WWE Survivor Series 2015 this Sunday on WWE Network
Final card yet to be announced, but we have confirmed: Undertaker and Kane vs. Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio, Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens, Charlotte vs. Paige, Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze, and the finals of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament. There will also be a traditional Survivor Series match, with the participants yet to be announced.
Mediocre build for this show, especially disappointed in how they’re presented Wyatt vs. Taker. There were some interesting directions they could have gone, but instead they went with a feud straight out of 1991. Tournament has had some good matches but been predictable so far, hope for a twist on Sunday. I think everyone thinks Roman Reigns should turn heel, we’ll see if Vince agrees.
Ric Flair Was Not Told of Raw Angle in Advance
The angle between Paige and Charlotte from Monday which concluded with Paige taking a shot at Charlotte’s dead brother Reid Flair generated a lot of discussion. I’d say the most common position was “it’s okay because they obviously had the family on-board.”
Turns out that wasn’t true, as neither Ric Flair nor his ex-wife was informed of the angle before it happened. Flair talked at length about the angle on his podcast. He’s a good soldier and didn’t want to cause too much trouble, but it was clear he wasn’t happy with what went down.
Personally, I liked the angle and thought it heated up a feud I didn’t care about. But this is the kind of thing that you need sign-off from the family to do. Totally classless move from WWE, which in the past has sought permission from the families of deceased wrestlers before using them in storylines (Paul Bearer and Eddie Guerrero being the two most recent examples).
TNA Finds New TV Home
TNA will apparently survive into 2016, as they have found a new home on Pop TV. Pop TV was formerly the TV Guide channel and has now reinvented itself as a home for reruns of old TV shows. And TNA. It’s a weird fit, but it’s certainly better than TNA not having an American TV deal.
Few details of the deal are available as of yet, but there is speculation that TNA isn’t receiving a rights fee and will instead just receive revenue from ad sales. That’s bad news from my perspective, as wrestling ad rates are traditionally low and TNA was having a problem selling ads on Destination America.
TNA remains in a precarious spot financially. Think about the major revenue streams for a wrestling promotion: ticket sales, pay-per-view buys, and TV rights fees. TNA doesn’t really tour anymore, so they’re not making money on house shows. They barely run any pay-per-views and no one buys them when they do. And now they don’t have TV money. Where is the revenue supposed to come from?
Ring of Honor Off Destination America November 25th, Adds New TV Deal
As expected, Ring of Honor will be off Destination America soon. They will be debuting on COMET TV starting December 2nd, in addition to their current syndicated TV.
More TV reach is a net positive for ROH, especially since they won’t incur any additional cost. It’s unfortunate the Destination America show didn’t work out, but ROH is doing fine. They’re a financially responsible company with a sustainable business model, unlike TNA.
Luchadaor La Sombra Signs With WWE
CMLL and New Japan star La Sombra has signed a contract with WWE and will be starting at the Performance Center soon. He’ll surely be debuting in NXT soon and it will be interesting to see whether he stays in NXT long-term or is fasttracked to the main roster.
WWE is finally getting serious about developing some Mexican stars, which is a good thing. I think their Mexico tour doing so poorly woke them up to having an issue, as we’ve now seen Alberto Del Rio return and Kallisto get a renewed singles push in the last few weeks. Who else might they bring in? Rey Mysterio is still available, and could be helpful on a light schedule. What about Lucha Underground/AAA talent? Prince Puma, Pentagon Jr., Fenix, Mil Muertres all seem like solid prospects.
Lots of rumors about WWE going after top indy talent to strengthen NXT’s roster in anticipation of more tours in 2016. I would consider this one of the most interesting stories in wrestling to watch in 2016.
Ronda Rousey Medically Suspended for 180 Days
After suffering her first career loss to Holly Holm on Sunday, UFC fans were wondering when they would get the Rousey/Holm rematch. That remains unclear, but we now know it won’t be for at least six months as Rousey has been barred from fighting for 180 days, the maximum length, due to injuries suffered in the bout.
This presents an interesting choice for Dana White as to whether Holm defends the title before the Rousey rematch. On one hand, a Holm defense is probably a pretty big draw. On the other hand, the Rousey/Holm rematch could be the biggest fight in UFC history and having Holm lose the title (like Buster Douglas did to Evander Holyfield after knocking out Mike Tyson) would disrupt that. My gut tells me there’s no reason to rush Holm back into the octagon and that Rousey/Holm II will headline UFC 200 in June 2016.
Former AWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel Dies at the Age of 80
One last note, which is the passing of former AWA Champion Nick Bockwinkel. Lots of great stories on him all over the net this week, so I’d recommend checking those out. Bockwinkel was a quintessential AWA Champion, a great technician who could also cut great promos. Unlike so many other wrestlers, he was able to live a full life and died at 80 years old this week at his home in Las Vegas.