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Daily Update: WWE India, Raw, ratings analysis

Dave talks WWE in India, Raw, and analyzes ratings.

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Shinjiro Otani seriously injured, WWE announces UK stadium show

  • Update on Shinjiro Otani, what happened, a review of his career and a look at Zero-1's biggest show in years.
  • WWE officially announces its Principality Stadium show in Cardiff, Wales, a look back at the biggest UK events for WWE and the ticket demand.
  • Coverage of UFC 273 featuring a potential Hall of Fame fight with Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns, plus the judging in Sterling-Yan, the dominance of Alexander Volkanovski, business notes on the show and match-by-match coverage.
  • Full coverage of NJPW Hyper Battle and the angles leading to the return of New Japan to the Fukuoka Dome, a look back at the first show in that building, plus G1 and Best of the Super Juniors updates
  • Update on WrestleMania Backlash, ticket demand, matches being built, false advertising of Brock Lesnar and more
  • Ratings including rankings, oldest and youngest audience, affect of NBA playoffs, segment-by-segment numbers and comparisons with last year.
  • CMLL Champion of Champions tournament continuing
  • AEW star announces return from major injury
  • Hall of Famer announces the relaunch of his former promotion
  • All Japan Champion Carnival update
  • NOAH Sumo Hall lineups
  • NJPW star finishes up this week and background
  • Scott Hall funeral
  • New wrestling books
  • Biggest indie crowds of the year
  • The Strangler Lewis headlock machine
  • Discovery/Warner merger and AEW
  • NJPW & AEW deal
  • Story behind the debut of Satnam Singh
  • Ticket sales for upcoming AEW & WWE shows
  • International TV ratings
  • Streaming numbers for the major stuff of the past week
  • Cain Velasquez case update
  • UFC adds 2016 Fight of the Year to Hall of Fame
  • How much the top executives at WWE earn
  • Update on Vince McMahon vs. Oliver Luck
  • Update on all the name changes of WWE talent and why

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

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Monday News Update

  • Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio talking Raw and all the news. You can also send email questions to the show for tonight to
  • reported that 56.1 million people watched WrestleMania in India on Sony Sports. It was not clear if this was a combination of streaming and television includes people watching multiple times but the total viewership was up 29 percent from last year. They also pushed that Raw the day after Mania was up nine percent, and attributed that to Veer Mahaan, although more than likely it's because the Raw after WrestleMania is usually the most-watched episode of the year and it's up from the week before.
  • The estate of Julian Lasseter, the man who was killed on the 3/25 traffic accident by being rear-ended allegedly by Tammy Sytch at a red light, has sued Sytch and boyfriend James Pente in Judicial Circuit Court in Volusia County, Florida. They are suing Sytch as well as the boyfriend because it was his car and that he allowed her being the wheel of his car. They are suing for medical and funeral expenses as well as the suffering from Lasseter's daughter and the emotional and mental pain of losing her father. Sytch has not been arrested regarding the accident.
  • Raw tonight features two title matches with Finn Balor vs. Theory for the U.S. title and Naomi & Sasha Banks vs. Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley for the women's tag titles. Plus there will be a lie detector test with Kevin Owens and Ezekiel to find out if Ezekiel is really Elias, and not one, but two weddings, Reggie & Dana Brooke and Tozawa & Tamina. WWE weddings usually do well in ratings and it's clearly in response to what will be a hard night since there are three NBA playoff games against different parts of Raw tonight, the Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers (which should greatly hurt the Canadian number), Warriors vs. Nuggets (against hour three) and Jazz vs. Mavericks. 
  • Smackdown did its lowest 18-49 rating since July on Friday because of the NBA competition, an 0.48 and this is only going to be like this or get worse for every show against the playoffs.
  • NXT is opposed tomorrow by the Timberwolves vs. Grizzles and Pelicans vs. Suns.
  • AEW could be hit the hardest with Nets vs. Celtics, 76ers vs. Raptors probably taking a huge bite in Canada and Bulls vs. Bucks. The reason I say that is because the NBA hurts the 18-49 numbers more than the 50+ numbers and more than half of WWE viewers are over 54, while for AEW, sometimes more than half of their viewers are 18-49, which is the prime NBA audience. 
  • AEW tapes both Dynamite & Rampage in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Dynamite lists C.M. Punk vs. Dustin Rhodes, Darby Allin vs. Andrade El Idolo in a coffin match, Wardlow vs. The Butcher, Hook vs. ?, and Britt Baker (Home town) vs. Danielle Kamela (Vanessa Borne in WWE). Matches taped for Friday will include Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Garcia with everyone banned from ringside and Jade Cargill vs. Marina Shafir for the TBS title. They are advertising a Tony Khan special announcement.
  • Roman Reigns is scheduled to headline WrestleMania Backlash even though they don't seem to have started a program for him. Also, regarding rumors of brand mergers because of the singles title merger and the tag title merger, right now they are not merging rosters. Of course Vince could decide something different five minutes from now but as of right now nobody has heard anything discussed in that direction.
  • Regarding Windy City Riot, FITE does have the feed fixed so you can watch or order Saturday's show with no problems. The last two matches are fantastic (Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki and Jon Moxley vs. Will Ospreay). We're looking for your thoughts on the show with a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with the best and worst match to
  • We're looking for reports from Buffalo tonight for Raw, with the Main Event matches and if there are any dark matches or anything not notable that happens that is on television to We're also looking for reports on the WWE's weekend shows in Erie, PA on Saturday night and Syracuse, NY last night.
  • Paul Levesque spoke to The Athletic about NXT and its changes. We will talk more about this tonight. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk and many others)
  • While streaming is thought to be the wave of the future, and may be, as it turns out, if the U.K. is an example, it's not as smooth sailing as we thought. (Thanks to Stephen Lyon)
  • Michael Bisping said he's not ruling out coming out of retirement for a boxing match with Jake Paul. Bisping said he was happily retired but he misses the thrill of competition and doesn't see Paul as a threat. The reality is, the idea any commission that would allow Bisping to fight with just one eye would be beyond abhorrent. Which is to say, they probably could find one that would.
  • Among reporters scoring Friday's A.J. McKee vs. Patricio Pitbull Freire fight, according to MMA Decisions, 81% had Freire winning. That fight is the latest in the almost weekly argument for open scoring. I know of boxing tradition and all the complaints about "what if" that I've heard for decades, but it is in practice in Europe and Japan and two U.S. promotions (Invicta and Combate) do it and most feel it's been a great positive. Commissions are so slow to make changes and I remember it first being brought up in the 90s at a Nevada hearing and nobody even wanted to hear about it at the time.


