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Daily Update: SmackDown, Cain Velasquez, Sofia Alonso


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Looking at SmackDown's move to FOX Joseph Currier looks ahead to SmackDown's FOX premiere and what the move will mean. Plus, Bryan Rose's Japan notes and Vinny V's TV reviews. 

While much of the focus has been on the AEW vs. NXT Wednesday Night War, WWE main roster television materially changes this week with SmackDown's FOX premiere.

The magnitude of WWE airing live on network television every week has been apparent since news of the FOX move broke, but it didn't fully set in until FOX started promoting the show. WWE personalities have been featured on FOX's most valuable sports properties, with them appearing on NFL, college football, and MLB coverage. The promotion WWE would get on FOX was said to be one of the selling points of the deal, and FOX has already been as great of a partner as WWE could have hoped for. The promotional opportunities that FOX affords have the potential to make a real difference for WWE. Not every appearance will go perfectly (FOX's Mark Schlereth saying Rey Mysterio was "like Nacho Libre" was pretty lame), but wrestlers being positioned as on the same level as other professional sports stars in FOX's portfolio is gigantic for WWE.

WWE is also officially being given its own studio show on FS1. Renee Young and Booker T will host WWE Backstage, which premieres at 11 p.m. Eastern time/8 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday, November 5. There will also be a preview show after game three of Major League Baseball's American League Championship Series on October 15. Young and Booker T will "weigh in on the biggest stories in WWE, and are joined by a rotating cast of guests and personalities, including current and former WWE Superstars." The show is a FOX production, and it was reported last week that CM Punk has tried out for it.

WWE and FOX have worked in unison to make SmackDown's FOX premiere as big as it could possibly be. Brock Lesnar will have his first match on either Raw or SmackDown since 2004 as he challenges for Kofi Kingston's WWE Championship. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will also make his first televised WWE appearance in over three years.

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WON NEWSLETTER: October 7, 2019 Observer Newsletter: First battle in the Wednesday Night War

The Wednesday night war has started, and there's no more detailed rundown than in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer.

We've got every aspect of the business covered, including:

How every match on both shows did when it comes to viewers, head-to-head, and how different demos fared. 

What things WWE tried that worked, what didn't work, and what failed. 

The money demo, baseball competition, analyze where NXT gained and lost and what it says about AEW and competition, who had the advantage when it came to replays, was it a TNT nostalgia wrestling rating, average age for WWE and AEW shows, what audiences AEW beats WWE shows in, what AEW's success under 35 showed, comments from key people about the ratings,  and we also look at Canada ratings, the UK deal and what time slot is actually the key one for AEW in the UK.


Different tricks both companies took, who did the best job of hype, what comes next week and the non-wrestling aspects of the show.

Match-by-match coverage for both shows with star ratings.

Turmoil in CMLL, the departure of Rush and Dragon Lee, how Lee found out, the future of Mistico, Rush talks his future, as does Dragon Lee, the changes in CMLL that led to this, and all kinds of new policies that changes the world's oldest wrestling promotion. 

C.M. Punk, noting his lawsuit with Colt Cabana being settled, his screen test for a new WWE show, the latest on if he will wrestle, while Cody talks his thoughts about Punk in AEW.

Cain Velasquez in pro wrestling.  We look at the Forum card being postponed, WWE's meeting with him, what angles on Raw this week related to him, update on who has signed the most key guys of late and why Velasquez's situation is so unique.

Smackdown premier on FOX and ticket interest, Hell in a Cell, the next Saudi Arabia show, Steve Austin, Ric Flair's title reigns, update on a WWE Hall of Famer who may get cleared, Fourth generation McMahon may become a wrestler, how much Cena affected business, Dana White exchanges words with Matt Riddle, Braun Strowman's new deal, Upcoming Evolve bouts with WWE stars, WWE market value declines and why, most-watched shows on the WWE Network plus a look at all the WWE & NXT arena events of the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

Coverage of CMLL's biggest show of the year, the anniversary card, with match-by-match coverage and star ratings.

Coverage of ROH Death Before Dishonor, with match-by-match coverage, business notes, star ratings PPV numbers and more on Matt Taven's new landmark ROH deal.

Coverage on this past weekend's UFC show in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The death of Rick Bogner, look at his days as Big Tytan in Japan, the story behind the fake Razor Ramon in WWF, why his career ended, who got him into WWF but some of the guys he started out with talk about him.

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 for the WWE shows and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over 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

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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We'll be back with coverage of tonight's Smackdown, as well as more on the Wednesday night wars with a show later tonight.

Scheduled for tonight is Kofi Kingston vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE title, Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan, Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens loses gets fired from the promotion in a ladder match, Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks, plus every major star they could round up including Dwayne Johnson, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle and tons of others FOX begins coverage of tonight's show with a blue carpet kickoff show at 7:30 p.m. Drew McIntyre and the Usos are backstage at the show. 

