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Daily Update: WON Hall of Fame, WBD cuts, weekend schedule

Dave Meltzer with notes on the Hall of Fame issue, cuts at Warner Bros. Discovery, and a preview of the weekend.

Daily Update

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

  • Notes on the backgrounds of everyone voted in
  • Huge historical stories on the two promoters voted in talking about wrestling history all over the world
  • Notes on a lot of the people who were not voted in and their candidacy
  • Performer and match of the week
  • Full coverage of Saturday's UFC show
  • Cain Velasquez returns to pro wrestling as AAA comes to the U.S., background, future, attendance, audience drawn and more
  • The most detailed look at the TV ratings from the past week, looking at the whys, what can be learned, segment by segment of the main shows, competition and more
  • Major mask loss in a cage show coming on January 1 to Arena Mexico
  • A look at the finals of the Stardom tag team tournament as well as the big show at the end of the year
  • What Hall of Fame candidate returns to Dragon Gate on Christmas
  • Several stars leaving All Japan
  • First IWGP women's title defense to be held in the U.S.
  • New Japan tag team tournaments notes
  • Battle of Los Angeles news
  • Another major movie being produced on a 90s star and his unique story
  • Impact has one of its best matches of the year
  • A detailed look at Tony Khan's explanation of William Regal's departure and why he allowed him to go
  • Khan talks about Rampage going forward
  • Dustin Rhodes talks retirement
  • Notes on ROH PPV show
  • Notes on WWE going to new markets and ticket advances
  • International TV ratings
  • AEW & WWE streaming numbers
  • More news on the Pro Slap league TV deal and time
  • Dana White talks Jiri Prochazka's injury
  • Shawn Michaels talks NXT
  • Lots of WWE injury updates
  • Cena's schedule for the next few months
  • Lots of WrestleMania news

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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Friday Update

wbd

Garrett Gonzales and I will be doing the Hall of Fame recap show tonight as well as talking the news of the week, and there is a lot, from this week's issue. Bryan and I will be back tomorrow night talking the ROH, UFC and NXT shows as well as the latest news.

The biggest issue of the year is up today It's our annual Hall of Fame issue with the eight new inductees, notes on everyone who was voted in as well as everyone who came close, why people close didn't get in, full voting breakdowns, who will be off the ballot next year, who will be added next year, who are all the first ballot Hall of Famers in history, who are the people historically who have gotten the most votes and so much more.

There has been more bloodletting at WBD including Nancy Daniels, who was the President of both TNT and TBS being let go. Daniels came from the Discovery side and was put in charge of the two stations. Daniels and Scot Lewers, who headed franchise series expansions, were both let go and were both supporters of AEW. Kathleen Finch, who is currently in charge of TBS and TNT, has also been very publicly supportive of AEW. The Hollywood Reporter covers this.

Also let go was Jane Letman, who headed HGTV and The Food Network and Matthew Butler, who had run the Travel Channel network.

Smackdown tonight is from Pittsburgh. The Usos defend the tag titles against Sheamus & Butch. There is also a 54th birthday celebration for Pittsburgh's Kurt Angle. PWInsider has reported Gable Steveson and The Street Profits in Pittsburgh along with Johnny Gargano, who was at one point scheduled for a dark match.

Rampage tonight on TNT at 10 p.m.:

      • Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita - people were raving about this when it was taped
      • Lee Moriarty & Big Bill Morrissey vs Izzy James & Clayton Bloodstone
      • Hikaru Shida vs The Bunny for the Regina Di WAVE title and a shot at Jamie Hayter's AEW title
      • Orange Cassidy vs. Trent Seven

Bellator tonight on Showtime at 9 p.m.:

      • Dalton Rosta (185.6) vs. Anthony Adams (185.4)
      • Patchy Mix (135) vs. Magomed Magomedov (134.4) in a bantamweight Grand Prix semifinal match
      • Liz Carmouche (124.8) vs. Juliana Velasquez (124.2) for the flyweight title
      • Raufeon Stots (134.4) vs. Danny Sabatello (135) for the interim bantamweight title in a Grand Prix semifinals match

We're doing polls this weekend for these three events
*ROH Final Battle tomorrow at 3 p.m. Eastern
*NXT Deadline at 8 p.m. Eastern
*UFC 282
You can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each of these shows to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

We're also looking for reports on these shows:
*WWE Smackdown tonight in Pittsburgh (dark matches, anything not on the television show)
*Tomorrow night in Saginaw, MI
*Tomorrow night in Wheeling, WV
*Sunday in Charleston, WV
*Sunday in Kalamazoo, MI
We're looking for results, finishes and highlights to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

The scheduled Smackdown main event is Braun Strowman & Butch & Ridge Holland vs. Usos & Sami Zayn and Gunther vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the IC title.

The scheduled Raw main events are Austin Theory vs. Seth Rollins for the US title and Bianca Belair vs. Bayley for the women's title.

A story on James Gibson/Jamie Noble doing a retirement match at the WWE Wheeling, WV show on Sunday. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)

Because of UFC banning James Krause, the province of Alberta today has reinstated allowing wagering on UFC fights.

