READER POLL: Rate WWE Raw 11/30/15


Interview Highlights: Pop TV President Comments on Programming Deal with TNA, Gushes About Dixie Carter

In the first part of a two part interview in the Miami Herald, Pop TV president Brad Schwartz spoke with Jim Varsallone about how the network landed Impact Wrestling, starting on January 5, 2016.  In the piece, he mentioned that he was giddy that Pop TV trended for approximately twelve hours on the heels of TNA announcing the new deal with his network.

Schwartz commented in the phone interview on how the two companies came together for the negotiation, saying:

“Dixie and the Impact team were looking for a new home for their series,” Schwartz said. “They had huge success on Spike. Millions of viewers watching every week, and they really enjoyed that success. In switching to another network [Destination America] which didn’t have the distribution that Spike had, they obviously noticed a little bit of a hit to the success that they had.

“So [TNA was] actively looking for a new television partner, and I think made the rounds and met with a lot of cable networks to see where a home might be. We were on their list of calls, and they came in [about a couple of months ago], and we had our entire team meet with them and listen to the pitch and listen to what they wanted to do — where they saw the company going, where they saw [pro wrestling] going. That’s how it came to our attention.”

Schwartz gushed about TNA president Dixie Carter as well in the interview:

“Dixie is so impressive, and she’s such an amazing spirit with a good, positive energy to her,” Schwartz said. “By the end of the meeting, she had won everyone in the room over, and the next day it was unanimous, ‘Let’s do this.’

You can read all of part 1 of the interview at the link provided.  If more news comes from Part 2, we will also provide those highlights.

It will be interesting to see how this new deal works out over the long haul.  TNA was able to top one million viewers on Spike TV for a long time, which was a network with similar distribution and accessibility to Pop TV.  That number really sunk going to Destination America, which didn’t carry the same kind of distribution (57 million homes on most cable carriers’ higher tiers of service, requiring an upgrade for some to get access to).


Official Statement from TNA and Multi Screen Media Regarding TNA India Tour Postponement

In a follow-up to news we posted last night about TNA postponing their tour of India which was set to take place starting this weekend, a press release from Multi Screen Media and TNA Wrestling was issued as follows:

Multi Screen Media (MSM) and TNA Wrestling, the international professional wrestling entertainment organization, jointly announced today that the TNA One Night Only: Mumbai live event has been postponed.

The live event that was scheduled to take place on December 4, has now been postponed to 2016 to a yet-to-be decided date. The postponement is primarily due to logistical issues around the timing of the event.

As soon as the new dates are firmed up, it will be announced in an update.

While TNA is looking forward to coming to India soon, MSM is geared up to host the entire entourage of TNA in India.

This only addresses the television event as being canceled.  TNA was going to run three events in India, however, and all of them are postponed until sometime in 2016.  Where this really hurts is for the talent – those that are permitted to book independent dates are now left without being able to book events and are missing paydays as a result.


TNA Delays Tour of India Until 2016

TNA was set to embark on a tour of India starting this weekend, where they would tape editions on Impact Wrestling and One Night Only events.  In an 11th hour move, that tour has now been postponed according to reports on PWInsider.com.  The talent and crew were scheduled to leave this weekend, and had already received their travel and flight itineraries.

It was speculated that the postponement was the result of slow ticket sales, but that is not the case.  TNA’s television partner in India, Sony Six, was financing the entire tour so that was not the case.  However, it is being reported that there were specific logistical issues related to the tour.  The flight itinerary had the crew leaving the United States and flying to Paris, France and then on to India.  Given the current world climate in light of the recent attacks in Paris, safety of flying abroad was a very specific concern.

There is no date yet for the rescheduled tour, but it will happen in 2016 sometime.  Talent is reported to be upset given how unsteady 2015 has been in terms of getting work from TNA.

The next television tapings for TNA will happen in January of 2016 at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA.


