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WON NEWSLETTER: June 29, 2020 Observer Newsletter: #SpeakingOut continues, WWE COVID-19 outbreak

The worst week in the pro wrestling industry since 2007 is looked back on in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We go through name after name, case after case, the culture, the situations, suggestions on changes and a history dating back to the 30s of women in wrestling's plight.  We look at Joey Ryan, the WWE talent, people fired from every company, companies restructuring, attorney letters, Jim Cornette, Sammy Guevara, Travis Banks, Marty Scurll, the U.K. culture, the legal aspect, the ugliness from the fan base, David Lagana, Michael Elgin, death of CHIKARA, and pretty much the only mainstream place that will touch the story.

We also look at the COVID outbreak in WWE.  We look at how it happened, why AEW is at risk, the new taping schedule, the plans to return to shows with fans quicker than you think, how the AEW decision making went, how WWE is getting around the travel ban, the Orlando, the mask ordinance, and much more.

The new issue also covers:

The ending of WWE Backstage, the Tuesday night block and more.

Update on the New Japan Cup tournament with this coming week's shows.

What was supposed to be a big deal and ended up going nowhere due to COVID, the Tessa Blanchard Impact title win. We talk about the ending, and why it happened the way it did.

Possible end of Undertaker's career, where wrestling stood this past week in sports ratings, WWE gets new overseas deal, most-watched shows on WWE Network and WWE's current worth.

This week's UFC show that featured a guy with a destroyed knee winning one of he best fights of the year.

Next two weeks of Wednesday night wrestling. 

Update on Extreme rules.

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.

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

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.



  • In an interview with The Hindu, Roman Reigns spoke about his decision not to wrestle during the coronavirus pandemic right now: “For me, I just had to make a choice for my family. The company (WWE) has done everything that they can to make it the safest work environment possible. It is not the workplace that I was necessarily concerned about. The decision was taken mainly because each performer travels so much, and we are all such a diverse group and from all over the place. I’m not convinced, and I can’t trust the fact that everybody is taking it as seriously and locking themselves down at home like I am. I trust my life with my co-workers every time I step foot in the ring, but I just can’t put the same trust when it has my children, my wife and my family involved. But I don't want it to come off as I am taking a stand against the company at all, because I love the WWE. I've been a part of this company just since I was a little boy. That's why I always take it so personally when I represent them.”
  • Seth Rollins told the New York Post that he expects Becky Lynch to return to the ring at some point down the line: “Oh yea, I expect so. Obviously that’s gonna be up to her and how she feels. Who knows what happens after childbirth once she becomes a mother, I don’t know. I believe she has aspirations to return. I think she would rather go out on her own terms whenever that time may be as opposed to stepping away for a child. I think she has aspirations to return, but I don’t know. Things can change between now and December.”
  • Rik Bugez responded to criticism of him taking off his mask while in the crowd of last night’s Raw: “We all get our brains poked to get tested before tapings now. When the test is negative, I feel ok taking my mask off for 10 seconds to convey some emotion for the sake of entertainment. Without facial expression, they might as well have mannequin dummies behind the plexiglass”
  • Nikki & Brie Bella’s mother Kathy Laurinaitis is undergoing brain surgery today. Nikki wrote on Instagram: “Our Mama Bella, our Gigi, our Gato is about to head into brain surgery. I ask for so many prayers, so much light and love sent her way. Sadly they found what you can compare to a tumor on her brain stem that has been paralyzing her face. I have faith that the amazing doctors will do an incredible job and our Gigi will be on the road to recovery starting late today. She’s loved by so many of us and just pray that her road to recovery is exactly what we are hoping for so we can put two new grand babies in her arms soon. Love you SOOO much Mom! You have a big Bella Army out here praying for you!!”
  • Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross, Ricochet, Samoa Joe, Natalya & Lana, and Keegan-Michael Key are appearing on tomorrow morning’s episode of WWE’s The Bump. Key is promoting CBS’ “Game On,” which will feature an appearance by Becky Lynch on tomorrow night’s episode.
  • The Mirror has an interview with Sonya Deville.
  • Sports Illustrated posted a Q&A with Dolph Ziggler.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded John Cena vs. The Great Khali in a falls count anywhere match from One Night Stand 2007 and Asuka vs. Nikki Cross in a last woman standing match from the June 28, 2017 episode of NXT.

