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Daily Update: Asuka & Kairi Sane, AEW notes, Jorge Masvidal


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WON NEWSLETTER: July 13, 2020 Observer Newsletter: COVID-19 effects on wrestling/MMA, more

How COVID-19 has affected UFC and WWE this past week when it comes to show changes and decisions is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We talk about WWE recovering from its outbreak and UFC losing major fights, as well as the details of the Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal fight coming together, the Gilbert Burns positive test and nature of who else tested positive, Burns explanation of his test failure, PPV numbers, more on UFC's testing and its business deal in Saudi Arabia, WWE & AEW reactions this past week, who still hasn't returned to television and Ric Flair's situation being a regular television performer. We also talk about Renee Young and Jon Moxley and WWE rules on masks.

The new issue also covers:

We go through all the details of Fyter Fest and the Great American Bash, positives and the negatives of the ratings, every demo looked at, every quarter hour and match looked at and what it says, Paul Levesque talks the competition, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings.

WWE schedule over the next two months, certain changes and key reason why and more.

The Rey Mysterio/WWE situation as far as contract, why he was still used while no longer on contract, the deal in place, lots more on the "eye for an eye" stip, plus updating Extreme Rules.

Update the start of wrestling with fans with New Japan, who isn't there and why, the rules in place for fans plus coverage of the New Japan Cup.

A new documentary about a wrestling icon being worked on, wrestling TV shows listed to Emmy voters and what they say, more on the Saudi Arabia situation, Smackdown's role on FOX and why it's valuable, WWE announcement coming, Canadian, U.K. and Sports ratings for the past week, ex-WWE stars sign for major representation, current WWE market value and most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

Update on Matt Riddle's situation with a time line.

New Japan's Lion's Break show, the concept and the talent.

Why COVID has slowed down a process that all sports leagues were hoping would change regarding ratings and the problem with the new system that goes into place sometime next year.

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 or by going to directing funds to

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  • On Raw Talk last night, Asuka and Kairi Sane were asked how they would feel about facing each other after Extreme Rules. Sane said if Asuka wants that match, she's ready for Asuka. Asuka said she wants to face Sane and Sane called that match her dream.
  • Lana wrote that her mother is now out of the hospital and at home resting. Her mother had been in the ICU after testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Charlotte Flair has been announced as a guest for tomorrow’s two-hour Women’s Evolution edition of WWE’s The Bump. Stephanie McMahon and Beth Phoenix are also appearing on the show.
  • Triple H tweeted about the growth of WWE’s women’s divisions: “Cannot overstate how proud I am to see the growth in the #WWERaw, #Smackdown, and #WWENXT Women’s divisions. It took legends, hall of famers, and women from every generation to get where it is today. Excited to watch you all inspire the next generation. #WomensEvolution”
  • Montez Ford spoke to Inside the Ropes about working with Paul Heyman: “Paul Heyman, first off I would like to say I owe Paul Heyman my freaking life man. I know both [me and Dawkins] collectively owe him pretty much our life. He’s always been there since day one. I remember specifically the first time we encountered with Paul Heyman and him just giving us a wealth of knowledge and I remember when we first debuted on Monday Night Raw, he was the -- I remember specifically he was the first person that came and found us and talked to us and just pretty much took us under his wing and there’s so much I can say and describe but he’s given us a whole bunch of stuff and he’s pretty much been there the whole way and gave us a lot of motivation man, insight and you guys know. Getting any type of insight or anything from Paul Heyman is… it’s golden so, just in short term I can say that and I’m just privileged to know and to have worked with him in the time period that we did.”
  • The first episode of The R-Truth Game Show premiered today.
  • Drew McIntyre was interviewed by the New York Post ahead of Extreme Rules.
  • Alicia Atout has an interview with Tegan Nox.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Undertaker & Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre & Shane McMahon from Extreme Rules 2019 and John Cena vs. R-Truth from Capitol Punishment 2011.

