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Daily Update: WarGames preview, Elijah Burke, AJPW notes

DAILY UPDATE

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WON NEWSLETTER: November 29, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Survivor Series review, NJPW vs. NOAH show announced

In this week's issue: 

The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 that became a major news story this week led to Japan closing its borders.

The announcement was made that as of 11/30, travelers could not come to the country, but it is not what it sounds like.

This will have some effect on the pro wrestling business. Basically wrestlers who have already obtained working visas will be able to return, and it’s been confirmed that Will Ospreay would be working the Tokyo Dome in the main event on 1/5 against the winner of the Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada IWGP title match the night before. There was a one day period where New Japan officials were trying to get clearance for this and there was no answer regarding those leaving the country or those not in the country.

Those who have been in Japan over the past year, people like Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa, Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, KENTA and announcer Kevin Kelly (who will be staying in Japan from January through March and doing live English broadcasts of all the major shows until the end of the New Japan Cup) will all be allowed to come to Japan or in some cases stay in Japan.

Current subscribers click here to read.

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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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We've got two shows up from yesterday. I did the annual Hall of Fame show with Garrett Gonzalez and Pat Laprade on Saturday, as well as a show covering AAA TripleMania, UFC, Smackdown, Rampage and WWE schedule news last night with Bryan Alvarez. Bryan and Lance Storm will be talking about the NXT show tonight.

NXT WarGames tonight. This feels like the least anticipated NXT special to date. Denise Salcedo of this site will be doing the pre-game show.

  • Roderick Strong vs. Joe Gacy for the cruiserweight title: Gacy isn't a cruiserweight but it's still up. If Gacy wins, this turns into the All Inclusive title meaning no weight limit or gender limit. Match should be good given Strong is in it. Gacy can go as well although the nature of the character should be that his wins are flukes. Strong is listed as a -185 favorite to retain at BetOnline.
  • Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel vs. Kyle O'Reilly & Von Wagner for the tag titles. Actually this should be great since O'Reilly is likely selling most of the way and Imperium is super underrated. Imperium is at -200 to retain.
  • Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson hair vs. hair. Grimes is always entertaining. The odds are -120 each so it's even odds.
  • Women's War Games with Dakota Kai & Mandy Rose & Jayce Jayne & Gigi Dolin vs. Io Shirai & Raquel Gonzalez & Kay Lee Ray & Cora Jade has some inexperienced people in a tornado match that can get messy.  No doubt there will be some high risk stuff.  The faces have the advantage and are slight favorites at -125.
  • Men's War Games with Grayson Waller & Carmelo Hayes & Bron Breakker & Tony D'Angelo vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano & Pete Dunne & LA Knight. Breakker has had 11 matches although he's one of the best wrestlers at that level of experience you'll ever see.  D'Angelo has had three short matches, so this is asking a lot of him. Still, Ciampa, Gargano and Dunne are three of the best  Likely because people expect Gargano to lose,which has made the Breakker team a -200 favorite.

As far as Google searches for the week, Clay Guida was No. 13 coming off his big win last night for today with 20,000 searches. Last night UFC was No. 7 out of all topics, while boxers Gervonta Davis was No. 9 and Devin Haney was No. 11, all at the 200,000 range. There was nothing pro wrestling related that cracked the list.

For today, we're looking for your thoughts on last night's AAA TripleMania and today's NXT War Games shows, you can leave a thumbs up, down or middle, best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com  We're also looking for reports on all the major weekend shows, notably tonight's WWE house show in Corpus Christi, TX.

Regarding Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar as the main event for Day One, this is scheduled to be  a multi-match series and this being one of the matches in the series.

For tomorrow night's Raw, so far announced is Big E vs. Kevin Owens non-title cage match, Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan for the women's title and Miz TV with Edge.

Elijah Burke, who was injured on last night's NWA PPV show, was released from the hospital this morning. The belief is that he suffered a concussion.

