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WON NEWSLETTER: March 1, 2021 Observer Newsletter: 2020 Awards Issue, Elimination Chamber

The biggest and most-talked about issue of the year, the 2020 awards issue, is out today.  The issue covers the awards winners as voted on by the readership in these categories.  It also has all the top place winners for every category, comments on the awards for this year as well as a listing dating back to 1980 of all the awards winners in all the different categories.

We also have the performer and match of the week.

WWE Elimination Chamber show, with notes on direction, business, interest level, poll results and star ratings.

Also in this issue:

The new television war in Canada on Wednesday, how the first week went and what to look for, details on the WWE's A&E Documentaries, who is being covered and more, reaction to Undertaker's comments about current wrestlers being soft, migration of WWE Network to Peacock, Sasha Banks talks wanting to quit a few years ago, WWE business approaches, how WWE & AEW are doing as compared to televised sports this past week, Bill Goldberg on TV, notes on lots of new signees and are starting in camp including some not revealed yet, new WWE Network event, update on the Vince McMahon/Oliver Luck legal case, Ric Flair on why he doesn't talk to the other Horsemen, Arn Anderson talks why a major international star flopped in WWE, WWE wins awards, the current WWE market value and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

This past week's UFC show, the background, how it affects fighters going forward, and details behind the late changes in the show.

Television ratings of the past week, including 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 and more.

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Bryan and I did our weekend show last night talking about New Japan Castle Attack, Smackdown and the reaction to the awards, which was and continues to be hilarious.  

Jorge Masvidal was announcing on last night's Canelo Alvarez show on DAZN and later said he would be getting a welterweight title shot at Kamaru Usman in September. He said he just got word of it.  Ali Abdelaziz, the manager of Usman, denied what Masvidal said.  "Masvidal doesn't decide anything," he told MMA Fighting.  "He needs to sit down and keep working his wrestling.  When the champ makes a decision maybe he will give them an opportunity but for now, nothing happening."

This has been one of the worst weeks for wrestling deaths in the U.S./Canada region.  Besides Don Serrano, Art Michalik and Johnny DeFazio, who all had interesting life stories, Dean Higuchi (Dean Ho) passed away on 2/20 but the word just around yesterday.  He was a bodybuilder and weightlifting powerhouse who wrestled from 1962 to 1983.  We talked about him on last night's show and have a feature coming this week.  He was listed as 80 years old but that math makes no sense.  He was in the 1956 Mr. America contested and placed, opened up Dean Higuchi's Gym in Honolulu in 1957, and also played college football prior to opening the gym. He was known as "The Happy Hawaiian" and worked most of his career in British Columbia, but was the top babyface for Roy Shire in the late 70s with a number of memorable feuds with Alexis Smirnoff, Buddy Rose, Don Muraco & Earl "Mr. Universe" Maynard and Roddy Piper.  He was WWWF tag team champion with Tony Garea.  He headlined other territories as well.  He helped mentor Ricky Steamboat when both were in Georgia.  He was a star everywhere he went.

For Google searches this past week, there were only two things that cracked the list.  Canelo Alvarez had 1 million searches for first place yesterday. UFC didn't even crack the list, which is very rare, so the interest in last night's show was at a low point.  Nothing else made the list all week except Big Show was No. 10 on Wednesday with 50,000 searches.

AEW's women's tournament special is now up on the Bleacher Report site:

  • Thunder Rosa vs. Riho in a U.S. semifinal
  • Ryo Mizunami vs. Yuka Sakazaki in the Japan final
  • Rin Kadokura & Mei Suruga & Hikaru Shida vs. Maki Itoh & Emi Sakura & Veny
  • The Rosa vs. Riho winner faces Nyla Rose in the U.S. final tomorrow on YouTube.  There will also be a Road To show tomorrow building the Wednesday Impact which would be expected to do a big number with Shaquille O'Neal wrestling and Paul Wight doing a interview on the show, plus Tully Blanchard's first match on national television in decades with FTR & Blanchard vs. Jurassic Express.



  • We didn't get to talk about it last night, but the Jmmie Rivera vs. Pedro Munhoz fight was great and worth going out of your way to see.  The Cyril Gane vs. Jarirzinho Rozenstruik main event definitely doesn't fit into that category.
  • SportsBetting.ag put up these odd for UFC 261
    • Valentine Shevchenko -335 vs. Jessica Andrade +275


  • AEW has opened up another 168 tickets for Wednesday's show. The Sunday PPV sold out instantly. (thanks to William Zdon)  


  • The Los Angeles Times talks Tito Ortiz as a City Councilman.
  • This week's New Japan show on Roku which was released Thursday was Shingo Takagi vs. Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Evil from last February in Sapporo.  The channel had been accessed by almost any device and not just TV's connected to  Roku.
  • Deathmatch Down Under announced Robbie Eagles vs. Mark Davis for 3/6 in Melbourne.  They've also changed their tag team tournament to teams only from Victoria to avoid any changes if there is a lockdown on the borders of the state of Victoria.  Australia has almost no cases and if they do they plan leaving or coming into the state.  (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Stardom from yesterday in Nagoya: Tam Nakano b Gokigen Death, Momo Watanabe & AZM & Saya Kamtani won a three-way elimination trios match over Maika & Himeka & Natsupoi and Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima & Konami, Utami Hayashishita b Ruaka, Mayu Iwatani b Lady C, Bea Priestley b Starlight Kid, Syuri b Unagi Sayaka, Giulia b Saya Iida
  • Stardom from today in Nagoya, the final show before late Tuesday night (U.S.) time on PPV from Budokan Hall:  Ruaka b Lady C, Starlight Kid won three-way over Saya Iida and Maika, Bea Priestley & Konami b Natsupoi & Himeka, Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima b Mayu Iwatani & Gokigen Death, Giulia & Syuri b Tam Nakano & Unagi Sayaka, Utami Hayashishita & Momo Watanabe b Saya Kamitani & AZM
  • Progress results from yesterday on the WWE Network from London's Theatre Peckham (taped ahead of time):  Warren Banks b Dann Black, Luke Jacobs b Ethan Allen, Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II b Gene Mummy & Big Guns Joe, Elijah b Chuck Mambo, Luke Jacobs b Warren Banks to earn a Progress world title shot, Cara Noir b Chris Ridgeway to keep the world titel, Kanji won the Womens' Thunderbastard match to get a title match with Jinny (thanks to Shannon Walsh and wrestlingwithdemons.com)
  • Results from the SWE East Texas Wrestlefeset from yesterday in Carthage, TX:  Christi Jaynes b Malia Hosaka to retain the SWE title, Action Jackson b Andrew Anderson, Rodney Mack won a gauntlet match, Niles Plonk b Adam Asher-DQ, Davey Boy Smith Jr. b Matthew Justice, Miranda Gordy b Amber Nova, SWE champion Charlie Haas b Frank Stone, Bam Bam Malone & Heart Throb Jaden b Rivero & Tommy Gunn, Blood Hunter b Michael Shafer, Mil Muertes b Tino Valentino, Boogeyman b DJ Michaels, Trevor Murdoch b Jeremy Wyatt to keep NWA National title, Christi Jaynes b Miranda Gordy-DQ to keep the SWE women's title, Blood Hunter b Davey Boy Smith Jr., Mike Anthony & Jon Omari b Heart Throb Jaden & Bam Bam Malone.  Among those appearing as part of the show but not wrestling were Kevin Sullivan, Teddy Long and Melina.  James Beard was there to induct Terry Gordy into their Hall of Fame.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen win NWA Tag Team titles