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Daily Update: Becky Lynch, Friday ratings, Adam Cole

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WON NEWSLETTER: August 23, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Big weekend preview, AAA Triplemania review

In this week's issue:

  • TripleMania coverage including the story behind the AAA title finish
  • Update on one of the biggest weekends in years, updated ticket sales, secondary market tickets, lineups, Punk teases, updates on All Out, WWE in MSG, Extreme Rules, Ashe Stadium
  • Wrestler and Match of the week and major show polls for the week
  • WWE settles nine lawsuits out of court
  • Coverage of New Japan Resurgence, story behind stars not being in G1 this year
  • CMLL Anniversary and the ridiculous machinations over the National heavyweight title
  • New Japan business updates
  • Numerous stories regarding COVID and pro wrestlers infected, and major Japanese figure from the past battling for his life
  • UFC business updates, lots of fighters talk pay
  • Nick Khan talks the TV sports business going forward
  • Detailed look at ratings for the past two weeks, quarterly breakdowns, demo numbers and the why behind the numbers
  • How WWE & AEW are doing internationally in ratings
  • Results of the major pro wrestling events of the past week

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking about Raw, Brick Bronsky, Becky Lynch, Takeover, Walter vs Dragunov and Adam Cole among other subjects. I wasn't able to do a show last night because it was my daughter's 12th birthday.

We're looking for your thoughts on SummerSlam and Takeover, with thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best & worst match for each show. We're also looking for reports from Warrior Wrestling in Chicago and the WWE house show in Denver last night, as well as Main Event and dark matches from Raw tonight in San Diego. You can always send us poll results and news to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

Raw is tonight from San Diego. Logan Paul will be on the show doing a skit with John Morrison on Moist TV.  Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Nikki ASH & Rhea Ripley has been announced.

Tomorrow's NXT sow will be taped tonight and they are taping two shows tomorrow. The next live show will be 9/14.

In Canada, TSN will be airing The First Dance AEW show again Wednesday night at 7 p.m. before Dynamite. In Canada, the show streamed live and did air on Friday night at 11 p.m. on a one hour delay. Rampage will not air weekly on television in Canada but episodes with a lot of interest will air on delay.

Adam Cole is officially a free agent as of today. His next destination will either be the main roster WWE or AEW. Being the Elite did have some Cole teases.

The new C.M. Punk shirts after 72 hours has sold more T-shirts than any shirt in history on Pro Wrestling Tees. This is not the most in 72 hours, but the most of any T-shirt over the course of years in history like Bullet Club shirts, which were the previous No.1

A story on the relationship with WWE and 2K is with the announcement the next video game won't be out until March. (thanks to Stephen Lyon)

Regarding the stories of Becky Lynch being a heel, this is definitely the case and she was the one who requested it.

The C.M. Punk return from Friday has 5.6 million YouTube views.

We have some market-by-market news on the Friday ratings. For some reason Smackdown was so high on the overnights last week and low on the finals even though by market they were way up, this week was well down on the overnights, up on the finals, but in the key markets were up. Basically the markets they were preempted in this week were smaller than last week, hence more viewers had access to the show and more viewers.  Normalized the show would have been down.

In the U.S., AEW beat Smackdown in 18-34,males 18-49, women 18-34, men 35-49 and was 46,000 less in overall 18-49 (Brandon Thurston first reported this). The network edge is far more than 46,000, so if you compare actual homes that got both shows, AEW would have won 18-49 by about 90,000 viewers.  But while AEW got great numbers, and would likely beat tonight's Raw if it wasn't the day after SummerSlam, that number was a fluke and won't sustain at that level. It was the second best 18-49 number in AEW history. But the real question is not how big Friday was or Wednesday will be, but where things are five weeks from now when things are normalized.

Rampage was second on cable, while Raw was first on network TV. ESPN had an NFL preseason game that did 0.55 to AEW's 053.  No other show beat 0.28.

Tony Khan responded to Nick Khan's comments about finding athletes and training them to be pro wrestlers, saying, "Professional wrestling is an art form. You don't create great artists by training them all to paint by numbers in the same way."

Cook County, Illinois, starting today, has made wearing masks mandatory for everyone above the age of two at indoor events. This would include 9/1, 9/3 and 9/5 AEW television shows and the All Out PPV show. Friday's show at the United Center also had that mandate, but at the time it was only the city of Chicago, and this extends to the entire country, as the NOW Center is in Hoffman Estates. (thanks to Eric Krol)

Brick Bronsky, a competitive bodybuilder who wrestled in the 80s and 90s and later starred in some B movies, died earlier today at the age of 57 from complications from COVID-19. He was best known for starring in movies in the 90s for Troma Studios and for a fist fight with Brian Pillman in 1998 when both were in Stampede Wrestling. Bronsky sucker punched Pillman, who got up from the ground and destroyed him, but tore his triceps in the process.

Lots of stuff this weekend on Google searches. Boxer Gervonta Davis was No. 4 earlier today with 50,000 searches.   For the weekend the Pacquiao vs. Ugas fight last night on PPV had 1 million searches.  Both the UFC show and SummerSlam had 500,000. That's a surprise in both cases because it wasn't much of a UFC show name value wise but was on ESPN, while SummerSlam one would have thought would have easily topped 1 million given the card and the returns of Brock Lesnar and Becky Lynch (who would have been part of that total). Neither Lesnar nor Lynch trended which is a minor surprise. On Friday, C.M. Punk had 500,000 as well. No AEW trend in its history had ever hit 250,000 so this doubled the most mainstream interest the company has ever had for anything they did. On Wednesday, Ric Flair had 50,000 searches.