UFC for tomorrow at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
ESPN+ at 6 pm:

      • Cameron Saalman (135) vs. Steven Koslow (136)
      • Vinicius Salvador (126) vs. Daniel Da Silva (129) - Da Silva missed weight and was fined 20 percent of his purse
      • TJ Brown (145.5) vs. Erik Silva (146)
      • Billy Quarantillo (146) vs. Alexander Hernandez (145.5)

ESPN 2 at 8 p.m.:

      • Chris Curtis (186) vs. Joaquin Buckley (185.5)
      • Edmen Shahbazyan (185.5) vs Dalcha Lungiambula (185.5)
      • Jarizinho Rozenstruik (261.5) vs. Chris Daukaus (242.5)
      • Raul Rosas Jr. (136) vs,. Jay Perrin (136)
      • PPV at 10 p.m.
      • Bryce Mitchell (146) vs. Ilia Topuria (146)
      • Darren Till (184.5) vs. Dricus De Plessis (185)
      • Santiago Ponzinibbio (179.5) vs. Alex Morono (179.5)
      • Paddy Pimblett (156) vs. Jared Gordon (155.5)
      • Jan Blachowicz (204.5) vs. Magomed Ankalaev (205) for the light heavyweight title

There was a altercation between Pimblett and Topuria at yesterday's press conference. Topuria started yelling at Pimblett claiming that whenever Pimblett sees him he goes out the back door. Pimblett countered that Topuria was obsessed with him and hasn't sopped tweeting about him all week, and called him a bum and irrelevant. Pimblett called him hand sanitizer boy because one time in London when the two were exchanging punches Pimblett threw hand sanitizer at him. Pimblett invited Topuria on stage and he came after him and security then broke it up. 

MJF will be in Las Vegas at the UFC show tomorrow night. The idea is also to do something with Pimblett.

New Japan's last round-robin night of the Super Juniors tournament starts at 3:30 a.m. Eastern late night in Uwajima:

      • Kevin Knight & Kushida vs. Tiger Mask & Robbie Eagles
      • Clark Connors & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Dick Togo & Sho
      • Lindaman & Alex Zayne vs. Douki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
      • Yoh & Lio Rush vs. Titan & Bushi
      • Francesco Akira & TJP vs. Chris Bey & Ace Austin

Five teams are tied with 6-2 records. Both teams in the last two matches are 6-2 as is Lindaman & Zayne. So the two winners of the last two matches will be 7-2. They will meet in the finals on Wednesday unless Lindaman & Zayne win. In that case there will be a three-way tie and it will go to tie-breakers to determine the championship match.

The heavyweight round-robin ends Sunday in Hyogo at 3 a.m. Eastern or midnight Saturday night Pacific:

      • Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd vs. Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki
      • Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste
      • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano vs. Aaron Henare & Great O'Khan
      • Tetsuya Naito & Sanada vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Evil


Aussie Open has finished at 7-2. Nicholls & Haste, Naito & Sanada and Goto & Yoshi-Hashi are all 6-2. So whichever of those three teams that wins goes into a tie for first and either into the finals or into a tiebreaker to determine the finals on Wednesday.

At the Fighters Only World MMA Awards last night in Las Vegas these were the key winners:

      • Charles Lewis Fighter of the Year - Alexander Volkanovski
      • Female Fighter of the Year - Valentina Shevchenko
      • Fight of the Year - Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixiera
      • Knockout of the Year - Michael Chandler over Tony Ferguson
      • Submission of the Year - Jiri Prochazka over Glover Teixeira

Other Notes

Sad to report the passing of longtime Pacific Northwest referee Mark Watson. 

Ric Flair is no appearing in aTV commercial for the Circle County Music Channel (thanks to Brian Henke)

ISPW is doing a year-end awards party on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Little Falls, NJ at the First Reformed Church Hall. It will be buffet style food and BYOB. All the company's wrestlers will be there.

Central States Wrestling tomorrow in Kansas City, KS at the Armory features Dak Draper vs. Jeremy Wyatt with Ace Steel as referee This will be the first show Steel has worked since he was let go by AEW.

IWF tomorrow in New Brunswick, NJ at the Middle School features Tito Santana and Nunzio.

MCW on 12/30 in Joppa,MD at the RJ Meyer Arena.

Live Lucha Libre on 12/15 in Toronto at 7 p.m. with Super Crazy, Delirious, Gringo Loco and Sam Adonis at Parkdale Hall. They are also collecting toys for a holiday toy drive.

El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Nick Wayne and Joey Janela vs. Titus Alexander headline for Defy on 12/17 in Seattle at Washington Hall.

LFA in Commerce,CA at the Commerce Casino & Hotel at 10 p.m. Eastern on UFC Fight Pass:

      • Jeffrey Craig (170) vs. Ernesto Rodriguez (170.6)
      • Cody Davis (125.2) vs. Alvaro Prado (127.4) - Prado missed weight and was fined
      • Dione Barbosa (125.4) vs. Mariana Piccolo (125.8)
      • Richie Miranda (154.8) vs. James Wilson (15.6)
      • Danny Silva (145.4) vs. Canaan Kwalhae (146)
      • Alfonso Leyva (169.8) vs. Chris Brown (169.8) for the welterweight title