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Daily Update: Jericho-Austin, Mike Goldberg, UFC notes

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WON NEWSLETTER: April 5, 2021 Observer Newsletter: NXT to Tuesdays official, UFC 260 review

The end of the Wednesday night war is the lead story in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at the announcement, international implications, barbs back-and-forth, Paul Levesque's speech announcing the move to those who work at NXT, the Wednesday night stats with one week left, a look at the final head-to-head battle, advantages each side had going in, what lessons were shown by the Wednesday wars, where each side had the advantage and what lessons it says about what people want out of their wrestling.

NXT's move to Tuesday, what should happen with the ratings based on past examples, trajectory changes of late, the numbers each show has done in the past unopposed and what should and shouldn't be expected to happen over the next few weeks. We also look at the 2021 averages for AEW and NXT.

Also in this issue:

How the Endeavor IPO changes the UFC business and how the ESPN deal makes making the big money fights less important to UFC. We look at the value of a Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou fight, but where the big payoff goes and where the big expense goes.l  We look at numbers Jones has talked about, the lightweight title, belts losing all credibility, and questions about Jones and Ngannou should a fight take place.

WWE Network shows migrating to Peacock, shows difficult to find, editing of shows, shows that had already been heavily edited, WWE next business report, how the new NFL scheduled affects Raw and WWE, Charly Caruso leaving and ESPN deal, Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck lawsuit update, William Shatner as wrestling fan decades ago, Glenn Jacobs honored, Rhea Ripley talks how she found out about her WrestleMania match, Paige talks wrestling again, writing team member let go, International TV ratings, how wrestling shows did s compared with sports programming this past week, Shawn Michaels talks superkicks, a look at the Hurt Business breakup, William Regal talks Sasha Banks, Hall of Fame news, and WWE market value.

UFC 260, with the background of the show, match-by-match coverage, business notes and poll results.

WWE heading into WrestleMania, the main event story behind the story the build up, business notes, ticket sales, NXT Takeover, plus updated lineups.

Andrade's different interviews talking why he left, the Charlotte Flair pregnancy test story, the COVID story, the Saudi Arabia trip, where he may wind up, offers made by WWE, what he wants out of his career, and what angle suggested for him that was nixed.

ROH 19th anniversary show, with highlights, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

2021 Hodge trophy award voting and why there were two winners even with the voting not close.

Non-WWE shows during WrestleMania weekend, from AEW to Game Changer, ticket sales and more.

More into 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.

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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Garrett Gonzalez and I will be back tonight talking WrestleMania week, NXT moves to Tuesday, Jones vs. Ngannou, AEW issues, Chris Jericho and much more. Bryan and I will be back on Sunday including talking about New Japan Sakura Genesis.

The most surprising news of the day was Chris Jericho being the guest on Peacock on Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions that will air after WrestleMania next Sunday. The basic story is that Austin and Jericho were talking and Austin brought up the idea of him doing the show.  He went to clear it with Vince McMahon who said it was fine. Jericho went to clear it with Tony Khan, who also said it was fine. This becomes a very interesting dynamic because there are things you know they can't talk about (AEW beating NXT in the ratings) but they also can't ignore AEW exists either. WWE gets what will likely be its most-watched non-PPV show of the year when kicking off the new streaming provider which is a real big deal. AEW in theory gets a plug right before starting unopposed on Wednesday. Jericho called it a win win situation for both sides. Tony Khan said that Jericho asked him the night before the last taping (this would be on 3/23) and he said he trusts Austin and Jericho and thought the idea sounded cool so he approved it.

The 5/25 UFC show in Houston at the Toyota Center headlined by Michael Chandler vs. Charles Oliveira was an instant sellout of 17,000 tickets. 

Jan Blachowicz, the UFC light heavyweight champion, said he's open to moving to heavyweight for a fight with Jon Jones.

The weekend's biggest show is New Japan's Sakura Genesis show which takes place at 4 a.m. Eastern time Sunday morning. The two big matches are Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP world heavyweight title and Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Sho & Yoh for the IWGP jr. tag titles. Ospreay said that the mystery new member of The Empire that will be introduced on Sunday will be a newcomer to Japan. Our only poll this weekend will be on this show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

Smackdown tonight has only announced Logan Paul appearing for the red carpet premiere of the trailer for Sami Zayn's video. 

Andrade posted a photo of him claiming it was him signing a new contract.

Dustin Poirier has said that he has signed his end of the contract for a 7/10 fight with Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Conor McGregor hasn't signed but the belief is they've largely agreed to terms.

CM Punk was one of the announcers of the CFFC show last night on UFC Fight Pass where former Olympic wrestler Khetag Pliev's left ring finger was severed. He talked to TMZ about being on a live broadcast when this happened.

The U.S. Olympic wrestling team trials final bouts will air tomorrow on NBC Sports Network. Probably the biggest news is that 2016 bronze medalist J'den Cox, who has since won two world titles, moved up to 211 to challenge Kyle Snyder, the gold medalist in 2016, for his spot. Cox then missed weight and is not wrestling in the tournament. It's unreal at that level with the Olympics once every four years to move up a class and then miss weight.

