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Daily Update: Jimmy Smith, Will Ospreay, TNT title

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WON NEWSLETTER: May 24, 2021 Observer Newsletter: AEW to TBS, Ospreay vacates IWGP World Heavyweight title

Our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer analyzes the WarnerMedia and AEW new deal, from the change of stations in 2022, quarterly specials both the good and bad and what they can't be or they won't work, how to tape so much content, the benefits and non-benefits of TBS vs. TNT, of a second show, how the second show idea came about, and for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction.

Also in this issue: 

  • Turmoil in New Japan, COVID issues, and first hints of what is going on behind the scenes as well as Ospreay drops title
  • Full coverage of WrestleMania Backlash, PPV numbers, next direction, poll results
  • A look at all the WWE cuts and background behind them, who was and wasn't a surprise
  • Coverage of UFC 262, back story, where everyone goes next, all the business notes on the show
  • How AEW ticket sales are doing for all the events on sale now and what that tells us about where they stand and things stand
  • All the different questions that have come out of the talks to put together Georges St-Pierre vs. Oscar de la Hoya, plus freezing contracts, Jake Paul's new deal and more
  • Lots more behind the scenes of Mayweather vs. Logan Paul including who was originally to finance the show
  • News on TripleMania, Omega vs. Andrade and other plans for Mexico's big event of the year
  • A look back at what some would say was the biggest match ever in the Carolinas and step-by-step of building it, plus the unique story of the career of Don Kernodle, from a shoot match debut, the match that led to Starrcade and more
  • The story of Sergio el Hermoso & El Bello Greco, a landmark tag team and the glory days of UWA
  • The most complete look at TV ratings available, including who watches live, how long they watch and more
  • Match of the week and performer of the week
  • Pro wrestling legend to be inducted into sports Hall of Fame
  • What wrestling promoter sang backup for John Lennon

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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • Former Bellator and UFC broadcast team member Jimmy Smith commented on the announcement that he’s joining the WWE Raw announce team: “Hey guys, well it’s been a busy day. Apparently @WWE liked my work so far. I know I’m stepping into a new world (I WAS a Mr. Perfect and Bruiser Brody fanatic however) but know I’ll do everything I can to honor the athletes and fans. Watch Monday and judge my work for yourself”
  • Edge and Sasha Banks are featured on advertising for the Friday, July 16 episode of SmackDown at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, which is the first show in WWE’s return to touring. Banks is also advertised for WWE’s Money in the Bank PPV at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday, July 18. Edge hasn’t appeared on WWE television since WrestleMania 37. Banks hasn’t appeared since the post-WrestleMania episode of SmackDown.
  • While speaking during Leaders Week, Stephanie McMahon discussed the WWE Network’s move to Peacock in the United States: “From a benefits perspective, it allows us to focus on what we do best, which is really the content production and storytelling. It’s consistent with that, we’re still getting our data -- not as much data, so maybe that’s a little bit of a downside there. But when you think about the economics, scale, and reach and of course, the added value for our fans. Our fans were paying $9.99 per month for all of WWE Network and now on Peacock they have the opportunity -- if they want to continue to pay $9.99 they certainly can for the ad-free model, they also then get all the additional content across Peacock including the Olympics, The Office, really premier content and in addition to that, they can also do the $4.99 model which is the ad-supported model, or there’s even the free model as well. So, it’s added value for our fans, economic, scale and reach for WWE and really reaching more people and bringing them into the fold.”
  • PWInsider reported that it was announced during an “all hands on deck” meeting today that WWE employees will be returning to their offices in Stamford, Connecticut starting this July. The report noted that some departments will be back doing in-person work full-time, while others may rotate from home to office. The meeting was led by WWE president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan and chief financial officer Kristina Salen.
  • Meiko Satomura told Tokyo Sports that she’ll be moving to the United Kingdom after Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling’s June 27 show in Niigata, Japan. Satomura is currently the number one contender to Kay Lee Ray’s NXT UK Women’s Championship.
  • Alexa Bliss posted a video thanking everyone who has reached out to her and shown their support following the death of her pet pig Larry-Steve. To celebrate what would’ve been Larry-Steve’s fourth birthday, Bliss held a fundraiser for a pig rescue on Instagram Live tonight: “Join us tonight at 7 PM ET. To celebrate Larry-Steve’s 4th birthday & his life/ There will be musical performances, fun Larry stories, we’re gonna talk about the importance of more vet accessibility for large & unique animals. We will also be raising money for a pig rescue.”
  • In a clip to promote Sunday’s Broken Skull Sessions episode, Steve Austin quizzed The Godfather about his various wrestling personas.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor from the May 28, 2018 episode of Raw, Rey Mysterio vs. JBL for the World Heavyweight Championship from the May 26, 2006 episode of SmackDown, and Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga in a steel cage match from the January 7, 2008 episode of Raw.

Other Wrestling

  • Will Ospreay posted a tweet today giving an update on his neck injury: “Had my physio pop over the house today & after further digging I’m now being referred for another MRI on my lower back as well for fears I may have the same issue in my neck. Things ain’t looking good, but I’m determined to comeback this year. Thanks for all the support.”
  • In an interview with Comicbook.com, Cody Rhodes spoke about why AEW isn’t planning to change the name of the TNT Championship despite Dynamite and Rampage moving to TBS in 2022: “I don't want to drop any spoilers, but I mean, I'll drop a spoiler. I don't think we're going to change the title's name one bit. TNT is the place that the first alternative challenger brand in two decades appeared on. Their excitement, our partners at WarnerMedia, and the TNT title, as I've stated, I think it is, if not the most important title in wrestling, the second most important title in wrestling. I don't see us changing that name, and I think that's kind of across the board. I don't think you'll find anybody in management or Tony himself who wants to change that name. We'll always roll with the punches and we'll always pivot, but I'm 99 percent sure the TNT title stays the TNT title.”
  • EJ Nduka spoke to Fightful about his release from NXT and a confrontation that he had with Drake Wuertz in 2019.
  • Mauro Ranallo will be part of the broadcast team for Showtime’s Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul exhibition boxing match on Sunday, June 6.
  • Post Wrestling interviewed Colt Cabana about his new Wrestling Anonymous podcast.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Power outage at In Your House: Beware of Dog

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