Afternoon Update: Why Bliss sidelined for Evolution is a such a big disappointment, Baszler on missing scheduled Raw, Callis to call NJPW PPVs, WWE calls Khashoggi murder “heinous,” NWA cleans up glitches on PPV, WWE house show changes

December 3, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation


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-Alexa Bliss will be at Evolution tomorrow night, but she won’t be wrestling due to an injury suffered last weekend at a WWE live event. She will be in the corner of Mickie James & Alicia Fox as they battle Lita & Trish Stratus. It’s a big bummer for Bliss, who was a big fan of Trish. She told Lilian Garcia this week on the “Chasing Glory” podcast. (SUBSCRIBE IN APPLE PODCASTS)

The day I started with WWE, I always said I would love to face Trish Srtratus. If she ever returns to the ring, I’d love to face Trish Stratus. I’ve said that in almost any media interview I’ve done. We both came from similar backgrounds. She’s amazing. I’m really excited to face her at Evolution. I found out on Twitter like everybody else. I was like, oh, that would be cool, if only. Then WWE Tweeted it and I was like, “Oh my gosh!” And she apparently found out the same way. We didn’t know that we’d be facing each other. Then it was made into a tag match, which was awesome. What’s better than being in the ring with one legend? Being in the ring with three. It’s so cool and so awesome and I’m so excited.

-Evolution’s announce team will be Michael Cole, Renee Young, and Beth Phoenix. There will be a one hour Kick-off Show and then the window for the show is three-and-a-half hours.

-Shayna Baszler said on the “Breaking Kayfabe” podcast this week that she was almost on Raw for the Evolution announcement.

They pulled aside the girls the Monday morning of the announcement and were going to fly us to Raw since they wanted NXT representation. We were suppose to be on the stage when Stephanie (McMahon) was making the announcement. We hustled to get to the jet, not a commercial plane. We packed our bags, and since it’s a big to do, I had to get the title shined up, race to the airport which was a 30-40 minute drive and when we get there we found out the flight was delayed, and we’re sitting there and it just keeps getting delayed. So we finally land and we’re told it will take another 30 minutes to fuel up the plane. We know the segment will be the first one, so we decide to do our makeup and get our gear on right there since we’ll need to get off and go straight to tv since it will be the first segment on Raw. So during the walk through, the pilot, who was hired by WWE, we’re told he hits his head on a crossbeam of the plane and split open his head and had to get stitches. All this time, we were in contact with the WWE and they finally said it’s not gonna happen, so I had to watch it on TV. (LISTEN HERE)


They discuss the lay of the land on Raw considering the main event scene changing without Roman Reigns. Also thoughts on the Ronda Rousey-Bellas segment, the DX segment, and a full preview of Evolution. Then they answer Mailbag questions on a range of topics including New Japan’s Top Ten Heavyweights rankings, more on Reigns and Dean, and other topics.

-On Stitcher HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice

-Sky TV is among the major media outlets reporting on WWE’s decision to hold Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia after all. “Moving forward with Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia was an incredibly tough decision, given that heinous act,” WWE p.r. told Sky. Story excerpt:

A world wrestling body has defended its decision to run an event in Saudi Arabia despite a global outcry after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia denied knowledge of Mr Khashoggi’s whereabouts for nearly three weeks before admitting his killing had been “premeditated.” They have also denied any involvement of the powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – but that did not stop some countries and businesses from distancing themselves. Many top Western officials have boycotted an investment conference, called Davos in the Desert, held in the country this week. … But some of the show’s stars reportedly decided not to take part next month and some fans accused the organisation of being more interested in money than doing what was right. (FULL STORY LINK)

-Vince McMahon, during the WWE investors conference call on Thursday morning, said that they are planning to take action to reverse dropping attendance at live events. He said they would be worried if they didn’t know how to fix the problem, but they have a plan. He said they are “reimagining ” the WWE live events and there would be news on that soon. WWE executives also said they anticipate tiered pricing on WWE Network sometime in 2019 and they’re excited about it. Read our full detailed report on the investor conference call here: Update on timeline of WWE Network tiered pricing, McMahon comments on Saudi Arabia decision and hints of reimagining live event experience, prospects of all-women’s weekly TV series, more

-The NWA 70th Anniversary PPV event last Sunday night had a lot of technical issues, especially early on. There was no sound for the introductory video package, which NWA executive Dave Lagana likely put a lot of work into. Good news. For those who ordered the event previously, they can watch a “remastered” version with the audio feeds cleaned up. If you didn’t order the event on FITE TV previously, the production issues have been fixed. Read PWTorch contributor and PWTorch Livecast host Rich Fann’s in-depth report here: 10/21 NWA 70th Anniversary PPV Results: Cody defends the NWA World Hvt. Title against Nick Aldis in “All In” rematch with Schiavone & Cornette on commentary

-New Japan announced that Don Callis will be doing color commentary for future live streaming broadcasts including Wrestle Kingdom 13 on January 4. Callis is also an Executive Vice President involved in creative and talent relations with Impact Wrestling.

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NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS UPDATE: Afternoon Update: Rousey endorses Crown Jewel staying in Saudi Arabia, CNN covers WWE Crown Jewel decision, Impact viewership collapses in new timeslot, EVOLVE-WWE news, Drake vs. Cobb