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Daily Update: UFC fallout, WWE Saginaw results, Scott McGhee

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WON NEWSLETTER: December 13, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Jeff Hardy released by WWE, death of Blackjack Lanza

In this week's issue: 

  • WWE fires Jeff Hardy
  • The career of Blackjack Lanza
  • Match and performer of the week
  • Triplemania Regia
  • NXT War Games and futures of O'Reilly & Gargano
  • Another WWE star contract expires and what is next
  • Why Reigns vs. Lesnar is on the WWE Day 1 show
  • Movement in ticket sales after Reigns vs. Lesnar was announced
  • WWE NIL program, who are the athletes, their background and what does the program actually entail
  • What WWE's new signees tell us about what they are looking for regarding men and women headliners 
  • More details on the top stars in WWE and salary structure
  • This past week's ratings
  • International TV ratings and how WWE & AEW viewership differs by age group in Canada
  • Live attendance, what have AEW & WWE done compared to each other since both went back to touring
  • Holiday time and format changes for WWE & AEW shows
  • Streaming numbers for WWE & AEW
  • Most in-demand tickets right now in pro wrestling
  • Ticket sales for every major upcoming pro wrestling event between now and Royal Rumble
  • The realities of wrestling TV viewing, plus DVR numbers for every major show
  • What young wrestler is getting a megapush due to rumors of them considering leaving
  • All Japan tag team tournament
  • NOAH's return to Budokan Hall
  • Major announcement at NJPW show Wednesday
  • Update on NJPW Junior heavyweight and tag team tournaments
  • Story behind a 1970s lawsuit that revealed promoter controlled title
  • UFC show, this week's show, plus business notes
  • UFC star voted into boxing Hall of Fame

Current subscribers click here to read.

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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tomorrow night after Raw.  We have two weekend shows up, a general news of the week state of the industry show with Garrett Gonzalez as well as a Saturday show covering UFC and ROH with Bryan.

For Google searches for the week, the UFC show last night did 2.7 million which means it should be a very strong number. It was the third most searched item over the weekend behind Mayfield, Kentucky and Vincente Fernandez. Aside from Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira, who would be counted in UFC 269 searches, Julianna Pena had 500,000 searches yesterday, and both Sean O'Malley and Cody Garbrandt had 100,000. The only other search involving wrestling, boxing or MMA was Jeff Hardy, who was No 15 on Thursday with 100,000.

Some notes on fights from last night as far as decisions went. In Geoff Neal vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio, Derek Clearly gave all three rounds to Neal, Doug Crosby only gave round three to Neal and Sal D'Amato gave one and three to Neal.  Media scores were 73 percent for  Neal.  In Josh Emmett vs. Dan Ige, which was really close, Crosby gave Emmett one and three, D'Amato gave Emmett all three rounds (no way Emmett won round two but he did win one and three was very close) and Ron McCarthy gave Emmett one and three. Media scores were 57 percent for Emmett.

We are looking for your thoughts on both UFC 269 and ROH Final Battle. You can send a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com  We're also looking for reports on tonight's WWE house show in Grand Rapids, MI.

Results from last night's WWE show in Saginaw, MI:  Bianca Belair b Doudrop, Finn Balor b Austin Theory, Queen Zelina & Carmella retained the women's tag titles over Liv Morgan & Dana Brooke and Rhea Ripley & Nikki ASH,  Drew McIntyre b Madcap Moss, Angelo Dawkins b A.J. Styles via DQ, Charlotte Flair b Sasha Banks to keep the Smackdown women's title, Big E b Kevin Owens to keep the WWE title. Some notes from the show. McIntyre vs. Moss was reported as the best match with Moss doing really well.  No Montez Ford so Street Profits vs. Styles & Omos was made into a singles match which ended via DQ when Omos interfered as Styles seemed to have the mach won, so more trouble with Styles & Omos.  

After the last two night's shows, Wednesday's New Japan show at Sumo Hall will have the junior heavyweight tournament finals with Hiromu Takahashi vs. Yoh and the tag team tournament finals with Hirooki Goto  & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Evil & Yujiro Takahashi. The winners will go to the Tokyo Dome and face jr. champion Desperado, and tag champs Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi. I'm not sure who had Yujiro in the tag team tournament finals in 2021 six months ago. Katsuyori Shibata will also be making an announcement at the show.

Here are the winners of Friday night's World MMA Awards from the event in Las Vegas:

  • Charles Mask Lewis Male Fighter of the Year - Kamaru Usman
  • Female Fighter of the Year - Rose Namajunas
  • Breakthrough Fighter of the Year - Brandon  Moreno
  • International Fighter of the Year - Israel Adesanya
  • Fight of the Year - Brandon Moreno vs.Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 256
  • Knockout of the Year - Joaquin Buckley vs. Impa Kasanganay
  • Shawn Tompkins Coach of the Year - Trevor Wittman
  • Trainer of the Year - Phil Daru
  • Gym of the Year - American Top Team (Dan Lambert's Gym)
  • Referee of the Year - Herb Dean
  • Ringcard Girl of the Year - Brittney Palmer
  • Leading Man - Dana White
  • Promotion of the Year - UFC
  • Personality of the Year - Daniel Cormier
  • Analyst of the Year - Michael Bisping
  • Best MMA Programming - Morning Kombat
  • Media Source of the Year - ESPN
  • Journalist of the Year - Ariel Helwani
  • Fighting Spirit of the Year - Brandon Moreno
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Matt Hughes

