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WON NEWSLETTER: November 30, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Undertaker retirement, Survivor Series, more

We've got a heavy-historical double-issue of the Wrestling Observer out this week.  Our lead story looks at the career and final appearance of The Undertaker.  We look at his famous matches, the WrestleMania streak, how long it's been since he actually worked a full schedule, the dream match that did happen and why, and the one that never happened and why.

Also in this issue:

Survivor Series with match-by-match coverage, star ratings, poll results and interest level of the show.

The $39 million settlement of a lawsuit against WWE, the largest settlement of a lawsuit in pro wrestling history, why it was settled, testimony key witnesses were going to make, who sued, what the judge in the case said, crazy facts about the case, and testimony on what  really happened in Saudi Arabia the day the WWE talent couldn't get out of the country.

A story on the life of Bob Ryder, the start of TNA, the business numbers behind the start and how it got so deep in debt, what saved the company in 2005 and 2015 and Impact releases a statement on his death.

How Dana White is expecting a packed house for a UFC show sooner than you think and how that ties into what has been booked.

Major front office changes in WWE, and background of the decisions and people who are in and out, Xavier Woods and WWE negotiate a mainstream deal, NXT Takeover lineup notes, Lana documentary, Undertaker talks most  famous matches and how Vince talked him into ending the streak, how WWE & AEW TV shows did this past week as compared to major sorts, U.K. Heritage Cup, former college football star has WWE interest, value of WWE stock right now and top ten most-watched shows on the WWE Network from last week.

Full coverage of UFC 255, details behind the show, match-by-match coverage and poll results.

The induction of Marc Ratner into the UFC Hall of Fame.  We look at his background in boxing,  his connection to pro wrestling, and his role in okaying an angle that literally changed the power structure of pro wrestling where Vince McMahon needed his approval.  We look at why two different proposed dream match involving WWE stars didn't happen as well as how Floyd Mayweather's unbeaten streak stayed in tact due to a decision by Ratner as well as his role in making UFC treated as a sport, and how UFC was able to get Ratner to join the promotion.

2019 Business Year in review, with the biggest attendances, biggest PPV numbers, who headlined the most major shows, UFC business, WWE business and what Becky Lynch did in 2019 that no woman in the history of pro wrestling had ever come close to.

An updated list of the biggest drawing cards in pro wrestling history, comparing Jim Londos with Hulk Hogan, who Sam Muchnick said were the biggest draws ever, where Hogan ranked with Austin and Rock, and every annual attendance record from 1931 to the present and what record is likely never to be beaten.

NOAH's Pro Wrestling Chronicle show and the Go Shiozaki ivs. Katsuhiko Nakajima main event.

A feature on the seven different Triple Crown award winners of the last 40 years, as well as those who came one step from doing so.

Stats for MVP, Most Outstanding, Best on interviews, Best Tag Team and others over the past 40 years as well as who seems to deserve more Hall of Fame consideration.

A feature on European villain Klaus Kauroff, who passed away this past week.

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 talking Alberto Rodriguez, Wednesday ratings, Monday's Raw, Mike Tyson and more. You can send questions for the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

Raw tonight is billed around a Sudden death match for a title shot at Drew McIntyre with A.J. Styles vs. Keith Lee vs. Riddle, plus they shoot the angle for Randy Orton vs. The Fiend on A Moment of Bliss. I'm not sure how sudden death differs from any other three-way where the first pin wins. Also on the show is Jeff Hardy vs. Elias in a Symphony of Destruction match where all musical instruments are legal and an interview with Drew McIntyre.

Raw will be going against a Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles game on ESPN that should do pretty solid numbers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens game originally set for Thanksgiving,and expected to be tomorrow, will be delayed until Wednesday due to COVID spread. However it will not go against AEW and NXT since NBC insisted on a 3:40 p.m. start time and will be airing the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony in prime time. AEW has its biggest match in Dynamite history, Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega for the AEW title, scheduled as Wednesday's main event.  NXT has announced Shotzi Blackheart vs. Raquel Gonzalez for the man advantage for Sunday's War Games match.

Dana White said he would be meeting with Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, which would be in January. The meeting in theory would be about whether Nurmagomedov will fight again.

Mike Tyson has indicated he will do another exhibition fight and will be better for the next one. He said he'd like to fight often and stay in shape. Evander Holyfield, mentioned months back as a potential opponent, has said he's up for it.  Tyson said his team reached out to Holyfield but the sides couldn't come to an agreement. No PPV numbers are out yet but based on Google trends, the show looks like it did  extremely well. The interest in Saturday's fight reached far far beyond the boxing audience.

The Best of the Super Juniors tournament continues on Wednesday morning at 4:30 a.m. Eastern with:

  • Douki vs. Yuya Uemura
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Robbie Eagles
  • Master Wato vs. Bushi
  • Taiji Ishimori vs Desperado
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Sho

WWE

  • Tribute to the Troops which will air Sunday for one hour either before or after the NFL on FOX depending on your time zone is being taped on Friday at the Amway Center. No troops will be there live, but the Thunderdome screen will feature troops.
  • With the holiday, this is the ratings schedule.  Smackdown ratings will be released tomorrow afternoon.  UFC ratings for Saturday will be out Wednesday morning.  Raw ratings for tonight will be out Wednesday afternoon.  Wednesday night ratings should be out in their normal time on Thursday.
  • Kimberly Benson(Piper Niven) along with Lee Greig (Jack Jester, who is not with WWE) have joined together to start a charity group called WrestleKind, to help disadvantaged and vulnerable groups through wrestling, starting with a winter fundraiser. They are looking to raise money to purchase socks, underwear, toiletries, jackets and waterproof backpacks for the homeless.
  • Dwayne Johnson and his Northwest ice cream franchise Salt & Straw have announced the launch of their new Dwanta’s Teremana Spiked Eggnog featuring Johnson's Teremana Small Batch Tequila. (thanks to Eric Krol)

UFC

  • Saturday night's show will be a benefit for the Stuart Scott Fund for cancer research.
  • Randy Costa vs. Trevin Jones has been added to a show on 3/6.

OTHER NOTES

  • British wrestling historian Tony Earnshaw disputes the story in yesterday's update that David Prowse ever wrestled professionally. He did note that Prowse did claim that, but said it was not true.
  • Kazushi Sakuraba goes after his first pro wrestling singles title late Saturday night/Sunday morning when he faces Kenou for the GHC National title on a PPV show available with English commentary by longtime reader Mark Pickering and Stuart Fulton.
  • MMA Fighting has the clip from Russia of the weekend fight that got a lot of attention with a main event and promoted fight with a 529-pound male non-fighter facing a real 139-pound female fighter.
  • A story on Ivan Putski today.
  • Low Ki vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. is the main event for Wednesday night's MLW TV show on YouTube and Fubo.
  • For the fourth year in a row, promoters Maciej Kawulski and Martin Lewandowski of KSW have been listed in the Forbes Magazine list of the most influential people in Polish Sports. They were ranked in the No. 16 spot, up from No. 28 last year. KSW launched the first season of a reality show called "Tylko Jeden" (Only One), similar to Ultimate Fighter or Tough Enough, with competitors fighting for a KSW contract. It was one of the highest rated shows on Polish television.
  • Sydne Watts, the daughter of Erik Watts and granddaughter of Cowboy Bill Watts, made her debut yesterday in Navy's college basketball loss to George Mason, scoring 12 points and getting six rebounds.  Watts is a true freshman from Canton, GA.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Antonio Inoki wins WWF title


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