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Daily Update: WWE notes, Will Ospreay, Francis Ngannou

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WON NEWSLETTER: April 5, 2021 Observer Newsletter: NXT to Tuesdays official, UFC 260 review

The end of the Wednesday night war is the lead story in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at the announcement, international implications, barbs back-and-forth, Paul Levesque's speech announcing the move to those who work at NXT, the Wednesday night stats with one week left, a look at the final head-to-head battle, advantages each side had going in, what lessons were shown by the Wednesday wars, where each side had the advantage and what lessons it says about what people want out of their wrestling.

NXT's move to Tuesday, what should happen with the ratings based on past examples, trajectory changes of late, the numbers each show has done in the past unopposed and what should and shouldn't be expected to happen over the next few weeks. We also look at the 2021 averages for AEW and NXT.

Also in this issue:

How the Endeavor IPO changes the UFC business and how the ESPN deal makes making the big money fights less important to UFC. We look at the value of a Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou fight, but where the big payoff goes and where the big expense goes.l  We look at numbers Jones has talked about, the lightweight title, belts losing all credibility, and questions about Jones and Ngannou should a fight take place.

WWE Network shows migrating to Peacock, shows difficult to find, editing of shows, shows that had already been heavily edited, WWE next business report, how the new NFL scheduled affects Raw and WWE, Charly Caruso leaving and ESPN deal, Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck lawsuit update, William Shatner as wrestling fan decades ago, Glenn Jacobs honored, Rhea Ripley talks how she found out about her WrestleMania match, Paige talks wrestling again, writing team member let go, International TV ratings, how wrestling shows did s compared with sports programming this past week, Shawn Michaels talks superkicks, a look at the Hurt Business breakup, William Regal talks Sasha Banks, Hall of Fame news, and WWE market value.

UFC 260, with the background of the show, match-by-match coverage, business notes and poll results.

WWE heading into WrestleMania, the main event story behind the story the build up, business notes, ticket sales, NXT Takeover, plus updated lineups.

Andrade's different interviews talking why he left, the Charlotte Flair pregnancy test story, the COVID story, the Saudi Arabia trip, where he may wind up, offers made by WWE, what he wants out of his career, and what angle suggested for him that was nixed.

ROH 19th anniversary show, with highlights, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

2021 Hodge trophy award voting and why there were two winners even with the voting not close.

Non-WWE shows during WrestleMania weekend, from AEW to Game Changer, ticket sales and more.

More into detail on ratings than any other source, we have 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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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw, WWE news this week and much more. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

The TV schedule for the WWE events this week list the Hall of Fame as 90 minutes starting at 8 p.m. tomorrow. NXT Takeover is listed on Wednesday at two hours but probably will go over by a bit. The second night is listed as 8-10:15 p.m. Both nights of WrestleMania are listed at pregame shows at 7 p.m., main card at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., so they are not looking at long shows as in the past.

Raw tonight goes head-to-head with Gonzaga vs. Baylor in the NCAA championship game, one of the biggest finals in history when it comes to the two teams combined win-loss record. If it was not the go-home for Mania show, it's almost a lock it would get crushed in the ratings tonight. It still may, but the go-home aspect of the show and WWE having done so well with 18-34 for every show over the last week may help things. The lineup for tonight is:

  • Bobby Lashley vs. Cedric Alexander non-title
  • Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax vs. Asuka & Rhea Ripley non-title
  • Drew McIntyre vs. King Corbin
  • A.J. Styles vs. Xavier Woods

John Cena will be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35 p.m. on CBS tonight.

This means nothing most likely, but at a press conference today in Japan, Will Ospreay said he'd like to defend his newly-won IWGP title against Drew McIntyre (the two had a great match years ago) and CM Punk. He said he'd love the idea if McIntyre won the title that it would be IWGP champion vs. WWE champion with both being from the UK.  

Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson and Rocky Romero are doing a show called the "Worst Podcast Ever" to Tampa on Friday night at 10 p.m. at Riveters Bar & Restaurant. It will be a podcast, variety show, Q&A and meet and greet. They will be doing their talk show characters on the live show.

