Rousey/Holm II Confirmed
UFC President Dana White confirmed that Ronda Rousey will receive an immediate rematch against Holly Holm for the Women’s Bantamweight Title. The date remains unconfirmed and will depend on Rousey’s health and schedule. Rousey has been medically suspended from fighting for six months due to injuries suffered in the bout against Holm.
Raw Rating Rises
For the first time in what feels like forever, Raw’s rating and viewership actually rose. Primary credit should probably go to a weak Monday Night Football matchup between Baltimore and Cleveland, but WWE will take any good ratings news at this point. Personally, I thought this episode of Raw represented an improvement on recent weeks, so I was happy to see the viewership number rise.
WWE Reportedly Scraps Top Matches for Wrestlemania
Recent injuries and unavailability of The Rock and Ronda Rousey have forced WWE to reshuffle the Wrestlemania card. Reportedly six top matches were scrapped or altered.
This isn’t surprising given the injuries the roster has recently sustained. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, and Sting were definitely all going to play major roles at Wrestlemania, and now it’s possible none of them will be available. Add in that Rock and Ronda Rousey will probably not be part of the show and things start to look awfully thin.
WWE is in a tough spot, partly due to bad luck and partly due to their own bad booking. They haven’t been able to create new stars so they’re stuck relying on stars from the past. And a lot of those guys are old and prone to injury or have busy schedules. The only real stars they have are John Cena, Undertaker, Triple H, and Brock Lesnar. Is that enough for the biggest Wrestlemania ever?
TNA Receiving No Money from Pop TV in New Deal
According to Dave Meltzer, TNA is not receiving a rights fee as part of their deal with Pop TV. They would instead be paid a portion of the revenue from ads running during Impact. This is bad news for TNA, as ad rates for wrestling are historically terrible. Even WWE with its comparatively huge audience receives only a fraction of the ad revenue that other shows with similar audiences generate.
TNA has almost no revenue streams left at this point. No pay-per-view, no live ticket sales, no TV money. All they have left are their international TV deals, and I can’t see that being enough to sustain them for very long.
WWE Reportedly Interested in Signing Jay Lethal
The Wrestling Observer reported this week that WWE is looking to sign Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Champion Jay Lethal. Lethal would reportedly be part of the NXT brand. It’s another in a series of moves to strengthen NXT’s roster in anticipation of it going on the road full-time in 2016.
Cesaro Suffers Torn Rotator Cuff; Out 4-6 Months
Add Cesaro to the long list of injured WWE stars. He’s down with a shoulder injury and will reportedly miss 4-6 months. WWE wasn’t really using him much, so it’s not a huge loss in that sense. But he was a guy who was having great matches and starting to get some momentum even without having creative behind him much. The roster is extremely thin right now, and this doesn’t help.
Lots of New Content Added to WWE Network
WWE Network suddenly and unexpectedly added a large amount of territorial wrestling to its archives this week. Episodes of NWA World Championship Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling, AWA on ESPN, Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and Global Wrestling Federation were added. Smart move by WWE, they’ve probably maximized the number of fans of the current production who are going to buy the network, so it makes sense to target old-school fans.