Fox/WWE advertising during particular broadcasts was higher than normal last week. Not really shocking that they are doing this, with hoping to get more eyes this Friday because of Cena appearing. Some Fox Affiliates were sent memos stating “ad” changes. Most people would not notice the extra advertising. The 27th of February was the first day of the Neilsen Survey for the month of March 2020. (Nielsen records March ratings February 27th-March 25th).
- Fightful learned that Jordynne Grace had sustained an arm injury of some sort at the Friday show a couple weeks back in Lexington. Her match the following night was scaled back as a result. We aren't sure of the severity or specific injury.
- We'd reported that Jessamyn Duke had underwent elbow surgery a while back, but she actually ended up getting both elbows operated on. We're told that she's healing up nicely, but isn't quite cleared for in-ring work as of yet.
- Word going around backstage is that Kenny Omega's hand was banged up after his instant classic tag team match at AEW Revolution. Initially it was feared he could have suffered a broken hand, though we don't know if that's the case or the severity of the injury
Lita, Gail Kim, Christy Hemme
Fightful had a last minute interview with Gail, Christy and Lita about the Kayfabed project they're working on. Christy Hemme seems to be the most clued in but they're all clearly heavily involved. There will be "invisible camera" aspects of the promotion, and will be female-led and female centered. They want more female producers involved, and say that there haven't been a lot of opportunities for women in that regard in the past and they don't have a big pool to pick from.
The three spoke of their desire to have a racier, edgier female based show that they wouldn't let a younger audience watch. Christy Hemme had went to writing school for two years and had the idea of a show like this as far back as 2013. They went on to recruit Jimmy Jacobs and Tom Casiello, and said everyone they called agreed to do it. All three noted that it was extremely hard to keep a secret, and they're open to funding it in a variety of ways.
Gail told us that IMPACT knows about her plans and that this won't affect her duties there whatsoever. She's not looking to create competition, she reiterated that they wanted to create something completely different.
Lita specified that during downtime on Tough Enough she would learn about the production aspect of wrestling and hang out during production meetings and in the editing bays. She said that Kevin Dunn helped her out a lot, which led to her producing on Raw and Smackdown.
Gail was the first IMPACT female producer, Lita was the first Raw producer, and Christy was the first IMPACT female creative member.
Impact mainstay Fallah Bahh had very positive things to say about the company transition over to AXS TV. It was mentioned that his social media presence has increased as a result of the move and they're getting more exposure. His time at Monster Factory taught him the "marathon, not a sprint," mentality and how to maintain professionalism.
He spoke of being given the idea to do the Yokozuna-esque gimmick, and knows he'll draw comparisons to the legend. We had a light-hearted talk about Saudi Arabia requesting Yokozuna from WWE, and Bahh being the closest thing to it these days. Though he got some tweets about it, he said he's very loyal to IMPACT wrestling. However, he's studied Yokozuna extensively and says he's an inspiration, even though it took him a while to adopt the gimmick.
He and Kevin Mathews remain friends even though KM has stepped away from IMPACT. Bahh said the segments and skits they'd do as a team wasn't much different from how they usually acted, and said it was the most fun he's had in wrestling.
Fightful spoke to Silas Young this week, who ran the promotion that saw CM Punk do a masked run in last year. Young said that he never physically saw CM Punk at the venue, but is certain it was him and that he likely wanted to make an appearance at a building that he began his career at before it was scheduled to be torn down. Because Dave Prazak and Ace Steel were on the show and are close with Punk, that led to the situation happening, and he was only asked if it was okay ten minutes before showtime.
He's loyal to ROH because they gave him an opportunity, and was happy that they wanted to go long term with him and said it strengthened their relationship. He wanted to stick with ROH because he likes the schedule and the way that it allows him to see his child. The three year aspect of the deal was something that came together as a part of negotiations. He would also enjoy getting involved in the creative process and has done so a little bit with his input on the segments he's been involved in with Josh Woods.
Young spoke very highly of Woods and his background. He wanted Woods to show his personality instead of playing the clear cut "MMA bad ass" type of character.
The contracts of All Elite Wrestling talent have underwent some changes in recent months. There are some talent that either aren't allowed or want to work independent dates, and others who have embraced it.
We've seen Jimmy Havoc and MJF allowed to work MLW over the last year since signing with the company. But Britt Baker worked Warrior Wrestling, Havoc worked Progress Wrestling, and Joey Janela has worked indies of late as well.
Fightful has been told that almost all AEW contracts differ to some degree, but if they want to work an independent date, they submit it to the office (or Christopher Daniels) to get approval for it. The booking fees for some wrestlers has increased significantly because of the TNT exposure.
Cody Rhodes caused a bit of a stir on a recent media call, when he noted that in five years he wouldn't mind being off Wednesdays for All Elite Wrestling Dynamite. He said that if a situation occurred that forced them to Mondays, he thinks they'd perform well there, too.
Fightful has learned that AEW founder Tony Khan has no plans to move from Wednesdays, and would never move to Mondays if he could help it. We're told that has more to do with an NFL conflict than anything, considering the Khan family has a substantial interest with them owning the entirety of the Jacksonville Jaguars team and it would effectively be "competing against themselves." Tuesdays were originally considered, but with NBA airing Tuesdays and Thursdays on TNT it eliminated that possibility.
We spoke to Khan about this at the media scrum, where he'd confirm our reports.
I reached out to Matt Hardy to ask about reports that he'd "made a decision" on AEW. He stated that any information to that regard would be speculation, and he's still weighing offers. I get the feeling he'd probably not spoil that even if he weren't, but people on NXT's side of things were hopeful that they could convince him to hang around under their banner.