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Daily Update: NXT & AEW, Mike Kanellis, Aniah Blanchard


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F4W NEWSLETTER: NXT's Survivor Series involvement Joseph Currier looks at how WWE featured NXT at Survivor Series and in the build to the PPV.

Even with how forced the battle for brand supremacy can admittedly be, Survivor Series is one of the bright spots on the WWE calendar.

The PPV has given us some of the main roster's best matches in recent years. Last year, we got Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan and Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair (filling in for the injured Becky Lynch). In 2017, Lesnar faced AJ Styles. Those matches wouldn't have happened without the brand vs. brand concept. And while there would ideally be more substantive stakes involved, the brands facing off has given some life to the traditional Survivor Series elimination tag matches.

The added involvement of NXT this year only improved things. The battle of the brands would have been even more forced without their inclusion. Viewers can believe that NXT really wants to prove that it's better than Raw or SmackDown. It's much harder to suspend your disbelief and buy into Raw and SmackDown's wrestlers being undyingly loyal to their brand just weeks after a draft.

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WON NEWSLETTER: Jim Cornette leaves NWA, weekend preview Following controversy, Jim Cornette leaves NWA, plus a weekend preview and tons more.

The story behind Jim Cornette's greatest attribute, his mouth, leading to his latest fall, is covered in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We talk about the line he said, the background of the line, why Cornette was wide open for this reaction even though others have said worse of late to little or no outcry.

The new issue also covers: 

NWA's decision to get rid of him and what that happened, what opened Cornette up to this, his reaction, Nick Aldis and Dave Marquez speak on the subject, why it is not in the NWA's best interest to be critical of AEW, Cornette's line about Justin Roberts which started all this, how Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton and Eric Bischoff fit into the same story and how social media has changed things.

Cornette's background, how he got started in wrestling, his managerial heyday, his time as a promoter and the lesson of how times have changed.

Five shows in six days in Chicago this week, lineups, ticket sales and ticket demand.

The return of C.M. Punk to WWE television on Backstage, rating, what he said and thoughts on the show.

Paul Levesque press conference and his talking on different subjects, an ACH update, NXT U.K. Takeover card, Starrcade card, Canadian ratings, German ratings, next Mexico show, NXT injuries, main roster injuries, WWE current market value, most watched shows on WWE Network and a rundown of all the NXT and WWE house shows over the past week with business notes.

The career of Ben Askren, including how WWE's leading scout viewed him coming out of college and why he didn't get an offer, his amateur background, his strengths in promoting himself, his career and his being forced to retire.

New Japan tag team tournament, standings plus notes and every match in the first week and coverage of the bigger show.

UFC show from Sao Paulo, Brazil with Jan Blachowicz vs. Ronaldo Jacare Souza.

Japan saying goodbye to Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer, what he was best known for in the country as well as coverage of his memorial this past week.

Wednesday ratings, with every match,every segment, viewers, demos and high points, the major lessons of the AEW viewer and the WWE viewer and the NXT viewer.

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

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

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 or by going to directing funds to

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


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  • Tonight’s NXT will feature the brand’s fallout from TakeOver and winning the night at Survivor Series. Two title matches have been announced for the show. Keith Lee & Dominik Dijakovic will challenge for Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish's NXT Tag Team titles, and Lio Rush will defend his Cruiserweight Championship against Raw's Akira Tozawa.
  • While appearing on the Smarks & Stripes podcast, Mike Kanellis discussed why he requested his release from WWE: “Since the minute I got to WWE, they treated me great, they treated my wife great, they treated my daughter great. When I came out and said that I had an addiction, there was no negativity from anybody, just constant support, and so, for me personally, having been almost two-and-a-half years sober, it got to the point when I started reflecting on my past and what I did and it became very hard for me to almost sit and reflect on the fact that I blew four years of my life doing drugs, and now I felt like my mind was clear, my head is clear, and I just wanted to work, I just want to wrestle. I feel like I could do and have my best matches right now and it’s extremely difficult when there’s so many people on the roster and you just don’t get that opportunity and like I said, everybody wants to come at me and come at me negatively and say that I’m mad. I’m not mad at anybody. I’m genuinely not. If WWE called me tomorrow and was like, ‘We're gonna put you on TV’, I’d do it. I’m not mad. I just want to work, and I just want to work a lot. I want to be able to go home and tell my daughter that, ‘Daddy put in the time. Daddy put in the effort.’ It’s incredibly difficult for me to go on social media and preach that you have to work hard, you have to work your ass off and then not do it myself, and so, I’m a worker. I’ve always been a worker and now I’m kind of at the point where I just want to work and work and work and I’ll go wherever that opportunity exists.”
  • Kanellis also spoke about why WWE isn’t granting the release: “As far as not giving me my release, I think it’s like anywhere -- the Patriots aren’t going to trade or release a player that they think that the Jets are going to pick up, and I think we have to think of it like that. It’s not a negative, that’s just how it works. It works in sports, it works in wrestling.”
  • Triple H appeared via video on last night’s Backstage and discussed NXT’s win at Survivor Series.
  • On Backstage, Charlotte Flair reflected on her match against Ronda Rousey from last year’s Survivor Series.
  • The WWE Performance Center’s YouTube channel uploaded a video on Tommaso Ciampa’s daughter watching him wrestle at TakeOver.
  • Johnny Gargano praised Alex Shelley after Shelley guest coached at the Performance Center last month: “2006 to 2019. I can safely say that I wouldn't be the wrestler I am today if it wasn't for this guy.. Alex Shelley's fingerprints are all over the style of my generation.. He's inspired a large number guys you watch on TV every week. Great to see him at the @WWEPC last month!”
  • Joaquin Wilde tweeted about returning to the ring after his broken eye socket: “Feels good to be back in the ring after 4 months away. Currently training every day at the PC with Norman Smiley and Kendo Ka Shin. You will def see their influence on my style once im back in action. Stay tuned and stay watching @WWENXT every Wednesday night on @USA_Network!”

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Daily Pro Wrestling History: Starrcade 1986 - Night of the Skywalkers