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WON NEWSLETTER: March 8, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Death of Jim Crockett Jr., NXT moving to Tuesday

The story of Jim Crockett Jr., and the rise and fall of Jim Crockett Promotions is the lead story in the current double-sized issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  

We look at the death of Crockett, the Crockett's family original involvement in wrestling, how Jim took over the moves he made in building a small market territory into one of the big three companies in the U.S., original plans and why they changed, the rise of Ric Flair, where Jm was a Hall of Fame promoter, the fight with Vince McMahon from 1984-88, getting the TBS deal, what led to JCP selling to Turner, the framework of the NWA in the 70s and 80s, the rise of the super show concept, mistakes made at the end, what happened when TBS took over, attempts to get back in wrestling and life after wrestling.

Also in this issue:

NXT to Tuesday, why, what should be expected for the unopposed shows, WrestleMania plans, Takeover plans and how this affects the industry as  a whole.

We also look at the next four PPV shows in pro wrestling with current plans and what happened this week to change plans.

A court case that has major ramifications on major wrestling companies. 

A new documentary from a WWE star away from WWE.

Raw conflicting with college basketball, how other sports do on TV against AEW or WWE, Canadian rating updated, where wrestling stands with mother major sports programming, WWE losing a time slot to AEW, WWE injury dates, Ric Flair talks his angle being dropped, WWE market value and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

New Japan Cup and company plans going forward, Castle Attack shows, injury update, business notes and stadium shows.

Stardom's biggest show in its history at Budokan Hall.

Life and times of Dean Higuchi, or Dean Ho, one of the major babyface stars of the 70s and his debut in Hawaii, his notoriety prior to wrestling, and his biggest career runs in WWWF and for Roy Shire.

Saturday's UFC show.

The life of Art Michalik, who was responsible for a major change in pro football, his NFL career, getting into pro wrestling, headlining in Japan and life outside of wrestling.

The life of Johnny DeFazio, one of the most famous local stars in Pittsburgh, the heyday of Studio Wrestling and his life outside of wrestling including being a union head and for decades later a councilman.

The career of Don Serrano, who spent decades in wrestling and certain firsts he was involved in.

The life of Ann Casey, a noteworthy woman wrestling star of the 60s and 70s.

More into detail on the ratings than any other source, we have how every segment on NXT and AEW did as well as how it did with different age groups, genders and more, plus a look at all other wrestling shows of the past week.

Results of the major pro wrestling events of the past week.

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to or by going to directing funds to

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


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Garrett Gonzales and I will be doing a show tonight which will be the first of of four straight nights I'll be doing shows with UFC tomorrow and AEW Revolution on Sunday..

The new Observer not only has a ton of current news, but a lot of history pieces including one of the legendary feuds of the 50s, the heyday of Hawaii wrestling, as well as a look at Jim Crockett Promotions and Hulk Hogan's first career matches.

UFC 259 weigh-ins for a 15 fight show that starts at 5:15 p.m. Eastern and scheduled to be an eight hour show. I promise, nobody ever under any circumstances should book an eight hour show.  That said, this is an amazing show on paper with two intriguing title matches out of the three and a ton  of talent underneath.

Prelims on ESPN+ starting at 5:15 p.m. Eastern

  • Trevin Jones (134.5) vs. Mario Bautista (135.5)
  • Usos Medic (156) vs. Aalon Cruz (155)
  • Livinha Souza (116) vs. Amanda Lemos (116)
  • Sean Bady (170.5) vs. Jake Matthews (169.5)
  • Carlos Ulberg (205 vs. Kennedy Mzechukwu (205.5)
  • Tim Elliott (125.5) vs,. Jordan Espinosa (126)

On ESPN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. Eastern

  • Kai Kara-France (125.5) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (126)
  • Joseph Benavidez (125.5) vs. Askar Askarov (127) - Askarov missed weight and forfeits 20 percent of his purse to Benavidez
  • Song Yadong (13.5) vs. Kyler Phillips (136)
  • Dominick Cruz (136) vs. Casey Kenney (136)

PPV at 10 p.m. Eastern

  • Thiago Santos (206) vs. Aleksander Rakic (206)
  • Islam Makhachev (156) vs. Drew Dober (156)
  • Petr Yan (135) vs. Aljamain Sterling (134.5) for the bantamweight title
  • Amanda Nunes (145) vs. Megan Anderson (144.5) for the featherweight title
  • Jan Blachowicz (205) vs. Israel Adesanya (200.5) for the light heavyweight title

There are people noting Adesanya is the lightest under the weight class challenger for a title or for this title.  Technically at 205 that is correct, but Frank Shamrock routinely weighed 190-192 or seven to nine pounds under the weight limit when he was fighting in the 200 pound weight class.