  • AEW tickets were put on sale Friday for the 6/22 show in Milwaukee and were at 3,584 this morning. That's normal range for AEW these days for first week. (thanks to Wrestle Tix)
  • Jonathan Gresham pulled out of the Progress show over the weekend in London due to suffering what was believed to have been a concussion on Friday night's match with Dalton Castle (which aired on Saturday). 
  • A story on Jacob Henry, the son of Mark Henry who is a high school sophomore who is starring in wrestling and football.

Other Notes

  • Ricky Morton noted that he hit his head during a match with the SAT's on Saturday night and said he was lost for the majority of the rest of the match.
  • A story on Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart in Ocala, FL over the weekend including appearing on Dory Funk Jr's show in the city. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • A review of the new book "Dynamite and Davey" about one of the most influential tag teams of all-time, the British Bulldogs.
  • KSW announced that Zurko Jojua has pulled out of his 4/23 bantamweight title fight with Sebastian Przybysz Werlieson Martins (16-4) was announced as the replacement.
  • PFL runs on ESPN on Wednesday night in prime time with Jeremy Stephens vs. Clay Collard, Raush Manfio vs. Don Madge, Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Delan Monte and Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Natan Schulte all in tournament fights. 
  • The 2009 TNA Turning Point PPV headlined by A.J. Styles vs Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels, Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe (Nigel McGuinness) and Scott Steiner vs. Bobby Lashley will air on AXS at 3 p.m. Eastern on Thursday this week.
  • Luke Jacobs beat Warren Banks and Jonah to win the Progress Atlas tournament yesterday in London. Jonah won his first round match over Rickey Shane Page.
  • Stardom from yesterday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo: Thekla b Lady C, Hazuki & Hanan & Momo Kohgo b Tam Nakano & Mina Shirakawa & Waka Tsukiyama, Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani & AZM & Hina & Miyu Amasaki b Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid & Ruaka & Rina & Fukigen Death, Saya Iida b Mai Sakurai (Cinderella tournament), Natsupoi b Unagi Sayaka (Cinderella tournament), Koguma b Giulia (over the top rope finish in the Cinderella tournament), Saki Kashima b Mayu Iwatani (Cinderella tournament, match lasted 17 seconds), Syuri & Ami Sorei d Maika & Himeka 15:00, Koguma b Saya Iida in the Cinderella tournament, Mirai b Saki Kashima in the Cinderella tournament. The tournament ends on 4/29 in Tokyo.