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Daily Update: Cole-McAfee, Dexter Lumis, Fight Island

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WON NEWSLETTER: August 3, 2020 Observer Newsletter: WWE has most profitable quarter ever

The most in-depth look at WWE business is the focal point of this week's double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

WWE set an all-time record for profits even while having no revenue from arena shows or live event merchandise. We go through the key places the cost savings came from and how reliant the company is now on television money.  We also have notes on investors grilling Vince McMahon about the declining ratings and the firing of Paul Heyman and his responses.

The new issue also covers:

Huge growth in June of the WWE Network, the reasons it happened, and whether or not it's sustainable. We give a realistic reason for the growth as well as a WWE-speak version. We look at the change in marketing strategy and the early returns from this change; We look at where analysts were wrong about profitability, how the stock price rose, and why the rising level wasn't that much because of many analysts long-term concern and why.

The difference in tax rate, current market value of the company, why the big talent cuts played no part in these profits and how the profits should go once that talent that was let go is no longer being paid.

What the company is now talking about doing with all the extra cash on hand because the pandemic greatly helped short-term business.

Where the stock price really should be based on the sure-fire profits through 2024, and why it's still much lower. We also look at the Raw and Smackdown numbers for quarter two, how they compare to last year, and break through  just the numbers to look at the impact of wrestling on the USA Network both last year and this year.

More changes in the WWE Network strategy, updates on WrestleMania in Los Angeles, how soon Vince McMahon thinks before ratings turn around, building new stars, Vince's reason why AEW numbers are holding up better than Raw or Smackdown, safety measures, and even the WWE Hall of Fame.

The health of Antonio Inoki and look at his disease.

The merger of several Japanese companies and what it really means.

We also look at long-term WWE stock analysis.

Update on Rey Mysterio and WWE, WWE hires a new major executive from NBC, Update on people furloughed, departure of Kairi Sane, constant booking plan changes, Randy Orton talks philosophy of wrestling, Lance Storm talks his own status, Xavier Woods wants non-wrestling gig, Kurt Angle talks his retirement, where wrestlnig stands in sports ratings, update on U.K. ratings, strange Bruce Prichard/Nick Aldis story, return of Kyle O'Reilly as well as the most watched shows on the WWE Network.

A feature on Regis Philbin and his long association with pro wrestling. We look at where it started, where it didn't take place, how Philbin started using WWF talent and what segment nearly ended it.

New Japan's Sengoku Lord show with match-by-match coverage, business notes, poll results and star ratigns. We also look at the history of pro wrestling at Jingu Stadium, why New Japan booked a stadium show with such little advance time, the creation of the new KOPW title, and the famous world champion vs world champion match at the stadium in 1994.

This past week's UFC show, the final event of the Abu Dhabi Fight Island series.

The career of Zoltan Boscik, one of the great technical wrestlers of the 60s and 70s and a television regular. Despite being less than 150 pounds and having nothing of an impressive look, Boscik was a two-time British lightweight champion and a regular world title contender.

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. 


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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.

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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.


WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • Ahead of tonight’s NXT, Pat McAfee posted pictures of him talking with Adam Cole and them shaking hands: “Hey @AdamColePro.. I’m thankful for the opp to chat. I feel like the convo was something that doesn’t happen often anymore..2 people have a miscommunication, they talk about, can agree to disagree about some things & they move forward. How you doin? Keep it movin. #WWENXT”
  • Cole then responded to McAfee: “What happens when two grown adults hash things out. Class act @PatMcAfeeShow”
  • Dakota Kai and Rhea Ripley’s number one contender’s match will open tonight’s NXT. The winner will challenge for Io Shirai’s NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver XXX on Saturday, August 22.
  • WWE posted a storyline injury update on Dexter Lumis after his match against Timothy Thatcher and Finn Balor from last week’s NXT: “WWE Digital has learned that the severity of the ankle injury suffered by Dexter Lumis is worse than previously reported. In last week’s NXT Injury Report, it was revealed that Lumis had suffered an osteochondral lesion to the talus after a grueling battle with Finn Bálor and Timothy Thatcher for a North American Championship Match opportunity. Lumis won the bout, but the growing severity of his ankle injury has raised some questions around Lumis’ status for the North American Championship Ladder Match at TakeOver XXX.” It was said on WWE’s The Bump this morning that Lumis will still wrestle at TakeOver.
  • Triple H announced that Metallica’s “Moth Into Flame” is an official theme song of NXT TakeOver XXX: “#NXTTakeOver: XXX will be our biggest event yet…so we had to make it as LOUD as possible. A special thank you to @Metallica for this #NXTLoud theme. ‘Moth Into Flame’ gets even LOUDER on S&M2, out August 28th. #WeAreNXT”
  • ESPN reported that James Kimball is taking a senior operations role in WWE: “James Kimball, who has been the operations head of the UFC Performance Institute (in Las Vegas and Shanghai) since the conception of the idea, is leaving the UFC for WWE, sources told ESPN. Kimball is taking a senior business operations role in WWE and will be working out of the corporate office in Stamford, Connecticut. As MMA Junkie reported Wednesday, Dr. Duncan French, who had been the performance head of the UFC PI, will take over as operations head.”
  • Mustafa Ali, Ruby Riott, Big E, and Bronson Reed appeared on WWE's The Bump this morning.
  • Bret Hart, Matt Riddle, Big Show, Dakota Kai, and comedian Gabriel Iglesias have been announced as guests for next week’s episode of The Bump.
  • WWE on FOX has video of last night’s SummerSlam 1992 watch party with Renee Young, Booker T, CM Punk, Finn Balor, and Bret Hart.
  • The WWE Performance Center uploaded a video on Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, his music, and his Swerve City podcast.
  • Kurt Angle celebrated reaching seven years of sobriety yesterday: “Celebrating 7 years of sobriety today. To all of you who supported me and stood by me, through good and bad, I want to thank you for not giving up on me. Salute! (With a glass of milk in my You Suck cup). #sobriety #addictionsucks #yourenotalone #recovery”
  • Byron Saxton will be the guest on tomorrow’s edition of After the Bell with Corey Graves.

Other Wrestling

  • The North (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page) will get their rematch for the Impact Tag Team titles against the Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) at Emergence. Emergence is a two-week special taking place on the August 18 and August 25 episodes of Impact.
  • The following matches have been announced for next Tuesday’s Impact:
    • Eddie Edwards Impact World Championship open challenge
    • Tasha Steelz & Kiera Hogan vs. Jessicka Havok & Nevaeh in a no DQ match
    • Jordynne Grace vs. Kimber Lee
  • During an appearance on Busted Open Radio, Matt Cardona discussed his love for pro wrestling: “There are times when it has sucked and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when you really have to love it. It is so easy to love it when you are on TV every week and in a great spot. Who wouldn’t love that. You have to love it when you are sitting in catering. You have to love it when you are not booked. You have to love it when things aren’t going your way. Then, when you get nights like last week, everything is so much better and sweeter that way. Maybe that’s just my delusional way of thinking about it. For me, that’s how I live my life. I don’t want to live in bitterness. What’s the point? Why complain online? You’re not going to be happier, I’ll tell you that.”
  • Cardona and Brian Myers interviewed Tony Khan on The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast.
  • Khan tweeted yesterday after Fulham FC secured promotion to the English Premier League for next season: “Thank you @FulhamFC supporters worldwide, thank you so much to the squad & staff for today’s win. I love being an owner but being your Director of Football/Sporting Director/GM is my favorite role in life. I love the people at this Club. What a day! Thank you all. Come on Fulham!”
  • Fred Yehi spoke to Andrew Thompson about EVOLVE, MLW, the rise of Black wrestlers, and the ROH Pure title tournament.
  • POST Wrestling has an article on the death of Jaguar Vijay Singh, who passed away last Friday.

MMA

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Great Sasuke wins Unified J-Crown


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