A week can be a long time in the world of professional wrestling or sports entertainment. Never more so than the week ahead. The first week of October 2019 is being labelled by some as the biggest week in the history of the wrestling business. Rushonrock’s King Of The Ring Andy Spoors reports…
So what makes this week so special? We’re glad you asked! Not only do WWE’s flagship shows Raw and Smackdown celebrate new starts, but NXT also moves to USA network full time. There’s also the small matter of the Hell In The Cell PPV on Sunday night.
Away from WWE, Wednesday night will see the start of new kid on the block – AEW’s weekly episodic show Wednesday Night Dynamite. After a number of PPVs, All Elite Wrestling will find themselves on national TV and looking to hit the ground running. From day one owner Tony Khan has made no attempt to hide the fact they are catering for a slightly more mature audience. Sitting in the part of the market that aims to please disillusioned WWE fans, the company faces their biggest challenge to make things work week in, week out.
One of those challenges is the product’s release in the UK. ITV impressively snatched up the rights, but after bragging of a lucrative free-to-air, British television contract, the reality proves a stark contrast. Rather than a live broadcast, ITV 4 will carry an edited version on Sundays at 8:20am. With PPVs in the UK promised, this will surely need to be addressed.
Back to WWE and Monday night sees the new season premiere of Raw. As will be the case with Smackdown’s move to Fox, reports suggest we will see new stage sets, graphics, theme music and new announcers. Vic Joseph, NXT wrestler Dio Maddin and Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler will make up Monday’s commentary team.
NXT has its first full two-hour show on its new home, the USA Network. To celebrate, the yellow and black brand are laying on three championship matches as Matt Riddle challenges Adam Cole for the NXT Championship, Candice Larae looks to dethrone NXT Women’s Champ Shayna Baszler and Street Profits look to regain the NXT Tag Team Championships from Undisputed Era. If you’re going head to head with a new company, this calibre of card is a good start!
The biggest changes come from WWE’s blue brand, as Smackdown moves not only to a new network in the shape of Fox, but also to Friday nights. Along with pre and post shows for American viewers, a new announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves as well as the previously mentioned new sets, return of pyro and new theme music (more on this soon) will give a fresh feel to proceedings.
A new start deserves a match card fitting of the occasion and Smackdown is pulling out the big guns. Brock Lesnar will perform on Smackdown for the first time in well over a decade, as he looks to capture Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship. Everything is on the line as recently fired Kevin Owens looks to gain not only his job back but banish Shane McMahon from his own business in a ladder match. Charlotte and Becky Lynch team up against Bayley and Sasha Banks just days before Hell In A Cell and with legends featuring heavily in advertisements, there could be a whole raft of surprises in store.
One thing is certain, this is a golden age for wrestling fans, as outside WWE and AEW, companies are stepping up and offering fans unprecedented amounts of action. Rushonrock.com will be here all week to bring you exclusive features and previews.