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WON NEWSLETTER: May 10, 2021 Observer Newesletter: AEW Blood & Guts, NJPW Wrestling Dontaku recaps

Dave Meltzer recaps the AEW Blood and Guts special, both nights of NJPW's Wrestling Dontaku.

Also in this issue: 

Idea of War Games, Blood & Guts coverage, understanding the ratings and business notes.

Ospreay vs. Takagi, Dontaku coverage and New Japan COVID issues explained.

Notes on the upcoming AEW & WWE PPV shows.

Saturday's UFC coverage.

The life of Randy Savage, what was and wasn't covered by A&E, aspects that were and weren't true.

AAA Rey de Reyes coverage and a major bout of international stars set up with Omega vs. Andrade.

Debut of a new promotion with lots of international stars coming to PPV.

Dragon Gate Dead or Alive coverage.

Lots of new info on exactly how people watch the major wrestling shows.

How many different people actually tuned in to see the different wrestling shows last week and why it's far more than people realize.

Champion Carnival finals notes.

Hall of Famer returns to start new major promotion.

Story behind the Reigns vs. Bryan match.

More into detail on the ratings than any other source, how every segment on NXT and AEW did as well as how it did with different age groups, genders and more, plus a look at all other wrestling shows of the past week.

Results of the major pro wrestling events of the past week.


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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

Garrett Gonzales and I are doing a show tonight on Brian Pillman, coming off last night's Dark Side of the Ring episode. Kim Wood will be our guest and we are taking listener questions on Pillman for tonight to be sent to gg@fightgamemedia.com.  Bryan and I will be back tomorrow night talking about the fallout of Blood & Guts, UFC, Bellator and more.

Regarding the two New Japan stadium shows in May that have been postponed due to the state of emergency in Japan, the plan is to run both the Yokohama Arena and Tokyo Dome shows later this year when things are better.  It's also been noted that if the state of emergency is extended past 5/31, that Dominion, on 6/6, would be in jeopardy of taking place as scheduled.  More notably, we are getting far too close for comfort for the Olympics in Tokyo in August.  There are good and bad things about Japanese culture but they are generally not into vaccinations like American culture and right now that is not a good thing.

The AEW numbers for Wednesday were phenomenal considering it was Cinco de Mayo and their main audience is males 18-49. It was the first time AEW in its history ever finished first in cable, and not only did it beat everything in cable in the key demo but also beat both CBS and NBC programming head-to-head. The current issue goes deep into what the numbers mean and what they would have done on a more normal Wednesday.

Smackdown tonight is the Retro show featuring Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro. 205 Live tonight features the debut of Ikkeman Jiro (Jiro Kuroshio) & August Gray vs. Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari and the debut of Ari Sterling (Alex Zayne) vs. Samir Singh.

The trial of Alberto Rodriguez (Alberto El Patron) that was scheduled for this week has been moved to 8/2, believed to be COVID related.

Bellator tonight on Showtime at 9 p.m. Eastern:

  • Michael Venom Page (174.75) vs. Derek Anderson (175)
  • Patricky Pitbull Freire (155.5) vs. Peter Queally (155)
  • Anthony Rumble Johnson (205) vs. Jose Augusto (204.75) in a light heavyweight Grand Prix tournament first round match
  • Juan Archuleta (135) vs. Sergio Pettis (134.75 for the bantamweight title

UFC tomorrow night has the prelims starting at 6 p.m. on ESPN+ and the main card at 8 p.m. on ESPN:

Prelims:

  • Christian Aguilera (170.5) vs. Carlston Harris (170.5)
  • Jun Yong Park (186) vs.Tafon Nchukwi (186)
  • Ludovit Klein (146) vs. Michael Trizano (146)
  • Kyle Daukaus (186) vs. Phil Hawes (186)

Main card:

  • Angela Hill (116) vs. Amanda Ribas (115.5)
  • Diego Ferreira (160.5) vs. Gregor Gillespie (156)
  • Maurice Greene (237) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (264.5)
  • Neil Magny (170.5) vs. Geoff Neal (171)
  • Donald Cerrone (170) vs. Alex Morono (170.5)
  • Marina Rodriguez (125.5) vs. Michelle Waterson (125)

Ferriera missed weight by 4.5 pounds and has been fined 30 percent of his purse to Gillespie. The Phillipe Lins vs. Ben Rothwell heavyweight fight is off because Lins wasn't medically cleared to compete. Ryan Benoit weighed 129, missing weight by three pounds, but he could barely stand up on the scale and his fight with Zarrukh Adashev was canceled.  He needed help just to step onto the scale.

