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Daily Update: Bobby Lee, SmackDown, Rogers Centre

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WON NEWSLETTER: November 30, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Undertaker retirement, Survivor Series, more

We've got a heavy-historical double-issue of the Wrestling Observer out this week.  Our lead story looks at the career and final appearance of The Undertaker.  We look at his famous matches, the WrestleMania streak, how long it's been since he actually worked a full schedule, the dream match that did happen and why, and the one that never happened and why.

Also in this issue:

Survivor Series with match-by-match coverage, star ratings, poll results and interest level of the show.

The $39 million settlement of a lawsuit against WWE, the largest settlement of a lawsuit in pro wrestling history, why it was settled, testimony key witnesses were going to make, who sued, what the judge in the case said, crazy facts about the case, and testimony on what  really happened in Saudi Arabia the day the WWE talent couldn't get out of the country.

A story on the life of Bob Ryder, the start of TNA, the business numbers behind the start and how it got so deep in debt, what saved the company in 2005 and 2015 and Impact releases a statement on his death.

How Dana White is expecting a packed house for a UFC show sooner than you think and how that ties into what has been booked.

Major front office changes in WWE, and background of the decisions and people who are in and out, Xavier Woods and WWE negotiate a mainstream deal, NXT Takeover lineup notes, Lana documentary, Undertaker talks most  famous matches and how Vince talked him into ending the streak, how WWE & AEW TV shows did this past week as compared to major sorts, U.K. Heritage Cup, former college football star has WWE interest, value of WWE stock right now and top ten most-watched shows on the WWE Network from last week.

Full coverage of UFC 255, details behind the show, match-by-match coverage and poll results.

The induction of Marc Ratner into the UFC Hall of Fame.  We look at his background in boxing,  his connection to pro wrestling, and his role in okaying an angle that literally changed the power structure of pro wrestling where Vince McMahon needed his approval.  We look at why two different proposed dream match involving WWE stars didn't happen as well as how Floyd Mayweather's unbeaten streak stayed in tact due to a decision by Ratner as well as his role in making UFC treated as a sport, and how UFC was able to get Ratner to join the promotion.

2019 Business Year in review, with the biggest attendances, biggest PPV numbers, who headlined the most major shows, UFC business, WWE business and what Becky Lynch did in 2019 that no woman in the history of pro wrestling had ever come close to.

An updated list of the biggest drawing cards in pro wrestling history, comparing Jim Londos with Hulk Hogan, who Sam Muchnick said were the biggest draws ever, where Hogan ranked with Austin and Rock, and every annual attendance record from 1931 to the present and what record is likely never to be beaten.

NOAH's Pro Wrestling Chronicle show and the Go Shiozaki ivs. Katsuhiko Nakajima main event.

A feature on the seven different Triple Crown award winners of the last 40 years, as well as those who came one step from doing so.

Stats for MVP, Most Outstanding, Best on interviews, Best Tag Team and others over the past 40 years as well as who seems to deserve more Hall of Fame consideration.

A feature on European villain Klaus Kauroff, who passed away this past week.

Television business, looking at stats not available elsewhere to get the deepest read into how shows are doing, what categories are doing well and how shows compare with previous weeks and one year ago.  
 
Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week.

 


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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

We'll have a major story in next week's issue on the death of Carlos Alvarado Gonzalez, better known as Bobby Lee. Lee, who passed away yesterday at the age of 70, was one of the biggest drawing cards in pro wrestling in 1978 as the heel opponent in what many consider El Santo's last great feud. To understand show big this feud was, the 1978 match where Canek won the UWA world heavyweight title from Lou Thesz (Thesz's last world title loss and the creation of Mexico's first world heavyweight title since EMLL recognized the NWA title), one of the biggest matches in Mexican wrestling history, was actually the semifinal underneath Santo vs. Lee. Lee also had a major mask vs. mask match at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, losing to the first Tiger Mask, Satoru Sayama. His career ended early due to an injury but he was considered one of the all-time biggest local sports stars in his home of Leon, Guanajuato. Lee, known as "The Best of 78," his career best year, was 70.

We got one report that Smackdown was a mess as the show was still being worked on a few hours ago. Nobody knew anything which is why nothing has been advertised. Vince McMahon arrived at about 12:30 p.m.  Another person confirmed people not knowing anything until Vince came, but said that has been the case almost every week of late and it's nothing new.

The Globe & Mail in Toronto reported that the Rogers Center, formerly Skydome, may be demolished and that a new smaller stadium would be built on the same location. Rogers Center or Skydome hosted the 1990 WrestleMania with Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior, the 2002 WrestleMana with Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock, both of which set box office records, and the 2013 Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields fight that set what was at the time the UFC gate record and had 105,000 ticket orders the first weekend tickets were put on sale, making it one of the two biggest first weekend ticket demands in the history of pro wrestling and MMA.

