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Daily Update: Survivor Series, Mauro Ranallo, Britt Baker

DAILY UPDATE

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dave@wrestlingobserver.com

We have polls today for both NXT Takeover and Survivor Series this weekend.  You can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

WWE SURVIVOR SERIES AT 6 P.M. EASTERN ON THE WWE NETWORK FROM THE ALLSTATE ARENA IN CHICAGO

  • Brock Lesnar vs. Rey Mysterio no holds barred for WWE title - On paper this looks to be strong.  Lesnar has had some of his beat matches against smaller great workers and Rey qualifies as both. Lesnar is a -400 favorite.  A title change her would qualify as a major surprise.
  • Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Bayley - This is the brand champions against each other match that has gotten the most attention. Based on 5 Dimes odds, Baszler is the favorite at +110-, with Bayley +205 and Lynch +225. With no title at stake, it doesn't mean much who wins, but Baszler would seem to make the most sense here.  
  • Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan for Universal title.  Wyatt is a -1350 favorite. The entire story plays like he has no chance, and granted, they did that with Seth Rollins before he beat Brock Lesnar, but Wyatt had been destroying everyone and Bryan doesn't have any significant momentum.
  • Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne for the NXT title - Cole is a -565 favorite to retain, since they've already started heavy building Cole vs. Ciampa. The big thing here is how much time they get and how the crowd responds. If this match was on an NXT show, it would be incredible and there's no reason it shouldn't be here.
  • A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong - Another match that looks great on paper.  Styles is the -120 favorite with Nakamura at +185 and Strong at +335. Another match that looks strong on paper.
  • Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Viking Raiders vs New Day - Another match that looks great on paper with Viking Raiders at 1-75, Fish & O'Reilly at +225 and New Day at +525
  • Seth Rollins & Drew McIntyre & Kevin Owens & Randy Orton & Ricochet vs. Roman Reigns & Mustafa Ali & Shorty G & King Corbin & Braun Strowman vs. Team NXT in an elimination match - Some questions regarding Owens, who may switch to the NXT side since that team is a secret.  Team NXT is +140, Team Smackdown is +165 and Team Raw is +230. The Owens switch has led to betting on Team NXT.
  • Charlotte Flair & Natalya & Asuka & Kairi Sane & Sarah Logan vs. Sasha Banks & Nikki Cross & Lacey Evans & Carmella & Dana Brooke vs Rhea Ripley & Candice LeRae & Team NXT in an elimination match.  We're told Flair is fine after being bloodied up on Friday night. It's currently Raw at +105, NXT at +170 and Smackdown at +290. 
  • Lio Rush vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto for the cruiserweight title. No odds are out. Tozawa and Kalisto were pulled from the 205 Live roster to the main roster, but now are back again. This will be a pre show match.

Raw will be Monday night at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.


F4W NEWSLETTER: CM Punk joins WWE Backstage Joseph Currier gives his thoughts on CM Punk's return to the pro wrestling world.

When CM Punk first walked out of the company, no one would have guessed that his return to WWE-related programming would come at nearly midnight on an FS1 studio show.

The possibility became more and more of a reality over the past few months, but -- with Punk saying FOX hadn't followed up on his tryout -- it was still a surprise when it happened. At the end of the second official episode of WWE Backstage, Renee Young hyped that it was time for the show to have its first iconic, history-making moment. "Cult of Personality" then hit, with Punk making his way into the studio and stepping into the ring at the center of the set.

"It's as simple as this: Just when they think they've got the answers, I change...the culture," Punk said, "I'll see you here next week."

FOX Sports wasted no time confirming that Punk had officially joined Backstage. They sent out a press release announcing that Punk will be a special contributor and analyst on the show and will make select appearances alongside hosts Renee Young and Booker T.

Backstage is a FOX production, which means that Punk will be working for them rather than WWE. That distinction is obviously really important. Just like Punk appearing at Starrcast didn't mean that he was going to show up at All Out, this doesn't guarantee that we'll see Punk at Survivor Series, WrestleMania, or that he'll ever wrestle another match again. It's been almost six years since Punk wrestled. He's 41 years old now, has dealt with injuries throughout his career, and has never sounded passionate about returning to the ring since he's been gone.

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WON NEWSLETTER: Jim Cornette leaves NWA, weekend preview Following controversy, Jim Cornette leaves NWA, plus a weekend preview and tons more.

The story behind Jim Cornette's greatest attribute, his mouth, leading to his latest fall, is covered in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We talk about the line he said, the background of the line, why Cornette was wide open for this reaction even though others have said worse of late to little or no outcry.

The new issue also covers: 

NWA's decision to get rid of him and what that happened, what opened Cornette up to this, his reaction, Nick Aldis and Dave Marquez speak on the subject, why it is not in the NWA's best interest to be critical of AEW, Cornette's line about Justin Roberts which started all this, how Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton and Eric Bischoff fit into the same story and how social media has changed things.

