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Daily Update: Raw, Showbuzz Daily, Paul Christy passes away

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WON NEWSLETTER: May 24, 2021 Observer Newsletter: AEW to TBS, Ospreay vacates IWGP World Heavyweight title

Our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer analyzes the WarnerMedia and AEW new deal, from the change of stations in 2022, quarterly specials both the good and bad and what they can't be or they won't work, how to tape so much content, the benefits and non-benefits of TBS vs. TNT, of a second show, how the second show idea came about, and for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction.

Also in this issue: 

  • Turmoil in New Japan, COVID issues, and first hints of what is going on behind the scenes as well as Ospreay drops title
  • Full coverage of WrestleMania Backlash, PPV numbers, next direction, poll results
  • A look at all the WWE cuts and background behind them, who was and wasn't a surprise
  • Coverage of UFC 262, back story, where everyone goes next, all the business notes on the show
  • How AEW ticket sales are doing for all the events on sale now and what that tells us about where they stand and things stand
  • All the different questions that have come out of the talks to put together Georges St-Pierre vs. Oscar de la Hoya, plus freezing contracts, Jake Paul's new deal and more
  • Lots more behind the scenes of Mayweather vs. Logan Paul including who was originally to finance the show
  • News on TripleMania, Omega vs. Andrade and other plans for Mexico's big event of the year
  • A look back at what some would say was the biggest match ever in the Carolinas and step-by-step of building it, plus the unique story of the career of Don Kernodle, from a shoot match debut, the match that led to Starrcade and more
  • The story of Sergio el Hermoso & El Bello Greco, a landmark tag team and the glory days of UWA
  • The most complete look at TV ratings available, including who watches live, how long they watch and more
  • Match of the week and performer of the week
  • Pro wrestling legend to be inducted into sports Hall of Fame
  • What wrestling promoter sang backup for John Lennon

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering Raw, the Ultimate Warrior documentary, more on New Japan's COVID issues as well as taking questions that you can send to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Thus far announced for Raw is Natalya & Tamina vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler for the women's tag titles and Riddle vs. Xavier Woods. They probably should start teasing the main bouts for Hell in a Cell although they've got several weeks before the show.  There are NBA playoff games tonight with the Miami Heat vs.  Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 p.m. and Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets at 10 p.m.

In what is actually a huge wrestling and sports story, the future of Showbuzz Daily, which has now been down for 11 days, is under question. It went down on 5/13 and was first said it would be back the next day, then on 5/17, and here we are. Mitch Metcalf, who is the key to the site, said that they still can't post anything on the site. He said that it is still unclear what caused the shutdown and it triggered underlying problems. The key is him saying, "As many of you are aware, we've been operating the site for years without revenue, and honestly the cost and time that would be required to bring the site back has led us to consider what the future of Showbuzz daily can be.  He also said to people offering technical help to get the site back going he said, "we're going to have to decline."  He didn't completely shut the door saying "We promise that we're going to try and figure out a way back, and we'll let you know when there's an update."  All wrestling companies, TV companies, sports stations, etc. looked to that site for numbers.  We should be able to continue getting the major wrestling show numbers, but for the in-depth look, you need to know what other shows are doing. Showbuzz Daily was amazingly relied on. We still had a lot in the current issue on the ratings of the key shows and other notes like demos, and new stats, but it makes a huge difference.

Paul Christy, who was a mainstay of Dick the Bruiser's Indianapolis territory in the 70s and 80s, passed away today at the age of 82. Christy was the real-life best man at the real-life Randy Savage & Elizabeth wedding before either was in WWF.  He did a magic act on a 1986 Tuesday Night Titans show. His future wife, Bunny Burmeiester was part of his act as manager Miss Bunny Love during the 80s after he turned heel after being a longtime babyface.

NXT tomorrow has Finn Balor vs. Karrion Kross for the NXT title in what has been built up to be a major match, plus Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart with the winners facing Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell for the women's tag titles. Franky Monet makes her in-ring debut and there will be a Ted DiBiase/Cameron Grimes face-off  Previously NXT was usually able to get ratings bumps for a main event like that, but right now a lot of the ratings for all shows is dependent on the playoff sports competition. In Canada, the episode will air on SN NOW streaming rather than TV because of NHL playoffs on SportsNet TV.

Andrade's first announced match since leaving WWE is 6/12 in Anaheim CA at 480 N.Glasell St., a singles match against El Hijo del Santo. That is one unique match. Local Lucha legend Piloto Suicida from the 80s and 90s is on the show as well as Mascarita Sagrada and Mini Espectrito. Andrade is working a show the next day in Los Angeles as well.

New Japan World from Korakuen Hall at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow morning:

  • Chase Owens vs. Yota Tsuji
  • Zack Sabre Jr,. & Douki vs. Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Master Wato vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa
  • Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi & Sanada & Bushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto &Yoshi-ashi & Ryusuke Tatchi
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O'Khan

WWE

  • Keith Lee posted this: "To the people offering uplifting words...know that I appreciate you greatly.  And worry not, when I say I am limitless, I mean it. I will try and find a way to explain everything in the most efficient way possible. Give me just a little more time."
  • With live shows starting 7/16, the WWE has put a liability waiver regarding fans going to shows at their own risk and anything that happens at the show regarding getting sick that you hold harmless as you agreed to attend knowing the risk. All organizations of any size and at any major arena have these same things including UFC. AEW likely will but we don't know that for sure. The NFL and other sports had it this past season so this is not anything specific to WWE.
  • Next week's A&E bio is on Mick Foley. I was interviewed for that episode.
  • The newest episode of Stone Cold's Broken Skull Sessions show will debut on Sunday on Peacock on Sunday with an interview with Charles "Godfather" Wright.

