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Daily Update: NXT & AEW, UFC 245, Triple H


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F4W NEWSLETTER: WWE's draft missed opportunity Joseph Currier looks at how the draft failed to establish a unique identity for SmackDown on FOX.

With a chance to establish a unique identity on FOX, this year's draft was a missed opportunity for WWE.

The draft was an early indication of what WWE will look like on FOX. Following up on a loaded premiere episode, it gave SmackDown an opportunity to define itself as a FOX property. WWE had the full weight of the network behind them, complete with pre-taped appearances by FOX's biggest sports personalities. But instead of leaning in to that identity, WWE gave mixed messages.

Ever since WWE struck their deal with FOX, there's been some question about how SmackDown would fit into the network's portfolio. It's categorized as part of FOX Sports, with WWE Backstage even airing weekly on FS1. SmackDown gives FOX the benefit of having live programming on Fridays for 52 weeks out of the year, but it's really more of a hybrid between sports and a weekly television show. WWE is never going to be -- and shouldn't be -- a promotion that presents itself as a pure sport. The beauty of pro wrestling is that you can create the over-the-top spectacle that sports can only wish to achieve. With appearances by Cain Velasquez and Tyson Fury on the FOX premiere, it seemed like WWE was going to be taking SmackDown in that direction.

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WON NEWSLETTER: October 21, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Eric Bischoff fired, WWE draft disappoints

In a huge week of news,we've got all the details in the new issue. Our lead story looks at the firing of Eric Bischoff. We look at his hiring, why it was largely not expected to work out by those who had worked with him in recent years and why people from the past rarely work when brought back into wrestling.

This week's Observer also covers: 

Bruce Prichard and the problems with both Raw and Smackdown.

WWE draft, why the moves were made, how the draft shows were put together and have a depth chart of where all the talent looks to be positioned, who got broken up and who haven't had a brand chosen for them yet.

Signing of Tyson Fury and Cain Velasquez by WWE. We look at WWE's place in Riyadh season, the kind of money being thrown around, why Anthony Joshua is facing heat while WWE really isn't, the set up for Velasquez vs. Lesnar and questions about Velasquez and his WWE career going forward, the background of how Fury and Velasquez got to WWE, the challenges Velasquez faces in WWE and the Crown Jewel show.

WWE's plans for NXT Japan, what major star has been signed and others who have been talked with, DVR viewership of Smackdown, updated WWE PPV numbers, Hulu numbers, Mike Bennett on why he wants to leave, Maria Kanellis responds. Hardy family drama, WWE gets award nominations, Injury updates, Evolve shows, most-watched shows on the WWE Network, plus a look at every arena event from WWE & NXT over the past week.

Coverage of King of Pro Wrestling with the background, the destination, the Tokyo Dome plans, Power Struggle, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Extensive coverage of Bushiroad's purchase of Stardom, how this happened, why Rossy Ogawa sold to Bushiroad and not WWE, what WWE was offering, Stardom's new TV deal, why this doesn't mean New Japan and Stardom are affiliated, Stardom coming to the U.S. in December and political implications of all this, as well a plans for the biggest Stardom show ever.

UFC in Tampa this past week with Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson and Jedrzejczyk's quest for the strawweight title.

Full coverage of all the WWE 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. 

Current subscribers can access the issue here.

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Pro Wrestling

  • The Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is hosting tonight’s AEW Dynamite. The announced lineup for the episode is listed below: Jon Moxley vs. PAC Private Party vs. The Lucha Bros in an AEW Tag Team title tournament semifinal match The Dark Order vs. SoCal Uncensored in an AEW Tag Team title tournament semifinal match Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela The Young Bucks vs. Best Friends Britt Baker vs. Jamie Hayter Cody Rhodes speaks
  • Cody posted a tweet teasing his segment: “I’m looking forward to tonight for many reasons, one being I get the opportunity to share some bigs news about my career and it’s future. Sometimes the right thing to do, isn’t the easiest thing to say. #AEW @AEWrestling @AEWonTNT @tonyschiavone24”
  • Jake Hager (formerly known as Jack Swagger) spoke to Sports Illustrated about the end of his time with WWE: “I was lost in the mix there [in WWE]. When I look now at guys like Cesaro, guys like Bobby Lashley, they’re just lost. When I look at them, that whole cloud of doom comes right back over me. I’m so glad I’m not in that. It’s something you deal with within big companies, but it’s also about how they treat their talent. They know exactly what they’re doing, and I hate to say it, but it’s on purpose.”
  • The Fight Network uploaded their documentary on Cain Velasquez from AAA’s Invading NY show.
  • As part of his retirement tour, Tiger Hattori will be appearing at CMLL's Arena Mexico show on November 15.
  • Chris Van Vliet uploaded an interview with Tessa Blanchard.
  • Matt Taven, Dalton Castle, Kenny King, Silas Young, Rampage Brown, and Hikuleo will face off in a six-man scramble match at ROH’s Honor United show in London this Friday.
  • Peter Avalon appeared on today’s episode of Talk is Jericho.


  • On this day in 2010, Cain Velasquez defeated Brock Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight title at UFC 121.
  • Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Moraes is set for UFC 245 in Las Vegas on December 14. This will be Aldo’s debut at bantamweight. Urijah Faber vs. Petr Yan is also in the works for the PPV.
  • Conor McGregor teased that his next fight is very close to being announced. ESPN reported that “the UFC and McGregor have been actively discussing options for his return but an official announcement on specific date and opponent is not imminent at this time.”
  • Paige VanZant challenged everyone in the UFC’s women’s strawweight and flyweight divisions -- except for Maycee Barber.
  • Greg Hardy is going to appeal his fight against Ben Sosoli being ruled a no contest. Hardy initially won by decision, but it was changed to a no contest due to Hardy using an inhaler between rounds.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Halloween Havoc 1994