WWE Raw viewership steady despite going against NCAA title game
Dates reportedly set for WWE Money in the Bank, Backlash
Mike Tyson to appear on AEW Dynamite
Bear Country vs. The Hybrid2 part of 12-match AEW Dark lineup
ROH TV results: Eli Isom vs. LSG, Danhausen vs. Brian Johnson
Poppy to perform at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver
Longtime WWE employee Rich Hering to receive Warrior Award
WWE Raw video highlights: Raw’s final build to WrestleMania 37
Hangman Page vs. Max Caster announced for AEW Dynamite
Bad Bunny to team with Damian Priest at WWE WrestleMania 37
Tag Team Turmoil match added to WWE WrestleMania 37 night one
DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Show: Deaths of Bill Miller and Jerry Graham
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WON NEWSLETTER: April 5, 2021 Observer Newsletter: NXT to Tuesdays official, UFC 260 review
The end of the Wednesday night war is the lead story in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
We look at the announcement, international implications, barbs back-and-forth, Paul Levesque’s speech announcing the move to those who work at NXT, the Wednesday night stats with one week left, a look at the final head-to-head battle, advantages each side had going in, what lessons were shown by the Wednesday wars, where each side had the advantage and what lessons it says about what people want out of their wrestling.
NXT’s move to Tuesday, what should happen with the ratings based on past examples, trajectory changes of late, the numbers each show has done in the past unopposed and what should and shouldn’t be expected to happen over the next few weeks. We also look at the 2021 averages for AEW and NXT.
Also in this issue:
How the Endeavor IPO changes the UFC business and how the ESPN deal makes making the big money fights less important to UFC. We look at the value of a Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou fight, but where the big payoff goes and where the big expense goes.l We look at numbers Jones has talked about, the lightweight title, belts losing all credibility, and questions about Jones and Ngannou should a fight take place.
WWE Network shows migrating to Peacock, shows difficult to find, editing of shows, shows that had already been heavily edited, WWE next business report, how the new NFL scheduled affects Raw and WWE, Charly Caruso leaving and ESPN deal, Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck lawsuit update, William Shatner as wrestling fan decades ago, Glenn Jacobs honored, Rhea Ripley talks how she found out about her WrestleMania match, Paige talks wrestling again, writing team member let go, International TV ratings, how wrestling shows did s compared with sports programming this past week, Shawn Michaels talks superkicks, a look at the Hurt Business breakup, William Regal talks Sasha Banks, Hall of Fame news, and WWE market value.
UFC 260, with the background of the show, match-by-match coverage, business notes and poll results.
WWE heading into WrestleMania, the main event story behind the story the build up, business notes, ticket sales, NXT Takeover, plus updated lineups.
Andrade’s different interviews talking why he left, the Charlotte Flair pregnancy test story, the COVID story, the Saudi Arabia trip, where he may wind up, offers made by WWE, what he wants out of his career, and what angle suggested for him that was nixed.
ROH 19th anniversary show, with highlights, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.
2021 Hodge trophy award voting and why there were two winners even with the voting not close.
Non-WWE shows during WrestleMania weekend, from AEW to Game Changer, ticket sales and more.
More into detail on ratings than any other source, we have how every segment on NXT and AEW did as well as how it did with different age groups, genders and more, plus a look at all other wrestling shows of the past week.
Results of the major pro wrestling events of the past week.
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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE
WWE has officially announced that Big E and Apollo Crews’ Intercontinental title match at WrestleMania 37 night two will be a Nigerian Drum Fight. When Crews issued the challenge, he said the Nigerian Drum Fight is an ancient duel created by his ancestors for those who are wronged to get the chance to make things right. Crews said there are no rules or limitations — just a beating so loud it sounds like a drum.
WWE announced their schedule of media appearances for WrestleMania week.
Paul “Triple H” Levesque appeared on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast. During the show, Levesque was asked about the last time he spoke to CM Punk: “Um, last time I talked to him, uh, year-and-a-half, year-and-three-quarters ago. You know, it’s a funny thing that people constantly will say, you know, when his return is or, but, in some way, I don’t know whether he does or not. But that has to be what he wants… when people talk about, ‘Well, make the call!’ What says if we make the call he wants to answer? What says if we make the call, he doesn’t go like, ‘Yeah, I’m not interested in doing that any more.’ Maybe he’s just done with it. I think that those are conversations that only those people can directly answer and I think if he wants to do it, either we would get word and we would have those conversations, or he would make a call, or anything like that. But there has to be desire there to do something like that. This business is too all in to just go like, ‘Eh, alright I’ll do it.’”
The Tampa Bay Times and Muscle & Fitness have features on Bianca Belair. Levesque told the Tampa Bay Times about the potential he saw in Belair when she first joined WWE: “It’s funny. Very shortly after she got with us, I was like, ‘It’s going to take a bit of time for her to learn to do this, but once she does, there’s no ceiling here.’ She’s got every tool. She’s got everything available, is humble, is hungry, and she’s going to be exactly what she’s becoming now, one of the biggest stars we’ve ever seen.”
