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Daily Update: Jon Huber, WWE at MSG, Japan notes

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WON NEWSLETTER: December 27, 2021 Observer Newsletter: COVID hits pro wrestling again, Corporal Kirchner passes away

In this week's issue: 

  • The first new wave COVID issues for pro wrestling
  • The life and times of Corporal Mike Kirchner and Super Leather
  • WWE's traditionally biggest house show run of the year and notes on how every show is doing
  • Updates on WWE Day 1, new matches, matches originally set, interest level in the show
  • WWE company value
  • Lots of news regarding prospective WWE new signees
  • Ticket sale updates for all major upcoming WWE & AEW events
  • How the AEW audience grew for Page vs. Danielson
  • Which pro wrestling show was the youngest skewing sports show of the past week
  • TV ratings for the major shows and the why
  • The ratings category WWE SmackDown led in that they almost never do
  • International TV ratings
  • Bret Hart honored in Canada
  • Wrestling Hall of Famer named to state sport Hall of Fame
  • A horrible in-ring incident and background
  • Stardom PPV notes
  • Full UFC coverage

Current subscribers click here to read.

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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Garrett and I did our weekend show already today and talked about a number of different topics including how the audience for WWE and AEW has changed over the past year, Brodie Lee, the Brodie Lee tribute TV show, Hook, Cody Rhodes and answering questions. 

As things stand right now, it is most likely Garrett and I will be doing tomorrow night's show covering Raw and Bryan and I will be back on Wednesday.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of Jon Huber aka Brodie Lee. With the benefit of hindsight, the Jon Huber tribute show that AEW put on, for what it was supposed to be, was among the best television wrestling shows in history.

Big E wrote this for today about Jon Huber: “One year ago today, Jon Huber, one of my best friends on earth, passed away. I still have a dozen things I want to text him every day. I still remember the way he would type out laughter in text (“ha ha ha.”). I still have the play-by-play of his son’s amateur wrestling performance in my phone, as Jon anxiously & proudly watched on. The dream of driving fifteen minutes to his Tampa house for Sunday dinners when we retired still lingers. There will still never be anyone to fill his shoes. As painfully tragic as this has all been, there’s so much good to reflect on. I’m so grateful that so many people have made a commitment to keeping Jon’s memory alive. I’m so glad he so enriched the lives of so many people in and out of this profession. Brodie (he was always “Brodie” to me), the laughs we shared far surpassed the tears I’ve shed over you. I hope we all continue to honor you in the way you deserve. I still miss you and will always love you, my friend.” 

WWE returns to the road with shows tonight in Madison Square Garden and the Amalie Arena in Tampa. Due to issues with a number of COVID positives, there will be key people missing on both shows. PW Insider reported that WWE sent Natalya, who is on the Smackdown side, to the Raw show in MSG and that they are trying to bring in Edge for a house show appearance due to those missing the show. Natalya on social media confirmed being on the way to the show. 

We are looking for reports on both of today's shows as well as all the shows this week including tomorrow's Raw in Detroit and the Smackdown brand house show in Orlando. We're looking for results, finishes and other highlights to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

Tonight's MSG show may be the lowest attended show in the building in decades. There were less than 5,800 tickets out as of Thursday and because of business relationships, there would be more of those comped than any other arena they would run a house show in. This is with a show advertised around the first time there had ever been two cage matches on a cad in the building.  Tommaso Ciampa vs. Pete Dunne for the NXT title will be on all the Raw brand house shows this week starting with MSG tonight.

Planned for Raw, and everything is subject to change due to and Omicron strain of COVID spreading,  is A.J. Styles vs. Omos, Damien Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler for the U.S. title, Finn Balor vs. Austin Theory, Randy Orton vs. Otis and Miz and Maryse renew their wedding vows. If Montez Ford is cleared they will do the finals of the tag team tournament from a few weeks ago with the Mysterios vs. Street Profits, also depending on if Vince McMahon changes his mind.

Becky Lynch is appearing on the TMZ Merry Effin' Christmas special tonight on FOX.

SB Kento appeared to have injured his knee at today's Dragon Gate show. Kento & Hyo won the Open the Twin Gate titles at today's show at the Fukuoka International Center Arena from Naruki Doi & Takashi Yoshida. Kai beat Yamato in 27:16 to win the Open the Dream Gate title in the main event.

For Wednesday's Stardom PPV from Sumo Hall in Tokyo with the Utami Hayashishita vs; Syuri no time limit rematch, it will be on PPV.  We should have more details on this tomorrow but there will be English broadcasting from Stewart Fulton and Waka Tsukiyama (who will likely join in match three since she's working on the card).

On the DDT show at Yoyogi Gym, Konosuke Takeshita retained the KO-D title over Yuji Okabayashi and Harashima & Naomi Yoshimura beat Yuji Hino & The Bodyguard. Was told the Takeshita vs. Okabayashi match was great.

42-year-old Takanori Gomi, who last fought at 172 but fought most of his career at 155, faces Tenshin Naskuawa, who usually fights at 124 pounds and is a 23-year-old kickboxing star as the featured match of the traditional Rizin New Year's Eve show at the Saitama Super Arena. It will be  a two round exhibition fight under boxing rules.  Nasukawa, who fought Floyd Mayweather under boxing rules at the New Year's Eve show on December 31, 2018, has said he will be leaving kickboxing for boxing. 

WWE

  • A stock analyst article on WWE. Not much to it, basically just that the stock has underperformed over the last six months. The big rally was when rumors flew that there may be a sale.  

UFC

  • Kai Kara France vs. Askar Askarov is earmarked for the 3/26 show.
  • Jack Shore vs. Timur Valiev has been added to the 3/19 show.  Valev replaces Umar Nurmagomedov.  Share comes into the fight with a 15-0 record.

OTHER NOTES

  • A list of names scheduled for WrestleCon in Dallas in conjunction with WrestleMania include Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt), Mickie James, Scarlett Bordeaux, Atsushi Onita, Killer Kross, Sam Houston, Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, Tommy Rich, Ted DiBiase Jr., Honky Tonk Man, Chelsea Green, Brutus Beefcake, Maria Kanellis-Bennett, Swoggle, Brian Myers, Matt Cardona and Velvet Sky.  
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov's Eagle FC announced a 3/11 fight in Miami with Kevin Lee vs.  Diego Sanchez.
  • The 1/12 Invicta show will not be airing on AXS, even though Anthem Sports & Entertainment owns the promotion.  It will instead air on YouTube and the MMA Junkie website.  The main event has Alesha Zappitella vs. Jessica  Delboni.
  • Petey Williams was originally scheduled for the Insane Wrestling Revolution holiday show on Wednesday in Monroe, MI but has bee pulled due to WWE commitments as he is now working for the promotion as a producer.  Chris Sabin will be replacing him in a match with Trey Miguel to crown the group's first U.S. champion.  Other matches on the show include Madman Fulton vs. Dread King Logan, Rhino vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Game Changers, Sam Beale vs. Kenny Urban and Swoggle & Konnor are in action. (thanks to Paul Meade)
  • A correction from the Observer is that the Atsushi Onita vs. Bully Ray match on 3/26 at the 2300 Arena will not be an explosive death match.  There will be a stipulation added but they won't be doing an explosive match because it's not safe indoors and they don't want to risk bad explosions.
  • LFA has announced shows on 2/4 in Hammond,IN at the Horseshoe Casino, 2/11 in Phoenix at the Arizona Federal Theater on UFC Fight Pass, as well as 2/25 in Niagara Falls, NY at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino.

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