Hall of Famer Jim Ross has responded to WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins, who called AEW the “minor leagues” on October 21st when asked if he would face Kenny Omega. You can see that full interaction here.
This was the latest in a long line of jabs back and forth between WWE and AEW since the companies inception. Legendary commentator Jim Ross sis not take the comments light; on the latest episode of Grilling JR he had the following to say:
” I’m pissed off about it… It doesn’t do any favours for our business… I’m not inferring that Seth thinks he’s bigger than the business. But, by what he says sometimes, you can make that assessment, rightly or wrongly. It’s not a classy thing to say for an athlete of his designation.
Rollins is in a great spot… maybe someday he’ll be as over as his girlfriend. I don’t know. I’ve always liked his work. He’s a solid guy. But saying things like that makes him look bad. I feel bad for him. I was upset at Seth because I thought his comments made him sound bad. Made him sound bush league, like he was born on third base, woke up, and thought he hit a triple. I don’t know what’s happened to some of these guys. I don’t know if it’s internal, what they’re driven to say, what they’re obligated to say. They think it’ll gain favour of their bosses. I don’t know what the answer is.”
All quotes are taken from Grilling JR on Westwood One Podcasts
Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose) has just had his second post-WWE interview following his internet-breaking interview on Talk is Jericho last week.
Moxley appeared on Wade Keller’s show and spoke in depth about what he feels the problem with WWE and Vince McMahon is, his lackluster feud with Brock Lesnar and the infamously awkward interview he had with Steve Austin.
Speaking on Vince McMahon’s impact on WWE’s creative process in 2019 Moxley had the following to say:
“It’s a shame. I’m telling you that’s the problem. I was just there; I know the ins and outs. He’s a problem. It’s a shame because there’s so much great talent. There may have never been more talent there. All the wrestlers are awesome. The pool of talent is incredible and the resources they have with the television and the Network. It should be so great. And the one guy screwing it up, I think, is Vince. Everybody seems to like NXT. I’ve never been there to see how the days go, so I can’t speak about how it is in NXT. But everybody seems to like the show. What’s the key ingredient that’s missing? Vince. He’s the guy who ‘created wrestling.’ Now he’s the guy who’s holding his own company back. He needs to step aside or take a break. Maybe he should let Hunter run things for a month and see what happens.”
“I have all the respect in the world for Vince because nobody works harder. But Vince is supposed to be a genius. There have been moments where I was wrong, and Vince was right — I had a match with Seth Rollins at SummerSlam, and I want to build to a moment where I got him where I want him, but I have to punish him. My idea, which sounds ridiculous now, I wanted to take a pair of pliers from under the ring and go rip his tongue out. I was convinced it was a good idea. We pitch it to Vince and he goes, ‘No, it’s too much.’ He said, ‘Could you Curb Stomp him?’ It was perfect. It was the most over thing in the match. After the match we’re like, ‘Ol VKM is still the man. He’s still a genius.’ — I always try to give him the benefit of the doubt,” said Moxley. “Even when I go to the ring and I think an idea sucks, but it’s Vince’s idea, I’m going to try my best because I might be wrong and Vince might be right. More often than not, I go out there and I go, ‘Nope. This idea sucks.’ Over time and looking back, I didn’t see a lot of this ‘genius’ that is Vince McMahon. In the 80s he was a genius when he created Hulkamania and took over the territories. In 2019, I don’t think he knows what the f**k is going on. He needs to figure it out or step aside.”
H/T to Fightful.com for the transcription
Moxley is definitely not done with his interviews and has an awful lot to get out about his years with the company. This interview with Wade as well as last weeks Jericho podcasts are a must listen.
Last week WWE hit historic low ratings for both Smackdown Live and Monday Night Raw, falling below 2 million viewers for the first time in the blue brands history since they went live.
The viewership for this weeks Raw was up 3.7% on last week:
Hour 1: 2.468 Million
Hour 2: 2.240 Million
Hour 3 2.024 Million
Whilst these rating are an increase on last weeks historic low there was over 400,000 people who tuned out before the third hour started despite the lure of a huge WWE title main event.
