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Daily Update: Ed Asner, Jim Ross, Stardom notes


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WON NEWSLETTER: August 30, 2021 Observer Newsletter: CM Punk debuts in AEW, SummerSlam review

An amazing weekend for pro wrestling as AEW on 8/20 featured the return of C.M. Punk, while WWE the next day at SummerSlam brought back Becky Lynch and Brock Lesnar.

The Punk return was one of the most amazing television wrestling moments in history. Never before has a show been announced with simply a name, The Last Dance, just a few weeks ahead of time, in a building the size of the United Center in Chicago, and sold out instantly.

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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering all the latest pro wrestling and MMA news. Garrett and I have a great show with Tony Khan covering a ton of different AEW topics including All Out, location for one of the first if not the first UK show, and talks about roster expansion.

Tony Khan said reports that they are looking to remove Jim Ross as announcer are inaccurate.  He said he's never said that and he's also told Ross he's never said that. Ross has said the report was news to him.

Want to note the death of Ed Asner, one of the greatest television actors of all-time, including the portrayal of newsman Lou Grant on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the show called Lou Grant, which were both among the biggest hits in television of their era. Asner was 91.  Asner had a pro wrestling connection. He was the star of the 1974 movie "The Wrestler," promoted by Verne Gagne where he essentially played the role of promoter Verne Gagne while Gagne played the role of wrestler Verne Gagne. It was by no means a good movie, but if you are a wrestling fan, it was a fascinating look at the early 70s AWA during one of its hotbeds and the Verne Gagne vs. Billy Robinson babyface vs. babyface feud over the AWA title.  Another pro wrestling related note is that Asner was a notable high school football star in Kansas City.  I don't know if he was a teammate or rival of Bob Orton, the grandfather of Randy Orton, who himself was a major wrestling star in the 50s, 60s and 70s. However, the two were close friends dating back to high school football, who kept in contact long after Asner became a star and talked fairly regularly until Orton's death. When Asner would get to Minneapolis, he would look up Gagne as well.

Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley PPV is tonight from Cleveland.  60.1% of bet money bet on Paul, but 72.0% of total betters picked Woodley. Paul is the -195 favorite and as someone who is younger and has boxed, should be the favorite over Woodley, who has never boxed and is long past his prime as an MMA fighter. But Woodley should provide far more competition than Ben Askren did.

These are numbers based on the major markets for Smackdown and Rampage on Friday night.  This would factor out any football pluses and minuses in the sense of being credited with or having the numbers lower by not being in the time slot because there are all markets that didn't have NFL games on FOX affiliates last week or this week. Smackdown with the promotion of Becky Lynch and Brock Lesnar, the latter who wasn't there, was up 15.9% in those markets in 18-49 and 13.6% in households. So huge increases and great numbers.

Friday's Rampage, the 18-49 number based on the major markets was 54% of the prior week. The household number was 63.5% of the prior week. That would be considered good if that holds up nationally. Last week's number wasn't about to come close to being duplicated and may never be in that time slot. But unlike last week, where, with DVR+3 numbers figured in, Rampage was the No. 1 sports show on television for the week in either cable or broadcast, this week it will be back to normal numbers. Based on these numbers it should be below week one, not not far below week one. But again, it's only measuring a few markets. National numbers for both shows will be available tomorrow.

People have been raving to me about today's Stardom show from the Shiodome in Tokyo. It is up on YouTube for free and the Natsupoi vs. Starlight Kid match was said to be among  Stardom's best this year and Takuma Iroha vs. Maika was said to be very good. Sayaka Unagi vs. Rina was also praised given the level of experience of both wrestlers. 

Stardom shows are going to be all singles matches for the next month to catch up on the 5 Star Grand Prix due to shows being canceled the past few weeks from COVID. Stardom also has an October show announced for Osaka Jo Hall.  In addition, Hazuki ame out of retirement today and is back full-time.

As noted on the front page, there will be Stardom matches at the Wrestle Grand Slam shows at the MetLife Dome in Tokorozawa on Saturday and Sunday that will air on New Japan World.  In the past, the women's matches were only for the live show.  Many big names won't be at the show because Stardom is running regular shows on those dates.

