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Daily Update: Clash of Champions, UFC fallout, Dana White


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WON NEWSLETTER: September 28, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Death of Road Warrior Animal

A look at the Road Warriors, the biggest drawing tag team in pro wrestling history, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We talk about the birth of the team, the background of Joe Laurinaitis, the early days of Hawk, Animal and Rick Rude in pro wrestling, the role of Ole Anderson and Eddy Sharkey in the story, why the Road Warriors did and didn't work certain territories, why they rarely worked with Bruiser Brody, why they ended up in AWA, JCP, and how they wound up with WWE. We also look at their departure from WWE, Animal leaving wrestling, and their return.

Also in this issue:

COVID in WWE, AEW and CMLL, changes that were made, why AEW and WWE had a breakout in the same week, how AEW is changing its procedures, the belief of how this all started and much more.

G-1 Climax tournament, with an overview of the first shows, this week's lineups, standings, poll results, star ratings and more covering all the first week shows.

Sports news that affects WWE's next television deal as well as shakeups at NBCU that also do.  We look at a new WWE marketing idea, Stephanie McMahon's stock sale, why WWE stock fell, Undertaker talks the end of his documentary, changes at NXT UK, What NXT UK talent were told at meeting this week, NXT UK Heritage Cup tournament, former WWE star talked about returning, more on the Retribution storyline, who is doing the rules and the story behind the finish of the Raw match.  We also have international ratings notes, WWE up for awards, new WWE marketing ventures, Roman Reigns talks changes in his presentation, Dwayne Johnson talks, why Kane is in the news again, WWE market value as well as a look at the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

Saturday's UFC show and more thoughts on Colby Covington and the line between playing bad guy wrestler and being offensive is.

WWE's next two major shows with the cards and backgrounds.

Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate show from this past week.

Ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over 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.

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Clash of Champions, G-1 in Kobe, and the rest of the news tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio. I also have a show with Garrett Gonzalez from Friday night talking the week's news including the Road Warriors, the Wednesday ratings ebbs and flows, how the COVID outbreak happened and why in AEW and WWE at the same time, and more. We are also scheduled for some special Hall of Fame shows this coming weekend.

Dana White last night talked about making a match with Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal. Originally he was planning on Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz for a January PPV show.

Dana White said that Conor McGregor broke the"man code" by releasing private text messages.  McGregor claimed that he did so because White lied about saying he didn't want to fight, proving they were talking about fighting on a show in May but UFC didn't want him to fight until they could get fans back. White also said that McGregor texted he was retired and had no idea regarding the talks of a McGregor vs. Manny Pacquiao boxing match.  McGregor said that White, in fact, was involved in those talks.

Clash of the Champions starts at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on the WWE Network.  We are doing weekend polls for three shows, Clash of Champions, today's New Japan show from Kobe and last night's UFC 253, thumbs up, down or middle, best and worst match for each to dave@wrestlingobserver.com  The odds tell you how badly they've done convincing people these matches are competitive. The odds are from BetOnline and this show has the most one-sided odds since the days when the results would sneak out and gambling patterns from insider bettors ruled.  Here, these one-sided odds are because in most of the undercard matches, nobody takes the challengers seriously.

  • Asuka vs. Zelina Vega for the Raw women's title - This will be on the preshow. Asuka is a -1500 favorite to win.  Asuka is one of the best workers in the company regardless of gender, but Vega is very much unproven in long singles matches so this is a big one for her.
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Apollo Crews for the U.S.title.  Lashley is a -950 favorite.  Crews is really good. If they have time it should be fine but Crews has not been portrayed in booking like he has a chance of winning.
  • Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Lucha House Party for the Smackdown tag titles.  There is a ton of talent in this match, but once again, the challengers have been portrayed as guys getting squashed. The build for this match even more than any other has been beyond mystifying.  Perhaps it's to set up a "fluke" win. Still the champs are favored at -500.
  • Street Profits vs. Andrade & Angel Garza for the Raw tag titles. Andrade & Garza are -140 to win the match. They've wrestled many times before. It should be good.
  • Jeff Hardy vs. Sami Zayn vs. A.J. Styles for the IC title in a ladder match.  Hardy is the king of ladder matches and I've seen Zayn have incredible ones over  the years as well, and Styles is as good as anyone in WWE. Hardy is -125 as the favorite, Zayn is +150 ad Styles is +300.  This should be one of the best bouts on the how.
  • Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso for the Universal title. The build for this match on Friday's Smackdown was really good and Reigns is right now the best portrayed character in the company. And I would think these two in a co-main singles match should have a great match. Jey is really talented and his never gotten a chance to show it in this type of environment.  Reigns is a  -3500 favorite and literally nobody thinks the title is changing here.
  • Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton for the WWE title in an ambulance match.  Ambulance matches in WWE are known for fluke endings. The idea of putting the title on Orton with a fluke and protecting McIntyre seems viable.  Keith Lee has been part of this angle since the start and always on the short end. Orton is a -140 favorite to take the title.

Today's G-1 had incredible matches with Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kota Ibushi to the surprise of almost nobody. The Kobe show on paper looked to be the best of the tour going in. 

