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Daily Update: Weekend recap, UFC 278, Ricky Knight Jr.

Dave Meltzer's Sunday news update.

Daily Update

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

  • WWE business numbers for quarter two and how they compare with a year ago
  • Why numbers are up and where
  • Stephanie McMahon discusses the departure of Vince McMahon and first meeting Nick Khan
  • Stephanie McMahon discusses leaving and returning
  • Stephanie McMahon talks Vince McMahon's interest going forward
  • How the recent PPV shows have done and put into perspective
  • Raw and Smackdown as compared with the TV business
  • How USA Network would be doing without Raw
  • How FOX would be doing without Smackdown
  • Nick Khan talks the sports rights landscape
  • Paul Levesque talks scouting new WWE talent
  • Actual paid attendance for this year's WrestleMania and tickets sold for SummerSlam and Clash at the Castle s well as next year' Wrestlemania
  • WWE revenue in every category
  • WWE live show attendance and merchandise
  • Kazuchika Okada repeats as G-1 winner
  • All the G-1 events over the past week as well as the business of G-1
  • The end of NXT UK and promise of NXT Europe
  • A list of WWE cuts
  • Clash at the Castle notes
  • UFC coverage of Saturday night's show
  • The retirement of Rory MacDonald
  • TV ratings for wrestling and MMA shows this past week
  • How every segment on AEW programming did
  • Arena Mexico has one of its biggest events of the year
  • Stardom PPV notes
  • All Japan and NOAH tournament notes
  • Kota Ibushi update
  • Most popular wrestlers in Japan
  • Looking at media consumption
  • The biggest angle in Philadelphia Roller Games history
  • Behind the Punk-Page strange thing on television
  • Update on a major AEW return
  • Kenny Omega's return
  • All Out plans
  • AEW adds new North American TV
  • Takeshita update
  • Ticket sales for upcoming WWE and AEW events
  • Streaming and international TV numbers
  • New major UFC fights
  • MMA legend to debut as a boxer next month
  • Major company trying to go public
  • Former UFC champion and his race for Governor
  • Former WWE star sues MMA company
  • Behind the Vince McMahon-Donald Trump payments for appearing on WWE show
  • Thoughts on new WWE signings

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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Sunday News Update

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  • We did two weekend shows, our weekly show with Garrett Gonzales going over the news of the weekend plus last night with Bryan we covered UFC, Smackdown, G-1 finals, Rampage and talked a lot about the upcoming week.
  • Crazy UFC finish last night with Leon Edwards, likely down 39-37 in the scores, knockout out Kamaru Usman with 56 seconds left in the fight to win the welterweight title. People saying this proves GSP was the better champion seem to forget GSP had his loss to Matt Serra. It looks like they will be rematched and Dana White brought up the idea of trying to run it in England in January. Fans were leaving during the fifth round to beat traffic and the announcers were literally talking about how Edwards was just holding seemingly just trying to last the distance rather than attempt to win, and then he set up and threw a head kick that ended the fight. This will go down as one of the most memorable title match finishes in history,
  • The interest level last night was good as there were 2.25 million searches with UFC 278 being the most searched topic on Google yesterday and besides the main event, Luke Rockhold was No. 7 and Merab Dvalishvili was No. 16. Nothing in pro wrestling, boxing or MMA cracked the top 20 any day this week.
  • Bert Royal, one of the all-time greats of U.K. wrestling, passed away yesterday at the age of 91. Born Herbert Faulkner, he and brother Vic Faulkner were the Royal Brothers, often considered the greatest tag team in UK history. He was a major star from the 50s into the early 80s. He was in the first main event (against Cliff Beaumont) on national TV in 1955 and in 1963, the Royal Brothers were in the first tag team on national TV. He was a multi-time European champion and The Beatles were fans of the Royal Brothers and there a famous photo of the brothers with the Beatles taken during the 60s when the Beatles were big fans.
  • Ricky Knight Jr. ended the two-plus year reign of Will Ospreay as British heavyweight champion today
  • Greedy Souls b Destination Everywhere when Connor Mills turned on Michael Oku
  • Kanji b Chantal Jordan to keep the Southside women's title
  • Luke Jacobs b Tony Deppen to keep the cruiserweight title. Said to be great
  • Eddie Dennis b Lord Gideon Gray
  • Mike Bailey b Leon Slater in a great match
  • Sunshine Machine b Velocities to keep the British tag titles.
  • Ricky Knight Jr. b Ospreay. Super crowd reactions. Knight kicked out of everything and used the One Winged Angel to win. Ospreay then talked about how RevPro survived he pandemic, expressed sympathy for the UK wrestlers from WWE who had just lost their job, and said he was taking a step back to focus on his health and family. The two drank whiskey together in the ring at the end of the show and this was said to be the biggest crowd reaction to a main event in years, even more than Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (thanks to John Carrey, Matt Nielson and Dwayne Hawkins)
  • Best wishes to Bobby Fulton, who has hospitalized for both double pneumonia and sepsis. On social media Sunday, Fulton wrote: "They were able to get rid of the sepsis as they caught it in time. Doctors will be checking for COVID tomorrow. I'm still on oxygen as I'm still dealing with pneumonia. I appreciate alll the thoughts and prayers! I hope to be out of the hospital on Tuesday!".
  • We are looking for your thoughts on these shows, thumbs up, down or middle plus a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com
  • UFC 278
  • All three nights of G-1 at Budokan Hall
  • Stardom's PPV show from Nagoya

We are also doing polls for the MVP of the G-1 Climax tournament and the best match of G-1.

