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Daily Update: Bella Twins, John Renesto, NJPW TV deal


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WON NEWSLETTER: February 1, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WWE Network-NBCU Peacock deal

The most in-depth look at the WWE's new deal with the Peacock Network is the lead story in the new double-issue of the Observer.

We look at who the deal was put together, the finances behind it, is it a good deal for all parties, what goals there are for each side, how this affects the TV landscape and Smackdown in particular, how much money WWE was getting before and after from the Network, television vs. streaming when it comes to homes in the U.S., comparisons to UFC's deal with ESPN, quotes from the key parties, the financial viability of NBC purchasing WWE, the stock price, network subscriber numbers, money in modern PPVs, WWE projected profitability, why the method wrestlers are paid makes no sense in today's game, and notes fromall ke parties.

Also in this issue:

NBC shutting down NBC Sports Network affects both the USA Network and how it could impact WWE.

Amanda Huber's timeline of the death of Brodie Lee from her interview with Tony Schaivone and Aubrey Edwards this week, his symptoms, treatments, and what the doctors thought.

UFC 257, including an update on the business of the show and television viewership, plus full coverage of what could end up as the biggest show of the year, and was one of the biggest PPV events in history.

2021 Royal Rumble, people rumored to be in that won't be, others that could be, and thoughts on the build and the matches.

WrestleMania, Young Rock, Daniel Bryan talks his future, WWE talent listed among the most marketable in sports and losses in ad revenue to performs in social media accounts, Undertaker says current wrestles are soft and Bill Goldberg, Mick Foley and Drew McIntyre respond, Nick Khan talks future of rights fees, where AEW stands, NXT India, Teases of Japanese star signing, International TV ratings, most-watched  shows on the WWE Network and strongest athletes in WWE developmental.

New Japan's show at Ota Ward Gym this past week with its parody main event plus the big shows upcoming this week.

WWE's TV special for India and look at the talent from that country that the company wants to build a promotion around.

A huge story on Hank Aaron, Civil Rights, Bill Watts and how they all intersected in the early 90s.

Comparison piece on the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, looking at their wins, losses, bouts with major names and where they stand in relation to each other.

The death of El Hijo de Anibal and the legacy of the mask created by his father, one of the biggest stars of the 1970s, including the match that was the first big title match to give the UWA credibility.

 Television ratings of the past week, including segment-by-segment numbers for the past two weeks on Wednesday, who was watching in different age groups, how different segments did on Raw & Smackdown and more.

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to or by going to directing funds to

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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


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Garrett Gonzalez and I will be doing a weekend show tomorrow covering the news of the week as well as tomorrow's New Japan show in Nagoya. Bryan and I will be back on Sunday covering the Royal Rumble. We'll be doing polls on both shows, so you can leave a thumbs up, down or middle, best and worst match to

Smackdown, riding high on the back of recent ratings that aren't that far off from last year, has Bayley vs. Bianca Belair tonight. 205 Live has Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Marina Shafir & Zoey Stark (formerly Lacey Ryan) and August Gray vs. Jake Atlas vs. Ariya Daivari.

Just an update on the New Japan television deal. The deal is completed and has been since December.  It's just a matter of making the announcement.

New Japan's New Beginning in Nagoya show is at 3:30 a.m. Eastern and 12:30 a.m. Pacific on New Japan World:

  • Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano vs. Evil & Yujiro Takahashi
  • Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma & Sho & Master Wato vs. Sanada & Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Great O'Khan - loser can no longer use Mongolian chops
  • Satoshi Kojima vs Will Ospreay - no DQ
  • Shingo Takagi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi for Never Open weight title

Game Changer Wrestling's Fight Forever 24 hour show starts at 8 p.m. tonight. It airs free on YouTube and FITE TV, but they are asking for donations to help pay wrestlers impacted by COVID this past year. Lio Rush vs. Blake Christian 2/3 falls is the main event tonight. Others on the show are Joey Janela, Myron Reed, Matthew Justice, Calvin Tankman. AJ Gray, Lee Moriarty, Homicide, Mad Man Pondo, Shlak, Jimmy Lloyd, Wheeler Yuta, Eli Everfly, Lucky 13, Parrow & Odinson, Shane Mercer, Solo Darling, Colby Corino, Cheeseburger, Besties in the World, Rohit Raju, Effy, Allie Kat, Ricky Morton, Rickey Shane Page, Gregory Iron, Chris Dickinson, G-Raver and more.  The Jordan Oliver vs.Tony Deppen 60 minute Iron man match is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow.

The Bella Twins were on the Ellen show (Mario Lopez hosts) and said they were coming out of retirement and talked about wanting to wrestle at WrestleMania next year in Dallas and the year after in Los Angeles. Nikki Bella also announced she was getting married in November to Artem Chigvintsev on last night's episode of Total Bellas.  

