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Daily Update: Keith Lee, Finn Balor/Kyle O'Reilly, Josh Mathews

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WON NEWSLETTER: February 15, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Butch Reed bio, Bellator to Showtime

A look at the career of 80s star Hacksaw Butch Reed, who passed away this past week, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at all of his titles won, sports career before wrestling, what was and wasn't exaggerated about him, how he got started in wrestling, how fast it was that he was moved to star status, including main eventing at the key wrestling arenas in the country very early, the role Dory Funk Jr, made in his career, how he was booked, a super tag team with Skip Young that few outside of Florida ever saw, feuding with the biggest names on top, his matches with Ric Flair up and down the state of Florida, his sellout with Flair in St. Louis, runs in Georgia and his move to Mid South, his Mid South runs, the high point of his career, his feud with JYD, his Superdome main events, his face and heel turns, his biggest angles, his fight with John Nord and his departure from Mid South, his meeting with Slick, heading to WWF as The Natural Butch Reed, and his WCW run as part of the tag team of Doom with Ron Simmons, life after wrestling and his feelings on Will Hobbs.

Also in this issue:

Nick Khan's talk about things WWE is doing to try and get new fans, a look at the aging of the sports audience and how wrestling fits in, update on Braun Strowman, update on John Cena TV series, son of 90s star starting in WWE camp, WWE  star talks having a stroke, WWE star gets stalked, experience of being in the Thunderdome and what they look for, how WWE & AEW did compared to sports this past week, international rtings news, more on COVID's effect onWWE, big matches coming on upcoming shows, WWE market value and most-watched shows on the WWE Network this past week.

Bellator's new broadcast deals in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as main events for the first shows in April, and look at the light heavyweight tournament.

New Beginning in Hiroshima and the Castle Attack cards for New Japan.

Most-watched televised pro wrestling matches in history, including Hogan vs. Andre and Rikidozan vs. Destroyer.

Preview the next two WWE major shows.

Saturday's UFC event with the potential knockout of the year.

Gina Carano losing her job in "The Mandalorian" on the anniversary of her landmark fight with Julie Kedzie.

A feature looking at the best matches of top wrestlers of 2020.

Television ratings of the past week, including segment-by-segment numbers for the past two weeks on Wednesday, who was watching in different age groups, how different segments did on Raw & Smackdown and more.

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 dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • On Raw last night, it was said that Keith Lee’s status for Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view is in question. United States Champion Bobby Lashley defending his title against Lee and Riddle in a triple threat match has been announced for the PPV. It was claimed last night that Lee is questionable for the match due to injuries he suffered when Lashley attacked Lee and Riddle after their match last week. Lashley also attacked Riddle and The Lucha House Party on Raw last night after Riddle & The Lucha House Party defeated MVP, Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander.
  • Following NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day, WWE released video of what happened after the show went off the air. The show-closing angle of TakeOver saw Adam Cole lay out Finn Balor with a superkick and then superkick his Undisputed Era stablemate Kyle O’Reilly when O’Reilly was furious about what Cole did to Balor. Roderick Strong was left looking conflicted between Cole and O'Reilly. In the post-show video, Balor asked O’Reilly who he trusts. O’Reilly said he doesn’t even know and doesn’t trust anyone. Balor said he doesn’t know if he trusts O’Reilly either. Balor told O’Reilly to be careful because he isn’t going to clean up O’Reilly’s mess.
  • Balor will be the guest on Thursday’s episode of Corey Graves’ After the Bell podcast.
  • During an interview with The Metro, Davey Boy Smith Jr. spoke about plans for his father’s WWE Hall of Fame induction: “I’ve been starting to pinpoint things. I’m gonna have to base that on how much time they’re going to allow me. My sister and my mother will be with me on the podium, and how much we’re gonna have to divide that between the three of us -- and who’s going to do the induction for him. I’m not sure what or who that might be at this point because of the Covid restrictions. I think it will just be me inducting Davey, as far as I know. I don’t think that they’re doing an audience, just with the fans from the Network on the screens.”
  • Carlito was asked about what’s next for him during an appearance on WhattaDay with Joe Lowry: “Man, who knows? As of now, I’m open to whatever kind of idea that’s out there. Right now, I’m on my own… I’m just open to whatever comes my way.” Carlito was also asked by Lowry if he’d be interested in working for AEW: “Like I said, I’m open to whatever. Whatever great idea is out there, I’m willing to listen and see if I fit in there somehow.”
  • Seth Rollins, Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, Montez Ford, and Young Rock’s Bradley Constant have been announced for tomorrow morning’s episode of WWE’s The Bump.
  • Kai & Gonzalez appeared on the latest episode of Barstool Sports’ Rasslin’ podcast with Brandon Walker.
  • Sports Illustrated has an interview with Bobby Lashley.
  • WATE in Knoxville, Tennessee interviewed Bianca Belair about her Royal Rumble win.
  • With “Young Rock” premiering on NBC tonight, WWE uploaded a Playlist video of The Rock and Rocky Johnson moments.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel also uploaded John Cena & Randy Orton vs. the Raw roster in a 2-on-17 handicap match from the March 17, 2008 episode of Raw, Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship from WrestleMania 33, and Shane McMahon & The Miz vs. The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team titles from Elimination Chamber 2019.

