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Daily Update: UFC 264, ROH Best in the World, Sakuraba


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WON NEWSLETTER: July 12, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Terry Funk health update, AEW & WWE ticket sales

We have a lot of different news stories headlining the new issue of the Observer. Our lead story looks at the condition of Terry Funk, his legacy and his generation of wrestlers.

Also in this issue:

Ticket sales for WWE and AEW shows including the four shows that will top 10,000 tickets sold, hottest wrestling tickets on the secondary market as well as this week's UFC show, ticket sales for all AEW events on sale, every major WWE show including Madison Square Garden and every event this month, details on all shows and capacity of the buildings.

Schedule and some early details on the 2021 G1 Climax tournament.

The arrest of Jonathan Fatu (Jimmy Uso), his track record of arrests from the past and more reaction.

Grappl's list of the best matches of 2021 so far as well as sleeper matches from small promotions worth checking out.

The biggest lawsuit settlement in WWE history, update on John Cena, Linda McMahon with Donald Trump, Daniel Bryan mentions on Smackdown, Thea Trinidad return to WWE, how often each company does rematches, Smackdown doing a split site show, changes to a WWE streaming product, huge match coming, wrestlers recently cut were to be put in a new group, notes on Breakout tournament competitors, International TV ratings for WWE and AEW, WWE exec honored as one of the best in the world except they fired him, new WWE marketing deal, the most viewed segments on YouTube of WWE programming this past week as well as the current WWE market value.

Update Dwayne Johnson's planned launch of the XFL and explain the latest delays.

A story on the death of Cyanide Sid Cooper, a top U.K. heel  who was both a major inspiration of the Lord Steven Regal character in WCW and Regal's favorite wrestler as a young child, his matches, what he was known for, life after wrestling and more.

Coverage of AAA's Verano de Escandalo.

A story on Chris Romero aka Chris Youngblood, from the famous Romero wrestling family, his family, including relatives few know about, his breaking into the business, how he became a big star in Puerto Rico, the heyday of The Youngbloods there, the death of Bruiser Brody, and the glory days of All Japan Pro Wrestling.

More detail on the ratings than any other source, we have how every segment on NXT and AEW did with different age groups, genders and more, plus a look at all other wrestling shows of the past week, how many different viewers the shows had, DVR numbers and how long the average fan watches.

Results of the major pro wrestling events of the past week.

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Bryan and I will be back tonight covering the ROH PPV show as well as previewing Raw, and covering other wrestling news stories. You can end questions to the show to

Last night's UFC 264 appeared to be massive. There were just under 12 million Google searches, which may have been the all-time record or if not is very close to it.  Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm at just under 12 million was the largest I can recall.  A huge UFC usually does 5 million and a pretty big one, like a Jon Jones fight, may be 2.5 million.  So expect giant PPV numbers.  Besides McGregor and Dustin Poirier, those cracking the top 20 were Greg Hardy (200,000), Sean O'Malley (200,000), Steven Thompson (100,000), Jessica Eye (50,000) and Ryan Hall (50,000).  We're looking for your thoughts on UFC 264 and tonight's ROH Best in the World with thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle to

ROH Best in the World starting at 7 p.m. tonight:

  • Demonic Flamita vs. Rey Horus
  • PCO & Danhausen vs.  Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Milonas
  • Shane Taylor & Moses & Kaun vs. Dalton Castle & Dak Draper & Eli Isom for the trios titles
  • Josh Woods vs. Silas Young last man standing
  • EC3 vs. Flip Gordon
  • Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. PJ Black & Brian Johnson
  • Jay Lethal vs. Brody King
  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Mike Bennett for the Pure title
  • Rhett Titus & Tracy Williams vs Chris Dickinson & Homicide for the tag titles
  • Tony Deppen vs. Dragon Lee for the TV title
  • Rush vs. Bandido for the ROH title

This is ROH's first show with fans in attendance since the start of the pandemic.

Besides Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks winning an ESPY for Best WWE moment (what a weird category if you think of it), Tyson Fury was named Best Boxer and Khabib Nurmagomedov Best MMA Fighter in the fan-voted awards last night.

Raw tomorrow night:

  • Bobby Lashley vs.  Xavier Woods non-title
  • Sheamus vs. Humberto Carrillo U.S. title
  • Asuka vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Ash
  • A.J. Styles vs. Ivar
  • Omos vs. Erik
  • Ricochet vs. John Morrison falls count anywhere

With so-so ticket sales for the 9/10 Smackdown show in Madison Square Garden, WWE has announced Raw talent has been added to the Smackdown show that night.

Travis Fulton, the MMA/boxing Iron Man who was held in the Linn County Correctional (Iowa) Correction Institution and awaiting trial on charges of child pornography and domestic violence appeared to have hung himself at 4 a.m. earlier today. He was pronounced dead at 5 a.m. after life saving measures failed to revive him. Fulton had more than 322 MMA fights from 1996 to 2019 as well as 75 pro boxing matches. He had more fights than any MMA fighter in history and fought a number of major names in his day.  

