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Daily Update: Harley Race, Mickie James, Bellator

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F4W NEWSLETTER: First Raw of the Paul Heyman Era

Before this week's return to the norm, Joseph Currier looked at Heyman's promising start in his new role.

Though it was only the beginning of him easing into the role, the first Raw of the Paul Heyman era showed promising signs for his future as executive director.

It was surprising that -- during the build to a pay-per-view where the top of the card has already been announced -- Heyman's presence was so obvious. Even if WWE didn't announce his executive director role, it still would have been easy to tell that something was different about the episode.

It started with a literal bang that doubled as a statement of intent. Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley's falls count anywhere match kicked off the show and ended in a no contest. Strowman charged at Lashley, with explosions going off as they crashed through the stage. The angle was treated with complete seriousness. Corey Graves even let out an uncensored "holy sh*t" on commentary.


WON NEWSLETTER: July 15, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Death of Paco Alonso, G1 Opening, more

A look at Paco Alonso and his role in running the most traditional of all pro wrestling promotions, and what happens next with CMLL, is the lead story i the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at Alonso's death, an update on who will be running the company, how things will stay the same, what could change, the 2008 Hall of Fame election,  and the career of Alonso as a promoter including the wrestlings wars he was in and the boom periods he presided over.  We also look at where things stand and why Alonso is the only promoter with so much tenure in the business who has never lost money promoting wrestling.

We look at the first show of the G-1 Climax tournament, including unique aspects of the crowd, the business notes and what was good and bad about the crowd, this week's G-1 bouts, Dallas coverage with star ratings and poll results and will AEW and NJPW promote together any time soon.

We also look at a Saturday with five major shows, running down all of them and the story behind the change in WWE policy.

We also look at Dwayne Johnson and Conor McGregor earnings, Reigns winning award, new signings, Reigns talks why AEW isn't competition, WWE's latest network strategy, ideas that were nixed of late that were pitched, Eric Bischoff update, Stock price notes, new WWE television show, most-watched shows of the week on WWE Network as well as a rundown of all the arena events of the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

We've got full coverage of UFC 239, with all the different stories that came out of the show, the judging of Jones vs Santos, the future of several fighters, all of the business notes regarding the show as well as match-by-match coverage, fighter pay, and poll results.

We also look at the changes in All Japan Pro Wrestling and what it means going forward.

We also have coverage of the Impact PPV show, where Impact stands, how the PPV did, the crossover in buyers of Impact with other companies as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

We also run down the ratings of all the major TV shows, along with detailed demo info for the WWE shows.

We also have the results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 


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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw and G-1 among other topics. You can send questions in for the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com  

Extreme Rules did 200,000 searches and was in 7th place overall yesterday on Google. That's the number that would have been expected. The WWE Network also had 20,000 searches for 19th place.  For an update on Saturday, Urijah Faber was 4th overall with 200,000, way above expectations, behind Area 51, the New York City blackout and Serena Williams. Jeff Hardy, due to his arrest, was 7th with 50,000. 

Daniel Bryan was removed from the Battle Royal tonight and replaced by Sami Zayn. Bryan is on the show and they decided to go in a different direction tonight with him at some point today. 

Harley Race is still in the hospital and under doctor's care according to his Twitter account.

Bellator announced the first round  of their featherweight tournament on DAZN will take place on 9/7 in San Jose and 9/28 at the Forum in Los Angeles. The San Jose first round fights are Daniel Straus (25-8) vs. Derek Camps (19-9), Pat Curran (23-8) vs. Adam Borics (13-0), Emmanuel Sanchez (18-4) vs. Tywan Claxton (5-0) and Sam Sicilia (16-9) vs. Pedro Carvahlo (10-3).  At the Forum will be Patricio Pitbull Freire (29-4) defending the title against Juan Archuleta (23-1), plus Darrion Caldwell (13-3) vs. Henry Corrales (17-3), Daniel Weichel (39-11) vs. Saul Rogers (13-2) and A.J. McKee (14-0) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (28-9-1, 1 NC).

WWE

  • Mickie James will undergo surgery on her right ACL tomorrow in Birmingham.  She'll be out seven to nine months.  This will be her first major surgery of a 20-year career, which is an amazing stat.
  • At the Wells Fargo Center yesterday they announced a return date for WWE as 11/15, a Smackdown taping with the code word SMACKDOWN for the current presale.  Not that this necessarily means anything, but Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton was listed as the main event.
  • Stuber with Dave Bautista was No. 4 at the box office at $8.04 million in its first week of release, behind Spider-Man, Toy Story 4 ad Crawl.

UFC

  • UFC announced today an extension of their partnership with Blackheart Premium Spiced Rum.
  • MMA Fighting has an interview with Johnny Walker, who says he can't wait to fight again, and said he'll fight Jon Jones or Francis Ngannou.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • AEW has announced a partnership with LiveSource, the mobile app that enables its partners the ability to offer fans unique collectibles and experiences via live accounts.  This will allow fans to bid and buy AEW memorabilia and gear starting on 7/17 for merchandise and tickets for All Out.
  • An update on Don Wright after the fire that burned down his house.
  • Showtime announced two new shows starring Luke Thomas, who I worked with at MMA Fighting for many years.  Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell will spotlight the weekend's biggest boxing and MMA fights and Morning Kombat:  Dissected will have Thomas breaking down boxing and MMA matches each week.  Both shows will premiere at Noon Eastern on the Below The Belt YouTube Channel and Facebook page.
  • Inspire Pro Wrestling on 8/10 in partnership with Heavy Metal Wrestling at The Pit in San Antonio.
  • The local section of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel had a front page article on Micro Wrestling doing a show on 7/20 at the Casino at Dania Beach. 
  • Eddie Alvarez and Edouard Foloyang were announced for One's lightweight World Grand Prix which starts on 8/2 in the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, The Philippines.
  • Tickets went on sale today for Saturday Night SuperFight, the first PPV show from MLW on 11/2 at Cicero Stadium.  Tickets are currently available at MLWtickets.com.  No matches have been announced but there will be four title matches and Jacob Fatu, Tom Lawlor, The Von Erichs, The Hart Foundation Contra Unit,Alex Hammerstone, MJF & Richard Holiday (tag champs), Low Ki, L.A. Park. Flamita, Konnan, Salina de la Renta and Mance Warner have all been announced.
  • Matt Taven wall be throwing out the first pitch at the Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays game tonight.
  • MLW announced Low Ki vs. Jimmy Yuta was added to the 7/25 TV tapings in New York at the Melrose Ballroom.
  • Stardom results from today in Nagoya:  Saya Iida b Hina, Natsuko Tora & Sumire Natsu b Death Yama-San & Ruaka, Jamie Hayter & Hazuki b Arisa Hoshiki & Starlight Kid, Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano & Saki Kashima b Hana Kimura & Zoe Lucas & Bobbi Tyler, Jungle Kyona & Konami won the Goddesses of Stardom tag titles from Momo Watanabe & Utami Hayashishita when Kyona pinned Hayashishita.  Kagetsu & Miyagi will be the next tag title challengers (thanks to Shannon Walsh and wrestlingwithdemons.net)
  • Jerry Lawler & Keith Youngblood vs. David Arquette & Brian Anthony was announced for NEW's 8/16 show in Poughkeepsie which is headlined by Jon Moxley vs. Pentagon Jr.  Darby Allin, Enzo, Cass and Rey Fenix are also wrestling on that show.
  • Eli Drake's first one-on-one match in the NWA this year.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Ric Flair wins Missouri title in one-night tournament


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