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Daily Update: Coronavirus notes, NOAH, WrestleMania

DAILY UPDATE

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WON NEWSLETTER: March 30, 2020 Observer Newsletter: WrestleMania continues to change

An update on pro wrestling around the world, where almost everything is canceled, update on WrestleMania, and how every company is handling the situation is the lead story in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Why WWE had to tape WrestleMania in advance, update on the card, update on the changes, some of the early changes, what matches were changed from last week and why, many different matches that were talked about as recently as a week ago, PPV price, NXT big matches and the NXT UK next major show.

The new issue also covers: 

The massive stock sale of Vince McMahon, the questions regarding why he would do it, how much of the company he still owns, the television deal with ESPN, and how it compares with airing of big fights from the UFC and boxing on ESPN this week.  We also look at the latest WWE Network free offer and what it entails, how long AEW will be going without fans at shows, why the original plans for last week had to be scrapped, who is iced for now from appearing on AEW TV, how hard it has been to put shows together ad new dates.

Dana White's comments regarding UFC 249, what he said about testing and what the doctors have said about doing shows right now.  We also look at White's plans to make up for missed shows, Impact canceling its PPV, the Japanese sports scene, the Governor of Tokyo talks shutting down the city, the difference in stats between Tokyo and New York, and what Korakuen Hall management has decided.

Shows in Japan this past week and decisions made by companies for this coming week.  We look in particular at how New Japan is handling this as compared with other companies.  We look at problems for Americans getting to Japan, when the next possible New Japan show is and what content New Japan has been producing.

The arrest of Jon Jones this past week, details of the arrest and a look back at Jones' arrests and drug test failures.

The best of the 10s, who were the Best of the Decade as far as the Thesz/Flair Award, MMA Most Valuable, Most Outstanding Wrestler of Fighter, Biggest Box Office Draw, Best Tag Team, Best on Interviews, Most Charismatic, Best Technical, Best Brawler, Best Flyer, Best Promotion, Who had the best matches over the past decade, Best Non-Wrestler and Best Television announcer.

Daniel Bryan also talks his future after his current contract expires, WWE stars make marketing donations, WWE renews major TV deal, U.K. ratings for WWE and AEW, how WWE contract work and how that pressures some wrestlers into signing new deals, behind what Braun Strowman said that caused so much controversy, key exec stock sales, Arn Anderson on what Vince McMahon wanted said about Sting, new WWE movie coming to Netflix, Injury updates, and most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

A feature on the death of Branko Cikatic, the first K-1 champion and a pioneer on major MMA shows in Japan.  We look at his gigantic career, what star was made in Japan by beating him, the first K-1 World Grand Prix and early Pride shows.

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.

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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.


SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I did our weekend show last night covering all the latest news, from Roman Reigns, to Dana White, to Smackdown and WrestleMania. I also did an in-depth show on Roman Reigns and other subjects with Jim Valley on Friday.

Some notes from Dr. Alex Patel on the coronavirus:

  • It would appear Italy is levelling off - based on that data anticipated week is about 2-3 weeks,
  • Clearly in the US (esp in NYC) we are getting reports of the large spread hospital overrun. The increase the US and doubling time is much higher than most places.
  • He noted that often 50% percent of the people with the virus don't have a fever. "We are seeing people with a headache that swab positive - it can have very mild presentations."
  • I believe UFC was going to swab them which is more accurate than using temp. However there are false negatives and the swabs are not well validated for asymptomatic people so it's not perfect. I also think with the way MMA works there is more exchange of droplets than wrestling by face (fake vs real and ability to minimize it if it's fake) so I agree it seems weird they are pushing it so much.
  • Anyone at higher risk (Diabetes, HTN, on immunosuppressives) needs to be more cautious. Talk to your doctor if you are on immunosuppressants if the best option is to reduce them or not. Avoid NSAIDS and stick to Tylenol. In terms of how long it's hard to say - even if rates fall there is a concern about a bump from South America having cases later and coming over. I would definitely avoid travel for a while. If cases start to fall then I would increase social activity in a ramp fashion - lowest risk (ie - small groups of people you know are well) first before going full blown.
  • If rates fall in 2-3 weeks then it might take a month or so putting us on that initial June or so timeline before we see easing off.
  • Mass gatherings are definitely still risky as are airports and travel. The bump in South America coming a little later needs to be watched and we have to weary it doesn't make its way back over here.

A lot of the cable companies are getting their acts together on the WrestleMania pricing after having no idea how to handle it. Verizon has changed it to $29.99 per night. DirecTV is listing it as $34.95 per night sold separately. Comcast has changed to $34.95 per night as well. (thanks to Leon Peters, Arya Witner and B Faherty)

There has been a ton of talk today regarding the Go Shiozaki vs. Kazuyuki Fujita GHC title match that took place at Korakuen Hall earlier today. People were raving about it, saying it was absolutely brutal, with Shiozaki taking an incredible beating before coming back to win. The match went 57:47 which sounds insane in an empty arena, and the two never touched until the 31:00 mark.  Yet people are calling it a fantastic match and say don't skip over the first part. Anyway, I haven't seen it yet. Shiozaki retained the title. Regarding Korakuen Hall. it has shot down for spectators but is allowing empty arena events. (thanks to Matt Harrigan). 

