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Daily Update: WrestleMania Sunday, Google trends, Rick Boogs

Dave Meltzer previews night two of WrestleMania, discusses Google trends, and gives an injury update on Rick Boogs.

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Triple H announces in-ring retirement, WrestleMania weekend

The new issue of the Wrestling Observer is out right now. Among the highlights are:

  • The far more important story regarding Paul Levesque than his retirement from wrestling, which is his health, what he went through, and how that impacts his future both in and out of wrestling
  • WWE weekend shows, cards, ticket sales, secondary market sales, comps, Saturday main event, key results regarding the main event scene, the Hall of Fame, Shad Gaspard, Undertaker and NXT Stand & Deliver.
  • 2021 Shad Gaspard/Jonathan Huber award winners
  • New Japan Cup final coverage, the angles building to Sumo Hall, MVP, best match poll and the final two shows.
  • Stardom's two shows at Sumo Hall. A look at the key matches and what is next for the largest women's wrestling company in the world.
  • Finances of UFC and WWE, including how they are so similar as businesses as well as where they are different. We also look at the key business deal each has that doesn't involve TV rights and how WWE got so much of a better deal with a product that otherwise would have driven one-quarter the revenue and why
  • Full coverage of this week's UFC show
  • Who was the best college heavyweight of all-time
  • More on the arrest of Chael Sonnen, why the felony charge was dropped and the lawsuit regarding the case
  • Ric Flair and Mark Madden
  • TV ratings and key points from those ratings for every show this week including peak segments, what type of viewers each show generates, who draws the youngest audience and how the shows rank with all of television and in the sports world.
  • The return of the Universal champion of champions tournament
  • More notes on the second Triplemania show this year
  • Notes on New Japan US shows
  • The wrestling career and post-wrestling life of the former Rocky King
  • Ticket sales for upcoming shows
  • Why UFC is running in Singapore in June
  • UFC star elected into wrestilng Hall of Fame
  • International wrestling TV ratings

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter: February 7, 2005 Observer Newsletter: Royal Rumble review, business year in review

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

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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.

Sunday News Update

  • Bryan and I will be back tonight talking day two of WrestleMania, the Shad Gaspard/Jonathan Huber Memorial Award and the rest of the latest news. 

For the weekend, we're doing polls, thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle and a best and worst match to for these shows:

  • ROH Supercard of Honor
  • NXT Stand & Deliver
  • Both nights of WrestleMania
  • There was far more interest in WrestleMania this year than the prior two years under COVID conditions. Google searches for WrestleMania as of yesterday were 1.55 million. A normal WWE or AEW PPV will do 200,000 to 300,000. it's well below a a UFC event with big names. Like it may beat next week's show but is well behind the Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal show. But it's way above the last two years of Mania. The only thing over the weekend ahead was the Duke-North Carolina basketball game yesterday which topped five million. Other WWE topics in the top 20 yesterday were Cody Rhodes at No. 5, Undertaker at No. 9, Logan Paul at No. 10, Ronda Rousey at No. 18 and Bianca Belair at No. 19.
  • The show was very positively received last night, as was the ROH show on Friday. The two matches worth going out of your way to see are Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes and Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch. Rhodes did a ton of media. He didn't answer the questions regarding leaving but shut down all talks of him being anything but a wrestler. He did make a deal that allows him to do outside media projects so it is different from the standard deal, or at least media projects he's already started on or doing.
  • WrestleMania day two starts at 8 p.m. tonight:
  • *Sheamus & Ridge Holland vs. Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods. This is the match canceled last night because they played like a million videos and ran short on time. Feels like a standard match. Sheamus & Holland are -300 favorites.
  • *Four-way for the women's tag titles with Zelina & Carmella defending against Naomi & Sasha Banks, Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley, and Shayna Baszler & Natalya. Th odds had Naomi & Banks as the -200 favorites. Odds for the other three teams are Morgan & Ripley at +185, Zelina & Carmella at +500 and Baszler & Natalya at +750
  • *Omos vs. Bobby Lashley. Omos is undefeated going in and the -200 favorite. This match should be short and decisive because whoever wins should be programmed against Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar.
  • *Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville in an anything goes match. Knoxville has a great worker and I'm sure it's all planned out with lots of gimmicks involved.Knoxville is a -300 favorite.
  • *Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory. Vince McMahon did show up in the angle yesterday. The finishes are either McMahon helps Theory win, or McAfee should win. McAfee is the -140 favorite.
  • *Randy Orton & Riddle defend the Raw tag titles against Chad Gable & Otis and Street Profits. This match on paper should be great. Orton & Riddle are over and a great team as each has strengths that the other doesn't have which makes the team fun to watch. Gable is one of the best wrestlers in the company and Montez Ford does amazing things every week with his leaping ability so here you can expect something even more. Orton & Riddle are -150 to retain while the Street Profits are +150 and Alpha Academy is +400. The finish on Raw did make the Street Profits come off as heels so that's something to watch for.
  • *A.J. Styles vs. Edge. On paper, this should challenge for the best match of WrestleMania this year. Edge is rarely not great. Styles hasn't been put in a position like this to put on a classic in a long time and he can still do it if given that opportunity. Styles is a -160 favorite.
  • *Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns title vs. title to unify the titles. This is one of the best promoted Mania matches in many years. Maybe too much given the last several months have been all about these two dominating and destroying most of the rest of the top guys on the roster. Reigns is a -350 favorite, which is pretty sizable, especially since Lesnar is the babyface and Reigns won he first meeting. Reigns is the full-timer. But it's also the biggest match for the company and to keep the match strong for the future, Lesnar should win one of them.
  • Regarding attendance, WrestleTix listed 65,709 last night. The building was set up for 66,106, as it is tonight, with the highest level seats not being put on sale. The paid for yesterday is not confirmed but 56,000 to 60,000 would be the likely range. Tickets for today have been very slightly behind but today's paid is likely to end up very close to that.
  • For tonight, as of this morning, they were at 63,528 total tickets, out, both paid and comps. They will have some late buys. They upgraded a number of fans who had purchased less expensive seats because they had more than 1,100 floor tickets unsold as of Thursday. They will probably announce a similarly inflated number as last night. 
  • Rick Boogs was sent to Birmingham, AL, expected to before major knee and quad surgery. He was trying to squat with both Usos on his back and his knee and thigh went out. He suffered both a torn quad and a torn patella tendon.
  • A story on bidding to get WrestleMania is here.
  • AEW is sold out, and has been for weeks, at the Agannis Arena in Boston for Wednesday. It's a building too small for them considering the interest level in the market as it's set up for about 5,250 for wrestling. with a stage. FTR vs. Young Bucks for both the AAA and ROH tag titles along with Christian Cage vs. Adam Cole and Hardys vs. Butcher & Blade in a tables match are on top.
  • L.A. Park, L.A. Park Jr. and El Hijo de L.A. Park were all fired Friday morning by MLW after an incident where they went off script and for reasons nobody could give an answer to, busted up Jacob Fatu and Alex Hammerstone. They were sent home and pulled from the Friday night show. It was during an angle to build Park vs. Fatu that this happened.
  • Pat Kenney wanted to thank everyone for prayers and thoughts regarding his recent stroke. He said he is on the way back and said that people would see him in the NWA in April.


