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Daily Update: Blood & Guts cage first look, Tony Khan, NJPW Strong


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WON NEWSLETTER: May 3, 2021 Observer Newsletter: UFC 261 recap, NHL-Turner deal

How the NHL deal affects both WWE and AEW is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  

We look at the deal, have Tony Khan's comments on it, update on AEW and TNT, AEW vs. NHL ratings, declining ratings equals larger right fees, notes on the next WWE and AEW deals, and key contract years for AEW and WWE.

Also in this issue:

A complete rundown of UFC 261, background of the show, match-by-match coverage, poll results, business notes, as well as what categories UFC won in television ratings this past week.

Peacock subscribers, Supreme Court ruling on a WWE case, WWE going back on the road, Mickie James talks her issues with her final run, why no second Evolution PPV show,  front office changes in WWE, Daniel Bryan talks his future goals, Paul Levesque talks physical Hall of Fame, new WWE announcer, new WWE signings, how wrestling fared as compared with other sports on television, former headliner says he's returning to WWE, upcoming major TV matches and the most-watched segments on YouTube of recent shows.

CMLL and ROH relationship falling apart, how Mexico is changing with a new promotion, the question a lot of the CMLL and AAA wrestlers have to ask themselves and money figures the top talent is getting with the new promotion.

What other wrestlers held three major world titles in three different companies besides Kenny Omega and details of that. 

Impact Rebellion with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results, as well as early PPV notes, where the company is going forward and what happened in the Omega vs. Swann match.

WWE's highest stakes television match in a long time with Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan.

A feature on Jake Paul, Triller's lawsuit, and Paul challenges involving Daniel Cormier, Nate Diaz and Kamaru Usman.

PPV numbers from television from every company over the past six months.

More on last week's feature about historical world title unification matches from different companies, including a reference to Babe Ruth.

How long the average fan watches the key wrestling shows, how many different people are actually watching, what show is watched live the most and what show is time delayed the most.

More into detail on the ratings than any other source, how every segment on NXT and AEW did as well as how it did with different age groups, genders and more, plus a look at all other wrestling shows of the past week.

Results of the major pro wrestling events of the past week.

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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  • WWE released the trailer for their Damian Priest episode of WWE Chronicle. The episode premieres on Peacock in the United States and the WWE Network everywhere else this Sunday (May 9).
  • On last night’s NXT, Ted DiBiase appeared for the second straight week and again upstaged Cameron Grimes. Grimes tried to rent out a VIP booth at a club, but DiBiase had rented out the entire venue.
  • NXT referee Aja Smith officiated her first main event last night.
  • Ric Flair posted a picture on Twitter of him visiting Steve “Mongo'' McMichael. McMichael revealed last month that he’s battling ALS. Flair urged McMichael to keep on fighting: “Let Me Hear The Biggest WOOOOO For Mongo On This WOOOOO Wednesday! Keep On Fighting The Fight My Friend!”
  • In an interview with Bleacher Report that was published this Monday, Braun Strowman spoke about enjoying how Raw has been a little chaotic recently: “The boys and girls in the back, we all work really, really hard. It's been a little chaotic because everything's been all over [the place], and people get sick and things change last minute. And part of me enjoys that, I'm not going to lie. This past Monday was a prime example. Everything was crazy because people got hurt, people were sick and stuff changes. All of a sudden, you're in three matches in an hour and 10 minutes' worth of a three-hour show. You're freaking out, but when you get out there and get it done and hit a home run, it's such a satisfying feeling."
  • The Viking Raiders, Kyle O’Reilly, Titus O’Neil, and Naomi & Lana appeared on this morning’s episode of WWE’s The Bump.
  • O’Neil has been announced as a member of this year’s Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame class.
  • Variety selected Stephanie McMahon as one of their 2021 Women’s Impact honorees.
  • WWE and Mate are launching a digital content series called "WWE Now Down Under." It will "deliver original localised content tailored for WWE’s fanbase in Australia via YouTube and Facebook platforms, regional Instagram and Twitter channels, and WWE’s main website."
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Shawn Michaels vs. Batista from Backlash 2008, Batista & Kane vs. The Great Khali & MVP from the February 29, 2008 episode of SmackDown, and and The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry in a casket match from the March 10, 2008 episode of Raw.

Other Wrestling

  • AEW posted a first look at the cage for tonight’s Blood & Guts match.
  • Chris Jericho told Sports Illustrated about why he thinks now was the right time to do the Blood & Guts match: “It made me think of what Hell in a Cell or Elimination Chamber or Money in the Bank used to be. Now you see matches just get thrown in there. It’s like, F---, there’s no reason for it other than the name of the pay-per-view. This only works when the story demands it, and with what we have done here, the story here demands it. It wasn’t right for us to wait until Dynamite was touring again to have this match. You don’t book this match and have an angle follow it—you have the angle that leads to this match. That’s the only way to do it, and that’s why the time to do this is right now.”
  • Ahead of tonight’s Dynamite, AEW announced this week’s roster rankings.
  • In an interview with Entrepreneur, Tony Khan was asked about serving the audience and how he can convince AEW fans that the claim is genuine: “There's a lot of differences. I don't do really cheap DQ [disqualification] finishes to prolong something. There are other wrestling programs where you might see multiple DQs and countouts in a week. I believe in giving the fans a finish to the match. I believe in not false-advertising programs and people. I might hype something I really believe in, but there's a big difference between hyping something and false-advertising outright, and I've never done the latter. I think that's why we have a lot of goodwill with the audience. Following through on the things you say you're going to do and trying to deliver a show that's in the spirit of what the fans want to see week in, week out and offering fresh matches and fresh programs is a big part of it. You know, not doing the same matches 17 weeks in a row over and over again.”
  • AEW has launched a global online shop for official merchandise. “Effective immediately, fans from 224  countries can order through the website to save up to 60 percent on shipping costs and  reduce delivery time by up to 50 percent,” AEW wrote.
  • Denise Salcedo interviewed Santana & Ortiz.
  • QT Marshall appeared on today’s edition of Insight with Chris Van Vliet.
  • Misterioso & Jordan Clearwater vs. Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs and Kevin Knight & The DKC vs. Garrett Brown & Adrian Quest are set for this Friday’s episode of NJPW Strong. The show will be headlined by Jon Moxley & Chris Dickinson vs. Yuji Nagata & Ren Narita.
  • Dark Side of the Ring co-creators Jason Eisener and Evan Husney are the guests on the latest episode of Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast.
  • Impact Wrestling announced an agreement with Samsung TV Plus that will give viewers “unprecedented access to IMPACT’s extensive library of premium professional wrestling content through both a dedicated IMPACT Wrestling Channel and on VOD.”
  • On his House of Hardcore podcast, Tommy Dreamer spoke about testing positive for COVID-19 last month: "This is day 24 since I've been exposed to COVID. I've never been sicker in my life. I went to Alaska and was exposed on that Friday. The company I went for, Wrestle Pro, everyone tested negative. They were there about a week before I came in and someone tested positive. How that happened, it was a wrestler, and that wrestler had to fly home and he tested positive. Saturday, mid-afternoon, we all found out. The company did everything and told the wrestlers and fans. Nobody asked for refunds or anything.”
  • Fred Rosser (formerly known as Darren Young) tweeted about wearing his NJPW track jacket while being interviewed for an upcoming Nexus episode of WWE Untold: “Today, I proudly wore my New Japan track jacket during the filming of @WWE’s Network Docs: Untold Nexus because I wanted to represent the best hour of pure professional wrestling on the planet #NJPWStrong”

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Second Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions