Let The Wrestling War Begin

Since the end of WCW and its final Nitro show on March 26th 2001 the WWE or World Wrestling Entertainment has dominated the wrestling industry for good or bad. Yes they have been challengers such as TNA/Impact, Ring Of Honor or New Japan Wrestling but they have often been on lesser cable networks or stations. The competitors to WWE also haven’t got the budgets, talent or production value to be a serious competitor to the WWE

Then Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega who put on their own show using You Tube and, the strength of their names to sell tickets and amazing the show All In sells out. The wrestlers then come to the attention of Tony Khan who is a wrestling fan and Tony’s dad Shahid Khan who is a billionaire; Now with strong financial backing behind them a new wrestling company All Elite Wrestling can now be built to a serious competitor for the WWE.

The WWE has signed big new contracts with USA to keep its flagship show RAW and FOX has signed a big contract to get its other show Smackdown. Apart from the big contracts for the shows the shows themselves has continued to have falling ratings with a lackluster often boring product in my opinion. It’s only recently when they put Paul Heyman in charge of RAW has the product involved vastly and become more watchable.

The lack of strong competition has hurt the WWE as they seemed to rest on their laurels but now with a serious competitor it should be good for all wrestling fans as the product should get better for everyone. WWE dismissed AEW as among other things a t shirt company but in private they consider AEW a serious competitor.

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WWE has reportablely denied wrestlers getting out of their contracts early as there are afraid they will join AEW and ,also signed other stars too new contracts even though you rarely see them on air. AEW chose Wednesday nights as the perfect time for their new two hour weekly show as Smackdown was moved off that night as part of their new FOX contract.

In recent weeks there have been reports that NXT the WWE’s developmental show where new wrestlers get their start on the WWE Networks one hour weekly show will go to two hours on a cable channel. The idea is that NXT would go up against the new AEW show and maybe draw some of the new promotions viewers away.

Fox’s FS1 looked to be the lightly new home for NXT but then came the surprise news that NXT is moving to the USA Network starting September 18th. The new NXT show will before AEW’s first show October 2nd which is from the Capital One Arena in Washington DC

The new NXT show debuting before AEW show hopes to get some of the potential audience for AEW to watch NXT before AEW even debuts. We won’t find out who will win the first real wrestling show ratings war since WCW folded until well after AEW’s debut. Will the new ratings war damage NXT or slow down AEW no one yet knows but a new ratings war is good for wrestlers as it gives them more options and, fans as competition makes a better product.

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Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge Troubles

The Disneyland version of its new Star Wars themed land called Galaxy’s Edge has struggled since opening to the general public in May with attendance below expectations. There are now many reports of Disneyland cast members (employees) having their hours cut back because a slower than expected park.

I visited the park the first day the new land was open without advance reservations but you still needed to reserve a time with your app when you arrived and it said my time would be early afternoon but in fact I was in by 11:30 am.

The first time i visited it was fairly busy but on later trips Disneyland as a whole and Galaxy’s Edge were slower leading to the pictures of a fairly empty park you have seen in the press. As it got towards July and now in to August it has got a lot busier although maybe not as busy as you would expect at peak Summer time.

Positive Things About Galaxy’s Edge

The Galaxy’s Edge land itself is cool looking and well done as you would expect from the Disney imagineers. Seeing the Millennium Falcon up close as shown in the picture is amazing for a Star Wars fan and although the ride Smugglers Run gets mixed reviews in some places its a fun ride. The theming with displays of things like the droids, ships and land speeders are worth checking out as well as the storm troopers who interact with the crowd.

Droids at Galaxy's Edge Disneyland

Droids at Galaxy’s Edge

Land Speeder At Galaxy's Edge Disneyland

Land Speeder At Galaxy’s Edge

Storm Troopers Galaxy's Edge Disneyland

Storm Troopers At Galaxy’s Edge

The food and drinks at Galaxy’s Edge are also really good, theme park priced so not inexpensive but worth the money considering you are in a theme park. The Cantina is also worth checking out for the specialty drinks and showing how popular it is its not easy to walk in to you often need to reserve a time.

Issues With Galaxy’s Edge

I enjoy visiting Galaxy’s Edge as an annual pass holder but Disney did make a few mistakes in my opinion for the new Star Wars themed lands. The land is based on a place that doesn’t exist in the original movies and instead of using characters from the original trilogy it uses characters from the more recent movies.

