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Daily Update: Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson, WWE Survivor Series, Jun Akiyama

Dave Meltzer rounds up the weekend news with notes on Anthony Johnson's passing, the Survivor Series main event, plus Jun Akiyama in AEW.

Daily Update

Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (1984-2022)

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

*Full coverage of WWE Crown Jewel & New Japan Autumn Attack, business notes on both shows, how successful Crown Jewel was on Peacock, PPV, public interest and business notes on Autumn Attack, plus poll results and more.
*What's next for WWE and New Japan
*Cain Velasquez granted bond, Daniel Cormier talks, and a look back at the situation
*A look back at the 60s and 70s tag team of Kurt & Karl Von Steiger, including unique political moves, the night they won the AWA tag titles and why the team split up
*Full coverage of Saturday's UFC show, including the probe on the suspicious gambling patterns on one of the fights
*Dragon Gate's Gate of Destiny coverage
*PWG's show on Sunday honoring Alan Denkenson and featuring one of the best trios matches of the year and in PWG history
*The most complete look at the TV ratings for the past week
*Streaming numbers
*AEW has great success in one international market, not in another
*Next Stardom PPV show
*Update on the New Japan Tokyo Dome show
*Crazy story of a plot to steal the NWA title by one of the biggest stars of all-time
*More on Andre the Giant carer losses
*A very important note on streaming ratings and what it says for viability of WWE & AEW next deals
*The Nick Aldis-Billy Corgan split
*The story behind former wrestling sponsor winning $75 million and getting national publicity
*Politician wants to honor former national hero wrestler who has been forgotten about since his heyday was 40 yeas ago
*Notes on the Teddy Hart documentary
*A look at the veracity of stories on the Hawaiian episode of Tales from the Territories
*Taryn Terrell career noes
*Wrestler and promoter arrested
*Movie on Baron Von Raschke
*Full Gear notes as well as matches to be added
*Notes on MJF's first major Hollywood role
*A look at AEW ratings in 2021 vs. 2022, what is up, what is down
*Bandido contract notes
*AEW woman star filming a movie
*More on skirmish backstage at Anderson Silva vs. Jake Paul fight
*Upcoming Raw and Smackdown notes
*Sasha Banks training with former WCW star
*WWE injury updates
*Ticket sales for upcoming AEW and WWE events.

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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Sunday News Update


We have two weekend shows up with Garrett Gonzales. The first show covers the news of the week, answering questions, Hall of Fame talk and notes from the new Observer. Last night's show has the latest wrestling news plus we talk UFC, Smackdown and Rampage. Bryan and I will be back tomorrow talking Raw and the latest news.

Very said to report on the death of Anthony "Rumble" Johnson at the age of 38. Johnson was known for having amazing punching power. He really had the talent and power to be world champion, but when he was younger he was killing himself cutting from 210 to 170 and he was actually more successful at light heavyweight, but while a very good wrestler, wasn't able to stop Daniel Cormier on the ground when he got his light heavyweight title shot. Johnson had been seriously ill since September 2021 and while he had some good news back in May, he had taken a turn for the worst last month. Johnson had his issues outside the ring, including arrests. He had quit fighting after losing to Cormier in 2017, and then came back in Bellator for their light heavyweight Grand Prix. He was to face Vadim Nemkov last year for the Bellator light heavyweight title when he was diagnosed with a very serious illness and had been battling it ever since.

The main event for Survivor Series as it stands right now is confirmed to be Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn & Usos & Solo Sikoa in a War Games match with Sheamus & Drew McIntyre & Ridge Holland & Butch and a wrestler who will likely be named over the next week. 

Rey Mysterio was scheduled for the World Cup but he had either a foot or an ankle injury and was replaced by Mustafa Ali. He was in Indianapolis backstage with a walking boot on. He's not expected to be out more than a few weeks but wasn't going to be able to do the tournament.

The Eddie Kingston & Ortiz vs. Jun Akiyama & Konosuke Takeshita match which will take place Friday in Newark, NJ, for Rampage, is something of a dream match for Kingston. Kingston is a huge fan of the Misawa, Kawada, Kobashi era of All Japan Pro Wrestling and Akiyama started there in the 90s and was another of the top stars. Months ago Kingston had mentioned wanting to wrestle Akiyama, who is 53. Akiyama said he was up for it and it was put together in conjunction with Takeshita returning.

For Google searches, the UFC show yesterday did 1.35 million searches which is much lower than one would expect for a show headlined by Israel Adesanya. It was the most searched subject on Google yesterday. They don't break out the main eventers but of non-main events, the highest were Dustin Poirier at No. 12 with 200,000. Carla Esparza was No. 14 with 100,000 and Frankie Edgar, who retired after his loss to Chris Gutierrez, was No. 19 with 50,000. Anthony Johnson had 100,000 searches today. Floyd Mayweather vs. Deji had 100,000 for their boxing exhibition which Mayweather won via sixth round stoppage. Sammy Guevara announced the show and went to Dubai with Tay Melo. Bobby Fish scored a second round TKO in his boxing debut on the undercard. 