Smackdown tonight has Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso in a cage match and if Bryan wins, he faces Roman Reigns for the Universal title.  Another match announced is Bianca Belair vs. Shayna Baszler.

New Japan runs at 3 a.m. Eastern tonight from Ota Ward Gym in Tokyo on New Japan World with New Japan Cup first round matches of Tomoaki Honma vs. Minoru Suzuki, Juice Robinson vs. KENTA and Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi.  Okada and Takagi in October had one of the best matches of 2020.  

They also run tomorrow night at 1 a.m., which should be right after UFC ends, from Yamanashi with Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Gabriel Kidd and Will Ospreay vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan.

Regarding the big surprise AEW signing on Sunday, both C.M. Punk and Daniel Cormier have denied it is them.

Some notes on the Wednesday ratings which are in more detail in the new issue. The high point of the night was 1.3 million viewers during the Shaquille O'Neal & Jade Cargill vs. Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet match, which averaged 1,166,000 viewers. The MJF, Chris Jericho and Young Bucks segment also averaged 1,004,000 viewers. Both shows started at more than 1 million viewers because NXT has the big lead-in, but it fell all the way to 575,000 during the Shaq match.  NXT topped AEW in viewers (but not demo) during several AEW commercial breaks.  The Paul Wight interview equaled the Shaq match average of 469,000 in 18-49.  NXT peaked in 35-49 during the women's tag title match but the 18-34 peak was Cameron Grimes vs. Bronson Reed.  AEW's peak in 18-34 was the Paul Wight interview and the Nyla Rose vs. Ryo Mizunami match. The AEW peak in 35-49 was the Shaq match.

The Charlotte Observer ran a piece of Jim Crockett Jr.

We are doing polls on the following shows this week, both Wednesday's Stardom show and Thursday's New Japan at Budokan Hall, as well as tomorrow's UFC and Sunday's AEW Revolution. You can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to


  • We don't know that this is the new site for WWE tapings in a few weeks, but they have been talking to the Yuengling Center at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
  • Peacock could be coming to Fire TV. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)


  • Manel Kape replaces Tagir Ulanbekov to face Matheus Nicolau on the 3/13 show.
  • Damir Hadzovic vs. Nikolas Motta has been added to the 5/8 show.



  • At yesterday's Dragon Gate show, the new unit of Yamato, Dragon Kid, Ben K and Keisuke Okuda revealed their name as High-End.
  • New Japan's show this week on The Roku Channel features Will Osperay vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Former WWE wrestler Dan Rodimer is looking at running for office in Texas through connections with Donald Trump who he said urged him to run for the seat in the House of Representatives. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • The New Jersey-based Synergy Pro Wrestling is shutting down after its owner Colin West (aka Patrick Shea) was exposed as a convicted child molester.
  • A 1965 report from the BBC on women's wrestling. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • SWE Fury TV show results from this week's episode #208 recorded in Irving Texas before 500 fans.  200 fans were turned away from this event due to COVID regulations. Rodney Mac retained the TV Title vs Heart Throb Jayden (Road Warrior Animals Son in Law), Teddy Long had an in-ring segment with Charlie Haas that Mark Henry appeared on where Haas got in a confrontation with Tim Storm.cJustin Credible defeated Edge Sloan, The Blood Hunter managed by Selina De La Renta defeated Frank Stone. Justin Credible confronted Blood Hunter at the end of the match. Selina De La Renta had a legit physical altercation with a fan at the start of the match, Jax Dane and Crimson defeated Jeff Jeffries and a local, Charlie Hass defeated Bam Bam Malone. The full episode can be seen on YouTube.
  • NFC MMA returns on 3/20 at The District in Atlanta.
  • Bare Knuckle Boxing tonight from Phuket, Thailand is on their streaming service with heavyweights Steve Banks (64-11) vs. Nikolayu Gussv (40-10) on top.
  • ACH vs. Kevin Ku has been added to Wednesday's MLW Fusion show.
  • CWE has had to postpone its eight events this month in Manitoba and Alberta due to the province's restrictions.  They are hopeful of returning to action for a tour that would start on 5/7 in Winnipeg.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Goldberg wins Universal title at Fastlane 2017