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Daily Update: Weekend schedule, Kamala, ROH

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WON NEWSLETTER: August 17, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Life and career of James 'Kamala' Harris, more

A look at the life of James "Kamala" Harris, one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 80s, and Daniel Cormier, one of the biggest MMA stars of all-time, are the lead stories in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The Kamala story goes through how he got the Kamala gimmick, who came up with the idea, the story around the video that instantly made him a star, how Kamala worked in that time but wouldn't now, how he was as a draw against Hulk Hogan, his late life health issues, his original meeting with Bobo Brazil, how he started watching wrestling, his pre-Kamala  career, going to Europe, how J.J. Dillon was a key in getting him over and a look weekly at the first Memphis run that made him a big star.

His rivalry with Andre the Giant and how it was ugly early on, the feud with Bruiser Brody and every WWF run.  We look at his career peak in 1986-87 and the gates and payoffs he got, his working Mexico, his last big WWF run, and the declines of his health.

Daniel Cormier's quest for the storybook ending, others who tried to have that ending, the greatest heavyweight of all-time, his tragic upbringing, growing up as a wrestler, competing with Cael Sanderson, his Olympic dream crushed, his MMA beginnings, his word title wins, and more building the fight with Stipe Miocic.

Also in this issue:

Return of ROH to action, what the new TV will be about, the creative involved, testing and more.

How Kevin Reilly is one of the key people who fell into place and without him there would be no AEW.  We look at the changes in TNT management including a unique note about Reilly's successor.

A scary scene at NXT tapings, Dwayne Johnson's earnings for the year, New contracts signed in WWE, Sports ratings, U.K. ratings and Canadian ratings, Lawler 50th anniversary sow, WWE market value, and most-watched shows on WWE Network.

WWE moving TV into the Amway Center, Takeover and SummerSlam news updates and creative.

COVID updates from Japan, with many shows canceled this past week, why they were, and what this says about Japan in comparison with the U.S.

New Japan's Jingu Stadium show for the end of the month.

WWE Network featuring independents.

Saturday's UFC show with a complete rundown and match-by-match coverage.

Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa doing a lecture for students at Tokai University on sports entertainment during the COVID era, with notes on AEW profitability, ad spending, how COVID has changed the world, how the AEW audience has changed, A.J. Styles, personal goals and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

New Japan, All Japan and NOAH have their biggest tournaments of the year at the same time.

CMLL's planned return.

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. 


ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

Our schedule this weekend includes two shows on Saturday, one with Lance Storm (who will be with Bryan tonight as well) and Garrett Gonzalez, as well as a show with Bryan on Saturday night covering the Stipe Miocic vs  Daniel Cormier UFC card.  We will also be doing a poll on the UFC show.

Smackdown tonight on FOX has:

  • Battle Royal with members from Raw, Smackdown and NXT, winner faces Bayley for the Smackdown title at SummerSlam
  • Big E vs. John Morrison
  • Alexa Bliss interview

Arguably the biggest fight of the year, and certainly the most important from an historical context, takes place tomorrow night with UFC 252 from Las Vegas:

ESPN at 7 p.m. Eastern:

  • Kai Kamaka (145.5) vs,. Tony Kelley (145.5)
  • Chris Daukaus (241) vs. Parker Porter (264.5)
  • Livinha Souza (115.5) vs. Ashley Yoder (115.5)
  • TJ Brown (146.5) vs. Danny Chavez (146)
  • Felice Herrig (116) vs. Vira Jandiroba (115.5)
  • Jim Miller (156) vs. Vinc Pichel (156)

PPV on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. Eastern:

  • John Dodson (136) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (136)
  • Herbert Burns (149.5) vs. Daniel Pineda (146)
  • Junior Dos Santos (238.5) vs,. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (254)
  • Sean O'Malley (136) vs. Marlon Vera (136)
  • Stipe Miocic (233) vs. Daniel Cormier (236) for the heavyweight title

The fight is being promoted as for the title of the greatest heavyweight of all-time.  Brown missed weight by 0.5 pounds and Burns by 3.5 pounds.  Both have been fined 20 percent of their purse, which will go to their opponent. 

New Japan Strong on New Japan World at 10 p.m. tonight:

  • Alex Zayne & ACH & TJP vs. Blake Christian & Misterioso & PJ Black
  • Jordan Clearwater & Clark Connors vs. Barrett Brown & Logan Riegel
  • Jeff Cobb vs KENTA in semifinals of New Japan U.S. Cup
  • David Finlay vs. Tama Tonga in semifinals of New Japan U.S. Cup

Thanks everyone for all the feedback on the stories in this week's issue on Kamala and Daniel Cormier.