WWE Releases Former Raw General Manager, Current Tag Team Worker

Brad Maddox (a/k/a Tyler Kluttz), who had an on-screen role as a general manager on Raw and has most recently been working in a tag team gimmick with Adam Rose of  late, has been released from the company.  Maddox signed with the company in 2010.  On Tuesday, Maddox lost to R-Truth in a dark match at the WWE tapings in Indianapolis.  He and Rose lost to the Usos on Main Event this past week as well.

WWE released a statement announcing his release:

WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar Brad Maddox as of Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. WWE wishes Maddox the best in all of his future endeavors.

A heck of a thing to have happen the day before Thanksgiving.  Maddox, after his General manager stint on Raw, became somewhat forgotten but was a decent talker.


WWE Hall of Famer Sounds Off on Raw, Says He’s “Close to Becoming a Former WWE Fan”

WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley has been one to not stay silent about the state of the current product.  Today, Foley wrote a blog on his Facebook page where he stated that he is getting close to tapping out regarding his WWE fandom.  He told a story of traveling with his son to watch an NXT Takeover event where Sasha Banks took on Becky Lynch and being thrilled, then seeing the four minute match last night and being disappointed.

Foley wrote:

“I am one of those people on the verge of becoming a former WWE fan.  I’m tired of being told through Raw, Smackdown and PPV’s that WWE superstars I have rooted for – from Ziggler to Cesaro to Kevin Owens aren’t top stars – no matter how strongly crowd reaction seems to disagree. I’m tired of NXT stars getting their big ‘break’ in WWE, just to be treated like jokes.”

Foley wrote a whole lot more in the piece, which you can find as a pinned post on his official Facebook page.

Foley is someone who would gain from keeping his mouth shut and playing along with WWE, so I give him a lot of credit for speaking up in the situation.  Many fans share his general sentiment as well, so it’s not something that he’s out in left field about.  Fingers crossed that Vince McMahon reads this…or has someone read it to him and get the point home.



WWE Raw Viewership and Ratings for the First Show After Survivor Series

Based on data released on ShowbuzzDaily.com, WWE’s Raw broadcast from Monday night averaged 2.964 million viewers.  This is a drop of 328,000 viewers from last week’s broadcast.  Hour one of the show averaged 3.190 million viewers.  Hour two drew 2.990 million viewers (a drop of 0.2 million from hour 1), and hour 3 drew 2.712 million (a drop of 0.478 million from hour 1).

The overall show rating based on the Neilsen data showed Raw scoring a 2.16 overall rating for the night, down from last week’s 2.28.  This is yet another new ratings low for Raw.  Last year’s show on the same week drew a 3.07 rating and 4.25 million viewers.

Last night’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots drew 14 million viewers, but there is just no way to make this look good no matter how you frame it.  Viewership and ratings were embarrassingly poor for the first night after a pay per view and having crowned a new champion.  A real tell for what kind of shape the product is in right now.  I’ll discuss this more in Around the Ring a bit later tonight.



WWE NXT Talent Released

Mike Johnson at PWInsider.com is reporting that WWE has parted ways with Solomon Crowe.

Also known as Sami Callihan on the independent scene, Crowe signed a WWE developmental deal in 2013.  Crowe is 28 years old, and created a following for himself through Evolve, CZW, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, among other promotions.   Given his popularity on the independent circuit, Callihan should have no issue getting bookings should he decide to return to independent wrestling.

Word is that he requested his release from the company.  All material that pertains to Crowe has been removed from the WWE website.


READER POLL: Rate WWE Raw 11/23/15


TNA Announces New Series of Television Tapings for January 2016, Location Revealed

In a press release sent out by TNA, they have set their next round of television tapings to correspond with their debut on Pop TV.  On January 5-9, TNA will be taping Impact at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  The January 5 show will air live on Pop TV starting at 9PM EST.  On Friday January 8 and Saturday January 9, TNA will tape “One Night Only” pay per view and international television.  Tickets for these tapings will go on sale this Friday, November 27.

As always, if you are going to any of these shows, we’d love to have a report.  Email it to bwentz@ring-rap.com.

The press release is as follows:

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