Gable Steveson and Nick Gwiazdowski won their semifinals and will meet for the Olympic team heavyweight spot in a best of three matches tomorrow.

A clarification from the current issue of the Observer regarding the AAA cruiserweight title.  AAA's Twitter did mention Lio Rush beating Laredo Kid for the title on MLW TV. The company made the decision to just act as if that title change never happened.  We had reported that AAA never reported it on social media, except they did.    

A look at Patricio Pitbull Freire and Emmanuel Sanchez before their Bellator featherweight title match tonight on Showtime.

The Bellator show starts at 9 p.m. on Showtime with:

  • Alejandra Lara (124.2) vs. Kana Watanabe (124.8)
  • Usman Nurmagomedov (155.2) vs. Mike Hamel (155.0)
  • Tyrell Fortune (251.2) vs. Jack May (264.3)
  • Neiman Grace (170.0) vs. Jason Jackson (170.9)
  • Patricio Pitbull Freire (144.1) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (144.5) for the featherweight title

Mike Goldberg is no longer announcing for Bellator. Scott Coker confirmed that he's no longer going to be announcing with the move to Showtime. Mauro Ranallo has been the voice of Showtime boxing and MMA and is very highly regarded at the station. Tonight's team is Ranallo, John McCarthy, Jenn Brown, Josh Thomson and AJ McKee.

WWE

  • There will be a full length Prime Target on the Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly match airing Tuesday on Peacock. The Hall of Fame on Tuesday starts at 8 p.m.
  • WrestleMania will have a one hour kickoff show at 7 p.m. both next Saturday and Sunday rather than the cumbersome two hour show they did in past years.
  • AB 1, the WWE TV partner in France, has announced five weeks of special programming every Monday night starting this week. The shows airing will be the Best of Smackdown special that aired in the U.S. in 2019, Legendary WrestleMania moments, WWE 24 on Raw 25, Andre the giant HBO documentary and Undertaker's Last Ride. AB Explore in Belgium will be airing all the shows except Last Ride. In a trivia note, while people will think differently, Andre the Giant is virtually known mainstream in France (thanks to Tony Bouin)

UFC

  • SportsBetting.ag has listed Leon Edwards as a -350 favorite over Nate Diaz, and Marvin Vettori as a -300 favorite over Kevin Holland in their upcoming fights.
  • Jessica Penne faces Lupita Godinez on 4/17.  Godinez replaces Hannah Goldy, who pulled out for undisclosed reasons.

OTHER NEWS

  • Kevin Eck's weekly look at the ROH news.
  • ROH will air a preview to its 500th episode with a two-hour special on Best om the Planet, a free ROH streaming channel on STIRR and PLEX on 4/15 from 6-8 p.m. Eastern. They will feature ten of the greatest matches in company history. They will announce the main event for episode 500 tomorrow at 11 a.m. on YouTube. The 500th episode also has Jonathan Gresham vs. Jay Lethal for the Pure title.
  • A story on independent shows in Tampa this coming week.
  • Dave Feldman's Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship has announced a pension plan for fighters in the promotion.  He said that each fighter after each fight will have an amount put into a pension account they can draw from after retirement.    
  • Bare Knuckle Fighting runs 4/30 in Birmingham, AL at Boutwell Auditorium, the former home of pro wrestling in that market with Josh Burs vs. Dillon Clecker and Marcel Stamps vs. Mike Richman.
  • Joe Rogan did a nearly three-hour podcast earlier in the week with Dan Gable.
  • AAW tomorrow night at 6:35 p.m. Central time from GALLI Studios in Villa Park, IL, live on Twitch with Mance Warner vs. Manders for the AAW title, ACH vs. Brayden Lee, Hyan vs. Skye Blue, Fred Yehi vs. Travis Titan and Hakim Zane vs.; Myron Reed for the Heritage title, plus Ace Austin, Matt Justice, Davey Vega, Gringo Loco, Ace Perry and more.  Dragon Bane and El Hijo del Canis Lupus debut with the group on 4/24.
  • Wrestlerock from Melbourne, Australia earlier today: Mitch Waterman & Mad Dog b RB4K, Gore b Comrade Andrewartha, Royce Chambers b Cletus, Locky Hendricks b Drunk Uncle Beej, Avary b Kellyanne, Krackerjack won over Nick Bury, Royce Chambers and Locky Hendricks to win the vacant Wrestlerock championship. This was Krakerjack's first match since 2017. The group runs Brewery Brawl on 5/15.
  • Mikey Nicholls vs. Robbie Eagles for the EPW title will be on 4/17 in Perth,Western Australia (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Faye Jackson announced she suffered a dislocated elbow and is retiring and will be off all her WrestleMania week dates in Tampa. She suffered the injury on 3/28 in a Tampa match with Bill Carr. (thanks to Shannon Walsh and Wrestlingwithdemons.net)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage at WrestleMania V

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