POST NEWS UPDATE: WWE's statement on AEW, Kevin Dunn interview

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By: Andrew Thompson

POST News Update

Photo courtesy: AEW/Lee South

**According to Showbuzz Daily, All Elite Wrestling reeled in 1.4 million viewers for their first episode of AEW: Dynamite on TNT. NXT drew 891,000 viewers for their first two-hour episode on the USA Network. AEW finished with a 0.68 in the 18-49 age demographic and NXT did an 0.32 for that same demographic.

**WWE issued the following statement to media outlets regarding the premiere of AEW on TNT and NXT’s two-hour premiere on the USA Network:

“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night’s head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”

**New York Post published a feature about the inner workings of SmackDown’s upcoming debut on FOX which includes an interview with longtime WWE Executive Kevin Dunn. Dunn stated that things will still be WWE but will look and feel different. A “super-slow-motion” camera has been added to the broadcast to further spotlight wrestlers’ maneuvers. FOX Sports executive Brad Zager told the publication that FOX is working closely with WWE on giving it a cinematic feel. Regarding Renee Young, Kevin Dunn stated that she will be doing everything on SmackDown that’s not commentary and went on to praise Renee as well. Dunn confirmed Lawler’s comments from a recent interview in-which Lawler stated that his job as a RAW commentator is his for as long as he wants it. Kevin Dunn added that NBCUniversal and FOX will be very involved with the WWE Draft and both are demanding the best rosters that they can have. Brad Zager downplayed the influence that FOX will have concerning what stars they get in the draft but FOX could have an influence on how the Draft is presented on television. The story concluded with two quotes from Kevin Dunn, one of which being the following: “Paul Levesque with NXT plans to beat everybody, ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown,’” Dunn said.

**Finn Balor spoke with Newsweek following his return to NXT. Balor confirmed that right now, he is back in NXT full-time. He said that his loss to The Fiend at SummerSlam is a story he wants to revisit in the future.

**PWInsider reported that Adam Cole worked through the October 2nd edition of NXT with a fractured wrist. Although Cole’s injury meshed in with his current storyline, he actually injured his wrist at a live event in Florida last month.

**According to CBS Pittsburgh, Eric Angle, who is the brother of WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle was indicted for distributing steroids on the dark web. The report notes that Eric Angle was one of three men distributing anabolic steroids and other drugs before shipping them by way of UPS under fake names. They were also members of a drug trafficking organization named “qu4ntum”. They imported steroids from China and controlled substances were paid for with cash and cryptocurrency. Conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to import controlled substances are two of several charges that Angle is facing.

**Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks told the New York Post that he thinks the “ship has sailed on that one” regarding CM Punk possibly coming to AEW.

**FOX Sports issued a press release and noted that Renee Young and Booker T will anchor the desk for the Friday Night SmackDown Kickoff at 7:30 PM EST. FOX Sports’ Charissa Thompson is covering Blue Carpet Arrivals and WWE’s Kayla Braxton will provide behind-the-scenes access. Cathy Kelley and Mike Rome are hosting ‘WWE Now’ ahead of SmackDown’s FOX debut. ‘WWE Now’ will air on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. The Miz, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston are slated for the show.

**AEW President Tony Khan chatted with members of the media for 30+ minutes after AEW: Dynamite. Tony stated that Jake Hager was signed to AEW prior to All Out and gave a nod to Hager for being able to keep that under wraps until he made his debut:

“You know what’s pretty cool about secret keeping? Is Jake’s been signed for a really long time and nobody knew.” Khan said with a smirk. “Jake’s been signed to us for a really long time and Jake can clearly keep a secret and so can we. We did a good job keeping that one under. But its been for quite a while now — before All Out Jake was signed.”

* Khan was asked about Sports Illustrated’s report that Chris Jericho and Hiroshi Tanahashi are slated to go one-on-one at Wrestle Kingdom 14. Khan did not address the question directly but when asked about the possibility of NJPW talents coming over to AEW, here’s what he had to say: “No. I believe one good turn deserves another but we shall see. I don’t know. I can’t say for sure.” Khan said.

* Tony Khan also revealed that Alex ‘Goldenboy’ Mendez will join Jim Ross and Excalibur at the commentary desk for AEW Full Gear as Tony Schiavone will be calling a University of Georgia football game. (Footage courtesy of WrestleZone)

**Prior to All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite going live on TNT, Darby Allin defeated CIMA in a dark match. In the post-show dark matches, Angelico, Jack Evans and The Lucha Bros. bested Private Party and Best Friends who were accompanied by Orange Cassidy. The commentary team was still out for the dark matches as well. Britt Baker and Allie defeated Penelope Ford and Bea Priestley. Marko Stunt took the pinfall as he, Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy lost to S.C.U. (Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky and Christopher Daniels).