Cornette's background, how he got started in wrestling, his managerial heyday, his time as a promoter and the lesson of how times have changed.

Five shows in six days in Chicago this week, lineups, ticket sales and ticket demand.

The return of C.M. Punk to WWE television on Backstage, rating, what he said and thoughts on the show.

Paul Levesque press conference and his talking on different subjects, an ACH update, NXT U.K. Takeover card, Starrcade card, Canadian ratings, German ratings, next Mexico show, NXT injuries, main roster injuries, WWE current market value, most watched shows on WWE Network and a rundown of all the NXT and WWE house shows over the past week with business notes.

The career of Ben Askren, including how WWE's leading scout viewed him coming out of college and why he didn't get an offer, his amateur background, his strengths in promoting himself, his career and his being forced to retire.

New Japan tag team tournament, standings plus notes and every match in the first week and coverage of the bigger show.

UFC show from Sao Paulo, Brazil with Jan Blachowicz vs. Ronaldo Jacare Souza.

Japan saying goodbye to Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer, what he was best known for in the country as well as coverage of his memorial this past week.

Wednesday ratings, with every match,every segment, viewers, demos and high points, the major lessons of the AEW viewer and the WWE viewer and the NXT viewer.

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 


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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Survivor Series and the latest news on Wrestling Observer Radio. You can also send e-mail questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

I'd also heavily recommend listening to interviews on the site over the last few days, as Jim Valley & Fumi Saito interviewed Chris Jericho, myself and Jim Valley did a show with Kenny Omega and we also did a show with Marshall Zelaznik. A lot of people noted the latter show because Zelaznik, who was a key player at inDemand during the PPV era, was the key guy staring UFC Fight Pass and in the expansion of UFC internationally, is now the CEO of Glory. The discussion is how difficult it is with the weakening of television in trying to get a new product that is successful elsewhere to get big in the important U.S. market.

Corey Graves on Twitter knocked Mauro Ranallo by saying, "Just for the record guys. I know you wouldn't know it, but there's actually a WWE Hall of Famer AND a former Ring of Honor Champion on commentary. I'd imagine they have a lot to offer." Given Ranallo's well-known mental health issues, that have continued recently, as much as announcers are fair game from fans under any circumstances unfortunately it's bad form from other announcers, particularly given what happened a few years ago. Ranallo then deleted his Twitter account. Paul Levesque at one point said Ranallo would be on the show tonight.   

Frank Shamrock, Ranallo’s friend and manager, tweeted to Graves a picture saying “Social media has made too many of you comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the mouth for it.”

Takeover didn't crack the Google search list although at one point the biggest Google search topic coming off the show was Britt Baker. Paul Levesque said that the Baker mention was a coincidence. He said the person who called for the shot as they were looking for a stunned crowd reaction for the final move, where Tommaso Ciampa gave Adam Cole the air raid crash off the top of the cage and through a table. They saw Baker, having no idea who it was, and Mauro Ranallo,when seeing her on the screen, identified her as Cole's girlfriend. That was quite unique.

On paper, Survivor Series when you look at the matches looks to be the strongest WWE PPV in a long time. There isn't one match that on paper doesn't look good, and every match has the potential to be great. Survivor Series should finish high in Google searches for today as WWE major PPVs always do. So far this week, the only stuff that cracked the searches related to boxing. Last night's Deontay Wilder heavyweight title defense over Luis Ortiz via seventh round knockout was the most searched for topic in the U.S., at more than 1 million searches. That should indicate a good PPV number. The other listing was Floyd Mayweather at No. 13 on Friday, stemming from his teasing coming out of retirement and working with Dana White. This would not be MMA, but White is looking to start up his own boxing promotion.

WWE

  • Because ticket sales are soft for Monday, which is more from running four straight nights, WWE announced last night they were adding Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend in a cage match fro the Universal title. That would be a dark match. Notable announcing that last night when Bray Wyatt/Fiend is scheduled for a title defense tonight that literally nobody expects him to lose in. (thanks to Mike Miazga)
  • Jake Atlas noted that he would continue to be part of Bar Wrestling in 2020. Not sure how that relates to his expected start at the Performance Center.

