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Daily Update: Mustafa Ali, AEW notes, Bloodsport

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WON NEWSLETTER: March 15, 2021 Observer Newsletter: AEW Revolution, WrestleMania 37 ticket details

We've got the most detailed analysis of AEW Revolution as the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at the fallout of the errant explosion, the business numbers, what drew and what was the reason for so many new purchasers and will they be back, lessons from the show, the signing of Christian Cage, a look back at different signings and how they've turned out, Christian's road to returning to wrestling, usage of Christian Cage, differences with AEW and Impact, Ethan Page, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Also in this issue:

WrestleMania ticket sales, as well as the planned show.

We've got our first annual Shad Gaspard/Jon Huber Memorial Award winners for 2020 and the reasons why.

WWE Network migration to Peacock, a look at the seven year history of the WWE Network and what was and wasn't a success financially regarding it, what has happened to PPVs in general.  We look at projections and how they fell short, but what ended up saving the company from the projections falling short.

John Laurinaitis being put back n his old position, and his story, and what happens to Mark Carrano, matches for the next Takeover shows, update on Fast Lane, new and departing WWE writers, new television location, WWE reaction to thigh slapping, where wrestling shows rank among sports shows in the U.S. this past week, foreign television ratings, Gable Steveson goes for NCAA title, Jim Johnstone talks WWE music today, Pat McAfee talks WrestleMania, WWE current market value, and the surprising most-watched thing this past week on the WWE Network.

Life of Buddy Colt and the plane crash that ended his career.

UFC 259, with scoring notes, business notes, poll results, where the champions go next, plus match-by-match coverage.

NHL deal affects pro wrestling and what it means for WWE and AEW, how ESPN is using it and where things stand with NBCU.

WWE over WrestleMania weekend, and the Hall of  Fame ceremony.

Dwayne Johnson's attempt to revive the XFL.

New Japan Cup and the anniversary show with match-by-match coverage and star ratings for the matches over the past week, and a look at where things stand for the rest of the tournament.

More into detail on the 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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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • After unsuccessfully challenging for Riddle's United States Championship on Raw last night, Mustafa Ali posted a video challenging Riddle to a rematch for the title at Fastlane this Sunday. WWE hasn’t announced if that match will be taking place. Ali said in his promo that he’s defeated Riddle before and can do it again. Ali said they’re tied at one win apiece and challenged Riddle to face him one more time at Fastlane.
  • Prior to last night’s Raw, Ali spoke to Comicbook.com about currently wrestling with a torn PCL: "It's very, very frustrating. So obviously, I'm a stud and I'm able to still go, but PCL's no joke. It's limited what I'm capable of doing. But in the same aspect, it's kind of opened up my eyes to like, ‘Oh, if I don't do this then I can do this.’ I've always had a really solid, technical, ground-based background, but I've never really highlighted it. When most people think of Mustafa Ali, they think of the high flyer. Not even as a heel, I'm still kind of known as this athletic performer. I'm not really known as a submission specialist. I'm not really known as a striker. I'm not really known as a guy that could take to the ground. Knowing full well that I have these tools, I never really highlight them because I've got these tools. So this PCL injury has kind of reminded me of like, 'Well, yeah, I can't do that, but I'm still capable of all of this.' Yeah, this Monday, the US title match with Riddle's going to be very interesting. I do have a game plan in mind because of this injury. Rehab's going really, really well. I hope everyone is kind to me. I have a very ugly PCL brace I'll have to wear during the performance, but please be kind."
  • In celebration of 3:16 Day, WWE wrestlers reenacted Steve Austin’s “Austin 3:16” promo.
  • A&E released a sneak peek of their Biography episode on Austin. The episode will premiere on A&E at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, April 18.
  • WWE uploaded a video of Austin raising hell for 3 minutes and 16 seconds.
  • WWE produced another COVID-19 vaccination PSA, this time with Raw wrestlers Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, The Miz, Naomi, and Titus O’Neil urging people to get vaccinated when eligible. A PSA with SmackDown wrestlers also aired last Friday.
  • Set designer Jason Robinson told The Metro about this year’s WrestleMania set: “‘A lot of sports fans around the world have just seen the stadium. So they know what it looks like. Now it’s our turn. We’re going in there to do something different. I don’t think it matters whether fans are seeing it again after the Super Bowl or for the first time with WWE, they are going to love what they see.”
  • TalkSport has an interview with Cesaro. Cesaro discussed Daniel Bryan's influence on him and the locker room: "Daniel Bryan is incredible to have around the locker room. I think I speak for everyone when I say he’s one of those guys that you want to have around. He’s so smart and so good that he makes everybody better because they have to step up their game. And that’s what I would like to be. He’s been around -- I mean, I’ve known him forever, almost 15 years -- his ability to create momentum is second to none. We were heading into WrestleMania and people were like ‘oh, he’s losing, he’s losing momentum’ -- no he didn’t. He just turns it around like that [clicks his fingers]. He switches momentum and now he’s facing Roman Reigns – as he should – at Fastlane. So it’s great to have him around and to me, having the support of somebody like Daniel Bryan, you don’t just get it over night. You have to prove yourself night after night after night. So it may take a while to get there with Bryan, but it’s well worth it."
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded the 1997 Royal Rumble match, Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres from WrestleMania XXVIII, and the WWE Championship Six-Pack Challenge from Fastlane 2018.

