Daily Update: Gene LeBell, Google Trends, Bray Wyatt – WON/F4W

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This Week’s Wrestling Observer Bulletin:

  • Inoki’s legacy, his title stories and highlights, where he stands in Japanese culture, record attendances and gates, stadium performances around the world, merchandise, major opponents, taking of hostages, Ali vs. Inoki, Bruno Sammartino, the full story about the most famous mixed martial arts match of his generation, the pinnacle of wrestling in Japanese dome stadiums, Inoki vs. Don Frye, the beginning of Inoki’s career and his peak over 30 years, the formation of New Japan and the IGF, New Year’s specials on the television network, famous programs with Hogan, Andre, Backlund and Singh, his matches against international stars and stars from other sports, his legacy in foreign lands, the Inoki vs. Maeda and Inoki vs. Baba matches that didn’t happen, and so much more.
  • What happened with Sammy Guevara and Andrade, of several people who were there
  • WWE PPV Business Update
  • WWE Television Changes
  • Giulia, the Five Star Grand Prix, biggest match for Stardom at the end of the year and notes on the show
  • TV ratings for every national show last week
  • Japan’s New Declaration of Power
  • Banknotes of New Japan from England
  • The story of AEW changing its cast in Latin America
  • New AEW signing and where other potential signings stand
  • Upcoming Live Events for WWE and AEW
  • Stream Number Updates
  • New A&E docs on wrestling stars
  • International rankings

This week’s Retro Observer newsletter:

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Sunday news update

wyatt

We have two new weekend shows on the site. My weekly show with Garrett Gonzales talks about the week’s news, Antonio Inoki, Jon Moxley, TV and more, and we did last night’s show with Bryan talking Extreme Rules, more on Moxley and all the news of the weekend.

I want to thank everyone for their comments on this week’s Observer and the Antonio Inoki story, which was the biggest story we’ve written in the newsletter’s 40-year history. And for good reason if you have read it. It’s pretty clear when the dust has settled that with the exception of Vince McMahon, Inoki was the most important and influential figure in modern pro wrestling history, and one of the most influential figures in the history of MMA as well.

Gene LeBell’s funeral took place today in Los Angeles. Ronda Rousey, who spoke first at the funeral, wore the LeBell trademark pink gi and black belt as she stepped into the ring last night before beating Liv Morgan to win the Smackdown Women’s Title . She came straight from Philadelphia and talked about everything LeBell did for her as a judo coach, helping her get into MMA, and more. Mike Lano talked about Gene’s days as a TV announcer for his brother’s wrestling company in the 70s. Lano talked about LeBell’s interactions with Bruce Lee and Antonio Inoki. Josh Barnett and Bas Rutten were there, as was former professional wrestling photographer Dan Westbrook, whose work appeared in Japanese magazines around this time. They released video of the wrestler vs. boxer LeBell vs. Milo Savage match in Salt Lake City in 1963.

As for Google searches of the week, the only topic in boxing, wrestling and MMA was Extreme Rules which was #5 yesterday with 200,000 searches. This is the usual level of a non-big four WWE PPV. There was no UFC this week and as far as topics go, signing Guevara-Andrade, Moxley or returning Bray Wyatt didn’t crack the top 20 on their day this week.

Bray Wyatt’s return from last night currently has 1.7 million views on YouTube, which is very high, but not close to the record, as of last night.

The 10/18 VICE schedule lists other 8-10 p.m. programs, reruns of the first two episodes of Tales from the Territories that have already aired in that time slot. That night was the original date for “The Nine Lives of Vince McMahon documentary”. We don’t have a new date scheduled, but since AEW and NXT are live from 8-10 p.m. one-on-one, it’s a good date to avoid making a wrestling documentary. I would expect it to air on a Tuesday before the Territories show, but until I find out the week. Myself and Bryan Alvarez were interviewed for this show.

Highlight matches we heard worth checking out this weekend were Josh Alexander vs Eddie Edwards and Mike Bailey vs Frankie Kazarian from Friday’s Impact Bound for Glory and the AAA match featuring El Hijo del Vikingo vs Laredo Kid vs Black Taurus which was actually last weekend but aired on TV this weekend.

We’re looking for reports on GCW shows past and present in Atlantic City at [email protected]

We’re doing polls this weekend on Extreme Rules from last night and Impact Bound for Glory from Friday night, so you can leave a thumbs up, down or middle, best and worst match at [email protected] wrestlingobserver.com

Predictions are that Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam movie will debut in the $65-70 million range, which would be two weeks away.

Dwayne Johnson will be on Good Morning America on Wednesday, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday, and Live with Kelly and Ryan on Friday, there to promote the release of Black Adam.

