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Daily Update: NXT TakeOver, Jun Akiyama, Stardom

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WON NEWSLETTER: February 15, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Butch Reed bio, Bellator to Showtime

A look at the career of 80s star Hacksaw Butch Reed, who passed away this past week, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at all of his titles won, sports career before wrestling, what was and wasn't exaggerated about him, how he got started in wrestling, how fast it was that he was moved to star status, including main eventing at the key wrestling arenas in the country very early, the role Dory Funk Jr, made in his career, how he was booked, a super tag team with Skip Young that few outside of Florida ever saw, feuding with the biggest names on top, his matches with Ric Flair up and down the state of Florida, his sellout with Flair in St. Louis, runs in Georgia and his move to Mid South, his Mid South runs, the high point of his career, his feud with JYD, his Superdome main events, his face and heel turns, his biggest angles, his fight with John Nord and his departure from Mid South, his meeting with Slick, heading to WWF as The Natural Butch Reed, and his WCW run as part of the tag team of Doom with Ron Simmons, life after wrestling and his feelings on Will Hobbs.

Also in this issue:

Nick Khan's talk about things WWE is doing to try and get new fans, a look at the aging of the sports audience and how wrestling fits in, update on Braun Strowman, update on John Cena TV series, son of 90s star starting in WWE camp, WWE  star talks having a stroke, WWE star gets stalked, experience of being in the Thunderdome and what they look for, how WWE & AEW did compared to sports this past week, international rtings news, more on COVID's effect onWWE, big matches coming on upcoming shows, WWE market value and most-watched shows on the WWE Network this past week.

Bellator's new broadcast deals in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as main events for the first shows in April, and look at the light heavyweight tournament.

New Beginning in Hiroshima and the Castle Attack cards for New Japan.

Most-watched televised pro wrestling matches in history, including Hogan vs. Andre and Rikidozan vs. Destroyer.

Preview the next two WWE major shows.

Saturday's UFC event with the potential knockout of the year.

Gina Carano losing her job in "The Mandalorian" on the anniversary of her landmark fight with Julie Kedzie.

A feature looking at the best matches of top wrestlers of 2020.

Television ratings of the past week, including segment-by-segment numbers for the past two weeks on Wednesday, who was watching in different age groups, how different segments did on Raw & Smackdown and more.

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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight talking NXT Takeover and the rest of the news. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserve.com

NXT Takeover is tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern for a show slated on the WWE Network:

  • MSK (formerly the Rascalz) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans for the Dusty Rhodes tournament and likely a title shot at Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.  Should be a good mach.  GYV are very solid workers and MSK are very good in a different way.  MSK were listed as -200 favorites, which makes sense.
  • Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai for the women's Dusty Rhodes tournament.  The winning team faces Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax soon.  Moon & Blackheart are the -200 favorites.
  • Johnny Gargano vs. Kushida for the North American title.  On paper, this match should be excellent.  It's Kushida's first real major match and against a guy who always delivers on the big shows.  Gargano is listed as a -275 favorite.
  • Io Shirai vs. Mercedes Martinez vs. Toni Storm for the women's title.  Also should be good.  Shirai is -300 while Storm is +260 and Martinez is +525 in the odds.
  • Finn Balor vs Pete Dunne for the NXT title. This could be another main event classic and will probably be a long match.  Balor is a -500 favorite to retain

51-year-old Hall of Famer Jun Akiyama becomes the second 50-plus year old Hall of Famer (Keiji Muto on Friday being the other) to win a Japanese major title. Akiyama beat Tetsuya Endo on today 's DDT show in Kawasaki to win the KO-D title

Raw tomorrow will have a gauntlet match with Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Jeff Hardy, Miz, A.J. Styles and Randy Orton.

Regarding the suicide death of Tom Cole on Friday, his older brother Lee Cole has an interview.

Regarding Google searches, last night's UFC PPV did 700,000, which is low end for a PPV show. It was the most searched topic on the Internet yesterday that didn't involve Valentine's Day or the Trump impeachment. Searches were heaviest for the main event, as well as for Kelvin Gastelum, Alexa Grasso and Maycee Barber. The only other combat sports related item to crack the top 20 on any dates this week was Gina Carano at No. 1 on Wednesday with 2 million searches.

NY Mag compares the firing of Gina Carano by Lucasfilm to McCarthyism in the 50s. You knew somebody would do that. (thanks to Gary Collins)

We spoke about the Ariel Helwani/Dana White stuff on today's show.

Chigusa Nagayo, the most popular Japanese woman wrestler of all-time, along with Kyoko Inoue and Mima Shimoda are all booked in a Rumble style Battle Royal in Stardom's 3/3 show at Budokan Hall.

