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Daily Update: The Young Bucks, NXT notes, Raw 30th anniversary

The Young Bucks speak to Sports Illustrated, NXT news and notes, and more.
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Daily Update

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

The new issue of the Observer is up on the site with these stories:

This is likely one of the biggest weeks of the year as far as major news stories involving business practices, Vince McMahon, Dana White, the Phil Baroni murder case, the possible change in legalities of non-compete clauses and more. We've got a huge issue out on the site now:

*Behind the story of Vince McMahon's attempt to return, why he said he was returning, correspondence with McMahon and the board, details on the return of former co-Presidents and the timing of why this is happening now.

*Aspects of the story that haven't been discussed anywhere else

*Notes on the voting shares of the major shareholders

*The Dana White/Anne White situation, White talks about what happened and more

*The reaction to this and the future of his Slap Fighting company

*New legislation being talked out regarding the banning of non-compete clauses and their effect on pro wrestling

*Full review of the Tokyo Dome show, including more on the dates Sasha Banks has agreed to, the business notes from the show, the Will Ospreay vs. Kenny Omega match, title changes and a major record set for streaming of the show

*A look at New Year's Dash

*The life and times of Don West, how he got into wrestling, his life outside of wrestling, a look at a guy who didn't grow up watching wrestling but became a very well liked member of the wrestling community with comments from many of his friends

*The Phil Baroni murder charges

*The Jake Paul/PFL business deal and why the odds of it working aren't high

*John Cena draws the largest audience to see a pro wrestling match on U.S. television this year

*Great Muta vs. Shinsuke Nakamura headline at Budokan Hall

*2022 Wrestling Observer Awards ballot

*Popularity of the TV stations that air wrestling and MMA

*The most detailed look at the television ratings and how each segment did this past week

*Streaming numbers and international TV numbers

*Upcoming ticket sales for the AEW & WWE shows

*Annual last man in a cage loses their mask match at Arena Mexico

*More on FTR vs. Dragon Lee & Dralistico

*More on AEW talent holding belts in AAA

*Notes on New Japan shows in the U.S.

*Independent awards for Japan

*Annual New Year's Eve trios tournament in Japan

*PWG Battle of Los angeles notes

*NWA changing aspects of its business

*Death of The Flying Greek, Mike Pappas

*Former WWE exec gets removed from a public appearance

*Champion bodybuilder who became a TV wrestler in the U.K. passes away

*Young Bucks contract situation

*Top sellers in merchandise

*Notes on upcoming AEW shows

*Notes on the Jericho Cruise

*Karen Jarrett not happy about Max Caster's rap

*UFC star injured and returning after many years

*Another major company looks to be up for sale

*WWE injury updates

*WWE new TV shows

*What WWE has cut back on

*WWE house show notes

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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.

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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.

Wednesday Update

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WWE

  • NXT Level Up commentator Sudu Shah announced his departure from WWE: “Yesterday was my final day with the WWE. What an incredible experience working with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. Thank you to everyone who watched and supported every week!”
  • A video aired on NXT last night revealing that Stevie Turner is coming to NXT soon. Turner was formerly a member of the NXT UK women’s division. Gallus also returned to NXT last night, while Tyler Bate will be back on NXT next week.
  • Carmelo Hayes was the guest on this week’s episode of Out of Character with Ryan Satin. Hayes discussed wanting to win the NXT Championship: “I feel like it would be selfish for me to say unfulfilled because I’ve done so much, and I’ve gotten to do so much. It would almost be like, ‘Oh, how much more do you need to do?’ But at the same time, I feel like I can do it, so let me do it. I can beat Bron Breakker, and I can be the face of the company, the rightful face of the company, and I can carry the brand, and I can help build this brand further into the next year or whatever it is. So for that reason alone, and all those times I said I was the A Champion, I think it’s only right, it’s almost fate at this point and poetic justice in a way for me to win that title and be the A Champion of NXT.”
  • PWInsider reports that X-Pac and Kane are scheduled to be at Raw’s 30th anniversary episode on Monday, January 23.
  • During a Highspots signing, Molly Holly spoke about her role as a WWE producer: “So I do look at it (role as a producer) as I’m the eyes of the casual fan. I’m the person who flips through every now and then to watch so whenever I’m helping with the show, I try to say, ‘Okay, we don’t wanna just cater it to the pocket of people who are super fans and devoted to every week. If someone’s flipping through the channels, maybe for the first time, I want to capture their attention and make them first-time fans, make them lifelong fans from just this very first time seeing the show’ so that is something that I think I bring from a casual fan or occasional fan perspective.”
  • Johnny Gargano, Dexter Lumis, Braun Strowman, and Rick Steiner appeared on WWE’s The Bump this afternoon.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded the following matches: John Cena vs. Sami Zayn for the United States title (May 4, 2015 Raw), Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston (January 11, 2010 Raw), and a 15-man legends battle royal (December 10, 2007 Raw).

