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Jon Moxley vs. Cezar Bononi announced for AEW Dynamite
WWE SmackDown ratings up from last week, first on TV in 18-34
WWE Raw live results: WrestleMania build continues
ROH TV results: Pure rules gauntlet match, Bennett vs. Bruiser
Former WWE interviewer Charly Caruso joining ESPN full-time
WWE, DraftKings announce deal, kicking off at WrestleMania 37   
VIDEO: Being The Elite – The Young Bucks battle contentment   
Rob Van Dam confirmed for 2021 WWE Hall of Fame class   
NJPW Road to Sakura Genesis results: Six-man tag main event   
Impact Wrestling’s Eric Young suffers torn ACL   
WWE, NBCU comment on edited Network content on Peacock  

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WON NEWSLETTER: March 29, 2021 Observer Newsletter: WrestleMania 37 lineup, Fastlane review

We’ve got a huge issue of the Observer this week with a lot of business notes, polls on the biggest shows of the last week, Match of the Week, Performer of the Week, New Japan Cup polls, several  bios and updates on the biggest shows.

With WrestleMania upcoming, we run down the show, why certain matches have changed, update on the WWE COVID situation including who was ad wasn’t back, WrestleMana ticket sales updates and the demand, a look at both NXT Takeover shows, the WWE’s new location for filming starting on 4/12, as well as UFC tickets sales for its first show and the current level of demand for tickets for both events.

Also in this issue:

More info on the WWE Network migration to Peacock, what is being edited off and why, the release of Andrade and more background on him, Glenn Jacobs and the Knox County mayor situation, update on Samantha Tavel lawsuit against Matt Riddle, Lots of Hall of Fame news and bios, announcer will no longer appear on TV, Stephanie McMahon talks WWE without Vince McMahon, how wrestling shows ranked among the sports shows this past week, what was planned to happen with the U.S. title this year and why it didn’t happen, Daniel Bryan talks his future, his philosophy on wrestling, who he wants to wrestle with lots of surprises, his current schedule, Randy Orton talks his career, WWE gets new television deal, WWE legend puts home for sale, new WWE video game news, WWE  documentary notes, injury updates and WWE stock price update.

A study done in Oslo, Norway which links steroid use to the aging of the brain and previous notes on things that could corroborate that regarding concussion recovery.  We also give a background of when steroid use started in sports and how it got started in the U.S.

Fast Lane show, including a unique look in a number of different metro areas between the interest level in Fast Lane, one of WWE’s weakest shows in years for interest, and Revolution, which two weeks earlier set AEW’s PPV record, match-by-match coverage of the show with star ratings and poll results.

New Japan Cup coverage, New Japan Cup match-by-match rankings, star ratings and poll results, why the Bea Priestley angle went down, notes on double standards and why these double standards exist with some of the fan base, who was the New Japan Cup MVP and best performer, as well as the first time an earthquake caused a wrestling match to stop in the middle for 25 minutes, where New Japan goes from here with the big shows in April and May, as well as this week’s show.

Impact moving to Thursday.

A major feature on the life of Barry Orton, his claims that got him on TV in 1992 on Donahue, Geraldo, Larry King and other shows, his thoughts looking back, how he met Mike Tenay and his impact on Mike Tenay’s career and wrestling knowledge, what Orton said under oath and the lie detector test he took, the times Vince McMahon confronted him, as well as Orton sending Vince McMahon a letter with his idea of having a rock & roll gimmick.

Barry Orton on the Donahue show, Tom Cole and Orton, stuff that was and wasn’t taken out of context, Orton’s career ending, life after wrestling, his Calgary run as The Zodiac and where it came from and why it ended, and how his career started.

This past week’s UFC show, the star that filed, where the winners are headed, the age-old weight cutting problem, how the show did in different deos and fight-by-fight coverage.  

A story on the death of Ed Farhat Jr., the son of The Sheik.  We look at his days as Captain Eddie George as well as his attempts to follow his father in promoting wrestling in Michigan. We look at the heyday of The Sheik, the movie “I Like To Hurt People” that Ed Jr., had a role in, the end of the heyday period and more.  

More 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.

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw, ROH PPV, Jon Jones and a number of other subjects with Wrestling Observer Radio. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

Antonio Inoki did a YouTube video today where he said, “There’s a part of me that feels like giving up. It’s enough. Please let me rest.” It should be noted there are other scenes in the video where he is more optimistic.

