Daily Update: Bray Wyatt, UFC 286, AEW House Rules
Steve Austin says WWE has not contacted him regarding WrestleMania 39Finals set for New Japan Cup 2023WWE Main Event results: Dante Chen, Trick Williams in actionMercedes Mone on WWE departure: 'Nobody knows the story'VIDEO: Dave Meltzer discusses Kenny Omega vs. El Hijo del Vikingo
Wrestling Observer Live: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens hug it outWrestling Observer Radio: AEW house show a success, Smackdown and Rampage, UFC and more
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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
March 20, 2023 Observer Newsletter: WWE WrestleMania 39 cards take shape, AEW Revolution buys
Match of the week and performer of the weekWrestleMania updates, including status of different matches that have been planned and not announcedTicket sales notes and demand for tickets, plus notes on NXT Stand & DeliverA study of the buying patterns of PPVs for AEW, including comparisons with one year ago, how many shows the average AEW PPV buyer purchases each year, the difference between satellite owners and others in the viewing patterns, update on Revolution numbers and how many different people bought an AEW PPV this past yearLetters from WWE to the Alamodome in San Antonio show how WWE counted Royal Rumble attendance, along with the actual numbers from the showRichard Schaefer, the famed boxing promoter, heading Anthem's wrestling, MMA and new boxing divisions and what are future plans for the divisionsNew Japan Cup coverage with all the matches from the past weekNotes on AEW's Canada tourMexican star taken to prison on domestic violence charges against another Mexican wrestling starFull coverage of this past week's major pro wrestling events and the UFC showUpdate on the WWE Hall of Fame including stories on the careers of the inducteesCoverage of the WWE's return to its most famous arena, Madison Square GardenThe life of former wrestler Jeff Gaylord and his very checkered life after wrestling and during wrestlingThe most detailed look at the weekly television ratings, competition, how segments did, where shows are strong and weak.Promotion adding a ton of new talent after young wrestlers impress in a special formatMainstream angle being done in MexicoJoint show announced in Japan for the Himeka retirementA look at the Guerrero wrestling familyLegendary athlete passes away that a wrestling move done all over the world was named after including the person who actually named the moveNew promotion starting taking the name of a legendary regional companyInternational Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame 2023 inductions and ceremonyRic Flair Twitter war of wordsLots of indie notes including some big crowds this week16 Carat Gold tournament in Germany newsNotes on recent Will Ospreay matchesNotes on major AEW negotiationsAEW cancels TV tapings and whyUpdate on social media abuse of RihoChris Jericho honoredTicket sales for upcoming WWE & AEW showsStreaming numbers for WWE & AEW this past weekInternational TV ratings updates including a company sets its all-time viewing record in CanadaNotes on AEW signeesUFC TV renewal talk even though it's years awayFormer UFC champion Benson Henderson retiresUpdate on WWE's attempt to get legalized betting on its matchesUpdate on Jay WhiteInterest level mainstream of UFC, WWE and AEW big shows including geographical popularity split between AEW Revolution and WWE Elimination ChamberUpdate on MLW lawsuit against WWEWhat are the key new things in the suitWWE injury updates and returns
This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:
February 6, 2006 Observer Newsletter: Royal Rumble, WWE business notes
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Bryan and I did our weekend show last night covering UFC, Smackdown, Rampage, the first AEW house show in a long time and other news notes. We will be back tomorrow night after Raw.
Sanada faces David Finlay in Tuesday's New Japan Cup finals in Nagaoka. Sanada beat Mark Davis and Finlay beat Tama Tonga on today's show to reach the finals.
On A&E tonight, the Jerry Lawler biography is at 8 p.m. and the Paige biography is at 9 p.m., plus WWE Rivals is Lita vs. Trish Stratus at 10 p.m.
There was a split-second Bray Wyatt sign on Smackdown that was very easy to miss. I guess that's the signal saying that he's around. He was originally scheduled on Friday's show and wasn't there. Wyatt is reportedly ill and we don't have definitive word on the status of his match with Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania, which wasn't pushed or mentioned on either television show this week.
