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Daily Update: UFC 251, Cauliflower Alley Club, Sarah Logan

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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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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight covering UFC 251, the New Japan Cup, Smackdown, Wednesday ratings and other news for Wrestling Observer Radio. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

So this is the latest on UFC 251. With Gilbert Burns out, UFC worked on a deal for Jorge Masvidal to replace him in a welterweight title fight with Kamaru Usman.  Masvidal had turned down prior money offers to face Usman.  So as long as neither test positive for COVID before the fight or another complication takes place, that will be the main event this coming Saturday, Usman vs. Masvidal for the welterweight title.  While people are super excited about it, and it is a big fight, you have Masvidal coming into the five round fight with no training.  Essentially, since Usman is known for cardio, Masvidal may have to get Usman out of there early.  Because of that, Usman is a fairly heavy favorite to retain.

As far as trending stuff over the past week with no shows, it was quiet. UFC 251, regarding the reports of the welterweight title change, was No. 11 yesterday with 100,000 searches. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was No. 9 on Friday with 100,000 searches

Sarah Dobson Rowe, formerly Sarah Logan, has said that she will make an announcement tomorrow regarding future plans. She had talked in the past of doing MMA.  

The Cauliflower Alley Club website yesterday made a listing of some wrestling movies from the past, some of which are trailers only, others the entire movie:

  • Ready to Rumble trailer. Movie sucked, like bad.
  • Bad Guys with Sgt. Slaughter and Alexis Smirnoff.
  • Paradise Alley with Sylvester Stallone, featuring Terry Funk's first acting gig, better than most.
  • Grunt the Wrestling Movie
  • All the Marbles (trailer only): The wrestling sequences in the final match of this movie were far above the standard of pro wrestling at the time. This is where a lot of people realized how talented the women of the All Japan Women's group were.
  • Mad Bull starring Alex Karras, I loved this the first time I saw it, not so much the second time.
  • Wrestling Queen, a documentary on Vivian Vachon, who was the most talented and charismatic woman of the early 70s, but for obvious reasons was not allowed to be the ace of women's wrestling.
  • The One and Only starring Henry Winkler, this was directed by Carl Reiner and was originally to be a movie about Gorgeous George but instead they went with a scripted movie very loosely based on George's gimmick.
  • I Like to Hurt People, a movie based on late 70s Detroit wrestling when it was dying under The Sheik after having a huge glory period, Capt. Ed George in the movie is The Sheik's son which explains his push.  But cool stuff with Dusty Rhodes, Andre and The Funks.
  • The Wrestler, based on 1973 AWA and the Verne Gagne vs. Billy Robinson feud, really everyone needs to see this movie once,as you get clips of Superstar Billy Graham, Nick Bockwinkel, Ray Stevens, Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch, Bruiser & Crusher.

If you are looking to watch a wrestling movie, the Mickey Rourke version of "The Wrestler" and the English subtitled "My Dad is a Heel Wrestler" which is available on New Japan World are the best bets.

Les Thatcher this weekend celebrated 60 years in pro wrestling. starting at the age of 19 in a match in Blue Hills, ME.  

WWE

  • Pete Dunne, Trent Steven and Tyler Bate have raised $45,000 from sales of Black Lives Matter shirts.

UFC

  • Aaron Phillips vs. Jack Share has been added to the 7/15 show.
  • Luke Sanders vs; Chris Gutierrez has been added to the 8/1 show.
  • Modestas Bukauskas, a former Cage Warriors champion, debuts against Andreas Michailidis in a light heavyweight fight on 7/15.
  • The Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez fight that was scheduled for 7/15, but canceled because one of Rodriguez's cornermen tested positive for COVID, has been moved to 7/25.
  • Luke Sanchez vs. Chris Gutierrez is slated to take place on 8/1 according to MMA Junkie.

AEW

  • Chris Jericho posted that his match that airs Wednesday with Orange Cassidy was one of his favorite and best matches in AEW.
  • Brian Pillman Jr. debuts for AEW on Dark this week against Shawn Spears. Another debut is NorCal wrestler Will Hobbs, who faces Orange Cassidy. As noted previously, Pillman's MLW contract allows for him to wrestle for AEW.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • A Nathan's Hot Dog commercial that aired yesterday had a quick Andre the Giant cameo.  
  • MLW has premiered on both the Brazilian and German versions of DAZN.
  • EPW from last night in Perth, Western Australia:  Kiel Steria b Zenith, Joel Hagan b Dizzy Videl, Del Cano b Bruno Nitro, Plague b Tyler Jacobs & Stella Nyx & Chadwick Jackson, Damian Slater b Jesse Lambert, Michael Morleone b Julian Ward.  This was the first show in Australia since 3/20, in front of a limited audience at their training center.  They will return on 7/25 with no seating restrictions with Morleone & Ward vs. Slater & Marcius Pitt (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • To mark the passing of Dave “Bearman” McKigney on July 4, 1988, Marshall Ward talked with his stepson, Conrad Gargus, who made a ton of those iconic Bearman posters that were in shop windows across Ontario and beyond.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Dr. Death & Terry Gordy win WCW tag titles


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