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Daily Update: WWE notes, Young Rock, AEW women's tournament


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WON NEWSLETTER: February 15, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Butch Reed bio, Bellator to Showtime

A look at the career of 80s star Hacksaw Butch Reed, who passed away this past week, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at all of his titles won, sports career before wrestling, what was and wasn't exaggerated about him, how he got started in wrestling, how fast it was that he was moved to star status, including main eventing at the key wrestling arenas in the country very early, the role Dory Funk Jr, made in his career, how he was booked, a super tag team with Skip Young that few outside of Florida ever saw, feuding with the biggest names on top, his matches with Ric Flair up and down the state of Florida, his sellout with Flair in St. Louis, runs in Georgia and his move to Mid South, his Mid South runs, the high point of his career, his feud with JYD, his Superdome main events, his face and heel turns, his biggest angles, his fight with John Nord and his departure from Mid South, his meeting with Slick, heading to WWF as The Natural Butch Reed, and his WCW run as part of the tag team of Doom with Ron Simmons, life after wrestling and his feelings on Will Hobbs.

Also in this issue:

Nick Khan's talk about things WWE is doing to try and get new fans, a look at the aging of the sports audience and how wrestling fits in, update on Braun Strowman, update on John Cena TV series, son of 90s star starting in WWE camp, WWE  star talks having a stroke, WWE star gets stalked, experience of being in the Thunderdome and what they look for, how WWE & AEW did compared to sports this past week, international rtings news, more on COVID's effect onWWE, big matches coming on upcoming shows, WWE market value and most-watched shows on the WWE Network this past week.

Bellator's new broadcast deals in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as main events for the first shows in April, and look at the light heavyweight tournament.

New Beginning in Hiroshima and the Castle Attack cards for New Japan.

Most-watched televised pro wrestling matches in history, including Hogan vs. Andre and Rikidozan vs. Destroyer.

Preview the next two WWE major shows.

Saturday's UFC event with the potential knockout of the year.

Gina Carano losing her job in "The Mandalorian" on the anniversary of her landmark fight with Julie Kedzie.

A feature looking at the best matches of top wrestlers of 2020.

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

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

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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.


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  • In an interview with Bleacher Report, NXT Champion Finn Balor spoke about the jaw injury he suffered at TakeOver 31 in October: "Obviously, at WWE, we have such incredible doctors, and it was really down to them that I remained champion. There was a lot of confusion between doctors we went to locally that could have misdiagnosed the severity of the injury, and obviously with the return afterward, the window kept getting bigger and bigger. Originally, we planned I wouldn't be out for too long and it was the dynamic of the injury that prolonged it a little bit and the healing and stuff. That was really down to the WWE doctors and making sure I was 100 percent and protected at all times. There was never any doubt whether I would relinquish the title. Maybe in hindsight, if we knew how long it was going to be, that might have been different. But at the time, we always imagined it was going to be a much shorter time frame. That's how it went down.”
  • Balor also discussed the plans for when he made his return to NXT in 2019: “The initial thought process was we'll go to NXT, see how it works out, and it might be three months, it might be six months, there's no real plan. I know there's been discussion back and forth a couple of times about whether I should go back to Raw or SmackDown, but for me, I'm very happy in NXT and I'm willing to give my heart and soul in NXT as long as there's a position there for me. Nothing's been concrete and there's been no set time frame on anything. It was more like, 'Finn, would you like to be a part of NXT?' 'Absolutely.' NXT is a part of me and I want to be there. As long as there's a position there for me, I'm very grateful for it.”
  • NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai told Sports Illustrated that facing Stardom’s Mayu Iwtani at a TakeOver would be a dream match for her: “Yes, Mayu Iwatani is certainly one of my greatest rivals. If we ever have the opportunity to compete for the title at an NXT TakeOver, I am confident we would put on a great show. It is definitely a dream match for me.”
  • Shirai was also asked if she would like to compete at WrestleMania 37 and if she’d like to defend her title against Meiko Satomura: “No question about it. WrestleMania is the grandest stage we have in this business and I have always wanted to compete under that spotlight. A match with Meiko Satomura is another dream match for me. Fortunately she has joined NXT UK, making it a real possibility now. I am so excited.”
  • PWInsider reported yesterday that WWE informed employees and staffers in different departments of a freeze where promotions and raises will not be going forward. The report noted that there’s been no word on how long the freeze will last.
  • Kevin Makely will play “Macho Man” Randy Savage” and comedian Adam Ray will play Vince McMahon in NBC’s Young Rock. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wrote: “Two iconic men who weren’t easy to cast, but I think we delivered. @kevin_makely is the Macho Man and @adamraycomedy is the @wwe chairman Vince McMahon. Circa 1982.. before the wrestling boom #YoungRock premieres THIS TUES on @NBC!!!”
  • Young Rock executive producer and former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz appeared on the latest episode of The Masked Man Show.
  • During a Twitter Q&A, CM Punk was asked how he feels about Edge winning this year’s men’s Royal Rumble: “Super stoked for him to get a second act. And jealous of his abs.”
  • WWE has filed a trademark for “NXT UK: Prelude.”
  • The WWE Performance Center’s YouTube channel released a “Ruff Beginnings” video on Leon Ruff’s journey to NXT.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Eddie Guerrero & John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar & Big Show from the February 12, 2004 episode of SmackDown, Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair for the NXT Women’s Championship from TakeOver: Portland, and an eight-man tag team match with Batista, Shawn Michaels, Cena & The Undertaker facing Edge, Randy Orton, MVP & Mr. Kennedy from the February 15, 2007 episode of Raw.

Other Wrestling

  • AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida and Haruo Murata will be doing Japanese commentary for the Japanese bracket of AEW’s Women’s Championship eliminator tournament: “After the Mon, Feb 15th premiere of the AEW women's eliminator tournament Japan bracket. The next day - Tue, Feb 16th at 9am EST we will have a special Japanese commentary version w/ @MTHaruo & AEW women's world champion @shidahikaru calling the action!”
  • While doing his Twitter Q&A, CM Punk named five AEW wrestlers whose potential stands out to him: “I see five guys that have potential. Hobbs, Darbs, Pillman, Starks, Jungle Boy. And that’s not to say there are others, but those guys stick out.”
  • Arn Anderson’s son Brock has filed a trademark for the name “Brock Anderson.”
  • During an appearance on the Battleground Podcast, Jay Lethal discussed his decision to re-sign with ROH: “To me, one of the easiest decisions of my life. You know, I’m a big proponent of loyalty. If you treat me well, then I will treat you well in return and I think there’s something to be said for not just going to the highest bidder. For instance, my former employer IMPACT Wrestling, I still think to this day if they had not ever let me go then I would be there. They gave me the greatest night of my life, one of them wrestling my idol Ric Flair. I would’ve spent my career there, but unfortunately that didn’t happen and Ring of Honor has treated me so well, they’ve made me the face of their company. They put two belts on me at one time. I don’t have a negative thing to say about them. So yeah, no, it was a very easy decision for me.”

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Shawn Michaels loses his smile