Other Wrestling

  • Today is Terry Funk's 76th birthday. Cody Rhodes also turns 35 today and Dax Harwood turns 36.
  • While appearing on Busted Open Radio, Cody discussed NXT’s Great American Bash: “So there are two events. People, I think sometimes mistakenly think Dusty just named Starrcade and Great American Bash, and it’s well beyond naming them. It’s a matter of booking them, of marketing them, of the creation of what the event stands for, especially at the advents of pay-per-views. My dad always told me that Starrcade was for my sister and that Great American Bash was for me and obviously at the time he came up with these events, I’m not sure if that was actually the case but that’s what he told me and that’s why it’s very special, both events to me and my sister. I’m not going to get angry, because it still brings up his name in a positive way. The marketing of the event reminds me a lot of what Disney currently does. If you go to Disney World, they still sell Haunted Mansion shirts and they are all done retro-style. That’s something that’s been marketed really well. They market nostalgia. If you run a sizzle with Sting and Dusty Rhodes and Hulk Hogan, none of those guys are gonna be there. So it’s a unique marketing thing. I’m not really upset about it. I know my sister was kind of -- really thought it was so strange it was announced willy nilly, last minute. In the strangest of ways, I would hope that they do something special with it. I think our show is better. I think it will be better in execution but I hope they do something special with it because I hated what Michael Hayes did with Starrcade. He took a creation of my dad’s and he made it a live event because they weren’t selling any tickets in North Carolina and he wanted to save his job, and that was disappointing to me in terms of that was the premier event in World Championship Wrestling and the NWA and you did what you did with it and the same I hope is not what happens with Great American Bash. I’m not upset at anything that brings my dad’s name in a positive light. Is it a weird feeling? For sure, but I’ve also been in a tag match with my brother competing ratings-wise against the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. One guy who I’ll never mind competing with is my own dad. I’ll never mind that and The Great American Bash… it is what it is and I hope that they do something positive with it. That’s really the only outlet I have on it unless I had like three or four Bourbons and then I would have an absolutely different outlook on it. But I like that they bring his name up in a charming and loving way. I just hope it’s not another Starrcade situation.”
  • AEW uploaded their Road To video for Fyter Fest night one.
  • Karl Fredericks has graduated from the NJPW LA Dojo and is no longer a Young Lion. His matches at NJPW Lion’s Break Collision will be his first since graduation. Fredericks was originally supposed to face KENTA in the New Japan Cup prior to that tournament being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • MLW announced an agreement with Wildcat Championship Belts to manufacture a line of authentic MLW title belts. The MLW World Heavyweight Championship, Tag Team Championship, Middleweight Championship, and National Openweight Championship are now available.
  • Court Bauer told Sports Illustrated that MLW will wait to resume events until it’s safe to do so: “I will wait until we are sure it’s safe to return. We’re doing that for our fans, our athletes, and our crew, and all of their families. We do not want to put anyone at harm. We’ll see what the NBA looks like once they go live with their season, and we’re seeing what is happening with WWE. This [battle with COVID] is far from the rearview mirror. Our decision to proceed will be dictated by science and experts in the medical world. Until we know it’s safe, we’re going to be as judicious as possible.”
  • Game Changer Wrestling announced that its Homecoming Weekend will take place on July 25 and July 26 on the Garden Pier on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The shows will be available live via Fite TV.


Daily Pro Wrestling History: CM Punk wins World Heavyweight title