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Daily Update: Triple H, Jay Lethal, UFC notes

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WON NEWSLETTER: July 6, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Outbreak forces WWE to make changes, more

A wide variety of stories are featured in this week's double sized issue of the Observer. 

Our lead story looks at how WWE and AEW have handled COVID-19, including notes on the WWE outbreak, how its TV shows changed, Jon Moxley & Renee Young, handling of masks by both companies, how WWE's policy changed, what AEW did this past week, who missed this week's WWE television and reasons why in many cases, WWE responds to questions about how they've handled things and more.

The new issue also covers:

WWE firings and suspensions based on Speaking Out, Sammy Guevara, responses by a number of people who claims against them and how different companies have reacted.

More on the suicide death of Hana Kimura, her mother speaks, what she said to a friend and what was and wasn't staged about her role on Terrace House which led to her depression.

Motions filed by Jerry McDevitt on the Saudi Arabia situation, as well as a response by Hugo Savinovich, and what is and isn't relevant to the lawsuit itself.

Wednesday night competition, with the ratings in all the key demos for both shows, the ratings pattern, how every quarter and match did, what lessons are learned, what's up for next week, as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings.

New Japan Cup with notes on local television, the storylines leading to the final four, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings of the last four shows.

The television industry and sports and how this affects WWE and AEW.  We look at WWE buying Evolve, Kane's political stance on masks,.Roman Reigns talks why he's not appearing for WWE right now, Update on the Oliver Luck lawsuit against Vince McMahon, Extreme Rules update, Kairi Sane's future, Edge talks injury, Canadian and U.K. TV ratings, how wrestling stands in sports ratings, Becky Lynch's push for her booking that WWE didn't do as far as losing the title, WWE star fears another surgery, Gail Kim talks traumatic WWE matches, Mike Chiods talks his departure, The Nexxus return, WWE stock value and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

A major piece on the life and career of Killer Tim Brooks. We go from the start of his career, how he got into wrestling through his family, his first match, how he got his first break and became a main eventer, his biggest runs, his early successes in Japan, the forerunner of one of WWE's most famous angles, his career title history, his friendship with Bruiser Brody, and his running a promotion himself.

This past weekend's UFC show with the Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker fight of the year candidate, match-by-match coverage, plus business notes.

A feature on an all-time great pro wrestler who had a recent murder charge dropped due to dementia.

Titus O'Neil up for nomination this past year for the Muhammad Ali award.

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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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • Raw ratings are delayed due to this past weekend’s Fourth of July holiday.
  • In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Triple H was asked about counter-programming and if NXT would still be putting on the Great American Bash if it wasn’t for AEW’s Fyter Fest: “It absolutely is part of healthy of competition. Anyone that thinks it isn’t, to a degree, is being naive to the situation. You saw that back in the day when Clash of Champions was counter-programming [to WWE’s WrestleMania IV in 1988]. At the same point, it can’t drive your booking decisions. Obviously there are counter-programming decisions, but I can tell you exactly how this came about. Almost all of these storylines were headed where they are now. There was a gap, timing wise, between In Your House and what will become the SummerSlam TakeOver, and you need a halfway point and a build. This is that halfway point. So it doesn’t change our decision-making process. I don’t counter-book, I book what’s right for NXT.
  • Kevin Owens tweeted about teaming with Rey Mysterio on last night’s Raw: “I’d say I spent 80% of this year sporting various Rey Mysterio shirts. I’m wearing one right now, in fact. With a mask...of his mask! I really can’t overstate how much of an honor it was to team with Rey on #WWERaw This pic of us from last year will always be a favorite of mine.”
  • WWE posted a photo gallery for their new United States title belt.
  • Mick Foley tweeted that he was interviewed today for A&E’s Steve Austin Biography documentary. It was announced in April 2019 that A&E and WWE Studios were partnering together for Biographies on Austin, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, Booker T, and Shawn Michaels.
  • Keith Lee, Jeff Hardy, Kacy Catanzaro, Dolph Ziggler, and Mark Henry are appearing on tomorrow morning’s episode of WWE’s The Bump.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch from the main event of WrestleMania 35 and Randy Orton vs. Kane in a falls count anywhere match from Extreme Rules 2012.

