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Daily Update: Adam Cole, Amanda Nunes, Friday ratings notes


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WON NEWSLETTER: August 30, 2021 Observer Newsletter: CM Punk debuts in AEW, SummerSlam review

An amazing weekend for pro wrestling as AEW on 8/20 featured the return of C.M. Punk, while WWE the next day at SummerSlam brought back Becky Lynch and Brock Lesnar.

The Punk return was one of the most amazing television wrestling moments in history. Never before has a show been announced with simply a name, The Last Dance, just a few weeks ahead of time, in a building the size of the United Center in Chicago, and sold out instantly.

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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering Raw as well as the rest of the wrestling and MMA news. You can send questions to the show to

Mike Johnson reported this afternoon that WWE issued an internal memo stating that Adam Cole was no longer with the company. I will say we've heard from people there who would be alerted to this who said they never got the email. That said, it's likely accurate. What's notable is that I don't recall WWE sending out any memo when Bryan Danielson left  WWE usually doesn't publicly mention people who leave when their deals are up as opposed to those who quit or are fired. That doesn't necessarily mean he's gone, but it  would seem to indicate the company doesn't believe he is signing.

For Raw tonight, Damien Priest will do an open challenge for the U.S. title, plus Bobby Lashley vs. Sheamus, The Miz vs. John Morrison and Eva Marie vs. Doudrop.

Both Smackdown and Rampage were No. 1 in 18-49 in network and cable respectively. The networks are in reruns so less competition although CBS did have first run shows opposite Smackdown. Smackdown (2,250,000 viewers and 0.59) had NFL preemptions in about five percent of the country so the realistic numbers if you want to do a true comparison as opposed to just looking at straight numbers and not looking past that, the show should be figured at about five percent up. Keep in mind even today's numbers aren't final, because if there were markets that broke in for news updates on the hurricane, and there were markets that did that, those numbers are still listed under Smackdown.  Anyway, it was not the highest rated Smackdown of the year but it was the show that likely had the most interest due to Becky Lynch and Brock Lesnar, so the combination of both realistically was bigger then the first week of John Cena.

The Rampage number (722,000 viewers; 0,34 was great). Of course it was down from last week, but that was obvious going in.  But it beat an NFL preseason game head-to-head. Some people were looking at this as the settling in number, and if it is, WarnerMedia would be doing cartwheels. Because of the unique nature of week two, I don't really see the settling in number until the show on 9/10.  If they are doing numbers even close to this on that night, in a slot where TNT was pulling an 0.14 average, that's a huge success. Another thing to look for in October in a cable to cable comparison when Smackdown is on FS 1, is how close it is with Smackdown having the huge time slot advantage.  Rampage will not beat Smackdown because of the huge difference in 50+ viewers, but I also don't think Smackdown does close to  0.34 on cable since it's been on a few times and has never done that. Even with the disadvantage of being on cable, Rampage head-to-head beat both CBS & NBC programming.

As far as Google searches for the past week, The Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley fight last night did 10.2 million, which is off the charts. But the Paul Brothers always do giant numbers. The only other combat sports stuff that trended this past week was Tyson Fury at No. 17 yesterday with 100,000.  Last Sunday, NXT Takeover was No. 15 with 50,000. Takeovers rarely make the top 20 so this would have had more interest than most. While not combat sports related, the death of Ed Asner yesterday was the biggest thing of the weekend other than the Paul vs. Woodley fight, with 1 million searches.  On Tuesday, Herschel Walker was No 5 at 100,000 in talking about running for the U.S. Senate.

The Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena fight for the bantamweight title that was scheduled for 8/7, but didn't happen due to Nunes testing positive for COVID, has been moved to the 12/11 PPV show.

A note on Ed Asner from our talk on yesterday's show and in yesterday's update.  Asner and Bob Orton Sr., the grandfather of Randy Orton, were teammates on the Wyandotte High School football team in Kansas City from 1946-48, so that is where their friendship came from.


  • Upper Deck has announced a C.M. Punk first appearance in Chicago trading card pack. The limited release sale has already started and ends this Friday at 8:59 PM Pacific.


  • Fighter Lilya Shakirova has been suspended for two years based on a positive test for meldonium, which is classified as a banned substance.
  • Mandy Bohm has experienced COVID-19 like symptoms. She has not tested positive but has quarantined herself so her fight with Ariane Lipski has been moved to 9/18.


  • Author Steve Varnier, who does incredibly well researched work, is doing a biography on George Gordienko that will be released by McFarland Publishing on 12/26. We'll have a lot more about this book before its release.  
  • CWE announced these dates with shows 9/2 in Winnipeg, 9/4 in Morden, Manitoba, 9/8 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, 9/9 in Calgary, 9/15 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, 9/16 in Prince Albert, SK, 9/17 in Regina, SK and 9/18 in Carnduff, SK.
  • Matt Cardona headlines for AIW on 10/2 in Akron, OH at the Tadmor Shrine. Tammy Sytch will appear on the 9/10 show in Cleveland at the Odeon Concert Club.
  • Defy ran sold out shows in Seattle on 8/27 and 8/28: Night one: Clark Connors b Ethan HD, Sonico won four way over Leon Negro, Coyote Azteca and Guillermo Rosas, Josh Alexander b Rocky Romero, Viva Van b Rebel Kel, Ricky Gibson & Eddie Pearl b Cody Chhun &  Nick Wayne, Schaff b Calvin Tankman Night two: Calvin Tankman b Ethan HD, Ricky Gibson & Eddie Pearl b Brian & Kevin Cook, Guillermo Rosas & Rebel Kel b Sonico & Viva Van, Alex Hammerstone b Cody Chhun, Nick Wayne won five way over Leon Negro, Titus Alexander, Coyote Azteca and Alan Extreme, Clark Connors b Rocky Romero (said to be excellent),  Lance Archer b Schaff. Romero announced a partnership with Defy and New Japan and said he would return and bring some friends with him.  They announced 9/25 in Seattle with Eddie Kingston, 10/9 in Portland and 10/14 in Los Angeles.
  • has listed odds for the next opponent for Jake Paul: Tyron Woodley +150 Tommy Fury +200 Conor McGregor +800 Dillon Danis +800 Jorge Masvidal +900

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWF SummerSlam 1998