**WWE’s Cruiserweight Title is now being referred to as the “NXT Cruiserweight Championship”. On next week’s edition of NXT TV, Lio Rush will challenge Drew Gulak for the title.

**NXT’s Rinku Singh was profiled by India Times.

**The Forum sent a message to ticket holders to inform them that AAA’s October 13th show in Inglewood, California has been postponed.

**KUSHIDA is slated to take on WALTER on next week’s edition of NXT TV.

**Former WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne has moved to the United States full-time, per PWInsider.

**Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams versus Flip Gordon and Brody King have been added to Ring of Honor’s Glory By Honor show on October 12th. Also, ROH announced Jay Lethal versus Mark Briscoe and Jonathan Gresham versus Jay Briscoe for the upcoming Honor United tour.

**S.C.U. (Scorpio Sky, Christopher Daniels, and Frankie Kazarian) spoke with the media after AEW’s TNT debut in Washington DC. During the scrum, Scorpio Sky provided advice for wrestlers on the independent scene who are looking to make it to the next level in the business: (Video courtesy WrestleZone)

“I would say, not only was it birthed out of the indies, but it was also birthed out of a hunger for a better pro wrestling product that the fans… the fans, they’ll never lie to you. They’re always gonna be honest and they’ve voiced for years that they were not happy with what wrestling has been and so that played a huge key because we can say we wanna do this all we want but without the people and their support, it’s just gonna fall on deaf ears,” Scorpio said while speaking about AEW. “Now as far as guys on the indies go, the only thing I can say is keep working, keep learning. I know it’s gonna sound super cliché but this is a guy that spent most — pretty much all of his career on the indies. I got a few little shots here and there at the big time and I was passed on several times, and you can’t let it discourage you. You can’t let it define you. I always say, ‘One thousand no’s feels great when you get that one yes’ so that’s the only thing I can tell guys.” Sky said. “Just keep working, keep learning, never let yourself be satisfied no matter how good or bad you’re doing. Never let yourself be satisfied. Always strive for greatness. We are here at the highest level. The three of us, everyone on this roster, we are on the highest level and none of us are satisfied with our performance tonight. Not that it was a bad performance but we always want to do better and that’s the only thing I can tell people out there. Never be satisfied.”

**The main event of the Destroyer Dick Beyer memorial show on November 15th will be Jushin Thunder Liger, Kento Miyahara and Keiji Muto taking on SANADA, BUSHI & KAI.

**FOX 5’s Kevin McCarthy spoke with Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Cesaro and The IIconics at the WWE Performance Center.

**WWE is partnering with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help cancer patients and families. Here’s the official press release about the partnership:

**FOX News interviewed Sonya Deville.

**Low Ki is taking on Timothy Thatcher at MLW’s ‘Blood & Thunder’ show on November 9th.

**Bleacher Report asked MJF who from NXT he’d like to share the ring with and MJF selected Adam Cole: “I think Adam Cole,” MJF said. “I think we’re both very similar because we’re both very talented and prodigies in the sport. I just want to prove I’m a little better.”

**Saraya Knight and Debbie Keitel have been added to Revolution Pro Wrestling’s Queen Of The Ring tournament.

**@BeltFanDan on Twitter posted a close-up photo of the AEW World Tag Team Championships.

**Charlotte Flair chatted with FOX News and opened up about the passing of her brother Reid Flair, how her father inspires her and the upcoming tag match on SmackDown involving herself, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley.

**On the most recent edition of Sean “X-Pac” Waltman’s ‘X-Pac 12360’ podcast, he explained why Glenn “Kane” Jacobs was his favorite tag team partner:

“He’s my favorite partner, of all my partners, the stuff we did, the stuff we created, the moments and you know the matches and all that, I just, it’s my favorite. Just for creative reasons. Really proud of some of those matches we had…Really grateful because as much as Glenn says how good that was for him and his career, same for me. So yeah, it was great for me at the time. You just have that singles program with a guy like Glenn, with that kind of character, I am very proud of it. It’s just my favorite for so many reasons.”

