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> Five Star Wrestling, the promotion that many thought was finished after they canceled a series of what were to be weekly televised shows for a 128 match tournament this year, appears to be back with a new television deal in the U.K. for 2018. A new free-to-air television station launched on 9/1 called FreeSports on all the major platforms, Freeview, TalkTalk, BT, Sky and FreeSat, basically everywhere but Virgin Media. It is a 24-hour sports channel, the first free-to-air sports channel in the U.K. television market. FreeSports will be the sister channel of Premier Sports and will have ten international soccer games weekly plus be the U.K. home of the NHL (which will be on free TV in the U.K. for the first time since 2005) and NASCAR.
> Steve Fludder’s Preston City Wrestling made an announcement on 9/5 that they had made an agreement with FreeSports which led people to believe they were the company that had signed with the new station. FreeSports on 9/7 then announced that while initial discussions with Preston City Wrestling did take place regarding airing a live event in October, that there was a “misunderstanding” and they have no agreement to air such a show and that they would not be airing it. They said they would be airing live weekly shows from major arenas starting in 2018 and Five Star Wrestling would be the station’s exclusive wrestling promotion.
> Preston City Wrestling was under the impression they had a deal with the station to do monthly three-hour specials with the first show on 10/27. Steve Fludder, the Preston City promoter said they had been in talks for months, thought they had a deal, only to find FreeSports changed their minds after the verbal agreement. He said Freesports had assured them on 9/4 that the deal was done and that’s when they made the announcement they had the deal starting with a live show on 10/27. He intimated that they lost the deal because Five Star had promised the promotion weekly major arena shows, something Preston City said they couldn’t deliver.
> Lucha Underground is heavily talking about Ultima Lucha on television so the season is winding to a close. None of the talent knows anything. The basic word we’ve heard is that El Rey would like a new season, but nobody has yet come through to fund the season. After season one lost so much money, they were able to get one of the owners to put up money for two more seasons so they could reach 100 episodes, a milestone they reached. They never tried touring and at WrestleMania in Dallas it was clear there was a huge buzz on Lucha Underground that isn’t there anymore and missed it. This stuff was taped 15 months ago and nobody has gotten paid since then but are under contract, so this has really screwed with the guys because ROH and WWE won’t touch anyone here. GFW has a relationship so have been able to get a few people. But there are a lot of talented guys who will be on the free agent market soon unless a new season is announced
> Due to their success is moving merchandise at Hot Topic, there will be a full line of Young Bucks, Bullet Club (with the different characters) and Elite merchandise not only in Hot Topic but several other chains are expected to pick it up around the second quarter of 2018
> The Mae Young Classic is clearly a huge hit on the WWE Network. For this past week, the top eight most-watched shows on the network were all eight episodes, which means that the four episodes released a week ago were all still head of both NXT and 205 Live both last week and this week. In fact, episodes one through four, even a week later, were ahead of the new 205 Live released on 9/5, even though they were released on 8/27. The top ten rankings for the week were: 1. Mae Young Classic episode five; 2. MYC episode six; 3. MYC episode seven; 4. MYC episode eight; 5. MYC episode four; 6. MYC episode three; 7. MYC episode one; 8. MYC episode two; 9. 205 Live from 9/5; 10. SummerSlam 2017. The NXT episode on 8/30 was in 11th place
> WWE has signed a multi-year French language television deal in Quebec with TVA Sports. They will air a one-hour edited version of Raw every Wednesday night starting on 10/18 with stand up comedian Kevin Raphael and wrestling author Pat Laprade. Laprade has written some great wrestling books including the history of wrestling in Montreal “Mad Dogs, Midgets & Screwjobs,” a history of women’s wrestling around the world, and his English language translation of the original French language bio of Mad Dog Vachon has just came out. It has been 19 years since WWE was on a French language station in Quebec
> Due to Hurricane Irma, the company has canceled the next two weekends of Florida house shows. Shows on 9/8 in Daytona Beach, 9/9 in Crystal River, 9/14 in Lakeland and 9/15 in Dade City are canceled, with a new Dade City date being announced for 10/5. At press time, they are still planning on taping television on 9/13 at Full Sail University, but there is a back-up plan in place if for some reason they aren’t able to do so
> Stephanie McMahon Levesque will be one of the leading speakers at the eighth annual ESPN W Women and Sports Summit presented by Toyota. The headline speakers are Jeanie Buss, the President of the Los Angeles Lakers, Stephanie, and Sheryl Crow, the famous rock star. The event takes place 10/2 to 10/4 in Newport Beach. ESPN’s Hannah Storm will interview McMahon. It’s really notable that WWE’s public changing of its portrayal of women, even though way behind the curve, has made Stephanie more legitimate as far as how she’s viewed as well as the company in women’s sports
> Samoa Joe is now slated to return at the end of October after his knee injury suffered last week
> The mobile care unit that Sami Zayn started a Go Fund me for in Syria to be able to get to people in combat situations who can’t make it to hospitals and also provide mental health care started in operation this past week. Zayn wrote that it was the proudest day of his life
> WWE announced a new television deal with Fox Sports Mexico. They will air a new weekly Spanish language show, WWE Saturday Night which started this past weekend at 9 p.m., obviously, on Saturday night, It’s part of the new strategy to do highlight shows, adding in local cultural flavor and focusing on talent from that region, similar to what they’ve just done in India, to try and make their international brand have more of a local connection
> Nikki Bella starts on Dancing With the Stars on 9/18, so WWE will have competition from both that show and football on Mondays this fall. Her competition on the show will be Barbara Corcoran (Shark Tank TV show), Debbie Gibson (actress and singer), Derek Fisher (former NBA star), Drew Scott (TV show host), Frankie Muniz (former star of Malcolm in the Middle), Jordan Fisher (singer and actor best known for the live Grease show), Lindsey Stirling (violinist), Nick Lachey (star of band 98 Degrees), Sasha Pietersie (from Pretty Little Liars), Terrell Owens (NFL star), Vanessa Lachey (MTV host) and Victoria Arlen (a participant in the Paralympic games)