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WON NEWSLETTER: April 19, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WrestleMania 37 review, WWE releases

Our annual WrestleMania issue of the Observer is out this week with full coverage of pro wrestling's biggest event.

We go through all the news of the show, including the booking, the title changes, the finishes, the direction, what did and didn't work, the difference between the two nights, after four examples how does two shows work vs one, the big money WrestleMania main events, the returns, the celebrities and business notes on the show. We also look at next year.

Also in this issue:

Match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from both nights of WrestleMania and both nights of Takeover, to see how people saw all four of the WWE's big events.

Stone Cold Broken Skull Sessions with Chris Jericho.  We talk about the stories told, Jericho's career, what they did talk about and what was avoided, how this went against usual McMahon policy and why we probably won't be seeing another show like this very soon.  We look at what was said about AEW, New Japan, WWE, some of Jericho's frustrations with WWE that he talked about, the formation of AEW and much more.

The sale of FITE TV to Triller and why it happened this week.

Anthem Entertainment's purchase of Invicta, plans for Invicta on AXS, and a sale that was talked about for Invicta that didn't happen.

WWE cuts, person by person, their strengths and weaknesses and where they would fit in.

WWE international plans, hiring of Adnan Vink as an announcer, new members of the WWE Board of Directors, how much WWE's top executives earned in 2020 and where it came from, Edge and Paul Heyman building Mania, changes in WWE announcing, WWE International numbers and where Raw & Smackdown rank with sports shows of the past week.  We also look at WWE's most-watched streaming clips and a star about to return, as well as the current market value of WWE.

Coverage of Saturday's UFC show, comments on the winning fighters and upcoming booking, along with business notes on the show.

A feature on John Da Silva, who was the biggest babyface and a national hero in New Zealand in the 70s. 

More on Ethel Johnson and sister Babs Wingo, who integrated women's pro wrestling in the Billy Wolfe stable in 1951.  

More detail on ratings than any other source, we have how every segment on NXT and AEW did as well as how it did with different age groups, genders and more, plus a look at all other wrestling shows of the past week.

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.

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.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

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.


SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • The former Dabba-Kato was officially introduced as Commander Azeez on SmackDown last night. Apollo Crews stated that Commander Azeez is a former member of the Nigerian Elite Guard. The move that Commander Azeez used to help Crews win the Intercontinental title from Big E at WrestleMania is named the Nigerian Nail. Commander Azeez also formerly went by his real first name Babatunde.
  • In response to a fan who tweeted that they miss him, Keith Lee wrote today: “I miss you guys, as well as all the others that expressed this sentiment... whether in dm's, tweets, or comments. I miss you all. But do not fret. I will fight like no other to return...and when I do, we got a LOT of ground to cover.”
  • On this week’s Talking Smack, Bianca Belair said she eventually wants to defeat Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch so that she will have pinned all of WWE’s Four Horsewomen.
  • WWE has a video with footage from Belair’s first week as SmackDown Women’s Champion.
  • Belair spoke to Sports Illustrated ahead of last night’s SmackDown.
  • In an interview with TalkSport, Rhea Ripley said she expected her 2020 feud with Charlotte Flair to go on a lot longer than it did: “I didn’t really know what the whole plan was for the rest of the year, but I thought it would last a lot longer than it did. I thought I’d be, in my mind, having matches with Charlotte for the majority of the year then possibly going to Raw or SmackDown and continuing things there. But, it didn’t happen and I’m still really thankful I got that extra time in NXT because I got to do so much cool stuff. Like I got to wrestle one of my best friends, Raquel Gonzalez, and have epic matches. I’m still really thankful I got to stay and do my work there, but I definitely thought it was going to lead somewhere different.”
  • Raquel Gonzalez told DAZN about watching Belair and Ripley’s title wins at WrestleMania 37: “This weekend, I was definitely watching the performances. I will say for some of the other matches, I did envision myself. But because I do know Bianca and I do know Rhea, I mentally wanted to put myself in a position where I could enjoy their work, where I could enjoy what they were doing and enjoy it to the point of where I felt like I was celebrating with them at the end of both of their matches. I felt like I was up there with them. But I definitely will say that sitting at WrestleMania this year, I was envisioning myself being there one day as well and envisioning myself reaching new heights, new limits then and telling myself that I've come this far in four years since signing with the WWE and just expecting the unexpected for the next year to come especially because next year's WrestleMania will be in Dallas with your precious Cowboys.”
  • Paul “Triple H” Levesque tweeted about Pat McAfee’s first night as a member of the SmackDown commentary team: “A man of many talents and a drive to make anything possible, congratulations to @PatMcAfeeShow for his first night on #Smackdown commentary! #FirstDayOnTheJob #PatsUpToSomethin"
  • Stephanie McMahon congratulated photographer Heather McLaughlin on becoming the first woman to shoot WrestleMania from ringside for WWE: “This past weekend Heather McLaughlin made history as the first female to shoot #WrestleMania ringside for @WWE. Proud to have you on our team, Heather!”
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded The Undertaker vs. Great Khali from Judgment Day 2006, Roman Reigns vs. Kane in a no DQ, no countout match from the May 14, 2015 episode of Raw, and The Miz vs. Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental title from Survivor Series 2016.

Other Wrestling

  • Today would have been Roddy Piper’s 67th birthday.
  • Maura Ranallo voiced two videos for Impact Wrestling where he broke down Kenny Omega and Rich Swann’s five keys to victory ahead of Impact’s Rebellion pay-per-view. Ranallo will call AEW World Champion Omega and Impact World Champion Swann’s title vs. title match at Rebellion on Sunday, April 25.
  • Impact uploaded the full 42-minute video of Omega and Swann’s pre-Rebellion press conference.
  • Dean Muhtadi (formerly known as Mojo Rawley) posted a tweet today thanking his fans following his release from WWE: “9 years of fun, passion, and pure HYPE!!!! Thank you all for getting, and Staying HYPED with me!! I love y’all this much!!!! The next chapter officially begins May 31!”
  • During a Twitter Q&A, CM Punk named Eddie Kingston as the best promo in pro wrestling today.
  • An announcement regarding the ROH women’s division will be made on Tuesday’s episode of ROH Week By Week. The episode will also feature Shane Taylor responding to Kenny King for the first time since King caused him to lose a title match to ROH World Champion Rush this February.
  • MLW’s show that was scheduled to take place at Cicero Stadium in Cicero, Illinois on Saturday, June 5 has been rescheduled to Saturday, November 6.
  • EC3 vs. Matt Cardona is set for “Free the Narrative,” which will be made available on Vimeo on Thursday, May 27.
  • Beyond Wrestling and Women’s Wrestling Revolution have launched a new brand called WWR+. It will debut with a show at the White Eagle in Worcester, Massachusetts on Sunday, May 16.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WCW Spring Stampede 1994


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