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Daily Update: NXT notes, Jamie Hayter, Jake Lee

NXT news and notes, Hayter talks to Sports Illustrated, and more.

Daily Update


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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

  • The history and creation of War Games
  • How the rules have changed and what did and didn't work this year
  • The copies of War Games
  • Why WWE didn't do War Games on the main roster, and why they started it on NXT
  • Business notes on how the show did, live, streaming, PPV
  • Crossover audience between War Games and Full Gear and Crown Jewel
  • Full show coverage with poll results
  • The story behind William Regal's AEW departure
  • Why many questioned the MJF booking
  • Best of Seven notes
  • PPV number updates, as well as updates on the last four AEW PPV shows
  • Who bought Full Gear, Forbidden Door or All Out and patterns
  • Revenue, movie gate numbers and more
  • Notes behind the title changes
  • Match by match coverage and poll results on the show
  • Updates on the Royal rumble, ticket sales and more notes
  • New Japan and Stardom Historic X Over
  • The story behind Kairi winning the IWGP title and not Mayu Iwatani
  • The story behind Omega vs. Ospreay
  • Match by match coverage and poll results
  • C.M. Punk mocks the brawl, Young Bucks & Kenny Omega mock C.M. Punk, and more
  • TV ratings over the past two weeks, including where AEW faltered this week and did great the week earlier and it's the same group, the huge drop during the show of Raw, what about Smackdown was the best of the year for the show, and where wrestling ranked in the sports charts and the entertainment charts the past two weeks
  • Wrestling legend gets honored by an international embassy
  • Cain Velasquez wrestling and the story behind it
  • Stardom PPV show coverage
  • Updates on all the traditional Japanese tournaments
  • Update on Kota Ibushi
  • Fantastica Mania news
  • Generational legends battle this past week
  • Ricky Steamboat comes out of retirement
  • Plan for a statue of iconic wrestler to be built in his home town
  • Battle of Los Angeles news
  • Mayor Glenn Jacobs in the middle of controversy
  • Injury changes the winner of a tournament
  • Major WWE legend coming out of retirement in December
  • One of the most well traveled wrestlers of all-time passes away
  • Former ECW and WWE star retiring
  • Thoughts on wrestlers whose contracts are coming due
  • New angle off television for recently signed AEW wrestler
  • International TV ratings
  • AEW & WWE streaming numbers
  • Lots of new UFC main events
  • Conor McGregor gets sued twice
  • UFC gaming controversy
  • MMA returns to CBS prime time
  • PFL season finale
  • Paul Levesque talks WWE future
  • Big stock rise for WWE and why
  • Nick Khan and Stephanie McMahon talk WWE business, international, buying companies and more
  • WWE injury updates
  • Ticket sales for upcoming WWE & AEW events
  • Next MSG show

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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Wednesday Update



  • PWInsider reports that the Tuesday, December 20 and Tuesday, December 27 episodes of NXT will be taped in advance, with WWE filming them at the Performance Center next Wednesday (December 14). NXT will return to airing live after those episodes.
  • Denise Salcedo, the host of our Speak Now Pro Wrestling podcast, will be part of the NXT Deadline pre-show this Saturday alongside McKenzie Mitchell and Sam Roberts. The pre-show begins on Peacock/WWE Network at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
  • WWE and Exos announced that they’re partnering together to provide athletes in WWE’s Next In Line program with “the opportunity to train at one of Exos’ world-class training and development facilities across the United States.” WWE wrote:
          • While working with Exos professionals, WWE NIL athletes will be introduced to the Exos Athlete Experience Program and its many sports science and data partners. The athlete intake process will see athletes go through rigorous performance, body composition, nutrition, and physical therapy testing. The baseline developed for the athletes will enable customized and fully integrated plans to ensure a foundation for optimized training.
  • WWE executive James Kimball praised Tank Ledger, who made his NXT Level Up debut this October: “The progression of @TankLedgerWWE (fka Joe Spivak) in the ~4 mos he’s been at the PC in Orlando has almost no precedent in our developmental program. The accelerated timeline from first bump to TV ready is a core value add of Next In Line.”
  • University of Tampa bodybuilder Melanie Brzezenski was offered a WWE developmental contract after participating in a recent tryout at IMG Academy.
  • The Street Profits and X-Pac appeared on WWE’s The Bump this afternoon.
  • Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, and Bianca Belair will be on The Bump next Wednesday as the show celebrates its 200th episode.
  • The Miz was the guest on the latest edition of Off The Beat with actor Brian Baumgartner.
  • The following matches were uploaded to WWE’s YouTube channel today: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins Hell in a Cell match (Hell in a Cell 2022), “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton Firefly Inferno match (TLC 2020), and Mandy Rose vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade for the NXT Women’s Championship (NXT New Year’s Evil 2022).

AEW/Other Wrestling

  • AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter spoke to Sports Illustrated about her match against Toni Storm from Full Gear: “Me and Toni wanted to have this amazing match, a hard-hitting match where people got behind both of us. I could feel it in every strike. It was electric. We went into that match to f--- s--- up, and that’s what we did.”
  • Hayter also opened up about being homeless during the pandemic: “There was no work in Japan. I was supposed to go home; then they’d bring me back. I left, but I didn’t have anywhere to live. I remember saying, ‘Holy s---, I’m homeless.’ I had nowhere to go and no idea what I was going to do. Fortunately, I stayed with my friends and lived on their couch. There were five of us living there, and they had a gym in their garage, which was a godsend. Without that, I would have gone completely insane. I thought I was never going to wrestle again. Toni Storm was in a similar situation, and she stayed there, too.”
  • In an interview with the Metro, Saraya discussed William Regal’s AEW departure and WWE return: “Everyone has an opinion on that. The reality is, it doesn’t have anything to do with anything backstage, it’s to do with how he feels. Us behind the scenes know why, and we’re happy for him! Whether he’s going there or whatever, it doesn’t matter. We’re just happy with whatever he wants to do with his life. He’s at the age where he can do whatever he wants to without the internet deep diving into it, or everyone saying this, that and the other about him. Who cares? Let him be happy!”
  • On his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross said he had a hard time trusting John Laurinaitis in WWE: “I had a hard time as time went on trusting Laurinaitis. That’s sad to say. I hired him. I gave him a job when he needed it. I don’t think he treated me quite right. He just wanted to show Vince that he was a better manager than JR and all these things. So now his ass is without a job and he deserves the goddamn misery that he’s living, that I perceive that he’s living, and I didn’t like how he treated me.”
  • Ian Riccaboni credited Excalibur for being one of the biggest reasons that Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman are on AEW television: “Excalibur, if you want to know the truth, one of the biggest reasons you see Caprice and I on television is Excalibur. He is nothing but kind and gracious and figures out a way to work with my schedule, Caprice’s schedule and whatever is going on with the TV show, he finds a way to work us in. I have nothing bad to say about Excalibur.”
  • AEW star Jon Moxley turns 37 years old today.
  • Jake Lee is leaving AJPW at the end of the year.
  • GCW will make its Toronto debut with a show at The Opera House on Sunday, March 19, 2023.