Jon Jones said that he’s supposed to be getting a fight proposal from UFC next week. Dana White is doing an amazing job this week because it’s not very easy to make Jones a universal babyface, and White inadvertently has managed to accomplish this. Jones earlier today made and deleted a Tweet asking for them to release him.  Now he’s written, “Fingers are crossed, this is an opportunity of a lifetime for everyone involved.”

We are doing weekend polls on UFC 260 and ROH 19th Anniversary show, so you can leave a  thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

WWE officials have noted to us that WrestleMania both nights will start at 8 p.m., and not the 7 p.m. start time most PPVs start at. It will also be available on PPV at different price points ranging from $59.99 to $70.

Speaking of weekend PPV shows, if anyone has a way of seeing the Volador Jr. vs. Bandido match from Friday night, let me know about it. I try to list the match of the week and I have a feeling that one could, if not be it, be in the running.

I’m surprised at the lack of mainstream reaction to Logan Paul to Smackdown on Friday. Still no word on his role in the Owens vs Zayn match at WrestleMania past that’s he’s part of the plan.  It probably will get a lot in the days leading up to the show, or if he does a strong angle on Friday.  

Charlotte Flair returns tonight to Raw. Or at least she’s in St. Petersburg today and healthy.  Riddle vs. Sheamus in a non-title match has also been advertised.

Gable Steveson (heavyweight) and Spencer Lee (125) were co-winners of the 2021 Hodge Trophy. Both were undefeated NCAA champions. Steveson’s brother is with WWE already and he’s expected to follow. The Olympic trials take place this coming weekend. Sevenson and Nick Gwiazdowski (who in the past has said he was headed to WWE later) are probably the top candidates at 286 pounds.

A&E and WWE have announced free outdoor screenings of their documentaries at drive-ins in Houston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Memphis, Detroit and Philadelphia. A&E has finished eight two-hour shows on Steve Austin, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, Booker T,  Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Mick Foley and Ultimate Warrior which start on television on 4/18.  The drive-in movies will be Booker T and Austin. The Booker T one screens at the Moonstruck Drive-In in Houston 4/6, the Malco Summer Drive-In in Memphis on 4/12 and  The Springs Cinema & Taphouse in Atlanta on 4/15.  The Austin feature will be 4/13 in Detroit at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-in, 4/14 in Indianapolis at the Center Brook Drive-in, and 4/17 in Philadelphia at the Parking Lot Theaters.

Bellator returns to action after months off with a card on Showtime on Friday night at 9 p.m. Eastern headlined by Patricio Pitbull Freire defending the featherweight title against Emmanuel Sanchez, which is also part of the company’s featherweight Grand Prix tournament.

New Japan runs Korakuen Hall with another 5:30 a.m. Eastern time show tomorrow:

Tesuya Naito & Shingo Takagi & Bushi & Sanada vs. Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji & Gabriel Kidd & Tiger Mask
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado & Douki vs. Sho & Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato
Bad Luck Fale & Kenta & Evil & Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Jay White & Gedo & Jado
Will Ospeary & Jeff Cobb & Great O’Khan vs. Kota Ibushi & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

It’s 2021 and Takagi is in the opener and Tenzan is in the main event, and that’s not the only time this week that has happened.  

The show “Wipeout” starring John Cena and Nicole Byer that has been advertised heavily on AEW debuts on Thursday night on TBS as a new weekly series.
Buddy Murphy, whose 2021 year has consisted of two matches even though he’s one of the best in-ring guys in the company and I know several people who think he’s one of the best in the world, wrote today to Aleister Black about wanting to steal the show at WrestleMania.
The Guardian reported that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has now spent more than $1.5 billion on sportswashing, noting the WWE shows as part of that figure.
AEW put tickets on sale for 4/7 and 4/9 this morning. The 4/7 tickets are ahead of normal pace but not much head. The 4/9 tickets are not sold out and the show will sell out.
Dark tomorrow night has:
Joey Janela vs. Chandler Hopkins
5 & 10 vs. D3 & Vary Morales
Billy & Austin & Colten Gunn vs  Rex Lawless & Milk Chocolate
Ryo Mizunami vs. KiLynn King
Penelope Ford vs. Leila Gray
Scorpio Sky vs. Mike Sydal
Thunder Rosa vs. Alex Gracia
Ethan Page vs. Fuego del Sol
Frankie Kazarian vs. Danny Limelight
Leyla Hirsch vs. Vipress
Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy vs. Ryan Nemeth & JD Drake
Jon Moxley vs. Bill Collier
Hikaru Shida & Tay Conti vs. Jazmin Allure & Tesha Price

