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Daily Update: Raw, NXT outbreak, Doug Williams

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WON NEWSLETTER: March 15, 2021 Observer Newsletter: AEW Revolution, WrestleMania 37 ticket details

We've got the most detailed analysis of AEW Revolution as the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at the fallout of the errant explosion, the business numbers, what drew and what was the reason for so many new purchasers and will they be back, lessons from the show, the signing of Christian Cage, a look back at different signings and how they've turned out, Christian's road to returning to wrestling, usage of Christian Cage, differences with AEW and Impact, Ethan Page, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Also in this issue:

WrestleMania ticket sales, as well as the planned show.

We've got our first annual Shad Gaspard/Jon Huber Memorial Award winners for 2020 and the reasons why.

WWE Network migration to Peacock, a look at the seven year history of the WWE Network and what was and wasn't a success financially regarding it, what has happened to PPVs in general.  We look at projections and how they fell short, but what ended up saving the company from the projections falling short.

John Laurinaitis being put back n his old position, and his story, and what happens to Mark Carrano, matches for the next Takeover shows, update on Fast Lane, new and departing WWE writers, new television location, WWE reaction to thigh slapping, where wrestling shows rank among sports shows in the U.S. this past week, foreign television ratings, Gable Steveson goes for NCAA title, Jim Johnstone talks WWE music today, Pat McAfee talks WrestleMania, WWE current market value, and the surprising most-watched thing this past week on the WWE Network.

Life of Buddy Colt and the plane crash that ended his career.

UFC 259, with scoring notes, business notes, poll results, where the champions go next, plus match-by-match coverage.

NHL deal affects pro wrestling and what it means for WWE and AEW, how ESPN is using it and where things stand with NBCU.

WWE over WrestleMania weekend, and the Hall of  Fame ceremony.

Dwayne Johnson's attempt to revive the XFL.

New Japan Cup and the anniversary show with match-by-match coverage and star ratings for the matches over the past week, and a look at where things stand for the rest of the tournament.

More into detail on the 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.

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Raw, the New Japan Cup, and a number of other topics with Wrestling Observer Radio. You can send email questions for the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

The only thing not already reported regarding the COVID outbreak at the Performance Center in the main story on the front page is that people were starting to get sick on Friday which is why tests were done, many of which came back positive. Normally the tests for NXT would be done on Tuesdays before the taping. A number of wrestlers tested positive and others have quarantined because of being exposed to those who tested positive. Based on what we've heard, there are people who tested positive that were not related to the building and moving of rings without masks on Thursday in the building next to the Performance Center. So not all positives were related to that.  WE has not commented on anything other than they did tell us the Performance Center has not closed down, and another two WWE sources have said that aspects of Wednesday's NXT show have been changed due to things that would have involved talent no longer available on the show. But no names are listed.  

Doug Williams, 48, has announced he is coming out of retirement and taking bookings.

In an update from yesterday regarding Google Searches, we don't know why but there was an issue on Saturday with the numbers not being available. Everything is back to normal. We know Leon Edwards did trend on Saturday but don't know the number.  but he was listed at No. 8 on Sunday.  Marvin Hagler did not trend which may be part of the glitch because obviously he would and he had more than 500,000 searches.  Bad Bunny was No. 17 as of earlier today with 100,000 based on his winning a Grammy for Best Latin Pop or Urban album and performing last night.

In the New Japan Cup, at today's Korakuen Hall show, David Finlay beat Yoshi-Hashi and Jay White beat Hiroshi Tanahashi.  So at 5 a.m. tomorrow at Korakuen Hall, it'll be Evil vs. Toru Yano and Shingo  Takagi vs. KENTA.  On Thursday morning in Shizuoka, which is a 5:30 a.m. show, it's Will Ospreay vs. Sanada and White vs. Finlay.

Raw is tonight with two title matches announced with Riddle vs. Mustafa Ali for the U.S. title and Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander vs. The New Day for the tag titles. It's also the go-home show for Fast Lane, so in theory we should get more matches for the show, but who knows at this point.  Asuka is in the building.  So evidently she's cleared after her concussion a few weeks ago and could be back on the show tonight.

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have agreed to a heavyweight title unification fight. The contract calls for a fight and a rematch. Fury is listed as a -190 favorite.

The debut of Dark Elevation is tonight on YouTube with Paul Wight announcing:

  • Butcher & Blade  & Private Party vs. Dean Alexander & Carlie Bravo & Brick Aldridge & David Ali
  • Diamante vs. Leila Gray
  • Abadon vs. Ray Lyn
  • Miro & Kip Sabian vs. Baron Black & Vary Morals
  • Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Brandon Cutler
  • Tay Conti vs. Ashley Vox
  • Max Caster vs. Dante Martin
  • Jungle Boy vs. Danny Limelight
  • Riho vs. Maki Itoh

WWE

  • A new Broken Skull Sessions show with Randy Orton will air on Sunday after the Fast Lane PPV show.
  • Rogers Communications, which has the rights to the WWE Network in Canada, is purchasing Shaw Communications, one of its major competitors in a $20 billion deal.  This has no real ramifications because Rogers leased the rights to the network to Shaw.
  • ECW Press is releasing a book tomorrow called "Austin 3:16:  316 Facts and Stories about Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  • For those with WWE Network gift cards, there is an official release after all this time saying, "We are sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused. We are currently working out the details to issue  credit for any unredeemed WWE Network gift cards purchased in the U.S."
  • Titus O'Neil was hosting a Monster Jam show at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa yesterday to push the WrestleMania on sale tomorrow. The MonsterJam event had 10,000 in attendance.
  • DK Publishing has announced the release of the WWE Superstar Handbook.

UFC

  • Carlos Felipe faces Jake Collier on the 6/12 show.  Felipe has also signed a new four-fight deal according to MMA Fighting.
  • Johnny Eduardo is out of this coming Saturday's show because he wasn't allowed to travel to the U.S. due to a visa issue.  He was to face Anthony Birchak in a prelim fight.  Eduardo hasn't fought in nearly four years.

OTHER NOTES

  • An interview with rock star James Durban talks about his love of pro wrestling, why he's a big AEW fan, and a song he wrote inspired by Jushin Liger here.
  • Impact tomorrow has Black Taurus vs. Luster the Legend at 7:30 p.m. plus the regular two hour show has David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Acey Romero & Larry D, Rohit Raju vs. Mahabali Shera, Trey Miguel vs. Sami Callihan and Deonna Purrazzo & Kimber Lee & Susan & Tenille Dashwood & Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz vs. Jordynne Grace & Jaxx & ODB & Havok & Nevaeh & Alisha Edwards.
  • AXS is airing a special old TNA PPV show at 3 p.m. Eastern tomorrow that includes Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode for the TNA title, a ladder match with A.J. Styles, Kurt Angle, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe, a tables match with James Storm, Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray and Robbie E, a falls count anywhere match with RVD, Ke Anderson, Pope and Magnus (Nick Aldis) and more.
  • Vice TV tomorrow night airs Dark Side of the Ring Confidential talking about the Montreal screw job.
  • GAW TV is doing an action for GirlUp.org  Celebrities will donate dresses and gowns, autographed cocktail dresses or evening gowns including dresses of Mickie James and Lisa Marie Varon.
  • Bare Knuckle Fighting announced their show on Friday night is sold out.  There will be two fights free on YouTube at 8 p.m. Eastern followed by a main card at the BKTV app.  Former UFC star Leonard Garcia faces Joe Elmore in the main event.
  • Hikuleo returns to New Japan on 4/4 at Sumo Hall, which means he has to leave for quarantine by the end of the week.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WCW Uncensored 1998

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