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Daily Update: UFC 257 fallout, Khabib, WWE notes


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WON NEWSLETTER: January 25, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Why a quarantine policy could affect wrestling & MMA

We've got a double issue of the Observer out this week with notes on how President Biden's new policies on international travel will affect wrestlers and fighters from different countries.

Also in this issue:

The new WrestleMania plans, including how the Super Bowl plays into it, the time frame for the shows for both nights, the inside hopes for attendance and how the dynamic is different this year as to what gets announced.  We also look at the decision making in regards to Dallas and Los Angeles, update the Royal Rumble and also have notes on match plans.

Coverage of Impact Hard to Kill, with notes on the key angles, the departure of Madison Rayne, Taya Valkyrie and Ethan Page, Page's scathing words after his departure, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Dwayne Johnson's new TV show about his life, new WWE signees, Dusty Rhodes men's and women's tournament, Kofi Kingston talks his injury, WWE television personality gets an ESPN TV show, A.J. Styles talks retirement, lawsuit update, where wrestling shows ranked with network sports, who is looking for new entrance music, what aspect of WWE's major events are they trying to sell, why Raw will have two very tough dates for competition soon, as well as the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

Coverage of both UFC shows over the past week and the story behind Max Holloway's setting records.

A story on the life of Paul Varelans, an early star of UFC and MMA around the world, as well as his different forays with four different pro wrestling companies as well as his infamous angle with Taz in ECW. For the first time, Missy Hyatt talks publicly about the situation plus comments from all involved. We look at the tournament days of UFC, crazy street fights, and much more.

A story on the life of Guy Hauray, the voice of WWF in France for a generation. 

A story on famous carnival shooter and pro wrestler Dick Cardinal, who was the oldest living pro wrestler at the time of his death. 

History of the biggest draws in pro wrestling each year from 1916 to 2020, including what wrestlers were No. 1 for the most years. 

Win-loss record of every WWE talent in 2020 including who wrestled the most dates, who never lost, who never won and more.

Television ratings of the past week, segment-by-segment numbers for the past two weeks on Wednesday, who was watching in different age groups, how different segments did on Raw & Smackdown.

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We have two weekend shows up right now, a show I did Friday night with Garrett Gonzalez talking the news of the week plus interviewing Randy Hales on Memphis wrestling, and last night's show with Bryan talking UFC 257, New Japan's show yesterday, Smackdown, TV ratings and more.

The UFC 257 show no doubt did enormous PPV numbers with 11.1 million Google Searches. This would have been the highest except for maybe McGregor vs. Khabib and Ronda Rousey's fight with Holly Holm as far as general public interest in a show. It was also notable that Amanda Ribas was the only thing that trended not involving the main event, No. 9 yesterday at 100,000.  Ottman Azaitar trended on Friday with 50,000 based on being fired. It was almost surely one of the largest PPVs in history and if McGregor doesn't fight again, it will likely be the largest of 2021.  

There was a huge problem because of the interest as ESPN Plus went down for a number of people. For most who were shut out, which Dana White said was mainly a West Coast program, it wasn't until the third match on the show when it was working again.   

White also conceded after the show that Khabib Nurmagomedov is probably not coming back, saying Nurmagomedov told him that none of these guys are even close to him, referring to Michael Chandler and Poirier (who Khabib beat in a one-sided fight).  He didn't indicate what he would be doing about the lightweight title.

New Japan World has another show at 4 a.m. Eastern time late tonight/tomorrow morning from Korakuen Hall:

  • Togi Makabe & Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask & Yota Tsuji vs. Taiji Ishimori & Desperado & Gedo & Jado
  • Will Ospreay & Great O'Khan vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima
  • Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Evil & Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo
  • Master Wato & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tetsuya Naito & Bushi
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi & Sho vs. Singto Takagi & Sanada & Hormu Takahashi

We got asked earlier today on SNME about Ryback and AEW. Ryback teased signing a new deal with the competition. He's not signing with AEW.

Newsweek listed the 101 Monumental Moments in television history. The Jerry Lawler-Andy Kaufman angle on the David Letterman show made the list. Usually on lists like this that and the debut of Gorgeous George on national TV in 1947 make the lists (thanks to Brian Henke)

Suwama beat Shotaro Ashino earlier today at Korakuen Hall to retain the Triple Crown.  


  • The WWE Network has added Evolve 144, ICW Fight Club 156 and Best of British Strong Style in Progress.  The Progress show includes Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, Walter, Timothy Thatcher, Axel Dieter Jr., Bandido, Flamita & Rey Horus.
  • E! will be airing a Total Bellas marathon on Thursday.


