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Daily Update: SmackDown ratings, NXT WarGames, Bryan Danielson


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WON NEWSLETTER: November 29, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Survivor Series review, NJPW vs. NOAH show announced

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The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 that became a major news story this week led to Japan closing its borders.

The announcement was made that as of 11/30, travelers could not come to the country, but it is not what it sounds like.

This will have some effect on the pro wrestling business. Basically wrestlers who have already obtained working visas will be able to return, and it’s been confirmed that Will Ospreay would be working the Tokyo Dome in the main event on 1/5 against the winner of the Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada IWGP title match the night before. There was a one day period where New Japan officials were trying to get clearance for this and there was no answer regarding those leaving the country or those not in the country.

Those who have been in Japan over the past year, people like Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa, Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, KENTA and announcer Kevin Kelly (who will be staying in Japan from January through March and doing live English broadcasts of all the major shows until the end of the New Japan Cup) will all be allowed to come to Japan or in some cases stay in Japan.

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  • Last night’s SmackDown averaged 1.965 million viewers in the fast national ratings, on par with last week’s fast national average of 1.968 million viewers. The first hour of last night’s show averaged 2.036 million viewers, with the second hour averaging 1.895 million. The rating in the 18-49 demo was a 0.5.
  • I previewed NXT WarGames for Sports Illustrated and gave predictions for each match.
  • Denise Salcedo will be a special guest on the NXT WarGames pre-show tomorrow. The pre-show starts at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time and will also feature Sam Roberts and McKenzie Mitchell.
  • Sports Illustrated asked Io Shirai if she’d be open to a move to Raw or SmackDown: “Of course, I would be open to a move to SmackDown or Raw. The opportunity would present new goals and encounters different from what I have achieved and experienced in NXT. I would like a rematch with Sasha Banks as soon as possible. I also heard Bayley say she wanted to have a match with me, and I would definitely relish my first confrontation with her. If it is a title match, even better.”
  • reported that Charlotte Flair & Andrade El Idolo have broken up.
  • In an interview with Jim Varsallone, Shawn Michaels spoke about what he’s told Paul “Triple H” Levesque during Levesque’s health situation: “Right now, for me, I feel like I’m an old nanny. But I’ve told him, ‘I don’t care how good you are. You stay away, you get healthy, concentrate on you.’ The thing is, he put in a fabulous team down here. That’s why it’s able to continue on without him. Because he put phenomenal people in place. I’m just the guy that gets to expedite everything and run traffic so to speak. But the team he put in place was prepared for exactly these kinds of days and what’s going on. We want him to get healthy, he doesn’t have anything to worry about and we will be here when he gets back.”
  • WWE has filed trademarks for the names “Quincy Elliott” and “Fallon Henley.” The company has also filed a new trademark for “Tough Enough.”
  • This week’s Talking Smack featured interviews with Charlotte Flair, Naomi, and The Usos.
  • Austin Theory appeared on this week’s episode of WWE After the Bell.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Asuka vs. Dana Brooke from NXT TakeOver: Respect, Kevin Owens & Otis vs. Roman Reigns & Jey Uso from the December 4, 2020 episode of SmackDown, and The Usos vs. The Dudleyz in a tables match from the April 4, 2016 episode of Raw.

Other Wrestling

  • In an interview with TV Insider, Bryan Danielson discussed the crowd turning against him for his feud against Hangman Page: “It’s all a lot easier when they care about someone. If Hangman Page wasn’t someone people cared about, it would have been very easy for the crowd to turn on him, rather than me. They love this guy. I haven’t done anything so mean or dastardly, yet. I try to not make great changes in my character. I think my time in AEW, I’ve been aggressive, a little bit of a jerk [who] people like. But it’s not hard to switch to a jerk who people don’t like.”
  • Danielson was also asked if the plan when he came to AEW was for him to wrestle this much: “There wasn’t necessarily a plan to wrestle each week. I’m a firm believer that too much time between matches makes matches hurt more. For me, the optimal number of matches is eight to 10 a month. That’s what I realized in WWE. In my last contract with WWE, I got a lighter schedule to be at home more. It was really limited to 10 shows a month. I don’t want to wrestle 227 matches a year, but I find wrestling every week makes my body feel better. I’m prepped better for longer and bigger matches. I look forward to wrestling every week.”
  • All fans 12 and older who are attending Wednesday’s Dynamite at the UBS Arena in Long Island, New York will be required to present proof of full vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
  • On Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan said he thinks Jade Cargill is the rookie of the year in pro wrestling for 2021.
  • Josh Alexander accepted Ruby Soho’s challenge for AAW’s Unstoppable show at Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago on Thursday, December 30.
  • Soho praised Kris Statlander following their TNT title tournament quarterfinal match: “After a few days of recovery, I just want to take a second to express how impressive @callmekrisstat is. Wednesday I was pushed past where I ever thought I could go, and that was because I was in the ring with one of the most talented wrestlers in the industry. Her strength and athleticism is unmatched, and I can honestly say she gave me one of my favorite matches to date. So thank you Kris, and ANYTIME you wanna do it again. You know where to find me. But as for right now, @nylarosebeast, we have some unfinished business.”
  • During a virtual signing with The Asylum Wrestling Store, Scarlett Bordeaux confirmed that Killer Kross has booked a movie role: “I’m not saying this just to be coy but we really don’t know right now [where we’ll land company-wise]. We don’t know. Just because getting released was so overwhelming and already with the independents, we have so many signings lined up, I mean we’re going to Alaska in April, Kross just got like a really big movie role, I’m doing photoshoots and magazines and stuff like that so, we’re enjoying not being tied down to anything right now… But no, anything’s on the table. Let’s just put it that way.”
  • The Briscoes cut a promo responding to FTR insulting them on Twitter.
  • Matt Cardona has filed a trademark for “Deathmatch King.”

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Misawa & Kawada win AJPW Tag Team titles