Last night's UFC show did 2.million searches making it the most-searched topic on the Internet in the U.S. last night, beating out the Los Angeles Lakers.  Conor McGregor was No. 14 with 100,000. The Charlo Brothers PPV last night didn't even crack the top 20 which is really bad news for that show. The only other combat sport item all week to crack the top 20 was on Wednesday with the death of Road Warrior Animal at 200,000. Clash of Champions today should be expected to do around 200,000 based on prior shows of this caliber. 

The BBC had a story on the Speaking Out movement.



  • Raw tomorrow night not only has competition of the biggest NFL game so far this season, but also the biggest Monday Night game scheduled this  season, as well as Game six of the Stanley Cup finals.
  • Glenn Jacobs cuts a college football promo. (thanks to Barry Werner and Mike Kuzmuk)  



  • Miles Johns vs. Kevin Natividad was reported by MMA Junkie as a new fight for 10/31. 


  • Dark for Tuesday:
    • Chuck Taylor & Trent vs. M'Badu & BShop King
    • Tay Conti vs. Red Velvet
    • Billy & Austin Gunn vs. Cezar Bononi & Shawn Dean
    • Penelope Ford vs. Alex Gracia
    • Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy vs. Alan Angels & Preston Vance of the Dark Order 5 & 10
    • Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall vs. Alex Reynolds & John Silver
    • Nyla Rose vs. Rache Chanel
    • Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison vs. Luther & Serptentico
    • Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian vs. Ryzin & Ray Rosas 



  • Kento Miyahara vs. Zeus is the Champion Carnival final and takes place 10/5 at Korakuen Hall.
  • A correction from the Observer. The Best of the Super Juniors tournament and New Japan tag team tournament are expected on the same tour, but not the next tour.  It is scheduled for the final tour of the year. (thanks to Super J Cast).
  • Kailey Farmer, Kamille Brickhouse in the NWA, had a big night last night. She won the NPC Daytona Beach Classic bodybuilding show, and then while on stage right after winning, her boyfriend, NWA wrestler Thom Latimer, asked her to marry him.  She accepted.  Latimer was once married to Ashley Fliehr (Charlotte Flair).
  • IWA's Double Death Match show scheduled for today was canceled because at least five people scheduled on the show either tested positive for COVID or were quarantining themselves after being exposed to someone who had tested positive.
  • Warrior Wrestling from last night in Chicago Heights, IL:  Moose b Suicide, Mike Bennett b Cheeseburger, Isaias Velazquez b Travis Ttian, Rhino b Best Man, Air Wolf won six-way scramble match, Zachary Wentz b Blake Christian, Joey Janela b Robert Anthony in a street fight, Kylie Rae b Madison Rayne to keep the women's title, Trey Miguel won the Warrior title in a three-way over champion Brian Pillman Jr. and former champion Brian Cage.  Main event, Janela vs Anthony and Wentz vs. Christian were said to be the highlights. Janela did a flip off the goal posts on Anthony and Frank the Clown. (thanks to Lance LeVine)
  • Mike Mooneyham writes about Road Warrior Animal.
  • SHWA from last night in Perth, Western Australia:  Callum Collins b Chris Target, Chadwick Jackson & Stella Nyx b Del Cano & Ryan Allen, Dave Marshall b The Horde, Dizzy Videl b Pegasus, Pocket Rockets b James Hartness & Casey Johns, Great George b Toro Blanco, Felix Young b Axxton. 
  • Australian Wrestling Superstars on 10/31 in Sydney will be the first show since the pandemic in New South Wales with a paying audience (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • AAW runs Thursday night at 115 Bourbon Street in  Merrionette Park, IL.  With only 50 fans allowed the shows sold out instantly.  It is available for $12.99 on FITE TV with Mance Warner vs. Jake Crist for the AAW title, Besties in the World vs. Ace Austin & Mad Man Fulton for the AAW tag titles, Christi Jaynes vs. Hyan, Skye Blue vs. Elayna Black, plus Hakim Zane, Karam, Matt Justice, Stephen Wolf, Gringo Loco, Steve Manders, Travis Titan, Air Wolf, Angel Dorado, Ace Perry and more. 
  • The LFA runs Friday night at Hartman Arena in Park City, KS.  They will also run 10/16 and 10/30 at the same location.  All three events air at 9 p.m. Eastern on UFC Fight Pass.  Kevin Wirth (8-1) vs Askar Askar (10-1) and Andre Fialho (10-3) vs. Antonio dos Santos Jr (8-4) headline Friday's show.
  • The Los Angeles Times ran a story about a Lucha Libre drive-in show at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA put on by Fight Club OC. The show was in the parking lot of the fairgrounds . Fans were encouraged to honk their horns when the action got exciting. They did 173 cars in attendance using locals like Piloto Suicida, who dates back 30 years. A lot of the fans were Fight Club OC regulars who usually attend boxing and MMA shows. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • Eddie Kingston's Grindhouse results from Tampa, FL: Joseph Black b Davey Vega, Troy Hollywood b Ariel Dominguez, Sean Maluta b Kody Lane, Jeremy Wyatt b Thomas Shire, Jon Davis b Fred Yehi
  • A former pro wrestling arena which ran ECW events and many other shows is being sold (thanks to Norm Connors)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Razor Ramon wins WWF IC title