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Daily Update: Io Shirai, Impact Wrestling, CM Punk


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WON NEWSLETTER: April 19, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WrestleMania 37 review, WWE releases

Our annual WrestleMania issue of the Observer is out this week with full coverage of pro wrestling's biggest event.

We go through all the news of the show, including the booking, the title changes, the finishes, the direction, what did and didn't work, the difference between the two nights, after four examples how does two shows work vs one, the big money WrestleMania main events, the returns, the celebrities and business notes on the show. We also look at next year.

Also in this issue:

Match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from both nights of WrestleMania and both nights of Takeover, to see how people saw all four of the WWE's big events.

Stone Cold Broken Skull Sessions with Chris Jericho.  We talk about the stories told, Jericho's career, what they did talk about and what was avoided, how this went against usual McMahon policy and why we probably won't be seeing another show like this very soon.  We look at what was said about AEW, New Japan, WWE, some of Jericho's frustrations with WWE that he talked about, the formation of AEW and much more.

The sale of FITE TV to Triller and why it happened this week.

Anthem Entertainment's purchase of Invicta, plans for Invicta on AXS, and a sale that was talked about for Invicta that didn't happen.

WWE cuts, person by person, their strengths and weaknesses and where they would fit in.

WWE international plans, hiring of Adnan Vink as an announcer, new members of the WWE Board of Directors, how much WWE's top executives earned in 2020 and where it came from, Edge and Paul Heyman building Mania, changes in WWE announcing, WWE International numbers and where Raw & Smackdown rank with sports shows of the past week.  We also look at WWE's most-watched streaming clips and a star about to return, as well as the current market value of WWE.

Coverage of Saturday's UFC show, comments on the winning fighters and upcoming booking, along with business notes on the show.

A feature on John Da Silva, who was the biggest babyface and a national hero in New Zealand in the 70s. 

More on Ethel Johnson and sister Babs Wingo, who integrated women's pro wrestling in the Billy Wolfe stable in 1951.  

More detail on ratings than any other source, we have how every segment on NXT and AEW did as well as how it did with different age groups, genders and more, plus a look at all other wrestling shows of the past week.

Results of the major pro wrestling events of 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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  • On last night’s NXT, Io Shirai appeared for the first time since losing the NXT Women’s Championship to Raquel Gonzalez at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. Shirai took part in a sit-down interview and said she wants a rematch against Gonzalez when the time is right but is going to take some time so her body can rest first. Shirai’s interview was interrupted by Franky Monet (formerly known as Taya Valkyrie).
  • It was stated on NXT last night that Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell will be getting another shot at Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon’s NXT Women’s Tag Team titles. When the match will be happening hasn’t been announced. Blackheart & Moon retained their titles against LeRae & Hartwell at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
  • Pat McAfee released a behind-the-scenes vlog from his first night on the SmackDown commentary team.
  • Today’s edition of WWE’s The Bump was a Best Of episode featuring interviews from WrestleMania week.
  • WWE Shop has released a Mankind Signature Series title belt.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded John Cena vs. AJ Styles from the February 27, 2018 episode of SmackDown, Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth from Over the Limit 2011, and an eight-man tag match with Cena, Triple H, Kane & The Undertaker facing Edge, Randy Orton, JBL & Chavo Guerrero from the April 21, 2008 episode of Raw.