TMZ reported that Chris Jericho donated $2,500 to the family of the slain Uber Eats driver, 66-year-old Mohammd Anwar, who was killed during a carjacking last week. Police believe two girls, 13 and 15, shot him with a taser in an attempt to steal his car. The girls crashed the car and it flipped over and Anwar was killed. Jericho said, “I just thought the whole situation was terrible and it really hit me hard.  It’s not much, but it’s the most I could do to try and bring some light into a dark situation.” Both girls have been charged with felony murder and armed carjacking.
Paul Wight has a full page ad in the latest Dental Products Report magazine (thanks to Mike Lano)
Ethel DiPaolo, the widow of Ilio DiPaolo, Buffalo’s most popular wrestler of the 50s and 60s passed away at the age of 88.  Ilio was an iconic local character as this story in the Buffalo News notes, (thanks to Alex Marvez)
The Washington Post on Daniel Rodimer and his Congressional run in Texas. (thanks to Chris Cruise)
Innovate Wrestling from Saturday night in Kingsport, TN:  Chris Richard won over JC Addams Tyler Thorn, Jeff Connelly, Josh Strong and Tyler Foshie, Chance Rizer b James Johnson, RT 3 b Sultan of Dubai, Cross Brothers b Heatseekers to win US tag titles, Axton Ray b Caleb Courageous, Toby Farley b Jordan Kage to win US title, Chase Owens b Gustavo Aguilar. The next show is 5/29 in Kingsport at the Civic Center.
The Pope vs. Fred Rosser for the TV title headlines NWA Powerrrr on Fite TV tomorrow night.
The final Tuesday night episode of Impact is tomorrow:
Eric Young vs. James Storm – This is the match where Young tore his ACL
Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz vs. Havok & Nevaeh non-title
Ace Austin & Mad Man Fulton vs. TJP & Josh Alexander
Kenny Omega will be on the show

AXS airs the 2012 Bound for Glory show tomorrow at 3 p.m. Eastern which was headlined by Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy and  Sting & Bully Ray vs. Aces and Eights.  I believe this was the show in San Antonio, and if it was, it was the largest North American crowd the promotion ever drew (6,700).
Impact will be doing a virtual fanfest on 4/25 at 11 a.m. Eastern for two hours before the PPV with Rich Swann, Deonna Purrazzo, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz and Ace Austin.
FWA from yesterday in Sydney, Australia:  Donnie Mako & CJ Phoenix b Buccaneer & Rochelle Rouge and Tyson Reed & Ben Braxton, Sam Osboure b Fox, Tyler Gunn over Mat Gauge, Josh Gatt, Lee Morrow and Matthias Clock, Parker Thomas b AJ to keep the Mercury title, Xena b Aysha to keep the women’s title, Jey Dewhurt b Kellyanne, JXT b 5 Star Flash, Cesar b Massive Q-DQ, Big Fudge won over Ricky South and Backman to win the FWA heavyweight title (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
Melbourne City Wrestling on 4/10 headlined by Adam Brookes vs.; Danny Psycho and Kellyanne vs Avary.
Wrestlerock on 4/1 in Melbourne. They also have a 5/15 show at the Moon Dog Brewery
Australian Wrestling Superstars on 4/10 in Sydney with Robbie Eagles vs. Lee Morrow
AAW returns Friday night on Twitch from the Galli Studios in Villa Park, IL with Mance Warner vs. Manders for the AAW title plus Hakim Zane, Ace Austin, Fred Yehi, Matt Justice, Davey Vega, Gringo Loco, Hyan, ACH, Travis Titan,Skye Blue,Ace Perry, Brayden Lee, Myron Reed Ray Lyn, Gary Jay, Allie Kat, Joe Asa,Dante Leon and John E Bravo.
Tom Lawlor vs Lord Crewe headlines the UWFI Rules Contender series on Wednesday night on IWTV. Crewe is billed as a Bare Knuckle fighter out of Ohio. Cole Radrick vs. Yoya as well.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWF WrestleMania III


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