WWE has announced that SummerSlam will return to Barclays Center for 2016 and 2017. There will also be an NXT show on Saturday and a Raw episode on Monday from Barclays Center in ’16 and ’17, just like this year.
This year’s SummerSlam weekend was a huge success for WWE and rolling NXT and Raw into the package and holding them in the same arena gave it more of a “WrestleMania” feel, which is befitting to the company’s second-biggest show of the year. This announcement also lends some more credibility to the rumors that NXT special events will be paired with WWE’s big pay-per-view moving forward.
WWE has updated the card for its October 3rd Madison Square Garden house show that will be broadcast on the WWE Network. The originally scheduled John Cena v. Seth Rollins WWE World Heavyweight Championship match will now take place inside a steel cage.
Here is the whole card, as it currently stands:
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match
John Cena v. Seth Rollins
Brock Lesnar v. Big Show
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Dudley Boyz v. New Day
Another day, another return. This time it was Randy Orton coming to the aid of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose and helping them fend off the Wyatt Family. This segment uncharacteristically opened Raw instead of an Authority or Seth Rollins promo and it was a nice change of pace.
El Rey Network and Lucha Underground have agreed to renew the show for a second season, according to a press release from the network. Production will begin in the 4th quarter of this year with new episodes to begin airing in early 2016.
The show was a hit with wrestling fans, although the ratings were certainly not a smash. That is to be expected, though, considering the upstart nature of the show and it airing on a network available in only 21% of US homes. Lucha Underground is different than any other wrestling show and, because of its production values, costs quite a bit more to produce. That isn’t deterring El Rey Network from sticking with the show, even though there were doubts for a bit.
“We brought together some of the best athletes from lucha libre and wrestling to fight in Los Angeles this year on ‘Lucha Underground’. It was fresh, it was compelling and it got the attention and created buzz across the entire wrestling world,” said Executive Producer Mark Burnett in the network’s press release.
Obviously Lucha Underground returning is great news, both for the performers and fans. It gives another outlet for wrestlers, announcers and crew to work, and a true alternative for those looking for something different than WWE.
WWE Network has deemed this week “Nitro Week.” It all kicks off with the premiere of JBL’s new series, “Legends with JBL.” Tonight’s episode is the first of two parts with Eric Bischoff and airs immediately following Raw. As much as JBL annoys me every Monday night on commentary, I’m really looking forward to this series.
Tuesday brings us a Monday Nitro Top 10, hosted by Diamond Dallas Page, at 10pm ET. The show will count down the top 10 moments in Nitro history. On Wednesday at 10pm ET we get another top 10 show, this time with Eric Bischoff himself counting down his own top 10 moments. Part two of Legends with JBL: Eric Bischoff will air on Thursday at 10pm ET.
Along with all of this, WWE is touting the hundreds of hours of Nitro content that is on the Network. I must say, they’ve done a great job adding new episodes of Nitro over the last few weeks. Here is what the company had to say about the Nitro on-demand section in its press release touting Nitro week: “The next chapter of WCW’s Monday Nitro has arrived exclusively on WWE Network on demand. Relive all the action and excitement from WCW’s banner year during the escalating Monday Night War including NWO’s continuing hostile takeover, Sting’s quest to avenge WCW, the rise of Goldberg’s undefeated streak and much more.”
After a fan entered the ring to try to be Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose’s mystery partner, the true man was revealed to be Chris Jericho. Unfortunately, the distraction of the fan in the ring seemed to take away from the crowd’s reaction to Y2J, but he got a solid pop nonetheless.
Jericho would end up costing Reigns and Ambrose the match when he tagged himself in as Reigns was about to win, and then was put out cold by Braun Strowman. Following the match, he bumped shoulders with Ambrose and walked to the back without talking to his teammates.
We’ll see where this one goes. Generally the “tag myself in” trope isn’t used in wrestling unless it’s to set up a heel turn, and the post-match incident seems to say that’s what’s happening, but we don’t know for sure if Jericho is sticking around for a bit. My guess would be he stays at least through his MSG house show match and has a mini-feud with Ambrose or Reigns in the process.
WWE will once again broadcast a house show featuring Brock Lesnar, this time it’s his return to Madison Square Garden on October 3rd. He’ll face Big Show on a card that will also include Kevin Owens v. Cesaro, Seth Rollins v. John Cena, Randy Orton v. Sheamus, and Dolph Ziggler v. Rusev. While several of those matches are already tired, house shows at MSG generally have a little more punch and often have some surprise guests. Chris Jericho is also advertised for the card.
A few weeks later, Lesnar will be the guest on the Stone Cold Podcast, broadcast immediately following the October 19th Raw. I’m really looking forward to this one. Austin and Lesnar are friends but I hope they discuss the infamous booking idea of Lesnar beating Austin clean on Raw unannounced, which led to Austin’s “taking his ball and going home.”
Then, of course, we get Lesnar in the main event of Hell in a Cell settling the score with The Undertaker.
It was announced last night during a Brock Lesnar vignette at Night of Champions that the Beast will face The Undertaker in a rubber match of their recent feud at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on Sunday, October 25th. The match will also be a Hell in a Cell match.
Many had speculated that a Hell in a Cell match would be a fitting end to this feud, given Taker’s history with the match and the murky circumstances under which their most recent match ended. The surprise, though, is that it’s happening this quickly and not being stretched out to a WrestleMania match. This also adds some fuel to the Taker v. Sting fire, freeing the Dead Man up for a match with “the vigilante,” pending Sting’s health.
Hulk Hogan spoke with ABC News’ Amy Robach in an interview which aired on this morning’s episode of “Good Morning America.” In the video, Hogan addresses the comments from his Gawker sex tape video and the backlash since.
We’re now less than two weeks away from SummerSlam and the card for the second-biggest show of the year is taking shape. So far, six matches have been made official, with the Rollins v. Cena match pretty much a lock and three more likely coming our way, according to my predictions. Here is a look at the scheduled bouts:
Brock Lesnar v. The Undertaker
WWE World Heavyweight Championship and United States Championship Match (Unofficial)
John Cena v. Seth Rollins
Luke Harper & Bray Wyatt v. Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose
Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match
Big Show v. The Miz v. Ryback
World Tag Team Championship Fatal Fourway Match
Los Matadores v. Lucha Dragons v. The New Day v. The Prime Time Players
Women’s 3-Team Elimination Match
Team Bella v. Team B.A.D. v. Team PCB
Stardust & King Barrett v. Neville & Stephen Amell
Not Announced but Likely to Happen
Randy Orton v. Sheamus
Dolph Ziggler & Lana v. Rusev & Summer Rae
Kevin Owens v. Cesaro
That is a card with 11 matches. Even though it is a four hour show, we may not get all these. The likely candidate to get scratched is a Rusev & Summer Rae v. Dolph Ziggler & Lana mixed tag team match. Lana mentioned on last night’s Raw that Ziggler won’t be back until after SummerSlam, which I thought was to set up a surprise appearance. I also don’t know how long they can stretch this feud out without having some sort of match, so we’ll see if Dolph does indeed return on next week’s go-home episode of Raw.