Other Wrestling

  • After Kelly Klein tweeted alleging that “MULTIPLE women brought complaints & evidence of sexual misconduct/harassment by Jay Lethal. ROH ignored/covered it up. They only take action when convenient,” Lethal posted a statement yesterday: “It has always been my choice to use silence to keep my dignity, refrain from publicly attacking people I’m not fond of, and relying on who I have been as a person to speak for itself. I’ve also never wanted to use MY platform to boost or give attention to any negativity. I do however know and realize that some people will sadly take my silence to mean something else. The #speakingout movement has given me hope that the industry that I’ve chosen to give my life to will become a better place. I’ve wanted to stand in support of all those brave enough to share their painful stories. Unfortunately I was afraid to due to the lies that are being said about me. I have never and would never sexually harass, sexually assault, rape or force myself on anyone. I would never use my status to deny anyone opportunities. Even now, it pains me to know that defending myself might somehow tarnish an important movement and cast doubt on real, troubling experiences.”
  • OTT Wrestling issued a statement detailing the changes they’re making and the procedures they’re implementing in light of the #SpeakingOut movement.
  • “Ringo’s Big Birthday Show” on AXS TV is expected to run approximately four minutes long tonight, meaning Impact should start on AXS TV and Twitch at 9:04 p.m. Eastern time.
  • AEW released their Road To video for Fyter Fest night two.
  • MLW’s Jared St. Laurent issued a statement on Brian Pillman Jr.’s contract status: “Brian is not released and is fully aware of our schedule, which includes events October 3rd and December 5th pending the state of the pandemic. We put the health of our talent/staff and their family and our fans before bookings, which is why we are not running at the moment. We’ve been in contact with Brian to relay this. If he elects to perform elsewhere under the terms of his deal, he certainly has our full blessing to do so.”
  • Karl Anderson posted a picture on Instagram of Luke Gallows wearing an Impact Wrestling T-shirt.
  • Brandon Thurston is conducting a Pro Wrestling Favorability Survey. The goal of the survey is to understand "fan demographics, favorability of major brands, and possible economic effects on the wrestling business of COVID-19 and the #SpeakingOut movement,” and the results of it are intended to be used in future published work.

MMA

  • Pedro Munhoz has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been pulled from his fight against Frankie Edgar that was set for the UFC’s July 15 Fight Night show on Fight Island.
  • Dana White revealed that the UFC is donating all of the proceeds for their “UF-Sea” T-shirts to one of John Oliver’s favorite charities: “He was making fun of Fight Island and basically saying ‘this idiot is going to build an island where people can fight during COVID-19’ and all this stuff. I’m actually a John Oliver fan. So I went out and I trademarked -- he said you should have just called it ‘UF-Sea’ -- so I trademarked UF-Sea. Then he went out and bought a trademark of ours that had lapsed and he’s actually doing baby onesies that say ‘you will submit’ or something like that. My T-shirts are done. These are going to go up for sale on the UFC website. They’re going up this week and all proceeds to these t-shirts -- I did some research and John Oliver, one of his big charities is the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The Woodruff Family Foundation mission is to ensure injured post 9/11 service members, veterans and their families are thriving long after they return home. So that’s one of his big charities. So all the money from the UF-Sea shirts are going to go to one of John Oliver’s charities.”
  • The UFC uploaded episode one of Embedded for Saturday’s UFC 251 PPV.
  • Gilbert Burns wants Kamaru Usman to defeat Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251: “I want Kamaru to win. First of all, because I kind of like the guy. He’s not anymore, but he used to be my training partner, so for sure I got Kamaru. And if Masvidal wins, the things are gonna get crazy. It’s going to be a circus in that division. He’s going to fight who else, I don’t know, I think he wants to fight Conor (McGregor) or maybe Nate Diaz. I don’t think the division is going to run correctly, with the number one, number two guys fighting for the title. He’s going to make it a mess, so that’s another reason I want Kamaru to win.”
  • Ariel Helwani has an interview with Masvidal.
  • Masvidal won’t have coach Mike Brown in his corner at UFC 251 due to Brown testing positive for COVID-19. Brown spoke to ESPN about not being able to fly to Abu Dhabi and corner Masvidal: “Just heartbroken I'm not going to see Jorge win the world championship in person. Nobody deserves it more than this guy. Nobody has paid more dues. Jorge is also one of the most thoughtful athletes I've ever met. He makes everyone feel they are with him and a huge part of this journey. The truth is this guy has been honing his skills for more than 20 years and developed one of the highest fight IQs the sport has ever seen. As far as being COVID positive, I feel good. The only pain I feel is in my heart."
  • Dana White said the BMF title isn’t on the line for Masvidal vs. Usman: “It is not on the line. Usman wants it to be on the line so bad, he will not stop texting me saying, ‘I don’t understand why this belt isn’t on the line. This guy’s running around saying he’s the BMF champ. I want to squash it all. He’s not going to win my title, and I’m going to take his BMF belt.' Believe me, Usman has not stopped terrorizing me about this. That was like a one-and-done, the BMF title.”
  • Max Holloway will auction off his Fight Kit for UFC 251 to support Hawaii Foodbank: “Following the lead of my brothers @TeamKhabib & @DustinPoirier I’ll be auctioning off my fight kit from UFC 251. Unemployment in Hawaii is one of the highest in the US and many are struggling to eat. All proceeds will go to the @hawaiifoodbank. Thanks @ufc & @VisitAbuDhabi”
  • Paige VanZant spoke about her contract status with the UFC: “I’ve added up all the money I’ve made in the UFC over six years, and I could have just had a regular job with the same pay. I'm so thankful for everything the UFC has done for me, the platform they’ve given me. This is nothing against the UFC. But the contract I signed is what I signed and I know I need to honor it. That’s why I’m fighting this last fight out and I was never trying to break it early. It’s important to fight this fight out, honor my contract and then say listen this is my value and this is what I need to be paid to make it worth it.”
  • ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that the UFC is in the process of finalizing Glover Teixeira vs. Thiago Santos for the main event of their September 12 Fight Night show.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The formation of the NWO


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