This weeks Raw saw some major attempts to increase this rating, including a “wild card” which would see 3/4 superstars from Smackdown appearing on Raw and those from the Red brand appearing on Tuesdays as well.
As well as this two Wrestlemania rematches were held, including Roman Reigns v Drew McIntyre and a WWE title match seeing Kofi v Bryan. The latter of which was without doubt a potential PPV level rematch being given away on TV.
As well as this WWE were not posting online videos to YouTube and other social media whilst the show was on the air like they usually do, as the belief internally is that this had an impact on people watching the live product.
The improvement in the rating this week is a move in the right direction, of course whether or not this increase in sustainable is yet to be seen. With Wrestlemania rematches and a WWE title main event you would not hope to see 16% of your audience tune out before this key match even started.
Today, WWE released their full first quarter earnings report for 2019 and they make for some interesting reading. Revenues were $182.4 million, down from $187.7 million in 2018 Q1. The company’s net income was reported as a loss of $8.4 million, compared to a net income of $14.8 million last year. The company says this decrease was driven primarily by a reduction in live event ticket sales and merchandise sales.
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said
“…While engagement metrics over the past two quarters were impacted by Superstar absences, we believe they will improve as our talent return and we launch our new season following a successful WrestleMania. We remain excited about the future, particularly with our debut on Fox in October.”
Key points of the report include the following:
TV ratings for Raw were down approximately 14% whilst Smackdown was down 13% from 2018 Q1
The average decline of the top 25 cable networks was 5%
Live event attendance was down 11% from last year in North America, with no international figures.
The average attendance was 4,800 and ticket price was $52.38
The WWE Network paid subscribers increased an average of 2% from last year and the day after Wrestlemania total subscribers hit 2.0 million
The WWE is still promoting the second incarnation of the WWE Network, stating:
“The Company’s primary focus for WWE Network is the launch of its new platform in partnership with Endeavor Streaming and Massive. This new platform will provide flexibility to bring new features and experiences to the Company’s fans”
WWE Superstar, and one half of tag team The Usos’s, Jimmy Uso was arrested earlier today in downtown detroit.
This story was broken earlier this evening by TMZ who reported that Jimmy’s wife Naomi was seen driving the wrong way down a one way street and the pair were pulled over by the police.
Their Dodge Journey reportedly “reeked of booze” and as a result Naomi was ordered out of the car to talk to the police officers. Jimmy reportedly got out of the car and despite being warned against it got in the police officers face, taking his shirt off in the process.
The police officer removed his taser at the roadside as he feared for his safety but did NOT discharge it.
Jimmy is said to have calmed down and was arrested for disorderly conduct and obstruction and was taken to a detroit jail where he later posted bond.
WWE released a statement which simply read: “Jonathan Fatu is responsible for his own personal actions”
2018 has been an up and down year in the world of professional wrestling, it has been mired with controversy and tragedy but has also seen some prosperity within the independent world. From WWE’s Saudi Arabia debacle to the success of the All In PPV, 2018 has seen both ends of the spectrum.
These are our end-of-year awards for all things WWE, both the good and the bad. You can hear our audio podcast above or over at iTunes here
Male Superstar: AJ Styles (Seth Rollins a close 2nd)
Female Superstar: Becky Lynch
Matches of the Year: 1) Becky v
2) Gargano v Ciampa (Takeover New Orleans)
3) Brock Lesnar v Bryan (Survivor Series)
4) Gargano v Black (Takeover Wargames)
Best PPV of the Year: Evolution
Worst PPV of the Year: This should come as no surprise to anyone, it is being named the worst PPV solely because of the hideous, deceptive nature of their existence and the disgusting promotional tactics of the WWE. So…. DRUM ROLL PLEASE….. It’s a TIE and The Award Goes to …. The Greatest Royal Rumble and Crown Jewel
For more of our end of year awards and reviews, head over to iTunes HERE to listen to our full review. We hand out awards for most improved, best and worst feuds, best tag team and the most overrated wrestler. We also review the year of 2018 in WWE.
We hope everyone has a great New Year and we’ll see you on the other side with more Straight Edge Content.