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Daily Update: Survivor Series, UFC notes, NOAH


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WON NEWSLETTER: November 23, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Unionization in pro wrestling, Survivor Series changes

A look at the issues involving the firing of Thea Budgen aka Zelina Vega, as well as a number of historical stories regarding issues with talent and management is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We explain why the ending was inevitable based on the circumstances, look at WWE and SAG AFTRA, Andrew Yang, Gabrille Carteris and the different players involved in the story.  We look at what wrestlers and fighters earn as compared to other top athletes and why the discrepancy, what the Saudi Arabia flight story showed, what is fair for WWE to do and what isn't, complaints by talent regarding an exemption, as well as  a number of historical stories related to the topic that feature such names as Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, Superstar Billy Graham, Ivan Koloff (twice), Johnny Valentine and many others.  

Also in this issue:

Update to the Survivor Series card with changes and injury notes.  

WWE's move to Tropicana Field in a few weeks.

New Japan's Super Juniors and tag team tournaments, this week's schedule and updates.

Seth Rollins' schedule, Alexa Bliss engagement, NXT Takeover notes, lots of WWE injury updates, Undertaker answers retirement questions, Miz talks why he moved to Texas, description of new President Nick Khan, how WWE & AEW did compared to other sports this past week, WWE and AEW ratings in Canada and England, WWE market value and the most-watched shows on the WWE Network for the past week.

Saturday's UFC show, the background and match-by-match coverage.

Dragon Gate's Kobe World show, the biggest show of the year from Japan's second largest company.

Why television networks should be interested in purchasing UFC or WWE outright as far as a long-term investment that will pay off in the long run.

Television business, with ratings breakdowns in every segment for Wednesdays and every category for other shows, looking at stats not available elsewhere to get the deepest read into how shows are doing, what categories are doing well and how shows compare with previous weeks and one year ago.  

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

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Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Survivor Series, more on UFC, and taking e-mail questions that can be sent to mailbag@wrestlingobserver

Mike Johnson has reported names like Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Edge, Big Show, Dennis Knight, Mark Caterbury, Rikishi, Tim White, Kurt Angle, Glenn "Kane" Jacobs, Savio Vega and Charles "Godfather" Wright are in town tonight for Survivor Series. Whether this is for a private party for Undertaker or whether they will appear on television is not known, but tonight's show is built around the 30th anniversary and final appearance of The Undertaker. Sami Zayn on Smackdown teased being the one to take a choke slam. One would think some if not all would be part of a larger in-ring ceremony.

Survivor Series is tonight and some thoughts on the show:

  • Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre - On paper this should be a very good match. One would expect a gimmicked finish because I don't see either losing cleanly right now. The angle on Smackdown with the contract signing was strong because it was more believable than most in that situation. Reigns was a -260 favorite at 5Dimes.
  • Asuka vs. Sasha Banks - Another strong match on paper. No reason it shouldn't be great.  Carmella getting involved is a possibility giving the angles on Smackdown of late. However Banks is a -150 favorite.
  • Team Raw of Braun Strowman & A.J. Styles & Sheamus & Keith Lee & Riddle vs. Team Smackdown of Kevin Owens & Jey Uso & King Corbin & Seth Rollins & Otis. The Raw team looks stronger on paper but they've been doing dissension angles.  The key when you look at this is who would the company want to protect right now. The key would be someone who McIntyre could face next, which would Strowman, Styles or Sheamus.  That's why Team Raw is -185 favorites.
  • Team Raw of Lana & Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax & Lacey Evans & Peyton Royce vs. Team Smackdown of Bayley & Natalya & Liva Morgan & Ruby Riott & Bianca Belair. The Smackdown team is better but Jax & Baszler are booked strong and the Smackdown team as far as booking strong you've got Bayley & Belair. Probably based on even-steven with the two matches Team Smackdown is a -190 favorite.
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn. A battle of heels. Zayn is a great worker and Lashley can be in a great match, but I could also see Lashley just winning him over. Lashley is a -305 favorite.
  • New Day vs. Street Profits. This is pretty much a unique match that I don't expect to see again for a long time. If it's me, Street Profits go over because it's even-Steven with Lashley and they are the new team on the rise. Street Profits are slight -130 favorites. I expect a great match here.
  • Raw vs. Smackdown Battle Royal.  Probably like every T-shirt Battle Royal. Not looking good.  The favorites are Big E (+140), Lars Sullivan (+175), Daniel Bryan (+625), Ali (+625) and Miz (+850).  

There's enough good going in with Reigns vs. McIntyre, Asuka vs. Banks and New Day vs. Street Profits plus the elimination match with the men is probably going to be strong enough that it looks like a good show at this point. We're taking polls tonight on this show and last night's UFC 255, so thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to

Also want to mention Bryan Alvarez is doing a fundraiser tonight for Jay Dumont on Twitch right after Survivor Series. Jay is a friend of everyone here and he's been dealt a bad hand is again one of the reasons I'm such a supporter for health care like in so many other countries.  

New Japan runs in Gunma at 4 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning on New Japan World with the junior heavyweight tournament:

  • Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma vs. Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd
  • Robbie Eagles vs. Bushi
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Douki
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Sho
  • Taiji Ishimori vs. Yuya Uemura
  • Master Wato vs. Desperado

Garrett and I did a great show with Kenny Omega talking about many different topics.


  • The Daily Mail has a story on Chris Hemsworth in the Hulk Hogan movie. Bryan Alvarez is quoted in it.


  • UFC 255 did 200,000 searches on Google, which is the lowest number for a PPV show in a long time. That makes sense because this show was the weakest in star power and it would be a shock if this wasn't the lowest number of buys for a UFC PPV show this year. It was the fourth most searched topic yesterday.  It was the only thing in combat sports that made the list all week although Survivor Series should do 500,000 or more today.
  • The next UFC PPV show, on 12/12, isn't likely to do much better. With Petr Yan pulling out of his welterweight title defense against Aljamain Sterling for reasons not yet revealed, the new main event will put last night's main event winner, Deiveson Figuieredo defending his flyweight title for the second time in three weeks against Brandon Moreno.  Both men took no real damage in scoring first round wins last night.
  • Anderson Silva is making it very clear he will fight again and said that UFC forced him to retire. He is now a free agent and the question becomes what promotion he will sign with.


  • It took years, but Phil LaFon finally talked about his friendship with Doug Furnas at the 44:00 mark. Furnas & LaFon were one of the best tag teams in history and many feel their Match of the Year winner in 1992 with Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kenta Kobashi is one of the greatest tag team matches ever.
  • People are raving about today's Go Shiozaki vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima match that headlined NOAH's big show. FITE TV has the show in English.
  • Former ROH owner and current ambassador Cary Silkin was interviewed in a story about the final day in the life of John Belushi. (thanks to Denis Gorman)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The Undertaker debuts at WWF Survivor Series 1990