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Daily Update: Double or Nothing, AEW notes, Misawa Memorial show

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WON NEWSLETTER: May 31, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WWE returning to live crowds, WarnerMedia-Discovery merger

Dave Meltzer reports on WWE returning to live crowds, the proposed WarnerMedia-Discovery merger, Nick Khan has been in talks with New Japan Pro Wrestling about WWE becoming NJPW's exclusive American partner. 

Also in this issue: 

  • Updating WWE going on tour and what early ticket sales show
  • Double or Nothing preview and ticket sales for all upcoming AEW events and what it says about the brand right now
  • Full UFC coverage from last week
  • A look at both Warrior documentaries and separating fact from fiction
  • Collision in Korea and going through fact vs. fiction as well
  • Most detailed look at television viewership over the past week
  • Amazing training notes about an 80s star about to return to the ring
  • AEW TV schedule notes for June

And much more.

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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight talking AEW Double or Nothing and the rest of the current news with Wrestling Observer Radio as well as taking mailbag questions that can be sent to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Some business notes regarding tonight and AEW. Based on one national television company, advanced PPV orders as of Friday were up nine percent from Revolution.  Keep in mind that 82 percent of orders come in the last 36 hours so that doesn't mean they'll end up well above their record, but it's a very good sign.  Revolution blew away all prior AEW shows.

That same company's clientele saw Dynamite on Friday night as down 38 percent from the 5/19 show, so that's very significant since that's the time slot for the proposed new Rampage show and based on the makeup of the AEW TV audience, Friday is going to be tough. The sample size is millions, so the actual numbers and they are legit views and not estimates, would be literally 100 times that of Nielsen's sample size. But they are not strategically done like Nielsen and don't provide the level of data that Nielsen does so we don't have any demo info from it or viewers per home or things like that that is so important.  Smackdown was down 1.3 percent from the prior week based on the same company's clientele, actually more total viewers but watched less time on average. The Nielsen numbers for Friday will be out on Tuesday and the detailed numbers won't be out until Wednesday.  Smackdown numbers should be out Tuesday and Raw should be out Wednesday due to the holiday weekend.  

As of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, there were 352 tickets still out and more than 4,600 accounted for meaning they are very close to sold out. This will be the company's largest crowd since the pandemic and the biggest crowd for North American pro wrestling aside from the two WrestleMania shows of the past year plus. We're looking for your thoughts on the show so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

Here are thoughts on the show and Skybet odds. It should be noted that most of the matches have very sizable favorites and if predicted star ratings are an indication, the belief is this will be a tremendous show on paper:

  • Adam Page vs. Brian Cage - The winner is likely in line for an AEW title shot.  On paper this match looks crazy. Page's forehead was a mess Friday night so he'll be easy to cut. Page is right now a -500 favorite.  Kambi has posted star ratings so the over and under here is ***3/4
  • Battle Royal - AEW Battle Royals usually have more storyline elements but the concept of the original Casino Battle Royal was received negatively so it's been tweaked.  The latest odds have Christian Cage as a -200 favorite with the next being Penta at +500, Jungle Boy at +600, Powerhouse Hobbs at +900 and Matt Hardy, 10 and Max Caster at +1400.
  • Cody Rhodes vs. Anthony Agogo - This is the most interesting because Agogo has only done short matches.  Agogo is a -175 favorite.  The winner should depend entirely on what is the next thing planned for each.  The over/under here is ***1/4
  • Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker for the women's title - Most expect a title change here and the odds reflect that with Baker a -600 favorite. These two actually should have a great match.  The over/under is **** which really speaks a ton of what bettors and oddsmakers think of these two.
  • Kenny Omega vs.  Orange Cassidy vs. Pac for the AEW title.  It's an interesting mix.  We know Omega vs. Pac an have a match of the year candidate since they did that once on Dynamite already.  Cassidy can go, but he's mainly known for comedy spots and it'll be interesting how that mixes in. Omega right now is a -650 favorite while Cassidy is +400 and Pac is +600.  Betters and oddsmakers are very confident putting over/under at ****1/2  
  • Miro vs. Lance Archer for the TNT title. It's a big one for both.  This is Miro's first real back-and-forth match in a high-level spot in AEW where it's a different style and standard from WWE.  Miro is a -600 favorite.  The over/under here is ***3/4
  • Sting & Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page - Allin will work most of the way and he's crazy always, let alone on PPV.  Still, the whole match is a set up for Sting's hot tag and how much he can do at the age of 62.  Sting & Allin are -300 favorites.  The over/under here is ***3/4
  • Stadium Stampede with The Inner Circle vs. The Pinnacle. The pressure is huge because they have to live up to last year's show. Jericho is working with a dislocated elbow from his fall off the cage at Blood & Guts. The Inner Circle has to disband if they lose. That stip has made them a -200 favorite. There is no odds on star ratings because this is a taped match .
  • Young Bucks vs. Eddie Kingston & Jon Moxley for the tag titles. The match will likely be great, but it is a huge style clash and a very different match for all four than their usual.  The Young Bucks are -150 favorites to retain in the closest the odds are for any match on the show.  The over/under here is ****1/2
  • The Buy in match of Serena Deeb vs. Riho for the NWA title has no odds. My own prediction is a very good match if they are given time and they probably will be, and Deeb has to be a major favorite.