Francis Ngannou told TMZ that he wants to box Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua, noting that he was first trained in boxing. The problem is MMA boxing and striking is entirely different from boxing striking. Ngannou said he had no interest in fighting Mike Tyson.

WWE

  • Booker T talks the A&E special on him that will be out in a few weeks. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • Here are the latest WrestleMania odds from BetOnline.ag
    • Drew McIntyre -200 vs. Bobby Lashley +150
    • Bianca Belair -300 vs. Sasha Banks +200
    • A.J. & Omos -300 vs. New Day +200
    • Braun Strowman -500 vs. Shane McMahon +300
    • Cesaro -200 vs. Seth Rollins +150
    • Bad Bunny -850 vs. The Miz +450
    • Roman Reigns +120 vs. Edge +150 vs. Daniel Bryan +200
    • Rhea Ripley -400 vs. Asuka +250
    • Apollo Crews -120 vs. Big E  -120
    • Kevin Owens -250 vs. Sami Zayn +170
    • The Fiend -950 vs. Randy Orton +500
  • A Dwayne Johnson 1997 Panini WWF Superstars Stickers #113 The Rock Rookie Card was sold through Golin Auctions for $34,400, which is an all-time record for a Rock trading card.  

UFC

  • Charles Rosa vs. Justin Jaynes has been added to a 6/26 show.
  • Amanda Ribas vs. Angela Hill was announced for the 5/8 show.
  • Pat Sabatini vs Tristan Connelly has been added to the 4/24 show.
  • Alessio Di Chirico vs. Roman Dolidze has been added to the 6/5 show.

OTHER NEWS

  • ONE airs after AEW on Wednesday night on TNT with a double main event of Adriano Moraes vs. Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title and Eddie  Alvarez vs. Iuri Lapicus.
  • A second man has had his name sent to prosecutors for cyberbullying Hana Kimura. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • A story on Tampa's history with pro wrestling. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • A story on a Tampa attorney, Michael Donkins, who specializes in doing trademarks for wrestlers.
  • SWE Fury TV show results:
    • Niles Plonke beat Adam Asher by DQ
    • Davey Boy Smith Jr defeated Matthew Justice
    • Miranda Gordy beat Amber Nova
    • Charlie Haas beat Frank Stone by Submission to Retain the SWE Fury Championship
    • Bam Bam Malone and Heart Throb Jayden beat Rivera and Tommy Gun
    • Texas Champion The Blood Hunter defeated Michael Shafer
    • Full Show can be seen online at this link.
  • Grado will be wrestling an eight-year-old.
  • So here's some crazy stuff: CamSoda, an adult entertainment company, is hosting another MMA event this Friday. “Fight Circus Vol. 3” will feature Bob Sapp on the mic and an assortment of wild bouts on the card, including:
    • Former UFC fighter Will Chope vs. two inexperienced brothers.
    • Thai champion Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk competing
    • Phone booth brawl with modified Muay Thai rules
    • Siamese boxing - two man teams tied together
    •  One 10 minute round of bare knuckle boxing
    • Trinity rules - Three rounds, 1 boxing, 1 Muay Thai, 1 MMA
    •  Lethwei
    • Indian leg wrestling
  • Impact debuts on Thursday this week with Kenny Omega & Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson vs Rich Swann & Eddie Edwards & Willie Mack, Alisha Edwards & Tenille Dashwood & Nevaeh vs  Havok & Jordynne Grace & Rosemary, Chris Sabin vs. Cody Deaner, Larry D & Acey Romero vs. Sami Callihan & ? and Jazz vs. Susan in the pre-show match at 7:30 p.m.
  • John Arezzi's book, "Mat Memories:  My Wild Life in Pro Wrestling, Country Music and with the Mets" will be released tomorrow.  Garrett Gonzalez and I did a show with Arezzi just a few weeks ago.
  • Lio Rush vs nZo airs live on YouTube tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern.
  • Matt Makowski, a former Bellator and Elite XC fighter, faces Mo Atlas on 4/4 for the IWTV Paradigm Pro Wrestling TV show.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25


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