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Daily Update: Roman Reigns, Pat McAfee, Takami Ohbari


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WON NEWSLETTER: May 3, 2021 Observer Newsletter: UFC 261 recap, NHL-Turner deal

How the NHL deal affects both WWE and AEW is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  

We look at the deal, have Tony Khan's comments on it, update on AEW and TNT, AEW vs. NHL ratings, declining ratings equals larger right fees, notes on the next WWE and AEW deals, and key contract years for AEW and WWE.

Also in this issue:

A complete rundown of UFC 261, background of the show, match-by-match coverage, poll results, business notes, as well as what categories UFC won in television ratings this past week.

Peacock subscribers, Supreme Court ruling on a WWE case, WWE going back on the road, Mickie James talks her issues with her final run, why no second Evolution PPV show,  front office changes in WWE, Daniel Bryan talks his future goals, Paul Levesque talks physical Hall of Fame, new WWE announcer, new WWE signings, how wrestling fared as compared with other sports on television, former headliner says he's returning to WWE, upcoming major TV matches and the most-watched segments on YouTube of recent shows.

CMLL and ROH relationship falling apart, how Mexico is changing with a new promotion, the question a lot of the CMLL and AAA wrestlers have to ask themselves and money figures the top talent is getting with the new promotion.

What other wrestlers held three major world titles in three different companies besides Kenny Omega and details of that. 

Impact Rebellion with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results, as well as early PPV notes, where the company is going forward and what happened in the Omega vs. Swann match.

WWE's highest stakes television match in a long time with Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan.

A feature on Jake Paul, Triller's lawsuit, and Paul challenges involving Daniel Cormier, Nate Diaz and Kamaru Usman.

PPV numbers from television from every company over the past six months.

More on last week's feature about historical world title unification matches from different companies, including a reference to Babe Ruth.

How long the average fan watches the key wrestling shows, how many different people are actually watching, what show is watched live the most and what show is time delayed the most.

More into detail on the ratings than any other source, 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.

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

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  • After defeating Daniel Bryan on SmackDown last night, Roman Reigns posted video of a promo while working out this morning. Reigns said Bryan and the whole world should be thanking him for banishing Bryan from SmackDown. Reigns said not only did he give the audience what they need by taking care of the future and getting rid of the old -- he gave Bryan what he wanted. Reigns said Bryan made it clear that he was looking for a new door. He told Bryan to go have fun and be a dad, save the world, hug a tree -- whatever he wants to do. Reigns also said he expects the audience to acknowledge and thank him on SmackDown next week.
  • Reigns debuted new entrance music on last night’s SmackDown.
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson commented on NBC renewing “Young Rock” for season two: “Sweet news to kick off my birthday weekend. #YoungRock officially back in the saddle for a second season! Thank you to all our partners! And mostly a huge mahalo to my #1 boss - you guys, the people for joining me on this wild, unbelievable journey @nbc @SevenBucksProd”
  • While appearing on Just Getting Started with Rich Eisen earlier this week, Pat McAfee spoke about his new role as a commentator for SmackDown: "It's insane, I'm sitting next to Michael Cole. I've got Vince McMahon dropping into my ear, like an actual voice of God. When you're a commentator with WWE, since it's Vince's company and he used to be a commentator and he's still hands-on, if something changes with the show, he'll come in since the commentators are telling a story. Michael Cole is unbelievable at what he does. He has to direct and call. This past Friday was my first time with Vince in the building. All of a sudden, boom, the voice of God is there. I sat up and was like, 'Here we go.' I'm getting a chance to hear a billionaire's brain spill through his mouth to my ear while talking about his product, which has become a global phenomenon. It's the dumbest life of all time, I should not be here, but let's enjoy the ride while we have it."
  • WWE officially announced their slate of programming coming to Peacock/WWE Network in May.
  • WWE has filed a trademark for “Top Dolla.”
  • During an April appearance on Busted Open Radio, Molly Holly discussed having the time for her WWE Hall of Fame induction speech cut and WWE letting her give the full speech on YouTube:

It was awesome that Hurricane Helms was the one to tell me that I was going to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. The fact that he legitimately, for real, got choked up and was super proud of me, that was really special. I loved that moment. Behind the scenes, after that, I was told that I would have about 15 minutes to give a speech, so I spent a lot of time and had three friends of mine that are professional writers help me. I practiced it for 60 hours.  I have a regular 9 to 5 job, and after work every day, I would practice it while I was going for a walk. I worked really hard on it.

Then, a couple of days before, they said, ‘Oh, never mind. You actually have two minutes to give your speech.’ I cried for like four hours. A lot of times when I used to wrestle full time, they would tell us, ‘You have 12 minutes to wrestle, and then right before we walk out, they would be like, ‘Nope, nope, you have four minutes.’ We were so ready to tell a story of good vs evil, and give the fans their money’s worth, now it’s just entrances, two moves, and the match. It would be such a heartbreak

I think I took a lot of that resentment, or hurt, or whatever, from 20 years ago, and piled it on that moment when they cut my speech down. I was so sad, but, here’s the good news. The WWE made it right and they let me give my speech on their YouTube page, which is like 75 million people that can look at that. Sure, I was so hurt, and then I was so happy that they let me thank Dean Malenko and Lanny Poffo, and these people that really helped shape my career.  It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for me.

Other Wrestling

  • NJPW’s English-language website posted an interview with NJPW president Takami Ohbari. Ohbari spoke about the decision to add the Strong Openweight Championship to NJPW Strong: “Well, when we started STRONG, as I said, it was about standing up strong in tough times and looking forward. I think that was the message we had, and presented, and it worked to the point where there was this new style coming out of the program, and unique characters and personal issues playing out. We had tournaments like Super J-Cup, or NJC USA that gave a focal point for that moment in time, but we were lacking something to aim for consistently, a real axis for everything else to revolve around. At the same time, it’s its own ecosystem, it has own independent identity, and it was around about time, we thought, to establish a hierarchy for STRONG itself. Now there’s someone that everyone is aiming for every week.”
  • In his latest Eck’s Files article for ROH’s website, Kevin Eck announced that former ROH commentator Lenny Leonard will be the guest on Monday’s episode of the ROHStrong podcast. Eck wrote that Leonard “revealed details about his imminent return to the company.”
  • The first entrant in ROH’s Women’s Championship tournament will be revealed on ROH’s YouTube channel on Wednesday. The tournament will take place this summer.
  • Shinjiro Otani will miss the final two shows in AJPW’s Champion Carnival tournament due to a shoulder injury.
  • Chris Jericho told Arda Ocal that he got the name for the Inner Circle-Pinnacle parley from Pirates of the Caribbean. Jericho noted that the concept is also something you see in Game of Thrones.
  • Sonny Kiss appeared on the latest edition of Outside the Ring with Lexy Nair.
  • WrestleTalk has an interview with Shawn Spears.
  • At last night’s AIW show in Cleveland, Eddie Kingston made a surprise appearance and defeated Dominic Garrini. Garrini reflected on what it meant to face Kingston at the show.
  • Matt Cardona, Brian Myers, Mark Sterling, and Swoggle have been announced for AIW’s "Major Announcement" show at the Odeon Concert Club in Cleveland on Friday, June 18. 
  • Spyder Nate Webb announced that he’s stepping away from in-ring wrestling indefinitely: “My body, mind, and soul are beaten down to an extreme extent. I am stepping away from active wrestling indefinitely. Thank you to everyone that has kept me going for so long! I love you all and hope to get back to normal. Much love and bless you all!”

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Harley Race wins NWA title from Tommy Rich