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Khan on TNT’s Perception of CM Punk—Okada Challenges Takagi for IWGP World Title—Sabu Retirement

Tony Khan spoke with and set the record straight at just how much of a benefit it is to have the legendary CM Punk aboard, despite the many unfortunate comments of naysayers like Eric Bischoff in recent history. He stated:

“…Our numbers are so much better than they were, you know, going into the last few months and there’s been an unquestionable lift since CM Punk came in. For some reason I see people trying to discredit Punk all the time that he hasn’t been a huge lift to our business. And he has been and he’s only scratching the surface. I have intentionally in working with him tried to hold back a lot of these marquee things biggest marquee matches and stories.

All Out the first time we’ve ever hit over 200,000 (buys). And there was clearly a ton of interest in Punk’s returned to the ring. And I think, between the huge number we did for All Out, and the massive number we did for the First Dance Rampage, and the insane merchandise sales we’ve done since he came in…the big lift in our subscription video services.

You know, we’ve seen a huge rise and subscribers to our international streaming since he came in… he’s just lifted our business so much and I see people constantly really petty stuff trying to discredit him and it’s ridiculous because he’s done so much for us…TNT executives also had a great call with Punk and talked to him and they want him to know he’s like a really valued member of the TNT Warner Media family, the TBS family.

Tonight, we are going to get into some of that Eddie Kingston is here in St. Louis and he is healthy he is ready to be here. And I want to see Punk and Eddie Kingston tonight face to face in that ring. And I am very excited going forward and maybe at Full Gear to see them lock up and I believe that is a match fans want to see and we’ve been getting Punk reintegrated building the winning streak.”

via PW Torch / (Transcription)
via AEW /YouTube

And as far as that confrontation that Tony Khan was so excited to see, it more than exceeded expectations. The two men selling and perhaps even over-selling to the point that now, fans are of the frame of mind that the beef between them is real and very legitimate. The two are epic pros, and on the microphone as well, as their altercation shows.

Sabu intends to retire

via Wrestling News

Legendary ECW wrestler, Sabu, spoke recently about his possible retirement and the condition that his body is in. In speaking to James Romero in a recent podcast interview, Sabu said:

“I’m not doing real good. I hurt my back about a year ago, and it’s still been hurting. I wrestled a couple of weeks ago, but I shouldn’t have. I’ve only wrestled like twice in the last year. I only went to the gym a couple of times the last year because I hurt my back. I’m probably not gonna wrestle no more. I’m probably just gonna do autograph signings and personal appearance type stuff.”

via Sabu /

But if he did get back in the ring, it would be to face one single opponent:

“I’d definitely get back in the ring for Brock Lesnar; I’d love to wrestle him. Especially if it was my final match, I’d love to wrestle him. He’s the best; he’s a shooter, he’s a good worker, he’s my kind of opponent. I like big guys, I like wrestling big guys. I don’t like wrestling guys like me because it’s not that interesting. It’s more interesting wrestling a guy like me against a guy like Brock Lesnar.”

via Sabu

Okada Challenges Takagi for IWGP World Title

Wrestle Kingdom 16 is certainly on the horizon and with the latest developments that have unfolded, fans are even more excited than they already were.

It was at NJPW Power Struggle that IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi went head-to-head with and defeated Zack Sabre Jr., in what can be called a most epic battle. However, the legendary Kazuchika Okada (currently the G1 Champion), showed up to the ring to challenge Shingo Takagi, and for the very title he had atop his very capable shoulder (the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship).

via ESPN /YouTube

The match has been set for Wrestle Kingdom 16 on the 4th of January (although Wrestle Kingdom is a 3-night event, spanning even the dates of the 5th and the 8th), much to the delight of the fans in attendance and those reading about it online.

NEXT: Major Cuts to WWE Roster yet Again—What this means for the Wrestling Industry and AEW

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