**Brian Fritz of Sporting News spoke with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and Kingston addressed the critics who expressed that Kofi cannot be taken seriously because he’s still throwing pancakes into the crowd as WWE Champion:

“For me, I like to do both. A lot of people online are like, ‘Oh, I can’t take you seriously because you’re out there throwing pancakes. That’s not what a champion is supposed to do.’ For me, I’m trying to do a lot of different things. I’m trying to, number one, redefine what a champion looks like, what a champion is capable of doing, and how a champion has to act because if I’m going out there and throwing pancakes and dumping Booty-O’s cereal on people and wearing unicorn horns, that’s all fine and well because they are enjoying the show. That’s the main goal. You’re supposed to enjoy yourself when you come to a WWE show, and when that bell rings, I get out there and I handle business. I don’t think there’s anybody out there who’s beat me in a ring and is like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe this guy’. We saw at WrestleMania that people were so emotionally affected.” Kingston continued, “I had so many people sending me videos on Twitter of them watching the match and emotional and crying and just so happy, and that’s the goal. Myself, Woods and E, we can do both. We can do a lot of things and we do a lot of things well. We multi-task and we show people that it’s possible to achieve their goals and to do it while having fun and being yourself, most importantly despite what anybody thinks. You can have as much of an opinion as you want. At the end of the day, I’m still gonna do me. Outside the ring have fun, inside the ring take care of business.”

**Thrillist pushed out a piece about NXT and it featured comments from Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Pete Dunne, Bianca Belair, and several more NXT stars. Levesque further commented on the head-to-head battles that are coming between AEW and NXT:

“That’s a great thing, right?” he responds. “I don’t mean to knock what they or anybody else is doing, but in a way, NXT created the template to show them that this can be done. The question is, can they continue to do that? It’s one thing to take athletes and put them in the ring and go, ‘Just do crazy sh*t and see what you come up with,'” he continues. “Fans will tune in, but they won’t stay, because it’ll lose its luster. After a while, you’ve seen it. What will make people stay is the characters and the storylines. If they can create that, then they can be successful. In the short term, it’s easy to make a moment and a spectacle and have people look and watch,” Levesque says. “To continue that long-term and have it grow is a lot more difficult. I’ve seen that historically prove out with WCW and everybody else under the sun. Time will tell.”

**Charlotte Flair joined FOX 5 San Diego in-studio to promote SmackDown’s debut on FOX.

**Bray Wyatt did an in-character interview with Good Day Sacramento to promote Sunday’s Hell In A Cell pay-per-view.

**Hulu confirmed through social media that SmackDown will be back on its streaming service starting this week. Earlier this week, Hulu removed past episodes of SmackDown and here’s the statement from Hulu about the situation: “In regard to WWE Smackdown on Hulu, you should be able to catch new episodes starting with this week’s. We hope this helps clarify, but if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.”

**Michael Elgin and Takashi Sugiura will clash on November 2nd inside Sumo Hall to crown Pro Wrestling NOAH’s first GHC National Champion.

**Former NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa appeared on Joe DeFranco’s podcast and went over a plethora of fitness and wrestling topics. Tommaso expressed that the driving force behind the NXT roster is not money-related which further cements the teamwork vibe throughout the brand:

“And I’ve never done the pro-sports stuff at all but I do compare it a lot to the college scene. Like something about college football teams and being in those locker rooms or being in those weight rooms… I think it’s because the money hasn’t become a big factor yet, and I’m not saying it’s like that in the NFL or MLB or any place. I just haven’t been around it, but when money… in NXT, money is clearly not the driving force,” Ciampa feels. “So, something about that, it makes it slightly less competitive and slightly more — it gives you a teamwork feeling so it’s a great balance because you’re still competing, you still want the number one spot, you still wanna main event, you still wanna be on the TakeOvers. However, because there is not this constant carrot being hung in front of you like, ‘You’re being paid this much because of this spot that you have’, I think it does lend you to that team atmosphere and environment just a little bit more.”

Ciampa expressed his belief in the success of the NXT brand. So much so that Ciampa stated that there is no reason why NXT shouldn’t be able to run a show the size of WrestleMania during WrestleMania weekend:

“10 years, 20 years from now and everybody can look back… and I say it and I mean this so much: There’s no reason why 10 to 20 years from now, NXT can’t run a bigger show than WrestleMania on WrestleMania weekend. There’s no freaking reason.” Ciampa said. “There is no reason why we have to sit in the venue that draws 12,000 while they sit in the one that draws 80 front of the USA brand, 88 million households or whatever it is and they see us and they can really just invest themselves in our storylines, within five years, we should be able to get enough people invested that we’re the draw. That we outdraw RAW, we outdraw SmackDown, we outdraw AEW, we outdraw everybody so, it’s exciting. When you’re a performer, it’s exciting.”