In a single match, Dragon Gate’s Yamato is set to face Mike Bailey tonight at the GCW show in Atlantic City, NJ at the Showboat.

Both Smash Wrestling and Canadian Indy Wrestling are set to debut on the WWE and Peacock Network. The first taping is 11/19 in London, ONT at the Toronto Rec Room.

Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker has been added to the 1/21 UFC PPV show from Rio de Janeiro.

MMA Fighting reported that the UFC is returning to Australia with a show on 2/11 in Perth, Western Australia. This will be the UFC’s first show in Australia since 2019. The show was first reported by Perth Now to be taking place at the RAC Arena.

Other ratings

The tapings of last night’s Impact in Albany, NY were suspended for about an hour due to the absence of an ambulance in the building, which is a requirement of the New York State Athletic Commission.

CJ Perry, the former Lana, will be on the new season of “Surreal Life” on VH1. The new season will air Monday nights starting 10/24.

Hooked on Wrestling will host a Royal Rumble 2023 watch party on 1/23 at BOXPARK at Wembley in London.

Bellator has announced the signing of undefeated former Olympian Ali Isaev (9-0). Isaev competed at the 2008 Olympics and won a gold medal at the 2008 European Freestyle Championships. They also announced the signing of new deals with Bellator ranked fighters Kana Watanabe, Tyrell Fortune, Gadzhl Rabadanov, Sullivan Cauley, Brian Moore and Norbert Novenyl Jr. (11-1).

NFC is hosting a show on 10/15 at the District of Atlanta. The main event will be Douglas Usher vs. Jared Gooden for the NFC Middleweight Title in MMA. There will also be a Jiu Jitsu match under team rules, a women’s MMA bout and the first professional wrestling match in NFC history.

Battleground Championship Wrestling on 12/17 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia announced an extreme tribute show featuring Rob Van Dam vs. Rhino, Bully Ray (with D-Von in his corner) vs. Matt Cardona, 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Rich Swann, Juventud Guerrera against Super Crazy, KC Navarro against VSK against Brian Kendrick, FBI against Afa Jr. & Beastman, plus Gangrel, Francine, Shane Douglas, Pitbull Gary Wolf and more.

Last Night’s GOUGE in Chapel Hill, NC: Sean Cruise & Bobby Wohlfert b Metalico & Glamor Boy Khan, Mecha Mercenary b victor Andres, Lee Valiant b Joseph Everhart, Chet Sterling DDQ Seymour Snott, Inuit Joe b Waylon Maze to win Carolina North title, Snooty Fox & TKO b Viva La Amish to retain tag titles. The next show will be on 10/30 in Raleigh, NC at the Rebus Works at 3 p.m.

Celebrity Results from Today in Nagoya: Ruaka b Lady C, Mina Shirakawa b Saya Iida, Mayu Iwatani & Momo Kohgo b Giulia & Mai Sakurai, Maika & Himeka DCOR Hazuki & Koguma, Syuri & Mirai & Ami Sohrei b Tan Nakano & Natsupoi & Waka Tsukiyama, Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid & Saki Kashima retained the Celebrity Artist titles for a draw at 30:00 with Utami Hayashishita & AZM & Saya Kamitani (thanks to No Prima Donnas)

RevPro from today in Southampton, UK: Shaun Jackson b Remi Adetunji, Brendan White & Danny Jones b Samuel Hawkes & Cameron Kahi, Yota Tsuji b Robbie X, Maya Matthews b Safire Reed, Will Kaven b Michael Oku -DQ, Ricky Knight Jr. b Gabriel Kidd retains British heavyweight title (thanks to No Prima Donna)

Last Night’s Defy in Portland, OR: King Naja won the Oregon Pro Wrestling School Showcase, Miles Deville and Sebastian Wolfe defeated Cody Chhun and Guillermo Rosas and The Bollywood Boyz to win the Defy tag titles, KC Navarro b Ethan HD , Amira b Taryn, Schaff b Adriel Noctus, Ortiz b Adam Ryder, Swerve Strickland b Christopher Daniels to win the Defy title. The next show will be on 10/29 in Seattle at Washington Hall with Minoru Suzuki vs. Tom Lawlor as the main event.

Former UFC fighter and NFL star Greg Hardy scored a knockout over Mike Cook last night in Delray Beach, Florida in his professional boxing debut.

The first round of the AAW Jim Lyman Tournament on 10/14 at Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL has: Yamato vs Zachary Wentz, Schaff vs Davey Richards, Fred Yehi vs Calvin Tankman, Masha Slamovich vs Dante Leon, Mike Bennett vs Davey Vega, Gnaris Garvin vs. Silas Young, Manders vs. Josh Alexander, and Ace Austin vs. Rich Swann.

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