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WON NEWSLETTER: November 2, 2020 Observer Newsletter: WWE Q3 financials, more

An in-depth look at WWE finances and the company going forward is the lead story of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Our lead story not just looks at the investors call this week, but goes through financial details and what they mean from the call, and looks at the landscape as well as things said that were misleading.

The new issue also covers:

TV ratings, streaming, value of the Thunderdome setting, Nick Khan's debut on the call and his main comments, Vince McMahon talks his new management team, WWE numbers, new programming, plight of furloughed employees, company market value, cutbacks in expenses, Saudi Arabia, costs going up next month, how many people view the free tier of the WWE Network, Vince talks ratings, network subscriptions in the U.S. and abroad, how much money the company makes from television, and unique notes about merchandise sales.

Daniel Bryan's statements regarding his career, how much longer he wants to do this, what he's said about his own athletic ability, where he can be valuable and Roman Reigns' opponens.

Hell in a Cell, a look at Survivor Series, changes from last year, the top of Raw, Money in the Bank, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Khabib Numragomedov's last fight, Dana White talks if he will retire, Khabib says he will, plus UFC 254 with match-by-match coverage and poll results.

WWE talent and Twitch and comments by Paige, update on Thunderdome location after the end of November and why they have to move, we update the latest COVID outbreak in WWE, why Matt Riddle got a name change, brutal WWE match this past week, where wrestling stands in sports ratings, Canadian and U.K. ratings, donors to Trump and Biden's campaign,why little was announced ahead of time for Smackdown, new names for lots of WWE talent, what former wrestler is WWE trying to keep from using his WWE name, and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

Impact's Bound for Glory.  We look at the situation with Kylie Rae, the injuries, Ken Shamrock in the Hall of Fame and his relationship with Dwayne Johnson, Mick Foley and Bret Hart, Shamrock's background plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings.

TripleMania press conference, the matches announced, the unique new promotional tie-in with Marvel and the first show announced with no date and why.

Detailed look at the television business, with ratings breakdowns in every segment for Wednesdays and every category for other shows, looking at stats not available elsewhere to get the deepest read into how shows are doing, what categories are doing well and how shows compare with previous weeks and one year ago.  

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

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


Garrett Gonzalez and I will be up tonight talking WWE finances, the landscape of wrestling going forward, TV ratings this past week and more with Wrestling Observer Radio.

Regarding WWE talent leaving Twitch, several talents are talking to Andrew Yang about this but most are just grumbling about it. Given the timing of the election, the feeling is that if Trump loses that this was the worst timing for Vince McMahon to make this call.

Smackdown tonight has the continuation of the Roman Reigns/Jey Uso storyline, plus Survivor Series qualifying matches with Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso.

UFC tomorrow on ESPN+ starting at 4 p.m. Eastern time

  • Kevin Natividad (134.5) vs. Miles Johns (135)
  • Dustin Jacoby (204) vs. Justin Ledet (205.5)
  • Cole Williams (175.5) vs. Jason Witt (170.5)
  • Sean Strickland (185.5) vs. Jack Marshman (187.5)
  • Adrien Yanaz (135.5) vs. Victor Rodriguez (133)
  • Chris Gruetzemacher (155.5) vs. Alexander Hernandez (155.5)
  • Thiago Moises (156) vs. Bobby Green (155)
  • Greg Hardy (264.5) vs,. Maurice Greene (250)
  • Kevin Holland (185.5) vs. Charles Ontiveros (182.5)
  • Bryce Mitchell (146) vs Andre Fili (146)
  • Uriah Hall (186) vs. Anderson Silva (184)

Williams missed weight by 4.5 pounds and Marshman by 1.5 pounds.  Hardy missed at first but came back later and made weight.  He would have become the first heavyweight to miss weight in UFC history.

This has been talked about as the final fight of Anderson Silva's career, but he hasn't been as firm on that as it appeared.

New Japan at 10 p.m. on New Japan World:

  • Logan & Sterling Riegel vs Clark Connors & The DKC
  • Blake Christian vs. Karl Fredericks
  • David Finlay & PJ Black & Alex Zayne & Misterioso vs. KENTA & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Hikuleo 
  • MLW Fusion will return with new episodes on 11/18 on YouTube and Fubo Sports Network.

The ROH Pure title tournament ends on this week's TV show with Jonathan Gresham vs. Tracy Williams, plus EC 3 makes his ROH debut teaming with the Briscoe Brothers against Shane Taylor & Kaun & Moses,the Soldiers of Savagery.


  • Sting's merchandise contract with WWE has expired as has the final date where they can sell his merchandise so everything has been pulled.
  • WWE captured a SPORTEL Award recognizing the best in sports photography, videography and graphical presentation. They captured the Digital Prize for the WWE Thunderdome along with The Famous Group (TFG). WWE developed the concept for the look and The Famous Group and WWE worked together to create the live virtual fan experience.
  • Rampage Brown has signed a deal with NXT U.K.
  • Ringkampf, the Austrian/German group headed by Walter, Timothy Thatcher, Axel Dieter Jr and others has stopped selling  that line of merchandise.