ROH is doing an angle where Rush, Dragon Lee, Kenny King and Bestia del Ring have been suspended for the month of May. The suspension was due to the attack on Amy Rose at the PPV and for using weapons.

Matt Taven & Mike Bennett challenge Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus for the ROH tag titles on the 5/22 TV show    

Last night's Dark Side of the Ring drew 272,000 viewers and 0.09 in 18-49.  It would be the third highest viewership for any show ever on VICE, trailing previous Dark Side episodes on Owen Hart and Chris Benoit.

New Japan Strong tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern

  • Kevin Knight & The DKC vs. Barrett Brown & Adrian Quest
  • Misterioso vs. Jordan Clearwater vs. Royce Issacs
  • Jon Moxley & Chis Dickinson vs. Yuji Nagata & Ren Narita

WWE

UFC

  • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira is scheduled for 8/28. Vieira beat McMann four years ago via submission with a triangle.
  • Soriano vs. Christos Giagos is scheduled for a lightweight fight on 5/15.
  • Norman Dumont vs. Felicia Spencer will take place on 5/22 according to an announcement by Spencer. This will be Spencer's first fight since losing a featherweight title match to Amanda Nunes.

 

AEW

  • As of 7 p.m. Eastern time, there were 827 tickets still unsold for the Wednesday Dynamite tapings in Jacksonville. 

OTHER NOTES

  • Chael Sonnen has signed a new multi-year contract extension with ESPN. He will continue to cover UFC events every weekend and co-host the show Ariel & The Bad Guy with Ariel Helwani on ESPN+.  
  • Bellator has announced Tim Johnson vs. Valentin Moldavsky for the interim heavyweight title on 6/25. They are doing an interim title because Ryan Bader is currently competing in the light heavyweight tournament and until he loses, wouldn't be able to defend the heavyweight title.  If and when Bader loses in the tournament, he would then face the interim champion.
  • PFL had its first show on ESPN last night:
    • Renan Ferreira tapped out from a triangle, but the ref didn't see it, and Werdum softened his hold and got pounded out in just 2:32 of the first round in a major upset.
    • Kayla Harrisin finished Mariana Morais via strikes in just 1:23 of round one
    • Brandon Sayles beat Mohammed Usman (Kamaru's brother) via choke at 3:42 of round two
    • Larissa Pacheco b Julija Pajic via strikes in :51 of round one
    • Bruno Cappeloza stopped Ante Delija via knockout in :46 of round one
    • The next PFL show is 6/10 with the debut of Claressa Shields. The show did 324,000 viewers on ESPN last night and 0.09 in 18-49.
  • Kevin Eck's weekly ROH news report.
  • MCW has a fan convention on Saturday at 1000 Joppa Farm Rd, in Joppa, MD featuring Matt Cardona.
  • AAW tonight live on FITE TV at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time:
    • Mance Warner vs Fred Yehi for AAW heavyweight title
    • Myron Reed vs. Mat Fitchett for AAW Heritage title
    • Davey Vega vs. ACH
    • Skye Blue vs. Allysin Kay
    • Lio Rush vs. Laredo Kid
    • Hakim Zane vs. Dante Leon
  • CWE in Canada announced that due to governmental regulations the May tour has to be canceled. They are hoping to return to action on 7/2 in Winnipeg but aren't putting tickets on sale until they find out they can do the scheduled tour.
  • Court Bauer sent out a funny tweet about Wednesday's show, which got a lot of attention with the reveal of Luis Fernandez-Gil (formerly Dario Cueto) as a new regular character.  "Thank you for watching the season finale of MLW Fusion last night.  It was the highest social media engagement in MLW history.  I'm not exactly sure what that means but I'm told it's a good thing."  Cueto's new name will be Cesar Duran.
  • Arena Mexico will be allowed to open up to 500 fan shows starting on 5/17 so it appears the 5/28 PPV show will be its first with fans.
  • Congratulations to Patric Laprade, whose Les Anti-Ods de la Lutte podcast was nominated for the Canadian Podcast Awards in the sports category and is the only French language podcast nominated. Laprade also noted that his biography of Andre the Giant, written with Bertrand Hebert, has sold more than 15,000 copies, and made the Quebec best sellers list. The book took second in this year's Observer awards and is well worth checking out. Really, if you have any interest at all in Andre, you should read it.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Flair vs. Steamboat at WrestleWar 1989


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