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Daily Update: Mayweather-Paul numbers, Bret Hart, Ariel Helwani

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WON NEWSLETTER: June 7, 2021 Observer Newsletter: AEW Double or Nothing review, more WWE cuts

Double or Nothing is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Match-by-match coverage, star ratings, poll results, surprising PPV numbers and reasons why it happened, the atmosphere, what did and didn't work and the signing of Mark Henry and the situation with Lio Rush.

Also in this issue: 

WWE front office hires, their background, the shift in company strategy an how they fit in, as well as the reasons for the controversy regarding Jamie Horowitz and what happened when he was at FOX.

WWE cutting of Braun Strowman, Lana, Ruby Riott, Aleister Black, Murphy and Santana Garrett, reasons all were let go as well as the future prospects for all of them individually.

WWE schedule going forward, with the shows through September, the exclusive first word on plans for NXT going on the road, and a SummerSlam update.

New Japan/WWE talks, the history of Vince McMahon and booking of WWF talent in Japan when working with the Japanese, next Takeover show, more firings, U.K. and Canadian ratings, next week's TV show and most-watched WWE videos.

A major feature on the life of 60s and 70s star Tony Marino, from his bodybuilding days to his start in wrestling, his international tours, the Battman gimmick from the Batman TV show, his biggest career shows, being part of setting the all-time indoor pro wrestling gate record for North America in 1970 and more.

More detail on ratings than any other source, how every segment on NXT and AEW did with different age groups and more, all other wrestling shows of the past week, how many different viewers the shows had which is very different from the television number, breakdown of who watches the shows, how they watch, DVR numbers and how long the average fan watches.


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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio, talking Raw, the Bret Hart documentary, Dominion, Mayweather vs. Logan Paul and the rest of the news. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

The Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Logan Paul fight yesterday ended up being a big success on PPV, at least based on the very weak advance. Based on U.S. television buys,not including international or streaming, the verified number we have based on limited data although covering several million homes was 11.9 times what AEW Double or Nothing did. So that probably falls in the 600,000 to 650,000 range but any number this early with limited data is a very rough estimate. It was a Showtime event and they are a public company so most likely they will announce an estimate (that will include streaming numbers so a number much higher than this) later in the week.

The event ended up getting 11.5 million Google searches, so based on that, there was far more interest in the fight than people who actually wanted to pay to watch it. It was easy money for Mayweather, but whether this gimmick will run its course or not as freak show fights usually do if they are done too often, remains to be seen.  But this was still a lot of revenue at $50 a pop.

Francis Ngannou said that it's amazing that Logan Paul could make $20 million for a boxing exhibition since he vs. Jon Jones could generate more PPV revenue and neither will make anywhere near that, and in fact it's not even looking like it will happen because UFC isn't agreeing to Jones' financial demands.

Even though cable numbers we got indicated a big increase for AEW this week, the actual number by Nielsen for Friday was way down with 462,000 viewers and 0.19 in 18-49. Smackdown had 1,883,000 viewers and 0.50 in 18-49.

New Japan made the call today to go with Shingo Takagi as its new IWGP champion instead of Kazuchika Okada. The Dominion show took place earlier today.  We're looking for your thoughts on the show, including thumbs up, down or middle, best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

The New York Post has a detailed story of the Ariel Helwani contract talks with ESPN. As noted yesterday. Helwani is leaving in eight days. The story said they did try and get him to take a pay cut, and there was far too much money out there from new gambling media sites for him to do so, and projected he could make double what he made at ESPN on his own.

Raw tonight has a Battle Royal to determine who gets a tag team title shot on 6/20 against A.J. Styles & Omos, featuring The Viking Raiders,New Day, Randy Orton & Riddle, Mace & Tbar and The Lucha House Party. Shayna Baszler will be in Alexa Bliss' playground.  There will also be a Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre contract signing.

Competition for Raw tonight includes NBA playoffs with the the Bucks vs. Nets at 7:30 p.m. and Nuggets vs. Suns at 10 p.m. plus Winnipeg Jets vs. Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup playoffs at 8 p.m.  So the number is likely to be well under usual levels.

