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Daily Update: Full Gear, Final Battle, Thunder Rosa

DAILY UPDATE

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F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping WWE Crown Jewel

Joseph Currier gives his thoughts on Crown Jewel and the travel delays the WWE roster faced after the show.

When Crown Jewel ended last Thursday, it seemed like things weren't quite as awful for WWE as their previous shows in Saudi Arabia.

In the ring, this year's Crown Jewel was probably the best event that WWE has had in Saudi Arabia. There were low points, but the show was focused more on the current roster and special attractions than relying solely on nostalgia. Though Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were part of the show, they coached teams of current wrestlers and weren't actually competing themselves. A major title change even took place, with The Fiend becoming Universal Champion by defeating Seth Rollins in their falls count anywhere main event.

Most importantly for WWE, they got to put on the first-ever women's match in Saudi Arabia. Natalya defeated Lacey Evans, and it went as well as could be expected. There were obviously restrictions, including what Natalya and Evans were allowed to wear. But the quality of the match was largely irrelevant to WWE. Natalya and Evans treated this like a milestone that they were honored to be part of. The audience also played their part, helping WWE's narrative come off as more than just hollow messaging.

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WON NEWSLETTER: November 11, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Situation with WWE and Saudi Arabia, NXT invasion, more

A look at what happened with WWE talent in Saudi Arabia, details on the NXT invasion, more.

One of the craziest few days in WWE history included a problem with getting talent out of Saudi Arabia after the Crown Jewel show, the best episode of Smackdown which could change the trajectory of the Wednesday night wars, and the company announcing a new deal with Saudi Arabia.

On 11/4 after the stock price reached an 18-month low of $53.16 per share leaving the company with a $4.182 billion price, the company announced an extension of its deal with Saudi Arabia to confirming two shows per year instead of the originally contracted one (the second these past two years being added) through the original conclusion of the deal in 2027. The company also announced that the Saudi General Entertainment Authority is continuing to work through completion of a new television deal in the Middle East region.

At press time, that announcement stopped the free-fall and it seemed to steady at $55.42 per share on 11/6, upping the value to $4.596 billion. Even at this price, forgetting about the Saudi deal and figuring in more declining network numbers, the value of the television deals makes this a low price based on expected profits over the next five years.

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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • Universal Champion The Fiend appeared to kick off a feud with Daniel Bryan on SmackDown last night. In a backstage segment that was on the episode but wasn't shown to the crowd at yesterday’s tapings, The Fiend attacked Bryan and put him in the Mandible Claw.
  • WWE Network News reported that a new episode of Table for Three will air after Raw on Monday. It will feature Bruce Prichard, Shane McMahon, and John Laurinaitis.
  • On Twitter today, Donald Trump responded to a post by Vince McMahon about February’s launch of the XFL: “Good luck Vince, this will be great!”
  • Kevin Owens thanked the Manchester crowd for the big reaction he got at yesterday’s Raw tapings.
  • Today is the 22nd anniversary of the Montreal Screwjob.
  • WWE has filed a trademark for “The New Day: Feel the Power” as a podcast name.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded John Cena vs. Kurt Angle from Survivor Series 2005.

Pro Wrestling

  • AEW’s first PPV since their weekly television debut takes place tonight as the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland hosts Full Gear. The pre-show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, with the main card starting a half hour later. Here’s the card for the PPV: Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley in an unsanctioned lights out match AEW World Champion Chris Jericho defending against Cody (There will be a panel of three judges who will decide the winner if the match goes to a 60-minute draw. Cody has said he won't challenge for the title again if he doesn't win.) AEW Women’s Champion Riho defending against Emi Sakura AEW Tag Team Champions SCU (Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian) defending against The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix) and Private Party (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy) in a triple threat match PAC vs. Hangman Page The Young Bucks vs. Santana & Ortiz Joey Janela vs. Shawn Spears Britt Baker vs. Bea Priestley (pre-show)
  • AEW released the opening video for the PPV.
  • Today is Jericho’s 49th birthday.
  • Omega helped build up Riho and Sakura’s title match with a tweet about their history against each other.
  • In a tweet that he posted and then deleted, Cody wrote that Baker has the flu but is still wrestling tonight: “Side note for today: Britt Baker is a Warrior. Girl has the full blown flu and still competing.”
  • Priestley cut a promo responding to Baker ahead of their match.
  • Chuck Liddell and Luke Rockhold wished their “Cagefighter” co-star Moxley good luck against Omega at Full Gear.
  • Omega responded to Dave Meltzer’s report about him being stopped going into Japan three times since he left NJPW: “One day I’m gonna have a lot of wild stories to tell about my 2019 that a lot of people won’t want to believe. But the truth is actually way worse than what’s been rumored and/or reported.”
  • At a Starrcast media scrum, Darby Allin spoke about why joining AEW appealed to him more than WWE: "Creative freedom, hands down. A lot of people if they see me at first, they don't know how to present me. AEW is like 'how do you want to be presented?' instead of 'this is how we're going to present you.' Give me that creative freedom. WWE would have probably made me a creepy figure in a boiler room jacking off or something. No, I'm fine. I want to skateboard and represent that culture.”
  • ROH announced that Jay Lethal will be ready to return from his broken arm in time for next month’s Final Battle PPV. Lethal & Jonathan Gresham will challenge for The Briscoes’ Tag Team titles.
  • A street fight between Mark Haskins (w/ Vicky Haskins) and Bully Ray is set for Final Battle.
  • Pro Wrestling: EVE streamed day one of their She-1 Series on YouTube today.

MMA

  • A suspect (Ibraheem Yazeed) has been charged with first-degree kidnapping in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard. Blanchard, who is the stepdaughter of the UFC’s Walt Harris, is still missing.
  • Thunder Rosa (Melissa Cervantes) made her Combate Americas debut last night and lost to Nadine Mandiau via unanimous decision. Cervantes posted a statement after the fight: “Ok here I go on this post.....June 2019 marked the beginning of a wild ride that is called MMA. I was afraid and uncertain that I was going to be able to achieve this. Many times I was tired, exhausted and ready to quit. Being a full.timw wrestler on the road and training 4-6 times a.week was.not an easy task. However, my coaches, family,friends and sponsors that stood right next to me, offered me comfort and a shoulder to cry on. With that said I want to thank everyone, like EVERYONE who stood with me. Who spared with me,.who yelled at me, who gave me time of their schedule to work extra rounds, to teach me and keep me focused. Although my hand wasnt the one raised at the end, I left my heart and soul in that #jaula I have no regrets, I earn more experience and I want to keep getting better everyday. With the blood, sweat and tears tonight thunder Rosa the wrestler entered #lajaula but MELISSA Thunder Rosa CERVANTES the warrior was born! Never give up!”
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov thinks Conor McGregor should win 10 fights in a row before he gets a rematch against him.
  • Nurmagomedov wants an apology from the Nevada State Athletic Commission before he fights in the state again.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The Montreal Screwjob

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