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Daily Update: TakeOver notes, Tracy Smothers, N1/Champion Carnival

DAILY UPDATE

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WON NEWSLETTER: October 5, 2020 Observer Newsletter: NJPW shakeup, WWE talent and 3rd party deals, more

We've got a double issue this week of the Observer with the full rundown of Harold Meij being out in New Japan, WWE's social media policy as it relates to talent, and extensive G-1 coverage.

Our lead story looks at the Harold Meij era of New Japan, how he got there, the turmoil behind-the-scenes, why he's leaving, his last words to his fan club, why the guy who handled running a wrestling company during a pandemic is out while in the pandemic and a lot of behind-the-scenes stories regarding New Japan and AEW never making a deal, and whether this can change things, and what the key issues are. The changes he made to the company, the business record and issues in dealing with talent and others and the inherent issues of a non-Japanese person in charge of a major Japanese company. This is the most inside version of what happened there since 2018 and from people who know the situation the best.

Also in this issue:

WWE's latest when it comes to talent and social media, WWE policy, Andrew Yang and why this could be the worst time to make these decisions.

WWE Clash of Champions, NXT Takeover, Hell in a Cell, the COVID issues in AEW & WWE and how they spread, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

G1 Climax tournament, with standings, best matches, behind-the-scenes,why crowds aren't quick to sell out, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results of every show.

XFL start, changes in WWE tapings and why 205 Live will be taped with NXT ad not Smackdown, we look at declines in WWE interest and reasons why WWE draft dates, Reigns vs. Rock, Reigns talks C.M. Punk, new Dwayne Johnson TV show looked at, new WWE signings, update on WWE injuries, one of the top college wrestlers already publicly talking about going to WWE, more on TV ratings in U.S. and Canada, former TNA champion talks how close he came to joining WWE, Cena starring in new movie, Zayn talks politics, Rusev talks problems with WWE creative, update on Raw Underground, where tribal chief comes from, WWE market value and the most watched shows on WWE Network over the past week.

UFC 253, with business notes, the main themes of the show plus match-by-match coverage and poll results.

The treatment of women in pro wrestling with notes from a recent BBC article with thoughts from several women involved.

87th anniversary show of CMLL, and the plight of Lucha Libre with no fans.

Jerry Lawler 50th anniversary show.

2020 Hall of Fame ballot in each category, with the top candidate, last year's highest that haven't gotten in, as well as a list of those who have been elected in the past five years.

Smackdown and AEW ratings based on the same opposition, as well as network vs. cable when it comes to other sports.

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 dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

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.

SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight for Wrestling Observer Radio talking Takeover, UFC, Impact and all kinds of other stuff. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com. Garrett Gonzalez and I did a show yesterday with Mike Tenay talking news and the Hall of Fame. This is probably the best received show we've done in a long time and as good a wrestling history show as you'll hear anywhere. We will also have a second show that will be up this coming Friday.

A Go Fund Me has been set up for the family of Jim Valley, who has been battling hard against a series of devastating illnesses.

Thanks to everyone who has ordered my new 1997 Wrestling Observer Yearbook. The success in week one has been such that I'd think it's a lock there will be a second one released.  Right now the book is No. 1 among wrestling books on Amazon as well as No. 1 for kindle on Amazon. You can get the physical book at amazon in the U.S.or the kindle version or physical book in the U.K. at www.WrestlingObserverBook.com

Notes on tonight's NXT Takeover and odds are from www.BetOnline.ag The show will be from the Performance Center, now called the Capitol Wrestling Center.  There will be 100 fans at the show.  It will also be the first time an NXT show is on PPV, priced at $54.99, so they are pricing their show more expensively than AEW, ROH or Impact do, but less than UFC does..

Here is a look at the location.

We have polls up today for NXT Takeover, thumbs up, down or middle, best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com as well as for Thursday's G-1 show in Niigata and tomorrow's G-1 show. 

  • Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly for the NXT title.  This would not surprise me to be among the best WWE matches of the year given the talent involved and the nature of the show.  Balor is listed as a -700 favorite.
  • Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae for the women's title.  They are coming off a great match at a prior Takeover before Shirai was champion.  Shirai is the -170 favorite to retain.
  • Damien Priest vs. Johnny Gargano for the North America title.  This also looks like a great match on paper with Priest as a -160 favorite.
  • Santos Escobar defends the cruiserweight title against Isaiah Scott.  Also looks good on paper with Escobar a -180 favorite.
  • Velveteen Dream vs. Kushida - Dream is listed as a -150 favorite.

This is a very strong show on paper.  Not sure what the interest level will be for NXT on a standalone Sunday against the NFL, but that was the call they made.

