- WWE employees told Vince McMahon’s return won't change day-to-day operations
- AEW's Tony Khan: 'Everyone at work is being so nice to me these past 24 hours'
- Two matches announced for Impact Hard to Kill pre-show
- WWE has 'expressed some interest' in bringing back EJ Nduka
- Full card revealed for NJPW vs. NOAH Wrestle Kingdom 17
- Vince McMahon returns to WWE Board of Directors
- MLW Fusion results: Jacob Fatu vs. Willie Mack
- Wrestle Kingdom 17 sets viewership record for NJPW World
- Three matches, head shaving initiation announced for next Impact
- Falls count anywhere match added to Impact Hard to Kill
- Darby Allin vs. Mike Bennett TNT title match set for AEW Rampage
- Impact Wrestling live results: Matt Cardona vs. Chris Sabin
- Wrestling Weekly: NFL's Hamlin injury brings back sad memories, Vince McMahon returns
- Wrestling Observer Live: Vince McMahon returns
- Fight Game: Vince McMahon, NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 & New Year Dash
- Bryan & Vinny Show: AEW Dynamite live report from Seattle, plus Omega vs. Ospreay
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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
- January 9, 2023 Observer Newsletter: Vince McMahon plotting WWE return, Dana White physical altercation with wife
The new issue of the Observer is up on the site with these stories:
This is likely one of the biggest weeks of the year as far as major news stories involving business practices, Vince McMahon, Dana White, the Phil Baroni murder case, the possible change in legalities of non-compete clauses and more. We've got a huge issue out on the site now:
*Behind the story of Vince McMahon's attempt to return, why he said he was returning, correspondence with McMahon and the board, details on the return of former co-Presidents and the timing of why this is happening now.
*Aspects of the story that haven't been discussed anywhere else
*Notes on the voting shares of the major shareholders
*The Dana White/Anne White situation, White talks about what happened and more
*The reaction to this and the future of his Slap Fighting company
*New legislation being talked out regarding the banning of non-compete clauses and their effect on pro wrestling
*Full review of the Tokyo Dome show, including more on the dates Sasha Banks has agreed to, the business notes from the show, the Will Ospreay vs. Kenny Omega match, title changes and a major record set for streaming of the show
*A look at New Year's Dash
*The life and times of Don West, how he got into wrestling, his life outside of wrestling, a look at a guy who didn't grow up watching wrestling but became a very well liked member of the wrestling community with comments from many of his friends
*The Phil Baroni murder charges
*The Jake Paul/PFL business deal and why the odds of it working aren't high
*John Cena draws the largest audience to see a pro wrestling match on U.S. television this year
*Great Muta vs. Shinsuke Nakamura headline at Budokan Hall
*2022 Wrestling Observer Awards ballot
*Popularity of the TV stations that air wrestling and MMA
*The most detailed look at the television ratings and how each segment did this past week
*Streaming numbers and international TV numbers
*Upcoming ticket sales for the AEW & WWE shows
*Annual last man in a cage loses their mask match at Arena Mexico
*More on FTR vs. Dragon Lee & Dralistico
*More on AEW talent holding belts in AAA
*Notes on New Japan shows in the U.S.
*Independent awards for Japan
*Annual New Year's Eve trios tournament in Japan
*PWG Battle of Los angeles notes
*NWA changing aspects of its business
*Death of The Flying Greek, Mike Pappas
*Former WWE exec gets removed from a public appearance
*Champion bodybuilder who became a TV wrestler in the U.K. passes away
*Young Bucks contract situation
*Top sellers in merchandise
*Notes on upcoming AEW shows
*Notes on the Jericho Cruise
*Karen Jarrett not happy about Max Caster's rap
*UFC star injured and returning after many years
*Another major company looks to be up for sale
*WWE injury updates
*WWE new TV shows
*What WWE has cut back on
*WWE house show notes
This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:
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What a day this has been. The update is that Vince McMahon is back as Chairman of WWE. For right now, it is business as usual. Nick Khan, Stephanie McMahon, Paul Levesque and Frank Riddick are keeping their positions and will be the people running the day-to-day of the company. Vince is not, for now, going to shows or working out of the office, but only will be part of sale talks and TV rights talks. Those in WWE noted that the key people in the company were aware that this power play would be attempted. The going public with the attempt to sell was his way back in, because that news was going to send the stock price up, instead of the fear of it declining, with him back in charge. A meeting was held today where it was made clear that everything will be staying the same, that Vince is there to negotiate a potential sale, that there is no guarantee there will be a sale and that the company also could be taken private.
