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While we discussed last week WWE would be making some cuts and shaking up the roster as more cuts are to be expected. The most shocking release was that of Samoa Joe. While Joe had not been cleared by WWE, he did express interest in returning to the ring. The downside of Joe's deal was large in part to his commentary role. If healthy and cleared to perform Joe would be in the main event on any wrestling card for the foreseeable future. A few officials and talent in the company however were not shocked by this move and it seems to be more amicable than most think. On the subject of other cuts, it was described as a fluent situation late last week and over the weekend. The next round of cuts would focus on some developmental talent, contracts expiring in the next 3 months, and some office jobs. Would also fully expect the next class of WWE signings to be announced prior to the middle of May. There will be many talents and tryouts over the next few weeks, and many that have already happened and just are waiting for the timing to be right.
As of this writing a program between WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and The Fiend has been discussed for the summer. We are unsure if this plays into the narrative of needing more top faces on the RAW brand and it seems Lashley's next few programs will be the wrap up with Drew, Braun at some point and the Fiend. Ultimately it will come down to what type of main event WWE will want for Summerslam. Speaking of Summerslam, not only is the current plan to have fans at Summerslam but to have even more fans than Wrestlemania this year. WWE was looking at locations in Georgia with open air, however there has been some political push back due to new voter laws in Georgia. WWE has apparently 8 weeks or so to finalize plans, and to look at the landscape of the pandemic then.
TrillerNet, the parent company of Triller acquired Fite TV and Amplify.ai platform. In a deal that to some came out of nowhere must internally at Fite knew this was always the longplay goal and they had taken the platform as far as they could with all the other streaming services buying up content. Fite's platform grew during the pandemic like others and the timing of the acquisition seemed to have come at the perfect opportunity. Triller will now have an increased library and a platform which they feel can help taking them to the next level.
As we have seen on A&E and Vice, both networks are very interested in expanding their original Wrestling content and documentaries. One of the goals from the WWE side of the A&E deal is that the Hidden Treasures show gives them the ability to almost use the show as a trailer for a physical WWE Hall of Fame and to gauge interest of fans in regards to that project. Dark Side of The Ring on Vice was one of their highest rated series when it first came out and has continued to grow in popularity with the expanded episodes.