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Daily Update: Raw, Xavier Woods, La Parka


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F4W NEWSLETTER: WWE's draft missed opportunity Joseph Currier looks at how the draft failed to establish a unique identity for SmackDown on FOX.

With a chance to establish a unique identity on FOX, this year's draft was a missed opportunity for WWE.

The draft was an early indication of what WWE will look like on FOX. Following up on a loaded premiere episode, it gave SmackDown an opportunity to define itself as a FOX property. WWE had the full weight of the network behind them, complete with pre-taped appearances by FOX's biggest sports personalities. But instead of leaning in to that identity, WWE gave mixed messages.

Ever since WWE struck their deal with FOX, there's been some question about how SmackDown would fit into the network's portfolio. It's categorized as part of FOX Sports, with WWE Backstage even airing weekly on FS1. SmackDown gives FOX the benefit of having live programming on Fridays for 52 weeks out of the year, but it's really more of a hybrid between sports and a weekly television show. WWE is never going to be -- and shouldn't be -- a promotion that presents itself as a pure sport. The beauty of pro wrestling is that you can create the over-the-top spectacle that sports can only wish to achieve. With appearances by Cain Velasquez and Tyson Fury on the FOX premiere, it seemed like WWE was going to be taking SmackDown in that direction.

Current subscribers click here to continue reading.

WON NEWSLETTER: October 21, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Eric Bischoff fired, WWE draft disappoints

In a huge week of news,we've got all the details in the new issue. Our lead story looks at the firing of Eric Bischoff. We look at his hiring, why it was largely not expected to work out by those who had worked with him in recent years and why people from the past rarely work when brought back into wrestling.

This week's Observer also covers: 

Bruce Prichard and the problems with both Raw and Smackdown.

WWE draft, why the moves were made, how the draft shows were put together and have a depth chart of where all the talent looks to be positioned, who got broken up and who haven't had a brand chosen for them yet.

Signing of Tyson Fury and Cain Velasquez by WWE. We look at WWE's place in Riyadh season, the kind of money being thrown around, why Anthony Joshua is facing heat while WWE really isn't, the set up for Velasquez vs. Lesnar and questions about Velasquez and his WWE career going forward, the background of how Fury and Velasquez got to WWE, the challenges Velasquez faces in WWE and the Crown Jewel show.

WWE's plans for NXT Japan, what major star has been signed and others who have been talked with, DVR viewership of Smackdown, updated WWE PPV numbers, Hulu numbers, Mike Bennett on why he wants to leave, Maria Kanellis responds. Hardy family drama, WWE gets award nominations, Injury updates, Evolve shows, most-watched shows on the WWE Network, plus a look at every arena event from WWE & NXT over the past week.

Coverage of King of Pro Wrestling with the background, the destination, the Tokyo Dome plans, Power Struggle, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Extensive coverage of Bushiroad's purchase of Stardom, how this happened, why Rossy Ogawa sold to Bushiroad and not WWE, what WWE was offering, Stardom's new TV deal, why this doesn't mean New Japan and Stardom are affiliated, Stardom coming to the U.S. in December and political implications of all this, as well a plans for the biggest Stardom show ever.

UFC in Tampa this past week with Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson and Jedrzejczyk's quest for the strawweight title.

Full coverage of all the WWE television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

Current subscribers can access the issue here.

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.

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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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Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw and the latest pro wrestling news. You can also send questions to the show to

Word going around WWE is that the Xavier Woods injury is bad. The company has officially reported an Achilles injury, without saying a tear, but the word going around it is that it is a tear, which is an injury that usually has a very long recuperation period after surgery. Woods was coming off the ropes and just collapsed from what we understand (thanks to Alex Michael and others)

AAA La Parka suffered a neck and spine fracture when he hit his head on the guard rail doing a dive in a match last night in Monterrey. Parka, not L.A. Park is 53 years old and underwent surgery at 5 a.m. He is now in recovery. This was a very scary situation last night as there was fear of paralysis, but he did regain feeling in his hands and legs before surgery.

