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Daily Update: WrestleMania-Tampa, weekend schedule, Dynamite

DAILY UPDATE

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WON NEWSLETTER: October 5, 2020 Observer Newsletter: NJPW shakeup, WWE talent and 3rd party deals, more

We've got a double -issue this week of the Observer with the full rundown of Harold Meij being out in New Japan, WWE's social media policy as it relates to talent, and extensive G-1 coverage.

Our lead story looks at the Harold Meij era of New Japan, how he got there, the turmoil behind-the-scenes, why he's leaving, his last words to his fan club, why the guy who handled running a wrestling company during a pandemic is out while in the pandemic and a lot of behind-the-scenes stories regarding New Japan and AEW never making a deal, and whether this can change things, and what the key issues are. The changes he made to the company, the business record and issues in dealing with talent and others and the inherent issues of a non-Japanese person in charge of a major Japanese company. This is the most inside version of what happened there since 2018 and from people who know the situation the best.

Also in this issue:

WWE's latest when it comes to talent and social media, WWE policy, Andrew Yang and why this could be the worst time to make these decisions.

WWE Clash of Champions, NXT Takeover, Hell in a Cell, the COVID issues in AEW & WWE and how they spread, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

G1 Climax tournament, with standings, best matches, behind-the-scenes,why crowds aren't quick to sell out, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results of every show.

XFL start, changes in WWE tapings and why 205 Live will be taped with NXT ad not Smackdown, we look at declines in WWE interest and reasons why WWE draft dates, Reigns vs. Rock, Reigns talks C.M. Punk, new Dwayne Johnson TV show looked at, new WWE signings, update on WWE injuries, one of the top college wrestlers already publicly talking about going to WWE, more on TV ratings in U.S. and Canada, former TNA champion talks how close he came to joining WWE, Cena starring in new movie, Zayn talks politics, Rusev talks problems with WWE creative, update on Raw Underground, where tribal chief comes from, WWE market value and the most watched shows on WWE Network over the past week.

UFC 253, with business notes, the main themes of the show plus match-by-match coverage and poll results.

The treatment of women in pro wrestling with notes from a recent BBC article with thoughts from several women involved.

87th anniversary show of CMLL, and the plight of Lucha Libre with no fans.

Jerry Lawler 50th anniversary show.

2020 Hall of Fame ballot in each category, with the top candidate, last year's highest that haven't gotten in, as well as a list of those who have been elected in the past five years.

Smackdown and AEW ratings based on the same opposition, as well as network vs. cable when it comes to other sports.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over 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 dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

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We will have a lot of stuff up on the site this weekend including G-1 coverage, plus tomorrow Garrett Gonzalez, Mike Tenay and I will be doing the first of a two-part series on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot. 

Regarding WrestleMania being in Tampa in 2021 at Raymond James Stadium, WWE has tried to lock down every building in Tampa. Highspots will also be running, likely a scaled down weekend out of the Bryan Glazer Jewish Community Center which is the old Fort Homer Hesterly Armory that housed the Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion run by Eddie Graham.

Key stuff on the weekend schedule:

  • CMLL tonight at Arena Mexico on iPPV on Mexico's Ticketmaster site
  • UFC Saturday from Yaz Island in Abu Dhabi
  • Impact Victory Road on Saturday
  • NXT Takeover Sunday from the Performance Center in Orlando
  • G-1 on Monday in Takamatsu

We have polls, thumbs up,down or middle, best & worst match for the NXT and G-1 shows (including the Tuesday through Thursday shows this week) to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

CMLL features the A block of a women's tag team tournamentwith Marcela & Skadi, Amapola & Metalica, Magnifica & Siluerta, Reyna Isis & Tiffany and Comandante & Seductora.  The main event is Sanson & Forastero & Cuatrero vs. Euforia & Negro Casas & Gran Guerrero.

UFC on Saturday:

ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. Eastern

  • Luigi Vendramini (156) vs. Jessin Ayari (156)
  • Casey Kenney (136) vs.; Alateng Heili (136)
  • Loma Lookboonmee (116) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (116)
  • Jordan Williams (182) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (185.5)
  • Charles Jourdain (145) vs. Joshua Culibao (145.5)
  • Court McGee (170.5) vs. Carlos Condit (171)

ESPN at 10: 30 p.m. Eastern

  • Dequan Townsend (186) vs. Dusko Todorovic (186)
  • Kyler Phillips (136) vs. Cameron Else (136)
  • Germaine de Randamie (136) vs. Julianna Pena (135.5)
  • Yorgan De Castro (261) vs. Carlos Felipe (263)
  • Holly Holm (136) vs. Irene Aldana (136)

Bellator on Saturday on the Bellator website:

  • Kiefer Crosbie (156) vs. Charlie Leary (159.2)
  • Andy Manzolo (184.4) vs. Charlie Ward (186)
  • James Gallagher (136) vs. Cal Ellenor (135.2)

The New Japan World show at 10 p.m. Eastern tonighthas Danny Limelight vs. Blake Christian and Clark Connors vs. Logan Riegel in the tournament semifinals, plus Karl Fredericks & TJP vs Flip Gordon & Brody King and David Finlay & Jeff Cobb & Rocky Romero & Misterioso vs.; KENTA & Jay White & Chase Owens & Hikuleo.

The Cody/Brodie Lee segment did more than 500,000 viewers in 18-49 making it one of the two or three biggest Wednesday segments with head-to-head competition of the year. If you look at the ratings pattern of Saturday's show and the loss of the teenage boy audience to the NBA game primarily, had their not been a game, this would have been the most-watched head-to-head Dynamite of the year as the first 30 minutes averaged more than 1 million viewers until the NBA pregame show started.

