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Daily Update: Drew McIntyre-Sheamus, John Cena, Bianca Belair


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WON NEWSLETTER: February 1, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WWE Network-NBCU Peacock deal

The most in-depth look at the WWE's new deal with the Peacock Network is the lead story in the new double-issue of the Observer.

We look at who the deal was put together, the finances behind it, is it a good deal for all parties, what goals there are for each side, how this affects the TV landscape and Smackdown in particular, how much money WWE was getting before and after from the Network, television vs. streaming when it comes to homes in the U.S., comparisons to UFC's deal with ESPN, quotes from the key parties, the financial viability of NBC purchasing WWE, the stock price, network subscriber numbers, money in modern PPVs, WWE projected profitability, why the method wrestlers are paid makes no sense in today's game, and notes fromall ke parties.

Also in this issue:

NBC shutting down NBC Sports Network affects both the USA Network and how it could impact WWE.

Amanda Huber's timeline of the death of Brodie Lee from her interview with Tony Schaivone and Aubrey Edwards this week, his symptoms, treatments, and what the doctors thought.

UFC 257, including an update on the business of the show and television viewership, plus full coverage of what could end up as the biggest show of the year, and was one of the biggest PPV events in history.

2021 Royal Rumble, people rumored to be in that won't be, others that could be, and thoughts on the build and the matches.

WrestleMania, Young Rock, Daniel Bryan talks his future, WWE talent listed among the most marketable in sports and losses in ad revenue to performs in social media accounts, Undertaker says current wrestles are soft and Bill Goldberg, Mick Foley and Drew McIntyre respond, Nick Khan talks future of rights fees, where AEW stands, NXT India, Teases of Japanese star signing, International TV ratings, most-watched  shows on the WWE Network and strongest athletes in WWE developmental.

New Japan's show at Ota Ward Gym this past week with its parody main event plus the big shows upcoming this week.

WWE's TV special for India and look at the talent from that country that the company wants to build a promotion around.

A huge story on Hank Aaron, Civil Rights, Bill Watts and how they all intersected in the early 90s.

Comparison piece on the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, looking at their wins, losses, bouts with major names and where they stand in relation to each other.

The death of El Hijo de Anibal and the legacy of the mask created by his father, one of the biggest stars of the 1970s, including the match that was the first big title match to give the UWA credibility.

 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.

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to or by going to directing funds to

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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


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  • There was an angle on last night’s Raw where Sheamus turned against WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. Sheamus laid out McIntyre with a Brogue Kick and then did an interview saying that McIntyre isn’t his friend anymore and he wants the WWE Championship. McIntyre later accepted Sheamus’ challenge for a WWE Championship match, but when Sheamus will be challenging for the title hasn’t been announced.
  • Sheamus tweeted today: “Dry your tears. A Clash of Nations bigger than any friendship is... inevitable. 20 years of brotherhood in combat was always leading to this moment. Be prepared. The Brogue is battle proven far superior to The Claymore. So dig deeper... history is written by the victor.”
  • John Cena appeared virtually on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night while wearing his Peacemaker costume from the HBO Max series he’s currently filming. Cena was asked if he’ll be back with WWE: “Yeah, I will. Unfortunately, the state of the world -- I'm not sitting there on the couch next to you -- it's a difficult and unpredictable time and right now, I'm doing this. I'm filming Peacemaker and that's going to take a lot of my time. And I can't bounce back and forth due to international restrictions. So at least for the time being, I'm here and I’m still away from WWE, but I very much look forward to returning as soon as I possibly can."
  • Bianca Belair spoke to Complex about becoming the second Black person to win a Royal Rumble match (The Rock was the first in 2000); “It's crazy. I didn't know that fact until I got backstage and Kayla [Braxton] actually told me. It's crazy that I never ever saw myself being in this position and I'm here now and creating history in the process of just trying to be me and trying to go after my goals and in the process I'm creating history. Being a part of representation, it's an amazing feeling. It's one thing to win the Royal Rumble and get your tickets to WrestleMania, but it's another thing to add even more purpose to it while you're doing it. It's amazing.”
  • In celebration of Black History Month, Belair posted a photo of her and Montez Ford dressed up as astronauts Mae Jemison and Guion Bluford Jr. Belair wrote: “This year for #BlackHistoryMonth we wanted to highlight some individuals that contributed to Black History & Culture in a fun way! We have been working on this for awhile so we can dress up, highlight, & post a new person everyday! Hope you enjoy! #RepresentationMatters”
  • The episode of Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions with Sasha Banks as the guest will premiere on the WWE Network this month. WWE 24: Big E and The Day Of: Royal Rumble 2021 are also coming to the WWE Network this month, along with a series called “Ultimate Elimination Chamber.” Thirteen more episodes of WWF Superstars will be uploaded as this month’s classic content.
  • Randy Orton tweeted about Austin not having him on as a guest yet: “I think it’s f*cked up @steveaustinBSR hasn’t had me on yet. Baddest mfer to lace a pair of boots and prob one of the top GOATS of all time. Real talk. Where you at Steven?” Austin then responded to Orton: “Patience, Randall. Patience.”
  • Austin surprised NFL star George Kittle while Kittle was appearing on ESPN’s First Take this morning.
  • WWE released the trailer for their Untold episode on The APA that debuts on the WWE Network this coming Sunday.
  • PWInsider reported that Sunday’s men’s Royal Rumble match was produced by a team that included Shane McMahon, Jason Jordan, Jamie Noble, and others and the women’s Royal Rumble match was produced by a team that included Adam Pearce, TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd), Pat Buck, and others.
  • Booker T confirmed that AQA (Angela Quentina Arnold) has signed with WWE. Dave Meltzer reported last month that AQA has signed with WWE and is part of the next class of Performance Center recruits. AQA was trained by Booker T at his Reality of Wrestling school and is a two-time former Reality of Wrestling Diamonds Division Champion.
  • WWE has filed a trademark for Dante Rios, which is the name independent wrestler Daniel Garcia used for his match against Tyler Rust on NXT last week.
  • Mustafa Ali responded to a question about why he didn’t get a RETRIBUTION name: “Because the name ‘Mustafa Ali’ is already scary to some people.”
  • Joaquin Wilde announced the birth of his daughter: “Say hello to my daughter, Raquel Marlena Paris aka Raqi. She was born Jan 30, 2021 at 9:30 am. Pretty sure i cried more than she did when she was finally came out.”
  • “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd is an official theme song of WrestleMania 37. The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” was also the theme of last year’s WrestleMania.
  • Edge will be the guest on this Thursday’s episode of Corey Graves’ After the Bell podcast.
  • Renee Paquette and Emilio Sparks reacted to the Royal Rumble on this week’s edition of Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast.
  • WWE has reached 10 million followers on TikTok.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman in a Last Man Standing match from the August 7, 2017 episode of Raw, Reigns vs. Strowman from the March 20, 2017 episode of Raw, and Reigns vs. Strowman from the October 12, 2015 episode of Raw.

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