Sorry for the late news update today. Appreciate all your thoughts and comments over the last couple of days, including some hidden gems from some of the wrestling sites covering WWE, Raw and the newly announced Elimination Chamber.
The second edition of our podcast, Talking Sheet is available on the site, including a very popular Rear View look at the Wrestling Observer Newsletter from January of 1987 in what some listeners are already calling the spiritual successor to the now defunct OBSERVOR segments that Todd Martin used to do on his old F4Daily shows with Bryan Alvarez.
We have the second part of our new column Deep Insider is up on the site. This is the column where I document and report on my experiences while I continue my sojourn into the unsavory, questionable realm of Elite Membership at PWInsider.com.
We also have a look at PWInsider blowing two of its self-proclaimed Breaking News stories, where they were FIRST to report that Daniel Bryan would be defending his Intercontinental Title at Payback this Sunday, and that Stephanie McMahon would be returning to Raw last night—neither turned out to be true.
Feedback? News Tips? All correspondence can be sent to Les@sheetsandwich.com
Tuesday News Update
** We open with Raw Ratings DoomWatch™ — Week 3, in which, despite the WWE show increasing week over week, the narrative is that the numbers are still performing poorly (“at a low level,” according to F4WOnline.com).
** The new story at F4Wonline is that, Live vs Taped doesn’t matter anymore at all, but that LeBron James might. Coming off a few weeks of sagging Raw ratings, Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez on their Radio Show podcasts have been tossing out the idea that it wasn’t the taped show from the UK at all that caused ratings to plummet a few weeks back, but that they are somehow steadily eroding over time—and that NBA playoff basketball games featuring LeBron James may be among the culprits, too.
** F4WOnline has the hourly breakdowns:
8 p.m. 3.82 million viewers
9 p.m. 3.85 million viewers
10 p.m. 3.39 million viewers
** They also mention that the show opened “significantly up from the prior week” but doesn’t give comparisons to numbers from last week’s show.
** Thankfully, you all have the Sandwich. We took two minute to dig up the F4Wonline report of ratings numbers for a direct comparison of the hourly breakdown:
8 p.m. 3.42 million viewers
9 p.m. 3.71 million viewers
10 p.m. 3.59 million viewers
** PWInsider reports that the show did 3,687,000 viewers, up from last week’s 3,573,000 viewers. (a difference of 114,000 viewers.
** PWInsider also reports that the “Number would have been better had there not been a huge drop of 468,000 viewers in hour three” — however that doesn’t seem to match the numbers reported by F4WOnline, which indicate only a 200,000 drop in viewers. (unless I’m missing something). For some reason they have different hourly breakdowns.
** On a related now, I like how PWInsider has nearly 3-year’s worth of ratings information on their site.
** PW Torch’s James Caldwell’s coverage of Raw ratings has a decent breakdown covering all angles of the audience increases and dips, plus the actual ratings number itself (a 2.67 vs a 2.55 rating last week), and also includes an encapsulation of post-Mania viewers with percent drops.
** WrestlingInc. is running a story from PWInsider Elite regarding Dixie Carter telling her TNA talent to keep their heads in the sand about Destination America viewership. (or something).
** F4WOnline is running a story today from WWE.com (also reported by Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Live today) announcing that the Elimination Chamber on May 31st will feature Chamber Matches to determine a new Intercontinental Champion (the title vacated Monday night by Daniel Bryan on WWE Raw) and to contest the WWE Tag Team title (currently held by the New Day) for the first time ever in a Chamber Match.
** F4Wonline has reneged on their plans to have an extended JTG “after show” interviewing the former Cryme Tyme member (who is also flogging his new book) for member’s only today. The ex-wrestlers appeared briefly at the end of Wrestling Observer Live today with Alvarez and Mike Sempervive, and had previously been announced as being on a Tuesday F4Daily podcast for members, but that fell through.
** The site also appears to be hedging on whether or not Kurt Angle of TNA Impact wrestling will be available as scheduled this Thursday for both the Sports Byline radio show and the member’s only podcast. Monday night on Wrestling Observer Radio with Alvarez and Meltzer, Meltzer joked that Alvarez had “jinxed it” by talking too much about the Angle appearance (when talking about being able to ask him Thursday about something they were discussing on the show) because the interview had not been arranged through TNA. Then, on Tuesday’s Wrestling Observer Live, Alvarez couched his language promoting the Thursday shows by saying, “we hope to have…” in reference to the Angle appearance.
** PWInsider is reporting that WWE have canceled their May 32t live event in Greenville, SC due to holding the Elimination Chamber Network Exclusive event in Corpus Cristi, TX.
** It had previously been announced that the Corpus Cristi event had been moved from being an afternoon show to be an evening show due to it becoming a PPV-like (though only available on the Network) event.
** PWInsider has live coverage of the ROH/New Japan War of the Worlds event tonight in Philadephia.
** PW Torch has coverage of Daniel Bryan on Twitter sending messages to fans about how hard he is working to get better, and get back in the ring.
** Interesting to note that Bryan is citing being in physical therapy, which—to the Sandwich—would seem to indicate that his current injury leave can’t be concussion-related. Unless the physical therapy is doing flashcards. Stranger things have happened.
** Vince Russo has a followup blog update on his CSR Blog losing his goddamned mind over feedback he received from readers reacting to him saying Sami Zayn doesn’t equal ratings.
** Joe Babinsack is back at the Camel Clutch Blog looking at one of his favorite subjects (and close, personal friend) Bruno Sammartino and a review of the documentary on the legendary champion’s life.
** The next time I interview Justin LaBar I’ll have to ask about this Russo business. (I know that’s not news, but… it has to happen).
** WrestleZone has a similar story to the PWInsider piece on WWE canceling its Greenville event to make way for the Elimination Chamber match, but that also includes info on how ticket-holding fans to the Greenville event can get refunds OR swap their tickets out for a newly announced RAW event this November.
** WrestleZone also announced a new weekly feature (segment?) on the site that they announced Tuesday where they will be writing articles (described as “light ‘live’ coverage” of the shows) that recap/review the history of WCW pay-per-view events.
** If you’re a member over at F4Wonline.com, and you frequent the BOARD~!, it’s that magical time of year when the brothers have a friendly clash over who is the most dominant personality by going head-to-head against each other, competing in polls to be voted upon by their peers. Check out the King of the Board tournament in the Major Psychological Issues Forum.
** Today’s News vs Plugs at F4Wonline.com – News: 1148 words. Plugs: 3872