That was a really classy deal UFC did last night with the video package on the late Suzy Friton, who passed away back in September from cancer. They had already aired a package when she passed away, but did so again partially to push the Stuart Scott Foundation. They also showed footage of Scott training in MMA later in his life and noted that if he was alive, and if ESPN got the UFC deal that he'd have likely been regularly covering it.

GCW from yesterday in Dallas, TX: Joey Janela b ASF, Tony Deppen b Demonic Flamita, Atticus Cogar NC Jordan Oliver, Blake Christian b Jack Cartwheel, AJ Gray & Matthew Justice b Alex Colon & Sadika, Fuego del Sol won scramble match over Drago Kid, Gringo Loco, Nick Wayne and Sam Stackhouse, Mark & Jay Briscoe kept the tag titles over Ninja Mack & Dante Leon, Thunder Rosa b Allie Katch (said to be tremendous with 50/50 crowd and was told it was a ****1/2 match, John Wayne Murdoch b Jimmy Lloyd in a death match. (thanks to Dave Doyle)

WWE

  • First day for Smackdown at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City on 1/28 was 2,721 tickets out.
  • Tickets for these shows will have a presale on Wednesday: 1/21 Smackdown in Nashville 1/23 house show in Huntington, WV 1/24 Raw in Toledo 2/21 Raw in Columbia, SC 2/25 Smackdown in Hershey, PA 3/4 Smackdown in Miami at the FTX Arena 3/11 Smackdown in Birmingham, AL at the Legacy Arena 3/12 house show in Columbus, GA 3/13 house show in Savannah, GA 3/14 Raw in Jacksonville, FL 3/19 house show in Springfield, IL 3/20 Raw in Moline, IL

AEW

  • Winter is Coming for 12/15 is now less than 500 tickets from sold out, so it should be a sellout of roughly 6,000 in Garland, TX, which would be the best showing the company has done at the Curtis Culwell Center to date. The show is on that date because the NFL owners meetings are in Dallas. This week's show at the UBS Arena is at about 8,800. It won't sell out but obviously will do well ahead of what Raw did in the same building on Monday and easily double the paid attendance.
  • For the AEW shows on 1/19 and 1/21 in Washington, DC, the first day for Dynamite is at more than 3,000 with 888 left, although with such a small building we thought it could go immediately.  Rampage's first day was 2,400, so it may not sellout.(thanks to William Zdon and Wrestletix)