For the short-term I expect that will be the case, but long-term, I wouldn't bet on anything. But they did bring up the idea of selling before the TV rights negotiations are finished. Obviously a ton happened behind the scenes because the board voted unanimously barely a week ago to not allow him back, and he responded by starting to change the board. We have a ton more in the issue even though McMahon was not yet put back in that position at the time that story was completed.
At the afternoon meeting, headed by Khan, Stephanie and Riddick, they talked about Vince being back to negotiate a possible sale and the next media rights deal. They noted Vince would have final say in both of those deals. All employees were there but none of the talent and of course they pushed this as a positive for the company. Khan talked about Comcast (NBCU), Disney (ABC/ESPN) and Netflix as potential buyers.
The stock closed today at $84.27 per share, up $12.23 per share giving the company a $6.27 billion market value.
A new show that Garrett Gonzales and I did is up today talking Vince McMahon and all the ramifications of his returning, Dana White, Omega vs. Ospreay, the greatest matches of all-time, as well as Wednesday's Dynamite rating and a discussion of AEW's ratings situation. We also have another show up tomorrow talking with Mike Tenay about his good friend Don West, and we'll be back with Bryan on Sunday talking about all the news of the weekend and BOLA.
We're looking for reports on tonight's AEW show in Portland, OR and Smackdown in Memphis. We're looking for notes on matches and happenings that are not on the live shows to email@example.com
We're also looking for your thoughts on Wednesday's Tokyo Dome 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
Smackdown tonight in Memphis has Top Dolla vs Ricochet with the winner getting in the Royal Rumble and Usos vs. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus for the tag titles. As of this morning there were 8,600 tickets out for the show at the FedEx Forum.
AEW runs Rampage and Battle of the Belts on TNT tonight from 10 p.m. Eastern to midnight. Rampage has Darby Allin vs. Mike Bennett for the TNT title, Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson vs. Top Flight, Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs. The Renegade Twins plus House of Black and Perro Peligroso. Battle of the Belts follows with Orange Cassidy vs. Kip Sabian for the All Atlantic title, The Acclaimed vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal in a no holds barred match for the tag titles and Jade Cargill vs. Sky Blue for the TBS title. The show is at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. There were 5,000 tickets out for the show as of this morning.
Our annual business year in review on pro wrestling, boxing and MMA, along with the all-time biggest drawing cards in pro wrestling history updated with the end of this year will be in next week's issue of the Observer.
Bellator has announced new matches for its 2/4 prime time show on CBS which is from the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA and is headlined by Ryan Bader vs. Fedor Emelianenko for the heavyweight title. Steve Mowry (10-0,1 no contest) faces freestyle Olympic wrestler Ali Isaev (9-0) and Lorenz Larkin (24-7, 2 no contests) faces Mukhamed Berkhamov (15-1, 1 no contest) and former NCAA champion Darion Caldwell (14-6, 1 no contest) faces Nikita Mikhallov (9-2).
Roman Reigns is advertised for the 1/20 Smackdown show in Detroit and the 1/23 Raw anniversary show in Philadelphia.
Impact announced a Pit Fight match with Kenny King vs. Mike Bailey for the TV show on 1/19.
Mike Jackson, at 73 years old, will be wrestling on next Friday's Impact Hard to Kill PPV in a six-way match with Kushida, Yuya Uemura, Bailey, Angels and Bhupinder Gujjar.
MCW announced shows on 2/3 in Joppa, MD and 2/4 in Hollywood, MD
Joey Janela vs Gringo Loco headlines on 2/16 for Demand Lucha at Parkdale Hall in Toronto. Also on the show will be Jack Evans vs. Sam Adonis plus an appearance by Jimmy Hart.
The LFA is live tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern on UFC Fight Pass for a show from the Gila River Resorts & Casinos in Chandler, AZ. Felipe Bunes (124.4) vs. Yuma Horiuchi (126.6) is the main event. With Horiguchi not making weight, the flyweight title will go to Bunes if he wins, but if Horiuchi wins, he will not get the flyweight title.
LFA has announced a show on 3/10 in Cajamar, Sao Paulo, Brazil and on 3/24 in Niagara Falls, NY at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino. Both shows will air live on UFC Fight Pass.
Well known wrestling fan Fred the Elephant Boy, who used to appear on Howard Stern, passed away at the age of 64. Fred had been an Observer subscriber for decades.