There were talks going on this past week for Cain Velasquez to debut on the show. We did not get it confirmed that a deal was made, but there is an obvious angle with Lesnar.

Konnan on his podcast talked about the possibility of Sofia Alonso leaving CMLL and starting her own promotion. This relates to the story in this week's Observer.  All I can say about this is I'm stunned he said it publicly, but there is smoke to that fire.

Scarlett Bordeaux has pulled out of a number of independent dates based on having signed a contract. She just had a WWE tryout.

Bellator announced a DAZN show on 12/21 in Honolulu headlined by Ilima-lei MacFarlane defending her flyweight title against Kate Jackson as well as A.J. McKee vs. Derek Campos in the featherweight tournament. Macfarlane sold out the Blaisdell Center last year in one of the most incredible emotional storybook nights in company history.


  • The cruiserweight title name has been changed from WWE cruiserweight champion to NXT cruiserweight champion, which tells you it's now off WWE PPV shows and on Takeovers and NXT Wednesday shows.
  • Hulk Hogan was on Colin Cowherd today promoting the WWE 2K20 video game and tonight's Smackdown show.
  • "Fighting With My Family" was the 99 cent video rental of the week on iTunes (thanks to Brian Henke)
  • The odds for tonight Brock Lesnar -250 vs. Kofi Kingston +170 Lynch & Flair +100 vs. Banks & Bayley -140 Roman Reigns -200 vs. Erick Rowan +150 Kevin Owens -300 vs. Shane McMahon +200
  • Among the women who were with Velveteen Dream in his promo on Wednesday's NXT show were Brandi Lauren, Avery Taylor, Kelsey Heather, Gia Roman, Marina Tucker and Tasha Steelz.  Lauren and Taylor are regulars with Evolve (thanks to Shannon Walsh at


  • Sheymon Moraes was cut by UFC this past week.
  • With Sergio Pettis' UFC contract having expired and no deal reached for a new contract, the Pettis vs. Kai Kara France fight for 11/2 in Madison Square Garden has been changed to France vs. Brandon Moreno.
  •  Muslim Salikhov vs.Laureano Starpoli, Enrique Barzola vs. Movsar Evloev and Jeff Hughes vs. Raphael Passoa have been added to the 10/16 show in Singapore. 
  • Charles Oliveira vs. Jed Gordon,  Warlley Alves vs. Randy Brown and Ricardo Ramos (as a featherweight) vs. Eduardo Garagrri have been added to the 11/16 show in Sao Paulo,Brazil.  


  • Tickets for the 12/4 tapings in Champaign, IL went on sale today.
  • Chris Jericho was at last night's New York Rangers game against the Winnipeg Jets in Madison Square Garden.  His father played for the Rangers. He was shown wearing a Rangers jersey and was called "WWE Superstar." 
  • Jericho also was the guest yesterday on Ariel Helwani's ESPN podcast.
  • Another Jericho interview is at
  • On Wednesday, this was the most-read story in the Los Angeles Times
  • The Washington Post on Nyla Rose. (thanks to Chris Cruise)


