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WON NEWSLETTER: September 20, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Big E wins WWE Championship, WWE at MSG

Big E cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on the 9/13 Raw to win the WWE championship from Bobby Lashley, signifying his switching brands and reuniting The New Day.

Born Ettore Ewen, the 35-year-old Tampa product was a state heavyweight champion wrestler at Wharton High School and football player, who went to the University of Iowa, and after college, became a powerlifter.

A mutual friend contacted Jim Ross, and he was given a WWE tryout in 2009 and WWE signed him to a deal at that time. He started as Big E Langston in Florida Championship Wrestling, which was shortened to Big E. He was popular due to his personality and those in developmental thought he could be a groundbreaking performer with his leaping ability and agility and power combination.

In 2012, he was brought up to the main roster, and on November 18, 2013, won the IC title from Curtis Axel. But his career took off in 2014 as part of the New Day tag team. The idea started out silly but ended up being tweaked by the three guys in it and the group held the Raw tag team titles twice and Smackdown version of the titles six times.

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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

Garrett Gonzalez and I will be back for Wrestling Observer Radio and it's not like we don't have some major topics with Dark Side of the Ring and the fallout on Ric Flair and Tommy Dreamer (and not Brock Lesnar), what this week's ratings really mean past who won and lost and the pattern, plus this is a huge weekend of major event including the start of G-1.

Ariel Helwani reported earlier this week on a new promotion called the World Fight League that is scheduled to launch in 2023. He said the promotion will be run by several former and current pro athletes from the NFL, NBA and MMA including former world champions, five former MMA promoters, as well as actors and recording artists. The idea is a team sport with four conferences, one in North America, South America, Africa and Europe with eight to 24 teams in each conference and each team will have 24 fighters, three in each weight class. There will be a union and fighters will get health insurance, pension, a union and fighters will be paid 50 percent of revenue.

A few on sale numbers that indicate "Houston, we have a problem." The next New York battle is AEW vs. WWE at the UBS Arena. WWE tickets were put on sale to the public today and are less than 1,000 for Raw on 11/29.  AEW was bout 5,500 first day for its 12/9 Dynamite. To say this is shocking is an understatement.

AEW's first day ticket sales for the Dynamite on 11/24 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago at last look was over 5,800. The place sells out at about 7,000 for the pro wrestling set up so it's pretty much a lock that the show will sell out.

Smackdown tonight from Knoxville,TN has Rick Boogs vs. Robert Roode, a homecoming celebration for Bianca Belair and Seth Rollins will talk about the Edge angle.

AEW Rampage taped from Wednesday night in Newark, NJ:

  • Penta & Fenix vs. Butcher & Blade for tag titles (told this was really good)
  • Anna Jay vs. The Bunny
  • Miro vs. Fuego del Sol TNT title vs. Fuego's car

There is also a Ruby Soho/Britt Baker angle and interviews with Bryan Danielson and Kenny Omega for both matches on Wednesday from New York.

UFC has a full ESPN+ show tomorrow starting at 4 p.m. Eastern:

  • Emily Whitmire (125) vs. Hannah Goldy (125)
  • Gustavo Lopez (135) vs. Heilli Alateng (136)
  • Impa Kasanganay (170.5) vs. Carlston Harris (170)
  • Erin Blanchfield (125) vs. Sarah Alper (126)
  • Montel Jackson (136) vs. JP Buys (136)
  • Brandon Jenkins (155.5) vs. Rong Zhu (158) - Zhu missed weight and will forfeit 20 percent of his purse
  • Pannie Kianzad (136) vs. Raquel Pennington (135.5)
  • Mike Rodriguez (202) vs.; Tafon Nchukwi (204.5)
  • Nate Maness (135) vs. Tony Gravely (135.5)
  • Joaquin Buckley (184.5) vs. Antonio Aroyo (186)
  • Arman Tsarukhyan (155.5) vs. Christos Giagos (155.5)
  • Ariane Lipski (126) vs. Mandy Bohm (125.5)
  • Ion Cutelaba (205) vs. Devin Clark (206)
  • Anthony Smith (205.5) vs. Ryan Spann (206)

The Nikolas Motta vs. Cameron VanKamp fight was pulled from the show due to an injury to one of the competitors.

Bellator runs the SAP Center in San Jose tomorrow night at 10 p.m. Eastern on Showtime:

  • Christian Edwards (204.3) vs. Ben Parrish (205.6)
  • Georgi Karakhanyan (155.6) vs. Saul Rogers (155.7)
  • Alejandra Lara (125.2) vs. DeAnna Bennett (129.2) - missed weight by 3.6 pounds and will be fined
  • Neiman Gracie (170.6) vs. Mark Lemminger (169.9)
  • Phil Davis (206) vs. Yoel Romero (205.4)

Last night's Dark Side of the Ring did 153,000 viewers and an 0.07 in 18-49. That was the lowest number in show history, largely because of going head-to-head with the NFL game (New York Giants vs. Washington) which was the most watched Thursday game on NFL Network in three years. The game did 7,327,000 viewers and 2.38 in 18-49 on television and another 532,000 streaming.

