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Daily Update: Warner Bros. Discovery, UFC betting, WWE in India

Dave Meltzer covers WBD layoffs, betting on UFC banned in places, and WWE returning to India.

Daily Update


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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

      • The history and creation of War Games
      • How the rules have changed and what did and didn't work this year
      • The copies of War Games
      • Why WWE didn't do War Games on the main roster, and why they started it on NXT
      • Business notes on how the show did, live, streaming, PPV
      • Crossover audience between War Games and Full Gear and Crown Jewel
      • Full show coverage with poll results
      • The story behind William Regal's AEW departure
      • Why many questioned the MJF booking
      • Best of Seven notes
      • PPV number updates, as well as updates on the last four AEW PPV shows
      • Who bought Full Gear, Forbidden Door or All Out and patterns
      • Revenue, movie gate numbers and more
      • Notes behind the title changes
      • Match by match coverage and poll results on the show
      • Updates on the Royal rumble, ticket sales and more notes
      • New Japan and Stardom Historic X Over
      • The story behind Kairi winning the IWGP title and not Mayu Iwatani
      • The story behind Omega vs. Ospreay
      • Match by match coverage and poll results
      • C.M. Punk mocks the brawl, Young Bucks & Kenny Omega mock C.M. Punk, and more
      • TV ratings over the past two weeks, including where AEW faltered this week and did great the week earlier and it's the same group, the huge drop during the show of Raw, what about Smackdown was the best of the year for the show, and where wrestling ranked in the sports charts and the entertainment charts the past two weeks
      • Wrestling legend gets honored by an international embassy
      • Cain Velasquez wrestling and the story behind it
      • Stardom PPV show coverage
      • Updates on all the traditional Japanese tournaments
      • Update on Kota Ibushi
      • Fantastica Mania news
      • Generational legends battle this past week
      • Ricky Steamboat comes out of retirement
      • Plan for a statue of iconic wrestler to be built in his home town
      • Battle of Los Angeles news
      • Mayor Glenn Jacobs in the middle of controversy
      • Injury changes the winner of a tournament
      • Major WWE legend coming out of retirement in December
      • One of the most well traveled wrestlers of all-time passes away
      • Former ECW and WWE star retiring
      • Thoughts on wrestlers whose contracts are coming due
      • New angle off television for recently signed AEW wrestler
      • International TV ratings
      • AEW & WWE streaming numbers
      • Lots of new UFC main events
      • Conor McGregor gets sued twice
      • UFC gaming controversy
      • MMA returns to CBS prime time
      • PFL season finale
      • Paul Levesque talks WWE future
      • Big stock rise for WWE and why
      • Nick Khan and Stephanie McMahon talk WWE business, international, buying companies and more
      • WWE injury updates
      • Ticket sales for upcoming WWE & AEW events
      • Next MSG show

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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Friday News Update



Garrett Gonzales and I will be doing our weekend show tomorrow rather than tonight, covering the news of the week. Bryan and I will be back for a show on Sunday night.

This is not a wrestling story, but it is a WBD story and WBD greatly affects the future of AEW. WBD has canceled all live programming on HLN as a cost cutting measure. They also laid of hundreds of CNN employees. 

In today's Observer there is a note about how Ontario's Gaming Commission has banned all betting on UFC events due to issues with at least two of the bouts recently where there was an undisclosed injury to fans that made the result almost predetermined. New Jersey will no longer allow any betting on fights James Krause is associated with. Krause bet heavily on fights with knowledge of things the public didn't know about. The UFC today announced that any fighter who has any association with Krause will no longer be allowed to fight for the organization. Nevada has also suspended Krause from being involved in any fights. Marcelo Rojo, who fights tomorrow, will be allowed on the card because the decision came down today. The province of Alberta joined in today, and all bets on UFC fights already made have been avoided and money returned to the player. Darrick Minner, who went into a fight a few weeks ago with a leg injury that was kept secret, but insiders found out and bet heavily on his losing, has been cut. In a world where DraftKings is a huge partner of UFC, this is a gigantic story and one would think there will be more following. 

I have a new book that has just been released, the 1995 Yearbook, covering every major news story from a crazy year including the birth of Nitro, the start of the Monday Night Wars, Collision in Korea, WrestleMania with Lawrence Taylor, arguably the most star-laden show in history with 13 major promotions involved and more. The book is available for $25 here.

PWInsider reported that WWE has a live event in India with the Smackdown crew scheduled for 1/16. It would be WWE's first show in India in five years.

For reasons we don't know, the complete ratings chart for Wednesday was not available on Showbuzz Daily until late, but we did get the actual chart. Dynamite was fifth Wednesday night behind two college basketball games, a World Cup game, and Challenge, which beat AEW for the first time this season. Challenge on MTV did beat AEW by 0.27 to 0.26 (the real percentages were 0.56 and 0.54 but that's the internal real numbers based on homes and not the numbers you would see anywhere else). It was the first time that show has beaten Dynamite on cable in a long time. 

