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WON NEWSLETTER: January 18, 2021 Observer Newsletter: The COVID-19 era continues

We have an update with more info on a number of COVID cases involving pro wrestling including more on Chris Jericho, Nick Jackson, Drew McIntyre, Mick Foley, Les Thatcher and more.  We look at what Paul Levesque said about the COVID issue, Jericho  talking about getting it in September, Nick Jackson, and more on others in the industry.

Also in this issue:

We also have our 2020 Business Year in Review issue talking about the biggest crowds, the biggest PPVs, how the year was totally different from any other, UFC business history and more.

Every major promotion, why this year is so hard to evaluate, what you can't learn from the past year and can, how things look going into the new year, and issues going forward for every company.

Raw, Smackdown AEW and NXT and compare how they are doing now with one year ago, and where things will be in one year if the current direction doesn't change.

How much money Linda McMahon donated to Trump's re-election and funding of the recent attempt to take over the capitol.

Royal Rumble update, how much money top stars can earn from doing social media advertising, Update on WWE's new A&E documentaries for this year, biggest Wednesday drawing card, more on  the next TV special for India, new stars from India debuting including two giants, Dusty Rhodes tag tourney news, the next Takeover show, Injury updates, Lita talks about when she was threatened with being fired, Ricochet contract notes, U.S. sports ratings, U.K. and Canadian TV ratings, New NXT stars, movie star teases working with WWE, Upcoming WWE television shows WWE market value and the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

Vince McMahon's lawsuit against Oliver Luck and Luck's lawsuit against Vince McMahon. We look at McMahon's complaints as well as what others involved said including some day-by-day looks at aspects of the XFL and its death.

How COVID has changed Japanese wrestling along with new restrictions and what they mean and how they relate to wrestling and the New Japan big show lineup over the next several weeks.

List of the 20 biggest crowds for pro wrestling ever in the country of Canada and notes about business peaks.

Rundowns of the major television shows.

Television ratings of the past week, including segment-by-segment numbers for the past two weeks on Wednesday, who was watching in different age groups, how different segments did on Raw & Smackdown and more.


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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

Garrett Gonzales and I have a new show today talking with Court Bauer about the business of running wrestling right now, streaming and linear television rights, WWE, MLW, AEW and more, plus we talk about this week's wrestling news.

Smackdown tonight has Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jey Uso, Rey Mysterio vs. King Corbin and a contract signing for the Roman Reigns vs. Adam Pearce title match at the Royal Rumble. For 205 Live, they will have two Dusty Rhodes tag tournament matches with Killian Dain & Drake Maverick vs. Curt Stallion & August Grey and Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza vs. Samir & Sunil Singh.

UFC tomorrow from Yas Island, Abu Dhabi 

ESPN+ at Noon Eastern time:

  • Jacob Kilburn (145) vs. Austin Lingo (145)
  • Sarah Moras (136) vs. Vanessa Melo (136)
  • David Zawada (170) vs.; Ramazan Emeev (171)
  • Carlos Felipe (264) vs. Justin Tafa (265)
  • Wu Yanan (136) vs. Joselyne Edwards (135)
  • Phil Hawes (186) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (186)

ABC TV at 3 p.m. Eastern:

  • Punahele Soriano (186) vs. Dusko Todorovic (186)
  • Joaquin Buckley (185) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (186)
  • Santiago Ponzinibbio (171) vs. Li Jingliang (171)
  • Carlos Condit (171) vs. Matt Brown (171)
  • Max Holloway (146) vs. Calvin Kattar (146)

The second week of Go Big Show, which features Cody Rhodes, did 991,000 viewers and 0.29 in 18-49. That held up very well from the first week. It was No. 20 overall but No. 4 among non-news shows behind two NBA games and Jersey Shore Family Vacation.

For this coming weekend, New Japan has a streaming show at 4 a.m Eastern time from Korakuen Hall with Kevin Kelly announcing live and Dragon Gate has a show from Kobe with only Japanese language announcing at 3 a.m. on early Sunday.

Dragon Gate star Naruki Doi underwent elbow surgery earlier today.

WWE

  • Regarding reports of WrestleMania being moved from 3/28 to 4/11, this is definitely something under consideration. It's been talked about for weeks.

UFC

  • Ariel Helwani talked with Conor McGregor on SportsCenter at 8 a.m. Sunday morning.
  • A press conference for the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier bout takes place this coming Thursday at 8 a.m. Eastern time  
  • George St-Pierre on Sportsnet yesterday talking about fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov and more at the 1:01:00 mark. (thanks to Steve Khan)
  • UFC reached a distribution partnership with Zappos.com, which will become the exclusive wholesale manufacturer and distributor of officially licensed UFC merchandise sold at retail in the U.S.  Zappos.com will officially license UFC fan gear and lifestyle apparel.
  • Eryk Anders vs. Darren Stewart has been slated for the 3/13 show.
  • Modestas Bukauskas vs.  Michal Oleksiejczuk has been added to the 3/27 show.
  • Nate Landwehr vs. Julian Erosa has been added to the 2/20 show.

AEW

  • The company officially announced its planned March date in Newark, NJ was moved to 9/15. This was obvious because right now there are no plans to leave Jacksonville any time soon.

OTHER NEWS

  • Jacob Fatu vs. ACH for the MLW title will headlined Wednesday's MLW Fusion television show.
  • Former WCW announcer Sonny Onoo said that his motorcycle that was originally made for Randy Savage was stolen.
  • Kevin Eck's weekly ROH news notes.
  • Ignite Wrestling has a fifth anniversary show on 1/23 in Vero Beach, FL at Noon at the Walking Tree Brewery.  This will be a TV taping for Ignite's Roku Twitch, Powered4TV and YouTube channels.
  • Progress is planning to do four days of TV tapings starting 1/24 in London with empty arena shows.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Big John Studd wins 1989 Royal Rumble


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