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Logan Paul needs to be treated as more than just another WWE attraction

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The Post’s Joseph Staszewski brings you around the world of professional wrestling every Tuesday in his weekly column, the Post Match Angle.

Logan Paul signing with WWE is a smart move from a business standpoint and will likely be a win for both sides. It’s also a reminder that no matter how much a large portion of the wrestling fan base wants WWE to change the way it does business and the way it presents its product they shouldn’t hold out hope.

WWE and its sports entertainment are about having and creating the biggest attractions possible with the biggest stars possible in the biggest venues possible for the biggest moments possible. It’s why Brock Lesnar is back to face Roman Reigns at SummerSlam after the two already competed in the “Biggest WrestleMania match ever,” it’s why Ronda Rousey has spent much of her tenure in the company with a championship around her waist and why Charlotte Flair is rarely without one either. It’s why Goldberg continually popped up in the title picture and Pat McAfee had a match at WrestleMania and has another one at SummerSlam. It’s why “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was brought back for one more clash in the ring.

For a good portion of the audience that’s good enough. It’s what fans want to see and it can certainly be entertaining as we saw at WrestleMania this year.

Paul, who along with brother Jake has arguably been doing sports entertainment on par or better than WWE, is another example of that attraction mentality. WWE now doesn’t need to build a new star attraction, it’s buying one and hoping he is bringing his 23.5 million YouTube subscribers along with him to his likely SummerSlam match with The Miz, who always seems to get these type of matches.

WWE
Logan Paul and The Miz at WrestleMania 38.
WWE

Don’t get me wrong, for what WWE is trying to accomplish, Paul is a home run, especially with Variety reporting his contract runs through 2023 and WWE’s television rights deals being up for renegotiation soon. Paul gets credit for giving WWE a year-long commitment, though there are only so many washed-up boxers or MMA stars you can fight if he hadn’t. Maybe if he likes it he stays longer and he can become more than just an attraction. The 27-year-old has already proven at this year’s WrestleMania he can hold his own in the ring and will only get better. The question will be, can someone as successful as Paul get an audience emotionally invested in him as a good guy?

But on the flip side, unless WWE uses Paul to give the rub to up-and-coming talents as it did with Theory and McAfee at WrestleMania, every minute he’s on TV is the time your potential favorite wrestler who has been in the company for years is not being used, not getting a chance to work at their craft, create a moment or feeling that could ignite something for them. I understand the thinking of bringing in stars like Paul to get a new audience’s eyes on your current stars, but it’s not like WWE’s ratings took a huge jump after the most “celebrity-filled” WrestleMania in a long time. The strategy likely won’t change with WWE currently look to bring in elite athletes.    

The best recent WWE stories, were for wrestlers they weren’t ready to push that happened organically – Daniel Bryan’s “Yes Movement,” KofiMania, “The Man” Becky Lynch. A few talents who had been previously stuck in the mid-card have broken through to world champion status, Big E, Liv Morgan and Bobby Lashley to name a few. Others like Riddle and Lacey Evans are still waiting their turn. Gunther might be the next to do so. So WWE is trying to build new talent – just look at what they did with Theory at Money in the Bank. But often – especially for babyfaces — it always feels like the attraction talent stops them from completing their rise or at least keeps delaying it.

It would be almost silly to think Paul doesn’t get at least one world championship opportunity during his tenure – and if he gets over enough, so be it. Again, it’s a potential attraction that’s hard to see WWE not capitalizing on because of the mainstream attention it would garner.

If I’m a performer in the WWE locker room right now, I’m looking at Paul as someone to make my name and star-making moment with if given the chance. For the WWE talent, that is at least the other big positive outside the already-proven attraction value Paul brings. But WWE is pretty protective of its big attractions, not letting them lose much luster. If that’s the case with Paul, he’s just another short-term attraction potentially taking someone else’s spot.  

Bloody Glory

AEW has tried a few gimmick matches: Stadium Stampede, Anarchy in the Arena, Casino Battle Royale and even Mimosa Mayhem. But it’s pretty clear Blood and Guts — a spinoff of WCW’s WarGames — has become it’s can’t-miss yearly endeavor as Wednesday delivered plenty of blood, guts and some really cool story elements. It also got “AEW Dynamite” back over the million-viewer mark in the ratings.

AEW
Jon Moxley tries to submit Matt Menard
AEW

The finish itself was perfect as Eddie Kingston’s rival, Claudio Castagnoli, tapped out Matt Menard on top of the cage before Kingston could get his revenge and make Chris Jericho do the same right next to them. It was the Kingston-Jericho rivalry that started the war between the Jericho Appreciation Society and the Blackpool Combat Club and now they still may need a one-on-one match to finish it before a potential Kingston-Castagnoli rivalry brews. It does make me wonder if Bryan Danielson’s injury kept that from being Danielson-Kingston. Credit to Kingston for working the end of the match through what looked like a back injury and still make the cage climb to finish it.