Rolling Stone had a story about Tom Cole which is an excerpt from the new book "Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmasking of America" by Abraham Josephine Riesman. There's nothing really new past it's the story from 1992 brought back in the book.
Just a note regarding the Tony Khan Twitter mention of me on Friday. I had been asked a question more than a week ago regarding whether WWE still didn't pay for talents hotels and rental cars while on the road, and answered that they do pay for that internationally but at the domestic house shows they don't. Khan responded that it was mistaken and hat he pays for that stuff even though other companies don't and noted he pays millions a year in covering hotels and cars for the talent, but that this isn't the case with other companies. But the question didn't even involve AEW that I was answering. Khan and I cleared it up already, very quickly as he said he didn't know and only saw the answer and not the question. Everything is fine past people using it for a headline when it was all cleared up immediately.
Notes from last night's UFC 286 PPV event. At the post-fight press conference, Dana White said that Colby Covington would be the next contender for Leon Edwards, who beat Kamaru Usman to retain the welterweight title in the main event from London. That decision has been heavily criticized, including by Edwards, noting Covington hasn't even fought in the last year and a half. Edwards said as champion he thinks he should decide who was next, and wants to face Jorge Masvidal, although Masvidal last lost three in a row, including to Covington, and his last win was late 2019. Belal Muhammad has eight wins and a no contest (with Edwards) in his last nine fights and Khamzat Chimaev is undefeated. Covington is the No. 2 contender behind Kamaru Usman, who lost last night, in UFC's own rankings. White said Chimaev will be fighting at middleweight next and wants him to face a top ranked guy in the division there. Chimaev missed weight badly. Dana White talked about Shavkat Rakhmonov for an opponent for Muhammad.
White said last night's fight was tough to score. Both myself and Ryan Frederick had it 48-46 for Edwards, The MMA Decisions web site wasn't up so we don't have how other reporters had it, but judges Ben Cartilage and Chris Lee both had it the same. David Lethaby had it a draw, giving Edwards rounds one, four and five and a 10-8 third for Usman due to the penalty point. You could reasonably score it a draw but not an Usman win. Edwards was the better fighter most of the way, but he also committed four flagrant fouls, two low blows (appearing to be accidental), a fence grab blatant that he lost a point for and grabbing Usman's glove which was also blatant and he was warned.
White also said they would be taking Power Slap events to the U.K
The UFC show last night had 1.1 million searches, which is not that big for a major UFC event. It was still one of the four biggest searched for items in the U.S. this weekend. The biggest was the death of Lance Reddrick while the UFC show, Donald Trump and Barcelona vs Real Madrid in soccer were the other big ones.
We're looking for reports tonight from the WWE shows in Springfield, IL and Sioux Falls, SD, and the AAA Lucha Libre World Cup from Guadalajara (on FITE) tonight with results, finishes and highlights from both events.
Thanks to John Edwards Adam Adkins and Shannon Walsh for the WWE and AEW reports from the weekend shows.
There were AEW Dark banners up at last night's house show in Troy, OH and they wee filming. ROH's Bobby Cruise was used as the ring announcer. We got questions from a few people who were hoping for a wider variety of merchandise to be available but they enjoyed the show and it was 200 tickets shy of a sellout in a 3,400-seat set up, so that was a success.
Jake Lee beat Kaito Kiyomiya with a front high kick to win the GHC tile earlier today at a show at the Yokohama Budokan.
WWE last night in Milwaukee:
Bianca Belair retained the women's title over Becky Lynch, Bayley and Chelsea GreenBronson Reed b Johnny GarganoDominik Mysterio b Santos EscobarMichin & Candice LeRae b Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky when LeRae pinned Kai. Bayley was booted out before the finishCody Rhodes b LA KnightRicochet & Braun Strowman b Maximum Male ModelsBobby Lashley b Baron CorbinAustin Theory b Seth Rollins to keep the U.S. title. You know the drill there.