The viewing for James "Kamala' Harris is tomorrow from 5-6 p.m. at the Rodgers Funeral Home in Coldwater, MS. The Funeral is Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. at the Batesville Civic Center in Batesville, MS and burial is at the Simon Chapel #2 in Sardisk MS.  Masks are required and there will be a temperature check at the door. There is a GoFundMe for funeral expenses trying to raise $30,000. They met their goal of just over $30,000 with major donations coming from Chris Jericho ($5,000), Scott D'Amore ($2,500), Ryan Barkan of Pro Wrestling Tees ($2,500), writer Jason King ($1,000), James Gregory ($1,000), Dillon Hines of the Bobby Fulton family ($750) and an anonymous donor of $3,000.

ROH has laid out extensive procedures for all talent and referees which include testing 14 days out, quarantine, testing three days out again and isolated after at the hotel, testing the day of the show, tracing, temperature taking (nobody with a temperature above 100.0 will be allowed in), masks at all times except for participants and social distancing. The first taping will be a tournament for the Pure title, which was scheduled to be revived in an April tournament before the pandemic. Those in the tournament included Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Matt Sydal, David Finlay, Tracy Williams, Wheeler Yuta and Josh Woods.

As far as the different key demos for this past week:

  • In Men 18-34, Raw was No. 1
  • In Women 18-34 Dynamite was No. 1
  • In Men 35-49 Raw was No.1
  • In Women 35-49 Smackdown was No. 1

Realistically, Smackdown should be No. 1 by a wide margin across the board

WWE

  • WWE has started loading into the Amway Center in Orlando for SummerSlam. It will be the new home of WWE live television starting either Friday or Monday and the Performance Center will go back to being a training gym.
  • John Cena and Dwayne Johnson will be appearing at the DC Entertainment Fandome on 8/22, a virtual panel show. Cena will be at 3 p.m. and Johnson will be at 6 p.m.
  • WWE 24 will be doing a feature on WrestleMania 36 that debuts on the WWE Network right after SummerSlam on 8/23 according to WWE Network News.
  • Amalie, a European regular from France, has signed here to be part of the U.K. brand.

UFC

  • EA Sports released EA Sports UFC 4 on Playstation 4 and Xbox One today.
  • The lineup for Dana White's Contenders show on Tuesday on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. Eastern
    • Kevin Syler vs. Ken Cross  - lightweight
    • Josh Parisian vs. Chad Johnson - heavyweight
    • Orion Cosce vs Matt Dixon - welterweight
    • Cheyanne Buys vs. Hilarie Rose - strawweight
    • Louis Cosee vs Victor Reyna - welterweight 

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Legacy Fighting announced shows on 8/21 8/28, 9/4 and 9/11 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, SD. 8/21 features Jaeleel Willis vs Vinicius DeJesus for their welterweight title. 8/18 features Brent Moore vs. Joe Gainnetti as the main event. 9/4 has Zviad Lazishvili vs. Ricky Steele for the bantamweight title. All shows air live on UFC Fight Pass.
  • MLW Fusion at 6:05 p.m. tomorrow night on YouTube from 2002
    • Christopher Daniels & Dick Togo & Ikuto Hidaka vs. Joel & Jose Maximo & Quiet Storm
    • C.W. Anderson vs. Devon Storm
  • Bellator announced Valerie Loureda has signed a new multi-year contract.  Loureda has gotten a lot of attention based on her looks and charisma and was a former member of the U.S. Olympic team in taekwondo.
  • CWE tonight in St. Albert,Alberta at the St Albert Community Hall.  The promotion ran last night in Calgary:  Danny Duggan b Kevy Chevy, Alex Zwicker b Kylie Morgan, Jude Dawkins & Lumberjack Larry b A.J. Sanchez & Kevin O'Doyle, Johnny Devine b Travis Cole.  Next show in Calgary is 10/22.
  • NFC returns as the first sport in Atlanta with paid customers on 8/29 at District Atlanta. There will be 17 fights and they are only opening up to 35 percent capacity.  
  • All Japan has a memorial show for Atsushi Aoki on Saturday at Korakuen Hall with Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa & Shigehiro Irie vs. Kento Miyahara & Jake Lee & Yuji Okabayashi. 
  • An article on Erick Stevens.
  • A story on Austin Idol's pro wrestling school. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWE SummerSlam 2011


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