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WON NEWSLETTER: January 25, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Why a quarantine policy could affect wrestling & MMA

We've got a double issue of the Observer out this week with notes on how President Biden's new policies on international travel will affect wrestlers and fighters from different countries.

Also in this issue:

The new WrestleMania plans, including how the Super Bowl plays into it, the time frame for the shows for both nights, the inside hopes for attendance and how the dynamic is different this year as to what gets announced.  We also look at the decision making in regards to Dallas and Los Angeles, update the Royal Rumble and also have notes on match plans.

Coverage of Impact Hard to Kill, with notes on the key angles, the departure of Madison Rayne, Taya Valkyrie and Ethan Page, Page's scathing words after his departure, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Dwayne Johnson's new TV show about his life, new WWE signees, Dusty Rhodes men's and women's tournament, Kofi Kingston talks his injury, WWE television personality gets an ESPN TV show, A.J. Styles talks retirement, lawsuit update, where wrestling shows ranked with network sports, who is looking for new entrance music, what aspect of WWE's major events are they trying to sell, why Raw will have two very tough dates for competition soon, as well as the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

Coverage of both UFC shows over the past week and the story behind Max Holloway's setting records.

A story on the life of Paul Varelans, an early star of UFC and MMA around the world, as well as his different forays with four different pro wrestling companies as well as his infamous angle with Taz in ECW. For the first time, Missy Hyatt talks publicly about the situation plus comments from all involved. We look at the tournament days of UFC, crazy street fights, and much more.

A story on the life of Guy Hauray, the voice of WWF in France for a generation. 

A story on famous carnival shooter and pro wrestler Dick Cardinal, who was the oldest living pro wrestler at the time of his death. 

History of the biggest draws in pro wrestling each year from 1916 to 2020, including what wrestlers were No. 1 for the most years. 

Win-loss record of every WWE talent in 2020 including who wrestled the most dates, who never lost, who never won and more.

Television ratings of the past week, segment-by-segment numbers for the past two weeks on Wednesday, who was watching in different age groups, how different segments did on Raw & Smackdown.


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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio with the main story being the WWE/Peacock Network deal. I've been in contact with people all day regarding the story and tonight's show, besides covering Raw and the other news, will be mostly a Q&A on the deal.  If you've got any questions, send them for tonight's show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

Alberto Rodriguez's (Alberto El Patron) trial for aggravated kidnapping and four counts of sexual assault that was scheduled to begin today was moved to 5/3.  A conviction will be difficult because the accuser apologized to him on social media which appeared at the time was her recanting her story.

Raw tonight is headlined by a face-off with Drew McIntyre, who has recovered from COVID and wrestled on the Friday taping for India, and Bill Goldberg. Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss for the women's title, Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler and Matt Riddle in a gauntlet facing Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander and MVP, and if he wins, gets a shot at Bobby Lashley for the U.S. title is on the show.  They will also likely announce most of Sunday's Rumble since this is the last Raw show prior to the PPV.

WWE

  • The Superstar Spectacle, designed for India, airs at 9:30 a.m. on the WWE Network
    • Rey Mysterio & Ricochet & Diishar Shanky & Giant Zanjeer vs. Dolph Ziggler & King Corbin & Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro
    • A.J. Styles vs. Jeet Rama
    • Charlotte Flair & Sareena Sandhu vs. Bayley & Natalya
    • Finn Balor vs; Guru Raaj
    • Drew McIntyre & Indu Sher vs. Jinder Mahal & Singh Brothers
  • I don't expect him on TV, but Paul Heyman is at Raw today. Heyman is in charge of Bill Goldberg's promos so he most likely is there to work on whatever Goldberg is doing on tonight's show.  Since there is no storyline relationship, it would make no sense for him to appear on the air.

UFC

  • SportsBetting.ag is listing a lot of MMA odds. For Conor McGregor's next opponent:
    • Nate Diaz +200
    • Dustin Poirier +300
    • Justin Gaethje +400
    • Tony Ferguson +600
    • Jorge Masvidal +800
    • Michael Chandler +1000
    • Charles Oliveira +1200
  • For Dustin Poirier's next opponent
    • Michael Chandler +150
    • Charles Oliveira +250
    • Conor McGregor +450
    • Khabib Nurmagomedov +600
    • Nate Diaz +800
    • Justin Gaethje +1400
    • Tony Ferguson +1400
  • UFC lightweight champion on 12/31/21
    • Dustin Poirier +200
    • Michael Chandler +300
    • Charles Oliviera +400
    • Khabib Nurmagomedov +450
    • Conor McGregor +800
    • Justin Gaethje +1200
    • Tony Ferguson +2500
    • Nate Diaz +5000
  • Nik Lentz, after his loss of Movsar Evloev via split decision Saturday, announced his retirement due to vision issues. His claim of having lost 40 percent of his vision and realized he couldn't compete at a high level leads to a lot of questions that need to be asked about commissions and UFC allowing him to fight in the first place with that level of vision issues.

OTHER NOTES

  • It looks like Will Ospreay's match with Satoshi Kojima on Saturday in Nagoya will be no DQ based on what happened in today's Ospreay & Great O'Khan vs. Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan match.
  • The Wrestling Estate just posted an exclusive report on independent wrestling running shows during the pandemic with three promoters explaining how their business has been and two explaining why they haven't run.
  • TJP & Bu Ku Dao vs. Violence is Forever with the winners getting a shot at tag champs L.A. Park & El Hijo de L.A. Park joins Savio Vega vs. Richard Holliday in a strap match on MLW on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on YouTube.
  • Salahdine Parnasse (14-0-1) puts his KSW featherweight title up against Daniel Torres (11-4) in the main event of the KSW show on 1/30 in Lodz, France available at www.KSWTV.com
  • ROH TV this week has Shane Taylor & The Soldiers of Savagery vs. Jonathan Gresham & Jay Lethal & Tracy Wlliams, plus Dalton Castle vs. Josh Woods  in a Pure Rules match.
  • Tony Deppen vs. Jordan Oliver in an Iron Man challenge match will be part of the GCW Fight Forever show, a 24-hour streaming event. The show is about getting donations for talent that hasn't been able to work much during COVID.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWE Royal Rumble 2015


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