Daily Update: SmackDown ratings, Gunther, Sandra Gray

Daily Update

Latest News:

Zelina Vega vs. IYO SKY set for next week's WWE SmackDownAEW's Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo expecting baby girlNJPW reveals blocks and schedule for G1 Climax 33WWE SmackDown video highlights: Jey Uso's indecisionHiroshi Tanahashi announced for Impact x NJPW Multiverse United 2

Latest Audio:

Wrestling Observer Radio: Iron Sheik biography, AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door thoughtsWrestling Observer Live: Behind the scenes of WWE's Most Wanted Treasures

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

June 12, 2023 Observer Newsletter: The Iron Sheik passes away, Roman Reigns passes 1,000 days as WWE Universal Champion

In this issue:

The life and times of the Iron Sheik and Khosrow Vaziri, and how the two men were the same person but altogether different.The short WWF title runThe Sgt. Slaughter feudHis two very different periods as a pop culture celebrityHow the Iron Sheik name and gimmick came aroundFamous Iron Sheik shoot storiesThe first WWF runThe hostage crisis changes his careerDid you know Iron Sheik competed in the predecessor to the G-1 in 1982The feud with Angelo Mosca in CanadaThe last angle with Killer Karl Kox in FloridaGrowing up as an amateur wrestler in IranWhy he left Iran and wound up in MinnesotaHis U.S. amateur wrestling exploitsHis being trained by Verne Gagne and Billy Robinson and altercations that came upWhy Gagne got so much heat when Sheik was injuredThe angle to set up Sheik's WWF tile runHulk Hogan comes to WWFSheik's biggest matches during his biggest singles run with Hogan and SlaughterHis arrest in a feud with Jim DugganHis teaming with SlaughterHis drug issuesThe death of his daughter and what he wanted to do to the man who killed herLongest reigning world champions in pro wrestling historyStories behind the longest title reignsDifferences in how world champions were pickedNew Japan Dominion, as well as build to Forbidden Door and the G-1 Climax tournamentTravel issues relating to getting the BCC into Japan for DominionDominion match-by-match coverageTripleMania newsUFC Saturday coverageThe most detailed look at the ratings for a huge week on television for pro wrestlingWhere Raw, Smackdown and Dynamite rated among everything on cable and network, both sports and entertainmentRatings breakdown, looking at competition for all the showPerhaps the oldest living wrestling promoter passes awayControversial angle in StardomSuperstar Graham funeral notesThe career of Gary AlbrightPro wrestling documentary gets an Emmy nominationThe first-ever pro wrestling closed circuit showTicket sales for the upcoming AEW & WWE showsInternational TV ratings and streaming numbersWhat notable thing happened in ratings internationally this past weekReal WrestleMania attendance and gate figures for 2023 are releasedBiggest gates in AEW historyMerch rankingsDana White talks Tyson Fury vs. Jon JonesMMA show draws 50,000 fans this past weekUpdate on PeacockNotes on the Raw on Twitch showStory behind Smackdown's monster ratingTrends for AEW and WWE ratingsWhat Friday told us about television viewership of AEW and WWE

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

April 19, 2006 Observer Newsletter: Randy Orton, UFC Ultimate Fight Night recap, more

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Saturday Update


Against the NBA Finals, last night’s SmackDown averaged 2.226 million viewers in the fast national ratings. The rating in the 18-49 demo was a 0.56 in the first hour and a 0.58 in the second. It’s another strong number for the show but is down from the 2.46 million viewers last week’s SmackDown averaged in the fast nationals. That episode didn’t go against an NBA Finals game.WWE uploaded a tribute video for The Iron Sheik. The video was shown during SmackDown last night.Gunther celebrated reaching 365 days as Intercontinental Champion. He won the title from Ricochet on SmackDown on June 10, 2022.In an interview with the Associated Press, Gable Steveson said his time in WWE is coming sooner than people think: “I am still doing my thing. I have changed my diet, my body appearance. I wanted to be the best thing ever so when I did go on TV, it was going to be a sight that nobody has seen before. My time is coming and it’s coming sooner than a lot of people think.”WWE has filed a trademark for “Meta-Four,” which is the name of Noam Dar, Lash Legend, Oro Mensah, and Jakara Jackson’s faction in NXT.WWE Shop is selling a replica version of Asuka’s new WWE Women’s Championship belt for $499.99.Hulk Hogan was interviewed on the Full Send Podcast.Zoey Stark was the guest on WWE After the Bell this week.Damage CTRL, Zelina Vega, Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn, and The Brawling Brutes appeared on The SmackDown LowDown.

AEW/Other Wrestling

Seamstress Sandra Gray, who is retiring, thanked AEW for the sendoff she got from the company last Wednesday: “With all my heart, Thank you @Tony Khan and my entire @AEW family for the most beautiful and loving send off ever! I am so honored to have been with this company since day one, I’m overwhelmed with all the love and respect you gave to me, A beautiful ending, Thank you all”While speaking with Sportskeeda, Billy Gunn discussed CM Punk’s return to AEW:So you can probably look at that two ways. Some people are gonna think it’s negative, and some people… I think it's a positive thing, I really do, because he is still, no matter what goes on behind the scene, he’s still got it. He’s still the guy. He still has huge drawing power, and that’s only gonna help us, so why would you not want a guy in here that can help? I don’t feel he’s as toxic as everybody thinks he is, but then again, I’m an old person and I don’t really care about all that other stuff. All I care about is what can he do for the company? What can he do for the talent in the company? He’s still very good at that, and we all have our days of where we go a little off-track. I can’t speak for anything, what happened with that, because everything I heard is also hearsay, and I don’t speak on hearsay because I’m not a gossiper. But in the general scheme of things, I think it’s a good thing, it really is.Peacock shared a first look at Samoa Joe as Sweet Tooth in its upcoming Twisted Metal series. The series premieres on Thursday, July 27.Actor Anthony Mackie praised Joe’s performance as Sweet Tooth:I’ve been a fan of Samoa Joe’s for a while now, just for wrestling, and he’s just a nice guy. He’s one of those guys that’s so huge that he just has to be nice, because nobody’s trying to try him. [He’d] break you in half. He doesn’t have any natural predators! So, he’s just a nice guy.It’s funny because we have a few toss-ups, a few fight scenes in the show, and I have to say, I was really impressed by him, just specifically in his ability… it was almost like commedia dell’arte watching him work because his face was covered, and it was all body gestures and stuff like that. It was really, really impressive, the work he was able to do and the way he brought this character to life. It’s funny to see somebody who – the way that [Dave] Bautista did in Guardians of the Galaxy – once you take somebody’s identity away, all of a sudden, it frees them up to be whoever that character is. And Samoa, he embraced that one hundred percent and made Sweet Tooth, I think, a crowd favorite from this show.AAW announced that its Crush & Destroy event that was scheduled for tonight had to be canceled. The cancellation is because the venue for the show got shut down: “Irving Hall was shut down by the city last night. We tried to pull something together but on super short notice, we couldn’t make it happen. We are forced to cancel tonight’s event. We will begin the refund process as soon as possible.”Our Josh Nason has a conversation with The Butcher on Josh Nason’s Punch-Out.Maria Kanellis-Bennett appeared on the latest episode of AEW Unrestricted.AEW uploaded a tag team hype trailer for Fight Forever.

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