GQ spoke to Sasha Banks about her SmackDown Women’s Championship match against Belair at WrestleMania. Banks discussed the historic nature of the match: “You just have to look at the times. That we can have two African-American women potentially main-event is huge, not just for the world of wrestling but for the world all over. For young women and people of every single color to know that nobody can hold them back from their destination and their purpose in life. To make things happen and grow. Because one day we’re not going to [have to say] “first time ever” for anything. It’s just beautiful people, these beautiful human beings, living life and getting to fulfil their dreams like everybody else. Sometimes in this world, people make you hate yourself. People make you question yourself. People feel like they don’t deserve the world when they need to translate that and know that you deserve everything.
CBS Sports has an article with Roman Reigns, Edge & Daniel Bryan reflecting on their journeys to the main event of WrestleMania 37 night two.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, CM Punk said he thinks Chris Jericho appearing on Steve Austin’s broken Skull Sessions shows that Vince McMahon isn’t afraid of AEW: “It’s interesting, for sure. Obviously, I understand the buzz. Maybe I’ll give it a shot and watch it, but it feels like it’s going to be softball questions. I don’t if they’re going to ask Jericho all the tough questions and nor do I think that they possibly should. It’s an interesting situation and it’ll probably be a feel good interview where they talk about Jericho’s past at WWE. I’m sure they’ll mention AEW, but they won’t get into the hard questions that I think people are interested in. Honestly, my knee-jerk reaction and opinion is that I think it shows Vince McMahon isn’t afraid of AEW at all. If he was, he wouldn’t allow that to happen. Anytime anybody is talking about you, it is good. There will be people that don’t know AEW exists who will watch it and say, ‘Cool, I didn’t know that. I just thought Jericho was retired.’ There is also something to be said about keeping your guys special and the only place you can see this superstar is on my television show, but it’s a new age and both companies need all the eyeballs they can get at the moment.”
WWE uploaded three Drew McIntyre WrestleMania diary videos:
McIntyre’s WrestleMania workout
McIntyre finds mementos from his WWE journey
McIntyre on reclaiming his moment
Nikki & Brie Bella spoke to Kofi Kingston for their Hall of Fame diaries. In another Hall of Fame diary video, Nikki & Brie got ready for their HOF speech.
On Fox Sports’ Out of Character with Ryan Satin, Seth Rollins gave his thoughts on the difference in WWE storytelling in the ThunderDome era: “I still think social media still plays quite a role in how shows are written and how characters are portrayed. [The ThunderDome] has allowed us to tell our stories a little cleaner in the sense that things aren’t up and down as they may normally be. Whether that’s good or bad, I’m not entirely sure. I miss the fans and live interaction, but I like being able to cut a promo and getting all the way through without having to side-eye the audience. It’s nice to get a thought out without being interrupted by ‘CM Punk’ chants. Some stories have overstayed their welcome, but we’ve definitely been allowed to tell fully fleshed out stories over six or seven months that we wouldn’t get through normally because a live crowd would force creative to change course. I had a blast working with the Mysterios, though things got carried away at the end. I was proud of the eye-for-an-eye match.”
Rollins also appeared on The Complex Sports Podcast.
Cesaro is the guest on today’s episode of Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast.
Rhea Ripley was interviewed on Metal Injection’s Squared Circle Pit podcast.
Today’s edition of Richard Deitsch’s Sports Media podcast features Paul Heyman as the guest.
WWE streamed a global press conference today with wrestlers who will be in action at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
Sporting News interviewed Bronson Reed ahead of TakeOver.
Steve Austin named Roman Reigns as someone who he wishes he got the chance to wrestle: “There’s a lot of guys I wish I got to do business with. There’s generational gaps, but you always have those fantasy match-ups. You see what a guy’s doing and you think, ‘I could have done something with that guy. We could’ve made something really memorable. I think [Roman’s] doing great work. He’s a great performer, and sometimes he’s a little underrated. He’s phenomenal.”
RIcochet congratulated Will Ospreay on his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship win: “Major shout out to the homie @WillOspreay. Changing the game. Keep pushing Willie boy! …Dive”
WWE Advanced Media Executive Vice President Jayar Donlan will be featured in Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Awards for 2021.
Trish Stratus and Mickie James rewatched their WrestleMania 22 title match for WWE Playback.
WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded The Rock & Mick Foley vs. Evolution from WrestleMania XX, John Morrison vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jimmy Uso in a ladder match for the SmackDown Tag Team titles from WrestleMania 36, and Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest vs. Killian Dain from NXT TakeOver WarGames 2019
Kazuchika Okada carried the Olympic torch today in his hometown of Anjo, Japan.
While speaking with Sports Illustrated, Tony Khan praised Shaquille O’Neal: “Shaq is the greatest celebrity wrestler of all time. Backstage, I’ve never seen anyone come in and be more genuine, spend more time working on the craft for months, as well as paying respect to the wrestlers. This is one of the biggest stars in the world, and he came in to help us. He gave to the wrestling business in a way that was incredible, and I’d be remiss not to mention that.”
AEW has a Road To episode building up tomorrow’s Dynamite.
ROH uploaded this week’s edition of ROH Week By Week.
Five official Andrade T-shirts are now available on Pro Wrestling Tees. He’s using the name “El Idolo” Andrade.
Post Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson interviewed John Skyler.
Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWE WrestleMania XXX
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