Disneyland blacked out most annual pass holders until August 2nd because they were expecting huge crowds which didn’t materialize. The recent price hikes at the start of the season turned off many people and, I myself wasn’t going to renew my annual passport until their flex passport came along after slower than expected attendance; A Disneyland ticket can cost up to $149 a day now during Summer Weekends with park hopper tickets at $199 for Disneyland and California Adventure.

It wasn’t just the admission prices that were raised also their was big raise for parking and, food inside the park which combined with the admission price made many annual pass holders or locals reconsider visiting.

Galaxy’s Edge only opened with one ride with the more anticipated Rise Of The Resistance ride not opening until the end of the year at Disney World’s version or early next year for Disneyland so many people may have put off trips to later.

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Galaxy’s Edge Market

There is not a lot to do at Galaxy’s Edge other than the one ride open and, the cantina as well as the displays or interacting with the storm troopers there is not a lot that isn’t just some kind of retail, As you see in the picture above this area is themed well but its basically just a bunch of retail shops and interactive things such as build your own light saber or droid are basically just retail stores where you build your own item that you purchase. Yes the cast does help you build your own light saber so its a bit more of an interactive experience but its not really an attraction.

The storm trooper interaction is great but they built a huge stage that they use for a really short show, if it was Universal for example there would be things going on or around the stage all day long. Yes Chewie and Rey do walk through the crowd and pretend to fix a x wing but there is not characters or droids moving around making you think it could be a real spaceport outpost.

Rumor Mill

There are reports that is the attendance doesn’t improve next year after the second ride opens at Disneyland and Disney World that the land could close and be remade as an Aladdin themed land. Hopefully they can make changes and fix the issues with Galaxy’s Edge because there are a huge amount of Star Wars fans especially of the original trilogy, that would love to see this land work.

AEW Weekly Show Announcement

If you are not familiar AEW or All Elite Wrestling is a new competitor to the WWE and came to being after several wrestlers Cody & Brandy Rhodes, tag team The Young Bucks,  as well as Kenny Omega decided to finance their own event. The event called All In was a huge risk for the wrestlers but ultimately sold out and sometime later talks began with billionaire Shahid Khan as well as his son Tony about starting a competing wrestling organization against the WWE.

Since WCW folded and was bought by the WWE many wrestling organizations such as TNA/Impact, New Japan and Ring Of Honor have tried to compete with the WWE but usually with the handicap of being on lower tier cable networks and without the budget that WWE has. The reason why AEW is a legitimate competitor to WWE is the financial backing of the Khan family as well as airtime for a weekly show on the TNT network which gives it great exposure to compete with the WWE.

The video above is the announcement that AEW will premiere their weekly wrestling show on Wednesday October 2nd. One of my concerns about AEW was not the wrestlers but the production value which has to be good as the WWE which is known for its amazing quality productions; It seems like AEW’s production value is generally very good which should give it a chance to become a major competitor to the WWE we will have to see in October how good their weekly show is.

Disneyland Monorail Cuts Hours

There have been numerous stories over the last few weeks about how slow Disneyland has been since the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge themed land was opened. I’m an annual pass holder and yes for several weeks after the new land opened the park was slower than normal. There were many theories such as prices rises and annual pass blockout days but i’m not going to get in to that in this article but i will tell you visitor traffic seems to be back to normal.

I visited Disneyland July 5th and it was packed and yes that was a holiday weekend so you would expect to be busy but i have visited since then including yesterday which should be a slower day but the park was very busy with the usual Summer lines.

There have been reports that some staff hours were cut during the slow time but hopefully with crowds growing things are changing. One thing i did notice was the Disneyland Monorail has cut its hours back with it now closed from 11 am to 6 pm through September.

I’m a big fan of the monorail which used to have more stations but now only runs between Tomorrowland and Downtown Disney. Hopefully as this seems like a cost cutting move with the crowds growing hopefully it will go back to normal hours before September which seems to be the plan at the moment.

The monorail is a popular way for Disney hotel guests to enter the park as well as people taking it to Downtown Disney for the many food options or shopping. As an annual pass holder i usually get to the park early and leave when it gets busy so i might still be able to use the monorail before 11 am otherwise i guess i’m walking to Downtown Disney.