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Daily Update: Conor McGregor, Bellator, UFC cuts


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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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Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw and the rest of the news with Wrestling Observer Radio late tonight. You can send questions to the show to

On Google trends for the past week, Saturday's UFC show did 600,000 which is huge for an ESPN+ show.  A lot of that was due to having big names like Alistair Overeem and Frankie Edgar lose, and the Edgar knockout loss in 28 seconds was the big discussion point coming off the show.  Edgar also trended. It was in the No. 8 spot on Saturday and four of the seven ahead were Super Bowl related. On Friday, Paige VanZant was No. 6 at 200,000 from her Bare Knuckle fighting loss to Britt Hart. On Monday, the death of Dustin Diamond, who dabbled in wrestling but was best known as Screech in Saved by the Bell, had 5 million searches. For a comparison,which tells you how impressive Conor McGregor numbers are, The Super Bowl did 16.5 million searches.

Speaking of McGregor, Ariel Helwani reported today on his podcast with Daniel Cormier that UFC was leaning in the direction of doing a Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier rematch soon. No word yet on what it means as far as the lightweight title is concerned.

Tonight’s Raw will set up the Elimination Chamber PPV. They only have two Raws to build the show, so they will likely have Chamber qualifiers, announce the main event, which the best guess is Drew McIntyre vs Sheamus on the Raw side, plus a Charlotte Flair-Lacey Evans face-to-face segment, McIntyre vs. Randy Orton and more.

Straight Up Steve Austin after Raw tonight has Bret Favre as a guest.

For this week, there are three major Japanese shows airing. New Beginning in Hiroshima day one is Wednesday morning at 4:30 a.m. Eastern with Hiromu Takahahashi vs. Sho. The second show is Thursday morning at 1 a.m. Eastern with Kota Ibushi vs, Sanada for the IWGP title, which is 10 p.m. Pacific Wednesday evening so it starts on the West Coast right after AEW & NXT end. Actually it starts right before NXT ends because NXT usually has an overrun. Pro Wrestling NOAH's Budokan Hall show with Go Shiozaki vs. Keiji Muto starts at 2:30 a.m. Eastern late Thursday night Eastern time.

Bellator is saying it will have a special announcement tomorrow at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Heath Schnedier, the promoter of ACW in Florida, a group that worked with WWN, is in bad condition after suffering a stroke which caused swelling on the brain.


  • A story on Curt Stallion and his WWE start. (thanks to Mike Kumzuk)
  • Rapper Bow Wow wants to be in WWE saying he wants to team with Rey Mysterio.


  • Gokhan Saki, who was one of the best kickboxers in the world when he signed with UFC, has been released.  Saki hasn't fought in nearly three years due to a number of injuries including a fractured elbow.
  • Guram Kutateladze is out of his 3/13 fight with Don Madge due to undergoing knee surgery.
  • Andre Ewell vs.Chris Gutierrez has been added to this coming Saturday's UFC 238 show in the early prelims.
  • Spike Carlyle announced that UFC has cut him.


  • Chris Jericho is doing the narration for the season three episodes of Dark Side of the Ring which have been filming for the last few months.  
  • A replay of Go Big Show airs on CW on 2/12 at 8 p.m.


  • Impact on Tuesday night on AXS has Trey Miguel & Suicide & Josh Alexander & Willie Mack vs. Chris Bey & Ace Austin & Blake Christian & Shawn Daivari, Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson vs Chris Sabin & James Storm for he tag titles, ODB vs. Kimber Lee and Kiera Hogan vs. Nevaeh.  
  • The 2009 Final Resolution PPV headlined by A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, Desmond Wolfe (Nigel McGuinness) vs. Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner vs. Bobby Lashley last man standing and more will air at 4 p.m. Eastern tomorrow on AXS.
  • ACH vs. Brian Pillman Jr. has been added to Wednesday's Fusion show on YouTube and Fubo. The main event is title vs. title with MLW middleweight champion Lio Rush facing AAA cruiserweight champion Laredo Kid.
  • A story on Gabi Tuft, the former Tyler Reks, and the sex change operation was covered on the Houston FOX station. (thanks to Ross Blair)
  • Here's some interesting finds. This was women's wrestling star Judy Grable on the TV show What's My Line at 12:40. And this was Fabulous Moolah on To Tell the Truth. (thanks to Bob Nowak)
  • The Melbourne City Wrestling return show from Saturday night went online on their Vimeo page. Slex vs. Adam Brooks in a three stages of hell match headlines. The match got over big with the live crowd.  
  • Robbie Eagles vs. Mat Gauge headlines the 2/20 Suplex Pro Wrestling show in Newcastle, Australia.
  • Riot City Wrestling is part of Adelaide's Fringe Festival on 2/27 and 3/20. Matt Hayter vs. Rocky Menero for the RCW title is the main event on 3/20.
  • FWAS from Saturday night in Sydney, Australia: CBK & AJ b Kasai & Bob the Viking & Tyler Gunn, Parker Tomas b Lee Morrow to keep the Mercury title, Buccaneer Cesar & Rochelle Rouge b Massiva Q & Matt Gauge & Mathias clock, Blackman b Kai Drake, 5 Star Flash b Vinnie Vain in a street fight, Robbie Eagles won three-way over Unsocial Jordan and Sam Osborne, Xena b Tarelee to win the FWA women's title, Rhys Angel & Donnie Mako b Jude Lndon & Paris De Silva in a 2/3 fall match to win the FWA tag titles (thanks to Kevin Chiat)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Pedro Morales wins WWWF World title