OTHER NOTES

  • Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi won the 45th annual All Japan year-end tag team tournament today at Korakuen Hall beating Koji Doi & Kuma Arashi in the finals.
  • Naoya Nomura, who has been out of action with a spinal injury said he is leaving All Japan at the end of this year but wanted one last match.
  • Jake Lee vs. Abdullah Kobayashi will be the annual first week of the year Triple Crown title match on 1/2 at Korakuen Hall.
  • All Japan also announced a Junior Battle of Glory tag team tournament on 12/26.
  • Konosuke Takeshita beat Yuki Ueno to win the D-Oh tournament final in DDT earlier today at Korakuen Hall.  Minoru Suzuki will be on the 12/26 DDT show at the Yoyogi Gym.
  • Combate Global next Sunday on Paramount+ and Univision has a $100,000 one-night eight-man tournament from Miami starting at 10 p.m. Eastern.  The idea is eight fighters representing eight countries in the bantamweight division.  The first round matches are Carlos Briseno (13-2) of Mexico vs. Cristian Barrazza (7-3) from Chile, Frans Miambo (10-5) of Ireland vs. Jose Zarauz (22-8-1) of Peru, Leo Muniz (6-1) of the U.S. vs Pierre Daguzan (6-5) of France and Kevin Cordero (12-2) of Spain vs. Luciano Ramos (8-6) of Argentina.
  • Ruby Soho vs. Josh Alexander was announced for AAW's 12/30 show at the Logan Square Arena in Chicago.
  • Yesterday on CBS announcer Brad Nessler during the Alabama vs. Georgia game said that Ric Flair was his old friend and quoted his "To be the man" quote. (thanks to Barry Werner)
  • PWA Black Label from Friday night in Sydney, Australia before a sellout 400 fans:  Ricky South b Carter Deams, Billy Preston won over Big Fudge, Jimmy Townsend and Rhys Angel, Kingsley & Jack Bonza b Belinda Pierce & Aaron Jake, Shazza McKenzie b Cherry Stephens, Slex & Mitch Waterman & Caveman Ugg b Paris De Silver & Jude London & Matt Diamond (told this was great), Jessica Troy & Unsocial Jordan b Lyrebird Luchi & Matt Rogers, Juan Direction won over Kai Drake and Michael Spencer, Mick Moretti b Sam Osborne to win the PWA title.  Next show is 12/19 with a PWA vs. MCW Worlds Collide show from Melbourne (thanks to Paul Robinson)
  • Great Lakes Wrestling drew a sellout 2,100 fans last night in Waukesha, WI, one  of the biggest indie crowds of the year, for the first independent appearance by Adam Scherr, the former Braun Strowman.  Xavier Mustafa won Battle Royal, Russ Jones b Koda Jacobs, Joey Avalon b Shannon Moore, Swoggle & Dustin Jackson & Luscious Lawrence & TW 3 b Drew Hernandez & Dark Klouds & Tony Gun, Joe Doering b Cash Flo, Mike Curkov & Austin & Colten Gunn b Kevin Fertig & Jeff Luxon & Ryan Kross, Linda Kay & ODB & Sierra b Serena Deeb & Haley J & Rayvin Reddix, Jessie Godderz b Kal Herro to keep the OVW title, Backwoods Brown b Val Venis to keep the Great Lakes title, Adam Scherr & EC 3 b Jake Something & Rohit Raju
  • Masato Tanaka has a singles match with Naomichi Marufuji on Tuesday at Korakuen Hall.
  • Beyond Wrestling's show this afternoon in IWTV has Alex Shelley defending their world title against Ruby Soho in the main event.  Blake Christian, Wheeler Yuta, Kimber Lee, Tracy Williams, Dutch and others are on the show.
  • Blitzkrieg Pro from last night in Enfield, CT: Jeremy Leary & Perry Von Vicious b Eel O'Neal & Jordan Blade, Scotty Wild b J George, Rachael Ellering d Skylar, 50  Cal won over Jeff Cannonball, CPA, Danger Kid, Kaia McKenna and Armani Kayos,Max Caster b Matt Rehwoldt (Aiden English), Kirby Wackerman b Juba, Bryce Donovan b Mark Sterling (Jade's manager), Steve Somerset & Stephan Azure b Logan Black & Chris Benne, Travis Huckabee b Carlos Romo, VSK won over Bobby Orlando, Devantes, King Crab and Aaron Rouke in a ladder match (thanks to Nick Mahmood)
  • NWA USA results from Friday night in Atlanta before 65 fans: Luke Hawx b PJ Hawx, Ariya Daivari b Jay Spade, Marshe Rockett b Anthony Mayweather, Darius Lockhart b Sal Rinauro, Natalia Markova b Kenzie Page-DQ, Kerry Morton b Jamie Stanley, Doug Williams & Nick Aldis, b Thom Latimer & Chris Adonis (Masters), Marshe Rockett b Miguel Robles, Darius Lockhart b Ariya Daivari, Austin Aries b Luke Hawx, Colby Corino b Kerry Morton, Natalia Markova b Kenzie Page, Jay Spade won four-way over Sal Rinauro, CW Anderson and Jamie Stanley, Chris Adonis b Fable Jay, Chris Adonis b Marshe Rockett, Homicide b Alex Taylor, Doug Williams b Jay Bradley, May Valentine NC Natalia Markova, Austin Aries b Ricky Morton.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Randy Savage's final match

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