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Daily Update: AEW ratings notes, Revolution, SmackDown


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WON NEWSLETTER: December 20, 2021 Observer Newsletter: ROH Final Battle, NJPW Super Juniors/Tag League finals reviews

In this week's issue: 

  • How ROH came to be, its start, highs and lows, peak, legacy and perhaps its ending
  • Match of the week and performers of the week
  • A look at the three NJPW Wrestle Kingdom shows and details
  • NJPW Best of the Super Juniors, World Tag League, and last major show of the year
  • The voting, politics and results of the 2021 Tokyo Sports awards for Japanese pro wrestling
  • History of every Japanese MVP of the last 48 years
  • The sad story of Jimmy Rave
  • Kevin Owens signs new WWE deal and a look back at his career
  • Update on WWE Day One PPV and notable business
  • Why WWE Raw may be struggling badly over the next month
  • Updates on ticket sales for all major WWE and AEW events
  • Those who have worked for AEW at WWE tryouts this week
  • AEW Winter is Coming Danielson vs. Page, which type of viewers grew the most, which didn't, the realities of the rating and the ratings patterns of pro wrestling the last seven weeks
  • Thoughts on Jon Huber and his wife's story
  • Thoughts on AEW potential additions
  • International TV ratings
  • The audience of all shows over the past week, what is the pattern across the board and why the pattern is something ratings or even 18-49s don't tell you
  • Thoughts on two incredible matches on the same day and compare and contrast Danielson vs. Page and Takahashi vs. YOH
  • The beginning of Flair vs. Sting and the dozens of matches before the famous one in Greensboro
  • UFC 269, where things go from here for the key stars, one of the biggest upsets, business numbers and what stats UFC on TV was strongest in, plus fight-by-fight notes

Current subscribers click here to read.

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Garrett Gonzalez and I will be doing our usual weekly show tomorrow after the UFC event. There is a ton to talk about. We will also be doing the shows this week on Monday and Wednesday nights as well as either Friday or Saturday. Bryan and I will be back together next weekend.

The new issue goes into depth on the AEW ratings for Wednesday. But a few notes on the show. The show did hit 500,000 in 18-49 and 1.15 million viewers for the angle with MjF, FTR, Sting, Darby Allin and C.M. Punk. Regarding Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson, the match grew so anyone who thought going 60 minutes was a turnoff to a modern fan or short attention span of viewers that you can't do that was proven wrong with an exclamation point. The strongest growth was actually women 18-34 but men 18-34 had strong growth as well, as did over 50.  The show started at 825,000 viewers and 367,000 in 18-49, which is very low in 18-49. Once the match got started they were at 974,000 viewers and 411,000 in 18-49 and stayed steady for most of the way. It first topped 1 million viewers at the 24:00 mark of the match, It would hit 1 million and then fall during commercial breaks. It was over 1 million from the 42-47 minute mark until break and was back over 1 million at the 52 minute mark. It hit 1.1 million at the 53:00 mark and the finish was at 1,206,000 viewers and 460,000 in 18-49. The 18-49 peak during the match was actually at the 55:00 mark at 476,000 and the only time over 500,000 was for the last few minutes of the show. Obviously the 18-49 number for the episode was a disappointment and the new issue goes into why, but the idea of going 60:00 being bad for the rating would be a conclusion the facts contradict.

A few market notes for Wednesday's show as compared to the prior week:

  • Chicago was down 20% from the prior week in both homes and 18-49
  • Philadelphia was the same in 18-49 but up 25% in homes
  • Dallas was up 50% in 18-49 and 25% in homes. Keep in mind the show was from Dallas so a significant increase should have been expected
  • Atlanta was the same in 18-49 and up 8% in homes
  • Houston was up 25% in 18-49 and 33% in homes
  • DC was up 50% in 18-49 and 80% in homes

Those are the only individual markets we have reporting at this point.

Smackdown tonight on FOX has only announced Cesaro vs. Ridge Holland as far as a match goes. They are teasing a big angle with Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar and all the advertising is about Reigns returning, like after being gone just one show. They are also taping the 12/24 edition of Smackdown, the final new episode of the year, from 9-11 p.m. local time. We're looking for reports from the show tonight to They have a strong advance but are well shy of capacity.

Rampage tonight will include the announcement of the rules of the two different Owen Hart Cups. There will be both a men and women's tournament and the rules will be announced tonight. The matches are Young Bucks & Adam Cole & Bobby Fish vs. Trent Barreta & Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy & Rocky  Romero, Tay Conti vs. Penelope Ford in a submission match and The Acclaimed & 2.0 & Daniel Garcia vs. Eddie Kingston & Lucha Brothers & Santana & Ortiz. There is also a segment with Dan Lambert and Cody Rhodes.

AEW Revolution tickets went on sale today for the show in Orlando. They are in a building that would sell out for wrestling at 6,500. The last word we had was there were just under 800 tickets left, so it was not a one hour sellout but given the show isn't until 3/6 it is going to sell out.

