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Daily Update: WarnerMedia shake-up, WWE live tapings, MMA weigh-ins

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WON NEWSLETTER: August 10, 2020 Observer: The Rock & Dany Garcia buy XFL, new WWE president, more

The Rock & Dany Garcia purchase the XFL, WWE hires a new president, plus tons of news.


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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

As it relates to wrestling, the biggest news of the week by far is that Kevin Reilly, who greenlit AEW as one of his pet projects and actually was one of the keys in the creation of the organization, is out at WarnerMedia. Reilly and Bob Greenblatt were announced as being out today and Casey Bloys and Ann Sarnoff have been promoted to oversee content.  Bloys was the President of HBO Programming and will now oversee HBO Max, TNT, TBS and truTV.  Bloys, by coincidence, went to Freedom High in Bethlehem, PA at the same time as Dwayne Johnson and greenlit "Ballers," although he and Johnson were not friends in high school. 

It is far too early to know what this means for AEW going forward. It may not be bad news, but it is most definitely not good news in the sense Reilly was strongly behind AEW. In fact, the entire idea of AEW came from a conversation Tony Khan ad Reilly had in the spring of 2018 when Reilly told Khan how much money WWE programming rights were going for and Khan had seen the business and interest level of the Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho match at the Tokyo Dome and knew both were free agents, and that a lot of key contracts would be expiring at the end of 2018 in wrestling. The stuff with Cody Rhodes and me with the tweet before that time did lead to All In, and the success of All In was definitely a huge part of the equation as well as Khan talking about the success of that show, and his ability to sign the key people, was a key factor in Reilly agreeing to take the chance on giving them a prime time show on TNT. But Khan thinking of getting into wrestling was prior to All In.

The new Observer out today, besides the most detailed story on the hiring of Nick Khan as WWE President, has an in-depth story on the ratings patterns for Raw, Smackdown Dynamite, NXT and Impact during the pandemic and there is a ton of major information that tells you about things going up and down, lines intersecting this week regarding huge changes in viewing habits of wrestling. We also have the most details on this past week and where new viewers came from, as well as the first week in history where the most-watched show in 18-34 was not a WWE show since 1998. Actually this is a major underplayed story, not because it happened this week, but that it had been building for months and what it means if things continue in this direction.  

The 8/21 Smackdown show will be airing live from Orlando. Mike Johnson at PW Insider reported WWE will be doing Raw and Smackdown live going forward after that point. We know that has been discussed and we haven't had it confirmed. If this is the case, it means more expense and more travel and only makes sense if they feel live helps ratings, which today, it is very clear it doesn't make a difference at all. 

UFC has a show tomorrow on ESPN+ from Las Vegas at the Apex Arena starting at 6 p.m. Eastern:

  • Irwin Rivera (136) vs. Ali Al Qaisi (136)
  • Youssef Zalal (146) vs Peter Barrett (145.5)
  • Gavin Tucker (146) vs; Justin Jaynes (146)
  • Andrew Sanchez (185.5) vs. Wellington Turman (185.5)
  • Nasrat Haqparast (156) vs. Alex Munoz (156)
  • Kevin Holland (183.5) vs. Joaquin Buckley (185)
  • Tim Means (171) vs. Laureano Staropoli (174.5)
  • Beniel Dariush (158) vs. Scott Holtzman (156)
  • Yana Kunitskaya (135.5) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (136)
  • Darren Stewart (186) vs. Maki Pitolo (186)
  • Chris Weidman (186) vs. Omari Akhmedov (185.75)
  • Derrick Lewis (265) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (227)

Due to Dariush missing weight, he has to forfeit 20 percent of his purse. Staropoli also has to forfeit 20 percent of his purse for missing weight.

Weigh-ins for Bellator tonight from the empty Mohegan Sun Casino Arena at 10 p.m. Eastern on Paramount & DAZN:

  • Sabah Homasi (175) vs. Curtis Millender (174)
  • Myles Jury (155.6) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (155.5)
  • Matt Mitrione (262.6) vs. Timothy Johnson (263.2)
  • Michael Chandler (155.9) vs. Benson Henderson (155.6)

Chandler's contract expires with this fight and he's talked about becoming a free agent. So he has a lot riding on this outcome.

Yuki Miyazaki of Pro Wrestling WAVE tested positive for COVID-19 and WAVE has postponed all of its shows over the next several days including the 8/16 show at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.  Sunday's Oz Academy show was also canceled because Hiroyo Matsumoto, Yumi Ohka and others worked on the same show at Miyazaki. (thanks to Shannon Walsh)

CMLL returns to streaming tonight on the Capital 21 website with matches taped last week at an empty Arena Mexico. 