G-1 starts at 4 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning from the Osaka Edion Arena:

  • Sho vs. Ryohei Oiwa (non-tournament)
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Yujiro Takahashi
  • Toru Yano vs. KENTA
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi

There is a second show at 1 a.m.Eastern tomorrow night with Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada as the main event:

  • Sho vs. Kosei Fujita
  • Yoshi-Hashi vs. Evil
  • Jeff Cobb vs Chase Owens
  • Tama Tonga vs Sanada
  • Hirooki Goto vs. Taichi
  • Tanahashi vs. Okada

CMLL has its El Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show tonight at Arena Mexico, honoring both Sangre Chicana and Salvador Lutteroth. The two main events are Felino vs. Cavernario in a hair vs. hair match stemming from their early 2020 feud that never had a chance to be resolved, plus Volador Jr. vs. Gran Guerrero in the finals for the Copa Independencia.

Brian Cage is out with knee issues coming from recent stem cell therapy and will be out of the Battleground Championship Wrestling show in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena tomorrow night.  Bobby Fish will replace him in the first big match of Buddy Matthews, the former Buddy Murphy, since leaving WWE.

Impact Victory Road will be taped tonight for airing tomorrow on FITE and Impact +:

  • Tenille Dashwood vs. Taylor Wilde
  • Matt Cardona vs. Rohit Raju no DQ
  • Chris Bey & Hikuleo vs. Juice  Robinson & David Finlay
  • Sami Callihan & Eddie Edwards vs. Moose & W. Morrisey
  • Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack for tag titles
  • Havok & Rosemary vs. Tasha Steelz & Savannah Evans for Knockouts tag titles
  • Josh Alexander vs. Chris Sabin for X title
  • Christian Cage vs Austin Austin for  Impact title

Game Changer Wrestling tonight from Los Angles on FITE:

  • Minoru Suzuki vs.  Jonathan Gresham
  • Tony Deppen vs. Ron Funches
  • Jacob Fatu vs. Chris Dickinson
  • Effy vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
  • Atticus Cogar vs. Ninja Mack
  • Alex Zayne vs. Jordan Oliver
  • Second Gear Crew vs; Nick Wayne & Riley & Starboy Charly  

WWE

UFC

  • Tickets for the 11/6 show  in Madison Square Garden went on sale today.
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon has been added to the 12/18 show.

OTHER NOTES

  • Kevin Eck's weekly look at the ROH news.
  • A story on dressing for pro wrestling promos is in GQ (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • Stand Alone Pro Wrestling on 10/9 in Lacey Township, NJ at the High School.
  • Maryland Championship Wrestling tonight at the MCW ARena at the Joppa Market Place in Joppa, MD with Matt Hardy, Mojo Rawley, Tammy Sytch, Ray Lyn, Scott Norton and others at the meet and greet before the show.
  • Combate Globo tonight on Paramount + at 11 p.m. Eastern is headlined by Martin Bravo (11-3) vs Andrew Whitney (16-9).
  • WAR Wrestling on 10/9 in Lima, OH at the Empowered Sports Center.
  • Paradigm Pro Wrestling on 10/15 in Sellersburg, IN with both UWFI rules matches and hardcore matches.  Myron Reed vs Suge D and Calvin Tankman vs. Shane Taylor are the top matches.  Davey Richards will be on bot shows.  Both shows are on IWTV and take place at American Legion Post 204.
  • Legacy Fighting on 10/22 from Vail, CO at the Dobson Arena has Renato Valente (8-4) vs. Josh Fremd (7-2) in the middleweight main event for a live show at 10 p.m. Eastern on UFC Fight Pass.
  • 559 Fights tomorrow night in Visalia, CA at the Valley Strong baseball stadium headlined by Sal Bruno (3-2-2) vs. Marvin Garcia (3-0) as the main event of a 17-fight show.
  • Matt Cardona returns to AIW on 10/2 in Akron, OH at the Tadmor Shrine.
  • The Bollywood Boys, formerly the Singh Brothers in WWE, have been added to the 9/25 Defy Wrestling show in Seattle at Washington, Hall, facing Cody Chhun & Nick Wayne (the son of Buddy Wayne) on a show that includes Eddie Kingston, Brody King and Christopher Daniels. They also run 9/9 in Portland, OR at the Kliever Armory with Kingston and King, and 10/14 in Los Angeles at the Highland Park Lodge Room with Kingston, Daniels, Daniel Garcia and Calvin Tankman.
  • NWA By Any Means Necessary on 10/24 in Oak Grove, KY at th Valor Hall Event live on FITE TV with Jax Dane vs. Crimson in cage match plus NWA champion Trevor Murdoch, Kamille, Nick Aldis, Tim Storm, Thom Latimer, The Pope and more.
  • Nicole Savoy vs. Holidead has been added to MLW's 10/2 show at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
  • NFC tomorrow in Atlanta for ten MMA and Muay Thai Fights at The District.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Ric Flair wins his first NWA World title


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