The final UFC show of the year is tomorrow from the APEX in Las Vegas. The show airs from 4-10 p.m. on ESPN+:

  • Matt Sayles (155.5) vs. Jordan Leavitt (155.5)
  • Don'tale Mayes (256.5) vs. Josh Parisian (262)
  • Raquel Pennington (145) vs. Macy Chiasson (148.5)
  • Charles Jourdain (145.5) vs. Andre Ewell (145)
  • Sijara Eubanks (127.5) vs. Melissa Gatto (125)
  • Justin Tafa (267) vs. Harry Hunsucker (238.5)
  • Raoni Barcelos (135.5) vs,. Victor Henry (136)
  • Dustin Stoltzfus (185.5) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (185.5)
  • Cub Swanson (145.5) vs. Darren Elkins (145.5)
  • Diego Ferreira (156) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (155.5)
  • Raphael Assuncao (136) vs. Ricky Simon (135.5)
  • Amanda Lemos (115) vs. Angela Hill (115.5)
  • Stephen Thompson (170.5) vs. Belal Muhammad (170.5)
  • Derrick Lewis (265) vs. Chris Daukaus (235.5)

Chiasson missed weight notable because her fight was originally to be at 135 but both fighters asked for it to be moved to 145 so they wouldn't have to kill themselves cutting and she still missed. Eubanks and Tafa also missed weight and were fined. Tafa becomes the first heavyweight in UFC history to miss weight

Former UFC strawweight title contender Claudia Gadelha told the company this week that she was retiring. She hasn't said anything public about it.  

With the NFL moving some games this week due to COVID issues, NXT has very difficult competition. Raw will only be going against the Vikings vs. Bears games although the NFL Network will have a Raiders vs. Browns game starting at 5 p.m. Eastern. NXT goes against both Washington vs. Philadelphia and Seattle vs. Los Angeles Rams.

More on the story of wrestler Devon Nicholson as Blood Hunter stabbing referee Lando Deltoro in the forehead with a metal spike over and over this past Saturday night, causing him to lose three pints of blood and going into hypovolemic shock. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)

To say stuff like this should never be tolerated in pro wrestling is an understatement. Deltoro needed seven stapes and underwent emergency surgery to repair a severed artery in his forehead.  It got worse with him suffering a blood infection a few days later. Jerry Bostic, the promoter of the World Class wrestling show in Irving, TX, said he would never use Nicholson again.

Joe Koff talks about ROH‘s future with Kevin Eck. Koff is insistent that ROH will be returning in the spring.   

New Japan and FITE TV announced that both the 1/4 and 1/5 Tokyo Dome shows will be available through FITE. The 1/8 show at the Yokohama Arena is an exclusive on AbemaTV.



  • Wednesday's AEW show was second in viewers and No. 1 in the key demo in Canada. It actually beat the NHL game head-to-head in key demos. It was below Raw & Smackdown in 25-54 but did beat both shows in 18-49. (thanks to Post Wrestling/John Pollock)


  • The Moreno family had a show last night at Arena Naucalpan in Naucalpan, Mexico as the family's 59th anniversary in pro wrestling. The main event saw L.A. Park & El Hijo de L.A. Park & L.A. Park Jr. vs. Psycho Clown & Jessy Ventura & El Hijo del Espectro Jr.
  • An update on wrestler Sean Casey. According to his family, the longtime Ohio area independent wrestler has not been seen in weeks.
  • Greg Oliver talks to Matt Cardona.
  • 559 Fights for tonight at the Visalia,CA Convention Center is sold out. The show starts at 7 p.m.
  • AIW tomorrow night in Cleveland at the Odeon Concert Club headlined by Ethan Page vs. Swoggle. Also wrestling on the show is Tom Lawlor, Bill Alfonso (the 90s referee) and Lee Johnson.
  • Biff Busick, the former Oney Lorcan, was announced for a New Year's Eve show from Beyond Wrestling in Worcester, MA. He was very popular with that promotion before signing with WWE.
  • The Legacy Fighting Alliance has announced shows on 1/14 at The Factory in Deep Ellum in the Dallas market and 1/21 in St. Louis at The Factory At The District. Both are intimate concert venues. Both shows will air on UFC Fight Pass.
  • Axel Tischer (formerly Alexander Wolfe) defends the wXw title tomorrow against Jurn Simmons and defends the GWF title on Sunday in a ladder match against Bad Bones.
  • RevPro announced 12/27 in St.Neots, UK with the return of Big Damo (Killian Dain). They will also run monthly in London at The 229.
  • OTT on Sunday as Mark Haskins vs. Francesco Akira and Tucker vs. Big Damo. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
  • Beyond Wrestling from last night in Worcester,MA:  Armani Kayos b Mortar, Tracy Williams b Leyla Hirsch, Richard Holliday b Little Mean Kathleen, J Cruz & Victor Chase b Hispanic Mechanics, Kennadi Copeland b Davienne, Matt Makowski b Masha Slamovich, Dan Barry b Vita VonStarr, VSK & Mark Sterling (AEW manager) b Slade & Rickey Shane Page. Matt Cardona was also there.
  • MCW Last Call on 12/30 at the MCW Arena in Joppa, MD with Brian Johnson defending his MCW title against the winner of a four-way earlier in the show with Dante Caballero, Dak Draper, Moses and Ken Dixon. The Acclaimed will face Beaux Keller & Joe Keys.  Other matches include Ray Lyn defending the women' s title against Quinn McKay, Brian Cage vs. Action Andretti and Veda Scott vs. Megan Bayne.  There will also be a Nick Gage meet and greet.
  • Memphis Wrestling will be taping three shows on Sunday with Thunder Rosa and Jordynne Grace. They will also be taping a street fight with champion Brett Michaels vs. Mike Anthony.  Joey Janela will appear at their 1/9 TV tapings.
  • Invicta has inked a TV deal with MatchTV in Russia.  The deal kicks off with the 1/12 show from Kansas City with the atomweight title fight with Alesha Zappitella defending against Jessica Delboni. MatchTV broadcasts in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Georgia,The Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
  • Lex Luger, Kimona from ECW and Jessica Eye from UFC are doing autograph signings this weekend at The Wrestling Collector in Stockholm, NJ. Eye and Kimona appear tomorrow from 4-6 p.m. and Luger appears Sunday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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