12/15 PW Morning Report: Impact on Hiatus, Clash of Champions Preview, ROH Final Battle, WWE Week on USA & More

Happy Friday wrestling fans! We’ve got the biggest weekend in December ahead with Ring of Honor and WWE’s final pay-per-view events, plus an international Ring of Honor television taping in between. As always we’ve got the full PW Morning Report radio show above, as well as all the latest news and updates you need (with links!) down below.

Weekend Schedule:

Friday, December 15th

ROH World Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Dalton CastleROH Tag Team Champions Motor City Machine Guns vs. Best FriendsThe Briscoes vs. Tommy Dreamer & Bully RayMarty Scurll vs. Jay LethalROH 6-Man Champions Hangman Page & Young Bucks vs. Flip Gordon, Titan & Dragon LeeThe Addiction vs. War MachineROH TV Champion Kenny King vs. Silas Young vs. Punishment Martinez vs. Shane TaylorMatt Taven vs. Will Ospreay

WWE CLASH OF CHAMPIONS on WWE Network at 8/7c. 
Sunday, December 17th

Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami ZaynWWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Jinder MahalSmackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. The New Day vs. Rusev/Aiden English vs. Shelton Benjamin/Chad GableSmackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. NatalyaUnited States Champion Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby RoodeZack Ryder vs. Mojo RawleyThe Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango

Website News

– By the end of today ProWrestling.com will have launched our very own iTunes podcast network, so keep an eye out for that. We’ll also be uploading our shows to Google Play and several other Android-friendly apps, so please sound off in the comments section below if you have a specific app you enjoy using for podcasts.

– We are beyond excited to announce that Monster Factory Radio, hosted by Danny Cage of the world famous Monster Factory wrestling school, will be joining our team as a part of our brand new podcast lineup. We’ll have a brand new episode from them this weekend, as well as their last three shows available on-demand.

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WWE News

– This year’s holiday WWE Week on USA Network came to a close Thursday night with the 15th Annual Tribute to the Troops special (full results). The show featured matches from both the Raw and Smackdown rosters, a few returning names and literally dozens of celebrity appearances in pre-recorded videos (link).

– Wednesday saw the first ever episode of NXT broadcast on the USA Network as a part of WWE Week. The one-hour show did 840,000 viewers (more details). There’s not much to directly compare that number to as it’s never happened before and likely won’t happen again until next holiday season. Total Divas on the same night for the E! network did around 517,000 viewers, while Impact last week did 226,000. It’s nowhere near Raw or Smackdown numbers, but for a one-off showing of a program that’s never been on television before and is essentially a touring developmental brand, WWE has to be very excited about that number.

– Samoa Joe caused a bit of an issue on social media this week after basically saying his partner in the Mixed Match Challenge (a woman) would be a glorified towel holder (link). It wasn’t a major controversy, but some people were clearly upset by his comments, while others defended him as just “playing heel” on Twitter. Joe doubled down later on by saying he has equal opportunity hate for everyone (update link). 

– There has been some fan concern that WWE picked the wrong tag team member to turn heel when Mojo Rawley turned on Zack Ryder to end the Hype Bros. The two will face off at Clash of Champions this Sunday, but Mojo actually cut one hell of a promo via Twitter to build up that match. Check it out here.

– Here’s the latest on Rich Swann, with regard to backstage reactions within WWE. It seems many believe he and his wife have had issues in the past and that the incident wasn’t a complete shock, however unfortunate and frustrating it may have been. That being said, others were said to be genuinely shocked by the news.

Misc. Wrestling News

– This has been talked about before and even joked about in the opening monologue of Saturday Night Live, but Dwayne Johnson is now talking somewhat seriously about running for Presidential office in 2024 (link).

– With regards to the upcoming Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega match at Wrestle Kingdom, Triple H said he’s happy for everyone involved including New Japan, and claims there was a conversation had about it beforehand. (link).

– Besides the ROH Final Battle card looking excellent, they’re also teasing a “major announcement” with the women’s division which many believe is the unveiling of a women’s title. There will also be a brand new ROH World Championship belt unveiled at the show (link).

– Impact Wrestling officially announced a two week hiatus from television effective immediately (details). Knowing numbers would be very low during the holiday season, they will be running two “best of 2017” shows to get us through the end of the year. The next actual episode of Impact will air on January 4th, the same day as Wrestle Kingdom.

– This week’s Impact Wrestling saw the crowning of a new Knockouts Champions, after Gail Kim vacated the title following her retirement post-Bound for Glory. It’s an interesting situation as the Knockout who actually won the belt is rumored to be leaving the company, and may not even be at the next set of TV tapings (details).