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Daily Update: WWE Toronto, AEW notes, MLW Blood & Thunder


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WON NEWSLETTER: December 20, 2021 Observer Newsletter: ROH Final Battle, NJPW Super Juniors/Tag League finals reviews

In this week's issue: 

  • How ROH came to be, its start, highs and lows, peak, legacy and perhaps its ending
  • Match of the week and performers of the week
  • A look at the three NJPW Wrestle Kingdom shows and details
  • NJPW Best of the Super Juniors, World Tag League, and last major show of the year
  • The voting, politics and results of the 2021 Tokyo Sports awards for Japanese pro wrestling
  • History of every Japanese MVP of the last 48 years
  • The sad story of Jimmy Rave
  • Kevin Owens signs new WWE deal and a look back at his career
  • Update on WWE Day One PPV and notable business
  • Why WWE Raw may be struggling badly over the next month
  • Updates on ticket sales for all major WWE and AEW events
  • Those who have worked for AEW at WWE tryouts this week
  • AEW Winter is Coming Danielson vs. Page, which type of viewers grew the most, which didn't, the realities of the rating and the ratings patterns of pro wrestling the last seven weeks
  • Thoughts on Jon Huber and his wife's story
  • Thoughts on AEW potential additions
  • International TV ratings
  • The audience of all shows over the past week, what is the pattern across the board and why the pattern is something ratings or even 18-49s don't tell you
  • Thoughts on two incredible matches on the same day and compare and contrast Danielson vs. Page and Takahashi vs. YOH
  • The beginning of Flair vs. Sting and the dozens of matches before the famous one in Greensboro
  • UFC 269, where things go from here for the key stars, one of the biggest upsets, business numbers and what stats UFC on TV was strongest in, plus fight-by-fight notes

Current subscribers click here to read.

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  • WWE’s house show at Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto on Wednesday, December 29 will be held at 50 percent capacity. A message was sent telling fans that an optional refund period will be opened for those who, out of an abundance of caution, would prefer not to attend.
  • In an interview with Z100’s Josh Martinez, Seth Rollins discussed his character in WWE: “God, it’s as if – it’s as if this crazy – if The Joker were a narcissist going through a midlife crisis. I guess that’s the best way to really put it [description of his character]. I don’t really know any other way to do it. But yeah, it’s a lot. It’s a lot happening but the cool thing about the character is it can kind of go any which way. There’s a lot of unpredictability with it and I think that’s fun, you know? You can have matches like a Hell in a Cell match with Edge, but you can also have television segments where I just laugh with my best friend Bayley for five minutes. So, you know, I just think that there’s not a lot of characters on our television program that can do all these different things and so, that’s kind of just my approach to where I’m at right now.”
  • On les Anti-Pods de la Lutte, Kevin Owens gave his thoughts on NXT 2.0:

Today’s NXT is very different than the NXT I was part of, to the point I believe it should have a totally different name. And I don’t think it’s better or worse, but it’s just too different. So when I’m watching NXT, I don’t see the NXT I was part of. It’s not the same thing. It’s a little bit like Ring of Honor. The ROH of old days and the ROH now, it’s just not the same thing. So to me, it’s completely two different products, so when I’m watching it, I put myself in the mindset we had when I was at NXT and the mindset there seems to have right now, it’s completely different. It’s very hard for me to compare them. I don’t even consider that to be the same show. I don’t really feel any attachment to NXT now. Listen, there are very talented people working there, and I have watched the last TakeOver show they did and there were parts of it that I thought was really good, but it’s like a few years ago, if they had asked me to go back to NXT, I would have said yes. But f they would ask me that now, I don’t think I would be as receptive to go back, because it’s not the same thing. I don’t think I fit in the new NXT as I was fitting in the NXT I was part of, with guys like Sami, Finn, Samoa Joe and Nakamura. When I watch NXT now, I don’t feel the same thing I felt when I was watching NXT two years ago.

Other Wrestling

  • Sting spoke to Sports Illustrated about returning to the Greensboro Coliseum for tonight’s Holiday Bash edition of Dynamite: “This means the world to me. I never thought I’d be back here like this. I thought I was just going to disappear from wrestling, and I didn’t like the thought of that. Then I came to AEW, and originally, we were just going to explore cinematic matches. And I got in the ring. I can still hear Cody [Rhodes] telling me about my kinetic energy and that I could wrestle a match. I was like, ‘Ease up now, Cody.’ Then I heard Darby say, ‘Steve, you can do it.’ This entire stretch, and now coming back to Greensboro, it has all been surreal.”
  • Bryan Danielson told Asbury Park Press about his 60-minute draw against Hangman Page: “If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would do a 60-minute match on television, I would have been like, ‘Where’s that happening?’ So I’ve had some really cool surprises this year.”
  • In his interview with CBS Sports, Tony Khan was asked if he’s interested in bringing Danhausen into AEW: “He was on the Jericho Cruise interacting with a lot of the AEW wrestlers and that was great. He's had an injury recently, so it's something to keep an eye on for sure. But he's got a big following and he does sell some merch and he's a very nice guy. So he's got a lot of things going for him."
  • When asked by CBS Sports what his take is on how unionization could or should work in pro wrestling, Khan said he had no comment.
  • Serena Deeb spoke to Wrestling Inc about starting to help out with producing in AEW while she was injured: “In the meantime, when I was kind of sitting on the sidelines I stepped into the coaching role and the producing role. Kind of like the stuff I was doing before at the other company. I’m helping them with their matches, I am on headset next to Tony calling their matches, talking to the truck, doing all of that. I love that too and, you know what? That has an exhilarating component in itself. Like, especially when you really help and then you watch them go out there and they kill it. You feel like you’re part of that, it’s very rewarding.”
  • During an appearance on The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast, Sonny Kiss spoke about being part of AEW

It’s been honestly like a dream come true. Obviously there’s times where I’m like, ‘Ah, I wish I could be featured more, I wish I could be like, you know, in the spotlight more’ and there’s so many talent that comes in and they get their just due because a lot of them are so, so talented. Like you look at someone like Dante Martin who’s so young but he’s amazing and he’s such a wonderful person and like totally deserves all that he’s getting but also there’s times when I’m just like, ‘Damn, I want to do some cool stuff too. I want to do more and more and more and more.’ I think that’ll come eventually with time too and patience and you know, I gotta keep working hard and keep pushing through.

  • Johnny Gargano made an appearance on Iron-On Wrestling with Gregory Iron. Gargano was asked if he feels like he had accomplished everything there is to accomplish in NXT:

I definitely felt very complete. I felt complete for the past year. This wasn't a decision that came out of nowhere. This was a decision I decided a year ago. Luckily, it worked out to where me and Candice are having a baby. The baby really finalized my decision on what I wanted to do and how I wanted to take this time. I'm very much a guy where I could have stayed comfortable for a very long time and I love NXT, the door is open, I can go back whenever I want. WWE in general, I can go back whenever I want. I really appreciate that because I'm so grateful that the company I dreamed of working for my entire life still wants me for a very long time, which is really cool. It's one of those things where I am a competitive person and I feel like I've climbed that mountain. There are other mountains I want to climb and other things I want to try and do, not just in wrestling, but life in general. Other avenues I want to try. I've always been enamored with creating content and things like that. Now I have free time to try to do that. I'm very lucky to have a loyal fanbase that has followed me and continues to follow me even though I'm not in NXT and am doing my own thing now.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Rikidozan wins Japanese Heavyweight title