WWE last night in Fargo, ND:
Usos b Butch & Ridge Holland to keep the tag titlesShotzi b Shayna BaszlerViking Raiders b Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del ToroCharlotte Flair b Sonya Deville to keep the women's titleRhea Ripley b Raquel Rodriguez. Ripley beat her down until Liv Morgan ran outLuke Gallows & Karl Anderson & Drew McIntyre b Gunther & Ludvig Kaiser & Giovanni VinciSolo Sikoa b Sami Zayn after a ref bump and interference from the Usos. Holland & Butch tried to make the save but they were beaten down until McIntyre made the save (thanks to Shannon Rose and Steve Nixon)
Warrior Wrestling announced some changes in Saturday's show in Grand Rapids, MI. Eddie Kingston vs. Sam Adonis is off because Kingston has COVID and Adonis was booked for a show n Mexico. Queen Aminata is out with a knee injury so Warhorse now faces Max the Imapler. With Davey Richards retiring, Clark Connors will now face Jake Something.
Scrapper Mania from yesterday in Dublin, Ireland: Don't have results but told Robbie X vs. Pac vs. Big Damo vs. Leon Slater was great in a four-way that Pac won. Santino Marella worked a comedy match doing the snake bit. The crowd was hot for everything but the card was hurt by Kingston not being there due to COVID (thanks to Tony Coleman)
The brother of Matt "Kid Zombie" Mann on his facebook page said that Matt Mann passed away in San Francisco this weekend. Mann and I were contact all the time years ago and helped me out a ton. He was an insider fan who did a lot of podcasts and worked with a lot of West Coast independent promotions over the years. He had a show on Karl Stern's network called Life and Times with KZ where he'd talk about his time in independent wrestling. He was going to appear as a guest on the Wrestling with the Dawg podcast but missed the show and Eric Darsie tried to get a hold of him and found this out. (thanks to Karl Stern)
Matt Cardona did an angle for a match with Mark Long, a reality show star of The Challenge, Challenge All-Stars, Road Rules and Worst Cooks),. The two are scheduled for a 5/7 match for Boca Raton Championship Wrestling. (thanks to Scott Yager)
Lance Anoa'i was announced for the 4/8 MOW Battle Bowl event on Philadelphia's 2300 Arena.
United Wrestling Coalition in New Egypt, NJ on 3/25 at the American Legion has a Conquering Cancer event.
Want to mention Jay Dumont, who we actually wrote about this past week in the new issue of the Observer for the situation with Riho. He's been battling health issues for three years now and his situation has been serious for some time. If you know him through twitter as the Great Fowler, just send him nice words of encouragement please.
Kirk White's Big Time Wrestling from last night in Newark CA: Bret the Hart b Eddie Cuervo, Tru X b Levi Shapiro, Sir Samurai b Kal Jak, The Freaks b Too Fresh, Aaron Solo (AEW) b Big Fronz, Willow Nightingale b Viva Van, Colt Cabana b Kaka Meng. The show sold out and the next show is 5/13 (thanks to Jim Davis)
Pure Pro Wrestling from last night in Flint, MI: Mason Keller b Tango Jones, Brett Bahama b David Weston, Don Tone Leone b G-Money, Alpha Adams and Big Buford, Road Rash & Shaun Moertakai b Vinny Davinci & Noah Raditz, Danny Astro b Gideon Malice, Nick Xero & Mr. One Night Only b Abdul Hakim & Global Flyer Drake, Luerano b Father Time, Dylan Derringer b Jheras Grey, Betty Bruiser & Sophia Beretta & Maddy Red & Khaos b Princes Tenshi & Hannah Henderson & Alexis Royale & Heather Blue, Dylan Night b Tommy Dreamer (thanks to Leonard Brand)
Total Kaos Wrestling in Taylor, MI at the Taylortown Trade Center on 4/21 with a fans bring the weapons match.
Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Thursday night in Omaha: Arjun Singh b James Moore, Joey Daniels b Luke Luna, Purple b Chaac, Vic Douglas b Xander McIntosh Kit Sackett b Ryan Romantic, Omar Pachecco b Kyle King, Duke Cornell b Nono Hatcher, Pat Powers & Moonshine Russell & Jack Darling b Con Artiest & Angus Keyser & Tank Bryson. Next show is 4/19 at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha.
Zachary Wentz & Trey Miguel have been added to House of Glory Final Hour on 4/14 in Queens, NY at the NYC Arena.
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