Some notes on Raw. Ric Flair is scheduled to announce the final member of Team Raw for Saudi Arabia. Cain Velasquez is on the show tonight. Seth Rollins will discuss destroying the Firefly Fun House. Lots of talent is missing. Becky Lynch was doing an appearance today for the ESPN Women's Sports Summit in Los Angeles and Raw is in Cleveland.  For sure not on Raw will be Buddy Murphy, Asuka, Kairi Sane, The Iiconics and Charlotte Flair because they are all in Australia for the Smackdown tour.

As far as competition, Raw gets a break because no World Series game tonight. Still, with the New England Patriots (vs. New York Jets) tonight, one of the league's marquee teams, Raw will have very tough competition.  Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday will take a large bite out of both AEW and NXT ratings, and it'll also hurt Smackdown on Friday on FS1, which is likely to do a sub 1.8 million number, and if it does, it means nothing and don't worry about it. Nobody in television thinks this coming week's Smackdown number counts at all.

FOX is still strongly behind WWE. On Sunday at 5 p.m., they will be airing a one hour show with profiles on the biggest stars in WWE and WWE itself.   


  • When we've talked about the Kenny Omega vs. Fenix match from last year in Poughkeepsie that was so great, it was on a Northeast Wrestling show and it is available to watch through the Highspots streaming service.  The rematch took place Saturday night in Orizaba with Omega winning the AAA mega world title.
  • The opponent for Melissa "Thunder Rosa" Cervantes in her MMA debut on 11/8 in San Antonio for Combate Americas will be Nadine Mandau (0-1).  They will fight at 115 pounds. The bout is expected to air live on Univision that night at midnight Eastern time.
  • Colosseum tournament final results from yesterday in Sydney:  Matty Wahlberg b Orange Cassidy in semifinals, Travis Banks b Ricky South in semifinals, Steph De Lander won four-way over Big Fudge, HeadHunter Rig and Royce Chambers to get a PWA title match, Rory Gulak & Shazza McKenzie b Adam Hoffman & Mick Moretti, Caveman Ugg b Jack Bonza to keep the PWA title, Jude London & Mat Diamond & Mat Rogers & Paris de Silva b Chris Basso & Davis Storm & Jessica Troy & Sam Osborne, Billy Preston & Jimmy Townsend b Massive Q, Matty Wahlberg b Travis Banks to win tournament.  Preston & Townsend stood on each others' shoulders wearing a trench coat with the idea it was one person called James Adultman in the match against Massive Q. Show said to be really good, Ugg vs Bonza, and the eight man were strong the Wahlberg vs. Banks said to be super. As noted yesterday, WWE was scouting here. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • PWA in Australia and the Fale Dojo run 12/14 in Sydney at the Factory Theater with Jushin Liger.
  • United States Championship Wrestling yesterday in Jacksonville, FL:  Dashing Kam b Skylark, Cisco Sucio b Calus Wolfe, Amber Nova b Kiah Dream, Chasyn Rance b Gery Roif, Bobby Leger b Djokovic Rabbit, Jake Shadows b Vernon Black, Den James b Dashing Kam & Rabbit in a handicap match (thanks to Al Haft)
  • Action Wrestling Friday night in Tyrone, GA with Curt Stallion, Alex Zayne, Lance Anoa'i and Slim J.  The show is a benefit for a local domestic violence shelter.
  • GOUGE from yesterday in Raleigh, NC:  Otto Schwarn b Blaqtus Jack, Cowboy Kool Jay won three-way over Josh Young and James Anthony, Seymour Snott b Caribbean Tiger Woods, No Direction & Jonas Beiber b Viva Las Amish & Danny Vegas, Waylon Maze b Ric Richards, Snooty Fox b Victor Andrews.
  • Best of the West in Fresno has a student showcase on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Best of the West TV studios and will feature students not only from Best in the Wet, but from other area promotions like APW, Gold Rush, VF3, Stoner U, MPW, EBPW, ACW, Reno Wrestling Factory and FSW.  The studio is at 5766 E Fountain Way in Fresno and tickets are $10. 
  • Juventud Guerrera comes to CWE on 11/23 in Medicine Hat, Albertafor its Elite 8 tournament.  Guerrera will be headlining 31 events throughout Canada for CWE for The Juice Is On The Loose Tour.
  • Added to the ROH show on 10/27 in Bolton, UK are Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Hikuleo & Kenny King and Brody King & PCO vs. Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWF No Mercy 2001