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Daily Update: WWE notes, Impact in UK & Ireland, Will Hobbs


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WON NEWSLETTER: February 1, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WWE Network-NBCU Peacock deal

The most in-depth look at the WWE's new deal with the Peacock Network is the lead story in the new double-issue of the Observer.

We look at who the deal was put together, the finances behind it, is it a good deal for all parties, what goals there are for each side, how this affects the TV landscape and Smackdown in particular, how much money WWE was getting before and after from the Network, television vs. streaming when it comes to homes in the U.S., comparisons to UFC's deal with ESPN, quotes from the key parties, the financial viability of NBC purchasing WWE, the stock price, network subscriber numbers, money in modern PPVs, WWE projected profitability, why the method wrestlers are paid makes no sense in today's game, and notes fromall ke parties.

Also in this issue:

NBC shutting down NBC Sports Network affects both the USA Network and how it could impact WWE.

Amanda Huber's timeline of the death of Brodie Lee from her interview with Tony Schaivone and Aubrey Edwards this week, his symptoms, treatments, and what the doctors thought.

UFC 257, including an update on the business of the show and television viewership, plus full coverage of what could end up as the biggest show of the year, and was one of the biggest PPV events in history.

2021 Royal Rumble, people rumored to be in that won't be, others that could be, and thoughts on the build and the matches.

WrestleMania, Young Rock, Daniel Bryan talks his future, WWE talent listed among the most marketable in sports and losses in ad revenue to performs in social media accounts, Undertaker says current wrestles are soft and Bill Goldberg, Mick Foley and Drew McIntyre respond, Nick Khan talks future of rights fees, where AEW stands, NXT India, Teases of Japanese star signing, International TV ratings, most-watched  shows on the WWE Network and strongest athletes in WWE developmental.

New Japan's show at Ota Ward Gym this past week with its parody main event plus the big shows upcoming this week.

WWE's TV special for India and look at the talent from that country that the company wants to build a promotion around.

A huge story on Hank Aaron, Civil Rights, Bill Watts and how they all intersected in the early 90s.

Comparison piece on the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, looking at their wins, losses, bouts with major names and where they stand in relation to each other.

The death of El Hijo de Anibal and the legacy of the mask created by his father, one of the biggest stars of the 1970s, including the match that was the first big title match to give the UWA credibility.

 Television ratings of the past week, including segment-by-segment numbers for the past two weeks on Wednesday, who was watching in different age groups, how different segments did on Raw & Smackdown and more.

