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Daily Update: Wrestling Dontaku, Brian Pillman, Triller


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WON NEWSLETTER: May 3, 2021 Observer Newsletter: UFC 261 recap, NHL-Turner deal

How the NHL deal affects both WWE and AEW is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  

We look at the deal, have Tony Khan's comments on it, update on AEW and TNT, AEW vs. NHL ratings, declining ratings equals larger right fees, notes on the next WWE and AEW deals, and key contract years for AEW and WWE.

Also in this issue:

A complete rundown of UFC 261, background of the show, match-by-match coverage, poll results, business notes, as well as what categories UFC won in television ratings this past week.

Peacock subscribers, Supreme Court ruling on a WWE case, WWE going back on the road, Mickie James talks her issues with her final run, why no second Evolution PPV show,  front office changes in WWE, Daniel Bryan talks his future goals, Paul Levesque talks physical Hall of Fame, new WWE announcer, new WWE signings, how wrestling fared as compared with other sports on television, former headliner says he's returning to WWE, upcoming major TV matches and the most-watched segments on YouTube of recent shows.

CMLL and ROH relationship falling apart, how Mexico is changing with a new promotion, the question a lot of the CMLL and AAA wrestlers have to ask themselves and money figures the top talent is getting with the new promotion.

What other wrestlers held three major world titles in three different companies besides Kenny Omega and details of that. 

Impact Rebellion with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results, as well as early PPV notes, where the company is going forward and what happened in the Omega vs. Swann match.

WWE's highest stakes television match in a long time with Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan.

A feature on Jake Paul, Triller's lawsuit, and Paul challenges involving Daniel Cormier, Nate Diaz and Kamaru Usman.

PPV numbers from television from every company over the past six months.

More on last week's feature about historical world title unification matches from different companies, including a reference to Babe Ruth.

How long the average fan watches the key wrestling shows, how many different people are actually watching, what show is watched live the most and what show is time delayed the most.

More into detail on the ratings than any other source, 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.

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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio talking Raw, New Japan, Randy Savage and perhaps Brian Pillman.  You can send questions to the show to

What could be one of the best matches of 2021 takes place in a few hours with the New Japan show tonight at 2 a.m. Eastern time from Fukuoka in the second night of Dontaku:

  • Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi & Douki vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Jado
  • Kazuchika Okada & Sho vs. Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Tetsuya Naito & Sanada & Bushi vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O'Khan & Aaron Henare
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs. Dick Togo & Evil & Jay White & Toru Yano & Taiji Ishimori
  • Desperado vs. Yoh for the IWGP jr. title
  • Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi for the IWGP title

One of Dragon Gate's biggest shows of the year, Dead or Alive, takes place at 3 a.m. early Wednesday morning headlined by Yamato & Kai vs. Dragon Kid & SB Kento where the losing team then has a singles match and the loser of that match loses their mask or their hair.

Triller has announced they are giving one month's amnesty for any person or entity who illegally streamed the 4/17 show. Anyone who pirated the PPV can pay the original cost for the show before 6/1 and obtain a release from a lawsuit by Triller. After 6/1, the company will be pursuing all individuals for a maximum penalty of $150,000 per illegal stream. Matt St. Claire, the Head of Piracy for Triller said that all the actual IP addresses of everyone who streamed the fight from an illegal source will be turned over in discovery, even if they used VPN's as each stream has a unique fingerprint embedded.

Raw tonight has Bobby Lashley in a non-title match against either Drew McIntyre or Braun Strowman, A.J. Styles & Omos vs. The New Day for the tag titles and Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defend the women's tag titles against Lana & Naomi.

NXT tomorrow night has Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Indi Hartwell & Candice LeRae in a street fight for the NXT women's tag titles, Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah Scott falls count anywhere and Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Grizzled Young Veterans.

The PFL show on Thursday night is moving from ESPN 2 to ESPN which means the PFL will be in front of the largest audience in the history of the promotion.  It airs from 7-11 p.m. Eastern:

  • Denis Goltsov vs. Justin Willis
  • Laura Sanchez vs. Genah Fabian
  • Cindy Dandois vs. Kaitlin Young
  • Ante Delija vs. Bruno Cappelozza
  • Larissa Pacheco vs. Julija Pajic
  • Mohammed Usman vs. Brandon Sayles
  • Kayla Harrison vs. Mariana Morais
  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Renan Ferreira

Part one of the Brian Pillman documentary is on YouTube now.

