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Daily Update: Brodie Lee, NJPW, Riho


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WON NEWSLETTER: December 28, 2020 Observer Newsletter: WWE TLC review, Tokyo Dome preview, more

We look back at the good and bad of last week's major events as well as where this all leads in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We've got TLC coverage, looking at the card, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.  

Also in this issue:

Our new feature of Performer of the Week and match of the week.

Tokyo Dome show as well as talk of the new restrictions and just how much money the restrictions are costing the company, the lineup of both nights and more stories regarding the show.

WWE Slammy Awards for the serious and not-so-serious.

WWE top star talking about wrestling becoming secondary to him and negotiate fewer dates, Notes on the most-watched Smackdown of the year, WWE's next legends show, Flair & Hogan's drawing power in the past, lots of new WWE TV show ideas, plans for 2021 Hall of Fame, WWE star wins major Jui Jitsu tournament, update on Pat McAfee and Ronda Rousey, U.K. TV ratings, how WWE & AEW compare to sports ratings, more on Bill Goldberg, Hulk Hogan new business, most-watched shows on the WWE Network and market value of WWE right now.

UFC's final show of the year in detail with all the stories of the different matches.  

Dragon Gate's last big show of the year, with the match to lead to a faction being disbanded, rookies being pushed and thoughts on the handling of the Ben K concussion.

Kevin Greene, an NFL Hall of Famer who did several matches in WCW and picked up pro wrestling better than most athletes do.

Luis Carlos Borges, one of Argentina's biggest-ever stars and the heyday of Los Titanes en el ring.

A feature on 1930s Bulgaria star Dan Koloff, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. This was scheduled for this year's Hall of Fame issue originally. This feature by Phil Lions goes through his career and explains why he is a cultural icon in Bulgaria, where multiple books and even a major movie were done on him. 

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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Bryan and I will be back with Wrestling Observer Radio tonight taking Brodie Lee and other news as well as taking your email questions at

I want to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas during a very tough last few days for the industry. You've all read a lot of Brodie Lee in the last 24 hours and am sure will read more to come. Jon Huber was a great guy who loved wrestling and loved his family.  He did get frustrated when injuries took him out but always took solace in the fact that when he was injured it would be more time to bond with his two sons. He was thankful that his time in WWE provided him a great living but was also frustrated and had a point to prove as he turned 40, that he could be a top star. I think the shock of it being early October the last time we saw him on television in that brutal chain match with Cody Rhodes and this is what makes this so difficult to process.    

The New York Times talks the death of Jon Huber (Brodie Lee).

We talked yesterday with Jim Ross about the legendary Danny Hodge.

There were only two combat sports related mentions this week in Google searches. Luke Harper was the name used and it was the second most searched topic on the Internet yesterday with 500,000. Kevin Greene was No. 3 on Monday with 2.05 million searches.

New Japan I believe will be selling Tokyo Dome tickets for one more day before putting a cap on them due to the government wanting to limit capacity for all events going forward.

Riho from AEW finished up with Stardom yesterday. Stardom wanted its talent to be exclusive and she is still under contract with AEW.  


  • Carsten Schaefer, the long-time WWE German television announcer announced his retirement and said it was not by choice. He had not been able to appear at WWE shows in recent months due to COVID and they have German language announcers who live in the U.S.
  • The WWE website announced its 10 best matches of the year: 1. Undertaker vs. A.J. Styles Boneyard Match at WrestleMania 2. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley Hell in a Cell match 3. Edge vs. Randy Orton Backlash 4. Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns Survivor Series 5. A.J. Styles vs. Sami Zayn vs. Jeff Hardy ladder match Clash of Champions 6. Daniel Bryan vs. A.J. Styles Smackdown 6/12 7. Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre ambulance match Clash of Champions 8. Walter vs. Ilja Dragunov 10/29 NXT U.K. 9. Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair WrestleMania 10. Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly Takeover 31