**Jeff Cobb and ROH World Champion RUSH are set to take on Marty Scurll and Flip Gordon at ROH’s show in London on October 25th. Joe Hendry and Matt Taven are going on-on-one on the Honor United tour on October 26th and on that same card is RUSH and Jeff Cobb versus PCO and Brody King.

**Former WWE United States Champion Carlito took to social media and voiced his opinion about NXT talents by noting that they’re fighting for their futures yet killing their futures at the same time. Carlito later clarified his comments:

“I feel sorry for you poor NXT kids, you’re fighting for your future & at the same time killing you’re future. You want to establish yourself in WWE but at the same time fighting against another avenue for you shine! Good luck to everybody!”

“My point was that poor NXT kids are asked to compete against AEW on the same night. They’re basically trying to put out of biz another place for them to work & yet they haven’t made the main roster. I root for all the companies…but I forget Twitter isn’t very bright”

**San Francisco 49ers Tight End and pro wrestling fan George Kittle joined the ‘It Doesn’t Matter What Your Podcast Is Called’ show and said that performing a wrestling maneuver after scoring a touchdown in the NFL could result in a fine.

**Former WWE star Vladimir Kozlov reached an agreement with 451 Media Group to develop a series based around a mythical character named “Rogan”. 451 Media Group co-founder Anthony Gentile said meeting Kozlov led to them deciding to bring the mythical character to life.

**MJF, Cody and Brandi Rhodes appeared on ‘ci Living’ to promote AEW’s show in Champaign, Illinois on December 4th. The reporter on set touched MJF’s scarf and MJF told the reporter to not touch him.

**Simon Gotch joined Jason Powell on the Pro Wrestling Boom podcast. Gotch offered some insight into why he thinks he and Aiden English did not work as a pair on the main roster in the eyes of Vince McMahon. Gotch also discussed why he believes Vince McMahon never put much stock into Luke Harper:

“My personal theory is: I think he had an image in his head of what it . That supposedly, Vince was down on him because he doesn’t have a southern accent, even though there’s no reason Brodie would have a southern accent. But in his mind, the Wyatt Family gimmick was a southern gimmick, so since Bray Wyatt is from Florida, they should all be southern although Luke Harper is from New York and Rowan is from Minnesota. So it was one of those things for whatever reason — Rowan didn’t talk so it was never an issue, but Harper didn’t do a southern accent so in Vince’s mind, it was wrong, and that was why he never put stock in Harper even though Harper is amazing. So I think it might’ve been something as simple as he had an image in his mind of what we were supposed to be and when we weren’t that, He just was like, ‘Well this is wrong’, and Vince’s whole thing is he doesn’t fix things, he throws them away. If his refrigerator stops working, he doesn’t call a repairman. He throws the refrigerator away… so, it might have been as simple as that.” Gotch said. “He saw us and thought, ‘Well this isn’t what I thought it was’, and instead of giving us, ‘Hey do this instead’… but that’s also the curse of having the type of money that WWE has at its disposal. You can afford to put someone under contract, spend millions of dollars between paying them, paying their travel, paying their medicals, paying their license fees etc. and also the cost it has to put them in the Performance Center, put them on TV and then just throw that money away by releasing them.”

**‘blackHEART’ which is a documentary about former NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa will premiere on the WWE Network on October 9th at 10 PM EST.

**Josiah Williams shared that he was a co-creator of Shawn Spears’ AEW theme song.

**NXT’s Alicia Taylor is set to do interviews at the NXT U.K. TV tapings in Brentwood this weekend.

**Jungle Boy spoke with Steven Muehlhausen of Sporting News.

**Bray Wyatt joined FOX 40 and helped provide the latest on the weather for the area.

**FOX 7 Austin profiled WWE’s NXT brand.


**Booker T took to his ‘Hall Of Fame’ podcast and explained why he thinks Christian is the most underrated superstar to ever compete in WWE.

**Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald interviewed WWE Hall Of Famer and NXT commentator Beth Phoenix.

**‘Wrestling With Mazique’ welcomed Cody Rhodes onto the show. Cody talked about CM Punk, the possibility of an AEW video game and more.

**WWE 2K released a new trailer for WWE 2K20.

**WWE put together a compilation of reactions from those inside the arena when Bobby Lashley and Lana kissed on RAW.

**Rey Mysterio joined Sheamus on the latest edition of Celtic Warrior Workouts.

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