Ariel Helwani talked to his former agent, who by coincidence or not, is now the President of WWE, Nick KhanA lot of news in this one, including the revamping NXT talk, which is really more about the look of the show, he didn't bite when Helwani wanted him to talk about the competition, they note that Khan's sister is the showrunner for Young Rock (which we had reported a long time ago), and Khan talks about taking the job. 

My Sports Illustrated article on the returns of Punk, Lesnar and Lynch.

Hiromu Takahashi will have his first match back from a torn pec on 8/27 at Korakuen Hall, prior to his IWGP jr. title challenge to Robbie Eagles the next week.

In the top UFC bouts Saturday night, Jared Cannonier's 48-47 win over Kelvin Gastelum had all three judges with identical cards of Cannonier winning rounds 1, 3 and 4. In the Mark O. Madsen fight with Clay Guida, a split decision win by Madsen, Judge Michael Bell gave Madsen 1 and 2, Judge  Eric Colon gave Madsen all three rounds (which not one reporter did) and Judge Sal D'Amato only gave Madsen round one. Reporters were 62% to 38% for Madsen, so it was a close fight that could have gone either way.

New Japan has a show at 5:30 a.m. from Korakuen Hall tomorrow on New Japan World:

  • Kosei Fujita vs. Ryohei Oiwa (both are former amateur standouts making their debuts)
  • Satoshi Kojima & Master Wato vs. Tiger Mask & Tomoaki Honma
  • Chase Owens & Jado vs. Toru Yano & Ryusuke Taguchi
  • Kazuchika Okada & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O'Khan
  • Hirooki Goto & Robbie Eagles & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi & Douki

WWE

AEW

  • C.M. Punk will be appearing on Heels playing a Southern style wrestling star Ricky Rabies on the show that airs on Starz on Sunday at 9 p.m.
  • Tickets for Wednesday in Milwaukee had strong movement since Rampage but are not sold out.

UFC

  • Miesha Tate will return in a main event on the 10/16 show against Ketlen Vieira.
  • Dan Hooker vs. Nasrat Haqparat has been added to the 9/25 show in Las Vegas.

OTHER NOTES

  • An autobiography of Chavo Guerrero Sr, called "Instant Classic," was released this past week.  The book was written by Guerrero prior to his death.
  • One of the biggest name kickboxing heavyweight fights in years, Rico Verhoeven vs. Alistair Overeem (Verhoeven should destroy him but Overeem is a huge name) was signed by GLORY for 10/23 in Anaheim, Holland and will air on Glory's PPV service.
  • Warrior Wrestling from Saturday night in Chicago Heights, IL: Davey Bang b Garrison Creed, Cam Cole b Trevor Outlaw, Thunder Rosa b Kylie Rae to keep the women's title,Isaias Velasquez b Cole Radrick, Marko Stunt b Jacksyn Crowley, Evil Uno b Jason Hotch, Aramis b Mr. Iguana to keep the Lucha title, Warhorse b Beastman Husk, KC Navarro won six-way over Chandler Hopkins, Dante Martin, Brian Cage, TJP and Alan Angels, Jay White b Sam Adonis, Trey Miguel b Jake Something to keep the Warrior title.  Aramis injured his knee during the match but finished it. The show was scheduled for outdoors at the football field but was moved to the gym due to rain. They announced that Bret Hart would be appearing on 10/16. (thanks to Jon Rodie)
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix on Thursday night in Omaha: Brett Bishop b Moonshine Russell, Pat Powers b Aiden Brooks, Johnny Ruckus b El Bigote, Duke Cornell b Brandon Nytroe, Tim Boston & Seto Kobara NC Paul & Joey Daniels Preston Maxwell b Nino Hatchet, Pat Powers won 20 man Rumble.  The next show is 9/9 in Omaha.
  • RevPro from last night in Manchester for a good show:  Dan Moloney b Adam Maxted, Connor Mills & MIchael Oku b Lucia Phillips & Screwface Ahmed to keep the British tag titles, Hyan b Skye Smitson, Gisele Shaw b Princess Mariah May to keep the British women's title, Michael Oku b Robbie X to keep the British cruiserweight title, Aussie Open b Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs in what I was told was a ****1/4 mach, Ricky Knight Jr. b Shota Umino to win the British title and Umino was the most over wrestler on the show, even more than Will Ospreay, who beat Doug Williams to keep the British title in the main event (thanks to Chris Sands)
  • Will Ospreay will be wrestling for Northeast Wrestling on 10/2 in Danbury, CT.  There is a good chance another major NJPW star will be on that show but it's not official yet.
  • Phil Baroni on Twitter announced that he has retired, that it has been fun and said his career should have been over a long time ago.  He said he should have listened to Javier Mendez, his coach, who told him to retire years ago.
  • Due to the hurricane, Beyond Wrestling postponed their Americana show today.
  • United Wrestling Coalition on 9/4 in Wrightstown, NJ at Kelly's Banquet Hall.
  • Rocky Romero has been added to 8/27 and 8/28 Defy Wrestling shows in Seattle at Washington Hall.
  • Gouge from Saturday night in Fuqary Varina, NC:  Rob Killjoy b Isaiah Wolf, Seymour Snott DCOR Caribbean Tiger, Snooty Fox DDQ Timmy Lou Retton for the Gouge title, Air Time Rockers b Waylon Maze & Victor Andrews to keep tag titles, Tyler X b Larry Isley for the Lucha title.  Next show is Ruby Mania on 9/11 in Raleigh and 9/19 at Clouds Brewery in Raleigh, NC.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: CM Punk wins World title at SummerSlam 2009


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