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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  • Stephanie McMahon told TV Insider about WWE’s plans for WrestleMania to go back to being a one-night event after this year: “We want to maximize the value. The two nights are unique to the times. [We have plans] to go back to one night for future WrestleMania events, but of course we will see what happens this year. We want to deliver the best possible value we can for our fans who are hopefully able to attend and for those watching all around the world.”
  • During an appearance on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Roman Reigns responded to The Undertaker’s comments where Undertaker claimed that today’s WWE product and wrestlers are “a little soft.” Reigns ended his response by saying that he thinks “it was just like a retired guy trying to sound gangster."
  • Wade Barrett announced yesterday that he’s now officially a citizen of the United States: “Today, after 13.5 years of living in this great nation, I have been granted Citizenship of the USA. Thank you for embracing this Englishman. World Cups aside, I will continue to support you in everything you do. To Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Cheers!”
  • The Bella Twins, DDP, Rikishi, Tegan Nox, Sam Roberts, Vic Joseph, Kayla Braxton and the cast of WWE’s The Bump, RJ City, Queen of the Ring: Alex Pagan, Superfan Mike Brown, and more will appear on WWE Watch Along during tomorrow night’s Royal Rumble PPV.
  • Fox Sports interviewed Goldberg ahead of his WWE Championship match against Drew McIntyre at the Royal Rumble. Goldberg was asked what he thinks about those who complain about him being featured in a title match instead of younger talent: “They can complain all they want. I was brought in for a reason. I’m a relief pitcher. I’d like to think that I’m the top-echelon relief pitcher, and if they didn’t think there was value in bringing in that relief pitcher to close out the game, then they wouldn’t call me. I don’t make the decisions. I just follow orders, and I go out and do my job. And I try to do my job to the best of my ability. And though it may be far removed from when I was at my prime, I can still kick 98.9% of their asses. And if they don’t think that, then that’s why I’m back. If they don’t think that, then walk up to me and ask me. Ask me, ;Do you think I’m ready?’ Well, I’ll show you, and I’ll find out if you’re ready. And Drew McIntyre is the first one of that next generation.”
  • Goldberg also appeared on this week’s episode of Corey Graves’ After the Bell podcast.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura cut a promo vowing to win the men’s Royal Rumble. Nakamura said he’s done everything he can for his family and his career over the last three years, but the World title is the one thing that’s been missing. Nakamura said he almost forgot who he was, but the King of Strong Style is back. Nakamura ended the promo by saying that Reigns isn’t the head of his table.
  • WWE released this year’s version of their Royal Rumble: By the Numbers video.
  • The Metro asked Charlotte Flair if she’d consider a character transformation like Alexa Bliss has undergone: “So I think about that all the time. What would that look like for me? And it’s scary, right. Because the package of how I see my character, it’s so polished. It really would be -- s darker makeup and darker robes, is that a big enough switch? Like, I can’t imagine not having the larger than life glamourous entrance. Like, that’s part of it. Once you go so far one way, it’s really hard going back the other. So, is it subtle changes? That’s something I’ve been thinking about in the last few weeks.”
  • Bleacher Report has an article on MVP and his WWE redemption story.
  • Sasha Banks’ Mandalorian character Koska Reeves is getting a Hasbro action figure..
  • Denise Salcedo interviewed Peyton Royce.
  • WWE uploaded the trailer for their WWE Icons episode on Yokozuna. The series premieres on the WWE Network on demand at 10 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow and will also air on the WWE Network live stream after the Royal Rumble. Bret Hart, Rikishi, and Sgt. Slaughter have been announced as guests for this week’s WWE Icons post-show. It’s called WWE Icons Revisited and is being hosted by Matt Camp and Ryan Pappolla. The post-show is also being uploaded to the WWE Network on demand at 10 a.m. Eastern tomorrow and will air on the live stream after WWE Icons.
  • Today is Becky Lynch’s 34th birthday. Drake Maverick also turns 38 years old today.
  • WWE's YouTube channel uploaded the 2020 women’s Royal Rumble match, Kurt Angle vs. JBL in a Last Man Standing match from the January 27, 2005 episode of SmackDown, and AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a handicap match for the WWE Championship from Royal Rumble 2018. 

Other Wrestling

  • Episodes of Impact Wrestling in the United Kingdom and Ireland will now premiere on YouTube and Facebook: “From Wednesday, weekly episodes of IMPACT! will be available to stream on Facebook and YouTube in the UK & Ireland, within hours of the American broadcast! This is the new way to watch the UK premiere of IMPACT Wrestling's flagship weekly show... More to follow! #IMPACTUK” When asked about their status with FreeSports, Impact wrote that there will be more info to come next week.
  • AEW’s Will Hobbs is the guest on the latest episode of Talk is Jericho. Hobbs opened up about his brother dying while taking a bullet for him: “We were tight. He wanted to be in the wrestling business and he wanted to be my manager. He was a tall, lanky dude, like Slick. He can talk. We always said he can sell an Eskimo snow. He had that type of game. He got into the wrong crowd and ended up not doing what you’re supposed to do. He ended up getting shot and I ended up getting hit in the forearm getting shoved out of the way. He shoved me out of the way and then took a bullet. I was 22 at the time. It’s a shared dream with him.”
  • The Fight Network released a documentary on RJ City.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWE Royal Rumble 2005