DAILY UPDATE

Latest News:

WWE SmackDown ratings down slightly for Rumble go-home show   
Dustin ‘Screech’ Diamond passes away at 44 years old   
VIDEO: Being The Elite – New BTE Champion   
New Untold episode to premiere on WWE Network this weekend   
WWE formally announces hiring of SVP of Creative Writing Operations   
Jonathan Gresham signs new contract with ROH   
John Cena says ‘no logistical way’ he can be at WWE WrestleMania 37   
Sasha Banks appearing on WWE Network’s Broken Skull Sessions   
NJPW Road to The New Beginning results: 10-man elimination match   
Jay White returns at NJPW Road to The New Beginning 

Latest Audio:

WOL: Royal Rumble 2021 fallout, John Cena, tons more!
WOR: Royal Rumble 2021, New Japan, Moxley, The National, more!
B&V&C: WWE Royal Rumble 2021 recap show!


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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.


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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking a lot of Royal Rumble fallout, as well as Raw, Jay White and more wrestling and MMA news on Wrestling Observer Radio. If you’ve got questions for the show you can send them to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

Not sure when this will be officially announced, but Roman Reigns vs. Edge is the planned main event at WrestleMania. The Bianca Belair match isn’t 100 percent right now.

The Royal Rumble had 1 million searches yesterday making it the second most searched item on the Internet in the U.S.  It’s the same as a normal level UFC PPV show. That’s the exact number we had predicted for it yesterday. Dustin Diamond is No. 1 today and has topped 2 million. We’re looking for your thoughts on both the Royal Rumble as well as Saturday’s NJPW New Beginning in Osaka shows, 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

Michael Chandler said that he was offered a fight on 2/13 where the winner would get a shot at the lightweight title but the opponent didn’t agree to it. Sherdog reported that Charles Oliveira’s camp said he was asked for that fight, but didn’t want to face someone with such high stakes after his long win streak with no time to adequately train or cut weight for the fight.  

Christian was secretly cleared last week. He is expected to wrestle more often. As far as how much is uncertain but that was not a one-time-and gone thing. Both Rhea Ripley and Damien Priest are now considered main roster. We don’t know which brand past Priest was scheduled to debut in a high-profile position on Smackdown, and then we heard when that didn’t happen that the plan was changed to debuting this week on Raw.  But that was a three week old plan.

Nothing much advertised for Raw tonight past more with Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss, but Bliss isn’t doing an injury angle or even in a neck brace given she did the Rumble last night. The day after the Rumble Raw is often one of the highest rated episodes of the year.

Jey Uso wasn’t medically cleared for the Rumble.

Vince McMahon was not at the show last night. Paul Levesque ran the show. This was first reported by Ringside News and confirmed to us.

If baseball season is pushed back, WWE could have access to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, its current home, for longer. Originally WWE was going to have a find new location in mid-March to allow the field to get ready for the baseball season

Les Thatcher has gotten through the worst of COVID and hopes to start training  this week. He is also open to taking bookings for seminars or wrestling camps in March.  You can contact him at lesthatcher28@gmail.com

New Japan has another Korakuen Hall show tomorrow at 4 a.m. Eastern time on New Japan World with Kevin Kelly announcing:

Yota Tsuji vs. Gabriel Kidd
Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Yuya Uemura
Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma & Sho & Master Wato vs. Sanada & Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi
Elimination match:  Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Evil & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Yujiro Takahashi & DickTogo
WWE
John Cena will be in a Mtn Dew Super Bowl ad this Sunday.  It will be a 30 second ad that gives one person the chance to win a $1 million prize by counting the correct number of bottles in the ad.
Snoop Dog made his WWE video game debut in the new WWE Champions mobile game.  Players can add Snoop Dogg to the roster and compete against 250 other WWE current and past performers.  
BT Sports, a television partner of WWE, was advertising the Rumble with photos teasing C.M. Punk, Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey and Jay White appearing. After the show, the account was bragging about fooling people once the show was over.  That’s quite weird. (thanks to David Taylor)
The WWE Network will be releasing a number of shows related to Black History Month.
Drew McIntyre on the Rich Eisen show on Peacock TV talking about Sunday’s SHAQ Bowl.
The Rated R Superstar had a big weekend. On Saturday, a horse named Rated R Superstar won the third race at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR paying $17.0-0 to win. (thanks to John May)
UFC
UFC announced a month-long celebration of Black History Month  They are pushing that they have three black fighters headlining shows, Alistair Overeem (vs. Alexander Volkov) on Saturday, Kamaru Usman (vs. Gilbert Burns for the welterweight title) on 2/13 and both Derrick Lewis vs. Curtis Blaydes on 2/2.
Related to that, there will be a special show called UFC Ultimate Knockouts:  Black History Month:  Eric Knockouts on 2/11 at 9 p.m. on ESPN News, and a second edition on 2/23 at 9 p.m. on ESPN News, featuring Jon Jones, Francis Ngannou, Lewis, Kevin Randleman, Rampage Jackson, Joaquin Buckley, Kevin Holland and others.
Justin Jaynes vs. Devonte Smith has been added to Saturday’s show.  Jaynes replaces Alex Da Silva who pulled out of the show yesterday due to a knee injury.    
Jessica Penne returns from a 20 month suspension for a 3/27 fight with Hannah Goldy. Penne tested positive for Stanozolol in a test in 2019.
AEW
AEW Dark for tomorrow night:
Tay Conti vs. Tesha Price
Rey Fenix vs. KC Navarro
Ivelisse & Diamante vs. Vertvixen & Jazmin Allure
Leyla Hirsch vs. Katalina Perez
Billy & Colten Gunn vs. John Skyler & Ray Jaz
Red Velvet vs. Alex Gracia
Santana & Ortiz vs. Fuego del Sol & Vary Morales
Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Luther & Serptentico
The Acclaimed vs. Danny Limelight & Ryzin
10 vs. Jake St. Patrick
Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss & Bear County vs. Baron Black & Aaron Solow & Shawn Dean & ike Verna
Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall & Nick Comoroto vs M’Badu & Terrence & Terrell Hughes
What’s notable here is that Bear Country and Comoroto look to be on the winning side rather than the losing side as they have been, so it’s the beginning of giving them credibility.

OTHER NOTES
Brandon Thurston’s annual look at business metrics of pro wrestling is available here. This is a very good look at a lot of different economic topics related to the major companies in pro wrestling.
Renee Paquette’s podcast has joined the Colin Cowherd podcast network.
Instinct Magazine has an interview with Fred Rosser, using his old Darren Young name.
MLW TV on Wednesday is teasing the idea of Azteca Underground, which is supposed to be the remnants of the old Lucha Underground television show, is looking to buy a promotion. The idea seems to be an MLW feud with the remnants of Lucha Underground.  The show airs Wednesday on YouTube and Fubo.  

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Suzuki & Takayama win IWGP Tag Team titles


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