WWE

  • 205 Live Tonight has Danny Burch vs. Tony Nese and a tag team match featuring Matt Martel & Chase Parker. Announced for Smackdown is Sheamus vs. Matt Riddle.
  • DC Entertainment is hosting a virtual celebration on the weekend of 8/22 (SummerSlam weekend)  for free to break news of upcoming movie and comic book projects. Dwayne Johnson and John Cena will both be taking part in this.
  • The WWE announced episodes of WWE Timeline, a new show on the WWE Network which will cover major historical feuds. Sunday's debut episode is on Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz. 8/12 has Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart.  8/19 has John Cena vs, A.J. Styles and 8/26 has Randy Orton vs. Christian.

UFC

  • UFC announced an 11/21 PPV show with Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Cody Garbrandt for the flyweight title and Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia for the women's flyweight title.  Garbrandt has never fought before at flyweight, dropping from 135 to 125.
  • Corey Anderson of UFC, even though he had  several fights left on his contract, was able to get a release and has signed with Bellator.  Normally UFC doesn't do things like that.
  • After missing his second straight fight at the last minute, UFC has released Ray Borg. Borg missed his fight with Nathan Maness on Saturday, pulling out with no public explanation. He had missed weight three times and had a lot of problems due to the health of his son which caused him to pull out of a previous fight and also take time off.
  • Mirsad Bektic vs. Eduardo Garagorri has been added to the 9/26 show in Las Vegas.
  • A story on someone sued for pirating UFC events. (thanks to James Ryder)

AEW

  • Brandi Rhodes quit Twitter after people complained regarding her AEW Heels project, basically a booster club idea for women fans.   

MISCELLANEOUS

  • U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Silverstein approved the sale of Alpha Entertainment (XFL) to Alpha Acquico, the new company formed and headed by Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale.
  • Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa are doing a live stream tonight at 11:30 p.m. Eastern teaching an English language college class at Tokai University in Japan about the U.S.pro wrestling industry.  It will be in English and you can watch it by signing up here.
  • Dragon Gate's streaming network will be airing a show at 5 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning from Kyoto as well as a show from Osaka at 5 a.m. Eastern Sunday morning.
  • Matt Sydal will be returning to ROH based on a podcast interview on the ROHStrong Podcast.  He was going to be part of an ROH then vs. now show that ended up cancelled in March, but that was just a one-shot deal.
  • Kevin Eck's weekly ROH update.
  • The biggest wrestling show in months in the Chicago area takes place tonight at Marian Catholic High School outdoors on the football field for Warrior Wrestling:
    • Brian Cage vs. Jeff Cobb
    • Lance Archer vs. Sam Adonis
    • Joey Janela vs. Jake Something  
    • Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Robert Anthony w/ Frank the Clown for the Warrior Wrestling Championship
    • The Rascalz vs. Alex Zayne, Blake Christian, and Benjamin Carter
    • Kylie Rae vs. Ray Lyn
    • Isaias Velazquez vs. Tre' LeMar
    • Spartan Stadium Stampede Scramble: Warhorse vs. Dan the Dad vs. Matt Knicks vs. Beast Man vs. Elayna Black vs. Cornbelt Cowboy vs. The Chicago Sideshow
  • Wrestle Rampage on 8/28 in Adelaide, Australia has been postponed due to changes in rules for licensed premises involving alcohol service (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • The World Series Wrestling promotion in Australia which is built around importing foreign stars has canceled its scheduled November tour for obvious reasons, since getting people into the country from the U.S. won't be easy.
  • Jimmy Jacobs returns to CWE provided governmental regulations will allow him to come to Canada and leave, for shows from 10/27 to 11/9 in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
  • CWE tonight in Winnipeg at Rookie's Sports Bar with only 100 seats available.
  • AIW announced a return on 9/6 at Noon at the Celebration Plaza Amphitheater at White River State Park in Indianapolis.
  • Famous Mexican wrestling exotico Cassandro has signed with Masked Republic for representation. Academy Award winning director Roger Ross Williams is working on a film on his life that will star Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal.
  • Bellator announced 8/21 from the Mohegan Sun on Paramount and DAZN with Ryan Bader (22-5, 1 no contest) vs. Vadim Nemkov (11-2) for the light heavyweight title, Julia Budd (13-3) vs. Jessy Miele (9-3) and Roy Nelson (23-19) vs. Valentin Moldavksy (9-1.)
  • The NFC returns on 8/29 at District Atlanta as Atlanta's first sports event with fans. It will be at 35 percent capacity with 15 fights and all tickets priced at $100.
  • Interview with Raven and with Taeler Hendrix talking about ROH from Hannibal.
  • An interview with Homicide at SlamWrestling.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Kurt Angle wins TNA title at Hard Justice 2011


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