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WON Preview (February 22, 2021): Death of Tom Cole, NXT TakeOver review

February 22, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Death of Tom Cole, NXT TakeOver review

The death of Tom Cole this week takes us back to one of the most sordid pro wrestling stories of the last 50 years, which involved media heavyweights at the time like Phil Donahue, Larry King, Geraldo Rivera and Phil Mushnick.  

It's the lead story of a double issue with so many major show of the past week.

We look at the story and its tragic end this past week and all the key characters involved.  We look at Cole's death, what exactly happened to him,  different media appearances at the time, the WWF first settling his case, the  unique plans for the Phil Donahue show, at the time the leading daytime talk show in the U.S. with a gigantic audience and how Vince McMahon planned the show and why it never transpired the way it was planned.

We look at Cole's memories of what happened, and things that triggered his past including a first suicide attempt that few knew about.  This is a major piece of wrestling history that has been largely hidden except from those who were around at the time.

We've got full coverage of NXT Takeover show with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results of what undoubtedly will be considered among the best shows of 2021.

We also look at WWE not offering raises and promotions and how that went down this past week, as well as a look at WWE performer salaries if they were paid the same percentage as sports stars or even UFC fighters.  We look at Lacey Evans'  pregnancy, a pilot for a new WWE Network show filmed, the attempt to re-litigate the concussion case and its likely outcome, injury updates, details of a number of different people having signed new deals, who they are and their background.  We've got notes on how many sport saw Sasha Banks start the Daytona 500, Finn Balor talks staying in NXT, TV show with WWE stars as guests, WWE & AEW international TV ratings and how last week's shows did compared to other sports.  We look at another celebrity training to appear in WWE rings, upcoming TV matches, a What ever happened to, current company value and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

We also look more at the situation with Gina Carano and her social message posts that cost her a television series was was to be built around her, her new affiliation, and the situation with Ariel Helwani, Dana White and ESPN as well as media criticism of ESPN for how they handled the situation.

We've got complete coverage of UFC 258 with match-by-match coverage and all the business news.

We've got a story on how Keiji Muto became one of the oldest world champions in history, why NOAH made the move, a look at NOAH today after its biggest show in many years.

We update WWE social media regulations for its talent, what is and isn't allowed.

We also look at the debut episode of "Young Rock," its ratings, and what was real, nor real and in between about the stories with a look at early women wrestling promoters, Rocky Johnson, Peter Maivia, Lia Maivia and Dwayne Johnson growing up.

We also look at the second night of New Japan's New Beginning in Hiroshima..

We also have the most detailed look at the 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.

Also in this issue:

--Government ruling on allowing wrestling back in Mexico City

--Update on Konnan

--AAA wrestlers looking for bookings

--Strange situation with Laredo Kid and Lio Rush and the AAA cruiserweight title

--2021 Champion Carnival dates

--New Japan in talks with a U.S. television station

--New Japan injury notes

--A look at the smallest crowds in New Japan history at Korakuen Hall from this past week

--Hana Kimura Memorial show

--DDT runs a major show and Jun Akiyama comes out as world champion

--Stardom Budokan Hall card announced

--What women's wrestling legends are going to appear on the Stardom Budokan Hall show

--More news on Blue Demon Jr. and Caristico running for mayor of municipalities in Mexico

--More on WrestleCon running WrestleMania week

--Death of Mexico star Big Ovett from COVID

--Return of Josh Barnett's Bloodsport

--Former WWE star non-compete period has ended

--A look at a pro wrestling documentary about three women trying t make it in wrestling

--Notes on the next ROH PPV show

--A look at the Sammy Guevara Impact controversy

--Coverage of Impact's big show and TV show and where storylines are headed

--Update on the AEW Revolution PPV show

--Notes on the explosive barbed wire match

--Next two weeks of AEW TV

--Cody Rhodes talks Shaquille O'Neal training for the match

--Cody Rhodes talks relationship with New Japan

--More on the Kip Sabian/Penelope Ford wedding

--Jim Ross talks about Butch Reed

--Jon Moxley talks to Garrett Gonzalez about writing his autobiography

--Japanese bracket rundown of AEW women's tournament

--Dark and BTE rundowns

--Talk on the retirement of Stefan Struve and the health issues that kept him from being a superstar in the sport

--Lots of new UFC fights made

--How much money top UFC names are making from social media that WWE stars no longer are

--PFL gets financing for the next few seasons

--The crazy Bryan Caraway/Miesha Tate story about her SUV, his allegedly stealing it and an insurance claim and why he was arrested

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