UFC

  • UFC Fight Pass will have a new original series called UFC Shanghai Combine, a four-episode show about a combine the company hosted with  about 50 athletes including several  MMA hopefuls who were competing in hopes of being invited to train at the UFC Academy in hopes of getting a UFC contract.
  • Kevin Lee returns to action after more than a year out on the 7/10 show at the T Mobile Arena against Sean Brady, who comes into the fight with a 14-0 record.  
  • Sasha Palatniko vs. Ramiz Brahima are scheduled for the 8/21 show.
  • Dirty Bird Tim Means vs. Danny Roberts is scheduled for a 6/19 show.  Roberts hasn't fought in 18 months.
  • Erin Blanchfield vs. Sarah Alpar is slated for 9/4.

OTHER NOTES

  • ROH will announce at 1 p.m. tomorrow for the Survival of the Fittest tournament, which will take place over several weeks of television.  
  • The 2014 TNA Sacrifice show will debut at 3 p.m. Eastern on AXS TV. The top bouts are Eric Young vs Magnus (Nick Aldis) for the TNA title, Madison Rayne vs. Angelina Love and Sanada vs . Tigre Uno for the X title.
  • A local TV news story on the death of Don Kernodle. The current issue has a piece on Kernodle that goes heavy into what Jim Crockett Promotions was during the 70s and 80s.
  • Drake Wuertz, who was released on Wednesday by WWE, is listed as wrestling on a show called Take Down Trafficking on 6/26 in Orlando. Matt Morgan and Low Ki are also there but only doing meet-and-greets.  The show is a benefit for bikers against trafficking.  
  • Zack Snyder talks about how he pitched for a female version of the Darren Arnofsky movie "The Wrestler," but about women wrestling with Amy Adams as the lead. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • A training partner of Israel Adesanya, Fau Vake, passed away on Sunday after being attacked from behind in a night club in Auckland, New Zealand last week.  He had been in a coma since being attacked.
  • Deathmatch Downunder had a tournament for its championship with both men and women on Friday and Saturday night in Melbourne.
  • Friday results:  Charli Evans b Sammy Falcon, JXT b Candy Lee, Ritchie Taylor b Rochelle Rouge, Tyson Baxter b Chanel Phoenix, Jessica Troy b AJ Istria, Mad Dog & Vixsin & Calle Butcher b York & Gweedo & Damian Rivers, Royce Chambers b Edward Dusk, Caveman Ugg b Jake Taylor, Tommy Knight b Gore.
  • Saturday results:  Caveman Ugg b Jessica Troy, Charli Evans b Royce Chambers, Tommy Knight b Tyson Baxter, Ritchie Taylor b JXT, Gweedo b Callen Butcher to keep the Total Violence championship, Candy Lee & Rochelle Rouge & Kid Valiant & Gore b Edawd Dusk & Chane Phoenix & Jake Taylor & AJ Istria, Charli Evans b Tommy Knight, Ritchie Taylor b Caveman Ugg, Ritchie Taylor b Charli Evans to become the first Death match champion (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • AAW from Saturday night in Villa Park, IL:  Ace Perry b Brayden Lee, Frontman Jah-C b Ren Jones, Skyle Blue b Sierra, Russ Jones b Joey Avalon, Davey Vega b Travis Titan, Manders & Matthew Justice b Ace Austin & Madman Fulton to win the AAW tag team titles.  More matches from the show will air on Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. on AAW's Twitch channel.  The next live show is 6/11 in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street with Mance Warner vs. Jake Something for the AAW title plus Manders, Justice, Myron Reed, Kris Statlander, Josh Alexander, Hakim Zane, Davey Vega, Mat Fitchett Ace Austin, Madman Fulton and Lio Rush.
  • XICW presented the Greg Schimizzi Memorial show yesterday in Warren, MI at the Hot Rock which featured former Detroit Red Wings hockey star Darren McCarty.   First show:  Kyler Coleman b Solo, Drew Jacbos won over TJ Meyer, Billy Ray Daniels, Lvi Blue, Justin Dream and Mitch Hewitt, Mysterious Movado b El Ridiculoso, Malcolm Monroe III & Adam Wick b Timo Cruz & Johnny Dynamite, LJ Lawrence b Soultaker, Kevin Kalloway & Sean Tyler b Jheras Grey & Jimi Grey, Dread King  Logan b Mongo, Rhino & DBA & Eddie Venom b Jaimy Coxxx b Aaron Orion & Jack Price & Tommy Vendetta & Alex Weir. Second show which was The Bug Memorial show:  Royce Carney III b Nate Bock, Timo Cruz & Johnny Dynamite b Jheras Grey & Jimi Grey, Levi Blue b Brutus Atwell, Jack Price b El Ridiculoso, Adam Wick b Alex Weir, Dread King Logan b Malcolm Monroe III & Justin Dream, LJ Lawrence won over Mysterious Movado, TJ Meyer & Billy Ray Daniels, Jaimy Coxx & Eddie Venom & Darren McCarty b Kevin Kalloway & Sean Tyler &  Mitch Hewitt, Aaron Orion b Rhino to retain the Midwest championship, Tommy Vendetta b DBA in a four corners of pain match to keep the Intense championship.  Next show is 6/13 in Warren, MI at the Hard Rock with two shows and also on 6/19 in Standish, MI with Rhino & Cody Deaner vs. DBA & Jaimy Coxxx (thanks to Leonard Brand)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Harley Race wins his first NWA World title

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