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Daily Update: Raw, Justin Thornton, Batista

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WON NEWSLETTER: October 4, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WWE Extreme Rules review, G1 Climax updates

WWE’s Extreme Rules show on 9/26 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH was decent. Most of the matches were good, but there was nothing blow away.

The show was built around two bouts, Roman Reigns vs. Demon Finn Balor for the Universal title and Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair for the women’s title. Both had gimmicked finishes.

The Demon match ended with Demon ont the top rope when the top rope suddenly collapsed and he fell into the ring injured, and got pinned by a spear. The bout had been the most exciting on the show, but at one point the idea was that Demon had died. Then his music played and he acted as though he was resurrected, and in fact, that was the verbiage used, and he made a comeback until the rope broke.

In the Smackdown women’s title match, Belair powered out of the disarmer and set up the KOD when Sasha Banks ran into attack Belair for the DQ. Banks also laid out Lynch after the match to set up a three-way program.

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio talking Raw, ratings, G-1 and more, plus taking e-mail questions you can send to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

Tonight is part two of the WWE draft. Bill Goldberg is also on the show to build up his rematch with Bobby Lashley, likely for Crown Jewel on 10.21. Really, we should have most of that card as far as key matches announced by Friday. They teased an angle where Paul Heyman is supposed to make sure the Usos get drafted by Smackdown or the Usos, who are also on tonight's show, are supposed to leave him for dead. The show is in Nashville. The show should do better ratings than in recent weeks due to the draft and Goldberg, at least in theory.  We were told this will be an eventful show.  A lot of Nashville celebrities are there including sports media people including Clay Travis. We are looking for live reports on the show with any Main Event or dark matches or notes from a live perspective to dave@wrestlingobserver.com  We're also looking for reports from last night in Lexington.

The football game tonight is the Las Vegas Raiders (3-0) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (2-1). It shouldn't be as big as last week, but football always had an effect on the numbers in the fall.

When we were talking the Muhammad Ali entourage on Saturday night's show, the doctor was Dr. Ferdie Pacheco.  I had managed Angelo Dundee, who was Ali's manager as the three people always close to him were Pacheco, Dundee and Bundini Brown.  Brown was with him when he did the Mid South Wrestling show at the Superdome in 1985 that we talked about when Ali managed The Snowman in a TV title defense against Jake Roberts, where Roberts refused to bump for Ali's punches. The basic story is in the current issue on Snowman and his short but very newsworthy career based on two angles, one in Mid South and one in Memphis.

A fighter who competed in an 8/20 Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship show passed away. Justin Thornton, 38, was knocked out on the show in Mississippi and had suffered numerous health issues stemming from the knockout. The fight lasted 19 seconds with Thornton face planting after being knocked out by Dillon Cleckler. Thornton was rushed to the hospital and partially paralyzed. He was hospitalized for several weeks and also suffered a spinal cord infection. Thornton had been an MMA fighter who had a 6-18 record before taking his first Bare Knuckle bout.  .

G-1 is down until 10/7 at the Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall with A block with a weak show headlined by Tomohiro Ishii vs. Great O'Khan.  We are doing a poll for the Sunday show from Nagoya only this week, thumbs up, down or middle, best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

In Canada, AEW Dynamite will only air on TSN5. SportsNet 360 is now airing a replay of Monday's Raw show on Wednesdays head-to-head with Dynamite. (thanks to Jeff Zinger)

UFC star Kevin Holland, who just fought Saturday, stopped an alleged carjacking this morning. Holland saw the alleged event in progress, and tackled and held the guy down until police came.

A correction from yesterday where we said the advertised main event for San Juan was Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio.  It was actually Rey & Dominik Mysterio & Finn Balor vs. Reigns & Usos and Damien Priest vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal.  It ended up with Priest vs.Sami Zayn and the Mysterios replaced by Cesaro & McIntyre in the six-man tag and Dominik vs. Mahal.  Rey was the only one who didn't appear.

Dave Bautista will be a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC promoting the film "Dune." that comes out 10/22 on HBO Max and in theaters.

WWE

  • On the WWE TV special on FOX this weekend which looked at past King of the Rings, to set up the tournament that starts Friday in San Jose, Dana White appeared on the show. The idea was to list the ten best King of the Rings in history. You can certainly argue this list has it was 1. Booker T; 2. Steve Austin; 3. Bret Hart; 4. HHH; 5. Brock Lesnar; 7. Edge; 7. Kurt Angle; 8. Sheamus; 9. Randy Savage and 10. King Corbin. White was on for about ten seconds talking about Lesnar's also being UFC heavyweight champion. (thanks to Arya Winter)
  • They were advertising Roman Reigns & Usos vs. Finn Balor & Street Profits and Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair in  local TV advertising for Friday's Smackdown show in San Jose
  • Escape The Undertaker debuts tomorrow on Netflix.
  • The Simpsons yesterday had a WWE reference. The show showed older people partying with their new social security checks and they played "Here Comes the Money," the Shane McMahon entrance song.
  • Noam Dar vs Wolfgang in the finals of a tournament to determine the top  contender to Heritage champion Tyler Bate will headlined WWE UK.
  • Harry Smith was one of the guys backstage in Baltimore Friday night for the draft. Tons of people were there with the idea they could be chosen and then weren't chosen.