Bronwyne Billington noted that Gary Portz, who many of you would know as Scotty McGhee from the 80s, was hospitalized for six weeks due to COVID and suffered loss of memory of that time. He also suffered a collapsed lung. He had a tube that was keeping his lung drained but there was blood and fluid leaking and they had to take it out is he is having trouble breathing without it.  He is in Scotland as he was there to sort out the estate of his mother, and is not allowed to fly home commercial and would have to fly via air ambulance at a cost of $80,000 according to wife Angela Portz. Billington started a GoFundMe for him.

Odds for Day One from www.BetOnline.ag:

  • Roman Reigns -250 vs. Brock Lesnar +170
  • Big E -200 vs. Seth Rollins +200 vs. Kevin Owens +600
  • Usos -250 vs. New Day +170
  • Edge -700 vs. Miz +400

The news regarding Ian Riccobani announcing the next New Japan Strong tapings in Seattle is because Kevin Kelly will be in Japan from late January (I believe he must got there to quarantine 10 days before the first Tokyo Dome show) until the end of the New Japan Cup in March.

WWE

  • Tickets have picked up for Day One with the announcement of the key matches on the card.  They have topped 8,000 for the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.  A pro wrestling sellout for a PPV legit would be 15,000 so that is extremely unlikely to happen, but the Lesnar-Reigns announcement last week did start moving tickets at a faster clip.
  • They are offering a buy three and get one free ticket discount for both nights of WrestleMania using the promo code PEACOCK.
  • There are more than 4,600 tickets out in St. Paul for Raw tomorrow.

AEW

  • Regarding the Wednesday night rating, both Challenge and Survivor have season finales on Wednesday at 8 p.m. (thanks to Scott Yager)  
  • They've added new seating with production moving in and there were 362 tickets left yesterday for Wednesday's Winter is Coming show.  They have already topped the most tickets sold in the Curtis Culwell Center which they had sold out earlier this year.  They came back so soon because the NFL owners meetings are in Dallas this week.

UFC

  • The Apex in Las Vegas on Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern and 6 p.m. local time will be having its first non-UFC event called UFC Fight Pass Invitational, which will be a four-team grappling tournament using the old All Japan Survival Series rules (team sport, and the loser in each match gets eliminated). There will be four teams in the one-night tournament, with an LFA team, a CFFC team (they are two promotions that air on Fight Pass), a Fury FC deal and James Krause's Fighting Alliance Championship team. Each team has four members with a UFC star or former star as team captain with the winning team splitting a $25,000 prize. Fight Pass also has a 16-ma featherweight tournament in grappling on 12/19 featuring Donald Cerrone and o 12/30 Fury Pro Grappling will be on Fight Pass featuring Rose Namajunas.

OTHER NOTES

  • For those who live in the Seattle area, the store Sir Lonebuck's House of Comics & Geekery offers about 30 different pro wrestling books including the Observer Yearbooks, Death of WCW, Mox, Eggshells (Chris Charlton's New Japan history book), Wrestling at the Chase and Orange Crush Magazine.
  • Some acting clips of Mike Mazurki, who has a major pro wrestling award name after him as one of they founders of the Cauliflower Alley Club.
  • When Mazurki founded the club the idea was to unite pro wrestling, boxing and acting stars in Los Angeles.  In time, it ended up being almost exclusively a pro wrestling organization.   (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • Championship Wrestling from Memphis Awards from last night: Best Moment of the year - Bret Michaels beat Alan Steel to win the Heritage title TV match of the year - Bret Michaels vs. Mike Anthony street fight Tag team of the year - Yung Goats, Aaron Robertson & Zay Washington Woman of the year- Nikki Lane Man of the year - Bret Michaels
  • They had a banquet last night and a VIP Q&A hosted by Rollin into Mempho podcast hosts Brian Tramel and RYUNOJB
  • Kurt Angle will be a playable wrestler in the upcoming card and dice game called All-Time Wrestling.
  • Stardom results from today in Takadanobaba: Mai Sakurai won three-way over Ruaka and Rina, Maika & Lady C b Unagi Sayaka & Waka Tsukiyama, Momo Watanabe & AZM b Himeka & Natsupoi, Hazuki d Konami 15:00, Mayu Iwatani & Koguma b Starlight Kid & Saki Kashima, Utami Hayashishita & Tam Nakano b Syuri & Saya Kamitani.  
  • The main event of Stardom's 12/29 show at Sumo Hall with Hayashishita vs. Syuri has no time limit with Hayashishita putting up the World of Stardom title and Syuri putting up the SWF title.  Giulia also makes her return after an injury.    
  • Ember Moon and Ricardo Rodriguez worked as agents last night for Thunder Rosa's Mission Pro Wrestling show in San Antonio which drew just over 200 fans.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWF Armageddon 1999

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