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Daily Update: Dark Side of the Ring, UFC weigh-ins, AEW ratings


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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.

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Bryan and I have a new show with Chris Jericho talking AEW, Wednesday's promo, Blood and Guts, his new book and more up on the site right now. Garrett Gonzalez and I will have a show up tonight talking about Dark Side of the Ring with co-creator Evan Husney. We will also have a news show on Saturday night.

The first hour of the two-hour Brian Pillman documentary is up right now. Kim Wood is absolutely amazing in this. One person is so full of s*** it's unbelievable. Any guesses who?

Smackdown tonight has one of the highest stip matches on the show in years with Roman Reigns defending the Universal title against Daniel Bryan, who has to leave Smackdown if he loses. Plus Apollo Crews vs. Big E for the IC title and Street Profits & Bianca Belair vs. Bayley & Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler.

205 Live has Ever Rise vs. Ariya Daivari & Tony Nese and The Singh Brothers vs. Austin Gray & Jake Atlas.

Sunday's WWE's Most Wanted Treasures episode has Jerry Lawler looking for items related to his feud with Andy Kaufman.

UFC tomorrow night from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern on ESPN 2:

  • Luke Sanders (145.5) vs,. Felipe Colares (145.5)
  • Andreas Michailidis (185.5) vs. KB Bhullar (186)
  • Loma Lookboonmee (116) vs. Sam Hughes (115.5)
  • Kai Kamaka (146) vs. TJ Brown (145.5)
  • Gabriel Benitez (150.5) vs. Jonathan Pearce (146) - Benitez was fined for missing weight
  • Randa Markos (115) vs. Luana Pinheiro (115.5)
  • Poliana Botelho (125.5) vs. Luana Carolina (128.5) - Carolina was fined for missing weight
  • Merab Dvalishvili (135.5) vs. Cody Stamann (135.5)
  • Sean Strickland (185.5) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (185.5)
  • Ion Cutelaba (206) vs. Dustin Jacoby (205)
  • Cub Swanson (145.5) vs. Giga Chikadze (146)
  • Dominick Reyes (205.5) vs. Jiro Prochazka (204)

On Wednesday's AEW show, there were several points in the Pinnacle/Inner Circle promo that topped 1 million viewers and the show ended with the post-match of Darby Allin vs. 10 with more than 500,000 18-49 viewers.

A story on trying to stop mislabeling of employees as independent contractors which affects both fighters and pro wrestlers. (thanks to Chris Cruise)

Alberto Rodriguez's aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault charges from an incident with an ex-girlfriend in May goes to trial on Monday in San Antonio.

New Japan Strong tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern has:

  • Karl Fredericks vs.Clark Connors
  • Ren Narita & Fred Rosser vs. Alex Coughlin & Kevin Knight
  • TJP vs. The DKC




  • Kevin Eck's weekly look at ROH news.
  • Brandon Vera defends the ONE heavyweight title against Arjan Bhuller, a former Canadian national wrestling champion, on 5/15 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
  • Dragon Gate announced that Oji Shiiba is leaving the company due to injuries.
  • MLW debuts on Vice tomorrow at Noon with an old episode headlined by MJF vs. Marshall Von Erich and Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Simon Gotch.
  • The Shooting the Shiznit podcast on the new Championship Wrestling from Memphis airs at about 2:30 p.m. on Facebook every Saturday at  It isn't on Twitch as we reported earlier in the week.
  • Wrestlefest tomorrow on FITE TV features Laynie Luck vs. Jordynne Grace for the women's title and a ladder match for the Zelo Pro championship with CJ Esparza vs. Brubaker vs. Robert Anthony vs. GPA vs. Mason Conrad vs. Bryce Benjamin. Colt Cabana is also on the show.
  • A story on former U.K. wrestler Dave "Butcher" Bond is at (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • A story on an Australian pro wrestler who fronts a Japanese rock group. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship tonight from Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham. Main event has Frank Tate (257.3) vs. Josh Burns (257) in a heavyweight bout.
  • NFC on 5/8 at District Atlanta with an MMA show.
  • LFA tonight on UFC Fight Pass from the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, OK features Joshua Silveira (4-0) vs. Rafael Viana (6-1) and Luis Gavinho (10-4) vs. Terrance McKinney (8-3) in the top fights.
  • Combate Globo on 5/7 on Univision at midnight Friday night Easter time is headlined by Juan Puerta (1-6) vs Lloyd McKenney (14-7)
  • Glory announced Badr Hari (108-15, 92 knockouts) vs.  Arkasdiuz Wrzeosek (12-5, seven knockouts) in a heavyweight main event from the Rotterdam Ahoy on 7/17.
  • Cage Fury announced a return with shows on 5/28 and 5/29 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.  These shows air on Fight Pass with C.M. Punk announcing.  5/28 is headlined by Jamelle Jones (11-6) defending his heavyweight title against Rakim Cleveland (20-13-1).  Saturday has strawweight champion Elise Reed (3-0) defending against Hilario Rose (5-2).
  • Lio Rush vs. Myron Reed for the middleweight title headlines Wednesday's MLW show on YouTube.
  • Celebrity Boxing on 6/11 in Atlantic City features NBA star Lamar Odom vs. Aaron Carter, brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys.
  • Jersey Championship Wrestling returns tomorrow with a live show streaming on YouTube from the Showboat in Atlantic City, NJ headlined by Joey Janela vs. Slayer.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The Rock wins WWF title at Backlash 2000