Pro Wrestling News: Last-Minute Preparations For Wrestling War

(CBSNewYork/CBS Local) — The world of pro wrestling has become a whirlwind of news and activity. From the WWE NXT premiere on its new broadcast home to the impending debut of All Elite Wrestling’s two-hour weekly live show, the landscape is shifting in what feels like real-time. Where and how things will settle is still anybody’s guess.

As wrestling fans prepare for another prime-time wrestling war, here’s what’s happening during the remaining moments of relative calm.

As expected, AEW will carry a TV-14 rating when All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite premiers on October 2. That gives them a bit more freedom for an adult presentation. WWE is currently TV-PG, with no plans to alter its largely family-friendly product.

>>READ: WWE NXT Dazzles In Premiere, Expectations For All Elite Wrestling War Build

Hangman Page vs. PAC (formerly WWE’s Neville) has been added to the AEW premiere on October 2.

WWE is countering AEW’s premiere by presenting NXT with limited commercial interruptions. Matt Riddle will challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship in the main event.

WWE continues to build a massive show for its October 4 premiere on a new network. Kevin Owens will now face Shane McMahon in a ladder match where both have put their careers on the line. It was previously announced that Brock Lesnar would challenge Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship and Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair will square off against Sasha Banks and Bayley.

You can add Steve Austin to the growing list of legends scheduled to appear on the October 4 SmackDown, which doubles as the 20th Anniversary Special of the show. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Kurt Angle, Goldberg, Trish Stratus, Mick Foley, Lita, Booker T, Mark Henry and Jerry Lawler have also been announced as appearing.

>>READ: WWE’s NXT Vs. AEW: New Wednesday Night Ratings Battle Kicks Off This Fall

The expectation is that Goldberg will clash with Dolph Ziggler at some point on the show after the two had a “confrontation” in a Las Vegas restaurant last week. The pair squared off in August at SummerSlam, with the WWE Hall of Famer scoring an easy win over Ziggler.

205 Live may be shifted to Friday nights following SmackDown, according to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson.

Mickie James, who is currently out of action while recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, handled commentary for this week’s Main Event. The show was taped prior to RAW.

>>READ: Latest from the world of Pro Wrestling

Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. Eric Rowan and Luke Harper has been added to WWE’s Hell In A Cell PPV on October 6. Unless a swerve is planned, Bryan is once again a babyface.

Ratings for this week’s RAW were down slightly week-over-week, with the 10 pm hour flirting with sub-2 million viewership.

Ratings for this week’s SmackDown — the final episode on USA — were up slightly week-over-week. The show pulled 2.1 million viewers, which is roughly 95% of the RAW audience from the night before. This could be the final week for a long time that RAW has more viewers than SmackDown.

Ratings for NXT’s premiere on USA last week were strong, as the show finished fourth for the night on cable in the 18-49 demographic. Nearly 1.18 million viewers tuned in, far more than the 841,000 who watched a one-time special that aired on the network in 2017.

>>READ: Ring Of Honor Ready To Rebound As Wrestling Industry Undergoes Massive Shakeup

ROH will live stream portions of its television tapings the day after the pay-per-view on Honor Club. The lineup includes the top prospect tournament finals and an eight-man tag match featuring Jay Briscoe, Joe Hendry, Cheeseburger and a mystery partner vs. Jeff Cobb, Marty Scurll, Josh Woods and a mystery partner.

Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.

Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.

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