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Daily Update: NXT & AEW, Natalya vs. Lacey Evans, WWE Backstage


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Looking at Raw and Smackdown's new rosters Joseph Currier takes a look at where things stand coming out of the WWE Draft.

With both nights of the draft, free agent roster additions, and even a trade now out of the way, the new rosters for Raw and SmackDown look to be set.

WWE's handling of the draft may have been lackluster, but this is a pivotal time for the company. If WWE is really going to commit to the brand split and making Raw and SmackDown stand out as different from each other, they need to get the roster mix right. They're also working with two different television partners and will need to make sure FOX and USA Network don't feel like they're playing second fiddle to the other.

WWE is a promotion that's overloaded with talent. That would seem like the ideal environment for a brand split, but the company's lack of top-tier stars has been a barrier to the roster split's long-term sustainability. When there's a ratings slip, it's easy to say Becky Lynch or Roman Reigns not being on both shows is the reason for it. And while the Wild Card rule may not have been overly popular, any of its short-term effects were probably a positive for ratings.

Here's what the new Raw and SmackDown rosters look like coming out of the draft:

Current subscribers click here to continue reading.

WON NEWSLETTER: October 28, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Nate Diaz fight in jeopardy, NJPW US expansion, more

We have a huge double issue this week, with a special Hall of Fame feature, some shocking ratings news from overseas, New Japan's international expansion, Randy Couture's heart attack and coverage of the major shows.We also cover:

The situation with Nate Diaz and why the UFC 244 main event looks to be in jeopardy.

New Japan Pro Wrestling's opening up a new U.S. outpost.  We look at what the goals of the company are for 2020, who is in charge, why they are in charge, who surprisingly isn't involved and why.  We look at how the U.S. market has changed for New Japan, ticket sales for the upcoming shows, how it would be best served for New Japan in this market and the lessons learned from what they've done so far.

The difference between the fans in Japan and the U.S. for New Japan, the type of buildings they are looking at running and the ultimate goals.

Update on the situation with Randy Couture.

WWE Crown Jewel, with the lineup and circumstances of the show.

AAA Heroes Inmortales with the Kenny Omega vs Fenix AAA title change as well as a look at the rest of the show.

Xavier Woods, have all the Canadian TV ratings, 2020 NXT plans, Randy Orton update, Seth Rollins talks Kenny Omega, WWE news regarding lineup for the Mexico City show, major WWE signing, Update on 205 Live, WWE 2K commercial news, former Lucha Underground star talking with WWE, Dana White talks Cain Velasquez in WWE, former New Japan star teaching at performance center, reasons for the stock price decline, most watched shows this past week on the WWE Network, as well as a rundown of all the NXT and WWE shows, with match-by-match coverage and business news.

Impact Bound for Glory, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

A huge feature looking at the 2019 Hall of Fame elections, strongest and weakest candidates with bios on a lot of the different performers.  We look at everyone's strengths ad weaknesses as well as the leading still active candidates.

A complete rundown of the Wednesday night wars over the past two weeks, how both shows are doing in every segment and with every demo group.  We look at the median age of viewers, how the World Series affected viewing and more.

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.

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

Current subscribers click here to continue reading.

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.

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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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  • NXT and AEW will both face competition from game seven of the World Series tonight. The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros last night to extend the series, with last night’s game drawing more than 16 million viewers on FOX.
  • Tonight’s NXT will feature the fallout from Finn Balor’s heel turn. Here are the matches that have been announced for the episode: Women’s Tag Team Champions Asuka & Kairi Sane defending against Dakota Kai & Tegan Nox NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Keith Lee & Matt Riddle in a non-title match Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai Tyler Bate vs. Cameron Grimes
  • Sports Illustrated and the Orlando Sentinel interviewed Balor ahead of tonight’s NXT.
  • Stephanie McMahon told Bleacher Report about why Natalya and Lacey Evans were chosen for WWE’s first women’s match in Saudi Arabia: “Natalya is somewhat of a legend in the women's division. She is the veteran. She has been here for so long, been a part of so many of the changes that have happened. When you consider her legacy and family history, it's pretty remarkable. You take Lacey Evans, who is fairly new on the scene but who has not been shy about sharing her perspective on overcoming, especially in her life and the things she's been through. She has a young daughter and she wants to set an example and pave the way not only for her daughter but boys and girls all around the world. That's their personal stories. I can't think of better representatives for WWE. You can go on their social media. They've made some pretty awesome statements."
  • Stephanie noted that Natalya and Evans’ ring gear will be different than what it normally is: “I haven't seen the designs but I do know there are certain restrictions and we want to be respectful of the culture. Their costuming will be different than what you would see in a typical WWE show.”
  • Stephanie also confirmed that another Evolution PPV is most likely not going to happen this year: “We did consider it. A lot of our focus has been on having this particular match as a part of this PPV in Saudi Arabia. More to come on Evolution but it's most likely not going to happen in 2019.”
  • WWE has brief interviews with Natalya and Evans after today’s pre-Crown Jewel media event.
  • Evans tweeted about facing Natalya at Crown Jewel tomorrow: “I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do the things I've done with @WWE. Tomorrow I get to show my little girl that hard work can bring you to history-making heights. I'm ready for this.”
  • Renee Young teased that “huge news” will be announced on SmackDown regarding WWE Backstage’s first guest. Backstage makes its official weekly premiere on FS1 at 11 p.m. Eastern time next Tuesday. The Backstage premiere will also include a taped message from John Cena and an appearance by Rob Gronkowski.
  • Rey Mysterio told Marco Claro that Dominik will begin training at the WWE Performance Center next year.
  • Jordan Myles noted that all of the proceeds from his “F%#k Racism, Watch Wrestling” shirt on Pro Wrestling Tees will go to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
  • The first episode of WWE’s After the Bell podcast with Corey Graves premiered today.
  • Reina Gonzalez challenged Shotzi Blackheart for EVOLVE 139 in Queens, New York on November 9.
  • WWE has video of a Halloween costume contest with The New Day, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, and Heath Slater.

Pro Wrestling

  • Tonight’s AEW Dynamite is taking place at the Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, West Virginia and will feature the crowning of AEW’s inaugural Tag Team Champions. Here’s what’s been announced for the show: The Lucha Bros vs. SCU’s Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian in the finals of the AEW Tag Team title tournament (the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express will present the titles to the winning team) A contract signing for Chris Jericho and Cody’s AEW World Championship match at Full Gear An appearance by Jon Moxley Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. Kip Sabian, Jack Evans & Angelico Hangman Page vs. Sammy Guevara Best Friends in six-man tag action
  • MJF will join Excalibur on commentary for the episode of AEW Dark that’s being taped tonight.
  • Tommaso Ciampa tweeted about Sami Callihan’s Impact World title win after it aired last night: “Sami Callihan and I attended the same TNA tryout years ago. Neither of us were offered a deal. He later signed with WWE. I signed with ROH. He quit WWE. I quit ROH. We both crossed paths countless times around the world. Tonight, Sami became the Impact World Champion.”


Daily Pro Wrestling History: Vader wins AJPW Triple Crown from Misawa