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Daily Update: Antonio Inoki tributes, Seth Rollins, SmackDown notes

The wrestling world pays tribute to Inoki, Rollins speaks with Ariel Helwani, and more.

Daily Update


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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

    • Match of the week and Performer of the Week
    • How the hurricane has affected WWE and AEW for this week including changes to AEW programming
    • Update on the Performance Center in Orlando
    • Why Florida is so key to American pro wrestling right now
    • The Bray Wyatt experiment and how it has done so far and what we can learn from it
    • The update on the Wyatt situation
    • TripleMania preview, what Americans are being brought in, lineup, and why some champions aren't there
    • The Five Star Grand Prix finals PPV show
    • What to look out for on the PPV
    • Update on Extreme Rules, matches not announced, and business updates on the next few WWE PPV shows
    • Full coverage of New Japan's major show of the month with Will Ospreay vs. David Finlay
    • New Japan shows in England, U.S. and Japan updates
    • The most detailed update on the ratings from the past week
    • Death of Starman
    • Frequency of recent CMLL deaths
    • Major CMLL debut
    • AAA announces show in the U.S
    • Major international star to make his U.S. debut
    • More on the Keiji Muto farewell tour
    • Notes on Takeshita vs. Higuchi
    • Ric Flair update
    • Territories on Vice notes
    • Young Rock notes
    • Ted DiBiase case makes national news because of Brett Favre
    • Women of Wrestling news
    • Japanese stars headed t the U.S.
    • More on the Von Erichs movie
    • Inventor of the ladder match
    • GCW in Japan
    • Bound for Glory updates and Victory Road coverage
    • Battle of the Belts news
    • Notes on high profile real wrestling fights and how companies handled them
    • Advance ticket sales for AEW & WWE and there i a lot of news regarding that
    • Streaming numbers for AEW & WWE
    • International TV ratings
    • Crazy Dana White story and being told he had ten years left to live
    • UFC signs Bo Nickal, one of the best prospects in years
    • Strange USADA news
    • Lots of new UFC fights
    • Bo Nickal challenges Chimaev and Logan Paul
    • Melvin Manhoef retirement
    • Preview of the Bellator and UFC shows this week
    • What sports entertainment company lost the most money
    • Lots of notes about WWE developmental
    • 25th anniversary of DX Raw notes
    • What PPVs will the top stars be appearing on
    • What was supposed to happen in Drew McIntyre segment on Smackdown
    • Landmark lawsuit verdict coming
    • Big E holds college record
    • A look at all the WWE arena events of the past week and business notes

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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Saturday News Update



  • In addition to paying tribute to Antonio Inoki during SmackDown last night, WWE posted an Inoki obituary on and offered its heartfelt condolences to Inoki’s family, friends, and fans.
  • Paul “Triple H” Levesque tweeted after Inoki's passing: “One of the most important figures in the history of our business, and a man who embodied the term ‘fighting spirit.’ The legacy of WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki will live on forever.”
  • On last night’s SmackDown from Winnipeg, Ronda Rousey wore an orange “Every Child Matters'' shirt in honor of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day in Canada. Orange Shirt Day “is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of ‘Every Child Matters.’ The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.”
  • There was an angle on last night’s SmackDown where Max Dupri cut ties with Maximum Male Models.
  • Shotzi also got her tank back on SmackDown.
  • In a dark match after SmackDown went off the air, Gunther retained the Intercontinental title against Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura stood tall following the match.
  • BT Sport released Ariel Helwani’s interview with Seth Rollins that was recorded prior to Clash at the Castle. During the interview, Rollins discussed working with the Bray Wyatt character:
          • Yeah, I mean, another crack at that one might be nice. I mean, look, the Bray Wyatt character is just difficult. If you look at anybody that worked with the Bray Wyatt character for an extended period of time, they didn't come out of it better than they went in. It was very difficult to have a story with him where – aside from Randy [Orton], who obviously killed him, it was difficult for anyone. I think maybe Daniel Bryan, Bryan might have escaped a little unscathed. But I mean, everyone else pretty much met a dire end for their character. I mean, that was the end for the Seth Rollins character as you knew it, ‘The Beast Slayer' character. It was tough figuring out how to tell a good wrestling story with that character.
  • PWInsider reported that A&E is working on producing a Biography: WWE Legends episode on Randy Orton.
  • Big E was on Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff from the University of Iowa this morning.
  • Imperium, Sami Zayn, Solo Sikoa & Jey Uso, and Drew McIntyre were interviewed on The SmackDown LowDown.
  • Shane Helms guest co-hosted this week’s episode of WWE After the Bell alongside Corey Graves.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded DX vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase Jr. in a Hell in a Cell match from Hell in a Cell 2009, Big E vs. Sheamus from Payback 2020, and The Street Profits & New Day vs. Alpha Academy, Ziggler & Roode from the October 1, 2021 episode of SmackDown.

AEW/Other Wrestling

  • NJPW published an “in memoriam” article paying tribute to Antonio Inoki.
  • AEW’s Tony Khan tweeted: “RIP Antonio Inoki, a pioneer in the pro wrestling industry. Inoki’s influence and his achievements will live on forever in the wrestling world; he’s an inspiration to all of the dreamers. Thank you sir.”
  • The NWA sent its condolences to Inoki's friends and family: “The National Wrestling Alliance sends its condolences to the friends and family of pro wrestling pioneer Antonio Inoki. An NWA Tag Team and United National Champion and most importantly, a legend that will forever be remembered in our business and beyond.”
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH tweeted out a statement: “Upon hearing the news of the passing of Antonio Inoki, one of the greats of the Japanese professional wrestling world, Pro Wrestling Noah would like to express our heartfelt condolences at this time. October 1, 2022, Pro Wrestling Noah #RIPInoki”
  • Impact Wrestling posted: “@IMPACTWrestling would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Antonio Inoki. We are saddened to learn of his passing and know his legacy will live forever.”
  • Sting tweeted: “It was an honor and a privilege to share the ring with Antonio Inoki. A true legend and a great loss.”
  • William Regal wrote: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Antonio Inoki, the legendary Japanese Pro Wrestler. Mr Inoki chose to Wrestle me in 1994 and then we became friends, kept in touch and was always very kind to me. My deepest condolences to his family & fans.”
  • Tony Khan explained why there were three live promo segments on Dynamite this week: “Wednesday’s #AEWDynamite after #GrandSlam was the first Dynamite with 3 lengthy live promo segs in one show since 12/9/20 following #WinterIsComing. Both 12/9/20 + this week needed these promos to follow up on newsworthy supercards; I promise we won’t lose focus on the wrestling!”
  • The Today Show’s website covered Anthony Bowens’ emotional reaction to becoming an AEW Tag Team Champion. Bowens said:
          • I'm going to take a second to speak on something that I don’t really talk about much in front of a camera. Some of you know, some of you may not know, but I never thought I’d be able to have a moment like this. I never thought I would be able to live my dream because there was a time where I was very confused, and I didn’t know how to accept myself. But I fought through that bullsh*t. I fought through all that bullsh*t. And now I cry because I’m a champion.
          • So if you’re someone, if you’re someone who feels like me – and it doesn’t even have to be about your sexuality; it could be you’re depressed, you’re bullied, if life sucks in general – just know that everything gets better. We’re living proof of that. I love you. We love you. But most importantly, everyone loves The Acclaimed.
  • Chris Jericho appeared on the latest episode of AEW Unrestricted.
  • Thursday’s episode of Impact averaged 100,000 viewers on AXS TV, up from the 82,000 viewers it averaged last week. The rating in the 18-49 demo ticked up to a 0.02.