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WON NEWSLETTER: February 15, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Butch Reed bio, Bellator to Showtime

A look at the career of 80s star Hacksaw Butch Reed, who passed away this past week, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at all of his titles won, sports career before wrestling, what was and wasn't exaggerated about him, how he got started in wrestling, how fast it was that he was moved to star status, including main eventing at the key wrestling arenas in the country very early, the role Dory Funk Jr, made in his career, how he was booked, a super tag team with Skip Young that few outside of Florida ever saw, feuding with the biggest names on top, his matches with Ric Flair up and down the state of Florida, his sellout with Flair in St. Louis, runs in Georgia and his move to Mid South, his Mid South runs, the high point of his career, his feud with JYD, his Superdome main events, his face and heel turns, his biggest angles, his fight with John Nord and his departure from Mid South, his meeting with Slick, heading to WWF as The Natural Butch Reed, and his WCW run as part of the tag team of Doom with Ron Simmons, life after wrestling and his feelings on Will Hobbs.

Also in this issue:

Nick Khan's talk about things WWE is doing to try and get new fans, a look at the aging of the sports audience and how wrestling fits in, update on Braun Strowman, update on John Cena TV series, son of 90s star starting in WWE camp, WWE  star talks having a stroke, WWE star gets stalked, experience of being in the Thunderdome and what they look for, how WWE & AEW did compared to sports this past week, international rtings news, more on COVID's effect onWWE, big matches coming on upcoming shows, WWE market value and most-watched shows on the WWE Network this past week.

Bellator's new broadcast deals in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as main events for the first shows in April, and look at the light heavyweight tournament.

New Beginning in Hiroshima and the Castle Attack cards for New Japan.

Most-watched televised pro wrestling matches in history, including Hogan vs. Andre and Rikidozan vs. Destroyer.

Preview the next two WWE major shows.

Saturday's UFC event with the potential knockout of the year.

Gina Carano losing her job in "The Mandalorian" on the anniversary of her landmark fight with Julie Kedzie.

A feature looking at the best matches of top wrestlers of 2020.

Television ratings of the past week, including segment-by-segment numbers for the past two weeks on Wednesday, who was watching in different age groups, how different segments did on Raw & Smackdown and more.

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We have a big weekend. Garrett Gonzalez and I have a show today with David Meltzer for the first time. That's the other David Meltzer, talking about media changes, WWE on Peacock and a few other things that will surprise some people. Bryan and I will be back tomorrow night covering UFC and Sunday covering NXT Takeover Vengeance.

Smackdown tonight has no matches announced but they will likely set up several matches for Elimination Chamber including the title matches. 

Tomorrow UFC weigh-ins:

Prelims on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. Eastern

  • Gillian Robertson (125.5) vs. Miranda Maverick (125.5)
  • Gabe Green (169.5) vs. Phil Rowe (171)
  • Prelims on ESPN at 8 p.m. Eastern
  • Andre Ewell (138.5) vs. Chris Gutierrez (140)
  • Polyana Viana (116) vs. Mallory Martin (115.5)
  • Belal Muhammad (169.5) vs. Dhiego Lima (171)
  • Rodolfo Vieira (186) vs. Anthony Hernandez (186)

PPV at 10 p.m. Eastern

  • Maki Pitolo (185) vs. Julian Marquez (185)
  • Ricky Simon (145.5) vs. Brian Kelleher (145.5)
  • Kelvin Gastelum (186) vs. Ian Heinisch (185.5)
  • Maycee Barber (126) vs. Alexa Grasso (125.5)
  • Kamaru Usman (170) vs. Gilbert Burns (170) for the welterweight title
  • One of the big matches scheduled for the show, Jim Miller vs. Bobby Green, is off. Green collapsed after weighing in, likely due to dehydration, and was hospitalized.

The New York Times ran a story today about the Kip Sabian/Penelope Ford wedding, both the actual wedding and the television version.

New Japan starts its new tour on Sunday with a 4 a.m. Eastern time show at Korakuen Hall. It will have four straight days at Korakuen Hall at 4 a.m., all airing on New Japan World.

Impact has an Impact+ show tomorrow night with Rich Swann vs. Tommy Dreamer for the Impact title on Dreamer's 50th birthday.