Bellator star Paul Daley announced he would be retiring after his next fight, and will fight at 175 pounds. Daley said "health before wealth" when he made the announcement.  Daley was supposed to face Derek Anderson yesterday in Milan, Italy but ended up hospitalized trying to cut weight.

WWE

  • The WWE Network debuts a WWE 24 on Drew McIntyre after NXT Takeover on Sunday.
  • Smackdown tonight has Sami Zayn vs. Jeff Hardy for the IC title, plus the Kevin Owens show with Alexa Bliss and a ceremony crowning Roman Reigns as the Tribal Chief of Smackdown.
  • A review of WWE 2K Battlegrounds. (thanks to Jeremy Peeples)
  • Drew McIntyre, Mustafa Ali, Lacey Evans, Zelina Vega and Xavier Woods will be appearing tomorrow for a one-hour live stream at ameriecarese.org/Airlist2020 as well as the Americares YouTube Channel and Facebook page at 8 p.m. Eastern time.  The annual benefit will honor frontline health workers and take supporters on a virtual journey to see the organizations' work in Colombia, Jordan, Liberia, Malwai, The Philippines and the U.S.
  • Drew McIntyre, HHH,Zelina Vega and Charly Caruso will be appearing on 10/9 at the New York Comic Con virtual gathering at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. This will stream live on the New York Comic Con YouTube channel..
  • The company has moved its Madrid, Spain date to May 7, 2021.
  • A story on John Cena being a fan of BTS. (thanks to Barry Werner)

UFC

  • MMA Fighting reported aht Mara Romero Borella, Jeff Hughes, Iuri Alcantara and Khadis Ibragmiov have all been cut by UFC.
  • Taila Santos vs Maryna Moroz has been added to the 12/5 show.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Thanks to everyone who has purchased my 1997 Yearbook. I'm told sales are so strong that they are already planning on doing a second book on another year in history.  The 685-page book is available on Amazon.com for the physical book or you can get it for Kindle or in the U.K. at www.WrestlingObserverBook.com.
  • Joey Ryan has filed a third lawsuit against a woman from Canada who made allegations against him.
  • Tom Farhat, the youngest son of The Sheik (Ed Farhat) passed away today from cancer.  He worked behind-the-scenes for the past 20 years setting up the rings for MCW and AWWL shows that his brother Eddie Jr. (Captain Ed George) ran in Michigan. (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • AAW results from last night in Merrionette Park, IL:  Hakim Zane (Rohit Raju) b Travis Titan to keep the AAW Heritage title, Jake Something b Karam, Elayne Black b Skye Blue, Matthew Justice b Manders, Gringo Loco & Air Wolf & Angel Dorado b Ace Perry & Stephen Wolf & Try Miguel, Hyan b Christi Jaynes, Ace Austin & Mad Man Fulton b Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett to win AAW tag titles, Mance Warner b Jake Crist to keep the AAW title.  ACH and Fred Yehi were announced for the 10/29 show.
  • Arcadian Vanguard has purchased the assets of Pro Wrestling Enterprises from Brian Bukantis and Arena Publishing.  This includes the rights to the old magazines Wrestling Reveue, Wrestling News Ring Wrestling and all Norman Keitzer published magazines and programs which would include AWA, Mid South, WWF, Michigan and Los Angeles.
  • Bellator announced the signing of 11-0 Usman Nurmagomedov and former UFC stars Rustam Khabilov and Brett Johns to multi-year contracts.  Nurmagomedov is the younger cousin of Khabib and trains out of San Jose, CA and was first trained by Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in Dagestan.
  • Both Paul Sosnowski and I are looking for a copy of Rock Rims' book "When It Was Big Time."  He can be reached at paulsosn@hotmail.com
  • LFA tonight on UFC Fight Pass at 9 p.m. Eastern from the Hartman Arena in Park City, KS Christian Natividad (135.2) vs,. Jose Holguin (135.6) Slave Borschev (155.4) vs. Ali Zebian (155.4) Rodney Kealohi (124.8) vs. Meh Monterrosa (125.4) Jacob Thrall  (134.4) vs. Ricky Furar (135.2) Dakota Bush (155.8) vs. Brian Del Rosario (155.6) Andre Fialho (177.8) vs. Antonio Dos Santos (180) Kevin Wirth (134.4) vs. Askar Askar (135.8)
  • EPW from today in Western Australia:  Davis Storm b Jordan Bishop, Zenith b Ryan, The Don b Chadwick Jackson-DQ, Gorgeous Garry & Toro Blanco b Casey Johns & Felix Young, Gavin McGavin b Dizzy Videl, Great George b Jesse Lambert, Dan Steel & Aaron Hawk b Taylor King & Jack Edwards to keep EPW tag titles.  They are running again on Saturday.
  • Suplex Pro Wrestling runs 10/24 in Newcastle, Australia with a limited capacity.
  • Toa Henare's Warrior Wrestling Academy has its first public show on 10/24 in Auckland New Zealand (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • NFC announced a $10,000 All Valley No Gi Jiu Jitsu tournament on 10/17 at Elite Edge Fitness in Atlanta.
  • Absolute Intense Wrestling on 10/9 in Indianapolis at 8 p.m. at the Marion County Fairgrounds with Matthew Justice vs. Joshua Bishop in a no rope barbed wire match for the Absolute title.
  • Gary Juster talks about the Road Warriors.
  • Adam Brooks talksCOVID in Australia.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: AEW Dynamite premiere episode

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