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WON NEWSLETTER: January 20, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Death of Rocky Johnson, AEW extends TV deal

We've got what will be one of the biggest issues of the year, a double issue with a look at the lives and careers of Rocky Johnson, La Parka and Kendo Nagasaki, plus what will be one of the biggest news stories of 2020, the AEW new television extension with TNT through 2023.

The lead story goes into the life and career of Rocky Johnson, the father of Dwayne Johnson and one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 1970s. We talk about Johnson's death this past week, his ancestry, the story of him being kicked out of the house at 13, his background in boxing and wrestling along with ties to both Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, as well as where the name Rocky Johnson came from.

We talk about his main skills, his dropkicks, the birth of Dwayne Johnson, the best television match on Roy Shire television of the 70s, his quick rise to main events and championships, and how his run in Los Angeles in 1970 made him into one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling. We cover his years in San Francisco, his landmark program with Jerry Lawler, his headlining in St. Louis, his world title battles, early championships and his brother, as well as how Dwayne Johnson got started in pro wrestling.

The new issue also covers:

Full details of the new television deal between AEW and TNT, including the value, the options, how this relates to the old deal, how this compares to other deals, what we know about the second show, questions this brings up regarding WWE countering, stars that are about to become free agents, Tony Khan talks the new deal, and the ratings in 18-49 and value per episode update on Raw, Smackdown, NXT and AEW and what type of value did TNT get for its money.

The death of La Parka, including his connection with the first La Parka, as well as the uncle of the first La Parka. We look at his career before La Parka, his rise to fame in AAA, his period on top, his biggest feuds, his heel turn and why it flopped, L.A. Park comments on his rival and more on his biggest matches.

The death of Kazuo Sakurada, the Japanese Kendo Nagasaki. We look at his connection with Bret Hart, with comments by Bret Hart, Ross Hart and Fumi Saito. How Dusty Rhodes created Kendo Nagasaki and who it was copied from.  Many of his other wrestling names.  Sakurada's tough guy reputation and his days in sumo prior to pro wrestling.  How he got into pro wrestling, his original relationships with Giant Baba and Genichiro Tenryu, his day in Stampede Wrestling as one of its biggest tag team stars, his wrestling in Japan, Mid South, WCW and the story of he and Bruiser Brody from Puerto Rico. His fights in the ring,and his one MMA fight.

Next WWE show in Saudi Arabia, a new Dwayne Johnson television show, a new Miz television show, notes on the return of Big Show, Paul Levesque and Paige, Bret Hart filming a WWE show, Brock Lesnar honored, WWE trademarks, WWE BT party in London,WWE European ratings, notes on several new WWE signings as well as a major star who has met with Paul Levesque about coming in.  We look at the next MSG show, DVR viewership of WWE programming, plus a look at all the WWE & NXT live events over the past week with results,highlights and business notes.

Update the Royal Rumble and World Collide shows and how tickets are selling for the next round of major WWE events.

The Tessa Blanchard controversy and her winning the Impact title, with comments from many in wrestling and a full rundown of TNA Hard to Kill with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

Update the changes at Bellator in structuring, who is now in charge and what may be happening next.

More money being sent into MMA with the PFL, its new ownership and revenue sources and how much new capita they now have.

Coverage of the WWE U.K. Takeover show, with show notes, business notes, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results of the show.

The 2019 Wrestling Observer Awards ballot.

Regarding the Wednesday numbers, we've got full details, demos that each side won, how every segment did and what match ended up as the difference maker. 

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over 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.

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • Tonight’s episode of WWE Backstage is filmed from Miami during Super Bowl week. Roman Reigns and The New Day will appear on the show.
  • Reigns asked questions to the San Francisco 49ers and Baron Corbin asked questions to the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl Opening Night.
  • Byron Saxton joined the Raw commentary team last night, calling the show alongside Tom Phillips and Jerry Lawler.
  • Phillips tweeted this morning: “This weekend brought to you by Lemsip, Halls, Ricola, and the Starbuck’s Medicine Ball (just found out what that is). I sound like Jason Beghe now. In all seriousness, I’m sincerely grateful to everybody inside and outside of WWE that have supported me. Thank you!”
  • Bubba Ray Dudley and Drew McIntyre will be in-studio guests on tomorrow’s episode of WWE’s The Bump.
  • TalkSport reported on the confrontation between Brock Lesnar and Matt Riddle backstage at the Royal Rumble: “According a WWE official, Lesnar is said to have approached Riddle backstage and grabbed his shoulder to get his attention. Then, Lesnar said: ‘Kid, you might as well stop saying my name and tagging me in sh*t because you and I will never work together. Ever.’ Riddle is said to have tried talking to Brock when they first encountered but didn’t really get a chance to. Lesnar said what he had to say and kept it moving. Riddle was his usual, cool and composed self during the exchange, tensions never rose especially high.”
  • Ronda Rousey uploaded a video of her reacting to Shayna Baszler’s Royal Rumble performance.
  • Season five of WWE Ride Along will debut on the WWE Network at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on Friday night. The episode will feature Carmella & Corey Graves in one car and Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross in the other.
  • A new episode of WWE Break It Down featuring Kevin Owens is premiering on the WWE Network at 8 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.
  • Sarah Logan defeated Deonna Purrazzo on last night’s Main Event tapings.  Before debuting on Raw, Riddick Moss also defeated Cedric Alexander in a singles match on Main Event.
  • WWE is returning to Japan with a house show at the Edion Arena on July 2 and house shows at the Yokohama Arena on July 3 and July 4.
  • The WWE Performance Center has videos on the NXT entrants in the women’s Royal Rumble match and Keith Lee’s NXT North American title win and men’s Rumble match appearance.
  • Sheamus will be the honorary pace car driver for this year's Daytona 500.

Other Wrestling

MMA

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWE Royal Rumble 2018


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