Other Wrestling

  • In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Josh Mathews discussed his new role as senior producer for Impact Wrestling: “Commentary is the reason I first came to Impact. I still have a passion for calling wrestling, but I really think the most impactful place for me to be for the company is in the truck. When [former producer] Keith Mitchell left Impact [in 2019], we fell off. As the announcer, I had a different view of our production, which led me to the belief that my role should be in that production chair. I want to make sure we have the best production possible, so people know the standard they are going to watch every single time they watch Impact. I’ve pushed for over a year to make this change. I learned so much from my time in WWE from Kevin Dunn and Vince McMahon, and I was pseudo-producing shows back then. Producing a live show is a real thrill, and I came alive in the truck when producing Countdown to Bound for Glory last October. Switching out of the truck and then going to call the show, it was different. I’m ready to oversee the whole presentation, which is a transition I’ve been pushing for. For me, it is even more meaningful that I was able to finish my broadcasting career calling shows with my wife Madison Rayne. Now I get to also focus on this new show, Before The Impact, as well as focus my attention in the truck.”
  • Impact Wrestling announced an agreement with Africa’s StarTimes network: “IMPACT Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. and one of the world’s largest professional wrestling organizations, announced today an agreement with electronics and media company StarTimes -- bringing more than 250 hours of IMPACT Wrestling content to the platform in 2021. The acquisition extends IMPACT’s reach even further across the globe, bringing a slate of the promotion’s most popular series to over 13 million DVB subscribers and 20 million OTT users throughout Sub-Saharan Africa including Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire, among others.”
  • The Briscoes vs. La Faccion Ingobernable’s Dragon Lee & Kenny King has been announced for the ROH TV episode that premieres this weekend. The episode will be headlined by MexiSquad (Bandido, Flamita & Rey Horus) defending their ROH Six-Man Tag Team titles against Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor & The Soldiers of Savagery).
  • ROH uploaded this week's episode of ROH Week By Week
  • The Japanese commentary version of the first round of AEW’s Women’s title eliminator tournament is now available. AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida and Haruo Murata were the Japanese commentary team.
  • Kenny Omega tweeted following the first round of the tournament: “I rarely get a chance to watch wrestling live but that was a heck of a time! Congrats to those moving on! To the others... Well... Something tells me we may see them again. #AEWWomensTournament”
  • While speaking with the New York Post, Cody Rhodes was asked if he’d be satisfied with facing Sting in a cinematic match instead of a traditional one: “To me, the cinematic matches, they really don’t have a current definition. I’ve seen the Stadium Stampede. I’ve seen the Boneyard [match]. I’ve seen various different ways to present cinematic. And really cinematic just means with different camera cuts. It can mean a lot of things, but ask me that question again in a few months because I want the opportunity to stand across from the Stinger and I think he knows that. It’s almost kind of itching at me under my skin that if there is somebody I wanted to beat, it’s the face of TNT’s hottest period and run.”
  • Jon Moxley appeared on this week’s Valentine’s Day relationship special episode of Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast.
  • “I Quit the Inner Circle” is the latest episode of Sammy Guevara’s vlog.
  • The Dark Order recreated a scene from the movie Anchorman on the first edition of John Silver’s The Silver Screen.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Bret Hart wins WWF title at In Your House Final Four

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