Mikey Whipwreck noted that Tracy Smothers, who has been battling cancer for some time, is now hospitalized with heart related issues. Best of luck to Smothers. He was one of the real underrated wrestlers of the 90s. 

Kento Miyahara vs. Zeus in the finals of the All Japan Champion Carnival tournament takes place tomorrow morning from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

Kaito Kiyomiya beat Go Shiozaki earlier today to advance to the finals of Pro Wrestling NOAH's N-1 tournament which takes place on 10/11 in Osaka. He will face Katsuhiko Nakajima, who beat Naomichi Marufuji to win the B block. The winner of the Carnival will then face Go Shiozaki for the Triple Crown title. 

WWE

  • With the Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots game airing tomorrow night on CBS along with ESPN's Atlanta Falcon vs. Green Bay Packers game head-to-head, tomorrow will actually be even tougher competition for Raw than last week. There is also a New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball playoff game. There is no post-PPV bump. to rely on this week nor will anything short of Steve Austin, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar or Ronda Rousey be an effective hot shot after playing the big nostalgia card last week. 
  • WWE pulled Big Show from the Cauliflower Alley Club's virtual convention on FITE TV to raise money for wrestlers in need to sell the injuries from Monday. Which is notable with Shawn Michaels on Wednesday of this past week not selling them nor pulled.  Mark Henry replaced him. 

UFC

  • Alejandro Perez tested positive for COVID ad he's out of his fight wth Thomas Almeida that was scheduled for 10/10.  The UFC is looking for a new opponent for Almeida.
  • Muslim Salikhov has pulled out of his 10/17 fight with Claudio Silva.  No reason was given.  James Krause will now face Silva on that show. 

MISCELLANEOUS

  • G-1 tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. on New Japan World from Takamatsu Gabriel Kidd  vs. Yuya Uemura Shingo Takagi vs. Yujiro Takahashi Jay White vs. Jeff Cobb Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi
  • A really great look at modern candidates, the WON Hall of Fame, and how people don't get credit for their work in smaller promotions  It also makes a case for where modern people should rank. 
  • This was not a big week for mainstream interest in combat sports given everything with the president, NBA playoffs, football in general and such. The only thing all week that trended was Holly Holm yesterday off the UFC show with 200,000 for the No. 4 position on the day.
  • Stardom ran its big PPV show in Japan yesterday in Yokohama:  AZM b Starlight Kid to keep the High Speed title, Mira Shirakawa b Hanan, Riho & Saya Iida b Sumire Natsu & Yuma Manase, Natsupoi (Natsumi Maki b Death Yama-San, Bea Priestley b Momo Watanabe to win the vacant SWA title, Saki Kashima & Natsuko Tora b Jungle Kyona & Konami meaning the Tokyo Cyber Squad must disband, Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani b Maika & Himeka to keep the Goddesses of Stardom tag titles, Giulia b Tam Nakano to keep the Wonder of Stardom title, Mayu Iwatani b Syuri to keep the World of Stardom title (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
  • CWE from Friday night in Winnipeg:  Shaun Martens b Cliff Corleone to keep the Grand championship, EZ Ryder b Mercury in a Tequila Sunrise match (both had to get wasted on tequila before the match started, which sounds perfectly responsible), Sammy Peppers b Scott Ripley, Bobby Schink b Chad Daniels, Roy Cheeks b Bryce Bentley, Mentallo b Danny Duggan, Johnny Malibu b Adam Knight, Mike Mission & Tyler James & Kevy Chevy b Dick Blood & Jude Dawkins & Adren Burton in a fan bring the weapons match, AJ Sanchez & Kevin O'Doyle b Bobby Collins & Rob Stardom in a no DQ match to win the CWE tag team titles.  Next show is 10/17 in Glastone, Manitoba.  CWE champion Vincent and jr. champion Jimmy Jacobs have both been stripped of their titles since they can't get into the country due to COVID.  They will get title shots to win them back when the situation changes.  The CWE title will be decided in an eight-man tournament on 11/6 in Winnipeg.  An announcement will be made in the future regarding how the jr. title vacancy will be filled.
  • The UWN's PPV show on Tuesday night has D'Angelo Dinero & Watts vs. Zicky Dice and a mystery partner, Bryan Idol vs Levi Shapiro and Caster Show vs. Chris Dickinson.'
  • Grant Zwarych is selling his collection of Stampede Wrestling programs from the 80s that include stuff with Owen Hart, Jushin Liger (as Keiichi Yamada), Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, Hiroshi Hase, Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, Bran Pillman, The Stomper, Toshiaki Kawada, Shinya Hashimoto and many others at grantsindex@nexicom.net
  •  An interview with Marty Jannetty where he goes into detail on the alleged killing he says he was involved with.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: SmackDown's Fox premiere

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