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Daily Update: Raw, Ariel Helwani, Karrion Kross


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WON NEWSLETTER: June 21, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WWE SummerSlam & Hell in a Cell notes, NXT TakeOver: In Your House review

Updates on the WWE PPV shows heads up the new issue of the Observer, including proposed main events, ticket sales and the reason for the Hell in a Cell change.

Also in this issue:

Update on the health situation of Antonio Inoki.

Another Saudi Arabia lawsuit, the details in the suit and the two possible endings including comments from Jerry McDevitt.

Updated ticket sales for all the WWE shows through early September, demand and comparisons with AEW, plus why WWE books NBA buildings and blocks off most of the building while AEW runs smaller buildings.

Dwayne Johnson talking the presidency, Edge creative, Brock Lesnar in WWE, new WWE hires, house show changes, Ronda Rousey update, international AEW & WWE ratings, what WWE is looking for in tryout camps going forward, ESPY Award, Titus O'Neil, John Cena movie, vaccines in WWE, Andre the Giant history, WWE injuries, WWE new names, plus the most-watched videos of the past week and WWE market value.

The decision by New Japan Pro Wrestling to run three Domed stadium shows in the upcoming months and how the Saitama dates preclude them from their biggest named American stars, plus the attempt to run so many major shows on successive dates in July.

Full coverage of UFC 263, with poll results, match-by-match rundowns, and the future direction of the top fighters on the show.

Full coverage for NXT Takeover, including poll results, star ratings, direction after Takeover, the next two major dates for the promotion, as well as interest level in the show.

An update on Don West, the former TNA announcer, as he battles brain cancer.

The Federacion promotion, the latest company to try and make it as a major group in Mexico, what went wrong, and the history of new attempts to go national in that country.

Stardom Cinderella tournament finals and the main event that has gotten so much talk, Utami Hayashshita vs Syuri, with the background on the two, plus coverage of storylines and direction, match-by-match with star ratings.

More into detail on the ratings than any other source, how many different viewers the shows had, breakdown of who watches the shows and how they watch, DVR numbers and how long the average fan watches.

Results of the major pro wrestling events of the past week

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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering Raw and the latest wrestling and MMA news. If you've got any questions for the show you can send them to

We'll have much more in the issue, but Smackdown did 2,040,000 viewers and 0.54 in 18-49 for the show with Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio in the Hell in a Cell title match. It was the most viewers the show has done since 5/7.  AEW on Friday  night was up to 551,000 viewers and 0.20 in 18-49, so up in viewers a lot and up slightly in the demo.  It was the most viewers they've had since Friday which surprised people because it didn't have a big main event.

Raw tonight has both men's and women's Money in the Bank qualifiers. The men's matches are A.J. Styles vs. Ricochet, Randy Orton vs. John Morrison and Drew McIntyre vs. Riddle.  Yes, McIntyre lost a match where he could never challenge Lashley for the title and the next day was in a match where the goal was to challenge Lashley for the title. In the women's side, it's tag matches with Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross and Asuka & Naomi vs. Eva Marie & whatever name Piper Niven ends up being called.

WWE Hell in a Cell finished No. 10 for searches on Google yesterday with 200,000, which is the normal interest level for a WWE PPV show. We're looking for your thoughts on the show so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to  

Karrion Kross, Scarlett and Bronson Reed are again backstage at television today. As of 30 minutes before this writing, the plan was for Kross vs. Shelton Benjamin on Main Event and that Scarlett will not be used in the corner. Scarlett is being talked about for a tryout on her own this coming Friday.

Ariel Helwani announced today a series of new jobs he's going to after leaving ESPN with the expiration of his contract six days ago. He is largely taking time off until August and will start these gigs:

  • He returns to MMA Fighting to do the MMA Hour every Monday & Wednesday, a talk show with the top MMA talent
  • He will do a YouTube show interviewing people from outside the MMA world, whether it be music, pro wrestling, sports, book authors and more
  • He will write MMA for Substack
  • He will work with BT Sports in the U.K. on MMA, boxing and WWE pro wrestling.
  • He will work for The Ringer doing shows on Friday's before major MMA shows and Saturday nights after, talk shows covering the events.

New Japan has a Korakuen Hall show tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. on New Japan World:

  • Taichi vs. Yuya Uemura
  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Yota Tsuji
  • Kazuchika Okada & Sho & Yoh & Toru Yano vs,. El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori & Gedo & Jado
  • Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi & Sanada & Bushi vs. Kota Ibushi & Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi & Hirooki Goto defend the Never six-man tag titles against Evil & Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo

There will also be a Wednesday morning Korakuen Hall show with Sho & Yoh defending the IWGP jr. tag titles against Ishimori & Phantasmo


  • Congratulations to Mustafa Ali who announced that he and his wife were expecting a child in December.
  • Kevin Owens on Twitter wrote, "I fought like hell,  Now, I need a little break.  I'll be back soon."  The impression we were given is this is a storyline.


  • Dark Elevation tonight: Jade Cargill vs. Robyn Renegade The Acclaimed vs.Baron Black & Tamillian Vineesh Wardlow & Shawn Spears vs. Ryzin & Kal Herro Kris Statlander vs. Rene Michelle (who was in WWE as Drake Maverick's real-life wife) Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Darien Benston Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison vs. Bums R Us FTR vs. Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson Matt Hardy vs. Jora Johl Penta & Eddie Kingston vs. Vary Morales & Fuego del Sol Matt Sydal vs. Jack Evans Nyla Rose vs. Delmi Exo Jungle Boy vs. Cezar Bononi


  • XICW from Saturday night in Standish,MI:  Solo b Kyler Coleman, Aam Wick b Alex Weir, LJ Lawrence & Billy Ray Daniels won over Mysterious Movado & Royce Carney III, Mike Idol & Jamie Race and Eric Freedom & Kavan O'Reilly, Brutus Atwell b Soultaker, Kevin Kalloway & Sean Tyler b Jheras Grey & Jimi Grey, Tommy Vendetta d Dre Jacobs, Schwartzy & Randi West b TJ Meyer & Hannah Henderson, Mongo b Justin Dream, Rhino & Cody Deaner b DBA & Jaimy Coxxx, Aaron Orion b Trey Miguel (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • A correction from yesterday's results from Memphis.  We listed Briar & Blair Skimahorn over Lil Chris & Aaron Roberts & Zay Washington winning their tag titles. It was actually the Skimahorn team over Lil Chris by himself and Roberts & Washington in a triple threat match to win the tag team titles as Chris' partner Simon was hurt.
  • AIW on 7/30- has the Chandler Biggins Memorial tournament at the Odeon Concert Club in Cleveland with only 150 tickets available. They also run 7/31 in Jefferson, OH at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds.
  • Mike Dimuzio, 63, a referee who worked all over from the Northeast into Tennessee and the Carolinas, passed away due to cancer on Saturday morning.  He also ran his own promotion out of Gettysburg, PA.  He loved working at wrestling events.
  • Dean Muhtadi, the former Mojo Rawley, is in the trailer for the upcoming G.I. Joe movie "Snake Eyes:  G.I. Joe Origins." He's shown briefly in the trailer in a fight scene.
  • Kylie Rae vs. Lady Frost, the granddaughter of 60s and 70s star Tony Marino, will headline for Warrior Wrestling on 7/17 in Chicago Heights, IL

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Dusty Rhodes wins NWA World title