angelo Dawkins recently welcomed his first child into the world, while NXT UK star Amir Jordan recently tied the knot.
– Several matches have been announced for the final week before Extreme Rules. Raw will have four grudge matches, NXT will be headlined by a Women’s Championship match, and SmackDown will feature Matt Riddle vs. AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship.
– With the Jacksonville Jaguars set to have 25% capacity at TIAA Bank Field when the NFL season starts up as soon as late August, there’s a chance AEW may be able to have a limited amount of fans at Daily’s Place in the next couple of months.
– Brian Cage will defend his FTW Championship against Brian Pillman Jr. on Tuesday’s new episode of Dark. Jurassic Express, Diamante, Brandi Rhodes, Allie, Ricky Starks, and others will also be in action.
– Regarding Kenny Omega’s AEW booking, word going around this weekend is that he’s expected to be built up again as a major star over the next year. Omega has focused on building the women’s division behind the scenes, while also serving as Tag Team Champion alongside Hangman Adam Page.
– Impact Wrestling has reportedly been able to continue operating thanks to a Paycheck Protection Program loan from the U.S. government. Anthem requested the loan to keep 106 jobs during the pandemic.
– A virtual fanfest event will be held next weekend as part of the Slammiversary festivities. Click here for more info.
– Michael Elgin recently released a video where he denied sexual assault accusations despite being separated from Impact Wrestling.
– There continues to be heavy hints of Eric Young and Heath Slater appearing at Slammiversary following their WWE releases. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have reportedly signed with the company, while EC3 is also rumored to return soon.
– Tuesday’s new episode will feature a 10-Knockout tag team match, a contract signing for Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace, plus Moose and mystery partner vs. Crazzy Steve and Tommy Dreamer.