  • We're also looking for reports on these weekend shows:
  • WWE last night in Kingston, ONT
  • WWE tonight in London, ONT
  • WWE tonight in Quebec City
  • NXT shows over the weekend in in Lakeland and Venice, CA
  • We're looking for results, finishes and highlights to dave@wrestllingobserver.com
  • WWE has applied for a trademark for the term Damage CTRL, which is apparently for the trio of Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky.
  • Raw is tomorrow in Toronto and there is a good chance it will be a legit sellout at the Scotiabank Arena. Edge vs. Damian Priest and Alexa Bliss & Asuka vs. Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky are scheduled, plus Trish Stratus will be appearing. Stratus was also at two of the weekend house shows.
  • The A&E schedule for tonight
  • 8 pm. Biography of Edge
  • WWE Rivals at 10 p.m. is John Cena vs. Edge
  • Smack Talk at 11 pm. will have Edge & Beth Phoenix as guests
  • WWE from last night in Ottawa, ONT:
  • Los Lotharios b Ridge Holland & Butch
  • Natalya b Shotzi - Natalya was a babyface here
  • Gunther b Shinsuke Nakamura to keep the IC title. Ludvig Kaiser interfered
  • Ricochet b Happy Corbin in a no DQ match putting him through a table with a swanton. Said to be the best match
  • Sami Zayn b Madcap Moss - Zayn was very popular
  • Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler b Liv Morgan & Aliyah when Baszler submitted Aliyah. Rousey was cheered but Morgan was as well.
  • Roman Reigns (doing a rare house show) kept the title in a three-way over Drew McIntyre and Sheamus when he pinned Sheamus. Butch and Holland interfered. Zayn helped Reigns. Reigns and Zayn very popular, more than McIntyre, but in Canada Zayn would be super over. (thanks to Gavin Alston and Ben Soubliere)
  • This is not enough to make a significant difference in the ratings because it reflects a small percentage of homes, but Sling TV did not automatically record Dynamite Wednesday due to a data issue where it was listed as Rampage. Reader Jeff Rosenfeld noted that he noticed 20 minutes into the show it wasn't recording for him and if he hadn't noticed, would have missed the issue.
  • Kento Miyahara beat Jake Lee to win the All Japan Oudou tournament and set up a title match at Budokan Hall against Suwama
  • Stardom PPV from today in Nagoya:
  • Hanan b Miyu Amasaki
  • Maika b Hina
  • Mirai & Ami Sorei won three-way over Giulia & Mai Sakurai and Ruaka & Rina
  • Utami Hayashishita & AZM & Lady C won captains fall bout over Mayu Iwatani & Saya Iida & Momo Kohgo
  • Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid & Saki Kashima b Mina Shirakawa & Unagi Sayaka & Saki
  • Tam Nakano & Natsupoi won the Goddesses tag titles over Hazuki & Koguma
  • Saya Kamitani b Himeka to keep the Wonder of Stardom title. Himeka replaced Kairi who tested positive for COVID
  • Syuri b Nanae Takahashi to keep the Word of stardom title
  • (thanks to David Popper)

UFC

  • Tony Ferguson will be moving back to 170 for the first time in more than a decade when he faces Li Jingliang at the 9/10 PPV show from Las Vegas.

Other Notes

In the PFL tournament yesterday on ESPN, Kayla Harrison beat Martina Jindrova via arm triangle at 3:17 of the first round and Lairssa Pacheco beat Olena Kolesnykn in 2:09 of round one with a choke to set the two up for the $1 million final. Harrison also made a comment of two Brazilians running from her, which in theory meant Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg. They aren't running as much as promotional boundaries make those fights unlikely.

Also they had the featherweight semifinals as Brendan Loughnane beat Chris Wade via straight 30-27 cores and Bubba Jenkins beat Ryoji Kudo via choke in 1:49. So they will also meet in the $1 million final.

  • RevPro from yesterday at York Hall in London:
  • Connor Mills b Tony Deppen
  • Chantal Jordan b Maya Matthews
  • Luke Jacobs b Francesco Akira to keep the cruiserweight title
  • Shota Umino b Yota Tsuji in a strap match. Umino laid out Gideon Grey after the match
  • Aussie Open b Destination Everywhere to keep the New Japan Strong tag titles. Said to be great
  • Will Ospreay b Mike Bailey. Ospreay was super over coming off G1 with lots of "F*** Okada chants." however, the United EmpIre remained heels, destroying Ricky Knight Jr. after the match to set up today's dhow (thanks to John Carrey, Chris Bourke and Duncan Burdett)
  • A lot of raves about Titus Alexander in the West Coast Cup tournament in San Francisco with great matches with Chris Sabin, Nick Wayne, Masha Slamovich and Starboy Charlie.
  • Thursday results:
  • Viento b Gravity
  • Starboy Charlie b D-Rouge
  • Vinnie Massaro b Jorel Nelson
  • Komander b Midas Kreed
  • Masha Slamovich b Alpha Zo
  • Nick Wayne b Bryan Keith
  • Levi Shapiro b Alan Angels
  • Titus Alexander b Chris Sabin
  • Jacob Fatu b Mike Bailey to retain the title
  • Friday results:
  • Titus Alexander b Masha Slamovich
  • Nick Wayne b Viento
  • Starboy Charlie b Levi Shapiro
  • Titus Alexander b Nick Wayne
  • Starboy Charlie b Komander
  • Komander & Alpha Zo & D-Rouge & Midas Kreed b Aerostar & Alan Angels & Bryan Keith & Gravity
  • Titus Alexander b Starboy Charlie to win tournament
  • Minoru Suzuki comes to Defy on 10/29.
  • United Wrestling Coalition on 9/3 in Bordentown, NJ at the Elks Lodge.