In gambling odds for what wins match of the night, the Omega vs. Cassidy vs. Pac match is at -111 and the tag title is +110.

Yahoo has a story on the Cody Rhodes vs. Anthony Agogo match. (thanks to Patrick Baseline)

A story on yesterday's firing of Willie Urbina. (thanks to Barry Werner)

With no UFC or boxing major events this weekend, the only thing that made Google trends related to combat sports this past week was on Tuesday. John Cena, for his apology to China was No. 8 for the day at 200,000. Mike Tyson, because of the TV special, was No 13 at 100,000.

AEW does have big competition in sports today with the Indianapolis 500. The Miz & Titus O'Neil were both on NBC's coverage of the event today (thanks to Brian Henke)

A&E tonight at 8  p.m. has a Mick Foley special. The only thing that I know is that Mick Foley himself seemed really happy about it.  I'm not sure if I'm on it but I was interviewed extensively for it. Jake Roberts is featured on WWE's Most Wanted Treasures which is notable politically.

KTLA in Los Angeles had a lengthy feature today talking about Cardi B and SummerSlam and crediting the Mat Men podcast for the story.

The semifinals of the King of Gate tournament on 6/3 at Korakuen Hall have Yamato vs. Kota Minoura and SB Kento vs. Kzy.  It will be on the Dragon Gate streaming service.

The annual Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial show by Pro Wrestling NOAH takes place at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning. It's available on FITE at 5 a.m. on PPV:

  • Haoh vs. Seiki Yoshioka
  • Kenou & Manabu Soya & Tadasuke vs. Kaito Kiyomiya & Junta Miyawaki & Kinya Okada
  • Yoshinari Ogawa & Hayata defend the GHC jr. titles against Daisuke Harada & Hajime Ohara
  • Katsuhiko Nakajima & Masa Kitamiya defend the GHC tag titles against Mohammed Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi
  • Atsushi Kotoge defends the jr. title against Yuya Susumu
  • Takashi Sugiura defends the National title against Kazushi Sakuraba
  • Keiji Muto & Masato Tanaka vs. Masakatsu Funaki & Naomichi Marufuji

WWE

OTHER NOTES

  • New Japan has a show from Korakuen Hall Tuesday morning at 5:30 a.m.Eastern with Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa defending the IWGP tag titles against Zack Sabre Jr. & Tasichi.  
  • Warrior Wrestling returns on 6/5 in Chicago Heights, IL with War of Attrition.  They will crown their first Lucha champion in a match with Laredo Kid, Golden Dragon, Aramis, Gringo Loco, Arez, El HIjo de Canis Lupus,Dragon Bane and Black Taurus, which is one hell of a lineup.  It will be a series of three matches.  It starts with a four vs. four match under Lucha relevos rules and the losing four are eliminated.  The next four will have a tag team match under Lucha rules and the losing two are eliminated.  Then there will be a singled match for the championship.  Kyle Rae returns to wrestling to defend her women's title against Holidead, Trey Miguel defends the Warrior title against Lee Moriarty, plus Deonna Purrazzo vs. Ray Lyn, Matt Cardona vs. Sam Adonis, Warhorse vs. Jake Something, KC Navarro vs. Cole Radrick and Kongo Kong vs. Beast Man.
  • Jorge Masvidal's first Bare Knuckle promotion on 6/18 in Biloxi, MS has announced former UFC fighter Jason Knight vs. former ride fighter Charles Bennett as the main event. Bennett was a charismatic stars many years back but has gone 0-3 in the Bare Knuckle arena.
  • Ruthless Pro Wrestling from last night in Erie, MI:  Alex Weir b Sage Phillips, Mo Atlas won over  Nate Wings, Nick King, Dylan Derringer and Alex Cluckey, Tommy Vendetta b Jake Crist, Dread King Logan b Zach Thomas in a street fight, Gary Jay b Jason Page, Justin Kyle b Sam Beale to win the Ruthless title, Randi West b Chuck Stein in a home run derby match, Satu Jinn b Schwartzy in a four corners of pain match, Dale Patricks b Reed Bentley in a death match title match (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Sean Henderson's Birthday Blast streams live today on IWTV featuring 2 Cold Scorpio vs.; Tim Donst as the main event.
  • All Melbourne pro wrestling shows this weekend were canceled due to a COVID lockdown.  It is likely the same for this coming  weekend as well.  
  • Adelaide Championship Wrestling from last night in Adelaide, Australia:  Matt Hayter b El Neon to keep ACW title, Kit Condor b Downunder, Draven b Malykai Slic, Joe Mundie won over Jesse Henry and Joey Triton, Adam Brooks b Duke Marshall-DQ.  Next show is 7/3. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Antonio Inoki vs. Andre the Giant in NJPW MSG League

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