Weigh-ins for tomorrow's UFC show.  The Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis main event is off because Blaydes tested positive for COVID:

ESPN+ at 8 p.m. Eastern:

  • Luke Sanders (140) vs. Nate Maness (139.5)
  • Sumudaerji (126) vs. Malcom Gordon (126)
  • Gina Mazany (125.5) vs. Rachael Ostovich (125.5)
  • Martin Day (135.5) vs. Anderson Dos Santos (135)

ESPN at 10 p.m. Eastern:

  • Jonathan Pearce (145.5) vs. Kai Kamaka (145)
  • Ashelee Evans-Smith (135.5) vs. Norma Dumont (139.5)
  • Spike Carlyle (145.5) vs. Bill Algeo (146)
  • Migue Baeza (171) vs. Takeshi Sato (170)
  • Josh Parisian (265.5) vs. Parker Porter (263)
  • Anthony Smith (205) vs. Devin Clark (204.5)

Dumont forfeited 30 percent of her purse for missing weight by 3.5 pounds. Through dieting and lifting she had built her natural weight up to 170 to compete at 145. Then she was offered the fight at 135 and had to drop 35 pounds to make it, and well, didn't come close.

Weigh-ins for tomorrow's Jones-Tyson boxing PPV:

  • Badou Jack (188.4) vs. Blake McKernan (186.8)
  • Jake Paul (189) vs. Nate Robinson (181)
  • Mike Tyson (220.4) vs. Roy Jones Jr. (210)

New Japan runs live at 4 a.m. Eastern late tonight from Fujisawa live on New Japan World with tag team tournament matches:

  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O'Khan
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare vs. Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale
  • Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Evil & Yujiro Takahashi
  • Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs.  Shingo Takagi & Sanada
  • Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa

Dragon Gate's Gate of Origin show airs live from Sendai tonight at 1 a.m. Eastern (10 p.m. Pacific) with BxB Hulk & Kai vs. Kzy & Yamato for the Twin Gate titles and Kazama Sakamoto & SB Kento & Takashj Yoshida defending the Triangle Gate titles against Genki Horiguchi & Susumu Yokosuka & Yasushi Kanda

CMLL has an iPPV tonight from Arena Mexico:

  • Reyna Isis vs. Princesa Sugehit - world women's champion vs. Mexican women's champion, in the opener
  • Black Panther & Blue Panther vs. Felino & Tiger in a father-and-son tag match
  • The Leyenda de Azul elimination match with Diamante Azul, Sanson, El Terrible, Forastero, Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Valiente, Cuatrero, Kraneo, Blue Panther Jr., Rey Bucanero, Vangellys, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr., Cancerbero and Ephesto
  • Ultimo Guerrero vs. Euforia for CMLL heavyweight title

WWE

  • Promotion for the TV show Young Rock. (thanks to Barry Werner)
  • The WWE Network will be releasing a new "Best of NXT in Progress, Volume 2" special that includes matches like Roderick Strong vs. Tommy End (Aleister Black),Jeff Cobb vs. Matt Riddle, Samoa Joe vs. Rampage Brown and Tyler Bate & Trent Seven vs Riddle & Keith Lee and Samoa Joe.  This was first reported by Ringside News.
  • A story on WWE's Liv Morgan documentary. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)

OTHER NOTES

  • FITE's new series "The Count" debuts tonight. Among those on tonight's first episode are Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., Rampage Jackson and Cung Le. The show debuts at 9 p.m. Eastern for free.
  • Kevin Eck's weekly ROH news update.
  • Herb Simmons on the two-year anniversary of the death of Larry Matysik.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH returns to PPV on 12/6 with English commentary. The main event has the two longest reigning GHC champions in history facing off as Go Shiozaki defends against Takashi Sugiura
  • A story on 90s All Japan star Richard Slinger.
  • Combate Americas announced an extension of its deal with Snapchat through January with ten more weekly episodes.
  • Bare Knuckle Fighting has a 12/11 show in Biloxi, MS with Mark Godbeer vs Sam Shewmaker and Tyler Goodjohn vs. former Pride star Charles "Crazy Horse" Bennett.
  • CWE has canceled its scheduled shows this week in Alberta due to COVID restrictions. They had shows this week scheduled in Grand Prairie, Red Deer and Calgary. Right now they are hopeful of making up the dates with shows on 1/7 in Calgary, 1/8 in Red Deer, 1/9 in Grand Prairie and 1/10 in St. Albert.
  • Canadian independent wrestler Adam Knight's new book "Prairie Fire" is available for pre-order from Amazon.  It is his third book of his Urban Fantasy Series.
  • Jersey All Pro Wrestling has inked a deal with IWTV uploading shows from 1998 to 2001 including a Rey Mysterio vs. Low Ki match.
  • A Vice News article regarding Mexican wrestling during the pandemic (thanks to Eirbina)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Starrcade 1986 - Night of the Skywalkers


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