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Daily Update: Drew McIntyre, Jarrett-Anthem, Dragon Gate

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WON NEWSLETTER: January 13, 2021 Observer Newsletter: More on the death of Brodie Lee, Wrestle Kingdom 15 review

A look at what happened in the last two months of the life of Jon Huber is the lead story in this week's edition of the Wrestling Observer. We look at how the situation was handled, when the talent found out, why Huber didn't get a lung transplant, and a look at comments from a number of people in WWE in particular as well as Jim Ross and Amanda Huber's extensive writing on the subject.

Also in this issue:

Extensive coverage of Wrestle Kingdom and New Year's Dash. We have match-by-match, star ratings and poll results.  We also have business notes, the story of Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega, the effect of COVID on the show and of wrestling in Japan going forward, Jay White, goal of Hiromu Takahashi, the new main event programs and international television news.

Full year television notes, Linda McMahon's donations to Donald Trump, Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament, next Takeover show, A&E documentary notes, update on Damien Priest and others earmarked for Raw & Smackdown, lots of booking notes, new WWTV deals, Sonya Deville return, Hulk Hogan talks, head of a rival promotion sets up WWE production person's engagement, amateur wrestling standout about to start training with WWE, how wrestling shows this past week did compared to sports, international television ratings, who was creative told a few years ago not to even think of ideas for, upcoming TV bouts, WWE market value and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

A story on Irwin Rivera, the UFC fighter who is being accused of stabbing two of his sisters.

A story on Bobby Davis, one of the first of the modern managers.

What wrestlers had the most four star matches in 2020, as well as in history the top 25 of all-time.

Detailed look at the 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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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering Drew McIntyre's COVID test positive, Raw, and the rest of the pro wrestling news. You can send e-mail questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

Obviously the big story of the day is that Drew McIntyre tested positive for COVID and is being quarantined, so won't be at the show in St. Petersburg tonight. He will be doing an interview, likely from his home. HHH will be on the show.  There is at least one other person on the roster who tested positive although the one we know of is on the Smackdown brand and it was last week and the person was pulled from the show beforehand.  

Tonight's Raw was to be built around McIntyre, both wrestling Randy Orton and doing a segment where he would accept the challenge laid out by Bill Goldberg. So obviously that all has to change. Raw is going against the college football national championship ame with Ohio State vs. Alabama head-to-head on ESPN.  The show probably would have gotten killed because the game tonight was expected to do a bigger number than NFL games do.  But with the news that broke the curiosity should lead to a noticeable increase in viewers from what the show would have done.

Because they need something big with the game on and the McIntyre match out, they look to be building the show around Orton vs. HHH in a confrontation.

The lawsuit that has been going on for years between Jeff Jarrett and Anthem over the Global Force Wrestling tape library was settled out of court on Friday according to PWInsider. The terms of the settlement were sealed.

New Japan has a press conference at 1 a.m. late tonight to announce the plans for now until mid-February. They would likely announce when the big matches that were set up at New Year's Dash and the Tokyo Dome, like Kota Ibushi vs. Sanada for the IWGP title, Shingo Takagi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the Never title, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi for the IWGP tag titles, Hiromu Takahashi vs. Sho for the IWGP jr. title and Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP jr. tag title will be taking place. They are three different major shows so these matches will be spread out over those cards.

Dragon Gate has two Korakuen Hall shows on its streaming service both starting at 4 a.m. Eastern both tomorrow and Wednesday morning. There will be English language commentary on both shows with Jae Church.  With the 8 p.m. curfew (6 a.m.) it means these shows have to be fast-paced.

Tuesday's show:

  • Ryo Saito & Boktimo Dragon vs. Don Fujii & Kennichiro Arai
  • Ultimo Dragon & Masaaki Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda & Gamma vs. Eita & Kaito Ishida & Hyo & Hip Hop Kikuta
  • Keisuke Okuda vs. Punch Tominaga
  • Shun Skywalker & La Estrella & Dragon Kid vs. Yamato & Shuji Kondo & Kagetora
  • Susumu Yokosuka & Genki Horiguchi & Kzy vs.  Takashi Yoshida & Kazama Sakamoto & SB Kento
  • BxB Hulk & Kai defend the Open the Twin Gate titles against Kota Minoura & Jason Lee

Wednesday's show:

  • Don Fujii & Shuji Kondo & Gamma vs. Yasushi Kanda & Kennichiro Arai & Kagetora
  • Masaaki Mochizuki & Keisuke Okuda vs. Eita & Hyo
  • Ultimo Dragon & Boktimo Dragon vs. Ryo Saito & Punch Tominaga
  • Shun Skywalker & Kota Minoura & Jason Lee & La Estrella vs. BxB Hulk & Kai & Kaito Ishida & Hip Hop Kikuta
  • Yamato vs Dragon Kid
  • Takashi Yoshida & Kazama Sakamoto & SB Kento defend the Open the Triangle Gate titles against Kzy & Susumu Yokosuka & Genki Horiguchi

WWE

  • WWE will be represented at the first-ever all-digital CES conference. Tomorrow at 7:30 a.m., Stephanie McMahon will be joined by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert. At 1 p.m., Stephanie McMahon will do another session and CFO Kristina Salem will be doing a presentation at 2 p.m. Brian Flinn, the company's Chief Marketing Officer was to be joined by Drew McIntyre at 3:35 p.m.
  • Dwayne Johnson announced the launch of a new energy drink called ZOA that will be marketed starting in March. Johnson, business partner Dany Garcia, Dave Rienzi and John Shulman announced the drink.

UFC

  • This is the story we were talking about on last night's show regarding the death of Dr. Payman Somani of "The Doctors" show.  It was not a show in Las Vegas, but a show at the Honda Center headlined by Chuck Liddell vs. Keith Jardine in 2007 that my wife sat next to him at.

 

AEW

  • Some notes on Wednesday's show. The previously advertised Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa match is not on the show. There is a match involving The Elite. The tease is it will be Kenny Omega & Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson. Nick Jackson was injured last Wednesday legit.
     

OTHER NOTES

  • We don't have any update on Les Thatcher who has been battling COVID and pneumonia. Our best wishes to him and everyone battling health issues at this time.  
  • The New Day on their WWE Network podcast did a show on Brodie Lee, who was very close to all three of them. Big E and Brodie Lee were like best friends. Big E had a tough time getting through it. Other WWE stars who were friends of his also appeared.
  • Me on Sunday Night's Main Event at 49:00.
  • A quick reminder that I've got two books that are both available at www.amazon.com which are the 1997 and 1993 Yearbooks. These are compilations of Observer issues and stories from those years with every major story of those years in detail including a number of major bios.  
  • Sports Illustrated has a feature on the Masked Republic brand, and in the story they note that Rush and Dragon Lee, who they represent, are expected to be finalizing their ROH deals as early as next week.
  • This article notes that 80 percent of Japanese are right now in favor of either postponing or canceling the summer Olympics.
  • Mil Muertes debuts on MLW on Wednesday. In the release, they acknowledge his Muertes Lucha Underground storyline and that he was five-time IWA champion in Puerto Rico as Ricky Banderas.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Monday Night Raw debuts


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