Other Wrestling

  • AEW has announced that their Dynamite episodes that were supposed to take place in Philadelphia, Boston, and Rochester last year have been rescheduled again. The new listed date for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania show at the Liacouras Center is Wednesday, October 6, 2021. The new date for the Boston, Massachusetts show at the Agganis Arena is Wednesday, September 8, 2021. And the new date for the Rochester, New York show at the Blue Cross Arena is Wednesday, September 29, 2021. Whether those events will be able to happen on their new dates remains to be seen.
  • AEW produced a Road To episode building up this week’s Dynamite.
  • Sports Illustrated interviewed Britt Baker about main eventing this week’s Dynamite against Thunder Rosa.
  • Christian Cage told Sports Illustrated about wanting to prove himself in AEW before he gets a shot at Kenny Omega: “I’m not expecting to walk in and work the main event with Kenny Omega. I have some work to do and I need to prove myself. And looking at the layout of the roster, there are athletes with so much talent -- like Darby Allin, who makes me think of Jeff Hardy, or MJF, who is just so talented. The sky is the limit here with a blank canvas.”
  • Maki Itoh commented on returning to Japan following her appearances for AEW: “I'm going back to Japan! I can only speak Makiglish but everyone was kind and I was very happy. Do you want to see me again? I'm sorry, the next schedule has not been decided. But I hope we can meet again!”
  • Leyla Hirsch wrote about signing with AEW: “Wow it’s official! So many emotions right now. Thank you to @TonyKhan and @AEW for allowing me to be a part of this amazing team. Now the hard work really begins. #LEGIT”
  • Tony Schaivone posted a tweet explaining Tony Khan’s appearance on the premiere episode of AEW Dark: Elevation: “I know @TonyKhan very well. He never wants to take up TV time with an appearance, but needed to deliver a message tonight on #Elevation to an out-of-control Kenny Omega. He’s never done that on Dynamite and never intends to, but tonight he was the only one that could do it.” Khan announced on Elevation that Omega will face Matt Sydal in a non-title match on the Wednesday, March 24 episode of Dynamite. If Sydal wins, he’ll get a shot at Omega’s AEW World Championship in the future.
  • While answering a question from Wrestling Inc about if there’s any chance Brock Lesnar could ever compete at a Bloodsport event, Josh Barnett spoke about reaching out to Cain Velasquez’s management: “I have no access to the kind of funds to make that happen (Barnett said about Lesnar). I’ve also reached out to Cain Velasquez through his management. We’re just not capable of -- money is too much of an issue there, and that’s fair because nobody has to do anything for us. Nobody owes us any real favors that way. If someone like Cain, well, I could make an offer to Brock, but there’s nothing I could do that would entice Brock Lesnar considering the kind of money that he makes and has made so that’s totally fine. But my appeal is always that there is no better place for people that really want to just show exactly who they are in that professional wrestling ring, in the rawest environment possible with all the other stuff stripped away and just let whatever is inside their soul shine out. There’s no place better for it than Bloodsport, and if that interests you, then we got something for you, but if you’re looking at it as a business transaction, which I won’t fault you either, we’re working on it but some things are more important than money.”
  • Allysin Kay vs. Masha Slamovich is set for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 6. The event is taking place at The Cuban Club in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, April 8.
  • Joey Janela vs. Chris Dickinson has been announced for this year’s Spring Break. Spring Break is being held at The Cuban Club on Friday, April 9. Ricky Shane Page defending the GCW World Championship against Nick Gage has also been made official for the show.
  • Lio Rush vs. nZo (formerly known as Enzo Amore) has been announced for LioMania’s Monday Night Heat show on April 5.
  • Ring of Honor uploaded this week’s edition of ROH Week By Week.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WCW Uncensored 1997


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