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WON NEWSLETTER: February 8, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WWE breaks revenue records, AEW/NJPW deal

Our lead story in this week's Observer covers WWE finances.  We look at the direct numbers of WWE, revenue, profits, value of the company on Wall Street,  what was up and why, what was down and why, exactly how much WWE took in on TV rights, network and merchandise.  We look at what the company's top priorities are for 2021, why the stock price is down, plus Vince McMahon, WWE President Nick Khan, CBO Stephanie McMahon and CFO Kristina Salen comment on the company.

They talk the Peacock deal, the Indian and Latin American markets, new television products, how much COVID cost the company in revenue and costs of the Thunderdome set-up as compared to the old way of doing things.  

The issue also covers:

Ratings, as well as what USA would be doing without WWE, and WWE's declines as compared to cable and network TV as a whole, how much money WWE has taken in and profited, or lost, every year since 1994.

Update the New Japan/AEW relationship, the different steps over the past few years from New Japan blowing off AEW to them doing business with the KENTA vs. Jon Moxley program, why it happened and where things stand now.

Royal Rumble, including how everyone did, stories behind the matches, age of men's talent in WWE vs AEW and the message loud and clear, two of the main events scheduled for WrestleMania, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

New Japan deal with Roku and what this means both short and long-term, as well as other people who had interest.  We look at the keys to the deal decision going the way it did.

Viewing experience for fans from Peacock, John Cena WrestleMania notes, NXT Takeover card, update on the Dusty Classic shows, two top WWE stars talk their recent positive tests for COVID, details behind the firings of Lars Sullivan and Steve Cutler, update on Vince McMahon/Oliver Luck lawsuit, Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley talk Undertaker remarks, International TV ratings, how wrestling does in comparison to other sports in the ratings, Bill Goldberg talks MMA, background of Reginald, Cesar update, new WWE signing and most watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

NJPW New Beginning in Nagoya, with match-by-match coverage, poll results, and where things are going next.

Giant Baba Memorial show.

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.

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  • The latest episode of The Bump features Christian, Mark Henry, MSK, Mercedes Martinez, and Toni Storm.
  • In regards to when he might return to the ring following his appearance at the Royal Rumble, Christian said on The Bump that there was no timetable for a WWE return. “No decisions have been made,” he said. “I’m not sure at this point. We’ll just take it day-by-day at this point.”
  • Carlito will be a guest on After the Bell with Corey Graves.
  • In an interview with Forbes, John Cena named three people he considers the top stars in WWE, going back against comments he said last year about WWE never having another marquee star. “Now you have Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks can be in that conversation, but it’s not what I said it was in 2020,” he said. "It’s not a scattered fragment of Super Friends. WWE has just refocused, re-shifted and now is consolidating on marquee stars. They have their marquee stars, and going forward they will have their big names. As far as those names being larger than life, the enormity of their impact is up to the individuals themselves."
  • A new SEC filing shows that Vince McMahon purchased 19,875 shares of Class A Common Stock on February 4. Other executives who bought stock on February 4 include Stephanie McMahon (5,644), WWE President Nick Khan (15,310), Triple H (5,644), WWE Executive Vice President of Operations Bradley Blum (4,770), and Kevin Dunn (7,552).
  • Raw averaged 228,200 viewers on Sportsnet 360 in Canada.  
  • NBCUniversal is looking for a Platform Editorial Manager for WWE content when the company moves their streaming content to Peacock in March.
  • People has a story on Raymond Rowe (Erik of the Viking Raiders) and Sarah Rowe (Sarah Logan) and the birth of their son, Raymond Cash.
  • WWE’s YouTube uploads today include Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s title from the February 10, 2020 edition of Raw, Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai in a street fight from NXT TakeOver: Portland, and The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide from Elimination Chamber 2018.
  • McKenzie Mitchell spoke to Drake Maverick on their history together, as well as Maverick teaming up with Killian Dain.
  • The Stamford Advocate has a story on WWE moving forward with their new headquarters in Stamford.
  • WWE Battleground will start rolling out a roster update today. Mr. McMahon will be added, with Gran Metalik and Mojo Rawley being unlocked. Being added through March 24 is Mr. Perfect, Doink the Clown, Vader, Paige, Cactus Jack, Ricky Steamboat, British Bulldog, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Earthquake, Typhoon, The Brian Kendrick, Curtis Axel, and Alundra Blayze.
  • Ringside Collectables has revealed a John Cena nWo action figure.

Other Wrestling

  • The state of New York announced that large stadiums and arenas, such as Madison Square Garden, will be able to reopen starting on February 23. Venues will be able to open at 10% capacity as long as the state’s Department of Health signs off on safety plans.
  • FOX 4 in Kansas City has a story on Butch Reed’s passing. His family cites COVID-19 for his death, which he tested positive for around January 12.
  • AEW posted a new Acclaimed music video prior to their match tonight against MJF and Chris Jericho.
  • Chris Van Vliet spoke to Ryan Nemeth about his NXT release, his brother Dolph Ziggler, and his new run with AEW.
  • Bleacher Report interviewed Dr. Britt Baker on her relationship with Tony Schiavone and her recent push to have an action figure.
  • Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz talked to TVInsider regarding their upcoming Knockouts Tag Team title match at No Surrender this Saturday.
  • The latest Aces High column looks at Tanahashi’s career following the 2005 New Japan Cup, including NJPW's tour of Italy
  • ShopAEW currently has pre orders available for their upcoming Micro Brawlers action figures..

Daily Pro Wrestling History: TNA Against All Odds 2008