The A&E episode last night on Bret Hart was my favorite of the season. I was told it was held to last because the general feeling is it was the strongest episode.  It was basically what it had to be given that it is a WWE production so you're not going hard after Vince McMahon or Paul Levesque on anything.  I also heard they wished that they had far more time because there were so many different subjects they all thought was worthy of a documentary, from his growing up in a wrestling family, his ascension to being a headliner, the Montreal screwjob, the death of Owen Hart and the recovery from the stroke. It was really quite the happy ending story. Julie & Allison Hart, Natalya and especially Bret were very strong in the piece.

Stephanie McMahon was on CNBC this morning. She said they are experiencing really significant trends toward increased attendance at live events based on early ticket sales.  She claimed the selling of their WWE network content to Peacock is that they don't want to be  in the technology business and they felt they would have difficulty competing with Disney and Amazon, so sold to someone who can.  She also noted while the company has done well during the pandemic that traditionally live events add more than $100 million a year more in revenue to the company.

DDT announced its biggest show of the year, Peter Pan, will be 8/21 in Fujitsu Stadium outdoors and feature Atsushi Onita in an explosive barbed wire match.  

WWE

  • Deadline reported that Peacock and Samsung have reached a carriage deal for the network on its Smart TV's (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • 2K announced today the debut of the Forged card tier and rewards celebrating the upcoming Hell in a Cell PPV event in WWE Supercard.
  • ICW Fight Club and wXw will both have new events on Peacock/WWE Network on Saturday.
  • Kay Lee Ray vs. Meiko Satomura for the NXT UK title will be on Thursday's NXT UK show.

AEW

  • Dark Elevation tonight has:
    • Hikaru Shida vs. Diamante
    • The Acclaimed vs. Alex Reynolds & 5
    • Evil Uno vs. Danny Limelight
    • Santana & Ortiz vs. Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis
    • Kris Statlander vs. Queen Aminata
    • Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison vs. JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth
    • Ethan Page vs. Mike Sydal
    • Jade Cargill vs. Rache Chanel
    • Brian Cage & Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Trevor Aeon & Kendall Blake
    • Scorpio Sky vs. Trevor Read  

OTHER NEWS

  • Invicta is doing an added innovation for Friday night's eight-man 105 pound tournament.  None of the fighters know who they will be facing first  as they will be doing an online fan vote by visiting the Phoenix Tournament Voting Portal for Invicta and vote for the four first round matches that you want to see.  You are allowed to stuff the ballot box and vote over-and-over.  For the semifinals, the fighter who wins their first round fight the quickest will get to pick which of the other three winners she wants to face in the semifinal.
  • A story on Mongopalooza, a concert that will be done as a benefit for medical bills for former WCW and NFL star Steve McMichael, who is battling ALS. I saw that Ric Flair recently visited him.
  • Deonna Purrazzo will be going to AAA Verano de Escandalo on 7/3 to face Lady Shani.
  • A story on the Fresno, CA wrestling war in the early 1960s and Ray Stevens.
  • MLW has released more tickets for its 7/10 show at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, its first with a live audience and first since getting on Vice TV.
  • ROH has put tickets on sale to its 7/11 Best in the World PPV show in Baltimore at the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena.
  • Impact airs the 2017 Bound for Glory on Thursday at 3 p.m.
  • Scheduled for Impact TV on Thursday night has Havok vs. Rosemary and If Havok wins, she's added to the Saturday Deonna Purrazzo vs. Rosemary title match on Saturday, plus W. Morrissey vs. Willie Mack no DQ and an appearance by Tony Khan regarding Kenny Omega's match on Saturday's Against All Odds show.
  • Dwayne Johnson's Seven Bucks Entertainment and Flynn Picture Company will be producing a movie called "Emergency Contact" for Warner Brothers.
  • Corus Entertainment, Canada's biggest media company, is launching its firs fiction podcast which was released today called "Escaping Denver."  Brady Roberts, a Western Canadian pro wrestler who trained with Lance Storm is one of the lead stars of the show.
  • New England Fights returns to live fans on 8/21 at the Hampshire Dome in Milford, NH with MMA and kickboxing fights. 

Daily Pro Wrestling History: CM Punk wins World title at Extreme Rules 2009


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