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Daily Update: WWE vs. AEW Friday ratings, Conor McGregor


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WON NEWSLETTER: October 18, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WWE SmackDown, AEW Rampage set to go head-to-head

In this week's issue:

  • WWE vs. AEW head-to-head, every aspect looked at and the key parts of the story nobody is talking about
  • Different ratings patterns, what to look for and what to learn from them as far as how each company affects the other and YouTube vs. television
  • Explaining the difference in YouTube views and TV ratings
  • Ratings of every show, where wrestling shows stand in sports category and what can and can't be learned from the low numbers
  • Canadian TV ratings
  • Update on all AEW vs. WWE head-to-head market ticket sales
  • Ticket sales for the next few weeks from WWE & AEW
  • AEW & WWE key streaming numbers for the last week
  • WWE changes PPV plans and schedule
  • Early Royal Rumble sales notes
  • Charting the WWE tournaments
  • Dwayne Johnson gets honest about presidency
  • Examining possible Full Gear lineup
  • AEW DVR viewership updates
  • Full coverage of the G1 Climax, plus why the pandemic should greatly affect who can win the tournament
  • Okada sets a new record and who have had the best matches of the current generation
  • Notes on Stardom PPV show
  • Ospreay's tribute to Ryan Smile
  • Match of the week and performer of the week
  • Several promotions and their wrestles band together on mental health issues
  • Full UFC coverage of Saturday's show and upcoming shows and matches
  • Chuck Liddell's arrest and legacy in MMA
  • AAA Heroes Inmortales including an amazing match
  • 72-year old Hall of Famer pins a guy who was a major promotion world champion last  month
  • Wrestler inducted into Provincial sports Hall of Fame

Current subscribers click here to read.

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Bryan and I will be back tonight talking WWE on Wrestling Observer Radio, Friday ratings, Raw, G1 and plenty of other stuff as well.  You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

In the head-to-head 30 minutes on Friday, WWE SmackDown averaged 878,000 viewers on FS1 while AEW Rampage averaged 603,000. But in 18-49 head-to-head, Rampage did 383,000 vs. 277,000 viewers for CM Punk vs. Matt Sydal while WWE had Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks. The other head-to-head quarter was tied 293,000 each for The Bunny vs. Ruby Soho and the Brock Lesnar/Roman Reigns angle. However, that quarter had six commercial minutes on Rampage and none on Smackdown.  The actual non-commercial number was about 327,000 to 293,000 in the favor of Rampage. 

On broadcast TV in major markets like New York and Chicago, SmackDown did 89,000 viewers and 17,000 in 18-49 over the two-and-a-half hours. AEW also won 122,000 to 89,000 in 18-34 head-to-head for the 30 minutes. Aside from college football on ESPN, the wrestling shows ranked No. 3 (Smackdown) and No. 4 (Rampage) on cable.

Based on fast nationals in the major markets only, AEW Dynamite was up 6.5 percent in households but down 3.6 percent in 18-49 compared to Friday's Rampage show.

We're looking for reports from the Saturday WWE show in Rio Rancho, NM; Sunday's show in El Paso, TX, and any off-air/pre-show/post-show notes from Raw in Sacramento to dave@wrestlingobserver.com  We're also doing a poll that ends at 4 AM Eastern tonight on which company you think presented the best product on Friday night and what was the best match of the night.

This is a huge sports business story to follow: Major League Baseball is looking at doing a national video streaming service that would enable fans to watch local games without subscribing to cable television. This could launch as early as the 2023 season and the NBA and NHL are said to be interested in partnering on the venture according to the New York Post.

Italian disc jockey Francesco Facchinetti posted on social media that he and his wife were hanging out with Conor McGregor and McGregor's fiance Dee Devlin at 2:30 AM when McGregor allegedly attacked him, punched him in the mouth and broke his nose in front of witnesses. He said they had been talking and having fun and he intended to sue McGregor. Facchinetti's wife said that McGregor's friends grabbed him because he wanted to continue to punch her husband.  

The Los Angeles County DA's office decided not to follow up with any charges against former UFC star Chuck Liddell after last week's domestic disturbance. Liddell had marks on his face and chest while his wife had no marks on her.

Bryan DeBord, who wrestled in the Southwest out of the Phoenix area, passed away Friday from a COVID-19-caused heart attack at the age of 42. He had wrestled on 9/12 at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion as part of the Casino Royale. 