  • Kelvin Gastelum has pulled out of next Saturday's UFC show. He said he was injured but was advised to not say what the injury was.
  • Uriah Hall, who was to be in the No. 2 fight on the 4/16 show against Andre Muniz, also pulled out with no reason given. They are looking for a new opponent for Muniz, underneath Belal Muhammad vs. Vicente Luque on top.
  • Katlyn Chookagian has signed a new deal with UFC and starts back on 5/14 against Amanda Ribas. Combate in Brazil first reported this.
  • The Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksander Rakic fight is now scheduled for 5/14.
  • Aleksei Oleinik vs. Jared Venderaa is slated for the 4/9 show. Vanderaa replaces Ilir Latifi, who pulled out of the fight with an undisclosed illness.
  • Andre Fili vs. Joanderson Brito was added to the 4/30 show.

Other Notes

  • Stardom had day one of the Cinderella tournament today from Tachikawa. It was a PPV show with 15 first round matches and one second round match. It's a 31 person tournament. The matches today had 10:00 time limits and it's single elimination. If the match goes to a draw, both people are eliminated. You can also win via over-the-top rope.
  • Unagi Sayaka b Hina
  • Saki Kashima b Waka Tsukiyama
  • Maika b Hanan
  • Mirai b Mina Shirakawa
  • Mayu Iwatani b Momo Kohgo
  • Natsupoi b Starlight Kid - over the top rope
  • Utami Hayashishita d Tam Nakano - both eliminated going to a 10:00 draw
  • Saya Kamitani d Maika- both eliminated by going over the top rope
  • Saya Iida b Rina
  • Koguma b Fukigen Death
  • Himeka b Ruaka
  • Hazuki b Miyu Amasaki
  • Giulia b Thekla
  • AZM b Momo Watanabe
  • Syuri b Ami Sorei with 12 seconds left in the match
  • Emily Ducote vs. Alesha Zappitella for the strawweight title headlines a 5/11 Invicta show. The location for the show and broadcast notes are to be announced.
  • PFL announced its second night of tournament play this year will be 4/28 from the Esports Stadium in Arlington, TX with these fights on ESPN 2:
  • Bruno Cappeloza (2021 heavyweight champion) vs. Stuart Austin
  • Brendan Loughnane vs.Ryuji Kudo
  • Ante Delija vs. Matheus Scheffel
  • Renen Ferreira vs. Jamelle Jones
  • Pro Wrestling Revolver on 4/16 in Clive, IA at the Horizon Events Center with Shane Strickland vs. Athena, Rich Swann vs. JT Dunn, Moose vs. Mike Bailey, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Steve Maclin & Westin Blake, Jake Crist vs. Manders, Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin vs. Blake Christian vs. Lince Dorado, Billie Starkz vs. Deonna Purrazzo and Jake Something vs. Madman Fulton vs. Jessicka Havok vs. Crash Jaxon vs. Beef vs. Grizzly Kal Jak.
  • The TV show Billions on Showtime had one of the characters say, "I've got to get in the zone to tangle with the only journalist who might get confused for George The Animal Steele." (thanks to Joe Puccio)