Dark Side of the Ring is easily the best-serialized documentary series ever produced about pro wrestling. It offers a brutally honest look at the underbelly of the pro wrestling business. Three seasons have aired on Vice TV and a fourth is scheduled to debut on Tuesday, May 30th.
There will be 10 episodes in total, and so far the following subjects have been announced: Chris Candido & Sunny, Magnum TA, Abdullah the Butcher, and Marty Jannetty.
Variety had a nice piece about the premiere and offered this preview of the next season: “Dark Side of the Ring” is narrated by wrestling legend Chris Jericho. The official description of the fourth season states that it will “explore stories like the emotional rollercoaster of one of wrestling’s most captivating and controversial couples, Chris Candido and Tammy “Sunny” Sytch, the car accident that derailed the career of future World Champion Magnum T.A., wrestling’s most unhinged monster, Abdullah the Butcher, a focused look on the troubled life of Marty Jannetty, Shawn Michaels’ former tag team partner, and much more.”
Creators and executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisener told Variety “We’re incredibly grateful to our viewers for giving this show the life that it has had for the past 4 years. As lifelong fans of professional wrestling, our subjects continue to inspire us. There are so many fascinating and compelling stories left to tell and it’s a privilege to share more of them in our fourth season.”
You can catch up on all episodes of the show here. (Just ask a friend for their cable subscription password.)
Don't forget to check out my Squared Circle Pit vlog from my trip to WrestleMania weekend:
What's on TV this week?
Things are slowing down after an insane WrestleMania week. NXT is back today on the road to their next big show, Battleground. 8pm on USA:
- Four-way match to determine the number one contender to Carmelo Hayes' NXT Championship: Dragon Lee vs. JD McDonagh vs. TBA vs. TBA
- NXT Women's Tag Team Champions Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn defend against Fallon Henley & Kiana James
- Ilja Dragunov vs. Von Wagner where if Wagner loses, Mr. Stone will walk away
- Chase U MVP ceremony for Duke Hudson
- Cora Jade appearance
MLW Underground airs at 10pm on REELZ tonight:
- The first-ever dumpster match in MLW featuring Real1 vs. Microman vs. Mance Warner vs. a wild card entrant.
- National Openweight Champion John Hennigan vs. Willie Mack
- Hammerstone and his team prepare for the War Chamber.
Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite at 8pm on TBS has announced:
- Chris Jericho vs. Keith Lee
- Darby Allin vs. Swerve Strickland
- AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy defends against Buddy Matthews
- Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brandon Cutler & Michael Nakazawa
Thursday night, Impact Wrestling airs at 8pm on AXS TV:
- Kenny King vs. Frankie Kazarian
- Mickie James offers her status for Rebellion
- Tasha Steelz vs. Gisele Shaw
- Sami Callihan & Alan Angels vs. Joe Hendry & Dirty Dango
- Taylor Wilde vs. Jessicka
Smackdown on Friday has two matches announced:
- Shinsuke Nakamura returns
- Xavier Woods vs. LA Knight
This Sunday, streaming on FITE will be a great lucha PPV, AAA Triplemania Monterrey with the following lineup:
- AAA Mega Champion El Hijo del Vikingo defends against Swerve Strickland, Komander, and Rich Swann in a four-way match
- Guerra de Rivalidades tournament: Alberto El Patron & Pentagon Jr. vs. Sam Adonis & Psycho Clown
- Guerra de Rivalidades tournament: Rush & LA Park vs. DMT Azul & Blue Demon Jr.
- Copa Triplemania
- Lucha de Apuestas cage match: Laredo Kid vs. Parka Negra vs. Black Taurus vs. Villano III Jr. vs. Octagon Jr. vs. Argenis vs. Myzteziz Jr. vs. Aerostar vs. Antifaz del Norte vs. Abismo Negro Jr.
- The final two wrestlers left in the cage match will face off a in mask vs. mask match
Catching up on Wrestling News
AEW made a huge announcement last week, they are heading to London, England to the massive Wembley Stadium for the first-ever AEW All In happening the last weekend in August. They are hoping to pack as many wrestling fans as possible in there. A fan reached out to Live Nation, who are co-promoting the event, asking about the range for ticket prices and the response was £30 - £500, which seems VERY reasonable if they are trying to pack the place. Kota Ibushi and Will Ospreay have both expressed interest in working the show.
FTR have been lobbying in interviews to do a trios match with CM Punk and FTR vs. Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. While I would love to see it, I don't think the Elite have the interest. FTR have also confirmed they resigned with AEW.
Last night's RAW was rewritten because half the crew was stuck in Orlando with a delayed flight. Sami Zayn and Riddle, who appeared at the end of the show only arrived to the venue as the main event was taking place.
Cody Rhodes delivered an awesome promo:
According to Dave Meltzer, there is a small possibility of the Rock at WrestleMania 40 in Philly, with Meltzer saying on Wrestling Observer Radio that Johnson "did leave a crack in the door open about possibly doing Philadelphia at WrestleMania 40 next year." I wouldn't hold my breath, but obviously, WWE would love to have him.
Drew McIntyre, who has nine months left on his contract, is at an impasse with negotiations, according to multiple reports. They are far apart on money. Don't expect McIntyre at the London AEW show though because his contract expires after the summer, with at least nine months left, according to Fightful.
THQ Nordic’s Global Senior Community Manager Zyddies offered an update on the status of the AEW video game, Fight Forever saying “AEW, they had an announcement that the game is almost done. And it’s like, then somebody asked me, and I was like, no, it’s not, and then everybody’s like, Oh my God, these guys lied. I’m like, No, they didn’t. They just look at things differently because the publisher looks at things differently. You know what I mean? For a publisher, a game is not really finished until it’s released, basically. And a lot of people are having a massive problem understanding that which is kind of sad. Because it kind of creates this thing that everybody now suddenly believes that, oh my god, these guys lied. It’s like no, no they didn’t. So hopefully, it’ll get sorted out. The game is in a good state. And as soon as we do launch it, I think people will be happy. Then everybody will just forget about all the other stuff, and everybody will be happy and enjoy it. And that’s what I’ve been trying to explain to people development can already be sorted and stuff, but that doesn’t mean the game is done. And even development, there’s still QA, there’s still all these different things that they have to do. I just don’t see how people misunderstand it because — but that might be because I’m part of the industry. So for me, it’s common when people check in with me; hey, is this ready? I’m like, oh, no, it’s early in publishing stages, and then like, Oh, okay. But that’s again; I’m part of the industry."
New Japan is holding a mini tournament with the winner facing Kenny Omega for the IWGP US Title at the upcoming Forbidden Door show. The two semifinal matches are Lance Archer vs. Juice Robinson and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Will Ospreay. I assume Ospreay is winning here.
Fightful reports that Brian Cage has extended his contract with AEW.
Logan Paul extended his contract with WWE and oddly photoshopped his previous contract signing photo to pretend it was a new shoot.
John Oliver roasted Vince McMahon's new look on Last Week Tonight this past weekend.
Do you enjoy pro wrestling? Knotfest Wrestling has a bi-weekly column filled with wrestling news. Read previous editions of this column here. You can always follow me @robinjection on Instagram and Twitter and @Squaredcirclpit.