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Daily Update: Best of Luke Harper, AEW Road To, ROH rankings


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WON NEWSLETTER: January 13, 2021 Observer Newsletter: More on the death of Brodie Lee, Wrestle Kingdom 15 review

A look at what happened in the last two months of the life of Jon Huber is the lead story in this week's edition of the Wrestling Observer. We look at how the situation was handled, when the talent found out, why Huber didn't get a lung transplant, and a look at comments from a number of people in WWE in particular as well as Jim Ross and Amanda Huber's extensive writing on the subject.

Also in this issue:

Extensive coverage of Wrestle Kingdom and New Year's Dash. We have match-by-match, star ratings and poll results.  We also have business notes, the story of Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega, the effect of COVID on the show and of wrestling in Japan going forward, Jay White, goal of Hiromu Takahashi, the new main event programs and international television news.

Full year television notes, Linda McMahon's donations to Donald Trump, Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament, next Takeover show, A&E documentary notes, update on Damien Priest and others earmarked for Raw & Smackdown, lots of booking notes, new WWTV deals, Sonya Deville return, Hulk Hogan talks, head of a rival promotion sets up WWE production person's engagement, amateur wrestling standout about to start training with WWE, how wrestling shows this past week did compared to sports, international television ratings, who was creative told a few years ago not to even think of ideas for, upcoming TV bouts, WWE market value and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

A story on Irwin Rivera, the UFC fighter who is being accused of stabbing two of his sisters.

A story on Bobby Davis, one of the first of the modern managers.

What wrestlers had the most four star matches in 2020, as well as in history the top 25 of all-time.

Detailed look at the television business, looking at stats not available elsewhere to get the deepest read into how shows are doing, what categories are doing well and how shows compare with previous weeks and one year ago.  

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week.

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  • The Jon Huber (Brodie Lee/Luke Harper) tribute episode of The New Day’s Feel the Power podcast is now available to watch on YouTube.
  • A Best of Luke Harper collection was added to the WWE Network today and is available to watch for free. It includes comments from Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Randy Orton, Erick Rowan, Dolph Ziggler, The New Day, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Natalya, and Tyson Kidd. The following matches are included in the collection: The Wyatt Family vs. The Undertaker & Kane (Survivor Series 2015) Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs. Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns (Hell in a Cell 2019) Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs. The Usos vs. The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team titles (WrestleMania 34) Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler ladder match for the Intercontinental title (TLC 2014) Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental title (November 17, 2014 episode of Raw) The Wyatt Family vs. The Usos (Battleground 2014) Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton (Elimination Chamber 2017) The Wyatt Family vs. The Dudley Boyz, Rhyno & Tommy Dreamer (TLC 2015) The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield (Elimination Chamber 2014)
  • Rowan shared a picture of the tattoo he got in tribute to Huber.
  • Mick Foley gave an update on how he’s feeling after testing positive for COVID-19 last month: “Many of you have been asking how I’m feeling after my positive COVID test. All in all, not too bad - but I get fatigued very easily, and my head still feels a little cloudy. PLEASE take this pandemic seriously - the daily death count is staggeringly high..and climbing. #MaskUp”
  • In an interview with the Metro, Jeff Hardy discussed the scary moment where Matt Hardy hit his head on concrete at September’s AEW All Out pay-per-view: “Terrifying! When he tried to get up and then he fell down -- when you hit your head hard, that’s scary stuff…That was scary, man, with Matt -- flesh on concrete, it was scary when he couldn’t walk. Gosh, man -- thank God he’s OK, but that’s part of the game.”
  • WWE uploaded the trailer for their WWE Untold episode on AJ Styles’ 2016 Royal Rumble debut. The episode is premiering on the WWE Network on Sunday.
  • Styles & Omos, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Mason Casares (a four year old who went viral for doing Steve Austin’s entrance on his birthday), Randy Jackson (who is promoting his new show Name That Tune), and Sheamus have been announced as guests for tomorrow morning’s episode of WWE’s The Bump.
  • Former WWE executives George Barrios and Michelle Wilson have teamed together to launch an investment firm called Isos Capital Management. It will “focus on investing in a range of media, entertainment, and sports ventures, leveraging the pair’s past experience with the pro wrestling giant and blue-chip brands including the NBA and New York Times.”
  • WWE has filed trademarks for the names Giant Zanjeer, Guru Raaj, and Dilsher Shanky.
  • Sports Illustrated has interviews with Steve Austin and R-Truth.
  • Denise Salcedo interviewed Fandango ahead of Breezango facing Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole & Roderick Strong in the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic on tomorrow’s NXT.
  • While appearing on Maria Menounous’ Better Together podcast, Matthew McConaughey said stepping into a WWE ring is something that interests him.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels from the January 12, 2009 episode of Raw, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs. Cesaro & Sheamus from Royal Rumble 2018, and a 20-man battle royal from the April 25, 2011 episode of Raw.

Other Wrestling

  • AEW uploaded Road to New Year’s Smash night two ahead of tomorrow’s episode of Dynamite.
  • During a Q&A with Pro Wrestling Junkies, Kris Statlander gave an update on her recovery from ACL surgery: “It's going. It's a very serious injury. I would say my knee is close to being healed, but it's such an extensive and long recovery process to make sure I'm ready to go. Sometimes it takes people up to a year to get back, but it's coming along for sure. I'm definitely pushing way harder than I need to be, but I do it because I know I'm going to come out stronger in the end."
  • Eddie Kingston is the guest on today’s episode of Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast.
  • IGN Japan interviewed Kenny Omega about AEW’s console game.
  • In addition to Dragon Lee defending his ROH Television Championship against Rey Horus, the episode of ROH TV that premieres this weekend will feature Flip Gordon vs. Rhett Titus in a Pure Rules match.
  • On today’s edition of ROH Week By Week, ROH debuted rankings for their Pure and TV title divisions. There will also be rankings for the World, Tag Team, and Six-Man Tag Team title divisions. Wrestlers can only be ranked in one singles division. It was said that anyone ranked in the top three of their division can challenge for that title if it’s approved by the ROH board of directors. It was also said that a wrestler must submit a request to the board of directors for approval if they want to move to a different division than they were placed in. Here are the Pure and TV title division rankings:
  • Pure title division --
    1. Tracy Williams
    2. Flip Gordon
    3. Josh Woods
    4. Rhett Titus
    5. Fred Yehi
  • TV title division --
    1. Rey Horus
    2. Tony Deppen
    3. Dak Draper
    4. Kenny King
    5. LSG
  • Kiera Hogan spoke to Sports Illustrated about her team with Tasha Steelz in Impact Wrestling: “Teaming with Tasha is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I’m so happy I get to team with her and go after these titles. She’s outstanding, and she’s brought out an extra boost of confidence in me. We’re the queens of the Knockouts division, but we’re missing our crowns. That will be fixed at Hard to Kill.”
  • Lio Rush tweeted yesterday that his time on the United States independents is slowly dwindling.
  • Low Ki will be in action on this week’s episode of MLW Fusion.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The Outsiders win WCW Tag Team titles