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WON NEWSLETTER: April 19, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WrestleMania 37 review, WWE releases

Our annual WrestleMania issue of the Observer is out this week with full coverage of pro wrestling's biggest event.

We go through all the news of the show, including the booking, the title changes, the finishes, the direction, what did and didn't work, the difference between the two nights, after four examples how does two shows work vs one, the big money WrestleMania main events, the returns, the celebrities and business notes on the show. We also look at next year.

Also in this issue:

Match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from both nights of WrestleMania and both nights of Takeover, to see how people saw all four of the WWE's big events.

Stone Cold Broken Skull Sessions with Chris Jericho.  We talk about the stories told, Jericho's career, what they did talk about and what was avoided, how this went against usual McMahon policy and why we probably won't be seeing another show like this very soon.  We look at what was said about AEW, New Japan, WWE, some of Jericho's frustrations with WWE that he talked about, the formation of AEW and much more.

The sale of FITE TV to Triller and why it happened this week.

Anthem Entertainment's purchase of Invicta, plans for Invicta on AXS, and a sale that was talked about for Invicta that didn't happen.

WWE cuts, person by person, their strengths and weaknesses and where they would fit in.

WWE international plans, hiring of Adnan Vink as an announcer, new members of the WWE Board of Directors, how much WWE's top executives earned in 2020 and where it came from, Edge and Paul Heyman building Mania, changes in WWE announcing, WWE International numbers and where Raw & Smackdown rank with sports shows of the past week.  We also look at WWE's most-watched streaming clips and a star about to return, as well as the current market value of WWE.

Coverage of Saturday's UFC show, comments on the winning fighters and upcoming booking, along with business notes on the show.

A feature on John Da Silva, who was the biggest babyface and a national hero in New Zealand in the 70s. 

More on Ethel Johnson and sister Babs Wingo, who integrated women's pro wrestling in the Billy Wolfe stable in 1951.  

More detail on ratings than any other source, we have how every segment on NXT and AEW did as well as how it did with different age groups, genders and more, plus a look at all other wrestling shows of the past week.

Results of the major pro wrestling events of 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.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

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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Garrett Gonzalez and I will be back tonight talking WWE cuts, Wednesday ratings, and the weekend events among other things. Bryan and I will be back doing a show Saturday night on the Triller show and UFC.

Smackdown tonight has Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defending the tag team titles against The Street Profits, plus Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. Otis & Chad Gable.

Over the last seven days on cable, Raw and 90 Day Fiance would have been tied for first place. Challenge on MTV would be third, followed by ESPN coverage of The Masters, Sunday Night Baseball, and AEW and Oak Island were tied for sixth place.

The peak rating for Dynamite on Wednesday was the end of the Chris Jericho vs. Dax Harwood match at 1.43 million viewers and 629,000 in 18-49. The Young Bucks match peaked at 600,000 in 18-49, and the Kris Statlander vs. Amber Nova and Darby Allin vs. Matt Hardy matches both peaked at 626,000.

Jake Paul weighed 191.5 pounds and Ben Askren 191 for their boxing match tomorrow night.  Askren, coming off hip replacement surgery, is 21 pounds heavier than his MMA weight and looked out of shape. Paul is earning a $690,000 base and Askren $500,000 plus there are likely PPV points in there as well. Regis Prograis who means nothing to buys is making $850,000.  Frank Mir who weighed in at 276 pounds, when he should be fighting at closer to 240, will be earning $350,000. Opponent Steve Cunningham, a real boxer, weighed 216. Cunningham is earning $150,000.

Triller has added Ric Flair to the show tomorrow. Thank God he's not fighting. The SlapStrike promotion will be putting on a match with U.S. champion Da Crazy Hawaiian vs. The Bear Man on the PPV under slapping rules. Ric Flair will be refereeing the match. Da Crazy Hawaiian is billed at 6-3 and 375 pounds and Bear Man had 6-3 and 350- pounds. The match is five rounds of exchanging slaps with no flinching allowed.

UFC will be on ESPN from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern tomorrow night:

  • Tony Gravely (135.5) vs. Anthony Birchak (135.5)
  • Austin Hubbard (156) vs. Dakota Bush (155.5)
  • Bartosz Fabinski(184.5) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (185.5)
  • Jessica Penne (116) vs. Lupita Godinez (116)
  • Alexander Romanov (264) vs. Juan Espino (257)
  • Tracy Cortez (126.5) vs. Justine Kish (125.5)
  • Luis Pena (155) vs Alex Munoz (155.5)
  • Abdul Razak Alhasan (285.5) vs. Jacob Malkoun (185.5)
  • Andrei Arlovski (250.5) vs. Chase Sherman (251)
  • Jeremy Stephens (156) vs. Drakkar Klose (156)
  • Robert Whittaker (185.5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (185)

Cortez missed weight and forfeited 20 percent of her purse to Kish. A scheduled fight with Zarah Fairn vs. Josiane Nunes was canceled when Fairn showed up at 147 for a fight originally at 135. They had agreed to allow the fight at 139, but Nunes missed that by eight pounds. Due to the weight discrepancy, the Nevada commission canceled the fight.

