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Daily Update: Starrcade, WWE notes, Poirier/Khabib

DAILY UPDATE

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F4W NEWSLETTER: Bayley turns heel, WWE continues to focus on Horsewomen Joseph Currier looks at how WWE has addressed the women's division post-WM problems. Plus, Bryan Rose's notes on Japan, and Vinny's TV reviews. 

Bayley going through a long-anticipated character change was the latest step in WWE refocusing on the Four Horsewomen.

Bayley & Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross main evented last Monday's episode of Raw. Sasha Banks ran in and caused a disqualification by attacking Lynch. Banks struck Lynch with a steel chair until Bayley took it away from her. But instead of playing peacemaker between her friends, Bayley smiled and pummeled Lynch with the chair herself.

After beginning her heel turn and reuniting with Banks, Bayley cut a promo explaining her actions the next night on SmackDown. The crowd alternated between cheering and booing her. Bayley told the fans that their reaction was confusing. Instead of going full bore with the heel turn, Bayley spoke about her friendship with Banks and called Banks the one person who has always had her back. Bayley disingenuously talked about being a hero and a role model. She said she was trying to show kids what it means to be loyal and noted that she couldn't turn her back on Banks just because things got rough. Bayley said that SmackDown deserves a champion that gets the same kind of recognition as Lynch.

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WON NEWSLETTER: Anthem buys AXS TV plus tons of news 

In a move that has great ramifications in pro wrestling, Anthem Sport and Entertainment has purchased a majority interest in AXS TV and HDNet Movies and will begin running the two channels.

The deal also includes purchasing the AXS TV library of concerts, pro wrestling and MMA content, which would include U.S. broadcast rights to old ROH, many years of New Japan, WOW, and some defunct MMA promotions as well as countless smaller MMA shows.

Mark Cuban, who founded the stations, and AEG, his partners, will continue to own a minority interest. Part of the purchase team included Anthem, headed by Leonard Asper, and entertainer Steve Harvey, who will enter into a strategic content development agreement.

The company will continue operating from studios in Los Angeles and Denver, as well as use Anthem studios in Toronto, Nashville and Europe. The office in Dallas was closed down.

While not stated in the sales press release, as noted over the months this day has been in play, that if it was to go through, that Impact would move from The Pursuit Channel, where it has been dying on the vine, and move to AXS.

The deal actually first started with an attempt by Anthem to get Impact on AXS when they got word in the latter stages of 2018 that they weren’t going to be renewed by Pop TV. AXS turned down the initial deal, since Impact did not have a good reputation in the wrestling world at the time and AXS had its own wrestling franchise with New Japan.

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight to talk Raw and the rest of the latest news. Questions for tonight's show can be sent to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

The NFL game opposite Raw is the Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets. Nobody expects the game will do close to the numbers of last week, so in theory, between that and the usual PPV bump, the rating should be up from last week.  If would not be good if the number stays even.

With only three weeks until the next PPV show, they have to speed things up the next two days when it comes to the match announcement and angles for Hell in a Cell on 10/6 in Sacramento, CA. As noted earlier today, last night after the show, the three key matches were HITC bouts with Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt for the Universal title, Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks for the women's title, plus Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan.  All subject to Vince McMahon changing his mind over the next two days.      

WWE has said that they expect to make an announcement very soon, perhaps tomorrow, regarding Starrcade, which is expected to be a WWE Network special. We were independently given an 11/30 date for the show, and WWE's current schedule lists Atlanta for that day, but WWE only confirmed the imminent announcement of Starrcade.

Dustin Poirier was on Ariel Helwani's show today and noted that Khabib Nurmagomedov had noted $100,000 from T-shirt sales, stemming from what he talked about after their fight, for Poirier's charity, The Good Fight Foundation.  Nurmagomedov, after beating Poirier, talked about what a good person he was and that he would be offering a T-shirt and donating the money raised.  Then today Dana White confirmed he would personally donate $100,000 to the charity.