The NWA anniversary show from the Chase Hotel in St. Louis is available on PPV and FITE today including Nick Aldis putting up the NWA title against the career of Trevor Murdoch, plus Ric Flair return to the Chase, where he had many big television matches in the late 70s and early 80s.  Billy Corgan got John Goodman to do the voiceover for the opening of the show.

It was announced last night that the new International Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame out of Albany, NY, which had its first induction ceremony last night, would be housed at the Times Union Center, the city's major sports arena. The current issue goes through the large induction class that includes most of the biggest names in pro wrestling history.


  • The new Broken Skull Sessions with Steve Austin episode with John Cena debuts on Peacock and the WWE Network on 9/26, after the Extreme Rules PPV show.


  • The actress who plays the role of Carol Spade on Heels, Alice Barrett, is the cousin of AEW announcer Alex Marvez. Marvez told her to study Ann Gunkel for her role.  


  • Ben Rothwell vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima was announced for 11/13.


  • Great Muta hit Kaito Kiyomiya with a car earlier today after a pro wrestling show in Kanazawa, Japan in an angle to build a future match.  
  • Was told that  Friday's Steve Corino vs. Colby Corino match that aired on IWTV was very emotional and worth going out of your way to see.
  • Insane Wrestling Revolution from Thursday night in Monroe, MI:  Mysterious Movado b Sam Beale,Alex Cluckey b Nate Bock, Benjamin Boone b Kenny Urban, Trey Miguel b Cody Deaner, Dread King Logan b Rd Lee, Aaron Orion & Tommy Vendetta b DBA & Malcolm Monroe III, Darren McCarty (former NHL star with the Detroit Red Wings) b Chinstrap Jesus, Dread King Logan won three-way over Rhino and Konnor (from The Ascension).  Shane Douglas managed Logan.  Next show is 10/14 with Douglas & Logan vs. Tommy Dreamer & Rhino (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • This week was the 30th anniversary of the death of Martin Karadagian, the promoter and top star in Argentina television wrestling history with his Los Titanes En El Ring promotion ran from 1962 to 1988.  It was the most popular promotion in the history of the country and there is a long article on his career in the 2008 Hall of Fame issue of the Observer.
  • Crusherfest, a Milwaukee festival based on the city's most popular wrestler, was announced for 10/9 and 10/10 at 1101 Milwaukee Ave., in South Milwaukee, the area where Crusher's statute is located.  It will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.  There will be live wrestling, old wrestling stars, cold beer, food, and polka music as well as a Mr. Saloon contest.
  • Bill Apter talks to Tammy Sytch about a typical day in jail, future goals, & more on the Apter Chat. Taped 8/28/21 at the @IPWHF.
  • Lacey Von Erich's SWE Fury ran last night in Irving, TX.  Scott Steiner, Salina de la Renta, Chavo Guerrero and Teddy Long were all advertised and not there.  Their scheduled 9/11 show in Hamilton, TX has been canceled.
  • Great North Wrestling yesterday in Kingston, ONT:
  • Afternoon show:  Hardcore Steve b Skykes,Jeff Black b Kyle;e Boone, Miss Alexia b Frank Drouin, Shilo b Sabrina Kyle, Rene Dupree b Rex Atkins, Mike Bailey & Kristera b Jeremy Prophet & Jessica Black, Blood Hunter b Colin Street & Jason Petitclerc
  • Evening show:  Miss Alexia b Eve, Jessica black b Kristera, Sabrina Kyle b Rough House Jeff Black, Nova b Shilo to win women's title, Jeremy Prophet b Mike Bailey to keep Canadian title, Blood Hunter b Rene Dupree to retain GNW heavyweight title (thanks to Anthony Ambrose)
  • Clash Wrestling from last night in Allen Park,MI:  Damian Chambers b Breyer Wellington, Natalya Markova b Nevaeh, Elk won four-way over  Darian Ultra, Rick Michaels and Frank Isaac Anderson to because the first Big League Brews champion, Jake Crist won three-way over James Alexander and Ren Jones, Joe Coleman & Idris Abraham b Tommy Trznik & Cameron Sky, Josh Alexander b Juntai to win heavyweight title (thanks to Leonard Brand)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWF SummerSlam 1992 at Wembley Stadium