UFC

  • Last night after his PPV win over Maki Pitolo, Julian Marquez in his post-match interview asked Miley Cyrus to be his Valentine.  She then wrote,"Shave an MC into your chest and I am yours.  Happy VDay and congrats my love."

AEW

  • Fulham, the U.K. soccer team Tony Khan is in management of, beat Everton today at Goodison Park, Everton's home field.  The key to that is Everton had won 22 straight home games over Fulham and had 23 wins and four ties in the previous 27 games on Everton's field  The last time Fulham won on Everton's field was in 1961.
  • Miro was in the booth Friday night for the debut of his Fan Controlled Football team

OTHER NOTES

  • Two different NWA world title matches with Ric Flair vs. Butch Reed.  One was the Florida television match which saw Reed as a guy not thought of at that level and then beating Flair on TV which set up all the house show title matches. The other was from 1985 Mid South Wrestling. (thanks to Paul Sosnowski and Ross Blair)
  • Dan Lambert, the ATT owner who did angles with Bobby Lashley for TNA a few years back and was a top level heel manager, will be on Wednesday's MLW show doing fight analysis. The idea is he'll be a heel announcer for Team Filthy and will manage King Mo in his match with Low Ki also on Wednesday.
  • Stardom results from yesterday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo:  Utami Hayashishita & Momo Watanabe won three-way elimination mach over Saya Iida & Ruaka and Lady C & Gokigen Death, Maika & Natsupoi & Himeka b Konami & Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima, Bea Priestley d Saya Kamitani 15:00, Mayu Iwatani & Rin Kadokua b Tam Nakano & Unagi Sayaka, Syuri b AZM to keep the SWA title, Giulia b Starlight Kid to retain the Wonder of Stardom title
  • Stardom results from today at Korakuen Hall:  Gokigen Death b Lady C, Momo Watanabe b Ruaka, Saki Kashia & Natsuko Tora b Syuri & Natsupoi, Mayu Iwatani b Unagi Sayaka, AZM & Mei Hoshizuki b Starlight Kid & Saya Iida,Saya Kamitani won four-way over Utami Hayashishita,Giulia and Tam Nakano, Himeka & Maika won the Goddesses of Stardom titles over Bea Priestley  & Konami) (thanks to Tomi Yamada and Shannon Walsh and wrestlingwithdemons.net)
  • Pro Wrestling Australia from Friday night on FITE TV from Sydney before a sellout crowd:  Robbie Eagles b Jessica Troy-DQ, Unsocial Jordan & Belinda Pierce b Shazza McKenzie & Big Fudge, Sam Osborne b Steph De Lander, Kingley b Jack Bonza, Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis b Matty Walhberg & Ricky South, Lyrebird Luchi b Mick Moretti, Charlie Evans own over Will Kiedis, The Rhys Angel and Matt Diamond, Paris Da Silva & Jude London b Michael Spencer & Kia Drake in a ladder match to keep the tag titles.  Next shows are 2/27, Black Label on 3/12 featuring Caveman Ugg defending the PWA tile against Ricky South. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Pale Pro Wrestling from Friday night in Arlington, TX on the Title Match Network:  Prince Ahmed & Gideon Vain b Adorable Eddie & Wildcard, Chandler Hopkins b Mecha Wolf 450, Gino Medina b Isaiah Broner, Will Allday b Icon Lee, Magnificent Malico b Niles Plonk in a beer chugging contest, Nobe Bryant b Beastman Husk, Aski the Mayan Warrior b Justin Taylor, Myron Reed b Ryan Justice, Cam Cole b Mike Bennett to keep the Reality of Wrestling title, Sam Adonis b Psycho Clown in a no DQ match using a low blow.
  • Fox 19 in Cincinnati aired a segment Friday about the Northern Wrestling Federation Bonekrushers wrestling camp. (thanks to Brian Henke)
  • Tokyo Joshi Pro had a lottery on YouTube to determine the first round of its tag team tournament which took place on 2/20 at Narimasu Act Hall in Tokyo and aired on DDT Universe.   Rika Tatsumi & Miu Watanabe vs. Pom Harajuku & Haruna Neko Yuki Kamifuku & Mahiro Kiryu vs. Moka Miyamoto & Arisu Endo Yuki Aino & Nodoka Tenma vs. Yuka Sakazaki & Mizuki Sakisama  Mei Saint-Michel vs. Raku & Marika Kobashi
  • On 2//21 at the same venue Miyu Yamashita & Maki Itoh face the winners of the first match Hikari Noa & Sena Shiori meet the winners of the second match Shoko Nakajima & Hyper Misao meet the winners of the third match Suzume & Mirai Maiumi meet the winners of the fourth match (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
  • Ron Simmons was announced as a guest of WrestleCon.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Austin vs. McMahon at Valentine's Day Massacre

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