AEW/Other Wrestling

  • The Young Bucks spoke to Sports Illustrated about The Elite vs. Death Triangle best-of-seven series finale that’s taking place on Dynamite tonight. Matt Jackson said: “Game Seven at The Forum, it doesn’t get much bigger. Historically, there have been many Game 7s played here, so it’s fun that we get to add to that history. I watched so many Lakers games there when I was a kid, so it’s a little surreal every time we get to go there and roam the halls where all the greats used to walk.”
  • Nick Jackson spoke about the best-of-seven series concept: “At first, we kind of hesitated. That changed when we talked. We might not ever get this opportunity again to wrestle three of the best wrestlers in the world, and this will be the seventh time on TV. I guess we were all a little worried that fans might think it’s repetitive, but that was the challenge, and it excited us to make every match a little bit different from one another.”
  • Matt Jackson said wrestling The Lucha Bros “just feels like home” for The Young Bucks:
          • Wrestling the Lucha Bros. just feels like home. When I started training to become a professional wrestler, I was first taught the style of lucha libre in the beginning, so bracing for intricate arm-drags, head scissors, fast-paced sequences is second nature. We’ve been consistently wrestling them for years now, and have trust in each other. I feel safe when I work with them—like I can do anything. No idea is too crazy. Nothing is impossible or too ambitious. With them, I can do anything and the impossible is possible. They’re our current greatest opponents.
          • So our goal quickly became: How can we top every match from before? How can we tell different stories every time? Can we keep fans’ interest? Every wrestling fan assumes it’ll go seven matches, so how do we keep the suspense? At this point in our career, the most fun part of wrestling is a good challenge. And I think we’ve all collectively done a fine job at answering the challenge that came with this.
  • Nick said The Young Bucks weren’t able to wrestle at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 because they had vacation plans that conflicted with the show: “We were actually asked to wrestle and be in Kenny’s corner. But Matt and I had vacation plans that week. Maybe next year. Who knows?”
  • Matt said: “We got a fantastic offer. Personally, the timing and the situation didn’t fit for us. I’m sure one day you’ll see us back in a NJPW ring.”
  • Tony Khan was a guest on The Rich Eisen Show today.
  • Mercedes Mone tweeted out a thank you message after it was announced that tickets to NJPW Battle in the Valley have sold out: “Thank you #BankonMonè” Mone is challenging Kairi for the IWGP Women’s Championship at the Saturday, February 18 event.
  • Impact Wrestling shared video of every match from Mickie James’ “Last Rodeo” so far. James is facing Jordynne Grace in a career vs. title match for the Knockouts Championship at Impact’s Hard to Kill pay-per-view this Friday.
  • James told the Refin’ It Up podcast that she’d like Trish Stratus to induct her into the WWE Hall of Fame and Lisa Marie Varon (Victoria/Tara) to induct her into the Impact Hall of Fame:
          • I think for WWE, it has to be Trish Stratus. I think if there was no Trish Stratus, if it wasn't that opportunity for my first run of how I was introduced to the WWE audience with Trish and the magic, like people wouldn't have cared 20 years later. It really set the stage. I just think back to all the times I was supposed to debut before that and it didn't happen, and what a blessing in disguise it was and I didn't see it then, but I think that it would be her for WWE.
          • For Impact, it would have to be probably Lisa Marie, I think, because I had the cage match with her and Madison. That whole story was like, they were my big feud when I first walked in there and I feuded with them for months when I first came to Impact as I was creating and cultivating Hardcore Country. Lisa is my sister. We were friends at WWE, but we really became sisters there at Impact, and even now doing our show together, like I love her so much. I think she's been so influential in my career, but just also behind the scenes. I'm grateful for her.
  • Impact Wrestling has announced that Raven will be part of Hard to Kill this Friday and part of the post-PPV television tapings on Saturday.
  • NWA Women’s Tag Team Champions Pretty Empowered will be in action on the live episode of NWA Power that’s airing on Tuesday, January 31.