With WWE seemingly suspending Superstars left and right (and rumors of more on the way after SummerSlam), it was probably only a matter of time before someone decided to make an issue out of it. In this case, it was a man named Jonathan Coyle, the husband (and manager) of Eva Marie, who was the most recent Superstar suspended 30 days for her first violation of the Wellness Policy. Coyle took to social media immediately after Eva Marie’s suspension was announced to deliver the following statement:
WWE 2K17’s release is fast approaching, so the media blitz is on, with the latest bit of information being this clip of actual gameplay, featuring a match between Sasha Banks and Charlotte, and another one involving Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, and Chris Jericho, which shows off one of the game’s new “OMG! Moments”.
In the wake of collaborations with Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones, it looks like WWE has put their fingerprints all over another animated franchise, with this sequel to the fairly successful 2007 family movie about penguins who surf. For the sequel, Cody Maverick, the main character from the original, teams up with a group of surfers all voiced by WWE Superstars, including John Cena, The Undertaker, Paige, Triple H, and Mr. McMahon. We can’t even imagine how that works, but the Scooby-Doo movies weren’t bad, so this might be worth your time too!
The blue brand hasn’t come close to beating Raw in the ratings since the first week of the Brand Extension, but that doesn’t mean the ratings still aren’t good news for WWE and the USA Network. This week, Smackdown saw a very slight increase in both viewership and demographics, halting the downward trend that the show had been on and likely establishing a reasonable area where the show’s ratings will probably end up on a regular basis. The good news is, that number, even with the Olympics stealing viewers from all programming on TV, is still higher than the show was pulling in before the brand split, making the whole thing at least a moderate early success. Overall for the evening, Smackdown garnered a 0.82 rating in the 18-49 demographic and averaged 2.47 million viewers, good enough for the #1 spot in original cable programming for the evening.
It has not been a very good second WWE run for Alberto Del Rio, full of bad wrestling and poorly booked angles, as well as a public relationship with Paige that seems to have raised some eyebrows among WWE officials, with reported belief that the 39-year-old Del Rio is a “bad influence” on the 24-year old Superstar. Rumors have been running rampant lately that he is looking to exercise an alleged “out” clause in his contract as early as September, and, if that is true, then this week’s main event loss to John Cena on Smackdown could very well end up being the last time we see Alberto Del Rio in WWE for a long time, as the company announced today that Del Rio has been suspended 30 days for violating the WWE Wellness Policy. Here is their brief but official statement on the suspension:
While the days where wrestlers would take matters into their own hands when fans jumped the barricades are long gone, due to potential legal complications, WWE is still in the business of making object lessons out of anyone dumb enough to try and become part of the show. Case in point, the fan who jumped into the ring on this week’s episode of Raw, getting far too close to Seth Rollins before being dragged away by security, is facing some serious legal problems as a result of his action. The man, Edward Ferrero, is now facing charges of criminal trespass and assault, not only for getting in the ring, but he also apparently bit a security guard while he was being removed from the arena (because why not make things even worse for you, we guess).
WWE has another huge weekend of wrestling events scheduled this weekend, and it’s safe to say that the stakes are high in a lot of ways. Over the course of a live NXT TakeOver special and a four-plus hour SummerSlam Pay Per View, an incredible nine titles will be on the line, including a match to determine the very first WWE Universal Champion. Plus, Brock Lesnar wrestles his first match since WrestleMania, amidst accusations of drug use from the USADA and laziness from other wrestlers. Oh yeah, and it’s also the first Pay Per View to occur fully within the confines of the new Brand Extension (remember, Battleground’s matches were booked before the Draft ever happened), and will likely set the tone for WWE’s plans for the rest of 2016. We thought about predicting match results, but anyone can do that, so we decided to take a deeper look at all the important stuff we think you should pay attention to on SummerSlam weekend, things that could determine if the whole event is a smashing success, or WWE’s worst nightmare.
The final Raw before SummerSlam did well not to lose any more viewers to the Summer Olympics, but didn’t see any particularly large gains either, coming in well below the usual numbers. The show, which featured the first appearance of the Demon King persona of Finn Balor in the second hour, and a long third hour main event match between Roman Reigns and Rusev, averaged 2.92 million viewers and a 1.01 rating in the 18-49 demographic. These were minimally larger than last week’s show, but also represent the first time since Raw moved back to the USA Network that it has dipped under a 1.0 rating for two straight weeks. The show did gain viewers for the second hour, but as usual, lost them all again for the third one. On a night when most shows took another week off to avoid the Olympics, Raw was #2 among cable original programming, behind Love and Hip-Hop, which beat Raw in the demos, but had significantly fewer actual viewers.
This was the absolute last show before SummerSlam on Sunday, so everyone from the blue brand had one final chance to get their shots in before the show. Just in case you missed it, here’s all the results from this week’s Smackdown Live!