We're looking for reports on these shows:
*WWE house show last night in Peoria, IL
*NXT last night in Orlando, FL
*WWE tonight in Madison WI.
We're looking for results, finishes, highlights and other notes to

We're also looking for your thoughts on UFC 281, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to

Last night was a very noteworthy show with two title changes. Dana White indicated running back with Israel Adesanya getting a shot at new champion Alex Pereira next. All three judges gave Adesanya rounds one, three and four and he was up 39-37 going into the final round, meaning Pereira basically needed a finish to win the title, which he got. He is the only person to ever knock out Adesanya in any form of fighting, and he's done it twice. Adesanya complained of an early stoppage, but it was anything but. 

In the Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler fight, all three judges had it 19-19 going into the third round. So nobody gave a 10-8 for Chandler in round two. Judges are pretty much told not to do 10-8s unless the damage is ridiculous, so I'm not surprised, but rounds like that should be 10-8 .

The UFC show last night in Madison Square Garden did more than $11 million at the gate. It was one of the biggest gates in UFC history and was the second biggest for any event ever in MSG, behind only the UFC show headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez.

Yesterday was 29 years since UFC debuted on a show promoted by then-WWF promoter Zane Bresloff in Denver, which was famously an eight-man one-night tournament won by Royce Gracie.

This weekend is also the 17th anniversary of the death of Eddy Guerrero, who was one of the smoothest and best in-ring wrestlers of that generation, who flawlessly blended American, Japanese and Lucha Libre styles.

The 11/25 Rampage show will be airing on TNT at 4 p.m. Eastern time. It will be called a Black Friday special. I don't know this but presume TNT has major sports that night. (thanks to David Wolf)

Tonight's WWE show in Madison WI, is advertising a Drew McIntyre vs. Killer Kross street fight as the main event plus New Day & Braun Strowman vs. Usos & Solo Sikoa.

There was an altercation at the show in Peoria, IL last night during the McIntyre vs. Kross match. Scarlett interfered and a female fan threw a drink. Scarlett said it was cheap alcohol but others at ringside said it was water. The woman and the man with her were both kicked out of the building.

Other Notes

International ticket sales are available for the 1/1 NOAH show at Budokan Hall with Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Great Muta and Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Kenoh for the GHC title. 

Kevin Kelly has gotten a financial stake in the local American Excellence Wrestling promotion that will be running next on 1/7 at the Hamburg, PA Fieldhouse, the same building that WWF taped television from in the 70s and early 8s. The promotion has been running at the building for a few years but not drawing much in the way of crowds. Kelly wants to concentrate on local marketing and grassroots appeal, working with local charities and civic groups. Brutal Bob Evans and Bob Keller are going to be involved. The first how using the American Excellence Wrestling name will be the 1/7 show and they have events booked regularly into building through 2024.

United Wrestling Coalition as its 26th annual Toys for Tots Toy Drive show on 11/26 at the Bordentown Elks Lodge in Boredentown, NJ. Admission for the 7 pm. show is free if you donate a new unwrapped toy with a suggested minimum value of $15. Toys collected will be distributed by members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves within Burlington County. There will also be a raffle for prizes.

Pro Wrestling Eve from today in London: Yuu retained the Pure J title and beat Eve International champion Laura Di Matteo with both belts at stake, Rin Kadokura b Maria, Rhia O'Reilly & Skye Smitson b Hyper Misao & Session Moth Martina, Miyu Yamashita b Mille McKenzie in a top contender for the Eve title match, Alex Windsor b Jetta to win the Eve title, Emerson Jayne b Charlie Morgan in a lights out match.

Eve had two shows, the the second show results were: Hyper Misao b Nightshade, McKenzie won five-way over Martina, Afire Reed, Di Matteo and Jayne, Kasey drew Rhio over 15:00, Rhio pinned Kasey in 1:00 when both asked for five more minutes and Rhio asked for an EVe title shot, Yuu b Kadokura to keep the Eve International title, Maria b Rane Leverkusen, Lizzy Evo b Nina Samuels using the ropes, Miyu Yamashita b Windsor to win the Eve title. They seemed to set up Yamashita defending against McKenzie in Japan as McKenzie noted her recent win over Yamashita in Spain., Smitson & Nightshade b Morgan & Jetta to keep the Eve tag titles. Promoter Dan Read announced the next show will be 1/7 and it will be the company's' 100th show. Chigusa Nagayo was at the show and mentioned Takumi Iroha broke her collarbone as she was scheduled for both shows. She will be back in action in February. Nagayo said she would be wrestling on 12/8 at Korakuen Hall. They noted Kadokura just got married and postponed her honeymoon to work these shows in place of Iroha. (thanks to Shannon Walsh and No Prima Donna)