All Elite Wrestling Might Actually Be Real

I haven’t said basically anything about All Elite Wrestling here, because I’ve learned not to get my hopes up about there ever being real competition for WWE again. Everything that’s tried to fill the void left by WCW and ECW has either died before it ever got going, been mismanaged into oblivion or not had the resources pumped into it that it would need to truly make a go of things. But I’m starting to think we might actually be getting somewhere here.

Yes, AEW somehow managed to score a deal with TNT. Not bad for a promotion that’s ran literally one show that didn’t even use the All Elite name and sold out one more that hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure to some that last sentence sounds like I’m belittling them, but in fact it’s just the opposite. What AEW has done here is a credit to the wrestling names involved and to what seems like the solid commitment of the money people. Nobody else could have made this deal, I don’t think. Impact, which is better now from a content standpoint than it’s been in years, sure couldn’t. They just finished taking a significant downgrade from a deal that already wasn’t very good, and the only reason they even landed that is because their parent company owns part of the station they settled for. (See into oblivion, mismanaged.)

There are a lot of smart people behind this project and they seem to be taking the time to get things right. And with so many indies doing so well and WWE’s ratings dropping further and further all the time, it does seem like they could be the right people coming along at the right time to create a solid second major company. WWE is worth so much money right now thanks to TV deals and selling shows to Saudi Arabia that it would take incompetence on a scale heretofore unseen for AEW to pass them in the next few years, but they certainly appear to have enough going for them to make WWE at least sit up and think that maybe it’s time to change some things before the rights deals come up again. People aren’t going to want to pay billions of dollars to a company that nobody watches forever, after all.

May 15, 2019 – WarnerMedia announced today that it is partnering with All Elite Wrestling (AEW), the new professional wrestling promotion featuring a world-class roster of diverse male and female wrestlers, giving fans a new wrestling experience for the first time in 20 years. WarnerMedia and AEW together will build this powerhouse sporting league from the ground up and will begin airing weekly matches later this year. With this league, AEW is introducing a new generation of wrestlers to fans, offering fun, gripping and authentic athletic matches that will make wrestling more accessible to a broad audience. WarnerMedia will utilize its position as a next-generation global media company to build this league into a global pro-wrestling franchise.
Founded by President and CEO Tony Khan, AEW is headlined by members of The Elite, which includes all-star wrestlers The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), Cody and Brandi Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and Hangman Page, and a roster that includes the legendary Chris Jericho. Omega, Cody and The Young Bucks also serve as executive vice presidents of the company in addition to in-ring talent, and Brandi Rhodes also serves as Chief Brand Officer.
Later this year, WarnerMedia will provide exclusive multi-platform access for fans to watch AEW events, airing live weekly matches on TNT in prime time, as well as streaming them through WarnerMedia’s B/R Live and on pay-per-view. A leading digital sports enterprise, B/R Live’s high fan engagement will provide an invaluable opportunity to build AEW’s audience.

I’m curious where the shows will end up airing in Canada. The obvious choice is TSN, assuming that all those years of attitude era Raw that gave them so many headaches aren’t still leaving a bad taste in their mouths. They did air a Kenny Omega documentary not long ago, which could either be a complete coincidence or a subtle hint. They also have five stations to fill now instead of one, so the issue of shows being constantly preempted shouldn’t need to ever crop up the way it used to for Raw.

But if it’s not going to be TSN, things get pretty dicey.

Bell wouldn’t buy the rights to wrestling and then stick it anywhere but TSN, which rules out CTV, I suspect. But even if it doesn’t, where do you put it? CTV does well in prime time, so there’s no way AEW would fit in anywhere that isn’t a complete death spot, something like 2 in the morning on a Sunday.

Ditto for Corus. Global used to air WWECW, but it was Saturday morning at one and there’s no reason for things to be any different now.

