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Daily Update: Mistico, Brodie Lee, Kazuchika Okada


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WON NEWSLETTER: January 4, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Rest in Peace Brodie Lee & Danny Hodge

A look at the death, unique lives and careers of Jon Huber and Danny Hodge is the focus of what is the best issue of the Observer in more than a decade.

Details surrounding the Huber health crisis and death, words from his wife, how he got started in wrestling, my own personal thoughts regarding my interaction with him, his leaving WWE for AEW, his WWE run with The Wyatt Family, what were the plans for the Bludgeon Brothers to imitate and how it fell through, the match that changes his WWE focus, the background of his big decision, what match was scheduled for him that fell through, how his AEW term played out with his biggest matches, why the death became such a huge news story, the story behind and coverage of the tribute show and more.

The iconic figure of Danny Hodge with what should be a movie script, covering growing up in a small town known for wrestling, his unique childhood, his developing his legendary grip strength, his unbelievable credentials as a wrestler, MMA, street fights, the auto accident that ended his career, his biggest pro wrestling matches, his boxing career and why people will talk about him as his records every year going forward.

Preview the WrestleKingdom shows this week, covering the matches and the stories behind the matches, as well as how the restrictions have changed things.

Update the Royal Rumble including a gimmick match being talked about, new WWE show, top 25 WWE matches of the year, U.K. and Canadian ratings as well as where pro wrestling ranks in sports ratings,  market value of WWE as well as the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

2020 Wrestling Observer Awards ballot.

Television stations that carried wrestling and MMA in 2020 and how they did, and how wrestling did in comparison with the station's usual programming.

Detailed look at the television business, looking at stats not available elsewhere to get the deepest read into how shows are doing, what categories are doing well and how shows compare with previous weeks and one year ago.  

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week.

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Want to thank everyone for their comments on the new issue. It's probably going to be the best issue in many years but I hope I never do another one like it again.

Mistico and girlfriend Carolina Rodriguez have tested positive for COVID-19. He first showed symptoms on 12/27, and then she got sick on 12/28. They went to a doctor who didn't think he had it, but their symptoms got worse, especially his, so they got tested on 12/30 and tested positive. The entire family got together on Christmas day so Rush and his family were all tested and tested negative. Dragon Lee and his wife are also getting tested.

Smackdown tonight has Big E vs. King Corbin for the IC title, Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair vs. Bayley & Carmella and Roman Reigns has a request for WWE management.  205 Live tonight has Ever Rise & Curt Stallion vs. Ariya Daivari & The Singh Brothers plus Jake Atlas vs. Mansoor.

MLW made the decision to just air a ten bell salute for Brodie Lee on YouTube this week. Bein will get the salute and a rerun show and they will be back to regular programming Wednesday night with the Kings of Colosseum show.

I hadn't seen this before today, it's a clip of after Wednesday's Dynamite show and it's a must- see.

Kazuchika Okada talks about his match with Will Ospreay at the Tokyo Dome.

An interview covering the 1997 Observer Yearbook on Slam! Wrestling.


  • The WWE Network will be releasing a Best of Luke Harper show. There are also documentaries coming on Pat Paterson, Bianca Belair, A.J. Styles and Yokozuna.


  • Mike Jackson, who beat C.M. Punk in Punk's second UFC fight, was scheduled to face Dan Barry on the 1/20 show. Barry said on social media that he found out last night that Jackson can't make the fight on 1/20 and said he doesn't know why but wishes him the best. The current plan is for the fight to be rescheduled for March or April.


  • Former NWA Tag Team champion Matt Riviera announced his retirement from wrestling today.  He sent out a release saying, "I seriously appreciate the support that I have received for the duration of my time as an active talent and promoter in pro wrestling.  It is time to open a new chapter in my life by closing this one.  I wish everyone the best.  Riviera started promoting at 17 and started wrestling at 21, and held the NWA world tag team titles three times with Rob Conway.
  • "Samson the Wrestling Musical" which streams at 6pm PT / 9pm ET today: (thanks to Dave Teixeira)
  • Impact will have a virtual fanfest on 1/16 on Zoom called the Hard to Kill Cell-abration.  The event will take place starting at 11 a.m. Eastern time with Rich Swann, Deonna Purrazzo, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Eric Young, Don Callis, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz, Chris Sabin &Alex Shelley.  
  • Synergy Pro Wrestling airs a special tomorrow live on IWTV from the Monster Factory featuring Jordan Oliver vs. Brandon Kirk as the main event.
  • Melbourne City Wrestling on their podcast did an angle to set up a Slex vs. Adam Brooks main event for their return on 2/6.
  • EPW in Australia announced Mikey Nicholls vs.; Michael Morleone as their 1/23 main event.
  • Death Match Downunder announced a 1/16 show in Melbourne headlined by Ritchie Taylor vs. Tommy Knight.
  • The situation in Melbourne is that there have been new cases in the state of Victoria due to the outbreak in New South Wales, which borders on Victoria.  Right now the borders of the states have been closed and there is a mask mandate for indoor gatherings. But if things get worse the above shows could be in jeopardy (thanks to Kevin Chiat)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Sam Muchnick retirement show