While Castagnoli feels right at home and in a great spot to show off his unique talents in the BCC, Sammy Guevara went from being a featured TNT champion to potentially just another guy in the JAS. He was back to taking the big bumps – a toss off the cage onto the announce table to pay homage to the Mankind “Hell in a Cell” bump 24 years ago to the day.

AEW
Sammy Guevara is tossed off the cage by Eddie Kingston.
AEW

Having the Blackpool Combat Club in the match really solidified the potential for them to be AEW’s version of the babyface Four Horsemen from the standpoint of they are the group with absolute legitimacy with the audience, no heel faction wants to mess with them and they can defend AEW’s honor if needed.

However, Blood and Guts can’t remain AEW’s signature match forever, as its sheer level of violence could turn off a portion of the audience and keep parents from letting their kids watch it. But for the test of us, the spectacle is worth enjoying yearly.

The 10 Count

NXT appears to be finally setting up Toxic Attraction’s downfall. It’s done a solid job building Nikkita Lyons – who probably wins the women’s breakout tournament if she doesn’t get hurt – as a threat to Mandy Rose’s NXT women’s championship and Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade for the women’s tag titles. It feels like a matter of when and not if for them.


AEW just might have something with the double-ring, 20-man Rampage Rumble it debuted last week. Splitting the competitors evenly between the two rings to start was a good way to control the action and set up storyline spots and it was high stakes with an interim AEW title shot on the line. I’m here for Brody King vs. Jon Moxley. King putting Darby Allin to sleep on the apron for the final elimination was a badass way to build him up for their match.


I wasn’t sure what to expect with Max Dupree’s “Maximum Male Models” gimmick, but at least WWE is using it to put a fresh coat of paint on Mace and Mansoor and give them a talented manager and mouthpiece who could make all the difference for them.


Every, AEW women’s match has the same post-match ending and so does every finish to WWE battle royals.  


AEW
Orange Cassidy
AEW

Can Money in the Bank eventually become a full stadium show after WWE’s failed attempt this year? I think so, just not in Las Vegas on international fight week and this close to a stadium-show SummerSlam. WWE may need to consider moving the date of the show to make it work.


I think we forgot how damn entertaining Orange Cassidy is with him out of action. He’s reminded us very quickly, though.  


The Sandman and Microman both wielding kendo sticks in MLW was certainly a sight to see.


The Judgment Day 2.0 – sans Rhea Ripley right now – feels like just another group after just a few weeks. Finn Balor and Damian Priest lost to the Mysterios thanks to an old Eddie Guerrero trick then did the standard backstage beatdown to get their heat back. Maybe Edge’s eventual return to face them changes things, but don’t hold out hope.


The groundwork for “Hangman” Adam Page-Young Bucks reunion is slowly being laid and it added another chapter on Monday’s “Being the Elite.” Matt Jackson writes Page a text asking if they can just forget the past few years and can they just have a talk to work it out. But he did not send it. BTE may got back to being can’t miss until this story arc ends.


Did WWE just quietly end the brand split on Monday?


Bonus: The criticisms of Shotzi’s “botches” in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match just feel like people wanting to pick on a young performer still trying to figure it all out. If ladder matches were so easy, we’d all be doing them and probably be enjoying them less. She had every right to fire back at the critics

Wrestler of the Week

Liv Morgan, WWE

The New Jersey native delivered the two moments many WWE fans have been waiting for: winning the women’s Money in the Bank contract and then getting a shocking and successful cash-in on Ronda Rousey of all people. What made it even better was the emotions Morgan displayed throughout. There were some tears before and after the MITB match, a palpable intensity and owning the moment when she challenged Rousey (her face as she jumped up and down before the bell will forever stick with me) and pure joy after pinning “The Baddest Women on the Planet” to become the SmackDown women’s champion. She followed it up with the perfect from-the-heart promo on Raw.

WWE
Liv Morgan just prior to beating Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown women’s championship.
WWE

Match to Watch

Bron Breakker (c.) vs. Cameron Grimes, NXT Championship (Tuesday, USA, 8 p.m.)

These two, especially Grimes, have absolutely killed it in the build to this match. They have pulled in elements both from their real-life and characters’ storyline to make this feel more meaningful than maybe any other of Breakker’s title defenses. They hit it out of the park last week to close the show. For the first time it feels as if Breakker’s reign is in jeopardy. We also know how good these two are in the ring, so the Great American Bash’s main event is worth your attention.

Honorable mention: Jon Moxley vs. Brodie King, interim AEW world championship (Dynamite)

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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