Rogers is firmly locked up with WWE, so unless there’s something we don’t know, Sportsnet or anything else Rogers-owned is out of the question.

That basically leaves the Fight Network, but even that one gets complicated since Anthem already owns Impact and has a broadcast deal with Ring of Honor.

These are some interesting times all around. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens and to hopefully not being disappointed for once.

Mayday For Boats

We love Mayday around here, so chances are good that we’ll give DISASTERS AT SEA a look.

When tragedy strikes on the high seas causing ships to sink, the truth of what happened is often lost to the depths of the ocean. In Discovery’s latest original Canadian series, DISASTERS AT SEA, experienced and dedicated marine investigators track down new evidence to solve the mysteries behind some of the most devastating and unexpected real-life marine disasters in recent history.

I’ll spare you the rest of the rambling press release and skip straight to the episode descriptions and air dates, which Bell was helpful enough to include.

Episode 101 – “Coffin Ship”
Tuesday, April 16 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Ship: MV Derbyshire
Type: Bulk Cargo Carrier
Date: September 9, 1980
Location: South China Sea
When an underwater image of the Derbyshire suggests the crew is to blame for the shipwreck the families of the dead refuse to believe it and launch an intensive quest for answers. What the investigation uncovers not only clears the crew of blame, it also reveals a shocking problem that’s putting other lives at risk.

Episode 102 – “Shipwrecked in Alaska”
Tuesday, April 23 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Ship: Fishing Vessel Alaska Ranger
Type: Commercial Fishing Vessel, Trawler
Date: March 23, 2008
Location: Bering Sea, Alaska
Deadly flooding forces the crew of the Alaska Ranger to abandon ship into frigid waters off the coast of Alaska, setting off the largest cold water rescue in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard. Investigators have little to go on until a visit to Ranger’s sister ship reveals a shocking secret affecting other ships.
 
Episode 103 – “Deadly Rescue”
Tuesday, April 30 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Ship: SS Marine Electric
Type: 605 ft Bulk Carrier
Date: February 12, 1983
Location: Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Virginia
The SS Marine Electric went down in a storm 30 miles off the coast of Virginia in February 1983. Despite passing its inspections, the coast guard discovers that the ship was badly maintained and not seaworthy. In the wake of the accident, inspections of other aging vessels are stepped up, and the Coast Guard develops its now world famous Coast Guard Swimmer program, which trains rescuers to enter the water to save the lives of survivors who don’t make it onto lifeboats.
 
Episode 104 – “Wreck of the Rocknes”
Tuesday, May 7 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Ship: MV Rocknes
Type: 166 meter long Rock Discharge Bulk Carrier
Date: January 18, 2004
Location: South of Bergen, Norway
The largest rock discharge carrier in the world, MV Rocknes, capsizes off the coast of Norway. A rescue team works overtime to save trapped sailors in the now upside-down ship. In their search for answers, investigators discover a baffling twist – the Rocknes’ last turn was executed extremely poorly by a very experienced crew.
 
Episode 105 – “The Ice Ship”
Tuesday, May 14 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Ship: MV Explorer
Type: Ice Vessel
Date: November 23, 2007
Location: Antarctica
An adventure cruise ends in disaster when MV Explorer sinks in Antarctica, stranding 144 passengers and crew. In their hunt for evidence about what went wrong, investigators turn to a surprising source – the photos and videos taken by the passengers who survived the ordeal.
 
Episode 106 – “Torn Apart”
Sunday, March 17 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
Vessel Name: MSC Napoli
Type:  904.4 Ft Container Ship
Date: January 18, 2007
Location: The English Channel on-route to Sines, Portugal
When a violent crack tears the MSC Napoli apart and leaves the crew stranded in the English Channel, the first priority is rescuing the crew and moving the ship away from busy shipping lanes. But as the investigators dig into the cause of the wreck, they discover an alarming design flaw.

It says in the release that they’re already hard at work on season two, so hopefully we like season one.