Fightful had mentioned recently in our contract expiration article that Chris Amann's agreement with WWE was set to expire in October. No terms of a renewal or anything of that nature are known, but Amann was backstage at this week's shows, so from that perspective, it looks like he's hanging around for the time being.
WWE Crown Jewel
WWE had set the match order of the WWE Crown Jewel show on Thursday, but ended up changing the order of several of the matches at the last minute, as well as numerous referees that were planned, but virtually everything else went along as planned outside of several matches in the first round being trimmed due to time constraints. One thing that didn't go down was the Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles Performance Center match that was briefly planned because Bryan wouldn't make the trip to Saudi Arabia. The match segment was planned for roughly 15 minutes, and was supposed to have an NXT referee in it.
It was not a secret within the company that Miz and Dolph Ziggler were going to the finals of the World Cup Tournament -- we even reported as such on FightfulSelect.com as the show came on the air. The winner of the tournament, however, was a protected secret for now obvious reasons. Few knew of the winner before the segment aired.
We were told of a fortunately minor pyro accident on the Crown Jewel show. Samoa Joe was almost caught by a pyro blast for Brock Lesnar's entrance. Nothing major occurred, and could have been a lot worse from the way it was described. Samoa Joe was allegedly coughing up heavily after the incident, but was said to be okay afterwards. He would go on to wrestle AJ Styles the next two days in house show loops across the UK without any problems.
I reached out to a UFC rep about the rumor that Brock Lesnar wasn't allowed at UFC 230 because New York's athletic commission feared a brawl akin to the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor one that took place last month. The UFC rep vehemently denied that claim and said that the UFC welcomes Brock Lesnar to any event he opts to attend. He wasn't expected to appear at the show due to his obligations with WWE in Saudi Arabia anyway.
We'll have a lot about independent wrestling standout Britt Baker over the next several issues of the Fightful Wrestling Weekly. I spoke to her for about 20 minutes and she was very candid about her career. As things stand, she has to balance pro wrestling along with working as a dentist, which she tells me is much easier now that she's out of dentist school. She's already incorporated being a dentist into her wrestling character, and noted that she gets Isaac Yankem D.D.S jokes at least once per show -- so if you have one, you should probably make sure it's an original one. A lot of the discussion was about how she's able to manage both careers. She said that she's under a one-year dental contract and isn't sure how that would play in to her getting a contract for a wrestling company. She hopes to make pro wrestling her primary living while she's young and able bodied, but admitted that if she ended up signing with WWE, she'd have to make some tough decisions about her future in dentistry.
I'd noticed that Baker had never wrestled for TNA Wrestling or IMPACT, despite them reaching out to women of varying experience levels. She said that she actually had been contacted at one point to work a set of tapings and a One Night Only show, but it was at a time in which she was in dental school, and would have had to take off the entire week of classes to pull it off -- not something she had the luxury of doing at that point. She's kept the door open to possibly working with them in the future. Baker seemed really conflicted her future, but made it clear that wrestling is a priority as of now, and that her work as a dentist will be the gig in retirement from wrestling.
Jordynne Grace talked to Fightful contributor Kristen Ashly recently and opened up about the women's wrestling revolution landscape and how she's navigated it. She credited working in Mexico to helping her pay her dues and get tougher in a pro wrestling business that requires a woman to be in constant protection of herself.
Grace wasn't quick out to pick favorites that she's competed against, but did single out Deonna Purrazzo, Allie Kat, Kylie Rae, Maria Manic, Ethan Page, Skylar and Tessa Blanchard as some of her top opponents. She also said that some of the most talented people that she's wrestled actually ended up being the least fun because it wasn't easy to plan out the match.
WWE Raw Overrun (As it appeared on Fightful.com 11/7/18)
Fightful.com has learned that WWE Monday Night Raw has a hard "out" time of 11 PM EST, as opposed to the soft end time that they've enjoyed since the 1990s. We're told this will begin with next Monday's edition of Raw, and will continue for the foreseeable future. This is already the case for WWE Smackdown Live on Tuesday Nights.
WWE Raw's overrun has been a staple of the show for years, dating back to the Monday Night Wars when the company was locked in a vicious ratings war with rival World Championship Wrestling. The two sides would often tinker around with starting shows earlier or staying later in an effort to gain a competitive advantage over one another. The overrun would stick around even when WWE didn't have competition.
The overrun gives WWE additional screen time, but also allows for flexibility on the show if a segment goes long. A source close to the situation indicated this is likely a USA Network call. WWE didn't respond to our request for comment on the story.