  • The Fighters Only World MMA awards for the period of January 2019 to July 2020 were announced last night with the show airing on CBS Sports Network Charles "Mask" Lewis Fighter of the Year - Israel Adesanya Female Fighter of the Year - Amanda Nunes Breakthrough Fighter of the Year - Jorge Masvidal International Fighter of the Year - Israel Adesanya Fight of the Year - Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk Knockout of the Year - Jorge Masvidal over Ben Askren Submission of the Year - Demian Maia over Ben Askren Comeback of the Year - Stipe Miocic over Daniel Cormier II Upset of the Year - Alexander Volkanovski over Max Holloway Shawn Tompkins Coach of the Year - Trevor Wittman Gym of the Year - American Top Team Referee of the Year - Herb Dean Ringcard Girl of the Year - Brittney Palmer Leading Man - Dana White (12th straight year) MMA Personality of the Year - Joe Rogan (sixth straight year) Analyst of the Year - Daniel Cormier Beat Promotion - UFC (12th straight year) Media Source of the Year - ESPN Best MMA Programming - Joe Rogan Experience Journalist of the Year - Ariel Helwani (10th straight year)
  • The Manel Kape debut that was scheduled for 12/19 but pulled when opponent Alexandre Pantoja pulled out for undisclosed reasons, is now back scheduled for the 2/6 show.  Kape was a star with Rizin in Japan before signing with UFC.
  • Manon Fiorot debuts in UFC on the 1/20 show against Victoria Leonard.  Leonard was scheduled against Natalia Silva, but Silva withdrew due to a fractured ulna (elbow) in training.
  • Nassourdine Imavov vs. Phil Hawes is scheduled for the next UFC show, which is the 1/16 show that will air on ABC.
  • Joaquin Buckley, coming off two big finishes, is scheduled to face Allessio Di Chirico according to MMA Junkie also on the 1/16 show.


  • This has to do with Pac, who still lives in the U.K. Due to the new virus strain, all people traveling from the U.K. to the U.S. has to test negative for COVID within 72 hours of their departure. (thanks to Fred Morlan)
  • AEW is enforcing copyright violations with people looking to do videos of Dynamite, Dark, PPVs, BTE and Road Two going forward due to broadcast agreements. The company has told people that usage of any footage will be subject to demonetization and/or removal. Previously they had let this slide but in the last two days they have started cracking down.


  • Jun Akiyama beat Konosuke Takeshita earlier today to win the DDT D-oh tournament and get a shot at Tetsuya Endo on 2/14 for the KO-D title.  
  • Tito Ortiz in the Los Angeles Times for not wearing a mask as required in public meetings as well as public events.
  • Revolution Pro Wrestling from today in Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK: JJ Gale b Gideon Grey, Dan Molony b Rib Lias, RKJ b Brendan White, Gisele Shaw & Jamie Hayter b Skye Smithson & Zan Phoenix, Screwface Ahmed b Chuck Mambo, Charlie Sterling b Joel Redman.  They announced Shaw vs. Hayter for the British women's title would take place at the next show in a few weeks (thanks to Shannon Walsh and Wrestling with Demons)
  • KSW announced its first show of the year will be 1/30 in Lodz, Poland with former Olympic gold medalist in weightlifting Szymon Kolecki (8-1) against Martin Zawada (29-15-1) in the main event plus Salahdina Parnasse (14-0-1) defends the featherweight title against Daniel Torres (11-4). Kolecki won a gold medal in 2008 in Beijing as a super heavyweight lifter and has wins over former world's strongest man Mariusz Pudzianowski and former Olympic wrestling bronze medalist Damian Janikowski.  
  • lists Ben Askren at -150 against Jake Paul at +120, which is different from most places that have Paul as the favorite if such a boxing match happens. Askren said today that Paul's people have gone silent ever since he accepted the fight. has Paul as a -200 favorite.
  • Leslie West, the lead singer of the group "Mountain," who passed away on Wednesday, put out a 1985 song "Hard Times" and Jesse Ventura starred in their music video.  (thanks to Ross Blair)
  • In the Wonder Woman sequel that came out this past week, Wonder Woman 184, Wonder Woman in her alter ego as Diana Prince visits a guy in D.C. who is a disorganized slob and in a shoot of his place there is a 1984 Pro Wrestling Illustrated issue with Jerry Lawler on the cover. (thanks to Eric Krol)
  • EPW in Australia will be running 1/22 and 1/23 in Western Australia. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)  
  • Hurricane Pro Wrestling from last night in Beaumont, TX:  Jordan Jensen & Tamu Ku b Jared Wayne & Johnny Lyons to win tag titles, Tyson Maddox b Chris Cnydel, Danny Limelight b Nathan Bradley, Miranda Alize b Low Rider, Renee Michelle b Myka Madrid, Ryan Davidson b Edge Stone (thanks to Shannon Walsh and Wrestling With Demons)
  • Roy Lucier at is looking for a Spanish language version of the AAA When Worlds Collide PPV show.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Kevin Nash ends Goldberg's streak at Starrcade 1998