UFC

  • Brian Kelleher vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov has been added to the 1/15 UFC show.

OTHER NOTES

  • Dark Side of the Ring this coming week will talk about wrestler turned biker gang leader Johnny K-9.  
  • Stardom has another PPV show from Osaka Jo Hall on Saturday headlined by Utami Hayashishita vs. Takumi Iroha for the World of Stardom title.  It's a loaded show.  Because it's an early afternoon show in Japan, it will air at midnight Eastern late Friday night at 9 p.m. Pacific late Friday night.
  • Crusherfest takes place in South Milwaukee this coming weekend.  It takes place Saturday and Sunday at 1101 Milwaukee Avenue, featuring live wrestling, special guests, a brat brawl, the Mr. Saloon contest, live polka music and more.  The address is where the Crusher statue resides.  More info is at www.dacrusher.org
  • At 2:30 p.m. local time Saturday at Crusherfest, they will induct Crusher into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • Brian Blair's autobiography, "Truth Bee Told," is now out.  I've read the book and enjoyed it a lot.  Tons of colorful stories about a very different business, talking about the end of the territorial era, the beginning of WWE going national, and tons on his best friend Paul Orndorff.
  • Impact announced Wrestle Week on AXS starting on 10/18 with Badass Movies hosted by Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows presenting the 1989 movie Road House with Patrick Swayze and Terry Funk. The 2021 Slammiversary show with Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan no DQ match airs on 10/21, before Impact. There will also be the Countdown show from 9 to 9:30 p.m. that Saturday night. Bound for Glory starts at 10 p.m. so as not to go head-to-head with AEW Dynamite which is on 10/23 at 8 p.m. that week.
  • Northeast Wrestling from Saturday night in Danbury, CT:  Chris Battle & Gio Galvano b Chris Muljo & Bret Gosselin, Cole Karter b J Heru, Wrecking Ball Legursky b Eric Rowan, Club Cam b Inzanely Rude in a tag title match, Nzo & Fandango b Ray Jaz & Seven Stetson, Deonna Purrazzo b Mega Bayne, Dan Maff b Keith Youngblood to keep NEW title,Will Ospreay b Rocky Romero, Eddie Kingston b Brian Anthony-DQ, Matt Hardy & Private Party b Trustfund.
  • PWX from Sunday in Concord, NC before 450 fans:  Sir Rios Badu b Wheeler Yuta, Chip Day & Ethan Case b Jon Davis & Drew Adler, Suge D b Victor Benjamin, Montana Black b Savannah Evans, Lance Archer b JD Drake, Robbie Eagles b Lucky  Ali, Caleb Konley & Zane Riley b Elliot Russell & Sigmon, Minoru Suzuki b Anthony Henry  We heard the main event was awesome (thanks to Landon Pipkin)
  • Christian Cage & Josh Alexander vs Ace Austin & Madman Fulton and Black Taurus vs. Petey Williams vs. Steve Maclin as part of a tournament to crown an X champion now that Alexander vacated to go after the world title is set for Impact Thursday.
  • MCPW from Saturday in Kalkaska, MI: Afternoon show:  Jackson Stone b Brutus Atwell, Jack Verville & Louis Lyndon & Max Morrison b Kevin Kalloway & Ethan Tyler & Mitch Hewitt, Joseph Norton b Kyler Coleman, Jason Hotch b Trey Miguel, Solo b Nate Bock, Tommy Vendetta & Jack Price & Isaiah Broner b Jurnal Kyng & Eli Shelton & Conrad Loucks. Evening show:  Alex Weir b Aaron Williams, Dre Jacobs & Justin Dream b Jheras & Jimi Gray, Gary Jay b Aaron Orion, The Carver b Christopher Saint, Jumal Kyng b Nick King, Tommy Vendetta b Alex Colon (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Matt Cardona pinned Joshua Bishop to win the AIW heavyweight title on Saturday night.  Bill Alfonso, the manger, got accidentally busted open earlier in the show in a deathmatch where he was managing Matthew Justice (thanks to Ross Blair)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: SmackDown's Fox premiere

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