Other Wrestling

  • Tony Khan spoke to the New York Post about Jimmy Havoc and Sammy Guevara’s suspensions: “I suspended them both. Very different situations. I just needed to address both. We are addressing both. I think Jimmy really needed the counseling. If and when he were to wrestle again, the most important thing for himself and everybody here is that he sought treatment and counseling. When he asked for that help, we’re gonna help him. With Sammy, I think the right thing to do was to suspend him. The comments he made were horrible. I can’t defend them. I can’t even comment on them because they’re unspeakably bad. He has also done a different kind of counseling and he’s in a different kind of counseling and it’s a different kind of coaching. Everybody here, male and female pretty much up and down the roster we talked to felt like Sammy had no history of this kind of behavior. Really people were shocked Sammy had said that. Certainly, it’s an old clip. I think the video was four years old. I had never seen that video and it’s something I would have addressed with him before Sammy started here. I never had an opportunity to address it because I didn’t know it existed and neither did anybody else or if they did nobody told us. For both of them, we really needed to address the situation before talking about what to do in the future afterward. I didn’t want to rush into making a decision on either person, so it felt like until I had all the facts suspending was the right thing to do. Then I could make whatever the right decision is. I knew the right decision wasn’t for those guys to just come to TV and not address this stuff.”
  • Khan also discussed PAC’s status: “I really miss PAC a lot. Right now the border is not a great situation. As I understand it, if he were to go back to England, if he were to come here and he was able to get in, do a quarantine after travel then he would also, when he tried to go home, he’d be in a two-week quarantine before he could do anything. So it just doesn’t seem like a sustainable situation right now because PAC lives in England, so until travel is sustainable and he could do what he used to do, which is come here and stay and do a few shows and then go back to England and really commute across the Atlantic, it’s very challenging right now. Until it becomes safe to travel back and forth for PAC to make those trips internationally, until the border is really ready, I don’t think we can rush him back even though we’d love to have him.”
  • Conrad Thompson and Eric Bischoff interviewed Khan about tomorrow’s Fight for the Fallen event.
  • In an interview with TV Insider, Sonny Kiss discussed staying positive and driven despite receiving hate on social media: “I’ve known who I was since maybe five years old. Very, very young. There is really not much anyone can say to deter me from who I am or make me feel less than. I really appreciate the outpouring of support I’ve been getting on social media. There isn’t anything I haven’t heard before. That’s why I can stay positive because I know exactly who I am, and nobody can take that from you once you know who you are. I know I have a group of people looking for ways to respond themselves. So if I show them that I’m strong, they will be able to say, ‘I can be like Sonny and not care what these people are saying about me.’ These people who have 30 followers. They can’t tell me who I am. Tell me that something is wrong with me. They are nobody. I know who I am, and that’s that.”
  • While speaking with TalkSport, Cody addressed a report that said CM Punk asked for an “astronomical amount” of money when he negotiated with AEW: “As far as the CM Punk negotiations go, everyone heard the famous ‘he got a text from us.’ Yeah, of course there were negotiations and he did ask for a great amount of money and Punk is worth a great deal of money. But you also have to -- and this isn’t speaking to Punk specifically, this is speaking to recruitment and what we’ve learned in wrestling in general -- a lot of people think ‘these wrestlers are running this wrestling company.’ These wrestlers are doing everything they can to run the creative, the brand and the marketing and things, but there are some very smart and fiscally conservative people who surround us and flank us because this isn’t my money. At all. And I don’t want a situation that happened with WCW or Jim Crockett Promotions where we think we’re flying so high that we can do anything. No -- this is a business. And we have to turn a profit. The fact we were able to turn a profit as a company within only two years of being alive, very few other companies within wrestling -- it’s real limited, you can count on one hand who’s been able to do that versus who has bled money -- but in that situation the negotiations, I don’t think they ever got too serious. Doesn’t mean they won’t one day, but they never got entirely too serious. I think there is a good relationship there. I think I have a good relationship with Phil, I believe Tony does too and I’m not sure really when it comes to him, it’s not so much about the money. It’s about are you interested in doing this? Because the price tag becomes a lot more justifiable if you’re genuinely interested in what we’re doing at the high speed we’re doing it. And again, that’s not even specific to him, just in general, if the passion is not there, the money is not there.”
  • CBR has an interview with Kenny Omega.
  • DDP spoke about his family’s experience with COVID-19 and claimed that AEW’s QT Marshall tested positive for the virus.
  • AIW’s John Thorne tweeted about the promotion’s status: “Things are not looking good for pro wrestling returning to Ohio for the rest of 2020. We asked if we could do a no fan event to try and raise some money and that was also said to be illegal at this time so I need to evaluate what if anything can be done to keep AIW going.”