  • A&E will be doing a career documentary on Bret Hart.
  • Dave Bautista has joined the cast of Universe's Most Wanted, a sci-fi fantasy adventure movie from Stuart Ford's AGC Studios.
  • Ken Kraft, a wrestling coach and announcer who was voted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1997, passed away on Tuesday.  He received the Hall of Fame's Order of Merit award in 1994, and a Lifetime services to wrestling award from the Illinois chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011.  He was 85.  Kraft coached wrestling at Northwestern from 1957 to 1979.  Kraft started the Midlands tournament in 1963, and if you know anything about wrestling, that was considered the toughest tournament for wrestling each year.  It was later renamed the Ken Kraft Midlands tournament.  He announced wrestling at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics as well as for ABC, ESPN and FOX.
  • There is another Bellator show on Thursday on CBS Sports Network headlined by Melvin Manhoef vs. Corey Anderson.  
  • Kevin Eck's weekly ROH news report.
  • A Go Fund Me has been set up for Tracy Smothers, who passed away.  It is for memorial costs.  There have been major donations by Scott D'Amore, Chris Jericho, Cody Runnels, Jim Cornette, John Thorne, Colt Cabana, Blue Meanie,Brian Last, Chase Owens, Swoggle and many others at 
  • AAW from last night in Merrionette Park, IL:  Ace Romero won four-way over Travis Titan, Cody Lane and Brayden Lee, Skye Blue b Sierra, Manders b Ace Perty, ACH d Fred Yehi over 20:00, Matthew Justice b Jake Crist, Black Christian b Stephen Wolf, Ace Austin & Mad Man Fulton b Gringo Loco & Angel Dorado to keep the AAW tag titles, Hakim Zane (Rohit Raju) & Karm b Mance Warner & Jake Something. (thanks to Case Lowe)
  • Former KSW welterweight champion Roberto Soldic (17-3) moves to middleweight to face former champion Michal Materla (29-7) in the main event of the KSW 56 show on 11/14 from Lodz, Poland.  Also announced is Ivan Erslan (9-0) vs. Tomasz Narkun (17-3) and Mariusz Zaromskis (22-9) vs Andrzej Grzebyk (17-3).
  • Reinier de Ridder won the ONE middleweight title via choke over Aung La N Sang today at Singapore Indoor Stadium.  Christian Lee beat Iuri Lapius to keep the lightweight title and Thanh Le beat Martin Nguyen to win the featherweight title.
  • Adam Brooks vs. Five Star Flash and Mick Moretti vs. Ricky South have been added to the FWA show on 11/7 in Sydney.
  • The city of Melbourne, Australia is easing into a second lockdown which means it is unlikely there will be any shows for at least a month or longer in that area (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Pearl Gonzalez vs. Erin Blanchfield and Emily Ducote vs. Montserat Ruiz are the top fights on the 11/20 Invicta show on USA Fight Pass.
  • Matt Tremont, Alex Colon, Samantha Guerrero, Crissy Scafiro and others are putting together a non-profit organization called the Danny Havoc Creative Arts Foundation.  The mission is to provide art supplies to schools, local communities and individuals who may not have the means to purchase or acquire them.  The first fundraiser will be at the H20 Pro Wrestling show on  tonight and tomorrow night in Williamstown, NJ at the H20 Wrestling Center.  Fans will be able to purchase artwork from wrestlers and the proceeds will be the first donors to the  foundation.
  • One of our good friends, Jay Dumont, is looking for any kind of part-time work or even the ability to work for a charity cause. "So on 10/28 at 10am EST, I had a phone call with my cardiologist regarding my health and future.  For those that don't know in April I was given about 6-9 months due to my myriad of heart conditions (10% operational heart).I moved on 9/15 to a much better place to live out my next X-months (more below), but kept my cardiologist. Since the move I have had 2 hospital stays including ICU and the staff was in contact with my team. Long/short: unless I go electronic (life-vest, etc) I am on borrowed time because I am regressing. I am doing everything right but when you only have 10% heart to work with, you get tested every heartbeat and every breath. My choice is I do not want to live my life on machines. I know some will dislike that choice, but everyone close to me understands/respects and supports me. If I had a child I wanted to see grow up, etc., I might feel differently, but it is just me and I would HATE living like that. Now if that wasn't bad enough. I am still fighting to get Disability. It would only be a bit over $800 a month but my current rent is $860 so doable. I have only survived this far due to others generosity and for that I am brought to tears with how grateful I am. I have about $600 of November rent (mainly due to two very nice people in the community helping), but NO IDEA from that point on. I tried finding a PT job (as well as donating my time to charity) to no avail. Obviously I am limited and can only work from home and need to be somewhat flexible due to possible hospital stays. If anybody knows ANYTHING, please contact me through www.TheGreatFowler.com
  • Bret Hart is looking for the possible chance somebody has a video of his match with Curt Hennig from Anchorage, Alaska at a house show that he considered one of the best matches of his career.

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