Here are several short news stories covering a number of different WWE topics.
* Tickets for WWE SummerSlam officially went on sale today. Even though no matches have been announced yet, it was reported by the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer that tickets are selling very well. Meltzer reported that the building right now is set up for 41,600 total people, which means for an event of this level, it’s about 35,000 paid. Meltzer noted that there were about 3,000 seats remaining to go up for grabs for people today. Meltzer added: “It appears that more than 30,000 tickets are out at this point between those sold and business comps, so tickets moved very well.”
The rumor is that Roman Reigns will defend the Universal Title against John Cena at SummerSlam, but that is not official.
The building holds around 65,000 people for NFL games for the Las Vegas Raiders, so WWE isn’t going to be using the full stadium as far as tickets go.
If you’re wondering, Allegiant Stadium does have a roof on it so the Las Vegas heat won’t be a factor at the show.
Hell in a Cell Match on Smackdown Tonight
* It was surprising to see WWE announce yesterday that the Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio Hell in a Cell match was moved to Smackdown tonight instead of Sunday at Hell in a Cell.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that there is no known reason why the Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio Hell in a Cell match that was to take place on Sunday was moved up to tonight’s Friday Night Smackdown instead. The report notes that on Thursday there were a “bunch of discussions” that ultimately ended up with those in power deciding to do the match on Smackdown instead of the PPV. While some have wondered if the match either won’t go down as expected or that perhaps WWE will have Reigns face Dominik Mysterio at Hell in a Cell instead, the Observer reports that as of Friday, there were no plans for Reigns to be wrestling on the PPV given the changes. (Thanks to Rajah for that.)
Also, it was noted by the Mat Men Podcast that NBC Universal/USA Network are not happy about WWE moving the Hell in a Cell match to Smackdown on Fox instead of putting on Peacock (owned by NBC Universal).
TJR Thoughts: In other words, plans changed. Vince McMahon met with his creative team and for whatever reason, they thought they should put the title match on Smackdown. It’s probably due in part to the NBA Playoff games tonight (Philadelphia @ Atlanta will be against Smackdown) likely getting a big audience tonight, so WWE felt like they needed to put a big match on.
WWE May Have More Theme Shows for Their Weekly TV Shows
* The following is from our friends at Rajah as well:
In a follow up to a previous post about WWE likely bringing back “themed” shows such as Old School Raw, King of the Ring, Viewers Choice, Taboo Tuesday and Raw Roulette, fightfulselect.com reports that the reason for this direction is due a push from USA/NBC and FOX who are looking for more integration with other sports that the stations air. Specifically, tie-ins to NASCAR that would focus on a major race that would include race cars and star drivers as well as another pitch that would align with the start of Sunday Night Football and have “football themed matches and angles” in the presence of NFL players and commentators. Another idea proposed is a Wrestling World Cup and NBC has pitched a “points month” where things like wins, signature or finishing moves are assigned points with wrestlers accumulating them throughout that month.
TJR Thoughts: Some of those ideas sound awful, but I am all for trying to do some different themes for episodes to freshen things up a bit.
Three more quick news items:
* There is apparently no deal for Brock Lesnar to return to WWE for a match at SummerSlam according to the Wrestling Observer. That could change between now and August, but for right now, Lesnar isn’t going to be a part of SummerSlam.
* Regarding ring entrances in WWE NXT, Meltzer wrote about how Shawn Michaels’ wife Rebecca had a suggestion that led to a change on NXT shows since Michaels is one of NXT’s top decision makers. Here’s what Meltzer wrote:
“One of the reasons the ring entrances have been cut back on as far as time on the NXT TV show is Shawn Michaels felt that long ring entrances gave the viewers more time to check out AEW. Even though that’s no longer an issue, because Michaels is Paul Levesque’s main guy, they have done it with the idea of getting more time for in-ring and angles. Whether this is true or not, within the company the story that has gone around is that it was Rebecca, Shawn’s wife, who was watching the show and told him she thought the ring entrances were too long and giving people too much time to switch stations, and he brought that up to Levesque.”
TJR Thoughts: That seems like a lot of information for something so simple. I doubt Meltzer talked to Shawn directly, but there was definitely a lot of information there.
* The wrestling name for the Raw newcomer female wrestler that helped Eva Marie beat Naomi on Raw will be: Doudrop. The source on that news is Fightful, who noted that WWE has filed to trademark the name. She was known as Piper Niven when she was part of the NXT UK brand.
TJR Thoughts: I think the name “Doudrop” sucks. Be better, WWE creative team. Please.