  • Dana White spoke about the success of UFC 251 and called Jorge Masvidal a massive star: “I said it to you guys the other night, when you put on a fight, a successful promotion of an event, it’s a big melting pot of different things. Fight Island was a massive star in this thing. Masvidal is a massive star. Obviously, Usman, the champion and a guy that we’re all start to realize is tough to beat and a great card underneath. It all came together perfectly. It was a major success. Everybody’s healthy. It’s all good. Literally not one negative thing that I could point out.”
  • Masvidal wants his next fight to be a rematch against Kamaru Usman: “It’s a no-brainer. Could they offer me bigger names that pay me more money? Yes. For a fact. But if it’s up to me, Usman. For me stepping up on six days’ notice when no one else would. Because no one else would. A lot of people are saying that they would, but who else did it? Ask Dana (White). Who else was actually like, ‘Hey, Masvidal didn’t do it, I’ll do it. I’m right here.’ So, if it’s up to me Usman right away. I don’t care if they can offer me a bigger fight or not, I would like to fight Usman.”
  • Saturday's UFC 251 prelims averaged 809,000 viewers. The rating in the 18-49 demo was a 0.31.
  • White said the UFC is going to hold another run of events on Fight Island. He also said Fight Island is his backup plan if Nevada shuts down again: “We’re thinking about (a backup plan) now. My backup plan would be Fight Island. We might be living here. … Anything is possible. If Nevada shuts down and doesn’t allow us to do fights in Nevada, yeah, I’m going to be spending a lot of time in Abu Dhabi.”
  • Colby Covington responded to Masvidal saying that he won’t fight Covington and that Covington is below him: “Oh, I’m not below him in anything. I’m not below some journeyman fighter who has 15 losses on his record. He got a BMF title. That stands for Broke Mediocre Fighter. What’s he ever done? He’s No. 3 in the rankings, he’s behind me in the rankings. I don’t need to ever fight Street Judas Masvidal. We fought every single day in the gym. I knocked him out all the time. You can go to YouTube and watch the last time we fought. We fought an hour straight in the living room. I used to beat the sh*t out of him, poke him, play with him, tell him he’s a little b*tch, whisper in his ear, and he couldn’t do nothing about it. He couldn’t stop me. So, of course he doesn’t want to fight me. Why would he want to fight me? Why would he want to fight a guy that he has no chance to win against?”
  • Marlon Moraes and his wife have both tested positive for COVID-19. Moraes said he’s been offered a fight against Cody Garbrandt for October: “The fight [the UFC has] to do now is me versus Cody [Garbrandt]. And I think they will put [Aljamain] Sterling to fight [Petr] Yan and whoever wins between me and Cody will be the next to fight for the belt. The [UFC] is already planning [the fight] for October. The fight has already been offered, on my part it has already been accepted, I’m just waiting for the UFC.”
  • The UFC is targeting Alistair Overeem vs. Augusto Sakai for the main event of their September 5 Fight Night show.
  • Ricky Bandejas vs. Sergio Pettis will headline Bellator’s return on July 24.
  • Bellator has rebooked Michael Chandler vs. Benson Henderson for August 7.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Lex Luger wins WCW title at Great American Bash 1991