KIRO TV in Seattle covered the death of Dean Silverstone on its news. Dean was one of the nicest and most giving and hardworking guys in the business. I don't know anyone who didn't like or respect him and he was a seemingly indispensible person in the Cauliflower Alley Club for 30 years.  He is a giant loss to that part of the business. 

 WWE

  • BT Sports put together this great piece on Drew McIntyre getting ready for Brock Lesnar. Hopefully this airs on Raw Monday.
  • Becky Lynch did an interview on ESPN where she indicated that her match with Shayna Baszler would be on the first night of WrestleMania.
  • Brock Lesnar, Edge, Undertaker and Becky Lynch are all advertised for Raw tomorrow.  The Raw show was taped this past Tuesday on a closed set so no matches or results are out.
  • WrestleMania 32 airs at 7 p.m. Eastern tonight on ESPN.  The key matches are Roman Reigns winning the WWE title from HHH, the same match that aired Friday on Smackdown, plus Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose, notable this week since it's current WWE champion vs. current AEW champion in almost a squash, Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon Hell in a Cell, Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks for the old Divas title, Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs. Stardust (Cody) vs. Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara in a ladder match and Chris Jericho vs. A.J. Styles, plus an appearance by The Rock.
  • The company is doing Instagram live promotions for WrestleMania all week.  Zack Ryder and Charlotte Flair are doing a watch along for tonight's ESPN coverage of WrestleMania. Rhea Ripley will be on at 1:30 tomorrow.  Mandy Rose will be on Noon Tuesday. Rhea Ripley will be on Noon Thursday. Bianca Belair will be on at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

UFC

  • Sportsbegging.ag has odds of where UFC 249 will take place:
    • Florida +225
    • Russia +300
    • United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi) +300
    • Mexico +500
    • Saudi Arabia +800
    • South Africa +1000
    • Nevada +1400
  • They also have odds on whether Jon Jones fights before December 31:
    • Yes +300
    • No -500

AEW

  • Chris Jericho is going to do weekly Q&A segments, singalongs and otherwise make an attempt to entertain wrestling fans every Saturday night going forward.  He did his first show last night and had about 150,000 views before the end of the night and it's topped 360,000 as of today. 

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Guiherme Cruz has a great story on fighters preparing for UFC 250 with all gyms shut down in Brazil. This focuses on some of the same issues we've been talking about, about putting people in fights who simply can't do fight camp training and preparation at this time.
  • If you are looking for current wrestling, MLW has enough shows in the can for several more weeks. MLW goes under the radar just because there is so much product out there, but they combine all kinds of styles and it's logically booked week-to-week with good wrestlers. This week's show is built around the idea of a real fight with King Mo managed by Dan Lambert, and they promote ATT hard, against Low Ki billed as a battle of knockout artists.
  • The Wrestle-1 promotion will be running its 4/1 final event at Korakuen Hall without a  crowd. The promotion, founded by Keiji Muto, was going out of business on that date not having anything to do with the coronavirus, and was continuing to run shows. 
  • Stardom ended up canceling yesterday's show in Shizuoka that was still on as late as Friday.  There have been smaller companies running events, some with fans, in Japan, but the crowds have been small. Nothing like last week. 
  • Also in Japan, Pure J and Tokyo Joshi Pro canceled events in Tokyo and Marvelous canceled its show tomorrow.  Sendai Girls did run yesterday in Miyagi.
  • Two boxing names passed away this week from the coronavirus. Nelson Cuevas, a cutman from New York, passed away Friday.  He was a fixture on the New York boxing scene since 1959, working the corners after first being a boxer and later a trainer. Former fighter and trainer Ron Ross passed away in Boca Raton, FL, best known for his biographies on Emile Griffith and Bummy Davis. (thanks to Nick Mahmood)
  • CWE did a three match live stream from Winnipeg on Friday:  Johnny Malibu b Kevin Cannon, Adrien Burton b Dragneel, Danny Duggan b AJ Sanchez.  Mentallo issued a challenge to Duggan for the 11th anniversary show on 5/22 in Winnipeg.   The event is on the CWE Facebook page.
  • CWE on 4/30 in Prince Albert, Alberta at the East Hills Community Club with Shane Douglas vs. Robin Lekime.
  • A story going around about a teenage wrestler who stopped a kidnapping.
  •  Bill Apter put up a 2005 interview with AJ Styles.
  • Evolve put up a free Velveteen Dream & Street Profits vs. Eddie Kingston, Joe Gacy & Isaiah Scott match.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWF WrestleMania III


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