Afternoon Update: Rousey endorses Crown Jewel staying in Saudi Arabia, CNN covers WWE Crown Jewel decision, Impact viewership collapses in new timeslot, EVOLVE-WWE news, Drake vs. Cobb

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss (photo credit Brandon LeClair © PWTorch)

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CNN.com reported on WWE’s decision to go through with Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia next Friday. Excerpt:

WWE has stayed relatively quiet until now, telling reporters last week that it was “monitoring the situation.” But the company said in a quarterly earnings release Thursday that it would “uphold its contractual obligations” and host the event as planned. “WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” the company said. “Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh.”

-Ronda Rousey spoke out in favor of WWE continuing with Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. “I’m a two-time Olympian, so I’m an idealist when it comes to sports.” she told TMZ. “Nowhere else in the world would some man from Iraq and a little girl from Venice Beach be respecting each other and sharing space. And, I think that sports is where we really find that common ground with each other. And, I think that pulling out of the ‘Crown Jewel’ would be the wrong move because I think that this is an opportunity to be able to share our cultures, and to define what we have in common and in times especially when, you know, times of adversity between two countries that’s the absolute wrong time to be able to pull away. I think that’s the time for us to be able to find what we have in common and be able to understand each other more. … Women can’t compete in Saudi Arabia right now, but I think if the ‘Crown Jewel’ is a huge success, and WWE really takes off in Saudi Arabia, they’re going to be demanding to see the women soon.”


CHECK OUT TODAY’S WADE KELLER PRO WRESTLING PODCAST “INTERVIEW FRIDAY” with ex-WWE Creative Team member Jason Allen previewing Evolution, reacting to Saudi Arabia news, providing thoughts on Roman Reigns leukemia announcement and how that affects the Raw babyface roster, and more.

-On Stitcher HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice


-Impact Wrestling viewership dropped to 98,000 last night on Pop TV in its first episode out of the usual prime time slot, according to Showbuzz Daily. That’s nearly half the audience for last week’s show, which drew 189,000. The show has been losing viewers rapidly the last two months, with a 236,000 average in September and then 187,000 average in October through the first three weeks before moving to the new later start time.

-WWE is running a couple super shows this weekend.

  • Sat. 10/27/18 WWE Live Supershow, The Corbin Arena, Corbin, Ky. (No female talents listed due to Evolution PPV on 10/28)
  • Sun. 10/28/18 WWE Live Supershow, U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville, N.C. (No female talents listed due to Evolution PPV)

-NXT is running three smaller shows in Florida this week. If you attend (or attended) any of these, please send along results (pwtorch@pwtorch.com)

  • Thursday Oct. 25 – Cocoa Armory (Cocoa, Fla.)
  • Friday Oct. 26 – Minnreg Hall  (Largo, Fla.)
  • Saturday Oct. 27 – Orlando Live Events (Casselberry, Fla.)

-New Japan continues its Super Jr. Tag League matches this weekend and into next week.

  • 10/26/2018: NJPW Road to Power Struggle: Super Jr. Tag League 2018 – Night 7 in Tokyo, Japan
  • 10/27/2018: NJPW Road to Power Struggle: Super Jr. Tag League 2018 – Night 8 in Tokyo, Japan
  • 10/28/2018: NJPW Road to Power Struggle: Super Jr. Tag League 2018 – Night 9 in Fukushima, Japan
  • 10/29/2018: NJPW Road to Power Struggle: Super Jr. Tag League 2018 – Night 10 in Miyagi, Japan
  • 10/31/2018: NJPW Road to Power Struggle: Super Jr. Tag League 2018 – Night 11 in Nagano, Japan
  • 11/01/2018: NJPW Road to Power Struggle: Super Jr. Tag League 2018 – Night 12 in Shizuoka, Japan
  • 11/03/2018: NJPW Power Struggle: Super Jr. Tag League 2018 in Osaka, Japan

-WWN announced that going forward all announced matches will air live on iPPV on ClubWWN.com. WWE talent has wrestled on EVOLVE events in the past, but restrictions were placed on the company to have those matches only take place in front of the live audience. Those restrictions have been lifted and should bring renewed interest to the company, which has seen most of its top names depart in 2018.

-The above EVOLVE news means that EVOLVE Tag Team Champions Chris Dickinson & Jaka will defend their titles against NXT’s The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) live on iPPV on Oct. 14. The match was announced on WWE.com earlier today at WWE.com. The article also teases that other NXT talent might appear at EVOLVE 114.

-Mustafa Ali of 205 Live will see his matches against DJZ on Nov. 9 at EVOLVE 115 and Darby Allin on Nov. 10 at EVOLVE 116 air live on iPPV as well. Kassius Ohno will also appear for EVOLVE in December at EVOLVE 117 on Dec. 15 and EVOLVE 118 on Dec. 16. His opponents are expected to be named soon.

-Eli Drake faces Jeff Cobb for the Ring Warriors Grand Championship airing tomorrow morning (101/27) at 8 a.m. ET, the culmination of a five-week tournament. The Ring Warriors press release states: “Cobb defeated Luke Hawx via countout and Wes Brisco with a Tour of the Islands, while Drake gave Alexander Hammerstone and Alex Chamberlain rides on the Gravy Train to advance to the finals. Austin Aries will be on hand to present the belt to the winner. Also appearing on the Oct. 27 episode of Ring Warriors is a tag team match pitting The One Percent (Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson) against Reverend Nelson’s Prophecy (The Dark Child and The Demigod of Death), plus Lance Archer making his Ring Warriors debut taking on Kobra Ni. Join Blake Chadwick and Larry Brannon for all the action.” More on Ring Warriors touting their viewership in their press release:

After only six weeks on the air the numbers are in and Ring Warriors is a ratings winner. According to WGN America statistics, the show has instantly built an integral fan base and continues to build each week. For the Saturday morning timeslot, the lead-out programming at WGN America has increased 26% in households and grew an outstanding 31% in people 18-plus, delivering an average of more than 100,000 impressions per week for both demographics. These numbers include live and same day DVR viewing, but do not include DVR recordings watched at a later date. “It’s an amazing audience build by any programming standards,” says GMVPTV President and Ring Warriors Executive Producer Howard Lipkint. To learn more about Ring Warriors follow them on Facebook at http://fb.com/ringwarriors.

-MLW is touting their “Fright Night” episode on BeIn Sports tonight.

(T)error will rule the ring as Major League Wrestling and BeIn Sports present their first Halloween special entitled “MLW FRIGHT NIGHT.” The special will air again next Tuesday, Oct. 30 on Be In Sports en Español. Featuring a night blood-curdling bouts, the MLW FRIGHT NIGHT special will feature a double main event. “England’s Most Dangerous Man” Jimmy Havoc will face off against Sami Callihan in a Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal match as their feud reaches its final stage. The night will also feature a chilling clash between two of the most unpredictable brawlers in the sport as the “French Canadian Frankenstein” PCO rampages with LA Park. On Be In Sports, the program will feature famed American sports broadcaster, Tony Schiavone, as he calls the action alongside Matt Striker.


Please send news tips and live event results to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: Afternoon Update: Harsh media reaction to WWE Crown Jewel decision, Smackdown tops Tuesday cable ratings with lowest non-holiday viewership of year, Total Bellas viewership up, Most Remarkble Crowd Reaction Ever, Kane

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