Vice will be doing a Dark Side of the Ring marathon on Thursday starting at 8:30 a.m. leading to the 9:30 p.m. episode on Brian Pillman.  Owen Hart is at 3:30 pm. and Chris Benoit is at 7:30 p.m., the Road Warriors is at 10 a.m. and Von Erichs at 2:30 p.m.

The Brian Pillman Memorial show anthology DVD is at The trailer can be found here.  


  • Both WWE and AEW are part of the Huntington Disease Society of America online auction that takes place from now until 5/15.  Huntington Disease is a brain disease passed down from generation to generation. WWE donated two virtual VIP tickets to the Thunderdome and the winner can get a virtual meet and greet with a WWE star of their choice. AEW donated signed turnbuckles with signatures of most of its biggest stars. Brandi Rhodes, Colt Cabana, Jungle Boy and McKenzie Mitchell also did awareness videos.
  • The WWE Network was nominated for a Sports Business Journal award for Best in Digital Sports Media. The award winners will be announced on 6/23.


  • Dark Elevation for tonight Private Party vs. Duke Davis & Ganon Jones 10 vs. D3 Red Velvet vs. Reka Tehaka QT Marshall vs Dillon McQueen Ryo Mizunami vs. Abadon Nick Comoroto vs Baron Black FTR vs. Terrence & Terrell Hughes Thunder Rosa vs. Willow Nightingale Miro vs. Will Allday Matt Hardy & Blade vs. Colt Cabana & 5 Nyla Rose vs. Madi Wrenkowski Jon Moxley vs. Andrew Palace


  • “The Claw,” a documentary on the life of James “Baron Von” Raschke, makes its worldwide debut on 5/14 at 8:20 p.m. as part of the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Film Festival.  The premiere will air outdoors at the Como Lakeside Pavilion in St. Paul and then be available for online streaming from 5/15 to 5/23. More on that here.
  • SWE results from Saturday night in Dallas, TX before 250 fans:  Rodney Mack b Action Jackson to keep the TV title, Christi Jaynes b Ivelisse, OMGs b Niles Plonk & Flex Berry, Blood Hunter b Pac Ortega, Charlie Haas b Moonshine Mantell to keep SWE title
  • International Big Time Wrestling from yesterday in Trenton, NJ:  Royce Carney III won The Bug Memorial Battle Royal, Justin Tyme & Solo b Sean Tyler & Jorge Bravo, Rod Street b Mysterious Movado, David Lauren Jones b Justin Dream, Revenge of the Nerds b Sam Beale & Kenny Urban, Malcolm Monroe III b Billy Ray Daniels, DBA b Rick Cannon, Xavier Walker b Kongo Kong (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • United Wrestling Coalition on 5/15 in Wrightstown, NJ at Kelly's Banquet Hall
  • IWTV will be airing a live broadcast of Paradigm Pro Wrestling on 5/21 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.  The show will be under UWFi (Japanese 90s shootfighting group) rules. These  will be  combination of UWFi and hardcore style with Bobby Beverly vs. Mo Atlas, Matt Makowski vs. Matt Justice, John Wayne Murdoch vs. Reed Bentley and Dominic Garrini vs. Akira.  There are 13 matches totla on the show, which takes place at the American Legion Hall in Sellersburg, IN.
  • MLW Fusion Wednesday at 7 p.m. on YouTube has Lio Rush vs. Myron Reed for the middleweight title and Richard Holliday in action.
  • PWP from Saturday night in Omaha: El Bigote b Nino Hatchet, Mack Riggs b Xander McIntosh, Tim Boston b JD Parker, Los Bollos b Omar Pachecco, Seto Kobara b Pat Powers, Pat Powers & Los Bollos & JD Parker b Branden Juarez & Seto Kobaara & Tim Boston. The next show is the 16th anniversary show on 5/20 at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: AJ Styles beats Okada for IWGP title