PW Daily Report: The Latest on Enzo, Smackdown Leaving USA, Wrestler Arrested on Meth Charges, State of Impact


The Curious Case of Enzo Amore

The investigation into Eric Arndt, more commonly known as Enzo Amore, has officially been closed. The former WWE Superstar released a statement on Twitter from his legal counsel stating that insufficient evidence was found by the Phoenix Police Department to pursue criminal charges, after he was accused of drugging and raping a young woman.

It is unlikely Arndt will ever be seen in a WWE ring again. His release was due to a combination of factors, including the fact that he hid this legal matter from the company, and was generally disliked by numerous people backstage. Allegedly, he had been kicked out of the WWE locker room, and at least once was kicked off a tour bus.

Impact Wrestling Executive VP Don Callis stated “never say never” about possible seeing Enzo on their show, but also said he he wasn’t aware that all charges against the wrestler had been dropped, and gave a very standard, by-the-book response as he would when asked about any talent possibly coming in. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter clarified that statement, claiming there was no interest on Impact’s part in picking up Arndt at this time.

Joshi Wrestler Arrested on Meth Charges?

Former TNA Knockout Ayako Hamada was arrested in Japan this past weekend after failing to make a show for the Sendei Girls promotion where she was the world champion. Hamada allegedly called the promotion that handles her bookings and stated that she was being held at knifepoint by a group of men, but when the police arrived on-scene they found her rambling “incoherently” in her apartment. She later tested positive for what is believed to be methamphetamines, and was swiftly fired from her current contracts in Japan and stripped of the Sendei Girls World Championship.

RAW and Smackdown Splitting Up?

The biggest story of the week – at least the one that may effect WWE business in the biggest way – is that there is reportedly a deal in place for NBC Universal (the parent company of the USA Network) to keep Monday Night RAW for up to three times its current value. That would be an absolutely huge increase in profits for WWE, to the point where a single episode of RAW becomes more financially lucrative than any of their pay-per-views outside of the Big Four.

There is a catch. In order to make this deal happen NBCU will have to give up their exclusive rights to Smackdown Live, which means for the first time in nearly a decade the show would be open to biddings from other major networks. The downside is a loss of cohesive marketing between the two brands, who currently flow from one show into the next, constantly advertising between the two as they both take place on the USA Network. Smackdown would likely lose viewers if it moved to FS1 in a deal with Fox, as is currently the expected plan, but WWE would still turn an overall profit on the exchange.

This is a situation to keep an eye on, because the more money WWE gets for television, the less important literally everything else becomes. They could bomb every single pay-per-view all year long, especially with the money coming in from Saudi Arabia, and as long as the numbers held up on television and WrestleMania continued to draw as the major destination event that it has become, they’ll still be raking in money hand over first for a very long time to come. There is concern that at some point the TV bubble is going to pop, but as long as the deals keep coming in they can cross that bridge if/when it comes.

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