  • Bellator runs at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight on Paramount and DAZN  Andrey Koreshkov (170.8) vs. Lorenz Larkin (170.9) Saad Awad (155.3) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (155.3) Keri Melendez (117.9) vs. Mandy Polk (117.4) Joe Schilling (186) vs. Tony Johnson (185.1)
  • The snakebit wXw weekend got worse today as both Eddie Kingston and Saraya Knight pulled out.  Kingston cited a family emergency. Knight said she was suffering from a stomach bug. Vicious Vivien replaces her.  David Starr, who was to team with Kingston in the tournament, will now pick a new partner. Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku are now in the tournament as the replacements for Flamita & Bandido.  Flamita will still be working the weekend in non-tournament matches. Of the original 12 teams, six have been changed. Jonathan Gresham has also been added for the weekend.
  • At last night's show in Oberhausen, during the Timothy Thatcher ring entrance, the lights went out due to a technical failure.  Results of the show were Jay Skillet & Russ Taylor & Alexander Dean b Maggot & Prince Ahura & The Roation, Dominic Garrini b James Runyan, Anthony Henry & JD Drake b Timothy Thatcher & Norman Harass, Leyla Hirsch b Samii Jayne, Alexander James b Daniel Makabe, Kyle Fletcher & Lucky Kid b Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
  • A correction from this week's issue.  Walter was not pulled from the weekend by WWE, but asked on his own that he wanted off to avoid hard travel since he's working tonight at tomorrow for the NXT tapings and has to be in Orlando on Tuesday for his dress rehearsal with Kushida so asked out of working Sunday in Germany.
  • Scott Teal's autobiography with Rocky Johnson will be out 10/14.  Dwayne Johnson wrote the foreword. For more info you can go here.
  • The Calgary Hitmen hockey team announced Bret Hart Night on 11/2, in support of the Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre.  Hart is a prostate cancer survivor. His older brother Smith also had prostate cancer which spread and he eventually passed away from it.  Bret Hart will be signing before the game with all money going to the Centre and special $15 tickets with $5 going to the center are available, as well.  After the game, the Prairie Wrestling Alliance will hold a four-match wrestling card on the ice. In return, tomorrow night, members of the Hitmen team will be at the PWA show at the Cedarbrae Community Centre.
  • Mick Foley will be starting a new speaking tour on Tuesday, going all over the country with different shows, including 11/10 in San Jose.
  • Will Ospreay is working 10/11 and 10/12 for Melbourne Championship Wrestling in Australia as the tag team partner of Kyle Fletcher.  He replaces Mark Davis, who is out with a knee injury.
  • Robbie Eagles vs. Kai Drake on 10/11 in Sydney, Australia for Wrestling Go.
  • Rick Allen, who wrestled in the 90s as Sunny Beach for the Herb Abrams UWF, underwent quadruple bypass surgery last week according to PW Insider.  Allen suffered a heart attack and still drove himself to the hospital, which probably saved his life.
  • Kevin Eck talks the latest ROH news.
  • Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sgt. Slaughter, Mick Foley, Gangrel and Joey Janela are representing Headlocked Comics at the New York Comic Con today through Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center.
  • Tomorrow night's MLW TV show on Bein Sports has Austin Aries vs. Brian Pillman Jr., L.A. Park & El Hijo de L.A. Park vs. Septimo Dragon & Magnus, and Dominic Garrini vs. Areil Dominguez.
  • Championship Wrestling from Arkansas on 10/12 in Hot Springs, AR at the Convention Center Hall D.  Arn Anderson will be a special guest for a meet and greet.
  • MCW tomorrow night in Joppa, MD features Rhett Titus vs. Dante Caballero for the MCW title plus a convention from Noon to 5 p.m. with Kane, Devon Dudley,Tito Santana, Joey Ryan and Rene Michelle.  Ryan wrestles King McBride and Michelle is in a woman's title match against champion Aria Palmer and Gia Scott.
  • Pro Wrestling Revolver tonight in West Des Moines, IA at the Val Air Ballroom with Larry D vs. Mad Man Fulton vs. Killer Kross, Brian Cage defends the Impact title against JT Dunn, Tessa Blanchard vs. Sami Callihan in a street fight, Lance Archer vs. Ace Romero plus Andy Dalton, Caleb Konley, Jake Manning, David Crist, Jimmy Jacobs, Jessicka Havok,Rich Swann, Jason Cade and more.
  • Combate Americas announced a new main event for 10/11 with Andre Barquero out due to a knee injury.  For the show in Tucson, AZ, on Galavision, Jose Alday (13-4-1) now faces former UFC fighter Joby Sanchez (12-5) in a bantamweight main event.  Jose Luis Calvo also had to pull out of the show due to a visa issue from Costa Rica. So Anthony Birchak (15-6) now faces Erik Aguilar Radleim (5-4) at a 140 pound catch weight. 
  • TK O'Ryan, who has been out a long time with issues from a concussion, has announced a return on a CWE tour of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario from11/21 to 12/5.
  • MLW announced a 20 wrestler mystery box Battle Royal for the 11/9 show at the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando at 4 p.m.  The idea is that nobody will be announced for the Battle Royal ahead of time so it's a mystery.
  • Dory Funk Jr., Ricky Steamboat and Steve Corino, all former NWA champions, will do a meet and greet on 10/26 in Ocala, FL at the BANG V Sound Stage at 5 P.M. before the 6:45 p.m. show.
  • Today is the 56th anniversary of the first Bruno Sammartino vs. Gorilla Monsoon match for the WWWF title held outdoors at Roosevelt Stadium.  Monsoon was a late replacement for Buddy Rogers. It was to be Rogers' title rematch, moved outdoors because they were expecting more than 20,000 fans.  Rogers pulled out of the show due to health issues and Monsoon was introduced as a monster heel, having won a tournament to get the title shot. Monsoon won via DQ to set up rematches in Madison Square Garden. (thanks to Mike Omansky)
  • CMLL begins its Gran Alternativa tournament tonight at Arena Mexico, which also has Euforia & Gran Guerrero defending the CMLL tag titles against Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja.  
  • Bret Hart talked to Sean Mooney:on Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast where he talked about WrestleMania IX, the Hall of Fame incident from earlier this year and more.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Undertaker wins World title at Hell in a Cell 2009