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Daily Update: Andrew Yang, Chris Jericho, UFC/COVID-19

DAILY UPDATE

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WON NEWSLETTER: September 7, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Future of Brock Lesnar, Rock battles COVID-19, more

A look at the different directions Brock Lesnar could go is the lead story in the new issue of the Observer. We look at the money he can generate for a fight with Jon Jones, the reality about his trying to fight today, why he's a free agent right now, what Tony Khan said about Lesnar, and why, unless Dana White isn't telling the truth, it's unlikely he will fight.  Plus we've got comments by both White and Scott Coker on fights they would want to make if he does want to fight.

Also in this issue: 

Positive COVID tests of Dwayne Johnson, A.J. Styles, Kevin Nash, Glover Teixeira and others that came out this week.

Payback, including the genesis of the Roman Reigns heel turn, the Rey Mysterio injury, the booking of the show, plus poll results and star ratigns.

New Japan at Jingu Stadium, including Tetsuya Naito growing up going to the stadium, all three-time IWGP champions, most IC tilte runs in Japan, business notes, plans for the tour going on this weeeknd, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

The departure of Mauro Ranallo from WWE, looking and his five years in the company, his background prior to the company, what old and new projects he's expected to work on, and why he left.

The NXT title Iron Man match, next Takeover shows, Rey Mysterio television cartoon show, Paul Levesque stock sales, Levesque talks UK brnad, more on different allegations against WWE talent, returns of peope who have sit time out, change to Payback, Charlotte Flair news, Renee Young talks leaving WWE, Styles talks Heyman, lots of TV ratings updates internationally, new member of WWE Board of Directors, WWE market value and the most watched shows of the past week on WWE Network.

This past week's UFC show.

Bio of Tom Anderson, who wrestled as The Claw and one half of the Masked Interns tag team. We look at two of the most tasteless angles in wrestiling that he was involved in, how one failed miserably and how the other was a huge business success.  This includes the death of Alberto Torres, the heyday of the The Interns, the history of the masked doctors tag team and where it all came from, and classic stories involving Paul "Bear" Bryant, Ken Ramey, Lonnie Mayne, Beauregarde and what top promoter wouldn't use the Interns and Ramey and why.

The life and career of Ric Drason, from bodybuilding to wrestling, including what two AEW stars he started, the glory days of Gold's Gym in Santa Monica and the characters involved, his art work that sold millions of T-shirts, how one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time got his name from him, and why he had chacnes to be a star and the reason he never was.

A major change in how television ratings are done and how this is expectede to impact sports the most.

A comparison of the last week of AEW with competition and the show this past week where the only television competition was a replay show. We look at how this impacted every audience, what the audience numbers are likely to be for a regular unopposed Wednesday for AEW or NXT, and go in depth as to both sides of why WWE and USA would or would not want to move NXT. We also look at the huge change in the AEW audience from 8/12 to 9/2.  We also have how the audience ebbed and flowed during the Iron Man match.

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.

SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • Prior to the statement issued by WWE today, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang posted a series of tweets about WWE telling its talent to stop engaging with third-party platforms: “If I’m not the Secretary of Labor I’m pretty confident I’ll have his or her number to talk about the ridiculous classification of WWE wrestlers as independent contractors while controlling their name and likeness for years, even for something as benign as Cameo. Come on Vince - you’ve already deprived the folks breaking their backs for you of healthcare, security, recovery time, retirement benefits and fair treatment re: licenses and royalties. At least let them make a living off their own names. Many of them need it. I grew up a wrestling fan and it’s been sad to see so many of my childhood heroes pass away early. I’d feel better knowing that they and their families were being fairly treated - I look forward to doing what I can for the next generation of performers. I know how tough it is. Vince you’d better hope your old friend Donald wins because change is in the air and changes are long overdue where your corrupt labor practices are concerned. It would give me great pleasure. The people know. For all the wrestlers who know that you’re being misclassified but are reliant on staying on Vince’s good side - even because WWE might hire you - I get it. Our job is to make it easier for you to get what you deserve without risking your career.”
  • Kevin Owens tweeted about AOP’s Akam & Rezar being released by WWE: “Those guys beat the hell out of me for months...and I can say with complete honesty that I enjoyed every second of it. Good luck, boys. Hopefully, we’ll share a ring again one day and if so, you can bet you have some receipts coming you way!”
  • A vignette that aired on last night’s SmackDown featured an unidentified woman wearing heels.
  • “Clash of Champions: Gold Rush” is the full name for this month’s Clash of Champions pay-per-view. It’s taking place on September 27.
  • WWE has filed several trademarks for “Wobbly Walrus.”
  • For the first time since they were announced as the hosts of the show, Kayla Braxton and Xavier Woods hosted Talking Smack together this week. The Miz had been Braxton’s co-host for the first two episodes of the show’s revival.
  • ICW Fear & Loathing XI, wXw We Love Wrestling: Kutenholz, EVOLVE 124, and PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 83 were added to the WWE Network today.
  • WWE uploaded a behind-the-scenes video on Sami Zayn’s return to SmackDown from last week.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair in a last woman standing match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Evolution, The New Day vs. Cesaro & Sheamus for the Raw Tag Team titles from Roadblock: End of the Line 2016, and The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan for the United States title from Night of Champions 2010.

