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Daily Update: Finn Balor, Ethan Page, AEW notes

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WON NEWSLETTER: January 4, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Rest in Peace Brodie Lee & Danny Hodge

A look at the death, unique lives and careers of Jon Huber and Danny Hodge is the focus of what is the best issue of the Observer in more than a decade.

Details surrounding the Huber health crisis and death, words from his wife, how he got started in wrestling, my own personal thoughts regarding my interaction with him, his leaving WWE for AEW, his WWE run with The Wyatt Family, what were the plans for the Bludgeon Brothers to imitate and how it fell through, the match that changes his WWE focus, the background of his big decision, what match was scheduled for him that fell through, how his AEW term played out with his biggest matches, why the death became such a huge news story, the story behind and coverage of the tribute show and more.

The iconic figure of Danny Hodge with what should be a movie script, covering growing up in a small town known for wrestling, his unique childhood, his developing his legendary grip strength, his unbelievable credentials as a wrestler, MMA, street fights, the auto accident that ended his career, his biggest pro wrestling matches, his boxing career and why people will talk about him as his records every year going forward.

Also in this issue:

Preview the Wrestle Kingdom shows this week, covering the matches and the stories behind the matches, as well as how the restrictions have changed things.

Update the Royal Rumble including a gimmick match being talked about, new WWE show, top 25 WWE matches of the year, U.K. and Canadian ratings as well as where pro wrestling ranks in sports ratings, market value of WWE as well as the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

2020 Wrestling Observer Awards ballot.

Television stations that carried wrestling and MMA in 2020 and how they did, and how wrestling did in comparison with the station's usual programming.

Detailed look at the 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 dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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.

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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.

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • Triple H, Finn Balor, and Billie Kay were on today’s episode of The Bump.
  • Finn Balor defended Goldberg and other WWE legends returning this past Monday in an interview with Metro UK. “Doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “I believe that everyone has a place in this business, and if you’re on the show, you’re on the show for a reason. If you’re on the show once a year, if you’re on the show every night, that’s down to everybody’s individual circumstance. Those guys have carved out their legacy and proven over the years that they belong on the show. Whether it’s for one night or it’s every night, that doesn’t affect me and it shouldn’t affect anyone else.”
  • Balor also spoke to Sports Illustrated on his recovery from his jaw injury that took place at NXT TakeOver 31 back in October.
  • Full matches added to WWE’s YouTube page today include Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler from the January 3, 2020 SmackDown, a battle royal that took place on July 15, 2019, and The Miz & Shane McMahon vs. The Bar for the SmackDown Tag Team titles from the 2019 Royal Rumble.
  • The Miz and Maryse will guest star on Nickelodeon’s “The Substitute” this Thursday.
  • Mick Foley on Twitter called on Vince McMahon to remove President Donald Trump from the WWE Hall of Fame.

Other Wrestling

  • Here is the pre-show prior to tonight’s Dynamite.
  • Fightful Select is reporting that the Karate Man vs. Ethan Page match that was announced for Hard to Kill was taped during the November tapings. Page's contract with the company has expired and has left. 
  • AEW Games will hold their first 2.Show tonight following AEW Dynamite.
  • ROH has added a free match to their YouTube page featuring Brodie Lee teaming with Delirious to take on Kenny King and Rhett Titus from ROH Bound by Hate 2008.
  • Edge responded to an ELP tweet that highlighted his Edge-inspired gear for Wrestle Kingdom 15. “Very cool, although I’m biased," Edge wrote. "Keep crushin it man."
  • The latest Aces High column has Hiroshi Tanahashi’s thoughts on Riki Choshu returning to NJPW in 2004.
  • Demente Animation Studio and Masked Republic have signed a production pact that will allow them to collaborate on Lucha Libre related content. 

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Stevens and Bockwinkel win AWA Tag Team titles

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