Regarding the item in the current issue with Megan Anderson and Casey Kenney where Kenney was asked on a podcast essentially if he'd have sex with Megan Anderson, and he was screwed no matter what he'd say, he has apologized after Anderson got mad about it. "I'm sorry this upset you.  I will be more careful with my words. I was just answering a question and thought it was all a joking matter. I see I was wrong and I'm sorry. Best of luck with training camp and your fight."

John Renesto, a longtime referee out of Dallas, passed away. Renesto refereed for World Class Championship Wrestling in the 80s and was part of the famous Renesto wrestling family, headed by Tom Renesto, a Hall of Famer as part of the Bolos and Assassins tag team and who booked in many parts of the country.

The Zero-1 planned show at Sumo Hall on 3/14 is being moved to 2022. Zero-1 lost the date when the sumo tournament scheduled for Osaka in March was moved to Tokyo.

Legacy Fighting tonight on UFC Fight Pass at 9 p.m. Eastern from Park City, KS:

  • Zac Pauga (204.6) vs. Ashby Thomas (198.2)
  • Joshua Silveira (200.6) vs. Matt Paul (202.8)
  • Tabatha Ricci (115.4) vs. Marie Grimes (115.4)
  • Dakota Bush (156) vs. Austin Clem (156.6)
  • Richard Palencia (136) vs. Jeimeson Sandino (135.4)
  • Lucas Clay (156) vs. J.J Okanovich (155.4)
  • Josh Friend (185.6) vs. Bruno Oliveira (185.2)

KSW on www.KSW.TV tomorrow from Lodz, Poland headlined by Salahdine Parnesse (145) defending the featherweight title against Daniel Torres (144).


  • Rey Mysterio talks to DAZN.
  • Drew McIntyre and The Miz will take part in The Shaq Bowl, hosted by Shaquille O’Neal,at 3:00 pm ET on Superbowl Sunday, February 7. They will be on opposite teams and compete in viral challenges. It will stream live on Facebook and on


  • Chris Weidman tested positive for COVID so his 2/13 fight with Uriah Hall is off. They hope to make the fight on 4/24.
  • Ben Rothwell vs. Phillipe Lins has been added to the 3/13 show.
  • Chase Sherman vs. Parker Porter has been added to the 4/17 show.


  • Shaquille O'Neal talked about his match with Cody Rhodes on Inside the NBA on TNT last night.  He said that Rhodes could name the place, which is presumably the next PPV show.  
  • Cody Rhodes talks about judging on Go Big Show. (thanks to Jeff Cohen)


  • Wrestling Travel's Wrestle Kingdom 16 Packages for 2022 are available now. Following their groundbreaking trip in 2020, Two package-date options are now available, which include; roundtrip airfare, 8-night hotel stay near Tokyo Dome City, Tickets to Wrestle Kingdom 16, Airport Transfers, Guided Tours, Special Guests Appearances, Exclusive Merch and more! Plus now included, tickets for an exclusive Q&A with Wrestling Observers Dave Meltzer at Toudoukan Wrestling Store! Secure your place today at WrestlingTravel.Org and use code 'OBSERVER50' for $50 off!
  • The Washington Post weighs in on the craziness that is Tito Ortiz as a mayor. (thanks to Chris Cruise)
  • Kevin Eck's weekly ROH news review.
  • Iran executed another wrestler. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • MLW got a national AP story on using former NBA referee Tim Donaghy who was kicked out of the league in 2007 for betting on games he was officiating. (thanks to Paul Kacprzak)
  • With WWE now announcing Meiko Satomura and regarding her as "The Best In The World" whom Kay Lee Ray was challenging last week, the two have had one match together with what appears to be the exact same storyline at EVE's WrestleQueendom event, the match is free to watch on the EVE youtube channel.
  • Pro Wrestling Australia announced Robbie Eagles vs. Jessica Troy for the PWWA title on 2/12 airing on FITE TV.
  • CFFC kicks off this year with shows on 3/11 and 3/12 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.  The first night is headlined by Alberto Trujillo (5-1) defending his flyweight title against Pumi Nikuta (2-0).  the second night has middleweight champion Collin Huckbody (9-2) defending against Aaron Jefferey (9-2) as well as a heavyweight title match with Jamelle Jones (10-6) vs. Cody Goodale (7-4). C.M. Punk and John Morgan will be announcing both shows for Fight Pass.
  • NFC tomorrow at District in Atlanta for 7 p.m. Jiu Jitsu show.
  • AXS TV will be airing the 2009 Final Resolution PPV show at 4 p.m. on 2/9 headlined by A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, Kurt Angle vs. Nigel McGuinness, Scott Steiner vs. Bobby Lashley plus Raven, Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Samoa Joe and others are on the show.
  • Wrestler Brady Roberts has a movie called "In Plainview" that  was released today on Amazon Prime, iTunes and Google Play across North America. It's a revenge thriller set in the Canadian Prairies.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Cena defeats Styles for WWE title at Royal Rumble 2017