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Daily Update: Raw notes, SummerSlam location, Adrian Street

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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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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking all of the stuff from Raw, which will be a lot, as well as XFL, TNT moving Dynamite several weeks in August and September and the rest of the news. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

Shane McMahon returns tonight for Raw and will announce some changes as well as there will be the announcement of a new faction. This may actually be multiple factions as we were told it was a return of the 90s mentality of factions. It will not be the return of the Nation of Domination as that was last week's idea that was ditched. Ric Flair is there and the angle everyone could see coming involving him is likely to happen on tonight's show, if not next week's show, which is also being taped tonight.

Announced for tonight's show besides Shane, the new faction, and Apollo Crews vs. MVP for the U.S. title (which is good news because it means Crews no longer has COVID-19), they've announced Asuka looking for revenge on Bayley and Sasha Banks and Drew McIntyre cuts a  promo on Randy Orton. Obviously Flair and Orton also have an angle being set up.

The day was described as more chaotic than usual with constant changes for both shows being taped. The only thing that has been on the books as of a few days ago was the return of Shane, because without it, the fear was this would be the lowest rated episode on Raw history, and the Flair angle.

The next two weeks of Smackdown will be taped tomorrow in Orlando. 

Regarding stories going around about SummerSlam in the Northeast, the plan right now being talked about was Atlantic City. They had been looking for a location outside of Florida for several weeks.

A movie on the life of Adrian Street will be released tomorrow on a number of video and On Demand platforms. "You May Be Pretty But I Am Beautiful: The Adrian Street Story" has been batted around for years. The documentary features interviews with Adrian Street, Miss Linda, Mick Foley and Stu Bennett. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)

WWE

  • Stock had a big drop from the $48 range to $44.17 today. The drop was based on uncertainty with the ratings which has never been an issue before, but now is a big issue because analysts have brought it up.   
  • My Bookie has XFL odds. Whether they will play in 2021, No is a -500 favorite. In 2022 No is a -220 favorite.  2023 No is a -500 favorite. So they are betting strong this doesn't get off the ground. They also have -1200 bet where Dwayne Johnson will play in the game.  I can't imagine even the remotest possibility of this happening.

UFC

  • Pro wrestler Eric Spicely was cut today after he missed the weekend fight with Markus Perez.  Spicely said he struggled with his weight cut due to taking antidepressants due to head trauma from the Deron Winn fight that he lost. There has been criticism of cutting the guy after admitting depression issues.
  • UFC Fight Pass this week has Dana White's Contenders Series at 8 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. Actually this is on ESPN+ in the U.S. but Fight Pass outside the U.S.:
    • Ty Flores vs. Dustin Jacoby
    • Damnte Robinson vs. Kenneth Cross
    • Uros Medic vs. Mikey Gonzalez
    • Luis Rodriguez vs. Jerome Rivera
    • Jordan Leavitt vs. Luke Flores
  • XFN airs Friday night on Fight Pass with an eight-man heavyweight kickboxing tournament from Tulsa starting at 9 p.m. Eastern.

AEW

  • This is the updated Wednesday lineup:
    • Jon Moxley vs. Darby Allin  for the AEW title, winner defends against MJF at All Out
    • Chris Jericho/Orange Cassidy debate with Eric Bischoff
    • FTR & Young Bucks & Adam Page & Kenny Omega vs. Six members of the Dark Order (Brodie Lee & Colt Cabana & four others)
    • Cody & Matt Cardona vs. Alex Reynolds & John Silver
    • Best Friends vs. Ortiz & Santana
    • Another MJF promo for All Out
  • The women's tag team tournament debuts tonight with Taynara Conti & Anna Jay vs. Nyla Rose & Ariane Andrew at 7 p.m. Eastern on YouTube.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Pro Wrestling NOAH has shows tomorrow and Wednesday at Korakuen Hall. The big matches are Katsuhiko Nakajima vs.  Kenou for the National title tomorrow and Go Shiozaki vs. Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC title on Wednesday.
  • New Japan starts its three-night tournament for the Never trios titles on Thursday.
  • The other of the two opening shows in New Zealand was Valiant Pro on Saturday night in Wellington, NZ. Both that show and IPW in Auckland on Saturday night were sold out as the first shows back since the pandemic started. Valiant Pro results: Cook Guy Sky b Pauly Spitfire, Prestige b Cuz & Axl Stirling, Danny Octane b Will Power, James Shaw b Lance Havoc, Wainui Express won three-way over Manalanche and Corey Cutter & Richard Ryder, Shane Sinclair b Nico Dandy, NIWA b Rufguts.  Next show is 9/26 (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)
  • An update from yesterday. There was a UFC mention this past week in the top searches for the week, as Edmen Shahbazyn had 100,000 searches on Saturday.  That was the only combat sports related Google search for the week that cracked the top 20. (thanks to Suju Abraham)
  • TK Cooper returned to New Zealand and did two weeks of quarantine. He will be on the SPW Southern Rumble show this weekend (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • The Roller Games episode on FS1 last night and FS2 on Saturday night was from the 1990 Alligator pit season as opposed to traditional Roller Games, although it did feature many of the T-Bird stars of the 70s and 80s on the show, such as Darlene Langlois, Debbie Garvey, Randi Whitman, Skinnie Minnie Miller and George Hase. (thanks to Burt Turelli)
  • The sister of MLW champion Jacob Fatu passed away unexpectedly this past week.
  • ECWA has been added to the IWTV service. The 1997 Super 8 tournament premiers on Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. Eastern. The Super 8 tournament for this year will air live on 9/19 with Arachdia, Ricky Reyes, Matt Tremont, KTV, Chris Rockwell, Dasher Hatfield, Eric Martin and Vnny Pacificio.
  • Today is the anniversary of the death of Dutch Savage and would have been the birthday of Apache Bull Ramos. So you can celebrate by watching this slice of life of 1976 Portland
  • Wrestling, as PBS documentary on that time period called "Savage '' which with all the kayfabe stuff, is still very charming, plus you can see how good Jimmy Snuka and Iron Sheik were when they were younger.
  • An article on former world champion Everette Marshall. (thanks to Lee Wall)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWF SummerSlam 1997


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