Other Wrestling

  • AEW streamed parts one and two of their Red Carpet special ahead of All Out.
  • Chris Jericho spoke to Sports Illustrated about not initially being a fan of Orange Cassidy: “When I first came to AEW, I was not a fan of Orange Cassidy. I just didn’t get it. When I actually spent some time with him, watching his matches and seeing how he connected with the audience, I realized that he’s over. That’s the secret of wrestling: getting over. He’s over because he’s doing something no one’s ever done before. That’s when I pulled my head out of my a-- and realized what he’s doing is great. People really respond to him because he’s the type of character we’ve never seen before, so I knew I wanted to do something with him. This is a guy that hasn’t been in a main-event program before. I thought, let’s put him in one and see a side of Orange Cassidy, a violent side, that we’ve never seen before. Let’s see the Orange Cassidy that cuts a great promo and see how he does in an extended program. I believe we started this the week after Stadium Stampede, so it’s close to 14 weeks for this program. Any time you can do three and a half months in a program with somebody, that shows how special and how good the story is. It was something I had a hunch about, and I was right. We created some really good TV, and this is going to be a great pay-per-view blow-off match for this program.”
  • In an interview with TalkSport, Jericho said NXT should switch nights: “They came on Wednesday just to mess with us. Take your head out of your ass and go make money. Don’t worry about our company. We’re not worried about you. We don’t have a screen up that shows what’s going on every moment on NXT like they do for Dynamite -- leave us alone. Do your own thing. Go to Tuesdays, grab an extra 250k viewers, finally get your demo where it needs to be because it’s embarrassing on a Wednesday night against us. The Demo God thing is not a gimmick, it’s real. So go! Go to Tuesday, go to Sunday, go to any other day that you want. But don’t exist just to mess with us because we’re beating you every single week. It’s kind of embarrassing for NXT at this point. So I think you should throw the red flag, retreat, go to Tuesdays, get more viewers, make more money, get more guys over and don’t worry about what we’re doing because we’re going to continue on either way. And we’re winning every week anyways, so just go your own way. That’s the best way to do it.”
  • ESPN published a feature story on Brodie Lee.
  • In a video for TV Guide, Brandi Rhodes rewatched some of the best moments from Dynamite.
  • Eddie Kingston is the guest on the latest episode of Talk is Jericho.
  • Kris Statlander posted an update on her recovery after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL: “For everyone that’s expecting me to come back to @AEWrestling soon. I just started walking with my brace on without crutches on Tuesday. There’s still a long way to go but I’m on my way”
  • Alex Shelley vs. Tony Deppen is set for Joey Janela’s Spring Break 4 on October 10.

MMA

  • The UFC announced the following changes to tonight’s Fight Night card due to COVID-19 test results: “Due to positive COVID-19 test results, the following bouts have been canceled from today’s card: Alexandr Romanov vs. Marcos Rogerio De Lima and Thiago Moses vs. Jalin Turner. Additionally, as a precaution, Kevin Natividad has been removed from his bout against Brian Kelleher and will be replaced by Dana White Contender’s Series alum Ray Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who appeared on the show last season, has won 11 of his last 13 bouts. UFC Fight Night, headlined by top 10 heavyweight contenders Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai, will move forward at the UFC APEX with a seven-bout card beginning at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT live on ESPN+.”
  • The UFC will promote five events at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi starting with UFC 253 on September 26 and ending with UFC 254 on October 24.
  • Stipe Miocic thinks he should be the first option to face Brock Lesnar if Lesnar returns to the UFC: “A hundred percent I think so. Listen, I just think about it more and more I do think 100 percent if anything I would get the Brock Lesnar fight first or be asked first. I didn’t know [Jones] called the shots. I didn’t know that.”

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Anderson & Zbyszko win WCW Tag Team titles

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