  • There is a social media story from today. Masaaki Mochizuki was looking for photos from his first match for Dragon Gate's magazine. He didn't have any photos of the match but got one from a friend. His first match was January 21, 1994, 27 years ago, against Taz working for the Kitao Dojo promotion. Mochizuki put the photo on his Twitter today. Alan Counihan sent the tweet to Taz. Mochizuki and Taz then both followed each other and had a DM chat which Mochizuki said was the first time they've connected with each other since that match. (thanks to Daniel Short)
  • MLW is teasing that Laredo Kid will defend the AAA cruiserweight title within its promotion, teasing Zenshi, El Hijo de L.A. Park, Ikuro Kwon and BoKu Dao as possible contenders.
  • Tom Lawlor will address allegations of Filthy Island financial woes on MLW Fusion on Wednesday.
  • This is tonight's Sunday Night's Main Event show. I'm on at the 13:00 mark.
  • Fom Knuckle Up Radio w/ Paige VanZant and Brian Soscia on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation channel 156:
  • Chael Sonnen shares a behind the scenes story involving Conor McGregor from UFC 246.
  • Chael Sonnen gives us his thoughts on PVZ’s much anticipated Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut coming on 2/5.
  • Conor flirting with a Pacquiao boxing match is a good business decision according to Paige.
  • David Arquette talked some pro wrestling.
  • Mike Mooneyham writes about John Skyler. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • Myron Dennis (18-7) vs Fabio Chernat (6-1)  for the LFA light heavyweight title has been announced for 2/12 from the Hartman Arena in Park City, KS on UFC Fight Pass.
  • EPW from last night in Perth, Western Australia:  Tyler Jacobs b Del Cano, Edith Nght & Davis Storm & Julian Ward b Casey Johns & James Hartness & Aaron Hawk, JoelHagan b Jordan Bishop, Taylor King & Jack wards b Dan Moore & Bobby Marshall to keep the tag titles, James Draker b Bruno Nitro, Mikey Nicholls b Michael Morleone to keep the EPW title (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Stardom had an afternoon and evening show today from Osaka.  The afternoon show:  Natsuoko Tora b Ruaka, Tam Nakano & Unagi Sayaka b Saya Iida & Starlight Kid, Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani b Mayu Iwatani & Lady C, AZM & Momo Watanabe b Syuri & Natsupoi, Giulia & Himeka & Maika b Bea Priestley & Konami & Saki Kashima
  • Night show: Ruaka b Lady C, Himeka b Saya Iida, Starlight Kid b Unagi Sayaka, Mayu Iwatani d Tam Nakano, Bea Priestley & Konami & Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima won three-team eikination over Utami Hayashishita & AZM & Momo Watanabe & Saya Kamitani and Giulia & Syuri & Maika & Natsupoi
  • Ice Ribbon from last night in Tokyo Korakuen Hall:  Mochi Miyagi & Miku Aono & Thekla b Hamuko Hosh & Tsukush Hiragi  Yappy, Yuuki Mashiro & Arisa Nakajima b Ibuki Hoshi & Nao Ishikawa, Ram Kaichow won three-way over Uno Matsuya and Cherry for the Triangle Ribbon title, Totoro Suzulio & Itsuki Aoki & Rina Yamashita b Akane Fujita & Kurumi Hiiragi & Risa Sera, Mayu Yukhi & Maika Ozaki b Tae Honma & Rina Shingaki to keep the International Ribbon tag titles, Tsukasa Fujimoto b Suzu Suzuki to win the Infinity title.
  • Shine from last night in Port Richey, FL:  This was the company's first show in almost a year.  Rocky Radley and Dynamite Didi were both not cleared to wrestle.  Marti Belle & Jayme Jameson b Sofia Castllo & Lexi Gomez to keep the tag titls, Harlow O'Hara b Erica Torres, Ava Evertt b Sahara Se7en, Allie Recks b Amber Nova, Natalie Markova b The WOAD-DQ, Chelsea Durden b Katalina Perez, Kimber Lee & Stormie Lee b Jayme Jameson & Marti Belle to win the tag titles, Ivelisse b Allysin Kay-DQ to keep the Shine title.(thanks to Shannon Walsh and
  • Ignite Wrestling from last night in Florida:  Jarrett Diaz b Aaron Nova, Tech b that Klassic Tag Team, Robet Martyr b Ozzy Kilmeister, Justin Blax b Timmy Lou Retton and Beastly, Leon The Terrible b KiLynn King, Kaci Lennox b Dream Girl Ellie and Aspyn Rose
  • Pro Wrestling Australia airs the first two episodes of its PWA Premiere tournament on Ovo Play tomorrow at 8 p.m..  This will be the last event on Ovo Play since the service is folding on 2/1.
  • PWA Back in Black Label airs on FITE TV on 2/12 at 8 p.m. with Mick Moretti, Jessica Troy, Ricky South and more.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWF Royal Rumble 1999