AXS will be airing the 2010 Lockdown show at 3 p.m. on Tuesday headlined by A.J. Styles vs. The Pope, a Lethal Lockdown match with Sting & Bobby Roode & James Storm & Desmond Wolfe (Nigel McGuinness) vs. Jeff Jarrett & Abyss & Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle vs. Ken Anderson and more. The station will air the 2011 Destination X show at 3 p.m. on 3/23 with Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn, Samoa Joe vs. Frankie Kazarian and more.


  • Anthony Joshua spoke yesterday about wanting to do WWE after he retires from boxing, since Muhammad Ali did that.  Well, he actually didn't past being an outside the ring ref and doing one angle.
  • A story on new WWE signee Tony Gill. (thanks to Lee Wall)


  • The Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka fight that was scheduled on 2/27 has been moved to 5/1 due to an injury to Reyes.
  • UFC Chronicles on Kamaru Usman is available now on Fight Pass.
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Zarrukh Adashev has been added to the 5/8 UFC show.


  • The 17th annual Quebec pro wrestling award winners Best Male Wrestler - Mike Bailey Best Female Wrestler - LuFisto Best Tag Tam - Mathieu St. Jacques & Thomas Dubois (TDT) Match of the Year - Mike Bailey vs Matt Angel in IWS Best Promotion - NSPW Most Influential - Kevin Owens News of the year - The death of Pat Patterson
  • has these odds for Bellator's light heavyweight tournament Vadim Nemkov +185 Yoel Romero +400 Ryan Bader +550 Anthony Johnson +700 Corey Anderson +1000 Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov +1000 Phil David +1600 Lyoto Machida +3000
  • A story on DAZN plans that includes MLW .
  • Kevin Eck's weekly ROH News update.
  • Ring of Honor announcer Ian Riccaboni talks LGBTQ charity and awareness.
  • SWE Fury TV Show Results from this week's Episode(Recorded in Greenville TX before 500 fans): Charlie Haas defeated Christian Nox via submission Niles Plonk defeated Frank Stone to Retain the SWE Fury TV Title via Pinfall The Magnificent Maliko & Adman Asher  vs The Paragon Michael Shafter & Max Christi Janes defeated Vertvixen to become the #1 Contender for the Women's Title Lance Archer was disqualified in his title match SWE Fury Hwt Champion Tim Storm due to Charlie Haas Interference.The Full SWE Fury TV show is available on YouTube.
  • Notes from today's Sendai Girls and Marvelous shows.
  • Notes on a new book, "Independent Road:  A Wrestler's Journey by Ehren Schaffter.  The book follows the life of talents such as LuFisto, Effy, Facade, Billie Starkz, Alex Gracia, Molly Spartan, Tyson Dux and more. The book can be purchased here.
  • An article on the original Reginald Siki.
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix runs tonight at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha, NE.
  • Low Ki vs. King Mo has been announced for the Filthy Island TV show that MLW is doing this coming Wednesday.  Also on Wednesday's show is Mil Muertes vs. Savio Vega in a Jungle Fight.
  • Ken Shamrock is now available for wrestling events, signings and virtual signings through Bill Behrens a and
  • A movie called Luchadoras, about three women wrestlers in Ciudad Juarez has its world premiere in the Global Cinema section of SXSW Online 2020 from 3/15 to 3/20. The movie will be accessible starting 3/16
  • Toyhlo at the Metroplex Expo Center in Girard, OH will have a signing with Bran Myers tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Autographs or photos are $20 or $30 for both.
  • Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling has a tag team tournament that starts on 2/20 at the Narimasu Act Hall in Tokyo, with the second round in the same building on 2/21 and the finals are 3/6 at the Nerima Cocoeri Hall in Tokyo. They will all be streamed on Wrestle Universe. The teams are: Yuki Aino & Nodoka Tenma Rika Tatsumi & Miu Watanabe Miyu Yamashita & Maki Itoh Yuka Sakazaki & Mizuki Shoko Nakajima & Hyper Misao Raku & Marika Kobashi Yuki Kamifuku & Mahiro Kiryu Hikari Noa & Sena Shiorio Pom Harajuku & Haruna Neko Mirai Maiumi & Suzume Moka Miyamoto & Arisu Endo Sakisama & Mei Saint-Michel
  • KSW announced Antun Racic (25-8-1) defending his bantamweight title against Sebastiasn Przybysz (7-2) in the co-main event of its 3/20 show.  Mariusz Pudzianowski's return will be the main event.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Kazuchika Okada wins his first IWGP Heavyweight title