Other Wrestling

  • Impact Wrestling’s YouTube channel uploaded their full “This is Rebellion” special previewing this Sunday’s Rebellion PPV. The special is narrated by Mauro Ranallo.
  • On David Penzer’s Sitting Ringside podcast, Scott D’Amore discussed Ranallo calling Kenny Omega and Rich Swann’s title vs. title match at Rebellion: “I mean look, I think respectful to everybody else there, when you look at it, Mauro Ranallo is the greatest combat sports commentator of our generation because if you’re talking about boxing, he’s right there. You’re talking about MMA, he’s right there. You’re talking about pro wrestling, he’s right there. There is no other combat sports announcer that transcends three genres like that. So to have him come in and do this, especially after he stopped calling wrestling and it’s been a year-and-a-half, two years, whatever it’s been and for him to come back for this Sunday I think is huge and I’m -- you talk about being a mark or a mark for this, David [Penzer], I marked out. I marked out listening to -- Mauro was great in doing those ‘Five Ways To Win’ for each [Rich] Swann and Kenny Omega and as I listened to that first one, I just got chills and goosebumps kind of just listening to Mauro call IMPACT Wrestling action and break down and dissect something for an IMPACT Wrestling event. So I think it’s huge. Mauro is a guy I’ve known for over two decades. He’s uber-passionate, you know he’s gonna come in super prepared, knowing every minute detail of everything around this and to get him, like honestly, it is one of those things when me and him first chatted, I didn’t even think it was really much of a possibility but as things kind of went, it was like hey, he’s excited about this and an excited, passionate Mauro Ranallo is the absolute best and there’s no question that he will provide a world class call to a historic event.”
  • Sports Illustrated spoke to Swann ahead of Rebellion.
  • Deonna Purrazzo told TalkSport about wanting Chelsea Green back in Impact Wrestling: “I mean, especially Chelsea, but it’s kind of hard. Because when I was released last year, I was happy about it. I was kind of like ‘woohoo! Freedom! I get to be my own self.’ That’s not a lot of the cases this time around. Especially Chelsea, it was more of a shock. So I’ve just kind of been like let the dust settle and then we’ll talk about it all. Obviously IMPACT is where I want her to be and I want her to thrive and succeed. I think being so close and having the relationship we do, her seeing me thrive the last year too, is kind of a relief. And seeing her fiance Matt Cardona thrive in the last year is relieving, too. Because it’s like I thought I was going to be at this place, I thought it was going to be my forever home, but I’ll be OK no matter what. Been there, done that. I’m sure IMPACT would love to have her back. She’s a former Knockouts champion too…”
  • Sports Illustrated asked CM Punk if he would consider returning to pro wrestling under the right circumstances: “I don’t know. I’ve said no before in interviews. I’m not fishing for a deal. I get offered to do a lot of stuff, and I say no to 90% of it just because my thing is I need to work with quality human beings. It just seems like maybe in pro wrestling there is a lack of quality human beings. I don’t know. I like doing fun, quality projects. If there is a fun, quality wrestling project that gets sent my way, I will listen to it.”
  • Punk went on to say: “I don’t need the money. And the way the wrestling business is now, it’s wacky. You’ve got WWE, who has multiple billion-dollar television deals, and the television’s awful. I go back there, I’m just another guy. And it’s not even that -- I’d be just another guy that’s doing not-good television. I want to do stuff that’s good. I want my name attached to quality projects, where it’s fun and it makes people laugh, smile, think and people don’t hate watching it. I want to do fun stuff.”
  • Ahead of tonight’s Dynamite, AEW announced this week’s roster rankings.
  • Joey Janela tweeted about a scary situation where his hood flew up and smashed his windshield while he was driving to Jacksonville for this week’s AEW events: “Driving to Jax and my hood flew up and completely smashed my windshield resulting in a near heart attack. Luckily this cigarette smoking angel came out of nowhere and tied it down for me! Still good people in this world!”
  • Bleacher Report has an interview with Christian Cage.
  • Queen Aminata, who made her AEW Dark debut earlier this month, has tested positive for COVID-19 and had to cancel her upcoming bookings. Aminata noted that she wasn’t able to fly to Florida this week due to testing positive.
  • Lucha Libre AAA has announced Rey de Reyes 2021 for Saturday, May 1. The show will air live on Space.
  • Sangree Park in Ross Township, Pennsylvania is being renamed after Bruno Sammartino. The renaming will occur at an event this Friday.

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