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Daily Update: Final Battle, UFC weigh-ins, Paul Varelans


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WON NEWSLETTER: December 21, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Wrestle Kingdom 15 cards, TripleMania

We look at New Japan's road to the Tokyo Dome and the first group of major shows in 2021 as the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at the realities of business, the set up, the announced matches, and the last few shows leading up to the Dome events. We also have complete coverage from the Budokan Hall show and Super J Cup.

The new issue also covers:

TLC show, Smackdown live and taped shows, new television shows being considered, WWE Network special offer, Bill Goldberg talks who he'd like to wrestle, details on a new contract negotiation, more about wrestlers being sent for regular training, upcoming NXT matches, Hall of Fame, injury updates, new signing, new TV show, international ratings, how WWE & AEW fare compared to sports programming, new TV character identified, WWE market value and the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

UFC monopoly lawsuit and its ramifications on both the MMA and pro wrestling business regarding competition, ability to hold people to long-term contracts, and competitor pay, and the kind of money we are talking about and why.

A bio of Dr. Alfonso Morales, the legendary Lucha Libre and boxing announcer, who passed away this past week.  We look at his background and legacy and why he became so good at what he did.

Major lawsuit involving Lucha Underground and AAA and money figures for streaming content that AAA has received.

UFC 256, with the background of the show, match-by-match coverage and the stories behind the show.

TripleMania, with business notes, popularity, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and the story behind the show.

Tokyo Sports awards for 2020 covering Japanese wrestling, as well as a history for some of the major awards.

Television business, looking at stats not available elsewhere to get the deepest read into how shows are doing, what categories are doing well and how shows compare with previous weeks and one year ago.  

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week.

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

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

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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We will have audio shows this weekend covering the ROH PPV, UFC, WWE TLC and then Raw. I'll be doing a show with Garrett Gonzalez tonight covering all of the news of the past few days.

Paul Varelans, an MMA pioneer who did one match for ECW, is in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator from COVID-19 at Emory Midtown Hospital in Atlanta. As of the latest word, he couldn't breathe on his own.

Smackdown tonight has The Street Profits vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, Bianca Belair vs. Bayley, plus Sami Zayn hosts the Sami Awards and Carmella has a champagne toast. The show airs tonight on FS 1 because FOX is airing the Pac-12 college football championship game.  205 Live has Jake Atlas vs. Tony Nese and Ever Rise vs. The Singh Brothers.

ROH tonight has a one-hour pre show at 8 p.m. Eastern followed by the PPV at 9 p.m. New matches will be announced on the preshow for the PPV.  Matches scheduled right now are:

  • Tony Deppen vs. LSG vs. Josh Woods vs Dak Draper -winner gets a TV title match on the main show
  • Danhusen vs. Brian Johnson
  • Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus vs  Fred Yehi & Wheeler Yuta in a pure rules tag team match
  • Mike Bennett & Matt Taven vs. Vincent Marseglia & Bpauateman
  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Flip Gordon for the Pure title
  • Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham vs. PCO & Mark Briscoe for the tag titles
  • Dragon Lee defends the TV title against the winner of the four-way match
  • Rush vs. Brody King for the ROH title

We're doing weekend polls for this show and for Sunday's TLC show, you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to

King will also be challenging for the U.S. title briefcase in a match with KENTA on New Japan Strong tomorrow night.

UFC weigh-ins for tomorrow's ESPN+ show which starts at 4 p.m. Eastern:

  • Christos Giagos (159.5) vs. Carlton Minus (159) - this was set for so both made weight
  • Cody Durden (126) vs. Jimmy Flick (125)
  • Tafon Nchukwl (185) vs. Jamie Pickett (184.5)
  • Gillian Robertson (125) vs. Taila Santos (126)
  • Deron Winn (194.5) vs. Antonio Arroyo (194) - this was set for 195
  • Sijara Eubanks (136) vs. Pannie Kianzad (135.5)
  • Anthony Pettis (170) vs. Alex Morono (170.5)
  • Marcin Tybura (255) vs. Greg Hardy (266)
  • Marlon Moraes (135.5) vs. Rob Font (136)
  • Khaos Williams (169.5) vs. Michel Pereira (170)
  • Jose Aldo (136) vs. Marlon Vera (135)
  • Stephen Thompson (170) vs. Geoff Neal (171)

Wayne Coleman (Superstar Billy Graham) has been hospitalized due to an infection in his big toe.


  • Next week's Smackdown show will be taped on Tuesday rather than have people tape on Christmas night.
  • The final episode of "The Mandalorian" on Disney+ came out today and Sasha Banks is part of the episode.
  • From these are TLC odds: Drew McIntyre -600 vs. A.J. Styles +350 Roman Reigns -2000 vs. Kevin Owens +650 Sasha Banks -500 vs. Carmella +300 Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin -200 vs. Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston +150 The Fiend -300 vs. Randy Orton +200
  • A cool piece of video of the Titus O'Neil foundation and Rob Elder Ford awarding a woman who worked at a local school a new care for Christmas.
  • A local news story covering the above.
  • The New York Post had a story on Miz and Maryse.


  • Frankie Edgar vs. Cory Sandhagen are expected to face off in a 2/6 fight at bantamweight.
  • The usual comedy music video piece on The Fighters Only awards this year comes from Henry Cejudo.


  • A communications professor's take on what entrepreneurs can learn from the Young Bucks' book. (thanks to Bill Zimmerman)
  • Don Callis and Kenny Omega are guests on the current episode of Talk Is Jericho.
  • Red Velvet of AEW announced her engagement to Wes Brisco, the former WWE & TNA wrestler and son of Gerald Brisco.


  • Jay Dumont, who is someone we all know from the website and Twitter, was diagnosed with lactic acidosis and was in ICU in the last 24 hours but is recovering.
  • Pat Laprade announced today that LuFisto, Yukon Eric and Henri Deglane are the new inductees into the Quebec Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. LuFisto becomes the first independent wrestler voted in and second woman in, after Vivian Vachon.
  • Takashi Sugiura & Kazushi Sakuraba defend the GHC tag titles against Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura tomorrow in Nagoya.
  • Miesha Tate is talking about coming out of retirement for a grappling match as opposed to an MMA fight, against Cris Cyborg.  She isn't going to return to MMA because contractually she still has six fights left with UFC and she's an executive with ONE so it simply wouldn't be feasible.
  • Kevin Eck's weekly look at ROH news.
  • Angry Marks interviews PCO.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Daniel Bryan wins World title at TLC 2011