AEW

MISCELLANEOUS

  • An article on David Starr attempting to unionize pro wrestlers was in The Guardian. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • Hazuki, one of the most popular wrestlers in Stardom, announced her retirement today and said that her last match would be on the 12/24 show.
  • ACH had his first match since leaving WWE on Friday night in San Antonio.  It aired live on Twitch from the Heavy Metal Wrestling promotion.
  • A very interesting article on the state of the boxing media is at
  • PWP on Thursday night from Omaha:  Donnie Peppercricket b K-Dos, Moonshine Russell b Logan James, Nicky Scent b Willy Sweet, Jack Darling & Uncle Ricky b Seto Kobara & Tim Boston, Brett Bishop b Purple-DQ, Lars Metzger b Mack Riggs, Duke Cornell b Con Artiest, Tony Cortez & Manford Zablinski & Gideon Tenpenny b Pat Powers & Paul Daniels & Joey Daniels.  Next show is 12/18 at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha headlined by Arik Cannon.
  • CWE on 12/1 in Sault Ste. Marie, ONT at Soo Blaster with Juventud Guerrera, Jimmy Jacobs and Vinny Marseglia.
  • Stardom from yesterday in Tokyo at Shinkiba First Ring:  Saya Iida & Saya Kamitani b Ruaka & Rina, Jungle Kyona b Itsuki Hoshino, Starlight Kid & Saki Kashima won three-way over Bea Priestley & Leo Onozaki and Konami & Zoe Lucas, Mayu Iwatani & Arisa Hoshiki & Tam Nakano b Natsuko Tora & Jamie Hayter & Session Moth Martina, Riho won three-way over Hana Kimura and Hazuki, Momo Watanabe & AZM & Utami Hayashishita b Kagetsu & Natsu Sumire & Andras Miyagi to win the Artist of Stardom trios titles when Miyagi turned on her partners (thanks to Shannon Walsh and wrestlingwithdemons.net)
  • Results from today's Stardom show in Tokyo:  AZM & Leo Onozaki b Hina & Itsuki Hoshino, Bea Priestley won three-way over Andras Miyagi and Starlight Kid, Natsuko Tora & Jamie Hayter & Session Moth Martina b Hana Kimura & Zoe Lucas & Rina, Momo Watanabe & Utami Hayashishita b Saya Iida & Saya Kamitani, Kagetsu & Hazuki & Natsu Sumire b Mayu Iwatani & Riho & Saki Kashima, Jungle Kyona & Konami kept the Goddesses of Stardom tag titles over Arisa Hoshiki & Tam Nakano. 
  • ASWA from last night in Wollongong, New South Wales:  Dean Draven b Banjo Powers, Grand Linstrom b Phil Picasso, Vagrant Boys & Jack Zimmer b Banks & Goran Nikolov-DQ, Keega Brettle b Jace Chalmers, Jasmin Vottora & Johnny Starr b Nikki Poteet & Tony Cruise, Minoru Tanaka b Kingston Eclipse.
  • ACW from last night in Adelaide, Australia:  Riley b Neon, Ace Wilson & Joe Mundie b Isaac Bailey & Joey Triton, Casey Johns b Blair Valentine, Cadie Tre b Jack Rossely, Havok b Duke Marshall, Jesse Hendy b Edward Dusk, Matt Hayter b Adam Brooks to win ACW title (thanks to  Kevin Chiat)
  • Saraya Knight, Mercedes Martinez, Erika Reid, Meiko Satomura and Hiroyo Matsumoto have been announced for a 12/7 NHPW how in Perth, Australia.
  • Australian Wrestling Alliance is running 11/30 in Brisbane with all proceeds going to benefit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in their efforts to help wildlife affected by Australia's wildfires.
  • All Star Wrestling on 12/7 in Maple Ridge, BC at the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre.
  • Toni Storm vs. Avary has been announced for WrestleRock on 12/13 in Australia.
  • Singapore Pro Wrestling from last night:  CK Vin b Blue Nova, Prince Khaleed & Sultan Singh b Jang Kawi & Top Notch, Alexis Lee b The Coloniser, Trexxus NC Aiden Rex, Team ACE b Trexxu & Aiden Rex, Butcherman won three-way over Black Arrow and Destroyer Dharma, Mighty Dragon Family b Team GM, Tajiri b Andruew Tang
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 12/7 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds with Shiloh Jonze vs. Flash Flanagan.
  • Hugo Savinovich ran a show last night in Guaynabo, PR as a tribute to Bret Hart. Star Roger & Hiram Tua won three-way TLC match over Hellspawn & Gladiador Angel (champions) and Controversial Inc to win the tag titles, Karissa Rivera won three-way over Vanilla Vargas (AAA) & Ivelisse Velez (former champ) to win the women's title, Boricua Guerrero won four-way over Pablo Maruqez, El Hijo de L.A. Park and Noriega to win the NGW International title (Noriega was champion), Teddy Hart DCOR Chicano, Killer Kross b Brian Cage-DQ for interference by Melissa Santos, Ken Anderson b Mr. Aguila, Katie Forbes (Impact) b Kamille (NWA), Rush b Mecha Wolf 450-DQ when L.A. Park interfered, Blue Demon Jr b L.A. Park when Rush interfered, Rob Van Dam b Mil Muertes falls count anywhere.  Next show is 11/21/20 called DemonMania, a tribute to Blue Demon Jr. (thanks to Leonardo Mendez Toledo)
  • Limitless Wrestling has a big show on 11/29 in Yarmouth, ME.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The first Starrcade


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