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Daily Update: FTR not in AEW video game, Good Brothers hit free agency

Dave Meltzer recaps another busy wrestling weekend.
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Daily Update

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

  • The lead story concerns AEW and WWE and the momentum changes, the current business environment for both companies, when momentum shifted and reasons, a listing of all the turns on AEW television of late, and goes into detail on the AEW issues with CM Punk & Adam Page, Eddie Kingston & Sammy Guevara, Thunder Rosa's injury and it is real and so much more. It's a major story and talks about the key things for AEW's future as well as the talent meeting. Also in the issue:
    • Update on Clash at the Castle and All Out including business notes
    • Hot ticket sales for AEW & WWE shows
    • UFC 278 coverage in detail by Ryan Frederick
    • A fascinating historical piece on UK star Bert Royal and the Royal Brothers tag team, why they are so important in different aspects of the changes in UK wrestling in the 50s and 60s
    • How the pandemic has affected the Japanese wrestling business as compared to other sports and sports franchises, as well as the hierarchy of popularity and how it has changed from pre-COVID until today including the percentage increase or decrease in attendance of the major groups.
    • G1 Climax star ratings, as well as readers voted best match of G1 and G1 MVP
    • More on the New Japan and Stardom joint show
    • The death of Howard Brody and his contributions to pro wrestling
    • DDT Peter Pan show
    • Television ratings for the past week
    • Arena Mexico Grand Prix
    • Next major Stardom event
    • Next major New Japan matches around the country
    • Update on Dark Side of the Ring
    • One of the best wrestling announcers who never got a break looks to be leaving
    • A look at both nights of the RevPro 10 year anniversary shows
    • Time slot changes in October for Dynamite and Smackdown
    • Upcoming ticket sales for AEW and WWE
    • International TV ratings
    • MMA judging criteria changes
    • More on Johnny Gargano's return to WWE
    • Why Jeff Jarrett is out at WWE
    • Big E update

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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Sunday News Update

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The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson( are now free agents as their Impact contracts expired. They haven't signed a new deal after signing what I believe were the highest contracts in the company. Both are booked for upcoming NJPW shows, but legally could appear on either WWE or AEW programming as soon as this week. They finished up at the Impact TV tapings the past two nights in Dallas against The OGK (Tag Team title match) and Motor City Machine Guns.

As noted in the update yesterday, AEW Fight Forever won the Best Sports/Racing Game award at Gamescon 2022. It was very impressive to win over sports games that had ten or more times the budget that this game had.

On the flip side, it also came out that FTR are not in the video game. That is bound to stir up even more controversy at a time when AEW has been filled with it.

Goro Tsurumi (Takao Tanaka) passed away in Japan on Friday at the age of 73. He had a number of health issues and passed away from blood pressure issues and sepsis. He also had heart and diabetes related health issues. He wrestled for 43 years: IWE in Japan in the 70s, All Japan from 1982-90 where he was tag team partner with Rusher Kimura and Ashura Hara among others, and later SWS, IWA and tons of indie groups including DDT. He was also Ho Chi Lau, billed as Vietnamese, in Stampede Wrestling and managed by both JR Foley and KJ Wakamatsu. He wasn't a major star but he was a good solid hard working wrestler. He worked all over the world including Europe and Mexico. He was a star in Mexico in the early 70s.

Hideki Suzuki won the A block in the N-1 tournament with a win over Go Shiozaki today in Kawasaki. Kaito Kiyomiya beat Satoshi Kojima. He and Katsuhiko Nakajima tied with 5-2 records in the B block but Kiyomiya beat Nakajima in their head-to-head meeting. The finals will be this coming Saturday night in Osaka at Edion Arena.

I wanted to note the passing of Hawaii historian George Beppu at the age of 79. He passed away in Brighton, CO, in October due to COVID, but the word just got out in wrestling circles through former Los Angeles photographer Dan Westbrook . He lived in California after wrestling and opened a Sambo's and a Sweet Caroline's shop. His photos were all over Ed Francis' book 50th State Big Time Wrestling. He was also heavily involved in this historical site. He was a photographer and magazine writer who covered the great unique shows that Ed Francis put on in the 60s and early 70s. At one time, he also did the programs for the Francis shows. He was a correspondent for my old California Wrestling Report newsletter and an early subscriber to the Observer. He had moved in with his daughter's family in recent years.

Today is an anniversary of two giant historical shows. 20 years ago today (August 28, 2022) was Pride Dynamite! at National Stadium before 70,000 fans (announced at 91,107) which featured all kinds of memorable fights including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Bob Sapp and Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Mirko Cro Cop. They did a lot of fights regardless of weight class in those days which isn't a good thing. This was the biggest crowd and gate in MMA history up to this point in time. 

The other was on August 28, 1986, at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto: a WWE show called The Big Event, headlined by a match with Hulk Hogan vs Paul Orndorff. The show set the all-time pro wrestling attendance record as far as documented numbers with just over 64,000 in the building and more than 61,000 paid. It was really the success of this show that led to the idea of WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome. It was also the first $1 million gate in North America.

Antonio Inoki, 79, appeared today on a national broadcast in Japan of the TV show 24 Hours -- an annual show that does positive stories about those who are handicapped. Inoki's health has been bad for some time and he's now wheelchair bound. There is talk in Japan of another IGF show, which is the promotion he's named after and the frontman for.

Regarding Google searches for the week, there was no pro wrestling at all and no UFC since yesterday was a rare Saturday without a show. There were two boxing related searches this week. Celebrity KSI, who did two fights against overmatched guys, was No. 3 in the country with 500,000 searches yesterday. On Thursday, Mike Tyson had 50,000 based on the new Hulu series on him that is getting a lot of talk.

