WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE: AEW Dark line-up, SmackDown overnight number

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/13/weekend-news-update-aew-dark-line-up-smackdown-overnight-number/

By: Kristen Ashly

*11 matches total were announced for the upcoming episode of AEW Dark, which has traditionally been right around 1-1.5 hours long. As of now, the following matches are scheduled:

  • Dark Order vs. Private Party, Billy & Austin Gunn
  • The Butcher & The Blade vs. Daniel Garcia & Kevin Blackwood
  • Maxx Stardom & Dontae Smiley vs. Best Friends
  • Brian Cage vs. Megabyte Ronnie
  • Colt Cabana vs. QT Marshall
  • Jessy Sorensen vs. Will Hobbs
  • Penelope Ford vs. Dani Jordyn
  • Red Velvett vs. Brandi Rhodes
  • Santana & Ortiz vs. Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.
  • Skyler Moore & Rache Chanel vs. Diamante & Ivelisse
  • Brandon Cutler vs. Peter Avalon

ANALYSIS: At some point, AEW needs to organize their match structure a little better, because it seems to be getting match heavy, which then reduces match time. Maybe it is time for more programming?

*NJPW announced via Twitter the start of Lion’s Break Crown will begin next week and released details of the main event—a tag team match featuring ACH and Alex Zayne versus Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa.

*A GoFundMe page has been started for Larry Csonka’s daughters, which you can donate to here.

*PWI and Bell To Belles have started interviewing women wrestlers for their new interview series, The Women of PWI Women’s 100. Dozens of one-on-one interviews with the women will go over the highlight of their last year and their future goals. Interviews will be released immediately following the digital PWI release, on October 15, on PWI and Bell To Belles podcast platforms, as well as written interviews on the Bell To Belles site.

*This weekend on Talking Smack, Miz announced that Mandy Rose had been traded to Raw. Miz and John Morrison have been targeting Otis during the past few weeks on SmackDown. The trade appears to be another scheme to get under Otis’ skin.

FOX and USA Network rely on me. They listen to every work and pitch I have, and boy did I have a pitch for the USA Network. Ladies and gentlemen, as of 10:01 PM on 9-11-2020, Mandy Rose is now on the roster of USA Network’s Monday Night Raw. Why? Let’s put it this way. Money in the Bank contract. It is very important. Otis needs to concentrate, focus, and get rid of every distraction he has. Mandy Rose is a distraction to someone who could be Universal Champion.

*Showbuzz Daily released viewership numbers this week indicative of a Smackdown viewership the highest it’s been since April. Adults 25-54 ranked above average in ratings with a 0.7 for the first hour and a 0.8 the second hour, the highest demographic being men 18-49. The episode averaged 2.261 million viewers, up from last week, which previously held the record since April for views.

*Alexa Bliss revealed to Comic Book how 2000s popstar Ryan Cabrera helped set her up with a new studio for her new podcast “Uncool”.

*Conor McGregor was arrested in Corsica for attempted sexual assault and sexual exhibition, over the weekend, according to a report from AFP Sport.

The prosecutor released the following statement to AFP Sport:

Following a complaint filed on September 10 denouncing acts that could be described as attempted sexual assault and sexual exhibition, Mr. Conor Anthony McGregor was the subject of a hearing by the police.

ANALYSIS: Frankly, though McGregor is a draw, he should not be booked for shows after behaving this way, time and time again. If wrestlers can be blacklisted for abuse that surfaced during the Speaking Out movement, McGregor can also be blacklisted.

*The WWE Network plans on releasing two specials later this month focusing on two feuds from the Ruthless Aggression Era. WWE Timeline will highlight the feud between Mickie James and Trish Stratus when James debuted as a stalker. The episode debuts on Sept 16. WWE Untold: John Cena vs. Edge will focus on their TLC match against each other at the 2006 WWE Unforgiven. This episode will debut Sept. 20.

*In her first match since March, Tessa Blanchard dropped the Warrior Wrestling Women’s Championship to Kylie Rae at Warrior Wrestling Stadium Series in Chicago Heights, Illinois, on Saturday. The match went over 17 minutes long.

*Chris Jericho said during his Saturday Night Special Q&A Session that Matt Hardy was not hurt after his spill during his match at AEW All Out. Check out how he felt watching the match, here:

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Amen. The roster is going to start complaining otherwise.

Dark’s purpose seems to be to beef up records, but a 1 hour show for feature matches that would be on Dark would help. So looking at the line up, Dark Order vs Private Party and Gunn Club, Colt Cabana vs QT Marshall, Diamante & Ivelisse feature match and either the Brandi Rhodes or Brian Cage feature match would go on my hypothetical new show. That said, my guess is TNT would want something more substantive for an extra hour show than Velocity/Heat type shows.

Maybe this is where the Road To type of documentary series would go that normally goes up on YouTube. That stuff is really good so sprinkle that in and strong vignettes in with some feature matches, maybe one or two that further storylines.

Happy to see Daniel Garcia and Kevin Blackwood getting a shot on Dark. Amazing talents, and good dudes.

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Reigns’ heel turn has gone well so far so it’s nice to see it reflected in the numbers.

I think that both Roman’s heel turn and the intrigue behind the Alexa/Fiend dynamic developing is playing a big part in the rise of Smackdown’s numbers. But most importantly, it feels like Smackdown has been more fresh lately, especially for the past month as opposed to RAW, who feature the same crop of talents working together over and over again. It specially exposes that for RAW with a 3-hour show, as opposed to Smackdown who doesn’t have to worry about an extra hour to book.