  • There is a big rumor in Saudi Arabia about the Undertaker returning at Crown Jewel that has gotten mainstream coverage. There’s been promotion on social media that teases his appearance that has circulated on social media for the last 10 days or so. Here's an article detailing the tease but to clarify, the video making the rounds that has caused the rumor is from 2019 and there doesn't appear to be anything to the story.
  • The Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans game goes head-to-head with WWE Raw tonight which did have a solid advance tickets-wise.
  • The updated UBS Arena/ Long Island, New York, battle for the first two wrestling shows in the new arena is that Raw on 11/29 has 3130 tickets out. They added Roman Reigns, cut the low price to $15 and more stuff is happening as well. Conversely, AEW for 12/8 Dynamite has 7,639 tickets out.
  • WWE did legitimately sellout Ontario, CA, on Friday night for SmackDown as they said on television.
  • Rhea Ripley lost her black travel suitcase which also had her tag team championship belt. It was lost while in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Saturday night house show. She asked fans on social media to let her know if any of the items were being sold online. She borrowed pants from Damian Priest for the El Paso, Texas, house show.
  • Peacock has added six Madison Square Garden house shows from 1984:
    • 2/20 with Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff, Andre the Giant vs. Masked Superstar, Ivan Putski & Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas vs. Sgt. Slaughter & Mr. Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee
    • 3/25 with Hulk Hogan vs Sika, Bob Backlund vs. Greg Valentine, Ivan Putski vs. Iron Sheik, Roddy Piper & David Schultz vs. Andre the Giant & Jimmy Snuka, Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas vs. Afa & Sika,  Tito Santana vs. Paul Orndorff, and Akira Maeda is even on the show
    • 4/23: Bob Backlund vs. Greg Valentine, Sgt. Slaughter vs.Iron Sheik, Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff & David Schultz vs. Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas & Ivan Putski
    • 5/21: Hulk Hogan vs. David Schultz, Sgt. Slaughter vs. Iron Sheik, Tito Santana vs. Paul Orndorff, Ivan Putski vs.Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka vs. Greg Valentine, Bobo Brazil & Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas vs. Afa & Sika & Samu
    • 6/16:  Sgt. Slaughter vs. Iron Sheik bunkhouse match, Andre the Giant vs. David Schultz, Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis vs. Afa & Sika 2/3 falls, Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine
    • 8/25:  Roddy Piper vs. Jimmy Snuka, Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine, Pat Patterson vs. Ken Patera, Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis vs. Afa & Sika
  • Thanks to Travis Larrabee and Richard Kelly for weekend reports.


  • As of Sunday, there were 9,600 tickets out for Full Gear.

Other Wrestling

  • A women’s wrestling documentary Circle of Champions: The History of Women’s Pro Wrestling won the first ever Nelson Frazier Jr. award at the Avalonia Film Festival. Here's the trailer. Of note, the Women’s Wrestling Hall of Fame will soon be announcing the inaugural class for 2022.
  • Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows will be appearing from 3 to 6 PM Friday at Power Play Sports Collectibles in Las Vegas. Tenille Dashwood, Jordynne Grace, Rich Swann, Deonna Purrazzo, D-Lo Brown and Heath will be from 5-7 at The Fight Shop in Las Vegas while Matt Cardona and Brian Myers will be at The Nerd in downtown Las Vegas at 7:30 p.m. They are all in town for Saturday's Impact Bound for Glory show and TV tapings.
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Thursday night in Omaha: Joey Daniels b Logan Ocean, Moonshine Russell b Purple, Seto Kobara b Paul Daniels, Omar Pachecco b Arik Cannon, Con Artiest b Xander McIntosh, Badger Briggs b Brandon Gore, Preston Maxwell b Nino Hatchet, Omar Pachecco won four-way over Moonshine Russell, Joey Daniels and Seto Kobara.  The next show is 11/6 at the Infusion Brewery Company.
  • Appalachian Championship Wrestling runs Saturday in Winfield, WV, at the Riding Club barn headlined by Shane Douglas vs. Beastman and DDTrash vs. 44OH in a barnyard bunkhouse match. The event is free to the public with donations encouraged to benefit the West Virginia Horse Network.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The Dudleys win IWGP Tag Team titles