WWE's A&E shows tonight:

  • 8 PM: Rey Mysterio
  • 10 PM: WWE Rivals: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddy Guerrero
  • 11 PM: Smack Talk with Rey & Dominik Mysterio 

ABC was heavily pushing ads for Family Feud tonight with the Mysterio family vs. The Miz family. It's crazy that as timing would have it, Rey's bio on A&E goes head-to-head with the show.

They have broken up the combo packs for AEW tickets in Chicago. Previously all the All Out tickets were tied into combo packs as the individual show tickets sold out as soon as they were put on sale. As of this morning there were 716 individual tickets to the PPV out.

Results from last night's WWE house show bout in Springfield, MA -- their first time in the city in three years:

    • Usos b Street Profits to keep the tag titles clean
    • Ciampa b Cedric Alexander clean. Alexander's shoulder was taped up
    • Bobby Lashley retained the U.S.title in a three-way over A.J. Styles and Theory when Lashley pinned Theory with a spear.
    • Iyo Sky b Asuka with an akward finish. The ref counted the pin with both in the ropes. Bianca Belair was advertised and it was never announced in the market but she was pulled to do an appearance at a college football game. Becky Lynch was advertised but obviously she's injured. Rhea Ripley was advertised but not there.
    • Kevin Owens b Chad Gabe
    • Gunther kept the IC tile over Ricochet. Very good match, crowd was behind Ricochet.
    • The main event was scheduled as Drew McIntyre & New Day vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland & Butch. They announced McIntyre was pulled due to the angle shot Friday night. Actually they are trying to rest him up with a legit back injury going into the Clash at the Castle show. So it was a three-on-two match until McIntyre showed up and hit Butch with a Claymore kick for the win. 
    • McIntyre said he was given the option to take the weekend off but he didn't want to miss this show and then he and New Day closed with a dancing routine. McIntyre cut a promo encouraging people to watch Clash at the Castle. (thanks to Jordan Sayle)

The same crew runs in Manchester, NH, tonight and we're looking for reports on that show to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

"Alpha Female" Jazzy Gabert vs. The Ava will be a first round match for the IWGP Women's title tournament at Royal Quest in London. Originally there were going to be four women wrestlers in the international bracket and four in the Japanese bracket. Now it's down to three as the Gabert/Ava winner will face another woman. On the Japanese side, the highest placing wrestler in the Five Star tournament from Stars, Donna Del Mondo, Oedo Tai and Queen's Quest will be in the four-women tournament. The finals are set for 11/20 following the semifinals on 10/23.

WWE

A great BT Sports Clash at the Castle preview video on Drew McIntyre:

The Extreme Rules show on 10/8 in Philadelphia has passed 10,000 tickets out.

Some odds from BetOnline regarding Clash at the Castle:

Roman Reigns -160
Drew McIntyre +120

Lix Morgan - 400
Shayna Baszler +250

Gunther -600
Sheamus +350

Seth Rollins -165
Riddle +125

Bayley & Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky -450
Bianca Belair & Asuka & Alexa Bliss +275

UFC

Paulo Costa underwent surgery on Thursday after breaking his hand in the much-talked about fight with Luke Rockhold that took place last weekend in Salt Lake City.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus will be on the 10/1 show in Las Vegas.

Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon has been scheduled for 10/15.

Michael Johnson vs. Marc Diakiese is scheduled for a 12/3 show.

Other Notes

Spike Trivett won the Progress title today from Big Damo, who had just won the title earlier this month.

Hugo Saving, the AAA television announcer, and El Pro fe, who had a major feud with him in Puerto Rico in 1987, are billed as having the last match of their feud on 11/5 for the Robles Promotion in Mexico.

Former UFC star Vitor Belfort will have a boxing match against Hasim Rahman Jr., on 10/15 in Sheffield, England. It will be part of a double celebrity boxing style main event called DAZN X Series 002. The other big match on the show will be announced later.

IWR on 10/27 in Monroe, MI.

IWF has its 25th anniversary show on 10/8 at North Arlington High School in New Jersey with Tony Atlas and Gillberg.

Rob Van Dam vs. Dante Martin headlines First Wrestling on Saturday night at the Mall of America, the famous site of the debut episode of Nitro. It will be the first time pro wrestling has been at the Mall in 17 years. The show is already sold out.

Bill Behrens (showbis@aol.com) is taking bookings for a ton of talent, including Flip Gordon, Chris Masters and Joe Hendry (who has a U.S. working visa and will be regularly in the U.S.).

For those in Chicago this week, AAW has a Thursday show at the Logan Square Auditorium with Josh Alexander vs. Masha Slamovich for the Impact world title, Christi Jaynes vs. Billie Starkz for the women's title, Jah-C & ACH vs. Alex Hammerstone & Ace Perry, Ace Austin vs. Davey Vega for the Heritage title, Silas Young vs. Brayden Lee, Gringo Loco vs. Dante Leon vs. Mike Bennett vs. Laredo Kid, Levi Everett vs. Ren Jones and Aussie Open & Zachary Wentz vs. Manders & Gnaris Garvin & Rich Swann.

Paul Sosnowski noted to us that Will Ospreay and Rey Fenix have had three singles matches: September 2, 2016, at BOLA which I was at, March 31, 2077 for RevPro and April 20, 2019 for Fight Club Pro in the UK. Kenny Omega and Ospreay have wrestled once, as noted on AEW television, a singles match on December 11, 2015 at PWG All-Star Weekend.