WWE

  • The first season of Straight Up Steve Austin will be ending with a show tonight after Raw with Trace Adkins, and a show tomorrow night after Smackdown wit Dale Earnhardt. Jr. That was the show plugged mistakenly last week on Raw.
  • Ric Flair and Charlotte will be dong a Q&A for Cricket Wireless tomorrow night backstage from Atlanta at Smackdown.  It will stream live on the Cricket Wireless Facebook Page at around Noon Eastern.  Ric had mentioned on TMZ not too long ago that his daughter was upset at him over his claiming he had rights to The Man name for pro wrestling.  WWE did not believe he had rights and pretty much told his lawyer that.
  • Flair also appeared in a Tide commercial that aired last night during football.
  • WWE Clash of Champions was No. 12 in searches yesterday with 200,000. That would be normal level for such a show.
  • And another Ric Flair story, noting Chandler Wooten being star struck meeting Flair. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk) 

UFC

  • While not official, UFC is working Roble Lawler (18-14) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-3) which would be a main card match on the UFC 245 PPV show.

 

AEW

  • Kambi published star rating odds for Chris Jericho vs. Cody and Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley at Full Gear.  You can beat over/under on both at ****1/4 (thanks to David Taylor)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Progress had a huge show yesterday at the Alexandra Palace in London:  Darell Allen & Jordan Breaks b Charlie Carter & Oisin Delaney, Jordan Devlin & Scotty Davis won three-way to win tag titles over James Drake & Zack Gibson (champs) and Aussie Open, Pete Dunne b Cara Noir (Dunne did a farewell speech after the match), Trent Seven & Tyler Bate b Keith Lee & Matt Riddle, Meiko Satomura b Jordynne Grace to win the women's title, Paul Robinson won a Progress Rumble to create first Proteus champion, Eddie Dennis (who was not scheduled) won a three-way over champ Walter and David Starr to become Progress world champion.  Dennis entered mid-match and beat Starr, who was distracted by Mark Andrews. (thanks to Dave Higgins and Paul Sosnowski)
  • Next week's TV Guide will have a story on the three new wrestling shows, Friday Night Smackdown Live on FOX, NXT on USA and AEW on TNT.
  • MLW has put tickets on sale today for its 11/9 return to Gilt Nightclub in Orlando for a television taping.
  • Hiroyo Matsumoto and Meiko Satomura were announced for the NHPW promotion on 12/7 in Western Australia.
  • After their show in London over the weekend, KSW has announced a debut in Croatia on 11/9 at the Zagreb Arena.  Mirko Cro Cop headlined some major shows there in the past.  They announced a big freak show main event with Mariusz Pudzianowksi (12-7), the five-time winner of the world's strongest man contest who has been their big historical draw, faces bodybuilder and social media star Erko Jun (3-0).
  • Evolve announced for Friday they've add a Shotzi Blackheart vs. Natalia Markova vs. Avery Taylor vs Alex Gracia four-way on Friday night in Brooklyn, and then for Saturday night in Queens they've added Blackheart vs. Kris Statlander.  There is also a Shine show on Saturday at 3 p.m. with Allysin Kay vs Blackheart for the Shine title, Mercedes Martinez vs. Ivelisse, Luscious Latasha & Gabby Gilbert defending the tag titles in a street fight against Aja Perera & Aeral Monroe, Brandi Lauren vs Gracia, Markova vs. Statlander, Marti Belle & Jayme Jameson vs. Lindsay Snow & Jenna, Candy Cartwright & Double D Rose vs. Avery Taylor & Brittney Blake and Tina San Antonio vs. Notorious Nadi.
  • Best of the West TV taping Saturday night in Fresno, CA:  Dave Dutra b Funnybone to win the Beset of the West title, Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson b Jack Banning & Jesse Poole to keep tag titles, Biago Cresenzo b Robby Phoenix, Najee and Kenny K to keep West Coast title, Grizzly Kat Jack b Darwin Finch,Wiseguy b Bison Braddock, Vinnie Wasco b Danny Rocket, Dave Dutra b Marcus Ericks, Atticus Lynch b Josh Harmon, Lisa Lce b Steve Tresario.  Next show is 9/29 in Merced, CA at the American Legion Post (thanks to Jon Southerland)
  • CWE on 10/19 in Winnipeg at the St. Amant Large Gym.
  • A story on Frank Miller, one of the major stars of OVW about 15 years ago as Trailer Park Trash, who is now training horses (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • A story on wrestling training in Edmonton.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Lesnar vs. Angle Iron Man match


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