Dynamite Mike Gammon, who is generally considered by insiders as the single greatest player in the history of Roller Derby, died on 4/12 from heart failure. The news just broke in the past few days since his family members did not want it released. The local newspaper in Castro Valley did have a mention of his death in April but made no mention of his Roller Derby past. Gammon, who was 78, was Rookie of the Year at 15, MVP at 17 and was billed as "The Fastest Man on Skates" throughout his career. He was the ultimate child prodigy. His mother was Gerry Murray, who along with Joan Weston was one of the two most popular women skaters of all-time and a national celebrity in the late 40s and early 50s and one of the first female athletes to get a number of endorsement deals. His father, Paul Milane, was one of the top male skaters in the 40s and his stepfather, Gene Gammon was the top blocker for the New York Chiefs when Roller Derby was so big four games per week aired on ABC and it was the most popular programming on the station. Mike was skating at 13 months and speed skating at three, and had incredible balance. During the national TV era (1948-1951) he was 5 to 8 and would do skating races and tricks at halftime. He was great as a oand even better as a work.  

Kazushi Sakuraba will challenge for the GHC title on 8/1 against Naomichi Marufuji, who retained over Takashi Sugiura earlier today.

Suwama returned to the ring earlier today in a six-man tag after being out with COVID, which forced him to vacate the Triple Crown.


  • Money in the Bank odds from Men's ladder match: Drew McIntyre -175, Seth Rollins +250, Big E +500, Riddle +500, Kevin Owens +600, Shinsuke Nakamura +1200, Ricochet +1600, John Morrison +2000 Roman Reigns -700 vs. Edge +400 Bobby Lashley -1000 vs. Kofi Kingston +525 Rhea Ripley -140 vs. Charlotte Flair -100


  • Empire State Wrestling on 7/31 presents Brawlfest in Buffalo at the RiverWorks. It will be the first wrestling show open to the public in Buffalo since the pandemic.  
  • St. Louis Anarchy from Friday night in Granite City, IL:  James Bandy & Kayla Kassidy b Sean Orleans & Sophie King, Adrian Surge b Nick King, Derek Neal b Warhorse, Mikey won four-way over Deacon Cash, Kenny Alfonso and Victor Analog, Aaron Williams b BSTRD Cassidy, Even Gelistico & Billie Starkz b Christian Rose & Angelus Layne, Thomas Shire b Jake Dirden, Moonshine Mantell b Gnaris Garvin, Davey Richards b Everett Connors, Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett b Camaro Jackson & Campbell Myers to win the USA tag team titles, Jeremy Wyatt d Gary Jay 60:00 to retain the Gateway heritage title in a Pure Rules match (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer).  Mikey is the former Mikey McFinnegan.
  • A correction from Friday's update. The Varsity Blonds are not wrestling on the 7/24 MCW show.  They are only there to do an autograph signing. AEW announced this past week that Brian Pillman Jr. is now under an AEW contract.  He had been under an MLW deal and being used on a per-date deal by AEW up to this point.
  • Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance from last night in St. Louis:  Ricky Cruz & Keith Smith Jr. b Rick Ruby & Freddie Fury, Kahyman & Damian Blade b Andrew Wilder & Jonathan Zulu, Damion Cortess & Frodo the Ghost b CJ Shine & Johnny Blade, Moondog Rover & Keith Smith b Jimmy D & Garrett Shanks, Kahyman & Damian Blade b Moondog Rover & Keith Smith, Ricky Cruz & Keith Smith Jr. b Damion Cortess & Frodo the Ghost, Ricky Cruz & Keith Smith Jr. b Kahyman & Damian Blade to win the tournament for the MMWA tag titles (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • Melbourne Championship Wrestling from last night in Melbourne:  Adam Brooks b Caveman Ugg to keep the MCW title, Tony Villani b Anth Cava, Royce Chambers b Gore, Natural Classics won three-way over Mile High Club and The Parea, Kellyanne b Delta, Mitch Waterman b Edward Dusk, Rocky Menero NC Slex.  Next show is 8/14.  
  • SHWA from last night in Western Australia:  Great George b Chadwick Jackson to win Pride title, Davis Storm b Seth Kincaid in a career vs. career match, Julian Ward b Zenith to win the SHWA heavyweight title, Pocket Rockets b Dux Brothers to keep the SHWA tag titles, Chris Target won Midyear Rumble.  Next show is 8/78.
  • Due to the Delta Variant causing a new wave of COVID in Sydney, don't expect any shows in that city for the next two months (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • IPW tonight in Battle Creek, MI at Full Blast and 7/24 in Muskegon, MI for War on the Shore aboard the USS LST 393 Battleship.
  • AAW on Friday night in Merrionette Park, IL:  Schaff b Jake Crist, Laredo Kid b Ace Perry, Skye Blue b Hyan in an I quit match, Josh Alexander b Jake Something, Deonn Rusman & Joeasa b Ace Austin & Madman Fulton to keep tag titles, Manders b Robin Steele, Myron Reed b Hakim Zayn to keep the AAW Heritage title, Allysin Kay b Kris Statlander to win the AAW women's title, Fred Yehi b Mance Warner in a cage match to win the AAW title in 31:16.  Alexander and Schaff both wanted a match with Yehi.  It was announced Eddie Kingston wants a title match on 8/7 in the same location.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Lex Luger wins NWA United States title