AAA announced its first major show of 2023, Rey de Reyes, takes place on 2/5 in Merida.

Smackdown is on FS 1 tonight, not FOX. If you DVR the show, make sure to check ahead of time because in many places it will not record because it's not on FOX. There were 5,800 tickets out for the show as of this morning.
*Sami Zayn vs. Sheamus opens the show
*Ricochet vs. Santos Escobar in the World Cup tournament finals.
The show will also be replayed at 10 p.m. and midnight, so the second airing goes against Rampage.

AEW Rampage for tonight at 10 pm. Eastern on TNT
Darby Allin vs. Cole Karter
Private Party vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal
Athena vs. Dani Mo
Orange Cassidy vs. QT Marshall in a lumberjack match for the All Atlantic title
Renee Paquette interviews Saraya and FTR, Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland, the Gunn Brothers and The Acclaimed all appear.

Tickets for Elimination Chamber in Montreal sold out immediately (except for highly priced platinum tickets) and Smackdown tickets are close to selling out as well.

Bret Hart was announced for this year's WrestleCon in Los Angeles in conjunction with WrestleMania.

UFC tomorrow on ESPN and ESPN+ has its first TV card in months starting at 7 p.m. Eastern and continuing past 1 a.m. It will be from the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.

      • Yazmin Jauregui (115.5) vs. Istela Nunes (114.5)
      • Marcelo Rojo (145) vs. Francis Marshall (145)
      • Natan Levy (156) vs. Genaro Valdez (156)
      • Darren Elkins (145) vs. Jonathan Pearce (146)
      • Michael Johnson (156) vs. Marc Diakiese (155.5)
      • Clay Guida (154.5) vs Scott Holtzman (155.5)
      • Angela Hill (115.5) vs. Emily Ducote (115.5)
      • Niko Price (170) vs. Phil Rowe (173.5)
      • Eryk Anders (185) vs. Kyla Daukaus (184.5)
      • Jack Hermansson (186) vs.Roman Dolidze (185.5)
      • Tai Tuivasa (266) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (255)
      • Matheus Nicolau (126) vs. Matt Schnell (126)
      • Rafael dos Anjos (170) vs. Bryan Barbarena (170.5)
      • Stephen Thompson (170) vs. Kevin Holland (170.5)

Rowe missed weight by 2.5 pounds and was fined 30 percent of his purse. A scheduled Tracy Cortez vs. Amanda Ribas fight was canceled after both had made weight due to a medical issue involving Cortez. Matt Schnell originally missed weight at 126.5, but he then shaved his head and made weight.

New Japan at 3 a.m. Eastern late tonight from Kakogawa has the heavyweight tag team tournament with Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd vs. Aussie Open, Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs Great O'Khan & Aaron Henare, Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki vs Evil & Yujiro Takahashi and Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito & Sanada. They also have a junior heavyweight tag team tournament show on late Saturday night from Yamaguchi at 3 a.m. Eastern.

Other Notes

MLW War Chamber takes place on 4/6 in New York at the Melrose Ballroom. It's their version of War Games.

Impact Digital Media champion Joe Hendry is looking for U.S. bookings from 1/15 to 1/19 through Bill Behrens at

Women of Wrestling will be at the Los Angeles Comic Con tomorrow with a show at 2:30 p.m. There are also wrestlers from the group doing autograph signings today through Sunday. There are signings at 9 a.m. tomorrow, 10:30 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. as well as Sunday at 9:30 a.m. besides the show.

Progress has announced shows on 1/22 at the Electric Ballroom in London, as well as 2/26 in the same building and a 2/12 show in Manchester, UK at the O2 Ritz.

Insane Championship Wrestling from Wednesday night in Monroe, MI: Shogun Jackson Stone b Sam Beale, Chinstrap Jesus Kyle Barrett b Ace Evans, Tanner Nix b Commander Cody, Buckeye Sam b Hannah Henderson, Jason Hotch b Trey Miguel, Madman Fulton won over N8 Mattson & Bachelor Benjamin in a handicap match, Kenny Urban b Zack Thomas in a lumberjack match, Death Threat Army d Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley 20:00, Dread King Logan b Rhino-DQ to keep the IWR title, Thoma Latimer b Rhino after Jon E. Bravo hit Rhino with a fireball. Next show is 12/29 in Monroe, MI with Johnny Swinger vs. Dirty Dango (thanks to Paul Meade)

Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Wednesday night in Omaha, NE: Judie Azul b Kelsey Magnolia, Ryan Romantic b Xander McIntosh, Tank Bryson b Eric Del Castillo, Niles Plonk b Luke Luna, Purple b Warren Adams, Con Artiest b Vic Douglas, Pat Powers & Moonshine Russell & Jack Darling & Billy Peck b Omar Pachecco & Joey Daniels & Angus Keyser & Manford Zablinksi. Next show is 12/29 at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha.

MCW tomorrow night in Joppatowne, MD at the RJ Meyer Arena.