There will be a debate in parliament in the U.K. related to British Wrestling. The release states:

The APPG on Wrestling is delighted to announce that following the release of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Professional Wrestling in Great Britain report, group Co-Chair Mark Fletcher MP has secured a Parliamentary debate on the subject. This parliamentary event will allow Mark and other MPs to highlight some of the recommendations of the report and to understand the Government's initial positions and intentions as regards implementation of the findings.

The debate will happen on Thursday just before 17.30 pm. It can be watched here.

Bellator tonight at 9 p.m. on Showtime:

  • Paul Daley (174.75) vs. Sabah Homasi (175)
  • Veta Arteaga (124.5) vs. Desiree Yanaz (125.75)
  • Corey Anderson (204.75) vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (204.5) in the light heavyweight tournament first round
  • Vadim Nemkov (204.5) vs. Phil Davis (205) for the light heavyweight title and a first round tournament match

It looks like Darby Allin will defend the TNT title on Wednesday. On Twitter, and this was authorized, he asked for someone from the top five and for Tony Khan to pick the person. The top five are Adam Page, Jon Moxley, Jungle Boy, Cody Rhodes and Will Hobbs  Hobbs is already facing Christian Cage on Wednesday.

New Japan Strong tonight at 10 p.m. on New Japan World:

  • Karl Fredericks & Kevin Knight & The DKC & Alex Coughlin vs. Misterioso & Barrett Brown & Adrian Quest & Jordan Clearwater
  • Brody King vs. Lio Rush in the New Japan Cup USA semifinal
  • Tom Lawlor vs. Hikuleo in the New Japan Cup USA semifinal

Danhausen of ROH fame talked to Conan O'Brien on his podcast.


  • The A&E Biography series starts with a two-hour episode on Steve Austin that airs Sunday at 8 p.m. Austin talked about the show here.
  • Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon were on Good Morning America yesterday to promote the debut of WWE's Most Wanted Treasures on A&E which debuts on Sunday night at 10 p.m.  The two are going around the country looking for missing pieces of WWE history. I have a shed full of that stuff.
  • A story on Rhea Ripley. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • has these odds you can bet on:  Universal champion on 12/31/21 Roman Reigns -250 Seth Rollins +500 Cesaro +700 Daniel Bryan +7-0 Big E +800 WWE champion on 12/31/21 Drew McIntyre +175 Bobby Lashley +250 Brock Lesnar +500 The Fiend +500 A.J. Styles +600 Raw women's champion on 12/31/21 Rhea Ripley +175 Charlotte Flair +225 Alexa Bliss +300 Becky Lynch +400 Asuka +500 Smackdown women's champion on 12/31/21 Biana Belair +125 Sasha Banks +250 Bayley +300 Becky Lynch +400 Carmella +800 Ronda Rousey +800


  • Amanda Nunes has been made a -600 favorite over Julianna Pena for their UFC 265 main event for the bantamweight title.



  • Triller announced 58-year-old Evander Holyfield vs. Kevin McBride in a six-round fight on 6/5 underneath the Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kamboscos Jr. title fight.
  • Eddie Alvarez, fresh off his quick DQ loss last week, returns for ONE on 4/28 to face the winner of Wednesday's Marat Gafuov (18-3) vs. Ok Rae-yoon (13-3) fight. Wednesday's fight and the Alvarez fight will both air on TNT after Dynamite.
  • Combate Global airs tonight on Univision at 12:30 a.m. and Univision Deportes at 12:30 a.m. Eastern and 9:30 p.m.. Pacific with Pablo Sabori (10-6) vs. Salvador Becerra (8-3), Guillermo Torres (4-0) vs. Edir Terry (6-4), and Lucero Acota (1-1) vs Allysen Breeden (0-1).
  • A feature on the WAW promotion on Ch. 4 in the U.K.. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • A note on the latest Dave Bautista movie (thanks to Barry Werner)
  • SLAM! Wrestling Finland has just set a Finnish record on FOX TV Show "Ennätystehdas" or "Record Factory" in English, for the amount of Arm Drags given in 60 seconds. It's also believed to be a World Record and was set by 2 of the first trainees for SLAM! Wrestling Finland. The link to the show is here
  • SWE announced Ivelisse and Enzo for a 4/24 PPV show on FITE.
  • All Japan has these Champion Carnival matches tomorrow: Kohei Sato vs. Shotaro Ashino Koji Doi vs. Suwama Shinjiro Otani vs. Jake Lee Zeus vs. Yuma Aoyagi
  • WWWA on 4/24 returns to the Q-Mart Arena in Quakertown, PA.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Super J-Cup 1994