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Daily Update: WWE Raw, Crown Jewel, Cain Velasquez

News and notes on tonight's Raw, WWE and Saudi Arabia, and more.

Daily Update

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

*Match and performer of the week
*WWE business in detail, explanations and comments from Nick Khan, Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon
*Where revenue increased
*Numbers after the first nine months of the year
*WWE current value
*Lots of talk on the Bray Wyatt angle and how it performed
*Levesque talks the Wyatt angle
*Levesque talks future booking
*Notes on how the major events performed
*New TV shows WWE is producing
*Nick Khan talks sports rights
*Vince McMahon investigation notes
*How Raw and Smackdown are dong compared to the rest of television
*Why the USA Network needs Raw or it will become an also-ran station
*Khan talks future of television
*WWE attendance
*Nick Khan's contract
*Jeff Jarrett, Colt Cabana, Katsuyori Shibata and Mike Tyson in AEW
*Jarrett's planned role
*Why Cabana was brought back
*The back story on Shibata
*WWE Crown Jewel note
*The first pro wrestling show at the new Ariake Arena
*Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Great Muta and how it was set up
*New Japan's Rumble on 44th Street coverage
*UFC weekend coverage
*The most detailed look at TV numbers over the past week
*Streaming and international TV numbers
*Wrestler gets heat from the family of the originator of his gimmick'
*Stardom PPV coverage
*Popular wrestling TV show being revived in 2023
*Vikingo debuts outside Mexico
*MLW recent hires from ROH
*Dynamite ratings for the year as compared to last year
*AEW stars in England
*Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva PPV numbers
*WWE PPV updates
*WWE returns
*WWE injury notes
*Story behind recent WWE cuts
*Sheamus wedding
*Ticket sales for upcoming shows

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

September 21, 2005 Observer Newsletter: Spike & WWE counterprogram one another, TNA Unbreakable

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Monday News Update

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- Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw, PWG, Crown Jewel fallout, AEW Dynamite and the rest of the latest news with Wrestling Observer Radio. For those who are subscribers you can ask questions on subjects during the show.

- Raw is tonight from Wilkes-Barre, PA. The number should be well up from last week, because it's not Halloween and it's coming off Saturday's Crown Jewel show. Tonight's game is the Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints, so Lamar Jackson goes from being on Dynamite last week to going against Raw this week. It's not a game that should hurt Raw any worse than a normal week. Raw had just under 4,600 tickets out which is one of the lower Raw crowds this year, but above most of the recent Dynamite crowds.

- Crown Jewel seems to have been the most watched and talked about version of the show to date. Some of the earlier shows were on Thursdays so obviously a Saturday show will have more viewers. But Google searches for the event were 300,000, above usual for a B show, and two-thirds of them were for Logan Paul. The belief is that there were more viewers on Peacock than any prior Saudi Arabia show. Keep in mind Peacock subscribers are way up from this period last year and up somewhat from the spring, but still, early reports were it was the most viewers and it was the most searched. So from a business standpoint, early returns were that the main event was a success. Obviously from an in-ring standpoint it was a huge success.  

- We're looking for reports from Raw in Wilkes-Barre with Main Event matches and any dark matches to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

- We're also looking for your thoughts on both WWE Crown Jewel and NJPW Battle Autumn, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

- Once again the UFC show from the Apex didn't crack the top 20 on Saturday's Google searches. Both Crown Jewel and Logan Paul did at No. 9 and No. 10. No. 20 was 50,000 so the UFC show did less than that.

- Cain Velasquez had his pre-trial hearing in San Jose today. No ruling was made as of last report but the court house saw several officers who were part of the case testify. A number of MMA fighters were there as well as Javier Mendez, Velasquez's head coach during his career and others from AKA. One of the officers on the scene, who described Velasquez as being cooperative and respectful, said Velasquez told him that his son wasn't the same after allegedly being molested and that his son was not the only child he believed had been molested. Velasquez has been held without bond since the early part of the year.

- ESPN and other places noted that there is an investigation into betting on the Darrick Minner vs. Shayilan Nueredanbieke fight on Saturday's UFC show. Money came in heavy on Neurdanbieke winning in the first round by knockout after rumors got out that Minner was injured. Some sports books took the fight off the boards. The odds moved from -220 to -420 over four hours before the fight started. The fight ended when Minner threw a left kick 30 seconds in grabbed his left leg and Nuerdanbieke dropped Minner with a knee and finished him in 1:07 with elbows on the ground. U.S. Integrity noted gaming regulators about this movement three hours before the fight started. U.S. Integrity has no enforcement power to take fights off the blocks and can only recommend. ESPN reported a source in Minner's camp said Minner's left knee was injured going into the right. The UFC said that their betting integrity partner, Don Best Sports, will conduct a thorough investigation of the fight and report the findings. "At this time we have no reason to believe either of the athletes involved in the bout, or anyone associated with their teams, behaved in an unhealthy or irresponsible manner." Oddsmaker Joey Odessa said that he noticed the late betting interest and was aware of alerts being sent to sports books, and said that doesn't mean the fix was in, but some people definitely knew something. It's notable this did not happen in the more high-profile Aljamain Sterling vs. TJ Dillashaw fight where Dillashaw came in injured, but obviously people didn't know that.

- Drew McIntyre is currently on a promotional tour of India. Omos was in Nigeria as part of the company scouting for new talent in the country. Omos saw his family for the first time in 14 years this weekend.

- Roman Reigns is being advertised for SmackDown on Friday. He's expected on Survivor Series, whether that's in a title match or a War Games match will likely become obvious on Friday.

- Tales from the Territories will cover Polynesian Pro Wrestling, which is the company that Dwayne Johnson's grandfather, Peter Maivia, and after his death, his grandmother, Lia Maivia ran. They are apparently going to cover the 1961 Neff Maiava vs. Curtis Iaukea match, which due to the brawl with the Hawaiians and Samoans after the match, is the most famous match in the history of Hawaiian wrestling. This was long before Polynesian Pro, and was Ed Francis' promotion which was the heyday of wrestling there in the 60s.

- PWInsider reports WWE will return to Saudi Arabia in May with no date finalized.

- Wrestle Tix lists 16,903 tickets out for Saturday's UFC in Madison Square Garden with 1,718 seats not yet sold. The main event is Israel Adesayna vs. Alex Periera for the middleweight title and Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili for the women's strawweight title in one of the better mani cards of the year.

Other Notes

- On Jeopardy on Friday, in the category Champions and Tournaments, they asked about an event in 1993 that started with Royce Gracie winning the first two tournaments. A contestant answered it correctly as 'What is the UFC?' (thanks to Grant Zwarych)

- Davey Boy Smith Jr. won the CWE Central Canadian title from Berat Gorani on 11/3 in Prince Albert. (thanks to Dwayne Soper)

- WAR on 12/3 in Lima, OH at the Empowered Sports Center.

- Pro Wrestling Eve Wrestle Queendom takes place Sunday at 229 The Venue in London. The show is a five match card headlined by Jetta defending her title against Alex Windsor. Laura Di Mateo defends the Eve International title against Pure J champion Yuu with both titles at stake. Rin Kadokura of Marvelous, the daughter-in-law of Akira Hokuto, will face Maria. Millie McKenzie also faces Miyu Yamashita.

- Alfonso Leyla (6-0), who wrestled for Mexico in the 2016 and 2020 Olympic as a Greco-Roman wrestler, faces Chris Brown (9-4) and former UFC fighter Sabina Mazo (9-4) faces Jamey-Ly Horth (5-0) for LFA on 12/9 at the Commerce Casino & Hotel in Commerce, CA on UFC Fight Pass.